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Sa Victoire

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i
"Victoire? You have a silly name!" They tell her in her first year and she scowls and stomps off and hopes History of Magic teaches them soon enough. Yes, her name is silly on its own. But she was not given it on its own. Victoire got her name on the back of scars deep across her father's face, an uncle she never met and another that can go weeks without talking while her cousins come ashen faced through the floo and don't go home for days. Her name came as a reminder of those who never lived to see her born and there are days that it sits heavily on her slim shoulders. Her Uncle Harry has a smile that never seems to be as bright as anyone else's and Teddy has no parents at all and struggles with that through their whole childhood. Silly. Not something the war was.

ii

"You could change it. Or use your middle name." A friend tells her in second year and she snaps the nib of her quill because she forgets her creature strength and just how strong her anger can make her. Vicky is already changing it when it comes down to it and that is change enough, thank you very much. She grinds her friends down from saying comments with smiles to blushing and looking at the floor and bullshitting about it sounding uppity and you know, her family. As if her Uncle's famous tale defines Victoire a decade later. As if her Grandfather has any influence on what the British Ministry does with itself. As if Victoire should somehow try and hide who she is. And she won't. She won't. She is the oldest grandchild of Arthur Weasley and her golden locks stunned the family and made them laugh and that is the tales she tells from home damn them all.

 

iii

She is thirteen when a Ravenclaw a year older than her starts on her mother's name and how weird they find that. She snaps and vaults herself over the breakfast table , sending half the Gryffindor Quidditch team flying to the floor, before she starts punching the screeching brunette in the face. Her dad gets called in from Gringotts for that one and Victoire can't tell if he's proud, amused or both. Longbottom says she won't get her knuckles healed as punishment and though her dad offers to do it on the sly before he leaves Victoire dismisses him and wears them proudly like war wounds as they fade from angry red to dull yellow.

iv

"You are my victory, my love. I am so glad that your only war is your name." Is the message she is sent onto the train with before her fourth year. It takes her a few weeks to figure out what her mother means but then she is in History and the teacher is talking about how her Uncle Harry fought in the Tri-Wizard tournament at her age. The same tournament that could so easily have killed her mother. Yet when that tournament is mentioned in the family, usually after Grandma has had too much sherry and Uncle George is in a sombre mood, they call that year the beginning. Now Victoire begins to understand the beginning of what.

v

She's older now and comments on her name brush off her. They are used as the opening volley in each outburst of conflict between the girls in her house and the Ravenclaws they compete with over grades, boys and popularity. She begins to pity the girls who attack her over such a basic thing. Some of them have names merely because their parents liked them or because it is was a tradition and while there is nothing wrong with that Victoire is more. Her name is war and death. It is peace and life. It is hope and regret. At fifteen she starts insisting people only use her full name. Vicky does not feel right anymore. That is not who her parents hoped she would be.

vi

Her name is loss and it is hope and it is the comfort she can give Teddy on the anniversary of the battle as she crushes his larger hand in hers and presses herself to his side. Her name is the reminder that so many of them may never have existed to argue about names or grades or boys. Her shoulders begin to feel wide enough to bear it.

vii

On her last day at the castle she stands in front of the monument to the fallen. She searches for the familiar names that she knows and lingers on ones she does not. Some of them will have family she has merely not encountered yet but some legacies died on the grass she peers up from. But not her family. They were fractured and broken but they made it. As an adult she finally realises her place in the family and the meaning of her name. Victory is not the end. Victory is not the beginning. Victoire is survival.