"Excuse me, are you wanting ze bouillabaisse?"
I turned around to look at the pretty girl who had earlier laughed during Dumbledore's speech. She was tall with long silver-blonde hair which fell almost to her waist. She had an ideal nose and white, very white, teeth but her most striking feature were her eyes, a sea blue colour which had the depth of an ocean.
I have been complemented several times for my eyes and how they stand out on my face. I couldn't understand all the hype until now.
Someone nudged me in the ribs and I realized I was staring. I wasn't the only one, though. All boys on our table had a glazed look in their eyes. Ron, in particular, was drooling and for the first time in four years, didn't seem to be noticing Hermione's glower.
"Are you wanting ze bouillabaisse?" she repeated.
I turned once again to face her with a sheepish look on my face and said "N-no, no, you can have it."
She didn't even gave a glance to any of her admirers and with a stiff nod departed to her own seat with the dish bowl in her hands.
I realized that this must have been a common occurence for her. Oh well, with that face…
"She's a Veela, mate." said Ron after coming into his senses finally. "A half or quarter veela but veela for sure."
"But Harry wasn't affected by Veela at the world cup, Ronald." huffed Hermione. "And he too had a goofy look this time."
Hermione had a point. I wasn't affected by Veela in the world cup, so it shouldn't happen now. But again, she doesn't need any allure. She's too beautiful anyway...
I glanced back at the witch and to my surprise, she had her gaze directly fixed on me. I quickly looked away.
I somehow wasn't surprised to find out that someone had put my name in the Goblet of Fire. It was a dangerous competition and I had done nothing if not dangerous in my previous three years of Hogwarts. I also had a suspicion as to who the culprit was. I mean, you tend to notice a certain pattern if it occurs every year, but I hardly had any mind to say it out loud because I was hurt..
Real Bad. Little boy.
It didn't took me long to come to the conclusion that I had a tiny little crush on the bouillabaisse girl from yesterday which had nothing to do with her allure. And so I was crushed when she took me for a little boy.
Damn the Dursleys for not feeding me. Bloody malnourished Potter.
I came out from my internal monologue when somebody took me by the collar and thrust me against the wall. Dumbledore. Hmm…strong for his age. Or malnourished me.
"Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire, Harry?"
"Did you ask an older student to do so for you?"
"Nope." I said again. "But I have a suspicion who did."
"Who?" asked Dumbledore with a hint of curiosity. Others too looked on keenly.
"Can you first leave my robes please, sir?" I asked him.
I moved forward towards the centre of the room and turned to Fleur. She too had her gaze fixed on me. I normally do not look forward to attention of any kind but I liked it from her. Although I had not forgotten that she saw me as a little boy. I slowly took my wand out from inside my robes. Nobody on my back side could have seen the action. Fleur's eyes widened slightly. She must have thought I was going to attack her. Never Fleur, don't worry.
I turned sharply and threw a stunner at my newest defense teacher who was directly behind me. It took him by surprise and he went limp before he could blink.
I turned around and saw he wasn't the only one surprised either and then Dumbledore spoke.
"Harry, why did you attack Professor Moody?"
But I did not answer him. I moved forward and took out the ever present flask from the stunned Professor's robes. I then handed it over to Professor Snape who had a calculating expression on his face.
"Professor, can you please tell us what this is?"
As soon as Snape took a sniff from the flask, his eyes widened.
"What is it, Severus?" asked Dumbledore.
"Polyjuice Potion." answered the Potions master after several long moments in a slow drawl, true to his style.
Ropes sprang forward from Dumbledore's wand immediately and bound the already stunned imposter Moody. "Severus, bring me Veritaserum immediately."
"How did you know about this, Harry and why didn't you tell me beforehand?" Dumbledore asked me finally.
"I had a suspicion Dumbledore, which took birth from a mixture of curiosity, what was in that flask and why did he drink from it before the next hour was up, I was observing him for the past two months, you know, and the fact that he was our defence teacher. You know, it kind of becomes hard to ignore the pattern after a few years. And I did not tell you because nobody usually cares until something actually happens as proved in the last three years." Dumbledore had the decency to look ashamed, if only just.
"Dumbly-dore, what iz 'appening 'ere? We were told eet waz a school tournament. What we are seeing iz a little boy and a polyjuice imposter."
Oh yes, I really am little for her. French, all the same.
