And we're back…Maybe.
It's been long overdue so let's get on with it. Special thanks to the people who inspired me to get off my bum and get this one finished.
This one's for my readers who haven't jumped ship yet.
Fleur had seen many dreams over the course of her life. Some good, some bad…the frequency of the latter increased ever since her visit to the Dursleys. She'd had her fair share of lucid dreams too…but this, this was on a whole other level.
She didn't even know if she was actually dreaming or awake. Usually you're supposed to wake up when you realized you were dreaming right? But that wasn't happening. She knew none of this could be real, and yet it was.
It was cold. The wind was unforgiving as it cut into her skin like blades. She could also hear the distant sound of what was unmistakably the sea; the sound of waves. She could even taste the saltiness in the air.
How was this possible? This was definitely not a dream…yet she couldn't find any other explanation for being here. She had no idea where she was either…this couldn't be anywhere near her home…they were nowhere near the sea. The only source of light she had was from the moon which was half hidden behind the darkened clouds.
Where was she? Where's Harry? How did she get here? All those questions were piling up in her head as she wrapped her arms around herself tightly, the beginnings of panic settling in. In the distant horizon though…she could see what seemed to be a...tree?
She stared at it for a few moments, trying to force herself to think. She had nowhere else to go. Behind her she could see a small pathway but she couldn't see what was at the end of it. It was all downhill behind her and something was giving her a very bad feeling about the swirling darkness at the bottom.
This only left her with her choice, uphill, towards the giant tree.
She cautiously started making her way upwards. The soles of her feet were not exactly used to the rather rough terrain as she stumbled more than once, brining her dangerously close to the edge of the cliffs. Although she couldn't see what was below her clearly, she knew that if she lost her footing, there would be no coming back.
Still, in a surprisingly short amount of time she found herself coming up front of the tree. It…honestly, it looked so familiar to her even though she couldn't offer herself a rational explanation.
The tree itself looked rather strange…unlike anything she'd seen before. It looked like it was a rather light, very light shade of grey. It was unmistakably dead…however; there were signs of life around it. There were some leaves growing in rather odd places all around the tree. Even as she watched one of them broke off and floated down towards her as she reached out with her hand, allowing it to come to rest gently at the palm of her hand.
The leaf was a rather odd transparent silver…it was like it was formed out of ice. It stood there on the palm of her hand for a few moments before it broke away slowly, right before her eyes. Inexplicably she felt a sharp pang of sadness as she watched the leaf turn into nothing more than small pieces of dust before being carried off into the darkness by the wind.
She suddenly heard what sounded like breathing which pulled her out of her reverie. It sounded almost as if someone was…asleep? Here?
She slowly edged around the tree, trying to ignore the way her heart was hammering in her chest. The front of the tree was overlooking the edge of the cliff and if one took more than a couple of steps off the base, there was no other way but down. Heights were something she never had an affinity for, despite her heritage.
What she saw on the ground at the base of the tree almost made her lose her footing.
"'Arry!" She gasped.
He was unconscious…or was he asleep? She couldn't tell. His head was resting rather uncomfortably against the tree and he wasn't giving the slightest indication that he'd heard her.
She called his name again, but to no avail. She tried to move closer to him when suddenly, branches sprung up from the ground making her take several steps backwards coming dangerously close to the edge.
Even as she watched the branches wound themselves around him, effectively tying him to the tree. Despite this he showed no signs of regaining consciousness, if he was even…
"No!" She couldn't let that thought form in her mind. She ripped her way through, desperately trying to loosen the bonds but they had wrapped themselves around him too tightly. More branches were coming out from the ground, wrapping around her arms and pulling them back, away from him. The more she struggled, the tighter the branches dug into her skin, making her gasp as she felt her skin tear.
"I would advise you to stop doing that." A quiet voice said, seemingly from nowhere. At once the branches that were holding her in place loosened and sunk back to the ground. Harry's were still in place and showed no signs of letting him go other than a few that receded. Before she could pinpoint the source of the voice it spoke again. "As you can see you're not helping him…or yourself."
At this point she couldn't believe she wasn't dreaming when she saw the tall, hooded figure standing right beside the tree.
All at once something clicked in her mind. She'd seen this…apparition…before. But where?
The…was it a man or woman? She couldn't tell. Was it even human? It bore a startling resemblance to a full fledged Dementor other than the fact that it wasn't floating, nor did it look…wispy.
Neither made a move to speak. She got the feeling that it was waiting for her to do something...anything. She could practically feel it's gaze despite the fact that the hood covered nothing but a dark hole.
She tried to move towards Harry again who was still bound to the tree. Before she could reach close enough to touch him the branches came back to life; rising from the ground and forming a barrier around him. The sharpened edges looked positively menacing as they stood poised to strike, almost like a poisonous snake…daring her to take another step forward.
"Please…can't you 'elp? I must get him out." She asked in desperation, turning towards the figure.
"I'm afraid I can't do anything to help." It said softly, the voice was no louder than a whisper. "However…" It lifted a skeletal hand that seemed to gleam in the moonlight and pointed right at her. "You just might be able to do what I cannot."
"You…who are you?" She asked cautiously, taking a few steps back away from the tree as once again, the branches returned to the Earth. "Why have you done this to him?"
"I assure you…I have done nothing." For a moment she thought she could detect some emotion behind that ghostly voice. It seemed to pause for a moment, watching Harry who was still lying unconsciously against the tree, oblivious to what was going on before him. "Tell me…" It turned back to her. "Do you know where we are?"
"Are you sure?" It pressed. "You have never seen this place before?"
She stared blankly at it for a few moments before her eyes fell on Harry again. The way his eyes were closed…she felt as if she was missing something.
Her attention turned to the tree instead. Despite the fact that it had so far done its best to keep her away from him, going so far as to physically threaten her, she wasn't quite…well…afraid of it. It was difficult to explain. When there was danger nearby, the natural response is to run…basically stay as far as possible away from it. By all accounts she should be feeling the same thing from this particular tree that had attacked her, but she wasn't.
Acting on a hunch she slowly edged back towards the other side, the figure watching her quietly. Now she could see a slight difference. The 'front'…where Harry was bound, the area around him was a bit darker from the light grey. It looked like a…corruption?
The back…where she was facing now, was the part from where she could see the few low hanging branches from which a few leaves were still hanging on.
This time no branches came out from the ground as she approached the unblemished side. Rather, it was almost as if it were beckoning her over. She gently pressed the palm of her hand to the tree and suddenly she was feeling a very familiar sensation flowing through her body.
It was Harry…or to be more specific, the feeling of his magic. The sense of deep calm that settled over her was enough to confirm what it was.
She removed her hand slowly, glancing up at the figure helplessly.
