Great story! I could feel the romance between Bill and Fleur. I wonder if I'll ever have something like that again. There's always hope.
Hey Carole! May I say that your story was pretty lovely. Love at firt sight, what an interesting concept. I can't really say that I have experienced it in my life, but it must be incredible when you know just from one glance that you've found THE one person made for you. I just like how you portrait Fleur, who from the books (until HBP) had always left me the feeling of being vain and a bit snob.
If I can just point out something, about the way you translated the two French sentences at the beginning of the story, it doesn't sound quite right to me. For "Il arrive comme ça pour nous, ma chérie", I would just change it to "Cela arrive comme ça pour nous, ma chérie". And for "J'espère qu'il sent la même voie", it would be "J'espère qu'il ressent la même chose". That's the Quebecer speaking here, not the French girl, but still. :D Good job, dear!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. Hmm, I haven't really experience 'love at first sight' exactly, but there was a moment when I 'looked' at someone and yadayadayada - he's my husband now - ha. So although I'm not saying it was love immediately, there was a definite moment between us.
Thank you for the French help. I used an online translator and I know they're not 100% reliable but my French was sadly lacking at school. I know where to come from now on :-D
Thank you again for reviewing ~Carole~
short, simple, and bloody briliant.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you. This is one of my favourites, for some reason ~Carole~
You know, I was very pleased to see that you’d written a Bill/Fleur fic. Having read Acorns (which was a lovely story; I believe it was one of the first stories I’d read on the site, actually), I’ve always wanted to read more of this pairing by you, because you write it so well. And I think, in this story, you took it to a whole new level, so it’s a shame it hasn’t got as many reviews as some of your other works, because this is definitely another story of yours that is going on my favourites list.
Okay, I will admit that I was only convinced of Bill/Fleur when I reached the end of HBP, so I loved your take on the pairing before their big moment, or, rather, Fleur’s big moment regarding looks, and how she doesn’t care about them. I’ve always wondered exactly how Bill and Fleur met and got together, and I do think part of it was to do with looks. Bill and Fleur were both good-looking people, and I think your description of them was excellent. My favourite line was definitely this one: His eyes are blue, like hers, except not at all the same. Hers, she’s been told, sparkle like ice diamonds, arctic blue. His are darker, warm - if that is possible for a cold colour. They brim with laughter and tease with promise.
The contrast between them even there, so early on in the story, is wonderful, and it shows, perhaps, how well they complement each other. It also makes the whole concept of love at first sight believable. On that subject, I thought the premise of the story was a really interesting one, especially considering your opinions about love at first sight. I’ve never been one to be convinced at that, so it was a great idea to explore, and I think you did it well. I liked the use of the expression “coup de foudre” (and I’m glad you provided the translation, because even though I’m learning French, I wouldn’t have understood it at first) especially considering everyone’s reactions to Fleur in canon, how they were starstruck by her.
I also thought that their attraction to each other was made more plausible because their relationship didn't start particularly smoothly. The awkwardness in the restaurant was written very well, and I couldn’t help but feel very sorry for Bill for having chosen a bad place to eat, and Fleur, too. But I also liked how that situation was turned around and how it became a good thing in the end, for them, especially when they kissed. That was very sweet, not to mention romantic :)
I thought the style in which this was written, from beginning to end, was very good. One thing I loved was the use of the short sentences at the start to describe how they first met, with the repetition of “that look”. It worked really well, and it firmly established the foundations of their relationship. Also, I know you’re not always keen on present tense, but it was the perfect choice here. It kept me in the moment with both Bill and Fleur, and it helped maintain the story’s pace -- you covered a lot of ground here, I think, in not that many words, and yet not once was I confused, and not once did it drag or seem too fast either.
The characterisation of Fleur was simply excellent. Fleur, sadly, is one of the most abused characters in the fandom, and possibly in canon too. She’s seen as a girl who is merely pretty, and I liked that you changed that around completely here. Yes, she’s still beautiful, but you added a lot more substance to her character. For example, when Bill flicks the steak at her, she laughs, whereas I would have expected her to be annoyed and possibly just leave there and then. I think a moment like that threw me off a little, but in a good way -- it kind of reminded me that Fleur is human, which she obviously is, despite her looks :) Oh, and I also thought you wrote her accent very well. You did a great job on that without overdoing it, and I think that’s one of the most difficult things about writing Fleur sometimes. As well as that, I think Fleur’s refusal to use her Veela charm on Bill was interesting, and it showed, again, that she was a normal person, and a genuine one at that, because she wanted her relationship with Bill to actually last.
