You’re too kind Andie.
It’s only the truth, when have I ever lied to you?
God, I know. Pretty pathetic.
You should go and teach them a lesson, Rod. Merlin knows you’d be a brilliant teacher.
I swear on Merlins’ grave I’ve never seen so many first year’s falling off their brooms. They’re adorable, aren’t they?
Ted had to smirk at that. “Andromeda, darling, I don’t mean to be rude but us Muggleborns have been living in fear for quite a while. Greta’s used to it. She’s more torn up over what’s happened to us and how James is treating her. Yeah, we’re both a little more cautious around your sister, but it wasn’t like we were her favorite people to begin with. Just about two months, I know.” Ted thought again for a moment.
“I don’t think Bellatrix would care, to be honest. She’d just publicly renounce you and have nothing to do with you. I think you’re underestimating her. Embarrassment or not, it wouldn’t matter. Narcissa, maybe. She seems the sort to keep it quiet. But Bella? I’ve already been on the receiving end of her threats and she didn’t seem like she would keep it a secret just to preserve her reputation. I hate to say it, Andromeda, because I know she’s your sister and you care for her, but she’s slipping. She hates me. She hates people like me, but especially me. No. Letting her know wouldn’t work.”
Ted groaned and locked his jaw, something he did when he was irritated. “Two months. I don’t want to hide or for us to have a secret relationship, but I think if we can just keep it from her…” He sighed. “How about this? We tell our friends. My roommates already know, the nosy gits. Well, they knew I wasn’t really dating Greta and Amos let it slip that you and I had something going for a while. So I want to tell them. If we can do that, and be open about our relationship for the most part I’ll be okay. After that there’s summer holiday and then we’ll be back together here. And then, if we’re still together next year…then we’ll talk about telling your family. How’s that?”
“Properly, eh?” Ted’s eyes lit up and his lips spread into a huge smile. “My dear Dromeda, will you be my girlfriend again? Despite the fact we’ll be ridiculed and probably threatened and harmed if we’re found out by the wrong people? Please?”
“How James is treating her?” Andromeda was completely confused. James and Greta were tight nit. “James adores Greta, what are you talking about?” She quieted for a while. “Two months and then she’s gone. And then we have break and we can be together all we like, Ted. All of us, without anyone to be cautious of.”
Andromeda thought it through. Of course Bellatrix would love to see anyone betraying her out of the family, but Andromeda knew how special she was to Bellatrix. “You see it that way and I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but Bellatrix adores me. She’d do anything to keep me in the family until I’ve pushed her far enough. She keeps trying to get me to date Amycus Carrow. She’s pushing me to stay and not leave.” Andromeda eyed Ted for a second, “Wait you think I’d let her know? Merlin, if I wanted you to have a death wish, yeah! No way in hell am I telling her unless I’m leaving the family.”
When Andromeda heard that all his dorm mates knew, she couldn’t help but laugh. That was why Amos had been giving her odd looks in the hallway. “My God. Of course. Yes, people should know. A wider range, it’d be better that way,” She agreed, “And I think that us only having told Lily and Greta and James was a bit stupid, the more people knowing is much better.”
“Well, Ted, I’m not sure,” She was grinning from ear to ear. Happiness practically radiated off of her. She leaned in closer and let her lips meet Ted’s. She couldn’t stop smiling while kissing him. Slowly, she leaned away and put her forehead to his, “I’d adore to be your girlfriend, Ted.”
Ted was in the process of trying to muddle through his thoughts about what to say when Andromeda walked through the door. She looked nervous, but then, he supposed he probably did as well. He was taken aback when she sat right next to him and stared. Speak, he urged his mind. All the words he had wanted to say froze inside him, making him look like he had went dumb.
