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Chapter Four

It had been two weeks since the disaster with Rose. She had confided in Victoire that now, no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t continue to be with Ross. She just didn’t have feelings for him in that way. Of course, that was before she decided to quit speaking to Vicky. Their friendly foursome was quickly falling apart. It seemed now that only Teddy, Ross, and Victoire hung out and Ross was being seen less and less. He was spending more and more time over in a corner doing homework, which was unlike him. Teddy thought he was just trying to keep himself from thinking of Rose since their little break-up scene in the entrance hall.

It had been about two days since Rose’s outburst at finding out about Teddy and Vicky dating. Ross had come to breakfast late, looking pretty down. He had walked into the Great Hall, and sat down with Teddy and Vicky who were laughing.

“Hey, guys,” he said.

“Hey,” Vicky replied. “How are things with Rose?” she had asked.

“Not so good, I don’t think. She’s been acting weird lately.”

“Should I tell him, Teddy?” she had whispered to him, referring to what Rose had told her about feeling that it would never work. He nodded.

“Ross, Rose told me that it’s not going to work out. I think she is planning to tell you today.”

“Not if I beat her to it.” Ross had walked out to the entrance hall. Teddy and Vicky had rushed out when they heard yelling.

“…you tell Vicky that you don’t think it’s going to work out? Why did you ever go out with me in the first place? I really liked you! You just wanted to get with Teddy. Why didn’t you just tell him? I don’t have time for silly games!”

“Well, if you weren’t so blind, you would have seen that I wanted to be with Teddy in the first place and broken up with me a long time ago. I’ve been trying to make it obvious. Vicky dating him just gave me a reason to go ahead and break it off. I don’t want either of you anyway.” Rose had stormed off and that had been the last the Ross or Teddy had seen of her. Since Vicky shared a room and classes with her, she saw her, but Rose wasn’t speaking to Vicky. She had decided to cut herself off from all of them. Ross was doing the same.

Vicky rose from the squashy armchair in the common room she had been sitting in and walked to the window. She watched as twilight set in over the Hogwarts grounds. Most of the other students would be returning from the Quidditch game soon. She had opted not to go, since it wasn’t a game Teddy was playing in. It was Hufflepuff versus Slytherin, and she had no desire to see Scorpius Malfoy knock people off their brooms. He wasn’t as mean as his father Draco was in his time, but he still enjoyed playing dirty.

Meanwhile, Teddy was sitting in the stands of the Quidditch pitch, completely distracted from the game. Rose was rooting for Scorpius, her newfound boyfriend. Ross was sitting beside him with his arms crossed across his chest. His brow was furrowed.

“You know,” he commented to Teddy, “you’d think that she wants us to lose to Slytherin the way she is cheering them on.” Teddy just grunted in reply. He couldn’t stand that his group of friends was falling apart. He was losing everyone, just like he did with his parents. He was scarcely born and then they died fighting Voldemort. Now Ross was upset about Rose and spent little time with him anymore. Rose had moved on to Scorpius, although Teddy suspected a ruse of some sort. The next thing he knew he would lose Vicky, too. He always lost the people he loved the most, he though. He resolved that he wouldn’t let that happen. He would move on from Vicky before she could move on from him.

“Ross!” he called over the noise of students cheering on Hufflepuff. “I’m heading back to the castle. I’ll catch up with you later!” Ross just nodded and went on cheering. Rose was sitting over on the other side with most of the Slytherins. He sighed, and left. The noise from the Quidditch pitch got duller as he walked up the hill toward the school. He sank onto one of the benches in one of the four courtyards and put his head in his hands. Tears began leaking out of the corners of his eyes. He didn’t really want to break up with Vicky. He liked her so much. Maybe he would let the relationship continue for a while longer.

“No!” he yelled through his tears to himself. His hair had turned a deep red, signifying his anger. His uncontrollable emotions often leaked into his ability to change his appearance and made things happen that he didn’t mean to, like his hair changing red when he was angry. He knew she was working on some potions homework up in the common room.

He had to break up with her before she had the opportunity to do it to him. Suddenly, his more sensible side kicked in. He thought to himself out loud. “Wait a minute. Shouldn’t I wait and maybe talk to her a bit before I jump to the conclusion that she is going to break up with me?” But a voice in his head told him that she would never tell him she was going to do it until it actually happened. He still decided to talk to her, though, because he wanted so badly to stay with her. He got up and wiped his eyes with his sleeve. His hair was slowly turning a silver gray—his worrying hair. He didn’t realize it until a portrait pointed it out as he was going up the stairs to the dormitories.

“Put up your dukes, you black-bellied varmint!” Sir Cadogan cried as Teddy drew closer.

“Oh, shut up,” Teddy said grumpily.

“Oh, it’s you, young Ted Lupin! What is the matter with your hair?” he called after Teddy.

