This story was written at the request of my dear new friend, tymes24. I hope you all like it!
Because I'm trying to follow canon, at least to some extent, some lines and scenarios are not mine. Please keep in mind they belong to JK Rowling, and I would never try to take credit for her incredible work.
Be forewarned, much of what Fleur says will be in French. I got the French from Google Translate, don't hate me if it isn't perfect. I won't be translating every sentence, either, but you should be able to understand it.
Please enjoy, and pretty please, leave a review!
"The champion for Beauxbatons is Fleur Delacour!"
Fleur stood up before her name had finished leaving Dumbledore's lips, too excited to wait any longer. Excitedly, yet nervously, she swept gracefully to the top of the Hall, then disappeared through the door behind the staff table.
The room was lovely, she noticed as she entered. It was much smaller than the Great Hall, of course, but lovely nonetheless. The walls were lined with portraits of witches and wizards alike, and a fire was crackling pleasantly in the fireplace across from her.
Viktor Krum was leaning ominously against the mantelpiece, staring broodingly into the fire.
"Congratulations, Viktor," she offered, walking up to the fire and standing in its warmth.
He grunted in reply, not even looking at her. Affronted, she tossed her hair back from her face and huffed at him. She could feel the pride radiating from the Quidditch star, and she wanted nothing to do with such a rude person.
The door behind them opened, and Fleur turned, happy to have anyone in the room who wasn't Viktor Krum.
"Oh...er, hi. Congratulations," Cedric Diggory said bashfully, slightly thrown by her presence, but still unable to wipe the grin off his face. She smiled right back at him, used to boys being flustered while she was around. She was one quarter Veela, after all.
"Le champion de Hogwarts, félicitations!" She said in French, then shook her head at her slip-up. "Congratulations," she added throatily, when he looked confused. She was not at all used to speaking English, she still spoke primarily in French. That, however, led to many confused glances and repeated sentences in the other language, so Fleur was trying to get better about it.
"Thanks," Diggory replied, his grin growing still wider. He walked over and stood next to her near the fire, none of them speaking as they impatiently awaited further instruction.
After a moment or so, the door opened again, and Fleur looked around. She saw a dark-haired boy, a fourth year at most, enter the room with a stricken look on his face.
"What is it?" She asked confusedly, thinking perhaps he was there to fetch them. "Do zey want us back in ze hall?"
The boy just stared at her, opening his mouth to say something, then shutting it again. He looked oddly familiar, almost like she was supposed to know who he was. He was very cute, she supposed, even if he was a little young. His jet black hair and lightly tanned skin contrasted beautifully with his incredibly vibrant green eyes, and he had this look of innocence about him, which Fleur found quite endearing.
The door opened once again, and Ludo Bagman entered, walking up to the boy and grabbing his arm. He led him closer to the three champions before speaking.
"Extraordinary!" he said, squeezing the boy's arm. He then turned to Fleur, Diggory, and Krum, smiling at them in an oddly apprehensive way. "May I introduce, incredible as it may seem, the fourth Triwizard champion?"
"Le champion des Trois Sorciers quatrième?" Fleur repeated, shocked. There were only supposed to be three champions!
Even Viktor Krum straightened when Bagman announced it.
Fleur studied Bagman curiously, trying to decide if he was joking or not.
"Not a joke," he said, deciphering what she had been thinking from the look on her face. "Harry's name just came out of the Goblet of Fire!"
Harry! This was Harry Potter! That would explain why he looked so familiar. Goodness, he was cuter than she though he would be, for some reason.
"Zere must 'ave been some mistake," she said quietly, still studying the boy...er, Harry intently. She could now feel the waves of shock and panic rolling off of him, her perception of his emotions enhanced by Bagman edging ever closer with Harry.
"It's quite odd, but not a mistake!" Bagman replied, smiling at her.
Suddenly, the door flew open and people came flooding in. Madame Maxime, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, Professor Karkaroff, and Mr. Crouch all rushed in, talking excitedly.
Fleur practically ran to her headmistress, hoping she would have some answers.
"Madame Maxime! Zey are saying zat zis boy is to compete also!" She exclaimed, gazing up at the impossibly tall woman and concentrating on speaking in English.
"What is ze meaning of zis, Dumbly-dorr?" She demanded, chest rising and falling imperiously.
"Yes, I'd rather like to know that myself, Dumbledore," Karkaroff added, his eyes flickering to Krum and back. "Why should the host school be allowed two champions?"
"C'est impossible! 'Ogwarts cannot have two champions! It is most unjust!" Madame Maxime agreed, resting her large, heavy hand on Fleur's shoulder.
"What happened to your Age Line, Dumbledore? It was supposed to keep out younger contestants!" Karkaroff continued angrily, his eyes cold.
"Now, now, Karkaroff, let us not go blaming Dumbledore. It's no one's fault but Potter's. He has done nothing just break rules and cross boundaries since he came to this school!" Snape interjected.
