Chapter 1 : Cloud Nine
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 24|
Change Background: Change Font color:
His immediate impression through his grogginess was that there was blood on the white tiles. He felt a quick surge of adrenaline go through him before his mind managed to process the shards of glass on the floor and the carton of cranberry juice on the counter. He relaxed against the doorway and sighed.
“Goddamnit,” Victoire muttered as she strode back into the kitchen from the pantry carrying a blue dishtowel. Unlike him, she was fully dressed, and her hair was still damp from the shower. She glanced toward the doorway reflexively and jumped when she saw him standing there. “Oh, god, Teddy. You almost gave me a heart attack!”
“Sorry,” he said, and pointed his wand at the glass on the floor. “Reparo.” The glass sprang back together, and the cup wobbled a little before settling. “Here, give it to me,” he said, motioning toward the dishtowel.
She shook her head. “No, it’s fine, I’ve got it.”
“You have to go to work,” he said firmly. “I don’t. Eat something. I’ll clean this up.”
Victoire looked as though she wanted to argue, but instead she handed it to him and sighed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”
He caught her hand as he was taking the towel from her. “It’s fine,” he said, pulling her to him and lowering his head to press his lips against her forehead. “Don’t worry about it.”
She laid her head against his bare chest. “Now I really don’t want to go to work today.”
Teddy tossed the towel and his wand onto the table. He wound one arm around her waist and used his other hand to stroke her hair. “I know, sweetheart.” He closed his eyes for a moment, appreciating the way she felt in his arms. “I don’t want you to, either.”
“You just got back last night,” she murmured.
After a moment, he released her. “I know,” he repeated as he grabbed the towel off the table. Working for Gringotts certainly allowed him to go to some amazing places, but he was starting to tire of the trips that took him away from her for extended periods of time.
Their first year together, she had still been in school, and it had been over a year after she left before they’d moved in together. The absences hadn’t been quite as noticeable then as they were now.
Victoire reached up to get a new glass out of the cupboard, and he carefully stepped around the spill to grab the carton and hand it to her before picking up the repaired cup and setting it in the sink.
She sank in a kitchen chair and poured herself more juice, which she took a sip of before starting to eat her blueberry muffin. “I really am sorry,” she said again. “I know you’re exhausted. I kept you up late last night, and you were already tired.”
By the time he’d gotten back home the night before, he’d been awake for twenty straight hours. As he’d climbed the stairs that led to the flat he had lived in for the last five years and shared with her for the past two, he had intended to get a quick bite to eat and fall asleep shortly after that. He hadn’t thought he’d be awake for more than an hour.
It had turned out to be more like six. There was something about not seeing Victoire for a week that tended to made sleep a very low priority. It usually came sometime after sex, dinner, conversation, and more sex.
Teddy looked up at her as he mopped up the juice. “I think we kept each other up,” he said, grinning.
She laughed. God, he had missed her laugh. “That’s probably true.” She popped more of her muffin into her mouth. “They’re not making you go in tomorrow, are they?”
He shook his head and tossed the wet towel in the sink. “No,” he said, running the sponge under the water for a minute before bending down again to wipe over the tiles the juice had spilled on so the floor didn’t become sticky. “I just worked for seven straight days, and I brought home a lot of gold. I don’t have to go in until Wednesday.” He glanced up at her again and winked. “So I hope you won’t be too exhausted to keep me up tonight.”
“I imagine I’ll rally,” she said, finishing her muffin. She caught sight of red several spots on the sleeve of her white shirt from the juice and made a face. “Shit.”
Teddy tossed the sponge into the sink to lie on top of the towel. He’d deal with cleaning them later. “Here, let me see,” he said, picking up his wand from the table. His girlfriend had many talents, but household charms were not one of them. She held out her arm, and he passed his wand over the biggest spot. It disappeared.
“Thank you.” She rubbed her face with her other hand as he waved his wand over the other stains. “This is just turning out to be one of those days.” She made to pull her arm back, but he held on and kissed the back of her hand before letting go.
“I know,” he said.
She shook her head. The motion caused her hair to swing over her shoulders, and his heart missed a beat. He had always loved her hair. “This is why you should never leave,” she told him. “You make mornings feel slightly less awful.”
He smiled. “Oh, but that’s easy. I get to look at you in the morning. How could I be grouchy?”
