AN: I have been toying with this plot for some time now, and have actually managed to write a decent of it already, however it is known plot already, though extremely untapped if you ask me. I'm mainly placing this prologue up to feel the audience out, to see if people are interested in it. I've added OC's in the story as you might discover later on, but I've tried to avoid the major trap that most get caught in at that point; I don't suddenly make any OC's unbelievable or insanely powerful, and I have tried to measure out your exposure to them, so they only gradually get eased into the story.
All in all, I hope to receive some feedback on this prologue before I submit anything further, and please don't let it be useless drivel like 'plz make it so that Harry ends with Ginny/Hermione/whoever'. The point of me writing this is so that I can write a story that I, myself. would find intriguing and exciting and hopefully share it with you, so expectations are okay, but base it on what I've written if you have to.
Also I hope to make some of the character behavior transitions more plausible, however bear with me if it seems a bit rough around the edges to begin with. Furthermore, I am aware that I made a mistake when pairing Fleur with the Chinese fireball, but it was inconsequential to the story as a whole.
Summary: Some things are taken at face value, like; vampires feeding off of blood, werewolves turning at full moon and veela all being female. However, everything isn't set in stone, and people can turn out different than they're expected to. Rated M for future content
The stared in horror at the long slender Chinese dragon, which seemed to slither along the ground towards her; yellow scales glittering in the bright day light, while it took each calculating step.
The slitted eyes of this giant reptile locked on her tiny frame, radiating bloodlust, but for some reason it seemed to be refraining from simply lunging forth and smashing her beneath its massive bulk and seemed to choose a more terrifying approach instead. Each step towards her was taken calmly and had a calculating air about it, but what truly unnerved her was the glint of intelligence in the eyes of the beast.
Her silvery blonde hair whipped in the wind, which had heated significantly from the flames of the dragon, and a burned smell permeated the area.
Her delicate fingers clenched the golden egg tightly as her pupils dilated in fright. She suspected the only reason she was still alive was because she held what the dragon thought was one of its eggs.
Slowly backing away to one of the stone outcroppings scattered across the game field, and in hindsight wanted to snort at the notion of calling it that, this had ceased to be a game when the Chinese Fireball had broken its magically enhanced bindings meant to hold it back. The chain was meant to hold the beast away, since even though the students admitted into this tournament were undoubtedly skilled, they were still not good enough to face a fully grown free dragon. They were after all still school children.
She placed a foot behind the small mass of stones, all the while keeping her eyes glued to the prowling dragon before her. She lowered the egg to the ground as calmly as she could, so as not to appear threatening, and gently sent it rolling towards the dragon. The dragon did as she had hoped and stopped its approach, and lowered its snout to the ground, to stop the rolling of the egg when it reached its claws.
She however hardly noticed this as she put her legs to use to put in putting as distance between herself and the dragon as possible, and acknowledged to herself that she had done the smart thing when she heard the bestial roar from behind her.
She ran from outcropping to outcropping, hoping to remain hidden for as long as possible. However that was not to be as felt a tremble go through the ground almost causing her to fall, but what made her even more panicked was the whoosh of air that resounded and echoed through her mind. As she kept running she spared a quick glance over her shoulder, and had trouble suppressing the sudden urge to scream at what she saw.
The dragon was hovering some 50 feet off the ground, those terrifying intense red orbs following her, and even as she turned her head forward again, she saw out the corner of her eye, the dragon gliding closer to her.
The screams of the audience was almost non-existent to her, as if it had been muted. The only sounds she heard, were the pounding of her heart, the fall of her feet and the flapping of wings getting ever closer and the swishing of her target; the tent she had emerged from.
Only 40 feet now, and if possible her legs increased their pumping giving her a boost to her speed, and only a sense of danger caused her to dive forward in time to avoid the snap of jaws as the dragon had flown in from the side eager to devour her. Quickly scrambling to her feet, from the awkward position she had landed in, she barreled towards the tent, which was less than 15 feet away now.
She felt an immense heat behind her, and barely got in through the flap before, landing on the ground in the tent, a few spots on her left arm slightly singed from the heat, though it would have been much, much worse had it actually been hit by the dragons flame. Luckily the tent was enchanted and charmed to be resilient to heat, extremely resilient. With heat resistance and spells meant to make the tent canvas walls as tough as bricks. Though against a loose and enraged dragon it would probably only last a minute before it came crashing down.
