Chapter 2 : Somewhere, Everyone Goes Right
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Somewhere, Everyone Goes Right
Little Emmaline jumped out of her mother's lap in fear she may have done something wrong. Victoire's scream was far from outrage, however. As it would seem, the second letter she held in her hand was more or less stating that all of her hard work at St. Mungo's paid off. After her first year as an actual Healer, Victoire applied for a job opening at a hospital in Paris, France called L'Hospital LaCroix. It wasn't a particularly huge hospital or anything, but it was where her parents currently reside. Paris, of course. Not the hospital. She figured when she applied, which was now two years ago, and right before Teddy learned that he received the teaching position at Hogwarts, moving to Paris would somewhat appease her mother. It wasn't something she necessarily expected to get, either. With such minimal years of service she figured the position would go to a Senior Healer. Not a twenty-seven year old unmarried mother who barely passed her N.E.W.T's in the first place. After not hearing anything the first few months after applying, she gave up on the thought altogether and figured her mother would just have to die unhappy.
Victoire read over the letter a second time. Then a third. Fourth. Five times over. After the fourth read she had a little more time to gather her thoughts and her first instinct was to Floo Van. The two of them applied together afterall. Now that she thought about it, Victoire did a terrible job at teaching Van French in case she did get the job. Victoire stood suddenly and panic ran through little Emmaline's mind.
"What's wrong, Mummy?" she asked, tears stinging her big, blue eyes.
"Nothing baby. Mummy is just very very happy right now," Victoire beamed, kissing the child's forehead and watching as her tears dried up immediately and a smile came in their place.
"Oh. OK!" There was no need for further explanation since Emmaline was already resuming her place on the floor and jamming something into the cracks of the floorboard again. Whatever it was was most likely crumbs of some sort, but Victoire didn't care at the moment. Instead, she raced to the kitchen, where the Floo fireplace was, and found her motives were already beaten by Van herself.
Van was helping herself to the plate Victoire forgot to put away and her bright brown eyes went wide at the sight of her best friend. She sucked her fingers clean and ran up to the other woman for a hug. Immediately Victoire knew what had happened.
"Judging by your scream a few minutes ago, you received the same news as me. Right?" Van asked even though she obviously already knew the answer.
"And I suppose you've been in my kitchen helping yourself to my food, have you?" retorted the other woman. There was no need to answer the question, as there often wasn't between the two of them. As a reply, Van continued helping herself to pick the scraps off the plate.
"So are you finally going to ditch Tedster for me so we can have our romantic Paris getaway?" An ever hopeful Van asked as Victoire decided to pour her a cup of tea. She helped herself to a cup and sat across from Van.
"Not exactly," she cuckled, humoring the other woman. "Though if it comes down to it, I will have to tell Teddy I'm leaving and it'll be you, Emmaline, and me. Most likely, to save some money, we'll have to stay with my," Victoire stopped momentarily and sighed at the thought alone, already getting a headache, "parents." A final roll of her eyes let Van know just how truly awful the situation could be.
"Where're we going, Mummy?" Emmaline pulled at her mother's sleeve and she was already positioning herself to sit in Victoire's lap. With a bit of shuffling and painful elbow jabs, Emmaline was comfortable and helping herself to her mother's tea.
"Nowhere if your daddy has anything to say about it, little lady." Van quipped, eyeing Victoire and asking her one of her famous wordless questions. She asked, 'Have you even talked to Teddy about this?' Victoire wasn't even sure she had talked to Teddy about France since she applied, let alone today. There hadn't even been any time to tell him since Van showed up.
"What?" Victoire asked, eyes wide and fingers splayed open in defense while she still held her teacup. She took a sip and looked elsewhere to feel less guilty. "I'm sure he'll be perfectly fine with it."
Inside, Victoire knew that was actually true. Teddy spent all of his time at Hogwarts anyway, and he only came home on the weekends when he didn't have homework to grade. When his load was too large, Victoire took Emmaline to Hogsmeade and the family would choose a public setting that was much more appropriate than The Three Broomsticks. Those visits were Emmaline's favorite. They could always continue that method no matter where they were.
