leplusbeau: (heartbreak)
[personal profile] leplusbeau
Fleur is.


Well.


She hasn't cried yet.


It's been almost two days.


She remembered to eat because the babies started kicking, and she has to. She has other things and. She really wishes she could smoke or drink right about now.

Date: 2006-06-27 01:39 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (half)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
As word arrives of death after senseless death, Bill grows more and more resigned. There's been no word of either Lurline or Gabrielle and he's caught: he wants to go looking but he doesn't -- won't -- leave his wife behind and she's in no shape to travel. This, he thinks, would be the time for a strong family round them but everybody's too consumed with their own things, his own brothers and sister included.

There's nothing he can do.

For what feels like the hundredth time, he turns to Fleur and opens his mouth to start talking but words simply don't want to make an appearance. Finally, though, he coaxes them out from somewhere deep inside.

"Do you want me to go look for them?"

His hand moves from her tummy to her shoulder to her hair: sitting still is not in his nature.

Neither, however, is fighting in a war.

Date: 2006-06-27 01:53 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (longing)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
It's her family: were the situation reversed, he'd do the exact same thing. "We go by Muggle transportation, though. No more Apparating. We don't want to risk anything happening to you or the twins."

No one knows, he thinks. No one even knows they're having twins; they've not had time to tell anyone yet.

"Paris. We can go by train or by ferry. Start there, at your mum's house, and see if we can pick up a scent at all. They could simply have gone into hiding, love."

It's a hope, albeit a desperate one.

Date: 2006-06-27 02:10 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (contemplative)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
He feels entirely helpless: she shouldn't be thanking him. "We'll find them." There's a grim set to his expression, though, and he doesn't add his last thought: alive or dead. Still, there's hope. If they'd been murdered that night, they'd have heard. There would be word.

It's not knowing that gnaws at him and he's certain it gnaws at his wife with twice as much force. "Come. Let's do this."

They can't even pack: they've not been back to their flat since that night. They've their wands and the clothes on their backs and the few belongings they threw together. A sum of Galleons will be exchanged at Gringott's for Muggle Euros so they might travel as quickly as possible.

Putting quill to parchment, Bill pens a hasty note for Albus, or for whomever finds it: his mum, his dad, Remus. It matters not who reads it, so long as they know where they've gone. That done, he props it on the kitchen table and leads Fleur as quietly as possible out into Grimmauld Place. If one believes in good omens, it might be construed as such when Mrs Black's portrait doesn't even stir at the click of the door as they leave.

Date: 2006-06-27 02:50 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (sad)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
Bill holds Fleur the whole two and a half hours from London to Paris, determined: his eyes never rest the whole trip. Any one of these fellow passengers could be a Death Eater and it's just now that the enormity of the coordinated attacks is beginning to set in. In fact, he's surprised there's not more or better security on this train but for the time being he has to let go of that and simply take care of Fleur.

The trip itself is hugely uneventful and no owls greet them when they depart the train at the Gare du Nord. He knows he's filled with dread at the prospect of what they might find; he can only imagine what this has to be like for Fleur.

"It's your city," he whispers to her as they make their way out into the Parisian afternoon. "You lead and I'll follow."

We'll find them struggles to be heard, but he can't make that reassurance. Not until they've got to the Delacour home and seen what it looks like. He hopes it won't live up to his worst fears.

Date: 2006-06-27 03:58 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (worried)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
"I know."

What else can he say to her? What if it's terrible news? What if it's no news at all? There's always the chance it could be good news, though. They could walk in and see Madame Delacour in all her prim propriety lording it over whomever dares come into her presence.

He knows, though, that won't be the case.

"But at least we'll know more than we do now, love. You tell me when you're ready: not till then." This is not a happy reason for visiting Paris. Not at all.

Date: 2006-06-27 04:51 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (outside)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
Well.

They're this far: they can't not go the rest of the way but no matter what, he doesn't want Fleur in there.

"Let me go look. You stay here... no, that's not safe. You come with me... no, that's not safe either." There has to be a way. "If I bring a policeman round... no. No. Never mind that. Come: let's go together." He can take better care of her than some stranger. "If there's anything untoward in there, Fleur, I'll Apparate us away. Let me..."

...do what I know? This isn't curse-breaking, but it's similar. It's clue-finding, and he's always been good at that.

When he opens what's left of the door, the smell of smoke is nearly overpowering; he casts a quick Clearing Charm round Fleur. Nothing toxic for her or their children on his watch. There's very little left of the shop but a quick Tracing Spell shows that the stair leading up to the flat is still navigable; he thanks his Gringotts training every minute of the way. There are no glamours and no hidden spells here. Slowly, with great caution, they make their way to the stair and up into the flat.

It's absolutely destroyed, as if a series of bombs were set off inside. He knows from the reports coming in to Order Headquarters that in so many instances, the dead were either left behind or messages scrawled on the walls in blood. Here, there are no signs of bodies (thankfully or not) and no messages on the walls (thankfully or not).

Once they know they're alone inside, Bill sends out a series of Probe Spells from his wand; they're designed to seek out life forms in unexpected places. All return to him intact.

"There's no sign of them, Fleur." After all this, they don't know any more than they did before they got here. "The only thing we know is that they didn't die here." Bill swallows with difficulty: the image of Gabrielle, eyes wide with fear, hit with a Killing Curse, is difficult to shake. "And if they left a note... it's either been taken or destroyed."

Fuck.

"I'm sorry." He's not sure why he's apologising, but it seems the thing to do.

Date: 2006-06-27 05:17 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (longing)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
Halfheartedly, he wonders if the French version of the MLES or Aurors or whatever title they bestow in France have been here yet to categorise the destruction.

It doesn't matter: it's all gone and he can't imagine what it would be like to go back to the Burrow and see the whole place destroyed. Their whole lives... gone. Sitting heavily next to Fleur, he rests his arm lightly round her shoulder, coaxing her head to his shoulder. He's no forensic investigatory wizard; he can't determine what happened here. He only knows what is and isn't here.

"Maybe they got out just before."

It's the only thing he has to offer.

Date: 2006-06-27 05:35 am (UTC)
thecoolone: (do tell)
From: [personal profile] thecoolone
"I know."

It's unthinkable, actually.

"But we won't know till we know. Sitting here amidst the rubble isn't helping: we have to go back home. In case they're trying to reach us, right?" It's a feeble offer, but it's at least a glimmer of hope.

Already, though, his mind is playing games. If one of the twins is a girl, he thinks, they might be naming her Gabrielle in memoriam.

No. "We'll find them, love. We just won't find them here."

The walk back to the main street is slow and depressing; the smell of smoke lingers on their clothes despite subtle Scourgify spells and eventually Bill insists on hiring a car to take them to the train station: the day has taken its toll on Fleur and her well-being and her health is not up for grabs. He'll see to it that she sits, if not relaxes, all the way back to London.

It's a grim and silent ride, though, with very little conversation. There will be time for that later: in a few days, or a few weeks. But not now.

Not yet.

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leplusbeau

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