She felt several trembles go through the ground, but could hear nothing as the tent was also charmed to keep all sound outside. The trembles came faster and faster and she cursed loudly.
"Fleur?", came a questioning voice from nearby.
She quickly whirled to face whoever it was and found the final contestant standing there. A mass of black, unruly hair and green eyes, which shone with what she discerned to be worry. "What is happe…"
"'Arry", she practically sobbed in relief. Never had she been so happy to see anyone before as she was to see him right now. Then her relief immediately gave way to fear again. "We have to get out. The dragon is loose", she said frantically, and ran up to him and gripped his arm fiercely tugging him with her outside. Fresh air greeted them as they ran outside, and they were not a second too late as the yellow dragon descended on the tent ripping it apart, as if it were nothing more than paper.
She gulped and couldn't help but be happy they weren't in there anymore. But before long she pulled him along with her again and dumped down unceremoniously behind a large boulder, and pulled Harry down with her.
She panted heavily, and leaned on him for support, trembling slightly. She was however broken out of her daze by his concerned and slightly panicking voice.
"Fleur, what happened in there, how the bloody hell did it break free?"
She shook her head. "I don't know 'Arry. One minute everything is fine and then it broke the chain", she said with a tremble in her voice. "What are we going to do?"
Harry seemed to ponder this dilemma for only a second, as the screams of the audience and the roars of the dragon grew louder, then turned to look at her and cautiously laid out his plan.
"Well, unfortunately right now were stuck, there's no way we can get away from that dragon from where we are right now without being noticed, and we can't possibly hope to outrun it", he said. A scream of pain was heard and he grimaced. "And confronting it seems out of the question. So flying seems to be the only answer."
She stared stupidly at him as he brought out his wand.
"Huh?", was the smart reply that escaped her lips, but then again, she didn't have any plans of her own, though it seemed foolhardy to take this into the its territory.
"Just wait and see, I'm good at flying, if I do say so myself", he said and grinned. "Accio Firebolt".
He started chanting the same spell over and over again. After a minute had passed by, the roars of the dragon rose, and so did the screams of the humans. She was about to give up on Harry's flying idea when suddenly in front of her was hovering a sleek broomstick. It was streamlined and seemed to be made for equal parts speed and maneuverability.
He mounted the broom without a seconds thought, and it hovering with his feet dangling just over the ground. She looked awkwardly at the broom and despite the danger waiting just on the other side of their hiding place, hesitated in getting on.
Harry looked at her impatiently.
She shifted embarrassedly and looked at him uncertainly.
The problem was that she was afraid of heights, not overly, but the irrational fear was still there, and what was even more embarrassing was that she was part veela. It was shameful for a veela even a part one, to be afraid of heights, it would be the same as being afraid of one's nature. That coupled with the very real fear of the dragon chasing them made the result very frightening.
Harry seemed to sense her hesitation and stretched out an arm and smiled encouragingly.
"Don't worry. As I said, I'm very good at this", he said and smiled at her.
A moment of indecision was swept away by a roar, this time significantly closer, and the sudden urge to believe him. She reached forth and grasped his hand and was hoisted up behind him, and she quickly wrapped her arms tightly around his midriff when they suddenly soared through the air, the wind whipping at their faces.
She swore she could hear him chuckle, and she quickly decided that 'proper' retribution was in order, should they get out of this mess alive.
"Hold on, I'm going to have to fly around the dragon", Harry said, and he swerved around the dragon, flying calmly, so as not to draw the attention to them and they had almost reached the other side of the raging dragon when suddenly it whirled around and it's malevolent orbs focused on them, though she was certain it was only her.
A loud roar resounded across the grounds, and she couldn't help but shiver in fright. However they weren't moving closer to the castle, so she dared a peak at Harry.
His face was set in grim folds, and was staring, with a resigned look on his face, at the dragon.
"'Arry, what are we doing?", she inquired the tremble in her voice returning full force.
"Before we could have simply escaped if it hadn't noticed us. However it did, and since it did it would only be more dangerous for us and everybody else if we went to the castle. We'll have to lose it somehow", he said in a grim tone, his shoulders sagging slightly. "If we can shake it off, and make it lose sight of us then I can get us away."
He turned his head to look her in the eyes.
