AN: Written for a challenge on the HPFF forums (MadameMarauder's (Lady_Marauder on HPFF) unconventional pairing challenge).
I was given the pairing Fleur/Hermione, and the setting Madam Puddifoots, to be used as a place or mentioned briefly in the fic. Hopefully all done! Now, I've never written Fleur/Hermione before, so I hope I got it. I THINK I'm pleased with it, but you'll have to tell me. :)
All of Fleur's French is translated to English, in order of appearance, at the bottom of the story. Hope you enjoy!
Of course the woman was gorgeous, Hermione thought dismissively, there was no denying the fact. But there was something else as well, something that Hermione hadn’t noticed – or hadn’t bothered to notice, for the entire time she had known Fleur Delacour up until she had married Bill. The thing was, she read. A lot. She was, without a doubt, the most erudite person that Hermione knew, excluding herself, and that made for, well, decent conversation. Hell, amazing conversation.
She was smart, that was it. Smart and beautiful, but also arrogant, and Hermione still sort of hated her for being so bloody perfect and French. The only reason she had let her guard down enough to learn this one fact about Fleur was because of Bill, who Fleur loved so obviously, which, somehow, made her a better person, or at least easier to deal with.
But now, of course, Bill was gone, and Fleur had moved back to France, or at least that was what Hermione had thought, except here she was, sitting in the small café, her long pale legs swinging from the barstool as she waited for Hermione.
It was incredibly unnerving to see her again after all these years, and in such circumstances too. Hermione shook herself mentally and approached the other woman, trying to keep her professional calm.
“Good afternoon,” she said as she reached Fleur, and the blonde jumped perceptibly. Hermione smirked inwardly to see that she could affect that perfect façade.
“’Ermione?” Fleur said, startled, her accent making Hermione wince. Bloody perfect French…thing. She sounded almost, pleased, though. Which was incredibly odd. “What are you doing ‘ere?”
“Working,” said Hermione, sliding onto the barstool beside Fleur. “I’m your…uh, you hired me, actually.”
“What?” Fleur asked, her blue eyes widening. Perfectly. Hermione wanted to hit her.
“You hired me,” she repeated. “You know, to protect you?”
Fleur looked puzzled for a moment, but then her pale face smoothed out again and she smiled tightly.
“I was not aware zat eet would be a woman.”
Hermione cleared her throat, trying not to roll her eyes. This was what she always got. Why, her clients would inevitably ask, was a woman attempting to be a bodyguard? And the thing was, she wasn’t. Hermione was not a bodyguard, she was an Auror, and just because nowadays that job mainly involved protecting people individually, that didn’t mean she was anything less. Neither did it mean she was unable to carry out her duties as a woman. Because she always did.
“Sorry to disappoint,” she said easily, gesturing the waitress closer.
Fleur rolled her eyes. “I was told zat I would be getting ze best. Why do I find you ‘ere eenstead?”
Hermione fought down a deep urge to hex her. “You did get the best, Miss Delacour. I am the best. You will find nobody in England better than me to protect you, nor will you have any issues with the service I provide, I can assure you. But I don’t take kindly to being insulted. I would have thought you’d remember that.”
The blonde sniffed and went back to her coffee, apparently deciding that ignoring Hermione was the best course of action. Hermione didn’t say anything else, but as she was ordering her drink, Fleur turned to her again, her eyes blazing, obviously still thinking about what Hermione had said.
“You know, eef you are ze best zat England ‘as to offer, I really think zat I would ‘ave been better off staying in France.”
Hermione glared at her. “Well, that makes two of us, Miss Delacour.”
Fleur sent her a quick, nasty look, and then sighed.
“Stop calling me ‘Miss Delacour’, ‘Ermione. Eet ees ridiculous. We ‘ave known each other since we were children. Je regrette normement d’avoir dit ca. I am sure you will be vairy good at looking after me.”
“Alright,” Hermione said, surprised to hear Fleur apologise. “I’m sorry as well, I acted very unprofessionally.”
There was a moment of silence between the two girls, and then Hermione said, “To be perfectly honest, I was a little taken aback to hear that you were still in England. I thought that after…”
“I did not stay in England only for Bill,” Fleur said stiffly. “I ‘ave a few friends ‘ere, now, too. Of course I know I am not welcome to stay with ze Weasleys - zey blame me, I think; and so I ‘ave not seen zem.”
