As always this is JKR's sandbox. We are allowed to play here but we can't remove any off the golden sand. While I would like the sand and the castle and such I sure would hate the constant attention from people seeing to make money off me or worse mooch off me. Or even worse shoot me because I refused an autograph.
Part 1 H & G
March 20th 1995 Harry Potter was in the fourth year Gryffindor boy's dormitory room resting in that half awake daze doing everything he could to avoid waking up. He could feel it was getting close to breakfast but it was a Saturday and for the first time in a long time he was comfortable, had slept without waking or having any nightmares. To be honest he felt the best he had felt in a very long time. His restful state was broken when his best friend and dorm mate Ron Weasley screamed out, "Harry, who is sleeping with you!"
When he tried to sit up Harry finally noticed the head resting on his chest. Bleary eyed he looked down to find a beautiful blond haired girl looking up and across his chest at Ron.
A lilting French accented voice said, "I was you dolt. Now shut up and leave us be. We are not ready to get up."
Harry laid still frozen in indecision. He was a fourteen-year-old boy with raging hormones. One side of his brain was yelling, 'Yes there is a girl in my bed!' The other was yelling just as loud, 'We'll be expelled for sure.' After a moment he decided that all things considered there were worse reasons for being expelled and with the Tri-Wizard tournament between Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magicstill in progress he doubted they would expel him for this. He was sure he was going to be reprimanded however it played out.
The door to their room opened an suddenly a female voice asked, "Harry what are you doing in bed with Fleur's little sister? She's only eight for Merlin's sake."
Harry's thought of 'Darn Hermione just had to show up didn't she,' was interrupted by his companion replying, "My name is Gabrielle and I'm twelve. Now leave us alone Harry and I were resting quite comfortably," Before she pulled herself closer to Harry and settled back down her head on his chest.
Harry decided to just go with it and put his left arm around Gabrielle before closing his eyes. He heard Hermione's 'Harrumph" and the door opening and closing several times as presumably the other members of his dorm room left. Several minutes later he cracked open an eye to find they were all alone. "I think we are alone if you would like to get up," Harry offered.
"No comfortable," was the only reply. Harry knew Hermione was not going to let this rest so he decided to relax and wait for the storm to come to him.
It took only a few more minutes before he heard the door open and several louder foot steps enter the room along with one softer tread.
"See Professor," Hermione's voice called out.
"Yes Miss Granger, we'll handle it from here. You may go to breakfast," Professor McGonagall, The head of Gryffindor house were they were currently residing, replied.
Once the door shut Harry heard a second voice ask in accented English, "Miss Delacour what did Mr. Potter use to get you to go to bed with him?"
"Nothing Madam Maxime. My… Harry was asleep when I entered his bed."
"Am I to believe you left the carriage made your way through this mausoleum of a castle and found his bed without any prior knowledge of where you were going?"
"My magic guided me,"
As the silence spread at Gabrielle's statement Harry risked opening one eye only to shut it quickly at the sight of two women, one significantly larger than the other, standing on either side of his bed glaring down at the two of them.
"Don't bother pretending Mr. Potter I doubt Mr. Weasley could sleep through all this," his head of house said.
"Good morning Professor. What a surprise to see you here," Harry replied hoping any charm he could manage would help his cause.
"What is your side of this story Mr. Potter?"
"Ah… I was sleeping quite comfortably when Ron screamed about a girl in my bed. Then Hermione came in and yelled for a moment, after that everyone left so I went back to sleep. Then you and Madam… Maxime showed up."
"Why didn't you get up and dressed before we showed up. I would have thought that was the prudent thing to do?" Professor McGonagall asked her voice still cold as ice.
"I thought about it for a moment then decided I was doing nothing wrong. I'm sleeping in my own bed, besides if you caught us rushing around you'd suspect the worst. This way you see what Hermione saw."
"Right, if you will close your eyes Mr. Potter so Miss Delacour can get up."
"I don't mind if he looks," Gabrielle said softly as she climbed out of bed.
"Come along," he heard Madam Maxime say as the door opened.
Once they were alone Professor McGonagall started in, "Mr. Potter 100 points from Gryffindor for your misconduct and two months detention. I will decide with whom as we progress."
Harry had to interrupt, "Professor, all I did was go to sleep in my own bed, I did nothing to encourage her to visit. How can I be held accountable for the actions of someone else? Someone I have no control over?"
"Still you were caught in bed with a twelve year old girl!"
"It wasn't my fault! If you had checked I have full PJ's on and she had on at least a night gown."
"And what else was she wearing?"
"I don't know! All I know is when Ron yelled and I looked at her she was wearing a night gown like I've seen some of the girls wearing in the common room late at night. Beyond that I'm a fourteen year old boy how should I know what girls wear?" Harry protested. While a part of his mind thought that 100 points and two months detention would have been worth it with her older sister. He did think there were some nice things about Gabrielle. Last night's sleep would have been worth say fifty points and three weeks detention he thought.
"Be that as it may Mr. Potter your punishment stands as is. I suggest you get dressed and go to breakfast." McGonagall said leaving the room.
