Chapter 1 : The Favor
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“I need you to do something for me.” The commanding tone of voice was said in a tense whisper that caused Dominique Weasley to pry her eyes away from the mystery novel that she had been reading, a scowl forming on her lips. When she raised her head up to see who had dared to disturb her, she was beyond irritated to be staring into her older sister's sour face, “now Dom!”
Victoire Weasley was a terror. Dominique wasn't quite sure when the thought or realization had struck her but it might have been on the numerous times as a child when her older sister had either bullied, harassed or manipulated her, “W-what do y-you want Toire?” she demanded in her low, if not broken stutter.
There was a very exasperated look on her sister's beautiful face and Dominique frowned all the more, wondering what she needed this time. “I need you to do something for me, okay?” Victoire said, flipping a lock of her long red hair over her shoulder after wincing at the bright afternoon sun, “and you can't tell anybody either or I'll die.”
We can only hope, Dominique thought sourly. “W-what is it?” she found herself asking, somehow curious to know what sort of stupid predicament her sister had gotten herself into this time. If it had something to do with sneaking out to meet with her friends again, she had come to the wrong person this time, “go a-ask Mum or Papa,”
Their parents tended to spoil Victoire far more than they did she and their younger brother Louis and Dominique had never deluded herself into thinking that they even knew she existed. Not when perfect, lovable, amazing Victoire was around, “Are you kidding me? I can't ask them for this!” Victoire practically wailed and she frowned at her melodrama.
“Then why are y-you asking me?” Dominique wanted to know, narrowing her blue eyes on her sister suspiciously. Victoire always came to her with little “favors” that she was either too lazy to do herself or when she was up to something extremely bad, “w-what have you done now?”
Victoire's lovely face scrunched into a grumpy looking mess of lips and eyebrows and Dominique rolled her eyes and went back to her book. “Don't get smart with me, Dom, okay? I am so sick of you and your little attitude all the time.” She snapped furiously, watching as she turned a page slowly in her book.
“Everyone a-always says t-that and never asks why,” Dominique said in reply, feeling just the slightest sting. No one ever paid any attention to her in their home, not when perfect, amazing and wonderful Victoire was around and she had stopped pretending that she actually had a voice around her parents, knowing that they didn't care.
Victoire rolled her eyes heavenward, as if she had somewhere she really needed to be. On any other day her sister would be gone on dates or at the ballet studio but to Dominique's horror she had gotten a rare day off from her busy social life and had been hissing and spitting the entire morning, “It's no one's fault that you stutter you know,”
Dominique glared up at her, knowing that it was in fact, someone's fault. But she didn't feel like talking about that horrible person or bringing up what had happened with the pigs, “I'm l-looking at you aren't I?” she murmured angrily, turning another page in her book.
The words were a bit blurred due to her mounting irritation and she knew that she wouldn't be able to have a moment's peace as long as Victoire invaded her space. It was one thing to have her in the house but she took these moments alone as priceless, “Do me this favor, all right?” Victoire pleaded, suddenly bending down in front of Dominique where she sat, her back against a handmade gravestone.
There wasn't very much to do over the summer at Shell Cottage when there was no company and Dominique didn't have any friends aside from her cousin Lucy Weasley. But her friend and family were out at some early Ministry brunch and wouldn't be back for a while, which had left her to her own devices. Louis was most likely locked up in his room and probably hadn't felt like being bothered so she hadn't gone to ask him to come out to play with her for a while, opting instead to take a book and visit Dobby.
A discarded, old straw hat and the remains of her lunch were near her side, baking in the hot afternoon sun. Dominique often came to the beach to read, though she didn't think that anyone would find the thought of reading a novel near a gravestone to be as pleasant as she always had, “This is the only time that I'm going to ask such a huge favor out of you! I'm in a bit of a bind,” Victoire now said pleadingly.
Dominique reeled away from her close proximity, upper lip curling. Victoire was batting her long black lashes at her, cheeks flushed and that damn mole at the side of her mouth making her look all the more beautiful, “W-why can't you ask one of your fr-friends?” she asked warily.
Victoire had a lot of “friends”. It had been impossible not to notice at Hogwarts how people tended to flock to her, though Dominique had always found the groups she tended to hang round with to be bad for anyone's sense and health, “I can't, okay? They're all busy and visiting relatives. You have me on my knees in the sand for Merlin's sake, Dom!”her older sister whined, glancing down at the dirt now sprinkled over her yellow summer dress.
“You'll l-live,” Dominique said dryly.
Victoire swallowed hard, looking as if her very life were ending then and there. “Not if Mum and Papa find out about this.” She said as she suddenly snatched Dominique's straw hat and placed it on top of her own hair, fearing the threat of freckles to her pale skin. “You have to help me!”
