damn nargles

shut up, ted (sequel to wotcher, vic)

“Merlin, mate, you got bloody Nargles in your head or somethin’?”

Teddy 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 damned schoolgirl.

Before 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 today.”

“Ooh,” 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.

Orion 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.

Sensing Teddy’s unwillingness to say anything, Kyler decides to speak up for him. “Her name is Victoire,” he says, whispering conspiratorially. “She’s—”

Teddy hastily reaches over to cover Kyler’s mouth. “That’s enough from you.”

Unfortunately, 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.

Groaning, 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.”

“And she’s an eighth Veela!” Kyler adds.

On Teddy’s other side, Orion lets out an excited stream of vowels.

Teddy 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?”)

“Yes,” he says flatly. “She’s an eighth Veela and she’s damn bloody gorgeous, alright?”

Orion 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 someone, right?”

Orion huffs out a great sigh, cheeks flushed from laughing so much. “Always the serious one.”

“Oh, 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.”

“Alright then,” Orion says, faking reluctance. “I guess I’ll let it slide this time.”

“Good,” Teddy says, starting forward. “Because our mark just went down that alley. Let’s go.”

(They 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 of yours?”

“Absolutely not,” Teddy says immediately, and Apparates himself back to the Ministry without a backwards glance.)

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