A/N: It really bothers me that there aren't enough Viktor/Hermione stories on this site. Anyway, I'm not really a fan of Veela/soulmate/marriage law etc. pieces, mostly because it implies that one or both characters don't have a choice in the matter and that just doesn't sit well with me. I like my favourite couple to choose each other, as they kind of originally did in cannon, rather than be convinced that they're meant for each other. That being said, I do find Veela stories very interesting, particularly those with full or half male Veela characters as there's hardly any information on them as far as I know. It just opens doors to so many possibilities! The few stories I've read so far were mostly Draco/Harry, and in those stories the effects of the 'awakened' Veela were mostly dark and disturbing or just something very sexy and steamy, and I usually don't mind that, but I've always been curios about a potential third kind of effect... and, well, here we are!
Although marked 'complete', this story is really on a trial run. I have ideas that I really want to properly develop once I'm finished with What They Don't Teach You at Durmstrang, but these plot bunny bites are not quite as strong as those of WTDTYAD (that and Viktor will be slightly OOC here as a result of his, erm, 'awakening', and I'm not a big fan of OOC characters either) so I could potentially loose interest and keep this a one-shot, but if I that happens I'll definitely post a note or something. I wouldn't want to keep anyone interested waiting for too long!
Anyway, long AN ends here! I hope you enjoy reading this!
"Male half-Veela are very rare," said Fleur one afternoon when Hermione cornered her and managed to pry her off Cedric's arm. "I only know one, but I have a cousin who had them as lovers. They are worse than the females."
Fleur shuddered visibly. "They are different, of course, as am I and my sister and my other cousins, but most of them are very aggressive, jealous, and especially possessive of their mates."
She placed a gentle hand on Hermione's shoulder, her beautiful face contorting into that of concern and sympathy. "Please, be careful."
"How do I get out of it?" she asked, practically pleading, still a tiny bit hopeful.
"I don't know," said Fleur. "I am so sorry, but I really don't know. Even full female Veela, they don't have this mating thing. They meet and fall in love like we do, but I think it's different with male Veela."
"But there is no such thing as a full-blooded male Veela!" Hermione insisted.
Fleur shrugged. "Veela must come from somewhere, no? Maybe there used to be but aren't anymore."
"Well where would they have gone, if they even existed in the first place?"
Fleur paused. "Have you heard of this one myth? Of course it's not true but it's still very popular, basically says that Veela can die from a broken heart. Maybe it was true, but for the males. Maybe that's why there aren't any full-blooded male Veela anymore."
And that was precisely why she couldn't just march up to him and tell him that it will never, ever happen. She wasn't one for myth and superstition, but she also didn't want to have blood on her hands.
"Just tell him to sod off already!" said Ron, glaring over his shoulder at the looming figure a few shelves behind them.
"You know I can't!" she moaned, grabbing more books as they walked, trying her hardest to ignore the odd sensation of something dark and sinister hovering above her. "Oh, there has to be something!"
"You heard Fleur, Hermione," said Harry, also glancing warily over his shoulder, his own arms struggling to carry the many books Hermione picked. "There's nothing on… you know. If she can't tell you anything then I really don't think books will help."
She rounded on him fast, the loose knot at the back of her head nearly unfurling from the force to set free her wild mane. "Well then what do you suggest I do, accept it?" she asked shrilly. Her eyes flickered over his head and her face blanched. "Oh no, where is he?"
He was like a shark in open waters. If you see him, it's bad. If you can't see him, it's worse.
She nearly jumped into Harry at the sound of him clearing his throat behind her. She turned around and saw him standing there offering her a fairly new, reasonably thick book. He didn't say anything, and didn't do much besides gently push the book at her, but she still felt her friends tensing behind her and for a split second she wondered why. His normally surly face was inviting, his black eyes warm and his smile friendly.
She shook her head. Of course he wouldn't look his usual grumpy self when he's looking at her, his supposed mate.
She quickly averted her eyes. She grabbed the book from his hand, muttered a quick thank you and dashed around him. Harry and Ron soon followed suit.
"He just hissed at me!" said Ron to Harry once they were out of the library, his eyes the size of saucers and his face paler than usual, his arms also carrying some of Hermione's thick volumes. "Did you hear that? Bloody Viktor Krum just hissed at me!"
"Don't say his name!" hissed Hermione, anxiously glancing over her shoulders, as if afraid that he'll appear out of thin air the moment his name is said out loud. "Let's just hurry up and go to common room!"
She now spends most of her time in the Gryffindor common room. It's the one place he can't reach her. She really hates it because its not exactly an ideal study environment, but she'd rather take all her fellow Gryffindor peers' constant teasing and the twins' suggestive comments and the jealous fangirls' murderous glares than one more Krum sighting.
Sometimes she thinks she's blowing things out of proportion. He hasn't really done anything inappropriate or threatening enough to warrant fear and aversion, except maybe when they first met at the Quidditch World Cup when he swooped into their box halfway through the match and professed his undying love for her for all the cameras and journalists and the entire world to see.
