I can hardly believe I've finally finished this... I've literally been updating this since 2009... Pathetic, but at least I'm trying to finish things I start... Enjoy...
Once Bill and I are married, the world seems to get infinitely darker with each passing day. Every day there are new disappearances, people pulled from their desks in the middle of the ministry, others spirited away in the dark of the night. Bill and I pass the line of muggleborns awaiting trial in the atrium on our way into the ministry every morning, some of them sobbing, holding to husbands, wives, their children pulled from their arms. It makes me absolutely sick.
Bill doesn't say anything, but I think he secretly fears when they have finished rounding up the muggle borns that they will start in on the half bloods or those with mixed magical blood like me. He's mentioned my veela great grandmother once or twice, a look of concern on his face. Because Veelas are completely magical beings, my blood is still considered pure by most magical standards, but there are some that look down on part veelas the same way they would look on werewolves. I happen to know that the toady woman who runs the muggleborn registration is of this opinion, but I don't dare tell Bill. He will worry, especially if he heard the insults she spewed at me in the lift at the ministry.
I'm not exactly sure what happened the day at the Ministry when Reg Cattermole and his wife Mary escaped with about twenty other muggleborns; but after that, security at the ministry is so high that we aren't even allowed to wear our disguises into work. We put them on in the lift, but it's odd, coming into work like a normal person.
When Ron arrives, I don't really know what to think, but Bill and I are happy to welcome him into our home. It's an excuse to stay home from the Burrow for Christmas. I certainly didn't miss listening to the singing sorceress for hours on end… and I don't mean Molly.
Also around Christmas, Ginny gets caught trying to steal the sword of Godric Gryffindor of all things and us Weasley's are under even more surveillance than before. Ron is still "sick" and Percy is still pretending to comply with the Ministry's every demand. He's incredibly close to Thicknesse, having managed to stay in the Minister's office despite the coup when Scrimgeour was killed. He feeds information to us any way he can, usually through Bill, but sometimes through me. Kinglsey, Arthur, Bill, and I are some of the only order members who know his true loyalty, and with the way people are disappearing left and right, the fewer who know, the better.
When Ron leaves, Bill and I are both confused. We have no idea where he's gone or why, but as we never told the family we can't let them know how worried we are. I hope and pray he's safe, but we know he's on a dangerous mission for Dumbledore, so we simply continue on as if he was never with us. Bill and I secretly agree that no one ever has to know Ron was with us. Whatever happened is between Ron and his friends. He had come to us injured and half starved, so perhaps he had simply recovered enough to return.
When Ron comes back with the horrible little goblin, Ollivander, Dean, Luna, Harry Potter, Hermione, and the dead elf, all members of the Weasley family are immediately in hiding. Muriel opens her mansion up as a safehouse, and the Burrow is finally placed under the fidelius charm. None of us (except the deeply undercover Percy) are going to work any longer, and to be honest, being cooped up isn't the best for anyone. Visiting my dear mother in law becomes a bit of a treat. At least when I go over there, I don't have to cook.
The stress of the war is getting to everyone, but Bill and I don't have any secrets anymore, and between trying to keep the family alive and safe, there are still times when I look over and just fall in love with that dangerous looking redhead all over again. It's a small smile over dinner, the brush of his fingers along my arm during an Order meeting, a dumb joke while we help clear out his mum's garden. I swear those gnomes are more prolific than Molly and Arthur.
When Ron, Hermione, Harry, and that horrible Goblin leave, Bill and I know that it won't be long, but even we are a little surprised with how quickly things move from there. Before I know it, we're sending a message to Percy and off to Hogwarts. We don't know if this is the end or the beginning, but just in case, I'm wearing my best set of matching underwear. The bra of the pair I met when I met Bill, the pair that I was meant to wear if I died during the triwizarding tournament. Surely they must be lucky. Die with your boots on sort of thing… I think that's what that muggle saying means. I'd have to ask Hermione.
Anyways, Bill and I end up fighting back to back, part of the defenses on the ground so to speak. I can remember looking over to see Lupin and Tonks doing the same thing, smiling internally, thinking that our love makes us stronger, fighting as one, able to communicate without words at times. However, after I swing under Bill's arm as he sweeps a wide path with a blasting curse, I turn, keeping our shield charm up, I see something that makes my heart catch in my throat. Tonks has fallen, her once vibrant pink hair is a lank brown, and a dull look on her usually animated face. Lupin has his arm around her waist, pulling her body with him trying to keep it from being trampled by giants or taken by the giant spiders that seem to be everywhere. His face looks tortured, and I scream warning as I see a killing curse streaking toward him from Dolohov's wand, but he's too distracted, clutching his wife, tears streaming down his face. My warning comes too late anyways, and I watch the light leave his eyes as he slumps over her, protecting her body, even in death's final embrace.
There's no time to grieve; Bill's taking my hand and we're on the move, blasting our way through the battle, trying to keep ourselves and those on our side alive. It's too late for the Lupins. We'll have to do well for Teddy.