“No,” Hermione started awkwardly. “I’m sure they wouldn’t…”
Fleur shot her a look that quieted her immediately. “I am not an eediot, ‘Ermione. Zey did not like me from ze start, I think. I am too arrogant, too difficile, per’aps zey even found me too ennuyeux.”
“No-one could ever call you boring, Fleur,” Hermione said with a small smile.
Fleur shrugged. “Zey would not be ze first people to think me boring because of ‘ow I look. Zey think I ‘ave nothing else to offer.”
“Well,” Hermione said, placing a hand softly on Fleur’s arm. The other woman looked down at it in slight consternation, but didn’t move. “I know that you have a lot more to offer, just so you know. You’re a very smart woman, Fleur. I won’t deny that you can be…a little difficult, but really, I don’t think anyone could blame you for Bill’s death, especially not the Weasleys. They stick by family, you know that.”
“Zat is ze problem,” Fleur said with an angry sigh. “I was never family.”
“As soon as you married Bill you were family,” Hermione argued. “No-one could deny how much you loved Bill, and that was all that mattered.”
Fleur shook her head. “I think zat I do not want to talk about eet anymore. I ‘ave a party tonight, you will come with me.”
The brunette frowned, but let it go. “When do you want me to meet you?”
“Come to ze flat at nine. We will go from zere. You are okay with ze cote-along apparation, non?”
“Yes, of course. Is there anything you need me to know before we go? Why you need protection, that sort of thing? To make sure that I’m prepared?”
Fleur grinned at her, startling Hermione. The French woman had never smiled at her, let alone grinned, and it was making heat pool in the pit of her stomach. She gripped her coffee anxiously, wondering if it was normal for a smile from a girl to cause such a reaction.
“I am a ‘igh-profile witch, ‘Ermione. Remember, I ‘ave done some things with my life zat are not only to do with being a conceited séductrice. Not much, but some things.”
Despite herself, Hermione laughed at that. She had forgotten that Fleur could make her laugh. There was a sarcastic wit about the other witch that Hermione liked. The sarcasm was always a little egotistical in a backwards sort of way, Hermione thought, but that was a little cruel, wasn’t it? As she said, there was a little more to her than that.
“I’m sorry. I forgot,” she said earnestly, smiling at Fleur, whose blue eyes were sparkling over her coffee. “I don’t really take much notice of that kind of thing, I’m afraid.”
“I remember,” Fleur said faintly, her eyes soft on Hermione’s. Hermione held her gaze for a second, feeling slightly odd. Fleur opened her mouth as if to say something and then jumped off the bar quickly, her white-blonde hair settling around her bare shoulders attractively.
“I will see you tonight, ‘Ermione. I ‘ave to go to ze ‘air salon. You must make yourself pretty also, for once.”
With that last barb, Fleur swept out of the café, leaving Hermione to stare into the cold dregs of her coffee, wishing she had had time to come up with a nasty retort.
Feeling completely ridiculous, Hermione adjusted her dress as she stood outside Fleur’s door. She had bought it after Fleur had left, feeling annoyed and wanting to make a good impression on the French girl. It was black with sequins, and tight, and made her feel about seven years old, but the woman in the shop had said that it ‘made her look curvy’ and so, after deciding suspiciously that she hadn’t meant it made her look fat, Hermione had bought it. Knocking on Fleur’s door, she wondered whether or not she should have spent a few more hours and a few hundred pounds on something better.
The door apparently opened by itself, because when Hermione entered the flat, Fleur was nowhere to be seen.
“Hello?” she called out cautiously, taking out her wand and fingering it nervously. “Hello? Fleur?”
She walked quickly into the kitchen, and then through the living room, but the flat seemed to be silent. As she walked towards Fleur’s bedroom, wondering what she was going to do if her client had gotten in trouble when she was meant to be looking after her, the door to the bathroom opened and Fleur wandered out, followed by a cloud of steam.
Hermione stopped, completely unable to move. Fleur hadn’t noticed her, and was drying her hair. She was wearing very little; a small towel was wound around her waist and a crescent-moon necklace rested on her bare chest.
Hermione cleared her throat, and Fleur jumped for the second time that day.
“’Ermione! You are early!” she cried accusingly, not covering herself. Hermione guiltily looked back up to Fleur’s cool gaze, trying not to let her eyes drift back down to the lithe body below.
