Because of Shuntbumps by Ember Nickel, Gabrielle is asexual in my headcanon, which is a large part of why this fic is as it is. That's a wonderful fic, and I highly recommend it.
Written for Men's Football Round 1.2 in the 2012 Hogwarts Games, where my assigned pairing was Harry/Gabrielle.
Also for the prompt denial for the Pairing Diversity Boot Camp.
She's eight. She doesn't know what love is. She loves her sister, and her Maman and Papa when they spare her a glance, but it's different, that love and the love people mean when they say they're in love. Gabi knows this.
Gabi also knows that he stayed. She knows that he stayed when he didn't have to, and he saved her. He pushed aside his chances for fame and glory and riches and decided that her life – the life of a nobody – was worth more than that. Never mind the fact that her life was never actually in danger. That doesn't matter. He thought it was, and that's what determined his actions.
He is a good person.
There's a term for this, she knows. In English, they call it hero worship – unhealthy idealisation of the one who saved her. It isn't proper, she knows, and it isn't love.
But knowing and feeling are two different things, and she can't stop dreaming of a pair of emerald eyes.
She's eleven. She's beautiful, and she knows it. Not as beautiful as she will be, but beautiful all the same. Her eyes seem to stutter as she sees him, and she cannot help but bat her eyelashes – she hasn't stopped thinking about him. She wonders absently if she focuses on him because she wants to think about someone. She feels like she should, by now, look twice at boys, but she doesn't. Not except him, and she knows that that's hero worship, not love.
Still, she will pretend until she can't anymore, because she doesn't know what else to do. She smiles her radiant smile at him and watches as he smiles back before turning his gaze to her sister's soon-to-be sister-in-law (is there even a word for the relationship between Gabi and Ginny? If there is, Gabi doesn't know it). She watches the way his gaze lingers and she allows her smile to slip a measured degree, but she feels no pain, because she doesn't love him. She just wishes she did.
But she's only eleven, right? That's still young. She still has plenty of time. So what if Fleur had a crush at nine and a boyfriend at ten? So what if Veela tend to love young? She's only a quarter Veela. She has time.
She's twenty-one, and she can't pretend anymore. She sees him again at her sister's tenth anniversary party, and her eyes don't even linger this time. She doesn't love him, and she's stopped pretending that she might. She doesn't love, not like that. She's not incapable of love, no, not at all. She still loves her sister, and her Maman and Papa when they spare her a glance, but it's different.
Gabi is different. And she's finally okay with that. She doesn't need to be like everyone else – she doesn't need a man (or a woman) to be happy.
He was and will forever be her only crush, because he saved her, and she wanted to love him for it, so she let herself believe that she did. But now she's happy just being Gabi. She doesn't need to be anyone else.
She's twenty-one, and she doesn't need to live in denial anymore.