Fandom: Harry Potter

Pairing(s): Eventual Fleur/Hermione. Slight Gabrielle/Hermione friendship.

Author's Notes: This is my first Harry Potter fic. And I have obviously decided to start out with femslash. I will try not to do the usual plotlines or the overdone tendencies that I have tended to see in this fandom; this pairing in particular. And I'm not completely fluent in French but I will try my best in certain aspects. So just let me know if I need to be corrected. And remember, Hermione is actually fifteen in the Goblet Of Fire. She is a year older than Harry and Ron and she just had to start the same year as them because her birthday falls after September 1st, when Hogwarts starts. That's what J.K. Rowling said, anyway. So there really is only a two year gap between the witches.

Sypnosis: What if Hermione - slightly panicked and more than a little concerned - jumped into the Black Lake after Harry and Ron failed to break the surface? This leads to her assistance in a rescue, a new friendship, and her presence suddenly on the radar of the beautiful French competitor of Beauxbatons.

Continuation based on amount of feedback.






Chapter One: The Second Task(Always Have Your Back)/Beginnings


The Black Lake: 11:15 AM

This feeling in her chest - which consisted of a little fear and exasperation rolled into one - had become a very familiar feeling over the years.

Because having friends like Harry Potter and Ron Weasley did that; it was emotionally exhausting to many degrees.

But all Hermione Granger could really do was bite her lip and watch the events unfold in rapt attention. She had all but tuned out to the deafening roar of the stadium; their jeers and shouts just faded into the background as she focused soley on the surface of the Black Lake. To say she was worried would be a monumental understatement. Because when Cho and Cedric had burst through the surface - to the absolutely raucious applause of the Hogwart's students - and swam their way haggardly onto the platform, it wasn't really suprising to her when she had regained consciousness and had seen them after she had broken through the surface herself.

She admitted to feeling a little disappointed that Harry hadn't come up first.

But she was reluctant to admit that at least Viktor had done reasonably well and had gotten her relatively early. Because as much as she admired Viktor Krum, she also kept her strong friendship with Harry into perspective. So as much as she was rooting for Viktor to do well in this tournament, her loyalty would forever rest with Harry.

Which was why she was a little disappointed; she had a towel wrapped tightly around herself - as well as Viktor's arm - and all of the champions and their hostages were safe and out of the water...except for Harry and Ron. A part of her briefly set aside her anxiety and exasperation, because a small part of her knew that they would turn out ok.

Which was why she briefly snorted and rolled her eyes.

"Don' worry, Granger," muttered Seamus, his Irish lilt thick and his voice optimistic. "Thos' two ain' ever not made it out."

A small part of her had unwillingly relaxed even more after Seamus's reassurance.

But it wasn't until the Beauxbaton's champion, Fleur Delacour - who was standing in all of her proud, albeit injured glory - had begun to genuinely panic, which in turn set loose Hermione's frayed nerves and made them justle and tingle with absolute endangerment. She watched as Fleur's piercing blue eyes roved passionately over the lake in a desperate motion to find her hostage, who was obviously very important to the blonde witch. And while a part of Hermione genuinely detested Fleur and her appeared shallowness that rivaled a puddle, she felt sympathy rise up for the panicky French girl.

"Ou est Gabrielle? OU EST GABRIELLE?" Fleur's voice was still mesmerizing, but it was covered in pure unadulterated panic.

Madame Maxime was obviously trying to calm her champion down; touching Fleur's shoulder and speaking to her in rapid French that carried on firmly. Fleur's blue eyes were still piercing and pained - and Hermione thought she saw the briefest sheen of tears, perhaps - as her shoulders straightened and she attempted to regain her confidence and pride. Maxime looked slightly proud.

"Restez calme, enfant," murmured Maxime, her gentle voice betraying her rather large stature.

Fleur closed her eyes for the briefest second, her jaw clenched and her fist slightly shaking, before opening back them back up. The panic that had previously dominated her face had disappeared; her shoulders were now straight and she had suddenly regained that pure confidence - and admittedly, sensuality - that she had always exuded before.

Hermione hated it, but she admired it.

Because she was nowhere near the confidence the Fleur suddenly radiated - however false it might be - where it concerned the situation. Because while she knew that Dumbledore would never purposely let anyone get hurt under his watch, she also knew that she and her friends - mostly Harry - had little to no luck pertaining to that. And she knew Harry was beyond noble in these types of situations; she already knew that he had contemplated saving all of the hostages at the bottom. And while she admired her friend's rarely found nobility and bravery, there were times that she absolutely detested it.

Which was around right about now; she just kept glancing at her watch and biting her lip.

Her chest felt tight, like there was some leftover water that she had somehow inhaled. And if felt like she herself was still in that Black Lake; beginning to drown and struggling to swim herself up to the surface.

