Challenge Eighteen: March Madness Redux
Title: A Little Manipulation
Wizard/Witch: George Weasley/Orla Quirke
Word count: Exactly 500
Prompt: 9. Easter bonnet
Summary: Cecile cannot help but nudge two of her favourite people together in hopes that they’ll find the happiness together that the war took from her.
“Orla, get Gregoire into his jacket, s’il vous plait,” Cecile Argent says, hands full of her daughter Felicite.
Orla grins, dimples winking in her cheeks, and says, “Certainly.” She scoops up the two-year-old boy, making him laugh.
Cecile smiles at the sound – her babies are her joy. And finding Orla was a gift. The young woman, just out of Hogwarts, needed a place to stay while she started her Apprenticeship with Potions Master Valerian Umber. Cecile had desperately needed someone to help her out with her young twins – someone who wasn’t ‘family.’
She loves the Weasleys, but sometimes enough is enough. So a wonderful match and equally wonderful friendship was born.
“Got it!” Orla says triumphantly, hiking the sturdy boy – obviously Fred’s son, Cecile thinks wistfully – onto her hip.
“Merveilleux,” Cecile replies. “Just give me une minute. I have to tie this.” She affixes the Easter bonnet atop Felicite’s strawberry-blonde locks. “Zere! Very pretty. Are we ready to go?”
Each woman grabs a diaper bag and heads out the door. Cecile flicks Locking Charms at the door just as a car pulls up.
“Ah, George! You are having perfect timing.” Cecile smiles at the man who should have been her brother-in-law. As alluring as the half-Veela’s smile is, even without meaning it, she is amused to see that he is looking not at her but at her helper.
“Hi, Cecile. Orla. Ready for Easter dinner?” he asks. His gaze is still on Orla, and he goes straight to her, taking her bag and Cecile’s son from her easily.
Cecile suppresses a smile. Despite George’s physical likeness to her dead lover, she has never been attracted to him the way she had been Fred. Once she’d convinced him he wasn’t attracted to her either, they had settled into a close friendship.
Ever since Orla had come, George’s frequent visits had increased to an even greater number. After the first week, Cecile found excuses to leave them alone.
They pack everything and everyone into the car, Cecile squishing between the two car seats in the back, ignoring the arguments of the other two. She minds the babies, which forces the two up front to talk – to flirt quietly, she thinks with a self-satisfied smirk.
The dinner is riotous and loud, but Cecile has cued others in on her match-making. Her two specials sit next to each other during dinner and get to clean up later in the kitchen.
Cecile peeks in from the doorway, watching them spell the dishes clean. Orla laughs at something and blushes, hiding briefly behind her curly blonde hair. George cracks another joke, and she laughs again, so hard she leans against the counter.
George is next to her, and suddenly he leans over, cups her cheek, and kisses her sweetly. The younger woman leans into it and kisses him back.
Cecile sighs, feeling her heart twist with that peculiar mix of bittersweet sad happiness, and leaves, giving them privacy to explore the sweet budding of their relationship.
Author's Notes: This is set in a little world that I started in Challenge 15 here on RTW. Meet Cecile for the first time in A Bientôt, then in Letters of Love, then in Letters of Loss. This takes place after those, but before this drabble.
I hope you enjoyed!