Fleur looked from Harry's young, frightened face to Snape's malice filled expression, shaking her head at Snape. She didn't like him one bit, she decided, he seemed to be terribly hateful...and ugly.
Professor Dumbledore gently took Harry's chin and turned his face, looking searchingly into his eyes, as if looking for the answer to some long-unsolved puzzle.
"Harry, did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire?" He asked, quite calm.
"No, sir," Harry answered, shaking his head and looking uncomfortable with everyone's eyes on him.
"Did you ask one of the older students to do it for you? One of the ingenious Weasley twins, perhaps?" Dumbledore asked, his face stoic, but his eyes twinkling as he mentioned the Weasley twins.
"No!" Harry said firmly, looking Dumbledore straight in the eyes.
"But...of course 'e is lying!" Madame Maxime protested.
"No, I'm not!" Harry exclaimed, turning to look up at her.
"What if Dumbledore made a mistake with the line?" Karkaroff asked.
"I assure you, Igor, Albus did not make a mistake," McGonagall said firmly.
"Then the boy is lying!" He exclaimed furiously.
"I'm not lying!" Harry said earnestly, looking back at Dumbledore.
"Of course 'e..." Madam Maxime began, but Fleur cut her off.
"No! 'E is not lying," she said quietly, speaking for the first time, her eyes never leaving Harry's face.
"Fleur! Qu'est-ce que tu racontes?" Madam Maxime asked, surprised that she had said anything.
"Il ne le faites pas, Madame. Il dit la vérité!"
"Oh? And 'ow can you be sure that 'e is telling the truth?"
"I can feel it!" Fleur replied, ignoring the professors who rolled their eyes at her and Krum and Diggory who gaped, shocked. She looked instead at Dumbledore, as realization flickered across his face.
"Ahh, you can feel it, Miss Delacour? Is it because..." he trailed off, leaving her to answer.
She nodded, her eyes going from Harry to Dumbledore quickly.
"Ahhh," he said again, clasping his hands in front of him. "I see! Well now it is certain, Harry is telling the truth, though I personally never doubted him."
"What? Headmaster, how could you possibly be sure?" Snape objected.
"Why, Miss Delacour said so, of course!" Dumbledore answered like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"So you take the word of this...this girl?" Snape stammered.
"Yes, of course! You feel his sincerity, don't you, Miss Delacour?"
"Oui. I mean...yes," she answered, eyes still flickering from Harry to Dumbledore.
"You see, Miss Delacour is one quarter Veela." Dumbledore announced, looking around as he explained. "Because of her Veela blood, she is exceptionally in tune with other's emotions. She, if close enough, can quite literally feel emotions rolling off of other people. Tell me, my dear, what do you feel from Mr. Potter?"
"Shock," Fleur said, eyes coming to rest on Harry's young, apprehensive face. "Fear, anger, confusion, and much sincerity, especially every time 'e tells you zat 'e is telling ze truth!"
"Is zis true, Fleur?" Madame Maxime asked, looking surprised.
"Oui, Madame! Je sais qu'il n'a pas fait! I know 'e did not do it," she repeated, more to herself than to anyone else.
"He is innocent," Dumbledore said firmly.
"Alright, he's innocent. He still cannot compete! It's much too dangerous!" McGonagall said nervously.
"I'm afraid that Mr. Potter must compete. The rules clearly state that those whose names come out of the Goblet of Fire are bound to compete." Barty Crouch said, speaking for the first time.
"Well, that's the end of it then!" Bagman said lightly, bouncing of his toes. "Harry must compete! The Triwizard Tournament now has four champions!"
"Then the Goblet of Fire must be set up again! I will resubmit the names of my students until each school has two champions!" Karkaroff demanded.
"I'm sorry, but that's not possible," Bagman said, not looking very sorry. "The Goblet has gone out and will not reignite until the start of the next tournament."
"Which Durmstrang with definitely not be participating in!" Karkaroff half-shouted. "I'm of half a mind to leave with Viktor now!"
"Empty threats, Karkaroff," growled a man near the door. Mad-Eye Moody's entry had gone unnoticed, and Fleur tried to hide her shudder as he clumped his way toward the fire. He clearly had a wooden leg, but he also had a most disturbing mechanical eye that's electric blue color seemed to pierce one's very soul. "You can't take your champion away, the Goblet's decision is legally binding. Convenient, huh?"
"Convenient?" Karkaroff spluttered, his hands curling into fists.
"Yes, convenient. Someone entered Potter's name...someone who knew very well that he'd have to compete if the Goblet spit his name out!"
"Evidently someone 'oo wanted to give 'Ogwarts too bites at ze apple!" Madame Maxime exclaimed.
"I agree, Madame!" Karkaroff agreed, bowing to her awkwardly. "I will be lodging complaints with..."
"Oh, save your damned complaints, Karkaroff! If anyone's got a reason to complain, it's Potter! Funny thing, though, I don't hear him whining like a little girl!" Moody growled.
