Eyes Open

This is for xBeautifulTragedy's "Make an album into a story" competition at the Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenges Forum. The brief was to choose an artist and use the album you were given as a basis for the story. My album is "Eyes Open" by Snow Patrol, and the story will be a series of oneshots about couples in wartime - both the first and the second war. The stories aren't songfics as such, but try to go a long with the "idea" of the song, and every one contains a line from the song (or a very close paraphrase of a line) somewhere in the text. The couples are either canon, or could-be canon - if there is such a thing!

The lyrics and chapter titles belong to Snow Patrol, and the characters to JK Rowling.

You're All I Have

(Bill and Fleur)

"It's so clear now that you are all that I have,

I have no fear now you are all that I have."

New Year's Eve, and things have never looked bleaker. The war shows no sign of ending, atrocities against Muggles, Muggleborns and sympathisers are increasing by the day, and the Order of the Phoenix is fighting what feels more and more like a losing battle against the forces of evil. No one knows where Harry Potter, the so-called hope of the wizarding world is. It is a week since Ron left Shell Cottage to re-join him and Hermione – at least Bill assumes that is what he has done, the note he left ("Found them. Thanks. Ron") cannot have meant anything else. Even so, Bill cannot for the life of him imagine how his brother could have managed to find his companions when they seem to have dropped completely out of sight and existence.

So he and Fleur are alone again at Shell Cottage, which is as it should be – they are still newlyweds after all – but it feels all wrong. Perhaps it is just that the world is all wrong and that they can do so little about it. Order missions to protect Muggleborns or to take them to safety are now so dangerous that they are few and far between, and all too often lately the Order has arrived too late, finding those they sought to protect dead already, killed for the crime of their parentage. Any overt action against the Death Eaters and the new regime at the Ministry is too dangerous to even contemplate. Good men – Hagrid, Ted Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt and many others – are on the run and hunted, and Bill is sure that it is only a matter of time before his own family will have to join them. Lee Jordan's "Potterwatch" is a comfort, a small reminder that they are not alone, that there are many who feel as they do and who are fighting as much as they are able against the all-pervading evil, but all too often it feels as if they have lost already, that any resistance they can offer is merely a rear guard action, staving off the inevitable.

So Bill cannot celebrate this New Year, he cannot conjure up hope where there seems to be none. He and Fleur have made their excuses to his parents, and are spending the evening alone, and he is glad of it. Right now, he could not stand the forced jollity that he knows his mother, with the very best of intentions, would insist upon. Fleur pours wine into their glasses and passes one to him with a sad smile. She knows how he feels, and she understands, although somehow she has managed to keep hold of a spark of optimism and hope where he sees none.

"Bonne Année, chéri," she murmurs, kissing him gently.

She understands when he does not wish her a Happy New Year in return, merely setting down her glass and nestling more closely into him. "We 'ave each other, Bill," she whispers. "Can you not let zat be enough for tonight?"

Despite himself, Bill feels himself beginning to smile. There is something about Fleur that makes him hope where all seems hopeless. Maybe it is Veela magic that he does not understand; maybe it is simply because he loves her. Whatever it is, there is a frightening magic in her that he clings to when everything else seems lost. He pulls her close and kisses her. They have each other, and for tonight at least that is enough.