A/N: This has just been buzzing in my head for a while... Finally wrote it. Bill and Fleur probably have more depth to them than they get credit for. Enjoy and please review!

Words: 710
Characters: Bill, Fleur
Time: Mid-DH, after Bill and Fleur's wedding
Genre: Romance

Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling, not me.


The silence was stifling. They hadn't left the Burrow until their wedding was brought to hushed ruin, their loved ones gone, their ice sculptures and crystal goblets shattered, their bouquets torn and scattered. Red rose petals looked like large drops of blood against the red-speckled grass. Bill and Fleur were the last to Disapparate. Bill had to ensure his parents' safety, and Fleur would not leave him, and so finally, with hurried and tearful farewells, they left the still shivering disaster, clutching each other's hands so tightly that Bill was sure he would break her slender fingers.

When they reached Shell Cottage, the rumbling of the sea bombarded his ears after the frozen aftermath of the attack. He felt Fleur sway next to him. At once with drew his wand, cast the necessary protective spells around their new home, then hurried her inside.

It was truly a beautiful place. Small, but comfortable for the pair of them. Inside, the sea was softer, soothing, simple. With trembling hands, Bill lifted her sheer sweater from her shoulders and hung it on the coat-stand, which extended a seashell-laden, carved wooden arm to take it from him. Fleur removed his cloak and draped it neatly beside her sweater. She lingered there, her back to him. Her shoulders quivered.

"Fleur…" Bill began. He found his voice unfamiliar, tight. "I am so sorry… I know how perfect you wanted this to be. You wanted to be in France, you wanted to be in the beautiful cathedrals there, with thousands of guests and family and fairies as your candles and a celebration that lasted all day. Instead, you had this… I don't know how I can apologize…"

He had to stop talking, or else he knew his voice would give way. He heard Fleur sniffle, a tiny sound, and yet it wrenched through his heart.

"Zere is no need for apologees," she said, and she turned to face him at last. Her eyes were red-rimmed, but shining with goodwill. In the moonlight shimmering in through the window, he saw her smile, tremulous and true. "I will remember zis day forevair, Bill, and not for ze reasons you theenk. I will remember our beautiful families, all ze hard work zey did for us. I will remember ze smiles in zese 'ard times. And I will remember you, Bill, ze look in your eyes when you took my 'and today. I do not theenk I need anything else."

She took that same hand, with its gold band and glittering diamond, and clasped it around his. She raised his fingers to her cheek and pressed them there, against her pale, soft skin, and Bill felt her sincerity, her love. She was enchanting in the moonlight, ghostly and breathtaking and beautiful. Her hair flowed over her shoulders, a silken river; her eyes were filled with anticipation and starlight. She did not drop her gaze, but the tiniest brush of pink graced her cheeks, the tiniest blush of a coy smile touched her lips. By now, Bill knew, he was immune to her Veela charm; it was not magical infatuation that made his heart race, his skin tingle, his hands shiver, his thoughts vanish. All of it was only her.

He bent his head to kiss her; she rose to meet him. Her hands cupped his face, lingering on the cool scars. She was not afraid of them. She was not hesitant. Soon, even her lips brushed across them. She was kissing him there, then his jaw, his neck, his chest. He hurried with his hands at her hips, her waist; he fumbled with her slippery white dress until she assisted him, letting it fall to a silvery pool at her feet. She stepped out of it, pressing herself against him in doing so, and Bill was lost in her, the memories of the day and the war and anything but her vanishing in the quiet moment.

Together they raced to their room, their soft bed. When they left the entryway, the coat-stand seemed to sigh, and bent to pick up Fleur's discarded dress. It brushed off any dust, hung it on a free peg, and shook it straight and even, then grew still once more.