Down in the great hall everyone heard the tinkling that meant house points were being adjusted and looked up at the jars as a steady stream of rubies rose into the upper hourglass chamber. "Fred, George!" several individuals called out looking for the Weasley twins who were notorious for losing house points.
"It's not us." One of the identical twins protested.
"Yes we've been good." The other added.
"Make that not caught." Angelina Johnson their Gryffindor class mate added a smile on her face.
"True." One of the twins replied inclining his head at her.
Ron chose that moment to speak up, "Nah, it's probably Potter he got caught with the Delacour girl in bed with him this morning."
"Hey she's hot." One of the upper class Gryffindors chipped in.
Hermione glared at Ron as she added in, "Not her, it was Fleur's younger sister."
"Damn she's what like eight?"
"She claimed to be twelve when she was cuddling Harry," Shamus Finnigan, another of Harry's dorm mates added doing his best to help defend Harry.
"Still a twelve year old. He's the boy who lived, he could have done a lot better than that," one of the Ravenclaws said speaking up from the adjacent table.
Two weeks later Harry finished breakfast accompanied by Hermione and Ron to the standard comments from Ravenclaw and Slytherin that had greeted him since the Delacour incident. Both her and her older sister had been noticeably absent for most of the two weeks and when they did appear their fellow Beauxbatons students surrounded them isolating them from any problems that might crop up. He rose to leave when he spotted his head of house swooping down on them her face set and her lips a very thin line on her face. 'This doesn't look good,' both Harry and Hermione thought to themselves at her approach.
"Mr. Potter you are needed in the Headmaster's office," she said turning and heading in that direction secure in the belief he was right behind her. Which he was after a shrug of his shoulders towards his friends.
The gargoyle guarding the headmaster's office jumped aside at their approach and they entered the office without any delay, much to Harry's dismay. He was hoping for a slight delay so he could ask Professor McGonagall just what was going on. One look around the headmaster's office answered that question. Seated in a circle off to the side were Professor Dumbledore, the Hogwarts headmaster, Madam Maxime, the headmistress of Beauxbatons, Fleur and Gabrielle Delacour and a woman who could only be their mother. Two empty chairs were obviously for him and his head of house.
Madam Delacour watched the short, she would give him the benefit of the doubt and say thin black haired boy enter and stifled the knowing smile that threatened to break out when his first impulse was to reach for her youngest daughter an impulse he stopped so quickly that she doubted anyone else noticed.
Headmaster Dumbledore looked at Harry saying, "Thank you for joining our little group today. I believe you will find the news quite informative."
Harry looked around at the other members nodding to Fleur and gracing Gabrielle with the hint of a smile before asking, "What did I do this time?"
Madam Delacour spoke up saying, "You did nothing wrong. This I believe can be traced back to your headmaster acting on incomplete knowledge."
Harry's eyebrows rose as he inadvertently glanced at Dumbledore who nodded his agreement to her statement. "I'm sorry I don't understand."
"When Professor Dumbledore used Gabrielle as the item Fleur would miss most he didn't consider the consequences should someone other than Fleur rescue her."
Harry shook his head asking, "So I did a bad thing by saving Gabrielle?"
Madam Maxime quickly said, "Not at all Mr. Potter you did what was right. Even I did not realize the obvious outcome."
Madam Delacour looked at everyone else. It was obvious the decision had been made that she would explain this to Harry and she did not like the interruptions. "Harry, myself and my daughters are Veela. There are no such things as a male Veela or half Veela. The women of our line are Veela pure and simple. While both Fleur and Gabrielle have inherited magic from their father, they are Veela first. What this means is to an extent their reactions are not your normal human reactions. When you saved Gabrielle and both Fleur and her made a big fuss over you she imprinted on you. Or should I say you imprinted on her… either way despite your ages you now have a Veela for a companion."
Harry sat stunned for several moments before asking, "Excuse me, but what does that mean?"
Gabrielle started to open her mouth but stopped at a look from her mother, "What that means is in order for my youngest daughter to retain her mind you will need to spend at least four hours every week with her. The more private the better." Madam Delacour stated. At Harry's increasing blush she added, "No not in bed. You two could walk around the grounds, play cards or chess. Anything as long as it is just the two of you, If there are other people around The time would need to be longer although holding hands would help by increasing the closeness."
Harry thought for a moment before deciding that wouldn't be a bad way to spend a few hours each week. Then looking around at the solemn faces he knew there was a catch, "Okay what's the catch?" He asked looking right at Madam Delacour.
Gabrielle surprised everyone by speaking up, "It's permanent Harry we need to do this every week for the rest of our lives."
"Gabrielle do you know the whole story?" Harry asked. Getting a confirming nod from her Harry held out his hand to her. When she took it he stood and headed for the door saying, "We're going for a long walk around the lake this is something the two of us need to work out, not this group."
Fleur started to get up but her mother held her arm saying, "Gabrielle and Harry need to do this."
Three hours later the couple was returning to the castle when Draco Malfoy appeared from one of his hiding places saying, "Potty I thought you only saw this shagging buddy in bed."
