|SIYE Time:15:32 on 22nd October 2018|
The Space Between
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Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB, Post-DH/PM
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Fluff, General, Humor, Tragedy
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mental Abuse, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Rape, Sexual Situations, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse, Violence, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Harry and Ginny's lives have finally evened out. They've faced trauma, and loss, more than most have, but they've fought hard to find a normal.
If only things could stay that way... Old enemies find new ways to seek revenge.
This story is the sequel to Bound. It would be extremely helpful if you read that first.
Warnings are to be safe. It's probably overkill. Please message me if you have any questions or concerns.
Hitcount: Story Total: 96459; Chapter Total: 2313
Awards: View Trophy Room
It's been a monstrous wait, I know. I had to finish a book before I wrote this chapter. Thank you to Arnel for beta'ing.
My latest book is only $.99 on amazon. Please check it out.
Read, review, share on facebook, help me make enough money to make writing worthwhile.
I hope everyone enjoys the nice break in the tension and action of this story. We'll get back into it in the next chapter as the kids go back to school. Let me know what you think!
Al squinted into the dark as he crouched low, stalking after his prey. It was a moonless night, which absolutely didn’t help, but it also meant he wouldn’t be spotted either. They had to be around here somewhere… He inhaled deeply, holding his breath and only letting it out in slow, deliberate exhalations. He wanted to hear. His ears were his best weapon at the moment.
A tiny snap of a twig, feint, but definitely there.
Al turned his head slowly, centimeter by centimeter, trying to see what had made the noise that–
A blur from his right caught Al by surprised as a dark figure slammed into him, pinning him to the ground with a bellow of, “Run!”
Al attempted to push Scorpius off of himself as Nat and Lily ran around the two heaped boys, but it was no good. As wiry as he was, Scorpius was strong.
“Get off!” Al laughed as he pushed at his best mate. “You’re cheating.”
“I am taking one for the team,” Scorpius informed him jovially as he sat back and inclined his head. “I may be out, but you know Nat was never going to make it to base otherwise.”
Al smacked Scorpius hard on the shoulder. “Tag, and what about Lily, eh? There’s nothing wrong with her.”
Scorpius shook his head and pushed to his feet, holding out his hand. “I was raised a gentleman.”
“You were raised to be nasty to Potters,” Al reminded him as they started around the house. “You’re just having fun thumbing your nose at your father.”
“I have no argument to that,” Scorpius said as he stopped at the edge of the path. Under his breath, he said, “Fred is over behind the tomato plants, but mind them. Your mum’s already told your dad off from when he got too close.”
Al watched Scorpius ran back for the house. Admitting defeat was not the worst lot to be cast. Inside Al’s kitchen was his Gran, who would be baking biscuits and all kinds of other sweets to feed a rowdy cast of family members. Al half wished he could throw the game and head back in as well. He was a bit peckish.
The best part of the whole night so far, apart from Molly taking down the entire family in the first round of play, had been watching Scorpius completely unwind here. Al knew what his friend would be like come September and it wouldn’t be good. Scorpius would have had months of relentless bullying from his own father, who didn’t seem to grasp the concept that the bullying wasn’t working to turn Scorpius into the man Draco wanted him to be.
Here, though, tonight with Al’s family, everything was different. They were able to relax, have fun, eat way too much food, and count down to Teddy and Victoire’s wedding. It was only two weeks away and then Teddy would officially be part of the family. It made Al grin, even as he spotted his father and dove after him.
“Where are we going?” Victoire demanded as Teddy dragged her further back into the woods behind the house. He was a man on a mission, though, and didn’t do more than grunt as they ducked under a low branch. “Teddy?”
“A little bit further,” Teddy said quietly. “Lily is ‘it’ so we have time. She’s careful.”
She was at that, Victoire knew as they skirted around some more trees. “I doubt she’ll look for us out here.”
“I’m absolutely not worried about Lily finding us,” Teddy promised as he stopped and in a single fluid motion, pulled Victoire flush with his body. He sealed his mouth to hers, pressing her up against a large tree so that she had the bark biting at her back and Teddy’s solid body pushing at her front.
