written for tgs '12 days of christmas'

prompt:

3. three French hens: write a story featuring Madame Maxime, Fleur, or Gabrielle

school, house: hogwarts, slytherin

points: 5

word count: 779

. . .

Gabrielle Delacour meets the fiery redheaded English girl when she's roaming the Hogwarts halls in search of someplace to get away.

Harry Potter had rescued her from the lake and Fleur had fawned all over her and it was all a little bit suffocating, especially when the comments started:

"You look so like your sister!"

"Who are you again...Fleur's sister, yes!"
"So I hear you are part-Veela…"

It's not as if anyone means to offend her. It's just that she's Gabrielle, sister to the Triwizard Champion and quarter-Veela, nothing else. It's just that she's a shadow and people are less inclined toward her.

Gabrielle doesn't particularly meet the redhead, really — it's more like Gabrielle is running from demons unknown and she crashes into the redheaded girl.

(Also, she'd seen an entire family of redheads earlier...what was it with Hogwarts and redheads?)

"Oh!" exclaims Gabrielle, falling onto the floor.

Quickly, she regains herself, even as her hair is sopping wet and she's a little bit damp from her Great Lake task adventures.

And that's the thing, too — in that task Gabrielle was most important to Fleur. Gabrielle is unimportant but for her value to Fleur.

"Excusez-moi," Gabrielle apologizes in French, not realizing that this place is not Beauxbatons and that she is to Speak in English, Gabrielle, as her mother would say — "Pardon" — and again she's speaking French, but she can save it, Pardon is also an English word — "my French — eet eez — how do you say? Ex — cyooze — me?"

The girl laughs, and then it strikes Gabrielle just how pretty she is. With those flowing red locks and the freckles spattered across her face and the bemused smile covering her lips, she makes Gabrielle feel inferior. And it's because that beauty of hers is all hers. Gabrielle? She's part-Veela, and that is what makes her pretty. Gabrielle isn't natural like this girl — she is but a shadow of her predecessors and the people who have come before her, and yeah — men might bow at her feet, but what good does that do to her?

"You're from Beauxbatons?" the girl asks a moment later.

"Oui," replies Gabrielle, but then catches herself. "I mean to say, yes."

"Your sister goes here, right? Then you must be Gabrielle Delacour," she deduces. "I'm Ginny Weasley. It's nice to meet you." Then a hand is extended to Gabrielle. Tentatively, politely, she shakes it.

"Yes, Fleur eez ze Triw — eez — ard Ch — ahm — pion," Gabrielle tells her with her affected accent.

"I'm sorry to talk all about your sister," apologizes Ginny. "It's just I don't really know you, and well. You look a lot like her. I've got a lot of siblings, too. I understand what it's like, living in her shadow — so, yeah — sorry, Gabrielle."

"Eet eez — no prohb — lem? Eez zat how you say eet?"

Ginny laughs yet again; it's a pretty little tinkling sound like jingle bells. "Yes, that's how you say it."

There's an awkward silence stretching between them. Gabrielle laughs, then Ginny laughs, albeit strained.

And then somehow they find themselves rolling on the floor, laughing, for no good reason at all but to just forget for a moment who they are and what they are.

Because Gabrielle — she is a shadow. And Ginny — she is Peter Pan, and she is ripping Gabrielle away from what she is attached to.

And Gabrielle likes that, she likes it so much that she can't fathom it. Is this what it's like to have a friend who knows and who understands how it is to live behind someone else?

Together, they can rise to the forefront.

They make eye contact with each other and stand in silent agreement. Gabrielle is again struck by how pretty Ginny is and how free she is and how much she's attracted to this girl she's literally just met —

Bravely, Gabrielle leans in. "Can I…?" she asks Ginny, wanting her permission.

Ginny gives it. She's the one who presses her lips to Gabrielle's, and then they are connected for a moment; Gabrielle's hair is still wet and the Great Lake's adventures still have her clothes a little dampened, but still it is amazing and now she's even more of a shadow, because it is a shadow she is kissing after all, but Peter Pan — he's pretty much a shadow, anyway.

So in that moment, that's who they are — intertwined in their commonness and connected in how they are overlooked.

Gabrielle is attached to many things, but Ginny? She likes that one attachment.