"We're in a place that can loosely be described as the world between the living…and that of the dead." It said indifferently. "Although it does not look the same for everyone…this place for example…" It gestured vaguely towards the distant horizon as the sound of waves crashing increased in tempo. "…Is unique to Harry Potter. It has been constructed by his very being…his soul."
She took a moment to digest this. What was surprising her was how utterly calm she was despite what she was hearing. Maybe it was the effect of Harry's magic, calming her and making her feel safe as it always did, but another was the fact that she seemed to be accepting what this apparition was telling her without question.
It… no, he (so far by the voice she had come to the conclusion that it was too low to belong to a female) if what he was saying is true, he wanted to help. Right now that was the only thing she wanted to hear…and it wasn't like she had any other choice.
Then the hooded figure did something she'd never have expected. He…chuckled? It was a rather mirthless laugh and was a bit off putting to be honest, but it was a display of some human emotion.
"Yes, I do want to help. After all it just won't do for me to lose someone with as much potential as him." He seemed to have momentarily forgotten about her before she felt his penetrating gaze on her again sending a shiver down her spine as she stared into the bottomless depths of the hood. "I do not expect you to even begin to understand what's happening…or what's in store for both of you in the future. After all…it is not something that's clear even for me."
"I have shown you this because you need to be aware. Right now his greatest fear is that you will turn your back on him if he ever revealed everything. I cannot simply observe while I lose a great asset simply because of petty fears. And…" He pressed a long, skeletal finger against the tree. "You just might be the only one who can stop what's to come."
"Stop wha-…" She began to ask before her words died in throat. Although she couldn't see the front, where Harry was, the corruption she'd noticed earlier from there seemed to be spreading. Even as she watched the corruption spread like spider webs, covering the whole tree and darkening it, turning it from its earlier pale grey to a rather sickly light brown. The few leaves that were on it were falling off, disintegrating into nothingness before any of them could hit the ground.
"No." She whispered. She didn't want to see what was at the front…where Harry was. She couldn't…
"I have shown you part of the future." The figure said quietly. "It is up to you to change it."
And then everything went dark.
She was back in her room, in her bed. Her heart was hammering against her chest and sweat pouring down her face.
She reached to her side instinctively, but all she was met with was emptiness. A fresh surge of panic coursed through her when she found that Harry wasn't beside her.
It was still two in the morning judging by the clock as she quickly got to her feet. His wand was gone from the bedside table and she saw that the door to their room was half open. Quickly slipping into a pair of discarded shorts on the floor (she never wore anything besides one of his shirts to bed, much to his delight) and grabbing her wand, she slipped outside quietly.
As it turned out, she wouldn't have to go far. Down the hall past Gabrielle's room there was a light blue glow illuminating the darkened corridor.
Cautiously she approached it, her wand held rather shakily in her hand. She peered carefully around the corner before breathing a long sigh of relief when she found him.
He was sitting at the window sill, gazing at the darkened sky while absentmindedly stroking a…she had to rub her eyes to make sure she wasn't dreaming, a glowing…serpent? And unless she was mistaken, it was floating.
"Did I wake you?" He asked quietly, without turning around. It was a few moments before he turned towards her, flashing her a wan smile as the creature entwined itself around his neck.
"'Ow did you…?" He shook his head before tapping a finger to his ear. Of course…how could she have forgotten? "Right…but…what in ze world is zat?" Almost as soon as the words had escaped her mouth the creature shot towards her, nuzzling into her hand where her wand was held loosely before proceeding to zip around her playfully like a hyperactive owl.
"He likes you." Harry said with a small laugh, turning around so he was facing her.
"What…I can't even…slow down!" To her surprise the creature immediately stopped, coming to rest right in front of her and eyeing her curiously.
It must have been something Harry had conjured but it was unlike anything she'd ever seen before.
Her earlier assumption that it was a serpent wasn't too far off. Its body was serpentine, roughly about a meter long. The face wasn't snake like at all though…rather; the front looked closer to a dragon's head than anything. The two horns on its head helped.
What made her think it was something Harry conjured was the fact that it was practically glowing a light blue color. In fact, it looked more or less like a corporeal patronous than anything…other than the fact it was a light, electric blue. Its eyes that were gazing at her curiously looked like bottomless pits of flaming white; she could practically see some of its essence flowing out.
She slowly reached out to it, making it back away from her momentarily before it floated closer to her. When her fingers lightly grazed its head it immediately zipped back to Harry who was watching it amusement as it wrapped itself around his neck like a strange glowing scarf. She felt her lips twitch upwards at its antics as it floated shyly back to her, this time rubbing its head against her hand and surprisingly, it felt as if she were touching a warm, smooth surface.
"What are you…" She murmured softly, watching as it wrapped itself around her arm. It reached up before entwining itself around her neck just like it'd done with Harry who chuckled at her expression before it slowly faded away into nothingness. "Non…was eet somezing I did?" She asked in a slightly hurt voice.
"No…no, don't worry. He's just tired. I'm surprised he lasted this long actually." He added as an afterthought.
"What is eet anyway?" She asked curiously. She'd honestly never seen anything like that before.
"Well…ahh…I guess you could call it my familiar?" Even he sounded unsure. "Well, magical familiar I guess. I can't really say…it works on the same principles as a Patronous charm. You know…how the form it takes is unique to the caster and all that?"
"But zat was definitely not a Patronous charm. Correct?"
"Yeah. It's just something I found from one of your father's old tomes." She narrowed her eyes at this before groaning.
"I assume you're talking about ze books 'e 'as written in Runes?" He nodded slowly. "'Arry! Zose are some of ze old books zat were uncovered from Orléans by my grand fazzer! What if you cast somezing you didn't know ze effects to?"
"I…I'm sorry…I didn't realize…I just thought…" He started stammering, his eyes widening in horror. "I'm so sorry, I thought they were some rather old books but I didn't think…"
Taking note of his panicked expression she forced herself to calm down. No small feat, given how she was constantly worrying about the damage he could do to himself by playing around with magic, especially the more uncommon ones. This was a perfect example. "Eet doesn't matter you read zem…" She shook her head. "Ze fact zat you understood enough to even start casting…"
"It's not hard. It's just runes. I mean, they just wrote them right to left instead of the normal left to right so I just…" He went quiet at her look.
"I don't want to know. But what 'ave I told you-better yet, what 'ave your mentors told you about practicing magic zat's not known about much?"
"But I knew what that spell was going t-" He began before her eyes narrowed. "Sorry, I'll be more careful next time." He finished meekly while she watched him with her arms crossed.
"Good. So…" She wrapped her arms around his neck from the back. "Teach me later?" She asked, gazing at him pleadingly.
Silence fell for a while as they looked at each other. Harry looked like he'd just been hit by a Confundus charm before he suddenly burst out laughing making her punch his shoulder playfully. "You liked that hmm?" He asked, wriggling his eyebrows.
"'E was cute." She said defensively. "You've been sneaking off to play wiz your new pet now?"
