The first time Victoire meets Teddy, he’s two and she’s just been born. She doesn’t remember any of it, but later, much later, her parents would tell her that she’d gurgled at the sight of him like she’d known he was going to end up being her best friend. And then—this part is always accompanied by a knowing smirk—when they brought Teddy up to the new mother and daughter (“Das a bay-bee?” he’s later quoted as saying. “Weird.”), his hair changed from Weasley-red to the same shade of blonde as hers.
“Zis ees Victoire,” her maman had said, smiling down at Teddy. “Do you want to say ‘ello, Teddy?”
And Teddy had cocked his head to the side, nodded in the sort of pompous, overly-excited fashion that only a two-year-old could get away with, and said, “Wotcha, Vic.”
By the time Victoire can talk and walk (and thus cause all sorts of trouble), she and Teddy are inseparable. Literally—Victoire throws tantrums that pay hefty tribute to her Veela heritage whenever she goes more than a few days without seeing her best friend. Sometimes, they hang out at Auntie And-rah-meh-da’s house, but most of the time, it’s either at the Burrow or Shell Cottage or sometimes even Uncle Harry’s house. Her maman frowns when Victoire comes home with her hair a mess and her dress splattered with mud, but because Victoire’s cheeks are always flushed and her grin is set to devour her whole face, she doesn’t say anything.
After all, there’s always Cleaning Charms (and thank Merlin for them). And besides, as Victoire’s daddy likes to say when he thinks Victoire isn’t listening, “at least she’s still young enough that the only trouble she gets into with boys is a spot of mud.”
When Victoire turns two, her maman and daddy sit her on the couch between them and tell her that she’s going to have a sister. Victoire doesn’t care much. A sister would be nice, she thinks. Teddy is nice, but he’s four now. He’s old and sometimes he doesn’t want to hang out with her because she’s too young. Plus, he’s a boy. And boys are gross, even if they’re crazy-haired Metamorphmagus boys named Teddy. (Especially if.)
“My maman’s gonna have a baby,” she tells Teddy a few days later, lying down on the grass beside him.
Teddy doesn’t say anything for a long moment, just continues pulling up grass with stubby fingers. “Good,” he says suddenly, and she’s so surprised that she turns to face him. His hair is black like Uncle Harry’s. “You’ll have someone else to play with.”
Victoire’s face screws up. “Why’re you so mean tuh me?” she demands shrilly, sitting up and glaring at him.
Teddy turns away from her, his hair briefly taking on the same shade of green as the grass around them before returning to jet black. “Because I’m older,” he answers angrily, throwing his handful of grass at her. Most of it lands on her dress, but she can feel pieces of it in her hair. “I don’t want to play with babies like you all the time.”
Victoire starts crying. She pushes herself off the ground and runs back to the safety of her home, wishing she’d never met Teddy Lupin. That Muggle girl from the nearby village was right—boys are meanies. But she never thought Teddy could be like them. He’d taught her how to colour and he played in the mud with her and brought her Chocolate Frogs when she was sad. He was nice… wasn’t he?
Or not. Beyond furious and more than a little sad, she stomps into the cottage and slams the door behind her with as much force as she can muster. One of the panes of glass breaks, and her maman comes running into the room at the noise, one hand cradling her tummy, eyes wide. Her daddy is only a few steps behind her, his forehead all scrunched up, wand in hand.
“What ees eet, ma chérie?” her maman asks, crouching down and cradling Victoire’s face in her hands. Her beautiful features—her mother really is beautiful, the most beautiful woman in the whole world—are twisted with worry. “What ‘appened? Are you okay? Are you ‘urt? Where ees Teddy?”
When she hears Teddy’s name, Victoire starts to sob even harder. “He—he called me a baby,” she bawls, throwing her arms around her mother. “He said he was glad you’re havin’ a baby ‘cause then he doesn’t have tuh play with me anymore!”
Her mother pulls her onto her lap and starts to rock her back and forth, singing an old French lullaby under her breath. Victoire’s daddy looks angry, but he crouches next to her too, stroking her hair. “I don’t care if the kid’s four and basically family,” he mutters lowly to his wife. “I’m going to kill him.”
Victoire’s maman giggles quietly as she continues to rock Victoire back and forth. “Beell,” she says in the same tone of voice she uses on Victoire when she’s done something bad, “you cannot ‘urt every boy who ‘urts Veeky.”
“But I want to,” Victoire’s daddy mumbles, sounding every bit like his daughter in her most petulant moments.
Victoire’s maman huffs, but there’s a small smile playing out across her lips. “‘e is young,” she says firmly. “And ‘e will make mistakes. Watch—’e will be back to apologize. ‘E cannot stay away.”
And sure enough, fifteen minutes later, there’s a timid knock on the door, and it’s Teddy, looking small and lost. “I—uh…” he trails off, his eyes flickering between his scuffed trainers and where Victoire stands behind her father, hands on her hips like Aunt Ginny when she wants to look intimidating. “I’m sorry, Vicky. I was being mean.”
Victoire’s already forgiven him—she forgave him five minutes ago. But she still darts out from being her father and plants a kick square on Teddy’s shin. It gets her a time-out from her mother and an irritated look from Teddy, but her father’s smiling into his palm, so it’s worth it.
Her sister is born four months before Victoire’s third birthday. Victoire’s in St. Mungo’s waiting room with Teddy and Andromeda—she only learned how to properly say the older woman’s name a few weeks ago—because there’s too much screaming in room where her mother and it smells too much like the Burrow after one of Grandma Weasley’s cleaning days.
Finally, a Healer finds them and tells them the baby has been born and would you please come this way, ma’ams and sir. Victoire, scared and nervous and excited all at the same time, grabs Teddy’s hand as they follow behind the adults. Teddy’s hair turns bright red—brighter than her daddy’s—but he doesn’t pull away.
When they reach the room, the rest of her family is already there, crowded around a bed, but they smile and make room for her once they spot her. Victoire catches sight of her mother with a bundle of blankets in her arms, hair dark with sweat, cheeks flushed. But both she and Victoire’s daddy, who’s hovering beside her and looking pale, are smiling widely.
Her mother motions for Victoire come closer. Victoire hasn’t let go of Teddy’s hand yet, so he just follows behind her shyly as she gets closer to the bed. “This ees your new sister, Veeky,” her maman whispers hoarsely, holding the blankets out to Victoire.
Victoire looks down at the blankets, shocked to see a pair of blue eyes staring back at her somberly. It’s so small. Hesitantly, she reaches out a finger and touches one of the baby’s tiny fingers. The baby makes a noise that sounds a little like a laugh, and Victoire’s maman smiles even wider. “‘Er name ees Dominique.”
Victoire doesn’t really understand what’s going on, but she hugs her mom anyways, and when Teddy whispers, “are all babies this ugly?” into her ear, she stomps on his foot even though she kind of agrees with him.
Victoire’s brother Louis arrives when Victoire is four and a half, and Shell Cottage becomes a warzone. Luckily, though Teddy is almost seven now—way older than her—he still hangs out with her when he’s not seeing his other friends.
One day, when everyone’s at the Burrow for Sunday Brunch, he tells her that he’s going to teach Louis all his tricks. Victoire looks at him in her best Aunt Ginny impression—hands on her hips, upturned eyebrows, pursed lips, eyes blazing—and says, “what tricks, Teddy Lupin?” She’s just lost her childish lisp, and it makes her sound older. Teddy blanches.
“Blimey, Ted,” Uncle Ron laughs, clapping an affronted Teddy on the back. “You’d better watch out.”