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Fleur Delacour

I am good looking enough for the both of us, I theenk!

Fleur Delacour

Blue Fleur

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le 12 février 2006

February Moon NC-17

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Blue Fleur
“Ze full moon, it is worse than my monthly,” I shake my head in amused exasperation. “We remember until ze day it is here and zen we forget and are caught by surprise.” I run my hand through Bill’s long red hair and reach up to kiss him softly as I chuckle. “I guess I will have to be better with my remembering, non?”

“I sometimes forget too,” he slips his hands around my waist as we lean against the kitchen counter. “Don’t feel bad.” He idly plays with the waistband of my skirt. “But it won’t be completely full until closer to midnight.” His warm breath brushes against my temple, a welcome embrace against the cold wind blowing through the trees at the edge of the forest outside our home. I have never been afraid of living so close to the forest. It is only a scattering of meters beyond the back yard. Its closeness has always been a comfort to my senses, to my soul. I am drawn to it even though I have kept myself separate from it, from the most wild parts of nature, of my character. Before, when Bill and I were together, there was something about him that frightened and disturbed me a little, but no more. I like the way he is now, much more, much better.

“Zen you know what?” I mischievously ask. “We should go to bed early tonight and make love with all ze curtains open so ze moon, she sees us togezzer.”

“I would like that very much,” he says as I step away from him, take his hand, and lead him through our home. I smile to myself as I walk in front of him. He is silent as he watches me and I know I captivate him; he is ensnared, the wolf in the hunter’s trap. He watches; I perform. The excitement of possibility enthralls my senses as I sway my hips from side-to-side in front of him. He has no other choice but to follow the scent, follow the trail until he reaches the trap.

Slowly, as I walk through the cottage he sighs his approval of what he sees and I smile again to myself.

As we reach the bedroom...Réduire )

“Bill,” I say, “Bill?” I shake at him. Panic seizes me. “Bill!”

“I’m alright,” he whispers, his body covering mine nearly completely. His breathing is labored even after a few minutes pass. He rolls to the side, slipping out of me and the moonlight plays across his face. “I just think that took a lot out of me.”

“Did you remember to take the potion today?” He nods at my inquiry. But he still looks pale. “We should get you under the blankets so you can sleep.” I look out the window. “It is nearly time,” I whisper as I look at him again and watch the alternating shadows and moonlight pass over him. He grimaces as the light touches his scars. I gather him to me and cover him in our bed before crawling in beside him, making him settle in for the long night. “Sleep, mon amour. I will watch you tonight.” He stares at me as his eyes flutter closed and open, then closed again, over and over. He fights to stay awake but cannot.

I pull him into the crook of my arm, letting him settle into the pillow of my bosom. I shall sleep in this baggy jumper tonight.

“Sleep, mon amour.” I kiss his temple as his breathing finally evens out.

le 05 février 2006

“It seems very ‘arsh to me. Zere looks to be a lack of ze romance about zem, although ze woman, she watches ‘er ‘usband with love in ‘er eyes, non?” I ask Bill as we stand in front of ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ in London’s National Gallery. “Ze ‘usband, ‘e looks too stern for my taste.” I glance over at Bill, who is still looking toward the painting. Our hands are clasped between us as we stand side-by-side.

“I actually like the realism of the portrait, and the light it contains,” he says. “The couple looks very prosperous and she looks like she is with child.”

“She is not pregnant, she is just fat! And zat atrocious green gown is disgusting.”

“But look at the mirror between them on the back wall of their bedroom,” he urges me as he steps closer to my side. “Can you see the figures reflected in it? And look at how the window offsets their bed.”

“Oui, ze bed, it is ze color of zeir passion and ze dog, it is a symbol of zeir fidelity.” I can see Bill turn to look at me. “But I still prefer ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’. It is filled with much more fable and emotion. Love at first sight.”

“I agree.” Bill’s slender hand tugs at mine and he ushers me to a settee in front of Titian’s masterpiece. I nestle into his cloak as he wraps his arms around me, draping a fold around my shoulder. “Like it was for us. Love at first sight.”

“Oui. I remember zat beautiful and terrible day,” I whisper.

“I worried for you in the maze. We hadn’t even been introduced yet,” he says, “But I felt the urge to protect you, to be near you.”

“I remember ‘ow your long red ‘air caught my eye,” as I speak, I reach up and brush my hand on the side of his head. “I think I even caught you looking at me once or twice when you and your mother were with ‘arry zat day. It feels like zat day was so long ago. So much ‘as ‘appened with us since then.” I have waxed nostalgic looking between Bill and the surrounding paintings.

“The last time I came here we were still married,” he whispers and I feel the thumb of his hand stroking the back of my wrist as he hesitates. “It does seem like long ago.” He looks away suddenly. “We’ve been apart more than we’ve been together since we met each other.” He releases my hands and leans forward to place his elbows on his knees.

“You seem regretful,” I say and he turns to look back at me.

“I am.”

“Do not let regret ruin what we ‘ave now, ze time we ‘ave now,” I ask, “Or anger and guilt will rob us of more ‘appiness.” I reach out and rub his arm reassuringly.

“Rejoice in the now,” he says as he takes my hand again. “It’s just that I get so frustrated for allowing all of that to happen, for letting your mum bully me away. I’m stronger than that.”

“Oui,” I say, “I ‘ave always believed in your strength.”

“I was just the one who had trouble believing in me,” he chuckles, “I know, I know, you’ve told me so a thousand times.”

“A thousand and one times.” We laugh at my jab. When silence returns I lean my head against his arm. “You ‘ad to learn it for yourself. I am glad you left because now we are both stronger, apart and togezzer. Ne convenez-vous pas?”

