1A/N: For the sake of the story I am making Gabrielle a little older than what is indicated in Canon. In this story she is four years younger than Harry, not six as was implied in GOF. I will, of course, provide a cover as to how this could have been mixed up. Also I would like to thank brigrove for his awesome beta skills. Sorry for those that got re-flashed about updates, but I forgot to thank him here. Lastly I would like to remind everyone I don't own Harry Potter or any other characters and/or settings belonging to JK Rowling, Warner Brothers, or its affiliates.
Harry Potter and the Veela Bond
Chapter 1: Mourning Dreams
Harry sat on a rock next to the black lake, one leg bent up in front of him while the other one laid out straight. His arms were folded and rested on his knee while his head looked forward out onto the lake. There was no one to be found near him, as Hermione and Ron were still in the hospital wing recovering from their injuries. Neville and Ginny were visiting them while Luna was somewhere doing something, Harry had no idea what. It was a good thing there was no one around him though, for if there were they would have carted him to the hospital wing. His face was thin and gaunt, as if drawn out by grief. His eyes had circles underneath the circles around them, and a deeply profound state of loss shone darkly within. His face was red in places, and streaked from the tears that had long since dried up. In fact, his body was shaking slightly from sobs of grief and slight dehydration. If anyone would have seen him, they would have thought he was tired and ill from lack of sleep.
Such was not exactly the case. Harry felt a deep sense of grief and guilt from the death of his Godfather, Sirius Black, a week earlier. He also felt deep guilt for the wounded friends, a couple of whom could have died easily in that battle. But most of all, he felt a deep sense of loneliness and loss. Sirius was his last link to his family, and now he was gone. His mind couldn't really think of Remus at the moment. For some reason it just slipped right over him. Instead he had almost convinced himself that he was truly alone, that the last vestiges of family had left him.
As Harry's eyes stared out over the lake and up into the clouds, his mind drifted back to the dreams he had started having. At first he had started reliving the Battle at the Ministry over and over again while Sirius yelled that it was all his fault. But within a couple of days that started to change. At first it was a female voice whispering in his ear. The voice was beautiful, alluring, almost melodic in nature. It kept telling him that it was not his fault, and that everything would be alright. The first night he woke up not screaming, but sobbing, with an awkward-looking Neville standing over him. It took several minutes to convince Neville to go back to bed.
Then the dreams started retaliating.
Sirius kept on dying, but soon after Cedric started joining him. But instead of being hit by a red beam of light like Sirius, he was hit with the killing curse. Then his parents joined them, all falling through the Veil after being hit by the same curse that killed them. They all started blaming him, and the voice could not get through. Harry woke up just before dawn that day, tired and not really hungry. That was the first day he started sitting out here. The next night the dreams started up again, and this time there were two voices countering the visions. The first was still that melodic, alluring voice, and the second sounded close to the first, but younger. He couldn't make heads or tails out as far as their identities went, but whenever he heard them he found peace. Even if it were for a brief fleeting moment before the dreams came back, he was at peace. Oh, how he longed for that peace.
But he was Harry Potter, so peace was the one thing that could not be granted to him. If the dreams weren't enough, his waking hours would slowly drive him insane. He kept hearing the whispers as he walked down the halls. They haunted him anywhere there was people. Hushed whispers of suspicion. The Ministry and The Prophet had done too good of a job painting him as an attention-seeking lunatic. Even when the stories came back that he was telling the truth from both ends, it didn't matter. The damage to his reputation had been done. He could hear the accusations of his classmates. If You-Know-Who was really back, then why did Harry insist upon going there anyways? Why walk right up to a man that wanted to kill you? Why would he risk others in the same situation. Only someone truly insane would go looking for a fight with someone like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Yet that's what he did, and it nearly killed his two closest friends.
So even if he were vindicated as far as Voldemort was concerned, he was still an attention-seeking lunatic, at least as far as the students of this school was concerned. And some of the teachers as well. Snape was positively ecstatic, for he was proven right. Flitwick, Sprout, and Trelawny (of all people) tried to hide their looks of distrust, but they weren't that good at it. McGonagall and Hagrid were still on his side, while the others were pretty much fence-sitters. He had no clue what Dumbledore was thinking of course, he still had not seen the old man since he trashed his office. Good thing too, for Harry did not have any idea how he would deal with the old Manipulator.
These thoughts warred with the grief from Sirius's demise pretty much constantly since that fateful night, seeming to forever leave him lost. He sighed and looked up to the sky, watching the clouds as they moved slowly in the breeze. One in particular caught his attention, and as he looked at it he felt as if he could have jumped out of his skin. The cloud looked a lot like Sirius. His heart clenched at the smiling face of the man, and not for the first time he wondered if everyone had it right. Was he losing his mind? Had he finally reached his breaking point? Then, almost as if on cue, gut wrenching sob wracked his body, though there were no more tears to cry. Inside he wailed as he crumpled physically on top of the stone, his whole body shaking badly.
