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Batch 16 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 16
Teddy and Victoire visiting Remus and Tonks' portraits and announcing their engagement
for margaret67

[Following up this one]
Victoire couldn't have got up and walked right away--her legs were still shaking from nervousness--so she was glad that Teddy didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave the spot behind the frame of the house. They sat together, arms wound around each other, looking up at the auroras through the skeleton of the place that would be their home. Finally, the clouds moved in and a cold December rain began.

"I guess that's a sign," Victoire said. "We should go someplace warmer."

"Is it cold?"

Victoire got to her feet and held her hand down to Teddy. "My head, my heart, and my blood.. not cold. My skin, on the other hand, is strongly suggesting that we find shelter."

Teddy took her hand and pulled himself up, then wrapped both of them in his oversized coat, his arms tight around her shoulders. They walked slowly back to the shack he was living in, pulling each other in crazy, unbalanced swerves as they went down the hill. By the time they got there, they were laughing at each other, and Victoire's legs had stopped shaking entirely. Teddy looked happy and relaxed when he opened the door.

"Oh, they're back!" Dora Lupin said from the portrait on the far wall. "And Victoire doesn't look nearly so nervous."

Teddy smiled and waved to the portrait. Dora and Remus had stopped their dance, and were leaning on the edges of the frame. Sirius was lounging in his chair.

"Out with it," Sirius said. "James has a pool running, and I think I'm in the lead."

"What on earth do you bet with?" Teddy asked. "What could you win?"

"Honor and glory, of course," Dora said, rolling her eyes. "Thank you for not having Dean paint any gold, or they'd be at it nonstop."

Remus smiled. "Do you have anything you'd like to tell us, Teddy?"

"Seems like you already know."

Sirius shrugged. "Well, the portraits at Grimmauld Place have been buzzing since this afternoon. Something about the fair Miss Weasley having a conversation with Harry and Andromeda in Harry's study."

"They were listening?" Victoire shook her head. "Oh, really, that will spoil the surprise entirely."

"Who do you imagine is going to be surprised?" Remus asked.

Teddy and Victoire looked at each other, then at the same moment said, "James."

"That would be our James," Teddy clarified.

"He can't possibly be that dense," Dora said.

Remus considered this. "He's Harry's son. He may well be that dense about this sort of thing."

Victoire smiled and shook her head. "I think he just blocks it out." She took a deep breath. "Well, I'd best start practicing. Mr. and Mrs. Lupin, and Mr. Black, I dearly hope you'll enjoy having a new in-law. I asked Teddy to marry me, and he agreed."

Dora crowed happily and clapped her hands.

"I still can't believe you let her beat you to it," Sirius said. "Even Moony here wasn't that bad."

Dora gave him an incredulous look. "Maybe not technically."

"No--technically, as well as morally," Remus said. "I asked the first time, but then we broke up. The second and third times, Dora asked. Well, actually, I asked the third time, but it was Dora who said, 'And by the way, we really ought to do it tomorrow.'"

She smiled at him fondly, and Victoire wondered what it would have been like to tell them if they'd lived, if they weren't trapped in this pleasant portrait form. Would they scold about how young Teddy and Victoire were? Tell them they ought to wait? Or would they be exactly this happy and easygoing about it, bantering lightly about their own tortured romance?

She supposed she'd find out soon enough, when she got back to London and started to tell the living family. But that could be put off for a few more minutes, maybe an hour, at least.

She sat down on the cozy chair Teddy had bought for times he felt like chatting with them, and said, "Do any of you speak French?"

"They speak a lot," Dora said. "I speak a bit. Why?"

"Well, it'll be a new house up there, you know. No other portraits for you to talk to. But I think my great-grandmother would let me have the portrait of my great-grandfather. He speaks French. He's quite charming..."

Something with grown up Dudley? I just love how you write his relationship with the Potters and teaching Teddy how to box and such. If you want something a little more specific, maybe getting back at George for that Ton-Tongue Toffee, but really, whatever you want!
for alphabet26

Dudley hadn't imagined for a moment that it would work.

Surely, a in a world where a bit of toffee could suddenly make one's tongue drop all the way to the floor, a simple jack-in-the-box wouldn't scare someone, or even surprise him. But from the moment Harry had introduced him to George Weasley--the surviving one of the twins who'd once tricked him--he'd been possessed of a desire to avenge himself. It was petty, but they'd scared him a good bit, and he didn't feel he'd be entirely at ease until he knew he could hold his own. Challenging George to a boxing match would definitely end in Dudley's favor, but he didn't really want to hurt the bloke. He just wanted to get even.

