The Sugar Quill
Author: TheRealMaraJade  Story: Veela  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: This outtake is dedicated to Arabella and Zsenya, since it was their amazing work in After the End that inspired me to write this, and also to all the Bill & Fleur shippers like me that loved Chapter 20 of AtE. Thanks SO MUCH Arabella for the beta-read! You and Zsenya ROX! :)




(An Outtake from Chapter Twenty of After the End- Charms, and Other Subjects) 


As soon as the goblins had left her alone at what was going to be her office for as long as she stayed in London, Fleur started to unpack the few items that she had brought with her. Some books about Charms she thought she might need, although unlikely, and a few papers from Charismatics that the goblins would have to sign once she was finished.

She was just finished organizing her books on one of the shelves in her office, when the door swung open. Clearly, the goblins hadn’t closed it properly when they had left.

Fleur sighed and turned to close the door after placing the last book on the shelf, but hearing a commotion outside, she hesitated for only a moment before reaching for the doorknob.

Fleur opened it and stepped outside, tossing her hair behind her shoulder and peering down the hall for the source of the commotion.

When she saw the man being held against the wall by the goblins, Fleur stopped dead in her tracks. Her eyes widened in disbelief, as the color drained of her face and her mouth hung open.

The man she had been longing to meet in London, even thought she would never admit it out loud, was right there in front of her.

His long ginger hair tied up looked as if on fire under the orange light of the room, his shirt strained against muscular shoulders and arms were being held high on his back by the goblins, revealing a smooth and muscular lower back, and his pants…

Fleur caught herself and looked into his eyes, before he realized where her eyes had been drifting. At the same moment, he muttered something sharply to the goblins, jerked out of their grip, and turned to them, never taking his eyes off her.

Much like he had done all those months ago in the trench, when he had patiently watched her testing the strength of the Enchantment she had cast to keep the dragons hidden.

“You,” she finally choked out. Her voice was dry. She could do nothing but stare back at him and remember that night in the trench. The feeling of his arms around her when he had first embraced her, trying to give her the strength he didn’t have to comfort her when he learned about the loss of her sister, even though he had lost a brother himself.

“You,” she repeated, trying to shake off all her past memories but the memory of Charlie Weasley saying his brother’s name. “Bill Weasley.”

We are working to determine, one of the goblins, whom Fleur had completely forgotten about, said silkily, if he is, indeed, William Weasley.

“Yes.  Pardon us, Mademoiselle Delacour, as we must... escort him back to his office and check the necessary identification.

“And I'll stay to guard this area against further intruders,” the third goblin said quickly.

Fleur was too stunned by Bill’s sudden appearance to properly pay attention to any of the words the goblins said, or to protest against the goblins taking him away from her. She hadn’t even registered yet the fact that Bill was really here, only a few paces away from her. Bill felt like a dream to her, and as a dream, he could easily and quickly be taken away.

Fleur shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts, and felt the blood coming back to it. She wasn’t hallucinating. After all, she had expected, no, hoped, that Bill Weasley would be here in London. Alive.

Just not at Gringotts.

She turned to the goblin next to her, but kept her eyes to the last spot where she had seen Bill’s face before he had rounded the corner.

She quickly refreshed in her head what the goblins had just said, and asked, “You said you were escorting him back to his office? Does he work ‘ere?”

“Well, if he really is who he claims to be… Yes. William Weasley works as a Curse Breaker here at Gringotts.”

That sure explained why Charlie Weasley had insisted upon bringing her to Gringotts and introducing her to the Curse Breaker. He had said that the Curse Breaker was an old friend of his, and even though his girlfriend had kept shooting him dark looks, Charlie had Apparated with Fleur to London. He had only given up when the goblins had threatened to strip search him, and had hastily left a message to his friend before Apparating back to Azkaban.

Fleur thought for a moment about her next course of action. She remembered how her grandmother had always said that men were not to be trusted, and feared that deep down she already trusted Bill more than reason would allow.

That was so unlike her.

But not as unlikely as what she did next. Fleur asked the goblin where she would find Bill’s office and went after him.

When she stopped outside his door, Fleur paused for a moment.

Her usual detached and cool composure was completely altered by the swirl of emotions inside her.

Bill was alive. He had survived the war.

Fleur shut her eyes more forcefully than she had intended and gulped. She could not let her happiness of seeing Bill alive and, most of all, her feelings towards him, cloud her judgement. She needed to keep her feelings under control. If she didn’t, they would blind her common sense, intelligence and self-assurance, impairing her actions.

That had been quite a problem in her young age, but she had learned how to deal with it. However, every now and then she lost her control.