"What? No…" He sighed. "I just couldn't sleep for some reason. I didn't want to wake you though…" He added apologetically. "Sorry about that."
"'Arry…" She said disapprovingly while he put up his hands in protest. "Never mind…up." She commanded. As soon as he'd gotten up she sat down where he'd been just a few seconds ago. Ignoring his bemused expression she patted her lap. "Sit."
"Do I 'ave to ask you again?" She asked, narrowing her eyes.
"I'm heavy! And besides I-" Without giving him a chance to say anything more she pulled him down, wrapping her arms around him, locking him in place as he tried to struggle.
An odd sense of relief flooded into her as she held him to her as she remembered her earlier panic at not finding him beside her when she'd woken up a few minutes ago although right now she was having a hard time trying to remember why she'd been so afraid in the first place.
All she knew was that she needed to reassure herself right now.
"Fleur…this probably is uncomfortable for you." He mumbled halfheartedly although from the way he was leaning back into her chest she could tell he rather liked it.
"You? 'Eavy? I could carry you if I wanted to." He really was light despite having grown so much over the past year. She was still taller than him though…just a little bit. They had both been at the same height for some time…he'd really had a growth spurt during the Triwizard tournament and the summer afterwards. But it seemed like she'd gained an inch or two over him when her Veela maturity had pushed her to her peak.
"Don't tell anyone else that." He grumbled.
"What?" She asked with a wicked grin. "I zink Sirius would find zat razzer interesting."
"Noooooo. Please no. Not him." He moaned. "He won't let me hear the end of it. He's already going on about how I'm looking more and more like a girl with each day." She smiled softly before resting her head on his shoulder.
"Is zat a bad zing? Aww…you don't like eet when 'e does zat ma petite?" She cooed, nipping at his ear gently feeling the heat in his face rise. Laughing at his affronted look she added, "You 'ad ze same look when zat man was flirting wiz me zat day."
"Did not." He growled, turning away.
"Yes you did." Another low growl escaped him. "You know I wasn't being serious when I accepted zat flower non? I was only teasing you..." She finished quietly making him stiffen slightly.
"What? Of course I knew that." He said softly, turning so that he could look up at her. "Is that what's been bothering you? I know I got a bit...well…"
"Moody?" She supplied. That was an understatement. He'd practically sulked the whole time. He looked a bit abashed but brightened up almost immediately when she pecked his cheek. "Neverzeless, I'm sorry for zat. Alzough I admit I did like watching you get jealous over eet."
"I can't help it." He grumbled making her smile down at him.
"I'm glad." He gazed at her before shaking his head with a low chuckle.
"One of these days I'll understand what goes in the mind of a woman."
"Why do I 'ave a 'ard time believing zat…" Shaking his head in amusement they settled into a comfortable silence as they watched the sky. With every minute that past it seemed like more stars were popping up. "All ready for zis week zen?" She asked after a while, her fingers running absentmindedly through his hair.
He sighed softly before leaning back into her. "As ready as I'll ever be I guess…"
Starting Monday he was going to be taking his finals after which he was pretty much done with his magical education…if he was willing to be. But she knew him. He wasn't going to rest with just completing the main three branches of magical study as was the norm nowadays; Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration and Charms. But…at least it was an extremely heavy load off his back and he'd be free to pursue any career path while being accepted as a fully qualified wizard.
What he studied after that was up to him depending on his career choice.
"Just…make sure you don't show off too much." He turned so that he was facing her, a deeply offended look on his face. Before he could speak however she quickly silenced him by placing a finger to his lips.
"I know you don't mean to, but ze moment you show 'ow much you can do, eet will be one zing after anozzer. No one will be willing to let someone else take you under zeir wing. I already don't get to spend enough time wiz my fiancé as eet is and I will never forgive you if you take somezing zat will put you in some kind of institute on ze ozzer side of ze map."
"But I won't! Do you really think I'd do that?" He asked in a hurt voice.
"Non." She smiled. "Just making sure." He nodded slowly before turning and leaning back into her.
A few more minutes passed as they lapsed back into a comfortable silence. The wind was getting colder and half of her wanted to get back to bed but she couldn't seem to convince herself to release him just yet from her grip. All the while she was trying to remember what had gotten her so agitated when she'd woken up.
There was one thing though…the rustling of the leaves in the wind. It was only natural; after all as far as they could see outside it was just a dense thicket of trees that comprised their backyard.
That sound however, was making her uneasy for a reason she couldn't even begin to explain. The trees, the leaves…even the sound of the wind…it was all rather unsettling.
"You never did tell me why you woke up." Harry said softly after a while.
"I can't remember." She whispered, the bad feeling from earlier returned and almost instinctively her arms tightened around him. "I zink I 'ad a nightmare."
"You okay?" He asked in a concerned voice. "Shall we get back to our room?"
"Non! Zis is fine." Even as she said it she could feel her teeth chatter slightly from the cold. She was just wearing her usual nightclothes after all.
"Your hands are trembling." He said quietly. She couldn't even tell why she was nervous, or why she was afraid something bad would happen to him. "What's wrong?"
"Nozing 'Arry. But please…can't we just stay like zis for a while?" She asked, a hint of desperation coloring her voice. He gazed up at her, those emerald green eyes boring into hers. She felt like he was looking right into her, reading her like an open book.
Before she could utter another word he suddenly reached up, his lips grazing hers in a soft, almost feather like kiss which she returned with renewed fervor after a few seconds of initial surprise. It was just what she needed. She could feel some of the uneasiness vanish as she felt a warm, pleasant feeling rise in her chest. At that moment she felt as if he knew what was going on in her head and was trying to put some of her fears at ease with the best way he knew.
Needless to say it worked.
After several long, sweet moments she felt him rest his head against the crook of her neck; his warm breath tickling her slightly. "Tell me if I get too heavy..." She could tell he was just inches away from falling asleep. She buried her face in his hair for a few moments before kissing the top of his head.
"You'll never be 'eavy for me you foolish boy." She whispered softly, the same fierce protectiveness that had caused her to lash out on that day at those monsters he used to call his family rose in her as she watched his eyes droop shut slowly.
"WHAT?!." Hermione's voice made several people's heads snap up in her direction.
"Hermione?" Ron asked curiously, his food lying momentarily forgotten in front of him as he stared at her. She looked like she'd gotten a nine out of ten on one of their tests as she was gazing at the front page of the Daily Prophet.
"Look at this!" She cried, throwing the paper in front of him. He peered at the cover with Ginny.
MASS BREAKOUT FROM AZKABAN
Ministry Fears Black is "Rallying Point" for Old Death Eaters
There was a picture of the fortress surrounded by choppy waters. On the next page there were pictures of 10 notable Death Eaters who had escaped along with a few notes stating some of their main crimes and further in there was an interview with Fudge.
