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Batch 29: Minor Characters (2) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Batch 29: Minor Characters (2)
Ville savage dwelling into beauxbaton made me very curious as to what it was like for Fleur. so Fleur at Beauxbaton please. for Anon
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Fleur hadn't slept in her dormitory for two weeks.

Her first few weeks at school had seemed lovely--she'd made friends with several boys, and shined in all of her classes. She'd gotten top marks on her first essay, and she'd discovered an affinity with the creatures in the Magizoological Gardens. She'd noticed that her dormitory mates didn't have much to say to her, but she'd assumed they were shy, or, at worst, waiting to see how the part-Dark-creature girl would behave.

What had not occurred to her was that they hated her.

She hadn't overheard anything by chance, or surmised this information. It wasn't a guess, or an overreation. It had come to her attention by means of what passed for a friendly conversation with an older girl called Veronique. She had come up to Fleur while she was tending the Garden of the Right Hand for Herbology, and sat down on a bench.

"You want to be warmer," she had said without preliminaries. "I hear things, you know."

Fleur frowned. "What things? What do you mean?"

"Oh... things," Veronique said, and looked down at her fingertips. "It's suggested that you're given good grades because the teachers favor your looks. And that you don't have to work as hard, because Madame Maxime is determined to prove that a Dark creature can do her work. They say you're unfriendly and cold, and your part of the dormitory is sterile. They say you've made no effort to befriend them. It's most unbecoming."

Fleur frowned. "I don't understand. I haven't done anything to them."

"That's not what they say," Veronique said casually. "I just thought you should know."

With that, she'd walked off, unconcerned, and had not given Fleur the time of day since.

Once she knew, it became increasingly clear--she could see that her dormitory-mates weren't just waiting to see what she'd do, and certainly weren't shy. She saw the way they left the room when she came in, and she saw the way they gathered at the far side of the dormitory, heads bowed together, to work on assignments that she had as well. She saw Delphine Mathis snicker behind her hand and point, and Christelle Bettencourt did a cruel imitation of Fleur's morning hair-brushing routine to the amusement of several other girls.

They'd noticed that she'd noticed. And they didn't care.

She couldn't sleep in the same room with them. She closed her eyes and imagined them coming over and cutting off her hair, or recording whatever she might say in her sleep to gossip about to other students. she'd taken to sleeping on a shared sofa, or in an empty classroom, or, when it was as warm as it was tonight, sneaking out to sleep in the Magizoological Gardens.

It was where she belonged, anyway. Celine Cuvier had kindly pointed it out.

There was plenty of warm bedding in the stables for Madame Maxime's collection of flying horses, and she didn't find the smell of the barn as unpleasant as some of the others did. As sleeping spots went, it could be a good deal worse. Perhaps she could even find a place in the woods soon. It would be like sleeping at Grandmere's.

But before she could settle in for the night, the door opened, and Madame Maxime herself appeared. Fleur lowered herself to hide behinda bale of hay.

"Miss Delacour? I know you're in here."

Slowly, Fleur stood up. "I don't want to sleep in there."

Madame Maxime looked her over, then sat down on a small storage shed. "Come, sit with me." This was not an invitation Fleur could refuse, as she was picked up and set down on the shed as well. Madam Maxime seemed even larger this close. She didn't say anything for a few minutes, then finally said, "Perhaps I owe you an apology."

"What? No!"

"I fought to have you in this school. I thought you would enjoy it. But you don't seem to enjoy it well at all."

"I like the classes."

"There's more to school than classes."

Fleur felt a sob come up. "I know... and I... I've ruined it already. I've done something wrong! I'm horrible. They all say I'm horrible!"

"You are not at all horrible, Miss Delacour."

"But I am! They hate me, and I can't make them stop."

"Probably not," Madame Maxime said philosophically. "Girls are cruel, and have long memories. I imagine you will never befriend Miss Bettencourt or Miss Mathis, at least not without thoroughly debasing yourself, which I don't advise."

"I would..."

"No you wouldn't. And that is as well as not. They dislike you for what you quite genuinely are. There is nothing you can do about that with them, but perhaps you should find friends who like you for exactly the same reasons."

"No one would like me."

"You've had no problems befriending the boys."

"Grandmere told me that I wouldn't. But they're not really my friends, and besides, they can't be in my dormitory, can they?"

"No." Madame Maxime looked at her horses. "But there's always a bit of adjustment. Have you met Edwidge Blier?"

"They girl with the specs?"

"Yes. She's quite interested in outer space. Her dormitory mates find it tiresome, but you rather like Astronomy, don't you?"

"Er..."

"And Zéphryine Guignard? She is a talented athlete, but it seems our first matches for her don't care to hear about Quidditch."

"Well, I--"

Madame Maxime frowned. "Yes, I think I shall rearrange the first year dormitories. They always take some maneuvering to find good matches. I suppose you think you won't want to hear about Quidditch, either, and Zéphryine most likely thinks that she can learn nothing about clothes, and Edwidge thinks you far too beautiful to understand mathematical equations, but... yes. I think that will do well in the end. I'll meet with the first year girls tomorrow."

"What about tonight?"

"Tonight?"

"Do I have to go back?"

"I somehow doubt you would, even if I walked you there myself." Fleur looked down at one of Madame Maxime's huge shoes and said nothing. She went on. "You may stay here tonight. My horses will look after you. But tomorrow, you will return to your dormitory, and stop worrying. First year ends eventually, and the girls who dislike you, while they'll continue to do so, will go off on their own, and not bother you."

"Thank you, ma'am."

"There's nothing to thank me for. It's my job to arrange these things."





