The bell on the door jingled announcing to the empty restaurant of her arrival early in the morning. Victoire carried with her several large packages wrapped in parchment and twine, and a small bouquet of fresh daisies. She locked the door behind her, and set the flowers down on the counter by the antique register. The space was small but just enough for what she had always wanted. There was a quaint dining room with the space for about twenty tables. Barely enough to fit her whole family at once but it had worked for her for the last three years.
Victoire made her way to the back, her safe space, the kitchen full of all the best equipment she could get her hands on with her limited funds. She put the packages in the fridge, and started to turn everything in the kitchen on. It was her Sunday morning ritual opening up the diner all by herself, the one day of the week where she didn't need to worry about anything other than the simple joy of prepping for service. She walked through the swinging door into her kitchen complete with classic black and white checkerboard tile, and grabbed her chef's coat off of its hook and put it on. Next she tied her golden hair back in a long braid to keep it out of her way.
Her walk-in was full of so many different ingredients, giving her plenty of inspiration to create all sorts of delectable dishes that would leave diners heads spinning. But alas it was Sunday breakfast, and she had a special that her few regulars came to expect. Sure they could order whatever they pleased from her relatively simple breakfast spread, but she'd received more than enough praise and good reviews for her special that it was the majority of what anybody chose to order once the news spread.
She had chosen her favorite meal growing up to be her Sunday morning special. Her grandmother made it for her whenever she would stay the night, eggs benedict. The way her Nana Molly had made it for her was a more rustic and casual style but nothing short of exquisite. It had a taste that stuck with her since the very first bite all those years ago. When Victoire first decided that she would start her own restaurant, the first thing she did was ask Nana Molly to teach her how to make eggs benedict so perfectly. While Victoire believed she made it well compared to the original, she always thought it was a little off somehow, that something was missing even if she used all the same ingredients.
In her restaurant though, aptly named for her nana, she had made a few changes of her own to the recipe. A tad bit more paprika and cayenne to the hollandaise for a memorable kick. The ham grilled in bacon grease for a savory touch. It was delicious, and she always made an extra one for herself otherwise she usually would not eat much that day aside from small tastes the throughout the morning.
Prep was her personal time, and it only got interrupted when her first employee arrived nearly an hour later to open up for the paying masses just as the smells of citrus and bacon began to fill the air. Luckily, having a particularly large family meant help was easy to find when she really needed it. Her younger cousins Rose Weasley and Lucy Weasley, were on summer holidays when she had first opened Molly’s Diner. And with enough insistence from their parents and bribery from her she had two popular waitresses for the entirety of the summer. Rose and Lucy had been the same age and both going into seventh year, Lucy decidedly was a proper waitress but couldn’t be bothered to do anything more than the bare minimum her position required; choosing instead to spend her time flirting with classmates who would come in or taking extended breaks reading fashion magazines. Lucy was not asked to come back the following summer, nor did she bother to inquire about returning, finding freedom from Hogwarts and a paying job.
Rose on the other hand she had enjoyed working with. She was one of her favorite younger cousins because of how sweet she had always been, taking the time to make sure that everyone had some before getting anything for herself. Victoire knew she wouldn’t be able to keep her cousin as an employee for long, the girl was going places, but she was happy for the help she got.
“Vic, I’m here! It smells good already.” Called Rose’s sing-song voice from the entryway as the bell jingled.
“Hey Rose! I’m back here, the bacon is all ready if you want any.” Victoire called back, now her day would really begin. Things now would happen in quick succession. Rose was here, so she would turn on everything outside of the kitchen and wipe down the tables. At 7 AM on the dot, the restaurant would be open to the public, her first customer of the day her Grandpa Arthur would be waiting just outside the door with a Quibbler in hand ready to have the special. Occasionally, Victoire's father Bill would accompany Grandpa Arthur, and if not him it was almost always one of his other sons. He was rarely ever alone when he came to her diner.
“Ohh, that sounds good. But I should probably lay off of the bad stuff.” Rose replied passing through the swinging door and stowing her purse and coat in the cubby where employee belongings were kept. In the second summer the restaurant was open Victoire had, had a theft problem in the employee cubby resulting in an enchantment that only allowed the witch or wizard who deposited items to be able to retrieve them. That and a stern talking to from her Auror Uncle had eradicated any theft issues.
Rose grabbed her own apron and tied it on delicately around her middle, and grabbed a rag. Her cousin was nineteen now, and two years out of Hogwarts. In the years since her time was divided between working at the diner, University, and an apprenticeship with a rune maker at Gringotts; hoping to one day be a ward crafter and magi-archeologist in her own right. She had to be in a good condition because she would regularly be going on expeditions to the far and unexplored reaches of the ancient magical world. Rose was talented, and would surely be having a much more exciting life than she would in a small diner on the edge of Diagon Alley.
“What have they been making you do lately?” Victoire asked genuinely interested in Rose’s life.