"I'm sorry, but if I put you down now it would make you a perfect target for it. You'll just have to trust me. I can shake it off, I know it. You just hang tight; you don't have to do anything."
"No, this is my responsibility, so I will help you", she replied in a firm tone, sounding more sure than she felt, though let it never be said that Fleur Delacour ran from her responsibility. As if to show that she meant what she said, she further tightened her hold on him, and felt him relax slightly, despite her strong hold.
"Okay," he said quietly. "Well, here goes nothing."
Surprisingly enough he flew closer to the dragon, and dove under one of his claws, which sliced through the air no less than a couple of feet above them. She sent a shower of sparks at the dragon, to draw its attention from the injured people on the ground below. They would need medical attention as soon as possible if they were to have a hope of survival.
Her plan worked, and a shiver ran through her as the gaze of the giant beast rested on her, and the growl rising from the throat of the dragon certainly didn't help matters.
Flames suddenly erupted from it maw, springing towards at dazzling speeds, however quick thinking and an even more impressive burst of speed, coupled with maneuverability from Harry, got both of them out of harm's way quickly, and he hurried to put a little distance between them and the dragon, flying over the Hogwarts grounds.
The enraged dragon gave chase, and flew after them at speeds rivaling even that of Harry broom.
"'Arry, it's getting closer", she shouted.
"I can hear it", he replied and just before it barreled into them he made a steep forward tilt, flying towards the ground at breaknecks speed, but quickly put the broom on the right course again. She could make out an old bridge in the a few hundred yards away. Even from a distance one could see that it was ravaged by time and hadn't seen any use for at least a hundred years.
"Bloody hell, you're as light as a feather, it's like it's only me on this broom", he muttered, as they got within a few yards of small hole in the bridge.
She could hear the dragon approaching again, but they made it through the ornamental hole. Despite being a slim species, the dragon however wasn't as lucky, and didn't make it through, though it would only hold it back a couple of seconds, however those seconds made all the difference.
A large piece of stone had been jarred loose from the bridge when the dragon rammed into it, and it wasn't hurt by that collision, it definitely would be by the large stone falling down on its back, hitting a piece of its wing.
The stone however also made it possible for the dragon to wrest itself free with a pained roar, however it immediately slumped on the ground, drawing its limbs closer together.
Harry circled a bit above it before he landed on the ground, a good distance from it. She slid of the broom and landed nimbly on her feet, glad to have solid earth under her feet again.
Whining noises were coming from the beast, which seemed to have a broken wing, which was easy to see due to it being bend in a weird angle, and had apparently also injured its front leg.
She stepped a bit closer, but a hand grabbed her arm and she turned to see Harry at the end of it.
"I don't think it's safe to go near it", he said, eyes still fastened on the dragon.
"Oh really 'Arry, what can it possibly do now. It's injured", she said disparingly, having gained a bit of her former courage now that the dragon was down.
His eyes locked onto hers again. "Still… I think we should wait on someone who can deal with this", he said, eyes settled on the dragon again.
"I think we just did", she snorted, but couldn't help but smile as she heard him chuckle and mutter a 'true'.
She stepped a bit closer, and ignored the warnings Harry was shouting at her.
The dragon just looked at her for a while, as if assessing her. Then out of nowhere the huge beast in front of her let loose torrents of flame from its maw again, and it was all she could do to bring up a shield charm in time, one that was already weakening.
Then just as suddenly the pressure almost completely disappeared, and she saw a focused Harry holding back the dragon's flames with his own shield charm, though she quickly noticed the perspiration already beginning to dribble down his face after he'd held it for only a few seconds. He was working hard to maintain it, and she quickly put up her own so as to split the toll it would take on whoever maintained the charm.
Thankfully the fire soon stopped, as not even the dragon could go on endlessly, and Harry's arm dropped to his side, and she found her own body mirroring his example. Both were panting heavily, and they took a wary step back. She glanced at his, and could see how tired he was already, and she had to admit that she felt no better.
His fatigued eyes widened in horror, and he pushed her roughly, making her fall on the ground. Due to her impact with the ground, she didn't hear the tearing sound, nor did she see the look of agony on his face, which was soon replaced with a numb one.
"'Arry, what do you think you're…", but then she looked up and noticed the blank look in his face. "'Arry, what is wrong? 'Arry? 'Arry!"