“I’m not, actually,” she said with only a slight tremble to her voice. “It’s two past nine.”
“Oh,” said Fleur, looking slightly mollified. “Bien.”
“Do you…uh, what time are we supposed to be there?”
Fleur headed back to the bathroom to put her towel away, pulling on a thin shirt-dress as she walked out again. “Nine thirty.”
“Nine thirty?” Hermione repeated. “Well, you’d better start getting ready. You’ll have to hurry if you want to get there in time.”
The French witch waved her away. “Personne will arrive at nine thirty, ‘Ermione. Zat ees just not done. We will go at ten, per’aps ten thirty.”
After a moment of being shocked at how rude socialites were, Hermione asked, “Why did you tell me to come so early then?”
“I need ‘elp to get ready.”
“I don’t think so,” Hermione said, irritated. “I’m your protection, not your ladies maid.”
Fleur raised an eyebrow at her and walked through to her bedroom. Hermione followed, seething.
“You do not call eet being a ‘ladies maid’ when you ‘elp your friends to dress, do you?” Fleur threw over her shoulder, heading into her wardrobe.
“I don’t help my friends to dress,” Hermione said scathingly. “God, you just think everyone is here to serve you, don’t you?”
Fleur reappeared, looking slightly hurt. “Eet has nussing to do with being served, ‘Ermione. All of my friends ‘elp me to get ready when we go out, and I ‘elp zem.”
“So where are these friends now?” the brunette asked acidly.
Fleur’s jaw tightened. “Obviously you cannot recognise an offer of friendship, ‘Ermione, and zat ees vairy sad. I am sorry zat I caused you any inconvenience. Please, go to ze salon. Make yourself comfortable. Or go ‘ome. I do not care.”
She turned quickly, flicking through the dresses hanging above her head. Hermione bit her lip. She hadn’t meant to be nasty, and she felt bad for hurting Fleur’s feelings, if she actually had, but really, what more could Fleur have expected? Hermione didn’t like being bossed around, she never had, and she certainly didn’t like it when she was told to do things that were not in her job description.
But…if what Fleur was saying was not just attention seeking, or, or…whatever else it was that Fleur did, then she had just told someone who had very few friends in the first place that she didn’t want to be around in that capacity. At all. Which was just downright cruel, and also untrue. Certainly, Fleur Delacour pissed her off no end, but she was interesting and, yes, funny, and also nice to talk to, when they weren’t shouting at one another.
She put a hand out cautiously and placed it on Fleur’s shoulder, which stiffened under her touch.
“I’ll stay,” she said apologetically. “I didn’t think. I thought…I don’t like being told what to do. I’m sorry.”
The shoulder relaxed slightly. “Sit on ze bed, zen? I will show you what I will wear tonight.”
Hermione let her hand drop reluctantly, and went to the large bed that faced the wardrobe. It was probably filled with a litany of men most nights, she thought, running her fingers over the silk cover, and felt a stab of jealousy that she didn’t look into overly. It probably all came down to the fact that she hadn’t had anyone in her bed for a good six months, whereas Fleur likely never had that issue.
Fleur had apparently gotten over the slight quickly, and was tossing dresses from the wardrobe with abandon. They were all beautiful, and made that sound as they fell to the floor that only very expensive clothes make as they drop.
“Which do you think? Ze red? Or per’aps you think ze silver would suit me better?”
Hermione looked at the two dresses that Fleur had thrown to her, feeling completely out of her depth.
“You looked beautiful in silver at the Yule Ball,” she said honestly, picking at the fabric uncertainly. Fleur smiled brilliantly.
“You remember eet? You were vairy lovely too, I remember. Blue, eet suits you. You were sad zat night, zo, I think?”
Hermione breath caught at the memory. “Just angry. A bit sad, yeah, I suppose. It wasn’t anything that bad. I mean…no, there was no real reason.”
Fleur stayed facing the wardrobe as she pulled the silver dress over her arms, but her beautiful head cocked to one side as if contemplating Hermione.
“I do not think we are evair sad for no reason, ‘Ermione. Eet was because of Ronald, ze best friend, non?”
Hermione sighed, not really wanting to talk about it. “Yes.”
“What ‘appened between you two?”
The brunette rolled her eyes. Apparently Fleur wasn’t taking the hint. She never had though, had she?
