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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or this beautiful song by Kate Voegele.


Hey, guys! I hope you enjoy this two-, possibly three- part song fic as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This song is called Forever and Almost Always, and it's sung by Kate Voegele. It's absolutely gorgeous and moving, and if you haven't listened to it before... you should. It's quite possibly my favorite song, just because of how it sounds. And the lyrics are amazing too!


I'm on spring break now! Work, studying for AP tests, and trying to find a prom date... well, that sounds like a lot to do, but I think we all know I'll be writing fan fiction instead. I wouldn't be me if I didn't. <3


-Paige.





 




 

 


 

So the story goes on down the less traveled road,


 

It's a variation on the one I was told,


 

And although it's not the same,


 

It's awful close, yeah.


 


 


 


 

 


 

“Victoire, listen to me!”


 

 


 

“I don’t want to do this right now, Teddy.”


 

 


 

The couple stands in the middle of a seemingly-perfect kitchen. Black and white photographs of the beautiful pair cover the walls that surround them – dancing at an outdoors wedding, holding hands over an elegantly set dinner table, sitting on the floor with numerous cousins in front of a massive Christmas tree, standing next to Victoire’s younger sister at her graduation.


 

 


 

Victoire picks those photographs to fill their kitchen in order to remind her that, on the surface, this relationship is perfect. The beautiful pair seems like they have everything anyone could want; isn’t that how it always seems to go? They seem so perfect together – so happy, so content, so comfortable with each other. It’s only on the surface, though – fights like these remind her that the pictures she loves tell a lie.


 

 


 

Teddy hates them. He curses them daily. He hates seeing their happiest moments surrounding him, when some of their least happy moments occur right here in this very kitchen. He hates watching Victoire’s photograph-self smile and laugh and kiss him, while in real life she’s crying because of the angry words the two shared.


 

 


 

Victoire closes her eyes for a moment, hoping that Teddy won’t Disapparate before she can open them again. She thinks back to the night before – the quiet Saturday night they spent curled up together on the sofa in the living room, watching a movie on the Muggle television Teddy purchased on an impulse months before and eating Honeydukes fudge. They laughed at the same parts in the movie; they held hands underneath a warm blanket; they fed each other chunks of fudge; Teddy pretended to smear chocolate on her cheek and then kiss it off; Victoire tousled his hair and curled against his chest. They were happy – she was happy.


 

 


 

Those were the moments she knew she was in love – the moments she wished would take over all of the bad ones. Evenings like those, spent enjoying the company of one another, make Victoire think that her fairytale ending isn’t all too far away – she knows she will never have the perfect ending everyone always reads about, but who wants to live a life exactly like a story book? She was content last night in his arms – content with their love story and their life.


 

 


 

Then the morning came. She walked downstairs at a leisurely pace, poured herself a cup of coffee, and called out to Teddy, who she expected would be reading The Daily Prophet and drinking his morning tea as he usually was when she woke up on Sundays. He wasn’t there. Mornings when Teddy isn’t there… that’s always when the fights begin. Victoire doesn’t know where he goes, what he does, or who he’s with when he disappears; all she knows is that when he finally returns – sometimes as late as five in the evening without any contact to let her know where he has run off to – he never feels compelled to tell her where he’s gone. He’s never drunk or covered in lipstick stains or bruises, but she worries nonetheless – it’s the lack of signs that worries her more than real signs of his escapades would. 


 

 


 

He Apparates into the foyer at two in the afternoon. Victoire sits in the kitchen – she’s stayed here for most of the day, hoping he would turn up eventually – and sips from a porcelain teacup. Teddy walks into the kitchen and stares at her in silence.


 

 


 

“Where were you?” she asks him, although she knows it’s the worst way to begin their conversation.


 

 


 

Teddy rolls his eyes – today, they’re a shade of green. His angry color. He doesn’t answer her.


 

 


 

“Well?” she raises her thin eyebrows high over her eyes.


 

 


 

“I was out,” he responds, trying to avoid her like he always does.


