Harry and Jasmine entered their tent. Lily and Sirius had, after their portkey trip, gone to check in with the Ministry officials overseeing the World Cup. There were thousands of tents spread throughout the field, filled with rambunctious fans for either team. On their way, Harry and Jasmine had passed a drunken brawl between an Irishman and Bulgarian that a few aurors broke up.
Their tent was magically enhanced, just like the Weasley's had been that his other self had enjoyed. This one, however, had a combination of Lily's Charm expertise and Andromeda Tonks' Transfiguration skills woven into it. It turned out that having a metamorphagous as a child teaches you a lot about altering the appearances of things.
This tent had a fully furnished, three-story interior that resembled an apartment. The upper two levels were lined with canopied, enchanted beds that maintained the occupant's privacy. There were also individual bathrooms attached to each bed that one could access through a panel on their bed's headboard. The base floor contained the kitchen and seating areas, with a few people already present as Harry entered.
There were many noticeable differences between his world and the world of his other self. His sister and mother's presence were arguably the largest, but they were not the only ones. The company that he kept now was another.
In this world, Lily was close friends with Andromeda Tonks nee Black and Iris Greengrass nee Potter—third cousin to James Potter.
Harry had looked into the scandal her romance with the prior Greengrass heir had caused, as the Potters and Greengrasses had been political enemies for centuries. When they'd married, Voldemort slew every Greengrass left in Britain in a rare show of rage. Luckily, her husband had the sense to leave the country and took refuge across the pond in America. Iris had returned a few years after Voldemort's demise with her daughters in tow – Daphne and Astoria. Unfortunately, her husband, who became the Lord by default once his father died, had succumbed to a cursed disease he'd inherited from an ancestor. His title then passed to his wife and children, who had suffered similar inheritance issues that the Potters had gone through with Gringotts.
Because of his mother's friendships, Harry had spent the majority of his childhood around both women's children. Daphne and Nymphadora Tonks in particular since – another sharp difference from his other self's memories – they both were his age. The three of them had been inseparable, and Jasmine and Astoria were the same. Daphne and Nymphadora were the only two people Harry trusted enough to talk about what he'd encountered after his 'death' that night with Voldemort. It hadn't been a perfect decade-plus with them, but Harry thought the world of the two women in his life.
"Finally!" Tonks shouted, dramatically falling deeper into the couch cushions. "Took you long enough to get here." Tonks' physical appearance was fluid because she was a metamorphagous, but she was using her 'normal' appearance at the moment. Her hair was short and bubblegum pink and her eyes were blue. She was wearing a pair of navy jeans and an unzipped leather jacket over a green t-shirt.
Her, Daphne, Astoria, and their respective mothers were sitting around a large, oval-shaped coffee table. They had a collection of cups and plates scattered on its glass top. Upon seeing their approach, Iris summoned a set for each Potter child.
"Come. Sit," the Lady Greengrass bade them over. She was a beauty the same age as Lily, though no line of stress or age marred her—Lily accused her of using magic to enhance her looks. Her hair, like Astoria's, was midnight black and fell to the center of her back. She wore a conservative jade dress that made her look like how a proper Lady should. "I see that Lily and Sirius aren't with you."
"They went to check in," Jasmine answered. She walked to where Astoria was sitting and ordered, "Budge over." She then sat and shared the seat with her best friend.
Daphne conjured a chair and set it between herself and Tonks. Harry took it and added, "They shouldn't take too long."
"That will depend on the Ministry's competence," Daphne stated, sitting primly while sipping at her tea. "I wouldn't put it past Bagman to make them check in at the desk furthest from here."
Daphne had inherited her mother's icy aura and mastered it beyond what should've been possible. She was rarely openly emotional, remaining collected and calm in some of the most absurd situations. On the rare occasion she lost her cool though, it was a safe bet that it had something to do with Harry.
She chose to wear a comfortable green sweater over a grey blouse with a black, knee-length skirt and silver diamond studs in her ear. Her hair, meticulously cared for, was a bright, golden blonde that she would brag about styling herself. This time, she'd woven her hear in a braid across her scalp that resembled a Queen's circlet, a pair of thick strands of hair falling in front of her shoulders while the rest cascaded down her neck.