He fell to his knees and it was only just now that she saw the growing pool of blood beneath him. He fell down face first on the ground, finally showing the reason for his current state.
The wound wasn't deep, but long and more blood was pouring from it by the second.
Her eyes widened in realization, and tears started came unbidden to her eyes, and fell down her cheeks. The tail of the dragon caught her eyes, and the sheen of blood on it confirmed her fears. She'd only considered it important to stay out of range of its legs; she hadn't even considered its tail.
'He saw… saw it coming… But he still pushed me out of the way. He… saved me. And now… he is… dying', her mind railed at her, tears falling more rapidly down her cheeks now.
Sobs wracked her body as she slumped down and pulled him to her, gently stroking his blood-matted hair, ignoring the stains it produced on her own clothes, as well as the dragon which held an air of satisfaction, as it stood still. Not taking any further action for the moment.
He was dying… for her.
The dragon clumsily rose despite its injures, and was currently just staring at them, surveying her and Harry with its left front leg tucked up beneath its bulk. Watching her leak tears from her already puffy red eyes and she stroked his hair, uncaring of the blood soaking her hands.
She tore her eyes from Harry and focused it on the giant reptile and even as she looked it started to awkwardly walk forward, solely using three legs; making its approach slow and cumbersome.
She couldn't understand it. Couldn't understand him. Why would he do it? By all right and means they were opponents, not meant to help each other. But he had taken a deadly blow in her place.
The beast was closer now and she could feel the pulses that ran through the ground with each limping step it made towards, jolting her out of her thoughts.
Fury welled in her, a primal urge to revenge, to hurt coming forth.
It felt as if the walls of a dam broke, and she was filled with power. But it wasn't magic, this was primal instinctual knowledge, a power residing in her blood.
She knew what it was immediately. It was her heritage, her birthright; it was her Veela powers fully unveiled, fully released.
Never had she delved into her blood heritage, she had only ever only learned the Veela fire and only regularly used her Allure, the famed Veela Aura and the aura she put out now was exactly like that, only many times stronger.
She had to direct it at something, and luckily something was nearby, something she hated with a vengeance.
The dragon had stopped less than ten feet from her, curious as to the sudden surge of primal power, however tempered with something silky and sweet.
It had an instant effect. In her rage and hysteria she wielded an until now unprecedented amount of control over her blood heritage, which caused the beast to stop it's trek forth completely, to shake its massive head back and forth as if to shake of the influence it was put under.
She would not give it a chance. She drew more deeply on her powers, accepting and embracing her Veela side fully. Her aura was like a halo around her and she focused it on the beast before her. She however didn't know what she was doing, but couldn't help but sigh in relief as the dragon yawned and slumped unceremoniously on the ground despite several broken appendages. It was fast asleep before it hit the ground.
She sent a shower of red sparks into the air, hoping to draw the attention of someone.
Her aura receded, and with it left her consciousness and the last thing she saw before her world plunged into darkness and exhaustion claimed her was Harry's face growing ever paler.
He groaned and tried to sit up. However, that seemed unlikely since he barely had enough strength to lift his head. He managed no more than a twitch in his legs and arms.
Luckily he didn't feel any pain. Apparently someone had got to Fleur and him in time. His eyes widened and he opened his mouth but no sound came out but groans. His throat and mouth was parched.
A cough left him, and this started a chainreaction. The pain that had been wondrously absent until now started, and it struck with a vengeance. It was excruciating, and all the pain centered across his back. It was felt as if his back was aflame, and he shook his head wildly from side to side.
He felt a gentle hand touch his shoulder, but could not focus on the face in front of him.
But the silvery blonde hair did look familiar. Then unconsciousness tore him from the world of the waking.
He had recognized the hair, and the only thing he managed to croak out was.
… Several hours later
His eyes again opened, and in contrast to last time, he could feel every single inch of his back torment him with regular pulses of pain.
He felt the same pressure on his arm and turned his head slightly. Resting on his arm was Fleur, her silvery blonde hair arranged neatly and flowing over her shoulders. Although admittedly, he'd never seen it in disarray, and had to grudgingly admit that she might somehow use some sort of magic to keep it like that, and if that was the case then he had lost a bet to a snotty-nosed Ravenclaw.
