Final Authors Note
Thank you for reaching the end of my story. To the two or three people willing to read this long author's note, deep appreciation is afforded. Please see me in the Harry/Fleur Discord Server to claim your prize!
I have read the complete Harry Potter series every summer since 2013, which makes me a total canon-junkie. Que hate mail and unfavorites. But in all seriousness, I was an avid lover of canon and didn't even know fanfic was a thing until 2017, when I began my journey as a reader. I consumed strictly post-war, canon-compliant Harry/Ginny fics and many are still my all-time favorite fandom stories.
Now, you may be wondering, "but Char, why do you write Harry/Fleur if Hinny is your OTP?"
Well dear reader, because I was duped.
My first foray into non-Hinny was Harry/Gabrielle fics (where she was an adult post-war and not the 'aged-up' Veela magic malarkey). After reading the two fics I most love from that pairing ("A Different Course" and "Twelve Days") I found myself hungry for more. However, the Harry/Gabrielle pairing is practically nonexistent.
So, I, reluctantly, moved to Harry/Fleur. Now, I thought Fleur was fine. Ok even. I liked her with Bill and felt weird pairing her with Harry initially. But then I stumbled across "Hope and Healing."
Suddenly, the pairing ensnared me,
I consumed as much Harry/Fleur I could in 2020 during quarantine. And, because of extra time on my hands and in want of a hobby, I decided to become a beta-reader on FFN. I then came to realize I needed to have either written a ton of reviews or something amounting to 6k words to be an editor.
So, I sat down one evening and cranked out "Negotiations with the French." A light-hearted look into Harry/Fleur revolving around a plot I hadn't seen done before in my reading. I published it and promptly went to sleep.
The next day I was eligible to beta and, because Harry/Fleur was on my mind, I decided to look for Harry/Fleur stories that needed beta-ing. Which is how I found myself on the Harry/Fleur subreddit and falling down the rabbit hole of Discord.
I have no social media and have never been on Discord before. Immediately, I was assailed by goofy goobers overjoyed to have me join their community.
It was startling. Nice, but startling.
Reddragon, unfortunately, made the connection between my discord name and authorial name, resulting in a can of worms being opened.
His encouragement and everyone else's prompted me to write "A Lily By Any Other Name" that first night. Now, the fever had set in. I was itching to continue this tale of Harry/Fleur I had eked out for myself in a niche of post-war not many had delved into.
Thus, "The Purpose of Wings" was born.
If it hadn't been for the warmth and encouragement of my newfound friends in the Harry/Fleur Discord, my writing would have halted at my first one-shot. Or, my writing would have reverted to my OTP, Harry/Ginny.
This is all to say, thank you. Thank you to my server members, my fellow authors, my betas, my readers, my friends, and all the wonderful people who pushed me forward to creating these stories. It has been a creative outlet during dark times and a source of character growth. Additionally, don't let your own ideas and creativity stay locked away gathering dust. Anyone can write! Even goofballs like me.
Now that my biography is out of the way, I can get to the good stuff.
TPOW ("The Purpose of Wings") was written in-line with canon as much as possible, aside from the divergent moment of Harry and Fleur's relationship blossoming in fourth year in "Stuttering Hearts and Quickening Strings." It was also created, with the hope, of being true to the books.
I believe the Harry Potter books are mainly character-focused stories set in a fantasy world within the context of a mystery novel. Each of the seven books have some sort of mystery that the main characters need to solve. With that in mind, I endeavored to create a mystery.
Additionally, Harry is, often, at the crux of every problem. He is being hunted by Voldemort or Death Eaters, a serial murderer has broken out of Azkaban to kill him, a prophecy has foretold of his fight against the Dark Lord, etc. This focus on Harry usually gets sharpened in fanfiction, which is natural and understandable due to people's love of him as the main character.
However, due to that hyper-focus on Harry, most scenes involving him make other characters seem dull or unimportant by comparison. He 'steals the show.'
This prompted me to write a mystery where Harry wasn't the important character, with the twist that he believed himself to be the important character along with the readers. I hoped that subversion of expectations would make the mystery more nuanced.
If you read each chapter closely, now that I've revealed my hand, you should be able to pick up clues all the way back to chapter one. Perhaps I flatter myself and, in fact, hid the ball too well and thus failed as a mystery author by making the clues way too indiscernible. Only you, my dearest reader, can accurately judge me on that.
This is largely a tale about Harry coming to terms with his hero's journey being over. It is a horribly difficult endeavour to attempt breaking from a mold you've been cast all your life. Juxtaposing that struggle with the very real one of a soldier with PTSD leaving the war behind to become a civilian, a husband, and a father, allowed for some great creative space to explore.
Most of the fandom is AU rewrites, which is understandable because it offers so much creativity. But it is especially prominent with Harry/Fleur. Because I love the post-war family fics I decided to sail into largely uncharted waters with the pairing.
I wanted to write an honest look into a strong marriage where romance has only flared brighter rather than dimmed. Marriage and any long relationship isn't without struggle or hardship. So I wanted to earnestly write that without the adolescent angst or small pettiness that plagues so many fanfics. Basically, I wanted them to remain partners even under stress. I wanted their union to be tested but remain unbroken.
Most find beauty in the act of falling in love, but I think the enduring ardor, the unwavering devotion is far more weighty. Their relationship journey was complex and emotionally-taxing in many chapters, but never strained to the breaking point. Their love was built to last, and they knew it, took strength from that certainty. Accordingly, I wanted my readers to feel that too.
Ultimately, I want this story to stand for hope. The world is a dark, foreboding place at times filled with sadness and cruelty. But it is also filled with people who try. Who fight against that darkness no matter the personal cost to themselves. It is filled with fathers willing to do anything for their children and Discord community members willing to motivate a novice writer.
This has been an exceptional journey, thank you once again for being part of it.
All the best,