And that was when she just knew.

There was something wrong; she had learned to trust her gut instincts over the last four years. Except for that little incident with distracting Professor Lupin after he had turned into a werewolf; now that little mistake had not been necessarily well thought out.

And neither was this one, apparently.

Because she had flung off the blanket that surrounded her shoulders - as well as Viktor's arm - and was quick to draw her wand. Her ears were pounding with the blood rushing to her head and the pure adrenaline beginning to fasten into her system. Because as much as Hermione Granger hated bending the rules, this was an exception. Because whenever Harry or Ron was concerned, she was always pretty quick on letting a few things slide by. Not homework, definitely not that; it was more the sneaking out after dark and the life-threatening missions that she let slide.

Ron had always said that she needed to sort out her priorities; she would never admit that she necessarily agreed with him at times.

She ignored the burn of Viktor's questioning eyes and her eyes discreetly looked for a type of accomplice. Because she needed an advanced student to be able to cast the Bubblehead Charm on her. Viktor was out of the question, because she knew that he would refuse and be blinded by his affections for her.

She huffed in an irritated breath and she impatiently scuffled her feet.

But then it came to her; it hit her suprisingly hard and she couldn't quite lose the excited grin that suddenly erupted on her features. She solely blamed the adrenaline.

Her eyes trained on Cedric Diggory, she pursued slightly to her left in a hopefully innocent approach. She knew that out of just about everyone at Hogwarts - bar Harry - and the teaching staff included, that Cedric was probably one of the nicest guys to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts. He seemed to genuinely care for his friends and she knew that he harbored a soft fondness for Harry himself; she was planning to put that to good use, because there was no way that he hadn't heard of her and Harry's closeness.

"Herm-Own-Ninny," muttered Viktor, his voice questioning, if not slightly hurt.

"I'm just going to check and see if Cedric is alright," she murmured, trying to keep her voice low and her expression innocent.

Viktor's brows furrowed and he seemed to pull back as if he was slighly confused. She swallowed the nervous lump in her throat and she released a shaky breath as she gave him a soft smile of reassurance. He frowned a little more, before reluctantly nodding his head and letting loose of his grasp on her elbow. She refrained from a smile of triumph.

She walked towards Cedric slowly, trying to give everyone the impression that she was just checking to make sure of his health. And while that was a conundrum in itself, seeing as they were never really friends, she would like to think that it was still reasonable that she was checking up on a fellow Hogwart's teammate.

Cedric's grey eyes looked imploringly at her as she kneeled down beside him.

"You're Hermione Granger, right?"

She cleared her throat and nodded nervously at his question; she also realized the sudden weight and true implications of what she was doing. Cho Chang was by his side loyally, clutching his hand and looking at Hermione with a slightly curious look. Hermione attempted her best at a smile at the two, and they seemed to relax when they realized she was reasonably nervous. Cedric's grey eyes softened and he hastened to give her a reassuring look. Hermione released a breath when his large hand came up and gently patted her shoulder.

"He'll be alright, you know," whispered Cedric, voice confident as ever.

Cho nodded. "He is a good wizard; don't worry yourself too much."

Hermione nervously cleared her throat. ", Cedric, w-would you mind if I had a word with you, alone?"

Cedric's brow dropped in confusion and he seemed to look quickly at Cho to stake out her initial reaction. She was gazing at Hermione with a scrutinizing look; her pretty features roving over Hermione in what seemed to be a search for any threats. She didn't seem to find any, because she reluctantly nodded at Hermione and she gently released Cedric's hand. She just kissed his cheek swiftly and stood up, leaving one final look of warning over her shoulder as she walked over to a couple of her friends not too far away.

Hermione nervously interlocked her fingers; her nervousness was growing because the clock had rang with the hour limit.

Cedric just gazed at her. " wanted to..."

"I need your help," whispered Hermione, her voice pleading. Time was running out too fast for simple pleasantries.

"W-what with?"

"I need you to do the Bubblehead Charm for me, Cedric," muttered Hermione, her cheeks going slightly pink with embarrassment; as well as anger at herself for not knowing how.

Cedric's eyes widened slightly, and he seemed to glance quickly out at the Black Lake; he was scourging the depths relentlessly with his eyes. She knew that Cedric was smart and that he instantly seemed to catch on as to what she wanted to do. She watched nervously - if not somewhat amusedly - as he silently begged Harry to suddenly appear out of the Black Lake; he was obviously very reluctant in helping so she hesitantly reached out and grasped his arm in helplessness; she was pleading with him, and he seemed to know it with the quick breaths he took.

"Please, Cedric," she whispered.

