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Chapter 3 : All That's Inbetween
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It was your story in as much as it changed your life forever, but you were never an active participant in it. However, you watched it all unfold, and since you were there from the beginning, you found you knew enough to tell it in its entirety.
There were two girls, and a boy. Both girls loved the boy, and he loved them in return. But love didn’t work like that, and he had to make a choice between the two.
He paid for that choice, in the end.
Nobody told you anything in the next few days. Dominique was questioned, that much you knew. People cried and wept and wailed until you thought they couldn’t possibly contain any more tears. Other people, mainly your extended family, came and went. Somehow, life went on.
Not for Teddy, but you tried not to think of that.
You hovered in doorways and in corners, where nobody noticed or cared if you were there, and you listened for any piece of information you could get. You needed to know what was going on, even if no-one cared to tell you.
You never understood quite how wizard courts worked. Your sister watched enough ‘courtroom dramas’ to leave you with a vague idea of muggle ones, but you knew they couldn’t possibly work that way. For one thing, you’d never heard anyone speak with an obviously forced American accent.
Things moved surprisingly quickly. It was only a month after the funeral when you discovered they’d found evidence. None of your family cared to mention what it was, or who it incriminated – maybe they didn’t know – but you knew it could not be good news.
Your mother seemed not to be able to discuss anything else. She and your father held whispered conversations where they thought you could not hear, and she comforted Fleur over cups of tea. You wondered why tea was the go-to drink whenever there was a family crisis.
The next couple of weeks flew by. Nothing new happened, until exactly 46 days after the funeral.
Victoire had been released. But while there should have been happiness, it was obscured by what her return meant. Dominique hadn’t been so lucky. Your whole family gathered for dinner that night, a shaken Victoire finally back amongst you. Her release should have been a celebration, but everyone was dwelling on the news of Dominique.
“The trial is next Saturday,” croaked a red-eyed Bill to Uncle Harry. Fleur threw back several glasses of wine.
“It’s a joke,” she slurred. “It can’t be my Nicky. Not her. They must have got the wrong person.” She cast a glance at Victoire. “Not my Vic either,” she added eventually. You wondered why she had taken so long to say it.
Distant from it all was Victoire, slightly gaunter and paler for her experience, but all considering, she looked almost cheerful.
The day of the trial brought rain, and slate grey skies. You thought the weather oddly fitting for the occasion. You and your cousins were shooed away to amuse yourselves as the adults drank and sat in silence.
You weren’t there to see Fleur break down in tears, and lose her grip on her wine glass.
You weren’t there to see Bill crumple against George.
You weren’t there to hear the news, as your family frayed at the edges.
You weren’t there when you heard that Dominique was sentenced to life imprisonment. Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise.
Your parents told you later, their voices suitably grave. You nodded and cried, because you felt it was what you should do.
And life went on.
3 Years Later
Victoire was getting married. Fleur and Bill couldn’t have been more thrilled, according to your mother. You were summoned to their home to help with the preparations.
You couldn’t say why you did it. It might have been the nostalgia, or something about the general atmosphere, but you dragged down a box of old photo albums from the attic, and lay them across the dining room table.
Your family beamed back at you, waving and smiling, in the shade of the oak trees in Harry’s garden. Amongst them stood Teddy, just as you remembered him.
Without you noticing, Victoire had crept up on you. “What’s this?” she asked. Her tone was even, yet somehow her words were injected with disapproval.
You jumped, and your eyes strayed guiltily to your feet. She bent over to look more closely at the album, running a slender finger across Teddy’s cheek.
“He was…” she trailed off.
You couldn’t quite explain why you asked. “Did you do it?”
She knew what you were talking about. You guessed it never quite left her mind. You knew it never left yours. Her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes as she surveyed you. Then she laughed, her tongue darting over her red-painted lips.
“Lucy,” she whispered. “Could it really have been anybody else?”
A/N - So there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this – sorry it’s taken so long to get the final chapter out! Please leave a review if you have the time, I’d love to hear what you thought.
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