He was ready for bed, but he wasn't about to go to sleep just yet.

Setting the portrait on the sofa, he sat across from it on his little coffee table and waited for Astrid to reappear. He remained quiet for a few minutes and just when it seemed like she wasn't going to reappear for the evening, he saw her poke out her head. But upon seeing him, she hid again. Her mannerisms were almost child-like, the way she would hide away, peek out, only to hide again.

"No, no, no!" Bill placed up his hands and waving them a bit to prevent her from disappearing again. " There's no one else here, it's just me. I promise. I can...I can show you around if you like, just to prove there's no one else here."

It was silent and still for a few moments before he saw the familiar gaze staring back out at him again. Even in better lighting, Bill still could not determine the woman's eye colour, even if they were locked on his.

"Do you want me to show you around?" He offered again, hoping that he could prove a point and earn a little bit of her trust.

Astrid shook her head at him, seemingly not interest in going on a tour of his small flat. But Bill was simply thankful that she was interacting with him, even if it was quietly.

"I guess I can't blame you there," Bill said rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. "There's not much to look at. I'm not much of a decorator as you can see. Mum always tells me I should spruce up the place a bit, but I never seem to find the time  or the motivation if I'm being honest."

With a shameful expression, Bill looked over his shoulder, glancing around his plain flat with a small grimace. It really did look lacklustre but as he was paying attention to his place, he didn't see as Astrid slipped out of her hiding place and sat before him in the painting in the small chair. When he turned around, he was about to jump in startlement but stopped himself as he didn't want to spook her back into hiding.

Clearing his throat, he placed a smile on his face. "Well, there you are," he said, once again noting that her mouth was covered by her hand. She always seemed so nervous to be in his presence, even though Bill was not capable of jumping through the painting and hurting her. Wanting her to relax, Bill sat straight up on his coffee table before crossing his legs and tucking them underneath him after he kicked his shoes off.

"I'm Bill Weasley," he introduced himself in a gentle tone," I'm a Curse-Breaker for Gringotts and...goodness, it sounds like we only have a minute to tell each other as much as possible before a timer goes off. Sorry, I-"

Stopping himself, Bill let out a heavy sigh, realising how difficult it was to form any sort of sentence past that point, especially as Astrid continued to stare at him. Normally, he had no problem with starting or carrying a conversation, but since he had yet to hear her say anything, the one-sided conversation left him feeling completely awkward and stuck.

"Do you know what a Curse-Breaker is?" he asked, finally looking back up at her. He expected nothing to answer his question, but instead, he watched as Astrid nodded her head. Suddenly, he found himself quite excited as he raised a brow. While it wasn't a verbal response, it was some form of communication and that was good enough for him.

"Great, great! So you've heard of Gringotts then? The bank?"

Once again she nodded.

Bill figured that Astrid was still too nervous to speak with him, so rather than pressuring her to speak, he decided to stick with simple yes or no questions, in hopes of learning more about her. She kept her hand over her mouth, but her entire disposition seemed to relax as time went on as her body slouched forward in the chair. Her elbow rested on her leg, as she leaned into it, watching him and waiting for the next question.

His eyes looked all over the painting trying to find any context clues to aid his questioning, but besides Astrid, the painting was so incredibly simple, that there wasn't much to go on.

"You're a witch, correct?"

Another yes.

"Did you attend Hogwarts?" 

For the first time, Astrid shook her head "no" leaving him to pause for a moment, a triumphant grin forming on his face.

"Okay, now we're getting somewhere."

Moving closer towards the painting, Bill repeated her name in his head a couple of times. It certainly had a French sound to it that he enjoyed, bringing him to look back up at her.

"French, your name is French? Oui?"

Suddenly, he watched as Astrid shook her head once more and this time, she pointed to the corner to where her name was, a flicker of amusement in her faze as the corners of her eyes creased. It puzzled him at first, making him wonder if he had miss something only to realise moments later that she was teasing him.

"Alright," he chuckled, " good to know that you have a sense of humour in there. But the name...Astrid Perrot, that's French, correct?"

As she answered yes with her head, he continued with his question, learning that it was French and also that she had attended Beauxbatons.

"Well, now we're making progress, Miss Perrot."

There was a question, itching at the back of Bill's mind that he continuously pushed away to refrain himself from asking but his curiosity was getting the best of him. Astrid seemed to be waiting patiently for the next question as she watched him with a patient expression.

"Are you....are you dead?" he asked her.

The answer was obvious, of course, she was dead, it was the reason why most wizard and witches were painted in the first place so that they would be able to be called upon in some respects after their death. Bill shook his head in shame at his own question as he looked up at her to apologise for the insensitive question, but as he did, he met Astrid's gaze once more and the woman shook her head.

She wasn't dead.

MONA LISA SMILE ⟶ Bill WeasleyWhere stories live. Discover now