His jaw clenched in worry as the announcement that the official task had ended; Harry still had not emerged. The sudden worrisome murmurs of the crowd drifted into Hermione's ears, and the feeling of drowning only intensified as the calm surface of the Black Lake continued to be unbreached.

He seemed to release a sigh; for if it was regret or defeat, she did not know. But she couldn't help the sudden tears that sprung to her eyes when she noticed him discreetly pull his wand out of its brown holster. He gave her a soft nod and beckoned her forward, quickly looking around beforehand to make sure that no one one was paying attention. She didn't even hear the incantation being said and she couldn't even remember the tingling that had erupted around her face; all she could think about was the pounding blood in her veins and Harry and Ron.

"Thank you," whispered Hermione, her voice echoing the graciousness she felt.

"You better hurry, Hermione. Go while they're not paying attention," he whispered hurriedly. "And tell Potter not to be so bloody noble next time, yeah?"

Hermione nodded and held back a soft breath of laughter. She squeezed his arm and stood up slowly; she slowly trudged her way to the front of the platform. She had to dodge several students and their wandering elbows. And she barely noticed the soft bubble that had incased her mouth and nose; it was glowing a brilliant pink, and the scent was actually quite pleasant.

She quickly glanced over to see the judges - and teachers - over to the far left side of the platform, whispering and gesturing urgently. She made sure to hunch over and rest her weight on her thighs and calves; her eyes were searching the Black Lake one final time before she made the commitment of saving her friend. She briefly fluttered her eyes closed as she took an even breath, but all of her hesitation evaporated once she heard the chime of the clock go off, signalling yet another minute had passed.

She glanced toward the adults one final time.

And before she jumped, she noticed Fleur's piercing blue eyes encompass her entire form; the French girl's eyes had widened and her perfectly shaped mouth opened in slight horror and realization.

"MISS GRANGER!" That was the last sentiment she heard before she was encompassed by freezing cold water.

She hesitantly opened her eyes; she was quite horrified to find that even her eyelids felt frozen shut at the freezing temperatures. Unlike before, she could now seeing how truly murky the Black Lake was; way down below was the remnants of appeared to be a wrecked ship. And at a much further distance in front of her she noticed to overwhelming amount of sea weeds that had overtaken half of the bottom terrace of the lake. Despite the Bubblehead Charm, which was certainly working wonders for her under-water breathing, it certainly wasn't helping her eyes adjust to the very dark depths of the entire lake. She could faintly make out the swimming forms of Grindylows swimming much further beneath her; they seemed pre-occupied with something else, which she was grateful for.

She squinted through the blackness to try and make out any hints of Harry and Ron. And - quite fearfully - there was nothing that she could find of the two.

She awkwardly began moving her arms around her body in order to turn and survey the area around her.

And then suddenly her entire body froze. Because up ahead of her, struggling with all his might to get to the surface, was Harry. He was surrounded by a flock of Grindylows and the unconscious form of Ron certainly didn't seem to be helping his speed at any rate. But what suprised Hermione was the other unconscious form that was being held onto by Harry. Her silvery blonde hair and her young and unearthly beauty easily tipped you off as to who she was; if you didn't know then you would probably be classified as daft.

Panting into her pink and enclosed bubble, she began to quickly swim towards the fray with her wand in hand.

Her arms were beginning to burn at her outrageous speed; her breathing was even faster now.

Because up ahead she noticed how even more fierce that it had become; Harry was losing and she was scared. She could barely make out the way his free arm - that wasn't blasting the Grindylows to hell - was grasping at his neck. That was where his gills were; if it were even possible, Hermione panicked even more so.

She aimed her wand at the lot of them that resided to the right side; she couldn't afford to hit the hostages or Harry.

"Bombarda!" She shouted through her air inclosed space.

She watched as the burning blue spell collided with the gigantic group of Grindylows, making them scatter - to her disgust, bloodily - all over the area. Some had been clean shot out of the water, it appeared, and some had flown back as such a speed that the had crashed into the furthest cave wall. She would think about how powerful the spell she incorporated was much later on.

She nearly fainted at the inhuman screeching that suddenly assaulted her ears.

And the Grindylows - the remaining few - that had attached themselves to Harry's arms and legs had suddenly scampered off at an inhuman speed; their multiple fish-like tails squiggling quickly as they dove off behind the many tall fields of sea-plants. She kept her wand out in front of her, the tip glowing brightly as she swam quickly and alertedly over to her struggling friend. Harry's hooded eyes were looking at her, and he looked as if he was about to just give up the movement of his arms and legs. She reached out and grasped his arm and pulled him closer to her, struggling to support his heavy weight on her as she swam towards the surface. But Harry's arm tightened around her shoulders, and she glanced at his exhausted face in question.

'Ron,' he mouthed.