But before Dumbledore could answer the half-giant headmistress, the form below started changing shape. The scars disappeared, the skin became smooth and the mangled nose became hole and started shrinking. The hair shortened and with a thud, the wooden leg fell away as a normal leg regrew in its place. Finally, the magical eye too popped out and a pale skinned, well built man, who looked around Sirius's age was seen lying on the place where a few seconds before, Mad-eye Moody laid flat. There was a gasp and everyone turned to look at Mr. Crouch's horrified ashen face.
Shortly afterwards, everyone knew the reason as Barty Crouch Jr. was being taken away by the aurors after narrating his tragic tale along with his father.
"Ah…but I still have to compete anyway, isn't it?" I asked no one in particular.
"Um..yes." said old Bagman when no one else answered.
But I did not heard him. My sole focus at that point became the French witch who was looking at me with concern in her eyes and I, for a moment forgot that I was a little boy.
But only for a moment because as soon as she left with her headmistress, I promised myself to get up early from tomorrow onwards and get in shape.
I won't be a little boy anymore.
I started getting up early at 5 from next morning onwards and running 2 laps around the lake, rest and repeat the process. Sometimes, push-ups and pull-ups too made their way in my routine. My friends all thought that I was doing all this in preparation of the tournament. But I knew in my heart that it was all for the beautiful older French witch who thought of me as a little boy.
Well I couldn't blame her for having better expectations…
And this motto kept on pushing me harder and harder. Regular exercise resulted in increasing my appetite and I started competing with Ron over who could eat more. Although, he still defeated me soundly. He really has an endless stomach.
Our eyes met several times during meals but we never conversed.
A week before the first task, on my way back to the castle after my morning workout, I heard her voice.
"Trying to get in shape, hun?"
I turned sideways and saw her. She was looking as petite and proper as always with not a hair out of place. Although, her haughty expression seemed to be absent today.
"Just trying." I answered coolly keeping our eyes firmly locked.
"Thank you for being generous, Mr. Potter-"
"Harry's fine, Fleur." Bold, Potter, hun?
" 'arry, but I already knew about the task."
Of course, you knew, my dear Fleur.
I had sent Fleur a note informing her of the dragons being used in the first task. I knew Madam Maxime would tell her anyway,since Hagrid was actually giving her the show but I couldn't leave this opportunity to get some points in the quarter Veela's book. But she did not know that I already knew that she knew…
"But thanks anyway, 'arry."
"Umm…no problem, I know you'd do the same if given a chance."
There was a moment of silence while we both looked at each other. It did not escape my notice that our eyes were locked and neither of us had blinked since the start of the conversation. It was a silent war now. Who would look away first? And I was in no mood to loose…
I won. She broke the eye contact first but before she could say anything, I did.
"Fleur, I was curious…" I started calmly and simultaneously took a step towards her.
"Hmmm.." Another step.
" Do I really look that little of a boy?" Another step.
She actually smiled this time. Another step.
"Yes, you do look like a sweet little boy."
SWEET. OH MY GOD. KILL ME NOW.
I had never been this close to any girl, except Hermione, up until this point. That too always felt uncomfortable. But this, this felt nice. Our noses were a centimeter apart and I could clearly see my reflection in her eyes. Although, she was a bit taller than me, I did not feel embarrassed in tilting my head sideways and slowly moving my head forwards. I gave her a pretty good chance to fly away, if she wished but she didn't.
Our lips met. Only for a moment. And then I withdrew myself.
It was a chaste kiss, nothing passionate, but felt awesome all the same. I couldn't have wished for a better first kiss.
Or a better girl…
I knew from a little research that she had no friends, jealous girls and greedy boys. It was also fairly apparent when her own peers cried when she was selected as a champion to represent their school. This was the reason she always wore a haughty expression and a bitchy attitude on a face which could melt glaciers with a single smile.
I wanted to make sure that she did not count me as one of those greedy ones.
I was still standing very close to her and could feel her slow breathing as I was sure she could feel mine.
"Still little, hun?" I said finally, softly.
"'arry, do you know why I allowed you to kiss me? There iz no male 'ere 'oo would not give anyzing to be in your position." Her voice was calm but I could tell that there was a small quiver present.
"That day when I came to your table and you were staring, remember?" she said with a smile.
"Hmm…sor-" I realized I never apologized but she cut me off.
"Do not apologize, 'arry. Listen. You weren't affected by my allure, were you?"
"You don't need an allure Fleur…you are too beautiful, anyway. I just did not wish to shift my gaze away from you."
"You are the first man, you know, 'oo does not glaze over when 'e sees me. 'oo likes me for me. Even my father zometimes zlip over." She laughed at my incredulous expression. It was a musical laughter. Another plus for Fleur Delacour.
