There was a loud crack heard in the garden as two figures suddenly appeared. Ginny was looking flustered and Harry exasperated.
“Can you explain, Ginny, just why I’ve given up my free day to come here, when we could be tucked up on the sofa together at Grimmauld Place?” he asked.
Ginny sighed, but leant over and gave him a kiss. “You know why, Harry. You also know that I’d rather be at Grimmauld Place, alone with you, than here at Shell Cottage, but Mum was insistent.”
“Why does Molly think we can succeed when she’s failed?” he asked. “If Fleur is determined to spend Christmas by herself, then why are we interfering?”
“Merlin, don’t you understand anything?” said Ginny, rolling her eyes. “It’s Victoire’s first Christmas and she’s the first Weasley grandchild. Personally, I think it’s odd that Fleur doesn’t want any help, with Bill away in Egypt.”
Harry refrained from saying that Fleur knew exactly how to get hold of them if she needed help and followed Ginny to the door.
“Fleur,” shouted Ginny. “It’s Ginny and Harry. Can we come in?”
,” said a faint voice.
They walked into the living room. On the sofa sat Fleur and Victoire.
“Shush!” whispered Fleur, “I’m trying to get ‘er to sleep.”
“Oh,” said Ginny quietly. “We’ve just come to bring Victoire an early Christmas present.”
Fleur looked at them. Harry was shuffling his feet, determinedly not looking at her, whilst Ginny was pulling out a small wrapped present. She walked forward and placed the gift in Fleur’s hands.
“It’s not new,” she said as Fleur began to tear off the paper, “but it was something I was given when I was a baby and I thought Victoire might like it.”
Fleur smiled as she saw the gift. Inside was a fat, fluffy Father Christmas doll. He had black eyes and a woolly beard.
” she exclaimed joyfully. “Victoire, look it is Pere Noel
She looked up at Ginny and smiled, not her usual dazzling Veela smile, but a smile that spoke of warmth and gratitude.
“Eet is lovely, Ginny. Thank you,” she said. She lifted the toy above Victoire’s eyes and laughed as her baby’s face lit up.
“We shall take very good care of it and then we shall return it one day, peut-etre
?” Fleur said slyly. She giggled as Harry and Ginny blushed. Victoire let out a wail so she began to rock her.
“Dodo, l’enfant, do
L’enfant dormira bien vite.”
Victoire’s eyelids began to close as she listened to Fleur’s lullaby. Finally, when she was asleep, Fleur looked up at Ginny.
“I ‘eard today zat Bill will be back for Christmas,” she said happily. “So, please tell Molly zat we will be at the Burrow.” She looked down at her sleeping daughter and stroked her pale red-gold hair. “So peaceful now,” she mused, adding mischievously, “but the one thing zat always makes ‘er cry is the voice of Celestina Warbeck.”