Disclaimer: I do not own anything other than the story line . All rights belong to J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Veela Gambit
Chapter One: Veate
If a person wanted to disappear, yet still have some semblance of civilization, then one of the most perfect places to do so was the sleepy port town of Dutch Harbor. Located on the island of Unalaska, part of a string of islands in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia, it was a den for those who didn't want to be noticed.
Home to the crab fishing fleet of the Bering Sea, as well as a small naval base, Dutch Harbor was also home to just over four thousand unique individuals, most of whom had fled from some other life in an attempt to be left alone. Many of these people had something or someone in their past that was best left there, only as a memory of things before.
It was also home to a grand total of three bars, each of which were frequent hangouts for the members of the before mentioned fleet. One of these was a small pleasant establishment by the name of the Gilded Lily Pub. The sign above the entry sported a golden lily blossom in front of a set of silver antlers. It really didn't look like much from the outside. The paint was in desperate need of re-coating, and the walls were in a state of constant disrepair.
On this particular evening, late into January, and well into the opilio crab season, the snow was falling on the town. The air was so chilled that the snow was extremely dry and crunched under the boots of those who dared to venture out on their various errands. Despite that, anyone who passed the pub saw the soft glow of welcoming light from the windows, inviting one and all to partake of the different chemical delights within.
Inside the lighting was soft and the atmosphere pleasant. The pub was decked out in crimson and gold, a beautiful color scheme for the losing of one's self in the ambiance of the place. Banners of different British football teams were hung across the walls. A large billiard table sat in the middle of the room, booths and tables all around. It was sparsely populated on this night, the weather a definite factor, truth be told.
The pub tender really didn't seem to mind the small crowd though. He stood behind the long bar idly wiping down a series of mugs. A small smile was across his face and he seemed to take refuge in the simple motion of cleaning the heavy glass. His lean frame, messy black hair with just a few strands of gray, and his thick round wire framed glasses gave him an air that set people at ease.
He had been here in Dutch Harbor for the better part of twenty years now, living under an assumed name. Little did the residents of the sleepy harbor town know that they had the savior of the wizarding world tending pub in their midst. If he were asked though, that was just the way that Harry Potter liked things. Here he didn't have to worry about whether or not someone liked him for his fame. Here he didn't have to worry about screaming fan-girls throwing themselves at him hoping to snare the 'Man-Who-Won' with a baby.
He looked over at the pub's bouncer, Vashram Singh. The gigantic Indian man looked as if he could move a mountain just by thinking about it. He moved with an athletic grace possessed by few of his physique. Very few people ever argued with Singh. He tended to discourage those that might think to do so.
Harry thought back to when he had hired Singh. He had read about trying this in a novel he had 'acquired' while on the horcrux hunt with Hermione and Ron. He had made sure to have all the tables securely fastened to the floor. When the prospective bouncers had come into the pub to be hired Harry had set one task for them: move the table.
Singh had casually reached down and grabbed the top of the table and pulled to move it. A small look of surprise passed over his face when the table refused to co-operate with him. He looked at the offending piece of furniture and then gave a small shrug. He tugged again and with a screech of tearing metal bolts the table gave way and he set it over a few feet. He looked at Harry and apologized for the initial difficulty in complying with his request. With a grin Harry asked him if he could start that same night.
The small sound of a bell ringing alerted him to the fact that someone had opened the entrance to the pub. As he looked up he was met with a blast of cold arctic air as some of the outside storm swirled in with the visitor. He waited for the door to close and the stranger to step into the lighting so that he could get a good look at him.
He quickly reassessed the visitor. Her, definitely a female, the visitor moved slowly into the room, her head swinging gracefully around to take in her surroundings. Even under the heavy parka that she wore she was unmistakably female. Coming out from under the winter coat were a long, shapely set of legs covered in some form-fitting type of material. The leggings disappeared down into a set of calf-high boots, complete with three inch heals. Heads turned as she walked gracefully towards the bar.
Harry cocked his head towards her as she approached. Something in the way that she moved reminded him of someone. All eyes watched her as she passed. As she approached Harry became aware of a slight pull at his perceptions. This too was quite familiar, Harry had felt this before, though if his thoughts were correct the pull was much softer than it should be.
Harry allowed his perceptions to expand to take in the entire bar. There, on many of the faces was what he expected to see: desire and naked lust. As he was busy recognizing the looks the woman had started to pull down the hood from her parka. Harry stood frozen as a face from his past approached him.
As she got nearer though, Harry could see subtle differences from the face that he remembered. This one was thinner, and the cheek bones were positioned slightly differently and the nose was a little off.. Also the eye color was definitely not the same. These eyes were disarmingly green whereas the ones that he remembered were the loveliest shade of blue. He quickly concluded that it was probably a close relative given that she looked to be quite a bit younger than the woman that he remembered would be.