Harry didn't get a chance to respond as Gabrielle drew her free hand back and threw a fireball at Draco only to miss wide to the right.
"Gabrielle you need to flick it more." Madam Delacour said from the entrance hall where she'd heard the exchange. She demonstrated the technique, throwing a fireball just over Draco's left shoulder.
He turned to say something but stopped and ran for the Slytherin common room when he saw her arm drawn back a second fireball in her hand.
Harry ate lunch that day in the Beauxbatons carriage with the Delacours. His return for dinner that evening provide the opportunity for Professor Snape, potions professor and head of Slytherin house, to dock him 50 points for having his creatures attack a member of Slytherin house. Harry wanted to protest but as the points were deducted in front of Hogwarts headmaster he knew it would be fruitless. Harry assumed it was in retaliation for the restoration of half the one hundred points he'd previously lost when he and Gabrielle returned from their walk.
His return to the Gryffindor common room that night resulted in a two hour questioning session by Hermione Granger who vowed to find out everything she could to help him in Hogwarts' library. For his part Harry went to bed that night exhausted from keeping most of the information he knew from Hermione. He spent the night having pleasant dreams that centered on a blond headed beauty.
It was the pleasant dreams more than a sense of duty that saw Harry at the Beauxbatons carriage the next Saturday morning. After a great breakfast that felt odd to one accustomed to standard British fare. Harry and Gabrielle spent the gloomy day in the carriage just hanging out together. Not wanting another scene he waited until after dinner returning to the Gryffindor common room late and heading right to bed.
The following weekend Harry went to the Beauxbatons carriage intending to spend the day with Gabrielle only to be met by Madam Maxime who had a man with her, "Joseph Delacour I would like you to meet Gabrielle's Harry," She said introducing the two who promptly shook hands.
Joseph spoke up quickly saying, "I hope you don't mind Mr. Potter but I've come to hear some stories first hand that Gabrielle has related to her mother and I through her letters."
Harry glanced at Gabrielle who shrugged her shoulders then attempted to apologize with a weak smile. "Any particular story sir?"
"I have several that I wish to know about but perhaps we should start with the one that holds the most promise, something concerning a Basilisk."
Harry motioned towards the lake as he started to walk Gabrielle took his right side and his hand while her father fell in on his left listening to the tale as they walked around the lake just like Harry and Gabrielle did most times they spent together.
"Extraordinary and the Basilisk is still untouched under the castle?" Mr. Delacour asked as they finished their second trip around the lake.
"I believe so. I am the only one able to open the passage other than Tom Riddle and I'm fairly sure he hasn't been back since first year."
"Yes another tale for another time. If you don't object I would like to discuss some aspects of this story with your headmaster."
Harry looked at Gabrielle for guidance getting a look that told him the decision was his alone. "I don't see any problems with that, he knows the complete story. I would prefer it's just the two of you though. I wouldn't want the real story to spread too far." Harry said thinking that Ginny Weasley might be hurt if the story spread too widely.
Joseph smiled at the wisdom in that statement. "Agreed, Harry that is a wise decision," Joseph said taking his leave and heading to find the Hogwarts Headmaster. The discussion Joseph had with Dumbledore was loud, heated, and took most of the afternoon. Thanks to the extensive use of silencing charms it was also private.
Sunday morning found a motley group gathered in a girl's washroom prepared to enter the fabled Chamber of Secrets. Harry, Hermione, Gabrielle, Joseph and the Beauxbatons Potions Mistress were gathered on one side of the room while Dumbledore, Snape in his role of Hogwarts' Potions Master, and Professor Flitwick the Hogwarts Charms Master were on the other side. In the middle stood a contingent of Goblins from Gringotts bank invited along for their unique tunneling knowledge and to assist in settling any value disputes concerning salvageable items.
It was dark when the group emerged from the chamber each and every one of them levitating a number of boxes. Harry along with several others had to make multiple trips to retrieve all the items. "Headmaster I believe it is possible for you to arrange us a path to your office that would allow for unseen movement of everything?" the head goblin asked.
Dumbledore nodded and after stepping out of the washroom for a few moments returned and led the way to his office. Once all the boxes were in the headmaster's office two small boxes were put to the side. "Those are for the current use of the two potion masters. We will transport the remainder to Gringotts for storage. To confirm one last time, the boxes marked with a P are to be placed in a vault with Mr. Potter getting the key. The ones with an H, The headmaster gets the key and the ones with a W the key goes to Mr. Arthur Weasley with the note that it is in trust for Miss Ginevra Weasley. Is this all correct?" The Leading Goblin asked. Getting agreements from all the parties the Goblins used the headmaster's floo connection to transport all the boxes to Gringotts for safekeeping. Once they all the other boxes were removed the two potions masters picked up their packages and left along with everyone else.
Snape could be heard grumbling for years afterwards about having to share portions of the basilisk with Potter and the Beauxbatons potions mistress particularly after she made a break through discovery that had eluded him.