 

 


 

“Out where?”


 

 


 

Diagon Alley? Hogsmeade? Somewhere else across the country? Will he bother to tell her if she continues to ask? Is he with another woman? With his best mates? With his boss? With only himself, nursing his moodiness with a pint of firewhiskey? There is never any sign of an answer from Teddy; Victoire tries not to assume – it will only drive her crazy – but she wishes he would give her some form of a response.


 

 


 

Out, ’Toire,” he repeats with a stony glare, using his nickname for her; when he does this, Victoire thinks of happier times once again. He crosses the kitchen, casts a disgusted look towards the happy pictures on the wall over the kitchen counter, and reaches for the teapot of boiling water Victoire left on the stove. He makes his cup of tea in one of the porcelain cups Victoire sat out on the counter for whenever he came home, all the while staying quiet while the tension in the room builds up.


 

 


 

“Why don’t you ever tell me where you go? I wake up, and you’re not here – do you know – ”


 

 


 

“Will you just shut up?”


 

 


 

“Teddy,” Victoire’s voice breaks, and she stares into her teacup. Maybe a shape will appear in the tea leaves in the bottom of her cup – maybe some sign would appear somewhere to tell her that, despite the hardships she faced, her fairytale ending wasn’t too far away.


 

 


 

“Oh, ’Toire – ” Teddy murmurs, and he rushes across the kitchen to her. Whenever he realizes he’s gone too far, pushed too much, he’s remorseful. He reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder; she shakes him off, refusing to look up from her teacup as she continues to wait for the sign that will never come. “’Toire, I’m sorry.”


 

 


 

“I don’t care,” she responds – lies. Such lies. She cares. She always cares. But she does her best to pretend otherwise. She hates to let him know when he’s upset her, even when it’s so evident on her face.


 

 


 

“Victoire, listen to me!”


 

 


 

“I don’t want to do this right now, Teddy!”


 

 


 

Victoire throws back her chair and stands in front of Teddy, taking the most defensive stance she can manage against him – as if he’s going to attack her. Teddy never attacks her, but Victoire defends herself nonetheless – she defends her heart, her soul, everything she’s given to Teddy in the past six years of their relationship.


 

 


 

“Victoire, please,” he whispers, reaching out for her again.


 

 


 

“Teddy,” she warns him.


 

 


 

“I love you,” Teddy reminds her, his eyes flashing suddenly from green to blue – to mimic her own blue eyes, she knows. Whenever he’s somberly apologizing for lashing out at her once again, his eyes will change to blue; it’s how she can tell his sincerity from his lies.


 

 


 

Victoire, despite how strong she wishes she could be, folds immediately, and she falls against Teddy’s chest, letting him fold her into his strong arms. When he tells her he loves her, no matter what he’s put her through beforehand, she falters for a moment, and then she loses her defense entirely.


 

 


 

“I love you too, Teddy,” she mumbles into his chest.


 

 


 

She hates to be so weak – to throw down her defenses the minute he apologizes and tells her he loves her. It’s pathetic, really. It’s sad, depressing, ridiculous – she feels like a disgrace when she does this, but she knows it will never end. This is the man she loves, and she will have her happy ending with him one day – even if it isn’t what she’s always expected, even if it means she must give up day after day trying to hold her ground.


 

 


 


That’s how it always goes.


 


 


 

 


 

In an ordinary fairytale land,


 

There's a promise of a perfect happy end,


 

And I imagine having just short of that,


 

Is better than nothing.


 


 


 


 

 


 

Love is a funny thing, Victoire muses to herself. She’s known that for her entire life, but whenever she’s with Teddy, it feels like she’s reminded of it more and more.


 

 


 

Love is supposed to fill your life and your soul, it should make you feel whole and content, it should make your life better. Not worse. Not more complicated. When you fall in love – when you really fall in love – it’s supposed to be forever. It’s supposed to be something you don’t doubt for a single second, something you believe in every day; a happy end will be forthcoming, eventually. There’s never a doubt of that when you’re in love.