Dominique felt her stomach knot and twist painfully, though she took that as a normal occurrence when her sister was too close. Victoire was straightening her hat, lower lip trembling and her hand going anxiously to her lower abdomen—oh, no, this couldn't possibly be happening, “W-what have y-you done?”she demanded in a panic.
Victoire gnawed on her lower lip thoughtfully before glancing around the expanse of the beach for any intruders. There was nothing but the cawing of seagulls and the crash of the ocean waves on the shore and even though Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey lived only a short mile or two away, it was very rare for them o visit without sending an owl, “I think I might be pregnant.” Her sister said to her earnestly, blue eyes the size of Hagrid's fist.
Dominique's jaw dropped. “How?!” she demanded.
“What do you mean how?” Victoire shot back annoyingly and Dominique's cheeks flamed furiously at the impish smile that touched her sister's lips. “I was messing around with some bloke, okay? But you wouldn't know about that when you've never had a boyfriend!”
It was a low blow. Dominique tried not to let that fact bother her but she knew that girls her age had had at least one boyfriend while girls like her sister had two or three, “D-didn't you use protection or s-something?” she asked in a whisper, infuriated.
If their parents found about what Victoire really got into doing, it would ruin whatever stability they had and she didn't think she could deal with it. Not only was it embarrassing to know that her sister snuck out and played around as much as she did but Louis would have to deal with it as well at Hogwarts....people would start to notice her, “Sometimes you get so into it that you don't bother. I know all the spells and potions but—oh, why am I bothering to explain to you?” Victoire said in furious exasperation.
“Y-you're sixteen Toire!” Dominique burst out, stunned by how careless her sister was. But she had seen her sister's sheer disregard for other people's feelings on more than one occasion but hadn't counted on her being this stupid, “you weren't th-thinking about anyone but y-yourself! What about Mum and P-Papa? What about Louis?!”
Victoire's face paled drastically at the accusations and she dabbed at the corners of her eyes quickly before clenching her fists tightly in her lap. “Don't you think I've been wondering about that?” she snapped angrily, looking as if she wanted to smack her, “this is my life we're sitting here arguing about!”
Dominique's teeth gnashed together. “Y-you weren't th-thinking about that w-when you were fooling around!” she cried, beyond angry. What did she think that they could do about this? It was simply the most outrageous thing that her sister had done, not even all of her other episodes and mistakes could compare to this, “w-who's the father?”
Victoire frowned at her furiously, still smarting from her words but turned up her nose at her in a very prissy way. Dominique found it more than surprising that she could even hold onto that queenly air in the predicament that she was in and that someone could deal with her on the Gryffindor Quidditch team at school, “I don't really know who it is.”
“What do y-you mean you don't know?!” Dominique asked her sharply.
That earned her a reproachful look, followed by a pretty shrug. “I mean I don't know, okay? I was messing around with this bloke who transferred from Durmstrang for a while and then I dumped him for this guitar player I met at a party,” Victoire ticked off a few more names on her fingers, Dominique soon losing track of who was whom.
Though her sister had been dating since she had turned fourteen, it had soon become apparent that she enjoyed the chase more than she did a healthy relationship. Dominique had seen the way she would carelessly toss boy after boy away no matter how good they had appeared for someone she thought was better, “How could you m-mess around like that?!”
“What was I supposed to do? Boys ask me out and unlike you, I'm not going to sit around hiding in a corner and not go, I can't help that people find me attractive and witty.” Victoire said to her with the most outrageous smirk on her face.
Dominique had never felt like slapping her sister more and refrained from doing so, confused on why people seemed to think her so perfect. At Hogwarts she played the dutiful student and loving Prefect but she knew better and hated that she got away with it, “You're vapid and sh-shallower than a puddle,”
Victoire frowned angrily and glared at her, though it did little good. Dominique wasn't desperate for her companionship and didn't think the threat of making her furious was enough to subdue her into doing what she wanted...not this time anyway, “Don't let your jealousy speak for you, Dom, tell me what you really think,” she said dryly.
“Th-that would take all day.” Dominique shot back just as dryly. Victoire glowered at her, lips set in a ridiculous pout as a very awkward silence fell between them, the caw of seagulls mixing in oddly with that twist in her stomach, “what do you w-want me to do?”
Victoire had been contemplative and silent for once but her eyes sparked at the question, causing Dominique to feel a shudder of unease. “I need you to get me a pregnancy potion kit from Diagon Alley,”she said, looking as if she hadn't given a thought to the fact that Dominique was younger than her and would raise suspicions.
“Do you know how stupid th-that sounds? I don't h-have any money or an ID if they ask q-questions!” Dominique cried, beyond startled by her sister's lack of depth. Victoire rolled her eyes at her excuses, looking down at her flawless pink nails as she spoke, “I'm nowhere near old enough!”