Hermione's eyes widened and a fine line of rather impressive curses ran rampant in her head.

In her wake to save Harry she had completely forgot about Ron and Fleur's sister. Her eyes glanced around wildly, because it was rather inevitable that Harry dropped them. She felt Harry's hard nudge against her shoulder and she watched as his head weakly motioned towards the left of their bodies; Ron and the girl were rapidly disappearing into the dark depths.

She hurriedly grasped Harry's shoulders and she motioned him towards Ron.

He weakly shook his head in understanding, and he began off in the direction of their friend in an agonizingly slow pace.

Meanwhile, Hermione quickly swam to the slightly closer form of Fleur's sister. She was panting and huffing and mind-numbingly exhausted; she pushed it aside and was able to loop her arms protectively around the young girl's waist and tug her close. Hermione, after a brief glimpse toward Harry - who was in the exact same position with Ron to her left - and the girl to her right, she took off toward the surface. She made sure that Harry was behind her the entire time; her diligent eyes took in the much slower pace he used than to what she was exhibiting.

She could now see the grey clouds of the sky and the surface above their heads.

With one final hard shove of her legs she pushed through the surface of the water; Fleur's now slightly conscious sister at her side.

The Bubblehead Charm immediately ceased and the girl next to her was sputtering for air and whimpering out incomprehensible French. When the girl began to sink back in the water, Hermione grasped her arm tightly around the girl's waist once more and brought her closer. The young girl in question was just staring at her in pure confusion as to who she was. And she could faintly hear the sounds of Harry sputtering himself as he reached the surface; it actually sounded more like a rich, pained breathing. And Ron's harsh pants and murmurs of, "Bloody hell, mate," only completed the entourage of exhausted - and in her case, probably in trouble - band of misfits.

The roar of the crowd was so deafening that she could barely comprehend the girl next to her.

"F-Fleur," whimpered the girl, her blue eyes frightened. "S 'il vous plait, je veux ma soeur."

Hermione got the general gist of the girl's meaning after hearing Fleur's name. She met Harry and Ron's eyes and together they swam towards the platforms.

She couldn't remember much after that. It all seemed to be one wild haze that overtook her vision and it made her feel like she was watching from an outsider's perspective. She could feel strong arms pull her up and it took her several moments to realize that it was Viktor. His eyes were worried and slightly pained, and he instantly wrapped two towels around her body and pulled her close to him, hugging her affectionately.

She watched as Dean and Seamus helped the slumped form of Harry and the still grinning form of Ron onto the platform. They were slapping their hands hard across Harry's back - they really were ignorant gits - and congratulating him. Ron seemed to be just as ignorant as the other two, smiling happily and joking about how it took him long enough. Hermione strongly refrained from rolling her eyes at Ron's severe lack of emotional integrity. And as soon as Hermione had helped Fleur's little sister to the platform, Fleur had all but shoved Maxime aside and had instantly grasped her little sister, unashamed tears now swelling in her eyes. The younger French girl was gesturing wildly and Fleur was cupping her face and speaking to her in rapid French.

A smidgeon of an odd feeling ran through Hermione as she surveyed the two sister's emotional reunion.

Fleur looked so happy, so relieved and raw with emotion, that Hermione began to second guess at the shallowness and plightness of the French witch.

And Hermione had been studying them so fiercely that she scarcely recalled the forms of Ron and Seamus making their way to her and Viktor's side. The punched her lightly on the arm, much to the irritated scowl on Viktor Krum's face, and began laughing at her with gigantic grins. Harry had shakily stood up behind them, slowly making his way over towards the group as well. Hermione felt the bond between her and Harry expand even more as he met her eyes with pure gratefulness and an overwhelming amount of friendly devotion in his eyes.

"I s'ppose you know that was seriously wicked, Granger," grinned Seamus, his voice emphatic. "Th'nk McGonagall nearly had a heart attack and then proceeded to try to dive in after you."

Ron chortled, his face red with laughter. "I-I can see her now. 'I can't lose my favorite pupil! Unguard you swimming pricks of wrath!' Priceless, mate!"

Even Harry joined in the loud guffaws of the group this time. The only one who wasn't laughing was Hermione herself; she betrayed herself when she felt the light quirk of her lips and the slight rosemary hue to her cheeks. Completely out of character - though she still blamed it on the adrenaline - she grabbed ahold of her cheeks and she impersonated the last image she had seen of McGonagall before she had dove into the lake; hand to her chest and her face a mask of complete and utter terror.

Ron and Seamus were howling now, leaning on each other in order to not lose balance. Harry - though still looking exhausted - just grinned widely at her.

But they all suddenly stopped laughing when the sound of a cleared throat greeted their ears.