 

 


 

Victoire runs her hands through her long blonde waves, knotting her fingers in her loose, buttery, golden curls. She gathers her hair up in a loose bun on the top of her head, releases it after a moment, and shakes her hair out over her shoulders. It’s easy to tell when Victoire is thinking over something with diligence and persistence – she plays with her hair more than usual.


 

 


 

When she was a young girl, she dreamed of her happy ending – of her fairytale love. Maybe she’s found it now. Maybe that’s what Teddy is supposed to be – her Prince Charming, her knight in shining armor, the man she dreamt of when she was a tiny girl. Maybe her fairytale love is what she’s got right now, whether or not it’s what she thought she deserved so many years before. She hates to think about that, but she knows it’s true.


 

 


 

Has she settled? Victoire has never been the type of girl to settle. When she was a young girl at Hogwarts, everyone had high hopes for her. Her professors knew she would do great things. She would change the world. She would achieve more than any student they’d taught in many years. She would be the girl everyone talked about. She would never settle for anything less than what she deserved – and what she deserved was everything she could possibly want. A fairytale fell into that category a long time ago; can she lie and say that she no longer desired a fairytale once she met Teddy, or can she tell the truth and admit that Teddy is not everything she’s ever wanted?


 

 


 

She closes her eyes and lets out a long breath. She knows that she has settled. She knows that she gave up a lot of potential lovers in order to be with Teddy. She knows that her relationship with Teddy isn’t everything she hoped it would be. She settled, and every day, she settles for him again. However, Teddy loves her, and that’s good enough for her – good enough. Not the best. Not the most amazing. Not the closest to perfect. It’s good enough. Is she, of all people, in a place to grow upset and unhappy with her relationship, simply because it could be better?


 

 


 

“He loves me,” she reminds her condescending reflection as she leans over the bathroom sink, staring at her gaunt face in the smudged, foggy mirror.


 

 


 

The shower runs and steams up the tiny room, wasting hot water as it has been for ten minutes at least, but she makes no move to turn it off. Teddy doesn’t interrupt her when she’s in the shower – not after a day like today, anyway – and she needs solitude. She needs time to think, time to absorb the day’s events, times to remind herself that she puts herself through everything for a reason – whatever that reason may be.


 

 


 

“He loves me,” she repeats.


 

 


 

Pushing back the shower curtain and dropping the towel she’d wrapped herself in, she steps under the scalding stream of water and lets it soak through her long golden curls. As the water spreads through her hair, she lets go for the first time all day; her own salty tears mingle with the shower as they trail down her face. She never cries unless she’s in the shower. She hates to see her tears fall. It’s a sign of failure – of weakness, of falling apart, of losing control. The tears are indistinguishable when she’s in the shower; she prefers that.


 

 


 

For a third time, she whispers to herself, “He loves me…”


 

 


 

He loves her. He disappears at random times and doesn’t come home for hours; he provides no explanation for these lengthy absences. He grows angry when she questions him, and he yells at her. He tells her to shut up. He doesn’t listen to her. But he loves her.


 

 


 

She’s never been the kind of girl who found such behavior to be excusable. Yet, he loves her, so she lets it go without a word.


 

 


 

To Victoire, any kind of love, be it excellent or miserable, is better than nothing.


 


 


 


 

 


 

So you'll be mine,


 

Forever and almost always,


 

And I'll be fine,


 

Just love me when you can, yeah,


 

And I'll wait patiently,


 

I'll wake up every day just hoping that you still care.


 


 


 


 

 


 

At the sound of a loud roar – coming from Teddy’s parted lips – Victoire’s eyes fly open, and she sits up abruptly, glancing from side to side to check her surroundings. When she realizes in her exhausted, barely-awake state that it is Teddy from which the noise emanates, she closes her eyes and sinks back against the pile of pillows at the head of the bed they share. His arm is flung across the bed underneath her, and his fingers curl around her waist; Victoire settles against his chest again and sighs deeply.