Victoire heaved a weary sigh, looking as if her entire life was about to be ruined and not the possible fact that Dominique's could as well. If an of their acquaintances or family spotted her, there would be all Hell to pay once their parents found out, “Don't you think I know how to handle this? You're going to go in disguise and buy it.”
“Are you m-mental?” Dominique cried.
Victoire waved it away with a flick of her dainty hand, as if she were trying to get rid of a bothersome fly and Dominique wished she could get rid of this stupid plan as easily. A sly expression came over her sister's beautiful face and it reminded her of a very nasty angel, “I have a bit of Polyjuice potion left over from some I stole from Zabini last year, it'll last you long enough to get in and get out.”
“And where w-will you be?” Dominique demanded furiously, thinking that her sister had probably concocted the easiest plan for herself not to get caught. It would be the most humiliating thing for her, having the bud of her career and life stamped out by being pregnant at sixteen and she knew that her sister was far too selfish to ever care and truly take care of a child. “Why n-not use the p-potion on yourself?”
The question seemed to amuse Victoire immensely and she gave a hearty laugh that only made Dominique's temper flare like a flame. There had always been a family joke that a Weasley woman's temper could frighten skin off the bone but she had rarely been so furious herself, “I'm going to be too busy!”
“D-doing what?” Dominique demanded, finding the thought ridiculous. Victoire's face scrunched a little and she felt herself fuming silently, wanting more than to smack her across the face as hard as she could, “you had better t-tell me that you're going to see the bloke th-that knocked you up and doomed us all!”
Victoire jumped at the sound of her voice rising and quickly placed a finger to her lips, shushing her and making Dominique's hands clench the binding of her forgotten book. After looking around once more to make sure that no one was overhearing their conversation, save for a dead house-elf long buried beneath Dominique's feet, she said hotly, “I don't really know who that is, all right?”
Dominique's face flooded with heat, knowing that she was beyond angry now. There seemed to be no end to her sister's games and lies and it was no wonder that most of their cousins claimed to have gone mad from being around her, “Then w-where are you going?”she demanded.
“To the ballet studio, there's this bloke there that knows the instructor for Swan Lake. He says that he can get me an easy audition if I go out on a date with him this afternoon, you have no idea how much I want this, Dom!” Victoire cried helplessly, placing a hand to her chest and looking more earnest than she'd ever seen her.
Dominique had been aware of how selfish her sister could be but this seemed beyond anything that she had ever dared to ask her before. Her jaw fell open, “You e-expect me to be okay with th-that?! What about what c-could happen to me?”she exclaimed in a furious rush.
Victoire's face actually took on a brief moment of guilt before she reached out to grip Dominique's knee, her fingernails digging through her jeans. “You have to do this for me, Dom! Just go round Uncle George's and Floo back home when the potion wears off. Give me the kit and I swear I'll never ask anything of you again!”
That's w-what you said last time!” Dominique reminded her angrily, recalling the lies that she had continually told their parents so she could sneak out to meet one of her boyfriends last month when she had supposed to be “studying” with friends. In exchange for Victoire buying her a new wand after Louis had broken it by accident, it had been worth it but now.. “and e-every single time before that!”
Victoire looked on the verge of tears and Dominique thought that she had a lot of nerve to be the one upset at the moment. Although being in her situation, she wasn't quire sure how she would feel either, finding out that she was pregnant with their family stability at stake, "Just this one last favor, Dom!" I'm coming to you as a sister!" she begged, adding a good little sniffle.
That seemed to make Dominique's mood turn very dark, the fact that Victoire had never been there for her as a sister a glaringly obvious truth. “This entire th-thing is about you!” she didn't care how their parents would feel or what poor Louis would do dealing with the taunts at school, he was already shy enough without all that. “Don't pretend l-like you c-care about the rest of us!”
“Oh, is that what this is about? You?” Victoire asked nastily, eyes flashing. “Just because you're not as pretty or as talented as me doesn't mean that you have to act like we're not related!” she snarled, looking like some vengeful creature.
It was true and everyone knew it. Dominique's supposed beauty was nothing in comparison to her sister, who had always stood in the spotlight while she'd grown comfortable slinking in behind, never noticed and never appreciated, “That's not what th-this is a-about y-you cow!”she almost screamed.
Victoire's face took on a look of pure offense and she placed a delicate hand to her full chest as if she might faint. Dominique could call her sister anything but never, not ever did she dare go so far as to say that she was fat, “How dare you, I'm a ballerina—you take that back!”
“Make me!” Dominique snarled.
“I am not fat!” Victoire raged.
“You're still a cow!” Dominique snapped as she stood up, flinging her book at her head. Victoire ducked and it skidded into the sand a few feet from her, “you h-have always been a cow!”she snarled, turning around and stomping away.
There was nowhere to run but back inside the cottage and Dominique didn't think that she wanted to face either of their parents just now. If they caught the look on her face they would automatically assume that something was wrong, that she had somehow caused the problem like always and that was not what she needed right now, “Dom-Dom!” Victoire shouted after her, using that hideous nickname.
