The Listener

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by my twin, Morghen, so please give her a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2003

"…and not all who fought were old enough to do so. But age did not matter in the war. Age did not determine life or death, and neither did skill. It was pure will that motivated all—those with us today and those lost to us five years ago…on this day."

Gabrielle Delacour stopped listening to Headmistress McGonagall's words. She tuned out her surroundings in general, though not before she put her three-year-old niece, Victoire, down to return to Fleur. Gabrielle walked away from the gathering in the Great Hall and headed outside, into the main courtyard.

Had Gabrielle had her way, she would not have attended this memorial service. However, she had avoided the first few by staying in France the past few years. Some of it had been to finish her schooling, but she really just had been avoiding these ceremonies. It was not that she did not understand their importance or that she had been cheering on the Death Eaters—but, in a way, it had nothing to do with her. She had not been present for any of this, definitely not for the final battle at Hogwarts. Her only tie was that her sister had married into the Weasley family, and Fleur had fought in the war. Gabrielle herself had not directly lost anything or anyone, though it had been rather scary not seeing all of her classmates show up at school. Even Beauxbatons had lost some students to fear and the need to hide.

Outside, Gabrielle walked around the castle. It had been rebuilt quickly after the war so that it looked the same as before. Sometimes she wondered what things would have been like if she had gone here instead of Beauxbatons. Ultimately, Gabrielle was glad she had gone to her alma mater.

Footsteps near the stone floor of the entryway caught her attention, and the French witch darted her glance upwards. Another witch was emerging from the gathering.

Gabrielle turned towards her. "Hello," she said, pronouncing her h. She had worked hard to be able to switch on and off her accent.

"Oh, hullo," the woman said. She had brown hair, black eyes, and she was dressed in simple robes. A badger pin adorned her breast, though.

"You fought in the war, yes?"

The woman shook her head. "I didn't have the chance. I got to see my friends fight and fall instead."

Gabrielle's features softened in response. "I am sorry."

The witch shrugged. "I only lost one close friend. My other friends and classmates survived."

"So why are you not still inside?"

She grinned darkly. "Because I can't stand it in there any longer."

Gabrielle ventured to smile a bit, too. "I am Gabrielle Delacour."

"Rose Zeller." She strode towards Gabrielle and politely shook her hand. "I finished school last year, so it's a bit strange to be back in this place."

The Delacour blinked. "We are the same age, then."

Rose nodded. "No joke? Huh." She crossed her arms in front of her chest and stood by Gabrielle's side, staring up at the blue-gray sky.

Gabrielle eyed Rose's profile, curious about her. How nice it must be to have such a frank attitude…though Gabrielle had long since presumed that most of the English were the same way. Still, Rose seemed nice, friendly enough. But Gabrielle did not know what to say.

"Say, my new friend Gabrielle, do you want to get away from this dark and dreary castle?"

On that day, Gabrielle dismissed Rose's familiarity and forthrightness and the idea that these proceedings had nothing to do with her. So she said, "Please."

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2004

Oh no, there goes Binns floating up to the front of the audience…, Gabrielle internally groaned as she sat at the end of a row. Fleur and Bill were two seats over, and Victoire sat between her mother and aunt. Gabrielle was not sure if she could escape this time, though it was not as though Fleur could blame her. Binns bored everyone half to death, and Hermione could only wake Harry to interrupt the ghost if she herself were awake. So unless one of the "Golden Trio" did something now, Gabrielle's legs and bum were likely to fall painfully asleep.

She felt a poke in her back, though. At first she ignored it. If it was Victoire trying to get her in trouble with Fleur, then Gabrielle was not going to let that happen. But she was poked again. Well, maybe the person behind her had a case of mistaken identity; nobody ever needed the younger Delacour sister, after all. However, Gabrielle could not ignore a third poke, and she summoned all her willpower not to whip around and belittle someone in French for disrupting the service.

When she turned, she saw brown hair and black eyes. "May I help you?"

The woman seemed a little confused. "Uh…don't you remember me?"

"No, sorry."

"It's Rose…Rose Zeller." Her weak smile made Gabrielle's annoyance evaporate into humility.