Andromeda commented with a tight frown, "With the bad blood he has with them, I wouldn't put it past Ludo to do something like that." Andromeda had the classic, aristocratic beauty that the Black family was known for. She was the tallest woman amongst her family, with chocolate-brown hair and warm, caring hazel eyes. She'd been reinstated to her ancestral home after being banished for marrying Ted Tonks, a muggleborn wizard, once Sirius had assumed his title of Lord.
Astoria flapped her lips like a horse. She then added, "Ludo's got a stick someone needs to pull out of him." Astoria looked remarkably like her mother, but she refused to behave like an aristocrat. Instead, she was loud, brash, and boorish at times. She wore a burgundy sweater with 'KRUM' stitched into both sleeves and a pair of bleached jeans. Both mother and sibling had tried to change her, but Astoria would forever remain the rebellious Greengrass.
Harry partially blamed Jasmine for influencing her.
Daphne chastised her sister for her uncouth comment, though she was unfazed by it once again. They all then started chatting about the World Cup and who they expected to win. Astoria and Jasmine were the only ones rooting for Bulgaria, it seemed, as Tonks had money riding on Ireland winning and Daphne seemed to root for them just because green was her favorite color. The mothers left them to it, instead talking to each other about the latest gossip in the Daily Prophet—apparently, Fudge had been caught sleeping with his Deputy, Dolores Umbridge. That had sent Harry a mental image he had to use Occlumency to bury.
Harry left the gathering after nearly fifteen minutes had passed. Astoria and Jasmine were talking in hushed whispers now about something Harry didn't want to know. Daphne and Tonks were engaging their mothers in a battle of wits that neither side could win. He decided to step outside and take in the area.
As the tent flap fell behind him, he saw three familiar figures approaching. In the front was Lily, who looked like she'd swallowed something unpleasant and occasionally glared at Sirius to her right. The person with them was a fourteen-year-old Hermione Granger.
"Harry!" Sirius greeted with a happy wave. "You'll never guess who we found on our way here."
Playing along, he placed his hand over his eyes like a scout would while shielding his eyes from the sun. He looked around, deliberately avoiding Hermione. "Why, who could it be, Padfoot? Did you perhaps find an elusive leprechaun on his way to his pot of gold?"
Sirius guffawed. "If only, my boy. If only we did."
"Hello, Harry," Hermione greeted him politely, ignoring his and Sirius' antics.
He feigned surprise. "Why, Hermione! I didn't see you there." He gave her a welcoming smile. "How was the trip with the Weasleys?"
"Fine," she answered. "I don't know how Ginny stays sane, being around all of the boys all the time."
Hermione, in this world, had not made friends with Ron early on at Hogwarts. She'd rarely even encountered him actually, as she had not been sorted into Gryffindor. She was instead sorted into Ravenclaw, though not before becoming friends with Jasmine and Astoria on the Hogwarts Express. She was the same bookish girl his other self had known, but she was linked to Jasmine rather than Harry in this world. It was strange, Harry thought, to have such intimate knowledge of a person without truly knowing them.
In a way, he was both glad and disappointed that he wasn't such a close friend to her. His other self's memories showed that she was caring and loyal to a fault, but it wouldn't be right to use his other self's memories of her to get to know her in this world. He settled with the knowledge that she cared for Jasmine just as much as her other self had the other Harry.
Lily stepped forward. She jibed, "There's a reason Ginny knows so many hexes, Hermione. Come in. Jasmine and Astoria should already be inside." She glanced at Sirius, briefly frowning. "Sirius has something to ask you, Harry. I'll leave you to decide if you want to do it or not." She then led Hermione inside to twin cries of 'Hermione!' from Astoria and Jasmine.
Harry raised an eyebrow at his godfather. "Well, Mutt," he ribbed, "out with it."
"Got a job opportunity for you," Sirius told him. "I'm down a partner for a protection detail during the game tonight. Ol' boy is still recovering from what happened at Hogwarts a few months ago. Feel up to it?"
Harry went thoughtful, his conniving side thinking it over. He asked, "Public?"
"In the Minister's box."
"A foreign dignitary." Sirius added, "At most, you'll see Fudge for a few minutes. He's less than pleased they're here."
He pondered this. It was certainly plausible that a few foreign nations would be present, as this was the World Cup after all. The lack of dealing with Fudge meant it couldn't be either nation playing in the game and it was one he despised. However, as host, Fudge would have to make his rounds welcoming each dignitary. This presented Harry with an opportunity to embarrass Fudge in front of a foreign nation's leadership, allowing Sirius' bloc a chance to weaken his influence.