For as long as she could remember, Dominique had always carried that nickname with her, all because Louis hadn't been able to pronounce her name correctly when he'd been a baby. Everyone in the family, especially her younger cousins still used it but it had always sounded too much like they were calling her “dumb dumb” “I hate th-that coming from y-you!” Dominique hissed over her shoulder.
Victoire was stomping over to her across the mounds of sand and bits of dead grass, long red hair flinging this way and that. There was a wounded look to her face that surprised her and she halted in her steps reluctantly, hating that she might be flinging herself into a trap, “I know you do but you are my sister!” the older girl huffed, standing before her.
“Sometimes I...” Dominique started but then stopped herself, unwilling to go that far today. Despite how much her sister enraged her and despite how unfair they were treated at home, she had never uttered those dreadful three words—she had never said that she hated her, “I just can't do this for y-you Toire!”
Victoire's face crumbled immediately at the words and to Dominique's shame and horror, she burst into tears. The pale face underneath her straw hat was distraught, “But I'm so scared Dom! I know that I messed up and I know that everything is my fault but you're the only person that I know I can turn to to!” she sobbed, burying her face in her hands and sobbing loudly.
Dominique felt her heart twist at the words and something inside of her thrilled at the prospect that her sister valued whatever bond they could have. It had been so long since she had actually felt loved by Victoire and she was startled by how much it meant to her just now, “You d-don't have to get m-mushy....” she muttered uncomfortably.
“But you don't understand the sort of pressure that I'm under!” Victoire sobbed after lifting her face and staring beseechingly into her startled eyes. Dominique recoiled slightly, overcome by the mixed reaction that she was encountering by the display, “I have to be perfect all the time—this would ruin everything for me! I can't let my life fall apart because of a baby!”
Dominique wanted to tell her that if she was pregnant that it wouldn't be the unborn child's fault that it had been conceived but she didn't think that would go over very well. Although she wasn't fond of babies, she knew that her sister would practically wither away at the thought of taking care of someone else's needs over her own, “Don't be like th-that.” She tried to soothe but her sister was still wailing and the situation was turning down a road that scared her a little, the sudden reality of it making her head swim. “Look, I'll d-do it.”
Victoire's sobs ceased slowly and a relieved, if not mystified smile started to form before she yanked Dominique's stiff body into a hug. She smelt like sunshine and flowers and some fancy Italian perfume that she would never be able to pronounce, “Oh, Dom-Dom! You're the best! Simply the best—I don't know what I would do without you!”her sister proclaimed shrilly through her tears.
For some reason, Dominique found herself hugging her back even though she had to bend down a little to rest her forehead on her shoulder. Victoire was supposed to be the oldest but if there was something that she had over her, it was height and it made her wonder just how small her sister was just now, risking everything on a younger sister that mostly couldn't stand her. “Y-you're a-a d-disease,” she whispered.
“And I'm the only sister you've got and I love you.” Victoire said back in a cooing sort of voice that reminded her of some demented cherub. Dominique's heart threatened to melt with longing...wanting nothing more than her sister's affection, attention and praise, “I'll never forget this Dom.” She may not ever forget it, but Dominique would be the one laying awake at night, wondering whether or not she was telling the truth.
Polyjuice potion tasted like dirty bathwater. Dominique's numb and panicked mind somehow managed to focus on this one small fact as she choked the potion down in a bathroom stall at Flourish and Blotts, her stomach cramping painfully, “Ugh,” she gasped, the potion sliding like mud down her throat and making her clench the flask in her fist. It was a bright pink monstrosity laden with gemstones that Victoire must have had someone buy for her, since their parents would never have agreed to such a thing and she stuffed it into her bag as if it were contaminated.
Victoire had given her the money she would need to buy the pregnancy potion kit before she had left earlier. Her sister had flippantly explained that the sooner she got this done, the quicker they would be able to put the incident behind them. Dominique wasn't so sure that this would be so easily pushed aside if Victoire turned out to be pregnant and she worried that the truth of the potion would reveal just how imperfect her sister really was.
Some part of Dominique was secretly thrilled at the prospect but knew that it wouldn't be fair to herself or Louis, who were constantly overshadowed by their parents' affection for their older sister in the first place. Their family dynamics would be torn apart and she wasn't sure how she would be able to get through her fourth year at Hogwarts without the various taunts and sneers that would most likely be hurled her way. Dominique got enough of that already at school and she wasn't sure how she would be able to stop herself from slinking further into the background and ignoring the world. “D-damn Toire,” she muttered.