It surprised her, but not terribly, that he’d wanted to get away like this. They’d been watched closely by her father over the last several weeks. Victoire had previously been spending lots of time at the flat they would share in a few weeks, but recently her dad had made up a million excuses for why she needed to be home. She’d missed this with Teddy. She’d missed the intense passion and all the things they’d done together.
In fact, they’d done almost everything except consummate their relationship.
Desires swirled through her belly, ringing out ache after exquisite ache until her whole body pulsed. Teddy’s hands swept up and down her body as he pressed her further back into the tree, rocking into her as his lips left her mouth to trail down to her neck.
“Merlin…” his ragged voice came through the pounding in her ear. “I want you so badly.”
Victoire’s only response was to fist her hands into his shirt to keep them from exploring the way she wanted to. “My dad is out here somewhere.”
“I know,” Teddy groaned as he gentled his kisses and tried valiantly to steady his breathing. “Two weeks… two weeks and we could ditch out on the game and go home.”
“Or stay here,” Victoire reminded him.
“Do you know,” he laughed as he cupped her cheeks and peppered her face with light kisses, “that Fred reckons he was conceived out here during a game?”
She felt her eyes widen in astonishment. “Really?”
Teddy nodded. “He heard Angelina say something to George in a fit on temper that hinted at as much.”
“Well,” she said as unbidden images filled her mind. “Let’s not repeat that, right?”
He grinned as she ran her hands up into his blond hair and directed his mouth back in for a kiss.
“I found you.”
Teddy turned slowly at Lily’s voice as she stood just five feet from them, smiling impishly. Her red hair was caught up in a tail at the back of her head. “I will give you anything if you go away and pretend like we weren’t here.”
Lily considered them for a moment. “Uncle Bill is back at base. You have maybe five minutes before he’ll set out to find you.”
Without another word, she turned and headed off, melting back into the trees.
“She is the sweetest kid on the planet,” Teddy mused. “When you think about the melding of Ginny and Harry, it sort of boggles the mind that they’d produce Lily. If we end up with one half as good as her, we’ll have it made.”
Victoire’s heart, already so full, burst with happiness and joy. She was so lucky, so blessed, to be marrying Teddy. He wanted what she did. He valued what she did. He loved her for who she was, faults and all. He was going to be an amazing husband and an amazing father. Victoire buried her head against his neck and cried a little as he held her. Teddy probably had no idea why she was crying, or that it was because she was so happy, but that didn’t matter.
When she needed them, his arms were always there.
The look that Victoire was giving Ginny was a lot more pensive, maybe one could argue more understanding, than she was used to from her niece. Chaos swirled around them as children ran screaming after each other in the continued game, but here they stood together, together and yet separated from the chaos at the kitchen table, which served as the base.
“When you were about one,” Ginny explained quietly, needing to spill out the nostalgia, and some of her pain, on a young woman who was ready to hear it, “I had Teddy out there to play.”
“He’d have been about three, then,” Victoire said quietly as she turned her full attention on her aunt.
“He was,” Ginny smiled fondly as she closed her eyes against the clutch of pain in her chest. “You were asleep by that point. Audrey was practicing being a mum by putting you in the cot we had upstairs. I had Teddy out with me and he had this stick that he was pretending was a wand.”
Victoire’s reaction was as Ginny would have predicted. “Aww! That’s adorable.”
“It was,” she chuckled in agreement. “We had this game where we’d hex whichever of the uncles was ‘it’ for that round.”
“You still do that,” Victoire noted dryly.
Ginny shrugged, completely unabashed. “It’s my sworn duty as the baby sister. I was required to dump Ron on his arse as many times as I could. It was important for Teddy to learn our traditions.”
“Naturally,” her niece agreed with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
Her mind flashed back to that moment in the bushes with the three-year-old Teddy and spotting her husband. Ginny could still picture it as though it had happened moments before. “Teddy said something like ‘bang’ and I tripped Harry with my wand. The two of us ran for the house.”
“I bet Uncle Harry let you win,” Victoire said.
“He did,” Ginny confirmed. “Harry came in, wrapped his arms around me and…” she let her voice fade off.
“He pinched your bum, right? He likes to do that,” Victoire noted.