How about something from the pack when Neil and Celia were younger? I've always loved the cubs, and Celia's one of my favourite of your OC's, so I'm thrilled she has such a large part to play in the James story. for Anon
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"I shouldn't tell anyone," Neil said nervously, sitting on top of the brand new trunk Nate had made for him to take to Hogwarts next week. "I should just sneak off and transform."

"Why?" Celia asked. "That's stupid. And besides, everyone already knows you're a werewolf. It was in the papers."

"Maybe they don't read the papers."

"Nobody in the whole school noticed a front page news report two years ago? Or during the talks about changing the rules two months ago?" Celia shrugged. "You should get on the Hogwarts Express in a Moonhowlers tee shirt, and give them a howl when you're Sorted."

"Are you daft? I'm not doing that. That's Greyback stuff."

"No, it's not. You don't have to be evil to think that you're not evil."

"I don't think I'm evil. I think I'm a werewolf."

Celia sighed and shook her head. Neil had been working himself into a terror about what people would think of him ever since he'd got his Hogwarts letter. While Pere Alderman and Mum Viv and Nate and Evvie Blondin had all been fighting to make sure he could attend school, he'd hidden away in his room and got green every time the subject came up. Stupid. Celia had gone with Pere Alderman and Mum Viv to Mexico, and she'd met a whole village of werewolves, and they were trying to be good now, but no one ran around worrying about what everyone else might be thinking. Sure, the big Mexican school didn't let them in (that was what Mum Viv had been working on), but no one ran around Oaxaca worrying that someone, somewhere, might figure out that once a month they turned into predators. They just set up wards to keep people out, and went about their business.

Though, to be fair, not all of them who went out into the big world admitted anything, which was stupid.

On the other hand, that was because there were werewolf hunters up in the lawless parts of the hills there, and they didn't always scruple to wait until transformation. All Neil was worried about was whether or not people knew he sometimes got a little furry.

"Mum Ev says it's up to me what I tell them," he said defensively. "I don't have to tell them about anything I don't want to."

"She probably just means you don't have to tell them what it feels like to get turned inside out, or about the... you know... the other wolfy thing."

"Oh. Right. You don't think they'd ask, do you?"

"I don't know."

"That'd be a pretty rude thing to ask about."

"Yeah. But it's not about not telling them you're a werewolf," Celia said, dragging him back on subject. "You have to admit it. They already know. And if you don't tell them, then it'll look awfully funny to them when I come next year and tell them about me, and they know we're from the same place."

"That's not fair! You can't just decide to tell my secrets."

"I can decide to tell mine. It's not my fault if people fill in the blanks."

Nate gave her a miserable sort of look. "I guess they will know, won't they?"

Celia nodded.

"Fine. I'll tell them if it comes up. All right?"

"Sure." Celia got up from the sofa and scanned the titles of Nate Blondin's books--mostly fantasy books interfiled with books on magical building codes. "So what do you think your favorite subject will be...?"


12 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for mine! I love, love, love Celia. Neil is a delightfully striking contrast to her, poor thing. The Fleur one was wonderful too. (Now I'm thinking about something Maxime-related for the next challenge call; it would be interesting to see what some of her own challenges might have been, and how she not only overcame them but became such a well-respected member of magical society, yet still finds it necessary to evade the question of her parentage when Hagrid asks her about it in GoF.).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2012 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
In Ville-Sauvage, I had Rose find out that Madame Maxime went to Beauxbatons much younger than she should have, and was left to sink or swim pretending to to be older. She swam. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd never have thought I would be able to identify with Fleur - but that ficlet reminds me a little of my first year at vocational school (except that I got in a bit of trouble for switching dorms without permission. After that I had an awesome time with my group of "misfits", though.)

~Hermione Stranger~
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Agreed...

The Fleur fic reminded me viscerally of my Freshman year of college, when I was in a triple with two other girls who quickly became very close and who didn't like me. I was never afraid of sleeping in the same room as them, but it was extremely uncomfortable for the balance of the semester.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Agreed...

It's those stupid girl-games we all get sucked into. Who's pretty enough but not too pretty? Who likes the "right" movies and books? Who manages to express herself with the right degree of servility to appease those higher on the social ladder, and who expresses too much of it?

I always just found that stuff so tiring.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: February 12th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never thought I'd say this, but poor Fleur! But she's strong and with Madame Maxime's help, we know she'll do fine. I hate to say it, but I completely relate to Neil's fears. Celia does have a point, though!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Neil's fears aren't overblown, but, like Celia says, he's pretty much stuck with it--his attack was only two years before Hogwarts, in the middle of a major news cycle about his attacker.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2012 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
She could probably use it, but you know Fleur... she'd be prickly about it! I actually felt really sorry for her at the Burrow. I totally get where the others were coming from, but she was trying so hard, too...
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 13th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
mine was so Awesome1!!!

Fleur is one of my Favorite minor characters and this was heartbreaking. poor Fleur. if I thought the girls at hogwarts, or ginny or mrs. weasley were mean. the beauxbaton ones were worse. and at 11!

good thing for Awesome madam maxime.

i wonder if Fleur managed to get friends by the time she got picked champion. i hope so...

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 13th, 2012 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I like Fleur as well--I liked her from the Second Task on.

As to Ginny and Molly, they're dealing with her less attractive aspect, which is that, when she's nervous, she seems to be prone to correcting everything in sight, including them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 13th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved these, and the next set as well. Fleur's reminded me strongly of the sixth grade, and not in a good way! And Celia rocks. ~ Karen
12 comments or Leave a comment