Victoire owed her for this and while Dominique hadn't gone through specifically what she would want out of this bargain, she knew that she wouldn't let her sister forget it. This would never be happening again. There would be no more little favors from her after this and she vowed that she would finally let the mistakes and trouble catch up with Victoire. It wouldn't be her responsibility if her sister couldn't even admit to her own wrongdoings and she blamed their parents for always spoiling her and allowing her to get away with whatever she wanted for so long without consequence.
The thought settled nastily in her squirming stomach, along with the Polyjuice potion that was making her dizzy and she sank onto the toilet lid gratefully, feeling her body bubbling and stretching. The transformation wasn't particularly painful but Dominique was overcome with hot flashes and little aches in her limbs that made her think that her bones were being cracked and popped until they finally settled.
Feeling a little lightheaded, Dominique slowly stood and braced her hand on the stall door to steady herself. Quickly, she looked down at her feet for her backpack and took out her spare change of clothes, shaking a little in surprise at how much fuller this body was and wondering if her own clothes would be able to fit. Victoire had advised that she dress completely different from how she normally would so no one would be suspicious and had chosen clothes that their mother had bought for her ages ago and that had been too frilly for Dominique's taste.
Groaning in revulsion as she slipped on a pale blue lace tank top with an expensive beige jacket, Dominique wondered if she were really doing the right thing. This wasn't the first time that her sister had asked a favor out of her. Dominique frowned and wondered if she should have made Victoire come along but knew that her sister would have only given her excuses and would have died rather than be seen in the apothecary buying a pregnancy potion kit.
Over the years, many apothecaries had decided to go into the business of ready-made potions and products and Diagon Alley had boomed from the success, making it easier for those insufficient at making their own potions had an easier time. Dominique knew that feminine robe places like Madame Malkin's and Beauty Within would be too scandalized to ever offer something such as a pregnancy potion kit so she knew that going there would be useless.
Their mother loved those shops and usually got the best robes and dresses there but Dominique had never enjoyed going shopping with Victoire and her mother. It was always a very boring experience and she was never really paid much attention to anyway when her mother insisted on dressing her like the other daughter she wished she had and she frowned.
This wasn't the time to be dwelling on that right now and she shimmied uncomfortably into a knee-length black skirt riddled with ruffles at the hem. Dominique quickly removed her scuffed trainers for a pair of wedge sandals. They were uncomfortable to get into but she managed without banging her head too badly on the stall door, though she knew that she had let out a very loud shriek when she almost slipped on a bit of toilet paper.
After smoothing her hands over her new figure and being increasingly aware of how much cleavage she now had, she gathered her backpack and slipped out of the stall. For a moment she held her breath and looked around, looking for any sign that someone had slipped into the bathroom and heard the strange sounds she had been making as the Polyjuice had taken over.
The bathroom was still empty however and she blew out a sigh of relief before going to the sinks to survey her borrowed face, curious despite herself. It was a very natural instinct for a Ravenclaw she supposed but she took no pleasure in seeing nothing of her tall, pale-blonde self staring back at her from the mirror. Whoever this girl was had more of a confident, if not sultry look to her features that Dominique could ever hope for, “It figures.” She found herself muttering while hoping that no one recognized her.
Big brown eyes with thick lashes, a delicate mouth and a cute button nose were not the characteristics that Dominique possessed. She stared at herself more closely, wrinkling her adorable nose and shaking her new, lustrous brown hair. Not only was the girl far cuter than she currently was, she was also a tad shorter, which forced Dominique to roll the sleeves up on her jacket a little. The constraints of her bra was being tested and she had to hastily hike her tank top up a bit so her cleavage wouldn't show, her cheeks flushing a little at the strange thrill it gave her.
Thinking that it would be best not to be too comfortable, she reached into her bag, took out a pair of giant black sunglasses (Courtesy of Victoire) and slipped them on before stepping back. She didn't look like herself but that wouldn't stop someone from asking too many questions if she appeared gawky and unsure and she swallowed hard, hoping that she would be able to get through this without catching anyone's eye.
After inhaling quickly and smoothing her hands once more down her front to make sure that everything was in decent condition, she left. Flourish and Blotts was flooded with customers once she walked back to the front, pushing and shoving her way towards the exits and hearing the aggravated grunt of various Hogwarts students and parents as she did so.
All of her supplies had been bought and wrapped already but Dominique spent a quick moment or two admiring the rows of books in various sizes, thinking that she would have to get her hands on a thumb-size novel sometime. Because she tended to spend a lot of her time alone, she had grown rather fond of books and often borrowed some from her Aunt Hermione when she had the chance, knowing that the endless library at her home could keep her occupied for hours.
Giving a wistful sigh at the thought, Dominique ran her fingers lightly over a hardbound copy of A Witch's Guide to Wizards before she managed to squeeze her way out of the building. Bright sunlight greeted her the instant she was on the sidewalk and she was thankful for the ridiculous sunglasses before making her way into the crowd, hoping that the apothecary wasn't as packed as the bookstore had been.
