[identity profile] hp-bito-mod.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] hp_bunintheoven
Title: Raise to Breathe Fire (2/2)
Author/Artist: [livejournal.com profile] crazyparakiss
Pairing(s): Teddy Lupin/Dominique Weasley, Dominique Weasley/OMC (not terribly explicit)
Prompt: H36
Summary: “You should Owl him,” Mum reasons, after the hostility has calmed a bit.
Word Count: 13,700 +/-
Rating: NC-17
Warnings/Contains: Recreational drug use (some while pregnant), allusions a past rape (not main character), allusions to past abortion (not main character), angst with a happy ending
Notes: Curi Love always helps me find my magic, and I thank her for it always. I enjoyed writing this so I hope you enjoy reading it. As usual, I took a lot of liberties with the prompt.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended. The poem throughout is not mine, it is by Daniella Michalleni and is called “Persephone Speaks”. The italicised poem during the poetry slam scene is not mine, it is “fault” by Nayyirah Waheed.


*

She’s due in a less than two weeks, and she still hasn’t told her family who the father is; sometimes Dominique wonders if anyone is really listening to the words between her silences. When Louis sits with her companionably, she’s convinced he’s heard her, but she doesn’t know her brother well enough to be sure. If he were Victoire his knowledge would be apparent in the vement anger she’d hurl at Dominique. Nevermind that Vic is married--deeply in love with Henri--with her own brat; she still sees all of Teddy’s women since her as the enemy. Internalised Misogyny Roxanne calls it; the Muggle term that hasn’t quite reached all of Wizardkind--most still call it female on female jealousy.

“Do you think she’s jealous,” Scorpius asks, and Dominique realises she must’ve spoken her thoughts outloud. He’s one of those people who are quiet and non-judgemental, and she’s always found it easy to confide in him. He was the first person she told about her baby, the only person who knows the child was intentional. And despite his closeness with his older cousin, Scorpius has never betrayed her trust. Of all the men she’s known he’s the only one who has managed to be a true friend.

“No,” her reply is instant, but not defensive. “I think Victoire still lives by the invisible bindings of our raising.”

Scorpius motions for her to budge up; has her arch against a pillow at her back, before drawing his brush near the naked skin of her breast--but not touching--looking at her as work, not meat. His grey gaze refreshing to her weary mind. “What are those bindings,” he finally enquires, after he’s set back at his canvas--eyes intently studying what he already has painted there.

“That we are nothing more than pretty,” she reveals, at last, when Dominique finally has to say all the words she killed in her throat--too many years spent biting them down. “Veela--the creature made for pleasure--men don’t get to leave us; we leave them. Other women don’t get to challenge our beauty, because they will never be what we are--perfection.” Scorpius snorts in derision, and Dominique agrees. “It’s such shit; I want to be more to the world than a pretty cunt.”

He does not validate her, Scorpius knows Dominique doesn’t need validating. Nor does she desire any sort of affirmation, from anyone--let alone a man. “Why did you quit dancing,” Scorpius ventures, instead, and she rolls her face, to turn her eyes upon him. In repose he looks like his cousin. The contour of his forehead and sharp nose tearing through her heart.

Reminds her of the image Teddy’s profile cut, in The Leaky’s Live Pensieve. He’s a thick, short beard now. Not just the thin scruff he grew between shaves, still the colour of turquoise, and there’s a new scar that creates a hairless line through the end of the arch in his left eyebrow. The remembrance brings a smile, unbidden, to her lips.

“I got tired of everyone assuming I had to sleep with the artistic directors to get a good part.” His eyes lift from the canvas, holding her gaze, as she finally admits, “I also got tired of having to sleep with directors who knew I deserved the part. But they knew everyone expected I’d spread, so either I would fuck them or I would remain overshadowed by a dancer who didn’t deserve it, or want it, as much as I did.”

*

Lorcan is the one who is the most uncomfortable as he watches her stomach ripple with the baby’s movements. While they’re out for a Sunday brunch; a meal Dominique picks at because her appetite is waning the closer she gets to the end of pregnancy. “Isn’t that unpleasant,” he pulls a face that’s a mix of terrified and disgusted. She shouldn’t, but she finds him endearing. Oh to be nineteen again.

“My back aches and my tits are so full they leak when I barely move--of course it’s uncomfortable,” she enjoys taking the piss out of him. Truly, Lorcan makes mocking him terribly easy. Horrible as that is, Dominique and Roxanne both know it to be true. She giggles, half delighted, when she realises Lorcan is watching her chest with a horrified expression. Adding to his discomfort, out of spite, Dominique sighs and says, “And I’d give anything to get a bloke up my skirt.” She glares about the room, annoyed that every man glances away when she catches them staring, “They all look at me like I’m the fucking Blessed Virgin; when I wasn’t pregnant they looked at me like I was Mary Magdalene and my cunt was the forbidden fruit they craved.”

“Jesus Christ,” Lorcan hisses, scandalised, “I love you, but I’m really not interested in hearing about your moist lady parts.” He wrinkles his mouth around the words, put-out that he has to mention anything resembling the word vagina. “Please don’t traumatise me any more than need be.”