Harry accepted the job with a firm nod. "Sure. I'm game. So who is it?"
"French Ambassador," Sirius answered. "Apparently, he brought is kids too. That's why I need a partner."
"Anything special I should know?"
"Two daughters." Sirius then added with a wiggle of his brow, "One's your age too." He slithered to Harry's side and playfully jabbed him with his elbow.
Harry shook his head, a grin tugging at his lips. "Are you trying to get me killed now?" he asked, thoughts of Daphne in a jealous rage sobering him.
"The girls don't have to know," Sirius suggested.
"We don't have to know what?" Daphne cut in with a clipped tone, prompting a 'yip' from Sirius. She still had her impassive, cold mask on her face, but Harry noticed the small, annoyed twitch of her ear. It was her tell, and you wouldn't know it was there if you didn't know where to look.
Tonks walked over, her hands on the back of her head in a lackadaisical show. "I'm guessing our boy's going on an escapade without us, Daph." Tonks' tone was easy-going as she spoke, as she was wont to do with her 'go with the flow' attitude. "You know how much she hates that, Harry."
Suddenly, Sirius remembered that he had to speak with Andromeda, so he bolted by Daphne into the tent before she could hex him.
Daphne's hexes were always subtle but constant annoyances. Her favorite was her 'Lingering Itch' hex she'd created, where a person's body seemed to noticeably itch no matter what they did to it. It lasted as long as she wanted, and she could choose anywhere on a person's body too. Many times, both boys and girls that suffered her ire had to spend time privately trying to relieve their itch as it was in a private place. Harry'd experienced it firsthand, as had Sirius, so he knew how debilitating it was to try and scratch your colon.
With Sirius, most people just said he'd kept some fleas from when he became a dog through his animagus transformation.
Harry gestured back to the tent. "Would you ladies care to join me in my bed?" He sounded the perfect gentleman.
"Harry…" Daphne warned.
"Well it wouldn't be the first time," Tonks chimed in with an impish grin. She looked at Daphne. "Whattaya say, Daph? I'll even let you kiss yourself again. You know how much you love that," she teased.
The mask cracked. Daphne blushed. She gave Tonks as withering a glare she could muster, though Tonks was unaffected. "Never, in public, mention that again, Nymphadora," she hissed.
Tonks' hair shifted to an angry shade of pink at that, but she didn't rise to the bait. They all knew that doing so outside privacy would do them no favors.
Tonks' name was, like in his other self's life, a sore spot for her. She hadn't had to deal with as much bullying as her other self had in her life, but she still faced some whenever Harry or Daphne hadn't been around. That was until she transfigured the last person who tried to bully her into a gerbil and forced him into his friend's mouth. Ever since, she'd not had to worry about it.
"Girls," Harry soothed quickly. "We need to talk anyway." At their look, he said, "I had the dream again."
"Oh." Tonks' hair returned to its normal shade of pink.
"Ah." Daphne deflated. "I see. Then we should speak."
Harry nodded. The three of them then entered the tent and walked to his bed on the third level. The adults were all speaking quietly around a dining table someone had conjured. There was no sound coming from them as their mouths moved, so Harry concluded someone had cast a privacy spell. Jasmine, Astoria, and Hermione were meeting as well, since Jasmine's bed's curtains were pulled shut.
Harry led the girls to his bed in the corner. With a wave of his off hand, the curtains pulled closed aside from a small entrance. Tonks ran the last few steps and jumped through the threshold with a small 'whoop'. Daphne sat on the edge of the mattress and raised an eye at him. He shrugged and entered, closing the entrance behind him.
Daphne already had her wand out and casting privacy spells. There were already a number of such spells woven into the bed curtains, but Daphne was never one to let anything slip through the cracks.
With the curtains closed, the interior now was much larger than it looked from the outside. The bed was unchanged, with Tonks laying spread eagle and Daphne sitting like she was riding side-saddle on a horse. However, there now was significant empty floor space, thanks to expansion charms, that allowed the occupants to conjure themselves personal furniture if they wanted.
Harry did just so, creating a wooden chair with a wave of his wand. He sat and regarded both young women. Daphne remained in the same spot, but Tonks slid to the edge of the mattress so her head could hang down and she could see Harry upside down.
"When?" Daphne asked without preamble, referring to his dream-memory of his encounter with his other self.
"This past night," he informed them.
Tonks asked, her head still hanging, "Anything new then?"