But then again, maybe he could strike a deal with her, see if he could make her muzz up her hair once or twice in public, then it would be him who would win the bet, and then he would be the one laughing, not that little rat from Ravenclaw.
Oh yes, he could already imagine it, him casually pointed out the definite proof, and the second year being forced to acknowledge him as his better.
Mirth bubbled in his chest, though he tried to keep it to a minimum, one dose of extreme pain a day was enough. As he looked at her, her eyes fluttered open and stared at him sleepily for a couple of seconds before she leapt up out of her chair.
"'Arry, you are awake", she said in a high voice, concern radiating from her it.
He smiled but nodded, feeling strangely at ease with her, despite never really having spent any sort of time with her, nor having any sort of conversation with her, at least not real ones.
"How do you feel?" she asked and sat down in the chair she had just vacated.
He opened his mouth to reply, but found that it was still very parched, and no sound passed his lips. He weakly lifted his hand and made motions of him drinking to convey his need. Luckily he seemed to have regained some of his strength. Fleur however quickly caught on and hurried to a stone basin in the room, and dipped a newly conjured glass into the basin to scoop up a bit of cool water.
She hurried back to the bedside and upon seeing his futile attempt to claim the glass, gently swept his hand aside and helped him to sit up comfortably to the headboard. She took a seat beside him and gently put the glass to his lips and seemed to be quite amused by his indignant look when she placed the glass to lips, but he nonetheless quickly acquiesced.
The first gulp just seemed to open the floodgates of his thirst, and after quickly finishing the glass with as much dignity as he could while currently being helped by Fleur, and soon enough she had to get him another glass. He could already feel his body stirring, revitalized by the cool water.
"Thank you", he said in a battered, wheezy voice, although he could easily admit it beat not being able to talk at all.
"It was the least I could do", she said mildly and helped him lie down again, and she sat down in the chair again.
Taking a few deep breaths, he turned his head to look her in the eyes, and he could honestly understand why people could get lost in those almost unnaturally clear blue eyes.
"I'm glad you are alright Fleur. That big lizard almost got us", he chuckled, or at least hoped it was a chuckle, as it might just have come out as a big wheeze, the situation taken in regard.
Apparently this proved to be the wrong thing to say as it caused her face to go through a plethora of emotions, finally settling on anger and jumping up again her voice high-pitched.
"Alright? You think I am alright? I was so worried about you. You almost died."
"I am sorry", he said weakly. He was a bit nervous but he still kept eye contact with her.
"You better be, you silly little man. How dare you throw yourself in front of me like that. Have you any idea how scared I was. You almost died. Never do that again, c'est compris?", at the end of her little tirade which had become increasingly tinged with French, and after Harry had shrunken a little further down into his bed, she seemed to deflate, and abruptly plumped down in her chair again and shuddered.
"It was so scary. It was the first time I have ever been so close to dying", she said quietly.
"At least we did survive, that must mean something", he said cheerfully as possible, trying to lighten the mood. He smiled at her and got a small one in return.
He felt more comfortable than he had been in a long time, much more at ease, despite once again being in the hospital wing. However if he were to be honest with himself it had sort of become his second home, and in Madam Pomfreys absence Fleur took it upon herself to act as nurse and told him in no uncertain terms were he to leave the hospital bed and he had quickly grown morose at the prospect of staring at the wall for several days.
Though he was pleasantly surprised when Fleur had decided to stay with him, and they had a long conversation. One in which he learned about her as a person, and not only as an opponent in the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
She had a little sister whom she loved dearly; her sister and she lived in a small castle in southern France along with their parents. Both her mother and father were important people, though in completely different circles. Her mother was a Veela ambassador of sorts to the French nation, whereas their father was the head of the Magical Law Enforcement, the Corps Légal. Though she seemed reluctant to go further into details about them, as if it wasn't an enjoyable topic, and he willingly let himself be taken away from that topic. She was in her final year at Beauxbaton, so after this year she would officially be done with her elementary magical education, and he had to admit it was a glorious way to end it, to which she just laughed.
He had also enquired as to how she would juggle both the Tri-Wizard Tournament as well as the final exams, but it seemed his worry had been for naught, as she had just explained that Beauxbaton students had their graduation exams in their sixth year. The seventh was actually more meant as a more individual-dependant year, where one sought out one's own ideas, to help the students about career choices, and the classes needed to get there.