“You came from your mother’s beautiful mouth, it was the first thing that kissed you as you were born into the world,” Roxanne reminds him with a smile that’s sharp as a razor’s edge. “Respect the cunt, Lorcan, it is everything in this world.” Dominique shakes her head at him when he gags behind his hand.

I hope you’ve heard of horns,
but that isn’t half of it. Out of an entire kingdom
he kneels only to me,
calls me Queen, calls me Mercy.


‘I hope you have a daughter’, Scorpius had told her during their last paint session, his eyes soft and full of familial love. ‘I hope you have a daughter that you raise to breathe fire.’

Dominique doesn’t know if she wants a daughter. Horrible as that sounds; it’s just exhausting being a woman. Even while being an extremely privileged one.

She doesn’t get to make the choice, however, Fate decides for her.

At last, when fourteen hours of labours pass, there is a screaming girl wiggling within the Healer’s arms. When she’s pressed into Dominique’s hold Dominique cries, too. Then she releases a sobbing laugh when her daughter’s hair--still covered in the blood of Dominique’s womb--shifts through an array of colours; stopping at turquoise.

*

“You should Owl him,” Mum reasons, after the hostility has calmed a bit. Animosity that arose from all of them in varying forms. Victoire--angry betrayal at Dominique; not surprising. Louis--angry betrayal at Teddy; which Dominique tried to tell him was pointless. Dad--angry disappointment. Mum--venomous fury the likes of which Dominique has never before seen.

“I’m not Owling him,” Dominique is resolute as she puts her still nameless daughter to her breast. Despite the resistance from of her family, she’s staying true to her original plan of not telling Teddy.

“He’s her father,” Mum spits over the title, as if the word is particularly foul, “and he has the right to know.”

“It won’t change anything,” Dominique replies with a huff. She does not believe that statement, but says the words anyways for her mother’s benefit. “We want different things, Mum,” Dominique snaps when Fleur tries again, and the babe at her breast screams. “Jesus, just lay off it--you’re upsetting the baby.”

Mum lets the conversation drop, for now. Already Dominique dreads bringing this new life home. When Philippe was born the atmosphere had been vastly different. There was smiling, cooing, balloons and bouquets. Everyone had congratulated Victoire. No one has given Dominique the same courtesy.

*

Victoire comes in when night blankets London in an indigo glow. Dominique is staring out the large window, in her private room, listening as her daughter suckles at her breast. It chafes, causing her discomfort, but she doesn't ask for the milk replacement. She doesn't need Mum or Gran having more reason to believe she's a fuck up.

“Come to scream at me some more,” Dominique turns bleary eyes on her sister, “because I must admit that I'm not in the mood to hear it.”

There will be more indignation with the rest of the family, she's sure, and for one night, Dominique wants to live in peace. She doesn’t want to think about the war that will rage when the rest of the Weasleys discover the identity of her child’s father.

Her sister must understand, because she steps closer with a gentle expression, and her voice cracks when she asks, “May I hold her?” Dominique realises then that Victoire is the first family member to take the baby into her arms. How tragic. None of them could stand to hold her, when they should’ve all been bursting with love and pride.

The only sound in the room is the minute noises her daughter makes, the rustling of Dominique’s blankets, and the shuffle of Victoire’s pale blue skirt.

“She's beautiful,” Victoire comments, finally. Once she’s got the bundle, swaddled in St Mungo’s regulation blankets, settled over her lap.

“Nymphe is more than that,” Dominique replies, a slow grin creeping over her when she gazes upon her daughter’s wee face.

“Like her mother, then.” And Dominique sees a smile on Victoire’s plush mouth when she looks up from Nymphe. A beat of silence, then, “Why Teddy, Dominique? After all this time, why him?” Maybe, at one time, Victoire actually loved him, unlike what Dominique once believed.

She could easily lie, but instead whispers, “Because I love him.” Such a simple truth.

Victoire’s laugh is choked with emotion, “He's always loved you.” Then, “God, he should be here.”

“He's where he belongs,” Dominique reasons with a shrug--a sham of detachment. Victoire leans against her; drawing and giving comfort in equal measures. Perhaps she, too, loves her sister more than she’d like to acknowledge.

“That's why it had to be you,” Victoire admits against Dominique’s shoulder, breath warm. “You would never try to change him.”

No, because he will never try to change me.

*

The key had been a gift, one that was given off the cuff--but was still chock full of meaning.

“I'm rarely here...it could be more yours than mine.” His eyes intense despite the lightness of his grin, as he dangled the brass of it before her--sunlight glinting off its ancient handle. The weight felt like a promise.

She wonders how easy it could be to put Nymphe in the walls where she was created. So easy and so hard.

Mama, Mama, I hope you get this.
Know the bed is warm and our hearts are cold,
know never have I been better
than when I am here.


“What do you think,” Scorpius’s voice sounds near her ear, and she startles out of staring at the portrait--where her nude image moves, silent, against the pale cream velvet of a fainting sofa.

“You made me beautiful,” her response fogs the rim of her champagne glass. She chuckles when the portrait version of her moves again, and the oil painted stomach ripples with the movement of a growing baby. “At least that bit is accurate.”