I knew she didn't answer my first question but I let it go, for now, and asked her what I had in mind.
"Fleur, after the first task, would you, you know, like to,um.., you know, go out with me?"
I knew that my eyes at this point were a pefect imitation of a puppy pug and it must have helped her to answer my query.
"I would love to, 'arry Potter."
Fleur joined me in my morning sessions from the next day. I even invited her to sit with us at meal times and she accepted immediately. My friends were all surprised and I had a hard time not hitting Ron when he was drooling all over his food, but Fleur hid her disgust well and assured me that some people were just more prone to her allure. Although, I knew she just said it so I won't fight with one of my best friends.
Hermione took to Fleur readily and both witches often had discussions in French, which gave them full privacy amongst several onlookers.
Being a champion, I was exempt from attending classes, and so, we both spent our afternoons sitting under a pine tree in front of the lake. We sometimes talked and sometimes just sat in a comfortable silence. Fleur-watching became my favorite past time and it never bored me. She told me about her family, her parents, her small sister Gabrielle, her school life, her ambition to prove herself and to find someone who would love and cherish her (look at me) and I told her everything about my life. The Dursleys, my eleventh birthday, Hagrid, my first train ride, meeting Ron and Herminoe, the troll, stone, Voldemort, chamber, basilisk, diary, Tom, Sirius, time-turner and Dementors.
I usually kept these close to my heart but it flowed automatically from my mouth in front of Fleur.
At the end, she was crying and hugging me, simultaneously trying to give me support and take it. I wasn't feeling particularly emotional or something after reiterating my life story in front of her but enjoying the feel of her body against mine nonetheless.
A soft sigh escaped my lips but I don't think she noticed.
First task came and went without any injuries and we were both happy for it.
Fleur and I went to Hogsmeade together as a couple and I could feel jealous eyes everywhere trying to burn holes in me but I couldn't care less. I even introduced her to Sirius who was cackling with glee at hearing about my Veela girlfriend and Fleur enjoyed his company immensely. I was initially worried that she would be offended but it was for not.
Life continued in the same fashion and I was really enjoying my fourth year at Hogwarts.
Fleur and I decided to stick together for the second task. Initially, we decided to use bubble head charms but at the last moment found something even better, Gillyweed, courtesy to Neville.
Fleur was at a double disadvantage at this task as, being a creature of fire, water did not suit her and Merpeople and Veela were enemies since times immemorial.
Nevertheless, we fought the gryndillows, blasted the tarantulas, stunned some mermen and saved our respective hostages together.
As soon as we reached the shore, Fleur grabbed me by the hair and I got my first blood dilating, toe-curling, pulse-quickening, dopamine inducing, stars in the noon, one of the type kiss from Fleur. There was a loud cheering from the audience but I paid no mind to them, couldn't have paid any mind to them since I had the most beautiful witch in my arms at that point, whom I realized, I loved.
" I love you, Fleur"
The day of the third task had finally arrived and I was a pile of nerves. It wasn't because I was scared that something bad would happen to me or I could very well be kidnapped as I knew I could handle Voldemort. I always did.
But I was scared because I had finally decided to confess my love for Fleur today, after this shitty competition is over.
Presently, I was practicing the same in front of a mirror. The mirror was continuously reassuring me that I was looked dashing and everything would be alright but you can take only so much from a mirror.
" I love you, Fleur"
"Harry, mate, you'll be late. What are you doing in the bathroom for the last hour. Come out. I have to go too." yelled Ron.
I finally took a deep breath and walked out of the bathroom.
Here, I come, my dear Fleur.
I was running. Running through this bloody maze to find the bloody cup which would end this bloody tournament in which I had no bloody interest to compete anyway. I would have stuck with Fleur but she was on the second position in the overall points telly behind me and so started some time after me. That too, from a different entrance.
I had waited by the entrance until Cedric who was on the fourth position came up.
I had just reached an old golden-mist like obstacle when I heard an ear shattering scream. HER SCREAM.
"FLEUR?" I shouted and took off with a run.
There was no answer.
My mind went into overdrive and went through all the possible circumstances which could have made her scream and I liked none of those.
But I never stopped running.
I kept screaming her name but no answer came. I didn't realize I had tears in my eyes but kept reminding myself that she would be alright.
I have to tell her…
I thought of the day I met her and of Bouillabaisse, and her calling me a little boy, and asking her out, and our first kiss and all our kisses since then and my fantasy of a future with her…and shouted "EXPECTO PATRONUM"
A huge familiar silver stag shot out of my wand and looked at me. "FIND HER"
It nodded and motioned for me to follow. I ran at my full speed after it, in the hope that I would reach her in time, that she would be alright…I did not allow my brain to think otherwise.