“Well the cart broke last week to get to several of the higher end vaults. So guess who had to be the one to scale the wall with nothing but a wand and the keys to the vault?” Rose asked rhetorically. Victoire’s eyes widened and she mouthed ‘you?’ with surprise, and she nodded in response. “Yep, I find myself rather lucky that the client only wanted a few gold ingots.”
“They didn't have anyone else who could deal with that? I doubt wall climbing is in your job description there.” Victoire said rinsing off her knives and drying her hands on a rag.
“No, not yet anyway. But the client was one of the entitled sort, I'm sure you know the type, and she just couldn't be made to wait the hour or so it would have taken to get the mechanics in to fix the carts.” Rose explained mocking the rich client.
Victoire chuckled to herself imagining the type of person who would conduct themselves like that around others, and just how much money they must have to feel everyone must cater to them. She had seen several customers like that come through her dining room, and several in life though generally her diner’ style didn't appeal to the most elite of the upper crust thankfully.
“I bet you could guess who it was.” Rose said coyly.
“It wasn't!” Victoire gasped.
“Yup, I swear she just loves doing anything to treat me like a peasant.” Rose laughed, she really did have a good humor about the way she was treated by her boyfriend's grandmother.
“Have you talked to Scorpius about it?” Victoire asked.
Rose scoffed turning on the coffee machine and sliding a clean coffee pot beneath it. She scooped a cups worth of grounds into the machine breathing in the smell.
“Ahh, no. I wouldn't do that to him. He's got enough stress as it is with the Ministry and all. Mum’s got him run ragged.” Rose replied with a shrug.
Rose had been dating Scorpius for almost six years. He had gotten up the courage to ask her to the first Hogsmeade outing in Third Year, and her head had deflated enough that she had accepted the idea but only if their cousin Albus thought it would be a good idea. They were in luck as Albus was happy to have his best friend date a cousin. Since then they stayed together even through inevitable family issues with their relationship, his more than theirs.
His grandmother absolutely hated the idea of her perfect grandson dating a red head, much less a Weasley one. And his parents weren't much better, they did not want the wizarding world thinking that the Weasley clan was doing them a favor by consorting with their son. Rose’s father was not keen on the idea but once he really realized how happy Scorpius made her he accepted it. Her mother’s reaction was the most surprising of all based on her history with the Malfoy’s. Upon his graduation from Hogwarts Scorpius decided that he wanted to work for the Ministry, not to be like his grandfather but better. He had put in a general application to be an intern for any department and Rose's mother, the Minister for Magic, made sure it ended up on her desk. Instead of taking him on as an intern, she hired him as her personal secretary to make him show her his worth. By now he had.
“That's true. But he’ll be out of there soon and you both can be free of her claws.” Victoire said, side hugging Rose and getting out a mug for herself. Her excitement from slicing and dicing wearing off, she would need something to wake her up for the rest of the service.
“Dear Merlin, I hope so. I think he is rather lucky that they won’t disown him because of me. Not that we will be getting any special treatment when we do get married.” Rose said doing second check of everything before they opened up.
“Don’t worry, you’ll get the special treatment from all of us. I’m sure.” Victoire offered.
“Does that mean that you are offering to cater the wedding?” Rose hinted with a wink and smile. Her tanned cheeks blossomed pink in an envious fashion.
“If you are lucky, although I’m not sure how big of a discount that I could offer you.” Victoire said as sincere as possible. She would do anything within her means for her younger cousin, and Rose knew that. They were closer than she was with her own sister Dominique. Although, her sister was her complete opposite, a loud party girl who worked part time in a risqué boutique when she wasn’t jet setting with their French cousins. Unlike Victoire, Dominique took full advantage of the Veela blood that ran through their veins. Needless to say, they didn’t see eachother much.
Rose chuckled, “As long as you make cookie ice cream sandwiches, I will happily pay full price for your services.”
“For that I would thank you.” Victoire laughed as well. She looked towards her front door, it was all glass but still had the shade down. It was thin enough though to see the silhouette of her first customers of the day the stout and obvious frame of her grandfather, along with another taller frame. She wondered who her grandpa had brought along this time, it had been her father the previous Sunday, and the one before that he brought in her Uncle Charlie whom she hadn't seen since the previous Christmas holiday nearly a year ago. If she were honest Charlie was probably her favorite uncle because of his exciting profession, but if she were asked being the polite person she was she would never admit to having any sort of favoritism when it came to family.
“Who do you think he brought this time?” Rose asked squinting at the figures outside.
“Beats me. You ready to open up?” Victoire asked walking to the door.
Rose nodded, and Victoire unlocked the door and pulled it open. She was greeted with the sight of her cheery as always grandfather. Arthur Weasley bumbled into the quaint restaurant with the day's issue of the Quibbler under his arm and a familiar face following him in. Her face brightened at the sight of her grandfather and welcomed him in, until she saw who had accompanied him, a face she had not seen in years and was not really sure that she wanted to.
“Hi Vic. It's been a long time.” Said the tall handsome man with blue hair.
Victoire’s heart stopped, and then came thundering back to life in the span of a moment as she took in the changes on Teddy’s face. How many years had it been since she had last seen him? He looked like a man now. She probably hadn't changed at all compared to him.