“Agreed,” he whispers as he kisses my temple, “Stronger, yes. It just seems I’m destined to be pitted against your mum. I don’t want to come between the two of you but my very existence seems to be ordained for that purpose. I wish it could be otherwise, love. It appears that you may end up having to choose between the two of us again if she doesn’t accept me this time. I don’t want to be the reason you lose your mum again. I love you, Fleur, and it’s tearing me up inside.”

The last thing I want is to cause Bill anguish. This is such a complicated situation, for both of us. “I know you want my Mère and me to remain close. Believe me, Bill, zat when ze time comes for us to tell ‘er of our reunion, it will be neither my ill will toward ‘er, nor yours, zat will come between me and my Mère. I want to remain close to ‘er. She is my mother and I love ‘er dearly. But you are my love, my life, and I will pick you if she forces zat choice upon me. I will not allow ‘er to come between us again.” The pain of my words is at once both bittersweet and hopeful. “It is so.”

“If I were a true gentleman I would leave you so you would not have to make such a choice.”

“NO!” My unexpected shout startles the other patrons as silence is shattered. “Do not speak of such foolishness! I would surely die without you.” Fear grips me at the mere thought of him leaving again. We are silent for a time and I find myself grabbing Bill’s hands, squeezing them to make sure he still sits beside me. “Séjour avec moi. Séjour avec moi. I would rather lose my mother zan lose my beloved again. Je mourrais.”

“I won’t leave, I won’t leave. I promise.” Now it is time for him to stroke my arm and comfort my doubts. I ask again and he promises yet again and then we are quiet. I notice another couple, who seem younger than the two of us, discussing ‘Samson and Delilah’. I think of how happiness and pleasure sometimes come with a painful price, just like it did for the ill-fated hero in Rubens’ painting. “I wonder though,” Bill’s deep voice pulls me from my thoughts, “Sometimes I don’t think that I’m your true love. The person you were meant to be with forever.” He finally turns to me and I look at him in disbelief.

“How could you say such a thing?” I ask. He grits his teeth and his expression is grim. “You frighten me,” I snap.

“Why didn’t you die?”

“What?” I am in utter disbelief and abject fear.

“When I left you. You didn’t get sick like Gabrielle did with Fred. You said she almost died.” Bill turns away, unable to look at me and I start to tear-up. “And me, I didn’t get sick like Fred did. Isn’t a Veela and her beloved supposed to suffer when they lose one another?” I take Bill’s slender hand and cradle his long fingers within mine.

“Oui,” I whisper, “It is so. I have often wondered zat same thing, why I did not suffer ze sickness.” I turn his face to mine and look at his wounded expression. It makes me want to take away that pain. “But believe me when I tell you zat I did suffer in my ‘eart. I prayed to ze goddess for death because ze pain, it was too much to bear. I wanted to die but ze great mother, she did not call me to ‘er bosom. Maybe because of my anger at you, maybe because she knew we would be togezzer again. Maybe because I ‘ave not taken my vows. I do not know exactly why. I only ‘ave suspicions.”

He embraces me to him. “It’s just that what happened with Gabrielle, it just makes me wonder why. That’s all. There’s so much I don’t know about the Veela and I’m in love with one.”

“Zere is so much I do not know about ze Veela and I am one!” It sounds very peculiar, but it is true. I laugh and Bill shakes his head.

“What a pair we make,” he chuckles, “Two half-breeds, you and I. Not quite belonging anywhere but in each other’s arms.”

“Speak for yourself!” I laugh and pat his thigh. “I am ze Veela proud! And you, you are my ‘andsome savage searching for ‘is ‘ome.”

Bill leans over and growls in my ear and I turn to kiss him softly before deepening the kiss. When we break apart the young couple has turned from the works of art to spy on us. Bill and I turn to see them watching us and the boy slides his arms around the girl from behind. They giggle and quickly turn away before they decide to kiss themselves.

“I didn’t have a home when I was gone from you,” Bill says. “You’re my home, mon amour.”

“Oui, zat is it, Bill,” I say as I look into his blue eyes, “Come ‘ome.”

“What do you mean, Fleur?” There is a spark of excitement and hope in his eyes. He asks the question I have been longing to answer.

“Move back ‘ome, with me,” I ask. “Back to our cottage. It is where you belong.” He is silent as he searches my face.

“Are you absolutely sure?” he asks, “Because I will not be moving out.”

“Oui, because I would never let you leave again!”

le 30 janvier 2006

So very much has changed in my life over the past month. Some of the changes are welcomed…and some are not.

As I sit at my desk outside of Monsieur Moody’s office I think upon how the atmosphere of the Auror Department has transformed in the short time I have been at the Ministry. When I first began working here, the environment was one of amiable chaos. This morning it seems as if in addition to the normal Monday blues, everyone is suffering from stress, the nature of which I am sure has something to do with the recent Vigilante activity. An undesirable mood of paranoia permeates the air. Even the skittering memos look as if they are taking themselves more seriously. Auror Tonks, normally a glittering, if not boisterous part of the standard daily routine, reported to work on time (for a change) and directly hid herself away inside her office. She even closed the door, which she has never done before.

Then there is Aveline, my loving and thoughtful Aveline. Even she is different, and not in a pleasant way. A darkness has come over her since her divorce from Worthington. I still find it difficult to believe that she left him. They seemed so good for one another. It just adds to my confusion. Aveline has grown distant, hollow. She avoids answering any of my inquiries about what happened to make her come to such a decision. She is obtuse to the point that I cannot read her. This makes me incredibly sad.

But it is still nice to see her every day. Even with the distance that has grown inside of her, I am thankful to at least be physically close to her on a daily basis. As she approaches Monsieur Moody’s office she briefly stops to hug me and we kiss each other on each cheek in the French fashion before we exchange blithe conversation. She looks calm and professional in her tailored brown Muggle pant suit. Her dark blue Auror robes compliment her complexion and hair color.