"Why should 'e complain! Zis is a chance many would die for!" Madame Maxime said angrily. Fleur laid a small hand on her enormous arm, trying to calm her.
"Yeah, well maybe someone's hoping that Potter will die for it!" Moody shot back.
Fleur's eyebrows shot straight up at that. She hadn't thought about that, but now that she did, she was frightened for the confused boy in front of her.
"What a thing to say!" Bagman said nervously, trying to break up the uncomfortable silence that had followed Moody's words.
"Please, we know that Moody considers a morning wasted if, by lunch, he hasn't found six plots to murder him. Will you be allowing him to inspire such paranoia into your students, Albus?" Karkaroff glowered.
"Paranoia my arse!" Moody exclaimed. "Whoever entered Potter's name is skilled...very skilled. They had to confund a highly powerful magical object well enough that it would believe that it needed to choose four people! No mere teenager could have done this! I suspect that whoever did it entered Potter's name under a fourth school, so that he would automatically be chosen."
"Well, Moody, you seem to have given this a great deal of thought," Karkaroff sneered.
"It's my job to think as Dark wizards do, Karkaroff, or have you forgotten?"
"That is enough!" Dumbledore said firmly, holding up both hands. Fleur watched as Harry visibly relaxed, feeling him grow less panicked as Dumbledore took control of the situation. "We do not know how this situation came to be, but since the Goblet's decision is magically binding, we have no choice but to accept it. Both Cedric and Harry must compete, there is no other option."
"But Dumbly-Dorr..." Madame Maxime began to protest, as Fleur held her breath, wishing she wouldn't say anything else. Fleur was thrilled to be chosen to represent her school, and she was not entirely pleased that there was now an extra person to contend with, but the boy across from her was so sweet and so sincere that she couldn't possibly be too angry. She just wished that everyone would stop making such a fuss and finally move on.
"My dear Maxime, if you have an alternative, I would be delighted to hear it."
Bagman rubbed his hands together as everyone searched for something to say.
"Well, let's crack on then, shall we? Our champions need their instructions! Barty?"
Mr. Crouch shook his head, seemingly coming out of deep thought.
"Certainly. The first task..." he trailed off. Fleur studied him, noticing that he did not look well, he had dark shadows under his eyes and his skin was thin and papery, not to mention heavily wrinkled. He cleared his throat before continuing. "The first task is designed to test your daring. You will not know what it is ahead of time, so remember this. Courage in the face of the unknown is a very important quality, very important indeed. The first task will take place on November the twenty-fourth, in front of the other students and a panel of judges. Champions may not ask for nor accept help of any kin from their teachers for any of the three challenges. They will face the first task with only a wand, and they will receive instruction concerning the second task once the first is completed. Because of the difficult and time-consuming nature of these challenges, champions are exempted from end-of-year exams. I believe that is all, Albus?"
"I believe so," Dumbledore replied, looking slightly worried as he studied Mr. Crouch. "Barty, are you sure you won't stay at the castle tonight?"
"No, Dumbledore, thank you. I must get back to the Ministry, it is a very busy, very difficult time and I've left young Weatherby in charge. He's terribly enthusiastic. Terribly."
Harry was trying very hard not to laugh at this, Fleur noticed.
"Have a drink before you go, at least?" Dumbledore pressed.
"Yes, do. It's much more exciting here at Hogwarts than it is back in the office!" Bagman added.
"I think not, I really must go," Crouch replied in a clipped tone.
One by one, everyone filed out until only Fleur, Harry, and Madame Maxime were left. Harry appeared to be lost in thought, gazing blankly at a spot in the carpet and never blinking.
"Aller plus loin, Madame. Je vais rencontrer avec vous plus tard," Fleur said quietly.
"Très bien, mon cher. Bonne nuit," Maxime replied before walking out.
"Bonjour, 'Arry," Fleur said, jerking him out of his thoughts when she gently laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Oh!" Harry exclaimed in surprise. "Er...hi."
They stood in awkward silence for a moment as they both tried to come up with something to say.
"I...er...thank you, for sticking up for me. It was really nice of you to tell them I was being honest...oh, and that emotion sensing thing? Bloody cool," Harry said after a moment.
"Ah, you are welcome, and thank you," Fleur replied with a light smile.
"No, really. I think you just saved my arse," Harry said, turning to look at her.
Fleur's smile slipped off her face as their eyes met. Harry had the most beautiful eyes that she'd ever seen, she decided, and she really didn't mind having to look down a little bit to see them.
"You are welcome, 'Arry. I do not know 'ow many people will believe zat you did not enter your name, but at least you know zat I do," she said, their eyes remaining locked.
"Thanks. Best of luck," he offered.
"Merci. Best of luck to you."
After another moment or so, Harry turned and slowly left the room, leaving Fleur alone.
"Bon seigneur, quelle nuit," she said softly, then flicked her wand at the lights and left the room.
What a night, indeed.