Every word is a new regret if you say it right
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Every word is a new regret if you say it right

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Every word is a new regret if you say it right Empty Every word is a new regret if you say it right

Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Thu May 14, 2020 12:33 am

Summer 2022
Two Weeks After Term End

It was a small success.

Summer had not been the fun it was supposed to be, especially for a girl heading into her final year. Teddy wished going on holiday was an option for his sister, but just going to the kitchen was a bit of a stretch currently. He had told her of the record player, but had not brought it to her room. Just told her that once she got settled, she could feel free to have at the player and any of the records he had saved from the street. It took her four days, but Lily Potter slid down the stairs, picked up the crate, and carried the entire system upstairs.

It was her first time downstairs in two weeks. And Teddy was pretty happy with the progress.

He had learned the hard way from his surrogate mother that pushing someone to match your timeline of wellness was a sure way to lose progress. Lily had gone through something, and he was not going to risk minimizing that by pushing her to get up and back out there until she was ready. He would encourage but he would not push. He would incentivize but he would not demand.

The sounds of Ella Fitzgerald warbled from the sealed door upstairs and he smiled as he checked on the spaghetti bolognese. Okay, it was probably a little unfair but he knew the more effort he put into a dish, the more likely Lily was to actually eat. He would abuse her desire to offend him only if it meant she ate. That wasn’t pushing - that was just clever.

He was making extra in case James decided to make good on Teddy's offer for dinner. Lily had responded to the news of a visit from her eldest brother by turning over in bed and pulling the covers up higher - which was better than what she had said when she first moved in. “I don’t want to see anyone.”

It had been a rough month and a half since Lily had been found in the forest. It was a shock to them all that the youngest Potter kept her lyncantropy a secret, but understandable when they realized just how many pain potions she had taken to cover her tracks. It was no wonder her grades had faltered, no wonder she seemed distant - and, frankly, a miracle she hadn’t died from the concoction that nearly put her in a coma.

She would still pass sixth year. Her grades were good enough, and she would be given the chance to take her exams at the end of summer so she could enter into her seventh year on schedule. Her classmates had been told she had caught a particularly bad case of scrofungulus and had decided to finish out the year from home. Teddy suspected, one way or another, the truth would come out eventually. Maybe practicing telling her eldest brother would help prepare her for telling her friends.

Teddy frowned. Speaking of, where were all of her friends? He knew Lily kept to herself, but she hadn’t received a single letter, let alone a visitor. He didn’t like that.

He also didn’t like that Lily refused to even hear Ginny out. She wanted nothing to do with her mother, and Teddy felt, as her appointed safe place, he couldn’t push it. Maybe seeing Jamie would help.

Merlin he hoped so. He wanted his family back.
Teddy R. Lupin
Teddy R. Lupin
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Hufflepuff Graduate

Number of posts : 212
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Post by Victoire Weasley on Thu May 14, 2020 8:49 pm

"I still don't understand why I have to come to the dinner from hell."

"It's my baby sister," James muttered as he pulled the pinstripe shirt he had half-way buttoned up over her his head.

"Are you not worried about Lily?" He asked as he went back over to the wardrobe.

"Of course I'm worried about Lily," he could hear the exasperation in Victoire's voice and, as he tried to decide between a purple silk shirt or a green silk shirt, James imagined her pinching the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.

"So then what's the problem?" James called, sticking his head out of the wardrobe to look at Victoire who was sat on the end of his bed, legs crossed, one heeled foot swaying irritatedly back and forth.

"Who else is going to be there?" Victoire asked, raising her eyebrows pointedly at her cousin.

"Well, I expect mum. Maybe. Probably. Anyway, what's the matter with her? You see her every week!"

"James," Victoire sighed. "That is not the point I am trying to make and you know it."

"Oh, you mean Teddy," James disappeared back into the wardrobe, opting for the green shirt. "I wouldn't worry about it, Vic. I mean, you're over it, he's over it, I'm over it - everyone's cool! Absolutely no lingering tension here, at all."

James emerged, buttoning up his shirt, and he pretended to ignore the withering look Victoire was giving him.

"Look, you're all dressed up now. I'd take you out for dinner but I gave up my usual table at Rookwood's to a teammate of mine. But, I made a reservation at Chez Lupin ... I've heard good things."

"Fine. But I want you to know that I'll hold you entirely responsible if this is a shit show."

-

At the garden gate, Victoire froze. She and James had apparated into the street beneath a lamppost on the corner and strode the rest of the way down the road, careful to avoid the puddles. Standing before a house she knew so well, knowing who lay inside and who, incidentally, did not made her feel all sorts of things she had thought she had successfully run away from.

"I have two very good bottles of wine here that I am keen to drink," James said, breaking Victoire from her thoughts before she could get too melancholy. "Are you ready?"

