Chapter 1 : Fortune Favors the Bold
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“Can I help you?” she asked pleasantly.
Victoire took one hand off the handle of her small suitcase long enough to push her hair back. “I… er…” She swallowed hard. “I’m just visiting someone.” The woman kept looking at her expectantly, and Victoire took a few steps forward. “Teddy,” she added. “Teddy Lupin.”
The woman’s face lit up. “Oh, Teddy! Such a sweet young man, isn’t he?” Victoire nodded mutely, and the woman peered into her face. “You must be that girlfriend he’s always on about. Well, you’re certainly just as pretty as he says.”
Victoire felt her face get hot. “He’s mentioned me?” she asked.
“Goodness, yes.” The woman smiled at her and strode forward, holding out a hand. “I’m Enid. I’m the landlady.”
Victoire took it. “Victoire,” she said. The woman – Enid – had very warm, slightly pudgy hands that reminded Victoire vaguely of her grandfather’s. She smiled tentatively back.
“It’s very nice to meet you.” Enid pointed at the far wall. “Just go through that wall and down the hallway, you’ll get to the stairway. You know what his flat number is?” Victoire nodded, and the woman squeezed her hand. “Just lovely,” she said vaguely, before waving Victoire on.
She made her way toward it, feeling distinctly nervous. This was all beginning to seem like it might have been a poor idea.
If Fred were here, he’d remind her that Teddy was crazy about her – an idea that Victoire hadn’t quite gotten accustomed to yet. If Micah were here, he’d probably make some off-colour comment about just how much Teddy had missed her.
But neither Fred nor Micah were here. They were probably still where she had left them, sitting in the Hogsmeade branch of Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes enjoying some firewhiskey before they snuck back into school.
She walked swiftly down the long hallway that led to the stairwell. As she started up the stairs, the pit in her stomach continued to grow. She really hadn’t planned this out very well. What if he wasn’t home? What if he had company? What if he was just busy?
But it was too late to go back now, and besides, if she did, Fred and Micah would never let her hear the end of it.
As she approached his landing, she could see a sliver of light through the crack between his front door and the floor. Her heart slowed down a little. At least he was home. And realistically, she knew that he was not at all likely to tell her that he didn’t want to see her.
When she stopped in front of his door, she still had to steel herself to knock.
“This is stupid,” she muttered to herself as she stepped back.
There was no answer, and she knocked again, a bit harder. This time, she heard motion inside the flat.
“Coming!” she heard Teddy’s voice call, and a giddy smile spread across her face. The door opened, and her heart gave a quick leap. When he saw her, he did a double take. “Vic!”
She offered him a tentative smile. “Hi.”
The grin that spread across his face was warm and clearly very happy. Her heart began to speed up as an entirely different kind of anticipation filled her body.
He reached out and pulled her into the flat. As soon as she was inside, he wrapped her in a bear hug and pushed the door closed behind her.
She returned the hug with her free arm and rested her head on his warm shoulder for a moment.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, pulling back a little to study her. “I thought term didn’t finish up until tomorrow. I was planning to go meet the train.”
“It doesn’t,” she said, shifting her hand back to the handle of her suitcase. Her nerves were already starting to creep back in. She’d never spent the night in Teddy’s flat before – hell, she hadn’t even been in Teddy’s flat since before they’d started going out at the end of the summer. “Fred and Micah helped me sneak out.”
Teddy shook his head, looking a little amused. His hair was festively red tonight, and his eyes were a slightly unsettling green. She fought the urge to wrinkle her nose; red hair did not suit Teddy at all. She should know; she was a Weasley.
“You don’t like the hair, do you?” he asked, and she shook her head ruefully. He screwed up his face, and after a moment, his hair had turned green. When he opened his eyes, they were her favourite chocolate brown. “Better?” She nodded, and he grinned. “Good. So Fred and Micah helped you sneak out, huh? Remind me to get them both something nice for Christmas.” He looked down and seemed to notice her suitcase for the first time. “Here,” he said, reaching for it. “Let me take that.”
She relinquished it and wrapped her arms around herself as he opened his bedroom door and placed it inside. “You don’t mind, right?”
