A/N: I'm not really sure what this is, but I've been having withdrawal symptoms from writing and this popped into my head during a revision break. One-shot:) I'm hoping to write more in the next couple of weeks, mocks finish next week! Please review, they mean so much to me :)
The leaves rustled on the ground as a light breeze blew over the Burrow. Bill Weasley stood outside, looking out at the fields that surrounded his childhood home. It seemed only right that he came back here.
He wrapped his coat tighter around him, fighting the cold of October. It was bittersweet, being here after all this time. On the one hand, he loved every minute he spent with his family and treasured it now more than ever. On the other hand, his family was no longer whole, and never would be again.
It was impossible to ignore the absence of Fred, the loudest, rowdiest member of the family. Bill missed him so much it caused a physical ache in his chest, even now, almost six months after the death of his brother.
However, it was getting easier. Bill no longer spent every moment of life thinking about Fred, he could sleep at night and he could allow himself to smile, to laugh and to be happy without feeling guilty. That was, after all, what Fred had died fighting for – his happiness.
Bill smiled to himself as his mother hung her head out of the back door and called him into the kitchen, waving a cup of tea at him frantically. Molly's answer to everything – a cup of tea.
He kicked the dirt off his feet as he stood on the door mat and toed off his shoes. Bill pulled off his coat and scarf and sat down at the kitchen table, opposite Charlie, who was clutching his own mug.
"Now then," Molly said, bustling around in the kitchen and doing what seemed to be nothing in particular. "What time are you getting up tomorrow, William?"
Bill rolled his eyes. "Half eight, Mum," They'd been through the itinerary for the next day's events a dozen times in the last couple of weeks.
"I still don't see why you have to do it," Charlie said for the umpteenth time.
Bill absentmindedly traced the large B on his mug. "As I have explained to you on many previous occasions," He sighed, "Fleur and I feel that our wedding didn't go exactly as we'd planned it, due to a rather unfortunate Death Eater attack half way through the solemnities. We thought it would be nice to do it properly, so we're renewing our vows."
"Yes," Charlie persisted. "But that's the kind of thing people do when they're eighty, isn't it? Not now..."
"Shut up, Charlie," Bill muttered, taking a large gulp of tea. He placed his mug back on the table. "I'm going to go and find Fleur," He told no one in particular.
"I think she's with Ginny in the living room, dear," Molly told him. "Do ask her if she'd like some tea."
"You know she doesn't like tea," Bill grumbled as he left the room, closing the kitchen door behind him.
Ginny sat draped over the sofa, her arms folded under her head. "Are you sure you want me in it?"
"Of course!" Fleur said indignantly. "You were at ze wedding, weren't you? You were a brizemaid!"
"I know," Ginny said, "But they don't normally have bridesmaids when they're renewing vows, do they?"
"Non," Fleur agreed. "But we are 'aving you and Gabrielle as brizemaids."
"If you're sure..." Ginny mused, opening up the muggle romance she was reading.
"Mum's got tea if you want some, Gin," Bill said, opening the door to the living room.
"No thanks," Ginny said, idly turning the page of her book, fully aware that her brother wanted nothing more than for her to go into the kitchen, leaving him alone with Fleur.
"Fine," Bill said, slightly crossly. He crossed the room and sat down next to Fleur, brushing her hair away from her face and kissing her forehead. She giggled and allowed him to slide her onto his lap, where he started tickling her.
"On second thoughts," Ginny groaned, slamming her book shut and stalking out of the room.
Bill laughed, burying his face in Fleur's hair. "Where's everyone else?" He asked her.
"Ron and 'Ermione are sleeping off the jet lag," She said. Ron and Hermione had returned two days earlier from Australia, where they had successfully tracked down Hermione's parents and restored their memories.
"And George?" Bill pressed.
"Where do you zink?" Fleur said sceptically.
Bill sighed. Every day since Fred's death, George took the long trek to the grave yard over the hill, where they had laid Fred's body to rest. He would stay there for hours, just staring at the grave. They'd tried to go with him, but George insisted it was something he had to do alone.
"I suppose he won't be able to go and see him tomorrow, will he?" Bill thought out loud.
"No," Fleur murmured, curling up to Bill.
Fleur awoke early the next day and instantly felt wide awake, despite the fact that it usually took hours to raise her from her slumber. She sprung out of bed with surprising grace for six in the morning and looked outside, drawing back the net curtains to Ginny's room.
