Warnings: None, I think
Word count: 497
Summary: Bill always liked puzzles. He finds a fascinating new one in a small cafe in London.
A/N: Written for bwfd_ldws.
Fleur found a tiny slice of home in a small café tucked deep in London. It wasn’t quite Muggle, though a few Muggles came for coffee, tea, and nibbles frequently. She found it quite by accident, not soon after coming to work at Gringotts. The coffee was made precisely to her picky Parisian liking. It was, in a word, perfect for a homesick witch.
It was the first place she met him after she settled in. Fleur hadn’t, of course, moved here because of Bill Weasley. No, she had only flirted with the handsome man during the Triwizard Tournament; she didn’t know him, wasn’t involved with him. Though it had, perhaps, crossed her mind that she might run into him again.
But one day she entered the little shop, and there he sat, a small cup of thick Turkish coffee in hand. He looked infinitely weary, with his eyes closed and his nose buried in the cup, as if the scent alone could cure his exhaustion. For a moment, she could see what he might look like as an old man, and surprisingly it didn’t horrify her.
“Bill,” she greeted. He jolted from his reverie, nearly dropping his cup. She sensed more than saw him nearly draw his wand and discard the thought just as quickly. His shoulders relaxed when he recognized her.
“Fleur, right?” he said. His voice tried to be charming to cover its tiredness but didn’t quite succeed.
“Oui.” Fleur wondered what could make a handsome man like him hyper-vigilant. Perhaps those rumors she heard so much of at work. He was quite a puzzle. “Forgive me for intruding, but it is nice to finally recognize someone ‘ere.”
His smile was broad and genuine. “Well, it is wonderful to meet you again.” He hesitated only briefly. “Please, join me. I need some company.”
She sat, dimpling a smile. Their talk accompanied their mutual caffeine intake, or was it their coffee accompanied their talking? They laughed with each other, her at his very rusty Egyptian-accented French and he at her occasional twist on English phrases. It delighted a part of her, to see him start to shed his exhaustion and light up; she did not think it was due solely to the coffee.
But finally it was time to leave. She found herself peculiarly loathe to do so.
Wanting to see him again, she made a decision. She picked up a napkin and kissed it. “You like puzzles, oui?” she asked him, and he nodded, obviously puzzled. “If you would like to see me again, then, use this to find me,” she told him, laying the napkin, lip-print marked, upon the table next to his empty cup. A spell lurked, hidden, under the marks, a hidden map in the lines should he wish to find her again.
It didn’t surprise her a few hours later when he turned up at the door of her tiny office in Gringotts to ask her out on a date.