Chapter 2 : Part Two: Discovery
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Gorgeous CI by stardusted* @ TDA!
It was unbelievable to Victoire how close it was to Christmas. In recent years, Hogwarts had changed their policies so that there were now multiple Christmas shopping trips throughout November in addition to the usual last-minute one in December, and for that she was now infinitely grateful.
“I don't think I can go today,” she croaked, lifting her head up from the toilet pan. “I feel like a train wreck. Stupid bug.”
“Blame Roxanne,” Scarlett called from the dormitory, glancing through the open bathroom door at her blonde friend. “I've seen her flying around the Quidditch pitch while she's training with the Ravenclaw team and she doesn't wear proper cloaks, only those thin ones that don't provide a decent amount of warmth. Rumour has it she's caught the bug too, so it's probably her who passed it onto you.”
“Besides,” Alaina pointed out, “you always seem to feel worse when you've just woken up. As soon as you have some breakfast down you and take it easy for the morning, by lunch you've perked up. It's probably down to you always tossing and turning at night when you need rest.”
“Excuse me for trying to get comfortable,” Victoire muttered. “And anyway, I'd go to breakfast, but the smell of that new pumpkin-flavoured porridge will make me feel worse.”
Scarlett wrinkled her nose. “I agree with you – whoever came up with that idea?”
“Muggles have different flavours of porridge,” Alaina, the Muggle-born in their little trio, was quick to explain. “Chocolate, fudge – even adding fruit into it. The house-elves found out somehow and decided to make a wizarding version.”
“Okay, Tory, how about Al and I go to breakfast and we'll bring you back some toast and juice, and you can come with us to Hogsmeade? If you aren't better by lunch, we'll come back with you and spend the afternoon cursing your cousin and her inability to wear proper clothing.”
Victoire could only manage a weak smile. “Deal.”
She watched as Scarlett and Alaina left their dormitory. After a few moments, she became a little surer that she wasn't going to empty the current non-existent contents of her stomach and stood up unsteadily.
She really did feel like a train wreck – her headaches, while fortunately a little less persistent, had not reduced in ferocity and her backache didn't seem to be getting worse. While it was due to the fact that she was hunched over a cauldron for longer than her classmates due to the additional Potions classes she'd requested in order to keep her grade above an E – any less, and she wouldn't get into Healer training – she couldn't visit Madam Pomfrey. The elderly medi-witch would simply give her a lecture for doing “too much work” and that was the last thing that Victoire wanted to listen to in her current state.
The door opened behind her, and she whirled around to see who had rudely barged into her bedroom, groaning as the movement caused her stomach to resemble a washing machine. Peering around the door was a dark-haired witch that Victoire vaguely recognized as being a second-year, but whose name wasn't rushing to mind.
“Is Emily here? I need to talk about Quidditch practice,” the girl said nervously.
“Emily and Jade live next door – there are six girls in our year, so we have two dorms because the maximum allowed in a dorm is five,” Victoire answered. “And remember to knock next time; don't just barge into someone's bedroom!”
“Sorry,” the girl answered. “Are you okay?”
“I'm fine,” Victoire sighed. “At least, I will be in a couple of hours.”
“Oh, is it morning sickness? My mum's pregnant at the moment and she always feels terrible in the mornings, you know, being sick and all that.” Almost instantly, the young girl’s hand flew up to her mouth as she realized that she’d involuntarily spoken her thoughts aloud.
Victoire's head shot up with lightning speed, her eyes blazing with incoherent fury. In one swift move, she got up from between the toilet pan and the bath and flew across the room, her feet barely touching the ground. The younger student backed away in fright as Victoire approached her, physically shaking with anger.
“Don't you ever dare suggest something so preposterous again! I have the flu, not a baby! Spreading false rumours could land you into trouble, especially if they're about me!”
As soon as she had finished her shrieking, she slammed the door in the young girl's face, causing the sound of wood hitting wood to echo violently around Gryffindor Tower. She didn't understand why people could not actually just take what they saw at face value; they always had to think that there was a more complex reason to being ill than having flu. And besides, that girl was way off the mark. There was no way that Victoire was pregnant; she'd had her last period –
No. It couldn't be August.