Hermione's chocolate eyes glanced up and they slightly widened when she took in the form of Fleur Delacour in front of them. The French witch still looked battered and bruised; there were Grindylow marks all over her arms and shoulders and there was the slightest hint of blue blossoming on her cheek. But in regardless, she still looked flawless. Somehow. And Fleur was standing proudly tall with her shoulders squared and her face a mask of aloofness; it kinda meshed with the tear tracks that were on her face. And next to her side, grasping her hand tightly, was her little sister.

The younger sister was looking up at Harry and Hermione with a shy look of awe on her features.

"Gabrielle, leur donner votre merci," murmured Fleur, her accent thick and her voice throaty. She nudged the little girl gently.

Hermione was pretty sure she heard Ron squeak next to her, and she had to refrain from stomping down on his foot and scowling in utter annoyance. Seamus had a slightly dazed look on his features; not as bad as Ron, but certainly not an air of nonchalance, either. And Harry just proceeded to look at the ground shyly. Hermione held her head up high.

The little sister - Gabrielle, she reminded herself - stepped forward and glanced at her and Harry shyly.

"Zank 'ou for saving moi," whispered Gabrielle. Her accent was even thicker than Fleur's and her grasp on English appeared to be weak.

But Hermione understood perfectly. And despite her negative first impressions of Fleur, she moved forward - her towels wrapped tightly around her shoulders - and managed a slight grin at Gabrielle. She nodded her head at the younger girl and Gabrielle's cheeks became inflamed; she quickly went back to Fleur's side and grasped her hand. Fleur's beautiful blue eyes roamed their group, stopping minutely on Harry for a moment, before her eyes swept over Hermione. Fleur's eyes were burning in intensity, her gaze sweeping over Hermione's still slightly shivering form.

Hermione - for some odd reason - felt her cheeks flame when Fleur untied her blue bathrobe that adorned her body; the French witch moved forward gracefully and softly wrapped the robe around Hermione's body, her gaze still scrutinizing the brunette even as she tied the robe shut. Hermione swallowed at the odd display of almost - chivalry? - considerate kindness on the blonde's part.

"Oh! Y-you didn't have to really resort to giving me that," said Hermione, her voice suprised. "I really am just fine."

Fleur shook her head regally, her gaze cool. "Non, zat iz 'ours now. 'Ou deserve eet. Zank you for saving my seester."

"You can really thank Harry, then. I just helped," murmured Hermione, her body attempting to preserve the confidence that her fellow teammates didn't seem to have at the moment.

Admiration flashed through Fleur's eyes briefly, before it disappeared.

"May I ask 'hat iz 'our name," murmured Fleur, her tone of voice cordial and her gaze never leaving Hermione's.

"Hermione Granger," she said, tightened her hold around the robe now adorning her shoulders.

Fleur nodded and she gripped Gabrielle's hand in her own once more, turning around and walking away from the group of Gryffindors - Krum excluded - without a second glance back. Hermione released a breath she hadn't even realized she had been holding in. And a nagging voice in her head was telling her that her first initial impression of Fleur Delacour was most certainly off.

"There she goes," murmured Ron, his voice subdued. "Bloody hell."

"It's lovely to see that you're suddenly articulate, Ronald," snapped Hermione, her voice and posture waspish.

She just rolled her eyes at his immature rebukes at her sudden turn of behavior. She just sighed and pretended not to listen, instead patiently watching the judges - who were shooting her still slightly shocked and disgruntled looks - come to a conclusion over the scores. She could practically feel Harry's anxiety and she reached over and grasped his hand delicately. He released a shaky breath and looked at her with slightly vulnerable eyes; Ron was still ranting at her in the background, with Seamus still snorting every so often. She just sighed grasped his hand tighter.

And she let her gaze wander past all of the judges. She just watched in a slight impassiveness as the girls of Beauxbatons crowded delicately around Fleur and Gabrielle. They were speaking in strongly accented French and Fleur was throwing a a few hand gestures out with her perfectly manicured fingers every so often. And just as she turned her head back around to face Harry - if she would have blinked she would have missed it - in order to comfort him, she watched as Fleur's head seemed to turn in her direction and could've sworn, positively sworn, that Fleur winked at her. But she admitted that she was probably imagining things; she felt a warm flush oversettle her features and she heard some relatively loud giggles float across the platform.

Pointedly ignoring what probably didn't happen, she grasped Harry's hand tighter.

"I wonder what they're thinking about," murmured Ron, gazing at them dreamily.

"For Merlin's sake, Ron!"

All she heard next was Ron's indignant squawk and Harry's sudden laughter as she turned around and smacked Ron across the shoulder.

"Cor, woman! You remind me of mum!"



The next two weeks seemed to pass by like any regular week.