"Ah! I am so very sorry!" Gabrielle glanced at Victoire and then at Fleur, who was shooting her a look. She mouthed "sorry" to her sister before excusing herself from the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, Rose Zeller joined Gabrielle on the green past the courtyard.

"I didn't mean to be rude," the brunette blurted.

Gabrielle shook her head. "I apologize for forgetting you."

Rose shrugged, though Gabrielle could tell that she had hurt her feelings. "I'm used to it."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because…I was one of the young ones. People tended to write me off."

Gabrielle frowned and sighed. "…yes. I, too, know the feeling." She held out her hand. "Forgiven?"

Rose laughed, a light and airy sound that reminded Gabrielle of delicious puff pastries. "Forgotten!" She still shook on it, though. "Say, want to join me at the stone circle?"

The two witches made their way to the place, and Rose stretched out her arms and twirled around. Gabrielle did not feel inclined to be so…er, "free." At least not at this school that was not her own.

"The air's not stuffy out here," Rose said, though Gabrielle recalled that Rose's clothes looked similar to the heavy robes she had worn a year ago.

"If you do not like it in there, then why do you come?"

Rose came to a halt and looked at her, black eyes boring into blue. "Why do you?"

Gabrielle fidgeted. "Family…"

Rose nodded. "Almost all of Hogwarts becomes your family when you go here. Well, maybe even some Slytherins are all right. I suppose since Astoria Greengrass convinced her sister to fight with her that their family isn't all that bad. Though I still don't think Draco Malfoy should show up at all," she finished with a shake of her head.

Gabrielle knew a bit of the Malfoys based on things Bill and some of his family had said, so she nodded. She did not want Rose to keep looking so serious, though, so Gabrielle gave a little half twirl herself. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Rose's mouth twitch upward. "So what family brings you back here?"

Rose hummed an unfamiliar tune—it sounded made-up—and twirled with Gabrielle. "Colin Creevey. I was good friends with Jimmy Peakes even though he was in Gryffindor and I was in Hufflepuff. I sort of made my friends in that House, so I was frightened when he and Ritchie Coote and some of the others wanted to rush in and fight." Rose sighed and bumped into the blonde woman. "McGonagall yelled at most of us for being too young to fight but still trying. Jimmy and Ritchie were safe, but we saw Colin die. He was the oldest of us 'young ones' who weren't supposed to fight."

Gabrielle watched the smile fall slowly from her face, and it made Gabrielle frown, too. She did not like seeing Rose frown. She awkwardly moved an arm around the other witch until they were standing in the middle of the stone circle in a half hug. Gabrielle cleared her throat and Rose coughed and laughed.

"Thank you, Gabrielle."

"…I promise not to forget you again."

"Yeah. I think it'd be nice to be real friends, too."

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2005

"You look pretty today, Aunt Gab," chirped five-year-old Victoire. "Is that for my birthday?"

Gabrielle smiled at her niece. "Oh, everything is for you, you little angel." She ran her hand through Victoire's strawberry-blonde locks, not ruffling them in case Fleur saw and complained about having to fix her hair again.

Even Bill remarked that she looked nicer than usual, which earned Gabrielle a curious eyebrow quirk from Fleur. "I thought zat getting you to come two yeairs in a row was a fluke. But troi?"

Gabrielle tried to act casual. "I know it means a lot to you."

Fleur still seemed skeptic, but she did appreciate the sentiment, and she kissed her baby sister's cheek. "All right. We must leave for ze service now."

The four of them used a special Portkey to join the others since Victoire was big enough that they did not have to fly the distance now. Upon arrival, Fleur and Bill led Victoire over to Harry and Ginny, who had brought seven-year-old Teddy and the months-old baby James with them. Gabrielle looked on somewhat enviously for a minute before heading to where she sat every year.

On the way there, Gabrielle spied a woman talking with two men close to her age. The three of them laughed—another thing that made Gabrielle a tad envious—but the French witch stared at the woman's back. Though her brown hair was tied loosely at the side with a black ribbon, Gabrielle thought she recognized the robes…

When the men left for elsewhere, Gabrielle hesitantly approached the woman and tapped her shoulder. "Ah, Rose…?"

