Authors Notes – This is one of two chapters that were going to be part of a Seventh Year fic. I had written six chapters before deciding I wanted to write a Severitus instead. While I managed to use most of the material there was this chapter by Gabrielle Delacour and another with Andromeda that I decided to post as one shots because I liked them so much.
Today is my sisters wedding and I can't shake the feeling that it is going to be a disaster. And I don't mean that I think she'll trip walking down the aisle, the groom won't turn up or the best man will get plastered and tell dirty jokes at the reception. I mean I have this horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that something really awful is going to happen.
And, I know I'm not the only one. As I look across the crowded Weasley kitchen and into the eyes of the people rushing about the room, finding shoes and finishing breakfast, I can tell there is this dark pit of worry and oppressive fear suppressing the joy and love that we are here to celebrate.
Still, I like everyone else have appearances to maintain and lift myself from the table to go upstairs and get dressed. The wedding is to be held in the English gardens of this house. I walked around yesterday. It is beautiful, the rolling hills and cobbled lanes. Quintessential English country side, such a beautiful backdrop for Fleur's special day and so elegantly feminine, nothing like the manly, ruggurd, untamed beauty of Scotland. It seems ages ago since I was last in the United Kingdom but it was only two years ago that I was at Hogwarts. For all the reputed beauty of the Hogwarts Grounds I much prefer this countryside, it is something I can appreciate coming from the bustling Paris metropolis. Yet all the while I just wish my family and I were safe back in France.
The name has haunted the wizarding world for almost thirty years. For twice as long as I have been alive. And, now my sister is marrying into the family most opposed to Voldemort and Harry Potter is attending her wedding! It has Death Eater attack written all over it.
Bill's a great guy, scarred face and all. Don't misunderstand me. I love Bill. He came and visited us two years ago to ask my father for Fleur's hand in marriage. It must be an English thing because my dad thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
"She's Veela, if she wants you there's naught I can do to stop it!" he had replied laughing at the poor man who was so very nervous. Yet, Bill was so charming in his bumbling Englishness that he had won my Grandmother over immediately, and she is so difficult to please. I should know, I often doubt her fondness for me, but it took all of one minute for Bill Weasley to charm his way into our family.
That's why I was so confused when Fleur had written last year. Although she is much older than I am, Fleur and I have always been close. And, it seems that Fleur had had the most difficult time getting the Weasleys to accept her. I couldn't understand that, after all everyone loves Fleur.
I shouldn't be so cruel but it is hard being sister to the most beautiful girl in France. I love my sister and most of the time I forget to be jealous. Family is so important to us and I know the Weasleys approval meant everything for Fleur. Bill had promised to marry her family be damned but it was so important to them both to get Fleur integrated into the Weasley family. Sadly, it took Bill's attack to bring the families together.
"Gabrielle," my mother snapped pulling me from my daydreams, "your sister is beside herself looking for you. Go upstairs and get changed immediately. I have to seat your aunt's before they tear up the place."
I moved into the room where my sister and Ginny were getting ready. Ginny, who after so long, was getting on great with Fleur and was currently helping her with her hair and makeup. Ginny was already wearing her gold bridesmaid dress so I guiltily moved over to the hanger which held mine. Fleur was also dressed, sitting in front of a mirror in her bridal gown. She looked at me in my pajamas and sighed loudly. I quickly got changed listening to Ginny and Fleur's conversation as they finished Fleurs final touches.
"You look beautiful," Ginny whispered, gently moving a stray lock of hair from Fleurs face.
"Thank you," Fleur replied sincerely, standing up and straightening her dress.
Ginny laughed. "Gosh, you must hear that all the time."
"Of course, but it means the world coming from you."
The two turned to me, "Gabrielle, are you ready?"
I was having a spot of bother with the zip. Of course the dresses zipper went way up the neck and I couldn't reach.
"Gods, you'll tear it," Fleur interrupted as she moved over to help.
My mother walked in to find the bride doing up my dress. Behind her the Weasley matriarch rushed in to inform us that the boys were ready. She smiled at the three of us who were standing nervously and pink in the faces at the extent of her gushing.
"We were just waiting for Gabrielle," Fleur said, smiling as she looked into my eyes. Her eyes flickered, excitement and a little apprehension.
I stuck my tongue out, the moment broken. God I'll miss her.
Molly Weasley made her way down the stairs and dashed down the aisle to her seat at the front. Bill looked at her, concern etched in his gnarled features. She smiled softly to him, her face mirroring a mother's love, and certainly showing that she could not see a single scar. As soon as the wedding march started I was pushed out first and Molly Weasley was already crying.
When I got to the front I turned and watched Fleur and father finish their walk. Father kissed her gently on the cheek, palms shaking as he offered her to Bill. His sadness shot through my body, I knew how he felt. I was losing a sister.
The minister's words were foreign to me, while my English is quite good I found it difficult to concentrate at that moment. I followed Ginny to take a seat to the side and now looked face on to the bride and groom as they began to speak their vows.
When Bill stumbled on his words I smiled, watching them look at each other at that moment, carefree, happy, was breath-taking. I knew I wasn't losing a sister at all, I was gaining a brother and I smiled. I too loved Bill Weasley at that moment and I think I always will.
Nothing could have stopped my happiness then, not even fear of Voldemort or his Death Eaters.
And, when the wedding finished, when Bill kissed his bride, there was not a Death Eater in sight.