Ginny laughed; she couldn’t help it. “Cheeky girl, but yes, he did. I sat at the table with Teddy and thought about all I had missed out on when Hope died. Teddy fell asleep in my arms and I mourned my daughter while I was so grateful for that little boy who loved me unconditionally. I was his ‘Ginny’ and that meant something. It gave me purpose.”
“Oh,” the younger woman sniffed as her eyes filled. “Aunt Ginny…”
She pulled in a couple of breaths and forced herself to focus on what she needed to say. “Life is going to throw a lot of things at you, but in a few weeks you’ll be marrying one of the best men I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Ginny said as she took Victoire’s hand and saw the smooth skin of youth next to the fine, tiny lines that were appearing on her own hand. “Together you will be amazing, even when things get rocky.”
Victoire moved quickly into Ginny’s embrace, now so much taller than her aunt, but still the child that Ginny had loved for nineteen years. “I love you,” Ginny promised.
“I love you, too,” Victoire cried softly onto Ginny’s shoulder as she held on tight.
Mrs. Potter said, with a lot less patience than she’d had even ten minutes before, “I didn’t even want to plan my own wedding! Why are you doing this to me?”
Lily, who was sitting next to Nat, giggled. The wedding was now just thirteen days away and nerves were very frayed.
It was, Nat realized, a lot like watching a tennis match. They kept going back and forth with each other, neither willing to give even an inch.
“If you would just tell me which one you liked better, then I would stop asking,” Fleur said, yet again, as she waved two nearly identical swatches of pink fabric in front of Ginny’s face.
Ginny, who had been attempting to get lunch on the table, slammed her sauce spoon down in annoyance. “Can’t you ask Audrey?”
Fleur’s beautiful face firmed into what Nat knew was stubborn resolve. “She is busy and they are our children.”
Ginny hesitated, which Nat thought was remarkable. “Should we put a wager on what will happen when Lily gets married? What are the odds that I’ll be involved in that down to picking colors?”
“She won’t care,” Lily piped in, while both mothers ignored her, still stuck in their heated battle over blush rose over petal pink.
The back door to the kitchen opened and Harry came in with several ripe tomatoes. “They’re looking good, now,” he said to no one in particular, completely unaware of the heated tension of the room.
“Harry,” Fleur called out in a dangerous soft tone. “I have a question.”
The expression of absolute glee on Ginny’s face was so funny that Nat had to bite her lip not to laugh.
“What’s up?” Harry asked as he turned around. His face froze at the sight of the swatches.
“Which one do you like better?” Fleur demanded, a little more forcefully than she had with Ginny.
Trapped now, like a caged rat, Harry studied the swatches as though they were a lion ready to pounce. “Erm, which one do you like better?”
“No!” Fleur pointed threateningly at his chest. “I know that trick. You will pick one.”
From next to Nat, and behind her aunt’s back, Lily silently motioned to the one on the left, petal pink. Harry’s gaze didn’t betray that he’d seen, but when he pointed to the correct swatch, Fleur grinned in delight.
“See? Harry has excellent taste,” Fleur assured Ginny smugly.
Harry grabbed a beer, kissed Lily’s cheek with a quiet, “Thanks,” and beat it from the kitchen.
It went on and on like that, but Nat and Lily left shortly after to track down the boys for a fly around the back gardens.
“Everything all right?” Al called out as he landed his broom. Scorpius circled just above them.
“Fabric swatches,” Nat explained. At Al’s blank look, she explained, “your aunt Fleur wanted help picking colors and your mum wasn’t too happy about it.”
“She made Daddy pick,” Lily giggled over it.
Al exchanged a glance with Scorpius. “Right,” he drew the word out. “Should we fly, then?”
“Let’s,” Nat agreed as she hopped on the broom behind Al.
The clock’s rhythmic tick, tick, tick was the loudest thing in the entire house except maybe the silent disapproval of the adults sitting around Scorpius.
He wanted out of there. The Potter’s house, of which he was allowed into the Fidelius Charm, was full of warmth, chatter, and food that didn’t make Scorpius want to retch. It still left Scorpius in shock that Mr. Potter gave him the secret to the house.
