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Gabrielle Delacour

Gabrielle



About Me

If you want to know more about me, read my profile. I am 17 years old, and attending Hogwarts to finish my NEWTs. I am living with my boyfriend, Fred, in our flat over his joke shop, Zonko's. I am currently estranged from my mother, Babette.



Others Around Me


Mère
Fred - My Soulmate
Fleur - My Sister
Aveline - My Other "Sister"
Billy - Fleur's Soulmate
George - Fred's Twin
Charlie - Aveline's Boyfriend
Whizzy - Fred's Business Partner
Tonks - Fred's Friend
Cho - George's Girlfriend
Remus - My Professor
Celeste - Mediwitch at School


The Layout

This layout was created at Premade Ljs. The header image and colors were created by Sara.

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

tes [February 05, 2012 @ 9:21am]
test

Saying Goodbye - 8/22/02 [August 22, 2007 @ 9:06pm]
[ mood | tired ]

Mere's funeral was a somber affair, but then again, I didn't expect a celebration. The Elders of the creche stoically went through the motions of the proper Veela ritual, my mother's body covered in a shroud before us.

It was only Fleur, Aveline and myself as we agreed it should be. Fred waited at home for me, no doubt wondering, waiting...worrying. Fleur dabbed at her eyes several times as the warm August breeze danced about the three of us. The sky was dark, the moon high. It was a beautiful night...I would have enjoyed it more if not for...

Sighing, I glance toward my mother's body, hidden from me. I wanted to feel the grief, but it was buried too deeply for me to reach. She betrayed me, betrayed our family and Fred's family. She lied, pretended to love me, to accept Fred. All a ruse to kill him and in turn...kill me. She didn't believe me, didn't trust in me. She never cared about my future, about what I wanted in life. My mother was selfish, and cold. And now she was gone.

"Ma ange," Fleur says, tearing me from my thoughts. I blink and look to her. "It's over."

"Over?" Confused, I realize she is talking about the burial. When I look to my mere again, her body is gone. The Elders watch us silently as Fleur begins to weep again. Aveline slides her arm around my shoulders, her own sorrow evident.

"Is there anything you want to say?"

"No." What could I possibly have to say? I couldn't say any kind words, any stories...I didn't know my mother after all. The woman who died was a stranger to me. "I just want to go home."

Aveline frowned, but nodded, and took my hand. We returned to Fleur's cottage, silent as we entered. Billy looked up from the table, standing quickly and crossing to Fleur. She sobbed against his chest and Aveline went to the fireplace to firecall Charlie. I sat for only a moment before Fleur's tears grew too distracting and I stood, walking into the garden to clear my head.

Moments later, Aveline joins me, her stomach swollen and her eyes tired. She sits next to me on the iron bench, her hand patting my knee.

"You know your mother loved you."

I say nothing, but nod.

"It's all right to be angry with her."

Again, I nod, having nothing more to say.

Aveline sighs and withdrawls her hand. I look down at her stomach before I lift my gaze to hers. "Are you going to marry Charlie?"

She seems taken back by the question because I see her cheeks turn a slight shade of pink. "What a question to ask me, Gabrielle."

I shrug. "You're having a baby together."

"Not everyone who has a baby together should get married."

"So you don't love him?"

"What?" Aveline gapes at me, confusion settling upon her features. "Of course I do."

"But not like Whizzy." I can hear the attitude in my voice, and I know my questions are inappropriate, but I can't seem to stop. I was tired of the questions and talk about mere. I just wanted it all to be over.

"Gabrielle, this isn't the time or the place to be discussing this." Aveline stands abruptly. "My personal life is my own."

"You're my sister," I point out. "Your happiness matters to me."

She looks unconvinced and I sigh and reach out to take her hand. "I'm sorry, Aveline. I'm just tired. I feel like I haven't slept at all since..."

She tugs me up gently, her lips at my cheek. "Come inside. Bill has made some tea for us. You should contact Fred to let him know everything went all right before he worries."

Nodding, I let her leave me inside, resting my head against Aveline's shoulder. Mere was gone and buried. Dead. The word makes me shiver and I push the thoughts away quickly. I would think about it later.

The Truth - 8/17/2002 [August 17, 2007 @ 6:27pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

I watch several pairs of eyes fall upon me, but no one speaks. I was furious, beyond furious that I hadn't been included in this little meeting, that I hadn't been told anything. It baffled me that they would keep this from me, all of it and leave me alone upstairs in the flat I shared with Fred.

My gaze flickers to Fleur who released Bill's hand and stands, her eyes tentative as she approaches. "'ow much did you 'ear?"

"Enough," I reply simply. It was easy to remain calm on the outwardly, but inside I was seething. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears and could feel my palms sweating. "Is it true? About mere. She has Fred?"

Fleur frowns. but nods slowly. I'm still stunned by it, unsure of whether I should believe them or not. It seemed so implausible that my own mother could be capable of kidnapping the man she knew I loved. "But she approved of him," I try to reason, desperately clinging to a thread of hope that they misunderstood everything. "She had us over for dinner, she accepetd us..."

Aveline walks toward me, her voice low as she rests a hand on my shoulder. "Your mother isn't herself, Gabrielle. She's been unwell for a very long time."

"And now she has Fred," I repeat, tearing my gaze away from Fleur to Aveline. "At Faerie Ridge. She took him there and pretended that she didn't have a clue as to where he was. She pretended to want to help me..." I trail off, inhaling sharply as despair hitches in my chest.

Aveline strokes my hair, but I don't want to be treated like a child. I couldn't dwell on what my mother did, the betrayal and pain she's caused me. Instead I lift my chin and straighten. "I'm going with you."

"You can't," Bill begins. "It's going to be too dangerous. We'll bring Fred home, Gabrielle."

"If my mother has Fred, then I'm going with you to get him. I don't care that I'm not an Auror. I know magic, and I'm good at it." I point to Tonks. "She's pregnant and you're letting her go. Aveline is going. You say it's dangerous, but you'll put their babies in danger and leave me here to do nothing."

"Tonks is a trained Auror--"

"I don't care! I'm going with you and nothing, not even a sleeping potion," I snap, shooting a heated glare at Fleur, "is going to keep me from helping."

I hear murmurs of protest begin when George stands and says loudly, "I think she should go."

"The more we take, the more dangerous it's going to get," Charlie counters, his hands in his hips. "And the more complicated it's going to be getting Fred home."

"Then leave the pregnant women at home." I fold my arms across my chest and keep my stance defensive. "But I'm going to be there to save my husband, whether you all like it or not."

"Gabrielle, you don't under--" Bill pauses abruptly as shocked silence falls in the room. "Hold on, did you say husband?"

Fleur drops her forehead in the palm of her hand and mutters in French while George tries to conceal his grin. Unashamed and unconcerned, I stare at Bill darkly. "Yes, I did. Is that a problem?"

"You got married?" Aveline breathes, her eyes widening in shock. "When?"

"Does it matter?" I ask in exasperation. "All that matters now is getting Fred home."

No one says a word for several minutes before Cho crosses to me and hugs me tightly, taking me by surprise. "In spite of the situation, it may seem inappropriate, but congratulations."

"T-Thanks," I reply, unsure of whether to hug her back. Suddenly Aveline's arms are around me, her growing stomach bumping into my side.

"You should have told me!"

"I know, I should have told everyone. But we weren't sure it was the right time," I explain wearily, engulfed then by Fleur. I can barely breathe now but I accept the gestures, knowing they were for far more than my marriage.

"There will be plenty of time for questions," Charlie finally says, his own voice strained as the women pull away from me. "Right now we need to finalize everything we're going to have to do." His gaze finds mine before I see his lips curve ever so slightly. "So we can bring your husband home as soon as possible."

Sleepless Nights - 8/14/2002 [August 14, 2007 @ 10:22pm]
[ mood | stressed ]

There was a lone candle lit in the flat when I finally pulled myself from exhaustion and woke myself up. My eyes were bleary, but cleared quickly as I pushed myself up from the sheets, my hair curtaining around my face as I focused on the red headed figure hunching over the table across the room.

For a brief moment I thought it was Fred and my heart nearly burst with joy. But then I remembered Fred was still missing, and it was simply George, staying with me until Fleur would arrive at sunrise. I ignore the deflated feeling inside of my heart and pushed the blankets down from my body. Grabbing my dressing gown from beside my bed, I pulled it on and wandered over to the table. George turned at the sound of my footsteps and straightened in the chair as he set his quill down.

"I didn't mean to wake you."

"You didn't. I can't sleep," I admit, pulling out the chair and slipping into it. "What are you doing?"

"Some financial reports. They need to be sent to Gringotts by the end of the week. Fred usually takes care of them." George pauses and gives me a tight smile. "I think he's going to owe me a holiday when he comes home."

I smile softly and fold my hands together. "I should have went to Paris with him."

"What?"

"We were suppose to go together," I explain. "For Wheezes. But then my mother invited me to go on holiday with her, and I hadn't spent time with her in so long. Fred insisted. I just think if I had kept my commitment with Fred--"

"Then you might be gone too," George points out. "We can't be sure what happened, Gabrielle, but it's not your fault that Fred is gone. You should get some sleep."

"I know." But I sit quietly, glancing down at George's reams of parchment. It was somewhat comforting having him here. Fred's brothers, my sisters, were still searching. It had been two days. Only two days, but Gods, it seemed like an eternity. My own mother had vowed to help me find him. Everyone was helping. But so far, there were no leads, no clues. Nothing.

And for other reasons, unbeknownst to me, Fleur and George continued to take turns staying with me. As if I would do something rash, or drastic. Or maybe they were worried about my health.

While I didn't think I needed a babysitter, I felt more at ease. George was Fred's identical twin, and while there were some minor differences, it helped to be able to look at him and be reminded of Fred. It was a blessing. But it was also a curse.

I had to remind myself several times that it wasn't Fred. When I had cooked myself dinner earlier, George was out on the balcony and I remember my heart skipping when, for only a moment, I had looked out and smiled at him, thinking that he was Fred. It was embarrassing, but it was the tiny slivers of hope that kept me going. I knew Fred was alive, and I knew, of all the Weasleys, if George truly believed Fred was dead, he would have told me.

"Have you and Cho set a date?" I ask finally, wanting some sense of normalcy.

"December," he replies with a small grin.

I nod and smile. "Snow and magic. Do you think Cho will wear white?"

"Ah--"

"I'm teasing," I tell him, laughing before I lean back against the chair. "It must be exciting, being able to plan for a wedding. Flowers, guests, the dress, the music..." I trail off with a sigh. "The dancing and party."

"You and Fred could still have that," George says.

I shift my gaze to his and feel myself blushing. "It's not that important."

"You're seventeen. Surely you've spent a lot of years dreaming about your wedding. Don't all girls do that?"

"I wanted it to be like Fleur and Billy's," I admit.

George cocks an eyebrow, an amused grin on his lips. "At the Burrow?"

"Well, yes!" I lean forward, my voice filled with wistfulness. "I always thought my wedding to Fred would be in the garden during the summer."

"Paris is the most romantic city in the world."

"I know, but..." I stop and smile, shaking my head. I can feel my wedding ring resting against my chest beneath my nightgown. "Its silly. It's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage. That's all that matters." I stand from the table. "I'm going to lay down."

George watches me closely. "You know, when Fred gets home, you two could plan a wedding for next summer. No one knows you're married except for Fleur and myself, and you'll be eighteen soon, so mum wouldn't go nutters."

I frown and lift my hand to the chain hanging around my neck. "Do you think I'm too young?"

"Too young?"

"Do you think I'm too young for this?"

"What do you mean? For marriage?"

"No. For Fred," I reply, gripping the back of the chair. "I'm going to be eighteen in September, yet people still talk to me like I'm a child. I mean, Fleur won't even let me be here alone without someone watching over me--"

"That's more for your safety."

"When Billy found out about us, he told me I was too young to know about love, even though when he met Fleur, she was seventeen too. Mother doesn't even think I'm old enough to make my own decisions about my life. Fleur was always able to do what she wanted. Pere let her shop, travel, flirt with boys. I'm just tired of being sheltered. I don't want to have to hide my marriage because people may look at us and judge us because I'm young. I don't want...I don't want to hold Fred back."

George is silent for a moment before he looks up at me, the candlelight illuminating his eyes and my fingers grip the chair more tightly as I marvel at how wonderful it feels to imagine it's Fred watching me right now. "You're mad if you think you're holding Fred back. He loves you."

"I know he does. But I worry that he'll realize, along with everyone else, that I'm too young for him and that he made a mistake. I mean, what if he's out there right now, realizing I may hold him back?" I inhale sharply and turn away as panic begins to take over me. "Gods, what if he doesn't come back at all? What...what if he found someone else? What if he changed his mind about me and ran?"

"That's impossible, Gabrielle." George stands quickly and touches my shoulder. I whirl around, thousands of horrible scenarios poisoning my mind.

"What if he's dead then? I can't be a widow at seventeen," I choke as tears fill my eyes. George hugs me quickly and I hear him telling me to breathe.

"Fred isn't dead. We both know that. And he's going to come home. But you're no good to him if you worry yourself to death. You need to have some faith in him."