Other times she thinks she's got every damn right to blow everything out of proportion. In fact she's certain that she would've still been dominating headlines if Harry hadn't been selected for the Triwizard Tournament against all odds, and of the four years she's known the Boy Who Lives she's never truly felt as close to him as she does now.
It's bad enough that she's got a hopelessly love-struck Veela trailing after her to begin with, but it appears that this will be Hermione's most difficult year as the Veela in question had to be a famous one with too many paparazzi on his heels and adoring fangirls to spare.
Her best friend's life is also in danger, but that's just the cherry on top and the year had only just begun!
Why oh why did he have to be international Quidditch sensation Viktor Krum, and why did he have to be Durmstrang Institute's Triwizard candidate and champion? Couldn't her Veela mate have been an average Joe that didn't have any chance of setting foot in Hogwarts?
Harry was right. The books were useless. She had spent hours pouring into them, hardly eating or sleeping or doing any school-related work, and she found nothing on male Veela. She was about to call it a night when her eyes landed on the book Viktor had given her. She hadn't bothered checking the title when she first took it from him, eager as she had been to get away from him, but now that she's finally looked at it she wondered why he gave it to her in the first place.
"Veela: Myths, Legends, and Facts," she read in a whisper to avoid waking her snoozing roommates. "By T. J. Scamander."
She hadn't heard of the book, and it came as a shock to her because a name such as Scamander is quite big in the wizarding world and would no doubt attract a lot of press coverage. It also looked fairly new, but definitely used judging from the tattered edges and the few creases on the corner of the pages that have been previously dog-eared. She searched the first few pages for the list of students that have borrowed it in the past, or at least a stamp of the school's crest, but she found that there was nothing in the book the author hadn't intended for there to be.
A thought occurred to her. Was the book his? If so, why had he thought of bringing it with him? Did he know she'd need it, or was he trying to tell her something? He could always simply tell her himself, of course, though to be fair she did go into hysterics when he first approached her and she might've even threatened him with a few jinxes… her memory was a little foggy from the initial shock but she's sure her reaction wasn't pretty, or at least that's what the papers said.
The common room had gotten too noisy, too stuffy. Enough was enough, she decided. She needed to get on top of her schoolwork again and she was missing her sanctuary that was the library. Besides, she's Hermione Jean Granger! She's been friends with Harry Potter for four years, she's seen and experienced worse things than an infatuated Veela. She's better than this, she knows, and she'll be damned if she lets some ridiculous mythical bond cause her grades to plummet.
She decided to go to the library to get some work done. If Viktor Krum wants to watch her, let him, but she'll be sure to give him a few things to be sorry for if he so much breathes her way.
She managed to keep her resolve for quite sometime, or at least until he sat on the table across from hers and leaned his chin on his crossed arms on the table to gaze adoringly up at her.
If I so much as hear a single dreamy sigh I'm throwing a book at him, she vowed silently, her grip on the book she was trying to read turning her knuckles white. Aren't Veela supposed to be insanely beautiful, anyway?
Fleur definitely fits the bill. She's beautiful, graceful, alluring, and charming, if not a little conceited at times. No one had known Viktor was half-Veela until his stunt at the World Cup, or at least his teammates and his coach knew but were loyal enough to cover for him when they really didn't need to. Viktor looked and acted like anything but a Veela.
Until Viktor practically announced his heritage to the world, Hermione was struggling to understand his appeal to the girls that ogled at him whilst being least interested in Quidditch. He wasn't exactly hideous to look at, but he wasn't conventionally handsome either. He was awfully skinny, for starters, and round-shouldered and duck-footed and very awkward without his broom, and before he started smiling at Hermione he appeared to have a sulky, bored expression permanently etched on his face. His bushy eyebrows were constantly drawn close to his black eyes, and his large hooked nose and sallow skin did nothing to negate the image of a humanoid bird of prey.
Except now that he has apparently found his mate he's starting to resemble an overly attached puppy. It's an improvement, she thinks, because she rather loves puppies and would've gotten one years ago if they weren't so slobbery and messy and needy.
She chanced to look at him when she heard a fan approach him and engage him in a Quidditch-related conversation that forcefully diverted his attention from her. She noted his sharp profile, visible still despite him slouching lazily on the chair, and high, sharp cheekbones caressed by dark, shaggy hair. She knows that he's extremely tall, taller than even Ron whom she thought no one could possibly surpass height-wise, and that he's got a really deep voice the few times she heard him speak. His thick accent sometimes made it hard for people to understand him, especially when he's talking really fast, but it still sounded really nice when combined with passion igniting a fire in his otherwise dark, cold eyes.
His fan was still chattering endlessly by his side, making it impossible for him to edge his way out of the conversation without being rude. Hermione took this opportunity to study him more closely, but there wasn't much to study considering that he was covered waist down by a table and chairs.