'Shhhh...' he distinctly heard. He felt a warmth somewhere around his chest when this voice echoed, and the pressure on it seemed to ease. 'Please don't cry mi amor. I know it hurts, but he would not want you to give up over him.'
"But . . ." he said aloud as he tried to find out where the voice was coming from. He had only heard it in his dreams before, but there was no mistaking the peace it brought. "I KILLED himཀ"
'No, you didn't Harry,' the second voice answered. It seemed further away from the other one, but more determined all the more. 'That evil woman did. You went to save him Harry. There was no way you could have known.'
"But . . . I was warned by Dumbledore, by Snape, by all of themཀ I didn't even try to plan, I just rushed inཀ I should have known it was a trapཀ" If anyone had been walking around the lake now their suspicions about his mental facilities would have been confirmed, but at this point Harry didn't care anymore. He just wanted the pain to end.
'Non, you had no way of knowing, mon cheri. You took enough time to check, but did you not say that house elf told you he was gone? And when did you have time to check the mirror, Harry?' The closer voice seemed to be making a lot of sense in this though his conscience did not want it to. Still, as the events leading up to the Battle replayed in his mind, he had to admit she (for the voice sounded female) had a strong point.
That point was further emphasized by the further away voice that chose this moment to pop up, 'Harry, you did what you could with a bad situation. I won't say you did everything perfect, but you did not kill your godfather, Harry. That evil woman did. You tried, and were cut off by that toad woman. I refuse to call something like that a lady. He died the way he wanted, protecting you. Do you wish to make his death in vain?'
Even though in his heart he wished people would not die to protect him, he had to admit that people would willingly do so. But still he had to fight against it, or he wouldn't be Harry Potter. "I don't want people to die for me. I want . . ." his voice ran out right there as his thoughts continued to finish the sentence.
'You want to stop the deaths by ending this, is that it? If so, then you need to plan ahead and get some training. People will still die, but the numbers will be less than if you give up. If you give up, more will die trying to protect you,' the nearer voice echoed in his head. He had to admit the voice made a lot of sense. He needed to be stronger. Voldemort was after him, and the man would never stop. Hiding was an impossibility, and it would only cause people to die as the Dark Lord looked for him. He could not deal with those deaths on his conscience any more than he could anything else. And turning himself over to Voldemort would only doom their world.
Taking a deep breath he looked up to the cloud that started this latest wave of grief and sighed. "I'm sorry Sirius. I'm sorry you had to die for me. I didn't kill you, but the fact remains you were there to save me, because I didn't plan. I promise to do better. I promise on your grave, and the graves of my parents wherever they are, that I will get better. I will think and I will train. I will do whatever it takes to see the people who killed you brought to justice. And I will live my life. Mum, Dad, Godfather, I promise you I will not have let you die in vain. So mote it be." With this Harry's body glowed brightly for a moment as the oath to the dead was accepted. Harry almost could see the cloud-Sirius smile, and for once his heart seemed to lift from the gloom of doom that had been surrounding it.
'I promise to stand by your side. To be your shelter in the storm when you need it, and to fight alongside you whatever may come, so mote it be,' both voices answered within his head. He was about to respond when a bird caught his attention. It looked to be a type of eagle from the wingspan, which was quite large in comparison to the owls around here. It also seemed to move pretty fast in a straight line toward him. As it grew closer he could readily identify it as an eagle even though it was not one that was native to Britain. The voices seemed to withdraw slightly, though he could still feel their presence. This actually soothed him, but he'd have to figure out later why he could hear them while he was awake. The eagle closed in on his location and then circled above him for a moment. Harry took this time to recognize the bird as some kind of eagle. In fact, if he remembered the adds from Eyelops, it was a Bonelli's Eagle. No one he knew had an eagle, much less this type, so he was curious as to who it was for and who sent it. He was surprised when the bird finally glided in and approached his boulder for a landing. Once it had landed, it hopped a couple of jumps toward him bringing it within reach. Harry could see a white envelope attached to the Eagle's claws, and when it finally got within arm's reach it held out the letter to him.
Harry took the letter and smiled at the bird before saying, "I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting you. All I generally have are Owl treats, so I'm not sure what to say, save I think I saw a rabbit or two that way if you need something to eat. The bird looked at him stately for a moment then launched itself up into the air toward the forest. Apparently it needed an answer. Harry shrugged and looked at the letter closely, but did not recognize the seal on it. A quick revealing charm showed no portkeys or any other kind of traps, so Harry decided to read the letter.
Lord Harry James Potter, Head of the Noble House of Potter,
Normally I would hope that this letter would find you well, but the circumstances which have prompted me to write this letter are such I know this not to be true, even if I didn't have other ways of knowing otherwise. First let me express my truest heartfelt condolences upon the loss of your Godfather, Lord Sirius Black. I know well what it is like to lose family, and given that Lord Black was the closest thing you still had to a father, I can certainly relate. I knew him as well as someone could know someone in his situation, given the distance apart and the covert way we had to communicate. He was a fine man and loved you very much, please never question that. I am aware of the way he died, and while this may be of little consolation to you, please rest assured he went the way he wanted to go, and he would never blame you for his death.
