SUMMARY: VERY unoffical sequel to "Mon Mari, Mon Epouse." Gabrielle's making a Valentine for her sweetheart, and Fleur's dying to know who it is.
CHARACTERS: Fleur, Gabrielle, with Gabrielle-likes-Charlie implications
Feels a new OTP coming on to join R/Hr and B/F. Curse you, Alia. Curse you. ;) Just because I couldn't seem to stop Charlie and Gabrielle from getting on like a house on fire for one little story, and now I'm getting all these ficcy ideas, and you're encouraging me, and... and...
Fleur found her younger sister in the middle of a pile of crafting supplies, meticulously affixing a red paper heart to a pink paper background. The task was made more difficult – and more messy – by the fact that the girl had to use Muggle glue, since she wasn't permitted to use magic (including Sticking charms) outside of school. Franco was off to the side, curled up asleep in a warm patch of sunlight.
"What are you doing, Gabrielle?" Fleur asked, peering over her sister's shoulder with marked interest. If Gabrielle was making handmade Valentines, it meant she'd met a boy she fancied. This was big news; Gabrielle had all the makings of the first Veela tomboy ever to grace the Earth, and her finding a boyfriend would put their mother's heart at ease.
Gabrielle bent forward over the project, glaring over her shoulder at her older sister. "Zat is none of your bizness," she snapped. "Go away!"
Fleur raised her eyebrows, crossing her arms over her stomach. "'Oo is ze lady of zis 'ouse, mademoiselle?" she asked, a smile twitching her lips. "I will be ze one 'oo says when and where I go. And it looks like you are making Valentines. 'Oo are zey for?"
"Only one, and I am not telling you!"
"Is it for a petit ami?"
The blush that suffused Gabrielle's cheeks was enough to tell Fleur she'd struck a nerve. "Non!" the little girl protested. "'E is not my boyfriend!" She seemed to choke on the word.
"So it EES for a boy!"
"Fleur!" Gabrielle whined, looking utterly distraught.
Fleur laughed. "Come, you mus' tell me all about 'im. What is 'is name? Where is 'e from? Tell, tell!"
Gabrielle shook her head petulantly, jutting out her bottom lip in resolute refusal. "You will laugh!"
"I promise zat I will not."
"Gabrielle! When 'ave I ever betrayed a promise wiz you?"
Gabrielle gave her a chastised look. "You will tell no one?" she asked.
Fleur nodded solemnly. "Je promets."
"Oui! Come, Gabrielle, you mus' tell me now. I am burning wiz curiosité!"
Gabrielle bit her lip. She was only eleven, but the way her eyes shifted around the room as if searching for spies seemed all too adult for her age. Slowly, as if she were revealing some horrible secret, she held up the Valentine for her sister.
Fleur took it carefully. It was folded into a card, and she opened it gently, to ensure the glue didn't come unstuck. When she saw what was written inside, it was all she could do to keep from grinning.
Horntails are black,
Longhorns are green,
You are the nicest person
Who has ever been.
"You are laughing," Gabrielle whined.
Fleur realized she was beaming and quickly schooled her features into a solemn attitude. "Non, I am not."
"You are! I saw you! Your lips, zey were going twitch-twitch-twitch!"
Fleur giggled and knelt down next to her sister, hugging the younger girl. "You are making a Valentine card for Sharlie?" she asked, beaming. "Why?"
Gabrielle seemed to debate answering for a moment, then gave in. "Because 'e is always nice to me, even when I do not know ze Eenglish for t'ings!" she babbled. "And 'e answers my questions when I ask 'im about ze dragons in Romania." Her eyes went wide with excitement. "Do you know zat 'e works wiz BIG dragons? Oui, 'e does! Ten times ze size of Franco! More!" She held up all ten fingers, as if that would lend credence to her words.
Fleur nodded solemnly. "Oui, I know zis."
"Don't you t'ink zat is tres bravez?"
"Oui, it is."
"'E is very brave, Sharlie is. 'E 'as shown me ze burns on 'is arms, and 'e tells me zat 'e does not feel it now when ze dragons 'urt 'im." Her eyes sparkled. "'E said I am ze smartest person 'e as ever known, wiz all ze t'ings I know about dragons from Franco. 'E says I will be a Dragonkeeper tres bon when I am older. 'E even said zat I could work wiz 'im in Romania! Is zat not sweet?"
Gabrielle frowned. "You do not sound 'appy," she pouted.
Fleur laughed and hugged her sister again, pressing the Valentine into the girl's hand. "Gabrielle, 'e is a grown man. 'E is much older zan you."
"So? Bill, 'e is older zan YOU."
"Zat is different. We are of age."
"I will be, too!"
"Oui, in six years." Stroking her sister's hair, she kissed the girl's forehead and stood up. "Sharlie is a very nice man – 'e is a Weasley! -- but 'e is too old for you, mon petit." She smiled at Gabrielle's crestfallen expression. "Shhh, zis does not mean you cannot be friends! And 'e is right – you will be a very good Dragonkeeper someday."
Gabrielle made a noncommittal noise, toying with the pink and red Valentine in her hands. Fleur patted her once more on the head, then moved on towards the kitchen, her original destination before she'd come across her sister in the living room. Pausing out of sight just through the archway, she peered back into the living room in time to see the little girl kiss the front of the Valentine before tucking it into an Owl Post envelope. Fleur had to hold a hand over her mouth to keep from giggling when she saw her sister produce a bottle of Fleur's own perfume from out of her sleeve – the little girl had learned some Curse Breaker tricks from Bill apparently, including sleight-of-hand – and spritzed the inside of the envelope before sealing it and attaching it to the foot of Horus, Bill's owl.
Fleur wondered if Charlie understood just how determined her younger sister could be. If Gabrielle had to wait six years, she would wait six years; then she'd pounce. She could be remarkably patient when necessary. And Fleur had to admit, the girl could have chosen a worse infatuation than Charlie Weasley. If Bill was Fleur's lion, then Charlie truly was Gabrielle's dragon. He even had the burns to prove it.
"You do not care zat 'e is too old for me, do you, Franco?" Fleur drew herself out of her thoughts to watch Gabrielle patting her pet dragon on top of his head; he rumbled happily in his sleep. "You like Sharlie, like me. 'E is very nice, oui? 'E does not theenk I am jus' a pretty face. 'E likes me for me. And I like it when 'e calls me Gabby."
'E does not theenk I am jus' a pretty face.
That sounded awfully familiar to Fleur's ears. Suddenly, six years didn't seem that long at all.