After the success of my two Harry Potter crossover stories, I decided to embark, probably suicidally, on a non-crossover. What started as a mental exercise in Harry and Fleur-shipping evolved into what I thought was an interesting story that leads into Harry and Fleur-shipping. I've seen at least a few stories that ship these two that have Harry rescue Fleur at the Quidditch World Cup, and while that's an interesting beginning, I feel it does sort of cheapen Fleur somewhat. I decided to start with Fleur's parents, and in particular, her father.
Her father is only seen briefly during the wedding between Fleur and Bill Weasley, and is frankly a bit of a non-entity. In fanfic, his character is anything from a French Auror to an Ambassador for Magical France. What his profession is, as far as I know, is never stated in canon, but an intriguing thought came to me. In at least one fanfic, he is an old friend of Sirius Black. While he isn't in this story, the connection to Black did seem like a good starting point, which is why I've started this story around the beginning of the events of The Prisoner of Azkaban.
In characterising Hercule Delacour, an inspiration should be obvious from the first name I chose for him for this work: Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie. This is no crossover, but without Poirot and his portrayal by David Suchet, I would never have found the hook for my version of Fleur's father. Indeed, I decided to look amongst quotes from Christie novels on Wikiquote for inspiration for this story's title, and found one in a quote from The Mystery of the Blue Train: "I do not argue with obstinate men. I act in spite of them." It fits the state of affairs in Magical Britain, and, in this fanfic, the world over.
I also think that, despite having never read their stories, a debt might also be owed to two more of Christie's detectives, Tommy and Tuppence. Not as well known as Poirot or Miss Marple, this crime-fighting couple (from what I saw of the Marple adaptation of By the Pricking of My Thumbs) seemed like a suitable base for Hercule and Apolline Delacour.
I also decided to not try and emulate JK Rowling's way of writing a French accent. Sorry people, but I'm not sure I can do that consistently. I will have the relevant characters pepper their speech occasionally with a French word, but other than that, well, no. And keep in mind that this is not canonical. This is, in all likelihood, be a different version of Fleur's father to what Rowling intended.
Now for the usual disclaimers. Firstly, there will be, as usual, annotations and author's notes.
Secondly, bashing, where it is done, will be kept to a minimum. Save where idiots like Fudge or gits like Snape or the Malfoys are concerned.
Thirdly, the rating is currently T, but may change later on. There is Harry/Fleur shipping.
Finally, the following is a fan-written work. Harry Potter is ultimately the property of JK Rowling. Please support the official release. Otherwise, I'll set the Dementors on you.