"We feared this would happen, ever since Black escaped he'd just been bidding his time until he could get the rest of his-oh…it just goes on and on to mention how close they were to catching him the last time" Ginny muttered, flipping through the pages.
"Why can't Fudge just accept what Dumbedore and Harry's been saying all this time and admit you-know-who's returned?" Hermione sighed, glancing up at the staff table. "It'd at least be a real blow against that woman."
All three of them turned towards the object of their displeasure. Umbridge.
Ever since Harry left it seemed like she'd just gotten drunk with power. According to the subtle hints she kept dropping during lessons (if you could call reading an elementary level book on magic that), it was her who had succeeded in driving the 'lying little nuisance' out of Hogwarts, and ultimately out of magical Britain. Supposedly that was a great achievement for her and the Ministry.
Now though…she seemed to be getting increasingly edgy. Rumors have been flying around about attacks on remote villages, werewolf attacks…not the bloody massacres but coordinated attacks. Important Ministry officials had turned up missing and an Unspeakable from the Department of Mysteries by the name of Boderick Bode, a name they knew only too well because of Mr. Weasley, had been strangled to death by Devil's snare while in St. Mungo's on Christmas Eve.
"Wonder how she's going to react with all this." Ron muttered in a low voice. "She's already bad…she can't get worse…right?"
She'd been going on a rampage in school, imposing one educational decree over another. She was basically taking away student's rights one after the other. Just recently there had been an Educational decree that forbade any students or teachers from discussing anything not relevant to schoolwork in Hogwarts.
"Knowing her...of course." Hermione growled under her breath.
"I'm just wondering why Dumbledore's just letting her do whatever she wants to…it's as if he doesn't care she's basically running this place now." Ginny sighed, buttering herself a piece of toast as she glanced up at the staff table.
Hermione followed her gaze and sure enough, there was the headmaster looking as jovial as ever and chatting with Professor Flitwick. If he was at all effected by the news on today's paper, he was doing a really good job in hiding it.
"Wouldn't surprise me if he's just given up too." Ron said snidely. "I mean if Potter-"
"'Potter'? What is this…did I sit at the wrong house table again?" A voice came from Hermione's right.
"No, no, this is the correct table. See? Red." An identical voice came from her left.
"What do you two want?" Ginny snapped as the identical grinning faces of the twins appeared on either side of Hermione.
"Pardon me miss but is this seat taken?" Fred asked, pointing at the one on the left beside her where Ginny was sitting. Without giving his sister a chance to answer he promptly flicked his wand moving her unceremoniously to the empty seat beside her before dropping into it. "Oh look George! She's even made me breakfast…bless her soul." He exclaimed before picking up the piece of toast she'd buttered earlier and biting into it, ignoring her indignant "Hey!"
"Ahh…toast. Just like dear old mother used to make." George sighed before dropping into the seat to the right.
"What do you two want?" This time it was Ron who asked, his eyes narrowed.
Hermione squirmed uncomfortably. She did not want to be in the middle of this bit of family disagreement. Well…to call it a family disagreement would be a bit of an understatement; A rift had opened up in the Weasley family and the twins were now standing on the other side.
As she had come to understand it, the twins had been serious about opening up a joke shop. She'd always thought that they were just messing around with their little pranks they'd been entertaining the Gryffindor common room with while terrorizing Umbridge (those fireworks they used just over three weeks ago were impressive…even she had to admit that.), but as it turns out, they were more than just a little serious about their sole aim in life being to open a joke shop.
About two weeks ago Ron had stumbled (at least that's what he said) onto a letter the twins had gotten. All three of them had been rather intrigued by the secretive nature of the two for the past few months now; They had stopped trying to sell their 'products' in the evenings and had instead opted to sit in the dark corners of the common room speaking in whispers and writing long rolls of parchment. All they knew for sure was one thing, this wasn't schoolwork.
Back to the letter…it was a notification saying that they had been successful in renting out Number 93, Diagon Alley.
Ron had then immediately informed his mother with Ginny's urging…and hers too. After all it was for their own good right? She agreed wholeheartedly with Mrs. Weasley. A joke shop was a terrible idea that offered little to no future. And also, how in the world did they even manage to get money to open up a shop by themselves? It felt like it was something their parents needed to know.
She never anticipated it would turn out like this. She'd always thought that they were messing around just like the others had…she was only looking out for them like the rest of their family were trying to do.
Things had gone downhill from there. The entire school knew by now thanks to the howler Mrs. Weasley had sent them which exploded one morning at breakfast screaming about how she was going to have them sent back home if they didn't stop this 'madness'. That had been the final straw.
They had flat-out refused to abide by their mother's rules. The ensuing rows that took place between them and the remaining younger Weasleys shook the Gryffindor tower for many nights. The twins were downright furious that Ron and Ginny had 'butted in' to their business.
The worst part was that when Mrs. Weasley had threatened that they wouldn't be welcome at home anymore if they went through with this, they'd accepted it without question. From what she knew now neither of the twins were planning on returning to the Burrow after this year ended…or back to Hogwarts to finish their final year for that matter.
"Well my dear mentally challenged brother of mine…" Fred began with a wicked grin making Ron's ears go red.
"We just dropped in to give you these." George finished for throwing a handful of cards to the middle of the table. "One each."
"What are these?" Ginny muttered, picking one up and looking it over. Reaching over she too took one (albeit cautiously). At the front in large golden letters were the words "Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes".
"Dear me…it seems our once intelligent little sister has lost the ability to read…" Fred sighed in mock sadness.
"Why…it's an invitation of course! You are all invited to the grand opening of our brand new Joke shop!" George chimed in.
"If you look at the back and follow the instructions, the date of the opening, address and a coupon good for a whopping 20% off of all purchases will all be revealed." Fred finished happily.
Hermione couldn't help the small nostalgic smile that flickered across her lips as she looked at the back. The words 'I solemnly swear I am up to no good' were etched at the middle.
"You're really going through with it…" Ron muttered incredulously.
"Of course we are." Fred smirked. "Our shop hasn't even opened yet and we're already breaking even with the new orders we're getting each day. Why in the world wouldn't we be going through with this?"
"But…how?! How did you get money to open up a shop?!" Ginny cried. "Was it dad? Or Bill? Or…"
"Shut up." George suddenly snapped making her go quiet almost immediately. "Wasn't getting me and Fred out of the house enough for you? You want to get the rest of the family too or something?"
"But…I-we didn't do that! We never…"
"Yeah yeah..." Fred waved his hand airily. "George, stop scaring them." He added. George's glare disappeared and was replaced by his usual grin so suddenly that it was scary. "Well, no point in keeping everything under wraps at this point right George?"
"Agreed." George shrugged. "After all it wouldn't do to have our family…" He jerked his head towards Ron and Ginny."…and their personal advisor, the resident know-it-all" She felt her heart drop at the scathing tone he used accompanied by the disdainful look he shot her. "…be harping to dear mother about how we might be…what was it you were saying a few days back with these two Hermione? Oh right, about how we might be selling stolen items with Mundungus to make money."
