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I fidgeted nervously, twisting the white-gold band with the bright oval diamond set in it. It was hidden beneath my cashmere glove. My fiance, the love of my life, Teddy Lupin, held my other hand. He squeezed it. He was as nervous as I.

You see, my father is very protective of his baby girls, and especially me, his firstborn. Dom and Louis always say I'm the favorite, but I'd hate to admit that that's true. But I know it is. Maman constantly dressed me in frilly dresses as a child; I hated it. I preferred blue jeans and t-shirts. My father loved me even more for this, my innate tomboyishness that came with the wild strawberry blonde curls atop my head. His blue eyes had been given to me, although when I was angry it has often been said that I looked exactly like Maman.

Today is the day we're telling my dad the big news. I'm engaged to Teddy Remus Lupin, the love of my life. I'm going to get married.

The first to find out was my cousin James, and Teddy's godbrother. His face went from white to purple to red to green to delighted in a matter of five seconds. He gave us both bear hugs, sat Teddy down, and gave him a very stern lecture about not breaking my heart otherwise the entire male population of the Wotters would be on his arse in less than five seconds. He had to solemnly swear he would not break Victoire Apolline Weasley's heart, otherwise he'd be beaten and disowned. It sounds pretty extreme to me, but it's all right. I love my male relatives. All so damn protective, but all so great.

We were sitting on the Knight Bus. Ted and I lived in London, but we could either take the Knight Bus or Apparate to get to my parents'. Today, my stomach was pretty queasy so I'd opted not to be squeezed into tiny places. My Uncle Ron won't go on the Knight Bus; but it's gotten a lot better since the driver Ern retired and was replaced by Bert, a guy in his mid-fifties with good driving skills and not as blind as Ern was.

"Tinworth! Tinworth!" The new conductor, Robbie McLaggen (Stan Shunpike had moved on to marry a Muggle and live in some dumpy house in Nottingham) called. Robbie had been two years ahead of Teddy and I, but he'd flunked out of Hogwarts. Don't know why, really. Something about one too many cauldron explosions in Potions.

I squeezed Teddy's hand as the snow fell gently on the sand at Shell Cottage. We approached the home I grew up in warily. I could see shadows moving behind the curtains. I pushed the doorbell.

"Ding-dong!" rang cheerfully through the small cottage. The door flew open.

"Veectoire!" I was suffocated by my mother. Her strong Dior perfume brought back so many memories. She already knew I was engaged; she and Dom and Louis were some of the first we owled. I had asked her not to tell Dad yet, and she had somewhat unhappily obliged. My mother cannot keep a secret to save her life.

"Maman, I've missed you," I whispered in her silver mane of hair. She squeezed me tighter, then released me. She moved onto Teddy, almost suffocating him as well.

"Please, please, come in," she ushered us into the sitting room, where my father sat in the armchair closest to the fire. He stood when he saw us. "Vicky baby," he said. He smelled as he always did; of cinnamon and firewood. I hugged him tightly, then he shook hands with Ted. We sat, chatting idly as my mother banged pots around. I had asked her to make my favorite, steak-and-kidney pie. It was something Teddy could tolerate, but everyone knew he favored my mother's minestrone. I asked her to make that for Christmas Eve, which my family had hosted ever since the adults were all done getting hitched. Granma and Grampy Weasley always hosted Christmas dinner, of course. We opened presents from our cousins and aunts and uncles at the Burrow. Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione had Boxing Day supper, Uncle George and Aunt Angelina had claimed Easter, Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny had New Year's Eve, Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey had Twelfth Night (Aunt Audrey was raised Catholic), and Teddy's Gran had Notting Hill Carnival. That was where Teddy first kissed me; contrary to the belief that it was the day at King's Cross the day I left for seventh year.

"We have something to tell you Dad," I said nervously, after laughing a bit from hearing about Louis's latest letter home from Hogwarts. My little brother apparently had taken a leaf out of Uncle George and his twin we never knew's book---he blew up all the toilets in the third floor girls' bathroom. Why he was even in the girls' bathroom is a secret to me.

"Fire away, Vicky," my dad said, leaning back comfortably in his chair. Teddy grasped my hand once more. It had surprised me that my dad hadn't noticed the ring on my finger already.

"You know I love Teddy very much..." I started. He gave my hand a gentle squeeze. Somehow finding courage, deep down, I finished, "...and it's a love I want forever. Dad, Teddy and I are getting married." There. I'd done it.

