I am so very sorry for this inexcusably late update. I have been on holidays in Cairns and much to my dismay there was no internet! :'( so I couldn't upload. I am terribly sorry. But please forgive me and enjoy my next chapter :) xx
December 24 1998
The fire was roaring on that cold Christmas Eve night as everyone gathered in the Burrow's sitting room. Apolline Delacour and Gabrielle had Flooed to the Burrow to spend Christmas with Fleur and the Weasleys. Gabrielle was shooting Ginny vicious glares as she sat in Harry's arms. Apolline was talking heartily with Mr Weasley, Percy and Audrey about the French and British Ministries. Hermione was poised in front of the fire, lying on her stomach with her nose in a book; Ron rested his head on her back and stared up at the ceiling. George and Angelina were roaring with laughter at something that Harry had said. But despite the raucous noise of the family, Bill and Fleur were content with being silent. Fleur sat on the couch with Bill next to her. One of his arms was around her shoulders and the other was gently resting on her growing stomach. It wasn't large compared to most women at four months, but on Fleur's slender frame it looked enormous. She absentmindedly rubbed circles on her belly, which was threatening to burst through the blouse she was wearing.
"Oooh," she gasped slightly, scrunching up her face. Bill cast her a concerned look.
"What is it, love?" he asked.
"Nothing," she assured him, giving him a brilliant smile. "'E is just kicking, Guillaume. See?"
She grasped his hand and placed it more firmly on her belly. A few moments later, Bill's eyes went wide and he eyed her belly with adoration.
"Merlin," he cried, his voice filled with emotion. "He's moving. How long has he been doing that for?"
Fleur smiled. "'e only started last week with ze kicking. But at least we know zat 'e really iz zare."
Bill grinned and leaned in to give Fleur a passionate kiss.
"It iz a little annoying," she said.
"It's amazing," he assured her, rubbing her belly affectionately. Fleur nuzzled into the Bill's neck and sighed contently.
"Oooh," she gasped again. "If 'e does zat again, 'e is going to burst maman's buttons."
Bill chuckled. "You should have worn a bigger shirt, love," he said jokingly.
Fleur glared at him. "What iz zat supposed to mean?"
Bill gulped. "Nothing... it's just... you've increased a fair few dress sizes over the last few months and..."
"You zink zat I am fat?" cried Fleur incredulously, her face fierce.
Bill put his hands up in surrender. "No!" he promised. "I could never think you are fat!"
Fleur crossed her arms. "'Ow could you, Bill! You did zis to me, remember! It iz not my fault I am turning into une grosse femme!"
Fleur rose aggressively, but the force burst the buttons on her blouse and it flew open, revealing her porcelain, rounded stomach. Mortified, Fleur drew her blouse around her and hurried from the room. Bill immediately made to go after her but Mrs Weasley, who had been watching the conversation, shook her head at him.
"You will only make it worse, dear," she told him.
Bill groaned in frustration. "I don't think she's fat. I think she looks beautiful! I told her, but she won't listen to me!"
"The first thing you need to understand Bill," Mrs Weasley chided. "Is that you can't talk about dress sizes and weight around pregnant women. They're self-conscious enough as it is with carrying a Quaffle under their shirts, but telling them that only makes them feel worse."
"What am I supposed to do then? She won't enlarge her clothes to fit her properly. She's in denial!"
Mrs Weasley thought for a moment and smiled. "I have just the thing."
Fleur dried her eyes and glanced down at her body. She looked disgusting; this large round growth sticking out from her otherwise perfect body. Fleur's appearance had always been her main pride and to have it disfigured was too much for her. What else did she have without her beauty? Fleur instantly felt guilty thinking those thoughts. Inside her stomach, was her growing child; her child with Guillaume. He just needed a place to grow and Fleur's flat abdomen was not big enough for him. Fleur smiled and rubbed her belly.
"Je suis desole, ma cherie," she whispered. "Je t'aime."
She heard someone approach and instantly composed herself.
"Fleur, dear," said Mrs Weasley. "We are going to have pudding now."
Fleur nodded and followed Mrs Weasley back inside, covering her stomach with her arms. Bill gave her a weak smile as she entered which she didn't return. Her pride was still hurt from his comment. Mrs Weasley dashed under the large Christmas tree in the corner and retrieved a large, light blue box with a white ribbon.
"Now," she exclaimed as everyone focussed on her. "I know it is a day early for opening presents, but I think, given the circumstances, that we can make this little exception."
She walked over to Fleur and handed her the box. "Merry Christmas, Fleur," she said warmly. "I thought you might need this, seeing as it is a cold night. Besides, every Weasley has one."
Fleur smiled and opened the box carefully. Her face was aglow with gratitude as she pulled out a purple, hand-made, woollen jumper. There was an 'F' embroidered in gold on the front, surrounded by lilies, orchids and pink roses. Fleur's eyes grew teary and she bent to hug Mrs Weasley.
"Merci beaucoup," she gushed. "It iz just what I need."
"Welcome to the family," said Mrs Weasley tearfully, patting her daughter-in-law's stomach wherein lay her first grandchild. "These jumpers are great for hiding pregnancies," she added with a knowing smile. Fleur kissed both her cheeks and hastily pulled the jumper over her head and around her belly. It was a little baggy, but soft and warm and smelt of flowers. Fleur turned to Bill and smiled, who strode over to her and kissed her full on the mouth.
"You look more beautiful right now than you ever have," he told her. She blushed and hugged his side. She could do this. It was going to be alright.
Aww. Poor Fleur... it would be a big change for her to go from slender and beautiful to having this round belly. But Bill still loves her. I would like to thank Slytherin66 for the suggestion about the Weasley jumper :) It was a great idea and I hope I did it justice :) Please read and review :) xx