She felt her cheeks redden but she carefully avoided looking at them, instead concentrating on her food. Indeed she had voiced her thoughts to Ron and Ginny. It seemed logical given the hours they spent talking to Mundungus when they were all at Grimmauld Place last summer.
"What are we supposed to think?" Ron snapped. "We know you two are making money but there's no way you could've made enough to open a shop by yourself."
"That's not true at all. We actually did make a killing last year by betting on the underdogs for the tournament." Fred said brightly.
"See, we unlike most people never lost faith on our dear Harrykins…or on his *ahem* friend last year." George admonished with a smirk as Ron's scowl deepened. Ginny huffed before crossing her arms on her chest.
"It was the one time I enjoyed doing business with the Slytherins…Merlin I loved the looks on their faces when we went to collect what they owed…" Fred muttered dreamily.
"But anyways, just to clear the air here, Harry gave us his Triwizard winnings. Those were more than enough to get us the contacts we needed."
"He just gave you the winnings?! You?! But I'm his…"
"Mind what you say little brother, if you're not careful we just might cross you off our guest list for the opening." Fred threatened. "No free sugar quills for you either."
"You can go ahead and tell mom that." George yawned before standing up. "Mind you, do tell her not to send one of her special howlers to him? Don't really know what might end up happening to her."
"Well, think we're done here?" Fred asked, standing up too.
"Yeah. Oh, you three better be careful about what you may eat or drink…"
"You never know when there could be a canary cream hidden in there."
"Or…you know…a ton tongue toffee?" George asked, looking at his brother. "Give them some options at least?"
"You heard the man. Well, I do believe our job here's done so…toodles!"
George stayed for a moment, as soon as Fred was out of earshot he bent low and whispered. "Do me a favor and wait until the afternoon before you send another letter to mom." Seeing their faces he added; "I bet him that you'd at least wait till classes were done for the day." before jogging off after his brother.
Back at the table Ron's face had started turning an unhealthy shade of purple. "I can't believe Harry'd give the money to those two! We're his best friends! I mean really, after everything we've been through together-"
"Some friends we were." Hermione muttered under her breath. Ron seemed to have heard it.
"We did try to make amends! I tried but that git never…"
"Did you really Ronald?" She snapped, shutting him up. "The only reason you tried was because of that Veela and her friends who were always hanging around him. It was pathetic! All you did whenever we went to try to talk to him was stare at her like a drooling idiot and then moan about how unfair your life is with those ignorant oafs you hang around with."
"I didn't do that." He grumbled, avoiding her eyes.
"Oh really? Let me tell you something even more pathetic; The last time they came over, you fought tooth and nail to sit next to her at dinner." Ginny stifled a giggle at the memory. "Do you even know how creepy that was? All you did was look at her whenever you could, despite the fact that you know who she's with." She finished with a disgusted expression before getting up and glancing at her watch. "Defense study is an hour. Let the others know we're meeting at classroom number 14 on the 6th floor. And try to do more than just being a brainless target for me this time if I'm paired with you."
With that she was gone leaving the two red heads staring after her.
"Bloody hell…what's got her so mad? One minute she's fine, the next she just…" Ron trailed off, staring after her.
"Piece of-" A cough stopped Harry from completing his sentence.
"What have I told you about zat kind of language." Picking himself off the floor he stumbled unsteadily before a pair of arms caught him and held him steady. "Here…" He felt someone push his glasses gently back onto his face and found himself looking at Apolline.
"Thanks." He said gratefully, offering her a quick smile which she returned.
"I would have come over to get you if you 'ad told me you'd be finishing up so soon."
"I didn't think I'd be done so soon." He admitted, allowing her to brush the soot of his face. This was just one more thing he hated about the floo…magic, so many possibilities and yet the idiot who thought up of floo powder just had to use fireplaces as gateways.
"So…anyway, you're all done no? How was it?"
"Erm…can't say. It was a bit harder than what I was expecting but I think I managed to get it all." He mumbled, scratching his head. "Think I answered a few wrong too and I think I messed up a bit during the practical...the Transfiguration examiner looked like she was going to eat me."
"You'll be fine." She said reassuringly, putting her arm around his shoulder. "I remember the last time I took my finals…I was positive I got every single thing wrong. As for her, she was probably just trying to scare you…or who knows? Maybe she just found you a little irresistible." She chuckled at his loud groan. "There's someone here to meet you by the way."
Before he could even ask a familiar voice called from the side. "Still falling flat on your face eh?"
"Sirius!" He yelled happily as he ran over to his godfather who laughed before hugging him tightly. The last time he'd seen him was the day he'd gotten engaged to Fleur. "When did you get here?"
"Literally just over a minute ago…Well, you've gotten taller." Sirius said happily, ruffling his hair. "And prettier too since the last time I saw you." He added, smirking at the brief scowl that appeared on his godson's face. "And you as well milady." He added, winking at Apolline who was watching in amusement.
"And you 'aven't changed a bit." She shot back, smirking at the wounded look that appeared on his face.
"Didn't Remus come too?" Harry asked as the three made their way towards the dining table.
"No…he had some work to finish. And someone has to be at Grimmauld Place to let the Order members in anyway." He replied as they slid into their seats, Apolline disappearing behind the counter.
"So you came alone?" Her voice floated in. "Strange…"
"Yeah…wait, what? Strange? Why's that strange?" He asked, the tone of his voice getting a bit defensive.
"Well…" Harry caught her eye as she came back into view and both of their faces split into unnervingly identical grins (something which Fleur had commented on quite a lot by now), "…you two 'ardly ever seem to go anywhere wizout each other. We were starting to zink…"
"NO!" He roared, "We're not like that! What in the name of Merlin...you…I can't believe that, me. Remus…oh my…" He couldn't stop spluttering as he looked in horror at Harry and Apolline, both of who were dissolving into hysterics. "You two are so….ugh."
"But Sirius, what about the Christmas during your 6th year?" Harry asked innocently, his eyes alight with mischief.
"The Christmas of…" He started before his face drained all color and he looked sick. "How…who…?"
"Oh…Tonks told us the last time we were there." Harry said brightly while Apolline was giggling uncontrollably.
"And…you know too?" He asked in horror, looking at Apolline who only nodded before dissolving into further peals of laughter. "It was a prank that went wrong! It was meant for James and Lily! I swear!"
"Oh come now Sirius…you and Remus would make a cute couple." Apolline said humorously. This proved too much for Harry who burst out laughing at the stricken look on his godfather's face.
A few minutes passed before Harry and Apolline could coax Sirius out of his minor tantrum. Only after a couple of Apolline's homemade cookies did it seem that Sirius had finally forgiven them enough to speak to them. Albeit grudgingly.
