If there’s one thing JK Rowling does well (which is ridiculous to even say, since she does a million things well), it’s write a solid female character. From Hermione Granger to Nymphadora Tonks, to Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, and my personal favorite – Minerva McGonagall – Rowling has gifted us with some strong fictional women in Harry Potter to look up to, no matter what our personality type.
One of these who often goes overlooked as an admirable character is Fleur Delacour. In the books, Fleur is first introduced as a stunningly beautiful quarter-Veela witch who seems rude, snobbish, and shallow. But by the end of the series, we learn not only is there so much more to Fleur than meets the eye, but that she is, in fact, one of the standouts among a sea of amazing female characters in Harry Potter.
Here are the reasons Fleur is our #WCW, and deserves way more praise than she has gotten up till now.
She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself
While Fleur is seen by many as being stuck up, the truth is she is just blunt and honest – a refreshing pair of qualities for not only a female character but a teenage one, considering we women are often made to feel like we have to apologize for who we are and tiptoe around how we really feel. And as the series progresses, we see how Fleur’s attitude is simply a testament to how confident she is about who she is, which is someone much more than just a pretty face. As Barty Crouch, Jr. masquerading as Mad-Eye Moody says in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “She’s as much a fairy princess as I am.” Hell. Yes.
She knows physical appearance doesn’t actually matter that much
My absolute favorite Fleur moment isn’t in the movies, which is a travesty (and one of the 32843 reasons why everyone who enjoyed the movies even a little bit should go read the books, stat!). It’s at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Molly Weasley is tending to her son (and Fleur’s fiancé) Bill’s wounds. Molly starts lamenting over the fact that Bill will never be the same again, and that he was going to be married and everything, while Fleur is standing right there.
Fleur basically snaps and asks Molly if she thinks Bill won’t marry her now that he has been bitten by a werewolf. While Molly starts sputtering, Fleur is relentless, telling Molly that Bill’s scars are proof of his bravery and that she is good-looking enough for the both of them before snatching the ointment out of Molly’s hand and tending to his wounds herself. The scene ends with Molly offering Fleur her Aunt Muriel’s goblin-crafted tiara to wear on her and Bill’s wedding day, and the two cry and hug it out.
And though Fleur is not immune to using her beauty in the series to get ahead (but really, who hasn’t used a natural advantage to get ahead when they can?), there are two big lessons here: 1. Fleur is a certified badass who refuses to let looks define her or anyone around her, and 2. Read the books, y’all.
She is extremely brave
Aside from entering herself into (and subsequently competing in) the Triwizard Tournament the first time we meet Beaubaxtons student Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, she displays immense bravery at many other points in the series. She is present the night the Death Eaters infiltrate Hogwarts both at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the Battle of Hogwarts, and she volunteers to help retrieve Harry from the Dursleys’ one last time in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, narrowly escaping death when other characters (namely, Mad-Eye Moody and Hedwig – yes, we’re still sobbing uncontrollably – as well as George Weasley’s ear, which I guess counts as a character) aren’t so lucky.
Fleur also houses and tends to the wounds of fugitives Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, and Griphook at Shell Cottage, where she and Bill live and Dobby is eventually buried (MORE SOBS). Not the least brave course of action, considering the consequence for taking it is more than likely certain, painful death.
She is fiercely protective of her loved ones
Speaking of protecting others, a huge pillar of Fleur’s character is how close she keeps her family. Though she isn’t easy to get close to, the ones who manage to get in her good graces are there for life, and that includes her family members – particularly her little sister, Gabrielle. She tells Harry she will never forget how he saved Gabrielle during the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament, and she means it as she fights tooth and nail to protect Harry and those he cares about most deeply.
She has a kid named Victoire
Fleur and Bill live happily ever after and eventually become parents to three children – the eldest being a daughter whom they name Victoire, which is French for “victory” and a nod to the fact that she was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. Um…how cool is that? We also learn in the epilogue of the series that Victorie is, like her mother, also attracted to someone with a werewolf connection: Teddy Lupin, whose late father Remus was a werewolf but who, luckily, isn’t a werewolf himself. We hope Victorie inherited even more of her mother’s traits, and would read a whole book about her.
Thanks, JK Rowling, for giving us a sassy, strong, and beautiful character in Fleur Delacour. Through her, you taught us to never apologize for who we are, to stand tall, and to know our true worth.