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"It didn't mean anything." Victoire said in earnest, gazing straight across the compartment at her best friend, who was staring determinately at anything but her eyes, as though she had seriously wronged him and therefore owed him a fat apology. "It was just a kiss. Seriously, Teddy, what did you think? Did you actually think that I..?" she trailed off into a pregnant silence.

Teddy did not open his mouth to answer, perhaps in fear that doing so would allow another waterfall of vomit to escape him. He had already managed to puke on Victoire's new, French Chanel dress, a feat which explained why the part-veela was already dressed in her school-uniform barely half an hour outside of London, and in turn was upset with him for being the reason that she had lost her chance to show-off her new Parisian wardrobe. There were red roses of fluster set high upon her cheekbones to underline her aggravation, but Teddy did not appear to notice.

"Did you?" Victoire demanded, when Teddy failed to respond within her time-limit. She should have known better than to expect her best-friend to act cavalier about this matter and laugh at the fact that she had kissed him. Whilst Victoire was impulsive and did whatever she wanted to, whenever she wanted to, Teddy overanalyzed everything before he acted. He analyzed what the things people said really meant, what he was going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following day, how to formulate each sentence that escaped his pale lips. He was no doubt sitting there now, across the compartment, wondering wildly what Victoire's intention of kissing him had been. Had it been just another spur-of-the-moment thing? Or did it mean something more? Was she in love with him?

Victoire could practically hear these thoughts through the silence, and they annoyed her to no end. Deciding she could take it no more, she snapped her slender fingers angrily in front of Teddy's gray, glazed orbs, making the boy wake up from his daze with a jerk at long last.

"What?!" Teddy asked in a fierce tone of voice that was uncharacteristic for usually goodnatured teenager. Victoire's skirt had slid dangerously far up her slender thighs, or perhaps it was just a few inches too short now that Victoire had stretched into a giantess. Nevertheless, it was quite distracting for him to discover himself wondering what color underwear she was wearing rather than listening to her talk like he had done all his life. "Did I do what, Vicky?"

Thankfully, Victoire seemed to be too upset to notice the covert glances Teddy regularly shot her bronzed thighs. "Think that it meant anything! Did you honestly think that the kiss meant something? And be honest."

"Of course I didn't." he lied, trying to summon a look of utmost disgust on his face at Victoire's accusation, as though the very thought was ludicrous.

There was a short-lived silence before Victoire gasped with the dramatic air of someone making a huge, universal realisation. "You're Head-Boy!" she said, his Head-Boy badge reflected in her eyes, giving the blue pools a silvery sheen.

"Well observed." Teddy said, glancing down at the badge, too. He was pretty proud of it, even though he was trying to play it casual so as to not hurt Victoire's feelings or worse; risk sounding pompous. "I thought-"

"Your meeting!" Victoire interrupted him matter-of-factly, and when Teddy simply stared blankly at her she added: "The Prefects' meeting! Go! Now!"

Under the throes of her urges Teddy slunk out into the hallway, leaving Victoire alone in the compartment. The awkward atmosphere that had came as extra baggage with the kiss left alongside Teddy, making the air left in the enclosed space seem empty and silent. Victoire hated silences, and she waited for just long enough for Teddy and his awkward aura to be out of sight before she, too, slipped into the now empty corridor.

As she climbed up the midway of the rattling train a small frown creased her usually flawless brow.

If the kiss had meant anything?

Of course it meant something.

It meant that she was happy to see him, that she had missed him, that she was excited at the approaching last year of his presence. And, though she would never admit it to Teddy, it meant that she had become curious as to how good of a kisser he was. If he came close to comparing to the various French guys she had snogged over summer, or if he simply sucked, like she suspected he would.

But did it mean that she was interested in him? That she wished to be his girlfriend, or that she wanted to repeat the rather clumsy display of teenage affection again?

Of course not.

Much like an antique vase from the Ming Dynasty, Victoire Weasley was a 'Do not touch' object, made for no other purpose than to gaze at from afar. No touching, not unless she wanted to be touched, and if by an odd coincidence she did want to, everything that happened happened on her premises. Without being megalomanic, Victoire liked to be in full control of every situation. She enjoyed being untouchable, to be stared at from all directions and longed for by boys who would do anything for her if she'd let them. The truth was, like any girl, Victoire liked to be desired, even if she pretended to find popularity a pain in the arse.

"Victoire!" A voice rang through the corridor and this time it was Victoire's turn to be buried in a mane of blond locks tickling her cheeks. "You look absolutely gorgeous, as always!"

"Lindsay?" Victoire said when she managed to escape the massive amounts of crisp hair and identify her attacker. "You look... blond."

"Isn't it neat?" Lindsay said, twirling a lock of dyed hair around a finger. "My sister was practicing colorization-charms over summer."

Victoire lifted a perfect eyebrow. It was a lie, she knew, because Lindsay's hair bore the unmistakable traits of being chemically treated and manhandled with Muggle hair-products. The locks that had been chestnut before summer were now the exact shade of Victoire's long, platina-blond mane, although they lacked the smoothness, the sheen and the gentle curl of veela hair. And not to mention, Lindsay was an only child.

Just about then half a dozen more girls peeked their heads out of the the compartment in which they all had been gathered for what had, no doubt, been a gossipy sewing circle. They all squealed at the same time, sounding like six tone-deaf sirens singing, before ambushing Victoire like a pack of savage dogs, howling out about how much they had missed her, how beautiful she was; how they were dying to hear all about France and the boys they assumed she met there.