I really liked Bill’s characterisation too -- what I think is the best about him is that he’s not bothered about being particularly romantic, what with the fish and chips, and his impromptu proposal. But I think it works, too, because romantic gestures can go horribly over the top, and you kept it from getting to that stage, in my opinion. And the ending, when Bill says that he doesn’t love Fleur and doesn’t want to marry her, is heartbreaking. In HBP, when I read that scene, Bill was unconscious, so I always did want to know what his reaction to his attack would be. And, once again, his characterisation was spot-on; he seems like the noble sort of person who would try and protect Fleur by trying to reject her (like Remus). But, unlike Remus, I’m glad that Bill didn't go through with that and married Fleur anyway, because -- especially after reading this story -- Bill and Fleur make a beautiful couple.
So, as you can tell, I really enjoyed reading this. I think you did a wonderful job with this story, and it’s definitely a strong contender for at least one award (maybe Best Canon Couple?), so good luck in the challenge.
Bon anniversaire, mon amie!
Author's Response: Gah, and here's one of the incredible reviews I'm struggling to respond to because I generally reply straight away.
Thank you so much, Soraya. I'm honoured to have received this review and so pleased that it's for this story because it is actually one of my favourites, although I'm not sure why. Possibly it's because I didn't struggle immensely to finish it but had this clear idea of the progress that would happen.
For me the fact that Fleur is so clearly into Bill - so much that she leaves her homeland, fights a war she has no real connection to and the reader does a 180 in their opinion of her, has always intrigued me. She isn;t liked in GOF, and we only start to warm to her after the second task. But I think that gets forgotten during HBP when most of our sympathies are with Molly, Ginny and Hermione. Yeah, she's tactless but they're not wildly friendly to her either - ha. So, basically, I wanted to show that the 'coup de foudre' was equal. It wasn't just him falling for a Veela, but her falling for him equally hard. (I wrote about this in Not Quite Perfect, as well, but that's much more Fleur centered.)
The part in the restaurant amused me. Her initial reaction was, I think, annoyance, but she was more annoyed with the evening and the food and Bill trying to impress her, which so many men/boys must have done before, so when it all goes wrong and he stops trying to impress but becomes himself again, she relaxes and finds herself more attracted to him. yes, she could have been annoyed about the steak landing on her dress, but actually I've been in that position (well it was an ice cold bottle of beer that my bf (nor husband) knocked over me on a freezing cold day in Amsterdam) and I laughed because I realised it was an accident. She is more than just a dress, after all.
I'm glad you picked out the end and him rejecting her because I'm pretty sure he would have tried to put her off - not just because he's now maimed and they weren;t entirely sure what contamination he'd suffered, but because things are now VERY serious. It's not eloping/marrying young because it's romantic; if she marries him then she's very likely to get caught up in the war and could well die. EEEEP. So that's why I wrote that :)
Thanks again. This is very much appreciated. ~Carole~
Ah, canon romance. Carole, this is so fantastic! I love that the mishap with the steak happened, and everyone had to act normal. Haha. Loved your Fleur so much, and Bill is always divine. Really, really enjoyed this fic! ~ Lori
Author's Response: THANK YOUUUUUUUUU! I'm so pleased you liked this story, Lori, because I so loved writing it. Bill and Fleur do make me sigh - so beautiful together. *beams* ~Carole~
There are so many things I like about this fic! It was very nice to see Fleur's good side for once. I like the idea that she would resist using her Veela charms on Bill. How would she ever know whether or not he really loved her otherwise? For him to know that she was not going to try to ensnare him must have been very flattering and crucial later on in their relationship.