Harry exhaled tiredly. He stared at Tonks, who was grinning. "You know that's not how it works, Dora," he said, using the nickname he'd given her at six years old. Initially, it had been because 'Nymphadora' was too hard for a six-year-old Harry to say. Now it was a term of endearment they used when in private.
"I know." Tonks rolled onto her stomach, resting her chin in her hands and elbows on the mattress. "You've only said it a few thousand times now."
Contrary to how his other self had made it sound, he did not gain the knowledge and experiences of the two other souls within him by waking up and suddenly being blessed with it. It was subtly woven into his own mind so well that, at times, he couldn't tell they weren't his own. To him, it was more like remembering something he'd forgotten than learning something new. This had essentially demanded he master Occlumency at a young age once he remembered what the Master of Death had told him, lest he forget who he was. If he hadn't been able to organize his mind, Harry didn't know if he'd be sane today or if he'd mistake himself for the Dark Lord.
Even his Occlumency hadn't let him completely master the foreign memories though, as his subconscious recognized them as his own even if he knew they weren't. This forced him to create three 'safes' in his mind – one for each set. However, he had to constantly go through his own memories for something that was out of place and then move it to the set it belonged to. Even then he sometimes had to ask someone if what he remembered had actually happened because he couldn't be sure it wasn't his. It was maddening, but the other souls had proven a valuable asset numerous times over.
Daphne spoke. "I think it's more a sign of important events to come now more than anything, Harry." He looked at her. She reminded him, "You've already told us about what your other self went through his fourth year, and it all began tonight—the night of the World Cup."
"Daph's got a point," Tonks agreed. She shifted to where she sat cross-legged on the bed now. "You've basically got both complete sets by now, don't you?"
Harry thought about it for a moment. "Maybe," he hedged, unsure of it himself. "I admit they feel complete, but there's a real chance some are still locked away or bouncing around up there and I haven't found them yet."
"Merlin, Harry, is your mind needlessly complicated
He grinned, suppressing a laugh. "Don't I know it."
"You will, of course," Daphne said, "tell us if you…remember something new." It was more statement than request.
"Of course," he agreed with a nod. "Especially if it's really important."
"Now," Daphne changed topics. "About tonight."
"Yeah," Tonks joined. "I'm not with you on this either, Harry."
Harry slumped in his chair. I knew this was coming, he thought. He sat up. "What about it?" He had his reasons for facing down those Death Eaters alone, and he was hoping he could convince them he was right.
"I will not let you face those three alone again!" Daphne clipped harshly, barely below screaming. "And I will not let you do that to your sister again either!"
He winced. Daphne hadn't yelled at him since his stand at Hogsmeade a few months ago against Voldemort's best three Death Eaters, and they hadn't been pushovers. They'd left him as many scars and bruises as he gave them. He'd held them off long enough for the other students to escape and allies to arrive, though it had cost him dearly. Not only had the Death Eaters escaped; Harry had spent nearly a week in the Hospital Wing. Three days of that he spent in a coma.
Jasmine had left his side only to sleep while he was comatose. She had been distraught to see her brother look so…vulnerable. His first sight when he awoke had been her tear-soaked face, and that memory was forever burned into his eyes. Seeing her in such a state had shaken him to his very core, and it had, for the first time in his life, driven home how he had loved ones waiting for him, unlike his past self.
It had been his first brush with near-defeat in Harry's life, and he then realized defeat in this life meant death. He didn't have the Horcrux in him to take the ticket to the other side for him this time. He had then vowed to become strong enough to never be beaten again.
Harry carefully considered his next words. If he wasn't exact in his wording, Daphne would turn them on him and never back down. He at last told her, "It's our strategy."
"I don't recall ever agreeing to such idiocy," she retorted icily.
"I'm not talking about tonight. I'm talking about the long haul."
Tonks looked at him, curious, while Daphne narrowed her eyes. "Explain," she ordered, allowing no protest.
Harry knew then that he had her. "You both remember what I said he does this year?" Both nodded. "I need to become larger than a mere Triwizard Champion this year. For me to hold the sway we'll need, I have to have a very public showing that not even the Prophet can spin. Tonight is the best stage for such a spectacle."
Daphne gripped her chin, thinking on his logic. He knew it was sound, since Fudge had gagged the Hogsmeade incident. Only a few select people even knew Hogsmeade had been attacked. Because Harry publicly shunted him, Fudge did everything he could to either hide or downplay his achievements, and Fudge's bribed editors at the Prophet ensured he got his way.