“What do you mean?” Teddy asked, turning back to Sir Cadogan’s portrait.

“It’s just that you are a bit young to be going gray, aren’t you?” Sir Cadogan winked. Teddy continued walking with no response, but changed his hair color to a rich chestnut brown. Vicky couldn’t know that anything was wrong.

Teddy entered the common room as quietly as possible. Vicky was sitting in the window and didn’t look toward him. Perhaps she hadn’t heard him and he could sleep on this decision he was going to have to make. He began stealthily making his way toward the staircase leading up to the boy’s dormitory. Suddenly, Vicky stood up.

“Teddy, I know that’s you,” she said without turning.

“How did you do that?” he asked, knowing that she couldn’t read minds.

“I saw your reflection in the window. Weren’t you going to speak to me?” she asked, turning to face him, one eyebrow raised suspiciously.

“Well…I…” Teddy trailed off, not knowing what to say. He wasn’t going to speak to her if he could get away with it, but now she was waiting for him to say something and he wasn’t prepared.

“You were going to go upstairs and go to sleep without talking to me at all, weren’t you?” she asked, walking toward him. Her voice remained calm, but he could see emotion building on her face and in her eyes.

“I…um…I was—”

“Save it, Teddy. I don’t want to hear a lie. What is wrong with you? You’ve been acting weird for the last few days.” She was standing nearly toe-to-toe with him now. He felt he was sinking under her scrutinizing gaze.

“All right, all right! You don’t have to pressure me!” he cried.

“I wasn’t pressuring you!” Vicky replied loudly. “I only asked you a couple of questions. You’re acting really suspicious, Teddy. Is there something I don’t know about?”

“Look, I’m just having a lot of feelings right now, all right? I’m dealing with a lot. What Ross said about my parents the other day—I can’t get it out of my head. You know, I really don’t want to talk about this right now. I have loads of homework and I need to get some sleep. Can’t we talk tomorrow?” He almost sounded whiny.

“No, Teddy, you’re going to talk about this right now. I understand that you are dealing with a lot, but none of it is my fault! You can’t take it out on me!”

“I can deal with this on my own, Victoire. I don’t need your help or your advice. So I don’t need to tell you about it. Get off my back!” he yelled. The portrait opened and Gryffindors began pouring in, grumbling about the Slytherin victory, but neither of them notice.

Vicky lost her cool. “If you’re not going to talk to me about what’s bothering you so much, then I don’t think we need to be together!” she yelled back at him. The Gryffindors fell silent, realizing what they had walked in on.

“Fine!” he yelled back, his hair a violent shade of red, matching the color of his face. “I never wanted to be with you anyway!” As soon as it had left his mouth, he knew it had been a mistake as well as a lie. Her hand flew toward his face and hit it with a resounding “SMACK!” before he had time to duck. When he actually looked at her, her eyes were filled with hurt and tears were streaming down her cheeks. The color was high on her face.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, seeing the anger on his face.

“Me too,” he whispered back.

“I think we should take a break,” she said in a still barely audible voice.

“Okay,” he replied sitting down on the bottom step. “Why don’t I go snitch us some pumpkin juice from the kitchen?”

“I didn’t mean a break from fighting,” she muttered, her voice filled with emotion.

“You didn’t mean…” Teddy trailed off.

“From us,” she finished for him, “until you figure things out?”

“No!” he cried, realizing what his uncalled-for feelings had caused.

“Yes,” she said with a finality that said it all. It was over, at least for now. She turned, wiping her eyes, and headed up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory. He didn’t attempt to follow. He turned and went up to his dorm as well.

“What is going on? Get out of the way!” Rose and Ross pushed a bunch of first-years out of the way who were blocking the portrait hole. They arrived just in time to see Vicky slap Teddy. When the rest of the scene had unfolded and both Teddy and Vicky headed to their respective rooms, Ross and Rose just looked at each other. They knew they had to make amends with their friends and with each other.

“I’m sorry, Ross,” Rose said. “I want us to be friends again. I know I can’t change what I did and I know what I did was wrong. Can you ever forgive me?”

“Yeah,” Ross said smiling. “I thought you would never ask!”

“We’d better go take care of them,” Rose said.

“Yeah, since it’s probably our fault most of it happened anyway,” Ross replied. They hugged and headed up the opposite staircases.

Rose burst into their room. Vicky was laying face-down on her bed sobbing her eyes out. Rose ran over to the bed and pulled her into a sitting position. Vicky took one look at her and started crying even harder. Rose just pulled her into her arms and let her cry.

“Why are you doing this?” Vicky sobbed into Rose’s shoulder.

“Because that’s what friends do,” Rose replied, letting her friend cry it out.

Meanwhile, Ross went upstairs to see about Teddy. He had never seen Teddy be very emotional. Usually when Teddy got upset, he just left the room to be alone. But for the first time, Ross saw Teddy cry.

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