She came straight up to the bar and looked him squarely in the eyes. There was no joy in that gaze that seemed to penetrate him and find him lacking. When she opened her mouth to speak it was in a delightfully soft soprano that the voice came out. Several of the patrons let out sighs as she spoke.
"Hello Harry, I am Veate Delacour, and I have come a very long ways to meet you."
Harry smiled warmly at her. It was not returned. "You must be Gabrielle's daughter," he said, hoping she didn't notice the catch in his voice as he spoke to her.
She nodded. "Yes I am, and you, Harry Potter, are my father…"
Veate sat in what was admittedly a very comfortable chair and thought. She was surprised at her reactions tonight. She had come here hoping to catch her father off guard. She had wanted to see what he was really like, and it was always easier if the person was on the defensive. Unfortunately for her, and unlike what her mother had told her about him, this Harry Potter didn't seem to go on the defensive.
She could tell that it had startled him when she had revealed to him that she was his daughter. There was a brief moment when his eyes had widened slightly giving him away, yet he recovered almost instantly. He had smiled at her and set down the mug that he had been polishing.
He had regarded her for a few moments before he had flashed her a brilliant smile. It almost seemed that he was happy to see her. But that would disrupt the image that you have cultivated of him being an uncaring bastard her inner voice said to her. Much more difficult to hate someone who is so intensely happy to have you around.
She clamped down on the inner debate. It was true that she had wanted to hate her father, after all, he wasn't there when she was growing up. Her mother had told her that it wasn't his fault, after all, she hadn't told him that she was pregnant. That fact hadn't really mattered to Veate. She had wanted in the worst way to believe that he was an arrogant prick, but he didn't seem like she had imagined.
She had looked coldly at him as he smiled. "I need to talk to you. It's about Mother," she said. He had nodded and held up one finger to her. He walked over to a box on the all and pressed a button.
"Yeah Hank?" came a voice from the box.
"Hey Freddie," Harry said softly. "Got a visitor and something's come up. Could you come down and tend pub for a while?"
"Sure thing, let me turn off the stove and I'll be right down." A few minutes later an elderly gentleman appeared from a stairwell and walked over to the bar while wrapping an apron around his waist. He looked at Harry and Veate and smiled.
"Feddie, this is Veate, my daughter," Harry said. "Veate, this is Freddie Sanderson, a good friend of mine. He sometimes takes over here when I have other things that have to be done." He smiled at the older man. "Thanks Freddie, I owe you one."
"Not a problem Hank," he said with a grin. He took Veate's hand and placed a soft kiss on the back of it. "Ma'am," he said with another of his infectious smiles. "A pleasure to meet you," he said softly.
Veate graced him with a beautiful smile. This was a delightful man. She turned to her father and raised a delicate eyebrow. Harry grinned at her and motioned for her to precede him into a back room. She moved to do so and he fell into step next to her. He moved with the ease and grace of a natural predator. She wondered briefly where that thought had come from.
The room that he had brought her into was warm and comfortable. It seemed to be a cross between an office and a den. There was a warm fire crackling in a fireplace, and a large bookshelf adorned one wall. There was a couch, a small day bed, and a desk, as well as a couple of comfortable chairs. It was here that Veate found herself considering the enigma that was her father.
Harry found himself sitting at his desk, considering the young woman across from him. He had no doubt that she was telling the truth when she told him that she was his daughter. It had rocked him to his very core to think that he had a daughter with Gabrielle, let alone one that was this age! He hoped that he hadn't let it show too badly.
Harry pondered Veate. It was obvious that the young woman harbored some very serious issues concerning him, not that he blamed her in the least. After all, he hadn't been there for her when she was growing up. She seemed to be lost in her thoughts at the moment. Probably contemplating just how to twist the knife he thought briefly. He leaned back in his chair. The movement seemed to snap her out of her reverie.
"So, tell me about your mother. How is Gabrielle?" he said, hoping that he didn't sound too desperate.
"She's missing," Veate replied. "I think that she's been kidnapped." This brought Harry up short. He sat bolt upright.
"Tell me everything that you know," he said, his voice becoming very intense.
Author's Note: I know that I ended the chapter rather abruptly, but I've been having a very difficult time with the website this weekend, and I wanted to get this in. Let me know what you think thus far.
For this story to work, I am using the movie version of Gabrielle Delacour. In the move "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Gabrielle was a first year at Beauxbatons, and was therefore 11 years old rather than 8 years old as she was in the books. Please keep that in mind as you read the story...