"You two are bad influences on each other." He huffed. "I can't remember my godson being so bad…nor you Apolline."
"Well…'e's mine now non?" She smiled lovingly at Harry, who to Sirius's shock, blushed slightly before grinning back at her.
He felt his own spirits rise at the obvious sign of affection between the two. Not wanting to ruin the moment he chose not to comment on it.
"So Harry, how were the finals?"
"Not bad…not so good either though…" He muttered listlessly.
"Come on…I know you. Stop being so unsure of yourself, you know how much I hate it when you do that."
"No buts. Stop thinking about that now…you're on vacation! Use this month or two to just enjoy yourselves alright? Trust me, after this it's all going to get harder." He said before glancing around. "Speaking of…where's Fleur?"
"She had to go to work in the morning…emergency." Harry muttered.
"She should be back soon zough…" Apolline said, glancing at the clock. "I spoke to 'er on ze fire about an 'our before you got back. She said she should be done by seven."
A few minutes passed as they got caught up on the latest of what was going on back in England. Apart from the mass breakout from Azkaban things were still going as normal…which was a bit hard to believe considering the effect of what those new should have, but…as Sirius said, the community believed whatever the papers printed and it seemed that Fudge had again pinned the blame for that in the wrong direction.
"Merlin…I almost forgot…" Sirius mumbled, digging around his pockets for something before he pulled out a crumpled but sealed envelope. Swearing under his breath at the state of it he tapped it with his wand smoothing it out before handing it to Harry who looked at it strangely.
"This is a muggle envelope." Harry remarked before turning it over as the color drained slightly from his face at the sight of the name on it.
"Yeah." Sirius said quietly while Apolline was eyeing it with distaste. "You don't have to read it if you don't want to. Something's happened…"
"What happened? They're not…" He began uncertainly, unsure of what he was feeling. No matter what, no matter how many times he'd wished…
"No. They're alright…well, their house was burned down and they've all suffered some severe burns but apart from that they're alright. As for the letter…well, apparently she wanted to say a few things to you so…" He nodded at the envelope.
"Oh…" He murmured softly, gazing at the name written in front; Petunia Dursley. After all this time, after everything….exactly what did she have to say to him?
"Family's family after all Harry…I think you should give her a chance." Sirius said gently, missing the shadow that crossed Harry's face as he fought the urge to lash out at his godfather. Family? Where was he when he was being treated like an animal at that place? How dare he even suggest that those monsters were part of his family.
Crumpling the envelope in his hand he stood up abruptly before walking off leaving a stunned Sirius behind.
"Did I say something wrong?" Sirius asked helplessly, looking at Apolline. "I mean I know they didn't exactly get along with each other but…"
Her eyes widened slightly as it hit her. He didn't know.
"Non. 'E just…" For a moment she wondered if she'd do the right thing by telling him what she knew, but then thought against it. Her own daughter who was extremely kind hearted could not stop herself from harming them for what they did to Harry. If Sirius found out, he would really become a murderer. "Eet's…a touchy subject wiz 'im. From what I could get out of 'im, zey weren't ze kind of family a child should 'ave 'ad."
"I should apologize…" Sirius muttered, standing up before she pulled him back down.
"Non, leave 'im be for now. 'E needs some time alone. Let 'im calm down for now."
Sirius stared at her for a few moments before letting out a long, drawn out sigh. Silence settled in for a few moments before his strained voice broke it. "How do you do it?"
"How is it that you know him, understand him a lot more than I do after having only a few months with him? I mean…I tried so hard to be there for him after I got to him but…here you are, doing a much better job at it." He finished sullenly.
"But…you are zere for 'im." She said in surprise. "'E looks up to you! You are 'is family!"
"Yeah but…" He shook his head. "I spent close to an entire year watching over him. I thought I had a good grasp of who he was when I first met him, but I soon realized the person I watched back then wasn't Harry."
"Even Remus saw through him before I did. And now…just watching how he behaves around you…that just shows me that after all this time I still don't know him. I never thought I'd see the day he'd even look to anyone other than Lily as a mother figure…Merlin knows I've seen Molly Weasley try her hardest to make him her son in all but blood..." He gave her a wan smile. "You though…"
She felt a slight weight settle on her chest. "I never wanted to replace 'Arry's mozzer…I just-"
"No! I'm glad you of all people were able to get through to him! I just…I guess I'm just a little…"
"…Jealous?" She asked, letting a bit of amusement color her voice as he gave a soft chuckle.
"Not exactly the word I was looking for…but…yeah. You figured him out, you understand him in the way I never could."
"'E's not a puzzle you 'ave to solve Sirius." She said fondly. "'I used to 'ave ze same fears as you do when I was watching Fleur grow up. Arry…'e's just like my daughter. Both of zem do not show zemselves to ze world as 'oo zey really are. Instead zey choose to 'ide be'ind illusions. Eet's what makes zem so 'ard to understand."
She sighed before looking up, meeting Sirius's gaze. "I love 'Arry just like I do my daughters. No matter 'ow much zey act ozzerwise, zey really are just a couple of children. My children." She finished with conviction.
At that instant he knew. He knew why she had managed to get Harry to open up to her, why she's more of a motherly figure to him.
She did not try to act like one. She just…did. She already looked to him as her son.
"I'm happy." He said with a faint smile. "Really."
She smiled back. "Your godson means ze world to you non?"
"He is." He admitted. "I never thought I could get this attached to him…the day he was born; I remember waiting with Remus and James in the hospital. When I saw him lying there in Lily's arms…when I held him for the first time he just grabbed hold of my finger and wouldn't let go…" He shook his head. "At that moment I knew I'd do anything for the kid."
Harry sighed as he leaned his head back against the wall.
A slightly crumpled up piece of paper was lying on the bed beside him. He didn't know why he didn't just incinerate it, he didn't know what he was looking for…was it closure? Was that why he'd read it?
Slowly he picked up the letter again, briefly looking over it again. It was funny really, he'd never noticed it before, but Petunia Dursley's penmanship was rather similar to his own neat, loopy handwriting.
The letter itself was far from 'neat' though. It looked like she'd made a lot of errors here and there. This was one anomaly; Petunia Dursley prided herself on keeping everything in her life spotless…including her own handiwork. For her to produce something as untidy as this…
Then again, this letter is full of anomalies.
Part of him, the shadow of his younger self wanted to believe what she wrote is true and that she is truly sorry. There was always a part of him that kept reminding him that she did take care of him at the beginning. She did teach him to read and write, she made sure he never starved to death, she was almost always there to stop Vernon from going too far with him.
Despite how much he hated her, he knew that she was the sole reason he survived past his childhood.
But…even with that he hated how she was trying to justify herself here.
