Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. As such, this is non-profit...wait, Scientology claims that too? Uh...I receive no money at all for writing this. None. I probably lose some for writing it. And maybe sanity. Wait, that's dark fics, this is fluff! Instead, the pink bunnies swarm me. Do I have to roll for masculinity now, or cuteness overdose?
For the purpose of this story and my sanity at writing, I'll write as if Fleur's mastered her accent. I do like 'Arry though, and it's an easy way to note who's talking in a back-and-forth without 'Fleur said, Harry said, Fleur said, Harry said' bits. It...tires me and my synonyms out to have long conversations where I have to do that.
I could spell out everything about this story right here. But...I preferred to put pen to paper (uh...sorry, keyboard to word processor) on story first, not explanations.
Chapter 1: A Juxtaposed View
Fleur Delacour's grimace was obvious, her allure working in the opposite way of the normal at the moment. Oh, she had things to be happy about. She'd just lived through a major, losing battle. It felt almost Pyrrhic, but it was done. The Death Eaters and Voldemort were no more.
And yet, something tugged at her. But most and weirdest of all, it seemed to stem from Harry Potter. He seemed fine. He was a conqueror of the Dark forces, and yet he just seemed immensely weary. Nothing like triumph shone through. In fact, when she thought back to the Triwizard Tournament, nothing he really seemed to do there ever made him truly 'proud'. The third event she could clearly understand, but the second, where he was truly a hero? The first, where he almost clearly outperformed those older?
No. Something was wrong. And she wanted to find out what. Maybe it wasn't what she was thinking at all, maybe he really was only weary. Luna's exclamation and Harry's pointed absence made it obvious he had left, most likely to get away from the defenders left. Of course, it had taken her quite a while to figure that out, but at least she had. No one else seemed to notice quite yet.
Without a single worry about her actions, she clearly stood up and strode out the Great Hall, through the spell-damaged main doors, and out onto the grounds. She sighed as she walked around the lake, her thoughts flicking back to the harrowing performance she had during that task. At least now...it seemed to be at least a bit more gentle, and peaceful. She sat down, before realizing she could still see the damage, bodies, and general mayhem still left. A slight shift backwards, behind a rock, let her hide it away from herself.
She conjured a large pillow, resting against it as she looked out over the lake, her mind slowly emptying as she stared across the water. It wasn't ideal. She'd almost preferred to be still in that relationship with Bill Weasley, at least she'd felt secure and comfortable in it. But it wasn't right. It didn't feel like her place.
No, here she was instead. The sun felt warm, she thought, as her eyes closed. Maybe she could just rest her eyes a bit...
When she opened them next, she noticed it was already evening. With a slight sigh, she vanished her pillow and moved on back to the castle. Unlike before, she could clearly see Harry Potter sitting at one of the tables. He was just barely smiling-and it felt very forced. She frowned, as people continued to seemingly draw from his presence, his strength. They'd abandoned him more than once. Why should they possibly seek to draw more out of him, when it was obvious to her he was being run ragged?
No. It wouldn't do. She saw one of the other defenders leave, yellow trimming and pompous voice on his robes at least let her know he was a Hufflepuff. She had no idea his name, though, but moved immediately to take his place.
"'Arry," Fleur said, gathering his attention.
"Oh-Fleur. I didn't expect you to come by," he responded simply, causing Fleur to nearly grimace again. She could almost hear the dread.
"I am not here for what you think," Fleur muttered, her brain churning. She decided on her course just barely after it popped into her head, "I am here to offer you a way out. Come to France. Enjoy it for a little while. They can take care of things here, and you need to get away," Fleur finished, nearly startling herself at the offer. Harry's smile widened, before it vanished.
"I don't think I'll be able to get away. There's too much just-" Harry cut off his words at Fleur's glare.
"'Arry. They will do fine on their own, believe me. You need to get away from...this," Fleur whispered, grimacing. Well, she at least tried to hold it in. Harry glanced around.
"Are you sure? And why are you offering me this?" Harry asked, allowing himself to accept it. At least it happened quickly, Fleur felt.
"I'll tell you after we leave for the Delacour Estate. Otherwise, you must be content with the idea that you can return if you find it inappropriate."
"Yeah. That would be good. I was almost thinking I should help with the Death Eater cleanup, though."
"'Arry. What's the English phrase? Ah. You've broken the back of the Death Eater movement. They'll be disorganized, flailing, failing, and lost. The Ministry can handle it. As I said, you can return when you want."