The journey there wasn't as quick as she would have wanted with all the people crowding the streets and sidewalks but she managed to get there in good enough time. There had been several Hogwarts students walking around that she had recognized but to her relief, none of them had really glanced her way, save for a few boys that had sent her warm smiles. Dominique had never been noticed by boys much and she had only blushed and turned hastily away, earning strange chuckles from them that made her heart do funny things in her chest like a caged bird.
It felt oddly...nice to be looked at like she was pretty but she soon had to quell the thought, knowing that if she were back to her normal appearance they would hardly even glance her way. Dominique knew what most people thought about her, it wasn't odd for her to be completely ignored at Ministry functions or regarded like a mistake. The students at Hogwarts tended to forget that the amazing and wonderful Victoire Weasley even had siblings but Dominique had grown used to the occasional sting it brought.
Being invisible was better than nothing.
Dominique knew that was a terrible thing to accept but now, all of Victoire's sparkling dreams rested on her shoulders and one little test and she couldn't quite ignore the irony. The bizarre course of their lives weighed heavily on her shoulders as she entered the building, the door giving an eerie sort of creak that made her flinch before she stepped inside. Her nerves were bouncing erratically beneath her skin and she prayed that she could hold it together long enough to find what she needed and get out before someone pointed out the anxious sweat brimming on her brow. Inhaling raggedly, she took in the spacious area with an uncertain eye, unsure where to begin looking.
Apothecaries always carried rather foul scents and she placed a hand to her nose, trying not to inhale what smelt like boiled rats in butter. Dominique had never liked walking into these places and she forced herself not to look at the jars filled with toad eyes that were half off starting next week. Her stomach threatened to dance and she fought off the sensation as she walked further in, unsure how people could tolerate it. Rows upon rows of boxed this and that lined the high shelves along with potions and books that were gathering a bit of dust as a few people walked around, looking just as overwhelmed by the stench.
Dominique's eyes strayed to a large bucket filled with dried newt tails and stepped forward uncertainly, still debating where she should begin searching. There were no helpful signs around directing her to the Witch's section and she wondered if she had chosen an apothecary that didn't feature such a personal selection of female potions and felt a moment of panic. “They expect me to pay ten Galleons for one small, twisted newt tail? They're mad,” she heard an old witch muttering near the bucket, the sound of her voice making her jump.
The woman shot her an irritable glance before motioning for an employee rearranging what looked like large, fat brown worms. Dominique quickly fled down an adjacent aisle before the haggard man asked if she needed anything and spent several minutes walking past vials of this and that, buckets full of dry, many-legged things before finally spotting the Witches Section. “Thank God,” she muttered gratefully under her breath.
Blessedly, there was no one sharing the long stretch of aisle with her and she sent up a silent prayer to whatever was watching over her before discreetly searching the shelves for what she needed. There seemed to be far more here than she had anticipated and it took far too long, making her wonder what she had foolishly gotten herself into. Dominique cursed under her breath as she glanced around warily, hoping that no one was around to see how flustered she was becoming.
Rows upon rows of boxes and packaged potions met her eye and her cheeks flamed as she read some of the titles; Intimate Relaxer gel, His and Her Erotic Fantasies and one that advertised that various contraceptives came in exotic fruit flavors.
Dominique had no idea what some of them were for precisely but she tried not to think about it as she looked for the pregnancy potion kit. Although it took a while, she found it stacked neatly in the middle in bright pink and white boxes. Glancing down the aisle to make sure that no one saw her, she quickly snatched one of them off the shelf and glanced over the directions and read:
For any proud witch expecting her own little bundle of joy!
This ready-made potion kit is simple, easy and proven to be effective for millions of eager couples and vulnerable single mothers.
The directions are simple and quick for those inept or too busy to create their own potion; Simply provide a small urine sample in the beaker provided and mix thoroughly into the ready-made potion solution.
After waiting for five or ten minutes, the potion should either turn blue for yes and white for no
The journey to parenthood or a celebrated life of single living awaits you!
Dominique's face was scrunched in embarrassment and distaste, somehow thinking that whoever had come up with this potion kit had a rather low opinion of children. It made her think of Victoire and how miserable she would be if she were pregnant and shuddered, knowing that it would not be a pleasant experience for anyone involved, “M-Merlin help us,” she muttered. After tucking the package under her arm, she hastily darted for the register up front, hoping that no one found her hasty steps curious enough to question but she thought she saw a tall blue-haired boy examining her by a shelf of dried frog heads.
But that was impossible.
Dominique's stomach lurched with both panic and horror at the familiar blue locks, her hands suddenly very sweaty before she determinedly turned away, hoping against all that was holy that it was not Teddy Lupin. Plenty of Diagon Alley kids were into dying their hair wild colors to imitate their favorite rock bands, she tried to reason and it made absolutely no sense that she would spot Teddy Lupin here when he was supposed to be working at the Ministry during break. The thought soothed her a little because she wasn't quite sure what she would do if she had to make some sort of small talk with the beast and the fact that she was disguised didn't quite remove her distress.
