Author's Note: This story tries to answer the question: What if Wormtail never got the chance to betray the Potters to Voldemort? Answer: Harry gets the life he always wanted in being raised by his parents in happiness. France raised Harry. Harry/Gabrielle
He really had a good life, a newly 18 year old Harry realized. He had parents and a wonderful girlfriend that loved him, lived in a beautiful home in Central France, had just recently graduated Beauxbatons, and was now ready to make the next steps in his life.
Of course it was not all wonderful. Very few knew that Henrie Croix was in fact Harry Potter, currently in hiding from the evil Dark Lord and Dictator of much of Magical Europe, Voldemort. With that of course came the constant threat of being discovered and having to not draw attention to himself, but it really hadn't been anywhere near as bad as his parents had feared. So far they had been able to live in peace and maintain a modest and happy living without anything particularly bad happening.
That being said, it wasn't like he hadn't been obliged to spend much of his childhood preparing in case something did indeed happen.
Speaking of which-
At that moment out of the corner of his eye he noticed a spell speeding towards him. He immediately jumped out of the way, just barely missing it, allowing the spell meant for him to instead turn the couch behind him into a duck. While in mid-jump, he already had pulled out his wand and had it pointed in the direction the spell had come from. However his concern immediately softened as he realized it was just his girlfriend Gabrielle Delacour.
He let out a smile at her constant attempts to try and catch him off guard. While there was a practical use involved in keeping his dueling skills sharp (his parents hoping he never needed to use them) it was also rather fun to the two of them.
"Better luck next time Gabby," He told her.
"Sorry Harry, I know how much you wanted to be a duck," Gabrielle claimed, putting on her best cute face, her bright blue eyes shining.
He just laughed at her reaction as he also admired her cute face. Really Gabrielle was just plain gorgeous with her long blonde hair, her adorable face and eyes, and a small but curvy figure. Still while nobody would believe him when he had a super attractive veela for a girlfriend, he swore he liked her most for her personality- a fun, but brave and loyal girl who had an appreciation for dueling.
Gabrielle laughed too as she reminded him, "I'm just trying to keep you on your toes."
"You always keep me on my toes love," He told her as he leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips which she happily returned as her small body melted into his. He enjoyed the taste of her lips, the feel of her perfect breasts pressing into his chest, how warm she really was…she was just so…amazing and so Gabby.
Really she was more than just his girlfriend, she was his best friend, had been since he'd come to France with his parents at age 4 seeking asylum and protection from Voldemort who had recently conquered Britain. His parents had come then with practically nothing besides what little they had managed to bring with them before having to flee. Knowing only one person they felt they could trust enough to keep their identity secret, they'd ended up being sheltered and protected by one Jacques Delacour- Gabrielle's father.
He'd let them stay as long as they needed in his own house, before they were able to gain new identities and manage to make a new life for themselves. However by then his first friendships with both Gabrielle and her older sister Fleur were already ironclad and had continued to this day.
As the two of them broke apart finally, Gabrielle asked yet again, "so where are we going again tonight?"
"I already told you it's a surprise," He told her, doing his best not to give anything away. He really, really wanted to surprise her even though it was really hard to keep secrets from her as he told her everything. Just this once though he did.
"Gabrielle!" Fleur chided her sister as she came into the Delacour's living room, pointing at the duck that had once been a couch and was now waddling around.
"Oops, sorry," Gabrielle apologized as she flicked her wand and turned the duck back into a couch.
Fleur then looked her sister up and down and asked, "Is that what you'll be wearing tonight?"
"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?" Gabrielle asked.
In truth, what she was wearing was rather nice (and frankly she could wear just a big garbage bag for clothing and still look good) even though she was wearing pants (Gabby did not usually wear dresses) but Fleur seemed to think the occasion called for something better.
"What about that light blue dress you have?" Fleur suggested.
Gabrielle looked over at him but he pretended to suddenly be interested in the floor so she wouldn't see his reaction.
Finally she sighed and decided to just go put the dress on, walking up the stairs to her room.
As soon as she had, Fleur put an arm on his shoulder as he allowed himself to relax a little.
"I'm sure you'll do fine tonight Harry," She encouraged him as she smiled warmly.
"Yeah," He agreed, "it's just keeping it a secret from her has been hard. I'm not used to keeping anything from her."