"That's a fair point. I'll take it, Fleur. But wouldn't it be a problem for your parents?"
"No. It's an estate, they barely use half the rooms as it is, unless my father's family comes for the holidays. Then it's packed, and our house elves are almost overwhelmed. But I am glad you accepted," Fleur said, happy that she'd broken through. Harry gave a nod.
"Okay. When would we leave? Can I bring Hermione and Ron, or is this just for me?" Harry asked, looking at the two. Fleur thought for a moment as she looked at the way Ron and Hermione were together.
"They might want to adjust to their relationship first, it seems, and I'd thought you'd want to be mostly alone?"
"Ah. Then...yeah. The only thing left would be time."
"When can you get packed?" Fleur asked, nearly startling him. He frowned a little bit.
"Well, I'd have to ask Hermione for my clothes, but all I'd need is something to put them in and I'd be set," Harry remarked, thinking for a moment, returning with, "But why are you so desperate to do so now? Surely a day or two won't make a difference."
"'Arry. It makes a big difference. In a day or two you will be so wound up by all this that you won't be able to back out. I want you to understand that. Your stay at Shell Cottage taught me a bit about you. And if I'm honest with myself, I want you to come because out of all these English you are the closest friend I have," Fleur said, looking evenly at him in the eyes. He looked back, before slightly glancing down.
"Alright, I will. Just-just give me a little bit. Would you have anything in Shell Cottage I can use for my clothes?" He said, looking at Hermione again.
"Yes. You own that House Elf-Kreacher or something or other? I heard a couple mutterings about him."
"Yeah. So you're saying have him return Hermione's bag?"
"Exactly," Fleur finished, watching Harry walk off. Hermione and Ron looked at each other, after he seemed to ask about it, before both looked at her. Hermione's face broke into a soft smile, before she looked back to Harry with a nod. She pulled it out of a pocket and handed it to him, before hugging him tightly. Ron clapped him on the back with a slight grin, before telling him something. Harry frowned, before nodding.
He walked back to her, causing Fleur to breathe a slight sigh of relief. "Well, that's everything I think. Ron said he'd write me when the funeral is-I...I want to be there for it. I can't just act like nothing happened," Harry muttered softly, continuing past her as Fleur moved back to his side.
"I wouldn't expect you to, 'Arry. But even with all this, there is still joy, peace, and love in the world. It's hard to find here, but it is what gives us all the strength to carry on," Fleur said wisely, before smiling slightly at him. Harry looked back at her, before chuckling.
"Did you read Dumbledore's diary or something? Sounds like something he'd say."
"No. Dumbledore was wise, though. There is much to show you-and Gabrielle has been pestering me even more since she heard that I let you into my little cottage! It's amusing, to say the least, if a bit annoying. Why did you ever decide to make her have a crush on you?" Fleur teased, causing Harry to laugh again.
"Hey, it wasn't my fault! I just did my saving people thing. Or at least, that's Hermione's description of it," Harry shot back, smiling a bit. At least, he did until they found their way to the steps.
Plenty of robes, both Death Eater and Hogwarts and Auror alike were strewn across the steps, path, and grounds of Hogwarts. There were already some working on clearing up the grounds, incinerating Death Eaters and putting the others into lines for burials. Harry shook his head as Fleur gently took his hand.
"'Arry. They didn't die in vain. We're free. Mourn their loss, but know they died for a future untainted by Voldemort. They didn't die for you either-they died because they finally had hope enough to fight for the future. Instead of wasting away, you gave them hope to take that chance, to ensure children wouldn't face it ever again. You hear me?" Fleur asked softly, looking back at him. Harry's eyes were shut tight.
His voice wavered as he spoke, "I...I know. It doesn't make it any easier. I've lost so many-"
"And there is so much more to be gained. Believe me, 'Arry. You'll get through this, and make sure that children will never need fear another Dark Lord. Am I right?" Fleur continued, causing Harry's eyes to open.
"Yes. You-you are. I don't want this to happen to anyone else," Harry said, far more strongly than he felt. Fleur smiled again.
"That is the 'Arry I know. Now come, I want to be in France before evening, and we have a few stops to make," Fleur said back, not letting go of his hand as she led him away. They walked in silence, determinedly avoiding any possible chances to come across any bodies. When they reached the gates, Fleur stopped and turned to him, still holding his hand. "Do you remember where to go?"
