Fleur awoke feeling well rested after the first good night's sleep she'd had in a while, coming home away from the troubles of her life always helped her sleep better. She knew it was another sign that her marriage to Bill was all but over, she would have to do something and soon. Getting a divorce would be difficult as she knew Bill would fight her every step of the way. He saw no problems between them because he was always away at work and believed she was happy waiting for those rare times he came back. He was blind to the way their marriage was failing, blind to the fact his wife was having an affair and had been for years behind his back. Blind that his wife loved another man and had done so for years. Had he actually loved Fleur like Harry loved her and paid attention he would have noticed the signs. Ginny and Ron were as blind as Bill she thought, she knew about Hermione and Harry's one night stands just as she was certain Hermione was somewhat aware of her own affair with Harry. She was not jealous, Hermione was one of the few people she really liked extended family or not and she knew how unique the bond was between the two, thus it was no surprise they would come together.
Hermione had never judged her due to her quarter Veela status, she had not called her names behind her back before she married Bill as Ginny and Ron had done. She snorted in dark humor; well aware the insults would have been ten times worse had Ginny known about her affair with Harry. That girl was and always had been obsessed with Harry, but the girl had been smart enough to hide that side of herself and make Harry believe she had actually fallen in love with Harry for himself and not the whole boy who lived crap foisted on him since his parents were killed and he survived. Once married, Ginny had quickly shown her true colors pushing Harry to go to party after party to honor him and those lost in the war. It had gotten so bad at one point Harry turned to drinking to cope with his growing depression and anger, thankfully she and Hermione had managed to get Harry to stop drinking before he ended up a drunk.
After a trip to the bathroom to relieve herself and having a quick shower, she dressed and headed downstairs knowing she would have to answer questions from her father. She was certain now that her mother suspected she was hiding something important, but so far she had not pressed her on it. Her father would not be so easy to bypass, entering the kitchen she found both of her parents and to her surprise her little sister Gabrielle waiting for her. She greeted Gabrielle with a fond hug, having not seen her sister for a month or two as she had been in Spain with her husband on holiday.
"Fleur this is beginning to become a habit," her father began as she began to make herself some breakfast and she just stopped herself from letting out a frustrated sigh as he got straight to the point.
"Your mother has told me you've admitted there are problems in your marriage with Bill, and I want to know why," Jacque told her as calmly as he could as he did not want to anger her.
"How many reasons do you want father?" Fleur responded more coldly than she had intended. "More and more he ignores my needs and those of Victorie," she told them. "He spends almost all his time at work, and he still bows and scrapes to the whims of his over bearing mother as he did last night," she growled as she turned and faced her family. "He has ignored all signs that our marriage is failing, and I have given up caring about that fact," she admitted and it was true she had long given up caring about Bill's lack of insight. "The only thing I worry about is the affect this will have on Victorie who has begun to show signs of hating her father. The more he ignores her and yet still seems to think he can control her the more damage is done to their relationship," she went on as all she had held back from her parents finally came out. "There is barely anything left of the love we once shared," she finished as she turned away again.
"And the other thing, this thing your mother believes you are hiding?" Jacque prodded as carefully as he could.
They all watched as Fleur stiffened as she heard his question, and more to the point she refused to turn around. "Fleur please, what is it?" Apolline asked, gently hoping a softer approach would help lower her daughter's defenses and get her to open up. Fleur struggled to find something to say, but nothing came to mind, but what she did know was she would not admit she was having an affair with Harry. Not to her parents or anyone else, she would keep it a secret as long as she could.
"It is nothing," Fleur finally said as calmly as she could and turned around and faced her family and hoped she gave nothing away.
"I don't believe that Fleur," Apolline countered not willing to be put off just yet.
"Then that is your choice mother, but I will not discuss it with you," Fleur responded, doing her best not to shout. "It is personal," she stated, getting upset as her mother pressed her, she turned and fled the kitchen leaving her parents and sister standing in surprise at her abrupt departure. She headed straight for the floo. She had to escape before an argument broke out and there was only one place she knew she could go to get some peace.
"Something is very wrong with Fleur to become so distressed she fled from our presence," Gabrielle finally spoke up in confusion wondering what it was her sister was hiding. "Whatever she is hiding it is big," she suggested to her still stunned parents. "But pushing her to tell us what it is will not help us get the answer," she cautioned them.
"And what do you suggest Gabrielle?" Jacque inquired, not liking the situation concerning his eldest daughter.
"We leave her be until she is ready to come to us," Gabrielle told them. "If we keep pushing it will only make things worse for us and more importantly for Fleur," she explained. "And she has enough stress in her life right now without us adding to it," she stated.