“You are beautiful,” Scorpius makes it sound like fact, but manages to not make her feel uncomfortable. “Come this way,” he motions to the left with his head, blond hair falling over his eyes. Dominique follows, through the gathered crowd of art collectors and appreciators. A few stop them--Scorpius specifically--along the way, and he smiles politely as he listens to them compliment and critique his work. “Pardon us,” Scorpius says when their words drag on too long for his liking.

Finally, Scorpius stops her before a massive black stained frame, that dominates the entirety of a wall, and Dominique feels her stomach swoop as she sucks in a surprised breath. “That’s,” her voice comes out as less than a whisper--her hands reach to touch. Scorpius doesn’t stop her, like he might’ve someone else. She’s near tears when her fingertips brush the raised texture of Teddy’s wand. Extraordinary are the details of the runes carved into the length of elder; she traces the hand that grips the hard to tame wood. A rumble comes, vibrating through her palm and Dominique glances up at the stormy sky in time to see the background illuminate with lightning. The light of it sparkling in Teddy’s eyes as his grin grows dangerous, moments before a spell fires from the tip of his wand. “He’s more beautiful than I ever thought about being,” she mutters to herself.

“His most recent win,” Scorpius’s voice soft, but close enough to her ear for her to catch every word, “He dedicated this victory to you.”

“What,” she turns her eyes to the plaque that is inlaid in the wood of the frame.

Scorpius Malfoy (b.2005)
For Persephone, 2029
Oil on canvas


*

Nymphe loves the rain, and Dominique thinks it’s fitting as she sits up through the night with her daughter--listening to the deluge that rages like an angry torrent against the large window of her childhood bedroom. Fitting because Nymphe was conceived in a storm. She smiles, leaning back against the alcove of her window seat, as more rain streams down the panes of glass. The night is so dark that she cannot make out the sea even though it’s only a stone’s throw away.

“I met your father again, as an adult, on this beach,” she confides in the small bundle, breathing in Nymphe’s lavender and milk scented skin, as she presses her cheek to Nymphe’s soft hair. “There was a party, and a foul bloke invited me out--thinking he’d get lucky.” Her laugh is a bubble of sound, and Dominique grins down at her wide-eyed baby. “Your first laugh,” she whispers in awe. “You’d laugh more if you knew what your daddy did when that bloke didn’t take the hint of ‘no’,” another giggle escapes Nymphe. “It was silly,” Dominique tells her. “He came running over, thinking he should help, but I’d already handled it.” After her own chuckle, she adds, “His face was priceless--shock isn’t a strong enough word...gaping, maybe. I think I fell in love with that stupid face.” Then, as an afterthought, “Or maybe I fell in love when I put my hand on his cock later that night.”

Fussing against her chest, Nymphe finally starts showing the signs of being sleepy and Dominique grins as she pulls out her sore breast, “Perhaps that was too much information, sorry mon cher.”

It’s hours later, when she’s still awake--Nymphe sucking at her tiny thumb, curled against her chest--that Dominique finally admits, “I miss him, you know.”

*

The length of rowan in her skirt pocket vibrates, warming against her thigh, and the hair on the back of her neck rises to attention as familiar, wild magicks crackle in the air around the beach. His name isn’t even off of her tongue when he Apparates into existence on the pale sand surrounding her parent’s home. Nymphe is sitting up, still unsteady on her own but managing, and her small fingers are digging chaotic patterns into the damp ground--his grey eyes are on her small form in an instant.

Dad and Louis appear, with booming cracks of Apparition, from inside of the cottage--wands drawn-- how ridiculously cliché they appear. The father and brother who come to defend the ruined daughter. If Dominique wasn’t so taken with the sight of Teddy she would laugh, or roll her eyes. Wind whips at Teddy’s bright hair, and the white hem of his t-shirt blows upward, revealing a stripe of his pale stomach. There is more than just the familiar path of his defined abdomen, on his left side there is now a detailed depiction of a dancing Veela--one wearing bright crimson pointe shoes. Her black, scaly wings fluttering as she twirls.

“Dominique,” her name still a holy devotion as it falls from Teddy’s tongue--reverent in ways no one else has ever been with her.

Louis and her dad do not try to stop Dominique when she rushes past them, into Teddy’s open arms. His face burrows beneath the long cascade of her white hair, into her slim throat, breathing her in as if he has been starved for her warmth and her scent. “Dominique,” he pulls her closer still, almost crushing and she wants his hold on her to be harder. Wants bruises to remember him by when she wakens from this dream. “Why didn’t you Owl me?”

She doesn’t have an excuse; none seems worthy when he opens his eyes to watch her with stark heartbreak. A shriek of laughter from Nymphe pulls their gazes out of the private spell they share, and Teddy turns, his eyes widening when Nymphe’s hair shifts from blonde to the shade Teddy always wears in his own. “She’s wonderful,” he husks, his hold lessening enough that they are not pressed together but his hand remains gently clasped around her own. “May I,” he asks Dominique, tilting his head in the direction of their child and a lump forms in her throat.

“Yes,” she has to force her mouth to work. He doesn’t release her hand. Teddy pulls her along with him when he steps past her father and brother to get to Nymphe. She’s clapping, clumsy and excited when Teddy kneels--his hand still in contact with Dominique, as if he’s terrified to let go.

“Tell me her name,” he pleads, his other large hand hovering near the small swell of a rosy baby cheek.