The issue with going to France was that Teddy would be home next week, and she wasn't exactly sure how well he would take to the news of moving. He was willing to all those years ago, but they've grown their lives together in London since then. 'Afterall, Emmaline is in school,' Victoire thought. Since she had read the letter so many times already, she knew that L'Hospital LaCroix wanted an answer by the first of June and her aid by the third. 'Then again, maybe Teddy wouldn't mind coming? Then we won't have to stay with my parents.' She perked up at the latter of her thoughts.
"Do you think he'll come with me?" She finally asked, worry spread across her face. She didn't know what she would do if Teddy didn't go with her. 'I wouldn't go,' she told herself truthfully. Afterall, she didn't need the job.
"I think you should go talk to him," Van said seriously. The older woman looked upset at the thought of losing alone time with her best friend, but she knew what was best.
Emmaline yawned, obviously bored with this conversation. Victoire took that as her hint to get up and straighten her daughter's dress as she stood her up. "We're going to go see daddy," she grinned and Emmaline jumped with glee.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" The little girl chorussed while running round the kitchen. Her red curls bobbed and Victoire could just see them bounce over the table top. The kitchen was small so it only took three laps around the two woman for the little girl to get bored of her surroundings, and then run to another room upstairs. Most likely it was her room.
"Do you think you can not eat me out of house and home while I'm gone?" Victoire asked with a rather bemused expression on her face that soon turned into a smirk. She straightened up and gathered all of the dishes, but not without taking a quick glance at the bottom of her teacup and taking a mental note of her good fortune to come. 'Maybe talking to Teddy will be easier than I thought?' She wondered while rinsing the cub out.
"How rude of you to even assume such a thing from me," Van said sounding not at all insulted. "Nah, I was just leaving anyway. What's my cup say?" She offhandedly asked.
"You'll live a long, sexless life with five cats." Victoire quipped without really looking.
"Hmmm. What I was expecting. But I have six cats."
"Mozzart has been looking a little haggard lately."
"Veek-Twaah Lupin, you take that back right now!" Van scolded, failing at saying her name once more by over pronouncing it. Victoire bit her lip and smiled. She also noticed how extremely dry her lips were and headed straight for the drawer in the kitchen that Teddy and her designated as the 'rubbish drawer'. There were years of odds and ends things gathered in the drawer. All forgotten items until they were desperately missed. She settled on a strawberry balm and leaned against the counter to apply it.
"I'm sowwy. I hope 'or cat libs a long, healthy life," she said while smothering her lips with the balm. It even tasted like strawberries. Now she had to worry about licking it off and chapping her lips all over again. "For the whole year it has left," she muttered under her breath when she was done and Van had stopped paying attention.
"Alright. I'm off," Van came and kissed Victoire's cheek with a biscuit in hand.
"Oi! Those are for Emmaline!" Victoire scolded.
"Good luck with Tedster. I'm sure everything will be fine." She ignored her as usual. Before anything else was said, Van was in the fireplace and engulfed by emerald green flames. When she was completely gone, Victoire decided to pack a few toys for Emmaline before visiting Teddy. They wouldn't spend the night because Teddy would be too focussed on final exams. But Victoire knew her five year old better than anyone else and she knew she would get restless while her mummy and daddy would talk in private. The list of toys included Emmaline's toy wand, a few action figure quidditch players (most of which were missing their broomsticks), puddy type blobs that were charmed to be stick-free, and other random items mostly bought at Uncle George's shop. The action figures always sort of creeped Victoire out since they could walk, fly, and play quidditch if there was enough doll players and a field. The set was expensive, but Teddy and Victoire bought two whole teams and a field akin to the Irish field for Emmaline's fifth birthday. Already most of the pieces were missing and since they were practically humanized, a simple "Accio" didn't always work. Victoire didn't even know the names of half the figures anyway. She could remember refusing to let Teddy buy the Third Edition Holyhead Harpies set because her Aunt Ginny was a figure on the team. That was a bit too much on the creepy scale for Victoire. Though she always stresses how important it is to let everyone know she does not have any negative feelings toward her aunt. Or her Uncle Harry for that matter.