Tonks pointed out playfully, "That's rather devious of you, Harry."
"Yes," Daphne agreed grudgingly. "And risky." She regarded him coolly. "While I can't deny your logic, as we will need all the influence we can get should Voldemort return…" She paused. "This is…exceedingly dangerous. Who knows if you'll even succeed."
"Don't worry," he promised, his voice steel. "I will." I won't let the same thing happen again, he vowed to himself, the scar on his back pulsing.
"Well it's settled then." Tonks stood up from the bed. "Harry'll get his rematch, and it'll have to be alone or Fudge won't let him have any credit." Tonks grinned at Daphne. "'Sides, he's gonna' do it whether we say he can or not. He's stubborn like that."
Daphne gave a rueful chuckle. Tonks was, strangely enough, the one person who could almost always convince Daphne to abandon her thoughts and trust her. "I suppose you're right, Dora. Very well." She then stared at Harry and added, "But you had better come back to me in one piece."
"Same for me," Tonks said. "We'll bring you back just to hex you into oblivion if you don't."
He smiled. "Don't worry. I have no plans of ever leaving either of you."
They then talked for a few hours, catching up on their summers.
"Ready?" Sirius asked him.
He confirmed he was with a nod. He gestured toward the exit. "Lead the way, Padfoot."
"Harry," Lily called, almost hesitant. Harry looked to his mother. Concern was in her eyes, though she tried to mask it. She then said carefully, "Be safe."
His mother knew he could take care of himself and that he also didn't like being coddled, but he still appreciated the concern. He understood Lily only said it because she cared for him.
Harry gave her a smile. "It'll be fine, Mum. Unless my flea-ridden partner here has been hiding something from me." And probably still fine even then, he added silently.
"I know," she said. "It's just…" she trailed off.
Sirius walked over and pat Lily's shoulder. "Relax, Lil. Harry can more than handle himself. Besides, it's just simple bodyguard duty. Anything happens, we get out of there."
That seemed to somewhat ease her, though her mouth was still tight with worry. She'd been beside herself since Harry's brush with death a few months ago. As Sirius had explained it to him: "She already thought she lost you once. Now you've gone and done it again. Do it a third time and she may not survive the grief." Ever since that revelation, he'd understood Lily's worries; she was terrified she'd lose him again.
He understood his mother's fear, but he couldn't promise anyone that his plan wouldn't wind up with his death one day. All he could do was work to obtain the strength needed to ensure he was the one left standing at the end.
Harry and Sirius then left, leaving Lily with Jasmine promising her that the two of them would be okay. After all, they had earned their respective titles of The Greatest Prodigy and Master Duelist. Sirius was known to have the fastest casting speed in the entire auror corps, and Harry had already mastered everything taught at Hogwarts.
The two had once dueled for the fun of it, and both came out of it with their own bumps and lessons learned. Sirius was able to send two spells at him for every one Harry cast, but Harry's spells had significantly more power to them. Ever since, Harry had been working tirelessly on improving his already-impressive casting time.
As they both walked, they chatted amiably about a few topics. Sirius seemed to focus his questions around Harry's feeling for Tonks, though he tried and failed to be discrete about it. Harry stayed vague without lying. He knew what Sirius was plotting, and he didn't want to deal with that until after the school year ended. Sirius must have noticed his intent soon enough. He abandoned those questions after the third ambiguous answer.
Occasionally, as they walked, Harry was approached by a brave fan of his. Each time, he spoke with them a moment and offered to commemorate their meeting somehow. He took a few pictures, autographed a few others, and went on his way.
Harry's popularity in this world, compared to his other self's, was far stronger. Rather than recluse himself, he embraced his fame, using it to enhance his and his allies' goals. Daphne had stressed its utility to him a few years prior, and he'd worked since then to be the wizarding world's most influential celebrity at every opportunity.
He'd accepted and done a few interviews with a number of wizarding publishers, all the way from Witch's Weekly to Quidditch Query. His accomplishments on the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch had professional scouts at every game. In every game so far, he'd caught the Snitch, and Gryffindor had won six straight Quidditch Cups with him as the Seeker and Captain for the last three years – Wood had refused that title, saying Harry deserved it more. Harry rarely bragged, Tonks and Jasmine did enough of that for him, but he never said 'no' when anyone asked if he could beat Krum. Many Quidditch analysts had him pegged as the greatest Seeker prospect ever. England's team manager had even approached him about trying out, but he refused, saying he'd rather finish his studies. This all, of course, had gained him an insane level of notoriety in every level of wizarding society – all the way from first-generation muggleborns up to the proudest pureblood families.