“Hi Teddy, I wasn't expecting you.” Victoire said, her face flushed, as she turned back into her restaurant and saw Rose behind the bar with her mouth agape. She clearly hadn't expected him either, and it would be a cruel joke if she had. Her grandfather on the other hand was a bit out of touch when it came to relationships and emotional situations, so she couldn't really fault him as much as she wanted.
“Well Mr. Theodore here was finally back in town and stopped by the Burrow for a visit as I was about to make my way here.” Arthur explained cheerily, obviously happy to see Teddy again after so long.
“Yes, and well he said he was going to his favorite breakfast spot and asked if I wanted to come along. I hadn't eaten yet, so I figured why not?” Teddy added in explanation, unable to take his eyes away from Victoire who was trying to look anywhere but at him.
“That's nice.” Victoire said robotically, grabbing two menus and thrusting them towards her guests.
“Oh no, silly girl. You know what I want.” Arthur said pushing away the menus in her hands, “He’ll have the same thing too. It's the best thing on the menu!”
“Sorry.” Victoire said clearly frazzled, and gathered the menus back up.
Rose must have sensed her unease, and swept over to the table with glasses of water for the two men. “I’ll get your coffee Grandpa Arthur, what can I get you Teddy?” Rose asked trying to sound bitter.
Victoire was touched at the thought of Rose attempting to be callous on her behalf. Although the poor girl didn't have a true mean bone in her body, she was fiercely loyal to her best friends. It came off as her looking more like she might sneeze than yell at him.
If it was awkward for him, Teddy did not let his face show it. Perhaps he had known where Arthur was taking him, and more alarming if he had intended to make the visit all along. Victoire tried to not let panic set in, instead turning her back on the situation and trying to breathe calmly and relax as Rose took his drink order. She went straight into the kitchen, deciding to plate their food instead of making conversation like she usually would. It might strike her grandpa as odd, but she did not think that she could handle actually speaking to Teddy yet.
Rose rushed back into the kitchen. “Grandpa is going to think that something is up if you don’t go out there and talk to him.”
Victoire rolled her eyes, “He can be so oblivious, but you are right. Did… did he say anything to you?”
Rose looked back at her knowingly and shrugged. “Not really, just his drink order and that it was good to see us after so long.”
“Is it weird that he is being so casual? Or am I the weird one for still being so on edge about this?” Victoire asked, a worried look growing on her face. They had been so close all those years ago, she was uncomfortable with having to act as if nothing had ever happened between them. How is someone just supposed to forget something so meaningful?
“I think it is a bit of both. But if anything you shouldn’t let him win this. Being so calm and cool like nothing ever happened. You need to show him that he doesn’t mean anything to you now, that you are over it and nothing bothers you.” Rose said trying to boost Victoire’s self esteem.
Victoire paused for a minute to think. It had been long enough, that if she went out there still acting bitter or sad they would think she was crazy. Rose was right, she was stronger than she believed. Now was a good a time as ever to prove it. Victoire beckoned Rose to bring out their drinks, and finished plating the eggs benedicts and followed her out onto the floor. She gracefully glided to their table and laid the plates before them, briefly admiring her own work.
“Oh! What excellent service Sweetie! It looks delectable as always!” Grandpa Arthur said excitedly clapping his hands together and then tucking his napkin into his shirt's collar.
Victoire puffed up her chest proudly, and looked down at Teddy expectantly.
“Wow, he is right. This does look really good. How long have you had this place?” Teddy asked looking up at her with the same smile that used to make her weak at the knees but now only made her harden, at least she hoped so.
“Just going on three years now. It’s what I’ve always wanted.” Victoire declared proudly, looking into his green eyes for a hint of some feeling or emotion toward her.
“It’s really going rather splendidly!” Grandpa Arthur announced, “My Vic has won quite a few awards for her recipes, and the reviewers love her!”
“That is great, Victoire. I am happy for you, really, I am.” Teddy said, looking up at her softly.
This was harder than she expected, but she wasn’t letting her composure crack. Not yet. “So, Teddy what brings you back this way?”
She glanced at Rose but already knew that she shouldn’t have asked that. Rose scooted closer and discreetly pinched the back of Victoire’s elbow to keep her focused.
Teddy turned toward her and put a fist on his knee, like a dad who had bad news to tell their child. A weak smile tried desperately to light up his face, this was something he did not want to tell her. “So I'm back for good now…” he began.
“See girls isn't that grand? We get our old Teddy back.” Grandpa Arthur declared jovially as he cut up his eggs and stirred them around in the sauce. But Victoire waited sensing it was only a pause in his explanation, that wasn't all of Teddy’s news. He wouldn't be so upset just for that.
“...and I am getting married.”
A/N: Hi! Welcome to my new story! I've never written a Teddy/Vic story so I figured I ought to. This is kinda AU so if it seems off canon-wise that is why. Anywho, I you enjoyed reading. And please tell me what you think of it!
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