Happy New Year


Story Summary:
As long as he can remember, Teddy Lupin has felt like an outsider. But Victoire Weasley thinks that they are more alike than he realizes...

Chapter 01


Happy New Year

It wasn't that he was afraid of the damn moonlight.


It just...bothered him. Full moons made Teddy Lupin nervous for as long as he could remember. His hair seemed to stand on end, his skin crawled whenever the smallest bit of the silvery light touched him, and he was edgy and angry and a whole assortment of unpleasant feelings that he couldn't find the words to explain.

He asked his godfather what it meant once, all the anger and cravings for raw meat and the general pent-up-ed-ness, but all Harry did was give some vague answer that could have been taken from any bestiary encyclopaedia. When he was ten, Teddy actually found the exact answer - word for word - that Harry gave him in a book on a shelf in his almost-aunt Hermione's library.

But no one, not even the stupid Bestiary Encyclopaedia almost-aunt Hermione swears by, could give him an acceptable answer. As the years wore on, Teddy learned to live with the things that happened to him at every full moon. He'd taken to hiding in the tree house at the Burrow during family gatherings that happened on those days, not wanting to spoil everyone else's fun by screaming at one of his tiny almost-cousins because of feelings he still can't understand.

So he as sits alone in the tree house behind the Burrow, mere minutes from the New Year, and already Teddy wishes that it was over and done with so that he could go home with his Gran-dromeda and get away from everyone. He stares out of the small doorway of the tiny cabin, watching the New Year's Eve party continue on through the tightly-closed windows of the Burrow. Warm, golden light seems to radiate from the glass holding his almost-family, and he can see the people inside laughing and dancing and drinking as they wait for the clock to strike twelve. He can hear them a little, the high-pitched wailing of the Celestina Warbeck record Molly likes so much and almost-auntie Fleur despises straining against the windows, and for a half of a second he thinks about going back inside to the food and the music and the warm and toasty fireplace, but decides against it.

The back door creaks open, and the sound - because it isn't just a normal, everyday racket; it's a rabid, frenzied, chaotic blend of forty people talking and singing and laughing and dancing that defies all conventional forms of noise - bursts out, shattering the gentle quiet of the snow-covered grounds. Teddy leans out over the window, the rough wood digging into his freezing hands, and he can see the outline of two women in the open doorway. One talks with an air of annoyance - her words lost to the din behind her - as she shoves a blanket into the arms of her smaller counterpart. The second woman makes a rude hand gesture at the door as it slams shut behind her.

Victoire Weasley stomps over to the base of the tree, swearing enough to make her grandmother faint, and stares up at Teddy, shifting the woolly bundle in her arms as she does so.

"Maman said to bring you a blanket," she shouts up at him. Teddy drums his increasingly numb fingers on the edge of the window and tries to look bored.

"I don't really need one," he says as casually as he can, his teeth chattering. "I'm actually quite warm."


"Language, Vicky. What would your mother say?"

"She'd say, l'arrĂȘt disant telles choses, Victoire, and then she would just complain even more than she already does that I don't speak enough French." She pulls her cap off as she talks, red-blonde curls falling chaotically onto her shoulders as she climbs up the ladder that leads to the tree house.

Teddy pulls himself back into the tree house, trying to arrange himself in as comfortable position a position as he can before Victoire reaches the top step, and miraculously, he does. She brushes the snow from her sweater and stomps her boots as he watches her coolly, and all the while a strange, heated monster begins to leap about inside his chest.

"You should speak more French, you know."

She gives him a funny look, and he shrugs in response.

"You don't want to freeze, Ted." She stares at him frostily, motherly; eerily reminding him of a younger, blonder Molly Weasley. Victoire is fifteen and stubborn beyond all belief, and despite the fact that the unnameable monster that lurks in his chest is clawing at his insides, he just shrugs again and lets her throw the knitted afghan at his shaking body.

His body feels the difference instantly, the effects of a warming charm that is ingrained in the patterns of the yarn the only indication that this is a genuine Molly Weasley blanket. Others have tried (almost-auntie Fleur the most recent) to replicate Molly's woollen creations; her blankets, hats, mittens, socks, and as of late, her sweaters, but even if they manage to get their end product exactly right, it isn't the same. There are warming charms knitted in right along with the different skeins of yarn, and never has Teddy appreciated it more.

"Why won't you come to the party?" Victoire asks bluntly. Teddy rolls his eyes.

"You know, for a Ravenclaw, you really aren't that smart."

"There's no need to be rude, Theodore."

"Don't call me that!" The monster is roaring and ready to start a fight; a request that Teddy is more than happy to oblige.

"What, Theodore?"

"No...rude. I'm not being rude."

"Really? Because the last time I checked, hiding and brooding at every family gathering seems to constitute as rude behaviour."

"You're a brat, Victoire."

"And you're a wanker, but that's splitting hairs now, isn't it?"

"Sod off."

"Same to you," she smirks. "I'm not going away until you answer my question."

"Fine then. Freeze your arse off, for all I care."

"Oh, come on, Teddy," she moans, her hands on her hips and her eyes narrowed on his. "Just tell me what's wrong. You'll feel better once it's out of your system."




