Written for Astronauts' 'Terminal Illness Competition'. It came 3rd, which is some sort of achievement for my first competition fic ever. And yes, Fleur is swearing in French. I hope I don't offend any french people. So yeah. Read.

The too familiar sense of dread crept up the back of her neck, like little black beetles. She couldn't get this wrong. Too much lately, was falling apart.

Cross legged on her bedroom floor, in nothing but a dressing gown, Fleur painted her nails.

Precision has important when dealing with red nail polish. One slip up and it was impossible to make it right again. Her hands shook as the little brush swept over her nails, leaving crimson paths in their wake. Her frame quivered in a strange fear. Such a menial task, Fleur thought, painting your nails. Only you, only you and your problems could get so worked up about it. Breathing hard, she refocused her efforts.

Her hand slipped, and the brush swooped on her finger and left a single crimson line. Her mouth twisted into a snarl, and a growl rumbled in her throat.

I hate you, she thought, I hate you so much.

Anger burrowed into her gut, like giant tuber worms wriggling through sickly muck. Fleur looked to her mirror and saw her face contorting into ugly shapes.

Ugly, she thought, that's what you are.

Stupid, too.

She couldn't hear herself screaming. The world around her spun in a frenzied flurry, time and space twisted away from any means of proportion. Colours blurred and the room felt like it was melting.

Melting, she thought, my life is melting.

Stomping and kicking and yelling and beating and crashing. That was all that existed. Raking fingernails down her face, shredding her skin, ramming her head and hands and knees into the stone walls, trying so hard to punish herself, to punish the world, just for making all of this happen.

She picked up her favourite perfume, the one with the bottle shaped like a rose. She dropped it on the floor and watched it shatter.

"You don't deserve nice things!" she screeched as she tore her favourite scarf, "You only ruin them!" She knocked portraits off the walls, swearing as she did.

"Merde, merde, merde, merde!"

The hot, red anger was so consuming, so painful. It was like knives to her insides.

"Putain! Merde et putain! Merde! Alors, Alors!"

Veela, veela, you retched veela! Molten temper, a life of anger! Fury is your every day and night! Why must you be so disgusting? You shame the human race! You have no right to be like this! You banshee woman! You howling ghoul! Go away! Away! You are not wanted here anymore!

Fleur hammered her fists into the floor.

"Pour le vernis à ongles! Tu es bette! T'es con! Pauvre naze!"

She pulled her legs into her stomach and groaned. Fleur shuffled over to the wall and lay against it, staring at the ceiling.

"Over nail polish..."

There came a slight knock from the door. He walked in cautiously, occasionally stepping over things to reach her.

"Are you okay?"

Fleur turned away and hid her face in her shoulder. He sighed and shook his head, taking a strand of her hair in his hand.

"Don't look at me. I'm 'orrific..."

Bill only sighed and took her hand. He pulled her to her feet and held her waist. She glanced over his shoulder and saw the room. The mirror was broken, in three pieces on the floor. A lamp was over turned and the contents of her dresser lay scattered on the floor. Photo frames from the wall were flung here and there. Crimson nail polish was splattered on the walls and was dripping from the ceiling. A vase of flowers was smashed. A bomb may as well have gone off.

A bomb did go off, she thought, I went off.


"Don't say anything. It will all okay. Stressful times. Everyone gets mad sometimes."

"Not like zat they don't."

"Well, you're part veela. Veela are rather temperamental."

She nodded briefly and buried her head in his shoulder. Bill moved aside a lock of hair, sticking with crimson nail polish and pressed his lips to her collarbone.

How about them reviews?