"I do," I murmur, relaxing finally in his embrace. "But every time I fall asleep, I dream about him being hurt, or killed. Every time Fleur, or Aveline comes over, I fear they're going to tell me Fred's dead. I don't know how much more I can take."

My heart is pounding against my chest and George leans back to take my trembling hands in his. "You've got to just believe that Fred is alive. You can't say he's probably alive, or you think he may be alive. He is alive. And when we find him, the first person he's going to ask for is you. You're going to end up hurting yourself if you keep thinking this way."

"I know," I whisper. "I know."

He leads me to the bed and pulls back the blankets. I slip from my dressing gown and crawl into bed, releasing a long sigh as I pull the blankets up around my body. "You can go home if you want too, George. I'll be all right."

George turns and walks over to the table, blowing out the candle. The flat is pitched into darkness and for a moment, I panic, thinking he's really going to leave, but then I see him move toward the couch, pulling the afghan from the arm and opening it up before he pushes off his shoes.

"Get some sleep, Gabrielle."

Exhaling slowly, I relax against the pillows and turn on my side to feign sleeping. Instead, I stare out the balcony doors, and wait for the sun to rise.

Worst Fears Realized - 8/12/2002 [August 12, 2007 @ 4:26am]
[ mood | scared ]

I was halfway out my bedroom door before George disappeared from the fireplace. I hurried down the hall to my mother's room and knocked loudly, impatience simmering in my body as I waited for her to answer. When she opened the door, her eyes bleary with sleep, I tried to smile but found it too difficult given the churning in my stomach.

"Mere, I have to go."

"Go?" She blinks again and ties her silk dressing gown around her thin frame. "Gabrielle, it's barely four in the morning."

"I know, but Fred's missing." Missing. The word alone tasted like acid in my mouth and brought nausea to the surface.

"Missing," she repeats slowly. "Darling, I'm sure he was just out drinking with his colleagues and passed out somewhere. He'll call you later this morning."

"No," I reply, a bit too sharply. "It's been nearly two days, and Fred doesn't drink anymore. Something is wrong and I need to go home to try to find him."

I see the disappointment in her eyes as she stares at me, and for a brief moment there is a flash of anger before she sighs and runs her hand over her hair. "Very well. At least have breakfast with me before I make arrangements to travel home with you."

I swallow and clutch my bag in my hands as I settle from one foot to the other. "Actually I have a Portkey ready and I have to go now, I can't wait."

"Gabrielle--"

"Please," I plead quietly. "I promise I'll contact you as soon as I am home and can find Fred. I am sorry for running out on our holiday but I can't delay any longer."

My mother looks away, her jaw clenching before she nods. "You'll let me know when you find him."

"I will." Relief floods me and I lean forward to hug her before I turn and leave the hall quickly. The Portkey doesn't help the nausea but within fifteen minutes I am finally home, my bag falling unceremoniously to the ground as I run out of the flat and down the stairs to Zonko's. I open the door to the deserted shop and when I see the stocky frame and ginger hair, I think that Fred is home, but it only lasts a second before George turns toward me, looking as tired as I felt.

"Ready?" he asks and I nod, too afraid to speak for fear that he'll hear the distress in my voice. He holds out a small stick of bubblegum which I assume is the Portkey Cho made for him and I grab it tightly before it tugs at my navel. We arrive in Paris at Fred's hotel in the Wizarding district and the light from the lit fire sconces outside of the hotel start to dim as the sun slowly begins to rise. I rub my stomach and realize it's a bad idea to travel by Portkey while on an empty stomach and weighed down with worry.

George holds the door open for me and I enter quickly, my eyes already scanning the small lobby for Fred. George walks to the desk and within seconds an elegant looking witch approaches, her hair pulled up in a horrifically tight bun. She examines George over the rim of her glasses with a slight sneer. "Oui?"

"Yes, I'm Fred Weasley. I misplaced the key to my room and need a replacement."

She stares are him for a moment, and I wonder if she is able to tell that George is lying, despite the fact that he and Fred are identical...well, except for the curve of their--

My thoughts are derailed as George turns toward me and shoots me a look while the witch turns and flicks her wand. A large iron key floats toward her and I wring my hands anxiously as she scribbles something in the oversized book in front of her.

"You 'ave zis room unteel nine o'clock. Every 'our after eez anozzer twenty galleons." She purses her lips and sizes me up with her gray eyes. "So I suggest you do what eet ees you brought 'er 'ere to do quickly, monsieur."

George smiles widely and clutches the key in his hand before saluting her with it. "Four hours is plenty of time to do it quickly probably more than once!" He turns and takes my arm before leading me down the hall. He looks at the large bold number on the key and begins to mutter under his breath.

"What did she mean by that?" I ask. "Bringing me here to do what? Does she know we're looking for someone?"

"Er, no." He shoots me sidelong glance before he begins to observe the numbers on the doors. "She thought you were a...putain. Is that the right word?"

My eyes widen in horror and I stumble in my steps. "She thought I was a prostitute?"

"Well, she thinks I'm Fred. She probably saw him retire to his room, and then suddenly he's coming back in at four thirty in the morning with a beautiful young French woman?"

"But look at me." I motion toward my jeans and tshirt. "Shouldn't I be wearing ratty clothes and rouge?"

"Not all whores dress like whores," George responds simply and I lift an eyebrow at him before he shrugs. Before I can reply, George stops and I nearly run into him. "Here it is." He shoves the key into the lock and soft light glow surrounds it before the door clicks open. We both hurry inside and I reach for the wall to brace myself as I suddenly feel faint. I feel George's hand on my arm and I blink as my vision blurs then clears.

"All right, Gabrielle?"

"Fine," I rasp. "Just...I should have eaten I suppose."

George wanders away and I am amazed at how clean the room is. Everything seems to be in place...except Fred, and his belongings, are all gone. George begins to open the drawers and wardrobes, searching intently. I wander over to the bed and lift the pillow and pull back the sheets. "It looks like the room has been cleaned."

"Nothing is here," George sighs and plops down on the edge of the bed. "He's not here."

My vision seems to blur again and I clutch my stomach as I sit quickly in the corner chair, bending over to try to keep from vomiting.

"Hey, it'll be all right. We'll find him," he assures me in a low voice. "I'll have Bill contact Charlie and we'll decide what to do."

I lift my head to look at George and try not to pretend it's Fred. "I know," I whisper. "I don't feel right."

"We'll get you some tea before we head home. Something to settle your stomach." George stands and I see his eyes catch something in the other corner of the room. He walks over and bends down before dangling something in his hand. "Someone lost their ring."

My eyes widen and I jump up to snatch the chain from George's hand. "Oh, gods."

"What is it?" George asks as he straightens. "It's just a ring."

"It's Fred's," I breathe painfully. "His ring."

"His..." George trails off. "What are you talking about?"

I slump against the wall behind me and sigh, lifting my weary gaze to him. "We got married, George. We didn't want to tell anyone yet, so we've been wearing our rings on a chain." I reach into my shirt and pull out my own to show him. The surprise on his face is evident and he stammers for a moment before thrusting his hand into his hair.

"Why didn't he tell me?"

"We both agreed to keep it a secret, at least until I turn eighteen." I give a small smile. "We thought it was best that way but I know he wanted to tell you."

"When did it happen?"

"June, in France. It was a spur of the moment thing but it was going to happen eventually. We just couldn't wait."

George stares at me and for a moment I wonder if he's angry. But then he smiles and engulfs me in a bone crushing hug. "Well, welcome to the family, love. Now let's go home and find your damn husband."

"George, he wouldn't have left his ring behind. Something's really wrong."

"I know." He sets his mouth in a grim line before taking my hand. "We're going to go home and contact my brothers. Then we'll find him and bring him home."

"Promise?" I ask, clutching Fred's ring tightly in my palm. George looks at me straight in the eyes, determination evident in his gaze.

"I promise."

Dinner at Faerie Ridge [August 01, 2006 @ 6:30pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

I walk nervously beside my mother as she speaks to Fred, explaining the history of Faerie Ridge and why we came to live here. Fred nods,. and asks the proper questions about the art, the statues, the different photographs adorning the walls. Mere seems much more at ease than I thought she would be, and she doesn't seem to cringe away from Fred the way she used to with Bill when Fleur would bring him home.

"Family is very important to me," Mother continues as we stop in the sitting room and nods to the large painting of Fleur, mere and myself together. "I knew Gabrielle missed her sister, and with the professional opportunities in England, it simply made sense to move here. So we could be a family once more." I hear her tone turn brisk and for a moment I wonder if she is going to round on Fred and rail at him about stealing her daughter away, but she maintains a smile as she motions for me and Fred to follow. "Dinner awaits. Perhaps we can finish the rest of the tour after we eat."

"It'll take most of the night to show him all of the castle, mere," I point out, hurrying alongside my mother. She reaches out and places a comforting hand on my shoulder.

"Well, if that is so, I am sure I will have you both back soon enough."

The statement is promising and I feel a wide smile break out on my face. If she was already thinking of having us back, she must be warming to Fred quicker than I thought she would. We enter the dining hall and Fred quickly hurries to pull out my chair for me. I smile at him and I can tell he is debating in his mind whether or not to help my mere, but she is already seated, waving her hand to charm the wine bottle to pour into our glasses.

The House Elves no doubt made a wonderful meal, and our salads appear on our plate as the baskets of rolls and butter appear. The candlelight relaxes the mood and Fred sits across from me. I can feel his foot against my calve almost immediately and I quickly reach for the wine to take a small sip.

"So, Fred," Mother begins after she takes her own drink. "Gabrielle tells me you now own three shops."

"More, actually. We've been working with Whiz..er, Randall Worthington, of Cleansweep, to expand the chain. It's a bit overwhelming." Fred laughs nervously as my mother studies him as he speaks. "But George and I...George is my brother...we're excited. This may be our most profitable year."

"With some thanks to Fleur," I say proudly. Mere pauses in her sip of her wine and she sets the glass down and picks up her fork to spear her tomato.

"Yes, I have seen your sister's photographs." She takes a bite and I fall silent, remembering her less than enthusiastic response to Fleur's career decision. Mother smiles tightly and looks ot Fred. "I do hope that I will not be seeing my daughter nude in the upcoming months."

"Mere!"

"I'm sorry, darling, it just seems with every new photograph, she is wearing one less garment than the others."

"Ah, well, a lot of it rides on Fleur's decisions. She only does what is comfortable doing and she has a lot of fans. I've never known anyone to be able to sell products like ours as well as she does. They literally fly off the shelves after one of her new ads is published."

Mother hums in her throat, but does not seem overly impressed. I push my salad around with my fork, though I have absolutely no appetite.

"You have to admit, mere, Fleur looks gorgeous," I say, breaking the tense silence. "And she would never do anything that isn't tasteful."

"I would hope not. She is still my daughter." Mere smiles at me and I glance at Fred to see him reaching up to rub the nape of his neck.

"What do you think of Gabrielle's aspirations, Fred?"

"Asp..." Fred seems taken back and he straightens in his chair as mere turns her focus back to him. "Her aspirations."

"For the future, for a career. I hear she received eleven NEWTs. That's quite an accomplishment."

"She worked really hard," Fred replies with a smile as he looks at me. "She studied everyday. She even got me to study, surprisingly enough. I already knew she was brilliant, the NEWTs simply confirmed it."

"And yet she's working as a clerk in your shop?"

"I'm not a clerk," I tell her quickly before Fred can respond. "I help when I'm needed. I already told you that I haven't quite narrowed down my choices for what I want to pursue."

"If she decides to take a job out of the country," Mother continues, as if she didn't hear me. "What will you do?"

"Er, well...we haven't really talked about that yet. But I would support anything she wanted to do with her life." Fred looks at my mother, not backing down from her intimidating gaze. "Gabrielle is skilled enough, and wicked smart. Parts of the Ministry are already fighting over her."

"I could always become the next Wonder Witch," I joke, but Mere merely frowns at me. I look down quickly and notice my salad has been replaced by soup. I pick up the spoon and dip it as my mother takes another long drink of her wine.

"Well, Fred, it sounds as if you and your brother have become quite successful. It's impressive."

"Thank you. We've worked hard since we left school. I really didn't have much of a social life before I met Gabrielle."

"And do you now?" she asks. "Have a busy social life?"

"No, not really. We like to go out every now and then, but just being with her is enough for me. I don't need fancy parties, or dozens of friends. She's more than enough for me."

My cheeks flush and I look down at my soup as I smile.

My mother's voice echoes my own personal sentiments. "That's very sweet. I can tell you care a great deal for her."

"I do. I love her."

My gaze snaps up to his face and I nervously glance at my mother who is holding her wine glass and smiling. "It seems she loves you as well."

"I do." They both look at me and I wonder if they even realized I was still here. "And I'm happy you let us come over tonight, mere. I know you had your reservations."

She waves her hand and sets her glass down. "I see now I was wrong, ma ange. You must forgive me, Fred. Your older brother and I simply did not get along. I was not happy with the way he treated my daughter and I unfairly judged you by my feelings for William. It's very hard to let go of your children and let them make their own decisions. I do hope you will not disappoint me the way your brother has."