It was in short just a free year of sorts, but hobbies were sparse so she spent a lot of time with her sister and friends as possible.
The chit-chatted back and forth for a while, before he put the question forth he had wanted to for a while.
"So, has anyone come to visit me?"
Fleur looked thoughtful for a minute. "No 'Arry, there has not. That brown-haired girl came by, but she left when she saw me", she said in a strangely even tone, apparently unclear on how he would react.
A frown creased his forehead, and then his face lighted up in a smile. "But at least you came to visit poor little injured me, and you practically saved my life. More than once actually, seeing as I would be unable to guarantee that I could survive being cooped up in here alone."
A small smile again played on her lips.
"'Arry, I think you should know that you still have to do the first challenge. You are the only one who needs to complete it."
"But at least I have a little time to get ready for it this time", he sighed. "I at least hope they'll be more careful with the dragons from now on", he said unaware that Fleur was growing more somber by every word.
"I will probably still have to go up against the Horntail", he reasoned, and couldn't help but shudder. "And she seems to be the most aggressive of them all."
He really hoped she would not get loose as well, that would prove disastrous.
Fleur had lowered her head, her hair shadowing her features. Harry however did not notice her hands going completely white as she gripped the arm leans tightly.
"Do you think I would be able to use my broom again? Nah, it would not be nearly as stylish, though it would be a bit…"
Even though it was barely above a whisper Harry easily picked up on it.
"Why?", Fleur asked in a strangely vulnerable tone.
"Why what?", Harry responded, a bit confused.
She suddenly tilted her head upwards, allowing Harry to see the fresh tears traveling down her cheeks.
He had never thought he would see this young woman so vulnerable, it was a shock to say the least and as he looked on, outrage at his cluelessness bloomed on her face.
"You know what! Why did you push me out of the way?", she thundered, drawing on the anger now fuelling her.
His eyes bugged out, before calmly looking at her, or at least tried to.
"I honestly do not know why I did it. I was not thinking. But if I had not then you would have died, and you have to agree with me that being alive is better than being dead, at least all I got was a small cut", he responded, before looking solemnly at her. "Besides, I would have been sad if you died."
However it didn't seem to do the job of reassuring her.
"Besides if I had not done it I would not have had this chance to get to know you, and be graced with your delightful company", he chuckled. "Furthermore, what kind of gentleman would I be if I had not swept you off your feet", he said in good humor.
She giggled and seemed to, at least for the moment; accept it and they lapsed into a peaceful silence. Then Fleur perked up again and fixed him with a stare. Apparently he was never fully in a safe zone with Fleur, but then again, it paid to keep wary.
"Why would it have been sad if I had died, I am your opponent after all", she enquired.
Harry in disbelief at her. "Just because you're my opponent does not mean that I want you dead. That would be cowardly of me".
Fleur had the decency to look a bit ashamed, but she still pushed on.
"But why would it have been sad?"
Harry deflated a bit and again looked deeply in her eyes.
"It would be sad because you're the only one in this competition that I respect".
"So it is not because I am pretty?", she asked uncertainly.
"Yes, you are pretty, beautiful would probably be a better word", at this point Fleur stiffened, but relaxed when Harry spoke again. "But you are also so much more are you not? I respect you, not because you want to prove that you are better than people think, but because you only strive to prove this to yourself".
"Thank you 'Arry", she said quietly, and then she adopted a more formal stance. "You have saved my life, so I owe you a debt. How would you like to have it repaid?"
"There is no need, really I am glad I did", Harry responded not sure what to make of her way too formal words, as he weakly waved his hands in front of him.
"I do not want this to hang over me", she said a bit forcefully.
He scratched his chin in thought, then brightened up.
"Well, technically I am pretty sure you also saved my life, but I doubt that changes anything for you. So how about this…", he offered a disarming smile. "We just spend some time together getting to know each other. Nothing much, you do not have to go out of your way. Besides I am not that much of a fan of cashing in these debts", he said and shrugged.
A smile lit up her face, making her, if possible, even more stunning. "Thank you 'Arry, I will be glad to get to know you better".
"Yea, and I bet it doesn't hurt that I am a dashing young bloke either", he said with a glitter in his eyes.
She just giggled again, and a new conversation broke out, only once it was interrupted by Madam Pomfrey coming by to check up on him and administer him a couple of potions. She then she scampered back into her office again, leaving with the parting remark that he better stay in bed or else and not to strain or overexert himself.