The remaining weekends Saturday Joseph or occasionally Gabrielle's mother Apolline would join the two teens for walks during which either Harry would tell his various stories or they would tell him theirs. Sundays were Harry and Gabrielle alone time. This continued until the final task of the tri-wizard tournament interrupted things.
Ludo Bagman had explained their task four weeks earlier but the day of the task Harry wasn't too surprised to see the Weasley family show up to support him when he entered the small room with the other champions. The Delacours came over and after a few pleasant words wishing Harry well they separated. Mrs. Weasley glaring at them as they left. "I don't understand what you see in that French tart you've been hanging out with Harry," Molly Weasley said once the other couple was out of hearing range.
Not wanting a scene Harry replied, "She was quite nice and it kept my mind off the tournament. Merlin knows Hermione was harping on that enough for everyone."
Molly nodded she could understand the need for a bit of fun for diversion, just as long as it didn't upset her long range plans for her family.
The maze that comprised the final challenge of the tournament went as few had expected it. Victor Krum the entry from Durmstrang attacked Fleur once they were deep in the maze putting her out of the competition. Harry's defense of her did the same for Krum. The end of the tournament found Harry and Cedric Diggory standing in the center of the maze defeated challenges spread around them. They stood on opposite sides of the champion's cup arguing over which of them deserved it more. Finally they agreed to take it together only to be port keyed to an unknown cemetery. Assessing the situation quickly Harry said, "Cedric I know nothing about port keys and this looks really bad. Why don't you summon the cup and see if you can get it to take us back."
"Good idea." Cedric said using a summoning charm to get the Tri-wizards cup.
As he was doing that Cedric heard a weak voice call out, "Wormtail kill the spare." Harry watched the cup fly into Cedric's hand and port key him away an instant before a green beam passed through Cedric's location.
Cedric arrived back at the center of the maze yelling for help as he focused on where the stands were before apparating there.
His arrival prompted several people to start talking at once only to be overridden when Cedric said, "Quiet, Harry and I were port keyed to a cemetery he's still there and whoever is there sent a killing curse at me just as I left."
Everyone started talking at once, Mrs. Diggory exclaiming, "My poor boy are you all right as she rushed to check him over while various individuals made comments ranging from, "another attention seeking ploy by that spoiled brat" by the Slytherin head of house to the more numerous, "Where is this cemetery?" most notably from Dumbledore the Hogwarts headmaster.
While all this was taking place Gabrielle was concentrating intensely suddenly she said, "I've found him mama. I'm going to him."
"Wait one moment," Her father called out casting multiple tracking charms at his daughter's various appendages just incase she managed to separate herself a Veela's first attempt at traveling was normally from one side of a room to the other not across how many unknown miles of country side.
"Remember dear concentrate, concentrate, concentrate," her mother said knowing she didn't have to say what to concentrate on.
Suddenly with a loud snap Gabrielle disappeared. A moment later Joseph Delacour relaxed saying, "Where ever she is she is in one piece."
In the mean time Harry had been captured and had his blood drawn as part of a black magic ritual to bring Voldemort, the Dark lord he'd vanished at the age of 15 months, back to a body of his own.
Gabrielle appeared with a loud crack behind the tombstone that Harry was bound to just as he managed to free himself. Together they moved into the field of tombstones hiding as best they could. Peeking around the lower edge they watched as Voldemort rose from the cauldron used in the ritual and was robed by a one handed servant. He then called his death eaters to him by pressing his wand to the dark mark on his servants arm before creating a silver hand for the servant who'd performed the ritual. Once they'd arrived and greeted him he sent them into the tombstone field to capture Harry and whoever had apparated in. That was when the fighting began. Harry throwing stunners at first then switching to Reducto when the death eaters kept reviving the one's he'd stunned. For her part Gabrielle was throwing fireballs as quick as she could create them. Harry's Reducto at the silver handed death eater was blocked when he raised the silver hand to block it. Harry was shocked to see his curse blow apart the silver hand blowing the magical remnants back into the death eater's face. Gabrielle's fireball followed the Reducto striking the death eater's robes and setting them on fire.
Mr. Delacour approached Dumbledore saying, "had a tracking charm on Gabrielle and she has gone to Harry. Put one on me and then you can follow me." Dumbledore nodded with a flick of his wand cast a stong tracking charm as Joseph grabbed his wife and apparated them to the cemetery.
Arriving in the middle of a battle neither of the adult Delacours hesitated. Joseph began casting Reducto at anyone who was casting spells at a member of his family while his wife's fireballs were creating havoc.
It took several moments to gather the Aurors who were going with him and for Dumbledore to leave directions with his deputy headmistress, Professor McGonagall. Finally he flicked his wand creating a long rope that he turned into a Portkey the designated Aurors grabbed on and he activated it bringing everyone to the cemetery where the battle was taking place. Their arrival signaled the departure of the still active death eaters along with Voldemort, the last death eater smiled when he saw Gabrielle standing alone her back to him. He didn't hesitate casting the killing curse at her. As the green beam flew towards her Harry reacted before anyone else could diving across the distance separating them like a football keeper trying to protect an open corner. Breathing stopped as everyone watched the curse strike a flying Harry in the head before gravity took over and he fell to the ground in front of her.