Ted stood, hoping that it was her proximity that struck him silent. He turned away from her and squeezed his eyes shut. Taking a deep breath, he steeled himself and turned back to face her. “You want to get back together, right?” He paused as if waiting for an answer but then continued when she didn’t speak. “So do I. But it’s not as simple as that. I don’t want to hide being someone’s boyfriend ever again. Iwon’t. This Romeo and Juliet shite is for the birds.” Ted looked down and shook his head. “And then there’s Greta to worry about. Your sister, and most of the school, thinks we’re dating. If you and I were to just magically start going out, Greta wouldn’t be safe. Not that we would either,” he added as an afterthought. “Greta and I would have to ‘break up’ in public and it would have to be convincing. If she’s up to it, then that’s one area covered.”
“I know your family isn’t crazy about us muggleborns, but Sirius’ parents let him get away being friends with his lot for years before he was banished. You’ve still got a year of schooling left, and I don’t want you- I-” Ted groaned, not being able to come up with the right words. “Family is important, no matter how crazy they might be. Your parents, they aren’t as…well, fanatic as your older sister are they? If you could convince them we were a fling or what have you… what I mean is could we fool them? Because if you had your parents believing this was just a rebellious stage, or better yet, something to just piss Bellatrix off… I dunno. I just don’t want to be the person you leave your family for. I mean, what if we don’t work out in the long run? Not that I’m saying we won’t,” he hastily added. “It’s just a rather large decision and I know I’m not making much sense. I’m sorry.”
Ted paced a bit trying to come up with how to say the next part and not sound like an idiot. “I-I care about you very, very much. More than I probably should. I want you to be my girlfriend again, Dromeda.” Ted came back to the bed and sat down next to her and grabbed her hands. “Being without you is horrible. And I’m told I sulk in class because of it.” He added with a small smile. “And I hear someone cries because of it. And I never want to make that person cry again.”
Andromeda watched as Ted paced around while he spoke. She remained quiet until he was finished. He was obviously doubting their getting back together, it was no surprise. Greta played a big factor in this, and she couldn’t have Greta getting hurt because of Andromeda’s not being subtle enough.
“Ted, I know, Greta is obviously really off about this whole situation. We shouldn’t have gotten her involved in the first place. She’s basically living in fear that Bella will hurt her,” Andromeda sighed, “But Bellatrix is leaving school in a few months. She’s graduating and she won’t be back here. She hates this place as is and once she’s gone it’ll be much safer. No one in the house is as bad as Bellatrix when it comes to muggleborns.” Which was mostly true. Sure Slytherin’s didn’t like them but Bellatrix had a whole other level on hating everyone else. “I wouldn’t let Bellatrix even touch a hair on Greta’s hair. You know that, Ted. If someone had told me about Bellatrix earlier, this whole thing would have been sorted out.”
Andromeda could almost laugh at Ted. He had no clue what family she had, obviously. They threatened Sirius every single vacation. He had to start lying to his parents about his friends at some point. He had to say he only spoke to purebloods. But Andromeda couldn’t let Ted know that. Only Andie knew that. “They don’t know about us, Ted, it’s just Bellatrix. She wouldn’t dare tell them because she’s scared of them and what they’d do to me. She wouldn’t dare tell a soul that we were dating. It’d be an embarrassment on her part.” Andromeda frowned slightly when Ted mentioned that he didn’t want to be the person she left for. In all honesty, if Andromeda didn’t leave for him - it would be for herself.
She found herself turn red when Ted took a hold of her hands. She let out a small, quiet laugh. “Ask me properly, Ted.”
It was as if the universe wanted to help Ted out. After all he had been through, he supposed it should. His class got out ten minutes earlier than normal, which was a god-send, in his opinion. Andromeda would still be in class and he would be able to get down to Delwyn’s cabin earlier than she would. He had his satchel packed with food, and with the little room that remained he had stuffed in the shirt Andromeda had given him for his birthday. He knew if he had to go back to his dorm to change and to the kitchens, he would arrive at the cabin too late and Andromeda would see the damage he had caused.
