God, Tonks thinks, aren’t trips to the beech supposed to be relaxing? She looks around, quickly sitting up. Her friends have apparently already gone home while Tonks had been asleep.
Emphasis on had been. She was rudely woken by a beech ball hitting her square on the face. “Hey!”, she yells towards the little girl with the pale blond hair next to her, “Is this yours?”
The girl nods, looking a bit shy. Tonks attempts to throw the ball at her, but it gets caught by the wind. The girl runs after it, and after she’s reached it she looks at Tonks with a toothy smile. Tonks grins back.
Then she closes her eyes and tries to soak in the sun. After the warmth has made it’s home within her core, she slowly opens her eyes again, only to find the little girl staring at her.
Tonks smiles friendly at her, and then goes cross-eyed and sticks out her tongue. The little girl giggles, and tries to imitate her. Tonks raises her eyebrows and opens her mouth in an exaggerated delighted look, and the little girl giggles harder.
Then, and this is where it all goes to shit, Tonks pulls up her nose in a pig-like fashion and wiggles her eyebrows. The little girl laughs so hard that Tonks can still hear it where she’s sitting, and one of the people that had been with the little girl looks up to find the source of her laughter.
This leads to Tonks making eyecontact with the most beautiful woman she’s ever seen. She seems to be the big sister of the other girl, with the same pale hair. She also has gorgeous blue eyes, and she seems almost otherworldly.
Tonks quickly retracts her hand from her nose, but the damage has already been done. The older sister laughs, with a undertone that is most certainly mocking, and then she walks over to Tonks.
“Hello,” she says, and the french accent only adds to the etherealness of her voice. It definitely has some grounded undertones, though. It sounds, Tonks decides, like the sight of leaves blowing in the wind. “I see you are getting along well with my sister.”
Tonks pretends that she didn’t just embarass herself royally, and says, “Oh yeah?”. (Don’t judge her. It’s very hard to make good conversation on a normal day, let alone with someone as lovely as this.)
“Oh yeah,” The women repeats, “You looked very ridiculous. But that was the point, no?”
Fuck. Tonks thinks her bluntness is attractive. As if it makes her more real, somehow? “Well, your sister liked it!”
That gets a genuine, warm smile from the woman. She must care a lot for her sister. (Cute.) “She did. Should I thank you for that, miss? Or is it mister?”
As always, Tonks feels a little spark of joy at being reminded of how androgynous she looks, even though she is a woman right now. “Miss, for now. But you can always call me Tonks!”
A frown appears between two blonde eyebrows. Tonks wants to smooth it out with her thumb. “For now?”
“Well...” Tonks says, one hand coming up to rub the back of her neck. “What can I say? Genders are weird.” Please be normal about it, please be normal about it please be normal about-
The women snorts. “Tell me about it.” Wait what. Also holy hell has Tonks been assuming their gender all this time she should unlearn that habit.
“You are..? Although, you don’t have to share if you don’t want to, of course!”
“I am a trans woman, yes.” She holds her head up high, defiant almost, but Tonks just smiles wider.
“That’s awesome! We’ve got to hang out now.”
She blinks. “We... do?”
Tonks nods. “Yep! Do you know how many trans friends I have?”
“Zero. It’s a tragedy.”
The woman chuckles (it sounds even nicer than her voice). “That goes for me, too. I’ll have to tell my parents we’re “hanging out”, wait here.”
“Yes, I’m here with my family.” After seeing Tonks confused look, the woman laughs, “You thought I was here with my sister, but without the rest of my family?”
It sounds kind of weird, now that Tonks hears it aloud. Not that she’ll admit that. “Well, see you soon then. What’s your name again?”
“It’s Fleur.” the gorgeous woman says, and then she turns around, all flowing blond hair and billowing summer dress.
Tonks took her to her cousin’s place. They took her to other places too, of course, to the park and movies and whatever caught her fancy, but this one felt different.
(It felt like a milestone.)
Not that they showed it. They opened the door as nonchalantly as ever, announced themselves just as loud as any other time, fell only once while taking off their shoes.
Sirius, after hearing the loud thud, said: “Oh, hi Tonks.”