Victoire threw back her head and laughed. “Those lines ever work on anyone?” she teased, getting up to place her cup and plate in the sink, carefully avoiding the damp part of the floor. When she turned to go back to her chair, Teddy reached out, and she allowed him to pull her into his lap.
“There is this one girl,” he told her seriously. “But I think she might be a little dumb. She’s actually been putting up with me for more than four years.”
Victoire lightly ran one of her fingers along his hairline, and he felt a shudder go through his spine. He wasn’t sure whether it was the veela heritage or just the way he felt about her that made her touch so electrical and intoxicating. He supposed it didn’t much matter. “She sounds like a silly girl.” She leaned down to kiss his neck, and he let out a sigh.
“Don’t go to work,” he suggested.
She bit his earlobe lightly, and he held back a groan only with great difficulty. “Don’t say that. You might convince me.” She glanced at the clock over the sink and got to her feet. “I should get going.”
He grabbed his wand off the table and followed her to the front door. “How long do you need to be there today?”
“Seamus said that he only wanted us for a few hours. I imagine I’ll be back here by noon or one, and then I can take a nap.” She paused for a moment to slip her wand into the handbag that hung on the coat rack next to the door. She clasped her hands behind her neck. “I missed you,” she said softly.
Teddy brushed his lips against hers. “I know,” he breathed.
Victoire tightened her grip. “I want you.”
“Again?" he asked playfully. "I didn’t realize I was that good."
She moved her hands up so that her fingers were wound in his hair and stood up on her tiptoes. He expecting her to give him another tender, quick kiss, so he was pleasantly surprised when instead she kissed him deeply and did not seem at all inclined to end it. “You are,” she said after they’d finally parted. “And I’m serious.”
“I know.” He leaned his forehead against hers. "When you get home." In truth, he would have very much liked to carry her back off to bed right then. He knew that when he returned to their room, the dark blue comforter, white sheets, and ample number of pillows would make their bed look incredibly inviting. However, he also knew how much more inviting it looked when she was waiting for him in it.
But he was capable of being patient.
“You don’t think you’ll be too tired?” she teased.
“Oh, God, no.” He suppressed a shudder with difficulty. “You should get going, though.”
She sighed and grabbed her handbag and a sweater off the rack. “I love you,” she said, leaning up for another kiss. He was happy to oblige.
He hated being away, but his homecomings were always terrific.
After she left, he went back into their bedroom and got back into the bed. Instead of falling back asleep immediately, however, he grabbed the bag he’d dropped by the bed when he’d come in the night before. He reached inside of it, and near the bottom, he found what he was looking for.
He pulled out a small grey box and opened it. Nestled inside was a silver ring set with sapphires.
He was going to propose to Victoire tonight. Given that they’d been together for four years, he wasn’t sure why he felt as nervous as he did. He certainly didn’t think that it was likely that she would tell him no.
He just wanted it to be perfect, since he intended for it to be the only time in what would hopefully be very long lives that either of them became engaged.
He closed the box with a snap and stowed it safely back inside the bag before curling up in the bed that they shared and falling back asleep.
Teddy woke up hours later to the sound of the front door slamming. He glanced at the clock: it was almost 1:30. After a moment, the bedroom door opened and Victoire walked in. She kicked off her shoes, dropped her jacket on the floor, and joined him in bed.
“You’re back a little later than you thought you’d be,” he said, grabbing a few extra pillows for leverage and putting an arm around her. “Anything going on?”
She nuzzled up against him. “The usual.” She began to unbutton her sweater, and while he knew that she had a shirt on underneath it, his heart started to speed up. “There have been a few suspicious disappearances near Ullswater that Lavender thinks might have been caused by a kelpie, and…” She paused for a moment while she pulled the sweater off and tossed it in the vague direction of their closet. “…there have been a rash of werewolf attacks lately that Werewolf Capture wanted to consult with us about.”
“Are you going to have to go to Ullswater?” he asked, hoping that the answer was no.
Victoire shook her head and pressed her body closer to his. He drew in a shuddering breath, and tried to remind himself that he really was a patient person. “God, I’ve missed you,” she said. “No, Lavender is taking Van and Brennan up there, that should be enough.”
“Did you see Micah when you talked to Werewolf Capture?” he asked.