He thought he'd have been a bit more surprised if he knew he wasn't related in any way at all to her. His mother, Lily, had merely been adopted into the Evans family. In the letter Petunia went into great lengths about it…it seemed like she was finally releasing all her pent up anger and frustrations at Lily in a way other than by directing it onto him like she had in all those years.
He wondered momentarily if Dumbledore had any idea of this. Part of him was telling him that the old man knew, but another part of him argued that he didn't. He was inclined to agree with the latter. Despite the headmaster's many faults he always did look out for him. Still though…he wondered what the old man would say if he told him. His reasons for having to endure all those years at the Dursleys had been for naught.
Well…that was for later, what was done is done.
Petunia spoke about how much she hated her sister. Lily had everything she didn't. Looks, wit…she was everything Petunia Evans dreamed of being. Add the fact that Lily was a witch too? Her own parents paid more attention to the child they'd adopted than to their own flesh and blood.
It was rather amusing to him really. Petunia Dursley is nothing more than a woman who had allowed herself to be ruined by her pettiness. She reminded him so much of those he'd previously considered his friends...namely a certain ginger.
He glanced at the bottom of the letter briefly;
I hope you can find it in you to someday forgive me for all that I have done…and not done. I never fully realized just how much of a monster I had become until she showed me. For that she has my gratitude.
Even if it is just once, I'd like to see you and tell you just how much I regret everything.
He was long past the point of forgiveness. There was just one thing; the person who showed her...had they, no, he'd be lying to himself if he even let himself entertain the notion.
Had she…seen more than he'd ever wanted her to?
He must have drifted off to sleep soon afterwards because when he came to he found someone curled up against him, the letter now in their hands.
"Fleur…" His voice came out quietly. She turned to him, her bright blue eyes which were always so full of life now devoid of emotion. That sight was not something he was accustomed to at all and for a moment he lost his voice.
"You saw?" He asked softly.
She dropped his gaze, her head bowing low.
"Yes." A heavy silence fell as he sucked in his breath.
It was a long time before he figured out what he was feeling. It was strange…he wanted to be angry at her, he wanted to…why exactly, he didn't know.
Maybe it was because he just wanted to bury all of his past and because of her he was forced to deal with it time and again.
Or maybe it was the fact that he was glad that she'd done everything while he'd chosen to hide instead of facing his problems head on. He'd always wanted to someday make the Dursleys sorry for what they'd done to him but he'd just been too much of a coward. There was always a part of him that would make him fear them. He couldn't help it, he'd largely spent his time as a child not knowing how to fight back. That helplessness was now a part of him.
It was one weakness that he didn't have an answer for.
"Thank you."He whispered. "I'm so sorry you had to see what you did, but thank you for giving me this."
He felt her hand gently caress his cheek and he forced himself to look up at her, his heart lurching at the sight. No matter what she'd always be heart wrenchingly beautiful. The look in her eyes whenever they found his spoke in volumes about her feelings for him and to this day he could make neither head nor tail why. She was a far braver and better person than him in every way.
"I love you." She murmured softly. "Always 'ave, always will. You can't ask me to stand back and let anyone zat 'urt you get away. Zis was somezing I 'ad to do. Not just for you, but for myself." A small frown marred her beautiful features as she wiped a solitary tear that had been forming in his eye. "Don't zink about zem anymore. Zey're done."
"I…it's just…" He struggled for a moment. "Does it make me a bad person? To be happy they…"
"Non! Don't ever let yourself feel zat way." She growled, cutting him off. "Zey're ze bad people, not you. Zey deserved what zey got."
"But it was you who made them pay…not me. I hate it, I hate this feeling…I made you do something like this all because I'm too much of a coward." He muttered. For a brief moment her eyes flashed in anger, but it was gone as soon as it had come.
"A coward? You keep putting yourself down so much. Tell me, do you know anyone else 'oo 'ad a life like yours? Even now? After everyzing zat 'appened? You sell yourself for short all ze time." He stayed quiet, unable to look anywhere but at her as her hand came up, tucking a few strands of his hair behind his ear with a barely hidden smile as her hands finally came to rest on his cheek, his own coming up to cover hers as he closed his eyes at the contact. "You're not weak. You would 'ave done ze same for me…like you already 'ave so many times."
They stayed in silence, enjoying the few brief moments of intimacy before she spoke again. This time though, there was something about her voice had him instantly on alert. The strength with which she spoke earlier was all but gone.
"'Arry…I-I zink eet is time I showed you somezing."
She looked…uncertain. He could feel the gentle hum of her emotions like a melody in his heart and now he could detect a discord in it.
"What is it?" He asked. She looked away for a few moments, taking a noticeable breath before she looked back up at him. He felt an uneasiness settle in him when he saw that she looked more scared than anything now. "Fleur? You don't have to if…"
"Non, I need to. Eet is somezing I should 'ave shown you a long time ago." She took another deep breath. "You know about my 'eritage…" He nodded, unsure where she was going with this. "Zen you know 'ow appearances can be deceiving."
It took a moment for him to work out what she was getting at. Then it hit him. "You've fully awakened?" He asked gently. She nodded quietly, avoiding his eyes. He had no idea why she looked so troubled.
Veela are not human…after all is said and done he knew that. When a Veela is awakened, it meant that they have finally come into grips with their human as well as their 'other' side.
A spasm of guilt suddenly passed through him. "Was it when you went there?" It all made sense now. The fires…the burns…
She nodded again. "I lost control." She said softly. "I wanted to 'urt zem more zan anyzing. I never meant to take eet so far but...at zat moment I gave in."
He shook his head sadly. "I'm…" He was cut off when she placed her finger on his lips.
"Don't. I'm…glad zat I got eet when I did." She muttered."'Can…can I show you?" She asked hopefully, looking up at him.
He hated it when she did that. He hated the doubt in her eyes. It was there, clear as day; She was afraid of what he would think when he saw.
"I won't think any less of you no matter what. I thought you already knew that." He said with a sad shake of his head. A look of relief appeared in her eyes.
"I do." She whispered before moving away from him, getting up off the bed and walking towards the door and locking it. Their eyes met again as he got up too, smiling encouragingly at her before nodding.
That seemed to give her the strength.
Slowly, without taking her eyes off his, she unbuttoned her blouse before removing it and dropping it on the floor. He couldn't help but blush slightly as he watched her remove her clothes one by one until she was standing there in a ring of her clothes, bare as the day she was born. No matter how many times he'd seen her, she never failed to enthrall him.
And then it happened. She started changing before her eyes. Pure white feathers were lining her body, covering her breasts and nether regions. Her face sharpened, no longer carrying the softness of a human's. Her eyes were no longer their usual bright blue; they were instead a dark, cruel black.
All that seemed to pale in comparison to the large, beautiful wings that grew from her back. He watched as they slowly wrapped around her body, hiding it from view.
