Vive, L'Amour !

Chapter Three

Lying as she was under a patchwork quilt in a patchwork house with a patchwork family under a navy blue patchwork sky, Gabrielle could sense all the different parts of the house and the people inside it.

Sometimes, at Beauxbatons, she delayed sleeping. Instead, she would curl under her silky sheets and think about where she was. How many dorms were there in Beauxbatons? How many beds and cupboards? How many stairs, how many times had she walked up them, and how many students were still awake, perhaps pacing back and forth on these places? Sometimes, she just decided to go to sleep.

This night, Gabrielle felt the same sort of feeling – the feeling that she was just in one small place, surrounded by a great many other places – little nooks and random staircases leading to yet another redhead's room. But this time – she stretched her legs so her toes poked out from the quilt – she didn't feel so small and insignificant.

Beauxbatons was school – stoic and structured and nothing like the Weasley's house. Here, there was so much to explore, but these explorations would not be laborious or boring. She felt excited to see every little shelf and bedroom. She was excited to discover these places; at her own home, she already knew where everything was.

Ginny was asleep on the cot across from Gabrielle. The cot had only been set up a little before Gabrielle had arrived, and Gabrielle almost felt badly that she got to sleep in the big, comfy bed. The cot was flat and hard; Ginny's bed was soft and cushy. Gabrielle turned to her side and realized that she was lying in the imprint from Ginny's body. Her legs were curled as Ginny's had many nights before; her head rested where Ginny's often did. The sheets had been washed, but Gabrielle suspected that Ginny had been in the bed earlier in the day. The covers smelt light and sunny. Gabrielle couldn't think of a better scent for the summertime.

Ginny was asleep on the cot, but only very slightly. She had initially felt completely incapable of shutting her eyes for so long. She wasn't tired and she wasn't ready to lie down. She was ready.

She had seen Gabrielle as the two Frenchwomen walked up to her house. She hadn't even been sure who it was at first, but they gradually came out of the darkness and golden light glowed on their cheeks. When she saw Gabrielle, that's when the nerves kicked in. Ginny envied the classic beret, girlishly tilted on the girl's luminous hair. The high cheek bones, the confident stride, the flowing skirt. And Ginny had to show this girl her room – her silly, dilapidated room? Ginny had known Gabrielle was coming, and she'd remembered her as a young girl during the Triwizard Tournament, but it seemed as though Gabrielle had matured lightyears beyond her.

But Ginny was like this. She first was intimidated, then envious – then, when she first heard Gabrielle speak, she realized she only wanted to hear her talk more. It wasn't exactly fascination, but the feelings were parallel and Ginny accepted it because she assumed it was just because she wanted to be more like Gabrielle.

No. Not really. It wasn't because of that at all.

She was weary. She did go to sleep.