When the reprieve comes, we retrieve bodies. Bill learns of Fred's demise, and I've never seen him so sad. I don't say it, but honestly, we're lucky that Fred's the only one we've lost. With eleven Weasleys in this battle, the chances of all of us surviving aren't very good to be honest. But I hold Bill tightly, and try to help him comfort his mother.
By the end of the night, when the sun rises over the mountains and Voldemort is vanquished; I'm numb. The list of the lost is long, but I can't help but focus on our Weasley luck that so many of us have survived. I guess it goes to show how strong, brave, and talented the entire family is. Honestly, Ginny was battling Bellatrix, and Molly was the one to finish her. I can't say I hadn't realized what a powerful witch Molly was, but she's a force to be reckoned with to be sure.
The days after will always be a blur of funerals, tears, rebuilding. There are things I don't really remember about that time. The details are hazy, and mostly I just remember the sadness. I remember the Burrow being crowded; Molly wanting her family close, but it still feeling empty without Fred's laughter. George is a ghost, passing through life, but barely there. He moves in with Percy and Audrey for a while actually, unable to stay in his old room or the flat in Diagon Alley. I cook a lot during that time, with Molly barely able to turn a corner without bursting into tears. Mr. Weasley tells me that all the French food helps… it is strange and different, without any memories attached.
The first time Molly makes Fred's favorite chicken tikka masaala the whole Weasley clan practically salts the food with their tears.
We spend hours and hours at Hogwarts, repairing, rebuilding, restoring the castle to its natural state. The ministry is in a disarray, and Bill and I go back to work after a much to brief vacation to Australia with Ron and Hermione, but the department is in shambles. Kingsley, the acting minister, is focused on restoring other departments before ours, so Bill is mostly catching up on everything he missed the month we didn't work, sorting out who has died, who is back from overseas. By the time we catch up on work and restore Hogwarts in time for the September first start date, everyone is still grieving, but starting to move past the tragedy.
We finally move back out of the Burrow after Harry's Birthday, wanting to spend our anniversary at Shell Cottage. We thought that would help space us from Ginny and Hermione who are leaving for Hogwarts in September. When they do leave, Molly is constantly checking the clock, ensuring they are still doing well. You really can't be too careful these days, death eaters still on the loose, the Ministry still not fully controlling everything.
With the boys moving into Grimmauld Place, as October starts, I know Molly is going to be feeling lonelier than ever. Which is why I've been making a special effort to visit her for tea every day. I haven't exactly told Bill this is where I've been going for my lunch breaks, but I'm not altogether sure he's actually missed me. I'm not exactly keeping secrets from him… not that I ever could…
It's amazing how war can change a person or a relationship. It's like my relationship with Molly has been transformed, we're a new Molly and Fleur. I for one am far more open than I used to be. Far more honest. Because one thing I've learned is if you can't be honest with friends and family, then what is life all about?
The only secrets I have nowadays are little essential ones, and I hardly have any of those. I could probably count them on the fingers of one hand. I mean, just off the top of my head…
1. I'm not really sure about Mum's new highlights. I know I told her they looked magnifique, but….
2. That Greek style cake Hermione made for my birthday was the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted.
3. I borrowed Gabbi's Zambinzi swimsuit when I went on holiday with Bill in Australia... and I busted one of the straps.
4. A few weeks back when I was at Hogwarts helping with the cleanup, I nearly asked why they never tore down the Triwizarding tournament arena after it was over. Then I realized it was the Quidditch pitch.
5. I had a weird dream last week about Harry and Ginny.
6. I've secretly started feeding Ferris's flitterboom Rebuild Plant Food Potion.
7. I'm sure Roscoe the Owl has changed again. Where did that orange streak on his beak come from?
8. I know I have to stop being so crazy and obnoxious as Mrs. Fornswaith at work, but I just can't help it.
9. That reflexology treatment I had on Tuesday didn't really make me feel transformed and energized like I told my therapist. And the nightmares about the war are still as frequent as ever.
10. Last night when Bill asked, "What are you thinking about" and I said, "Oh nothing," that wasn't quite true. I was actually planning the names of all of our children.
In fact, this morning, I may or may not have taken an at home pregnancy test potion after Bill left for work.
And although I reported to "my boss" that I didn't feel up to coming into work today, I'm now much better. Although, in my defense, I did throw up three times this morning.
Which is why I'm over at my mother-in law's stuffing my face with her delicious cinnamon rolls instead of the office, or at home like "my boss" thinks.
But the thing is. It's completely normal to have the odd little secret from your husband.
… Everyone knows that.
"Hey Molly," I say, causing her to turn away from the pans she's scrubbing in the sink. "Can you keep a secret?"
So there you have it! For more Bill Fleur goodness... or Ms. Fornswaith/Mr. Pacino goodness check out "My Heart Forever Lies in London" my Teddy/Vic fic. I know it's been a long long ride, so thanks to everyone here for all of it, and those who helped me along the way to the very end! Nearly 8 years since I started this! Please let me know what you thought! I still love hearing from you guys, and also I'm still trying to finish up my Katie Oliver and my MMB stories.
Thanks again! E.A.