Less than ten seconds later Harry shook his head and stood up looking toward Gabrielle the relief was obvious on his face when he saw her still standing there. "He must have missed," Harry said smiling as he looked at Gabrielle.
"Harry are you alright my boy?" Dumbledore said rushing over. As various Aurors looked to their partners asking if they had seen the same thing. Harry Potter struck by a killing curse that had less effect on him than a stupefy curse.
"Yea, got this nasty cut from Wormtail when he took my blood and a few other scratches but I'm okay."
Knowing the revelation of this second curse would cause problems with his plan Dumbledore stepped away from the group and waved his wand around oblivating the knowledge from everyone else. What he failed to take into account was unlike the British ministry the French made it a point of honor that all their people were trained Occlumens and it was impossible to memory charm a veela. When Gabrielle noticed Dumbledore move away from the group she placed herself between Harry and Dumbledore blocking his memory charm from hitting Harry.
"This is Lucius Malfoy!" one of the Aurors called out as they were making their way around the cemetery looking for anyone hiding and marking the various body locations.
"What the heck hit this one?" another auror called out as he looked down at a mutilated body. Harry walked over and looked down before replying, "That's Peter Pettigrew. He's the one who betrayed my folks. I believe headmaster you can confirm the identity?"
Dumbledore looked down in shock taking a moment before nodding as he said in a sad voice, "Yes that is Peter. Put that body under a stasis spell. It will be needed later. In fact put all dead bodies under that spell. This may take a while to sort out."
At that pronouncement the original Auror mumbled, "That's most of the bodies here. Someone doesn't like death eaters."
Joseph Delacour heard the comment and before Harry could react he said, "That would be me. They were casting unforgivable curses at my family. I cast a large number of Reducto curses in reply. I know Mr. Potter here was also casting a few Reducto curses but to be honest my aim was better."
Harry started to look offended but Gabrielle's hand on his arm combined with a whispered, "He wants to protect you. Let him for now," in his ear keeping any comments he'd been about to make quiet.
Dumbledore quickly cornered the lead auror and after promising everyone would be available for interviews later created a new Portkey to bring everyone but the Aurors back to Hogwarts.
They arrived to a confused scene. Cornelius Fudge the Minister for Magic was yelling at his guards to bring a dementor, one of the soul sucking guards of the wizarding prison to him. He wanted the dementor's kiss administered to the individual the Weasley family was holding at wand point. "What is Barty Crouch junior doing here?" Dumbledore asked as he approached the group.
"He…" Fudge started to say only to be overridden by Hermione Granger who was standing with the Weasleys her wand also trained on the individual being discussed.
"We saw Moody acting quite happy and it didn't add up. I summoned the flask he was starting to drink from and it contained Polyjuice. Ron and his family stopped him from doing anything and while you were gone he reverted back to who you see now."
"Dumbledore he's an escaped prisoner he must be kissed!" Fudge finally yelled.
"Not until we've had a chance to question him." Dumbledore replied just as a dementor drifted over.
Harry Potter started hearing his mother's voice again and raised his wand calling out, "Expecto Patronum." A large silver stag leaped from his wand chasing the approaching dementor off school property.
"Aurors arrest that boy he interfered with justice being done." Cornelius said puffing out his chest.
Harry swung his wand around saying, "I've dueled Voldemort and his death eaters already tonight. Come on and try to arrest me." The group watching wasn't sure rather it was Harry's words or the fact the majority of students present pulled their wands while forming a circle around the Aurors that caused them to holster their wands disregarding the minister's request.
"Dumbledore, Harry will be joining us in the Beauxbatons carriage to relax while you get everything sorted out. You may send a messenger when you need him. He will not allowed to return alone," Joseph Delacour said formally determination strong in his voice.
Hermione looked at her friend asking, "Harry?"
Harry shook his head saying, "Don't worry I'll be fine," his voice betraying just how far from fine he was right now.
As the party made their way from the stadium the Diggory family stopped them. "Thanks for saving Cedric," Mr. Diggory said holding out his hand.
Harry took it and as he shook it as he forced out it what he hoped was a light tone, "Hey someone had to go for help and I can't apparate. I'm just glad he was able to send help."
"Thank your little friend. She was the one that found you and led everyone there," Cedric said nodding to Gabrielle.
Mr. Delacour added his thanks to the Diggory family before he hustled the Delacours plus one into the Beauxbatons' carriage. Once they were inside Madam Maxime insured they were left alone while Gabrielle put Harry in a chair then sat in his lap hugging him as he had the shakes as first the adrenaline rush wore off then the emotional crash from casting curses that killed individuals. It didn't matter that they were trying to kill him at the time taking someone's life bothered Harry and Gabrielle was busy making sure he realized that defending one's self and friends was acceptable.
Thanks to Gabrielle's help Harry had regained his emotional stability by the time a knock came at the carriage door, "They would like Harry in the headmaster's office."
"Who are they?" Mr. Delacour's voice asked full of distain.