Odd Reunions [July 30, 2006 @ 2:27pm]
[ mood | awake ]

"Ma'am? Can you show me where the Wonder Witch Strawberry Juice spray is located?"

I glance up from the parchment in front of me and spot a middle aged witch waving for me from across the store. Fred had a meeting with George and Whizzy this morning and I volunteered to cover when his morning clerk owled in sick. I didn't mind it. Being in Zonko's always brought back memories of the first few times Fred and I saw each other and it was truly like another home to me. But it also helped that today was so far fairly slow. I had a lot of things on my mind and the potent ingredient in the Wicked products was not one of them.

I led the witch to the front of the store where the new display, answering the necessary questions and making sure she knew that if she bought the body spray, she could get the bath salts half off. She filled up her basket, beaming ear to ear and I was smug that I was able to peg her as a sucker for sales.

After she thanks me and makes her way to the Wicked line in the back, I return to the counter and try to find a comfortable position on the stool behind the register. A quick cushioning charm fixes the awkwardness and I begin to skim over the parchment spread out before me once again.

I had narrowed the job offers down to about fifteen last night, yet nothing seemed to stand out and grab my attention. I wasn't willing to move across the world, or Apparate to another country every day. I wanted to be close to home but the jobs within the Ministry seemed so...dull. Except the Department of Magical Sports and Games. They were looking for a select few to intern with the possibility of permanent employment and the idea of following Quidditch and other games was tempting. But again, it took me away from Fred far more often than I wanted, so the letter was quickly placed at the bottom of the pile.

Sighing, I place my chin in my hand and stare at the Ministry symbol on the parchment below me. I just had no idea anymore of what I wanted to do or be. I did well in school, and on my tests, and I thought I was a fairly decently skilled witch, yet I didn't have one specific talent that could guide me.

Brushing my hair from my forehead, I stand quickly when the witch reappears in front of me and dumps several bottles and boxes on the counter. I begin to ring up her purchases, engaging in light conversation about the products when I hear the bell ring at the front door. I look up, prepared to greet the newest customer but my words die quickly on my tongue when I see my mother standing on the landing, carefully putting her wand away in her elegant robes as her eyes sweep the store.

"I...um, thank you for shopping at Zonko's and be sure to visit our other locations," I tell the witch automatically as I stare at my mother. "Have a good day." I can hear the witch thank me, but her voice seems muffled and so far away as my mother walks toward me. The bell jingles again and I realize she and I are the only ones left in the store. Finally I feel the smile at my lips and I finally feel my feet move from the counter as I go to hug her. I worry for a moment that she will push me away but she embraces me and I exhale slowly as the familiar scents of my mother overwhelm me. I can feel the dagger in my heart as I realize how much I've missed her.

She pulls back first and examines me. "You look haggard, Gabrielle."

I wince and quickly reach my hands up to my ponytail. I smooth the wisps of hair that have escaped back and smile again. "You look wonderful, mere. Your hair is getting longer."

"It's in need of a trim." She lifts a delicate hand to her hair for a moment before she remembers herself and reaches down to grip her handbag with all ten fingers. "I came by to see how you have been doing."

"Wonderful actually. Everything is going really well," I assure her, wringing my hands together anxiously before her eyes glance at them. I drop them immediately to my sides and bite my lower lip as I can't seem to calm my racing heart. "Do you want to look around? I can give you a tour?"

She wrinkles her nose, clutching her bag as she glances over her shoulder at the aisles and displays. I can sense she is about to decline, so I reach out and grab her hand before pulling her. "It sells more than just jokes, mere. You've seen Fleur's pictures haven't you?"

"Yes, I have."

I ignore the tone in her voice and stop in front of the Wonder Witch display. A large photograph of Fleur, wearing a billowy white robe and looking angelic is placed above top of the display. She winks and blows us a kiss as the wind whips her robes around her feet and flowers float around her. I look over to my mother who is examining the display. Her eyes are unreadable, and seem somewhat glassy as she purses her lips and turns to me.

"Is this what you do all day, Gabrielle?"

"What?"

"Sell these...things." She waves her hand toward the display and I frown at her attitude of indifference.

"Well, I help Fred with the books and the potion making." I reach out quickly and grab the bottle of Freezing Fairy Dust that belongs with the Wicked line. "I helped make this. We used peppermint and banana leaves--"

"To bring down temperature," she states coolly. "As Veelas use."

"Yes." I try to smile again. "I've learned a lot from my studies."

She hums a small note of bored interest in her throat and turns around, walking slowly she examines and observes. She picks up a few items, barely skimming them before she replaces them haphazardly on the shelves. I follow quickly behind her, hoping she'll see that I'm happy, and that what Fred and George have built here is so beyond just a simple joke shop.

"What is this?" she finally asks, rounding on me, her eyes brimming with frustration and disappointment. "You received eleven NEWTs, Gabrielle. Eleven, yet you're sitting behind a counter like some common clerk, selling jokes and fairy dust?"

"Freezing Fairy Dust," I whisper. "It cools your body and only warms with human contact..." I trail off, my shoulders slumping in defeat. "I'm happy, mere."

She grabs my arms with her hands and stares into my eyes with determination. "You're worth so much more than this, darling. You're smart, and beautiful and deserve more in life. You're wasting your talents here!"

I stare at my mother as guilt seeps into my emotions and I part my lips to try to explain to her my plan, my goals in life, but I realize I truly have none. The only goal I have focused on since before I turned seventeen was Fred. He was all that mattered in the long run. Everything else was superfluous. But she doesn't understand that, and I don't know if she ever will. She's still my mother. I still love her and I want her to be proud of me.

"I have other job offers," I say and my mouth feels like it's filled with dust. "I still work here, I still help, but I have other opportunities. I just haven't been able to sit down and truly think about them yet."

"He's been keeping you from your future, Gabrielle." Mother lowers her voice and loosens her grips on my arms. "Working you in this joke shop night and day, tiring you out--"

"No! Fred would never do that. He only asks me to work when he's desperate for people and I volunteer. I don't mind it, I like it here--"

"Fred Weasley is taking advantage of your youth, your naivety."

"Mere," I plead, tears brimming in my eyes. "I can't keep having this same arguement with you. I love Fred, that's not going to change. Please, give him a chance. I promise you'll like him, you'll be able to see--"

"All right."

I sniffle quietly as I pause in surprise. "All right?"

She sighs and rubs her hand over my cheek. "Bring him to dinner at Faerie Ridge, darling. If he means this much to you, I will give him a chance."

Stunned, I stammer for a moment before gripping her hand in my own. "Really?"

"Yes, ma ange. I suppose I am eager to get to know the man who has taken my daughter from me."

"Oh, goddess." Joy bursts in my chest and I jump forward to hug her. "He's a good person and I think you'll really like him."

"Perhaps." Her hand smoothes over my hair and she kisses my forehead. "I will see you both, at seven o'clock."

"Yes." Still shocked, but undeniably giddy, I follow my mother to the front of the store and walk her to the door. "Thank you, mere."

She gives me a small smile before walking out into the streets of Hogsmeade. I watch her go, backing up when a few young wizards walk in. Once I step back into the store, I smile, feeling a massive weight lift from my shoulders before I go off to find the two wizards to make another large sale.

Planning a Future - NC17 [June 20, 2006 @ 9:52pm]
[ mood | calm ]

"Fred!" With the two letters clutched in my hands, I rush into Zonkos' breathless from my hurried trek from our flat upstairs. "Fred." The door slams behind me and I search for the familiar ginger hair, grinning widely when I see him stocking the shelves on the other side of the store. I ignore the odd looks from customers and wave quickly at the clerk behind the counter before I walk briskly to Fred's side.

"What's uo, Gabs?" he asks distractedly, looking up to find the proper spot for a armful of boxes in his hand.

"NEWTs," I tell him, my smile widening when he pauses and snaps his gaze to mine. He eyes drift to the envelopes in my hands and I see him pale slightly. "Our results came in."

"Results," he murmurs, kneeling to drop the boxes into a larger crate before he straightens and turns to me, shoving his hands into his pockets. I see his anxiousness, but I feel confident for us both so I lift the envelopes, the Hogwarts Confidential red seal on the front of each letter addressed to us separately. I keep mine close to my chest and offer him his.

He reaches out to take it, then pulls his hand back quickly before he chuckles nervously. "You open it."

"Me?" Excited, I roll back on the heels of my...well my feet...in my haste to get downstairs after the mail arrived, I realize I forget to put on my shoes. Ignoring that fact, which was probably the reason for the strange looks, I bite my lower lip and begin to peel the envelope open.

"Wait!" Fred grabs my hand and pulls me to the back of the store and into his small office. He shuts the door and I walk in and sit on the edge of his desk before I open his letter and read. I keep my expression calm as my eyes soak in the news from Hogwarts. Lifting my gaze over the parchment, I see Fred's eyes stabbing into me, his arms folded across his chest and a less than patient look on his face. I say nothing and his face suddenly appears crestfallen.

"Shite, I've buggered them, haven't I?"

I can't keep it in any longer and I smile as I thrust the letter at him. "Seven NEWTs, Fred. You did it."

"Seven? I got seven?" He snatches the letter and reads it as if it were too good to be true. "Bloody effing hell, I got seven effing NEWTs." His smile is wide and I can see the relief and pride in his eyes as he straightens and puffs his chest out slightly. "I could have been Head Boy, you know."

Laughing, I nod. "I don't doubt it."

Fred's eyes fall to the envelope still in my hand and he nods pointedly. "Are you going to open yours?"

"I..." Looking down at the envelope, I realize my entire future could be scribbled onto this parchment. My mother had asked me to send her the results...would she still want them? Would she care about my success, or lack of, if I told her I married Fred without her consent or blessing? My teeth dig deeper into my lower lip and I suddenly don't feel as giddy. I feel ill. Paling, I look up at Fred and thrust out my arm. "I can't."

He takes the letter from me and sighs, stepping closer until he is nestled between my thighs. I place my hands on his hips loosely as he begins the torturous process of opening the envelope. "You worry too much, Gabrielle."

Clenching my eyes shut, I wait. "Just tell me..."

There is several long moments of silence and I feel, hear, my heart thumping in my chest. Sucking in a breath, I open my eyes and look up to see Fred watching me, adoration in his eyes as he slowly turns the letter around to face me. I skim quickly and then squeal. "Eleven! I passed eleven....oh Goddess...." Ecstatic I grab him toward me, trying not to bounce around on his desk. "Eleven!"

"Eleven is a respectable number," Fred nods, his tone calm and nonchalant. But when I look up his eyes are twinkling with amusement. He leans down to kiss me and I sigh happily against his lips. "You're borderline genius, love," he says when he pulls back. His eyes graze the letter again. "Damn, the Ministry is going to be all over you."

"What do you mean?" I ask, taking the letter from him and his hands fall to my thighs.

"Jobs. They're going to want to employ you and pay you a mere handful of Knuts for your brilliant mind."

"Aveline makes good money at the Ministry," I point out, still unsure if I'm really reading that I passed eleven NEWTs in only a few months at Hogwarts.

"Aveline is also in a position of power, so to speak. She started out as an Auror didn't she? They don't make much of anything starting out. Gods, you're not going to be an Auror, are you?"

I make a doubtful sound and wrinkle my nose. "I don't think being an Auror is something I would be good at. Too dangerous. Do you think your brother needs helps with Dragons?"

Fred laughs and runs his hands through my unruly hair, still wet and tangled from the shower I had just finished when the mail arrived. "You don't want to be an Auror because it's too dangerous, but you want to deal with talons and a large animal breathing fire?"

"Touche," I murmur, setting aside my letter as I reach for him again. His fingers had slipped my skirt up and I lean forward and nuzzle my nose against his shirt. "I didn't mean to interrupt you at work."

He shifts his head until his lips press against my throat and his hands continue to push my skirt farther up until it rests at my hips. "I'm not complaining."

"We're in your office," I whisper, my eyes darting to the door leading out into the store whether people continued to shop. His clerk could walk in at any second... "Fred."

Time aloneCollapse )

"I love you, Gabs," he responds simply, resting his forehead against mine.

"I love you too," I tell him, running my hand over the nape of his neck. Our results were in, school was behind us, our future now in front of us. And what a bright one it was going to be.

Goodbye to Hogwarts, Hello to my Future [June 12, 2006 @ 12:45pm]
[ mood | excited ]

It had been a stressful day, starting early in the morning and stretching well into the afternoon. I had never seen the students at Hogwarts get so serious and concentrate so hard before, but Fred did tell me that the NEWTs were pretty much their only chance at a decent future. Strangely enough, I wasn't nervous. I felt rather confident in my ability to pass the tests and get the job I wanted later...of course, I didn't know what job that would be, but I would find it eventually. Everyone had their own niche in the world. I just wanted to get the results soon so I could Owl them to my mother so she could see I finished school as she wanted, even if it was at Hogwarts.

Everyday away from her stung a bit deeper and I found myself missing her more often. She still refused my visits to Faerie Ridge and I was turned away at the door as if I were a stranger. It felt odd not being able to talk to her, to cry to her or let her hug me. I had Fleur, and Aveline, but they weren't around much in the latter years, as Aveline had her job and Fleur had Bill, and then her estrangement with mere. It felt a bit odd, going from mere's arms to Fred's. I was as dependent on him as I had been with my mother and I was mildly afraid of what things would be like once I got my own job and was out on my own. I didn't want to disappoint Fred or mother with my choices.