"So how was your first time?", he asked a wolfish grin, which only grew bigger when she blushed.
"'Arry! What are you saying? I have not… what I mean is, I have never", she was however stopped by Harry's laughing.
He snickered. "Calm down there Fleur, I was just talking about flying on a broom, though I am pleased you feel comfortable enough to share such a private thing with me", he said enjoying every second of it. After all how many people could honestly say they had made a veela, even a part one, blush so profusely, and actually stuttering out of embarrassment.
She calmed down somewhat, and mumbled something under her breath, the brightened up considerably. "But it was a wonderful feeling", she snorted. "Although the dragon trying to kill us was a major deterrent on the fun scale. Though it feels weird to have ridden on nothing more than a big stick, but that may be my veela side talking, you know the part about the birds."
He giggled inwardly. She was almost making this way too easy, and he was going to capitalize on it
"I see", his grin became even more diabolical if possible. "I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your first ride on my stick."
At hearing this, her creamy complexion was long gone, leaving behind a Fleur with bright red cheeks who was stuttering incomprehensibly.
A few minutes later Fleur had managed to get herself together again, though her cheeks were still red and she seemed a bit annoyed at herself for falling prey to such comments, when she had been surrounded by them since she entered teenage-hood.
That little interaction had clearly gone to Harry, but he didn't like the glint she had in her eyes now. It spoke of retribution, and despite his new found confidence, he realized that if she sought payback of similar kind, then he would be in for it.
While he had cheek, and was no newcomer when it came to these exchanges, she was without a doubt even more well-versed than he was in these games. She was the incarnation of sex, seduction and supernatural beauty, and he feared she would easily be able to make a fool of him should she choose to.
He would need to change the subject and quickly before she became too entranced in her wicked ideas.
"How long have I been cooped up in here anyway? Half a day?", he enquired optimistically, drawing a half-confused stare from Fleur, and it beat the glint that had been in her eyes moments ago.
Unexplainably Madam Pomfrey had not told him anything of his condition; she on the other hand had seemed quite flustered. But Fleur had been friendly enough to remedy that fact.
Apparently his spine had been close to being severed, he had suffered a significant loss of blood. He had been admitted to the hospital wing, while his back reknitted itself and his blood replenished, and also to deal with any possible infections.
"'Arry you have been in here for three and half day. But madame Pomfrey told me that most of the healing happened while you were asleep, and you should probably be out of here in another two days."
Harry's brow furrowed in thought. "Three and a half day huh? That is quite a bit of time. Well no need to worry. That still leaves me with some and four days to get ready. Oh that reminds me," he said sheepishly. "Sorry about not asking sooner, how did it go with your challenge? How did they tally up your score?"
She beamed at him. "Well they only evaluated it on the original objective, so they could only give me so many points. So I got off with 47 points out of fifty possible. Which places me first, and Krum second with 43 points and Diggory last with 42 points."
"That's great Fleur, congratulations", Harry enthused.
"They didn't give you any points, and the only reason me and so many others are alive is only thanks to you", she had an apologetic tone in her voice.
"No need to worry about it, at least I still have a chance to score some points."
Silence reigned for a while, but it was a comfortable one, and he was loath to break it, but it needed to be said.
"For keeping me occupied. For spending some time with me. My friends appear to have more important things to do", he said, and a sad look crossed his face, but was quickly replaced by a wry grin. "Heh, just goes to show how great I am at picking them. Maybe I should just let them pick me. You for example. We only just started talking a few hours ago, but I've enjoyed that as much, maybe even more than talking with them."
He turned his head and stared out the window, looking at the Hogwarts students, intermingling with a few Durmstrang and Beauxbaton among them, though for the most part all three schools kept mostly to their own.
"'Arry," he turned back to look at Fleur who had an almost tender look on her face. "You know, when you think about it, we are actually quite similar."
She turned and gestured at the students bustling about, Durmstrang, Beauxbaton and Hoghwarts alike. "All these people do not understand what it feels like to stand out. They long for fame, fortune and adventure, to gain respect. They do not understand how hard it can be to be at the center of all that attention. I may not understand your situation, but I can relate". She turned back around to him. "And 'Arry, you might as well work with all that you have got and that includes your fame. Not point in trying to deny it; you should enjoy life however you can."