Harry gave a crisp nod, before releasing her hand and Apparating. Fleur followed, ending up on her doorway. With one smooth motion she had it opened as he walked up the path, leaving it open as she walked to her room and began packing everything she'd need with magic. She looked back, and slightly smirked.
"You might wish to pack yourself, I don't imagine you'd be terribly interested in carrying a beaded bag around and fishing clothes out of it," Fleur teased, pointing to it as Harry snapped out of it. She waved her wand at a closet in the hallway, which had a few trunks in it. "Most of those are what I used to bring much of the things we have in the house to here. Just watch out for the two that still have items in them-I had no place to put them, and had to pack them up when you arrived," Fleur exlained as various things flew into neat little stacks into her own suitcase.
As Harry lifted the trunk off the shelf, he looked at Fleur's bag. "So why the suitcase?"
Fleur flushed a slight bit, "Well, it was easier. Muggles are quite a bit more resistant to the Allure, so I had a few of them as friends when I was a little girl. One of them knew we traveled, my family, and her parents helped her give me this one Christmas. It's...how do you say, grandfathered-in as my favorite bag. Granted, I don't think it was intended to have an Expansion Charm on the inside," Fleur commented dryly, before shrugging. Harry gave a noncommitted grunt as he began doing something similar.
"I might actually need more clothes...and better ones," Harry muttered as he realized just how quickly his was done. Fleur's suitcase zipped closed just a couple minutes after he'd started and finished. Fleur smirked.
"Oh, I should throw you at Gabrielle and let her know you have to shop, 'Arry," Fleur jokingly threatened. Harry's head snapped up, shaking quickly.
"No-no. No need, thanks, thanks. I'll just...uh...go on my own!" Harry announced as Fleur's smirk seemed to visibly widen, before she winked.
"Okay. My father, then? You'd have little way to tell what is good and what is not without at least one of my family joining," Fleur responded evenly. Harry gulped as his mouth went a little drier. Harry noticed the slight pull in his head to stare at her, impress her. He quickly repulsed it.
"N-no. How about I just go with you then? I'm sure your family's lovely and they're fantastic and that-" Harry stopped speaking as he heard Fleur laugh, and the Allure step off.
"It's fine, 'Arry. I know you meant no offense. And congratulations, you're still resisting that Allure very well. It was unintentional. When I'm more relaxed it tends to release itself without my consent," Fleur admitted as she extended the handle on the suitcase, before pulling it off her bed. Harry shook his head quickly.
"Kreacher," Harry called, and with a loud crack he appeared.
"Yes, Master?" Kreacher asked, bowing respectfully. Harry smiled.
"I would appreciate if you brought this back to Hermione Granger. Until I come back, please...uh...assist Professor McGonagall, and with repair of Hogwarts," Harry ordered, barely coming up with it on the spot. Kreacher took the beaded bag delicately, gave an affirmative, and with another crack left. He looked back at Fleur, who was looking a little embarrassed, and obviously didn't want to show it, "Hey. Fleur? It's nothing to worry about. Nothing like beating back Voldemort's Imperius, thankfully," Harry commented dryly, trying to help her out. Fleur smiled in return.
"Good news there. Let's talk about something else-I'd rather ask about what plans you'd love to start. If you'd not mind, of course. The Muggle-based French Embassy in London does have a magical office, and it's how I typically got home to France," Fleur explained as she easily levitated the suitcase behind her to follow them, before lightly grabbing Harry's arm while holding onto her suitcase. Harry gave a nod as he grabbed his trunk.
Fleur winced as she felt the landing Harry had from the Side-Along. It wasn't the most comfortable of trips, even if you could Apparate. She held her hand out to help him up, which he gratefully took, "'Arry, I do believe you have a problem with Side-Along," Fleur commented softly as she helped him up. Harry grunted.
"Floo, Apparition, Portkey...I'll take Buckbeak next time," Harry muttered darkly, dusting himself off quickly, noticing an official walking towards them. Fleur's eyebrow rose.
"Didn't your little camping trip involve quite a number of Apparitions?" Fleur asked, as Harry chuckled a little.
"Nearly had to half-hug Hermione each time to ensure I didn't fall over. Or if it was somewhere I knew, I Apparated myself. I got teased a few times about it," Harry admitted easily as he looked around, "Huh, this doesn't really look like a magical embassy, are you-" Harry cut himself off as he saw an older man stride towards them, tall and formal-looking.
"I am quite sure you are in the appropriate place, if Ms. Delacour brought you. You are Mister...?"