You may wonder why a complete stranger would be writing you out of the blue like this, or for that matter who I am. While you would not know me please rest assured you know my daughters: Fleur and Gabrielle, whom you met during the Tri-Wizard tournament. Indeed, we met very briefly once, just before the final task. What you do not know, however, is I was one of the people working to help hide Lord Black from your ministry. You see, we had met just a few weeks after his escape from Hogwarts, and to my shame I thought him guilty of the things your ministry have accused him of. But he quickly got the best of me, of which I am proud to say that it was the first time in a decade someone had managed to disarm me. After an hour of talking, and an oath or two from Lord Black, I invited him to my chateau in France to relax and regain some of his health. Over the period of the next few months he and I worked long and hard to gain his freedom, but I'm sure you can appreciate the bullheadedness of your MOM, Cornelius Fudge. We soon discovered he was not the only person with interests in keeping Lord Black as a fugitive, so we had to start taking a different track. It would interest you to know he was granted asylum by the French Ministry a month before your name came out of the goblet, and that the trial he was given by my government proclaimed him innocent. We were sorry you nor your friends could not be present for the trial, but to do that would have aroused too much suspicion.
When he heard your name had come out of the goblet from our daughter Fleur, we were shocked. Your letter quickly followed and Lord Black made a decision to return to Britain, and nothing would stop him. He did not care if he would be within reach of the British Government again. He didn't even care if others were searching for him for other reasons. He wanted to be there for you, Lord Potter, and nothing would gainsay him. We set him up as best we could, including having a squad of trained French Aurors ready to extract him if necessary, and reluctantly let him go. We had several plans in place, by his request, but unfortunately none of them could move in time to save him. For that you have my most heart-felt apologies.
This brings me to the reason for this letter. Once I had found out about your godfather's death I put plans into motion that will, hopefully, soon have you free from the harmful influences currently in your life. Lord Potter, you are in danger, and I am not referring to Tom Riddle. I wish I could put all the proof in this letter, but unfortunately even the anti-tampering and anti-mail-redirection spells on this Eagle are not fool-proof. But while I am taking a risk to write you telling you even this much, no one can stop the plans that have now been set in place short of kidnapping you. And yes, it would be kidnapping to take Harry Potter and hide him from his representatives. I would caution heavily against it if one does not wish to cause a diplomatic incident. Whether you follow through with these plans is solely up to you, Harry. But for your sake, as well as the sake of my daughters, I hope you do. If you cannot bring yourself to trust me, then at least listen to my daughters, who will appear within your bedroom five days after you return to your home. The wards will not be able to keep them out, please believe me there. They both have something to say to you Harry, and I hope you'll listen.
Harry, you should know I sent this letter unsealed to Fleur first so that she could include some proof that this letter is genuine. So without any further ado I will close my part of this letter with these thoughts: Heroes generally do not seek to be heroes. They are often completely normal people thrust into incredible situations with but two choices: What is right and what is easy. Heroes, both big and small, choose what is right. That is what makes them what they are. That is why we look up to them.
Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Delacour
I have received this letter shortly after arriving home from Gringotts, where I took a job to improve my English, or so I told almost everyone. You know my "accent" is over-exaggerated because that is the way the English think a "French Veela Whore" would be. I told you the real reason I took the job is to be closer to Britain, both to help you and because of a certain rather hot curse-breaker we both know. I wish I could put down on paper how things are going in this respect, but things simply are not done that way. Please keep an open mind about my papa's offer. Both Gabrielle and myself will be seeing you soon after you arrive at your relatives' house. I just ask that whatever you decide, please hear us out first.
Au revoir , mon amie.
Harry read and re-read the letter several times while some small spark of hope built up within him. After a bit of brief searching he transfigured some writing supplies and sent off a couple of quick notes to Fleur and her father. He'd meet with them, most definitely. Though he had to wonder what was so important that the Delacour daughters had to go all the way to Privet drive to meet with him, and why they couldn't come here. He didn't miss the references to charms placed on the mail to keep it from being diverted, but that mystery took a temporary second place to wondering just what was going on. After a while he decided that he was doing no one any good by starving himself, so he stood up and went back to the castle to get some food. Then maybe he would go to see his friends . . .
Autumnwood Apartment Complex
45 Minutes Earlier
Fleur Delacour opened the door with her arms full, having just come from a food shopping trip on her way home. Bill would be home early tonight, and she had planned to have a nice romantic dinner for two ready for him. She was hopeful in many ways that the night would lead to some wonderful time behind closed doors, especially since it has been a couple of days since their last romantic session. This thought brought back some insecurities that have been creeping into her heart over the past few months. Oh, there was no lack of physical attraction between the two of them, but if she were honest with herself she would have to admit some of the emotional connection she had thought was there had either faded, or wasn't there at all. Desperation however forbid her from being honest with herself that often, for she did not want yet another failed relationship.