I tap the end of my quill against my chin as I read the last question of my History of Magic test and then chew my bottom lip anxiously. This witch invented Floo Powder in 1265.

I should know this, I should. I've read the History of Magic, all volumes, at least twice. She was an Irish witch wasn't she? Or was she Welsh? My mind drew a blank and I groan, dropping my forehead into my palm in frustration.

"Five minutes, class," Professor Binns announced as he floats back and forth in front of his desk.

I bite my lip to keep from uttering one of the many curses I've learned from the Weasley brothers, before I close my eyes and tried to clear my scattered mind. The inventor of Floo Powder...Inventor of Floo Powder. My mind drifts and I suddenly remember a study night with Fred, about a week ago, books were scattered on the floor around us and he had me on my back, partially clothed as he lay between my legs and quizzed me...with every answer I got correct, he brushed another kiss further up my thigh...when his lips were hovering over my heat...what did he ask me?

"Which witch invented Floo Powder?"

I remembered whimpering, telling him the quiz was foolish and to just do it already but he pushed for the answer until I nearly screamed in sexual frustration.

Ignatia Wildsmith!

A wide smile curves quickly on my lips and I scribble in the answer on the parchment as Professor Binns calls for the end of the test. The parchment on my desk immediately pulls away from my quill and rolls up, tying magically and flying with the other student's tests to his desk. Relieved, I picked up my satchel and wait for Mary as she gathers her things. She flings her bag over her shoulder, scowling as we walk out of the classroom.

"How am I suppose to remember who invented Floo Powder?" she huffed. "I try not to Floo anywhere as it is!"

"Ignatia Wildsmith," I tell her, grinning when she shot me a look. "A witch in 1265, remember?"

Her scowl deepens . "There is no way a witch invented Floo Powder, it's far too dirty. I have to wash my hair at least twice after traveling by Floo." We descend the large stone stairs after they've stopped moving and I sigh when I realize this is the last day I'll see Mary at Hogwarts.

"Hey, do you want to eat dinner with us tonight in the Great Hall? It's your last day here--"

"I know, but I promised Fred we would go out and eat to celebrate."

"Is he finished?"

I glance around and don't spot his ginger hair. "I don't think so. He should be done any minute." Turning back to her, I smile. "But we'll see each other, right?"

"Of course! I don't live too far from Hogsmeade, you know." Mary reaches over and hugs me tight. "We'll get some Butterbeer, go shopping, it'll be fantastic."

"Promise?" I ask, hugging her back before she pulls away.

"Promise." Someone calls Mary's name and she glances over her shoulder before waving. "Send me an owl, Gabrielle! I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too," I lament, but she's already rushing away into another group of her friends. I sigh and turn around, standing in the middle of the hall when the students begin to multiply as the other classes let out. I wait for Fred, greeting and saying goodbye to a few acquaintances I made over the past few months at Hogwarts. Finally the halls empty again as students return to their dormitories to prepare for dinner and Fred is nowhere to be found.

I sit on the bottom step of the stairs, praying that they don't feel the need to shift anytime soon. I wait only a few more moments before I see Fred walking toward me. I smile when I see him and grab my bag as I stand. "How did it go?"

"Pretty good, I think," he tells me, taking my bag for me. "It felt strange sitting in the back of a classroom of seventeen year olds, but I think I did okay."

"I bet you did fantastic." I take his hand and we prepare to leave the castle. I feel a bit sad, knowing I was going to miss the school. I glance back at it morosely and then I feel Fred squeeze my fingers softly.

"You can always come back and visit," he says. "It's not going anywhere."

"I know," I sigh. "I just wish I had been able to get the whole experience, from first year. I missed Beauxbatons, I hated tutoring. I just wish mere had given me the chance."

Fred looks at me as we walk down the path that leads us home. "It's better to have gotten some experience, right? You got to see a few Quidditch games, eat in the Great Hall..."

"Make fun of the Slytherins," I add with a small laugh.

"See? It's not so bad."

"I suppose." We fall silent as we walk and when we finally enter Hogsmeade, I look up at him. "What do I do now?"

He glances at me before looking away, his tone oddly tense. "What do you mean?"

"Well, after I get my results back, I have to find a job. I have to do something with my life, right? I can't let you take care of me forever."

"Maybe I like taking care of you."

I slip my arm around his waist and lean into him, brushing my cheek against the soft cotton of his shirt. "I know you do."

"You can always stay and work for Wheezes. Your suggestions for some of our potions have increased quality in the products. We could use you."

I lift my chin to look up at him. "I'll always be around to help you and George, Fred." Silence engulfs us again and I settle against him as we approach Zonko's. A new chapter of my life was about to start, it was exciting and terrifying at the same time, but I knew I would get through it okay with Fred.

"We have some time now," Fred says as he unlocks the door to our flat. "Before our results come in."

"Yes, we do." I enter and pull off my robes. He seems distracted, so I wait until he's put down my bag, sat on the edge of the bed and taken off his shoes before I crawl up behind him and begin to kneed his tense shoulders. "What do you suggest we do with all that time?" I bend down and nip at his ear. His head lulls forward as I massage his muscles and I hear his small groan before he opens his eyes and looks back at me.

"I thought we could take a short trip to France."

I pause in my ministrations, excitement bursting inside of me. "Goddess, Fred, are you serious?"

"It's been awhile since we've been, and it would be a nice holiday, don't you think?"

"Yes!" Trying not to bounce on the bed, I throw my arms around him and smother his neck and throat in kisses. "When can we go?"

"Soon, after I make sure the stores are covered properly." He twists around in my arms and gathers me across his lap. "I love you, Gabs."

"I love you too," I reply, crushing my mouth against his as his hands slip underneath my skirt to my hips. "I think France is the perfect place to start a new chapter in our lives, don't you?"

He murmurs his agreement and we fall together onto the mattress, forgetting our NEWTs, my mother and everything else as we get lost in each other, both of us looking forward to the future

"A Different Kind of Distraction" May 15 NC-17 [May 15, 2006 @ 9:42pm]
[ mood | creative ]

Fred has been studying for the upcoming NEWTs all weekend. I watched him at work, sneaking glances at his textbooks under the countertop in between customers, eating lunch with me in his office and dropping crumbs from his sandwich onto his parchment as I quizzed him. He was studying more than I was and I would have been lying if I said I wasn't jealous of the attention he was giving those books over me since Friday. But I was proud of him and the way he was going about finishing school in a technical term now and I hoped all of his hardwork would pay off when he got his results in June.

But we still had plenty of time to study and I was itchy now for some attention. I studied myself in the mirror, trying not to blush at my appearance. I had never worn make-up before. Mere had always told me I was too beautiful and had refused to let Fleur teach me beauty charms. But Mary was more than happy to help me Friday afternoon and now my lips were painted a shade of red that would make even Fleur blush. It matched the red of my negligee I bought a few days earlier. My lashes were thicker, darker and the soft blush on my cheeks hid my own natural embarrassment. Fred was going to laugh at me, I just knew it.

"This is stupid," I lament, attempting to pull up the red silk that plunged so daringly between my breasts. "I look stupid." Deep down I thought I looked amazing, but this wasn't me. Still, I remember overhearing Fleur once telling Aveline how important it was to keep things in the bedroom interesting. Apparently Bill had a fetish for Fleur in garters and high heels but I hadn't worn heels in my life and I was not about to try them for the first time attempting to be a sexy siren for my boyfriend.

With a deep breath, I ran the brush through my hair once more, pleased when the pale strands fell and curled over the tops of my breasts. I was a Veela for Goddess sake. I was suppose to be natural at this sort of thing.

"Gabs?"

I can hear Fred in the other room, his tone distracted. He was studying again.

"Yes?" I call back, listening for his response.

"You all right in there?"

"Just changing for bed," I reply loudly. Silence greets me and I swallow hard before straightening and searching deep for the Veela I knew I could be. I pull open the bedroom and find Fred immediately on the bed. His chest and feet are bare, but he still wears his trousers. He holds a book, resting it on his thighs as he reads in the candlelight. The balcony doors are shut now to keep the chilly breeze out. I step out, shut the door quietly and walk toward the bed.

"Hey, did you know that--" Fred lifts his eyes from his book. "That...er..."

Pleased with his reaction, he continues to stutter as I stand at the foot of the bed, chewing gently at my bottom lip. His eyes drift from my face to my body and back again. "Bloody hell."

I get onto the bed, crawling to Fred on my knees before I straddle his thighs and take the book from his clenched fingers. I set it aside and lean forward, caging him in between my arms as my fingers curl over the wood of the headboard. He continues to stare at me, his lips parted in surprise.

"I thought you might want a study break," I tell him huskily, trying not to giggle when I feel him hard between my legs already. I settle on his lip, rocking over his trousers slowly before I move my hands to his shoulders. Fred swallows hard and reaches up, pushing my hair back behind my shoulders to expose the curves of my breasts. I reach under his chin and tilt his head up until our eyes meet. Leaning down I cover his mouth with mine, slipping my tongue past his lips and drawing forth a moan from his throat. His hands run over my body before they reach my hips where I continue to rock over his lap. My body heats and my thighs clench as our tongues stroke together, arousing me quickly.

His chest is hard under my palms, his stomach muscles quivering when I rake my nails down over them gently. I reach the button of his trousers as I pull away from him and he continues to watch me as I open them, moving his zipper down over his erection.

"You look...Gods...you look..." Fred mutters, shaking his head as his hands continue to roam over the silk. "You're killing me here."

As it's quite obvious Fred isn't going to laugh at me, I feel much more confident as I bend over and place my lips against his chest. My tongue flicks out, tasting his skin as I work his erection from his trousers. He shivers beneath me, one hand tangling in my hair as I trail soft, wet kisses down his body. His breath is uneven now, harsh as I move my tongue down the trail to the open vee of his trousers. His hand clenches and unclenches in my hair as I shift and kiss the tip of his erection softly.

He mutters an oath under his breath and when I look up, he thunks his head back against the headboard, his eyes closed. I feel quite powerful right now and I brush my cheek over the velvety tip. "Do you want me to suck you, Fred?"

His eyes snap open and he lifts his head, peering down at me through surprised eyes. He nods with another hard swallow and I smile slyly, running the pad of my tongue over his cock firmly. "You want me to suck your cock."

"Yes, Gods, yes," he rasps and now both hands are in my hair, trying to guide me to his length. He shifts restlessly beneath me and I decide to take pity on him before I slip my lips around him and take him into my mouth. I hold the base of his cock with my other hand and focus on bringing him as much pleasure as I can. He strokes the sides of my face before he runs his hands through my hair again. "So beautiful, Gabrielle..." I hear his whisper and remember what I learned from Mary. Relax your throat...relax...don't gag...

I relax my throat and am surprised when I am able to take his entire length into my throat. I pause, not wanting to gag on his size before it passes and I suckle hard around him. Fred tenses, his hiss loud before he groans and thrusts up gently. "Fuck!"

It seems he likes it, so I bob my head up and down, my crimson colored nails digging into the material of his trousers. Fred begins to move, pushing into my mouth as his moans break the silence of the bedroom. His fingers curl around my hair and he tugs painfully, pulling me quickly up and off him. I look at him quizzically and he shakes his head, panting. "I was going to come..."

"Why didn't you?" I ask, wrapping my fingers around him and stroking. He hisses again and reaches down to still my wrist. He doesn't answer, and instead nudges me off of him as he begins to push down his trousers. I stop him with both hands and push him back against the headboard before I work his trousers off myself. When he is naked, I run my hands up his thighs, sighing at his perfection. Every freckle, every muscle...he was perfect in my eyes. I straddle his legs again and look at him in the candlelight. His cock twitches eagerly and I can see him grip the blankets, keeping himself from grabbing me. He knew I wanted the control right now and with a small lick of my lower lip, I run my hands over my silk clad breasts. Fred's eyes fall to my hands, following their every move with incredible intensity.

I squeeze my breasts gently before my fingers pinch at my nipples, evident through the material. I moan softly and Fred shifts, licking his own lips down. My hands run down my stomach, gently tugging the red negligee up. It only takes a couple of inches before it exposes my body and I dip my hand between my thighs. The red panties are soft against my fingers and when I slip my hand inside of them, Fred curses again and shifts forward. I am only able to stroke myself a few times before he wraps a hand around me and tugs me toward him. I gasp, holding his shoulders as he looks up at me, his hand replacing mine. He begins to massage me through the panties and I moan softly, my eyes falling heavy with the pleasure. Fred is breathing heavily against my chest and I pull his head back by his hair until I can kiss him again. He works quickly at pulling my panties down and I help him, shifting until they fall from my ankle onto the mattress.

Fred grabs his cock, holding it still as I move upon him, sinking down his length until he is buried deep within me. I quiet his growl with a kiss and I bite his lower lip when I begin to move over him. There's no hurry now, just the quiet rhythm our bodies have long since perfected. His hips thrust up as I push down and my body is shifted just right that my clit comes in contact with his skin as every plunge. I quiver, softly at first before my orgasm begins to peak. Fred kisses my cheek, my jaw and then focuses on my throat as I rotate my hips, clenching his cock tightly inside of my body.