Whilst Victoire was caught in the midst of her admirers, several boys from the various Quidditch teams walked by, every single one tiptoeing to stare over the female flock to catch sight of the pack-leader. A few even condescended to wolf-whistling at the tall blond whose head towered above those of her female classmates.

"I'm dying to hear all about your summer!" A redheaded Gryffindor named April said, the moment Victoire had been abducted in the girls' compartment and found herself squeezed almost uncomfortably snugly between Heather and Lindsay. "How was it?"

The rattling room fell immediately silent. Six pairs of eyes turned to the newcomer, who bit her tongue behind her perfectly pouted lips, but looked perfectly unfazed on the outside as usual.

"My summer was," Victoire began, but the sentence stopped there. It was as though the minute she finally had the chance to brag about her revolutionary experiences in the French sun she had nothing to say. ", fine."

"Fine?" All five said in unison, and it sounded like a chant inside Victoire's head.




"Did you meet any guys?" Mary asked in a low voice, leaning forward with her elbows upon her naked knees. She, too, had changed into a school-uniform early, which struck Victoire as strange seeing that when they had embraced each other in the hallway Mary had most definitely been wearing a pair of washed-out jeans and a t-shirt sprinkled with Muggle cartoon-characters.

"Well," Victoire began shyly, and a sudden, vivid image of Teddy with his eyes scrunched up against her kisses on the train-station appeared in her mind. He had almost looked as though her kisses hurt, which stood on end with everything the various French boys she had practiced French kissing with over the summer had commented after their lessons. "There were a few boys..."

"A few?" Leigh repeated, turning big, bright green eyes to stare at Victoire in awe. Leigh was their youngest recruit, third year, hungry for influence and inspiration. "How many?"

Victoire began counting on her fingers. "There were Victor, Marius, Pierre, Jean, Hector and-", she brought up the other hand. "-Michel. I guess that makes a grand total of six."




Victoire was definitely back where she belonged, you could tell by her brilliant smile as the others fell silent around her, processing this latest piece of boundary-breaking information. She was the center of attention, the social butterfly, fanning out its wings to sprinkle experience and inspiration over her awestruck caterpillars.

"So you snogged a total of six boys this summer?" Heather summarized, rubbing her hands eagerly together as though she wanted to eat the details for dinner.

"Oh, seven, if you count Teddy snogging me outside on the platform right before the train left." Victoire let slip on purpose, smiling subtly, her cheeks attaining a healthy blush again. She didn't know why her head seemed to suddenly demand twice the amount of blood it usually did, but she thought it might have something to do with Teddy's reaction post-snog. Not that she cared, but did he actually find her so appalling that he had to throw up? She had thought her lips would leave him star-struck; she had certainly not predicted that they would leave her covered in puke.

"Teddy." Lindsay repeated, with a frown, looking deeply in thought as thought.

"Teddy?" April said blankly. "Who's Teddy?"

"Yeah, who is Teddy?" Mary asked, tilting her head as she gazed up at Victoire. "Does he go to our school?"

All six of the girls turned big, mascara-lashed eyes to stare expectantly at Victoire.

"Teddy." Victoire said slowly, looking from one to the other as though an overdose of sunlight had made the lot of them dim. She hadn't befriended the six girls plainly based on how pretty they were and how skilled they were at listening, but also for their a convincing display of being able to comprehend what she was actually saying. Now, however, it seemed she was losing the lot of them. "Teddy Lupin?" Victoire stared around, bewildered. "Tall, gangly, awkward. Seventh year, former prefect, my best friend-"

"I thought we were your best friends." Lindsay interrupted, sounding deeply wounded at the news-flash.

"Wait." Heather said. "He was a prefect last year, you said?"

"Right!" Victoire was glad someone caught up at last. "He's Head Boy this year, and-"

"Hey, Lindsay, do you remember when he was trying to yell at us that one time for practicing magic in the library?" Mary asked, turning to Lindsay with a smirk that split her freckled face in two.

Lindsay burst out in laughter, the tears she had tried hard to summon after the shocking revelation that she was not Victoire's best friend forgotten. "He trailed of mid-sentence and forgot why he was yelling at us, and ended up skulking out of the room like a tomato. Even his hair turned red! He's such a queer."

Victoire had just been about to given Lindsay a smack for talking that way about Teddy, but the last word of her row efficiently wrecked Victoire's train of thoughts. "Teddy's gay?"

She couldn't believe it, but everything suddenly made sense in light of this newest revelation.

Teddy was gay.

Victoire had misinterpreted the way he had shamelessly stared. He hadn't been bedazzled by her suddenly curvy body and her increased amount of endorfine. On the offside he had been repulsed, and when she had led him away to snog him he had thought it so dirty to have her tongue touching any part of him that he had to throw up to get rid of the sweet taste of her.

Teddy Lupin was gay.

Victoire got to her feet before she knew what she was doing, and she was surprised to find her thighs trembling. When had he found out, and why, oh why, hadn't he told her? She was supposed to be his best friend, the first to know, although now that she was officially a girl in his books she was likely to get fired from that the circle of trust quicker than you could say 'Hippogriff'.

"Where are you going?" Mary asked, gazing up at her idol with big, brown eyes, like newborn sparrow about to be abandoned by its mother. "Victoire, are you okay? You look a tad pale."

"Oh, I'm fine." Victoire said waving the concern away with a lofty hand.

Teddy was gay.

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