Despite her best efforts over the years, relationships often fell shortly after they started. If being a quarter Veela wasn't bad enough on a relationship, there was that lack of connection with each of her boyfriends. She didn't know what was wrong with herself. Each time she got close to someone, she suddenly became less and less interested. After the last relationship before Bill failed she had promised herself to never let another one fail from that again. And when she met Bill she felt so sure, so confident that things would work out. And for a while they did. Then the dreams started.
These dreams always showed a young man, one about three years younger than her. She thought she recognized him several times, but the final piece never clicked. Worse yet was the attraction she felt for the boy. It was as strong if not stronger than the one she felt for Bill. But that was impossible. She loved Bill. But the young man proved impossible to resist. Even if the attraction wasn't there, the problems he was facing reached desperately out to her. In her dreams she'd listen to his problems and her heart would melt. He was under such stress, such pain. And she'd listen and give him the best advice she could, and in later dreams he'd appear grateful.
Then in the past few days the dreams turned decidedly worse. The young man seemed to fall into the pits of despair after watching someone very close to him die. The first night she had finally figured out who it was she was dreaming about, but when she woke the next morning the names seemed to melt from her mind. She just couldn't hold them. And yet she could feel the bonds between her and this young man grow stronger with each passing day. Not only that, but her sister also joined in the dreams after the first night. Being a Veela, even a partial Veela, meant that she could "see" the bonds of love better than any other. And she knew Gabrielle was just as connected to the boy as she was, in the same way. Even more perplexing was that she saw similar bonds forming between her and her sister. That was just too odd, and something that quite frankly scared Fleur. So she had decided to fight these feelings. Thus she had been doing her best to further the relationship along between her and Bill.
Tonight was supposed to be one of those milestone nights. Bill had intimated to her that he needed to talk with her, presumably about something very important. She could tell, again through her Veela senses, that the subject of discussion would be them, but not exactly what he wanted to say. Hope filled in a gap in understanding, he was going to propose. Thus she decided to surprise him with a meal fit for royalty, thus paving the way to what promised to be the best night of her life.
What she did not account for however was her father's eagle perched on the back of one of her dining chairs. Tied to its claws were three envelopes: two obviously from her papa and one from Gabrielle. She could tell this even before she removed the letters, which caused her heart to skip a couple of beats as it was filled with both anticipation and reticence. Somehow she knew these letters would change her life, and no small part of her did not want them in her presence. At the same time she felt drawn to remove them, even as her hands were shaking badly. It even took her a while to decide which letter to open first, until she felt drawn to the letter from Gabrielle. Her hands shook even harder as she began to open the letter, so it took a few additional minutes to ensure the letter was unharmed as she began to read.(1)
I find myself sitting in papa's home office trying to figure out what to say. You see, he had asked permission from Madam Maxime to allow me to test early so I could be home before school ended for both Beauxbatons and Hogwarts. It would appear papa and a man by the name of Sirius Black had some plans for Harry at the end of this year, something Harry himself did not know about. I've just found out about some of these plans because papa has just told me of them, and has asked me to talk to you.
I hope that you have read my letter first, for there are a couple things papa was not aware of until recently. He was not the person that I needed to discuss these things with, you are. You see, I have been having some strange dreams lately. I have dreamt that I have been trying to console this boy, older than me, while he grieved the loss of his godfather. The poor boy seems to feel that most of the world rests on his shoulders, and with the loss of his godfather he is near the breaking point. Thing is I have had to fight his dreams to be able to talk to him. But I was not alone. There was someone else, someone I cared deeply for, working right along side me. I was confused for the first few nights, but it became clear soon enough.
I have no doubts from the description of my dreams you know exactly what I'm about to say next. The boy of course was Harry, and the woman was you. I know you you're in love with Harry, but I feel more than a little in love with him too. Yes, this could be the life debt I owe Harry, one I'm sure neither the Headmaster nor Harry know of, but as mama and papa always tell us, the Veela side of us can turn those things into more. I think it is doing that, as I can't stop thinking about him and I want to be near him so bad. But at the same time I know you love him too, even if you try to deny it to yourself.
Fleur, I don't want to fight my feelings. I'd like nothing more than to be his one and only lover, but at the same time, I can't ignore you either. And knowing you as I do, my feelings are part of what is preventing you from following your heart. So here we are, both loving Harry, and yet neither one of us wants to hurt the other. But as mama and papa have pointed out, it does not have to be that way. After they explained to me some interesting points about Veela and bonds, I tried to think of Harry. And it came to me, Harry doesn't need just one of us, in my heart I know he needs both of us. I've decided I'm am willing to share for all of our sakes. I know its strange to share someone with your sister, even more so in such an intimate relationship as this one promises to be. I know its scary, but I know that in the end it will be worth it. I am falling for Harry, and I want what is best for him. That is both you and me, not just one of us.
Fleur, you know what I'm saying is right. I know you're scared, but please, follow your heart. I promise you won't fall like you have in the past. I will be there to make sure of it. Harry needs us, and you need us, and I need both of you. I'm scared too, Fleur, but with you I can find the strength to do what is needed for all of our happiness.