After she finished packing a toy bag she decided to straighten up the rest of the flat so she wouldn't have to do it later when she was too tired and didn't feel like it. Besides, it was barely just past four O'clock and Teddy wouldn't be even remotely free until dinner time. So, she took her time and even decided to clean the Muggle way for a little bit. That is, until it came to dusting. When it reached five she decided to start bathing Emmaline, again because she knew the two of them would be too tired to do it later. When she trudged up the stairs and turned into the second doorway she was greeted to one of the sights that made her so glad to be a mother.
Emmaline, with red curls wild everywhere, and chubby arms stretched straight above her head, was lying face down on her green duvet, asleep. To her side was her purple school bag dumped of its school supplies on the floor and instead filled with clothes and toys just carelessly thrown into it. Victoire could see a corner of Emmaline's red, fuzzy blanket sticking out and she smiled at the wild range of colours in her daughter's room. Whenever asked what her favorite colour was, Emmaline always replied with, "All the colours!" So that was the inspiration for her room. Since the little girl had already had her hopes up on spending the night with her father, Victoire decided to let the child sleep a few moments more and make an overnight bag of her own in a remarkably similar fashion. When she stuffed her final article of clothing in the bag, deciding Teddy would just have to deal with the last minute choice, she picked her daughter up tenderly and carried her downstairs. She managed to only drop a bag once the whole time, and she looked a right tangled mess in the fireplace with Emmaline in her arms, her hair tangled in her fingers, a bag hanging from the crook of her arm, and the other between her legs. She almost said "Hog-WERTZ!" instead of "Hogwarts," when the bag almost fell from between her legs and she didn't want to imagine where that would have taken them. In fact, she wasn't exactly sure of how she managed to not lead them astray.
There was a moment of awkward confusion as she passed through other fireplaces and squeezed her entire body tightly together, holding her baby girl as close to her body as she could so she wouldn't get hurt. Two years ago it was impossible to Floo with Emmaline without waking her if she was already asleep. Now it was a task she was proud to have concurred when she stepped out of the fireplace and into Teddy's office with a small, sleeping child.
"Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh!" She hushed a very surprised Teddy as he rushed to the fireplace to her aid. "Take the bags and I'll put her on the sofa."
Teddy obediently did as he was told and Victoire completed yet another task with her daughter successfully. Just when she was sure Emmaline was actually asleep, a pair of arms came up from behind Victoire and squeezed her gut and at the same time Teddy placed a soft kiss just below her ear. It was so easy to love him for many reasons, and one of those reasons was the fact Victoire just showed up completely unannounced with their daughter at his workplace and he hadn't even questioned it.
"You know that we will regret letting her nap so late when we're ready to go to bed?" He whispered, already catching onto the overnight bags.
"I brought "Jungle Book". She'll go right back to sleep if she wakes up later." She turned around in order to face the love of her life that wasn't her daughter and then slapped a hand to her mouth to muffle her sudden laughter. Teddy was donning a new mouse nose with whiskers and ears to match. When he smiled, his human features quickly returned to normal and his ever-so-charming smile was on top of hers and showering her with kisses.
"I've missed you," he pouted when they parted. She returned the sentiments and then started for his desk just as the Hogwarts dinner appeared (as it normally did when he skipped out on going to the Great Hall for meals). "And you've missed the school food." Sarcasm was laced in every word he said, but he also rolled his eyes and continued to smile as he watched her stuff her face.
"What?" She asked with a mouth full of cheese. She didn't make dinner for exactly this reason, and she was hungry. "Van was by earlier," she further explained.
"Ah." Teddy seemed to get it and dropped the subject. Their relationship was probably exactly like Van and hers. Except, Victoire did not meet Van when she moved to England at the age of nine and stick to her hip like glue from then on. She was twenty when Van and her did that. Besides, there's no stronger bond than creating a little human being together. "So is it my birthday? I mean, what good deed did I do to deserve two beautiful girls barrelling through my fireplace?"