Surreptitiously glancing behind her, Victoire kept to the shadows of the village of Hogsmeade – a difficult task, since she was constantly being jostled by people shopping and their goods. It seemed that not only was every Hogwarts student in third year and above swarming the streets of the wizarding village, but that their relatives had also chosen to visit. The sheer number of people frightened her – what if someone she knew saw her?
It had been easy, perhaps even too easy, to convince Scarlett and Alaina that she had changed her mind about going to Hogsmeade. All it had taken was the reiteration that she honestly didn't feel well and the lie that when they were at breakfast, she'd considered that the Hogwarts professors might not like her going shopping when she was visibly ill. After all, she was the Head Girl and the younger students would inevitably imitate her. Having Madam Pomfrey inundated with requests for Pepper-Up Potion because younger students wouldn't stay in bed when they were ill would look bad on her reputation, especially after it had been tarnished by her attendance at the Wizardlife concert.
Victoire took a quick glance at the Three Broomsticks as she walked past, knowing that Scarlett and Alaina would be eating their lunch inside at this moment in time – she'd timed her own Hogsmeade visit to coincide with her friends' absence from the shops, so that they wouldn't see her; at least, she certainly hoped so. Two doors past the busy pub was a small apothecary, and Victoire pushed the door open with trepidation as she stepped in, taking a few seconds to read the sign in the door window.
While this establishment specializes in wizarding potions and their ingredients, where possible we also stock Muggle alternatives. Please take care when selecting your products.
She sighed slightly, knowing that the sign wasn't solely for the benefit of advertising the shop's versatility – a lot of Muggle-borns, like her Aunt Hermione, preferred to use the flu remedies or other products that they had grown up with, and an ever-increasing number of shops now stocked Muggle alternatives to their products. What bothered her was how the shopkeepers still needed to state it, for fear of incurring the wrath of a blood supremacist if they accidentally purchased a Muggle product. It had only been three years ago that Pansy Parkinson had sued Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour for including a Muggle stick of chocolate in her ice cream, and while her lawsuit had been unsuccessful, it had shaken many shopkeepers.
“Can I help you, love?” the shopkeeper smiled from behind the counter, but Victoire shook her head.
“I can manage, thank you.”
“No problem; just shout if you need any help – I'll be in the back,” the shopkeeper smiled, before retreating through a walnut door that apparently led to the back room.
Victoire walked through the aisles, her hazel eyes scanning each product thoroughly. Half of them didn't seem to have product names clearly labelled on them, which made her task harder – although she did appreciate that it was an excellent form of deterring shoplifters, as well as the charms she guessed were on the glass bottles. And then she turned the corner to see a shelf that had a small piece of parchment tacked on the edge.
APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
It felt as if a Disillusionment Charm had been cast upon her: her blood had frozen, and if someone had told her that she had flakes of ice in her blood she'd have believed them. It had been so easy to distract herself by thinking of mundane things on her way here because she'd known that eventually, she'd get her answers.
She didn't know why her eyes flickered to the right, but she was glad that they did. The next shelf was clearly labelled, stating that the little white boxes contained Muggle pregnancy tests. Without hesitating, she reached her hand out and picked the rectangular box up, remembering her Aunt Hermione's assurances to her Aunt Ginny that Muggle and magical pregnancy tests shared the same level of accuracy – it was odd, she thought, how unimportant childhood memories seemed to surface at apocalyptically important moments.
“Are you all right?”
Victoire jumped at the sound of the shopkeeper's voice, and looked up to see the woman next to her, an expression of concern etched upon the witch's face. Hesitantly, she nodded.
“How much is this, please?”
“Fifteen Sickles,” the shopkeeper answered, before dropping her voice lower. “You look awfully young. Are you even of age?”
“Yes, I am!” Victoire's response had been sharp, harsher than she'd intended. “I'm sorry. Yes, I am,” she repeated in a softer voice, while counting out the silver coins.
“I hope you get the answer you want, love,” the shopkeeper nodded, taking the coins.
Victoire gave her a weak smile, put the pregnancy test into her pocket and quickly rushed out of the apothecary. She took a deep breath as the cold air hit her once more, glad that she had timed her visit not only to coincide with Scarlett and Alaina having lunch, but when the shops were quietest. She didn't think she'd have survived if there had been other customers in the apothecary at the same time as her.
