"On me dit que nos vies ne valent pas grand chose,
Elles passent en un instant comme fanent les roses.
On me dit que le temps qui glisse est un salaud que de nos chagrins il s'en fait des manteaux pourtant quelqu'un m'a dit"
"Quelqu'un m'a dit by Carla Bruni"
Merry Christmas, all!
Harry quietly observed Luna and Dean from his vantage point next to Dobby's grave. Luna was splashing around rather wildly in the water, he saw Dean throw his head back, his laugh drifting across the beach towards Harry. Harry was surprised to hear him laugh at all, they'd only been freed from Malfoy Manor and already seemed to be regaining happiness.
A wave of fresh guilt washed over him. Dean Thomas had always been a good friend to Harry, kind and fair. He'd never imagined that Dean would have gotten caught up in the mess he'd created. Luna, either, for that matter. Feeling rather drowned by his guilt, though, he decided to make his way towards the pair, he didn't quite feel like being alone.
As he drew near Dean turned to look at him.
"Hello, Harry. Doing alright?" Dean asked as Harry sat down in the sand next to him.
"Yeah, alright. How are you doing?" Harry questioned. Dean noticed his strange tone, laden with implication.
"You know I'm fine, I should thank you three for saving me." Harry felt a pang of guilt. Without making a sound Luna appeared, settling down in the sand next to him. She cut off Harry just as he attempted to speak.
"I already told Dean you were going to try to apologize, even though it's not your fault." Harry gawked angrily at the blonde, feeling unduly surprised at her boldness. Dean took this as his opportunity to chime in.
"Look mate, it doesn't matter if you've got a hand in the war or not, if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was going to come back he was going to target people like me anyway," Harry attempted to interrupt, but Dean talked over him still. "That's why I'm on the run, my dad was a wizard but he ran out on us, I've got no proof that I'm not Muggleborn." Harry shook his head, feeling rather ganged up on when Luna continued.
"Dean is being too polite to tell you, but it's not all about you, Harry. I was abducted because of what my father writes. We all have people we're fighting for. You can win the war, but if we didn't want to fight we wouldn't. We want to rid the world of a very dark evil." Dean rocked back and forth in a try at containing his chuckle.
"I've got to agree with Luna, it's not your fault we were locked in that cellar. It's you, Ron, and Hermione's doing that we're not there anymore, though, so thanks."
"And don't forget Dobby," Luna added before Harry could. "You don't help yourself worrying about everyone else, you have a job to do, and we can make our own decisions."
"Always so blunt, Luna," Dean scolded jokingly, shaking his head. "We support you fully, you should know that." Harry nodded curtly.
"It's kind of hard when people drop like flies because it's taking me so bloody long to get things sorted," Harry groaned. Though he felt like he was saying too much he was glad for their reassurances, which loosened his tongue considerably. "I'm sad for every life lost, but when it's people I grew up with on the line it's just that much harder to watch."
"Sounds like you could use a drink," Dean muttered, standing, then helping Luna to do the same. "Luna was telling me what you were saying about Hermione and Ron, about how you feel bad about putting them in danger," he said, continuing as the three of them began walking toward the house. "First off, Hermione is the brains of your whole operation, and a bloke's hard up to find a mate like Ron. There's no way you'd get through this without them, you always need friends."
"I suppose you're right." Harry begrudged.
"You know he's right and that I'm right, so stop beating yourself up, Harry Potter." Luna admonished as the three reached the cottage.
"Well my dear, it looks like you owe me a snog!" Bill taunted, ruffling his wife's hair as he withdrew his face from the window. Fleur heaved a sigh before tearing her own gaze away from the distant scene of Ron and Hermione.
"God damn you, Hermione." She pouted, ever the sore loser. She typically rather liked her chances at gambling, but she'd bet on the wrong horse, so to speak, and Hermione had failed to make the first move. She glared at Bill as she patted her hair back into place.
"It's not my fault Ron chose today to not act like a complete idot, the little bugger." Bill grinned, giving her an intentionally sloppy kiss to claim his prize. Fleur laughed, shaking her head.
"It's not the worst bet to have lost," she smiled, looking back out towards Ron and Hermione. Bill followed her stare. "I'm very happy for them, but incredibly sad for them at the same time," she admitted. "But not knowing was worse, wasn't it?" Bill nodded. "They could very likely die for what they're doing."
"More like for what they've done," Bill quipped. "Those three have been through thick and thin together. Besides, we're all in danger now. Any one of us could die tomorrow. In the next hour even," Fleur's eyes welled with tears. Though they both knew this to be true it was more of an unspoken reality. Bill pulled her towards him, enveloping her in a tight hug. "And I'll be fine because I've loved you and married you, and every single day you make me the happiest man who ever lived, alright?" There was a moment of silence before Fleur sniffled, quickly laughing in a rather twisted and heartbroken way.
"I never cried much until I fell in love with you," she muttered, shaking as she pulled away to wipe her eyes as Bill scoffed, pretending to be affronted. "I was never that emotional!" She teased, growing suddenly somber once more. "Sans toi, je suis perdu." Bill smiled down at her, giving her a kiss on the forehead.
"I'm lost without you, too," Fleur's eyes widened with delight at his understanding of her words. "Yeah, I've been practicing." He bragged, feigning nonchalance. Fleur shook her head.
"Could I hear some French, then?" asked Harry from the doorway, causing both Bill and Fleur jump. He was smiling like he had caught them in the act of something far more devious. Fleur laughed, turning from the three teens who had appeared in the doorway to make sure there were no stray tears.
"Sod off, Potter." Bill barked, giving Harry a rude gesture as he sat at the table. Fleur scolded him, earning a laugh from Luna and Dean.
"Have you got anything to drink, Bill?" Dean asked, looking delighted when the older boy complied.
Hermione was torn between the urges to laugh, cry, or faint. Her anger and sadness evaporated, she felt as if her head had been filled with white noise, her heart beat at an alarmingly accelerated.
The kiss was s very… Ron.
His mouth itself was wonderfully warm and soft, though unsurprisingly the action itself was… aggressive?
A nanosecond flickered by before Hermione realized her misjudgment, it was passion. She was being kissed passionately, and by none other than her ginger-haired, awkward, bullheaded Ron Weasley.
She emitted a nervous giggle, throwing her arms around her neck.
"Don't think I'm not still mad at you for being insufferable." She breathed, pulling away, but keeping her arms securely around him. His hands found there way to her waist, pulling her against him.
"I'm only trying to tell you that I love you." Ron challenged. Hermione blinked up at him, tears springing to her eyes.
"So it's love, then?" she asked timidly, her voice sounding unusually small. Ron gave her a strange look. Had it been the wrong thing for him to say? He was going to be humiliated if that were the case.
"Yeah, it's always been you, Hermione." He replied at last, causing a nervous sob-like laugh to erupt from her.
"Good, because I love you too." She whispered, pulling him back in for another kiss.
Translation for the French text at the top:
"I'm told that our lives aren't worth much,
They pass like an instant, like wilting roses.
I'm told that time slipping by is a bastard
Making its coat of our sorrows.
Yet someone told me…"