Give your heart a chance.
Fleur sat down abruptly into the chair she had been standing in front of as she stared out into space. Various emotions and feelings ran through her mind as she took in the contents of Gabrielle's ramblings, and their implications. Those dreams were more than dreams, and the memories of her deductions flooded her head. The boy in her dreams was Harry. Now she knew what had happened, as the news of Sirius's death had made its way through the Weasley family. She remembered hearing from others that Harry watched him fall through the Veil, and tried to go after him. Those long sessions of trying to make the young man understand what had happened had left her in tears when she woke up, and Bill could not console her. Her own desire for a lasting relationship had blinded her, and kept her from telling him the truth.
Now she knew. These were not dreams, they were a bond being formed. But to someone so young? And to a sister wife even younger? Never mind that soul bonds were rare between two people, but between three was nearly unheard of. In fact, Fleur had only come across one reference to soul bonds between three people: the Triumvirate bond. But this bond was supposed to be a bond of equals, where each was bonded to each of the other two equally. That didn't make much sense, considering that Gabrielle was her sister, and at least seven years younger than she was. It was enough to make the mind rebel.
Fleur re-read the letter again, and sighed as she finished and laid it down. It was a comfort to her that she was not the only one to be concerned about the relationship issues between the sisters. Gabrielle also had her doubts, so she focused her energies on Harry. That would seem to be the best advice anyone could give, and even she could see where that would in fact be the only way to go. She quickly decided that it would have to be the way Fleur herself dealt with this, at least until their feelings could be worked through.
That part surprised Fleur greatly. Was she willing to consider this very unusual situation? Was she willing to give up what she had with Bill and go with Harry? Was she willing to leave a relationship of security and enter one with so many potential problems? And what about the Ministry? Bill was a safe route as far as the British government was concerned because not only did he spend a considerable amount of time out of the country, but he was not a famous focal point. Harry on the other hand was famous, whether or not he wanted to be. And with public opinion only recently shifting into Harry's favor, the least little scandal would bring it all to bare again. The British Ministry had yet to come out with its current stance on Harry after he was proven right, and that would bring even more pressure to bear. And with Fleur being a part-Veela, her rights within this country were along the same lines of most other half-breeds: almost none. Bill could use his connection with his father to help keep her out of trouble, but such was not guaranteed with Harry. Did she have the courage to face the press without the protection of the Weasleys, and by extension Dumbledore?
Such thoughts had started swirling around within her head as she pulled out the second letter, the one from her father: (1)
My precious daughter,
I hope you had read Gabrielle's letter first. If not, please put this one down and read hers first. Once you're done, pick this one up and read it.
I'll admit once you started to write to me about your dreams, I grew concerned. I was worried about your heart breaking yet again, as the signs showed that your relationship between you and William was failing. Then Gabrielle wrote to me about dreams she had been having, and the similarities were enough to floor me. It only took me a few minutes to figure out who you were dreaming about, and that Gabrielle was dreaming about the same person. Dearest daughter, I was both elated and very saddened when I realized what happened, for very different reasons.
I was elated for you because soul bonds are by definition permanent. You could finally have your long-sought-after lasting relationship. You could find happiness, even though you would have to end the one you have now. I was happy that you could finally find happiness. That is, after all, what every father wishes for his children.
I was saddened because now that you found your chance for happiness, the universe decided to bring your sister into it. I'll admit the fact that you and your sister would be involved in the same man, and by extension each other, scares me. I really don't know what to say or do about that, save that I wish for you both to follow your heart. And no, that was not my first conclusion, but your mother had a long talk to me about these bonds, and I realize now that none of you would be happy if even one of you were excluded. Do not get me wrong, there will be a lot of problems given the prior relationship between you and Gabrielle. I would spare you the pain of public opinion if I could, but I can't. The best we can do is publicize the existence of the bond, and note that such unions are put together by magic and the powers that be, not yourselves. It won't sway everyone, but it will sway some. It is my most sincere hope that the three of you can weather the challenges and find a way to find peace.
While I cannot fight that battle for you Fleur, I do have a couple of ways to help. You see, I know that Sirius Black is innocent of the crimes he was charged with. I had, unbeknownst to many, been working with him on several projects: getting Sirius free and getting Mr. Potter away from the bad influences in his life. To the first point we have partially succeeded. The French Ministry had given Mr. Black the trial he never got in Britain, and had been found innocent of all charges. This was done quietly because Mr. Black felt that certain people close to the situation would stop it. Most explicitly, he felt that Chief Warlock Dumbledore and Minister for Magic Fudge would attempt to stop the trial, each for their own reasons. I won't go into those reasons in this letter, though. Instead I'll explain them to all three of you when I see you at Harry's home.
