On their third date, they apparated to an upscale Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Paris. It was a warm night, but not uncomfortable; the breeze was cool and light, and the air smelled of bread and the promise of rain.
Standing at the podium waiting to be seated, the young historian could not believe his luck. He couldn't help but glance over at her, as if she were a magnet and he were made of metal. He noticed how the light made her dark blue eyes look like the ocean, and how her hair, creamy blonde and long, fell comfortably over her shoulders in gentle, purposeful waves. She looked up at him then, and they both blushed and glanced hastily away.
The young chemist could not believe her luck, either, as she stood there with her face burning. She couldn't help it that her eyes were drawn to him, as if he had his own center of gravity. She noticed how he stood, kind of comfortably slouched over and unassuming. He was all legs, tall and skinny with soft, warm hands. His hair was a dark chocolate, a tad overgrown, and more than a little ruffled up in the back. She glanced at him again, as if he had changed in the last half a second that she'd seen him. No, she decided, his eyes were still light and golden brown, his mouth still tilted upward in a gentle smile.
They actively avoided eye contact for the rest of the time they stood there, and it was quite a relief when the seater came to show them their table. After they were settled and had received their menus and silverware, the seater departed, calling "Bon appétit!" as he left.
"Merci!" Gabrielle Delacour was quick to reply, twisting around in her seat to wave in a friendly, awkward way, and before she could stop herself, the words were out: "Vous aussi!"
The seater gave her a confused look, and Gabrielle, realizing her mistake, turned back in her seat, burning with embarrassment. She went to smack her forehead with the palm of her hand to show Dennis that yes, she knew she was an idiot, but on her way to do so, bumped the glass of water waiting for her by her plate with her arm. It wobbled once, twice, and then spilled its contents all over the tablecloth, soaking it through.
"Oh," she mumbled embarrassedly, "For Merlin's sake." She grabbed her napkin and attempted to mop up the puddle.
"Don't worry!" Dennis Creevey replied quickly, beaming brightly at her even though the tips of his ears were burning red. "I pretty much knock over things all the time. It's a miracle it didn't happen to me first, actually!" He took out his own napkin and tried to dry the table, wondering if he could get away with taking his wand out with all the Muggles around, and then deciding against it.
"I'm so embarrassed," she told him, still shaking her head and blushing profusely.
"Don't be!" Dennis said eagerly, "I do embarrassing things all the time, see?" To prove his point, he pushed over his own glass of water with his elbow. Across the restaurant, a waiter glared at him as he watched the liquid travel down the table and pool in a wet puddle on the floor.
"Oh!" Gabrielle said in surprise, watching as the extra water soaked through the tablecloth. She looked at him then, and they burst into laughter.
Dennis, the redness spreading from his ears to cover his whole face, shook his head. "That was dumb, I'm sorry, I uh, I don't actually know why I did that," he mumbled as they wiped up the ice cubes.
"It wasn't dumb," Gabrielle told him when they had cleaned up as best they could. "It was kind." Then she giggled. "I guess zat's one way to break ze ice."
Dennis snorted loudly, which only served to make him more embarrassed, but Gabrielle thought it was the most adorable thing she had ever heard. They sat back in their seats, their hearts racing considerably, and settled into a comfortable silence.
"I'm always doing things like that," Dennis told her after a moment, and she looked at him, intrigued. "Yeah," he said blushing, agreeing with himself. "On the first day of school, I fell into a lake." He shrugged and smiled warmly. "I didn't even know that was possible."
She laughed a breezy, cool laugh, her shoulders shaking ever so slightly.
"Yeah," he chuckled, gaining confidence from her laugh, which he thought was the most beautiful laugh he'd ever come across. "At the time, I was very excited about it, but in hindsight, it's a little embarrassing."
"Oh, no," Gabrielle said, shaking her head and smiling. "It's razer seembolic."
Dennis laugh-snorted again, which made her laugh, too. "My falling into a lake is symbolic?"
"Well," she said, thinking for a moment, watching the people walk by under the streetlights outside. "You were diving into a new c'apter in your life, your education. Eet was a fresh start, and eet was scary. You were no longer a dry leettle boy, but one doused wiz responsibility and excitement." She pointed her fork at him. "Besides, a lot of students drown in zeir education, but you went a'ead and got it out of ze way early."
Dennis stared at her for longer than usual, smiling, and she blushed. "I hadn't thought of it that way."
She tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear, and he noticed that she had a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. She seemed to glow in the dim light.