His head jerked back toward her. “Mind what? You showing up?” She nodded, and he let out a loud laugh. “Of course not.” He stepped toward her and sank his fingers into her hair as he bent down for a kiss. “I missed you,” he said softly when they parted, and immediately leaned back in. This time, when their lips brushed against each other, he tightened his grip and deepened the kiss. She let out a low whimper, and when they broke away, he wrapped his arms around her again. “God, I missed you.”
Victoire smiled. “I missed you, too,” she said, hugging him back. He began to run his fingers through her hair, and she let out a contented sigh. “That feels nice,” she murmured.
She could hear him give a low chuckle. “Good.” He pulled away gently. “I’m sorry, I should have asked – do you want anything to drink?” He glanced at the clock. “Did you eat before you left school?” She shook her head. “Do you want me to make you something?”
She shrugged. “I’m fine,” she said, but her stomach chose that time to let out a loud grumble. He raised his eyebrows, and she bit her lip. “Maybe I’m a bit hungry.”
He reached down to grab her hand and led her down the hallway to the kitchen. When they walked by the empty doorway that let to his living room, she could see that it was littered with wrapping paper.
“You’re not allowed in there,” he said, and she looked up at him. He was grinning. “Not until I finish wrapping your present, anyway.”
Victoire was not quite sure how to respond to that. She felt vaguely awkward. Of course she’d known that he’d get her something – they were going out, and anyway, he’d gotten her something for most Christmases she could remember. She’d certainly gotten him something. There was no reason to feel awkward.
But she did.
He saved her from having to give a too-late response, however, by steering her into the kitchen. “So what exactly did you do?” he asked as she settled herself into one of the chairs.
She didn’t bother to ask what he meant. “Well…” she drew out the word. “I decided that I wanted to start my holiday early, so Fred and Micah and I snuck into the village and I used the shop’s floo network to get here.”
Teddy looked a little impressed. “So, what, are you planning to go back later tonight, then?”
Victoire could feel her cheeks getting warm. “I thought I could stay here tonight,” she said, resisting the urge to look away from him. “With you.”
“Won’t they miss you?”
She shook her head. “Domi and Molly said they’d helped Fred and Micah cover for me.” She studied him anxiously. “You don’t mind, right?”
He shook his head quickly. “What? No, of course not. I’d love to have you.”
The thought of Micah’s reaction to a statement like that made Victoire let out a loud, involuntary giggle. “Sorry,” she said quickly.
Teddy gave an easy smile and shrugged. When he turned toward one of the cabinets, however, she could see that the back of his neck was bright red.
She still couldn’t really understand why Teddy’s neck went red when he was embarrassed.
He pulled out a box of biscuits and set it on the table. “What would you like to eat?” he asked.
She hesitated. Being asked what she wanted other people to make her made her feel rather uncomfortable unless it was her mother or her father doing the asking.
“We could go out, too,” he suggested after a moment. “You don’t have to pretend to like my cooking.”
Victoire frowned at him, startled out of her discomfort. “Teddy, you’re an amazing cook,” she told him. “I just feel a little awkward asking you to make me anything.”
He boosted himself up to sit on the counter. “V, I am so happy to see you that I would probably make you a ten course meal if you wanted.”
“But I don’t want a ten course meal,” she said, and he rolled his eyes.
“All right,” he said after a minute. “How’s this for an idea? We make pizza.”
Victoire stared at him. “How do you make pizza?”
“It’s really not that hard,” he said. “We do it a lot – my friends and I,” he clarified when she looked confused. “David’s mother is Italian. Like, real Italian.”
“As opposed to fake Italian?” she asked, and he laughed.
“Well, that’s always how he refers to her. I think it means that she can cook real Italian food.” Teddy shrugged. “Anyway, he, Johanna, Gillian, and I have a lot of cooking adventures. Usually David’s the one in charge.”
“Oh.” She considered that. “I could try that,” she said after a moment.
In the end, she was very glad that she had tried it. Teddy turned out to be right; it really wasn’t all that difficult, and in addition, it was actually quite fun. Despite a disagreement between the two of them about how much garlic to put on the pizza, it had even turned out to taste good, which Victoire definitely hadn’t been expecting.
As she was finishing the last slice, Teddy pushed back his chair. “I’m going to go clean up the living room,” he said. By the time he returned, Victoire had finished both her pizza and her glass of water. He pointed his wand at the dirty dishes, and they floated across the kitchen into the sink, where a soapy sponge hovered, ready to wash them.