I finally saw her lying on the grass. She was still.
I also saw her attacker. It was Krum. He was using Cruciatus.
Something snapped in me at that moment and a rage, like never before, fuelled through my veins and magic. My wand came up of it own violation and Krum was blasted away from her in a second. There was a crunching sound and he slumped, unconscious, or dead. I didn't gave a damn.
"FLEUR" I shouted and ran towards her. I took her in my lap and words came out of my mouth on their own. "Fleur, wake up. Wake up, Fleur. Please, Fleur. Don't leave me now. I love you, Fleur. Please, wake up. Fleur, I love you. I will always love you Fleur. Please, don't leave me." and it continued like that.
I had not realized until after some time that my eyes were shut and tears were leaking out of them at an alarming rate.
I had not realized that I had not cried like this since I was four years old and Uncle Vernon had beaten the crap out of me.
I had not realized that in my anger towards Krum, I had not even checked her pulse.
I had not realized that though I was shouting and crying like a mad lunatic, she was looking at me calmly and serenely.
I had not realized, until I heard her voice.
"Calm down, mon amour"
My eyes snapped open and I took her in my arms so fiercely that it must have hurt but she didn't complain and kept reassuring me. I didn't stop crying, though. I couldn't.
"Calm down, mon amour. I am all right. Just in a little pain, zats all. You zaved me. Calm down. Don't cry, mon amour."
Fleur must have realized then that I didn't understood French.
" I love you too, 'arry Potter"
I stopped abruptly and looked at her. She was still smiling. She must have been the first one in the world to smile after being cruciated. She tilted her head and kissed me softly.
I didn't let her go, though. I kept kissing her until both our lips were swollen and I was assured that she was real and my mind wasn't playing tricks on me.
After all, my life was taken away and given back to me in a matter of minutes.
Anybody can go mental.
But Fleur, in her own way, kept reassuring me that she was indeed real.
I finally sent red sparks from my wand and after some moments, McGonagall and Sprout came up. Upon seeing the slumped Victor, they demanded an explanation. I told them the whole story.
"Mr. Potter, we will take it from here, you should go and try to win the tournament." the Deputy Headmistress asked me.
"No, its alright. I'll stay with Fleur."
"No, 'arry. You should compete. I will be alright."
"Are you sure, Fleur?"
"Me too. I am not going anywhere. Without you."
"No buts. I don't give a damn about that trophy. You know it, Fleur. Lets leave this mess and get some private time together. What do you say?"
"Oui, mon amour" she said smiling and her smile was contagious. I couldn't help smiling too.
Both the Professors raised identical single eyebrows but I just grabbed Fleur in my arms,lifted her up and moved out of this bloody maze.
Who needs Wingardiam Leviosa for such a beauty…
(ELSEWHERE IN A GRAVEYARD)
A monstrous looking baby spoke to a cowering rat like man.
"How much more time, wormtail, didn't you relay the message properly to Karkaroff?"
"I did, master. The boy will be here any time, now."
"We do not have much time Wormtail. The ritual has to start now…or it won't do me any good. Prepare the cauldron." The baby hissed, unknown to anyone, for the last time.
Nobody reached the portkey in time. Cedric Diggory, the last champion was declared the winner since he reached the closest and was injured in the fight with the acromantula.
Lord Babymort didn't know of this.
He took a risk and ordered Wormtail to put him in the bubbling cauldron, imagining that he would deliver great amount of pain to Karkaroff if he failed.
Horcruxes are a tricky subject. Nobody knows who got the idea and who applied it for the first time. Lord Voldemort read all he could on the subject. But not enough, since enough was never written. After all, he himself claimed that nobody had reached as close to immortality as he did.
Horcruxes can save you from death. This was true.
Nobody knew what happened if the person died a second time.
Until Wormtail heard his master's final screams from the cauldron and scurried off to live a life of a rat.
(5 years later)
I really liked her sleeping form. Slow deep breaths. A cute smile on the lips. And a round belly.
Ah, but I'd have to wake her up.
"Wake up, Fleur…"
She didn't stir. She never did. Not the first time
I kissed her nose.
"Wake up, flower"
She smiled. As always. She always likes me calling her sweet names.
"Wake up, Bouillabaisse Girl"
I kissed her properly this time.
"Morning, little boy"
AU: That was it. My second one-shot. I really tried hard this time to write something worthwhile. Hope, its not too bad...