He turned, raising himself slightly looking over the school grounds, towards the lake, which was sparkling in the afternoon sun. The only thing ruining the picture was the Durmstrang ship floating in place in the middle of the lake.
"Yea, I guess you are right", he said after a bit, turning away from the window. "It actually feels comfortable to know, and I've decided that I might as well become who I want to be, not what others want me to be."
She turned back to him, a brief understanding smile playing on her lips.
"So 'Arry, I was wondering if you could teach me flying", she said cheerily and plumped down in the chair next to his bed again, doing so in such as manner meant to accentuate her long slender legs.
Which he duly and thoroughly noted. "Sure I would love to", a sinister smirk grazed his features. "If you tell me what the next task is about."
The frown on her face was quickly replaced by a wide smile, easily as sinister as his. "I am sorry 'Arry, but I cannot help you. I am… what is it called… oh yea, I am playing to win. So I cannot do that", she said, feigning apologetic gestures.
"Curses, foiled. But I had to give it a try", he sighed and his shoulders slumped. "Then I will just have to settle for you spending a day with me in Hogsmeade, next time such a weekend rolls by." His shoulders sagged even more, as if he was disappointed over not getting what he wanted the most.
Her eyes took on a gleam. "Are you asking me out on a date monsieur Potter?", she asked slyly.
He tried to look exasperated. "I would prefer to call it an outing of acquaintances. I would like to get to know my fellow Champion."
"Then we should invite monsieur Diggory and monsieur Krum as well", she said teasingly.
He quickly waved his hand dismissively. "Gods no", he said in a mock-impatient tone. "Forget about those crude barbarians. Let them play in the mud or whatever it is they do."
She laughed. "Very well Monsieur Potter, it shall only be the two of us."
"I knew you would fall prey to my dashing good looks eventually, alas that it the fate of every fair maiden", he fake-sighed, and winked at her, causing her to have another fit of laughter.
He felt at ease. This was a lovely way to spend one's time, injured or not. He just reclined in his bed, exchanging chatter with his companion, when he suddenly felt as if a warm blanket was placed on him, coating him. Every part of his body felt tingly, and small shivers ran up and down his spine, causing a pleasurable peaceful sensation to permeate his body.
He turned to face Fleur, who had a positively expectant look on her face. He decided to remain sitting, and relax, and simply just enjoy this feeling. Although resting his hand on her cheek did seem enticing, but he restrained himself.
A confused look settled on her face, and she hesitatingly opened her mouth. "'Arry do you feel any different?"
"Yea, a bit warm and fuzzy, as well as a bit tingly. You know a good feeling", he said. He wasn't going to tell her that he wanted to touch her face that was for sure, though he briefly wondered why he volunteered that piece of information. "Why are you asking", he enquired curiously.
"Nothing, just noticed that you seemed to relax a bit", she said shrugging her shoulders, but still kept a sharp eye on him. "Just wondered why."
Suddenly he felt the warm tingly sensation leave. It was weird; suddenly it was there and then just as suddenly it was gone. It felt a bit strange without it. But it was probably a side effect of one of those potions he had taken.
"'Arry, what happened?", she asked with curiosity, upon noticing his visible frown.
"Oh yea… well the fuzzy feeling disappeared. Too bad, it felt comfortable and peaceful."
Even before he had finished his sentence, Fleur gracefully rose from her seat, and almost ran out the hospital wing. However before she reached the door, she turned about and smiled at him.
"Remember you have to teach me how to fly", she said with a wink. "Who knows, sometimes I am a horrible student. So I might need a more hands on approach from you."
Harry's cheeks became a little red, the first time that evening, though it was barely noticeable, but apparently Fleur had picked up on it, because a smirk was now on her face, and a triumphant gleam was in her eyes.
But that didn't stop him from responding.
"Yes, well I do not mind getting my hands dirty", at this he adopted a more predatory grin. "you should also remember Hogsmeade. Dress casual", here he purposely let his eyes roam over her body before settling on her eyes again. "Yes, casual should do nicely."
He laughed as she once again colored slightly, but soon enough she joined him in laughing.
"I will see you later 'Arry", she said before striding out of the hospital wing.
"Yes, see you".
AN: I hope I managed to intrigue you with this teaser, and again feedback would be more than welcome.