Victoire smiled. “Yeah. We made plans for him to come over for dinner next week.” She twisted around to look up at him. “You don’t mind, right?”
He shook his head. “Of course not. I like Micah.” Teddy had always liked Victoire’s and Fred’s friend Micah, and hoped that when they saw him next, they’d have good news to share.
Victoire shifted her position so that she was facing him. “Enough talk about work. I want the sex you promised me.”
“Come here, then,” he suggested, meeting her lips with his as he began to help her out of her remaining clothing.
When Teddy opened his eyes later that afternoon and rolled over to look at the clock, it was just after 3:00. He knew that trying to sleep any more would just be a waste of time, so he kissed Victoire (who was still sleeping quite soundly) on the forehead before rolling out of bed and quietly making his way toward the door, clean clothing and wand in one hand and his bag in the other.
Once he’d shaved, showered, and dressed, he examined himself critically in the mirror that hung above the sink. After a moment, he screwed up his face and clenched his eyes shut. When he opened them, they had gone from grey to a deep chocolate brown, and his hair had turned from green to black.
That was better.
After a quick bowl of cereal, he grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill and quickly scribbled a note in case she woke up before he got back.
Went out to run some errands. Back in a couple hours. Love you. – Teddy
He left the note on the kitchen table and grabbed his house keys off the hook next to the door before quietly letting himself out and locking the door behind him.
Most wizards didn’t bother to lock their doors with keys – they just used magic to open them. However, Teddy had never felt comfortable using a simple spell to lock the door. It would certainly keep muggles out, but it left you wide open to intruders of the wizarding variety. It wasn’t likely, and someone determined enough could probably get in no matter what, but there was a certain paranoia about personal safety that he’d always had.
It probably had to do with the fact that he’d never known either of his parents or his grandfather, because they’d been murdered within a few months of each other.
Growing up, his grandmother had always used spelled keys for their house. She had also made it impossible to apparate into or out of the house, a security measure that Teddy had also used since moving out.
There was something about having her husband and daughter murdered that had left his grandmother with a rather skeptical view of innate human decency.
Teddy made his way down the three flights of stairs that led to the ground floor. He ignored the red mailboxes and rounded the corner, striding purposefully toward what looked like an old and very solid concrete wall.
He passed through it and into the well-lit room on the other side.
Not everyone who lived in the building was a wizard, of course; the landlady prided herself on being Muggle-friendly. However, she also prided herself on maintaining a building that carried all the services your average witch or wizard needed – including the large fireplace on the other side of the room and the complimentary floo powder that Teddy was sure she would rather die than give up.
He had lived here since he’d moved out of his grandmother’s house, and he had no intention of leaving any time soon.
“Oh, Teddy! When did you get back?” came a voice from his left.
He smiled at the kindly woman with greying brown hair who was sitting behind a solid mahogany desk reading the Daily Prophet. “Late last night. How have you been, Enid?”
She smiled and pushed her glasses up on her nose, though at least that Teddy could see, they had been in no danger of falling down. “Oh, I’ve been just lovely. That very sweet young lady of yours must be happy to have you back. She always looks a little sadder when you’re gone.”
Teddy was fairly certain that Victoire held up just fine while he was away, but Enid was a romantic.
“Yeah,” he agreed. “She was happy to see me.”
Enid beamed at him. “Such a sweet young lady.” There was a flash in the fireplace, and a man Teddy vaguely recognized as one of their downstairs neighbors stepped out. He tipped his hat to them as he passed. “Hello, Arnold!” Enid said brightly. He vanished through the wall, and she turned back to Teddy. “You really should marry her. There aren’t very many girls like that in the world.”
He would usually be either irritated or offended at someone sticking their nose into his business like this, but he’d lived in the building for five years and was used to Enid’s chronic and well-intentioned meddling.
“I’m working on it,” he said.
Her face lit up, and she put her elbow in her mint dish. Teddy hid a smile. “Well, wouldn’t that be the nicest thing.”
“Wish me luck.” He grinned and walked across the deep red carpet to the fireplace. She waved merrily at him as he stepped onto the ceramic tile that extended a couple feet in front of the grate. He took a pinch of floo powder from the side table that stood to the right of the fireplace, tossed it into the flames. They turned green, and he stepped into them and said in a very strong and clear voice, “Diagon Alley!”