"Fred," I gasp and then cry out again as I come. My nails dig into his shoulders until the tremors ebb and I can find the strength to move again. I don't know how long we rock and pull against each other. I am rather impressed by Fred's stamina and when I open my eyes to look at him, he looks relaxed, lazy almost as he watches me through heavy lids.

Moving harder, I push away from his chest, my thighs tightening. I settle on him now, no longer moving up and down, but rocking, keeping him buried inside of me. Fred's lips part, his soft groans matching my own until his eyes close and his jaw clenches tightly. His hips begin to thrust up again and I let my cries escape as he takes a hold of my hips and begins to guide me.

"Gods," he growls, plunging up harder...harder until I can feel him swell and grow inside of me. "Gabrielle...fuck, yes!"

I watch in awe as he gathers me to him and thrusts up once more before moaning and falling limply back against the headboard. I settle against him, drawing circles on my scratched shoulders idly. It takes several moments before Fred's breathing slows and he turns, burying his face in my hair.

"I didn't recognize you for a moment when you walked into the room."

"Is that good or bad?" I ask nervously, pulling back to look at him. He smiles tiredly, stroking my hair.

"You look gorgeous every day, Gabs. But that...this," he says, taking a piece of the silk in his fingers. "You looked like some kind of wanton sex goddess."

Though I begin to blush, I laugh. "That was the point."

"And watching those red lips wrap around my cock that way." Fred shivers at the memory and grins. "You're unbelievable."

Extremely satisfied, I lean down to kiss him on the lips. "I guess I'll keep this then."

"Good, I like it." He reaches to the hem and pulls it up and off of my body. "But right now I want you naked, underneath me." I yelp as he grabs my thighs and lifts me until I am on my back. Surprised, I watch as Fred covers my body with his, crushes his mouth against mine and then parts my legs quickly. "It's my turn." When he moves down my body and flicks his tongue against me, I smile and grab the bedsheets happily, quickly knocking the school book off the bed beside me.

No More Fighting [April 19, 2006 @ 5:32pm]
[ mood | horny ]

I was walking out of the castle, to the gates where Fred would be waiting, when I heard someone calling my name behind me. I hesitate before turning to see William jogging toward me, a wide grin on his face. He stopped in front of me, looked out the open doors into the courtyard. "You're leaving?"

"The day is over," I point out with a small smile while adjusting my bag over my arm. "I have to go home."

"Have you given any thought to Hogsmeade this weekend? I know you live there...we could meet," William says, his voice full of eagerness. "Madam Puddifoot's?"

"I..." Trailing off, I look away, trying to find the best way to say no. I see Fred, far off, standing at the gate, waiting for me. My resolve stiffens and I return my focus on William. "I'm really flattered by the attention you've given me since I came here. You're a wonderful friend, William, it's just...I have a boyfriend."

"Him?" William asks, his nose wrinkling as he glances to where Fred is waiting. "He's old, Gabby."

Surprised, I release a quick giggle. "Old? He's twenty five!"

"You're seventeen. Isn't that a bit...icky?"

"William," I sigh, reaching out to touch his arm. "I want to stay friends with you. I like studying with you, watching you play Quidditch, but that's all there is. If that isn't acceptable to you, then we can't stay friends. Is that what you want?"

William is silent, pouting as he crosses his arms against his chest. Finally his shoulders slump and he sighs. "No, that isn't what I want. I've just never met anyone like you before."

I had a feeling he had never met a woman with Veela blood before and I found it difficult to believe he was interested in me as a person rather than my body, but it might be inappropriate to say so. "I'm sorry, William...."

"Hey, it's all right, no big deal." He shrugs and steps back as I turn to walk off the stone steps to Fred. "If you ever get tired of a shop owner, you know where I am."

I roll my eyes before turning to flash him a wide smile. "I do. Thanks." I leave him there, feeling a bit better now that I've told him where we stand. When I meet up with Fred, he takes my bag from me and slings it over his shoulder before taking my hand.

"All right, Gabrielle?"

"Of course." I wonder if he saw me with William, but he says nothing, only grins down at me as we walk back to Hogsmeade. "How is business today?"

"Slow, but this week is a Hogwarts weekend...so...well...I guess we'll have some business." I know he is thinking about the banned list he agreed to from McGonagall and I sigh softly, wishing I could find a way to help him.

"You know if you need money," I begin, but trail off when Fred shoots me a look.

"I don't need money, love. I have plenty of money. Besides, should I be saying that to you?"

I wince slightly, but it's true. My mother had cut me off from my allowances, and has even denied me access to my vault at Gringott's. I had nothing really, except Fred, who has been more than generous with his own Galleons. Thoughts of my mother disappear as I tune back into what Fred is saying.

"Weasley Wizard Wheezes of Dublin should be ready for opening soon." His voice holds a hint of excitement that makes me smile. "Cosmo has been working around the clock. Whizzy should be visiting soon, to check up on things for us." He glances at me when I scowl. "Still hacked off at Whizzy?"

"No," I bite, a bit too quickly. With a deep breath, I say again more calmly, "No. I still think he's a prat for what he did to Aveline, but he's your partner so I suppose I have to like him. At least until he makes it Whizzy's Wizard Wheezes of Dublin."

Fred snorts. "It has a nice ring to it."

"He has like...a billion Galleons. Aren't you afraid he'll buy you out and take the stores from you?"

"Whizzy wouldn't do that."

"You don't think so? Look at what he did to Charlie, marrying Tonks, then stealing her back from him again." Fred sighs but I press on as we walk quickly over the tracks into the village. "Whizzy is a businessman, an opportunist. He doesn't care about other peoples' feelings, obviously. If your stores make enough money, he's going to want more control."

"You're bias because of Aveline."

"And you should be bias because of Charlie."

"Are we going to argue this again?" Fred asks sharply and I scowl before falling silent. After a few moments of walking, he speaks again. "Charlie and Aveline are having a baby together. Maybe it wasn't planned, but they seem happy. You need to let it go."

I want to defend myself, to ask how Fred can trust a man like Whizzy Worthington, but I don't want to fight. Instead I stay silent until we enter Zonko's. Fred goes to speak with the clerk, and I am feeling rather pouty, so I continue up the stairs to our flat. I undress from my uniform and pull on a pair of jeans and a light t-shirt before I try to find something to make for dinner. Fred enters a few moments later, his gaze cautious as he toes off his shoes.

"Are you hacked off at me now?"

"No," I say flatly, pulling open the icebox. "I suppose I just don't understand how you can ignore loyalty to your family for a Galleon."

"Is that what you think I'm doing?"

I shut the icebox and face him, dinner forgotten. "Sometimes. I could never do to Aveline or Fleur what you're doing to Charlie with Whizzy."

Raking his hand through his hair, Fred crosses the flat to push open the doors to the balcony. "I thought we weren't going to talk about this."

"Fine." Pouty once more, I go to sit on the couch where I grab a Quidditch magazine. I begin to thumb through it, watching over the top as Fred undresses. I really liked his chest...solid, muscular but not overly so. Trim and lean...and that small patch of ginger hair that trails from his stomach down beneath his denims.

Uncomfortable now, I feel my blood heating, but I ignore him and focus on pretending to read the magazine. I tense when he crosses to me and pushes the magazine down. Annoyed, I look up to see him shirtless, looking gorgeous, and shooting me a rather irked look.

"Don't do this, Gabs."

"Do what?"

"Play Ice Queen with me. I've told you where I stand with Whizzy, and with my brother. Charlie seems to have no problem with my business relationship. You shouldn't either."

I huff and say nothing, prompting Fred to pull the magazine from my hands and toss it to the side before he kneels before me. He takes my hands, kissing my knuckles before grinning at me. "It's a beautiful day outside, do you really want to waste it fighting?"

Stubborn, I shrug trying to hide the fact that my insides were melting every time his lips pressed against my wrists. "Maybe I do."

He chuckles and releases my hands before reaching for my waist. His fingers slide up underneath my t-shirt when he skims them over my ribcage. I shiver and release a short breath, prompting another smile from him. "I don't think you do."

Fred's hands cup my breasts and I close my eyes, biting my bottom lip as his thumbs fan over my nipples. "Fred." He rears up, latching his mouth to mine as my arms finally come up to wrap around him. He shifts me, pressing me into the couch where he lays on top, smoothing out my irritation while deepening our kiss. His tongue presses against mine and my legs fall open to cradle him. I arch, moaning when he pushes against my center.

"Don't want to fight," he mumbles before kissing me again, more passionately this time and I finally sigh in defeat and desire realizing that I didn't want to fight anymore either.

Advice [April 14, 2006 @ 4:14pm]
[ mood | anxious ]

"George!" I hurry into Weasley Wizard Wheezes and find Fred's twin behind the register, writing with a blue feathered quill in a register book. He looks up, blinks in surprise.

"Gabrielle, is something wrong?"

"I need your help," I tell him, rounding the counter and taking his wrist. I tug at him and pull him toward the back. He stammers, then tells his clerk he'll return in a moment before I push the stock room open. I release him and turn toward him quickly, my teeth gnawing on my lower lip.

"All right? You look flushed."

"I need your opinion," I admit, wringing my hands. I didn't know who else to run too, after school ended. Fleur was my first instinct but I didn't want to hear any kind of "I told you so" lecture. I needed a man's advice and who better to get that opinion than from Fred's twin brother?

George looks hesitant, his hands resting loosely on his hips. "Well, I suppose I can help you out...er...I wouldn't say that skirt makes your bum look big, it's actually quite nicely rounded--"

"George!" I interrupt quickly, lifting my palm before he could go any further. "That's not what I meant."

He grins quickly, relieved. "Oh? Brilliant then, follow me, love." He ushers me into a chair near the desk before sitting across from me. "What's going on?"

"I...want to do something really nice for Fred."

Both eyebrows lift then, and his fingers press together as he leans back in the chair. I can't help but smile a bit. He is Fred right down to...well, right before the curve of his...manhood. Fred's hair is only slightly longer but the physique is the same, the smile, the twinkle in his blue eyes. What was best is that George seemed to have the same, warm nature as Fred, even if he was a bit more introverted.

"You want to do something nice..." he repeats slowly. "I..ah..I don't know if I'm the right person to get ideas from."

"You know Fred better than anyone," I remind him. "Better than me. I need to do something for him to show him how much I love him."

George shifts uncomfortably in his chair. "Er, well, he might a corset...feather...thing..." He blushes when I lift an eyebrow and then he stands quickly. "Right, yeah maybe I'll go get Cho for you."

"No!" I reach up and grab his hand. "A boy...at school tried to...well, he..." I pause, my tongue tied around the feelings of guilt that wash over me. I release George's hand and grip the arms of the chair I am sitting him, shooting him a pained look. George seems to catch on and he steps back a moment, studying me closely.

"Did you kiss a guy at school?"

"Me? No!" Eyes wide I jump out of the chair and shake my head. "Goddess, no. Never. I love Fred. He walked me out to the gate today, after school. Usually Fred comes for me, but he had inventory run late at Zonko's. William took my hand, kissed it. He asked me to go with him to Hogsmeade this weekend..." George remains quiet and I take it as a sign to continue. "I said....Goddess, I said I'd think about it."

George looks surprised. "Why the hell would you say that?"

"I don't know," I wail, burying my face in my hands and sucking in a breath. "I didn't want to say that. I don't like him, not like that. I was flustered, caught off guard. All I wanted was to get away and I felt the only way he would let me go is to say maybe. He kissed me on the cheek and I ran...I came here instead of Zonko's. I just...after the fight we had about Katie, I felt like such a hypocrite." Tears well in my eyes but to my relief they don't spill over.

"Well, bloody hell, I think this bloke needs to...wait, Katie? Katie Bell?"

I nod, still miserable over the knowledge that I could have lost Fred. "She...they became friends, while I was busy at Hogwarts. While I was studying with William. She wanted Fred, took off her clothes and..."

"Tried to shag him?" George asks. "She had a crush on Fred since first year but he and Angelina...well, that's not important," he adds when my eyes narrow. "He didn't tell me about Katie."

I turn away, running my fingers over the desk. "It's nothing to worry about now, he's not friends with her anymore. My problem is, I was so angry with him for not seeing how much she wanted him but I'm guilty of the same thing. I didn't see William's intentions. I don't know what to do."

George crosses his arms over his chest as I turn back toward him. "So you want to do something nice for Fred because you feel guilty?"

It sounds so immature but it's true. I sit on the edge of the desk and sigh. "I guess, yes."

"Gabrielle," George begins slowly. "I think the best thing you can do is be up front, tell William you're not interested, and if he doesn't stop pursuing you, put an end to the friendship. If Fred did that for you with Katie..."

"I know." I chew on my lower lip. "I never had to reject a man before."

"Just be gentle, we blokes have fragile egos when it comes to beautiful girls like yourself."

I blush and smile. "Thanks, George. You don't think Fred is going to be angry with me?"

"As long as you're honest, he'd be a wanker if he were."