“Tonks and Fleur!” they corrected him, and regretted that immediately the moment his eyes light up with mischief.
“So this is the infamous Fleur we heard so much about.” Great, Remus was there too.
Remus, at least, had the decency to introduce himself before ushering them into the living room. Tonks allowed themselves to relax.
“What a lovely home you have, mi- Remus.” It’s the most polite thing Tonks has ever heard Fleur say, and just for a moment it knocked the wind out of them. What if she did this because of Tonks, to impress their family? It’s a ridiculous thought, one that Tonks found it hard to let go of.
“Thank you,” Remus said, taking a sip of his tea. At that moment, Sirius barged into the living room from who-knows-where, something book-like held high in the air.
Tonks buried their head in their hands.
“Look, Fleur!”, he said, “I found some old pictures of Tonks!”
Fleur accepted it with a smile. Tonks feared for their life.
“They were such a bald baby.” Fleur said, voice full of delight, and Tonks thought it was almost all worth it for that smile. Almost.
“Indeed,” Sirius nodded, “I have this theory that they want their hair to stand out so much because it wasn’t there when they were young. Like a giant sign saying: ‘Look! I have hair now!”
Fleur laughed. Remus added on: “Well, to be fair, they do have hair.”
“Thank you.” Tonks said pointedly, even though they were pretty sure it wasn’t really a compliment.
“There are a lot of pictures of Tonks hugging you here.” Fleur remarked, her face angled towards Remus. Tonks cheeks flared red.
“Are there?” Remus asked innocently. “Well, they did have a crush on me, after all.”
Fleur sat upright at that. “They did?”
“I’m over it now!” The words left Tonks mouth without their permission.
“Obviously.” Fleur said, one eyebrow raised. What was that supposed to mean?
“It was pretty cute,” Remus commented over his mug, but Tonks just knew that he was smiling smugly from behind it, “They would follow me around, and blush all the time. One time they even dyed their hair the same colour as mine.”
Fleur snorted at that. “What even was the logic behind that?”
Tonks was overjoyed to have an answer to that (not that it was a good answer, per se) “Well, people dye their hair the colour they think looks best, right?”.
“Right.” Fleur said, amused.
“And seeing as he didn’t dye it, brown had to be his favourite!”
“Not true.” Sirius butted in, “Black is his favourite.”
One of Remus’ hands found its way into Sirius’ black hair. “One Black in particular.”
Tonks threw a put-out look Fleur’s way. Fleur nodded, a motion that’s way too graceful for only being so short. “Guess that’s our cue to leave. See ya!”
Sirius broke the eye contact with Remus purely to yell after them. “Are you going to meet her family now?”
Tonks looked at Fleur’s face, hoping against hope that she didn’t hear it. The hope dissipated the moment they saw the thoughtful look on her face. “You’d have to be quick to do that. The plane leaves in two days.”
It’s a very bright, sunny day, but suddenly a cold crept deep into Tonks’ bones. Two days was not enough time. They need months, years, to get to know this amazing person beside them.
“Tonks? You okay?”
Tonks willed their heavy expression to dissipate like a cloud for the sun, paying no attention to the puddles it left behind. “Of course! Just zoned out a little.”
Fleur didn’t seem too convinced. Tonks smiles broadly. “Guess I’ll have to be quick! It’s only fair, you not only got to meet my parents, but my cousin too.”
“Yes, your cousin is very nice.”
As Tonks started a long rant about all the times where Sirius wasn’t very nice, they watched the corners of Fleur’s mouth go up, and they decided to savour the moment for as long as it lasts.
“Why’s your hair red?” Fleur asks.
She’s laying on Tonks’ bed, in her shitty apartment. Tonks is sitting close to the edge, Fleur’s head so close that Tonks could trail her hands through her hair if she wanted (and oh, how she wants). Fleur is leaving tomorrow.
“Well, remember Charlie?” At Fleur’s nod, Tonks continues. “He’s as ginger as can be, and it seemed a fitting tribute when he left for Romania.”
Fleur hums. “Did you dye it yourself?”
“Yeah. I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years.”
Fleur looks at her hair intensively, as if to see wether that’s true, and Tonks preens a little under the attention.