“Nymphe,” Dominique kneels, hardly aware that her father and brother return inside--Dad stopping to whisper to her mum, who stands hovering at the open door. Mum’s blue eyes watching the small, broken, and new family with worry and wonder.

“Nymphe,” Teddy repeats. Dominique didn’t know he could sound so fragile.

*

Dad glares at Teddy, a hex ready on his tongue--no doubt--when Dominique finally comes in, out of the now dark yard, to tell them she will be going home with Teddy. Something she’s been debating since she finally admitted she was pregnant. Mum’s hand on Dad’s scarred forearm stops any violence, her eyes pleading when Dad turns his gaze upon her. There is a silent exchange between them; one Dominique cannot read no matter how hard she tries.

She’s having her own nonverbal conversation with Teddy. His hand tickles over her lower back, tapping out an intention that makes her flushed with anticipation.

“You better love her,” is what Dad settles for, after Dominique has gathered her things and they are preparing to step out of the front door. Dominique holds Nymphe closer, singing to her in soft French. Pretending she doesn’t care to listen to how Teddy will respond. She doesn’t need his love to know she wants to follow him.

Yet, a gentle hand beneath her chin encourages her to lift her eyes, and Dominique’s heart beats a fast rhythm at the tender way Teddy watches her. “I love her more than anything,” Teddy murmurs, sincerity obvious in his tone and touch.

“When do you love her most,” Dad enquires, his voice suggesting the question is a trick. And Dominique wants to tell him it’s not his choice. She can go with Teddy whether his love is sincere or false. She is in charge of her own destiny.

“When she shows me her flaws,” Teddy smiles at her like he can hear her thoughts, “I love her most when she’s angry at the world, and defies everything she’s been told is right. I love Dominique most when she carves the world around her, into a shape worthy of her presence. I love her when she allows me the honour.”

“Will you marry her,” and she nearly screams at Dad, but her mum’s warning glance stops her. So she glares defiantly instead. Furious that her father thinks he has the right to that question.

“No,” Teddy’s instant reply. “Dominique has never wanted to be married--it’s not in my nature to push a woman into doing something she doesn’t want.”

With that Dominique decides it’s time to leave. She grabs Teddy by the wrist and blinks out of existence--focusing on reappearing on the stoop of his home.

*

Clove and rose water.

The taste is heady on her tongue, and she smiles--content--while she rolls to her stomach, on the most comfortable bed she’s ever known. He’s got a cigarette dangling between his lips; his eyes half-lidded when they fall over her form. On the bedside cabinet a small sphere of magic glows with the image of their sleeping daughter, and Dominique has a moment of unease over how wonderful this seems. Too easy.

She begins to pull away and Teddy leans forward, not crowding her but catching Dominique’s gaze. His eyes silently telling her that this will be okay. When the tension melts from her shoulders, Dominique presses closer, and Teddy’s fingers stroke through her hair as he hums one of her favourite lullabies.

“Why didn’t you Owl me,” he enquires, after the stillness grows around them, but he doesn’t sound as desperate as he had on the beach. Now he sounds more curious than anything.

“I wanted you to live your dream,” she replies, feeling horribly foolish for putting his desires so high that she placed them before her own wants. Roxanne would call her an idiot if she knew.

Teddy could tell Dominique something cliché, give some trite shit about how she is his dream, but he doesn’t. Because they both know there is more to life than love; there are dreams worth fighting for. His is dueling and hers was the stage.

“Will you ever dance again,” Teddy says instead, his lips tickling her scalp when they move her hair.

Dominique isn’t sure. In this year she’s lost sight of her dream, feels less and yet more of herself.

She does not answer.

Do not send flowers,
we’ll throw them in the river.
‘Flowers are for the dead’, ‘least that’s what
the mortals say.


“When did you know you loved me,” she wonders when they take a seat in the corner of Gran and Granddad’s back garden--watching as Granddad dances Gran about the fairy lit yard. Celebrating a sixtieth wedding anniversary seems surreal to Dominique, but she’s glad if it makes them happy.

Teddy’s hand is a warm comfort on her thigh, tracing patterns that feel like protection runes, his eyes trained on where Nymphe is toddling around--trying to dance with her older cousins, laughing loudly when they twirl with her. A pleased smile plays at Teddy’s mouth when Nymphe flops onto her diaper padded bottom. His bottle of beer is on the table before them, dripping condensation, and Dominique snatches it up for a drink--thinking he’s not going to answer her question.

Victoire’s bright giggle draws Dominique’s gaze, and she’s staring at the way Vic sways in the hold of Henri. Her sister is smitten; Dominique feels a slow grin creep across her mouth. She doesn’t sense Teddy’s eyes on her, but takes notice when his voice appears sudden, and sultry at her ear. “I knew I loved you when you were just twelve.”

“Pervert,” she cackles, half-scandalised, “You were sixteen when I was twelve.”

Teddy huffs, eyes sparkling in the glow of hovering candlelight--Dominique finds him beautiful--his mouth moves closer to hers. Words a whisper against her lips when he next says, “I wasn’t sexually attracted to you until you became a woman, but I knew I loved you.”

“How,” her lips catching against his, and he swallows the question. Never taking his gaze from hers.

