Hello my fellow readers, this is the first time I try to put into words one of the stories, or more like it, one of the scenes that pop into my mind from time to time. So be kind.
This is a Harry/Fleur story starting on fourth year on the day that the delegations of the other schools get to Hogwarts. The focus of the story is going to be on the interactions between these two and on the adventure side of it that comes with the Tournament.
Harry may be slightly out of character, as may be some of the supporting characters, but i do try to not turn them into different people than they are supposed to be. Harry's personality may seem a bit different because i am writing in first person (consider yourself warned) and as so we will have access to a lot of things that happen inside of the fairly introverted Harry's mind that we don't see in Canon. Also, consider any difference with canon an intentional deviation even it's not particularly important.
Okay, so more warnings: first, this is an experiment on my part, so there are lots of things that are undecided for the plot. Second, English is not my mother tongue so any corrections you'd like to make are welcome. Third, I am trying to get in the habit of writing daily but I am in no ways an experienced writer, so please be patient.
Also, the first interaction between Harry and Fleur is taken from a post from Reddit by u/TheDivineDemon
Without further ado, enjoy.
The French Are Strange
The cold wind played around with the robes of the people around me as we waited, herded together as much for warmth as for the professors, standing in a semicircle behind us in silent instruction. It really was a cold night. The moon shined bright, illuminating the grounds with its shimmering silver, revealing a whole bunch of nothing as interesting as the foreign students we had been promised. And it had been like that for a good while now.
At one point I had taken to counting the freckles of a girl that was a couple meters from me, but she started speaking to her friend with such vehemence that I gave it up as a lost cause after having to start from scratch the third time. Ron had complained a few times about the wait, claiming inhumane treatment at having to wait for so long before the feast, a sentiment that had been echoed by a not insignificant amount of students before Hermione put an authoritarian stop to his tirade.
The shout of a first year a couple rows ahead woke me from the stupor waiting outside in the cold while wrapped in a warm robe had induced in me. After forty minutes of waiting, the excitement that had been brewing steadily through the whole year, and today in particular, had waned considerably. Most people had stopped looking around expectantly and switched to chatter idly, a steady hum filling the empty night.
The kid that had shouted was pointing to something in the lake's direction. The clear face of the lake rippled and bubbled, the mirror moon waving like a white veil, a white shadow growing around it until the moon looked like a brighter speck on the undulating sheet of grey. Something was emerging from the formerly still lake.
The water clung to the emerging object not wanting to relinquish its hold on it, obscuring it from view under a shifting, translucent film. The silhouette of a ship was visible behind the shimmering veil, slowly but surely growing into a fully distinguishable shape in a macabre reversion of a sinking galleon
With the sound of a thunderclap the curtain of water ripped revealing an enormous sail ship enmarked in the wake of its defeated precipitation, its square, white sails glowing in comparison to its surroundings. An impossibly long plank extended from where the ship lay now anchored at least a hundred meters until it reached the shore, and flickering, bulking shapes floated over it and towards us, a frigid and unnatural waft heralding them.
My skin broke into goosebumps and the warm, friendly air that had permeated the packed multitudes evaporated in the wake of the display. I was left with the feeling that I had watched the raising of a corpse. Judging by the uneasy shifting and mutterings around me, I was not alone in the feeling.
"What the sod was that?" Exhaled Ron.
I shook my head, as much in answer as to try and silhouettes of the delegates of the ship's school were now close enough to be detailed. Most of their apparent bulk was a result of the heavy furs they wore, though they were, in general, quite tall. Not that it was an outrageous feat when I was the one making the observation.
The headmaster, or so I assumed, approached Dumbledore and shook his hand, smiling in a way that would have been charming had it not been for his yellowed teeth.
"It's been a long time headmaster," He looked at the castle and then at the group of students huddled by the doors, "Hogwarts has changed as much as you have, eh?"
"I hope the same is not true of you, Igor," Said Dumbledore in his most amicable tone, his eyes shining with a kind smile, somehow making the newly named Igor stiffen, "change is the core of betterment after all."
Dumbledore put a hand in his shoulder and turned towards the castle's door, "You better get your students inside, Igor, it may be warmer here than at Durmstrang, but that's not saying much. And I can see some of your students are faring the worse for it."