"Yeah, I'm amazed you've actually been able to pull it off for this long," Fleur agreed, "So are you nervous?"
He tried to laugh it off and sarcastically say, "What is there to be nervous about? I'm only asking her to marry me that's all."
Fleur pulled him in for a proper hug and said, "I know she'll say yes. She's loved you ever since you were both 4. Besides, just think you'll finally be a part of our family now."
"I think I've really been a member of your family for quite a long time," He pointed out. It was true. He and his parents knew the Delacours so well, he certainly would have considered them to be family and they him.
"At least now it will be official," Fleur pointed out, "I really wish I could be there to see you do it."
"Gabby would know something was up then," Harry argued.
"True," Fleur was forced to agree, "otherwise I would."
At that moment, they heard Gabrielle coming back down the stairs as they disengaged from the hug.
He watched Gabrielle come down slowly as he caught his breath. Merlin, she was gorgeous.
While already aware of that fact, he looked her up and down starting with her heart-shaped face; her bright blue eyes, her full red oh-so delicious and kissable lips that he had kissed so often. The dress she now wore perfectly accented her assets showing off her perfect, large breasts with just a hint of cleavage before sloping down and ending at her knees in order to display her flawless lower legs. Her long blonde hair had been left in a ponytail and descended to below her very shapely bum.
She smiled widely and commented, "wow Harry, if I'd known I would have gotten this reaction out of you, I'd never take this dress off."
"Ah, I think you would regret never taking it off," He joked.
"I don't want you that bad," Gabby teased right back.
"Yeah you do," Harry argued, "I'll bet deep down you want me to rip that dress right off you."
"In your dreams," She answered with a roll of her eyes.
"Oh it will definitely be in my dreams from now on," He said totally honest.
"Have you two already had sex at some point and not told me?" Fleur asked.
Both of them however grinned cheekily at her as if to say "wouldn't you like to know?"
Truthfully they hadn't gone that far…but depending on how things went with his proposal that was a very real possibility.
"So shall we go to this mysterious place you won't tell me about yet?" Gabrielle asked as she stuck out her hand for him to take.
"Yes, let's," Harry agreed with a smile as he took her hand.
They almost made it, they really did. He almost managed to get away with going off on their date with Gabrielle none the wiser about what was really going on – but then of course the parents had to come down.
"Oh, good, you haven't left yet," His mother said gratefully as she was accompanied by his father and Mr. and Mrs. Delacour or as they preferred he call them Jacques and Apolline.
"I thought you were all supposed to be gone at the play," Harry asked unhappily, his hopes of a clean getaway now dashed.
"The play was too boring so we left early," Mr. Delacour claimed unconvincingly, "we figured we might as well just wish you on your way before you and Gabby went out."
Well, if Gabby didn't suspect something was up before, she did now, he thought.
"Oh, that's a very lovely dress Gabby," His mother gushed as she looked her over.
"Thank you," Gabrielle thanked her, "Fleur got it for me."
For this very occasion even if Gabby didn't know that, Harry noted.
While the two of them talked, he noticed his father give him a wink causing him to once again regret that he had decided to be old fashioned and chivalrous and ask Jacques for his daughter's hand in marriage beforehand. Of course he then just had to tell his wife and his wife of course couldn't resist telling his mom and of course then naturally all 4 parents knew.
He loved his parents but at that moment he really would prefer they had decided to just stay at the play like he had planned when he had gotten them the tickets, which was an additional expense he'd considered well worth it for this very reason.
"We really have to be going mom," He warned her even as his mom began to cry, threatening to once again blow the whole thing.
"All right," She relented, "however you really must tell me how it all goes when you get back, all right?"
Shaking his head, he tried to get Gabrielle out of there as fast as possible, taking her out of the house and walking just beyond the anti-apparition barrier that Gabby's mother had set up and apparating out.
They arrived in front of the restaurant he had found and reserved, a well known French restaurant.
"Le Cheveaux," Gabrielle observed, "pricey."
"I guess I just think you're worth it," He argued, although choosing not to mention that his father had been the one to suggest it and offer to pay for it. Otherwise he likely wouldn't have gone here. It really wasn't his type of scene, but he hadn't wanted to reject his father's generous offer.