“I felt small in the presence of your determination.” Her brow furrows, in confusion, at those words. What determination, she wonders. He answers before she can ask, “I will dance on a stage. That’s what you told me when I had a laugh about you twirling around this very garden. Your pink pointe shoes were stained with grass and earth, but you reminded me of the sea.”

“The sea?” His hand smoothes up her neck, brushing through her hair, as he pulls her into his kiss. When they part he continues to hold her close.

“You’re still like the sea,” he assures, “resiliently crashing against the rock of the shore. Chipping away until more of the stone crumbles into the water.”

Dominique misses this woman he describes.
*

Roxanne passes off the pipe, chuckling, “How will you ever survive, Nikki?” She leans back, exhaling more smoke when she adds, “What is the meaning of life without Edward Lupin?”

Teddy accepts the pipe from Roxanne, with a roll of his grey eyes, “Pretty sure Dominique has never needed me to survive.”

It’s true. They all know she’s perfectly capable on her own, but she doesn’t want to be--not now that she’s starting to allow herself a possibility of forever. “I’m doing a few auditions for The Ballet Markova.”

“The company that twit Alexei went to?” Roxanne is displeased. Alexei is at best a tyrant and at worst a devil. He’s never wanted Dominique in an amorous way--Louis maybe, if they met--but he has no problem trying to give her a crippling body complex. Nothing is ever good enough, no one is ever thin enough, and if a complement ever passes his lips it will be the sign of the end.

“He’s the best,” Dominique admits, “And I’m worth the best.”

“Bout damn time you realised that,” Roxanne chuckles, grin proud.

*

The Ballet Markova is the ballet company that is exclusive to The Rigel Black Opera House located at the centre of Diagon Alley’s theatre district, and it is a looming structure that is composed of white marble, with massive carvings of Greek gods and goddesses. Dominique’s favourite is the rendition of Hades and Persephone that dominates the area before the steps--a gorgeous white and silver fountain that first touched her heart when she was a little girl.

Dominique still finds that solace when she stops before these lovers. She wraps her muffler tighter about her throat, and releases a nervous sigh before moving to enter the ominous building.

In her hand a little compact vibrates and Dominique answers, knowing it’s Roxanne before she even hears her voice. “Good luck, darling Nikki,” she smiles, teeth white and wide.

“I don’t need luck,” Dominique reminds, feeling a tad bitter because Alexei is not the choreographer in charge of these auditions.

A little bit of cheer goes out of Roxanne’s face, “This one will be different. Just give him a chance.”

“I’ll ring you when I’m done here,” she tries for a brave grin, but it feels stiff on her face, and she closes the compact before Roxanne can mention Dominique’s expression.

The wood of the stage gleams beneath the light of a thousand candles, that burn in the massive crystal chandelier, and Dominique breathes in the fresh wax and cedar that permeates the air here. After dropping her duffle Dominique begins to remove her long, red woolen dress coat, and tosses it carelessly over her bag. Beneath her coat she’s already dressed for auditions--in her crimson bra top, and high-waisted black tights. Her pale hair is twisted into a tight knot at the top of her head, and Dominique rolls her shoulders before starting her warm-up.

She recognises more than a handful of the dancers waiting, but there are new faces--new hopefuls who look fresh and green to the world. Starry-eyed and full of endless dreams. It’s deplorable.

“Due to the niffler infestation at the studio we will conduct our auditions on this stage.” Dark blue eyes glance around the assembled prospects, and hold Dominique’s stare. There’s a familiar swirl in the gaze that causes her to frown, and, at long last, the new choreographer glances away. His smile kind as he continues, “Please don’t let the location make you nervous; remember, if you are selected, you will be dancing on this very stage. So, if you have a fear of the stage you will be useless to me.” A clipboard and quill appear in his hand after a snap, and he tells them, “You will receive a letter in a week’s time informing you if you did or did not make the cut.”

He nods to an assistant and hands her his clipboard before he begins his first demonstration. It’s sixteen counts; Dominique tracks the movements with an intense, critical eye, memorising each step. It’s not for a part she wants, but she will dance anyways. She will dance for every part. As she always does, because she has something to prove.

“That’s her,” she hears one of the more familiar faces whispering to a new girl. “That’s the one who does her audition on her back.” All the words do is spur her to go at it harder, with more rage, and Dominique hopes that she appears graceful rather than murderous.

Sweat soaks through her bra top, darkening the underside of her breasts, Dominique’s longing for a shower when she gathers up her coat and bag.

“A moment, please,” the new choreographer--Vincent--calls to her with a smile on his face. A smile she knows well, and Dominique tenses for a moment. Ignoring, as best as she can, all the snide whispers that pass her as the others leave. When the last of the dancers are gone, Vincent waves on his assistant and colleagues, “I’ll call you lot round for a drink this evening; after I’ve a bath.” His light laugh isn’t fooling anyone, but they make their way off stage--the assistant throwing a particularly venomous glare at Dominique as she goes.

“You danced every dance,” he comments, tone intrigued as he steps closer. “Why?” He asks the question in a manner that tells Dominique he already knows the answer. She doesn’t reply, and his smile grows less friendly--into something predatory. “I’ve heard about you,” Vincent’s whisper is warm near her ear.

“Nothing good, I’m sure,” she responds, adopting a bored tone and expression.

