Part 1

Delphinium - plant with flower spikes: a plant cultivated for its variously colored flower spikes, especially those species with tall blue or white flower spikes. Genus: Delphinium


The man on his knees on the dirt, amongst the weeds, tall grass and flowers turned at the sound of someone sneezing. When he saw who it was, he quickly stood and wiped the dirt off his hands onto his trousers. Before he could do anything else, the person sneezed a second time.


He arched a brow, dropped the small gardening tool from his hand and waited to see if the person – a woman he knew all too well – would sneeze again. And then she did.


The third sneeze was louder and more forceful than the first two. In fact, the woman shook her head and said, "Pardon me, must be my allergies."

Hermione Granger stood by the garden gate, her hand upon the latch. Charlie Weasley reached inside his pocket, pulled out a clean handkerchief and handed it to her.

She accepted it with a small nod of thanks, dabbing at her nose and eyes as she did.

"Allergies," she repeated as a way of explanation.

Charlie nodded in response and got back down on his knees, selecting another flower from the wooden crate to the left of his knee and continued with his toil.

"Your mother told me I might find you out here," she explained while still standing on the outside of the gate.

Deciding there was no response to that observation, Charlie went back to his work.

"What are you doing?" she asked, coming all the way through the gate, the old hinges squeaking as a way of announcing her entrance.

He thought it was perfectly obvious what he was doing, so instead of answering her, he continued to place the flower in his hand into the small hole he had just dug into the earth.

"What sort of flower is that?" she asked, coming to stand beside him. He looked up at her quickly, the sun shined bright behind her curly hair, making it appear to be more honey gold than the rich mahogany that he knew it to be.

She smiled. "It's pretty. It's called a delphinium, isn't it? My mother used to plant those in our back garden. I think I like the blue ones the best, don't you?"

Looking at the small blue flower he held in his hands, he wondered why she kept asking him questions, but it didn't matter, as he didn't feel inclined to reply. She must have sensed this, because she kept up an endless line of chattering, either as a response to his quietness or because it was just something she usually did.

She continued talking about the flower he was planting, how its various colored spikes were usually blue or white, and she ended with, "Its Genus is also Delphinium, and its name is derived via modern Latin from the Greek word, delphinion or "larkspur," literally meaning "little dolphin," from delphis, because of the shape of the flower looks almost like a dolphin."

Patting the dirt tightly around the small blue flower, Charlie looked up at her as she stopped her prattling and gave her a quizzical look. What was she going on about now?

Suddenly blushing with apparent embarrassment, she concluded, "Well, anyway, it's certainly lovely."

In Charlie's opinion, she was simply and utterly lovely, even with a runny nose and red-rimmed eyes. There wasn't a flower in this garden that could compare its beauty to the beauty that was simply her. He would never tell her that, however. He would never tell her that simply because he hadn't uttered a single word for four months.

He came back to The Burrow four months ago from a dragon training center in western Romania. He'd not yet revealed the reason he'd returned, not to his mother or father or brothers or sister. Of course, they knew he had been seriously injured, and that was partly the reason he'd come back to England. The other reason for his return was his business and his business alone, although he knew that Hermione Granger wanted to make it her business as well.

But not even the lovely woman in front of him could make him tell her why he'd returned. Anyway, if he did decide to finally end his reign of silence, the first thing he would tell her was how incredibly lovely he thought she was. The second thing he would tell her was that she was trespassing on his solitude, which he supposed was rather the point of her visit.

Charlie sighed. He knew he was being rude, not greeting her or responding to her inquiries, but he didn't want to do either of those things. He wanted to be alone. He stood, walked toward her while brushing his soiled laden hands together, all the while thinking again about how pretty and fresh she looked, rather like the flowers that he was planting into the dark, cold earth at his feet.

Standing right in front of her with a blank expression on his face, he thought of how she was too pretty and fresh and clean to be here with him. She had on a white dress, with white sandals on her feet, and a white, dazzling smile upon her face. He had on dirty blue jeans, a gray t-shirt that was stained with dirt and sweat, and dirt and grime under his fingertips. He felt as dirty on the inside as he felt on the outside.

She was clean and sweet and altogether wholesome, inside and out.

She was too good and too beautiful for someone like him. Too pretty (although pretty was hardly an adequate word to describe her) and too perfect in everyway. She was breathtakingly, indescribably, better than him in every way possibly known to man.

He should know, because he'd been in love with the woman for at least five years. He was in love with her and no one would ever know. And wasn't that a perfect analogy of everything that was wrong with his life at the moment. No one really knew the real Charlie Weasley and he liked it like that – until now.

"Aren't you going to talk to me, Charlie?" she asked with a slight smile. "What are you doing out here all by yourself? Your family is very worried about you, and frankly, so am I."

Suddenly, she closed her big brown eyes, wrinkled her lovely, button nose, and sneezed for the fourth time.

That was when he decided to reply with a very simple and singular, small, "Bless you." They were the first words he'd spoken in months.

Then he turned away from her, walked back to where he began, got down on his knees and reached for another delphinium. After placing the small, blue flower into the ground he looked back over his shoulder and noticed that she was finally gone.

That thought made him both happy and sad.