Harry Potter and the Trouble with Veela
Summary: Something or someone is targeting the Veela population of Wizarding Britain, and the Ministry of Magic is called to action. Auror Harry Potter isn't sure why, but he has a Very Bad Feeling about this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I do, however, own my plot. This story is written for entertainment purposes only.
Chapter 1: Murphy's Law
Harry Potter groaned quietly in exasperation, shoving tanned fingers through his hair and mucking it up even more than usual. Properly dishevelled, he glared haphazardly at Kingsley's Head Auror badge wishing he would just get on with it already. Harry wasn't known for his wealth of patience on a good day, and today was most certainly not one of them. He could feel the headache stalking him.
"I trust there is a reason you came to see me?" Harry snapped, but quickly adopted a more neutral expression in light of the telltale arch of Kingsley's brow. "Er, you were saying?" he offered with a suitably sheepish grin.
"You've read this morning's Daily Prophet, yes?" the other man asked, helping himself to a candy Snitch currently hovering lazily above the bowl on Harry's desk. After third year, he'd quite lost the taste for chocolate, but Hermione never seemed to remember that.
"I think I have rather enough trash in my office as it is, thanks," Harry replied a little too loftily.
"Potter," Kingsley growled, and Harry could easily picture him in Gryffindor red just then, jumping when the newspaper was shoved under his nose faster than a hippogriff.
Green eyes scanned the page warily, and widened as they made sense of it.
"The tenth Veela dead this week?" Harry shouted in startled disbelief, staring at the paper in horror. "Kingsley, what the blazes is going on?" He sank into the unforgiving chair with little grace. He wasn't particularly close to Bill, and frankly Fleur's cheek kisses made him blush, but Victoire was Veela, and the toddler had Harry wrapped around her delicate digits.
"Which is why we're stepping in. The Veela community is in a panic, and unless we want a full-scale rise to anarchy, we have to do something about it."
A fleeting sense of dread took up residence in the general region of Harry's stomach, and he frowned without knowing why. "Alright, but what will you have us do?" he asked, genuinely bemused.
Kingsley shifted backwards to better observe him. "Well, Potter, you're to go with a team to guard the local Veela in a secured location until we catch whoever is behind this. Your resistance to the Imperius Curse should come in handy, as research suggests that the Veela charm, allure, what-have-you, works in much the same way, and you're the only Auror in residence who can throw it off. Don't give me that look," Kingsley said gruffly, "you've been whinging for more field work for ages. 'I want to feel like an Auror, Kingsley! Not some paper-pushing intern.' Does that sound familiar?" he hedged, clapping a heavy hand on Harry's twitching shoulder and left before he had a chance to argue.
This time Harry let his head bang against the oak wood of his desk as he sighed, a small cloud of condensation appearing on the varnish. Only Ron and Hermione knew that he was in fact susceptible to Veela's presence, and recalled the World Cup clearly. He was going to make a complete prat of himself.
A few minutes later, he squared his shoulders and glanced down at the parchment that had materialized while he'd been moping. Right. He stretched a moment, stalling, then stood and removed his fussy black Auror's robes from the knob on the wall. Shrugging into them and realizing they were inside out, he hissed under his breath and not for the first time groused that despite all the advantages the magical community had, the Muggles had the right idea about proper uniforms for law enforcement officials. You'd never see a Muggle policeman trip over his robes while chasing a suspect, because they wore cuffed trousers. All hints, suggestions, queries, pleading, and threats to follow suit had been met with vicious refusal in the name of tradition. Of course you could always spell your robes to float away from your feet, but that imagery evoked strong memories of a certain Potions professor, and loads of bat jokes, so most Aurors just let it lie.
He took a final survey of the list of names, then a whispered Incendio destroyed it according to protocol. Dean, Ron, and two people Harry'd never worked with before were waiting just outside his door. He smiled briefly before re-settling the wards around his office, and approaching them, a bit of the apprehension lifting. If he had to suffer, at least he wouldn't have to go it alone.
Harry quickly realized why he didn't know the other two, as they were trainees, trainees who were eyeing Harry as though he were one of Molly's mince pies. With a resigned huff, he plucked up a handful of Floo powder and stepped through to a questionable fireplace, followed by the rest of his ragtag team in varying states of disarray. And promptly caught the toe of his standard issue shoe on an errant cinderblock. He landed in a wonky somersault, on his arse rather than his face, and for that he was vaguely grateful.
"Finally learnt your place, have you?" sneered a voice coolly from somewhere above him, and Harry went rigid from head to toe. That voice was terrifyingly familiar.
"Malfoy," he moaned in aggrieved dismay. He was going to murder Kingsley when he got back, if he got back, and looked up in trepidation to have his worst fears confirmed. It was indeed Draco Malfoy standing less than a metre away. Oh bloody hell. Had he survived Voldemort only to be snarked to death by his former enemy?
He schooled his features to mask the knee-jerk reaction to curse and run, and got to his feet with a wince.
"Why are you here, and where are the Veela?" Harry asked as evenly as he could, fingers curled loosely around the handle of his hidden wand.
He was certain that Malfoy swore under his breath then, if purebloods were prone to fits of such vulgar behaviour.