“Merci,” she replies at my flattering remarks before she disappears in Monsieur Moody’s office and I am alone once more. Aveline and I should spend more time together. I am afraid that since my reunion with Bill, I have shamelessly neglected my mysterious soeur adoptée. She and I have much catching up to do and I feel if I insist on spending time with her, she may let me back in to her hidden self. It is just that she seemed so happy before Christmas. I do not understand.

I finish dictating the last memo requested of me. Nonchalantly waving my wand at the Quick Quotes Quill as the sharply pointed tip scratches across the parchment…something about security in light of recent occurrences in the Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade areas. The cream-colored feather floats down to its reclining position next to the desk blotter and when its ink dries, the note folds itself neatly into a winged figure which I touch with the tip of my wand before it flaps its paper wings, ascends to just below the ceiling, and flutters down the hall. I watch the wavering object as it retreats; bouncing up and down on unseen currents as it blindly avoids other memos. It rounds a corner and disappears.

As I stare down the corridor I see a flicker of long flaxen hair and for a moment I think that perhaps Gabrielle has come to pay a visit, but I am mistaken. Just a silly human witch bounding for the lift.

I have sorely neglected Gabrielle as well. The shock of Mère pawning her off on that Romanian upstart, disgusting. Ma soeur does not know what to do and I wish I could wisely advise her in her choices, but alas, I cannot. I cannot yet even admit to Mère that Bill and I are together again. Maybe I am afraid of her. Maybe I just do not want to go through it all for a second time. I have counseled my angel to go to Mère, tell her the truth about her love for Fred, but deep inside I am afraid that Mère will not accept the match. I am sure that there was some kind of bargain made in the arrangements with the Romanians. I do not want to think that my own Mère would do such a thing. I am so confused about my mother I do not know what to do, or what to think anymore.

Then there is Bill, the only stable aspect of my life right now. It is so ironic that someone who was not there for me, who left me alone for so long, is the one that is there for me now. But I understand why he made the decision he made to leave me, which only adds to perplexity with Mère.

I have a great deal of thinking to do.

I think I shall go shopping after work…

Yes, shopping…

le 09 janvier 2006

Yes, always, my love...

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Blue Fleur
We have taken to moving the coffee table and sitting in front of the fireplace with our backs to the edge of the sofa, barefoot. The warmth of the fire licks at our soles.

“You even ‘ave ze freckles on ze tops of your feet.” I lean forward and playfully pinch one of Bill’s toes. “It is amazing, no? On your âne as well, more zan before.” My attention focuses on his face and the rakish grin he carries. “How does one get freckles on zeir bottom?” A sweet flush rises to his ears, nearly as red as the hair tucked behind them.

“Lots of time in the sun, I suppose,” he says as he feigns embarrassment by bowing his head.

“But usually ze bottom is not what is exposed to ze sun,” I smile radiantly as I try to draw out his answer.

“I did work in Egypt, you know...and, well, there were many opportunities to, well, to...,” he falters.

“To walk around an oasis in ze middle of ze desert as naked as you are at zis moment?” I beam as I lean into him and one of his slender arms envelopes me. He pulls the throw to his stomach and settles it across my shapely hips.

“Sometimes, yes,” he softly laughs as he kisses the side of my head. The long shadows of the dim room frame us in a cocoon of affection. The moon’s silver tendrils weave through the darkness to light each sill and pane in my home with blue-white light. A naked field and evergreen wood beyond the frosted glass bear the chill of the mid-winter night.

“Zis coming Saturday...it is,” I begin.

“The full moon,” Bill responds matter-of-factly, as if it no longer bothers him. I sit up and look to him, searching his face, trying to read what I fear will be there.

“Yes.” At my whispered words he lifts my hair from my neck and bends forward to place a chaste kiss on it. I duck my head and close my eyes, thanking the Goddess for my lover’s return. “I am thinking zat you should stay ‘ere, with me zat night.” We are quiet and I know he is thinking of a reason to stay away that night. “Bill?” I hesitate, “Did you know zat ze Janvier full moon, it is called ze Wolf Moon?” He barely moves his head to indicate that this is something with which he is unfamiliar. “Many years ago, when ze world was not quite as sophisticated as it is today, even for wizards and witches...ze people, zey would stay in zeir 'ouses, locked away during ze cold mid-winter...sitting in front of ze fire, telling stories...and making love.” His breathing becomes more pronounced as he listens to my tale. “And ze night of ze full moon zis month, ze people, ze lovers, could ‘ear ze lonely cry of ze wolf in ze distance. Ze wolf cried for ‘is lover, ‘is mate...so she could find ‘im.”

“And if I call out to you,” he pulls me to him and kisses me softly before he speaks again, “Will you answer me? Will you find me?” His long fingers caress my lovely face.

“Oui, toujours, mon amour...”

le 28 décembre 2005

A friend in need

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Blue Fleur
I must admit that I feel a tinge of guilt about my current happiness with Bill whenever I think about Gabrielle. I cannot believe Mère has run off somewhere with ma Ange. Mère used to do this back when Père was still alive and it would make him so angry. It was as if my mother was trying to flex some sort of power over my father. Now I do not want to believe she carries on in the same way, but I must.

“Mère 'as run away with Gabrielle again,” I whisper to Aveline when she hands me a stack of papers.

“Did she tell you where?” she asks and I shake my head.

“She never does,” our eyes meet as I speak. “Aveline, I do not 'ave a good feeling about zis. I know Gabrielle did not want to leave ze island over ze 'oliday.”

Aveline gazes at the quill resting on my desk and I can see her jaw clench with her wide-eyed, vacant stare.

“Aveline?” I touch her arm.

“I’m sure it’s nothing, Fleur, nothing at all. Babette has just taken Gabrielle sightseeing to spend some time with her youngest daughter.” If it is nothing at all then why does Aveline refuse to look at me now?

