Whew, when was the last time I hit the 'new story' button, amirite?
Welcome to this year's Yuletide HP Extravaganza! We're looking at 12 one shots for 12 Weasley grandkids. You with me? You're with me. Victoire first! Sorry about the dates, clearly I cannot pay attention to my calendar, so there'll probably be two updates today! :)
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH IT HURTS HAPPY MERRY WONDERFUL HOLIDAYS LOVE YOUUUUUU ALL! (Also today was a terrible TERRIBLE day at work and writing this made me feel much better. From here on out things are generally happy. Promise. Kind of.)
14 December 2000
Fleur nodded sleepily as she patted Victoire's back, waiting for her to burp; she was quite used to being awake in the wee hours of the morning, now, but after six months she was more than ready for Victoire to start sleeping through the night.
"Any time you are ready, ma petite," she sighed, shifting the baby to her other shoulder. "Any time…"
Lately, though, Fleur had begun to doubt whether she could sleep; it felt as though she'd been awake for days. Molly had always told her that when she became a mother, she never slept with a sick child in the house. Victoire was starting to understand that now—except it was Molly she was fretting over, not Victoire.
Molly had relapsed with a terrible case of dragon pox, just as she had two Christmases ago after Fred had died—only this time it was serious enough that she had to be taken to St. Mungo's. Fleur hadn't realized, amidst the slight annoyances that came with having Molly as a doting grandmother to Victoire, how very necessary Molly's presence had become for her.
But with a baby in the house, the chances of Fleur being able to visit her were slim—even Bill had to avoid being in close proximity to his mother, for fear of getting Victoire ill, as well. Lately, he had taken to staying at the hospital to look after anything that Arthur might need, and then spending a great deal of time at the Burrow, keeping it secure and in good order.
There was a gentle creaking noise from downstairs; Fleur sat up. If Bill had come home, then perhaps…she held her breath, keeping Victoire close in her arms.
The bedroom door opened, and Bill appeared. He was rubbing his eyes with one hand, his head hanging low.
"Bill," Fleur said, and he jumped.
"I didn't think you'd be up," he replied, coming close. He sat on the footstool in front of her, his eyes on Victoire. He put out a hand and gently rubbed the baby's back, his expression unreadable.
"Bill," she whispered, "ees…'ow ees Molly?"
Bill's fingers tensed, and he moved his hand to take Fleur's. "She's better," he said, his voice tight in his throat. "But not…she's still got some way to go. Her fever is back."
Fleur squeezed his hand. "I am sorry," she said, feeling her own throat stick painfully.
He nodded. "I…I got to talk to her, though," he went on, "tonight. She said I had to—to give you a kiss," he said, giving her a smile, "and tell Victoire 'happy Christmas,' from her granny."
Fleur swallowed. "Even eef—eef Molly ees not well zis year," she said, "Zere weel be many more Christmases for 'er and Victoire. I know eet."
Bill nodded, and Victoire gave a disgruntled little moan against Fleur's shoulder—then Fleur found the baby and herself wrapped in a tight hug, which Bill did not release for a very long time.