“We got together after the war, and it was…wrong. I don’t know. We should have stayed friends. Anyway, he, uh…well, he got off with Harry at a charity event we were hosting and…well, you know what they say. Once your boyfriend has cheated on you with your mutual best friend who is also a male and the saviour of the wizarding world, well, it’s pretty much doomed, isn’t it?”
Fleur turned to face her now, her hands on her slim hips. Hermione looked up at her, flicking her nails against each other and wishing the subject hadn’t been bought up at all. She thought that it was brilliant that Harry and Ron were happy together, and she was glad that she and Ron hadn’t stayed together just because people expected them to. But it was still humiliating, even after a year.
“We should forget men, ‘Ermione! Zey are stupid. Zey always ‘ave affairs, or leave, or die. Zey are only necessary, I think, for keeping ze ‘uman race alive.”
Hermione giggled, and then couldn’t stop. Fleur looked down at the brunette as she snickered, her face a mixture of amusement and concern. And then it seemed as though, without anything really changing, Hermione just couldn’t help it, and she lay back on the bed, her giggles turning into hitching breaths that shook out little tears. Fleur came over to the bed quickly, leaning over Hermione worriedly.
“I am so sorry, ‘Ermione. I did not know zat eet would upset you to talk about heem.”
Hermione gave her a watery smile. “Sorry yourself,” she said. “I’m being ridiculous. It’s just…you know, it’s difficult. You wouldn’t understand, because everyone has always found you desirable. Me, not so much.”
“Zere is nussing ridiculous about letting go. ‘Ere, let me.”
Fleur leaned a little closer, trailing one pale finger over Hermione’s cheek and pulling it away again, covered in saltwater. Hermione’s breath caught in her throat again, but it was different now, and she still wasn’t sure what was happening. Fleur bit her lip, frowning a little. She was very close now; Hermione could make out the fair down on her face, and a tiny clump of mascara in her eyelash. The imperfectness of her was appealing, somehow, and Hermione had to turn her head before she did something stupid.
But then Fleur had cupped her chin with her warm hand, and turned the brunette to face her again. Her breath was sweet on Hermione’s face, like cherries.
“I am not sure eef this ‘elps, but I do know of one person at least ‘oo finds you vairy desirable.”
Hermione looked at her, not sure if she understood. “Oh?” she said breathlessly.
“Oui,” Fleur agreed. “Zey are not sure, zo, eef zey should tell you, or per’aps eef you would think eet eenappropriate.”
Hermione swallowed, and then began to sit up, knowing she had it wrong, and hating herself for having entertained the thought in the first place.
“Probably they’ll not do anything. Who do you know that I know, anyway?”
“Ugh,” Fleur cried, pushing her back onto the bed and throwing one leg over Hermione’s waist. “You are penible! I am telling you zat I think I want to kiss you, you little eediot! For ‘ze smartest witch of ‘er age’, tu es completement debile.”
She leant down then, covering Hermione’s mouth with her own, and it was just like their entire relationship in one kiss. Messy and a little painful, heated and virtually one sided. But it was also incredibly lovely.
Fleur had her pinned down by her wrists, and was steadily inserting one leg between Hermione’s thighs. After a moment of surprise, Hermione arched out of Fleur’s grip and slid both hands up into Fleur’s hair, pulling her closer. Fleur’s arms were wound around Hermione’s; holding her there, and she flicked her tongue out into the soft heat of the brunette’s mouth.
Hermione whimpered, tightening her grip in Fleur’s hair, pushing up, up, trying to drink the other girl in.
“Ah,” Fleur murmured into her mouth. “I ‘ave to…kiss you all over. On your neck…your mouth…your stomach…everywhere.”
The younger witch’s voice broke a little as she let out a moan of approval. Fleur wriggled down over Hermione and then set to kissing the other girl’s neck slowly.
“Why…” Hermione started, breathing heavily, her hands fisting in Fleur’s hair. “Why this…when you…always hated me…and said nasty…things…you hated…you hated…oh.”
Fleur pulled away slightly, frowning a little. Hermione pawed at her to go back to her neck, but Fleur didn’t move.
“You know ‘ow eet ees, ‘Ermione. When you are attracted to someone, eet ees difficult to not let zem know. So I…I was cruel to you. But not…I did not think zat I ‘urt your feelings. Did I? I did not want you to know,” she repeated, looking distressed.