He doesn’t touch her, but it’s a near thing when his fingers hover near her skin--spreading unwelcome warmth through her. “Depends on your definition of good.”

She holds his stare, not flinching as he closes the distance between them. His lips are dry and smooth, but she feels nothing when they press to her own. “I was the best dancer on your stage tonight,” she tells him, tone solemn, and he quirks a dark eyebrow at her while his smile becomes playful.

“And who would believe you if I were to say you weren’t,” his grin grows wider.

*

“You’re disappointing,” Alexei informs as he steps from the shadows, sniffing in disdain at Karen--who Vincent chose for the lead. “You have no sense of timing, you’re anticipating instead of allowing your partner to lead you through the lift and flip.” His gaze falls on Dominique and he snaps at her, “You, come show her how it’s done.”

Laurent has partnered with Dominique so often that his hold on her body is sure. Each step comes to her like breathing. Dominique and Laurent move in time to the music, perfecting what Karen and Laurent failed to execute. By the end of the short sequence, Alexei is glaring at Vincent. “You cast the wrong dancer.” Karen’s face burns with humiliation and shame. Vincent’s face doesn’t look much better when Alexei adds, “Don’t punish the quality of my show because the best dancer refused to suck your cock.”

His dark eyes fall back on Dominique, “You’re going to need to be fitted for the lead’s costume, and--congratulations, you finally learned to let your talent speak for itself.”

Exuberance fills her, the long forgot passions she held for dance consuming her heart. Dominique cries--this is what it is to be reborn.

*

“I thought you said he didn’t give compliments,” Teddy’s smile is made of ember and ash, and she wishes she could see him rather than speak to this image of him in the Floo. But he’s doing obligatory work for his sponsors; it’ll be a couple of more weeks before he returns.

“He doesn’t, normally, it was bizarre.” She leans her cheek into her palm, spreading out over the plush rug that was a gift to Teddy for his birthday--from Draco’s new girlfriend. Scorpius says she’s trying too hard to get Scorpius’s and Teddy’s approval, but either way Dominique enjoys the soft faux fur of Teddy’s gift. Especially the way it tickles at her bare skin as she stretches.

“Thirteen more days,” his tone wistful, his eyes, made of flame, going half-mast as they roam her.

“Miss me?” She teases, spreading her thighs so he can see more of her.

“I miss everything,” he admits. Unashamed that their home is the weakness in him. Unashamed that she brings his undoing. “Your smell in my pillow, the sound of your voice as you sing lullabies to our daughter, the way you dance under moonlight.” Then, he adds, “I miss dinners where Nymphe refuses to eat anything green. I miss the feeling of her falling asleep between us while we read her a bedtime story. I miss her trying to sneak our wands out of their resting place, when she believes we are still asleep. The mad way she giggles and runs when one of us catches her.” He sighs, “That flat was never home...not until you came.”

“Thirteen days,” Dominique reminds; running her fingers over the curve of her breast, over the muscle of her stomach, before her fingers find the place between her thighs. A gasp leaves her as she spreads herself before him, teasing herself the way he would. She’s wet beneath his gaze, turned on by the way he bites his lip and his nostrils flare. “Ted,” she husks; pulling her fingers up to her face, to wet them with her tongue. “I miss you,” her words a moan as she inserts her spit-slick fingers, fingering herself off. Imagining his hand in place of hers.

Teddy swears, but Dominique focuses on herself and the intense feeling building as she curls her finger--stroking the most sensitive part of herself, pressing harder and faster when the sensation turns slightly uncomfortable, like she has to relieve herself, but she pushes through. Knowing the reward that awaits.

“Fuck,” Teddy’s voice rough. Dominique hardly takes notice, crying through the rush of wet that spills into her palm--clear and sweet--during her orgasm. She flops back, twitching as the fur of the rug tickles her highly sensitive skin.

“Thirteen days,” she chuckles, once her heart rate and breathing returns to normal. Sitting up, her grin is lazy at him, “Can you survive thirteen days?”

“I’ll have to, Draco will kill me if I rush home to ravage you.” She’s amused and flattered that he sounds so disappointed.

*

Opening night sees her wrapped in black lace and crimson pointe shoes. Twirling in Laurent’s arms as enchanted pomegranate seeds fall from overhead. The orchestra is pounding out a fast, passionate rhythm. At the end, Laurent’s hand is held against her throat, his nose pressing near her ear.

Hades’s hold on Persephone possessive as the curtain falls.

*

There’s a party after; one she attends because Teddy relented to Mum’s demands for a celebration. Warming charms keep the cold air of the sea from making the winter’s night unpleasant. Fairy lights sparkle around them, illuminating Teddy’s face as he moves closer.

His hands settle at her waist, grey eyes dark with intention, words a caress to her ear. “You were wonderful,” he leads her in a languid rhythm, curling closer on every turn.

“You have to say that,” Dominique laughs, even knowing Teddy means what he’s said. “Else I won’t let you up my skirt.”

“I’d tell you the truth even if it cost me your love,” they stop dancing, and she notices that they are now far enough from the party that the world around them is cold and dark. “You’re everything when you’re on that stage,” Teddy confesses.

“Everything,” she repeats, and he leans closer--swallowing the sound. As they break apart, his forehead resting against hers, Dominique whispers, “Your hand is cold.”