Indeed, one of the figures closest to Durmstrang's headmaster was hunched under his furs, face red, sniffing constantly, and generally looking quite miserable.
"Merlin's sagging left ball! That's Victor Krum!" His former spooked mood forgotten, Ron straightened and eyed Krum as he did his plate of sausages in the morning, which was not an image I wanted in my brain.
"He's just a quidditch player, Ronald," Hermione's dulcet tones cut through his enraptured gaze.
"Just a quidd-"
"He is certainly less graceful on the ground, he looks about to trip and fall" I cut his angry tirade not bothering to look at the betrayed expression he was probably throwing my way, choosing to look around in feigned ignorance for a sign of the Beauxbatons delegation. And hoping it would be less off-putting than whatever the hells that thing with the ship had been.
A glint in the sky drew my eye instinctively, and my first thought was 'snitch'. Snitches, however, would not grow so large by the second as this was doing. It was definitely something round, gold and winged though.
"There," I pointed to my mates, "What do you make of that?"
Hermione hummed, "It looks like a pumpkin."
"A flying house?" Added Ron.
It took but seconds for the thing to crash with a mighty sound in front of the assembly and prove them both wrong, though not by a long shot. It looked like a pumpkin, but the size of a house, painted a soft pastel cream with blue accents and adorned with enough gold to pass for a huge snitch. Only the wings didn't belong to it, but rather to a group of massive winged horses that pulled the contraption with some kind of harness, their pearly manes shining almost as much as the polished silver wheels behind them.
"Pegasi!" Sighed Hermione, enraptured.
Enrapturing is a good word to describe the feeling of Beauxbatons in general. Such a stark contrast.
"It looks like something out of a fairy tale!" The excitable Colin Creevey said, breathless as the rest of us, wording my thoughts.
The students descended from the flying contraption through a door on the side, a score of people wearing a light looking uniform in the same colours as the carriage. Behind them, an elegant woman in a shiny black dress straightened into her full height.
A height I had only seen before in Hagrid.
The pegasi looked like common mares next to her.
She cut through her own students gracefully, with them moving away respectfully as she neared them and immediately following In her way towards our Headmaster.
As with the Durmstrang's head, they appeared to already know each, for after a warm greeting in which Dumbledore kissed her hand twice - for there was no hope of him ever reaching her cheeks despite his height - we were all gestured to go inside the castle.
The feast was fairly normal, with the exception of everyone being closer together as there were a lot more students in the hall even if the guests were distributed along all four house tables, with Beauxbatons sitting at the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor tables and Durmstrang spread between Slytherin and Hufflepuff.
As per usual Dumbledore left everything important for after the feast, just offering a short introduction of Madame Maxime and Igor Karkarov as heads of their respective school before the food materialised in front of us, so we were all happily munching on our food when we were interrupted.
"Are you wanting the bouillabaisse?
I turned to my right to see a blue-eyed girl wearing a blue scarf -which at first made me think she was a Ravenclaw- standing behind Ron, one eye arched at him as he stood pale and transfixed mouthing like a fish. A particularly stupid one.
I was about to stomp his foot when he jumped in a way that made me think Hermione had been quicker than me.
"*Sorry. You can take it, there's more than enough with the other dishes.*"
Well, I'll be damned. Didn't know Hermione spoke French.
With a grateful little smile, the French witch took the bowl and left towards the Ravenclaw table, where she had been sitting, leaving us with our dinner.
Ron remained looking a bit starstruck for a while.
After the long wait in the cold outer yard it was not surprising that the hot meals provided disappeared at record speeds, making it time for the Judge of the tournament to be revealed. The impartial, strict and impossible to deceive judge.
A flaming cup that didn't even look impressive, a rough wooden goble set aflame. According to Hermione I should be very impressed by the amazing artifact, but I just couldn't find it in me.
"So, little Harry, what are you thinking?" Came from my left as Forge plopped down on the bench.
"Planning on entering?" Came from my right, accompanied by Ron's cursing, as Gred did the same.
"I'm not of age, mates. It's not like I can enter."
"Like that has stopped you before."
That pulled a wry smile from me. "Even then, I won't try. Looking for a bit of peace this year. Besides if I'm not allowed to summon Ron and Hermione from the stands I won't stand a chance."