I am released from work early and I decide to check in on Fred Weasley. One of the clerks is tending the store and tells me that Fred is upstairs in his flat. It takes some time for him to answer the door when I knock. He is wearing a dressing gown over a tee shirt and dirty jeans. On his feet are hideous fuzzy pink bedroom slippers.

“You look terrible! Are you sick?” I ask as I push past him into the disastrously messy flat.

“Nice to see you too, Fleur. Why don’t you come in?” He says sarcastically as I turn around to look at him. It is dreadfully obvious by his appearance that he has not bathed in a long time as his hair is sticking out at odd angles and his fair beard is well past a few days’ growth. Then I catch a whiff of him.

“You smell like un porc at ze trough, Fred Weasley,” I tell him as I wave my hand in front of my nose to alleviate the stench.

“Haven’t bathed since Christmas Eve.” How disgusting!

“Chère déesse d'Oh ! You smell like âne! Take a bath and change your clothes, you English pig-dog!”

“Hey! I take offense to that!” he shoots back at me with a weak smirk on his face.

“And I take offense to ze way you stink!” I turn him and push him into the wash room. “At least clean your face, wipe your pits, and scrub zat nasty âne of yours!” I hand him what appears to be a fresh flannel and exit the bath, slamming the door behind me. “And do not come out until you do!”

Then I find myself looking at a horrible mess. He has obviously not bothered to pick up since the last time my sister was here. Dear Goddess, what if she suddenly returned to find this disaster? Once I hear water running on the other side of the door I cast a few cleaning charms as I walk around the flat. The dishes in the kitchen start to scrub themselves. A rag begins wiping up messes here and there. Clothes and papers fly to their proper places. The bed shakes itself out and makes itself while a broom sweeps the floor. When I am done the flat is by no means sanitary, but it is in much better shape than it was when I arrived. I hear the toilet flush before Fred emerges from the loo, looking and smelling better, but still not very good.

“When I leave you should change into clean pajamas.” He nods at my suggestion. “Have you eaten anything?” I ask.

“Only biscuits, tea, and stale French bread.” He scratches the back of his head before he sits at the kitchen table. I hope there are not bugs in his hair... I turn and begin to search through his cupboard for something of substance he can eat and find very little other than beef broth and onions. With those and the stale bread and some cheese I find in the back of his ice box, I decide to make him a large pot of onion soup.

As I cook, Fred and I talk about what we think has happened to Gabrielle. I try to comfort him but it is difficult to hide my own fears. I try my best to make happy small talk and Fred nods or agrees with me from time to time, asking to help me, but I refuse his assistance and force him to sit while I work. The soup is ready and I serve him a bowl within the hour. I sit with him until his bowl is empty. After the kitchen is clean and everything is put away I make him sit on the sofa with me.

“You ‘ave not been sleeping, ‘ave you?” I inquire and he shakes his head. “Then come,” I clap and grab a pillow, placing it in my lap, “Lie down and close you eyes. At least try to rest.” Fred reluctantly curls his body onto the sofa and puts his head on the pillow.

“This is nice, Mum,” he sighs.

“I am ze Wicked Wonder Witch, not your Mum,” I scold as I run my fingers through his greasy hair, trying to tame it some. “I do not theenk your mother looks like zis.” I point to my face with a smirk.

He settles down and I wait. Wait for him to fall asleep. He fights it for a while, but I think the fact that he now has a full stomach makes it harder for him to stay awake. Soon the tension in his body releases and his breathing grows more and more even and deep. I slowly slip from the sofa and find an afghan with which to cover him before I silently see myself out.

As I pull the door to Fred’s flat closed behind me and turn to go down the steps, I see none other than Bill Weasley coming up the stairs.

“Fleur!,” he smiles warmly and I shush him. “What brings you here?” he whispers, a concerned look on his face.

“I finally got your little brother to sleep, so we must not wake ‘im,” I say very softly in Bill’s ear, getting a whiff of his cologne as my lips hover at his cheek. He stands on the step below me so our eyes are level. This is nice.

“Oh,” he says with an exaggerated nod before he slips his arms around my waist.

“I got your present,” I look into his dark blue eyes and find my breath catch as I wrap my arms around his neck. “Merci beaucoup,” I continue as I nuzzle my nose against his cold nose. “Oh, you are freezing!”

“I’m all better now,” he squeezes my waist in his hands.

“Let us go get some coffee or ‘ot shocolate somewhere so we can talk,” I suggest.

“I like that idea,” he replies as he takes my hand and leads me down the stairs.

A pleasant surprise

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Blue Fleur
When I arrive at work this morning there is a small box on my desk with a gift card.Réduire )

le 20 décembre 2005

Hello, Goodbye...

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Blue Fleur
“So, tell me, what ‘ave you been up to since...well, I guess since, well, since zat day, ze one in October when we agreed to no longer see each ozzer?" I cradle the warm mug of tea in my hands as it thaws my icy fingertips. “Zat last day when you kissed me, rappelez-vous?” I look across the table at Bill Weasley to find that he is smiling, a half smile on the corner of his mouth, the side where the scar sits. The Leaky cauldron is bustling and crowded but it is quiet and inviting in our little corner.

“Yes, I remember,” he glances at me. “I remember we also said a lot of things that day.”

“Oui, we did.” I reply as I nod and watch him pick up a gingerbread biscuit from the plate between us. “What ‘as ‘appened to you since zat day, mon Rouge. I know much ‘as come to pass, for you seem...different to me...but in a good way different, no?”

“If you say so,” he responds warily, yet seemingly intrigued.

“Goodness, you ‘ave never felt comfortable speaking of yourself!” I chide. “Well, if you will not tell me what ‘as gone on with you zese last few months zen tell me about ze woman you are seeing and ‘er son. How is ‘e? I was very concerned about ‘im since last week.”

