Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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Not this boy. This boy had eluded her, taunting her with occasional half-glances from his desk from underneath his fiery hair.
“Why does ‘e not come over ‘ere?” Fleur asked to no one in particular, frustrated. She rested her hand on her palm, sighing as she impatiently flicked her wand. Her stamp rose from her desk, before thundering back down onto the piece of parchment in front of her. Her days were spent in boredom, her wand easily taking care of any assignments her bosses provided her with.
She hated how they underestimated her. Because of her accent, she was sure. Or, worse, her looks. That was at least partly the reason that she had entered the tournament in the first place. Fleur hated to be placed into the category of simply ‘beautiful.’ She was, of course, she wasn’t stupid enough to not notice the looks boys gave her. Girls, occasionally, too. While female students tended to shoot her the ‘I hate you for making my boyfriend watch your hips or your hair or your face’ look, sometimes they gave her a shy smile.
This boy wasn’t giving her any sort of recognition. And it was making her frustrated. She wasn’t so full of herself that she thought she could get any boy, but she had thought he was at least remotely interested! He had talked to her at the Triwizard Tournament, but for some reason he refused to associate with her now.
“Who?” Arlene, the young witch to her right, raised her head to look at Fleur.
Fleur sighed, waving in the general direction of the stamp to make it stop. It was nearly reaching the bottom of the pile right now and she wanted to stop it before it stamped the desk with a bright purple ‘Gringotts Approved’ circle. Again.
“William,” she said, the name laced with equal parts hate and adoration. “’e will not even look at me! Euh. I do not understand. We ‘ave talked before, but now… I am stuck wishing that ‘e would talk to me while he is looking so… so merry.”
Arlene glanced over at the redheaded boy. “He looks familiar. Is he a Weasley? My father worked with Arthur Weasley, before he was moved to the Department of Magical Games and Sports.”
“Yes, he is Bill Weasley. I think ‘e is ignoring me on purpose. What do you think?”
The witch studied the redheaded man. “Hmm. Well, you know, men tend to be into playing all sorts of games with us. Crazy games that get us so irritated with them that by the time they finally talk to us, we feel like slapping them.”
Fleur laughed, stamping the last few pieces of parchment without the use of her wand. “I don’t exactly feel like slapping ‘im,” she confessed. Arlene gave her a knowing smile, before chuckling under her breath.
The blonde proceeded to finish stamping all of her papers, before brushing the side of her face with a carefully manicured hand. It was only after about ten minutes did she finally lift her head to gaze at Bill again.
He was looking at her. She sucked in a breath, locking eyes with him.
“Oh, dear, you got that ink all over your hand,” Arlene exclaimed, shattering the world that belonged to only Fleur and Bill. “Oh! It’s on your… face, too.”
Fleur flushed, raising her hand to her cheek. That was why Bill had been staring. Not because he liked her. He probably thought she was some kind of fool now. Well. She wasn’t going to let him, of all people, fall underneath the widely believed rumor that she was some kind of idiot.
“I’m going to wash eet off,” she announced fiercely, standing with such force that her wooden chair wobbled on two legs for a moment. “Excuse me, Arlene.”
Arlene looked a little afraid of the burning expression in Fleur’s eyes. “I could – “ she offered half-heartedly, raising her oak wand a few inches. She was quieted as Fleur whipped around to stare her down.
“I will do eet,” she assured her, her eyes pointedly darting in the expression of the Weasley. And then the gears clicked in Arlene’s mind. There was a small drinking fountain near Bill’s desk, a golden contraption that Fleur was evidently planning on using to simultaneously clean her hand and seduce Bill. Right. Arlene sniggered, shaking her head.
“Have fun,” the black-haired witch said under her breath. “I’ll be looking on, not at all jealous that you get to flirt with that slab of testosterone.”
She felt more than one pair of eyes on her as she easily crossed the room in her three-inch, Dashing Doves heels… complete with an actual moving dove pattern. This time, she didn’t even glance at Bill as she floated past him. If he was looking, he was looking. If not, his loss.
The toe of her shoe pressed gingerly against the button on the floor, causing clean water to spurt out of the dragon’s mouth. It washed over her purple palm, turning the cascading water into a light plum color. After making sure her skin was perfectly clean again, she let water pool into her cupped hand.
And just as she was about to splash it onto her face, a hand wrapped around her wrist. A large, warm hand. A large, warm, freckled hand. Her breath caught in her stomach, her cheeks flushing.
“Let me,” someone said near her ear, their breath warm against her cheek. Peaches. She smelled peaches, somehow. “You don’t need to splash it all over the place.”
“Thank you,” she managed, turning to see Bill. He leaned closer to her, his warm palm brushing against the skin of her waist… only to get to the fountain that was behind her. She felt like screaming.
“Fleur, right?” he said after a moment, wetting his thumb with the water. He paused to consider how to approach her face, before finally cupping her cheek with one hand and gently rubbing away the purple streak with the other.
“Yes,” she said, refusing to fall to pieces in front of him. His skin was slightly rough, chafing against the smooth skin of her cheeks. “We ‘ave met before.”