They trusted him. Him! Scorpius hadn’t yet heard a single kind word from his father’s mouth about Harry Potter, yet Mr. Potter never, ever, said anything negative about Draco Malfoy.
Resentment stirred up the fish that was sitting heavily in Scorpius’ gut. Really, if he could make himself puke all over the table it would be absolutely worth whatever his father would do to him.
Scorpius missed his aunt Daphne, but she was out of the country again.
His grandparents had come to dinner.
All of them.
Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy sat on one side of the table, politely ignoring Oswald and Virginia Greengrass. Draco sat at the head of the table, with Astoria at the foot.
Scorpius had been bidden to sit at Lucius’ left. He hadn’t wanted to. Grandfather Lucius tended to hex when annoyed.
He knew his parents had liked each other well enough when they’d married, but that it had mostly been an arranged marriage. Oswald had taken his daughters to America during the worst of Voldemort’s destructive march through England, but that hadn’t been to escape being a pureblood. It was simply that he’d known Voldemort was crazy.
Oswald had seen, first hand, just how badly his sisters had been treated by Voldemort during the first war. Scorpius’ great aunts, Fiona and Isabella, had been married off to Death Eaters when they had still been in school. Fiona Goyle had died years before, and they’d assumed Isabella Crabbe had been dead as well. Now, though, Scorpius knew that his great aunt was hunting down Al’s family.
It was sickening to think that he shared any blood with that woman.
“How was the term?” Grandmother Virginia asked, breaking the silence and startling Scorpius so badly that he accidentally threw his fork.
Draco glared at him in annoyance. “Was that entirely necessary?”
Scorpius almost said, “Yes,” but decided against it as he saw his father’s expression. “The term was excellent, Grandmother,” he replied politely. He couldn’t say he liked Virginia, as he didn’t know her well, but she’d always been polite to Scorpius so he returned the courtesy. “I made top marks.”
His father’s sniff, almost silent, told Scorpius exactly what he thought about that.
He and Rose had tied for first in almost everything. It wasn’t a true win in Draco’s mind. It certainly wasn’t acceptable in Lucius’ view, something that Scorpius had been made aware of upon his return from the Potters. Not that Lucius knew where Scorpius had gone. If he’d known about that, Lucius’ head might have come off.
As entertaining as that would have been, somehow Scorpius had stopped himself from telling the old man.
“I didn’t take the top in History of Magic,” Scorpius told them. “I lost to another girl in my class.”
In fact, Nat had trounced them all in that subject.
Oswald cleared his throat. “You will need to work on that.”
“I’d have to stay awake through class, first,” Scorpius replied with absolute composure.
It wasn’t quite the explosion that Scorpius hoped for, but it did get him excused from the dining room. All in all, not a bad sort of punishment as Scorpius went to find his four-way mirror so he could call one of his friends.
Ginny heard the silence more than anything else. “Any idea what they’re up to, Polly?” she asked the tiny elf as they worked together on creating pastries for the wedding that was just under a week away.
“No, madam,” Polly shook her head so that her tiny ears flapped a bit. “It’s just the girls upstairs, though. The boys are out attempting to set up a trap.”
“Excuse me?” Ginny’s momentary distraction from whatever the girls might have been up to sharpened into annoyance. “What trap?”
Polly glanced outside nervously. “They is trying to trap a rabbit in a cage.”
“Why?” Ginny asked, aggravated, then shook her head. “No, never mind. I’ll deal with them later.”
She marched up the stairs just as Lily pushed out of the bathroom, excitement written all over her face. “Mummy! I was coming to get you.”
That was typically not a good sign, but Lily didn’t look even remotely upset. “What’s up?”
Lily pulled Ginny into the bathroom, cramming her in with Rose and Nat. Ginny knew instantly that it was Rose who was upset, simply by the pinched line of her mouth. “Rosie?”
Rose shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, unwilling to talk.
“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Nat assured her friend.
A very strange mixture of pity and understanding flooded Ginny’s whole body. “You got your first period.”
Rose nodded as her lower lip trembled.
Ginny moved over to hug her close as a torrent of tears broke free from the girl. She was thirteen, now, so it was expected, but that never made it any easier. Ginny ran her hand over Rose’s curly, auburn locks, whispering soothing words of comfort. “It’s really okay. Did you find the pads under the sink?”