Thankfully now he had even more time. He nearly killed himself getting down the numerous staircases and out of the castle. Ted didn’t pay any attention to the dirty looks he received when he bumped into people, and rather unlike himself, didn’t bother apologizing. He was in too much of a hurry and his mind was preoccupied with making things perfect for Andromeda.
He was lucky enough not to run into anyone on his actual way to the forest though. He supposed most students were still in class, and those that weren’t were not headed in the same direction as he was.
He checked his wristwatch for the time. He had to squint because it was the new fancy one Andromeda had given him. To be honest, he really preferred wearing his old roughed up watch. The leather was worn in the proper places and glass rarely ever caught a glare. He’d had it for years and it was a part of him. While this new watch was lovely, by all means it was lovely, it just wasn’t him. The gold was too flashy and the band didn’t fit properly. Not that he’d ever tell Andromeda; she had spent what he knew had to be a good chunk of gold on it. On him. It was the thought that counted, anyways.
By now Ted knew the path to Delwyn’s cabin very intimately and after going into the forest so many times in the past months, Ted didn’t hesitate at all when entering the Forbidden Forest. Expertly he dogged the dangerous plants and ducked low hanging branches as if he had been doing it his entire life. What would have taken someone else twenty to thirty minutes to get to the clearing that was now Delwyn’s home, took him under ten. It was as if Delwyn knew he was coming because she was curled up right in front of the entrance.
“Hullo there, old girl. How are you today?” Ted smiled as he stroked her beak. She was the only Hippogriff he would ever dare approach and not bow too. Della playfully nipped his finger -which still smarted- and gave him a short squawk in response. She seemed genuinely thrilled to see him and nudged at him, for a treat he was sure. “In a moment, Della. Got to do so quick cleaning first and then I’ll be out. And then Drom should be here as well.” The magical creature squawked even louder then. Ted gave her one last pat before heading into the cabin.
To say the space was a wreck was an understatement. The memory of what had happened here the last time he had come was like a knife in his chest. It hurt to look upon the ruin he had caused, and it hurt to remember why he had done it. Ted sighed. He couldn’t allow himself to focus on that. Rather, he needed to clean the space and ready himself for Andromeda’s arrival. He magicked what he could, but his tidying spells never were the best. What he couldn’t fix with magic, he did by hand. He made the bed by hand and replaced the few articles of clothing that he didn’t burn back into the trunk at the foot of the bed. He could do nothing about the dried flowers he burned, but he could replace them with fresh flowers.
A quick trip outside garnered him an expectant look from Delwyn and the relief of seeing plenty of flowers behind the cabin. It only took a few minutes to gather a bouquet of wildflowers for Andromeda. Back inside, Ted mended the cups and dishes he smashed with a hurried reparo. None of the cups were tall enough to house the flowers, but he quickly transfigured one of them into a vase and solved that problem. The flowers fit perfectly. He arranged the vase on the table and the food he brought around it.
Noting the time, Ted tore off his tie and undid his shirt, dropping them both to the floor. Ted tugged on the new Beatles t-shirt Andromeda had given him and smiled as he felt how nicely it fit him. It was as he was pulling the shirt over his chest that he heard her voice. Speaking to Delwyn, he assumed. His stomach knotted up in anticipation and he had to tone down the excited grin he knew was plastered on his face. He retrieved the shirt and tie from the floor and tossed them into a corner. Then, he sat down on the bed and waited.
The anxiousness that filled Andromeda made her stomach feel like a pit. The whole day, going from class to class, she couldn’t concentrate. She wondered what Ted would say to her and how he would act. If he would tell her once again that they weren’t going to be able to get together. Andie kept the worst possible scenario in her mind because she couldn’t bother to get her hopes up. That would make her a complete train wreck and it was the last thing she needed. More hope. James said that Ted would come to his senses, and so had Lily. But honestly, Andromeda had been doubting that. Ted knew he had to protect Greta more than anyone and Andromeda was aware of that fact.