Upon entering the restaurant, they were quickly taken to their table and given menus with him trying very hard not to stare at the very high prices. Unfortunately what he had to distract him about them was the realization that they were now sitting down…and that made the ring he had now kept safely in his pocket weigh ever more heavily on him.
He tried to tell himself that there was no way she was going to say no and that everything would be fine and yet…he was still totally terrified.
Finally however Gabrielle noticed just how nervous he was…and what she said next just about caused him to fall over.
"Are you sure this is really how and where you want to ask me?" She inquired.
He was shocked but tried to quickly hide it and play dumb as he asked, "What do you mean?"
She apologized and said, "I'm sorry, I just couldn't do it anymore, not after your dad so obviously picked the restaurant you really didn't want to go to but didn't want to hurt his feelings and say no because of how expensive it was. I know you're planning to propose to me."
"You knew!" He blurted out, unhappy to learn his plans of it being a surprise were ruined, "did our parents give it away? I knew they couldn't keep a secret."
Gabrielle smiled back at him and admitted, "I've known for weeks actually, even before you decided to ask my dad for my hand or went over things with my sister."
"I suppose I never could keep a secret from you," He observed with a shake of his head.
"No, and you never will," Gabrielle cheekily answered as she leaned in to kiss him.
"I love you," He told her after they broke apart.
"I love you too," Gabrielle replied before kissing him.
"So is that a yes?" Harry asked hopefully.
"I don't believe you've properly asked me," Gabrielle pointed out.
He grinned and said, "I think I can do something about that."
A minute later and having ditched the restaurant before ordering, the couple found themselves standing atop the Eiffel Tower.
"Is this more what you had in mind for a location?" He asked her.
"Much better," She said approvingly as she squeezed his arm, "of course I also would have taken a dueling arena or the zoo."
He gave her a strange look and commented, "You're weird, you know that?"
"Yeah, but so are you and we both still love each other," She pointed out.
Now more at ease now that she already knew, he started with his speech.
"Gabby, I've known you for almost as long as I can remember. You've always been there for me as my best friend no matter what. You make me a better wizard, a better friend, and a better person. I don't know what I would do without you in my life and I love you and…"
He had to stop for just a second as he wiped a tear away from his eye and said, "Sorry, I had something in my eye."
"They're called tears," Gabrielle reminded him, "don't worry though, I won't tell anyone. Wouldn't want to ruin your tough guy image."
"Then I won't tell anyone that you cried too," He answered, noticing that Gabrielle's eyes were also now wet.
"What are the odds?" Gabrielle answered jokingly as she wiped at her own eyes, "we both got something in our eye at the same time."
Smiling at how cute she could be he said, "to finish my speech, I just want to say that I love you and that I want to spend the rest of my life with you, to grow old together, and have children together-"
"A few questions: what happens when I get old and wrinkly?" Gabrielle interrupted.
"Then I'll be old and wrinkly too and we'll both have to deal with it," Harry answered.
"Also how many kids are you talking about here?" She inquired.
"Oh a dozen at least of course," Harry countered.
She smiled and shrugged before saying, "sure why not? There will be lots of sex at least."
At that, he got out the ring, a simple but beautiful diamond ring that his mom had helped him pick out and dropped down onto one knee before asking the most important question he would ever ask.
Will you marry me Gabrielle?"
She pretended to think for a second: a long, torturous second before she finally answered excitedly, "Yes, of course, I'll marry you Harry!"
She threw her arms around him and they kissed…and kissed…and kissed some more…
Finally Gabrielle broke apart from him and he complained only half-jokingly, "Why did you stop? We just started."
She smiled and pointed out, "well we're officially engaged now. I do believe that calls for a proper celebration."
"You mean…?" He asked hopefully.
"Yes, your dreams will soon come true," Gabrielle said with a smile, "just try not to rip the dress too much when you take it off me. Fleur would kill us."
He laughed, grateful and happy that not only was he now engaged to the most wonderful girl on earth…they would also be consummating that new step in their relationship.
"You want to at least go tell our parents and Fleur the good news first?" He asked, "They're probably all still at your house waiting for us to get back."
"Or we could celebrate ourselves first," She answered with an expression on her face he loved to see.
"They can wait a little longer," He instantly agreed as they both apparated out.