“He’s much better. His body is having trouble adapting to his..,” he looks at me as if he cannot find the right word. “Well, his body is having difficulty adjusting to him being a werewolf.” We are quiet for a time.

“Was it Greyback?” I whisper reverently as Bill nods and looks at the plate between us. “You know, I really detest zat, what do you say, fucker? Oui! I detest ze baiseur de mère.” My voice rises a bit as Bill chuckles.

“Merlin help the bastard if he ever ran into you, Fleur,” Bill laughs again before the waiter comes to refresh our pot of tea.

“And ze woman, is she...,” I start to ask.

“No, no,” he interrupts. “She’s like me.”

“Zen zat is good for you, no?” I ask with a forced smile, “You ‘ave someone who truly understands you.” I pour a bit of tea into his mug and then my own. “I mean, someone who understands you ze way you need zem to understand.” And there it is, the real reason why he left me. I am not what he needs.

“You understand me, more than you think,” he says and I purse my lips in doubt. “No, Fleur, you really do. Back in October, when you said I didn’t accept myself for what I have become, for the things I’ve done...you were right.” He takes my hand across the table and squeezes it. “I couldn’t acknowledge the changes that have happened to me before, but now, now...”

“It is better inside of you? You ‘ave learned to love yourself again?” I ask, hopeful. Even though I could not help him come to these decisions, I am relieved that someone could.

“You could say that,” he grins. It is good to see a genuine smile on his face. He has not lost any of the rugged and exotic attractiveness he possessed on the first day we met, and he is much more handsome now, with age and experience, I think.

And besides, scars, zey are sexy, I theenk.

He stares blankly at me for a moment before he speaks once more. “Well, thank you, Fleur,” he whispers with an embarrassed smirk.

“Oh mon Dieu! I said zat aloud, no? I am so sorry! Fille idiote!”

“Don’t apologize. It is actually quiet endearing to hear that from you,” he laughs. Ah, he is so good-looking with his smile...there, I did not say that out loud...or did I?

Over the next few hours we lose track of time and it feels like it did when we first met, when he first courted me, if not better. The ease of our conversation is relaxing and refreshing and I find myself talking about many things: Gabrielle and Fred and how much the two of them remind me of us when we were younger, the new Wicked and Wonder Witch product lines and how I am enjoying my work and the attention...how I feel like I did my last year at Beauxbatons Academy.

“You really have come back into your own. I like that,” he replies.

“And guess what?” I ask excitedly as he shrugs his shoulders. “I have decided to study for and take my Veela vows. I want to embrace all of what I am, just like you ‘ave. I am going to tell Gabrielle and Aveline soon and who knows, maybe zey will ‘elp me with my studies.”

“I’m happy about that. I always thought in the back of my mind that you didn’t complete them because of me and I felt as if I was taking something away from you,” he replies as he nods. Now it is time for me to touch his hand in reassurance.

“It was not you. I should ‘ave fought my own battles instead of running away from zem,” I whisper as I rub my thumb across the back of his knuckles. “When we divorced I could ‘ave pursued my vows zen, but instead I chose to be ‘ateful and depressed. I was more interested in blaming ze world, and namely you, for all of my problems. Even when you came back to L'Angleterre last summer, I could not let go of ze ‘atred and ze anger inside. I was a miserable person and I took zat unhappiness out on you. You did not deserve zat.”

He squeezes my hand three times, our old signal for a silent ’I love you’, and I return his gesture with four squeezes that at one time between us silently meant the reply, ’I love you too’...

It is silent in the children’s ward at St. Mungo’s as I walk down the center isle to Paddy’s flat. He is not at home when I open the door; inside it is silent and dark. I sit on the sofa and wait for him as I watch the dwindling embers of the coals in the fireplace. He has been gone since very early this morning, as he has been every morning for nearly a week. He tells me that his work is what calls him away from me but I think I know the real truth behind what he tells me. I do not think I have his heart...not like I once had Bill’s.

Paddy is married to his job. It is his real passion and I am merely a distraction, an exciting interlude into his otherwise dreary daily routine. Maybe if I were a Healer or one of his patients then his heart could be mine...

But then, would I want it? Or am I fooling myself into thinking that I could ever love him the way I loved (the way I love) Bill Weasley. I am not afraid of living my life alone, it is just that Paddy is such a good and generous person...he is easy to care for, so much so that I want to be around him. I love him, I truly love him.

But I am not in love with him...

I hear the squeak of the door as it open behind me and Paddy enters. He removes his coat and burgundy and gold striped scarf before he realizes I am here.

“Fleur, I didn’t see you there.”

“I came by to see you and decided to wait,” I say as he walks around the sofa to sit on the coffee table in front of me. He leans forward and places his hands on my knees. “We ‘ave not been able to spend very much time togezzer lately.”

“I’m sorry about that,” he rubs my knees as we speak. “I’ve been busier than usual lately...with the little boy, Todd...and my research.” He falls silent as he looks away from me. We sit quietly together as if we each have a million words to say and do not know where to begin.

“Paddy?” I ask as he looks back up at my face. “Let us not start to tell lies to each ozzer,” I begin as I take his hands, “You were not meant to be with me. You were meant for somezing else, somezing zat for you will be greater zan me.” Cher Merlin! I do not believe I am saying such words about myself!

“I didn’t mean for it to this to happen. I didn’t want it to be like this.” Our fingers entwine with his words. “You’re more than I ever dreamed of having.” Oui, I am the most beautiful woman with whom you will ever be...poor man...

“But I am not enough for you, zough, not what you need,” I whisper as we bow our heads until they touch. “Zere is somezing out zere zat is better for each of us.” He nods regretfully.

“But we’ll stay friends, won’t we? The children will miss you. You have to keep volunteering or they’ll be so disappointed.” He always comes back to the children...