Harry and Sirius walked for near thirty minutes before arriving at their destination. The two of them were to meet the French representative at the stadium's VIP entrance and swap with his current escorts. There was still a solid hour before the Snitch was released, so people were barely filtering in the stadium yet.
Harry kept an eye on the crowd for anyone who stood out. Unfortunately, due to the dozens of countries' citizens present, a lot of people stood out. He soon gave up his futile paranoid effort and watched the people passing him through the VIP entrance.
Mostly, it was wealthy or influential members of wizarding Britain, though a few representatives from other countries went by too. Quite a few of the British entries were Lords of Pureblood houses and their families. Harry had to fight back the urge to start blasting a few of them, as he knew they had been part of the planned World Cup attack in his other self's life. The only things that stopped him were knowing that he wasn't certain they would be in his world and that he'd be spending time in Azkaban for attacking them unprovoked.
At last – and before Fudge arrived, to Harry's relief – his charges walked up. "Ambassador!" Sirius greeted jovially, like he was seeing an old friend. He walked over to the group. "And I see you brought your lovely daughters with you this time," he added with a smile at the two young women.
Sirius had told him back at their tent who they'd be guarding. They were to watch over France's Ambassador to Magical Britain, Clément Delacour, and his two daughters—Fleur and Gabrielle. That had initially thrown him for a loop, since he had memories of Fleur from his prior self. In them, she had wound up the Beauxbatons representative for the Triwizard Tournament. She also had, much to Molly Weasley's consternation, married Bill Weasley. His other self hadn't had much interaction with Fleur, but she had proven to be a caring, loving woman over the years to her husband, even after he'd been bitten by a werewolf.
Harry, however, had no idea if his other self's memories applied to the Fleur ten yards before him. Too much of his life was different to rely on his memories for more than broad reference points. In the end, he decided to just see what kind of person she was now before judging her by his other self's memories.
"Lord Black!" Clément returned happily. "It's been too long, my friend." Clément Delacour was a portly man with wrinkles around his mouth from smiling too often. He'd lost most of his hair over the years and what little was left was grey. Due to how often he was in Britain, his accent was barely noticeable.
On either shoulder were Clément's daughters. Gabrielle, the younger at only ten, hid behind her father. She looked in every direction in wonder, taking in the throngs of people from all over the world. Fleur, Harry knew, was his own age and as radiantly beautiful as his memories showed.
Fleur's silvery hair, shining brighter than even Daphne's, was pulled into a low, thin ponytail that she draped over her right shoulder. She wore a blue sweater with a matching beret atop her head and grey-blue pants. She stood a full head taller than her father but a few inches shorter than Harry. Her eyes, the same stunning sapphire he remembered, could entrance a man as much as her body or Veela Allure.
Sirius gave a short nod to the pair of auror bodyguards behind the Delacours. The two young men left without a word. He then gestured for Harry to approach, the grin returning. "Come. Come, Harry. Clément, I would like to introduce you to my favorite godchild: Harry."
With a chuckle, Harry said, "Don't let Jasmine ever hear that. She'll try and get rid of me just so she can be your favorite again." Harry held out his hand. "Harry Potter. It's a pleasure to meet you," he greeted in French.
Fleur arched a surprised eye at him while her father let out a hearty laugh. "So this is the infamous Hero of Hogsmeade you told me of, eh, Sirius? Why didn't you tell me he could speak such a beautiful language?"
With a grin, Harry admitted, "I'm afraid you've just heard the entirety of what I know."
Sirius and Clément both enjoyed a chuckle at that. Even Fleur cracked a grin at him, though it vanished as quick as it appeared.
"Oh. Where are my manners?" Clément introduced them all. "I am Clément Delacour, French Ambassador to your British Ministry, and my lovely escorts here are my daughters. Come, girls. No need to be rude."
Fleur stepped forward seamlessly, like she was accustomed to introducing herself. "Fleur Delacour," she greeted, her accent more prevalent than her father's but not as severe as his memories'. "It iz a pleazure to meet you, Monsieur Potter." She held out her hand.