“Wanna do mine?”
Tonks blinks. “You want red hair?”
“I was thinking of pink, actually.”
Tonks doesn’t answer, but Fleur keeps looking at her, and this is when she realized she hasn’t really answered yet.
“I’ll do it. I’ve still got a full bottle left from last time.”
Fleur frowns up at her. “Will that be enough? I think I want the whole lower half done.”
“I think so?”
Fleur gets up at that. “Where are we doing this?”
“In the bathroom.”
Just before Fleur leaves the room Tonks says: “Wait.”
“What is it?”
“Take this.” Tonks pushes an old, faded shirt into Fleur’s hands. “It’s my dye shirt.” she says under Fleur’s imploring eyes. “It’s already stained and stuff. So that you don’t get anything on your shirt.”
Tonks has gathered just about everything when Fleur walks in wearing her clothes. It’s as painful as a punch in the gut, but a lot more beautiful. Tonks averts their eyes.
“Is your floor supposed to look like this?”
Tonks nods, “The newspapers are against stains. They are a pretty permanent part of the bathroom now.”
Fleur smiles, then sits down in the chair, looking as radiant as ever.
Tonks swallows. “I’ll apply vaseline around your face first, otherwise your face will be pink too.”
Tonks realizes, the moment their hand touches Fleur’s forehead, that Fleur could have easily done this herself. They make eyecontact. Tonks focuses on Fleur’s hairline again.
It’s silent, and Tonks feels as if they should talk, as if they should ask about the millions of things they still want to know about Fleur before she leaves, but it won’t be enough anyway. They stay silent. Until they poke into Fleur’s eye, that is.
“Oh shit. I am so so sorry-”
“-It’s okay, really.”
“-I’m just dead clumsy, but this really wasn’t my intention-”
“I know, okay? I know.”
Tonks looks into Fleur’s eyes again, so intent to see wether she was hurt or not that they forget about the closeness for a while. Fleur’s face is remarkably kind, and trusting, and she seems... open. “Okay.”
Once again a silence falls, but Tonks has made as much peace with the idea of Fleur leaving as they can (which means that she’s debated moving to France only twice), and they only say something when they are explaining the next part of the procedure.
Sometimes their fingers brush along Fleur’s neck, and they imagine a shiver, imagine it affects Fleur as much as it affects them. (Tonks wants to drop a kiss on her neck)
When Tonks is done she helps Fleur with putting on a shower cap to protect her hair. Then Fleur keeps her head in the same position, face angled up towards Tonks. Their breath catches in their throat.
“What is it?” they ask, softly, as not to disturb this delicate moment.
“The vaseline is still on my face.”
Tonks carefully wipes away the vaseline with a paper towel, and they can’t help but notice Fleur’s beauty over and over and over again, in the glint in her eyes, in the arch of her eyebrows, in the smile in her voice.
When all the vaseline is gone their hand travels down Fleur’s face, cupping it. Fleur’s eyes, which had been closed, open at that, and she smiles calmly, before slowly bridging the small gap between their mouths.
Tonks doesn’t stop her, because how could they? There isn’t a universe in which they could possibly resist Fleur Delacour.
Their back is uncomfortably close to the kitchen sink, but one of Fleur’s hands is carding through their short hair, so it’s fine, really.
Then Fleur pulls away, just the smallest bit, and her lips brush against Tonks’ as she speaks. “Finally.”
Tonks just stares at her in wonder, until the realization dawns on them. “Shit.” they say.
Fleur’s eyes widen. “Did you not want this? I am so sorry-”
“No!” Tonks says. “It’s not that. But you are leaving soon, and I’m only making this worse.”
And then Fleur laughs. It starts small, but soon enough her whole body is shaking and gasping for breath. “Merde.” She says. “Tu es stupide.”
Tonks glares playfully at her. “I understood that!”
Fleur pays no attention to that, grasps Tonks’ face between her hands, and says: “My family is leaving, okay? I live here.”
“Oh.” Tonks says, and she’s so, so, relieved. They kiss Fleur again, smiling. Fleur is smiling too, so the kissing is far from ideal, but it’s perfect. It’s all perfect.