Yes, you have read that right my dear daughter. I intend to gather the three of you at Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey six days after he returns to that place. The last letter I have written tells him to expect the both of you a day earlier than when I intend to show up, so that you and your sister can talk to him un-interrupted. What I need from you is for you to read the letter, then write something at the end of the letter to prove that it came from me through you. Some kind of information that only the two of you would know to positively identify yourself to him. This means you would be vouching for me, dear daughter. But I do not think you will have a problem with that, no?
One thing Fleur: do not tell anyone, save possibly William, what is going on and what we're doing. If Dumbledore finds out, he will attempt to stop our rescue attempt from happening. And make no mistake dear daughter, this is a rescue attempt. Dumbledore and to a smaller extent the Ministry have a stranglehold on that young boy. He is our (and by our I mean the world's) only hope of weathering the storm that is the British Dark Lord. There exists proof of this which I cannot divulge in this letter, but I will explain when we meet. Dumbledore's intentions are suspect, for at the very least he wants to be known as the man who trained Mr. Potter to win. But at the same time, Mr. Potter has not had any training than what is given out at Hogwarts. You yourself know how many times the young man has faced Voldemort, does this make much sense to you?
It did not to Sirius either, nor does it make sense to me. Furthermore several very important pieces of information and inheritances are being kept from Mr. Potter. Not the least of which is his connection to the Monarchy of Great Britain. Yes my daughter, that does mean what you think it means. The young man doesn't know it, but he has far more political power than even his keeper does. But Dumbledore and the Ministry both have worked to keep him from taking his rightful place, and the Crown is starting to get upset. Therefore the Crown and the French Government, both the President and the Magical Ministry have joined forces to ensure Mr. Potter's freedom. Thus you and Gabrielle will have the chance to begin work on your personal issues starting that fifth day after he returns to his "home," and then on the morning of the sixth day I, along with representatives of the French Government, both Magical and Non-Magical, as well as representatives of the British Non-Magical Government will descend upon that place and free him from it. It goes without saying that Mr. Potter needs to know we're coming.
I only ask one thing of you when you visit him Fleur, and it will be something I will beg from Gabrielle as well. Do not use magic upon the Dursleys. They are the family, and I use that term loosely, that Mr. Potter lives with during the summer before being packed off to the Weasleys. Mr. Black has told me of some suspicions he has concerning abuse there. No matter what, you must not use magic against them. A strong case is building, and if you do use magic, you can cloud that case. Use physical means of defense only as a defense, do not attack them unless one of the three of you is attacked first. Of course, if Mr. Potter decides to use magic, or any other means to defend you, that is his business and would actually work for us. Just don't use any yourselves or be seen or heard spurring him on to do so in your place.
I know I've rambled on in this letter, my dear Fleur, but I'm sure you can understand my nervousness. Gabrielle will be arriving at your place the same day the Hogwarts Express arrives at the platform. It will give you both the time to prepare. Just look after each other, and yourselves, and I'll see you soon after. And please, follow your heart.
Fleur had to read the letter through twice to make sure she understood it all correctly, then read the letter her father asked to be forwarded. She then sighed as she laid both letters down. Was she ready to shake up everything she had here for this? Was the promise of a relationship with Harry enough to over-come all the obstacles in the way? Was she strong enough to bear the weight of so many forces against them? She didn't know the answers to any of these questions, and that worried her.
One thing was for certain though. As she read the letter from her father her heart had settled itself, and it went to Harry. She could no longer deny she had strong feelings for him, nor could she deny that her heart could go to anyone else. Her mind was still fighting about practicalities, but it was a losing battle. Tears started trailing down her face as she faced herself in the mirror, and saw that she could no longer try to stay with Bill. No matter what the obstacles lay in their path, she'd have to try. Even having to share him with Gabrielle, and all the associated problems that came along with it, could not deter her any more. She cried for the pain she would have to put Bill through, and the death of one last relationship. Finally she stood up and found a quill to do as her father asked. Once it was done, she cast a spell on the bird to cut the travel time down via portkey. Jacques may not like it, but he took it with grace and understanding why it had to be done.
Once the eagle disappeared she set about fixing the dinner she had originally planned, but for a different reason than before. She was not sure how Bill was going to take this, but considering her previous thoughts it would not be pleasant. That was soon pushed from her mind however by a flood of grief and despair that filled her from somewhere else. But unlike the last few times she felt this while she was awake, now she knew where it was coming from. She opened herself up to the feeling, and was surprised to feel Gabrielle's presence. After sending a brief touch to her sister she focused on the young man that seemed not to notice their presence quite yet. 'Shhhh . . . Please don't cry mi amor. I know it hurts, but he would not want you to give up over him.'
She could literally feel the grief and self hatred rolling off of him at his reply. It was palpable, and eating away at him. She knew they didn't have long before he broke and joined Sirius if something wasn't done. Sending a soft whisper to Gabrielle, she started to send love to him even as she siphoned off the hatred. She could feel Gabrielle do the same, but only better. Fleur could only smile slightly in irony, her sister was always better at this aspect of Veela powers than she was. At times Fleur thought it was almost instinctual in Gabrielle, while Fleur had to work at it. This was made more evident by Gabrielle's choice of response, 'No, you didn't Harry. that evil woman did. You went to save him Harry. There was no way you could have known.' Harry's answer to this caused Fleur to frown, and a secondary shunt of pure rage to roll off of Gabrielle. Fleur had to agree, as she now more than ever saw the wisdom of her father's letter.