I nod, feeling much better. I would talk to William and tell him we can only be friends...and then I would tell Fred. It was better to be up front about this, even if Fred said 'I told you so' I suppose I would have to accept it. I was as blind to William as Fred was to Katie, and I wasn't about to mess up and lose him.

I push away from the desk and hug George quickly. He pats my back awkwardly and I laugh and look up at him. "Don't be so shy. I saw you naked, remember? I touched your penis?"

"Oh, was that you? I had forgotten," he jokes, blushing deeply.

Pulling away, I wave quickly. "Thanks for the advice."

"Anytime."

I reach the door and look back at him curiously. "A corset, hmm?"

"Er, feathers, yeah...he'd like feathers."

I grin quickly and slip from the room, waving at the clerk before I head home to Fred.

Study Hall [March 22, 2006 @ 1:29pm]
[ mood | tired ]

"I'm never going to get these potions," I whine, my forehead dropping forward on my open text book. Mary giggles, tapping her wand against her thumbnail as she searches for what she calls the "perfect polish color" to match her green eyes.

"As long as you don't kill anything you can still get decent marks, Gabby."

"But that's not the point," I protest, lifting my head and pushing my blonde hair from my face. "I want to know how it's done properly in case I ever need to do it." Mary wrinkles her nose, as if unable to understand my desire to be knowledgable rather than just squeaking by with a passing grade.

"When will you ever need to know how to..." She leans forward to look at the text in my book. "...concoct a Forgetfulness Potion? Who would want to forget things? They have Remembralls, Gabby, not Forgetbralls."

I shrug and lean back in my chair, starting when a large bag comes slamming down on the table next to me. William shoves his tall frame into the chair next to me and reaches into his bag before pulling it out and handing me a chocolate biscuit. "Forgetfulness Potions are used against enemies. You know, say someone you know is suppose to kick your arse after class. Slip a bit of the potion into his Pumpkin juice and you save a trip to Pompfrey's for another day."

"That's completely absurd," Mary tells him, now tapping all of her fingernails that change color into an deep, emerald green. "Isn't that stupid, Gabby?"

I shrug, not wanting to tell William that Mary was right. "I suppose it's one way of looking at it."

"I think a wizard created it for other wizards," she continues, lifting her palm to examine her nails. "For when they cheat on their wives, or girlfriends and they find out about it." She shoots William a look. "That way they cause them to forget and can get away with it. Typical for men, isn't it?"

"Forgetfulness Potions are temporary," he shoots back and I simply shake my head at their bickering and continue to read my book. Conroy Henley ambles up to the table and sits next to Mary, a scowl on his face.

"Did McGonagall go easy on you?" Mary asks. I knew Conroy had been sent to the Headmistress's office yesterday after he got into a fight with a Sixth year Ravenclaw, sending the boy to the hospital wing with a broken nose.

"Detention with Filch for the next three weekends," he complains, pouting like a seven year old. "Not my fault Sullivan is such a pansy arse."

Mary snickers. "He'd probably thank you. I heard him talking about the new hospital wing Matron in Professor Stebbin's class today. I don't think he minded suffering a broken nose since it meant getting pawed at by her." Mary rolls her eyes when Conroy perks up.

"Yeah? Maybe I should hex myself and go check her out."

"Typical," Mary says again in a sing song voice. He glares at her and I drown out their bickering once more while I try to concentrate on the equations of the potion. William leans in toward me, hiw voice lowered.

"If you need help, I'm getting top marks in Potions."

"Oh. I think I'll be okay," I tell him, smiling softly.

"Are you sure?" William presses, flashing me a smile. "I don't mind, Gabs."

"I know, thank you. But Fred is a master at potions. He can help me."

"Your boyfriend?"

"Yes. He invents things."

"What kind of things?" William asks with a frown. "Like...Muggle things?"

"No. He owns Zonko's and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley with his brother."

"Fred and George Weasley? No shite?" Conroy asks, ignoring Mary as he leans forward. "Those stores are wicked." I can't help but beam with pride. "Do you think you could smuggle in a few bottles of Footloose and Fancy Free Fairie Dust?"

I shoot him a look and am about to tell him to buy his own when Mary nudges me with her foot under the table. I look at her and she nods toward the front of the library. "That's Madam Bertrand."

Both boys turn to observe and I peer around William at the petite blonde woman speaking to Madam Pince. "She looks a bit young."

"Apparently Professor Stebbins told Flitwick she was thirty one. That's what I hear anyway. She sort of looks like you, Gabrielle, doesn't she?"

"Nah," William shrugs, leaning back in his chair. "Gabrielle's prettier." Mary rolls her eyes but I feel my cheeks burning as he grins at me. "You have better dimples."

"Yes, but Gabrielle doesn't have that arse," Conroy groans as Madam Bertrand leaves the library. "'Scuse me ladies and wanker, I have a mediwitch to charm." He grabs his books and hurries from the library. Mary shrugs and turns to me.

"Are you staying late again tonight?"

"I don't know." I hesitate. "I haven't been home much lately."

"NEWTs come but once a year," William points out. "You don't want to fail do you? Anything less than seven NEWTs means you'll be serving ale at the Leaky Cauldron for the rest of your life. Is that what you want?"

I wince and my eyes sweep over the complicated potion in my text book. With as busy as Fred was, especially now that he was playing Quidditch again, I felt bad asking him to help me with something that should come so easy to me, considering I had private tutors the last few years. He would probably thank me for getting help elsewhere. "I suppose I can stay, but not too late. I should try to get home before it gets too dark." I didn't want Fred to worry about me walking home in the dark again.

"Brilliant," William exclaims. "We'll make sure you get these potions perfect, I promise."

Smiling weakly, I push aside the uneasy nagging in my stomach. "Thanks."

Mary checks the time and we gather our things to head to Professor Lupin's class. I made a mental note to stop by the owlery after to send a letter informing Fred I would be late tonight. I didn't like spending so much time away, but my studies were important and he would probably be working late anyway. I would just have to make sure his birthday next week extra special to make it up to him.

School Fantasies - Rated NC17 [March 18, 2006 @ 9:32pm]
[ mood | happy ]

"Fred!" I enter the flat and call his name again, dropping my bag of school books and work onto the ground by the door. I peel off my robes and hang them up before wandering farther into the flat. I see some leftover chinese food on the counter and a few scattered books on Fred's desk by the balcony. I smile to myself, pleased that he's been studying for his NEWTs as much as I have. Hogwarts was a completely different experience and it's helped me keep my mind off the fact that my mother hasn't been in contact with me since she found out about Fred and Nicholas. I missed her and it was disheartening that she hasn't bothered to seek me out or write to me. I was almost afraid to go to Faerie Ridge to see her, but it had to be done and tomorrow after lunch with Fleur, I was going to see if mother would see me. Surely some of her anger had to be ebbed by now and she missed me. I always knew mere was a stubborn woman, proud and strong. I knew what happened with Nicholas upset her...but she had to see the imbecile Nicholas was. How could she defend any man who would attack me the way he had?

"Gabs?"

I turn away from his desk and see Fred enter the room from the loo. A simple white towel is wrapped around his waist as he shakes another towel over his damp hair. "I thought you were studying?"

"Madam Pince tossed us out after nine," I explain. "And since I'm not an overnight student..."

"You walked back from Hogwarts this late alone?" he asks, his voice marred with concern as he brings the towel down over his head. "You should have owled me."

"It's okay." I cross to him and smile, my hands wandering over his heated chest, still damp from his shower. "I didn't want to wait with Filch at the gates. He's kind of creepy...his cat hisses at me."

"Still, it makes me feel better to know you have someone with you after dark." Fred lifts his hand and pushes a strand of my hair behind my ears. "But since you're home..." He bends down and kisses me. I part my lips, moaning softly when his tongue slips into my mouth and strokes against mine languidly. His hand curves over the nape of my neck before I feel his fingers curl over my shoulder. He pulls away and smirks as he takes in my outfit. "I've always loved Hogwarts' uniforms." Fred's fingers drift over the knot of my Ravenclaw colored tie.

I laugh and place my hands on my hips. "Is it the tie or the skirt?"

"It's all of it. The tie, the skirt, the blouse..." His hands fall to my own and he bends slightly until his fingers slip up under the hem of the wool skirt. "The socks and the shoes."

My arms wrap around his neck and I press my body flush up against his own. My grin deepens when I feel his arousal pushing through the towel. "I bet you fantasized about girls in these uniforms, didn't you?"

"Every guy did," he admits, lifting me against him. His hands grip my thighs and he carries me toward the bed. "I liked wondering what certain girls wore underneath..." Fred sets me on the bed and I lean back on my elbows before bringing both of my legs up and bending them at the knee. Fred runs his hands up my thighs, pushing the material of my skirt up to my waist. He eyes drift to the silk panties I'm wearing and I see them darken with arousal. "Gods."

He lowers himself on the bedCollapse )

"Where are we going?" he asks sleepily.

"To take a shower."

"I already took one."

"You need another," I tell him with a smile. "Besides, I need someone to wash my back."

He opens his eyes then and I see his lips curve. "And all those other hard to reach places."

I smile mischievously before tugging him up off the bed. "You're catching on."

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry [March 07, 2006 @ 11:00pm]
I hated being nervous like this. My palms were sweaty and I could feel the jitters intensifying in my stomach with every step Fred and I took toward the castle. But I was prepared. I read through many of my books last night and I felt better about preparing for my NEWTs now that I knew students at Hogwarts were studying the same things I was with a tutor.

We stopped outside of the castle and Fred turned to me, the chilly morning air ruffling through his ginger hair. "Don't be nervous, Gabs. You're going to have a brilliant time."

I smile and wrap my arms around him, hugging him tightly as if he were my lifeline. "Thank you for helping me," I tell him, my words muffled by his cloak. "You'll be here at four?"

"I'll be here," he promises, pulling me back to kiss my forehead. "Have a great day, all right?"

I nod and clutch my bag holding my books as I turn away and walk up the stairs. I'm relieved to see the Headmistress waiting for me in the hall and she holds out an arm to usher me into the castle. The doors close behind me and she inspects me quickly before we begin to walk.

"Your first class is Advanced Potion Making, but with your schedule I am sure you know that. All of your Professors will be expecting you and I have found a young woman who is in your classes who will be your guide for the day." We walk until we stop in front of the Potions classroom. A pretty girl who looks to be my age is waiting and she smiles at me.

"Ms. Finnigan, this is Gabrielle Delcour. Gabrielle this is Mary Finnigan. She'll will be your partner in Potions and will make sure you make it to your classes today."

Mary takes my hand and leads me away from McGonagall and into the dark, dingy looking classroom. "Glad to meet you Gabrielle! When we heard you were going to be a student through the end of the year, we got a bit anxious to meet you."

"Who's 'we'?" I ask slowly, sitting next to her at one of the large tables and placing my bag next to my feet.

"The Ravenclaw house," she explains, her brown curls bouncing on her shoulders as she sits next to me. "You were chosen for our house, our classes, so we were curious." Mary studies me closely and I feel my cheeks begin to turn pink. "Are you part Veela or something?"

My blush deepens. "Yes. My mere is half Veela."

"Mere...you're French too. I thought I heard a bit of an accent there," Mary says triumphantly. Other students begin to pile into the room and several greet Mary while eyeing me curiously. She turns back to me, her smile wide and bright. "I think you're going to love Ravenclaw. We're in second place for the House Cup and our Quidditch team may have a chance at beating Gryffindor this year!"

I feel myself relaxing considerably as she chatters on. "Gryffindor has been on a winning streak ever since Harry Potter came to school. You do know who Harry Potter is, don't you?"

"Well yes...quite well actually."

Mary gasps and grasps my hand. "Oh, Gods! You know Harry Potter personally? Can you get me his autograph?" She releases me and digs into her bag and pulls out a small photo of Harry. "He was friends with my cousin, Seamus, but Seamus won't ask him for his autograph." Mary huffs than smiles at me. "If you know Harry, you're going to be real popular here."

"Well, I'm not very close to him to be honest. I don't know--"

"Mary, who's your friend?"

We both look up at two boys standing in front of our table. Mary's demeanor changes and her smile widens as she twirls a piece of her dark hair around her finger idly. "This is Gabrielle Delacour. She's the new student Flitwick told us about."

"'Allo, Gabrielle Delacour." The light haired boy holds his hand out and I hesitate before taking it. "William Mason, here. Hufflepuff. And this is Conrad Henley." He motions to his friend and then releases my hand. "If you need a tour of the school, give us a shout."

"McGonagall has already asked me to make sure Gabrielle gets to her classes," Mary informs them.

"Sit down, class," the professor demands. A middle aged man with dark robes and dark hair enters, his wand tapping upon his palm. The boys frown and depart and Mary leans over to whisper in my ear.

"William is the Seeker for the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. All the girls thinks he's so dreamy but I think he's a bit too full of himself. He seemed to fancy you though."

"I have a boyfriend," I whisper back but Mary pulls away and concentrates on the Professor who is asking us to turn to page four hundred and forty five. I shrug and pull out my own book, eager to get on with my lessons.

The rest of the day is a blur. Mary introduces me to so many people that I am unsure of their names still. I was thankful I didn't have to sit alone at lunch though, and I found myself enjoying the day more and more. On our way to Defense Against the Dark Arts, I found myself looking forward to Professor Lupin's class. I tell Mary this and she wrinkles her nose again as she adjusts her backpack.