He took it and pressed it gently to his lips. He gave her his best grin. "The pleasure is all mine, I assure you." He chose not to compliment her appearance, as he had no doubt she got enough of that as it was. She arched a curious eyebrow at him as her hand retreated but showed no other reaction. Harry then turned to Gabrielle. "And just who is this dashing young lady?"
Gabrielle was staring up at him, stars dancing in her azure eyes. Harry had seen that look often ever since he embraced his fame. The poor girl was star-struck.
Fleur stepped to her sister's side. She pushed her gently and admonished, "It iz rude to stare, Gabi."
"G-Gabrielle!" the girl nearly shouted. She blushed immediately, realizing how loud she was. The girl looked down to hide her face. "I'm…I'm Gabrielle, Mister Potter."
Harry gave her a happy smile. "Nice to meet you Gabrielle. May I call you Gabi too?"
"Of-Of course!" she exclaimed. The blush returned. "I-I mean…if you want to, Mister Potter."
"Harry." She looked up at him, surprised. "All my friends just call me Harry."
Gabrielle seemed to shine brighter than ever. She gave him the happiest nod he'd ever seen. Harry could see it in her eyes. With just that, he'd made her the happiest girl in the world for the rest of the day. Knowing that always sprouted a grin of his own.
Fleur seemed to appreciate the gesture, as she regarded him with a grateful smile. She mouthed him a silent 'thank you' that he accepted with a gracious nod.
"Now, Clément," Sirius whispered loud enough for all of them to hear. "I feel the need to warn you, as you are a father. Harry is a known lady-killer over here. He's broken the hearts of hundreds of witches in Britain."
Seeing it for the jape it was, Harry didn't correct him even while Fleur looked at him carefully. True, he broke many a witch's hearts nowadays, but he was never the one to seek them out. Usually, Daphne and Tonks scared them off before they got the courage to speak to him. They were as possessive of him as he was them.
Clément gave Sirius a smirk that spoke volumes. "My friend," he said, "my daughters are more than able to handle themselves. They took after their mother in that regard."
"I don't know…" Sirius looked at Gabrielle. "It looks like he's already got one snared. It's only a matter of time before he steals them both."
Fleur's face was neutral, but Harry could see she didn't appreciate being spoken of in such a manner. So he cut if off. "Sirius. You know full well what the girls would do if I did such a thing."
Sirius barked a laugh. "Too true, my boy. Their tempers are legendary, not to mention what Lily would do to you." Clément looked at them curiously. Sirius promised an explanation once they were away from the younger ones.
Fleur, however, was giving him an icy stare. She pulled Gabrielle close to her, as if protecting her from Harry.
Sirius must have noticed, because he piped up, "It's all in good fun, girls. Harry is the perfect gentleman. I promise he never plays those games." He looked pointedly at his godson. "Isn't that right, Harry?"
"Of course," he answered, insulted at the thought. "I would never play with a fair maiden's heart like that." He'd been accused of that dozens of times based on unfounded rumors, though he accepted that as a risk of his fame. But not once had it ever been true.
Seeing his sincerity must have mollified Fleur, since her grip on her sister loosened. Gabrielle looked curiously at everyone, confusion on her face. Her innocence was something Harry envied.
They all then started walking towards the VIP entrance. Sirius took the lead and walked with Clément, chatting animatedly about any number of topics. Harry took up the rearguard behind the younger Delacours. Fleur and Gabrielle both sent him furtive glances from the corner of their eyes, though for decidedly different reasons.
Harry suppressed a sigh. Fleur, for whatever reason, was watching him like she suspected him of a crime. Likely, she was trying to catch him staring at her rear.
It is a nice one though, Harry thought idly as he looked around for potential threats. It's just not worth being labeled a pervert, even privately.
Sirius spoke briefly with the guards next to the entrance. He pointed to Harry, explaining his presence. As Deputy-Head Auror, only two people could countermand him, and neither of them were present. The guards let them all through and they went to their seats.
A/N: Here's chapter 2. The initial response seemed positive, so I figured I'd let another chapter out.
This is the introductory arc, so it will be a little bit before the action kicks off in earnest. The intro arc will be either four or five chapters. Also, pay heed to Harry's thoughts about his other self's memories. This world is different from canon, so don't expect everything going forward to follow canon's path. The past in this story is dramatically different than canon, and so too shall the future of this story. I'll unveil more about the past years of Harry's time at Hogwarts after the intro arc is over.