Dead. Silence.


"HOW DARE YOU ASK MY DAUGHTER'S HAND IN MARRIAGE WITHOUT CONSULTING ME!" He rounded on Teddy, who, quite frankly, looked scared shitless.

"Daddy!" I screeched. He stopped all of a sudden. I was surprised too.

I'd stopped calling my father Daddy after my first year at Hogwarts.

"Bill! You are not goeeing to question zis," my mother rushed to my aid.

"Teddy, Maman, I want to talk to Dad...alone," I said. They nodded and Maman hurried Teddy into the kitchen. I squared off to my father.

"Daddy..." I started. He just looked at me. Then, to my greatest surprise, he started to talk. I'd expected the silent treatment.

"Do you know the story of the day you were born?" He asked me. I shook my head, dumbfounded.

"Your mother found out about four months after the Great Battle; the day Hogwarts re-opened," He started. I nodded. Apparently it had been bittersweet for all the students attending, and especially the teachers. People had died in the castle, and it was hard to look at certain places where repairs were still going on.

"She told me at dinner. I was so shocked, I promptly fainted. Then when word broke out with the rest of the family, all hell broke loose," He chuckled at the memory. I could only imagine what had happened. Granma and Grampy would've been delighted, but Grandpere must've had a bone to pick with Dad about getting his firstborn pregnant.

"Then, on the last day of April, Teddy's birthday, your mother went into labor. Just as he, well, Harry and Andromeda blew out the candles for him. It was completely dark, then your mother shrieked and everyone just knew. All hell broke loose then, too. Finally, Harry shot off sparks and everyone just went silent, except for your mother. We had to get her to St. Mungo's, and fast. She screamed the entire way. She almost went veela-angry on me. It took her nearly two days for you to decide you wanted out. Then she went positively loopy. She cried for the longest time. But I just held you and looked at you. You opened your eyes, your big blue eyes, and I just wanted nothing more than to protect you from all the evils of the world. And when you were little, years later, and you and Teddy had that pretend wedding--" I laughed at the memory. "--And you came up to me and told me: Don't worry, Daddy, I'll always be your girl....I wanted you to stay like that forever and ever and-" I cut him off here.

"Daddy, I meant what I said way back when. I'll always be your girl. Nothing, not even Teddy, could've made me forget what I said." Tears welled in his eyes as he gave me a huge bear hug.

"Can I call Teddy back in without him having to fear losing his head?" I whispered in my daddy's ear. He chortled and whispered back.


Teddy came back in, looking relieved. Maman followed shortly after. Following a very enjoyable steak-and-kidney pie, some wine, and some good laughs, the clock chimed nine.

"My goodnees! You 'ave to bee off!" Maman exclaimed. Ted and I exchanged glances of surprise. How the time had flown!

As Maman and Teddy were babbling about wedding plans (honestly, he was more into it than I was), I leaned into my daddy.

"Remember what I said tonight, Daddy. I'll remind you again when you walk me down the aisle," I said quietly. He wiped a stray tear from his eye. I looked at him, astonished.

"Are you crying, Dad?" I asked, completely gobsmacked. He gave a haughty sniff. Oh, brilliant. Now he sounded like Uncle Percy.

"Hardly, Vicky baby," he said in his low, rumbly, and protective voice. I smiled and gave a huge hug. I looked toward the doorway. Teddy stood on the stoop, with snowflakes catching in his golden curls. He wanted to match me today, I suppose. With one last kiss on the cheek for my parents, I hurtled out the door and into my fiance's arms.

"So..." he said as we walked along the snowy path to get to the village, "I did okay in not losing my ability to have children, correct?" I poked my tongue out at him.

"Clearly, Teddy, as you are still 100% intact," I said, pretending to be annoyed at his foolishness.

"Oh yeah?" his voice was devilish.

"Yeah," I said. But then I turned around and was shocked at what I saw.

My mum and dad...watching us, both crying silently. I gave a smile and they saw. They closed the door and Maman moved away, probably to clean up the kitchen. But my dad's face peeked through the glass window.

"I love you, Daddy," I mouthed to him. He mouthed back, "I love you too, Vicky baby. Always have, always will." I waved, and he turned.

As Ted chattered on and on about who he wanted his groomsmen to be (honest to Merlin, as if I didn't have enough to worry about) I thought about my dad.

I would be his girl, always.

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