Fleur stared moodily out of the room she had been given for her stay at the Burrow. It was a nice room, done in Mrs. Weasley's odd mishmash taste with overt bits that screamed someone else entirely. She didn't much care anyways and was looking forward to when the week was up. Her time here had been horrible so far. She had been hoping for a nice time with his family, sharing their excitement and happiness. That appeared to be a bit too much to hope for.
Oh his father and his brothers had been perfectly delightful over the whole thing. They had treated her with kindness and respect but his mother, sister and her friend had taken on an entirely different attitude. When Bill had announced their engagement, his mother's face had said all it needed to.
"Hey, dinner's ready."
She did not turn around, but she could picture him in her mind well enough. His head would be just barely poking into the room, his hair falling over one shoulder. Fleur just kept her gaze straight out the window as she said. "I am not 'ungry."
"Fleur," Bill said, the sigh audible, "Come down, have dinner." She could hear the door close and his footsteps as he came up behind her. "I know yesterday was a bit rocky but-"
"They 'ate me."
Fleur turned around and pierced him with her gaze. "Your father and brothers do not, but your mother, sister and her little friend do. I am not stupide Bill," she said softly, turning to look out the window again, "a woman knows when she is 'ated." And more importantly, why.
"They just need to get used to you Fleur. None of my other brothers has ever brought a girlfriend home, it's a new idea. They'll love you as much as I do once they know you."
Fleur was not certain of that but she couldn't bring herself to tell that to Bill. Instead she decided to switch the subject. "It was so easy to bring you to France. My family are often wary of men, especially Grandmere, but they took to you. Gabrielle was over the moon where you were concerned, nearly as wonderful as 'Arry Potter."
She sighed, and looked out the window. "I had 'oped…I try and help your mother whenever I can, I even tried to give 'er some tips for her meals, I am nice to your sister and her friend, ask them questions, but it does not matter, nothing works. And don't tell me once they know me-they do not want to know me. They are perfectly happy hating me for what I am."
"My family is not like that Fleur."
"I have never 'ad a real female friend. I am one quarter veela and all people need to see is my beauty and they know what I am. There is a list of things that people consider me…I am a hussy, a tramp, a snob-haughty, patronizing, cold, cruel. I exist to do no more than steal men away from those who love them and rip their 'earts out. I am French as well-which occasionally feels like a crime here as well.
"You were different Bill. Most men focused on 'ow beautiful I am, they 'ave never seen a woman so beautiful. You were different. You introduced yourself to me as if I were just another girl coming to work with you, not with the eye bulging, drooling, babbling excitement of others. " She smiled remembering that as the moment she knew that he was special. "When I asked you to dinner you said non and I had to come up with zee idea of English lessons."
"You needed them."
"But see…you were a challenge," something entirely different from what she had always been exposed to, "and one I decided not to use my powers on. There was something special about you. You told me I was intelligent, funny, talented, determined-it is better than-how do you say…bitch?"
He sighed and dropped his forehead to touch hers. "Fleur," he said with a sigh. " And you know I think the world of you."
"But not because of how I look. It matters Bill, it matters. There have been a handful of people in this world who have been able to see beyond my looks to me. I have never been so happy as this past year. I originally wanted you when I first saw you because you were so 'andsome, but I realized early on what a prize you were-just how lucky I may have gotten. I had thought-hoped that to have the beliefs that you did that…"
"Maybe you are right;" she interrupted him once she caught the pained look on his face at the continued idea that his family was biased against her, "Maybe they just need time."
"I'm the oldest Fleur and as much as Mum talks about me finding a nice girl and settling down-" He ran a hand over his hair, ruffling it a little, "she wants it done her way. I love her but she thinks I won't have a good life until I cut my hair, remove my earring, make my desk job here in England permanent and find myself a nice girl who will stay home, feed me and make lots of babies."
Fleur leaned up and kissed him quickly, smiling, "Maybe one or two bébés. I like the 'air and the earring, they stay. And the job…you know I do not care."
"I know. I need to finish explaining. Ginny and I have always been close. She was the baby of the family, the first girl in a century and as the oldest it was my job to protect her more than the others. I doted on her quite a bit and it's made our relationship special."
"I cannot blame her for not wanting to share you," Fleur said, unable to keep the snotty note out of her voice for being the grown woman that Bill chose, "but she will just 'ave to learn."
"It'll just take some time."
"Well…I think that has more to do with how Ron reacts to you."
"Ah…well…" Fleur felt her cheeks heat up, "I do not ask to be looked at like that by your brother," Fleur said, tossing her hair behind her head with a slight turn of her neck. It was actually quite uncomfortable to be looked at like that by a boy who would soon be her brother in law. "As it is I-"
"I know, but Hermione just wants him to notice her."
"Do you theenk I should give her some pointers?" Fleur asked. She had the makings of a pretty girl, if she could get her hair to look less like a bush and more like regular curls. She had been very pretty at the Yule Ball. Her face shape was well enough and her coloring was even. She also did not pay much attention at all to attire. "Her look could use a bit of 'elp, really."
"I think she wants him to wake up and see her for…her. It's important."
That Fleur could understand. "Oui, it is." Fleur looked to the door and tried very hard to keep the grimace off of her face. "Alright, we 'ave left them waiting long enough. Maybe…" Fleur reached up and undid the button at the top of his robes.
She pressed her lips to his for a moment before pulling back. She ran her finger around them. "But then they will theenk I 'ave been seducing you rather than avoiding them."
"And that's better?"
She tapped his lips and then ran her hand down to the ruddy curls that grew on his chest. "Oui, after all, you are irresistible. Any woman in a room with you would be a fool not to try."
"Is that so?"
"Oui," she said, lips a ghosts whisper away from his. And then his were on her, hot and warm and tasting of the home she was busy choosing.
"Oi, Bill, Mum…" Fleur turned to see Ron in the doorway, his eyes wide. She knew she could have moved back away from Bill, but she stayed pressed close, turning her head so that it was resting against his chest, right under his chin. "Uh…well..um…"
Bill stroked his hand over her hair and Fleur managed to move herself a little closer. "We'll be down in a minute."
Fleur pulled back and grinned up at Bill, feeling utterly malicious. "I theenk we scared 'im."
Bill just returned the grin. "He had it coming, staring at my fiancée like that. It'd do him some good to remember that you're mine for a reason."
"You are terrible," Fleur laughed. Who knew that her heart could be this full with a man? She would be herself and be nice to his family, because it was important to Bill. She wanted them to like her but Fleur couldn't honestly be certain they would any time soon. It would not matter, so long as she had Bill.
"C'mon, once Ron goes down stairs babbling, Mum'll come up."
"And then I would be even more of harlot then I already am."
"Fleur," Bill said, his voice a warning.
She knew she probably should feel sorry for that, but couldn't manage. Instead, she changed veins again. "Dinner awaits, monsieur," she said with a gesture toward the door.
He offered her his arm, which she took without hesitation. "That it does." He opened the door and led them out as she held on to him and moved a bit closer.