She followed him into the living room, which looked significantly neater. She spied several new pictures on the mantle that had clearly been added since the summer, including one of Teddy playing Quidditch with James over the summer and another that she recognised from when he met her in Hogsmeade in November. As she stepped closer, picture-Teddy bent down to kiss picture-Victoire’s cheek, and picture-Victoire grinned.
For some reason, seeing the photograph filled her with warmth. It felt like proof that they were really together, that it wasn’t just some silly dream that wouldn’t survive her seventh year.
Teddy cleared his throat, and she looked over at him. “I hid everything in the closet,” he said, jerking his head toward the door next to one of the bookcases.
She giggled, and he pulled her onto the couch. “I missed you,” he said softly, beginning to stroke her hair again.
Victoire felt a smile spread across her lips. “I missed you, too.”
Victoire liked talking to her boyfriend. She really did. He was fun to talk to. He was witty and funny and could always make her laugh.
But after two hours of what mostly amounted to talking, she was starting to get frustrated. They could exchange letters. They could talk on Christmas at her grandparents’ house. They could talk anytime. Sure, it was nice to talk in the privacy of his flat, leaning against him as he ran his fingers through her hair, but she had been hoping for something significantly more physical than that.
She knew that he was attracted to her. She saw exactly where his eyes were lingering when she shifted her position, or when she got up to go to the toilet.
So why wouldn’t he do anything?
Eventually, Victoire decided that it was time to take matters into her own hands. She gave a shudder, and Teddy stopped talking and looked down at her immediately. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
She smiled tentatively. “Sorry,” she said, hoping she sounded it. “I’m just a little cold.”
“Oh.” He glanced around the room. “I could light a fire, if you want,” he said, motioning toward the fireplace. “Or I guess we could go into my room – it’s usually warmer in there.”
“Let’s do that,” she said after a carefully calculated moment. “I could use a change of scene.” As they walked down the hall, she asked, “Is it okay if I change into my pyjamas?”
“Sure,” he said. “Just let me grab mine. I’ll change in the bathroom.”
She tried to take her time about it, but the fact of the matter was that it simply didn’t take very long to strip off a jumper, shirt, and trousers in favor of something much more revealing. She had packed very carefully; she certainly had pyjamas that did not show quite as much cleavage as the shirt she was wearing did, and she could have packed pyjama trousers rather than the small cloth shorts she had on now.
But that wouldn’t have suited her purposes nearly as well.
By the time Teddy knocked on the door, she was – unfortunately – finished dressing. She briefly considered pretending that she wasn’t, but that just felt contrived, and she had the feeling he would see right through it.
He opened the door, but stopped dead a few steps inside the room when he caught sight of her. “I thought you were cold,” he said, in a casual voice she was sure he had to be putting on.
She shrugged. “These are my pyjamas,” she said. “And you have blankets, right?”
Teddy nodded, and after a moment of cajoling, she got him to join her under the covers. They picked the conversation back up from where they’d left it in the living room, but the dynamic was undeniably different.
He seemed to be getting more and more distracted, and at one point, he absentmindedly began to rub her thigh with his thumb. Victoire was heartened by this, and arched her back a little to stretch. Teddy’s eyes went straight to her chest. After a moment, however, he tore them away and began to get up. “I’ll… er… let you have the bed,” he said. “I’ll go sleep on the couch.”
“What?” Victoire lunged forward to grab his hand before he could move toward the door. “Why?”
“Well, I’m not making you sleep on the couch,” he said.
She blew out an exasperated breath. “You’re being dense on purpose,” she accused, and he gave a small nod of acknowledgment.
“Yes,” he agreed, and allowed her to pull him back down on the bed. She narrowed her eyes, and he sighed. “Look, V, I’m really, really happy to see you. This has been an amazing night. You don’t need to prove anything to me.”
“Glad to hear it,” she said. She didn’t even try to control the irritation in her tone. “Believe it or not, I wasn’t trying to.”
He studied her face for a minute, and then smiled faintly. “I love you,” he said softly, and she felt her heart leap.
On their very first date, Teddy had told her that he loved her, but he hadn't said it since. She rather suspected that he’d said more than he meant to in the moment.
“Why, because I snapped at you?” She tucked her hair back behind her ears and pulled her knees up to her chest.
His smile broadened. “Among other things.”