“Then come warm me, my lady of spring.” Dominique is faintly aware that her mother is calling her back, but as she sinks deeper into Teddy’s passion Dominique finds that she doesn’t care.

I’ll come back when he bores me,
but Mama,
not today.


“Will you miss London,” that’s the only point against the house Teddy gives. When they stand, as a family, on the familiar ground that greets the Celtic sea. Nymphe and Camille giggling in delight as they splash about in the shallow water; the image calls forth memories of her own childhood. Playing in cold waters with her mother, sister, and brother while Dad was away treasure hunting.

“No,” she assures, slipping her hand into his, “London isn’t going anywhere. If I miss it I can always pop round for a visit at Roxanne’s or Scorpius’s.” He lights a cigarette while they lead their youngest, Bastien, down to the water. Dominique savours the scent of clove as it mingles with brine. Teddy settles protective charms over Bastien, grinning when Bastien smacks him on the cheek with a bright laugh.

“Go on,” Teddy motions to the water where Nymphe and Camille are shrieking in delight, “Torment your siblings.”

“Will you miss London,” Dominique finally enquires, once they’ve settled on the shore. His arm about her shoulder, and her head leaned against his chest. “You’ve had that flat forever.”

“It’s just a flat,” Teddy reminds her, “and it will be nice to have more room for the children.” He looks her in the eye, searching her, when he next says, “So long as you are sure you want this.”

Moving was her idea, of course she wants this.

*

A parcel arrives from the Minister’s official raven, wrapped in thick golden paper, during the housewarming Mum and Victoire got Dominique to agree to. Draco, looking horribly uncomfortable and out of place between Scorpius and Andromeda, perks up at the arrival. “What’s that,” he asks, excited to have something else to discuss--beyond linens and china patterns. Dominique is half sure the women of her family are being purposefully dull to drive him mad.

“Nothing,” Teddy replies with a bored tone, then asks for Dominique to pass the mash.

Uncle Harry frowns, “That’s from the Minister, doesn’t seem like nothing.” That’s the thing about having a large, invasive family, they feel it’s their right to meddle in the business of others.

Teddy gives an irritated huff as he tosses the package to Draco, “Both of you,” here he indicates at Uncle Harry, “can open it--tell me if it’s important.”

It’s amusing to see two older men fighting over a parcel, and becomes more amusing when Uncle Ron joins in the scuffle, after hollering, “I’m coming, Harry!”

Scorpius turns to Teddy, ignoring the scene behind him, “That package wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with a certain award ceremony you didn’t attend, would it?”

Dominique frowns, she wasn’t aware there was another ceremony. At the end of most of Teddy’s dueling tournaments he’s awarded his prize, there is a lot of congratulations, and then he comes home. They’ve a giant curio full of their combined accomplishments. Teddy brings home a wand of pure onyx every year, and most of them are placed at the base of framed reviews from Dominique’s stage performances. Framed pictures of them at work, and with their children, are scattered about--as are childish drawings and sculptures that Nymphe, Camille, and Bastien create. Mum always shakes her head, saying, “These are not treasures.” But to Dominique and Teddy the children’s works are more precious than their own awards.

“Blimey,” Uncle Ron’s voice draws their attention to the spot where all three men have gone still--awe slackening their faces. “That’s an Order of Merlin.”

“A First Class,” Uncle Harry confirms, turning the exquisite emerald ribbon over in his hands.

“You weren’t even awarded an Order of Merlin,” Uncle Ron reminds Uncle Harry.

“Potter killed the Dark Lord with a technicality and a disarming spell--only a fool would give him an Order of Merlin for that,” Draco snarks, and that’s when Teddy stands. Intervening before the wands are drawn and blood is shed.

“You can just stick it in the cabinet with the others,” Teddy waves in disinterest. “And then we can eat some damn cake.”

Lou appears confused beside Dominique; he leans closer to whisper, “Shouldn’t give a speech, say he’s honoured and that your love makes him a winner or something?” Roxanne smacks him in the back of the head with a huff.

“Boy you are stupid,” Roxanne informs him.

*

Night blankets Land’s End, and most of their guests are arse over tit beneath the stars that twinkle overhead. Dominique smiles while she takes a large bite of chocolate cake. Beside her Scorpius grins, watching the place where Uncle Harry stands alone with Teddy--near a steep rock and sand covered ledge.

“You’re not even a little bit impressed, are you,” a chuckle leaves him, after Bastien bats Scorpius against his chest. His words all gibberish that Scorpius pretends to understand.

“Should I be,” Dominique smiles, rueful. “I’m more impressed when he bothers to come home at all.”

“Of course he comes back,” Scorpius sounds as close to reprimanding as he’s ever come. “Teddy never had much he looked forward to. Magic and you, and to hear him tell it you’re more magic than magic ever was.”

“What do you think he’s saying,” Dominique gestures at Uncle Harry.

“Knowing Harry Potter, he’s telling Ted his father would be proud,” Scorpius’s tone is grim. “And Knowing Teddy, that’s the last thing he wants to hear.” Scorpius is right, Dominique knows--Teddy still has issue with the father he cannot remember. When he’s kind he calls him coward, when he’s angry he calls Remus things she hopes her children will never repeat about their own father.