“Oui, zey are ze only ones to whom I would relinquish a lover...ze only competition I could not defeat for your attention.” I smile with a strange relief as we gaze at each other once more.

“I’m going to miss you, Fleur,” he whispers.

“I will miss you too, Sir Guérisseur.”

le 14 décembre 2005

Women and Children

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Blue Fleur
“I too will try my fortune, said ze king’s son, and ze next day when it began to grow dark, he went to ze tower and cried, ‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your ‘air.’”

I stop reading to the little girl in the children’s ward when the double doors burst open. Paddy calmly looks up from the nurse’s desk to watch a couple quickly walk into the ward. The man carries a child bundled to him. The man and the woman each wear cloaks with cowls hooding their faces. There is something oddly familiar about the man...and then I see it when he places the child, a boy, on a bed close to the desk where Paddy is now standing. When the man stands and removes his hood I see that it is Bill.

The little girl next to me pulls at my arm, reminding me to return to the story, but the commotion in the ward now distracts her.

“Is the boy sick?” she asks as she bends her head to me, trying to hide from our intruders.

“I theenk so, but Healer Paddy is going to ‘elp ‘im,” I whisper as I put my arm around her.

I stroke the little girl’s yellow hair as I try to listen to what is being said across the room. I would assume that the little boy belongs to the woman and the woman is the one that Bill is currently...seeing. Bill’s woman appears thin and frail and worried. It is the same woman he was with at the Longbottom wedding a few months back...the one I saw with him in the robe shop not too long ago. She seems nice enough, but she is very plain. Bill must feel sorry for her. She seems too young to have a son that age...I wonder if she got into trouble when she was a teenager. In her delicate state, I wonder if she passed some sort of illness on to her son while she carried him...he is very pale, very agitated.

“The full is in two days time. He has to be well enough to deal with his transformation by then,” the woman tells Paddy, who has been examining her son since Bill laid the boy on the bed. Then I understand...the child is a werewolf. I cover my mouth with my hand at this sudden realization. The child of Bill’s woman is a werewolf.

My eyes wander to my ex-husband’s back. His long hair is tucked into his cloak and I cannot see it. Bill watches silently as Paddy continues with the boy and the boy’s mother agonizes over her son’s condition.

I watch Bill. He is much, much taller than Paddy but Paddy does not appear to be intimidated by my husband’s presence in the least. Bill’s woman is slight, with dark hair and dark eyes. I try to figure out what it is about her that he desires...what has caused the changes he has undergone that make him consciously choose to be with a woman who has a son with the same sickness that Bill despises in himself.

“I want to keep Todd overnight for observation. I’ll be here, so I can keep a close eye on him. Why don’t you both go home and get some rest before Thursday night?” Paddy encourages them but the woman refuses to leave her son. They decide it would be best if Patricia (her name is Patricia) stays in case Todd wakes up and becomes frightened. Bill will go home for the night. Good.

Bill turns around and sees me and I quickly continue with the story.

“Immediately ze ‘air fell down and ze king's son climbed up. At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man, such as ‘er eyes ‘ad never yet beheld, came to ‘er.” I am trying to pretend that I do not notice Bill as I continue the tale. From the corner of my eye I see him walk toward me. He stops at the foot of the little girl’s bed and listens.

“But ze king's son began to talk to ‘er quite like a friend, and told ‘er zat ‘is ‘eart ‘ad been so stirred zat it ‘ad let ‘im ‘ave no rest, and ‘e ‘ad been forced to see ‘er. Zen Rapunzel lost ‘er fear, and when ‘e asked ‘er if she would take ‘im for ‘er ‘usband, and she saw zat ‘e was young and ‘andsome, she sought, ‘he will love me more zan anyone else’.” I can tell that the little girl has fallen asleep, but Bill standing over the bed, watching the two of us, it makes me nervous. “And she said yes, and laid ‘er ‘and in ‘is. She said, ‘I will willingly go away with you.’” Then I stop and lay the little girl’s head on her pillow before I look up at Bill.

“How is ze little boy?” I ask.

“I’m not sure. Better now than before.”

“It is good zat ‘e is ‘ere,” I reply and he nods in agreement. I look down at the floor before I speak again, “I ‘eard ze three of you speaking of ‘is illness. It is good zat you brought ‘im ‘ere before ze full.” I stop and look up to him. “I know ‘ow...difficult zis must be for you, but you ‘ave done what is right, I theenk.”

Bill stares at me and says nothing and I want to ask him more, ask him everything. I want to know how all these things have come about, but I cannot. It is not my place. Bill slowly nods before he speaks again.

“Thank you,” he shoves his hands in his pockets and turns to look at Patricia and her son. “I better get going.”

I nod. There really is nothing more to say...this is an awkward situation. Bill clears his throat and moves to go back to the woman and her child.

le 08 décembre 2005

Ze Double Date--Part II

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Blue Fleur
Fred and I quickly make our way to the table where Paddy and Gabrielle sit across from each other. We join them and the small talk begins as I watch. Paddy and Fred seem to have a great deal of catching up to do, as witnessed by the fact that Paddy is an old school chum of Charlie’s. But there is one thing that I do notice, even though Fred and Paddy are engaged in lively talk, Fred never seems to stop paying some kind of attention to my sister, whether is it to squeeze her hand, pass her the sugar, or simply glance and smile at her. They truly are in love.

“So ladies, how was your trip to Paris to see your mother?” Paddy asks and I nod, telling him that we had a wonderful time. Fred and Gabrielle cut quick looks at one another before she answers.

“It was the most fun I’ve ever had in Paris and I practically grew up in that city,” she beams before she looks over to Fred and holds his hand. They pay entirely too much attention to one another. I am so very glad that Paddy and I see fit to avoid such blatant public displays. Although it might be nice... They are lost in each other. Paddy leans in toward me.