"He's a werewolf you know. I heard the only reason he got his teaching position back was because he was a friend of Professor Dumbledore's and because he helped defeat You Know Who." She smiles quickly at me then. "He is handsome though, except for all that gray hair. A lot of the girls have silly crushes on him."

"Do you?" I ask playfully and Mary giggles.

"Only when it's nowhere near the full moon. He looks a bit ragged right before and after. Sometimes he comes back to class with a lot of scratches on his face."

We enter Professor Lupin's classroom moments later and settle at a table near the back. I pull out my book and parchment, smoothing out the slight creases. Mary applies watermelon scented gloss to her lips and examines herself in a small mirror before Professor Lupin enters. I watch with some amusement as Mary sighs and places her chin on her palm as she gazes adoringly at the Professor. Lupin shoots me a small smile and brisk nod before he starts on his lesson.

He's a very gifted Professor and I don't see as much note passing or whispers in his class as I do the others. Everyone seems to be extremely attentive toward him. I write my notes with the quills Fred bought me but find my mind wandering. I missed Fred, even though I was enjoying Hogwarts immensely. Knowing that I would be seeing him in about an hour brought a smile to my face. Today would have meant nothing if I didn't have him to share it with because I knew this probably wouldn't be possible without his help. I try to concentrate on Lupin's lesson, but instead finding myself counting down the minutes until I got to see Fred again.

Planning Ahead Soft R [February 13, 2006 @ 10:59pm]
“Gabrielle, mere will be ‘ome soon.”

I look up from my tea as Fleur wipes down her kitchen counters, her movements anxious. “So?”

She sighs and turns toward me, exasperated as her hands fall to her hips. I knew this conversation was going to happen eventually and I had given a lot of thought to how to deal with Fleur’s worries. Wrapping my hands around the warm mug, I listen to the scrub brush moving meticulously against the dishes in the sink while I choose my words carefully.

“Fleur, what mere did was wrong.”

“I agree, ma ange, but you must understand zat she will not be ‘appy with what ‘appened.”

“And she shouldn’t be,” I explain simply. “Nicholas hurt Fred and he tried to hurt me. Mere should be furious with him.”

Fleur sets the towel on the counter before she sits in a chair next to me at the table. Her eyes are filled with concern as her hands take mine. “Yes, she should be. But you ‘aven’t been ‘onest with her since you met Fred. You ‘ave also neglected your studies.”

I huff softly and try to pull my hands back but she holds on tightly, refusing to let me pull away. “Eet is true, Gabrielle. You are growing up so fast zat mere ‘as been missing it all. She loves you so deeply zat I know she will be disappointed.”

Frowning I think of her words, wishing I could find someway to discredit them and prove mere was the only wrong one in this situation but Fleur was the only one who ever really made any sense to me, even as a little girl.

“Maybe you’re right. I’ve been wanting to tell her about Fred, but I just never found the right time. But she tried to marry me off, Fleur. She tried to force me into something without even asking me. If she knew about Fred, do you think she would have done things differently?”

Fleur appears thoughtful before she releases my hands and sighs softly. “I do not know, ma ange. All I know is zat you must tell mere about Fred ze moment she comes ‘ome or zings will only get worse.”

“I promise I’ll talk to mere when she comes home,” I say, smiling softly as Fleur stands and kisses my head before returning to cleaning her kitchen. “Have you spoken to Aveline?”

Fleur glances at me, her frown deepening as she pulls a white package from the icebox and sets it on the counter. “Not for awhile. I’ve been meaning to ‘ave lunch with ‘er but she is always busy.”

“Whizzy is back with Tonks, did you know?”

“Bill mentioned eet to me. He seemed angry about it.”

“He should! How could he do that to Charlie? Or Aveline?”

“Gabrielle,” Fleur sighs. “Zis isn’t your concern, so please do not try to interfere.”

“Aren’t you mad?” I ask. “Aveline must be heartbroken.”

“Aveline ended ze marriage and she must ‘ave ‘ad a good reason or else she would not ‘ave done it. You and I are to support ‘er, no matter what. If Randall decided ‘e wants to be with Nymphadora, for whatever reason zat must be,” she mutters, “zen it is ‘is business.”

I pout slightly, wishing that someone would be on my side about Whizzy and Aveline. I fold my arms across my chest and lean back in my chair. “It’s wrong. It doesn’t make any sense.”

“Many zings don’t.” Fleur smiles slightly to herself. “But zen again, many zings do.”

“Like you and Bill.”

“Yes.” Fleur smiles at me and I am heartened to see my sister so happy again, and with Bill.

“Are you going to get married again?”

“We ‘ad zis conversation,” Fleur responds, shooting me a look, though her cheeks are rosy with her happiness. “No marriage and no babies for quite some time. We are still learning about one another. Many zings ‘ave ‘appened in ze years we were apart.”

“Still,” I sigh happily, “I can’t wait to be an aunt.”

Fleur laughs and when I leave an hour later, I feel much better about the situation with mere and I am excited at the prospect of Fleur and Bill having a baby. Fred is working when I enter Zonko’s. I wave at him to let know I’m home before I walk up the stairs to our flat. I was going to be eighteen this year, and I was going to take my N.E.W.Ts even if my studies have fallen to a lower priority. I was a woman now and I shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to be with the man I loved.

I took a look around the flat already picturing the redecorating I planned to do once the weather got a bit warmer. The walls needed color, and new furniture was a must. I don’t know how George and Fred lived in their drab apartment for so long but Fred was living with me now...and I needed something more than a bed, couch and one photo framed on the wall. I wanted to make this a home with Fred, at least until we could get married and move near the Way Cabin as we both had discussed.

Knowing Fred would be home soon, I stripped my clothes off and pull my hair out of the clip until it fell over my shoulders and crawled into our bed. I noticed the terrace curtains open and grabbed my wand, flicking it until the curtains closed from prying eyes. I settled on the mattress and smiled when I heard Fred’s footsteps on the other side of the door. I settled back on my elbows, trying for a seductive pose and from Fred’s expression as he stepped into the door, I succeeded.

“Holy shite.”

I smile as the door slams shut and Fred hops across the room on one foot as he tries to tug off his boots. He trips and nearly goes sprawling before he catches himself up and pulls off his t-shirt, dropping it to the ground. I laugh and wrap my arms around him as he covers my body with his and captures my lips with his own.

I reach between us and pull apart his belt before I unzip his jeans as his tongue strokes mine. He helps me with his jeans and when he’s naked, pressing his body against mine, I rake my fingers through his hair as he braces above me. “What brought this on?”

“I was just thinking about you,” I tell him. “About us. I love you, Fred.”

“I love you too, Gabs.” He bends down to kiss me again and I grip his hips with my fingers, eager to feel him inside of me. He pulls away slightly and nudges me. “Turn over, love.”

TogetherCollapse )

“What do you think about sage?”

Fred lifts his head, his eyes sleepy and his lips still curved in soft satisfaction. “Sage?”

“The color,” I explain, kissing his chest as I roll over him. “I thought about painting the flat sage.”

He wraps his arms around me. “Sage is nice.”

“Are you just saying that? Because we can decide on a color together if you don’t like it.”

Fred laughs and shakes his head. “Love, we’ll do whatever you want. Just no pink, okay?”

“No pink,” I agree, pushing my hair out of my face as I lean down to kiss him again, finally able to push my worries away.

Unravelling Ties [February 02, 2006 @ 10:58pm]
I sit quietly though my foot taps restlessly under the table as the witch comes over to take our lunch order. All three men order the fish and chips and I smile tightly, doing the same when the witch turns to me. Honestly I had no appetite and I figure whatever I didn't eat Fred could have later for dinner because I certainly wasn't going to be cooking. I wasn't going to be doing much of anything, I was so irritated right now. At George, at Fred, at Whizzy...the three chatted on about new slogans and I dug my nails into my palms to keep my annoyance at the situation at bay.

Whizzy, George and Fred discuss the impending success of the Wheezes expansion but all I hear are their muted voices as my concerns overwhelm me. I didn't know how Fred and George could forge a business partnership with a man who hurt their brother. Maybe I was still too young and naive...it was another reason why I would be no good in running a business. Perhaps I was simply too nice. Too full of family loyalty?

"I'm sorry to interrupt," I say abruptly, effectively cutting Whizzy off mid-sentence as I stare at him across the table. I lean forward slightly, my brows furrowed in confusion. "I suppose I just don't understand, Mr. Worthington--"

"You can call me Whizzy, Gabrielle, we've discussed this..."

"Yes."

"And it's quite simple," he continues with his charming smile. "If we start expanding in Europe before America, we will already have control over--"

I wave my hand impatiently. "You say Tonks is living with you now."

Confused, Whizzy stammers and then glances between George and Fred before focusing on me with a small smile. "Not living per se. She is staying with me at the current time."

"Because she broke up with Charlie."

"Yes, that is right."

"Because you kissed her."

"Er, yes." His smile fades and I can feel Fred fidget to my left. He reaches below the table and places his hand on my knee to keep my leg from bouncing up and down. He gives it a soft squeeze but I ignore him as Whizzy continues. "I know it is a rather awkward situation for everyone involved but I do promise to keep my personal life from jeopardizing Fred and George's business. I would hope Charlie would do the same."

I snort slightly and lean back in my chair before folding my arms across my chest. "Do you have brothers?"

Whizzy taps his steepled fingers together, expressing his patience at my questioning. "I have a sister."

My temper rises and I place my hands on the edge of the table as my tone takes on an accusing tone. "Would you be okay if Charlie had stolen Aveline from you and then formed a business partnership with your sister, keeping him in your face constantly with the reminder of his betrayal?"

Whizzy jerks back as if I've slapped him and he frowns before Fred turns to me and takes my arm. "Gabs, let's go talk."

"I don't want to talk," I say coolly, glaring at Whizzy. "I just don't see how this is okay with everyone because it's not okay with me!" I stand, partly on my own accord and partly by Fred tugging me out of the chair. I glower at him before turning to George and doing the same. "You may be fine with hurting your brother to make a few Galleons, but Aveline is practically my sister and I can only imagine what this might feel like for her."

"Gabs," Fred hisses into my ear. "They're divorced, remember?"

"So? It doesn't mean she doesn't love him anymore...she--Fred!" He pulls me away from the table as George clears his throat and begins to apologize to Whizzy. Fred leads me toward the back of the tavern near the loos and he sighs as he releases me and blocks my path back to the table.

"For Merlin's sake, Gabrielle, this is a business meeting."

I cross my arms under my breasts and scowl. "I can't believe you would do this. Whizzy stole Tonks from Charlie and you're willing to work with him? What if you were in Charlie's position?"

"Look," Fred sighs, lifting a hand to his temple. "My personal feelings about this can't interfere with what George and I need to do. This is a fantastic opportunity, not only for the business, but for us. George is getting married and Merlin knows I want to marry you someday. Whizzy's investment in the shops will secure our future and our family's future."

"You don't need his money," I insist. "Give me time and I'll get you the money you need to expand."

"I'm not taking your mother's money."

"Fred," I whine, trying to resist stomping my feet.

"Enough, Gabrielle!" He silences me by lifting a hand and I can see by the look in his eye that this argument is over. I frown and turn away, trying to resist him when he takes me gently by the arm. He steps in front of me and cups my face, lifting my chin until our eyes meet.

"I love you, and I love my brother. And you have to know I would never do anything purposely to hurt Aveline, knowing that you care about her. But you have to accept this is happening. I know my brother and he'll have to understand that this is strictly business."

"And if he doesn't?"

"Then Merlin help us," Fred jokes quietly and he kisses my forehead. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Please just be nice to Whizzy, at least until lunch is over. Please, love."

I hesitate and look away before I finally sigh and nod. "Fine."

"Thank you." He kisses my lips gently and I melt into him before he pulls away and takes my hand. "Let's go eat some free fish and chips."

I follow him back to the table silently. I would be nice to Whizzy for Fred and George but I don't know if I could ever understand how someone could betray a friend the way he did. I don't know how Tonks could betray Charlie either, when she was suppose to be in love with him...or even how Aveline could divorce Whizzy when it was clear in her eyes she still loved him too. Why were they all so damn difficult?

I squeeze Fred's hand softly and pray to the Goddesses that I would never find myself in such a tangled web like that one. With Fred by my side...I knew I had nothing to worry about.

Randelli to the Rescue...Again [January 26, 2006 @ 10:56pm]
I had just showered and changed in the bathroom when I heard the knock at the door out front. I heard Fred's footsteps, and then his voice followed by a deeper, older tone that let me know Randelli had returned. I brushed my hair quickly and exited the bathroom into our flat. We had come home yesterday and I would have been lying if I said I hadn't waited with baited breath to hear from my lifelong guard about Nicholas's condition.

I hurried across the flat to hug him and he brushed his hand over my hair before I heard Fred offer him some tea.

"I can't stay long," he admits when I pull away and lead him to the couch. "I have to make sure Coza returns to Romania in one piece."

"I'm sure a missing limb or two won't hamper his travel," Fred replies sharply as he puts a kettle on the stove to boil water. "What about a few broken bones?"