Well, except for that fact that she had made a newfound friend in the form of young Gabrielle Delacour. Oh, and the fact that the girls of Beauxbatons no longer acted snobbish or rude towards Hermione or Harry. They would always give them a nod of their head or a polite smile; it always ended with envious stares thrown in Hermione or Harry's direction.

She couldn't say the same for Ron, however. And as much as she felt a slight irritation build up and the need to defend him, she just simply found that she couldn't. Because the girl's attitude toward her red-head counter-part was most certainly not brought on just for the amusement of the moment. It was rather embarrassing to be sitting next to Ron when he turned into a mumbling mess whenever a girl in blue just simply walked by.

It was a little ridiculous.

She was suddenly snapped out of her musings when a note promptly hit the back of her head.

She pursed her lips as pure annoyance swelled up within her; she didn't even have to open it to know who it was from. Ron had been positively relentless when it came to badgering her about getting him a proper introduction to Fleur; it was if he conveniently forgot about his little shouting match that had taken place across the courtyard pertaining to Fleur's Yule Ball date. Ron seemed to forget abut a lot of things; one of them being not to disturb her in the middle of a History of Magic lesson - or any lesson for that matter - and completely disrupt her concentration.

She turned her head around discreetly. Stop, she mouthed.

Ron's gaze was absolutely pleading, and he kept gesturing animatedly toward the folded parchment crumbled in her fist. Sighing in annoyance, she placed her quill down on the desk and gingerly unfolded the parchment in her grasp. Her eyes blazed furiously and her nostrils flared as she read Ron's important message; he was positively infuriating! Turning her head back around to face him, she was pretty sure that he had ignored the look of complete anger on her features. Because no one could honestly be that oblivious. But then again, noticing his hopeful grin and his bright brown eyes, she realized that it was Ron.

Ignoring Harry's snickers, she reluctantly picked up her quill to write a proper reply.

Hey, 'Mione! I was wondering if you've talked to Fleur yet? - R

I'm sorry, Ronald. Because beside the fact that you can't get the point that Fleur and myself are just simply acquiantances out of your head, you also are interrupting precious study time and that is something for which I will not stand! Be mature and pay attention to the lesson, Ron. - H

And making sure that Professor Binns was continuing his customary droll, she hastily flicked her wand and sent the message back.

She just held her breath and waited for the more than obvious reaction that was bound to occur. She wasn't disappointed when she heard two guffaws of laughter and a heart-broken whine behind her. She honestly couldn't quite contain the slight smirk that graced over her delicate features.

"Is there something the matter, boys?"

Binn's voice carried throughout the classroom, causing the still sleeping students to remain blissfully unaware.

"N-no, sir," stumbled Ron, awkwardly clearing his throat.

Binns just nodded his head and continued his lesson. Hermione dutifully realized - for the millionth time, possibly - that she was the only one religiously taking notes over the Goblin Wars. She couldn't help but shake her head when some Hufflepuff girl beside her let out a particularly gruesome snore. If the children of today represented the wizarding politics of tomorrow...she didn't even want to contemplate this disaster. She was once again pulled out of her thoughts by the completely irritating feeling of a note hitting her head once more. She let out an inaudible hiss and tore it open.

But you're, like, completely chummy with Fleur. AND with her little sister! You could get me a chance for sure! - R

Hermione rolled her eyes and promptly shoved the note under her History of Magic textbook, much to Ron's angry hiss behind her.

Ron was completely over-exaggerating her closeness with the French witch. Sure, Fleur would give her a respectful nod in the hallways whenever they would pass by each other, and she would even smile at her if she was in a good mood. And she would also tell her to be sure to protect Gabrielle whenever the younger Delacour sister - for some reason - would want to sit at the Gryffindor table with them. Fleur always had similiar requests of protection whenever Gabrielle would just sit in the library with Hermione; Fleur had once jokingly told her that Gabrielle was slightly enamored with both Harry and her. Though, with Fleur's speculative eyes, she doubted the blonde was actually jesting; because adoration always rang deep in the young girl's eyes whenever she so much as looked at her.

Despite the initial oddness and the slight embarassment on Hermione's part, the younger Delacour's presence certainly wasn't minded.

It ashamed Hermione to admit that Gabrielle Delacour was actually a lot more mature than probably half of the males at Hogwarts...including Ron.

And it always seemed to bring around Fleur herself for an intellectual conversation; Hermione would never admit that she put aside her dislike of the girl after the Black Lake and she actually enjoyed the presence of Fleur. And although Fleur hanging around with her and Gabrielle was scarce, it was still intellectually stimulating and dare she say

"Qu 'en est-il de ce livre?"

Gabrielle was holding up a rather old and torn up book.