If there was one thing that Teddy Lupin enjoyed more than bullying anyone he could get his hands on, various Weasley cousins and a poor Albus Potter his usual prey, it was hitting on some girl. He had a terrible reputation with women and she had tactfully tried to avoid him as much as possible whenever they happened to run into one another at some family function or another. Dominique had never been able to tolerate him for more than a few minutes and there were quite a few people who felt the same about the boy.
Uncle Harry was his godfather and Teddy was often at the Potter's house whenever the man wasn't busy but Dominique doubted that Albus Potter enjoyed it much. Although she didn't really understand much about Teddy or how he managed to lure people in, she knew that he often visited Fred Weasley II, who was his best friend and lived here in Diagon Alley. Dominique didn't really comprehend how they managed to get along so well but Roxanne Weasley, her younger cousin probably dealt with him much more than she did since the two boys were nearly inseparable. Teddy didn't interact with their other cousins much but on the occasions that the boy was among the rest of the family, she found it to be nothing but torture.
Teddy Lupin always seemed to demand spotlight and attention and while Dominique knew that his grandmother took very good care of him and doted on his every wish, he seemed to have a sense of entitlement that always grated on her nerves. “You guys think you're so bloody lucky just because you have parents, don't you?” she had heard him mutter more than once when he thought no one was listening.
Dominique had never understood the sort of pain that he might be going through from knowing how both of his parents had died during the War. She could relate to not knowing them, since she barely even knew her own parents or caught their notice but Teddy Lupin was not someone that she wasted time speaking to, he had always made her very uncomfortable. Dominique paused briefly as a dark memory splashed in her mind of the boy but she didn't want to think about it or the secret they shared with one another. It was bad enough recalling the pig incident and she knew that even with that painful secret between them that Teddy enjoyed nothing more than making fun of her stutter or watching her with noticeable hostility.
She hated him.
Teddy always had such a hearty laugh and Dominique couldn't help but remember why she had the stutter in the first place, the thing with the pigs flashing through her mind. No. She was not going to bother thinking about that right now, Teddy Lupin was nothing but a bully and Dominique had never been able to stand him, finding that his presence usually brought on strange little butterflies that she associated with needing to vomit, “Would this be all, miss?” the cashier asked behind the counter, making her jump.
Dominique's mind had been wandering so badly that she hadn't even realized she'd placed the box onto the counter for all to see. Blushing at the curious stare the man was giving her, she nodded hastily and was glad that she still wore Victoire's sunglasses so he wouldn't see how wide her blue eyes were, “Y-yes,”she murmured, heart pounding rapidly.
“Expecting a little one soon then?” The man asked her casually as he rang up her purchase, looking apple cheeked and happy for her. Dominique doomed him to a horrible death and he went on joyfully, saying in a rather carrying voice that she found too humiliating, “you're a tad young to be starting a family of your own but then again, I married young after the War.” He didn't seem to judge her harshly and added with a proud laugh, “I have three little beasts of my own,” he said with a genuine smile at her.
Dominique flushed red and watched as he waited for some sort of polite reply and she fumbled for one, reaching into her backpack and snatching out a bag of Galleons. Victoire had given them to her from her own allowance, “Erm, that's wonderful. I-I mean...” she muttered uncertainly and he gave her what she thought was an understanding smile before telling her the price. Fifteen Galleons later, she was cradling the small bag to her chest and making a quick exit, “e-excuse me,” she stuttered in alarm as the blue-haired boy materialized in front of the door.
“Sorry, I thought you were someone I knew. Not trying to bother you,” Dominique heard him say and she stared into the bright brown eyes of Teddy Lupin with evident terror. He was dressed like some sort of punk reject today and she knew that if Victoire had been around she would have mocked him openly and cruelly in front of anyone, “you mind?” he asked, opening the door for her.
Dominique's head jerked in a stiff nod as she made her escape, horrified when he followed after her and she felt panic tighten in her breast. She had to get somewhere and change, she could already feel the effects of the Polyjuice potion wearing off and worried that someone would notice, “N-no,”she said stupidly as they walked side by side on the sidewalk.
“So, I've never seen you around before and I think I would have noticed such a cute girl.” Teddy said down to her with a beaming smile that made her stomach do a stupid flip. He had a very nice smile and while Dominique had never found him that cute, it felt very different when he was displaying his famed charm on her, “do you live around here?”
Dominique's panic increased as she felt her clothes beginning to tighten against her body, the Polyjuice potion wearing off faster than ever. Hastily, she picked up her pace and was annoyed when Teddy followed at an easy step, his long legs giving him an advantage, “No.” She said crisply, surprised that she hadn't stuttered.