He smiled slightly, his grin as crooked as the playing of her heartstrings was. “Have we?” he questioned, lowering his hands from her face.
She frowned. “You do not remember?” she asked, a little offended. She remembered every word he had ever spoken to him, but he hadn’t even bothered to remember that they had met prior to today. “At the Triwizard Tournament.”
Bill nodded. “That’s right,” he said after a moment, lingering by the fountain. He stared down at the floor for a few seconds. “You can take your foot off of the pedal, you know.”
Fleur scowled, removing her shoe from the button on the floor. Three months. She had been working here for three months. And all he had to say to her was ‘You can take your foot off the pedal, you know.’
“I was joking,” he said after a moment, clearing his throat to try and stop her from glaring at the floor any harder. “Before. When I said I didn’t remember.”
“You did not say zat you did not remember,” she snapped slightly, before crossing her arms over her chest. And then her expression softened slightly and Fleur shrugged her slender shoulders. “Well. If you were joking, then I suppose eet is alright.” She said, smiling.
“I wouldn’t forget you,” he assured her with a grin, before heading back to his desk. Fleur stayed by the fountain for a moment, before returning to her own area.
Arlene glanced up, grinning. “Well, you didn’t slap him. You either slap men or fall in love with them.”
A week passed after the water fountain incident. It was a week filled with glances up from beneath her eyelashes, aimed towards the redhead across from her. Bill hadn’t ignored her since he helped rid her of the purple streak, something she was pleased to note.
He also tended to take special care in passing his documents off to her.
“Here you are, Miss Delacour,” he managed one afternoon, walking with a grin on his face towards her desk. He extended a piece of parchment towards her. “Could you have this stamped and returned by three?”
“Yes, consider it done,” she answered with a smile, her fingertips brushing his as she took the paper from him.
“Your English is getting very good,” he observed. “If you’d like, I could help you out with a couple lessons.”
Arlene sniggered loudly. When she realized that both Fleur and Bill were looking at her, she flushed. “Oh, err, don’t mind me,” she muttered, going back to scribbling with a quill.
When Bill left a few minutes later, Fleur turned to Arlene. “And what is ze matter with you? He is offering me lessons! Eet is very sweet of him.”
“Oh, yes, but what’s he offering to teach, exactly?” Arlene demanded, dissolving into laughter.
They planned to do the lessons on their lunch hour, since neither of them went out to eat very often. So they ‘wouldn’t be interrupted,’ (Bill’s words) they decided to hold them in a small office that was now used for storage of some documents.
Fleur took a seat on one of the wooden chairs near a window, smoothing her gray skirt over her knees. Bill followed suit, plopping into a matching one across from her. His knees touched hers as he sat down. He didn’t remove them.
“I know I need to work on my speaking,” Fleur admitted after Bill proceeded to just uncomfortably stare at her for a few moments. “I ‘ope I will get good at it soon.”
“You speak fine,” he assured her, waving a hand at her. “I can understand you.”
She smiled. “Good,” she said. “Thank you.”
They sat there for a few minutes, their knees pressed against each other. Bill chewed on his bottom lip. He remembered advice his father had once given him about making plans and being spontaneously.
“Good things happen when you decide to do them suddenly. You’ll be happier if you don’t have everything planned out,” Arthur had explained, sitting on the couch of the Weasley home.
Mrs. Weasley’s voice had come wafting in from the kitchen. “Are you telling him not to be reckless?” she demanded.
Arthur winked. “And that, Bill, is why you need to stop being so reckless! You’ll get yourself killed!” he said loudly. “Remember what I told you the next time you feel like playing a prank.”
Bill suddenly placed a hand on Fleur’s knee, leaning in quickly to crush his lips to hers. At first he was slightly afraid that she would tell him to get away before she slapped him to high hell, but after a moment it became apparent that she wasn’t planning on pushing him off.
In fact, her arms wound around his neck, locking in place like they were made for the single purpose of being there. He stood from his chair, awkwardly bending over her so he could have further access to her now open mouth. A muffled sound escaped from Fleur. Evidently it wasn’t a sound of discomfort, though, because her hands shifted into his long hair.
His mouth abandoned hers, trailing down to her jawline and exposed neck. It was hard to do this while he was in such a strange position, though, so he grabbed her waist to pull her onto her feet. His lips continued to assault her neck and jawline, though they occasionally ventured up near her earlobe.
Her hands pulled themselves from his hair, only to press against his chest. Bill stumbled backwards, his back heavily hitting against the window pane. “Easy,” he mumbled against her skin.
“You ‘ave ignored me for months,” she hissed at him, her palms flattening against his stomach. He caught her wrist as she continued to complain about how he shouldn’t tease her and now she was so angry at him but she couldn’t register it because he was kissing her and –
And her thought process was lost as she let herself be pulled none too gently against him. One of his hands passed into her hair, the silky strands falling over his fingers. The other hand gently nudged the small of her back, pulling her even more closely against him.
Faintly, she wondered what kind of show the people looking into the window were getting. And she decided she really didn’t care right now – all that was important to her at the moment was how many lessons he was going to give her.
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