They were currently in the library; Hermione was working on a Transfiguration essay and Gabrielle had joined her earlier, therefore prompting Fleur to join in with them as well - rare as that was. And Gabrielle had gone off in search of a book while Hermione polished off the final paragraph of her essay. It left Fleur to simply gaze airily around the library; her gaze finally settled on Hermione and ended up staying there. And Hermione could faintly recall the slight sweat that had built up in her palms when Fleur's gentle gaze swept over her studying form.

She remembered glancing up and connecting her gaze to Fleur's.

The Veela had opened her mouth to say something, but then they had been interrupted by Gabrielle.

"Non, ce n'est pas approprie` pour vous," murmured Fleur, her voice soft; there was also a bit of...disappointment... that entered her voice.

Hermione swept her messy bangs from her forehead and watched discreetly as the two sisters seemed to be having a silent conversation with each other. Fleur's gaze looked disappointed, and Gabrielle looked properly chastined; but as she walked away to put away the large tomb her head turned back around and she shot her older sister an impatient gaze.

Hermione cleared her throat quietly. " everything alright with Gabrielle?"

"Oui," murmured Fleur, her lips pursed and her eyes following her sister. "She 'as, 'ow do 'ou call eet, a vivid imagination."

After that Hermione stopped trying at attempting to understand the Delacour sisters.

They were beautiful and deceptively intelligent and Hermione was happy that she could finally have found someone Internationally friendly besides Viktor. She was fond of the boy; he was sweet and intelligent, but he wasn't always a fun person to be around. And Fleur and Gabrielle just had that little sense of when someone just didn't want to bothered; they were very perceptive and they didn't push for answers and it was something that Hermione tremendously respected. Because most people just didn't know when not to bother you; that wasn't their case at all.

Hermione felt herself being nudged in the shoulder by a petulant Ron.

"C'mon, 'Mione," he grumbled. "Wanna grab lunch 'fore we go to double potions."

His misery was very apparent in his voice; Harry's face matched the tone of Ron's voice. Professor Snape had not been all that friendly this year; calling him friendly was actually a tad of a monumental misunderstanding. But if Dumbledore trusted and respected the guy - as much as Hermione didn't want to - then she would respect that. Harry and Ron most definitely did not have the views she had pertaining to Professor Snape; they would be plenty cheerful all year if the man decided to suddenly pursue a different career choice.

But she always had been the reasonable one.

She sighed and hurriedly began putting her items in her knapsack; she purposely ignored their impatient groans. She shuffled to her feet and followed them out of the classroom silently. She just sighed as they picked up a conversation about Quidditch; how Ron could vote for those ghastly Chudley Cannons just simply astounded her.

But when she heard Ron suddenly stumble off from his words, and when she heard Harry exhale shakily before laughing softly, she knew that Fleur must be in the vacinity.

She found herself correct when she spyed the French blonde witch leaning against the door of the Great Hall - elegantly, of course - with a few of her Beauxbaton friends next to her and talking with her.

She found herself huffing in annoyance and grasping both of the boy's arms and jerking them forward with her. She gave a polite nod to Fleur as she passed her by; she felt a soft pink infuse her cheeks when the blonde murmured out a gentle greeting of friendship. She returned the sentiment with a slight smile; Ron was watching them in fascination, while Harry gave the French witch an awkward wave but a heartfelt, " 'Ello, Fleur."

She pointedly ignored Ron's stare as she placed herself next to Harry on the bench.

She began piling a decent portion of a wide variety onto her plate, still ignoring Ron's narrowed stare. She could hear Harry's amused snort as Ron 'sneakily' tried to capture her attention by completely acting a daft fool and coughing rather obnoxiously. She just pursed her lips and reached for the Daily Prophet that was unceremoniously placed in the middle of the table. Ron's coughing was so loud by now that the entire Great Hall was surveying their little group. Hermione stabbed her roast beef viciously.

Ron coughed again.

"What?" She finally snapped, pausing with her fork halfway to her mouth.

"Not friends my arse, Hermione!"

Hermione felt her eyes close in annoyance; she tried to successfully summon her inner patience as she dropped her utensil - more harsh than not - onto her plate. She opened her eyes slowly and looked into Ron's bright brown eyes, which were tinted in slight envy.

"Ron," she attempted, enunciating every syllable to make way into the boy's thick skull, "I think that if you just attempted to actually talk to the girl, rather than make a git ou -"

"It's not that simple, you know," huffed Ron, interrupting Hermione. "You wouldn't understand 'cause your not a hot-blooded male, 'Mione."

Hermione refrained strongly from rolling her eyes at the boy. And while she admitted that at times she was clueless when it came to comprehending Harry and Ron's reasons for fancying certain girls, that small stubborn etiquette of the Granger househeld made her lift up her chin stubbornly and absolutely refuse to see reason. Besides, she did have a fine point of example on her side; Cedric and Krum had certainly been fighting off the Veela charm successfully for weeks now, and Harry was vastly improving.