Nothing to see there, anyway, she thought, stubbornly fighting down a blush as well as images of things she definitely doesn't need to think about at this age.
She focused on his arms instead, and initially thought that they were definitely too long, but upon closer inspection they appeared strong and she liked to think that they'd probably feel nice and snug wrapped fully around her. His hands were also definitely too large, and the one time he very briefly held hers they felt dry and calloused, but they were also warm as they easily covered her tiny hands. The lips that brushed over them were surprisingly soft, as were his eyes pleading and sincere and shocked as they stared back at her now from across the room–
His fan was nowhere in sight. He was staring back at her as if he's just realized something, or seen something he hasn't expected to see, and slowly the corners of his mouth curved upwards as the blood rushed furiously to her cheeks.
She abandoned her belongings and scrambled out of her chair to make a quick dash out of the library. She's afraid all of a sudden. She feels like she's done something she really shouldn't have done, that she's somehow made things worse, and her eyes were starting to sting and she hates herself for not thinking this through. She could've at least thought of dragging Ron or Harry or even Ginny with her.
"Wait, Hermy-own," she heard him call after her, leaping out of his own chair and hitting his knee on the table's leg in the process. He swore in Bulgarian but continued limping after her, now extremely desperate. "Please, I am sorry! Hermy-own, I am sorry!"
He somehow managed to catch up with her and block her path.
"Leave me alone!" She cried, then faltered, remembering Fleur's words. She wiped furiously at the angry tears that spilled over her eyes and ignored his own pained expression. "Please, I'm just… I'm trying to understand, I don't want– I'm not–"
She made a frustrated sound. How was she supposed to tell him that she doesn't want any of this without potentially killing him? How was she supposed to convince him that it's forced and wrong and she's too young and not nearly ready to be merely thinking about these things when it's something he's probably been anticipating?
"Read the book," he said, seemingly struggling with himself. "Is very important, will help you understand. I want to say things but you are afraid, but you love reading so… read book. Please, Hermy-own."
She looked down at the hand holding Veela: Myths, legends, and facts that he must've grabbed from her desk on his rush to catch her. She felt her guilt taking over her fear, and over what exactly she wasn't sure, but she reckons it's got to do with his pleading eyes or desperate voice as he struggled to convey his thoughts in a language too foreign and heavy on his tongue, so she nodded and tentatively took the book from his hands when he offered it to her again.
"Thank you," he said, releasing a breath of relief. "Thank you, Hermy-own."
"It's Hermione," she said automatically.
She blushed, then silently chided herself. What does it matter if he says her name right when she'd trying to get rid of him?! Then again it's always been a pet peeve of hers when people mispronounced her name…
She took a deep breath, hugging the book to her chest. "You're saying it wrong. It's HER-MY-OH-KNEE, not HERMY-OWN."
"No, Viktor, HER-MY-OH-KNEE."
She was surprised to find a blush tinge his cheeks, and then groaned inwardly when it was joined by glazed eyes and that infuriating dreamy smile of his. "You say my name nicely."
"I forgot my things," she grumbled, turning around and rushing back towards her desk. She heard him catching up with her. "Don't follow me!" she sputtered, turning bright red when she saw heads turning to look at them.
"Teach me to say your name nicely, Hermy-own-ninny," he said, grinning.
"I will not!" she said stubbornly, purposely putting the chair between them as she shoveled her books and parchments back into her bag.
"Ok, teach me English."
"Your English is perfect."
It was terrible.
"You teach me English and I will teach you something," he offered quickly as she shoved the last book into her back and hoisted it over her shoulder.
She hesitated, now curios. "What will you teach me?"
He paused, having clearly not expected her to ask. "I will teach Hermy-own-ninny… how to love?"
She glared at him, knowing that he had turned her cheeks crimson with that. "Bye, Viktor."
She walked past him. He followed her. "What do you want? I will give you everything!"
"Definitely not a puppy," she muttered under her breath.
"Ok, I will get you puppy."
"No, I don't want one!" she said, quickly and loud enough to turn several more heads towards them. She grabbed his arm and dragged him towards the exist when she heard a few sniggers, pretending that she didn't hear their owners' snide remarks or his sharp intake of breath.
Goodness, he was like the melodramatic male lead of a soap opera! Never mind that she used to secretly like some of them, of which one influenced her rather embarrassing and misplaced crush on Gilderoy Lockhart.
"Alright, how about this," she said once they were out. "If you learn to say my name right on your own, I'll… I'll take you to Hogsmeade."
It was a dangerous risk, but she was desperate for peace and confident that he wouldn't learn to say her name right in time, because surely he's got his own school assignments and probably Quidditch practice to focus on besides the tournament. Even if he does, it'll still give her enough time to think of a way out of this mess.
"Ok, I accept," he said, extending his hand. She hesitated before grasping it with her own. He grinned. "HER-MAY-OH-NINNY."
Her heart sank to her stomach. She could do nothing but stare and gape. He was already getting better.
Oh, what did I get myself into?