It was still dark outside, but the view from the window promised good weather for the day. The sky was relatively cloudless and the trees rustled slightly, but not too strongly, meaning only a light breeze was around.
Fleur turned to see Ginny squinting back at her across the room.
"Sorry, chérie," Fleur said quietly. She had forgotten that Ginny, unlike her brothers, was an incredibly light sleeper and was easily awoken by the creaking noise made by opening and closing the curtains. "You can go back to sleep, if you want."
"S'alright," Ginny mumbled into her pillow. "I'm up now..."
Fleur nodded. She grabbed a pile of neatly folded clothes from the chair next to the camp bed she was sleeping on and headed into the bathroom.
She returned minutes later, dressed in an old Weasley jumper of Bill's and a pair of skinny-fit jeans. In this time, Ginny had managed to sit up in bed and pull Harry's jumper on over her pyjamas.
"Right," Ginny said, jumping slightly on the bed as she moved. "What are we doing then?"
"Come on, Ginny," Fleur tutted. "We 'ave been over zis again and again!"
"I know," Ginny rolled her eyes. "I'm going to go and get some tea." She clambered off the bed and left the room.
Fleur sighed and turned to face the large mirror on the wall, absent-mindedly stroking her hair. The sun was slowly beginning to rise. She did a quick inspection of her face; her skin, mercifully, seemed blemish free today.
She wasn't quite sure what to do with herself – she had planned her schedule under the impression that she wouldn't awake until seven, thus leaving her with nothing to do for the next half an hour. She sat back down on the creaky bed and reached over for a diary that lay on the table next to her.
Fleur tapped it with her wand – it was designed to open only with her consent – and thumbed through the pages until she found the one she desired.
1st August 1997
I am awake much earlier than I anticipated, leaving me with nothing to do for an hour and a half. Molly is up too, which doesn't surprise me. She half force-fed me a mug of tea. One of these days I will have to tell her that I can't stand the stuff, but I can't do it now, not after everything she's done in preparation for the wedding. Ginny and Gabrielle aren't awake yet. If they were, I might tell them to start getting ready, just so I have something to do with myself. As it is, I'll write in here and try to take my mind of things.
I never thought I'd be this nervous on my wedding day. I always pictured it as a scene of perfection, (which I'm sure it will be, what with all the planning that's gone into it), where everything goes exactly as I want.
It all seems to have happened so fast. It seems like only yesterday that I first met Bill at Gringotts, and everything has flashed past. Meeting his parents, getting engaged, and now the wedding.
It's 6.15. Maman should be waking up soon, I'll bring her some water and talk to her. She'll know exactly how to keep me calm.
Next time I'll write, I'll be Fleur Isabelle Weasley. For now, though:
Fleur smiled to herself, fully aware she was in a very similar position at this moment. She flicked through the pages again until she reached a later date.
13th September 1998
Bill and I have decided to renew our vows. We both agree our last wedding didn't go exactly as planned, due to a surprise visit from some of out Death Eater friends. Bill "proposed" earlier this afternoon.
We think we will have the renewal later this year, perhaps November time, but before the snow. One thing's for sure, the ceremony will be much smaller than our wedding. We will have family and close friends. No big marquee this time, just the field surrounding the Burrow.
Corny as this sounds, we have both learnt in the last year or so that the big parties and the money and the appearance really doesn't matter. We value the people we love now more than ever, especially after Fred...
Fleur slowly closed the diary as Ginny came back up the stairs, her hands resting over the top to keep her memories hidden. She took a deep breath and looked up in time to smile widely as Ginny came into the room, clutching her mug between her hands.
"Your parents are still asleep," Ginny informed her, sitting down on her bed and shifting her pillow so she could rest against it.
"Oh, okay," Fleur said. "And Gabrielle?"
"I'm not sure where she is," Ginny realised. "She must be in the bathroom.
"I assume so," Fleur nodded. "Well, I'm going to go and have a shower. You can relax for another twenty minutes," She winked at her sister in law and left the room.
Bill rolled over in his bed, squinting at the clock on the wall. It was 8:25.
"Bloody hell," He groaned sitting straight up in bed. "Charlie!" He hissed. When his brother didn't stir, he reached under his head and pulled out his pillow, throwing it in Charlie's general direction.
"Ouch! What was that for, you git?"
