They had, naturally, avoided giving him a mirror for some time, but the day had to come. He had taken it well, considering, but had politely told the orderlies at St. Mungo's to remove it from his room at once, and no one had argued.
Who was he if he couldn't recognize himself, Bill wondered. Inwardly, he had changed very little, he admitted, and yet he found himself wanting to research ways to bring back his old face, which made him feel both vain and faintly ridiculous. He had been told - by the best authority on the matter - that there was little to be done of his facial injury, and that was that.
Fleur seemed to understand his confusion, and while she was careful not to look at him as something repulsive or flawed, he felt that her willingness to verbally voice her lack of horror at his appearance was too enthusiastic, and often caught her casting sidelong glances at him that didn't retain any of the loving acceptance she so often boasted about.
It was an unfair accusation, maybe, to think that his beautiful and brilliant fiancee's devotion to him would wane after the disfiguring accident, but it selfishly distracted him from his own dissatisfaction with himself.
Fleur is as graceful as her name, and accordingly does not flinch when - for the second time in history - the Minister of Magic authorizes the use of Unforgiveables during Auror raids. She even smiles as she shakes Scrimgoer's hand, and is very aware of the looks she receives as she glides out of the room.
Gifted and beautiful, she feels queasy as she heads for the nearest toilet, anxious for a moment's privacy to collect herself before heading to St. Mungo's for what will be her fiancee's check-up number seven this month.
The tired witch leans a bony shoulder against the appropriate door and feels worse as she spots a familiar Improper Use department clerk leaning against the sink, checking her make-up.
The half-veela musters a blinding smile as the other witch sees her reflection.
"Yeah, it looks like the scarring will be about as we'd thought. You're healing nicely here, and - here, well, that's a bit nasty. I'll have Judy come in and clean you up while I run down the hall to check on that serum."
Bill watches the Healer leave with more than a bit of resentment - he's paying for this guy to doctor his face, and yet the dolt kept having to leave the room, as if he had to go have it off with one of the mediwitches every five minutes.
Then again, he thought with sudden shame, being inches away from such carnage couldn't be a pleasant task, even for someone accustomed to grizzly injuries. Werewolf attacks were an entirely different matter, he'd discovered.
For one, they take a bloody awful long time to heal, and when they do, the scarring is much worse than it would be normally. The risk of infection is lowered, but in most cases, you're cursed to turn into a wolf every month.
Bill had been relatively lucky - Fenrir is a monster, but he wasn't one when he attacked that disasterous night at Hogwarts; the once handsome Weasley would be disfigured for life, but would not be afflicted with lycanthropy.
He had been actively trying to convince himself that being unrecognizeable was much better than being a ghastly man-beast, but at the moment he saw no difference.
The mediwitch came bustling in and he held still while she - with a noticable degree of distaste - swabbed at his face with something that both smelled bad and stung like hell. He winced when she touched a rough patch by his chin.
"This hurts us both, honey, but do mind the rare bits."