Putting her hands in her pockets – she wished she'd remembered to bring her gloves – Victoire walked across the street, turned left at the corner and then crossed the street again to reach the public bathrooms. Like the shops, barely anybody was waiting to use the facilities – there was only an elderly witch washing her hands when she walked in. It was seconds before she'd entered a cubicle, pulled out the pregnancy test from its box and read the attached instructions with bated breath. Silently, she followed the instructions and only when did they say she had to leave the little white stick for two minutes that she let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding.
She glanced at her watch to check the time, then fell gently against and slid down into a sitting position, her knees up to her chin. The shopkeeper's words echoed in her memory, and she closed her eyes in a futile attempt to fight back tears. She knew she would love for the test to be negative, considering that she had a future that didn't factor children in for at least ten years. But did she want it to be? If she was honest with herself, she couldn't say that. She couldn't wish that a child didn't exist. But she couldn't say that she wanted a baby either. What if she was pregnant, though? She couldn't visualize herself aborting Teddy's baby, her baby, a living, breathing life – even if it wasn't technically living or breathing yet – and yet at the same time, she couldn't see herself being a mother. She was still at school, for crying out loud!
Another glance at her watch told her that two minutes had passed, and Victoire picked up the white stick to look at it again, the paper in her other hand translating the answer.
“Oh, shit,” she swore, the two syllables falling involuntarily from her lips, and the pregnancy test fell from her fingers. She didn't hear the sound of it clattering upon the tile floor; she was too absorbed with what she could see – the pink line marring the white stick, proving that her worst fears had come true.
Victoire Weasley was pregnant.
December 2017 (Part One)
Until six weeks ago, if anyone had told Victoire Weasley that one day, she would wish that her family didn't spend every Christmas Day at The Burrow, she would have asked them if they'd been victim to a Befuddlement Charm. Until six weeks ago, Victoire couldn't imagine anything worse than not being with her family on a special occasion. Then again, six weeks ago she hadn't been faced with the problem of how to tell her parents that she was pregnant.
Even the word itself terrified her to the point where she couldn't bring herself to even confess to herself the fact that she was carrying a baby inside her. A child for whom she was responsible. A life that was chained to her permanently – one that she couldn't give back to his or her mother, because she was the mother, and if she tried to palm the baby off to one of her relatives they'd eventually be giving the baby back to her. It was the one thing that Victoire could not get her head around.
“Victoire!” Roxanne's shout pierced three floors between the bedroom that she, Dominique and Rose shared and the bedroom that Roxanne shared with Molly, Lucy and Lily, shaking Victoire out of her internal monologue. “Victoire!”
“Roxanne, be quiet!” came another shout, this time from downstairs – Victoire was almost certain that it belonged to her Aunt Audrey.
“Rox, what do you want?” she called back in a quieter tone, wishing that they could revert to their original sleeping plan of the three eldest and four youngest girls sharing. And yet, that would require Rose and Molly to reconcile so they could share a room without blowing up the house, and Victoire wouldn't be placing any bets on that happening in the near future.
“Do you have scissors? Lily's Uncle Dudley sent her a present and she can't cut through the Sellotape.”
Victoire frowned; why would Lily want to open a present before breakfast and contravene the new Christmas tradition? Assuming, of course, that an eleven-year-old routine could actually be called a tradition. Sighing, she picked up the pair of scissors that Rose had brought from home and left her bedroom before ascending the stairs of The Burrow. It took her a surprisingly quick time to reach the other girls' bedroom, mainly because her uncles were taking cover and her cousins knew not to go downstairs before breakfast – and although Victoire knew that her family were still getting ready to face the day, The Burrow was quieter than normal, and that worried her.
“Thanks, Victoire!” Lily grinned happily as soon as Victoire stepped foot into the room, bounding up to her older cousin in delight and retrieving the scissors.
“It's actually a present from her boyfriend at that Muggle school she goes to,” Roxanne explained to a confused Victoire. “She doesn't want Uncle Harry or Aunt Ginny to know.”