Randelli grins despite the less than pleasant topic of conversation. "I already had to heal a broken jaw and two broken ribs. But physical pain heals...he'll not have learned anything if I simply cut off his body parts."

"Depends on which body part you cut off," I say simply and shrug when Randelli lifts a dark eyebrow toward me. I sit on the couch and he follows, sighing as he turns to me and takes my hand.

"I've stripped every memory of what happened at the cabin from his mind and the goons he had brought with him have been Obliviated. I've also altered his mind so that he will soon go to his father and request that your impending engagement be terminated."

"And his reason being?" Fred asks as he dumps tea leaves into a tea cup.

Randelli glances at Fred. "He does not find Gabrielle acceptable as a wife. He feels she is too young and too naive to please him and provide worthy heirs. The Minister will agree because Nicholas is his only son, and he will inform Babette of the situation."

"She's going to be furious," I whisper, paling at the thought of my mother returning home to find my "engagement" is over.

"She may be, yes. But it is Nicholas who finds you unacceptable and Babette cannot find fault with you. For all she knows, you had begun to fall in love with Coza and he broke your heart." Randelli squeezes my hand in reassurance and Fred crosses to me from the kitchen and sets a cup of tea on the table for me. I want to vomit at the thought of being in love with that...what does Fred say? Wanker...he was a disgusting human being.

"There's more," Randelli continues, his voice serious as Fred settles into the chair across from us, his hands clasped loosely together as he focuses on Randelli. Fred has been restless ever since Nicholas was taken by Randelli. He was protective and very nearly followed every step I took...it made me feel safe, but I wanted this to be over so Fred could stop worrying so much. Randelli releases my hand so I can sip my tea and it seems he is speaking to Fred now, though I am still in the room. "I have used my magic to see into Coza's mind. He is guilty of many crimes including rape and murder. His intentions toward Gabrielle were anything but pure."

I clutch my cup tightly and see Fred's jaw clench in anger, but he maintains his calm demeanor as he speaks. "Will you turn him in?"

"I would but he is the Minister's son and I have no solid proof. If I were to voice my beliefs, the Minister would staunchly deny the accusations, as would Nicholas, and using his influence and power, nothing would come of it but a quiet ripple through the community that would soon fade."

"He can't get away with these things," I protest loudly, drawing Fred and Randelli's eyes toward me. "If he's caused pain to others, he has to pay!"

"He will, Gabrielle. He has. I have gone through his mind and I have destroyed all of his lustful feelings toward you. I have destroyed his thirst for blood and flesh and I guarantee you he will no longer be hurting anyone, man or woman."

"So...you've destroyed everything that made him the vile piece of shite that he is."

Randelli looks toward Fred. "He will be unable to pleasure a woman who is unwilling...or willing."

My smile breaks out before I can stop it and I feel a slight sense of satisfaction. "Good. He deserves to be castrated."

Fred's eyebrows lifts but Randelli nods. "He might as well be, young one. He will send your mother an owl, informing her that he is embarking on a tour of Romania with you by his side. This will ease her worry for you, and keep her at bay for awhile longer until I can get Coza home and put into motion my plan. In a week or so, she will receive another owl from the Minister informing her of his son's intention of breaking off his relationship with you and he will tell her that you have been sent home to Fleur." Randelli looks to the both of us. "This buys you a bit of time to decide how you will approach Babette about your relationship."

I set my tea cup down and throw my arms around him as I close my eyes tightly. "Thank you, Randelli. I don't know what I would do without you."

"You will never have to wonder," he whispers into my hair and he holds me for several moments before I pull away. We stand and Fred shakes his hand heartily. "I must return to Phyllis. She is cooking pork and baking apple cobbler and it has been awhile since I had a decent meal. I will check on the both of you in time and keep you updated on my progress."

I hug him again when we walk him to the door and once he is gone, I turn to Fred who stands next to me, both hands on his hips. I step forward and instantly we wrap our arms around each other. "I'm sorry I put you through this," I tell him, rubbing my cheek against his t-shirt. "I never knew this would happen..."

"Don't apologize to me. We got through it and that's all that matters, Gabs." I look up and smile softly as he kisses my lips. I hold him more tightly against me and when he deepens the kiss, his tongue flicking against my own I pull back and take his hands, leading him to the bed as my smile turns seductive. He follows eagerly and we tumble onto the mattress together, our hands pulling at buttons and zippers and our mouths pressing together hungrily. I finally felt as if I could be with Fred without worrying if someone was watching us, and this time, there would be no one breaking down the door. With Nicholas finally out of the picture, there was nothing holding me back from telling mother about Fred. Things were going to be okay...and my future with Fred could finally begin.

The Pursuit [January 24, 2006 @ 10:56pm]
Fear courses through my body at an alarming rate, making it difficult for me to breathe as I run through the trees toward the stream Fred and I discovered the last time we were here. I can hear the footsteps close behind me, Nicholas' angry calls as he demands for me to stop. I should be cold, wearing next to nothing in the winter weather, but the adrenaline keeps me warm. My feet are sore and cut from the debris littering the forest's floor but I ignore the pain and pant as I avoid the large branches and pray to the Elders that they keep Fred safe.

I need to turn around somehow, to go back to the cabin and make sure Fred is all right. I am without my wand, without any kind of magic property and I am not yet skilled in the ways of the Veela to conjure anything that would protect him. I gulp in the cold air, feeling it stab into my lungs with every breath. Finally I reach the clearing leading down into the stream and I dart to the left, eager to slip back into the woods back to Fred.

"Gabrielle," Nicholas's voice beckons, hoarse and full of fury. I glance over my shoulder, my hair whipping against my face and I scream as he lunges at me. We fall painfully to the cold ground and he grips my shoulder and jerks me onto my back. I scream again and reach up to scratch him but he grabs my wrists and holds them down onto the ground painfully, his knees straddling me to keep me still. "Stop moving or I shall have to break every precious bone in your body to keep you still!"

I inhale sharply, staring wide eyed up at him as his lips curl over his white teeth. "Get off of me," I rasp, struggling to lift my knee into his groin. "My mere will kill you if you touch me."

"She's given you to me, body and soul," Nicholas replies, his jaw clenching as his hands tighten around my wrist, causing me to cry out softly. "You've whored yourself with common filth, darling. That is unacceptable to me as I am sure it will be to your mother when she finds out what her precious ange has been up to while she has been away. Or did you fuck that baseborn trash right under her nose?"

"Let me up," I plead, my body beginning to shake uncontrollably from the chilled air as well as my fear. "Please don't hurt Fred--"

Nicholas smirks and he shoves my arms up over my head as one large hand takes hold of my wrists. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a diamond ring, it's beauty marred by the situation and looking at it makes me nauseous. "You beg for his life when you are the reason he will fall to death? You should have known better, ma ange. You were promised to me by your mother, a Veela. Your soul and your body are mine and mine only. He will suffer horribly for touching you."

Tears form in my eyes as my mind begins to imagine horrific images of what they are doing to Fred as I lay here helpless. "I don't belong to you," I whisper. "I will never be bound to you, and I will never marry you."

He shifts quickly, digging his knee between my legs until they part against the dirt. I begin to scream again and I thrash against him as he releases my arms. He lifts me to him recklessly, his hand tugging my wrist toward him as he tries to shove the ring onto my finger. I hear him speaking, binding me to him as I feel my anger and pain overflow within me. I reach up to slap him and the contact of my palm against his cheek stuns him momentarily. He narrows his dark eyes at me and shoves me down again as we begin to struggle. I feel the ring on my finger and I curl my fingers instinctively.

Nicholas snarls at me and I push at him with all my might, gasping as he falls backward, the ring falling from his fingers to the ground. I grab it quickly and stand, running toward the stream. My feet absorb the shock of the icy water as I toss the diamond into the stream and watch it disappear beneath the black surface. I feel satisfaction, relief, and then it is gone as his arm wraps around my neck and pulls me back.

"You ungrateful little whore!" He flings me down again and my head hits the ground, causing me to groan as pain spreads and white shock flashes behind my eyes. I roll onto my side and try to curl up but Nicholas reaches down to grip my forearms painfully. He shakes me violently and I hear him cursing me. "Your punishment for disobedience will be painful and I will see every inch of your flawless body lashed for what you've done." His hands and fingernails dig into me and I simply gasp, breathing heavily at the pain. When my vision clears I see him tugging at his belt as he leans over me. He's watching me with a mixture of rage and arousal and my eyes widen as he unbuttons his trousers.

"No!" I yell, lifting my leg and kicking him hard in the groin. He doubles over in pain, his cry echoing along the base of the trees and I scramble to my feet and wince as I begin to run again, my survival important only because it means I can get back to Fred to make sure he is still alive. But Nicholas' angry yell and the footsteps behind me have me choking back another scream as I know hope is dwindling.

Telling Aveline [January 20, 2006 @ 10:55pm]
This afternoon I stopped by Aveline's office in the Ministry on my way to see Fleur. Her office was empty, so I waited by the doorway until I saw her walking down the crowded hallway with Fred's brother, Charlie. I was surprised to see her smiling. I suppose I imagined she would stil be distraught over losing Whizzy, but then again, Fleur did tell me Aveline initiated their divorce.

Aveline's gaze caught my own and she murmured something to Charlie who nodded and waved to me before he turned to leave.

"Gabrielle, what are you doing here?" she asked, taking my hand and leading me into her office before shutting the door. "I thought you were in Romania."

Sitting in the chair she motioned to, I set my bag on my lap and frowned. "You know about Romania?"

Aveline nods and settles next to me, using her wand to summon the tea pot and cups from the other side of her office. I watch as the china sets itself on the small table in front of us and Aveline leans forward to warm the tea. "I know you went there for the holiday. I didn't know you were back, Gabrielle."

I continue to frown, watching Aveline's calm _expression as she dumps several tea leaves into the cups. "Did you know about Nicholas?"

"Nicholas?" Aveline asks, her dark eyebrows furrowing in confusion as she glances at me.

"Nicholas Paul Coza. Did you know mother was arranging my marriage to him?" I can't help the accusation in my voice and I instantly regret it when Aveline turns to me in surprise.

"An arranged marriage?"

I nod and sigh as I relax. Mother's betrayal had me questioning everyone around me, unfairly so. "She didn't tell me. She left me there." I tell her about my trip, as well as Nicholas and mother's actions. Aveline stares at me as I speak, her lips parted slightly and when I finish she looks away, appearing deep in thought as she leans forward and settles her forehead in the palm of her hand. "Aveline?"

"I didn't know, Gabrielle. I am sorry. I know how much you love Fred Weasley, and I would have told you if I had known."

I reach out and touch her arm gently. When she looks at me, I smile softly. "I believe you, Aveline. I came here to tell you that Fred and I are leaving for a few days. Mother will be home soon, and I think Nicholas will be looking for me."

"Are you sure leaving is a good idea?" she asks. "Running away isn't going to make this situation any better."

"I'm not running away," I assure her. When she lifts an eyebrow doubtfully, I smile again. "I promise. I just need some time to figure out how to tell mother about Fred." Aveline hands me the tea cup and I watch as she stands and begins to pace, looking uneasy. "Are you all right, Aveline?"

"I'm fine." Her anxious movements tell me otherwise, but I sip my tea and say nothing. Finally I set the cup down and watch her. "Why did you divorce Whizzy?"

"What?" she exclaims, her eyes wide as she turns toward me. "What kind of question is that?"

"I'm curious," I admit with a shrug. "You seemed so in love at the holiday party."

"Things change."

"In only a few weeks? No way." I shake my head. "Did he cheat on you?"

"No!"

"Did you cheat on him?"

"Gabrielle Delacour!" She breathes, hands on her hips as she stares down at me. "Il n'a eu rien à faire avec la fraude et il n'est pas quelque chose que je souhaite discuter en ce moment." ("It had nothing to do with cheating and it's not something I wish to discuss right now.")

"Néanmoins l'aimez-vous?" I ask quietly. ("Do you still love him?")

I see the pain flash in her eyes briefly before she looks away. I don't like to presume I know everything about the people I love. But I knew Bill and Fleur were in love, and watching Whizzy with Aveline at our party, I felt the same way about them. There is something in the way a man looks at a woman, and vice versa, that you just know that they're meant.

Aveline finally sighs softly and brushes her hair behind her ears. "Il n'importe pas comment je me sens maintenant, Gabrielle. Mon mariage a fini et il est pour le meilleur. Veuillez laisser tomber le sujet." ("It doesn't matter how I feel now, Gabrielle. My marriage has ended and it's for the best. Please drop the subject.")

Knowing it's best not to push any further, I stand and hug her tightly. "I'll owl when I know when we are coming home. Please don't tell mother. I want to speak with her myself when she is home."

Aveline kisses my cheek. "I promise. Be careful and don't get into any trouble."

"I never do," I remind her with a grin. As I leave her office to talk with Fleur, I pray to the Elders that Aveline will find happiness again. Whatever happened between she and Whizzy would surely be settled someday and they would reunite. Being with Fred now, finding my own soul mate...I felt optimistic for Aveline and Whizzy. After all, I knew true love could never be completely severed. I only hope that soon they realize it for themselves.

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