Teddy raised his blue brows at that in surprise and a smile started on his face that she couldn't place. It felt as if he were finding her amusing and she swallowed the bile in her throat, “No? You want me to show you around?” there was a warmth to his gaze that reminded her of warm chocolate. “I could take you to this great bar in Knockturn Alley or maybe somewhere nicer...what's your ideal place to have lunch?” he asked in a weird, husky voice.
Dominique's cheeks flamed rapidly and she continued on her way, pushing through the crowd and hearing him give an exasperated laugh. He thought that she was being a tease and she felt nothing but disgust at his arrogance and felt her irritation spike at the hand he placed on her lower back, steering her towards a little cafe across the street. “B-bugger off Teddy!” she snapped unthinkingly.
That caused Teddy's face to take on a look of pure surprise and he suddenly bent to peer into her face, causing Dominique to reel away. “Do I know you? Are you from that Twisted Duo after party?” he asked, scrunching up his face as he continued bullying her across the street and making her dance and skirt around passerby. “I don't remember being with a brunette that night but then again, I was smashed as hell.”
Did women actually find this attractive?
Dominique's mind screamed in revulsion and she twisted free of his grip, shoving him aside and making him stumble a little on very expensive leather boots. “Can I help you with s-something you bully?”she asked in a hiss and he laughed.
Teddy ran a hand over his jaw thoughtfully, as if he had a few things in mind and Dominique's stomach did another twist. She turned away from him, catching her harassed reflection in a shop window and gasping in terror at the sight of her hair turning from brown to pale blonde and making her wonder just how dense the boy at her side was.
“Wait a minute..” Teddy said suddenly, watching as Dominique started to back away. “No one calls me a bully without knowing me first!” he said with a hearty, confused laugh. “I swear I know you from somewhere. Have we met?”
“No, w-we haven't!” Dominique muttered and he leaned forward, placing a hand behind his ear and raising his brows. He was much too close and smelt like a mixture of male sweat and cologne, which was an oddly intoxicating fragrance, “get away from me!” she snapped, stunned by both her lack of stutter and the knowing smile that started on his face.
“I think you should drop the act, it's obvious that you know me.” Teddy remarked flatly.
Dominique cradled the bag to her chest as recognition started to form, her body elongating and settled before his eyes. This was the worst moment of her life! Victoire and Teddy hated one another, he would love nothing more than to ruin her life, “I have to go!” she cried furiously, turning hastily on her heel.
“Oi, wait a damn minute!” Teddy snapped after her, hot in pursuit.
“Go away!” Dominique cried, panicked.
Teddy scowled and she gasped in outrage as she tried to push through a group of people that were huddled on the street. A few girls were flipping their hair and giggling at him, “You can run all you like but I'm going to catch you!” he said fiercely. There was a brightness to his eyes that made her think of hell fire, “I know who you are and this just can't get any sweeter.” He sneered gleefully, reaching out to grab her arm.
Dominique retaliated by smacking him as hard as she could with her bag, landing a good enough blow on the side of his face. That earned a laugh from the group of tittering boys and girls but Teddy only snorted in annoyance and grabbed the bag before she could hit him again, “Give me th-that!” she screamed furiously, struggling with him him for it.
Teddy's eyes were impish and mean and he easily overpowered her by giving a strong yank that caused the bag to not only rip loudly, but spill its contents onto the ground. Dominique gave a mortified cry as she bent to pick it up, hating that the bold Witch's Pregnancy Potion Kit was so easily seen by anyone willing to look, “Oh-ho, what's this!?” Teddy laughed as he snatched it up, examining the box with a very calculating gleam.
Dominique fumed and scrabbled upright, panting heavily. “G-give that back t-to me!”
“Make me.” Teddy taunted.
“You don't know me! I'm free to do whatever I w-want!” Dominique cried hotly.
Teddy was silent for a long time and Dominique hated the pressure it brought onto the air, knowing that he was the sort that enjoyed teasing and scheming. His eyes were still roaming over the box, an amused smile working into his face, “Knock it off, Dom-Dom. Mind telling me what you thought you were doing buying a pregnancy test?”
Dominique's face paled even though she shouldn't have thought denying the obvious would have worked in the first place. With a quick glance in a shop window, she saw that she had been reduced back to herself and felt a pang for something that didn't quite make sense, “I-it's not for m-me! It's for Toire—no, I-I mean,” she stammered hopelessly, watching as Teddy's eyes gleamed.
“For her, huh?” Teddy asked nastily, running his tongue over his lower lip as if tasting a very delightful treat. Dominique cursed herself and watched as he bent into her pale face, grinning wildly, “let's go find somewhere to have a nice little talk, Dom-Dom. I've got this idea, see and you're going to help me out with it or else...” and he let that hang in the air ominously, Dominique knowing that she wouldn't be able to escape.
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