“Boyfriend?” Victoire couldn't mask her expression of incredulity. “Roxy, she's nine. Well, ten in February, but that's not the point. She's a kid.”
“You think I really take this whole boyfriend thing seriously, Tory?” Roxanne answered in a barely audible tone, raising one eyebrow. “She's nine; she thinks boyfriends are boys you hold hands with and kiss on the cheek. If I remember rightly, you were “dating” Jimmy Cattermole back then. What's the big deal?”
“You shouldn't be encouraging her to lie to her parents at such a young age. Maman and Dad knew about Jimmy Cattermole; Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny apparently don't know about this boy.”
Roxanne flung her hands into the air in exasperation. “Fine. Go rain on Lily's party parade, why don't you, Vic? Let's ignore that she's just a kid. What harm can a few white lies do?”
“Don't call me that.” Victoire's answer had left her lips before Roxanne had barely finished speaking.
“For crying out loud, Victoire!” Roxanne exclaimed, before grabbing her jacket from her bed and making for the door. “I'm going to talk to Dom. You know, the girl who doesn't freak just because someone calls her the same nickname that Grandma Molly did.”
Victoire took a deep breath, listening to the sound of the door slam behind Roxanne as the latter departed from the bedroom. She saw Lily look up at the sound, but after seeing that nobody was dead or injured, returned to reading a Christmas card from her “boyfriend”. Molly simply turned over in bed, desperate for a few more minutes of sleep, and opposite her, Lucy sat up in the bed that they shared, her eyes firmly fixed on Victoire.
“You miss Grandma Molly, don't you?”
Victoire simply nodded in silent response.
“What's the big deal about Lily not telling her mum and dad about Luke?”
Lucy's blue eyes pierced Victoire's hazel ones, and the elder Weasley took a few steps before reaching Lucy and Molly's bed and sat down upon it, careful not to disturb the sleeping Molly. Without thinking, she touched her small bump – currently concealed with loose clothing – and sighed.
“If it was my kid, I'd want her – or him – to be able to tell me anything.”
Wouldn't her own mother want the same? The thought came to Victoire unexpectedly, and she froze, uncertain of what she should do. Fleur Delacour Weasley was not known for her calm and rational behaviour, but she was still Victoire's mother. She would understand, surely?
“That makes sense,” Lucy answered. “Victoire, do you remember Grandma Molly?”
“Yeah, I do,” Victoire nodded. “I still miss her.”
“What was she like?”
“She was everything I'd want to be as a mother when I have this baby,” Victoire replied, temporarily freezing when she'd realized her slip of the tongue, but Lucy apparently hadn't noticed.
“Will you tell me about her?”
“Sure. She was this amazing woman, with this lovely ginger hair – I swear it was red with some blonde mixed in – and...”
“Grandma! Grandma! Can we decorate the gingerbread men?” came two small voices, and Molly Weasley turned around to see her two oldest grandchildren jumping up and down in The Burrow's kitchen, full of excitement.
“Of course,” Molly grinned. “I set aside this job especially so you two could do it. First, Victoire, Freddie, have you washed your hands?”
Both nodded, but the blonde child elbowed the dark-skinned boy in his ribs.
“Grandma, he didn't. He just wiped them on the towel.”
“Fred, go and wash your hands,” Molly instructed with a stern but gentle voice. “Properly, with soap and water.”
Grumbling, Freddie did as he was told, and Victoire stepped up onto one of the stools that Molly had provided so her grandchildren could reach the table. Chattering excitedly about what was in hindsight absolute nonsense, Victoire began to squeeze the tube of icing over the gingerbread men, and trees, and bells, so deeply absorbed into the task that she barely noticed her cousin take his place next to her. In fact, her only disappointment was that there was no holly-shaped gingerbread this year, courtesy of Freddie accidentally breaking that cookie cutter the previous Christmas.
“Vic, could you come here as soon as you’ve finished that tree you’re working on?” Molly asked, and Victoire nodded.
When she glanced at Freddie and saw that he had just finished the man he was colouring in as his father George, she slid her own tree towards him as she quietly asked him to complete the task, and when Freddie nodded in response Victoire left him and skipped excitedly towards Molly.
“Grandma, what did you want me for?”