"Perfect. Might I thank you for handling He-Who-Must-No-Be-Named, if it's not presumptuous?" the man asked nicely, bowing slightly. Harry shook his head. "Then I am most happy to hear it. I assume you wish to return, Ms. Delacour?"
"The Chateau, if possible," Fleur answered a little hesitantly. The man glanced over at Harry, before giving a slight smile.
"I will see what I can do," he answered, turning around and lightly tapping a brick with a very light-colored wand. The fireplace went out momentarily, before relighting, "It was expensive at the time, but the French Ministry deemed it important to allow refugees if the situation required it in Magical Britain. This is an International Floo, connected to France. We saw maybe a few dozen total flee to France, mostly Muggleborn. The German side reported much the same.
"The reason it was more expensive was also because it was deemed important to have many refuges. Ms. Delacour, your parents were one such, though the official destination of the Floo was the Ministry," the man finished, before levitating an urn down from the mantel above it. He gently set it down on the large, walnut desk he had as Harry read the nameplate.
"Monsieur Pierre, Special Ambassador?" Harry muttered softly. Pierre gave a swift nod, before holding the urn out for both Fleur and Harry.
"It is a pleasure to meet you. Now, I believe the phrase is 'time to get this show on the road', yes? Vernacular was never my strong suit," he admitted as Fleur grabbed some. Harry chuckled as he did so as well.
"Yep, that's right. Thanks for this," Harry said, Pierre simply nodding and giving a slight bow as he backed away. Fleur Floo'd away with a clear, "Chateau Delacour!" Harry followed, before being stopped momentarily by Pierre grabbing his arm. Harry turned to him, surprised.
"Take your time and enjoy France. There is much to see and do there. We will still be here. Your job is finished-let those in power sort the rest out. They should not ask you for more than you can give, and I believe you've reached the point of stopping," Pierre advised softly, letting him go. Harry gave a single nod in return, before following Fleur and using the Floo.
The first impression Harry had was that he was glad there was some plush form of carpet that he pushed off against, the second impression was that it was soft under his hands. Looking up revealed a slightly-smirking Fleur.
"My, you truly do have many problems with the Floo. As it stands, welcome to the Chateau, my friend," Fleur said, before turning slightly to wave his focus to the house itself. His first words, he felt, encapsulated it quite fittingly.
"Damn that's ornate."
Alright! Author's notes time and explaining time!
I got this idea because while I love Harry/Fleur, there's...not very many stories about them. There's less about Harry/Bellatrix, but those are dark stories. I wanted happy. Balance it out a little. There's plenty of GoF stories with romance, and many with bonds. While I like both...there's problems.
For one: I have problems writing a school atmosphere. It's sucking away my ability to write my other story. For two: I have problems writing true 'teenagers'. Yes, Harry's 17, but he seems far more like an adult than that, so it doesn't feel as much of a stretch. For three: The bond removes some aspects I like, such as work in a relationship and having to trust someone to not be lying to you.
Yes, this is a fluff. That means there are no dark themes. That does mean that things that occur in regular relationships can happen here, and likely will. Lies, misunderstandings. I don't like bonds because they remove that aspect. I don't like bonds because I also like the buildup to it. I know it's magic, but...there's a certain aspect to that that I kinda don't like. I also have to admit a dislike for the 'bond' excuse to cause a harem...though I will admit that I do find stories I like with it, it is a bit frustrating to see how prevalent it all is.
Onto the other portions, sorry about the rant. I'd think Veela would have a bit of a natural empathy-nothing too great. Fleur will likely tease Harry about several things, and continue on well into their relationship with it. I'm aiming for their relationship to start around 40-60K words.
Why did Fleur invite Harry? Well, if she and Bill didn't work, but at least were ambivalent...they would probably not be that great a pair of friends. So, that means that Fleur's best friend would likely end up being Harry, especially after the time at Shell Cottage. Here, Jean and Apolline both gave it to Fleur after she moved there. Everything else is similar to canon, besides some minor differences (more friendly past between Fleur and Harry, Fleur advising Harry about the goblins, but nothing major).
I will try to keep every character as human as possible. Human means flawed, but not insane (typicall). Might be some slight bashing of some characters, or logic behind relationships, but generally speaking it will be similar. Oh, and Fred survived...
Just wouldn't be fluff without the full pair! At least it's not the bastardized version I have planned in Dark Witch...well, that's probably way, way, way, way, way later from where I am now though...
Additional: Edited this because I was tired when I posted it. Sorry. This is a more revised copy.