Bill grinned in satisfaction as Charlie's curses announced the pillow had successfully hit him in the face.
"We've got to get up," Bill told him. "The schedule starts at half eight."
"Oh bloody hell," Charlie grumbled, grudgingly lifting his head off his own pillow. "This is stupid, I thought you were having a low-key renewal thing..."
"With mum and Fleur involved?" Bill laughed. "Not a chance, bro. Right, I'm going to go and have a shower."
Mrs Weasley checked her watch for the umpteenth time. It was five to seven. She sighed and pulled her cardigan tighter around her body, heading out into the garden.
"Gabrielle!" She called, searching the garden. "Gabrielle!"
She half walked, half ran around the garden, then ducked through a gap in the hedges where the children had liked to play when they were younger.
"Gabrielle?" She called, quieter this time.
"'ere, Mrs Weasley!" Gabrielle called.
Mrs Weasley turned around. Gabrielle was in the large pond that the children had loved in their youth. The pond was more of a pool, the water was a bright blue and not at all dirtied by the mud and leaves that surrounded the edge of the pond.
"Gabrielle," Mrs Weasley sighed. "I need you to come inside, love. We've got to get ready for the renewal."
"Okay," Gabrielle smiled, sliding out of the pool and running a hand through her wet hair with a grace that Mrs Weasley both admired and envied.
The younger witch reached for a pale blue towel she had left on the side and wrapped it around herself, slipping on some flip-flops.
"Come on, dear," Mrs Weasley said, gesturing towards the house and following in Gabrielle's wake.
"Right then, girls," Mrs Weasley said, popping her head around the door of Ginny's bedroom. "How are we doing?"
"Good," Ginny and Gabrielle chorused, Gabrielle sounding rather more enthusiastic than Ginny.
"You look lovely, Fleur," Mrs Weasley beamed, crossing the room to rest an arm on her daughter-in-law's shoulder. "And you two, girls. Ginny, dear, are you planning on leaving your hair like that?"
"Yes, Mum," Ginny snapped, running a hand over her slightly tousled red hair.
"Fine," Mrs Weasley said somewhat crossly. "Are you ready to go, dear?"
"I zink so," Fleur nodded, checking her reflection once more in the mirror and giving Gabrielle a nervous smile. "'Ave you got ze flowers, Gabrielle?"
"Oui," Gabrielle nodded. "Dans la cuisine."
"D'accord," Fleur said.
"Come on then," Ginny said, leading the way from her bedroom.
"Right then," Bill said, glancing around to check all his brothers were there. Not all of them he thought to himself. He took a deep breath; they all knew this was going to be tough without Fred.
"Ready?" Charlie asked.
"Yep," Bill nodded. "Let's go, Mum'll go spare if we're late."
"You can say that again," Ron said, placing a reassuring hand on George's back and giving him a light push towards the garden, following behind him.
Bill and Charlie lead the others around the back of the house, to an area of the garden that was relatively mud-free. Four rows of chairs had been set up, with an aisle running down the middle. A large, wooden archway entwined with lilies stood in front of the chairs, and the two elder brothers made their way there, whilst the others settled themselves into the seats at the front row.
"What time is it?" Bill asked slightly anxiously.
Charlie checked his watch. "They'll be here in two minutes," He promised. "You know what Mum's like..."
Sure enough, two minutes later Bill spotted his mother traipsing across the garden, three younger witches in her wake.
"Bloody hell," Charlie muttered. "I will never understand how you pulled her, Bill."
Bill grinned in spite of himself. Fleur was wearing a thin, satin dress in a pale orange colour that matched the leaves on the ground brilliantly.
Harry turned around from where he was sitting next to Hermione on the second row and his breath caught in his throat. Ginny was walking a few steps behind Fleur, wearing a long sleeved, ivory dress that cascaded over her body, her hair hanging in auburn waves down her back. He winked at her, his heartbeat raising slightly as she threw him a wide smile, the kind he didn't often see on her face anymore.
"Aren't you cold?" Bill whispered to Fleur once she reached him at the archway.
"Non," Fleur smiled. She handed the flowers to Gabrielle and turned to face Bill, a hand brushing nervously through her hair.
"You look beautiful," Bill murmured, catching her wrist in his hand and bringing it back down to her side. "Absolutely beautiful."
Fleur flashed him a radiant smile, and the two of them turned to face the old wizard who was running the ceremony.