The Auror surprised by the question stumbled before replying, "The Minister for Magic, Headmaster Dumbledore and a few others."
"He will be along shortly."
"I'm suppose to accompany him right now." The Auror replied grabbing the door obviously preparing to enter.
"Then wait out there until he comes out. By international agreements this carriage is French soil, step inside and you will not like what happens."
With the door shut Joseph Delacour looked to Harry asking, "If I deem it necessary will you object to my saying you have approached me applying for French citizenship?"
Harry looked at him closely he'd only met the man this morning but he was Gabrielle's father. After several moments Harry replied, "I would like to avoid that if possible but I trust Gabrielle's father to act in my best interest."
Joseph sat back for a moment himself. This was the first time he could recall being addressed not as Joseph Delacour head of one of the more secretive departments in the French Ministry of Magic, nor Apolline's husband as the Veela nation addressed him, Harry trusted him as Gabrielle's father. Joseph figured that ranked as high as Apolline's husband and both were far above anything else. "Mr. Potter you honor me," he finally said rising and taking his wife's hand led her and Harry to the door while telling their daughters to wait.
Harry entered the headmaster's office behind Mr. and Mrs. Delacour to hear the head of Slytherin house ask, "What are those two frog eaters doing here."
Joseph Delacour raised one eyebrow before replying, "Professor Snape I presume?" getting a confirming nod from the individual he continued, "Sir I believe you and I have a few things to settle. In addition to the comment you just made did you not refer to my wife and youngest daughter as creatures several months back?"
"I don't know what rumors Potter has been spreading…"
"Forgive my interruption but that knowledge did not come from Mr. Potter for your information several Beauxbatons students heard your comment and relayed it to my family. I asked a direct question I would appreciate a direct answer. Did you refer to my wife and daughter as creatures or is your memory so poor that you can not recall?"
"In the heat of the moment I might have made such a statement. They are Veela after all." Professor Snape replied with a sneer.
"Very well consider yourself challenged to a duel should you not apologize before the end of this meeting." Mr. Delacour replied looking Snape directly in the eyes when he continued, "Professor Dumbledore we are here to look out for Mr. Potter's interests."
"That is all very well but you have no standing in this meeting." Dumbledore said drawing cautioning looks from both the Minister for Magic and the head of magical law enforcement, Amelia Bones, neither sure of how Mr. Delacour fit into this but obvious neither individual wanted to offend the French wizard. Noticing those looks he added, "Still you may stay provided there are no more interruptions."
The questions flew fast and hard at Harry, "Did you try to stun your attackers, Why did you use the Reducto curse, How many upstanding citizens did you hit with the Reducto curse?"
As Harry answered the last one with, "I don't know I was too busy trying to counter the next spell headed my way to follow the ones I used."
Joseph Delacour spoke up, "As I was the next individual on the scene, after my youngest daughter, I can tell you I did not witness Harry's Reducto hit anyone, He was firing it quite wildly." Looking directly at the Minister for Magic continued using on of the minister's own terms, "My Reducto however hit a number of your "upstanding citizens". Also any fireballs thrown by my family were thrown under my authority. Should you wish additional details I suggest you make that request, formally and in writing of course, to the French Ministry."
Dumbledore and a number of the other parties didn't press the point knowing the level of authorization Mr. Delacour held. Severus Snape was not aware of just who he was however. "Why don't we just take your wand and check it to see how many Reducto curses you actually cast tonight?" Snape asked glaring at the man.
"Because Severus the man you are accusing has a reputation and position in both the French Ministry and International Confederation of Wizards that makes such an action political suicide. Not to mention he is one of the few that beat Professor Flitwick at an open duel." Professor McGonagall said her tone conveying her strong dislike of having to explain it.
Looking around the room Joseph said, "Let me make it clear to this group. I am claiming all the kills tonight were in defense of my family and myself. Should any of you make statements that contradict that position I would consider it a personal insult. Now I believe Mr. Potter has answered your questions and should be allowed to rest after the traumatic events of this evening." Joseph finished looking each member of the gathered group in the eye as he swept his eyes around the room.
Dumbledore reacted to the glare he was receiving from the Minister and several others saying, "Mr. Delacour is correct. Thank you Mr. Potter you are excused. Professor McGonagall will escort you to your dormitory. Severus you have something to say before Mr. Delacour leaves I believe."
Severus turned to face the French Ministry official his opinion of being forced practically at wand point to apologize obvious on his face and in his body language. Drawing himself up to full height Severus said, "Mr. Delacour my words in the past and tonight were not intended to offend. They were perhaps a result of my associating with… shall we say less savory elements in the performance of some of my other duties."
In a move calculated to insure everyone knew what he actually thought of the apology Joseph Delacour nodded his acceptance before following Harry and Professor McGonagall out of the office having a short conversation to insure Harry was planning on visiting Gabrielle tomorrow for breakfast before returning to Beauxbatons carriage where he and several others spent long hours planning for the coming weeks.