The waiter arrived then, still looking rather hurt by their blatant disrespect of his glasses, and they ordered an appetizer. Gabrielle looked up from her plate and fixed Dennis with a thoughtful look. "I'm razer afraid of ze water, actually," she told him softly, scratching the tablecloth with her fingernail. She was silent then, and Dennis waited patiently for her to continue. "Eet was actually ze Twiwizard Tournament at 'ogwarts, back when eet was leegal, zat made me realize."
Dennis nodded warmly, and Gabrielle smiled. "I was very leetle," she explained. "I went wiz my seester." She sighed. "I was one of ze prizes ze contestants had to save in ze water trials, actually." She shook her head, almost as if she were disgusted with herself. "Eet's stupid, really. I was never really in any danger, I mean, we signed a magical contract and everyzing. I was unconscious for most of eet, anyway. Now, I am a much more capable witch and could just apparate if I needed to, but . . ." She shook her head again. "But I can't seem to forget ze panic of being so 'elpless, floating in ze water in zose last few seconds."
She blushed, wondering if she had shared too much, and they were silent for a while. Dennis felt something warm rush through his chest that felt a little like pride and little like humbleness.
"It's not stupid," he said finally, and looked up at her. She was surprised at how strikingly serious his eyes had become. "Sometimes the things we fear the most are the things that cannot hurt us." He shook his head. "I know what it's like to be afraid of something that's gone, something you shouldn't fear anymore."
They were quiet then, and Gabrielle knew the certain pale, flat-faced memory he was referring to.
Their appetizer arrived, and with it, a happier subject, and they spent the rest of the meal talking of less weighty things and overall enjoying each other's presence.
As they polished off their desert, however, Dennis suddenly froze in his seat as if something had just occurred to him.
"Dennis?" Gabrielle asked, concerned, setting down her fork.
He was looking at her in a sort of confused, relaxed kind of way, as if something had finally clicked in his mind. "Your sister, you mentioned her earlier . . . I don't know why I didn't realize before, but . . . you're Fleur Delacour's sister."
Gabrielle sighed and nodded, wondering where he was going. She had a sinking feeling in her chest. This happened often.
"So that would mean . . . you're related to Harry Potter?" His voice sounded hushed, dumbstruck.
The sinking feeling intensified. She wondered if she could see it, the switch from Gabrielle to a pathway to fame, in his eyes if she stared hard enough. "By marriage, and very loosely," she told him begrudgingly. She waited for him to ask her for a meeting or an autograph or something strange, but his next words surprised her, and the look in his eyes was far from anything she had encountered before.
Dennis shook his head, almost as if he could not believe it. A small smile was on his face, as if they were sharing a joke. "Wow," he whistled, laughing a little, and then looked up at the ceiling. "Well, Universe, the irony is not lost on me."
Confused, Gabrielle cocked her head to the side. Dennis noticed and, continuing to laugh, shook his head. "I haven't told you yet, but my brother was actually . . ." he trailed off then, his smile slipping into a frown. His shoulders were next, slumping forward toward the table. His eyes shone in the light, and Gabrielle felt a twinge of sympathy, though she did not yet understand why.
She reached out across the table and took his hand in hers. Their fingers fit together snugly, her hand cool against his. She held it firmly, and she realized it was shaking. The sinking feeling in her chest evaporated. She got the impression that this had very little to do with her actually, at all.
"Dennis?" She asked softly. He was staring at the tablecloth, tears welling in his eyes. He smiled bravely and attempted to blink them away, giving her an embarrassed smile, but he was the only one embarrassed.
"You're related to Harry Potter," he said, his voice thick.
"Yes, but . . . are you alright?" She asked. He smiled then, his eyes shimmering with tears.
"Yeah," he said, shaking his head. "Yeah, it's just . . . you, well, it's kind of a coincidence . . . my brother . . ." he shook his head again as if to clear it. "Sorry," he breathed, "my brother . . ." he shook his head again. "If only my brother knew I was . . . if only my brother knew."
She did not ask what he was talking about. She hadn't even known he had a brother before this moment, and she certainly didn't see how her being related to Harry Potter was a coincidence for him. She did not understand the reason for his sadness, but she did understand the wetness of his tears, the pressure in her hand, and the defeated way in which his shoulders shook. So she smiled a little sadly, scooted a little closer in her chair, and held his hand as he cried.
(A/N: Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed; I think it would be pretty cool if Gabrielle and Dennis were a thing, and I just imagine that if they were, they'd be really awkward and sweet. Criticism or thoughts in general are much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read, have a wonderful day.)