“Did you enjoy your trip?” he asks as he tries to ignore the lovebirds.

“Oui, I did. It was good to see Mére again. I told her about you. She wants to meet you now,” I respond as Gabrielle laughs out loud at something Fred whispers to her.

“I’d love to meet your Mum, but I can’t get away any time soon. I’ve been neglecting my research lately and after what happened...well, I just don’t want that to happen again. I’m so close to figuring something out,” Paddy always becomes animated whenever he talks about his work, “I can just feel it, Fleur. I can just feel it.”

“Feel what?” Gabrielle asks, distracted from Fred for the moment...but her hand never leaves his.

“I feel I’m getting closer to an answer with my research into a cure, or at least an aid, to lycanthropic bite wounds and infections of the blood,” as he speaks our food is served. Gabrielle looks over at me knowingly as Fred resumes talking with Paddy about his work.

“You never told me this, shame on you,” Gabrielle whispers as she leans over to me...but she still touches Fred in some way. I stop to watch his hand caress her arm as he speaks to Paddy.

“Do not get any ideas, ma Ange,” I reply and before she can respond I shush her. Our meal goes on...with Paddy talking to Fred and occasionally speaking to me, even less to Gabrielle. Gabrielle attends Fred, even going so far as to butter a piece of bread for him. Fred never stops focusing on my sister, even if it is in a very small way, as he talks to Paddy and then to me. As we are finishing our food Paddy suddenly stops.

“Fleur, I’m sorry, but I have to get back to the hospital,” Paddy folds his napkin and places it on the table. Gabrielle and Fred watch in mild interest as Paddy continues. “I have a very young patient who has a great deal of difficulty the week before the full. I want to make sure, well, I want to make sure.”

“Zen I will go with you,” I say, disappointed.

“No, no, you stay and enjoy this time with Gabrielle and Fred and I’ll see you tomorrow?” he kisses my cheek before he stands and says his goodbyes. I watch as he leaves the tea room.

“Busy time for him, I guess,” Fred says to a silent table.

“Oui,” my brow furrows as I think. “A little boy in ‘is care died last week from ze complications from a werewolf bite. I was zere when it ‘appened.” I still stare at the door after Paddy’s departure.

“Oh, goddess, I’m sorry Fleur,” Gabrielle takes my hand. “Are you all right?”

“Oui,” I turn to Gabrielle. “Paddy is just worried right now. He is distracted.”

Yes, that is it. He is distracted...

le 30 novembre 2005

“It is strange feeling, to be going to a Partie de Noël when ze month is still Novembre, no?” I ask Paddy as we step out of his quarters in the back of the children’s ward. I volunteered some time earlier this evening by reading stories to some of the children while I waited for Paddy’s shift to end. We are now going to a holiday party.

“I was thinking that same thing just now,” he adds as he pulls the door shut and whispers a locking charm. “It seems we start celebrating the holidays earlier and earlier each year.” We begin to make our way to the front of the ward, walking past the nurses’ desk and the many beds full of sleeping young ones.

“I remember when I was une petite fille, my mère refused to let us start celebrating until Décembre ze first. She said it would spoil...,” but as I speak Paddy steps over to the bedside of one of the children.

“Hold on, Fleur,” he responds as he touches the boy’s forehead and feels his chest. Paddy suddenly looks agitated.

“What is it? What is wrong?” I ask.

“He’s having some type of allergic reaction.” Paddy turns and looks toward the nurses’ desk. “Lucy, LUCY!!!” The on-duty nurse waddles quickly over to his side. “Tell the trauma unit that the boy attacked at the last full moon isn’t breathing normally. Send them up to help me transport him to intensive treatment ward. Then find the closest fireplace and Firecall Healer Pennington. Tell her the Werewolf victim has taken a turn for the worse. Go now, hurry, HURRY!!!” Paddy returns his attention to the injured boy and begins examining him in earnest. He casts a spell that shows an image of the inside of the child’s throat. Paddy slowly moves his wand from the boy’s mouth down to his lungs. I watch enraptured at the images projected against the boy’s body...a replica of the inside of his body.

“His trachea is constricting. He’s not breathing anymore.” Paddy’s voice is getting tenser. He grabs the boy’s arm and feels at his wrist as he counts. Then he presses fingers below the child’s ear and counts again. “Good...,” Paddy’s hand moves to the boy’s nose and mouth. I watch him rip open the child’s pajama top as he studies the boy’s chest. Paddy pinches the young man’s nose and blows into his mouth, then checks his chest once more. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!”

“Fleur, Fleur! Grab that straw and cut two ten centimeter lengths with your wand, quickly, quickly.” I follow Paddy’s directions and run to the desk then quickly pull out my wand to cast a simple cutting spell before I dash back to his side and hand him the straws. “Good...good,” he looks at me for a long moment and the tension on his face frightens me. He quickly turns back to the little boy. “Come on big guy, don’t give up yet. You’ve made it this far, Ian, just make it a little farther. Don’t let that bastard do this to you. Fight him, big guy, fight him...” Paddy works frantically trying to get the boy to start breathing on his own again. He looks to me once more and takes a deep breath before speaking. “Fleur, I need you to do exactly what I tell you and you can’t be squeamish about it. You have to do this, now listen. I’m going to make an incision in his throat right here,” he directs me to the boy’s neck just below the child’s Adam’s Apple. “Right after I do that I need you to slide your finger into the hole until you feel the tip of your finger slip past the cartilage and tissue and your feel a hollow chamber. That’s his trachea, his windpipe. Once you do, stay very, very still as I slip the straws alongside your finger. If we do this quickly, there will be less blood.”