It had happened during the Second Task in the Triwizard Tournament, when her fear for her sister had blinded her to the Grindylows surrounding her. It had happened when Gabrielle had disappeared, and it threatened to happen again every time she remembered her sister. And it had happened that night in the trench when she had lost herself in Bill’s arms.

Sighing deeply and checking one last time that her feelings were under control, Fleur knocked on the door.

“Come in.” Bill answered from behind the door, his voice obviously cracking. Fleur couldn’t help but smile at that. She opened the door.

The moment her eyes fell on Bill again, Fleur found herself struggling to keep her cool composure at all costs, but she recognized that it wasn’t going to be an easy task. 

Bill Weasley was a very fascinating man.

He sat abruptly in his chair. This sudden movement snapped Fleur from her appreciation reverie, and she focused her eyes on his trying to focus in their impending conversation rather than the pale blue color of his eyes.

Hello," Bill said evenly. Come in."

That surprised Fleur, and she hesitated for a moment before finally stepping into Bill’s office and shutting the door behind her. She felt her throat dry with fear. What if Bill didn’t remember her? She swallowed and smiled at him, hopefully.

He quickly averted his eyes from her, looking down at a bit of parchment on his desk and tapping on it with a quill. Fleur felt devastated. He didn’t remember her.

He glanced up at her. “Fleur…what was it?”

A wave of relief flooded into Fleur, and she answered very quietly, afraid of showing just how happy she was that Bill remembered her. “Delacour.” Her eyes alight with delight she couldn’t help but add, “You remember me.”

“Of course,” he said briskly, much to her dismay. The sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that had been lifted once he recognized her came back. “You did the Diversion Enchantments for my brother, last February - and out at Azkaban yesterday.”

“Oh, zen you…” Her forehead creased slightly in her effort to focus in their conversation instead of her conflicting emotions. “You knew I was ‘ere?”

She cursed inwardly. Of course he knew. Charlie had left him a message, hadn’t he?

 “Sure,” he said in a lighter tone than before, to Fleur’s relief. “Charlie said the charms you set up were fantastic. That’s great news.”

She couldn’t help but smile again. “Yes. It was ‘ard, but zey should keep trouble away. I thought it was interesting what your - brother -” Fleur carefully pronounced the word, hoping to show Bill how her English had improved since the last time they met, “- is trying with ze dragons. I ‘ope it works.”

 “Well, I can’t see why it wouldn’t,” Bill said, looking down at his paperwork again.

When Bill looked down, Fleur felt a stab of pain in her heart. Even thought they were in the same room, it felt like they were miles away… “I did not know you worked for Gringotts.”

Fleur approached the table, wondering what could possibly have happened to make Bill act this way, and wishing desperately that things remained like no time had passed since last February. She just wanted to be near Bill, to touch him and to be touched by him. The concern she had felt during the war, dreading to hear news about Bill’s death, hadn’t quite worn off.

She sat down in the chair across from Bill’s. “I worried… I am glad you were not ‘urt in ze war.”

 “Thanks,” Bill answered in a heavy voice. 

Impulsively, Fleur leaned forward, her hair cascading around her shoulders, and reached out to Bill. But she caught hold of herself in time, and clasping her hands together, she rested them on the edge of his desk. With any luck, Bill hadn’t noticed anything, so absorbed he seemed to be with the papers on his desk.

“I’m, er – glad you’re all right, as well.”

As eager as Fleur was to learn if Bill had been worried about her dying during the war, she was beginning to feel annoyed by the fact that he seemed more engrossed in his paperwork than her.

“I don’t suppose your sister was ever found.” His voice was low, but clear enough for Fleur to understand it.

At the simple mention of Gabrielle, Fleur’s whole body trembled. But before she could answer, Bill did something completely unexpected. He reached out to grasp her fingers in his hands, and they held tightly to each other, instinctively, as they had in the trench. He had an instantaneous soothing effect upon Fleur’s despair for her sister.

“Gabrielle is gone. And your - brother?”

“Percy’s dead.”

At this news, Fleur felt her heart heavy with sadness.

Bill looked up. “But his wife had a baby,” he added in a rush, “just yesterday. She was pregnant when -,” he digressed for barely one second, “and it’s a boy. I have a picture - my little sister took a bunch with some sort of Muggle thing, so it doesn’t move like a normal one, but -”

“Please, may I see it?” Fleur asked, before Bill rambled any longer. He seemed anxious to lighten the subject of their conversation, and she couldn’t blame him.

He let go of one of her hands and took a picture from his pocket, giving it to her.