“I wanted your help decorating this cake that I’ve baked for your Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey’s anniversary party on the twenty-eighth,” Molly answered, non-verbally Summoning Victoire’s stool over to where they were.
As Victoire stepped onto her stool once more, she took some frosting in the shape of flowers out of their container and started putting each petal onto the edge of the cake. She was only vaguely aware of her mother entering The Burrow’s kitchen, and chose to ignore the conversation between Molly and Fleur – until the sound of something crashing caused her to turn around in alarm.
“Stupide, stupide,” Fleur was muttering, picking up the pieces of a glass vase. “I should not wave my arms around zis much.
Stealing a quick glance at Molly, Victoire noticed that her grandmother wasn’t bustling around to help as she usually did and instead remained silent. She also knew her mother well enough to know that Fleur only wove her arms in the air when she was angry. While Freddie accepted Fleur’s statement unquestioningly, Victoire turned back to the anniversary cake but instead of concentrating on her task, eavesdropped on the adults.
“Eet is preposterous!” Fleur was saying in a hushed voice. “Gabrielle cannot run off with zis dreadful boy! ‘e is un motard et un voyou… what do you English call zem... a Hell’s Angel! A common law-breaker! ‘e will get her drunk and she will become addicted to drugs and she will end up une camée and zey will live in a dirty little caravan and –”
“Or perhaps you are making assumptions?” Molly suggested in a calm tone. “Maybe you are judging him too harshly?”
“Like you did when Bill and I first dated?” Fleur answered sharply.
“And you proved me wrong. You made me realize that I should have given you a chance in the first place. So perhaps you ought to be giving Gabrielle’s new boyfriend a chance? She’s an adult now – she’s what, twenty?”
“She has just turned twenty-one.”
“When you were twenty-one, you knew that Bill was the love of your life and you married him. Remember how many people thought you were crazy, just like you think Gabrielle is now?” Molly explained. “I’m not saying her new boyfriend is like my son, but if she wants you to meet him then she obviously likes him enough to be in a serious relationship with him. What’s the harm in one dinner?”
“One dinner will make ‘er think that I approve of ‘er relationship,” Fleur answered haughtily. “And I do not.”
She turned and left the kitchen, and Molly turned to Victoire, who quickly busied herself putting pink frosting on the anniversary cake. Quietly, Molly approached her granddaughter and gently hugged her.
“You shouldn’t eavesdrop,” she sighed. “It’s not very polite.”
“Why’s Maman mad at Tante Gabby?” Victoire asked curiously, mildly wondering how Molly had known but not bothering to ask – she already knew that the answer given would be maternal instinct.
“Your mother and Gabrielle are more alike than either of them would like to admit,” Molly answered cryptically. “I want you to know, darling, that when you’re older if you ever have a boyfriend your mummy doesn’t like, or you decide to drop out of school before you finish your NEWTs like Charlie and the twins… I’ll always be here for you. I might get upset, but that’s just because I love you and I want the best for you. But no matter what, Vic, I’ll always be here for you, and The Burrow will always be your home. Now, shall we start on writing ‘Happy Anniversary’ onto the cake? Would you like to do it?”
A delighted Victoire just nodded happily, the last few minutes already forgotten.
“She really was a wonderful woman, wasn’t she?” Lucy sighed happily after Victoire had finished regaling some of her memories of their grandmother. “I wish I could’ve met her.”
“You’d have loved her,” Victoire agreed with a nod. “And she’d have loved you to bits, too – she’d have loved you all. Albus, Molly, Lily, Hugo and you.”
Lucy seemed thrilled at the statement but before she could say anything, Roxanne and Dominique had breezed back into the bedroom.
“Aunt Audrey said to tell you that breakfast is served, and to get lazy Molly’s ass out of bed.”
Victoire raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
“Did she mention that I specifically had to do it? Or did you just decide that because I’m the eldest, it’s my responsibility?”
“Who cares?” Roxanne shrugged. “I just asked you to do it, but yet again you’re palming it off on someone else.”