That caused general laughter around me. But in a way it was true after all, none of my adventures were just mine. I shared a fond smile with my friends as the crazy twins started rambunctiously inventing stories of us three to the delight of the whole house, and the bewilderment of the guests.
Halloween was declared free of classes, as no one would likely be able to actually focus on them.
I spent the morning alone sitting on a window ledge on the astronomy tower, trying to make the most of the peace and the morning sun that was fighting its way through October clouds. It was a quite charming sight, the golden rays like the fingers of a god, reaching towards the floor. I could easily lose track of time on here, were it not for the chill.
And so, when the cold winds became too much I started my trek down the winding and spiraling halls of the castle, thinking of breakfast and maybe flying around the Quidditch pitch for a while later. Have a whole leisure day. Now that sounded quite nice.
Almost nobody came to this part of the castle in the morning, so imagine my surprise when a blonde apparition smacked right into my nose with a huff as I was turning a corner.
"Son of a barghest!" I hissed, rubbing my aforementioned protuberance.
The apparition, now easily identifiable as a girl, just sat there on the floor where she had fallen with a hand on her forehead, looking at me through a curtain of fine pale hair as if she couldn't believe someone had the gall to bump into her.
"Oh, sorry," I said while I offered my free hand to help her up, my voice a bit nasal. "I was not expecting to bump into anyone here. Are you Ok?" She glared at me perfunctorily for a moment before taking my hand and pulling herself up.
"I am fine, thank you." She said, dusting her skirts with as much dignity as could be gathered in the situation. Her hands moving over her uniform made me notice that it was not the usual black, and in an amazing display of observation I saw that she was covered entirely in blue clothes, marking her a Beauxbatons student.
Her posture was stiff and prideful, confrontational, even. It was putting me on my nerves, to be honest. It didn't particularly look like she would appreciate the company, so maybe it was best I leave her to her things.
"Well, I guess I'll be going then," I said shifting my feet to and fro before turning to walk down the hall.
"Wait!" Came a half shout, too loud for the short steps between us.
I turned a bit worried about the sudden outburst, her prideful stance now at odds with her fidgeting hands, "Yes?"
She bit her lip and wrung the edge of her robe, "I am quite lost and could use some 'elp."
"Oh," I said as I faced her. "Where are you trying to go?"
"The courtyard or the main gate, I am in need of some air."
I looked at her then for a few seconds, perplexed, trying to imagine what route she took to- "how did you even end up here? You are almost at the top of the tallest tower."
Her cheeks tinted a pretty shade and she lifted her chin, "It's a strange building, anyone could get lost."
That, if anything, made me smile. "You're right, Hogwarts can be a bit tricky. I got lost loads during my first year here," I said and shrugged, "follow me. I was heading to the great hall anyway."
"Thank you," She said in a dainty voice, stepping beside me.
We walked side to side for a good portion of the castle, mostly in silence at first, but as I could see her glancing at me from time to time in obvious curiosity, I started to point out certain things that could be used as landmarks, interesting tidbits I had found throughout the years. Her responses were mostly limited to noises of interest, but as she appeared to be genuinely paying attention to what I said, I kept at it.
Despite this there was a sort of restlessness to her demeanor that was, despite my best efforts to ignore it, slowly grating on my nerves. What was the problem? Sod Ron if I know.
The bullicious sound of a hungry crowd started to be heard in the distance, echoing through the walls. My stomach rumbled in anticipation, knowing his goal was close.
"I believe we 'avent given each other's names." The girl said, stopping and offering her hand just as the corridor turned and opened towards the entrance's stairwell "I am Fleur Delacour, and you are?"
I took her hand and smiled, "Harry. Harry Potter."
"Ugh," She dropped my hand unceremoniously, as if it was slimy, and crossed her arms over her chest, eyes flaring through the slits they became, " 'arry Potter? Really? Couldn't you come up with something more original?"
"What?" I said, with all the grace and finesse that characterizes me.
The girl, Fleur I had to remember, scoffed and rolled her eyes before stomping away and towards the castle's doors.
I stood there for a minute, perplexed, and just shook my head, "Ron is right, girls are mental," her long hair disappeared from view as she sharply turned after clearing the entrance.
"Oh well, nothing to be done really," I muttered to myself as I started towards the stairs and on my way to the Great Hall in hopes of a warm and hearty meal.