"Oh do give it up, Potter; the paranoid look went out of style ages ago." Draco paused to infringe upon Harry's personal space. "Tell me, now that the Dark Lord is gone, what need does the wizarding world have for a Saviour?" His voice was smooth as top cream and wound around Harry's insecurity like tendrils of Devil's Snare.
Trainees or no, Harry was going to strangle that pompous bigot with his bare hands. On a sibilant snarl, he shot forwards to do just that when stormy eyes jumped in palpable alarm and a tiny movement of Draco's hand brought things to a standstill. Harry's legs didn't seem to want to obey him anymore. The smear of red marring the edge of his sight sped away at maximum velocity and Harry's mind went frightfully blank. His arms hung awkwardly at his side as though waiting for him to command them again, and his gaze settled amicably on Draco. Harry peered up at him curiously and shuffled his feet.
"I killed Voldemort and saved all of Wizard kind," he said proudly.
"Did you now?" Draco quipped, fascinated in spite of himself. It was humiliating to have to endure Potter of all people fawning over him, but there had been real danger in those harried steps; the blackmail was an unexpected bonus.
Draco adjusted the Allure a notch, and trailed a lone, aristocratic fingertip down Potter's cheek. He controlled his disgusted amusement well when Potter leaned into the palm of his hand like a contented Kneazle. Before Draco could exploit this game much further, he caught a flicker of movement at the far side of his peripheral vision. The rest of Potter's lackeys were watching him with varying degrees of rapt appreciation, even the Weasel. Okay, that was enough. The thought of that ginger monstrosity attempting to touch him was sufficiently traumatic to make even taunting Potter lose its appeal. Draco suffered a moment's regret that he wasn't able to tease Potter just a mite longer, but the War had taught him that even a Malfoy couldn't always have his way. It was time to lift the Allure.
Harry slowly surfaced from that dream world where everything was soft and out of focus to realise with swiftly dawning horror that he was much, much too close to Malfoy's face.
"What's the matter, Potter? Aren't you going to finish what you started?" Draco all but cooed at him, lips parted mockingly. Harry scrambled back with a Seeker's speed, cheeks burning a most intriguing shade of magenta. Oh sweet Circe, had he been about to kiss the sneaky bastard!
Harry struggled to lower the wand he didn't remember drawing and attempted to rein in the impulse to hex the blighter to Wales, or perhaps Greenland, when suddenly faced with his best friend standing quite solidly between them. A besotted Ron Weasley was generally easy to handle, and knowing the source of those glassy eyes and earnest face, Harry did what any good friend should, and punched him square in the jaw.
Harry then helped him to his feet, hoping that sanity had returned with the brief stint of pain. "Guess we'll both have to come back some time to retrieve our dignity, yeah?" he offered by way of acknowledging the subject and moving on thank you kindly.
"Please, please don't mention this to Hermione," Ron muttered with agonized eyes, evidently still reeling from the fact he'd defended Draco Malfoy.
"Wouldn't dream of it." Harry grinned, relaxing a bit for the first time since he'd seen that damned newspaper. "Alright then," he turned to the other Aurors with as much authority he could manage, "let's go check the wards on this place and see if we can reinforce them. After that, we can spread out and talk to the Veela, figure out if they have any idea who would want to attack them. Dean, you and," he gestured to Trainee number one, "come with me, and you," Harry squinted to read the other's nametag, "Lewis, go with Ron."
Orders given with minimal mishaps, Harry winked apologetically to Ron, and set off to examine the perimeters. Ron and Harry had five years' experience at this, plus the combat they'd faced during the War, so it really was best to divide their strength to avoid any accidents. Dean was shaping up to be fantastic, but he and Ron would be less likely to get distracted and bollocks it up for the trainees. Lewis and Paxton, Harry reprimanded himself sharply. He really ought to stop thinking of them like cattle, even if they lived up to the expectation more often than not.
Harry supposed, belatedly, that he should have expected Malfoy to follow them, regardless of how much it put him ill at ease. The Veela was unpredictable and wicked fast, traits Harry appreciated in a Snitch, but not someone he much liked having near him while trying to work, especially when that Veela was Draco Malfoy.
"Malfoy! We're trying to keep the lot of you safe, and you are completely in the way. Shove off yeah?" And Harry hoped that would be the end of it, but of course Fate hated him and so the blond stayed. Wanker.
"Keeping us safe?" Draco asked in a deceptively calm voice. "Where were you when the others were slaughtered like pigs? I have family in danger and none of your Aurors were there to save them!" His voice ended on a high-pitched sound that no human throat should be able to make. But this was Malfoy, and Harry had always known he couldn't be completely human anyway.
Temper scarcely in check, Harry spoke through clenched teeth. "We are here now, and are trying to do our job. So would you kindly shut up?"
The blond looked ready to rip Harry apart, but a woman he didn't recognise placed a hand on Draco's arm and drew him back. He glanced briefly at her face, seeing the agony and worry etched there like a hieroglyph, and felt the aggravation ease just a little.
Successfully de-Malfoy-ed for the moment, they were at last able to conjure strong wards into being and Harry nodded as he pressed against them. Moving to check on the other team revealed less promising results; weak and improperly formed, they wobbled dangerously under his inspection. Just as he opened his mouth to demand an explanation of his normally capable best friend, however, everything exploded into a cloud of white.