“Ohh…” Fleur looked at the picture, studying the baby’s smooth skin, his mouth wide with sleep, and his marveling pale blue eyes, just like… “He is perfect.” Just like his uncle.

 “I know.” Fleur detected a small hint of pride in Bill’s voice.

“What is his name?”

“Percival Leander.”

“Congratulations -” It was a habit Fleur had to kiss people in congratulations or thanks, so she automatically stood to give Bill’s cheeks one kiss each.

She didn’t expect to be affected by this closeness, though. She felt dizzy, and trying to steady herself before standing up, her face lingered against Bill’s for a brief moment. He leaned his head closer to hers, and Fleur drew back slightly, almost reaching for his mouth with hers instinctively. “Oh, I ‘oped I would see you…” She whispered, trying not to think about kissing Bill. “But I did not really think… I sometimes thought that it was never real.”

Bill pulled back suddenly, and Fleur felt a fleeting chill where his warm face had been against hers. “So did I,” he said slowly looking at her. “Mostly because you disappeared.” He let go of her other hand.

Fleur didn’t understand this sudden change of demeanor. She sat back down in the chair, stalling for time to think. Bill was acting really strange. First he had seemed not to remember her, then he had been sweet and warm towards her just like last February, and now he was mad at her?

“Where the hell did you go? And why?”

Well, that answered her question. But what had he expected her to do?

Fleur flushed as realization dawned on her. Stay with him? Bill had thrown her off balance.

“I am sorry,” Fleur said, not really wanting to fight. “I was needed somewhere else, and when my escort arrived, we did not have time to wait.”

“You could’ve at least woken me.” Bill had a hurt and at the same time defiant look on his face.

“I am sorry,” Fleur repeated, trying to will her words to enter Bill’s mind. “Forgive me.”

“And after all we’d talked about… well, I didn’t know what to think, I’ll tell you that.”

Bill barked a laugh and Fleur shuddered slightly. She had really hurt him. “Bill -”

“Right, and you knew my full name - you could have looked me up if you were so worried about me.”

Fleur didn’t answer. Bill was right. She could have looked him up. But she had been too afraid to do so and find out that he had died.

She looked deeply into his eyes, trying to find out if she had lost what could possibly be her only shot at happiness. Fleur felt completely distressed and saddened just by thinking about this possibility. She couldn’t imagine how much worst she would feel if this actually turned out to be true. She hoped she hadn’t hurt Bill that much. She wanted so much…

“Stop looking at me like that,” Bill snapped at her.

“Please let me…” Fleur begun, but was cut off by Bill.

“No - stop looking at me. Never mind, I’m making an ass of myself and it’s not even my fault, is it?” His voice was dripping with sarcasm. He choked out another laugh and added, “Look, you don’t have to explain. I know what you are. I know what really happened.”

Fleur froze. The way Bill was acting towards her, asking, no, commanding her to stop looking at him…he surely didn’t think that she had…that she had used her Veela charm on him, did he?

The anger rising inside her released the Veela. Fleur kept her emotions hidden beneath a cool mask, but she was boiling in anger. Here she was, chastising herself for not looking for news about Bill after the war, and he was accusing her of using the gift, no, the curse she had inherited from her grandmother on him? Surely, he would have the common sense not to think like that about her.

There was only one way to be certain.

“And what am I?” she asked quietly, barely controlling her anger, her tone dangerous.

Bill swallowed, visibly nervous under her gaze. Good. “You’re a Veela,” he said, in what was undeniably an accusatory tone.

Fleur withdrew in revulsion. I can’t believe that he is holding the fact that I’m one-quarter veela against me! 

After a pause to barely control her anger, she added, “Yes, I am. I am one-quarter veela. Not a pureblood. Not zat you would know anything about ze differences.” She spat at Bill. Obviously he didn’t know that only pureblood veelas had that kind of power all the time, and that part-veelas like her could turn it off whenever they wanted.

Fleur stood up and smoothed her robes, flashing him her most dashing and dangerous smile. He flinched. “Well, it was lovely speaking wiz you, Monsieur Weasley.” She turned and went to the door.

“Wait,” he said, and Fleur turned to see him standing, “I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just saying, you know, if you’re part veela, then chances are I was… well… acting under the influence.”

Fleur smiled cruelly at him again. It was a little bit late to feel sorry for the way he had acted, wasn’t it? “Of course you were,” she said, and reached for the door handle.

“Look, you’re going to need a guide around the bank, so whether you’re going to speak to me or not -”

“Ze goblins will be more zan helpful, I assure you.” She opened the door and swept through it, one last dazzling smile on her lips, then proceeded to shut the door behind her muttering, “I should 'ave known.”

Men were not to be trusted.

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