Victoire swallowed a mouthful of frozen pumpkin juice and then grinned sheepishly. "Do you remember when you were looking for a job before Hogwarts hired you and I applied for a position at the L'Hospital LaCroix?" She bit her lip and immediately regretted forgetting the strawberry balm.
Teddy pondered for a moment and then nodded his head as though he were a little unsure of where the conversation was going.
"Well...." She hesitated. The sight of dinner refilling itself was distracting her and the smell of whatever potion Teddy was wearing was burning her nostrils due to his extreme closeness. "Igotthejob!" She said so quickly that Teddy didn't even understand her.
"Try that again. Maybe a little slower so the speed of light has a chance to beat you this time." His poked at her and he even chuckled while putting a strand of her strawberry blonde hair behind her ear. He was about to lunge for another kiss when she blurted once more, at a more tolerable speed, "I got the job!" Victoire closed her eyes in order to evade the disappointment on his face. However, what happened next was the third possible reaction she could imagine him having about the whole ordeal.
Teddy wrapped his arms around her, picked her up, and twirled her around the office. "Are you serious? This is awesome!" He exclaimed.
Victoire was glad he was taking it so well, considering she doubted him and put disappointment and stubbornness before elation. It made her feel somewhat ashamed even. "So you're not disappointed?" she asked, a wave of relief overcoming her. This was just the sort of person Teddy was. He never questioned what came his way, unless it would harm him in any mental or physical way of course. Even then he spent most of his time putting his family and everyone else first. To think he would be anything but happy for Victoire, and that he wouldn't find out every way possible to move to Paris with her, was absolute foolish thinking.
"Why would I be? It's almost summer! We can spend the summer together in Paris!" He sang with an over exaggerated French accent. "When school kicks back up again it'll just be how it is now with our whole weekend exchanges. It's kind of cool to say we've made it this far with our arrangement. You know? Kind of like an accomplishment don't you think?" His face was close to hers again, and magically much more radiant than hers.
"Only kind of," she teased and closed the gap between them. Never in her whole life could she hope to have anyone better than Teddy Lupin to herself. The two of them were extensions of the other, and it was ridiculous to be afraid to talk to the other about anything. When Victoire waited nearly two months to tell Teddy she was pregnant, his only response was: "Can we call It Monkey until It is born? I sort of want It to be a surprise." To which she replied: "Surprise about what? That it's a boy or girl? Or that there's a chance the baby might actually come out a monkey instead of a human?" At the time she hadn't even thought of the possibility her "Monkey" could inherit his Metamorphmagus gene and actually come out as a monkey. Or a dolphin. Late in Victoire's pregnancy she started having nightmares of giving birth to a dolphin. Teddy cut her off of the Nutella and bologna sandwiches.
"Speaking of monkey." She voiced her thoughts aloud.
Emmaline was sitting up and rubbing her eyes. She was momentarily confused as to where she was and Teddy ran to her rescue.
"Daddy?" She yawned, still not out of her dreamland.
"I'm here, Princess," Teddy cooed, scooping his daughter onto his lap.
Finally the bells rang in Emmaline's mind and she threw her arms around his neck.
For Victoire, the sight was another one of those proud parent moments. She knew Teddy, Emmaline, and her didn't exactly meet the standard criteria of being a "traditional" family, but they were a family nonetheless and they were doing everything right.
Hey guys! I just want to thank everyone who has reviewed so far already! It really makes me happy that it's a likable story because I can't get over how in love I am with it myself right now. Anyway, I just wanted to mention a few things up here that I forgot for the last chapter, and then a few little things for this one.
This is a fic written for milominderbinder's Modern Romance Challenge, which I would assume speaks for itself. Secondly, I do not own Rudyard Kippling or his Jungle Books series (which is also mentioned in this chapter). As for this chapter, I do not own Nutella (not even a jar for myself), so don't hate me for being all sad when you realize you don't have any either ;). Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter! I'd love to see some reviews on how I did with this one. There was some pretty loopy editing jobs that went on with it so I hope I didn't miss anything.
Have a cookie everyone!
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