“I knew where they were,” Lily piped in.
“Don’t t-tell anyone,” Rose begged her through her sobs. “Please, Aunt Ginny!”
“I won’t,” Ginny promised as she moved back a bit to face Rose. “But sweetheart, you have to understand that this is a big part of life. It’s the most important part, in fact. Life doesn’t happen without this. At some point you will feel okay talking about it.”
Rose shook her head and glanced down at the floor.
“You do need to tell your mum, though,” Ginny told her gently. “She’ll be hurt if you don’t.”
“Okay,” Rose sighed.
“When do you suppose I’ll get mine?” Lily wondered aloud.
Nat piped up immediately. “You’ll start about two years after your breasts begin developing. I’m still flat as a board, so I expect I have at least another two year wait.”
Lily gazed down at her chest. “I haven’t got anything either.”
“You’re young yet,” Ginny reminded her as she hoped they had plenty of time. “I started when I was thirteen. How about we go down and get some chocolate? That always makes me feel better during my cycle.”
“Daddy will know, though,” Lily told her seriously. “He says he has to tiptoe around you when you break out the chocolate.”
“We’ll just have to finish up before he gets home, then,” Ginny said as she led the way from the bathroom.
Whatever James, Al, and Hugo were up to would have to wait for a bit.
James glared at his brother. “You aren’t taking this seriously.”
“I’m not taking it seriously?” Al spluttered out a laugh. “We’re trying to catch a rabbit.”
“It’s eating Mum’s garden,” James reminded him. “It’s been driving her mental.”
Hugo bent down and stared into the metal trap. “I dunno how this is supposed to work, but it doesn’t work. Can’t Uncle Harry just charm the garden? I mean, you don’t have gnomes or anything.”
“He said he tried,” James told his younger cousin for the fourth time as he fought not to lose his temper.
“Well, it seems to be set,” Al said as he eyed the trap. “I think we can agree we gave it a go and head inside. It’s hot and I’m hungry.”
James could have argued that the trap was not set, and didn’t appear to be doing anything, but as his father could just summon the rabbit, he decided to let it go. He was pretty sure his dad had only set them this task to keep them out of the way, anyway.
The moment they walked into the house, James knew something was up. His mum and the girls were all sitting on the floor of the sitting room, eating chocolate and biscuits. At the sight of the boys, they all stopped laughing and glared at them.
“Er,” Hugo froze next to James.
Al didn’t hesitate. He grabbed his brother and cousin and pulled them towards the stairs. “We’ll be in my room,” he called down to his mother.
The moment the door slammed on Al’s bedroom, James spun to him, feeling like someone had hit him with a bat. “Chocolate.”
“Yeah,” Al agreed nervously. “I thought that was two weeks ago!”
“Maybe it was Rose,” James said as he glanced back at the closed door. “She’s about that age.”
“What are you two talking about?” Hugo demanded testily. “Why were they so mad at us?”
James clapped his cousin on the shoulder. “You know what a period is, right?”
“The thing at the end of a sentence?” Hugo said with a roll of his eyes. “Yes, I know what…” his voice trailed off in horror. “Oh.”
“Yeah, oh,” James agreed. His dad had talked to him and Al about periods years before. That was something that was cool about their dad. Things that most fathers wouldn’t talk about, Harry would. He explained everything to them and told them about their mother’s thing for chocolate when she had her period.
He could still hear his father say, “It’s not joke, either. They truly do feel like rubbish when they have their period, so you need to be extra nice. You’re not a pleasure to be around when you’re sick and they go through this every month.”
“It can’t be Rose,” Hugo said as he interrupted James’ thoughts.
“Why not?” Al wondered. “I suppose it could be Nat. She’s the same age.”
James shook his head. He was the oldest and it was on him to be the mature one. “It doesn’t matter who it is. We’ll let them have their alone time and keep out of the way.”
“I dunno about girls,” Hugo said as he sank onto the bed. “It just seems like a lot of work to be a girl.”
James and Al exchanged a silent look. Neither of them said it, but they both wholeheartedly agreed.