He was…surprised. From what he knew, when a Veela transformed, all their human characteristics were gone to be replaced by avian ones. In Fleur's case, it wasn't true. She still looked rather human although everything about her now told a different story.
"I'm 'ideous." She said quietly, her voice coming out a bit rougher than he was used to.
"Fleur…" He slowly started to walk up to her. "Don't hide yourself. Please…" He said softly. "For me."
Her eyes came up to meet hers and he gave her a small nod. She was still the same. She was still his flower and he was going to prove it to her.
She let go, her wings slowly unfolding around her. Her hands were covering her breasts but he gently took them in his own. They were so warm, almost as if they were radiating heat...which…of course they were; how could he forget?
He gently brought up her hands to his face, never dropping her gaze as he kissed both of them softly. "You are the most beautiful person I've ever seen Fleur. Nothing can change that, or how I feel about you." He said softly, leaning his head against hers as she gasped. "I love you."
And then her hands wrapped around him, pulling him as close as humanly possible to her. A pleasant warmth covered him and for a moment he was surprised as her wings wrapped around the both of them before grinning at her who smiled back.
"You really zink I'm still beautiful?" She asked softly, gazing at him. He smiled before kissed her brow, lingering his lips there for a few moments before he made his way down slowly, trailing kissing down her nose before reaching her lips.
One of her hands came up to his hair as the other wrapped itself around his neck, her wings still wrapped around them. It was a long time before either of them showed any signs of wanting to let go. She finally gave a content hum before nuzzling into the crook of his neck, making him laugh as the humming never stopped.
"What?" She asked defensively.
"Are too." She scowled momentarily at him which he countered with a lop-sided grin which makde her smile unwillingly before she too started laughing.
"Idiot." She said fondly, pecking his lips again. "My idiot."
"And no one else's." He quipped making her narrow her eyes playfully at him. At least he hoped; it still did look rather menacing to be honest.
"Better be." He chuckled before burying his head in her hair. He didn't want to let go of her.
"Hmm…I guess I know where my guardian got her wings from." He said softly after a while.
"Your guardian?" She asked quietly.
"My guardian angel." He murmured, pulling back so he could look at her. "You." She blushed slightly but didn't break his gaze.
"I'm no angel 'Arry." She said quietly.
"No?" He asked, tilting his head slightly. "What do you think you look like to me? Not only like this but when you're you?" He asked, playing with a few strands of her hair. "This only proves it."
She grinned, shaking her head resignedly. She was slowly turned back to normal, her eyes shifting back to their bright blue, the feathers disappearing.
Something still didn't feel right to her though as she looked up at him. Her wings, her wings were still there, wrapped protectively around him. She could feel the gentle hum of her magic coursing through her veins just as before but all except the wings were gone.
"See?" He whispered. "You say you aren't an angel, I beg to differ." Her eyes widened as she realized what had happened, her hands flying up to cover her mouth.
"You…you really do…" She stammered.
"I was right wasn't I?" He said happily as she hugged him with all her might, tears of happiness flowing freely. He really was one in a million.
When she finally released him she pushed him back onto the bed.
"I still don't zink I'm an angel 'Arry." She said sultrily, crawling on top of him as her hand started unbuttoning his shirt. His breathing became labored as her allure washed over him, begging him to give in...something which he was only too happy to do. All previous thoughts of the Dursleys, letters…everything…was wiped from his mind.
"Really?" He gasped as she bent low, her warm lips grazing his neck. "Why is that?"
She smirked at him, her wings slowly starting to retract into her body. "Because..." She paused to bite down at his pulse point making him moan. "I don't zink angels will do what I'm going to."
They never came out of their room for dinner. Or for the rest of the night for that matter.
AN: So, hey guys! Missed me? Of course you didn't. Least some of you did I guess…anyway, long note coming up, feel free to quit.
So…yea, this one took me quite some time. I do feel a bit like my old self now, not so absorbed in self angst and the like so that could mean a bit of good news on the story front.
I have to give special thanks to those who've been constantly on my back to write. Well…it wasn't forcing per se but it was something to read through the reasons why they wanted to see this story go on. I spent quite a bit of time with a few of you, asking your opinions on how you wanted this story to go on.
'Unhappy authors write Angst' – I was recently made aware of this when I wrote my other story and published it. A oneshot with a long name. Check it if you're into some heavy Angst that's quite a bit different from my usual work. I originally intended to spill that angst into this story, but everyone I talked to, everyone, talked me out of it. They want this story to stay the way it's always been. Light, fluffy..etc. I was quite surprised really, some of the complaints I get about this story is that people think it's too light/romance oriented.
Well, I'll comply your wishes. This story will stay the way it's always been and go on without much unnecessary angst. At least on the Harry/Fleur side. I really don't have any way to make them unhappy in this story even if I wanted to with anything short of killing off one of them.
I don't know when I'll write again. I have so many stuff I want to publish…my skyrim crossover's still sitting with a long first chapter half completed, I've even got ideas for a WoW crossover (Horde ftw) that's been bugging me for a while.
I'm getting back out of the slump I was in earlier. I spent the last few months pretty much like a robot. Eat, class, work, play video games (started up warcraft again…killing allies is fun), rinse-repeat. Head wasn't in the right place really so my school work's been suffering too. I'm going to have to have to work a bit harder now to catch up. I want to start over, probably transfer to a college in another country (one with grey skies all year around hopefully. I'm not emo or anything…I just love gloomy weather). So now my writing's just a matter of how I balance time between work, class and other stuff.
Onto the story, a few stuff I will address…well, I can't reply to all your reviews so I'll make a list of FAQ's that more or less compiles what you guys have asked me over the months.
"Is Dumbledore a manipulative old coot or is he genuine?"
I'm tired of seeing the manipulative, big, bad Dumbledore cliché. I'm going in the opposite direction with him. He's human, he has his faults, but he desperately wants to make up to Harry for putting him through it all.
"Will Hermione ever find a place in your heart where you do not hate her so much?"
"Ron, same question."
You have to ask?
"Will Harry ever go for an additional girl? Aurelie perhaps?"
Not in this story.
"When will you give Sirius a break?"
"What's going on with Harry's magic? In the story he keeps learning new things but we never see it afterwards."
All in good time. He's already learning stuff no one's ever heard of. This chapter for example, the magical familiar…I based that off the mana wyrms in WoW. I believe I will pay more attention to that 'cuz I like the idea. He's still learning, the Harry Potter in my story is rather obsessed with magic like T.M. Riddle was, except he has people to pull him back from going too far.
"Will Harry ever surpass Voldemort and Dumbledore?"
Don't really see that happening. Too unrealistic. You have to remember that Harry is basically just walking in their footsteps.
Well…I guess that's it. Next chapter will probably have Harry finally meeting up with his new 'mentor' of sorts.
Edit - We reached 3k reviews?! The heck...I honestly only realized this when someone messaged me about it. This actually made my day. Thank you. All of you.