Going from class to class only made her feel worse. At some point, in Potions, she thought she might have actually thrown up due to her nerves, but she battled through in hopes that even if she was expecting the worst, Ted might actually say something that wouldn’t make her completely hate herself. The constant worry almost made her drop her cauldron on the floor which would ruin the liquid luck. Damn it, how could she be this nervous for anything?
When classes ended, Andromeda went back to her dorm and put her bag down. She took off her skirt and changed into something more appropriate for after class. A pair of shorts Cissy had gotten her from Paris and a simple black shirt, along with a jacket in case it got cold out later.
No one bothered Andromeda about where she was going, and Bellatrix hardly watched her leave the common room which was just her luck. Andromeda almost jogged to the exit of the castle, even though she wasn’t really late for meeting Ted. Once she got to the edge of the forest, Andie slowed herself and started walking normally, making sure to check her step so that she didn’t walk into anything that would potentially kill her. She found Della’s cabin in five minutes. The place still looked the same and outside, there was a very excited Delwyn gawking at Andromeda.
“Della!” Andromeda said, “My, you’ve grown! Is he in there?” Della gawked as if to say yes and moved her head over to show that Ted was inside. “You’re so smart. I’ve missed you loads, Della. I’ll be sure to visit more often, alright? I have to go inside now, but I’ll play later.”
Della nodded and went over to her cage which was huge now, obviously their professor had magicked it to do that on purpose. Andromeda found herself stuck at the door handle of the place. She took a deep breath, unsure what to expect, and then pulled the door handle down. Everything was neat, as if she had only been there yesterday. The place was aired and
She walked into the small area and saw Ted, through an open door sitting on their bed. Andromeda quietly headed over there and once she was in the bedroom, she realized Ted had been wearing her shirt.
“Ted,” She managed, through a small smile, “Let’s talk, then.” To be honest, Andromeda hadn’t fully been sure of what to talk about. She was sure Ted knew what he wanted to say, but Andromeda had said everything she needed to awhile ago. She sat next to him on the bed, crossing her legs. She looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to start saying what he needed to say because it obviously looked like he had a lot on his mind.
They’re my family. But so are James and Lily and Remus and Dung. You’re - Ted you’re everything I could ever want. You want to talk in private? -Andromeda lets a small laugh out and quiets down- Ted, no. -Slowly, she leans in, not breaking eye contact and…
-She looks hurt for a moment and sighs- Right. Okay I understand, Ted. I’m sorry - I know Greta’s still broken up about this.
Right Monday. Fine. I guess that’s fine. -She nods slowly- Della’s cabin, then?
He’s the best at not judging. He helped Sirius when he wanted to leave and as dramatic as James might be - he’s great. I’m not going to keep arguing about James, Ted.
They won’t! I know they won’t, Ted! I don’t care either. Ted -She quietens and puts her hand on his…
They’re my family. But so are James and Lily and Remus and Dung. You’re - Ted you’re everything I could ever want. You want to talk in private? -Andromeda lets a small laugh out and quiets down- Ted, no. -Slowly, she leans in, not breaking eye contact and lightly places her lips on his-
That’s not what I was saying. Merlin! I just meant, next time, don’t go to James. He’s not the best when it comes to staying level headed and hearing the full story.
Oh Andromeda. -looks pained-This really isn’t working, is it? -sighs- I really care about you. You know that. Or at least I hope you do. I just don’t- I don’t see how to make this -points from his chest to hers- work. Your family… They aren’t ever going to accept you being with me. Ever.
He’s the best at not judging. He helped Sirius when he wanted to leave and as dramatic as James might be - he’s great. I’m not going to keep arguing about James, Ted.
They won’t! I know they won’t, Ted! I don’t care either. Ted -She quietens and puts her hand on his cheek- I want you. I really want you - I need you. -She starts to tear up and brushes her thumb across his cheek-