"You're an arse, Potter, do you know that?" Victoire breathed as James leaned over and flicked open the gate.

He fixed her with his most charming smile. "But I'm your arse, darling. After you, mademoiselle."

Victoire rolled her eyes at him and strode up the path. With practiced ease, she toed one edge of the door mat over and knelt down to pick up the key. James closed the gate behind him with a bump of his bum against the wood and reached the porch just as Victoire was opening the door. She held it on the latch and looked at him, her eyes seeking permission to leave before she could no longer do so. Bread and stew at the Leaky Cauldron was calling. That would suffice. James gave no such permission, thoug, and so inside it was.

"Wayward Potter arrives home!" James shouted as they entered the hallway. "Accompanied by Auror Weasley!"

"Auror Weasley is going to hex you shortly if you don't take that down a few decibels, Jamie." Victoire groused as she took off her cloak.

James pointedly ignored her and headed up the hallway towards the kitchen. Victoire hung her cloak up on the hook next to Ginny's blue one and sighed a little, knowing that she would have to face him properly. She tried to tell herself that her life was coming together quite nicely - that she needn't cling to the past and to the what-ifs as she did. It would be fine to see him again. It would.

"Teddy!" James exclaimed jovially.

Victoire closed her eyes briefly. Even his name made her feel funny. Damn him, she thought bitterly.

Summoning some resolve (and some dignity, for she felt she was sorely lacking in that), Victoire walked towards the kitchen, coming to a stop in the doorway to find James accosting his brother with a slightly too enthusiastic hug.

"Jamie don't kill him before he's finished cooking," Victoire admonished playfully.

"Ooh, you're right!" James said, releasing his brother quickly before setting the wine down on the counter. "I'll get us some glasses, shall I?" He waggled his eyebrows in Victoire's direction before heading to the cupboard behind Teddy, leaving them alone - well, alone as any two people could be with James Potter earwigging them.

"How are you, Teddy?" Victoire asked gradually, offering him a small smile.
Victoire Weasley
Victoire Weasley
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Gryffindor Graduate

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Post by Teddy R. Lupin on Fri May 15, 2020 10:46 pm

The record upstairs finished its final track as Teddy set the last seat at the table. A seat for him, a seat for James, and an incredibly optimistic seat for Lily. Deep down, he knew Lily wasn’t going to join them. He was pretty sure Lily would at least let James come into her room and sit with her for a bit - she would have asked Teddy not to invite him if that was the case. A ten minute conversation, sure. An entire dinner though - fat chance.

Nina Simone’s voice seeped in from above. A new record. Things were looking up.

He heard a low whine and glanced down at Jag. The black belgian sheepdog spent most of the day in Lily’s room, sitting at the foot of her bed, but by nighttime her loneliness infected him. He had taken to following Teddy around the house as he puttered about the garden, cleaned the house, cooked dinner. Jag’s chocolate eyes looked up at him, nose quivering at the smell of dinner. Teddy smiled and picked up the small bowl of cooked beef he had prepared for the dog. He deserved a treat for all of his emotional support.

Teddy carefully mixed the ground beef into Jag’s bowl and gave him a pat on the head, moving back to set the food out on the table, smiling as Jag wolfed down his treat. Suddenly, his furry companion’s ears pricked up and he raised his head, looking towards the front garden. Treat abandoned, he hurried towards the hall and sat, taking up vigil at the front door.

Teddy wiped his hands on a dish towel and turned to greet his guest, a smile spreading over his face despite his anxiety for a faulty reunion. “I’m coming, keep your pants-”

Victoire.

“-on.”

He thought she was in India. Why wasn’t she still in India? Why hadn’t Ginny told him she was back in town? Why did James bring her here? How was Lily going to react?

Why did James bring her here?

Merlin, he was glad he’d shaved.

"Hi, you two." He smiled and stepped towards James. “I’d say I’d let Lily know you’re here but I think the neighborhood knows now.” His arms wrapped around James, eyes meeting Victoire’s over his brother’s shoulder. His eyes flicked upwards, as though to say What did I expect from him?

And of course Jamie was leaving him to face Victoire alone. He was the definition of meddling.

He wanted to hug her. Teddy didn’t see a world in which he didn’t care about her, and it had been so long since they had seen each other. Teddy was a bringer of comfort, but Victoire had always made him feel stronger… better. But he didn’t feel like he could, not in front of James, not after all this time. He wasn’t sure he had the right anymore.

He reached up and twirled the ends of his hair at the back of his neck, a nervous habit he’d had for years. He always accidentally lengthened the hair as he did so, and his hair darkened a bit as he said, “I’m fine. I always feel useless during summer. Happy for the quality time with Lil. But, uh, India! I didn’t know you had gotten back. How long have you been in town?”

Okay, this was working. He could do this.
Teddy R. Lupin
Teddy R. Lupin
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