Harry was ushered into the Beauxbatons' carriage just in time for breakfast. Still under the language spell that had been cast earlier Harry found he could read the French daily wizarding paper laying on the table. "French Ministry official prevents assassination of Harry Potter" proclaimed the headline. After a quick "May I?" Harry grabbed the paper reading it while waiting for Gabrielle to make her appearance. As he read the headline article he was please to find he was just a side note. "Several distinguished British Wizards who claimed to be acting under the imperious curse when tried for being death eaters fifteen years ago were killed or injured while wearing Death Eater apparel during an attack on Harry Potter. The young man and another tri-wizard champion were port keyed to a remote graveyard from Hogwarts grounds at the end of the tri-wizard tournament when they took the trophy together in an attempt to share the win. Cedric Diggory, the other champion was able to use the Portkey to return to Hogwarts were he alerted authorities of the problem. The first adult to arrive at the graveyard from Hogwarts was our own Joseph Delacour who was present to witness his eldest daughter's participation as the Beauxbatons champion. Mr. Delacour was able to protect Mr. Potter casting a number of curses that killed or injured the purported death eaters attacking Mr. Potter. When additional wizards appeared using a Portkey created by the Hogwarts headmaster the remaining attackers fled."
Meanwhile Hermione was in the Great Hall reading the Daily Prophet version of events. "Additional task added at the Minister's suggestion turns deadly as several well known Wizards are killed and other injured," blared the headline. "Several members of the Wizengamot were killed by French Ministry official Joseph Delacour who was the first wizard from Hogwarts to arrive at the site of the added task. Mr. Delacour claimed responsibility for all wizards killed or injured. Asserting Harry Potter the only tri-wizard contestant to arrive at the site was firing too wildly to have injured anyone. When Aurors tried to arrest him he retreated to the Beauxbatons carriage which by the Tri-Wizard contest's governing agreement is treated as French soil putting him beyond Wizarding law for his deadly attacks." The article continued in this vein for several pages.
The Beauxbatons students finding their way out of the carriage blocked by a mob of Hogwarts students stirred up by fellow housemates who found out they had lost family members the night before to a French wizard either in this mornings Daily Prophet or by family owl. With her students lives at risk Madam Maxime sent a note to Dumbledore requesting Hagrid hitch up the flying horses without delay. While that was in progress Dumbledore was able to apparate into the carriage and using side along apparition remove Harry without anyone knowing he was present. Harry watched from the headmaster's office as the carriage took flight removing the French students from danger. After watching them leave Dumbledore turned noticing the copy of the Daily Prophet he had passed Harry to read when he inquired about the reason for the mob burning on the floor where Harry had obviously thrown it.
A day later Harry left by Portkey a now unsafe, at least for him, Hogwarts after putting several students of the protesting students into the Hospital wing defending himself against their attacks. Harry arrived in an empty room at Kings Cross train station. Taking one long look around to insure he'd arrived unnoticed he then grabbed his trunk and headed off to meet his uncle for the ride back to Azkaban south for the summer.
Vernon Dursley was actually smiling as he waited for his nephew to get off the train from school. As far as he could remember it was the first time he'd smiled about anything to do with that… boy. Of course the visitor he'd had this morning was the cause of his happiness rather than his nephew. Seeing the boy emerge from the crowd he waved him over saying gruffly, "Put your trunk in the boot and where is your ruddy bird?"
"I released Hedwig to fly back. I didn't think you'd like her in your new car," Harry Potter explained.
Vernon nodded to himself as he settled in behind the wheel saying, "Bloody right about that." He waited until Kings Cross train station was out of sight before he turned from the motorway leading back to Little Whinging, Surrey.
"Uncle is this a new way home?" Harry asked from the back seat. Even with no one else in the car he wasn't allowed to sit up front.
"Just sit there and shut your bloody yap. You will find out soon enough." Several minutes later Vernon pulled off into a lay-by stopping beside a car sitting there with a tall thin man leaning against it.
"What's up?" Harry asked.
"Get out boy unlike us the man in the next car wants you." Vernon said rolling down his window slightly to accept the envelope the man was passing to him. Quickly counting it he remarked to himself, "Quickest thousand pounds I ever made."
Harry climbed out of the back seat hearing the boot pop open as he did. When Harry shut the lid after removing his school trunk his uncle drove off without a backward look.
"Mr. Potter if you would." The man said motioning to the now open trunk of the car he'd been leaning against.
Shutting the boot he looked up to see the passenger door open. Wishing he knew what was going on Harry got in and fastened the seat belt as the same man now drove off without another word heading back into London. Nothing was said until the car pulled up to a train station. "Here's your ticket and Passport. Your train leaves in fifteen minutes best get a move on."
Harry didn't know what to do other than follow orders. He doubted death eaters would be sending him on a train trip, besides after the last few days at Hogwarts a group of Death Eaters might be considered friendly. Looking at his ticket he noticed he was booked from Waterloo International station to Paris France non-stop on the new Eurostar, first class even. Fifteen minutes later he'd had his passport inspected, trunk stowed, and was making his way to his seat settling in just as the train departed.