Taking a deep breath she calmed herself and tried to open the link even wider so she could pour more love and warmth into him. She could feel Gabrielle pulling more hatred off to augment her own efforts, so she decided it was her turn to take up the banner. Their bond proved to be a blessing in this as it augmented her own memories from their shared dreams by letting her see what she needed to from his thoughts. If she had the time, she would have marveled at how deep the bond had formed already to allow this. 'Non, you had no way of knowing, mon cheri. You took enough time to check, but did you not say that house elf told you he was gone? And when did you have time to check the mirror, Harry?' She could only hope that reason combined with their efforts would help them.
Gabrielle on the other hand was not so willing to leave things to chance. She took a big risk and pulled hard on the guilt that was generating the self-hatred as she spoke through the link, 'Harry, you did what you could with a bad situation. I won't say you did everything perfect, but you did not kill your godfather, Harry. That evil woman did. You tried, and were cut off by that toad woman. I refuse to call something like that a lady. He died the way he wanted, protecting you. Do you wish to make his death in vain?' Fleur remembered the stories Harry had told them in their dreams, and so apparently did Gabrielle. Even Harry would have to admit Gabrielle had a point about her, though the last question would probably hit a little close to home. Fluer winced at the question, and hoped it wouldn't set off Harry's temper.
Fortunately for them, it didn't. But just the same Fleur could feel Harry dig his heels in and fight that statement, 'I don't want people to die for me. I want . . .'
Fleur knew the moment he faded off what he wanted. Harry wanted it to end, and the only way he could see it would was through Voldemort's destruction. She could tell even Harry knew he didn't stand a chance in a toe to toe fight, he simply did not have the training. So she decided to help him see what he needed to do, 'You want to stop the deaths by ending this, is that it? If so, then you need to plan ahead and get some training. People will still die, but the numbers will be less than if you give up. If you give up, more will die trying to protect you.' She could not let his self-sacrificing nobility lead him into a martyr situation, if for no other reason than the world would lose the best thing it had in it, him.
Fleur could feel Harry's thoughts as he worked through everything, and was happy when the flow of hatred slowed to a trickle. She was even happier to hear his answer, 'I'm sorry Sirius. I'm sorry you had to die for me. I didn't kill you, but the fact remains you were there to save me, because I didn't plan. I promise to do better. I promise on your grave, and the graves of my parents wherever they are, that I will get better. I will think and I will train. I will do whatever it takes to see the people who killed you brought to justice. And I will live my life. Mum, Dad, Godfather, I promise you I will not have let you die in vain. So mote it be.' She could feel the flow of magic as it went through his core, into theirs and beyond.
A quick sub-thought conversation with Gabrielle settled her feelings, and their positions, at least for the time being. Finally they responded to Harry's oath with one of their own, done at the same time, 'I promise to stand by your side. To be your shelter in the storm when you need it, and to fight alongside you whatever may come, so mote it be.' She could feel his gratitude as well as his fear at the oath, but his objection never came as the eagle she had sent had apparently arrived. Giving him a soft whisper of encouragement she pulled back and focused on Gabrielle. 'Gabrielle, are you sure?' There was a lot meaning in that question, and she somehow was nervous to hear the answer.
'Oui, mon chéri soeur. I know you're nervous in this, I am too. But you just got a taste of what I was talking about. Could you leave him to this?' Fleur could tell Gabrielle was just as nervous as she professed, but at the same time she was determined.
This caused the older sister to smile and sigh as she drew some of that determination into herself, 'Non, I could not. I can see why you said what you did, and I have to agree. We will have a lot to talk about when you get here, non?'
'Oui, we will. Speaking of talks, what will you tell Bill?' Gabrielle was definitely concerned, as she knew full well what her past was like.
Fleur was about to answer but the front door opened and Bill's voice came through the apartment, "Fleur I'm back."
Sighing at the inevitable, she turned the flames down on the food and sent one final message to Gabrielle, 'I guess we'll find out. Talk to you later?' She felt her sister pull back but at the same time keep one ear to the conversation. "I'm in the kitchen, Beell. Give me a few minutez, and we can zit to eet."
Something was off though as it took Bill a few minutes to answer, "Okay Fleur. I'm going to the bedroom to get cleaned up. Call me when you're ready."
She could hear the door close and then felt some magic spring from the door. That was unusual, as he hardly ever used spells at home. This made her a little nervous, but she took a deep breath and took courage from the presences of Harry and Gabrielle in the background. Quickly she finished setting up the table. By the time she was done with that the food was ready to come out. She left the candles where the were though, for she didn't want to give the wrong impression. Once everything was set, she knocked on the door and announced that dinner was ready.