 

 


 

If someone saw them right now, would they know that only a few hours ago, they were screaming at one another? Would they know that Victoire crumpled the minute Teddy reminded her that he loved her, instead of holding her ground? Would they know she cried for an hour in the shower and blamed the Would they know that the perfect couple, the couple that had been together since they were fourth years at Hogwarts, wasn’t so perfect after all?


 

 


 

Victoire finds it hard to believe that herself based off of just this one moment – of the way he adjusts his position to fit her body, of the way she fits into his arms and falls comfortably against him as she sleeps, of the way his breathing comforts her as she presses her face against his ribs. It feels perfect enough. Enough. That’s always the word.


 

 


 

She’s happy enough. They’re together enough. He’s home enough. He tries well enough. She smiles enough. He kisses her enough. He does well enough. He’s good enough for her. Their relationship is good enough for her. Everything about them is good enough. And that’s the way they’ll always be, forever and always. Almost always.


 

 


 

Why is that all he can ever give her? He can only give her good enough and almost and somewhat and kind of. Never anything that implies that he loves her with all he has, that he puts everything he can into their relationship, that he’s never given up for the slightest second, that he would never do anything to hurt her or break what they had. He can’t give her any more than almost.


 

 


 

But Teddy is Victoire’s – whether he is hers entirely or partially, that is how their life goes and will continue to go. For a little while, anyway. She knows this. She’s accepted this. She isn’t freely overjoyed by this, but she’s content enough. As long as he loves her, she’ll be okay. He’s her entire world. She’s loved him for so long; she can’t imagine how it would feel to lose him. As long as she knows that he loves her… but she can’t even count on that anymore. She can count on so little in her life – especially when it boils down to Teddy.


 

 


 

She looks at his long, sleeping frame, biting her lip. When he opens his beautiful eyes in the morning, is he still going to love her? That lanky body, those strong muscles, that sculpted face… will they be hers in the morning? Will he be hers in the morning? Sometimes, she can’t tell if he will be. When she wakes up to find his body missing and his side of the bed cold, when she wanders downstairs and finds him gone and the newspaper unread… she doesn’t know. She’s unsure, and she hates it.


 

 


 

But on the days when he opens his beautiful eyes and looks down at her with love… well, those are the days she lives for. The days when they’re okay and happy are the days her life is the most complete. When the two of them have a good day, it’s a great day to be alive. He touches her kindly, he kisses her passionately, he holds her to him, and he lets her know that she’s his entire world. Teddy treats her like a princess on those days. The way she should be treated.


 

 


 

A strong, proud woman would leave and find someone else. Someone who didn’t put them through so much turmoil and uncertainty – someone who loved them every day, regardless of their mood or their temper. Someone who wouldn’t leave on a whim with no explanation, coming home after hours only to start a fight once he Apparated into the house.


 

 


 

Victoire always thinks herself to be a strong, proud woman. She has dignity – she’s French, after all – and she’s a confident woman. However, she doesn’t have the strength to leave him – he’s everything to her. He loves her. She loves him. So, instead of standing up for herself and walking out the door like the witch she should be, she sits and waits, hoping that the days when he loves her become more frequent as time goes by.


 

 


 

Her wishes go unheard. Those days never come around soon enough.


 


 


 


 

 


 

In the corner of my mind, I know too well,


 

Oh, that surely even I deserve the best,


 

But instead of leaving,


 

I just put the issue to bed and outta my head.


 


 


 


 

 


 

Victoire knows she doesn’t deserve this life. No one deserves this life – especially not her. She deserves romance, flowers, chocolates, presents… she deserves love and attention. Loyalty. Trust. Laughter. Smiles. Kisses. Hugs. Affection. She deserves to be someone else’s everything – every day, not just once or twice a week. Once or twice a week is only good enough. She deserves more than just good enough. She deserves perfection and happiness.


