Her daughter is staring daggers at her across the kitchen table, strawberry blonde hair lit up by the glow of the sunset through the window, and Fleur doesn't know how to phrase this. Even after all these years, she still stumbles in English, sometimes; French is tears and pouting and tossing your hair, but Victoire has never spoken her language. She is every inch a Weasley, a flaming Gryffindor, and Fleur is scared of losing her to the desert and adventure.
"You can't go. Don't be stupid. You're too young."
She winces inwardly as she says it; too flat, too cold. All she wants to do is shake her by the shoulders and ask her to stay, just one more summer. Victoire isn't even arguing with her at this point. She just rolls her eyes and fixes Fleur with a stare that says Dad's with me, and there's no fighting with that, not really. Victoire and Bill, they've always been a team; two heads bent over schoolbooks, two laughs when frogspawn ends up in Fleur's shoes. It was easier with Dominique, she could plait her hair and tell her stories of France and Veela, but her eldest daughter has always stood tall on her own, no lilt in her accent.
She blinks; Victoire is saying something, agitated.
"Is it because of Teddy? He's not as much of an idiot as he seems, you know. Well, not all the time, and anyway, I thought you liked him."
No, it's not because of Teddy Lupin, all crooked smiles and ridiculous hair and faded t-shirts. It's not entirely about him. It's everything to do with him. It's the way her daughter looks at him, eyes fierce and bright like sparks leaping from a wand, like lightning. Fleur has been dreading this moment since the day she found them in the field, flushed and kissing and giggling, fingers laced together like eternity, and now it has arrived, her firstborn slipping through her fingers like water, or sand.
His eyes are dark at the full moon, and it doesn't matter that he's not like that, not like his father, Fleur knows about girls and boys and wolves. Some nights, she wakes screaming, Bill's face a bloody snarling mess behind her eyes; he doesn't say anything, holds her close as she traces twenty year-old scars with careful fingertips. Their history is written in these scars, in the scrape of claw on flesh. Victoire is still too young to fully understand these echoes of past violence; she focuses on the future, on bite marks and bruises which fade within a week (yes, Fleur saw them), on rolling in the grass and howling at the sky.
She opens her mouth to speak and nothing happens; her eyes are on her daughter, burning bright, and suddenly tears are in her eyes and then Victoire is hugging her from behind, sheet of hair shielding them both from the angry sunset.
"Honestly, Mum," she says, almost laughing, resting her cheek against her mother's, "it's only Egypt. We're going by Floo anyway; Teddy doesn't fancy Apparating, his finger's only just grown back. We'll be back in a month."
It isn't a lie, but one day it will be. For now, Fleur sighs and smiles and makes small talk about travelling robes.