There had been once when he was much younger that he’d accidentally ended up in “Dragon Alley” and nearly given his grandmother a heart attack.
“Dragon Alley” was full of shops and stands meant for dragon researchers, and it was not remotely near London.
He, of course, had been thrilled by his mistake. Unfortunately, he’d bumped into his friend Gillian’s older brother Quinn after about five minutes, and Quinn had immediately taken him back to Diagon Alley.
Since then, Teddy had made a point of speaking very clearly when using floo powder.
When he reached Diagon Alley, he immediately headed toward the bakery.
He often found wizard pastries to be rather overpriced. They could be charmed to stay fresh for months and to remain permanently warm, which were two uses of magic that Teddy had always thought were exceptionally useless. He didn’t especially like most cakes warm, and in his opinion, anyone who let a cake sit around long enough to go bad didn’t really want it in the first place.
But today was special. Today there was no alternative. He just wouldn’t pay for stupid charms.
A bell rang when he entered the store, and a young woman popped her head out of the back. Seeing him there, she smiled and came to the till, wiping her flour-covered hands on her bright purple apron.
“Hello. How can I help you?” she asked cheerfully.
He eyed the cases full of pastries, biscuits, pies, and cakes. The trouble with going into bakeries was that everything always looked so good. The sight of butterbeer eclairs made his mouth water, and even though he knew that the every-flavor biscuits could easily be chili or pepper flavored, they looked incredibly inviting.
“Do you have firewhiskey cheesecake?” he asked, tearing his eyes away from the taste-your-desire marzipans sitting at the front of one of the cases.
“Hold on.” She went to the other end of the store, opened one of the cases, and took out a cheesecake that he knew from past experience was absolutely delicious. “Will you be wanting any charms on it?” she called from the back counter, where she was putting it in a box. “It’ll stay fresh for two weeks guaranteed, but you can pay for more.”
“Ever warm or ever cool?”
“No,” he repeated. That was why they had a refrigerator. Some wizards just astounded him with their poor planning and disdain for useful muggle inventions. “No extra charms, thanks.”
She brought the box to the till. “Anything else?”
“Two dozen butterbeer biscuits,” he said. She opened her mouth, and he quickly added, “No extra charms.”
The girl grabbed another box off a shelf and pulled her wand out of her apron pocket. “Special occasion?” she asked as she summoned the biscuits into the box.
“You could say that,” he said, smiling.
She smiled back and tapped the boxes with her wand. They sealed shut. “Anything else?”
“No, that’ll be all.”
She put the two boxes into a large paper bag and rang him up. “That’ll be 4 galleons, 7 sickles, and 20 knuts.”
Teddy handed over the gold. She counted it and passed him back a handful of knuts. “9 knuts is your change. Have a nice day, and please come again!” She smiled brightly.
He smiled back. “Thanks.” He took the bag and left the store, making a point of not looking back at the raspberry sleep snaps, however good they were. The very last thing he expected to want that night would be drowsiness.
Diagon Alley was always busiest in the summer. With all of the students back at school, the last couple weeks had been fairly subdued. Nonetheless, many people were spending their Saturday afternoon browsing and shopping, and he had to edge past one especially large group of witches who were taking up most of the pavement.
Thankfully, the floral shop was empty when he stepped inside. The wizard bending over some of the plants looked up and smiled. “Hello, Mr. Lupin. What brings you to my shop today?”
Teddy grinned. The owners of this particular shop knew him quite well. He was a proponent of the idea that surprises were really where the fun in romance was. As a result, he tended to come in quite often. “Looking for something special for my girl.”
There were other places he could have gotten flowers, of course – there was a floral shop two doors down from the bakery. This shop, however, was his favorite.
While he was perfectly willing to go to muggle bakeries most of the time, he had a strict policy of only buying flowers from magical venders. For one, they tended to last much longer and the enchantments that got put on them put muggle flowers to shame.
For another, the prettiest flowers were also often the most poisonous, and magic could neutralize the poison in ways muggles couldn’t.
He took a deep breath. The air smelled of the flowers that filled the shop; there were enormous pots that hovered overhead filled with oversized violets and tulips, vases holding foxgloves that had harmless, colored flames leaping inside each individual flower, orchids with petals that never stopped moving, an enormous plot of forget-me-nots and bluebells that emitted a faint bluish glow, and buckets of carnations and primroses that he knew from experience would smell like whatever attracted you the most.
