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.
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.”
Flushed with excitement, I bite my lip and obey him, moaning softly as he lifts my hips and slides his cock into me gently. His hand wraps over my shoulder, holding me in place as he begins to thrust. I close my eyes and rest my cheek against the blankets while he makes love to me. His movements are tender, slow and he prolongs our pleasure until I feel as though I might burst. When I finally come, I gasp Fred’s name over and over as his hands move over my body. He follows not too long after and soon we lay next to each other, wrapped in each other’s arms.
“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.