He'd got the idea last Christmas at Harry's new place, when he'd seen George prodding deck of Muggle cards, and later messing about with a Rubik's Cube. It was his father who supposedly liked all Muggle things, but from the look of it, George liked to figure out how they worked as well. Dudley had found the jack-in-the-box in Mum's attic. No electronics for them to blow out, but he thought the little sealed box looked attractive enough--George wouldn't be able to resist it. Any more than Dudley been able to resist a sweet after a summer eating quarter-grapefruits.

He thought, in all likelihood, that George would just look at it and bring out some magical thing that worked the same way, but had a fire breathing dragon or whatnot in it, but it was worth a try. He brought it, along with several other Muggle toys, to Harry's for Christmas, pretending that it was meant for Bill Weasley's girls and Teddy Lupin to have a look at. He left it conspicuously on an end table, and tried to be nonchalant until he saw George edge over toward it.

George pulled the box over, touched the handle, then started to turn it.

"Hey, it's a music box!"

Harry raised his eyebrows, but caught Dudley's look and said nothing.

George started singing along as he wound the handle, then suddenly, the clown burst up. Dudley had attached an ink-pack from the company safe to its head, and it sprayed George's face with purple splotches.


George jumped back, startled, then began to laugh. "Oh, that's bloody grand! Does it do it again?"

"Not with the ink," Dudley said. "That was just a one-time thing. Sort of thank you for the toffee you once gave me."

George laughed louder, and held out his hand. "Even?"

Dudley didn't think that causing delighted amusement was quite even to raw fear, but found that he liked this better--the boy who'd once used magic against him was now holding out his hand like an equal. Dudley shook it.

They went back to the party, George keeping the purple ink on his face, much to the amusement of his nieces and Teddy (who promptly caused purple spots to appear on his own face), and Dudley imagined it was done. He was with Harry, gathering his things to go--he had to get to Mum and Dad's, and besides, if it was like last year, the afternoon would see a lot more witches and wizards than he knew what to do with--when George Weasley came up behind him and cleared his throat.

"Er, Harry, would you mind if I had a word with your cousin?" he asked.

"Be my guest," Harry said. "Happy Christmas, Dudley. Tell your parents as well. Or perhaps not. They might find it happier without hearing from me."

This was true enough, so Dudley just shrugged.

Harry nodded to him and went back to the parlor.

"Come on outside," George said. "I can get you back home quicker than the train. I... well, Fred and I talked about it once, and we reckoned maybe we were a bit out of line on giving you that toffee. Mind, you'd been a git to Harry." Dudley didn't answer. George opened the door and led him outside, toward a rubbish-strewn alley. "I could beg off and tell you it was Fred's idea. It was. But I went along with it. Thought it'd be funny."

"Hilarious," Dudley said.

"Dad thought it probably scared you."

They reached the alley, and Dudley stopped. "What's this about?"

"Just an apology." George shrugged. "I don't make them a lot. So, do you want to go home, or what? I can drag you along like luggage if I Disapparate--"

Dudley shook his head and grinned. "Thanks. But I think I'll take the train after all."
8 comments or Leave a comment
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: December 18th, 2008 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, I'm never the first to comment.

I love that Victoire is concerned about the portraits having other portraits for conversation.

Dudley's revenge is adorable. And George's apology is mature, but still so him.

Good work!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 18th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who else thinks this is the best December ever? It is so nice to weak up every day to this awesome treats...

I just want to hug everyone. Including the portraits, but that'll be a little difficult.

scopart From: scopart Date: December 18th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Just an apology." George shrugged. "I don't make them a lot."

Heehee, you could tell. Good old George. That whole ficlet was Geroge all over, even if it was from Dudley's POV. I like Dudley's pleasant surprise that he enjoyed making George laugh more than he would have enjoyed frightening him.
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tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: December 19th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I like your Teddy/Victoire fluff. And I had somehow missed your actual proposal scene, so this one was a double treat for me — thanks for including the link!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 19th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)
"he didn't really want to hurt the bloke. He just wanted to get even."

Aw, Dudley.

Oh, and Fern? I think you're the only fanfic writer who I've read and thought, "Aw, Dudley."

alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: December 20th, 2008 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that was perfect. Thank you so much, I love it!
8 comments or Leave a comment