The woman turned. It took her a second for her eyes to light up. "Oh! Gabrielle!"

The blonde smiled. "I suppose you had to misplace my face as I forgot you entirely last year."

Rose shook her head. "No, no, not at all." She chuckled. "I'm sorry, I just—you look nice."

Gabrielle beamed. "Thank you. Your hair looks very pretty tied back."

Rose's cheeks took on a healthy bit of color. "Oh…thanks…" A full two minutes of silence passed between them. "So…you didn't use to come to these, did you?"

"No, I did not. I only started to come at the fifth anniversary."

"And you still keep coming back."

Gabrielle felt that she should blush at the statement, but she did not understand why, and she observed Rose quietly instead. Rose did the same, and Gabrielle wondered if Rose had the same fascination with her that Gabrielle had with Rose. The Delacour opened her mouth to say something smart, thought of nothing, and promptly closed her mouth.

Rose grinned. "Want to go to the stone circle again?"

"But the service has not even started."

"Then we won't be interrupting anything this time."

Gabrielle could not think of any other excuse, so she followed Rose out of the castle. Though she still was not very familiar with the castle, she thought that they were not heading in the correct direction. "Ah, the stone circle…?"

"Eh, I'm not feeling the stone circle today. I was thinking about going to the covered bridge instead—is that all right?" They were already at the bridge's mouth. "You aren't afraid of heights, are you?"

Gabrielle huffed despite her warm cheeks. "Gabrielle Delacour is not afraid of heights!" She strode past Rose onto the bridge. It felt sturdy enough, so as long as she did not stare at the cavern far, far below…she would be fine.

Rose chuckled again and came up right beside Gabrielle, grabbing her hand and interlacing their fingers. "Yeah, even the tiniest things scare me sometimes, too."

Gabrielle said nothing, and they spent the entire service there on the bridge. But the whole time, Gabrielle wondered if Rose meant something else.

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2006

Fleur crossed her arms. "I thought zat four yeairs in a row would be too much for you," she said with a shake of her head.

Gabrielle internally groaned. If only Fleur had realized that Gabrielle had not been really present for last year…! But Gabrielle did not want to irk her sister further. "Can we go back now?"

Fleur made a noise. "It eez only because it eez Victoire's birthday zat I will 'ave to let this go."

The younger Delacour bit back a remark as Fleur shielded her eyes to look for her daughter in the crowd. Bill was chatting with some old schoolmates, so Gabrielle supposed that one more minute away from any of them would not kill her.

"I got you in trouble, didn't I?" a voice breathed in her ear.

Gabrielle nearly yelped at Rose's appearance behind her. She turned and gave her friend a glare. "You should not frighten someone like zat!"

Rose's eyes widened. "Whoa, I'm sorry! But…wow. Your perfect English begins to fail you when you're scared or surprised?" The blonde blushed at comment. "How cute."

"That was mean," Gabrielle said, emphasizing the first word. "And, for your information, I was reprimanded by my sister. She realized I was absent."

"Oh no, that sucks. Did she realize you were absent last year, too?" Rose asked with a conspiratorial giggle.

Gabrielle rolled her eyes and sighed. "No, she did not."

"Well, it's not as though you'll be banned from coming back, right? We've all got our right to be here."

Gabrielle pulled a face. "She is my reason for being here."

"Right, right…" Rose whistled. "Well…if your family's going to be any longer, the moon's going to be up completely before you're home. Can you catch a drink down in Hogsmeade?"

"I really should not…"

"What? It'd be one firewhiskey with me and my friends Jimmy and Ritchie. They asked Demelza to come, too, but she already left. You get to meet the blokes," Rose added, as if it was incentive.

"My niece's birthday is today, Rose."

"Oh, right." Rose's face fell. "Um…we could do it another time, then…"

Something rumbled within Gabrielle, and she shook her head. "We only ever meet this one day. I think I could have my first firewhiskey with you—but only one."