Harry claps Teddy on his tense shoulder, and leaves him there--alone to his thoughts.

The stiff moment passes like that, and Dominique makes her way over to him to bring him back from his private war. “So, that was fucking horrible,” Teddy admits, and she cackles in response. He huffs out his own laugh, rolling his eyes when he mutters, “Of course you’d find this amusing.” Her fingers on his ribbon, that Harry must’ve pinned to Teddy’s chest, make his gaze more intense, charged with a familiar intimacy.

“How many does this make?” She knows already, this award is number twenty. Much as she pretends not to care, Dominique knows every date carved into those onyx wands. This date she will remember, too.

“I can’t remember,” his reply ghosts her lips, moments before he swallows her reply. Liar.
*

Mum is the last to leave, after she’s helped clear away the dishes, even though Dominique protested that she didn’t have to help. Exertion isn’t good for the baby, Mum always tells her and Dominique doesn’t have the heart to tell her she’s doing loads more than cleaning. She still dances and she still fucks, but the less Mum knows, sometimes, the better.

“Tell him you’re proud,” is Mum’s last command of her.

Dominique doesn’t do well with commands, but when she joins him in their bed--after she’s stopped to kiss each child’s head--Dominique is sure he can taste the pride in her kiss. “I missed you,” he confides, as she rucks up her long skirt and straddles his lap.

“You were near me all evening,” she teases. Her fingers brushing over his jaw while her eyes take notice of the signs of age that are starting to form around his eyes. “There’ve been years where you hardly see me for months.”

“Months that felt like endless winter.” Teddy kisses each of her fingers. Dominique is always awed by how gentle he becomes with her. There is a tenderness in Teddy that others tried to fake. A man with wild magic and a savage heart that she reduces to a vulnerable poet. In her mind Roxanne’s voice whispers that Dominique is a queen, a goddess and for once Dominique feels that she deserves his worship.

When they kiss his hands roam her, catching over every curve--as if he is still learning her skin. A subject he knows he will never fully master, but still tries. “Dominique,” he always manages to make her name his own sacred credo.

Date: 2017-04-02 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roxannepackard.livejournal.com
I liked it, but I was a little confused by the way that Dominique was so insistent that she wouldn't tell Teddy because she didn't want to ruin his dreams, but then when he finds out (wish I knew who told him), he drops everything to go to her and she just caves in and goes home with him. It seems like she would have fought it at least a little and made him promise not to give up on his dreams before she agreed to go with him.
I *love* how you have so many side characters who show up to support her through it all :-)
Most of all, I love how she finally gets back to her dream too :-D
As I understand it, they stayed together as if they were a married couple but never actually got married. I am curious as to why. I could understand her not wanting to get married when she felt like it was just a way for some man to own her, but after being with Teddy for a while, I would have thought she'd *want* to marry him, but that's probably just the Libra in me, lol :-)

Date: 2017-04-13 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazyparakiss.livejournal.com
Originally, I was going to stop at the birth. Where Victoire was all "He should be here" and then be done, but the hopeless romantic in me wanted them to end up together. Forever and all that rot. Dominique more of didn't want to fall into the whole "I have to marry you because you got me up the spout" mindset, and I think she was protecting herself more than Teddy, despite what she seemed to think, because men are not good to her. She knows this, she also knows Teddy is good to her, and when he comes to that beach it's charged. The wands I chose for them were specific cuts of wood for that reason. Hers Rowan to his Elder. And once he knows it's easy to acquiesce, because, in my mind, they just fall together easily. Both are also not good with words, in my mind.

All the other characters kept trying to take over my mind so I enjoyed the hell out of writing them <3333333

I kept them not married because she needs that safety net of not feeling bound. Not feeling owned, and she has an intense urge to rebel against the conventions of her family--even if the way she is with him shows how much she craves them. She's a walking contradiction.

Anyways thank you for your reply, I enjoyed it <333333333

Date: 2017-04-07 01:24 pm (UTC)
tryslora: photo of my red hair right after highlighting (me myself and I)
From: [personal profile] tryslora
Gah darling this is Awesome!!!!

Date: 2017-04-13 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazyparakiss.livejournal.com
<333333 thank you so much! I was super worried about it! XD

Date: 2017-04-13 07:14 pm (UTC)
tryslora: photo of my red hair right after highlighting (me myself and I)
From: [personal profile] tryslora
Not a thing to worry about (other than that I knew it was you the moment I saw it and started reading, but that's because I know what you write <3).

Date: 2017-04-14 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazyparakiss.livejournal.com
Hahahah that's amazing! <3 I always seem to guess wrong, but I can usually guess yours. I probably give myself away with my author notes and my thanking of CuriLove. XD Thanks for reading it, though, for real. This was one I really had fun writing. You know I have a crazy weak spot for Teddy/Dominique (Kiss and her weirdo rare pairs)

Date: 2017-04-16 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] articcat621.livejournal.com
Oh sweetie, loved this second part!! Loved that Victoire was the first to hold the baby. And I'm so happy Teddy loved them both and that Dominique returned to dancing. Beautifully done <3

Date: 2017-04-16 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazyparakiss.livejournal.com
Thank you, lovely! You are too kind <33333

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