Harry sat on the bed watching Ginny change into her pajamas later that night, unsure of what exactly had happened in the house, but knowing enough to know that it had been important. “Are you going to tell me, then?”
“I promised Rose I wouldn’t,” she said as she gave him a meaningful look over her shoulder.
Unfortunately, he had no idea what it meant. “And…”
“We ended up eating chocolate on the living room floor.”
Chocolate on the… oh. Harry sucked in his bottom lip and felt the stubble that he hadn’t bothered to shave off that morning scratch at his upper lip. “Isn’t she a bit young?”
“Same age that I was,” she reminded him as she turned and strolled over to him. They were eye level this way, with him sitting at the edge of the bed and her standing. Ginny pushed him backwards, then crawled up to straddle him.
Harry stared up into her warm, brown eyes and said, “Please tell me we have years yet before Lily gets her period.”
“We have years yet before that happens,” she assured him as she bent and kissed the tip of his nose. “Why didn’t we have six children?”
Surprised, Harry ran his hands over her hips and down to her bum. “We still could if you’d like.”
“I’m being serious,” Ginny told him as she lay down on his chest, resting her head under his chin.
He ran his hands up her back, under her top. “So am I, Gin. We’re not exactly ancient, you know. Thirty-seven is a little bit older than most new parents, but we still could.”
“I’ll be thirty-eight soon, and you thirty-nine,” she pointed out flatly. “We’re done. I’m happy to wait for the grandchildren to come along.”
Harry fell silent as he counted her slow, even breaths against his neck. “You wanted to stop.”
“But I can’t remember why,” Ginny told him. “I know I did, but I was so tired all the time that much of those years are a blank.”
He chuckled deeply. “Well, there you go. You were too tired to handle more; that and you got better at remembering to take your birth control. I spent several years expecting you to forget again and for you to say, ‘hey, I’m pregnant. Oops.’”
Even as she pinched his side, she said quietly, “I think I didn’t want to be like Mum, but I’m starting to see that Mum had the right idea.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well,” Ginny tilted her head up to kiss the underside of his chin. Her shifted weight, while not uncomfortable, did make certain parts of him beg to shift his focus away from what she was saying. “We have all this family around us and we have all of this support because my parents had seven children. We’ve lost Fred, but we have so many people who have our back if times get hard. I just can’t imagine not having that, and if we’d had six children, we’d have had the same.”
Harry thought about it, but not too much because his hands were moving of their own accord up her stomach. “We do have the four, though, so it’s not like we we’re impoverished.”
“Charlie arrives in two days,” Ginny said, then moaned as his hand went even higher.
“Let’s just not think about your brothers for right now,” he suggested as he guided her onto the bed and rolled on top of her. “I have a better idea.”
Teddy pointed over towards the sofa where Charlie and Lily were curled up together, fast asleep. “How long have they been like that?”
“Since he arrived a couple of hours ago,” Ginny told him quietly. “I know I should wake them for dinner, but they both look at peace. Do you remember how she did that when she was a toddler?”
“Yeah,” Teddy said as he took a stack of plates to set the table. The wedding was in three days and all he wanted to do was be at his own flat, enjoying dinner with his fiancé. Instead, he was here at Ivy Run because Victoire was being kept cloistered by Bill. He couldn’t stand another minute of the silence of their tiny flat.
Better to be where the noise was, plus then he didn’t have to cook a meal for himself. Teddy could have gone to any of the homes, except for Victoire’s. He’d been informed that they were doing final fittings on her wedding dress and he was to stay away.
“I bet you’re ready for this to be over,” Ginny said as she reached over to squeeze his hand.
Frustration welled up inside him as he went to grab silverware. “I miss her. That’s what’s been the worst part in the run up to the wedding. I barely get to see her.”
“It will all be over soon,” she promised him. “I know the days are dragging a bit right now, but you’ll have your stag party tomorrow night. That will be fun, right?”
If he was honest, the real answer would be no. He and a mate from school were going to a pub with Harry, Ron, George, Charlie, and Bill.
“Bill is being an overprotective git,” Ginny told him flatly. “I know it has nothing to do with you, though, and everything to do with him letting go. He was a prat when I got married.”
“You were sixteen and pregnant,” Teddy replied dryly.