Rose lit up. "That's great!" She took Gabrielle by the hand as they separated from the crowd. "So…you're really in your twenties and you still haven't had your first firewhiskey?"

Gabrielle laughed, amused that that was what Rose had focused on. By the end of the night, though, Gabrielle was feeling as though she could not see Rose on this one day anymore.

They could see each other more often, could they not?

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2007

"Ehm, Fleur…this is my friend, Rose."

Fleur blinked and shook Rose's hand. "Oh. Nice to meet you, Rose."

"Likewise," Rose said.

Gabrielle fidgeted between the two of them. She turned to Fleur. "Look, I already told Victoire that you have my present for her, and I spent this morning with her. She said I am allowed to be gone tonight as long as she gets me for the entire day the day after tomorrow."

The two sisters silently glared, but Fleur appeared to know that she had lost the battle since Gabrielle had already chatted with Victoire. Fleur nodded to Rose. "It was nice meeting you." Then she waddled off, for she was due to have another daughter in three months.

Rose and Gabrielle headed for Hogsmeade, and the brunette praised the blonde. "She's all right with you staying over?"

"She has to be. I do not live with her. And I am not her nanny," Gabrielle stated, her last sentence coming out as more of a hiss than a statement. She inhaled and exhaled to calm herself. "I am just always at Shell Cottage, it seems."

"But I thought you worked at Beauxbatons."

"I am only the arts director when Beauxbatons needs me. Perhaps, someday, I will be on the official teaching staff." She shook her head. "But not now."

Rose nodded. "I envy you, knowing what you want to do." She nodded again at her friend's look of disbelief. "It's true. I envy you. You have a nice life."

"But—but I envy you! I have seen you with Jimmy and Ritchie—you have friends here."

"Don't you have friends?"

Gabrielle did not answer. She had once had friends, but she had not really heard from them after school. She linked her arm through Rose's, defiant. "I have you."

That seemed to mean the world to her. "That you do."

- ^-^3

May 3rd, 2007

Gabrielle awoke, a pleasant warmth at her back. It made her smile.

The night had been fun. It had been just her and Rose, doing all the things girls do. They had played ridiculous games (and Gabrielle was sure truth-or-dare would be more fun with more than two people), sang songs they had learned as children, talked about the goings-on at the memorial service (because they both had a hunch that Bill's brother, George, was going to propose to that woman, Angelina Johnson, soon), and just had a good time in general. They had even had a pillow fight before collapsing in a hurricane of feathers and falling asleep. Gabrielle had never felt like such a teenage girl before.

With Rose's back against hers, she thought of how she and Fleur used to cuddle when they were little. But this was different.

This was Rose.

- ^-^3

August 20th, 2007

"Rose! Oh, Rose, you should see her! She is adorable!"

"Gabrielle, you just saw me…yesterday… Wait, it happened last night?" Rose jumped up and down, and Gabrielle was so caught up in the moment that she jumped up and down, too.

Gabrielle laughed with her, happy tears in her eyes. The blonde was now aunt not only to Victoire Apolline—but to Dominique Gabrielle. Gabrielle had not known that Fleur and Bill had decided to take her name for Dominique's middle one, but it delighted her so. And she told Rose as much.

"What? That's amazing! And awesome!" Rose squeezed her friend in a tight hug. It was almost too tight, but it did not hurt Gabrielle. It lasted for what felt like a while, with one of Rose's hands on her back and the other on her shoulder blade; Gabrielle had to place her hands on Rose's shoulders. It felt…nice.

It felt as though Gabrielle was the most precious thing in the world.

But Gabrielle shook her mind clear of that. She was not a fresh-faced child, the face of the future. She was not that precious. Even if she would have liked to be.

"Do you want to see a picture?"

"Duh! Come on in, my mum just made some marbled cake. Holy Helga, it's almost as if she knew you were coming, haha."

They got lost in their gushing and chatting, and Gabrielle stayed the night again. Even if Gabrielle was not the most precious thing in the world…Rose was—at least, to her.

- ^-^3

December 27th, 2007

She found her sipping cider outside her family home. "Rose."

Rose's expression was hard, angry, upset. "Gabrielle."