"No. I've got nothing to say to you."

"Teddy..." Victoire kicks him slightly; the needling tone of her voice already burrowing its way into his head. "What's wrong? We're friends, aren't we? You can tell me. I'm worried about you, Ted...We all are." She kicks him again, harder than the first time.

"Stop kicking me!"

"Tell me what bug's crawled up your arse and I'll think about it."

He stares at her for what feels like an eternity, moving his leg away from her feet before muttering something that sounded vaguely like "bugger...feelings...mailboxes".

"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Would you like to repeat that, but in a voice that isn't reserved for the ears of dogs?"

"I...just...oh, bollocks. The reason is...because...becauseIdon'twanttohurtsomeone."

Teddy blushes and Victoire crosses her arms, staring at him a little too intensely for his liking.

"Is that all?"

"Is that...is...what?"

Teddy sputters and Victoire crawls under the blanket, the small frame of her body inches from his as she pulls the blue wool tightly around herself.

"You didn't possibly think that you were the only one who got this way around the full moon?"

Teddy stares at her, mouth hanging open, and she laughs.

"You...you feel it too?"

"Of course I do, you great prat. What do you think I came out here for - laughs?"

"No! It's...I saw you and your mum arguing before you got outside."

"We always argue, Ted, it's just what we do. She wanted me to talk to you because I know what it feels like to be 'affected by ze moon.' But unlike you, I can actually function in society, so...yeah. I get sent out into the freezing cold, just to lecture you about being the child of a werewolf. You couldn't have pulled this kind of stunt in the spring, when it's actually above ten degrees?"

She smiles and pushes him playfully, and Teddy closes his mouth.

"Are you the only one?"

"No. My dad...he gets it really bad. Sometimes. He...he doesn't transform," she whispers the last word as if it were a curse. "But he just goes, I don't know, berserk, and Mum locks him in the basement and sends all of us to the Burrow for a day or two."

"I didn't know that."

Victoire scoffs and pushes her hair out of her eyes. "Well, it's not really something you want to advertise, is it?"

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. Not your fault you're the way you are, the same way it's not my fault I'm the way I am. It's a family thing."

She smiles sadly up at him, and he finds himself wanting to smile back.

"It's kind of strange, though..."

"What is?"

"Well, I've been feeling like this ever since I was little, and so have you, right?"


"Dominique and Louis don't feel this way. They've got the same blood as I do: the same Veela charms and the same Weasley genes and the same bits and pieces of Dad that were changed inside him during the War. But they don't get all weird and hungry and angry when the stupid bloody moon rises. They don't get crazy and snippy when someone asks them a question during dinner. They don't have Maman screaming at them like a banshee because they ripped down the living room curtains in a paranoid fit. They don't have this weird, I don't know, monster in their chest every time they...they like a stupid person. They don't get...they don't..." Victoire trails off, staring up at the cloud-covered moon that hangs outside the window.

"It's like we're different," she says quietly, more to herself than to him. "We're the oldest, so we got the worst bits of it."

Teddy nods. Clouds roll across the darkened sky, the moon finally revealing itself to the empty, quiet fields that lay beyond the Burrow. Pale light creeps along the windowsill of the tree house, and both Teddy and Victoire edge away from it.

"Maybe it's supposed to be like this," Teddy says slowly. "Maybe we've got to deal with the brunt of it so the little ones don't have to. It's our problem now so that the Halflings of the future don't have to deal with it...at least not as badly as we do."

Victoire is quiet, but her small, smooth hand finds his underneath the blanket and squeezes Teddy's wide one gently.

"It doesn't mean you have to do it alone, Teddy," Victoire says, resting her head on his shoulder. Impulsively, he puts his arm around her. It's awkward, and he can feel her shoulders tensing underneath him, but she doesn't shove him away. "You've got me. Wolves of a feather, howl together, and all that jazz."

He pulls himself back to look at her, and he feels the corners of his mouth turning upwards into a smile. The monster in his chest snorts appreciatively.

"Since when do wolves have feathers?"

Victoire shrugs and laughs, and from far away - farther than it seems, really - Teddy can hear the party guests counting down the seconds until the New Year.

"Only a few seconds left then, eh?"

"I guess," Victoire says as Teddy twists a strand of her hair around his finger.

"Did you make any resolutions?"

"Well...just one..."

The room is bathed in the grey, muted light, and Teddy's skin itches with the urge to get away from it, but he can't move. He can hear the counting of their families and the music pressing against the bolted windows, and Victoire suddenly, recklessly throws the blanket away from their bodies. She sits up and stares him square in the eye, and for a brief moment it feels like all the air has been sucked out of the tiny room they're in.

"Happy New Year, Teddy," Victoire whispers, and she presses her lips to his. Her hair is caught in the moonlight, and the strawberry strands of her wild, impossible curls are alive and glowing silver.

The crowd in the house begins to sing, and the kiss deepens.

The chest monster growls in approval.

And Teddy, for once in his sixteen years of life, thinks that maybe, just maybe, moonlight isn't that bad after all.