Crying out in exasperation, the blonde witch strode over to Molly’s bed and in one swift move pulled the younger girl’s duvet off of her and flung it across the room – a guaranteed way of persuading Molly to get up. She then hustled Lucy to leave the bedroom in front of her, but as soon as the youngest Weasley was out of earshot she turned to Roxanne and hissed at her.
“For the last time, I didn’t tell Scarlett to have a go at you! I had the flu near enough the same time as you, and she decided you were the one who gave it to me because you never wear cloaks when you’re flying even though you should. If you have a problem with Scarlett, deal with her, not me! And by the way, you didn’t ask me – you told me, and there’s a big difference between asking and telling, Rox.”
After storming off and taking the stairs at an alarming speed, it took Victoire less than a minute to catch up with Lucy, and together the two blondes walked into the lounge, where a temporary dining table had been assembled on the far end of the room. The table was straining under the weight of so much food, Victoire was in awe of how her mother and aunts had managed to cook it all, especially as they were also cooking Christmas dinner. Once she had graduated school, she’d be expected to be cooking alongside them at every family occasion, but for now she was sitting with her siblings and cousins. After breakfast, they’d open their presents while their parents sat at the table eating their own breakfast – The Burrow simply couldn’t accommodate twenty-five people dining all at the same time.
“Morning, Tory,” Teddy grinned as he saw her, tapping the empty seat next to him with the palm of his hand indicating for her to sit. “Want some coffee?”
Victoire shook her head quickly, knowing that caffeine was bad for her baby, and while it was fine in small quantities she hadn’t yet come up with a plausible excuse for limiting it, hence avoiding it altogether.
“Just some pumpkin juice, please,” she answered as she squeezed into her seat.
“She’s on a health kick,” James explained. “No coffee, no mayonnaise – apparently it’s too fattening, only a little bit of fish a week – something about it being too oily –”
“Excuse me for trying to be healthy,” Victoire muttered, reaching for the toast.
She had learnt that the house-elves made the mayonnaise at Hogwarts themselves, and there was a risk of salmonella poisoning from undercooked eggs contained in homemade mayo – at least, according to the agony aunt in Witch Weekly, when she’d written in anonymously asking how to have a healthy pregnancy. Oily fish contained pollutants, so should be limited to two portions a week at the very most, while the amount of tuna Victoire ate had been drastically cut after she’d learnt that it contained mercury, which was potentially harmful to her child.
Listening to the general hubbub going on around the table, and Teddy’s quiet argument with James about why the younger boy shouldn’t judge other people’s personal choices, Victoire closed her eyes to try and recompose herself. Some days – like the day she’d written to Witch Weekly’s Aunt Aggie – she felt like anything was possible: she really could raise a child with Teddy; she was going to be the best mother ever; she had the courage to announce to her parents, her family – hell, the entire wizarding world – that she was pregnant. And then there were days like today, where she wondered what had possessed her to decide to keep the baby, instead of running straight to the nearest medi-witch and asking for an abortion. Days like today, where it felt like the whole world was resting on her shoulders and she was constantly about to crack from the strain.
She could hear Teddy’s voice piercing through the background noise that she associated with her family – plates clanging upon each other, voices all overlapping, owls hooting as they fluttered past. He sounded worried, and so Victoire opened her eyes to see his chocolate ones staring into hers.
“Tory, are you okay?” Teddy asked quietly. “You look really pale.”
Immediately, as if she had supersonic hearing – although the likelier reason was that Louis or Dom had fetched her without Victoire noticing – Fleur swooped in and began fussing like a mother hen, checking her daughter’s temperature with the back of her hand upon Victoire’s forehead while her eyes scanned the seventeen-year-old carefully for any sign that Victoire might be ill.
“Maman!” Victoire complained, swatting Fleur’s hand off her head. “I’m fine – I just don’t feel well, but I’m not about to drop dead any time soon. All I need is a lie down.”
It felt like hours as Fleur stared at her daughter sceptically, although it was probably thirty seconds or so before she nodded.
“Go upstairs. Teddy, please keep an eye on ‘er.”