Gabrielle had always liked that Rose had never called her "Gab" or "Gaby;" she somehow managed to make "Gabrielle" sound so personal. But how she had just said it did not sound so nice. "Ah…happy Christm—"

"It's not a happy Christmas, Gabrielle," Rose interrupted. She faced her friend, her eyes blacker than black.

Gabrielle averted her own blue ones. "I am sorry… I—"

"I've not seen you for months. Not even a Floo-call or a letter."

The Frenchwoman bit her bottom lip. "I just—work happened, and family and—"

Rose sighed. "I know. I'm just your friend."

Gabrielle marched up to her and slapped the cider from her hand. "You are not just my friend." When she realized how it sounded, she added, "You mean…something to me."

A winter wind rustled through the trees, blowing snow on them. Slowly, Rose smiled.


"You owe me a cider." And perhaps she owed her something else, too.

- ^-^3

April 2nd, 2008

Gabrielle was still wide awake. She did not know how Rose could have slept at all. Gabrielle's mind had never turned off. It was still trying to comprehend it all.

Had she really kissed Rose? Had she really been so intimate with her?

Against her back, Rose straightened her own pajamas and half huffed, half sighed. "Are you still bothered by it?"

Gabrielle had no response. She could not respond when every one of her sensory nerves was still on fire.

"Fine then," Rose said, turning so that they were back-to-back like usual. "April Fools."

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2008

She should have known it would have turned out like this. She would not have lasted another second after seeing those chocolate locks bound by the black ribbon. No sooner had she seen it than she and Rose had bounded from there.

And now they were at Gabrielle's barely-lived-in flat, touching, kissing, breathing, feeling, smelling, living, finding, scorching, feeling, feeling, feeling

And not once thinking (which was the best thing of all).

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2009

"We've got to stop meeting like this," Rose said with a shake of her head as she and Gabrielle met up after the memorial service. They were walking inside the stone circle again.

Gabrielle shrugged. "Why should we not?" She twirled to tempt Rose.

Rose cursed and sighed. "Because…because maybe we weren't meant to be anything else. Just yearly friends."

The blonde twirled again. "Who set such rules?" She twirled again and again and again.

Rose cursed again and snarled, but she had no answer. Instead, she stood in the way so that Gabrielle twirled into her, and kissing there seemed to make the stone circle their spot forever.

- ^-^3

May 2nd, 2010

"Wow." Rose shook her head. "The tenth anniversary…"

Gabrielle nodded. "I am just shocked I have been coming for six years."

Rose snickered. "Well, maybe coming for two…"

"Rose!" Gabrielle muttered something in French, but her cheeks were cherry red as Rose laughed.

Victoire appeared with Teddy in tow. "Oh, Aunt Gab, Aunt Rose! Teddy was just telling me what Hogwarts will be like for me!"

Fleur appeared with Dominique in her arms. "Victoire! I told you not to call—" She stopped when she saw Rose was there. "Oh, I am vair sorry, Rose…"

"It doesn't bother me, Fleur," Rose said, her hand firmly on Gabrielle's waist in answer to Fleur's uneasy stare. "And Vic likes me well enough." She turned to Victoire. "So are you going to be in Hufflepuff with me and Teddy?"

As Victoire burst with conversation, Gabrielle had a silent battle with her sister. Someday she would make Fleur understand that Rose was everything to Gabrielle that Bill was to Fleur. Rose could argue, could love, could be Gabrielle's—but she was there for Gabrielle, the listener when no one else thought Gabrielle Delacour even had a voice.

Someday Fleur would understand. But Gabrielle knew that she and Rose would have all the time in the world to make her understand.

- ^-^3

Uh…wow. This was supposed to be totally different from what I'd originally intended. I'd meant to write a drabble. And I'd meant for Gabrielle to be a more dominant personality—but Rose Zeller took over! And I feel as though I nearly completely fleshed out a minor charrie that basically just has a name (Rose). But Merlin…! I'm also glad I finally wrote this, because this was an idea from a year ago that finally beat up my motivation and demanded to be written. XD

Thank you very much for reading—please do review!

-mew-tsubaki :'}