"Gabrielle is right," Apolline admitted with a sigh. "For now we will leave her be, and hope she will come to us and tell us what this secret is she guards so closely," she told her husband before she left the room still upset by the admission her eldest daughter had made. And she worried how things would progress for Fleur and her granddaughter.
Jacque rubbed his forehead as his wife left and his younger daughter soon followed. He was deeply concerned by Fleur's admission and the deep anguish he heard in her tone as she spoke. Worse he knew there was little he could do to help her right now, it was clear she wanted no help from them or she would have told them what it was she was hiding of that he was certain. Sitting down he prayed that things did not get worse for his daughter, or the rest of their extended family and that whatever secret she carried was not something dangerous and explosive.
(Potter Flat, London)
Fleur almost stumbled out of the floo in her rush to leave her parents manor and refusing to return home just yet, she decided to visit the one person she knew who felt as she did. The flat was a secret known only to her and she suspected to Hermione. None of the rest of the family or his friends knew he owned it. The flat was quiet, but she was certain he would be here, after last night's explosion and his storming out of the Burrow he would not want to have stayed with Ginny. Heading for the bedroom where she believed she would find her lover asleep, she was surprised to see a barely awake Hermione lying in the bed. She clearly had not had a good night's sleep, and it was obvious she and Harry had not been making love the night before. If she was honest Hermione looked terrible. There were visible tear tracks and her face bore a look of depression and anguish.
"Fleur," Hermione said in surprise as she finally took note there was someone else in the room.
She was unsure what to say to her sister in law, how to explain what she was doing in Harry's bed in his flat and not at home with her husband. She should have expected Fleur to know of this flat, she continued to stare at Fleur who did not look too surprised to see her.
"This isn't what it looks like," Hermione began to insist, but Fleur just smiled and held up a hand to stop her before she could work up any steam.
"I can see that Hermione," Fleur assured her although she knew Hermione and Harry had been intimate before and more than likely would again just as she and Harry would be. "You look like you had a bad night," she stated as she sat on the end of the bed.
Hermione was wary of the other girl even knowing about her and Harry's affair, or maybe because of it. Her own affair with Harry was limited in its scale, they only came together when she had a real bad argument or just could no longer stand Ron's faults. However from what she had managed to discover about Harry and Fleur, their affair was much bigger in scope and had brought the two closer together. Strangely enough she felt almost jealous of that fact, not that she had the right to feel that way or did she? She briefly wondered.
"Are you okay Hermione?" Fleur questioned when the other girl failed to respond to her light statement. Hermione shook her head and focused on Fleur as she realized she had zoned out.
"No not really," Hermione admitted as the feelings from the night before threatened to overwhelm her again. "After last night everything just came to a head, it forced me to come to a painful realization and also what I have to do about it," she explained. "I'm planning to ask Ron for a divorce," she told Fleur after a few seconds knowing as she did so there was no turning back now from the plan of action she had set herself on.
Fleur was unsurprised by this news and she quickly moved to pull Hermione into what she hoped was a comforting hug; Hermione accepted it and leaned against her. That was how Harry found them when he returned from getting him and Hermione something to eat. He froze as he realized Fleur had arrived, seeing the two women he loved most in this world and who he was having an affair with both at the same time shocked him. Both women quickly took note of his presence and broke the hug to face him, they both noted his shocked look and almost broke out into giggles at the look he had on his face.
"Hello Harry," Fleur greeted him as normally as she could even as her heart began to pound and a desire to kiss him senseless threatened to overwhelm her.
"Hello Fleur, I was not expecting you," Harry managed to reply without stuttering. "Is everything alright?" he inquired knowing it was pointless to hide how he felt considering Hermione had admitted to knowing about him and Fleur.
Fleur let out a sigh as reality quickly caught up to her, her slight argument with her family and of course the argument to come when she finally returned home to face Bill. She knew also that she still had a choice of her own to make concerning her own marriage. Should she ask for a divorce or try and hold whatever was left of her marriage for the sake of her daughter? Making that choice had clearly shattered Hermione. She feared what it would do to her when she finally made the choice. At least both of them had Harry to help them face what was coming. She knew he would support them.
"No Harry it is not," Fleur said honestly. "Like Hermione I'm heading towards a choice I know will change all our lives and may shatter our extended family forever," she admitted with a sigh. "But I can barely stand the life I live with Bill much longer. I want out Harry and I know it is selfish to think it, especially as it may tear Victorie from her father or at the most cause her pain as to who to stay with," she explained as Harry sat down beside her. "But more and more I find myself wanting out like Hermione has chosen to do. My family now knows my marriage is failing and they know I'm hiding something, but so far none of them have gotten on to the truth I know Hermione knows," she paused here and looked to Hermione who nodded, confirming for Fleur that she knew about Fleur's affair with Harry and had done for some time.