“Anyway, I’m not even tired,” she said. “So don’t leave.” She pulled at his arm, and after a moment of hesitation, he lay down on the bed. She followed him, curling into his body and putting her head on his chest.
After a moment, he lowered his head to kiss the top of hers. “You’re a terrific girl,” he said softly.
Victoire looked up. “How terrific?” she asked mischievously, propping herself up on her elbows.
His gaze went immediately toward her chest again. She looked down, and he groaned and let his head drop back on the pillow. “Sorry,” he said.
“For what?” She bent down to kiss his neck.
“For—” Whatever he was about to say got cut off when she bit down softly, provoking a loud gasp. She began to trail her fingertips lightly down his arm, and he stiffened noticeably. “V—” She bit down again, and he groaned. When she pulled back, he was panting. “That’s not fair,” he told her as she pushed herself into a sitting position.
“Because,” he said, pulling her back down on the bed and shifting so that he was half on top of her. “You’re making me insane.” He kissed her, and began to stroke her bare shoulder with one of his hands. She could feel her breathing starting to accelerate as he broke away from the kiss and moved down to her neck.
She let out a whimper, and he pulled back, looking rather pleased with himself.
“More,” she whispered, reaching for him. He responded enthusiastically, and his hands began to explore her body.
They had never been alone like this before, and she was finding that she liked it even more than she’d expected to. His touch was absolutely intoxicating.
Victoire reached down for the hem of his shirt and pulled it up; after a moment, they separated enough for her to get it over his head.
She stared at him. She’d seen Teddy without a shirt on, of course; she’d known him forever. They’d often gone swimming together, and it wasn’t so uncommon for many of the boys in her extended family to run around without shirts on in the hottest, stickiest days of the summer.
But she hadn’t seen him without a shirt since they’d started going out, and that made things very different.
He raised his eyebrows. “Like what you see?” he teased.
“Yes,” she said fervently, and pulled him back down. She’d hoped that he would get the hint and pull her shirt off, but all he did was pushed it up a few inches so that his hand was resting midway up her back. The other was stroking her breast through the shirt, but she wanted more. She didn’t want that shirt between them.
And if he wouldn’t do it, then she would. She broke away from the kiss and grabbed the bottom of her shirt to pull it over her head.
He didn’t stop her. When she got it off, she let it drop on the floor as she studied him.
“Like what you see?” she asked, and he looked back up at her face and grinned.
“Absolutely,” he said, bringing one of his hands back up. After a few more kisses, he began to trail kisses down her neck, across her collarbone, onto…
Victoire gasped, and Teddy brought his head back up, his eyes twinkling.
“I love you,” she said breathlessly.
His hand stilled. “Really, or are you just saying that in the moment?”
“Really.” She reached up to touch his cheek. “I love you, Teddy.”
A faint smile worked its way across his face, and he bent down and brushed his lips against hers again. “Good,” he said softly. “I love you, too, Victoire.”
She kissed him again, and after a moment, the hand that had been laying by his side began to trail up her leg.
When he brought it around so that he was touching the inside of her thigh, she let out a loud moan. He stopped and pulled back to look at her.
“What are you doing?” she gasped. “Keep going!” She reached for the waistband of his pyjama trousers, and he took his hand away and sat up.
She opened her mouth, and he shook his head to stop her from saying anything. “No, wait,” he said. “Listen to me. I want you.” His eyes flicked downward for a moment before he dragged them back up to her face. “I want you very, very much.”
“So what’s the problem?” she asked, panting heavily and wishing very, very deeply that her boyfriend would stop being so goddamned noble.
“The problem,” he said slowly, “is that I don’t want us to get carried away in the moment and to have you regret it tomorrow.”
“I’m not going to—” she started hotly, and he held a hand up.
“No,” he said, cutting her off. “I am not going to have my first time with you happen because we got carried away.” She opened her mouth to object, and he added, “So here’s what we’re going to do. We are both going to put our shirts back on. We are going to go into the kitchen to have a cup of tea. And then, if you still want it…” his voice trailed off, and she groaned.
“Teddy, I’m crazy now,” she said. She had never really appreciated before this moment just how much you could want to kill someone you were in love with.
“So am I,” he countered. “And patience is a virtue.” He tossed her shirt to her, and she reluctantly pulled it back over her head.
“I’m not a child, you know,” she muttered as they made their way toward the door. She knew that wasn’t really what he thought of her, but it was a little difficult to remember that when he trying to be mature and responsible.