"You're right, Ronald," she sighed, simply too exhausted to continue this ridiculous argument. "But you won't build an immunity unless you're around it more."

"Exactly," cried Ron, his face was flushed and his eyes were bright with triumph. "That's why we should do this 'International Friendship' that everyone is pushing more."

A part of Hermione wanted to point out that Ron had certainly not been for 'International 'Friendship' whenever he discovered she was Viktor's date to the Yule Ball. And that everyone and their blind mum could see that he most definitely had more than friendship in mind when it came to Fleur Delacour.

She was actually about to make this point; her shoulders had straightened and she had pointedly propped her hands underneath her chin, all but ignoring her meal as of now. But with Harry's exasperated eyes and his quick shake of the head, she politely refrained for poor Harry's sake. Instead she just sighed in an annoyed fashion and picked up the Daily Prophet, blatantly ignoring Ron's now stuffed mouth full of sausages and his - quite honestly, rude attempt - at impersonating Draco Malfoy.

Triwizard Tournament: More Than Just A Competition For Trophies?

By: Rita Skeeter

Hermione balefully snorted and read - with nothing short of amusement - the way that dear Rita described her 'accurate' perspective on the love lives of the Champions and their friends.

"I broke your heart again, Harry," commented Hermione, her voice dry.

Harry glanced at the Daily Prophet in her hands and shook his head in annoyance when he glimpsed at the article. He just sighed and fiddled with the spoon that was in his now empty bowl; he seemed to be pointedly ignoring Ron by now, who had just gone back to eating and glancing around the hall.

"You really should stop that, Hermione," he muttered, no emotion in his voice. "I won't take you back next time."

Hermione snorted and nudged him gently.

"I don't know if I could handle that, Harry," she murmured, shaking her head. "I just fancy your scar- I-I mean you, so much!"

Harry let out a full blown grin at this; they next thing she knew they were leaning against each other and laughing heartily. Hermione wasn't necessarily bothered that this had captured the attention of the Great Hall; they would most likely assume something just by them sitting together. It was ridiculous; it was ridiculous and Hermione didn't care, because she had better things to do than just sit around and gossip about nonsense. She heard Parvati's giggle further down the table and rolled her eyes.

Ron had finally stopped eating and he was now leaning across the table and trying to catch a glimpse of the Daily Prophet, which Hermione still had in front of her. She detached herself from Harry's arm and she pushed the article across the table for Ron to read; he snatched up greedily and his eyes flickered in curiosity.

"This is ridiculous," he muttered. "They're making you out to be some scarlet woman."

Hermione guffawed slightly and he blanched defensively; he began muttering that that was what Molly Weasley called them.

"I can only hope she doesn't believe them," sighed Hermione, rolling her eyes. "Won't do me well at your house if she thinks I'm shagging half of Britain."

Ron suddenly snorted. "They even threatened Fleur to watch out for your womanly wiles."

Hermione's eyes widened, and her jaw flapped a little bit in complete and utter absurdness. Rita Skeeter was definitely taking this thing with herself way too far; if the articles weren't about Harry and his life or about Hagrid and his parentage, then they were always quick to mention and speculate over her. It was becoming quite ridiculous.

"Mate, you need'a read this," laughed Ron, flashing the article. "I mean, Hermione and Fleur; it's becoming ridiculous."

If Hermione still weren't so flabberghasted herself then she would have been insulted by Ron's offhand comment. But all she could think about was Fleur's reaction in that moment; if she read the article, was she angry? Or did she find it amusing, perhaps?

She could hear the murmurs of the boys suddenly stop; she knew it was Fleur that had just entered the Great Hall. It also tipped her off when she could hear the infamous clicking of the heels that the Beauxbaton girls wore; they all wore them like perfect Runway models. She ignored Ron's suddenly rapt attention and mutterings of Fleur and she watched as the French girl - accompanied by a waving Gabrielle - sat gracefully at the Ravenclaw table with a small gaggle of quietly speaking girls. She attempted a smile and waved by politely at Gabrielle, who happily nudged Fleur - who had been talking to Cho Chang - and gestured towards Hermione.

Hermione felt an odd feeling - nervousness, perhaps - when Fleur's pretty blue eyes turned to look at her. The French girl smiled politely and tilted her head in a sign of respect; Hermione did the exact same motion as the older girl, her nervousness fading slightly when the girl seemed oblivious to scandalous newspapers.

She finally released the breath that she had been holding when the girl turned back into her discussion with Cho.

Hermione glanced down at her plate; the idea of her and Fleur was ridiculous.