|femexchange_mod (femexchange_mod) wrote in fem_exchange,|
@ 2008-12-20 23:06:00
|Entry tags:||fleur/hermione, g|
Happy holidays, groundedgranger! (Hermione/Fleur, G)
Title: To Paris and Its Witches
Rating: PG. Or really, G.
Summary: At a conference in Paris, Hermione finds herself captivated by one of the speakers. Later she finds out that the speaker is none other than Fleur Delacour. A fluffy and happy romance fic with a lot of silly French romanticism thrown in.
Note: Many, many thanks to my beta for her extensive blue highlighting - whether it was criticism or squeeing! I hope that the recipient of this fic enjoys reading it as much as my beta did.
She was beautiful. It was the first thought that crossed Hermione’s mind as she leaned against the door of the conference hall, frazzled and slightly out of breath, just catching the last fragments of the opening speech of the second International Convention on Magical Rights in Europe.
“While Muggle society and culture have changed over the last centuries and become more modern, more open and more diverse, Wizarding culture remains far behind in the areas of the rights of wizards and witches. Wizarding families, especially Pureblood families, remain steadfast to customs and beliefs that originate many centuries into the past in regards to the rights of women and children. At the beginning of a new century, I believe that a revision of the social and cultural laws of Wizarding Europe is due. And I hope that this international conference on Magical Rights will begin to work towards this goal. It is therefore with much pleasure that I declare this conference officially open.”
Hermione joined in enthusiastically as the hall erupted with applause, pausing only to find a chair and sit down after several hours of being on her feet. The Floo Network from Britain had been down again, and Hermione Granger, newly appointed head of the British Ministry of Magic’s Department of Wizarding Rights, had to wait for forty-five minutes before the breakdown had been fixed. The delay had resulted in a rather chaotic arrival in France, and having had to check into her hotel before she could dash off to the conference, she had missed the majority of the opening. From the little she had heard of the plenary session, the first speaker – who seemed vaguely familiar in addition to being stunningly beautiful – would have to be one of the most eloquent speakers she had ever listened to. Her voice was melodious and clear and she seemed to have an excellent grasp on her topic. Hermione wondered what position she held. She must be heavily involved with magical rights in order to be opening such a prestigious conference.
Hermione herself was one of the youngest academics involved in the new movement that had struck Britain after the war. While mainland Europe was already far into their activism, Britain had lagged behind due to the somewhat archaic governmental system and the preoccupation with war. Sometimes Hermione found it hard to believe how far behind they were because of it, how many people they had lost. Indeed, there had been so many close to Hermione who had been killed by Voldemort’s Reign of Terror. Dumbledore. Flitwick. Mr. Weasley. Many of her schoolmates. The death of her parents had shaken her to the bone and she still mourned for them. And then there were Harry and Ron, her two best friends all through her years at Hogwarts, always there for her, smiling and laughing and telling her not to study too much. Dead, both of them, through the selfless acts that had saved wizarding Britain.
She often reflected on the times they had spent together, but she found it difficult to dwell on those thoughts. Life went on, as cold and cruel as it may seem. It was a simple truth. Hermione had dealt with it through further study. She finished her NEWTs without opening a single book for revision. She was barely eighteen when she began her double apprenticeship in charms and arithmancy, and only twenty when she finished. She now held a Master qualification in both. She worked in the Department of Magical innovation as an Arithmancer for two years before being named head of the newly formed Department of Magical Rights and Welfare, which was why she was at the conference in France, momentarily captivated by the alluring female who was stepping down from the podium.
The plenary session ended and Hermione found herself in one of the smaller session, on Muggle feminist theories and their application to Wizarding society. The session was comprised of several papers presented by various witches (and they were mainly witches, Hermione mused) and she was fascinated. The ideas were challenging, the parallels refreshing and invigorating. Her mind whirred and her hand cramped trying to make notes and still keep up. Her concentration was broken as the door behind her opened and shut quietly. She turned in her seat slightly to see who had entered.
It was the same, stunning witch that had opened the conference. She stared as she walked over to the side of the room and spoke in a low voice to one of the wizards at the door, then to a seat not two rows behind Hermione’s own. She stiffened as a shiver ran down her spine. Who was this woman to put her so on edge? And where had she seen her before?
It hit her in a second. Fleur. It was Fleur Delacour, the elegant French Triwizard contestant whom Hermione had briefly met in her fourth year. The half Veela witch from whom no male could tear his eyes. Now, it was Hermione who couldn’t.
She gasped. Why would Fleur be involved in something like this? What interest did she have in magical rights? She was an airhead, one who thrived on the attention that males gave her.
And yet she was so beautiful. How could a witch be so beautiful? How was it possible? Hermione suddenly felt the overwhelming urge to get out into the air. Everything seemed to be stifling her in this room, and the radiating presence of Fleur Delacour was choking her. She bounded through the door, out of the conference building and into the afternoon sunshine.
She sat on a bench for a few moments, breathing. Get a grip, Hermione. It’s only a woman. You’ve liked women before. No need to flip out over one that happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. After a few minutes she was almost back to normal when she felt a hand on her shoulder and jumped.
“Oh, please excuse me, I did not mean to make you start,” the silvery voice of Fleur Delacour sounded. Hermione looked up at her and was instantly lost in her gaze. Her eyes were the same shade of blue-grey as the slightly overcast sky, and there was something in them that made Hermione drift off. Her mind quickly kicked back into gear.
“Don’t apologise, you didn’t scare me,” she lied.
Fleur smiled. “I was just wondering if you were ok. It is Hermione Granger, isn’t it? I remember you from ‘Hogwarts, the Triwizard Tournament. You were Harry’s friend, were you not?”
Hermione nodded dumbly. “Yes, I was. And you’re Fleur Delacour. The Beauxbatons champion. I remember now. At first I didn’t recognise you when you were speaking but then I did and you’re so…” She broke of, slightly embarrassed at her rambling. It was unlike her to lose track of her words.
“You have changed a great deal since I saw you in your… was it your fourth year? You are here on your own interests or on official business?”
“Oh, I’m with the Ministry in Britain; I’m the new head of the Magical Rights Department…” She trailed off, not wanting to risk rambling again.
Fleur smiled pensively. “Yes, a suitable position for one such as you…” She seemed to drift off for a moment into a memory before turning back to Hermione, who had also become distracted.
“But concerning a different and more important topic altogether: if I could be as forward as to ask, would you have dinner with me tonight?”
Slightly shocked at the abruptness of the question, Hermione blushed and smiled. “I would absolutely love to.”