Harry winced as he heard this news. It meant things were heading closer and closer to chaos. He knew once his affair with Fleur and Hermione comes out it would be anarchy. He knew considering the amount of time Hermione spent with him once it was known about him and Fleur then Ron would quickly assume he and Hermione had also slept together behind his back. 'How could he not?' Harry thought. Ron may not be the smartest wizard, but he was not that stupid not to assume such a thing. He was surprised Ron hadn't actually accused them of it before now. Ron was an easily jealous person, which had been made clear during their time in Hogwarts.
"It's going to be all out chaos," Harry finally said. "But perhaps we deserve it for making the choices we did. I mean I wouldn't change things even if I could as that would mean losing my children, but perhaps we should have thought harder on those choices that have led us here," he told them when they both turned to look at him.
"Perhaps we should have Harry, but now we have to be ready to face what is coming," Hermione agreed quietly with a nod of her head. "What I fear is just how bad things will get for us once I ask for a divorce as Ron won't take it easily," she admitted.
"And neither will Bill if I chose the same as Hermione," Fleur agreed with a slight shiver as she imagined Bill's response to such a request. "And if our affairs come out during all this, I don't know what will be left of our family," she all but whispered.
All three were silent as they considered just what may happen from this point on. It would affect not just them, but their children and the rest of their extended family forever. There would be no turning back for them, but none of them could continue as they had been.
"What about you Harry?" Fleur finally asked breaking the silence that had fallen between them. "What are you going to do about Ginny?" she asked more clearly when he turned to look at her with a raised eyebrow.
Both Fleur and Hermione looked at him with hard penetrating stares as both were deeply interested in his answer. Fleur felt her heart beating wildly in her chest as she waited for Harry's answer, because this was the turning point for them. If she asked for a divorce from Bill, but Harry didn't from Ginny, then it meant they would have to continue to keep their love hidden and that was not something she wanted to do anymore. She was tired of hiding how she truly felt about Harry, tired of not being able to pull into a loving kiss when she felt like it. Glancing at Hermione, Fleur wasn't surprised to see from her expression that she felt the same.
Harry glanced between the two and wasn't blind to what they must be thinking; he was at his wits end where Ginny was concerned. The only reason he had stuck it as long as he had when his heart cried out for another was his children, but he no longer felt even the love he had once held for Ginny that convinced him they could have a happy marriage. It was all gone, burnt away by her selfish desires and constant bullying to go to the parties she knew he hated going to just to try and capitalize on his fame as she had done since they married. She refused to listen to his arguments, he loved Fleur and he loved Hermione and knew deep inside if they were going to ask for divorces then he could do no less. 'But then what?' he asked himself.
Ron awoke feeling tired and angry as he looked beside him and saw proof that Hermione had never come home the night before, he didn't have to ask where she had gone. He had contacted her parents, but they had not seen her. Hence he could only assume she had stayed at one of Harry's many properties seen as Ginny had called him before he had gone to bed to ask if he had seen Harry, who had not come home as well. Getting up he headed straight for the kitchen and angrily made himself a quick breakfast, which was nowhere near what he was used to but he intended to track Hermione down before he had to go to work. After finishing his breakfast, he had a quick shower and then dressed and headed out to visit Harry's home first. Once he did find her, he intended to let her know how angry he was that she had run away from his mother's the night before and her growing distance. He intended to put a stop to it, he failed to take note of the fact that his daughter Rose had stayed at a friend's home as his mind was to occupied by his problems with Hermione.
Bill awoke to find himself still on the sofa in the living room. He cursed as his back felt like it was been pulled in two. The sofa was not a comfy place to sleep, especially in the position he had fallen asleep in. Getting up he looked around before running upstairs to see if Fleur had come home while he slept. Entering their bedroom he was angered and disappointed to find the bed empty. Running a hand through his hair he let out a curse, guessing she was still at her parents he decided he would have to leave work early tonight to make sure he could confront her over her actions the night before. He was angered about her running out on the family get together, he was also annoyed by the supposed rumors his marriage to Fleur was failing as in his mind it was as strong as it had ever been. He intended to remind Fleur of that fact, she was his wife and he loved her no matter how busy he had been of late at work. Letting out a sigh he headed for the bathroom to shower and change for work, later as he finished his breakfast before heading out he wondered just what Fleur was doing and more importantly what she was thinking.