“Through no fault of my own,” she agreed. “But he remembers that all too well and knows exactly what it’s like to be a young man.”
It left Teddy with the uncomfortable realization that Ginny knew exactly what he and Victoire had been getting up to. Three more days… well, two and a half at this point. It was Wednesday night and they were getting married Saturday morning.
Teddy wanted it to be Saturday night where there would be nobody trying to step between them.
“Just remember she’s worth the wait,” Ginny said as James, Al, and Nat came down the stairs together.
“I’ll go wake them up,” Teddy said as he pointed to the pair on the couch.
Charlie, who hadn’t really aged, was still a huge, beefy man with more muscles than anyone Teddy had ever seen. He had scars, too, all over his body. Lily, who wasn’t exactly a large child, looked miniscule next to her uncle.
“Time to get up,” Teddy said with a laugh as he kicked Charlie’s shoe. He was a little surprised that Lily would be sleeping in the middle of the day, but then remembered that several of her cousins had spent the night last night. Undoubtedly, the girls had stayed up for hours talking and no one had slept well.
Charlie grunted and yawned hugely as he nudged Lily. “Lily-Lu.”
“No,” was all Lily said as she buried her face into his side.
“No, you don’t want to get up?” Teddy asked in amusement.
The look she gave him was not that of an eleven-year-old, but more of the little girl which she was rapidly outgrowing. “Bed.” She held up her arms for him, just as she’d have done a few years before.
Teddy plucked her up and resisted the urge to grunt. She wasn’t heavy, not even four stones, but she wasn’t six any longer. “I’ll be back,” he called to Ginny as he carried his baby sister up to her room. The moment he set her on her bed, she curled into a ball and waved her hand vaguely in the direction of her comforter.
As he pulled the covers up it hit Teddy with the force of a ton of bricks. This was likely the last time he’d do this. She was heading to Hogwarts in two months. Lily was going to be old enough to mind Teddy’s children whenever he and Victoire had them.
She was growing up too fast.
All of the sudden, three days didn’t seem like that long of a wait.
“I’m not nervous,” Victoire said from her seat in Ginny’s bedroom as they finished the last touches on her hair. The golden locks fell in long curls down her back with her fringe pinned back by some elaborate combs that were Fleur’s. Her dress was simple, white, and made from satin. It flowed all the way to the ground and hugged her slim figure as though it were tailor made for Victoire.
“I’m nervous,” Ginny told her with a laugh.
“Bah,” Fleur shook her head as she finished up the final touches. “You look perfect,” she told her daughter with a loving smile.
“Thank you, Mum,” Victoire said as she studied her reflection.
“Now if you’d only worn the–”
“No,” was Victoire’s reply.
There came a knock at the door and Bill poked his head in. He stared at his daughter as his eyes grew suspiciously bright. “We’re ready,” he told them as he cleared his throat.
“Alright,” Ginny made her way to the door as Fleur followed along down the hall.
They had a large marquee out back, much as they’d done for Fleur and Bill’s wedding, but here at Ivy Run it only needed to be big enough to hold immediate family and four of Victoire and Teddy’s closest friends.
Things had been quiet in the last month, but there was no sense in tempting fate.
James waited for Ginny, ready to escort her down the aisle. “Thank you,” she said as she took her son’s arm. It still startled her to have to look up into her son’s eyes, but he was rapidly shooting up in height now.
He was so serious, but there was still a little of his old fire left as he walked her to the front towards her seat. Behind her, Louis did the same for his mother.
Teddy moved up to the front, with Harry by his side, while Dominique made her way forward in a pale, green dress, carrying a bouquet. Dom was just as lovely as Victoire, Ginny saw. Her eyes danced in joy as she made her way forward.
Then the music, which Ginny hadn’t really noticed until that moment, swelled further and Bill stepped forward with Victoire. Ginny’s eyes spun to Teddy’s and what she saw was enough to melt the whole of the artic. The awe, the wonder, the joy, and yes, the heat was raw and intense on his face as he studied his bride.
There were words. The little man who performed weddings, who had to be at least four hundred years old at this point, said things in that strange voice that almost sounded to be singing rather than speaking.