I want to faint, run away panicked and screaming down the sterile corridor, but I cannot. I cannot disappoint this man. I watch in fascinated horror as Paddy takes his wand and casts what I think is the same spell I used to slice the straws. A thick red liquid pools at the base of the child’s throat and I find myself fighting to retain consciousness. Paddy motions for me to insert my finger into the flesh of the child’s throat, encouraging me as I push past the meat and cartilage until I reach the windpipe. I force myself to breath. Paddy’s soothing voice helps me stay the course.

“All right, now slowly slide your finger out of the hole, go over to the nurses’ desk, and bring me a roll of gauze.” With forced calmness, I observe Paddy slide the small tubes into the boy’s neck and he holds them firmly as I withdraw my finger. A labored rasping begins as Ian starts to breath through the tubes. I get the gauze. Paddy quickly and expertly secures the tubes at the child’s throat. Moments later the trauma Healers arrive and work as a team to take the child to their unit for further treatment.

Paddy remains with me. He takes my hands and as I look down at our entwined fingers, I see the child’s blood. This man is amazing...

“Thank you, Fleur. You did well.” Paddy gazes at me with an air of relief. “Looks like we’re going miss the party. I’ve got to go with him to make sure everything is all right. Why don’t you go home and I’ll Firecall you as soon as I can?” He leans forward and kisses my lips. “I’m sorry.”

“Oui, Paddy. I will. Let me know as soon as you can. I will worry for 'im until I ‘ear from you.” He nods before he turns to run down the hall to find Ian.

I stand in the dark ward. I hear a small cry, a hushed whine and I walk over to a little girl’s bed and sit with her, comforting her until she falls asleep again...luckily none of the other children were awakened.

Once the little girl is asleep I realize that I do not want to go home. I do not want to be alone right now. I think I will lay down on Paddy’s sofa and wait until he returns. I walk over to his door and try to remember his password. Some Gaelic saying...

“Eslanshar.” I wave my wand, yet nothing happens.

“Slanshare.” I’m sure I’m just not pronouncing it correctly.

“Rien de Dieu il!” I swear and make another attempt. Stupid Irish with their stupid toasts!

“Sansha.” Nothing. I just cannot say it right.

I try to recall how Paddy taught me to say the word...“Pretend you’re drunk, slur your words and say, ‘It’s a lawn chair!’ really, really fast. Now zis time without ze outrAgeous accent.”

“Sláinte!” It works. The door pops open. I step inside and lie down on the sofa after I have cleaned myself up. I will wait for him to return.

But before I realize it, I have fallen asleep...

“Fuck, fuck, Fuck, FUCK, SHITE!” The door slams and I hear Paddy’s uncharacteristic string of curses. “I hate that rat bastard, Merlin fucking damn it!” I cannot move from the sofa, I am so startled. I lay perfectly still and silent. Seconds later I hear glass shattering against the brick wall above the fireplace, then a chair being slammed across the room. I hear footsteps leave the room and then silence.

Then I hear a soft weeping coming from Paddy’s bedroom.

Mon Dieu...the little boy did not make it...

I noiselessly rise and make my way to Paddy’s bedroom. As I stand in the doorway I see that he is sitting at the foot of his bed, his head in his hands, weeping in frustration and sadness. He slowly looks up to me and his eyes widen.

“Fleur!” He quickly wipe his face on the sleeve of his jumper. I can see he has washed his hands of the blood. “I didn’t know...I...I...I didn’t know you were here.”

In an instant I am in front of him, kneeling, my arms around his body, coaxing, trying desperately to absorb some of the pain of this loss from him.

“It is all right. I promise it is okay.” I wish I could take it all away, all your pain.

“No it’s not, no it’s not. He’s dead, Fleur. The little boy died. That rat bastard, Greyback, attacked Ian the last full and his tiny body just couldn’t take it.” Paddy grasps at me, hugging me to him as if he is afraid I could fly out of his arms at any moment. “He couldn’t take it.” Paddy buries his face in my hair and cries. Then he pulls back, his face contorted in anger, “Fuck! What use am I to them? What use am I to them?” He clenches his jaw when he pulls back and stares into the corner of the room. “Right now I’m no closer to finding an antidote than I was this time last year.”

“Yes you are. Yes you are!” I take his face in my hands and make him look at me. “Do not say such things. You and ‘ealer Pennington are ze only ones who will ‘elp zem. Ze only ones, I tell you! Who will ‘elp zem if you lose ‘ope? No one, zere is no one else. You cannot allow zat monster to destroy you as well as all you ‘ave worked so ‘ard to accomplish! You cannot abandon zem!”

“Fleur...Fleur,” he moans in pain as I kiss each of his eyes before moving down to his lips.

“I cannot let you lose ‘ope, Paddy.” I press my mouth to his and he surrenders to my persistence and lets me in. “Mon médecin noble, mon amoureux généreux, mon farceur de tendre-coeur.” (My noble physician, my generous lover, my tender-heart jester.)

“Je t'aime, Sir Guérisseur, Je t'aime.” (I love you, Sir Healer, I love you.) I whisper to him between soft kisses.

“Je parle français, Fleur.” (I speak French, Fleur.) He tells me and I stare into his eyes with a look of surprise before he speaks again. “Vous voulez dire ces mots, quand me dites-vous que vous m'aimez?” (Do you mean these words, when you tell me you love me?) He asks.

“Oui.”

“Je t'aime aussi, ma belle Fleur.” (I love you too, my beautiful Fleur.) My heart clenches with his words...that is what he used to call me...but I cannot, will not, think of such things now. I know Paddy feels this way for me, although, thankfully, it seems to not totally consume him. Paddy makes me feel a slow burn that unexpectedly sneaks up on me. His fingers slide into the hair at the nape of my neck as he sighs into my awaiting mouth, his warm tongue kissing me so very softly, slowly pouring a fire that reaches to my toes.

J'ai besoin de vous, Fleur. J'ai besoin de vous.Réduire )
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