Teddy considered his options. The orchids had always been one of Victoire’s favorites; she found the way that the petals were in perpetual motion to be “delightfully creepy,” and he’d always been a fan of the glowing flowers. They had a way of making everything much more romantic.
In the end, he ended up taking some of the orchids, forget-me-nots, and bluebells, as well as several of the more traditional roses and two enormous red tulips. After handing over the gold and accepting the enormous bag needed to hold them all, he made his way back to the Leaky Cauldron.
When he stumbled out of the fireplace in his building, his landlady was still behind the desk, though she had moved on from the Daily Prophet to what looked like a romance novel.
He nodded at her as he went by, and she wriggled her fingers in welcome without looking up from her book. “Good luck!” she called to him as he approached the wall.
“Thanks.” Teddy stepped through it and made his way to the staircase.
He met one of their next-door neighbors on the stairs, and she backed up against the railing to give him enough room to pass. “Anniversary?” she asked, giving him a knowing grin.
He smiled back. “Something like that.”
Once he’d passed, she continued down the stairs. When he reached his door, he put down the packages and pulled his keys and his wand out of his pocket. He inserted a key into the top lock, tapped the lock with his wand, turned the key, and pulled it out. He did the same for the bottom and opened the door. After both bags were inside, he closed the door softly behind him, and the locks reengaged automatically. He took both bags into the kitchen and went about preparing for the evening.
When he was sure everything was ready, he opened the door to their bedroom. The red and orange of the sunset shone through the curtains, giving the room a slightly eerie feel. Victoire stirred at the sound of the door opening and closing. “What time is it?” she asked sleepily, propping herself up on her elbows. Her red hair spilled down over her shoulders, and the light reflected off of it to give her a faint glow.
He knew, without any doubt in his heart, that he was making the right decision.
“After six,” he said, dropping his wand on the side table and coming to sit on the edge of the bed. “How did you sleep?”
Victoire smiled and reached up to pull on his sleeve. He fell backward and landed with his head on one of the pillows. “Perfectly,” she said, examining his face closely. He smiled at her, and she ran her fingers through his hair. “I love you,” she told him, leaning down to kiss his neck. He froze, and he felt her lips curve into a smile. “I adore you,” she whispered in his ear before gently biting down on his earlobe again.
“V—” he started to say, but she cut him off by crashing her lips to his. He wrapped his arms around her and enthusiastically returned the kiss.
Teddy was absolutely sure that he was the luckiest man on the planet.
Her stomach growled loudly, and she pulled away laughing. “I guess I’m hungry,” she said.
“So come eat,” he suggested, running his fingers through her hair. “I already made dinner.”
She snuggled up against him. “But you’re so warm and comfortable like this.”
He kissed the top of her head. “I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart. We can cuddle after you eat.”
“I suppose.” Victoire sat up and stretched, and he had a moment to admire her body before she got out of bed, made her way over to their dresser, and pulled out a fresh set of clothing. He tapped the lamp with his wand and stood up. The room suddenly filled with light. “I’m going to take a shower,” she said, coming over and leaning up so she could kiss him.
“Didn’t you already shower today?” he asked, remembering her damp hair that morning.
“I did,” she confirmed. “But since then, I’ve engaged in activities that got me rather sweaty.” She winked at him. “Not that I mind, of course.”
“I should hope not.” Teddy eyed the clothing she was holding. “I love that skirt, you know,” he said, snaking an arm around her waist.
“Oh, I know.” Victoire was wearing a very satisfied little smile on her face. “You changed your eyes and your hair.” He nodded, and she sighed. “I love your eyes that color, you know.”
He smiled back. “Oh, I know.” He laid his head on top of hers and breathed in the smell of her shampoo.
When he let her go, she gave him a curious look. “You’re very affectionate today.”
“I just got home,” he pointed out. “And anyway, aren’t I always?”
“More so than usual.”
“Are you complaining?” he asked, feeling a sudden twinge of anxiety that he knew was ridiculous. He knew that she wasn’t complaining. Why was his mind suddenly so prone to paranoia?
She shook her head. “Just observing.” She squeezed his hand. “I love you. Don’t look so concerned.”
They left the bedroom. She headed straight across the hall to the bathroom, and he headed toward the living room.