“You didn’t,” Hermione said breathlessly, pulling her back in for another quick kiss. “I didn’t mind, too much. Just…if you didn’t want me to know…why did you…”
Fleur grinned, and Hermione felt the same response again as in the café, heat pooling in her stomach, and she knew what it was now, and she didn’t mind.
“To be ‘onest,” Fleur said softly, “Eet was a little too much, to see you ‘ere in my boudoir, and know zat you would be around all ze time, and think zat I could not tell you. And now…I ‘ave to say, I am glad I told you. I thought zat you might per’aps push me away.”
Hermione laughed. “As if anyone could push you away, Fleur.”
Fleur shrugged, smiling. “We ‘ave never been zat close, ‘Ermione. You thought zat I was a pretentious leetle beetch, and I admit, I thought zat you were, uh…’ow you say…uptight.”
“Ha!” Hermione cried, smacking Fleur a little harder than necessary. “So, if you thought I was so abhorrent, why the sudden attraction?”
“Bete,” Fleur said affectionately. “Because you are beautiful, and smart, aimable and funny, and not a little wicked. Eet just took me a leetle while to realise.”
It was odd, all this talk about how they had always been, and what they must be now. Frankly, Hermione wasn’t sure what that was, but she knew now that there had always been something more about her relationship with Fleur, and that it had all begun when Hermione had learned that their conversations could be so remarkable.
Yes, the French girl was pretentious; yes, she was sometimes a complete bitch, but they had something, and maybe it was only an odd sort of attraction, and maybe it had nothing to do with any kind of real understanding, but she was willing to give it a try.
Hermione didn’t think that what Fleur had said was true, couldn’t think that Fleur, of all people, could possibly think that about plain, boring Hermione Granger, but she smiled lopsidedly at the older girl anyway, as if she understood.
“You do not believe me,” Fleur said, tapping Hermione on the nose. “But eet ees true. Take off your pretty dress, now.”
Hermione wriggled under Fleur as she pulled off the sequinned slip, wondering at the fact that she had no issue with Fleur telling her what to do anymore. Fleur looked pleased at the movement under her, and bent to kiss Hermione’s stomach as it was bared.
“Vairy jolie,” she said, tonguing a hot trail along the line of Hermione’s ribs. Hermione gasped, pulling off her dress quickly and pulling Fleur up to press quick, soft kisses to her mouth, nose, eyes, and cheeks.
“Now you,” she panted, gesturing at Fleur’s dress. Fleur hopped off the bed, sending a mischievous look to Hermione as she did so. Hermione rolled her eyes and Fleur turned her head to keep an eye on the buttons at the back, her slim arms twisting behind her to unhook them.
“Tch,” Fleur muttered under her breath. “This dress is casse-pieds. ‘Elp me do eet, s’il te plait?”
“For some reason,” Hermione said, smiling, “I have far less of an issue helping you out of your dress than into it.”
“I wonder why zat ees?” Fleur said innocently, turning to face Hermione again. “Eet ees probably because you ‘ate ze dress, eesn’t eet? Oh, you just want to get rid of eet! You mechant fille!”
Hermione smirked. “Oh, you’re absolutely hilarious, Fleur. If you don’t get that gorgeous little arse of yours over here in two seconds so that I can rip off that dress and feel you up, I am going to be very upset.”
“Well,” said Fleur. “Eef you’re going to make a scene out of eet.”
And with those parting words, Fleur stuck out her tongue and ran out of the room. Hermione pushed herself off the bed, giggling as she ran after her. It only took a few seconds, and Fleur was on the floor with Hermione sitting on top of her, grinning down wickedly.
“You will pay for zis,” Fleur said, mock outraged. “You will ‘ave to go on dates with me to completely ‘orrible places.”
“Just as long as you don’t take me to Madam Puddifoots,” Hermione said, leaning down to kiss the French girl, “I don’t really mind where we go on our dates.”
Fleur's French to English
- Je regrette normement d'avoir dit ca - I'm sorry for saying that
- difficile - difficult
- ennuyeux - boring
- cote - side
- non - no
- seductrice - seductrice
- bien - good
- personne - nobody
- salon - loungeroom
- oui - yes
- penible - exasperating
- tu es completement debile - you are a complete moron
- boudoir - bedroom
- bete - stupid
- aimable - kind
- jolie - pretty
- casse-pieds - annoying
- s'il te plait - please (informal)
- mechant fille - wicked girl
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