He laughed. “Believe me, I know.” Before they could go into the hallway, he stopped her. “Vic, this isn’t because I don’t want you,” he said softly. “You know that, right?”
She sighed. “I know.”
Which, unfortunately, made having patience more difficult, not less.
He kissed her. “Because I do. Very, very much.” He made his way out into the hallway, and she reluctantly followed him. “Believe me. This is taking a lot of self-control.”
“Then why bother?” she asked hopefully. “Just take me back to bed.”
He made a face. “No.” He reached out for her hand. “I love you,” he said. “And I really, really don’t want to do anything to mess us up.”
“It wouldn’t mess us up,” she said. “But fine. I’ll humour you.”
Teddy smiled. “I’ll make it worth your while,” he promised, and her heart began to beat faster.
She sank into a chair at the table as he began to boil the water for tea. “I feel so unfulfilled right now,” she complained.
He snorted. Without turning around, he asked casually, “Have you ever done it before?”
Victoire felt her face flush a little. He glanced over at her, his eyebrows raised. “No,” she said, after a moment. “Have you?”
“Yes.” She didn’t respond, and he looked over at her again. “Does that bother you?”
“Was it in the last five months?” she shot back, and he grinned.
“No.” Something about that question seemed to amuse him, though she couldn’t guess what it was. “Definitely not.”
“Then no.” That he had wasn’t exactly a revelation; Fred had guessed as much. He’d said that no matter how hung up Teddy had been on Victoire for the last couple years, there was no way that somebody like Teddy got to be 20 and remained a virgin.
She’d had a brief moment of jealousy and insecurity then, but thankfully, Fred was the only one who had been witness to it, and he’d helped her get over it very quickly by reminding her about how much he didn’t have any leftover feelings for his last girlfriend.
Fred was a good cousin to have. He always seemed to be able to give her some perspective.
“Good.” Teddy turned back to the tea. “What do you want?”
Victoire could not imagine caring much less about anything else in the world just then. “I don’t care. Raspberry, I guess.”
He pulled the box off the shelf and sent her an apologetic look. “I’m feeling too lazy to bother with tea leaves tonight.”
Teddy had inherited his grandmother’s seriousness about tea.
“Too lazy, or too horny?” she asked, and he laughed.
“Both. More the second.” The kettle began to whistle, and he poured them both a mug. He delivered hers to her and sank into the chair near the wall. “You’re sure it doesn’t bother you?”
She shook her head. “Fred said—” she stopped herself, and he cocked his head to one side.
“Fred said what?”
Victoire made a face. She hadn’t meant to bring Fred into this. That meant admitting that she’d talked about it and thought about it before now. “Fred said you had.”
Teddy blew on his tea. “I wasn’t aware I’d ever discussed my sexual history with Fred,” he said mildly, and Victoire shrugged. “Whatever. This is about you and me, not whatever we did or didn’t do in the past. I was just curious.”
Victoire tried to drink her tea as quickly as possible without being obvious about it or scalding her throat. She was expecting to have to wait for Teddy to drink his painfully slowly, but to her surprise, he finished shortly after she did.
“V, I just didn’t want to assume,” he said after a moment of silence. “If you want me to sleep in the bed with you, I will. We don’t have to—”
“I want to,” she said quickly, cutting him off. The time spent in the kitchen had done absolutely nothing to diminish her desire.
“Are you sure?” he asked, and she got to her feet.
“Yes.” She grabbed his hand, yanked him out of his seat, and headed for his bedroom. He laughed, and she looked back. “You promised me you’d make it worth my while,” she reminded him.
His eyes sparkled as she led him into the room. “I will,” he promised, and closed the door behind them.
A/N: So here I was, all set to work on one of my WIPs, and then this popped into my head. It wouldn't go away, so I sat down to write it.
It's a complete departure from what I've written before - I typically do the fade out before things get at all heated, but I obviously didn't this time. I hope that you enjoyed it, and I'd really appreciate feedback on how I did.
If you liked it, consider checking out my other Teddy/Victoire fics. I currently have four: "In a Brown Study" (one-shot set about a year before this), "Fish Out of Water" (two-shot set about four months before this), "Cloud Nine" (one-shot set several years after this), and "The Dark Side of the Moon" (a short story set shortly after "Cloud Nine").
Thanks for reading!