Teddy nodded in answer, and gently steered Victoire out of the lounge and up the stairs. As they approached her bedroom, a thought popped into her head: would Fleur really have allowed Teddy to spend time with Victoire on their own, in her bedroom, if she knew what Victoire knew? After all, the sheer irony of her parents resolutely believing that she and Teddy had perfected the art of abstinence was part of the reason that she had managed to get pregnant in the first place. Consequently, the visual in her head of how they would react when they found out that it was partly their fault oddly cheered her up – to the extent that she couldn’t contain her mirth, and suddenly Victoire found herself clinging to Teddy to steady herself as laughter racked her entire body.
She could see Teddy looking at her with a worried expression on his face. She guessed he was internally debating whether she had officially gone insane – and just the thought of him thinking that was enough to make her laugh harder.
“Sorry,” she giggled. “It’s just so funny – I blame the hormones.”
“What’s so funny?” Teddy asked in confusion. “And hormones – what, you mean like the opposite of PMS?”
His reaction just made Victoire continue to laugh, her eyes glistening with tears. In that dizzy, laughter-filled euphoria, she was certain that she was invincible.
“Just… Maman, Dad, you.”
For one fragile moment, she truly believed that she could tell Teddy the truth. That if he knew, he’d be able to support her when she had to tell her parents before the holidays ended. In the end, Victoire was the only one who knew of her child’s existence, and it was too big a secret for one person to handle.
“Teddy, I’m pregnant and –”
With those last words, the dread that had filled her that morning returned with a vengeance. Whatever Victoire had planned to say stopped abruptly as she choked on her own words, the realization that she had just told her nineteen-year-old boyfriend, on Christmas Day, that she was pregnant was dawning upon her. Just as quickly as Victoire had erupted into laughter minutes ago, her hilarity faded to be replaced by half-hysterical sobbing that coursed through her as violently as her giggles had.
“Teddy, I’m pregnant,” she repeated, but this time it wasn’t said as casually as it had the first time – instead, Victoire’s tone was one of despair, of finality.
He just looked at her silently, uncertain of what to say or do. Blindly, Teddy stumbled backwards and sat on the nearest bed, cradling his head in his hands. Victoire leant against the wall before sliding down it into a sitting position on the floor. There were tears running down her cheeks, scorching hot as they stained her makeup.
“How? When?” Teddy mumbled in confusion, stealing a glance at Victoire. “Sorry,” he added quickly. “Stupid question.” There was a long pause. “Are you…?”
The question was crystal clear.
“Mhmm. I’m keeping it.”
They stayed there, frozen. Neither of them knew what to say next, or what to do. Victoire knew that Teddy needed time to process the information – she’d known she was pregnant for six whole weeks and the thought of a baby still terrified her. Time seemed to pass slowly, each second agony as each waited for the other to speak.
In the end, it was a knock on the bedroom door that broke the silence. Moments later, Fleur Weasley entered with a plate of breakfast for Teddy and something in a bowl that Victoire assumed was for her.
“I ‘ave made you some chicken soup,” Fleur announced. “Mon Dieu, Victoire, whatever is ze matter?”
“Nothing,” Victoire answered, not wanting to upset her mother and ruin the festivities more than she already had.
“Zis is not nothing!” Fleur exclaimed, gesturing at Victoire’s dishevelled state before turning to Teddy. “You! What ‘ave you done to my daughter?”
“Maman!” Victoire cried out before Teddy had a chance to answer Fleur. “He hasn’t done anything wrong!”
“If ‘e ‘as done nothing wrong, zen you will tell me why you are so upset!” the Frenchwoman demanded.
“Not now, please Maman. It is Christmas; we should enjoy the occasion!”
“’ow can I possibly enjoy today with ze knowledge zat my eldest daughter is ‘eartbroken?” Fleur pointed out. “Victoire, if you can tell me in all 'onesty zat you are fine, I will not mention zis furzzer.”
Victoire stared at her mother for a few seconds, deliberating whether she should tell the truth. She knew that her mother would be like a dog with a bone if she refused to answer, nor could she possibly lie to her – even if Fleur believed her, which Victoire very much doubted, she knew that once the truth was revealed it would be clear that she had lied to her mother about something apocalyptically important. And then she thought of her flame-haired grandmother, who was always overflowing with unconditional love. If Molly could love Victoire no matter what mistakes she made, then surely her own mother could?
“Maman…” she whispered. “Je suis enceinte.”