Teddy was rather proud of what he had done with the living room. There was a vase of orchids curling and uncurling their petals on the stand next to the couch, and two globes filled with glowing blue forget-me-nots on either end of the shelf that held several pictures of their family and friends.
When he heard the bathroom door open, he called, “I’m in here.” He clenched the little box in his left hand so tightly he was almost afraid that he would break it.
Victoire appeared in the doorway. “Oh my—” She gave a delighted laugh. “Oh, this is beautiful.”
He held out his arms, feeling the tension mounting in his stomach. She came to join him, but before she could settle in, he slid off the couch and knelt on one knee on the floor. He held out the box and opened it, and was pleased to see that despite his nerves, he was succeeding in keeping his hands steady.
He took a deep breath. “Victoire, will you marry me?”
A look of dawning comprehension spread across her face. “Oh,” she said. “Oh. Now it makes sense.” He raised his eyebrows, and she shook her head to clear it. “Sorry, of course I’ll marry you.” She pulled on his hand. “Come on, get up off the floor.” He joined her on the couch, and she threw her arms around him. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
He felt an enormous smile spreading across his face. “Oh, good.”
She pulled back and studied him incredulously. “What, did you think I was going to say no?”
“Not really, but you never know.” Teddy held out his hand, and after a moment, she realized what he wanted and placed her hand in his. He pulled the ring out of its cushioning and slipped it onto her finger.
Victoire examined the ring. “It’s so pretty,” she breathed. “And yes, you do know. Don't be ridiculous. Of course I…” she trailed off and shook her head in disbelief. “Oh my god. I’m engaged.”
Teddy nodded. “Yes. Yes you are.” He held out his left hand: he had slipped a simpler, silver band on his ring finger. “So am I.”
She threw her arms around him again. “Oh my god.” He put his arms around her, and he could feel her entire body shuddering. He couldn’t tell if she was crying, laughing, or just overwhelmed. “Sorry,” she apologized. “I just…”
He gently pushed her away and put his hands on her shoulders. “You’re not regretting saying yes, right?” he asked, feeling a hint of anxiety hit him again.
Victoire rolled her eyes impatiently. “Don’t be an idiot. Of course I’m not.” She looked down at the ring on his hand. “I just…" Words seemed to fail her, and she shook her head. "I love you," was all she could manage.
He smiled, leaned forward, and brushed his lips against hers. “I know. I love you, too.”
When he started to pull back, she sank her hands into his hair and deepened the kiss. He made no attempt to resist her. Instead, he allowed her to push him back so that he was laying on the couch, and when she continued to kiss him, he began to inch one of his hands up her bare leg.
"So tell me," she said, finally breaking the kiss. His hand stilled. "How long have you been planning this?"
"How long have I been thinking about proposing -" he couldn't stop a giddy smile from spreading across his face when he used the word "- or how long have I actually been actively planning it?"
Teddy actually had to think about it. "I've been thinking about it for months," he said after a moment, staring into her face, which was tinted a light shade of blue from the glowing flowers. She looked absolutely beautiful. "I've been planning it since right before I went away."
"Really?" Victoire looked a little taken aback. "Months?"
"Is that really surprising?" he asked, reaching up to brush her hair back from her face.
"I suppose not," she said. "It's just that you're so patient. I can't imagine thinking about that sort of thing for months and not doing something about it."
His hand slid up to her thigh, and her breathing became more rapid. "I don't know," he said playfully. "I'm not always all that patient."
Victoire leaned down to brush her lips against his neck. He groaned. She knew exactly where he was the most sensitive. “I love you,” she murmured. “Don't ever leave.”
She lifted her head to stare into his eyes, and he kissed her deeply. “I wasn’t planning on it.”
A/N: If you enjoyed this story, check out my other Teddy/Victoire fics! "In a Brown Study," "Fish out of Water," and "Fortune Favors the Bold" are all one-shots, and I also have a short story called "Dark Side of the Moon," in which Victoire is attacked by a werewolf while she's on patrol.
This was written for Coley's Engagement Challenge, and I want to give a huge thank you to the lovely people at the forums, especially DracoDormiens, AditiDraco95, and SakuraSou for their help with brainstorming flower/pastry ideas. :)
Thanks for reading! If you have a moment, I would really appreciate a review. :)