mate, you got bloody Nargles in your head or somethin’?”
makes an offended noise in the back of his throat and turns toward Orion, eye
roll ready and primed. Orion just cocks an eyebrow and looks back steadily, far
too amused for his own good. Smug bastard. Teddy just knew the moment they Flooed into Aunt Luna’s to lose the wizards
tailing them that it was going to mistake. And now here they are, two months
later, and Orion’s still bringing those damn Nargles up every chance he gets. Ugh. Idiot’s nearing thirty—as James is
fond of saying (and Ginny is fond of smacking him for), a grown-arse man—but you’d never know by the way he’s giggling like a
Teddy can say the obligatory oh dearie
me, I forgot to wet myself with laughter, Kyler butts his dumb head in.
“He’s just distracted,” Kyler says, leaning ’round Teddy to give Orion an
obscene wink. Uh oh. “His girlfriend’s coming back from Hogwarts
Orion says, waggling his eyebrows. Teddy tries his hardest to ignore him.
Problem is, these two are worse gossips than Nan and Grandma Weasley at their
weekly teas. And now one Orion Thomas Gold—incurable flirt, Leaky Cauldron
frequenter, and both womanizer and man-izer—has
just hit the bloody jackpot. “Little Teddy’s got himself a bird?”
“Little Teddy’s about to curse your ears
off,” Teddy grumbles, glaring at Kyler. Kyler just shrugs back, the very
picture of innocence. Traitor.
elbows Teddy to regain his attention, grin nothing short of wicked. “So? You
gonna tell or not?”
Preferably not, Teddy thinks, because if
Orion hears one mention of Victoire, it’s only a matter of time before he finds
out everything else (the infamous Quidditch Cup incident included). And then
Teddy will absolutely, one-hundred percent never
live it down.
Teddy’s unwillingness to say anything, Kyler decides to speak up for him. “Her
name is Victoire,” he says, whispering conspiratorially. “She’s—”
hastily reaches over to cover Kyler’s mouth. “That’s enough from you.”
the damage has already been done. “C’mon, c’mon, spill the beans!” Orion demands,
rubbing his hands together excitedly. Damn idiot looks ready to wet himself.
Teddy releases Kyler and pushes him away. Unfortunately, Teddy nearly goes down
with him. Orion, only too used to Teddy’s clumsiness, quickly snags Teddy’s
collar to keep him upright.
“Her name is Victoire,” Teddy finally says
once he’s no longer in danger of falling on his face (again). “She’s been my
best friend since I was two. We’ve been seeing each other for three years.”
she’s an eighth Veela!” Kyler adds.
Teddy’s other side, Orion lets out an excited stream of vowels.
pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs. When his hand falls back to his side,
light glances off the ring on his pinky—Victoire’s twentieth birthday present
to him. (“Wicked,” he said when she’d
first given it to him, holding the dragon scale—carved into a half-crescent
moon—up to the light. “Does this make me badass now?”)
he says flatly. “She’s an eighth Veela and she’s damn bloody gorgeous,
claps his hands together and positively cackles.
Shaking his head, Teddy shares a concerned look with Kyler. “You do realize we’re supposed to be trailing
huffs out a great sigh, cheeks flushed from laughing so much. “Always the serious
give the bloke a break,” Kyler chips in, humming under his breath. But his
hand’s tucked in the pocket of his robes; Teddy knows it’s clenched around his
wand. Although they’ve perfected the hidden-in-plain-sight technique he and
Harry created, it still makes Kyler a little nervous. “He hasn’t seen his
girlfriend in months.”
then,” Orion says, faking reluctance.
“I guess I’ll let it slide this time.”
Teddy says, starting forward. “Because our mark just went down that alley.
don’t speak again until Teddy’s got handcuffs around the Death Eater wannabe.
Then, Orion wipes the blood from his nose and says, “so, can I meet this bird
not,” Teddy says immediately, and Apparates himself back to the Ministry
without a backwards glance.)