I also understood completely why she fell for him; you made Bill Weasley a very attractive man! The description of his eyes, “warm” and brimming “with laughter”, was very effective, especially when juxtaposed with Fleur’s. The theme of the lightning bolt works well, and brings the story together nicely. However, I must admit that I was glad you explained it in the summary. I am learning French, but I wouldn't have got it otherwise.
I also loved Bill’s proposal, and the fact that Fleur didn’t care that he didn’t make it more romantic. It is good to see that she is not as shallow as we are sometimes led to expect. It was all very romantic, which can never be a bad thing I my book. I did like having some comedy in there too though. It stopped the story from becoming overly sentimental. I couldn’t help but wonder which brother recommended the restaurant to Bill. I think it would either have been Percy displaying some shockingly bad taste, or maybe Fred or George trying to wind him up. Did you have a brother in mind?
Bill’s noble streak at the end reminded rather of Remus trying to protect Tonks and getting it wrong. I was very glad however, that he didn’t go to Remus’ extremes in trying to protect Fleur. It might have pleased Molly, but I’m not sure I could have borne it. I think that you really got to the heart of their relationship, and developed it well from the initial flirtation to Bill’s injury at the end. Also, well done with Fleur’s accent. It is easy to overdo it, but I think you struck a nice balance.
The one little thing I would say is that the “Two colleagues discovering that they do not have that much in common” bit didn’t really fit for me. For a date with such a disappointing start, it ended remarkably well for the pair. Overall though, it’s a lovely little fic, which I would struggle to fault. Your characterization was strong, your use of language was very effective, and it made a very enjoyable read. I would really like to read more Bill/Fleur fics from you :)
Author's Response: Thank you! Okay, I do have two other fics about them - Acorns and Not Quite Perfect - so you can look them up if you'd like.
OOH, the brother who recommended the restaurant. Okay, when I was first writing it, I had it in mind that it was Percy, but then I remembered that at the time Percy was estranged from the family, so I think it's Fred, but he doesn;t realise the place isn't very good because it does have good reviews.
I take your point about the colleagues not having much in common, but what I was trying to show was that in the formal atmosphere of the restaurant they had very little small talk. First dates can be so so awkward, but they find common ground in the awfulness of the place and the fact that they're both very attracted to each other.
I like Fleur very much. I think she's abused by fanfiction because she's beautiful, but in the books she's very very loyal. I've just thought of another author for you - Weasley Mom wrote a fab story about Fleur called Doubts - it's excellent!
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. It means a great deal. ~Carole~
Ah, the fic that gave me heartache. -sigh- So beautiful, and it fills me up with warmth and love and other feelings I shouldn't really go into on a family site. -sighs again- Both Bill and Fleur sound so sexy in here, and you have written their characters so amazingly as well. Struck by a lightning bolt indeed! I quite like to think it was Fleur who fell first, and not Bill ;) Thank you ever so much for writing this beauty and dedicating it to me. It's lovely and breezy and just so damn romantic and gaaaahhh makes me fall in love all over again.
Author's Response: I think Fleur fell first, too. Bill would have been unnerved, but she made the running to get the job at Gringotts, so ... yeah ... ha ha ... Silly man never stood a chance.
Thank you for the review, my best SW. Sorry this gave you heartache :(
I had to dedicate it to you because you held me down with a wand to my throat until I promised to write it - snigger. Seriously, if you hadn't nudged me then I wouldn't have written it and I'd been meaning to write a Blur for a while. Thank you so much for reviewing. ~Carole~
Hi Carole! Lovely little story. Your Bill is very sexy! I liked how you brought them together--no veela powers, but genuine feeling. It was obvious from the beginning that Fleur liked Bill, whereas in HBP we don't really see (or believe) that until the end. You fleshed out that final scene nicely, too. And even though I had to look up what the title meant, lol, it was a great way to start and end the story.
Your canon card is restored! ;)
Author's Response: Thank youuuuuuuuuuu. OOOH, I must poke you, I'm wondering now whether to provide an explanation for coup de foudre. I do think Fleur is badly abused in ff and also the books because we don;t see the side of her - enough - that truly loves Bill, only the side that Molly and Ginny can't stand. Thank you again. I do heave a sigh when that first review is in the bag. *sigh and giggle a bit* ~Carole~