Dinner itself was a quiet affair with very little of substance being spoken about. Bill helped her clean up, but she could tell he was thinking about something. Finally they moved to the living room to sit. Fleur was confused when Bill didn't sit on the sofa with her like normal, but sat in the chair across the way. "Beel, what iz ze problem?" she asked, now concerned.
"Fleur, I . . ." he began, only to pause and frown. He ran his hands through his hair and blew out a breath before regrouping, "Fleur, Rockblade wants to send me back to Egypt. There's a new discovery that was made, and he wants me to be Senior Recovery Expert."
Fleur was excited at this, as it was a great promotion for him. That it could also be helpful to solve her dilemma wasn't lost on her either. "Beel, I'm zo 'appy for youཀ That'z quite a promotionཀ" She did notice him wince a little, as he apparently mistook her exuberance wrongly and assumed it was a normal girlfriend type gesture. The look he wore now clued her in as to what he was thinking.
"Fleur . . . You're not going to be able to come with me," he said quietly. He was decidedly nervous now, and Fleur was just about to let him down easily by saying something but he plowed on, "And I'm sorry, but I think it will be for the best. Fleur, I'm sorry. But I don't think it is working out for us," he said quietly. No matter if it was what Fleur wanted in the first place, it still hurt a little to be dumped, so a few silvery tears started to leak from her eyes. "Oh please don't cry. I still care about you, and its nothing you did," he began to nearly beg. "I just can't feel that connection. You know, that "she's the one I want for the ret of my life" kind of connection. And I don't think you feel it either. But you deserve that feeling, and I feel the only way for you to find it is for me to let you go. Please try to understand."
Fleur took a deep breath and dabbed the tears from her eyes. "Oui, I understand Beel. Better zan you think." She took a deep breath and continued, "Bill, I have a confession to make," she added as Bill blinked at the sudden reduction in accent. "I've just discovered today that I'm soul bonded. You know the dreams I've been getting, non?" At Bill's nod she looked into his eyes and continued, "We both thought it didn't mean much, but it turns out those dreams were real. My soul mate needs me Bill. And I can't fight it. A part of me is scared, because it's actually a Triumvirate bond, but I can't fight it, and a part of me doesn't want to. Please understand. You will hold a place in my heart, but in reality it belongs to another."
Bill sat there silent for a few moments as a myriad of emotions washed across his face. She could tell the dropping of the accent caused him to feel a bit betrayed, but at the same time he seemed to be wrestling with it. "I take it the accent thing was a way for you to get close to me, but you never could figure out how or when to drop it?" he asked for verification. When he saw her nod, he confessed, "I can't say I'm not hurt by that, but I think I can understand. And if anyone will understand about soul bonds, its people like me. Can I ask a question? Who is it?"
Fleur wasn't sure she wanted to answer that question, but at the same time he deserved to hear the truth. "Harry Potter," she said quietly as she looked down at her lap. His gasp made her look up to see him blink wildly. "Bill, there's probably not a thing that you're thinking that I haven't already. But its real, and he needs me."
Once again Bill was silent as an apparent mental storm raged within him. Finally he sighed and looked her in the eyes, "Someone up there has it in for him, I swear. Let me guess, the other member of your Triumvirate isn't Ginny, is it?" At Fleur's head shake negative he sighed again, "I didn't think so. Given all evidence, it would have to be Gabrielle. And given what I know from the Order, you two are going to have a hard time getting and remaining close to him."
"Why do you say that Bill? What do you know?" Fleur asked, now concerned that he could figure out everything so quickly.
"Fleur, I know soul bonds as well as you do, better in some cases. You two will need to get close to him soon, or it will cause all three of you problems," Bill reminded her. "And Dumbledore has too much of an interest in that boy. It borders on the unnatural. And there's already orders for an Order guard to be posted, completely unknown to Harry. We're under strict orders not to let ourselves be known. Dumbledore wants him alone this summer, no wizards in or out."
Bill had already told her about the Order of the Phoenix in attempt to recruit her. She refused, somehow sensing that it would be counter to what she was meant to be. Now she understood. She looked at him for a few long moments before his body language clued her into his thoughts, "You don't agree with it, do you?" She waited for his silent confirmation before continuing. "That's why you're taking the job. You're getting away so you don't have to be part of this." She took a deep breath and smiled at him. "On Harry's behalf, I thank you for the gesture. But now I have just about a week and a half to figure out how to get in there with Gabrielle without immediately alerting Dumbledore. Will you keep our secret? Please?"
Bill nodded enthusiastically in agreement. "Yes Fleur, it's the least I can do. I have to leave in two days anyway, and I wasn't planning on letting anyone else know until I was on my way out the door." He got up and walked over to her, extending a hand. Once she accepted it he pulled her up into a platonic hug. "I wish you luck, Fleur. And watch after him, will you? He's faced so much, and if I were him I'd be near breaking."
Fleur chuckled and took a step back to smile at her ex-boyfriend. "Of course mon amie. How could I do anything but?"
(1)= Letters are actually in French, not English.