For a moment, for one precious hope-filled moment, Fleur seemed unalarmed. And then the colour drained from her face, turning her already pale skin to a shade of deathly white.
Victoire couldn’t bring herself to repeat the statement like she had with Teddy; Fleur looked outraged instead of shocked, and her icy blue eyes were blazing with fury.
“’ow did you get pregnant?”
Assuming that the question was rhetorical, Victoire didn’t answer – and so Fleur swivelled around to face Teddy, an expression of abject fury etched upon her features.
“’ow dare you get 'er pregnant?! How dare you, when she ees still at school!”
“I didn’t –” Teddy spluttered, and while Victoire knew that the rest of his sentence would have been mean to get her pregnant, Fleur turned to look back at Victoire again, not allowing Teddy the chance to finish his sentence.
“Is ze baby even ‘is?”
“Of course it is!” Victoire shouted, and this time she didn’t try to stop her tears. “I’M NOT A SLUT!”
“You could have fooled me,” Fleur answered before she could think about what she was saying. “Only putes get pregnant while zey are still at school!”
Victoire gasped, and before Fleur could react she had shoved her mother aside and ran down the stairs as fast as she could. She could hear her father shouting her name, her aunts and uncles calling out in confusion as they wondered what was happening – but none of that mattered to her any more.
“Grandma?” six-year-old Victoire Weasley asked, pulling at her grandmother’s sleeve. “Grandma, one of the garden gnomes bit my finger and it hurts. Can I have a hug?”
Normally, Molly would have woken up blearily-eyed, seen her granddaughter and engulfed her into the requested hug. But this time she didn’t, and Victoire shook her arm again, noticing that Molly’s hand was cold.
“Maman, Grandma needs a blanket; she’s cold,” Victoire declared, looking through the open doorway at Fleur.
Immediately Fleur came into the small lounge to check on Molly, pushing Victoire aside. Seeing Fleur conjure a blanket, the blonde child assumed that all was well and stepped in front of her mother, her arms outstretched.
“Maman, je peux avoir un câlin?”
Fleur simply hustled Victoire out of the room, and when the little girl turned around to try and dodge out of her mother’s grip, she wondered why the blanket was covering her grandmother’s head.
“Grandma!” she shouted loudly. “GRANDMA!”
But Molly continued to sleep silently, and no matter how much Victoire wailed, no answer came.
Victoire fell to her knees, the thick snow padding her fall. Her tears scalded her frozen cheeks as they rolled down her face and past her chattering teeth. She wished she’d thought of grabbing her cloak when she’d run out of The Burrow, but it was too late now. As much as she wished she could Summon it, she didn’t want to lead her family members here when they were all at the top of her “To Avoid” list – and right now, with so many thoughts running through her head, the incantation for a warming charm wasn’t coming to mind.
Her blonde hair fluttered haphazardly in the wind, and Victoire brushed it behind one ear before her hand reached out to touch the headstone in front of her, tracing each engraved letter gently.
30th OCTOBER 1950 to 24th DECEMBER 2006
A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.
She will never be forgotten.
“I didn’t mean to,” she whispered sadly. “I didn’t mean to get pregnant; I didn’t mean to fuck up my entire life… I wish you were here, Grandma.”
And she wept uncontrollably; wept for the future she knew would never be the same again, for a child who would never know his or her great-grandmother, for the loneliness that she was certain she would feel.
“I’m just seventeen!” Victoire wailed, leaning against the headstone for support to stay upright. “Why is this happening to me?!”
But Molly’s grave was silent, and no matter how much Victoire wept, no answer came.
Author's Note: So! I hope you liked this chapter - and if you've time, I'd love to know what you think! ♥ I hope the length wasn't too long; I didn't mean for it to be 6 and a half thousand words *hides* My apologies to the validator who picked this up...
Also, here are the translations of the French words in this chapter:
Stupide = Stupid :P
Un motard et un voyou = a biker and a hooligan
Une camée = a druggie
Maman = Mum/Mummy
Tante = Aunt
Mon Dieu = My God
Je suis enceinte = I’m pregnant
Putes = sluts
Je peux avoir un câlin? = can I have a hug?
Thank you for reading! ♥
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