Disclaimer: All characters and setting belong to JKR. The story belongs to me!!
This is a companion story to French Lessons!
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It has always been just my parents, my brothers and me. I am the seventh child, the only daughter, and the little sister they adore, spoil and laugh with. I am their voice of reason, their resident feminist. I am the only girl.
Then, one day Fleur just turned up out of the blue, so to speak. She was the French Inquisition invading our family, and for a long time, none of us knew what to do with her.
I didn't like the way they looked at her.
The way that Bill's eyes lit up in pride and disbelief, as if he couldn't shake his disbelief that she was willing marry him; the way that Ron especially became a dazed and drooling zombie in her wake, fumbling over himself to impress her; the way that Fred and George laughed and shared their jokes with her, when they once shared them with me. The way my parents fussed over her and reveled in her.
The way that when she was in our house, it felt like she was the only woman alive, and Mum and I no longer existed.
It's always been difficult being the youngest, because everyone has already created their own special individuality: so much so that there is none left for me. Bill, then Percy, won all the academic accolades, while Charlie, Fred and George are all Quidditch stars, and Ron… well, even he received his acclaim. Or, rather, he receives all the acclaim, even if he does secretly suspect it's reflected glory. It's hard being the youngest because there are so many people to live up to, and the only way to win praise is to outdo what has been done before. My claim to fame in our home is that I am the only girl, and now… now, I'm not. There's an eighth addition to the family Weasley, and she so far surpasses me in every way on the scale of femininity that once again, I cannot compete.
Thank Merlin Harry seems unfazed by her. If he was as bad as Ron… well, I don't know what I would do.
So for now, I will call her names and laugh at her behind her back: because it's all I have.
- - -
I could tell when Mum and Fleur came to an understanding. See, I wasn't the only badly behaved female. It was hard for Mum to have Bill fall for someone she didn't know, but Mum being Mum, she couldn't resist welcoming yet another child into our folds. I was a bit miffed when she didn't tell me, though. Like all of a sudden, she has had an extraordinary revelation, and I was completely left out of it, once again.
All of a sudden, Mum had another daughter.
- - -
I never imagined Fleur to be a great teacher. For a long time, she was nothing but a rival to my brother's affections, although I know differently, now.
"I am blessed to 'ave anuzzer sister," she told me.
She had pulled me aside after dinner, and asked me to be her bridesmaid, and then she had hugged me.
She had hugged me, because for some inexplicable reason, I was apparently part of her family now. Overnight, it seemed, I had become her sister, her friend, and her equal.
I've never had a sister before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I suppose Hermione was like an older sister, in a way, but she was also my friend, and she wouldn't have dared to look at me with the criticism that Fleur held in her impossibly blue eyes as she scrutinized my bridesmaid dress.
"What do you zink?" she had asked casually as we gazed at my reflection. "I zink eet is not 'ugging your figure eenough."
Fleur smiled. "You are a young lady, Ginny, not a leetle girl. We want 'Arry to be breathless, to show 'im what 'e is missing."
Then, she gently led me from the pedestal with a knowing look.
Apparently, sisters hug a lot. That's one of the things that I have learnt. Also, that sisters stand together, and talk, and laugh...
And Fleur knew about Harry when he and I… stopped. Although I expect that was probably Ron's fault, almost falling over himself in excitement to make conversation with her.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of her knowing about Harry and me. It took me a while to get past the idea that it wasn't any of her business, although I suppose when you are a Weasley, everything is everyone's business. But talking to Fleur was better than talking to Hermione, in a way, because Hermione is Harry's friend first, always.
"He has a job to do. There isn't a problem… He doesn't want me to get hurt."
"Zen 'e is noble, which we already knew, but 'e is stupid too. 'Oo in zeir right minds would not want to be with you?"
Most of all, I learned that sisters share. They share their clothes and their makeup, and their stories and thoughts. Sisters share their strengths, their happiness, their triumphs, their family.
If I have to share my brothers, then at least I share them with a sister, and not some girl who steals them away instead.
- - -
I've always been part of a big family, and it was always a given that we were going to grow, not shrink. I think Fleur was a shock, not just to me, but to Mum too, but once we adjusted, we were fine. Fleur's a Weasley like the best of us.
After the war, our family was in pieces, although we mended quickly enough. George moved back home, and Mum and Dad offered Harry a home too, so even without Fred there, we coped. And I suppose Fred was, and is, still there. He'll always be with us.
Now, Ron's engaged to Hermione, and I have another sister to laugh and talk with, and to share my brothers with: and my brothers love Hermione as a sister (except for Ron, who loves Hermione for Hermione) just like they love me, and just like they love Fleur. And we three sisters revel in our sisterhood. I have never had allies when it comes to my brothers, so it's nice to have girls to side with who aren't Mum.
Harry, being Harry, has always been a part of our family – so much so that if we ever get engaged, I don't think they'd even notice, because he's already a brother and a son.
But the thing I'm trying to get at is that Fleur becoming part of our family taught me a very important lesson: love grows. There's always enough room for another person: that's what being a family is about. Just because Fred isn't around anymore doesn't mean we don't still love him. He's our brother, and he always will be. And just because someone new arrives into our family, it doesn't mean that we are loved any less. Love isn't given or taken so freely that it needs to be recollected, divided and shared out in smaller portions.
There are no absolutes: love knows no limits. Every time our family grows, love grows with it. And no matter what, we'll continue to be us.
I wouldn't change being a Weasley for the world. Even if I marry, I'll always be a part of this family, and that will never change. I'll always be the seventh child, the only daughter. But now, I have sisters, too.
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A/N: I hope you like this: a wholesome little tale of growing up, really. I'd like to thank midnightandemerald for giving me the idea to write about Fleur and Ginny's relationship! I'd love to hear your thoughts, criticisms, appreciations or anything of that nature! Thanks for reading :-)