Ginny cried. Fleur cried. Bill cried. Molly cried. Arthur blew his nose loudly. Harry seemed to be biting hard on his cheek to keep from crying.
The little tufty-haired man waved his wand and a shower of stars fell around the figures, entwining them together as they were bonded for life.
Ginny felt a fluttering in her heart, as she realized that the son she’d helped raise for Tonks and Lupin was now a legal part of their family. He probably always should have been, but his last remaining family member was not there. Andromeda was gone. She cried for that, too, as she hugged an uncomfortable James and wept on his shoulder.
“Mum,” James patted her awkwardly. “Get a grip, please,” he hissed out. “You’re embarrassing.”
She let out a watery giggle as she kissed his cheek and felt the beginnings of stubble there. Ginny cupped his cheek. “I love you, Jamie.”
“I love you, too, Mum,” James said as the family flooded out to hug everyone else. “Can we eat now? I’m starving.”
They were supposed to be dancing, but Teddy was struggling to keep his lips from finding Victoire’s. Her little brother kept making gagging faces behind them so that only Teddy could see.
“Louis is laughing at us,” Teddy whispered into his beautiful bride’s ear.
“He’ll get his,” Victoire grinned up at him. “You’re my husband.”
He felt a bit like an idiot just by how big of a smile spread across his mouth. “I know I’m going to get used to that at some point, but right now it’s just brilliant.”
They had eaten, they’d danced, they’d talked to everyone…
“You’re ready to go,” Victoire said with an arched brow.
He could have denied it, but there wasn’t much point to that. They only had a few days off from work and training before they both had to get back to it. “I’m really ready to go.”
“Let’s go then,” she said as she took his head.
Teddy did not see that ending well. “There is no way–”
“This is our party,” Victoire reminded him. “We can leave when we want to.”
It didn’t quite work out that way. It took another half an hour to extract themselves from the rest of the family and use the Floo to get to the beach house.
Then everything blurred in a rush as Teddy swept Victoire up into his arms and attempted to carry her to the upstairs bedroom while kissing her and endeavoring to not run into the walls.
They laughed as he flipped on the light and Teddy set her down, running his hands up into her long hair. “I love you so much,” he said between kisses. He fumbled at the back of her dress, but couldn’t figure out how to undo it.
“There is a hidden zipper,” she told him breathlessly.
They laughed their way through removing the fancy clothes until there was finally nothing between them. The two fell onto the bed in a tangle of kisses and limbs as the world around them faded to just the two of them.
Victoire’s gorgeous mouth curled into a smile as she ran her hands through his hair. “I want you.”
They melded together, two into one, and moved with breathlessness and heat.
The only thing that bested making love to his wife for the first time was waking up in her arms a few hours later and knowing he could do it again and again.
They lay in the dark, warm bodies pressed together as Victoire rested her head on his chest. “We’re the first.”
He knew what she meant. They were the first of their generation to marry. “I guess we are.”
Victoire’s long, slender fingers traced a pattern over his chest. “Do you know what I was thinking as I swallowed the potion that would prevent me from getting pregnant for a year?”
Teddy didn’t, but he could imagine. Victoire was leaning heavily towards midwifery. “What?”
“I didn’t want to take it,” she admitted quietly. “I knew it was the best thing. I knew we wouldn’t be able to support a baby for at least a few years, but I still didn’t want to take it. We don’t even have any babies around us for me to babysit because we’re the oldest. We’re the first.”
Teddy kissed her brow gently, leaving his lips on her skin. “Just as soon as we aren’t flat broke, I promise.”
“I know,” she said as she yawned. “It used to be possible for one person to work and the other to stay home. That isn’t really the case anymore. We both have to work to make it.”
It was the unfortunately truth. The only one of the family that didn’t work was Fleur, but that was because Bill was so high up at Gringotts that he was paid well. Ginny didn’t have to work, but that was because of the Potter fortune. Harry didn’t have to work, either, come to that.
They lived in different times.
Teddy wanted to give Victoire everything she wanted, but he also knew that a few years of working together to build a life were going to be good for them. He used his nose to nudge her chin up so he could kiss her again as somewhere out on the beach the waves crashed and the gulls cried.
He held his wife and knew he was home.
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