 

 


 

She walks into her uncle’s shop – Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in downtown Diagon Alley – and throws her cloak down on the counter. The store isn’t crowded yet; it’s early Monday morning, and the shop only opened thirty minutes before right now. Pranksters don’t like to start early on Monday mornings. Neither does Victoire, who drops by the shop early every Monday morning to help Uncle George with his books before she Apparates to the Ministry.


 

 


 

How does that compute? she wonders to herself. She’s twenty years old and one of the many representatives in the Department of Magical Cooperation that travels almost daily to France in order to maintain good relations between the Ministry of Magic and the Frenchmen’s magical regime. She’s one of the youngest and simultaneously most important workers at the Ministry at this moment in time – relations with France are strained, and her flawless French is deeply respected and needed – and yet, here she is, settling for such a mediocre relationship.


 

 


 

A girl like her should have more than this in her life. She knows this. She can’t forget it. She’s reminded of it every day.


 

 


 

“Uncle George?” she calls out, walking back into the office behind the counter.


 

 


 

Her uncle is hunched over his desk, his forehead resting on a stack of books. His eyes are closed, and his lips are parted. He snores softly. Across the room, George’s wife and Victoire’s aunt, Angelina, sits on a stool and prods some sort of invention with her wand. She looks up from the object when she hears Victoire calling for George, smiling at her niece before casting an amused look at her husband.


 

 


 

“He never manages to stay awake for long,” Angelina chuckles. She pats the empty stool next to her, which Victoire hurries to take without so much as a hello. “Your eyes are swollen. Have you been crying?”


 

 


 

Nothing gets past Aunt Angie. Victoire took another long shower this morning before she left the house, and, as usual, she burst into tears the minute the water soaked through her long curls. She wonders when she last took a shower without crying – it’s been months, at least.


 

 


 

“A little bit,” Victoire responds, resting her elbows on the counter and propping her head up in her hands. She sighs. “We had another fight yesterday.”


 

 


 

“Did he leave again?”


 

 


 

“Yes.”


 

 


 

“Did he explain why?”


 

 


 

“No.”


 

 


 

Aunt Angie merely makes a tsk-tsk noise, continuing to poke the unknown object with her wand. She waits a few moments before she says anything to Victoire, and when she does, it’s clear that she’s trying her best not to offend her. On too many occasions, someone has shared with Victoire their view of her situation, and she never hesitated to curse at them and Disapparate. Whether they were right or not, she could never listen for too long. Aunt Angie tries to avoid angering her so severely.


 

 


 

“Sometimes I wonder if you don’t deserve better than what you’ve found,” she tells her niece hesitantly.


 

 


 

“Everyone wonders that,” Victoire responds vaguely.


 

 


 

Her empty responses are known well and hated by her family. They know she’s trying to get out of really discussing the problem. It’s what she’s always done in all types of situations – the blame, for once, cannot fall back on Teddy.


 

 


 

“Do you?”


 

 


 

Victoire takes a deep breath and looks up at the ceiling. “Every day,” she murmurs softly. Then, she covers her mouth with her hands – as if she can’t believe she said such a thing aloud, outside of the safety of her shower.


 

 


 

“What are you going to do about it, ‘Toire?”


 

 


 

She sighs. That’s the question she asks herself every day. Victoire tells herself she’s going to leave him. She always thinks about it, and it sounds so good. She’s tried to do it before. She’s gotten close – so close she could taste freedom, taste the possibilities, taste the chances she could be taking if she were to just leave him. Then, every time, she shakes her head and continues on; nothing ever changes. She never lets it change.


 

 


 

Instead of answering her aunt, she pushes back the stool and jumps down to the ground. The sound startles George from his slumber, but he doesn’t say anything to the two ladies. He can see from Victoire’s posture that he’s missed far too much.


 

 


 

“I’ll start balancing the books now,” Victoire informs Angelina, an abrupt and predictable end to their conversation. “I need to be at work soon.”
 


 




 


So, I hope you all go and listen to this beautiful song now. Expect to hear more from me soon. :) 


-Paige.

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