Tell me what you see

"You are not any different!" Fleur was angry, and when she was angry she was not afraid to show it. It was one of the things Bill loved about her. One of the many things.

But she was wrong. He was different. He didn't like it; he didn't want to admit it, but he was.

He shook his head and turned away from her. "I am," he insisted. "You know that I am. It's stupid to say otherwise."

Fleur's anger seemed to evaporate in an instant, and she walked round so that she was facing him again.

"The differences do not matter, cheri," she said quietly. "You are still the man I fell in love wiz. The man that I love and 'oo I am going to marry." She put her arms around him, but he remained stiff and did not respond to her. After a minute or so, he pushed her away, turned around and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind him. Fleur stood and looked at the door, biting her lip. Then she sat down in the big armchair, and began to cry.

Bill was in the garden, looking out at the sea. The sky was showing streaks of red above the horizon, and the sun was sinking slowly. It was a beautiful evening. Like last night had been - before the moon rose. He didn't remember much after that, but what he did remember changed everything. There had been fear and pain, and a feeling of being trapped, and of having to escape. He remembered pushing Fleur away when she tried to comfort him. He remembered running and running and not knowing why, and the unbearable feeling that he was no longer himself, that something other was taking him over. Remus Lupin had been right; he was not a full werewolf, but what he was, what the moon had made him become, was bad enough. It was no longer a matter of scars and a liking for red meat; he was changed. He had to live with it, but he could not expect Fleur to. His only option was to walk away from her now, before it was too late.

In the cottage, Fleur dried her eyes and stood up, shaking out her skirts. She needed to take action to put this right. She knew why Bill was doing this. He thought it was the best thing to do, that it was the best thing for her. He was being noble and self-sacrificing and utterly utterly wrong. All she needed to do was to help him to see it. She knew where Bill would be. She splashed her face with cold water from the tap in the kitchen, opened the back door and set off down the garden to find him.

She came up beside him so quietly that Bill did not hear her, and jumped when she put a hand on his arm. He shook himself free at once and took a step away from her. Why did she have to make this harder than it already was?

But Fleur was not going to be put off so easily.

"Bill," she said quietly. "Bill, please look at me."

He turned slowly, frowning at her, but did not move closer.

"Why do you have to make this so hard?" he asked, his voice catching. "You know I'm right, Fleur. I've changed. Last night proved that. I can't ask you..."

Fleur felt her anger rising again, but pushed it down ruthlessly. "You are not asking me, Bill," she said firmly. "I am making a choice. Look at me, Bill. Look at me properly."

Despite himself, he did as she asked, looking straight into her eyes. He swallowed hard. She was so beautiful, but there was so much more to her than her beauty. He loved every single thing about her. He did not want to give her up.

"What do you see?" she demanded fiercely, interrupting his chain of thought. "What do you see, Bill?"

Bill frowned. "I see - you," he said slowly. "You are beautiful and I love you, but I can't be with you. Not any more. Not now."

Fleur shook her head. "You see more than that, you know," she said. "You see me as I am." She stopped and swallowed. She needed to get this right, to convince him that she needed him as much as he needed her. He was still frowning, but he was listening. That was something. Fleur took a deep breath and continued.

"Bill, cheri," she said. "When you look at me, you see the person that I am. You see beyond the fact that I am a beautiful woman, and you love the real me. No one else 'as ever done that. You do not know 'ow special that makes you."

Bill opened his mouth as if to interrupt, but she silenced him with a shake of her head.

"Let me finish," she implored. "Please." She took another deep breath and looked straight at him. "And you know what I see when I look at you, Bill?" she asked. She thought that he winced, but continued on. "I see scars on your face, cheri," she said. "But I see more than that. I see the man 'oo loves me and accepts me as more than a beautiful woman. I see a man 'oo is telling me to leave 'im because 'e thinks that eet is the right thing for me. I see someone 'oo is trying to do the right thing, but 'oo 'as got eet wrong." Her voice broke and she choked on a sob. "You are wrong, Bill," she said, crying now. "And you 'ave to see that. You see me for 'oo I really am, and I need you."

For a long minute, she thought that she had failed, that he would turn away, but he did not. He continued to look at her, and finally his face crumpled and he too began to cry. He took an uncertain step forward and then they were in each other's arms.

"I'm sorry," he choked. "I'm an idiot."

They held each other for a long time. And then they turned and walked back to the house together hand in hand.