Harry got off the Eurostar at Gare du Nord in Paris looking around for someone to give him directions. Suddenly he saw a young blond girl waiving frantically. His eyes lit up and he raced down the ramp dropping his school trunk before picking her up and giving her a whirl around. "I guess he is happy to see you." Joseph Delacour said watching Harry go bright red as he realized what he'd done in front of everyone. "Oh don't worry Mr. Potter that just confirms that my actions on your behalf were justified."
"If you arranged all this then thank you sir. I was dreading spending the summer at my relatives." Harry said hoping he was here for the summer.
"Harry we need to talk about a number of things then arrive at some decisions that are in your best interest." Seeing Harry's face fall he added, "Do not worry. You will never be forced back to your relatives. I suspect Dumbledore either has or will be burning that bridge rather well. Right now however we need to get you out of sight and checked for tracking charms."
"What about my owl? She was flying to Surrey."
"If Hedwig is as smart as I think she is your owl will be in our Owlery before tomorrow night." Joseph said grabbing Harry's trunk and heading off knowing his daughter would want at least one of Harry's hands.
Back in England Mundungus Fletcher arrived a little late for the first watch of the summer at 4 Privet Drive, The summer home of Harry Potter. Seeing a car already in the driveway he assumed everything was all right before settling in for his eight hour shift. Watching for death eater attacks wasn't fun but it was a good place to catch forty winks or so and the old man did slip him a few Galleons for his effort. It wouldn't be until an Order of the Phoenix meeting later when an inquiry about Harry's health from Molly Weasley had everyone comparing notes before deciding none of the watchers had seen Harry Potter this year.
The next morning Harry awoke in a large bed even more comfortable than his Hogwarts one. Looking around he grabbed his glasses from the nightstand before pulling his covers tight around his neck when the bedroom door opened and Gabrielle stepped in saying, "Breakfast is informal. There is a robe hanging on the back of your bathroom door. Put it on and join us downstairs we have a lot to talk about," before shutting the door leaving Harry alone with a smile on his face.
Harry found the robe and after taking care of some pressing needs he stumbled downstairs finding everyone on second try. "Good morning Mr. Potter how did you sleep?"
Harry actually thought about it for a moment before, and unfortunately without thought, replying, "It was the second best night's sleep I've had this year."
"What was the occasion that prompted your best night's sleep?" Madam Delacour asked
She had her answer when after a moments thought Harry shut his mouth firmly and while blushing bright red replied, "I don't actually recall."
Madam Delacour knowing her husband was already aware of the details of Gabrielle's night time visit decided to help out her youngest daughter asking, "That wouldn't have been when you had a bed companion earlier this year would it?"
Harry's bowed head and increasing blush gave her the answer she sought. "Mama, do not tease Harry like that," Gabrielle said speaking up. Earning an appreciative glance from Harry for her effort.
Once he'd regained what little composure he could manage Harry said, "I want to thank you for doing this for me. It's really great but won't you get in trouble with Dumbledore and everyone? I mean he's the head of the International Confederation of Wizards."
"You are correct but even the head is not all powerful. He can't come after me without the conditions of your upbringing coming into play and that he definitely does not want." Mr. Delacour explained.
"Thank you." Harry replied.
Mrs. Delacour spoke up, "Now that everyone is here you have two days to offer suggestions for summer trips and vacation ideas, you are included in this Harry. Summers here are something like a benign dictatorship. The girls and now you get to request special events they would like to do, from visiting museums to holidays at various locations. Then Joseph and I will decide which of these we agree with. Naturally we have some things of our own that will also be included.
"Don't worry about museums and such Harry our parents insure we visit enough of those. Unless there is one you'd really like to visit." Fleur interjected adding the last in response to a glare from her father.
Harry looked at his surroundings thinking his trunk contained only school clothes and a few outfits for Hogsmeade weekends. His normal summer wardroom of Dudley's castoffs was at 4 Privet drive. "Is there a Gringotts branch in Paris and do you think I'd be able to access my vault from here?" he asked.
Joseph replied automatically, "Yes we have our own Gringotts and I was able to access my account in England so I suspect the reverse is true."
"Do you, I mean could we schedule a shopping trip soon?" Harry replied a hint of color in his cheeks.
"I get to choose your clothes," Gabrielle said quickly.
"Gabby!" her mother said sharply in reprimand.
"It's all right. Hermione and Lavender have told me repeatedly I have no sense of style," Harry said referring to his Hogsmeade outfits.
"If you need a style consultant I will fill that role," Apolline Delacour said adding when she noticed both her daughter's pouting, "However the girls will accompany us and might be allowed some input if they behave."
Apolline decided there was no time like the present making plans for a shopping trip right after breakfast. Harry didn't realize what Joseph's shaking head and obvious suppressed laughter meant at the time.
Harry returned that night having made two firm decisions; the first was to insure he never had more than one female offering fashion advice, if he allowed any at all, when he was picking out clothes; the second was to learn French fast. Having a group of females conversing in a language you didn't understand and laughing while you paraded around in outfit after outfit they'd picked out was the height of embarrassment and frustration. If cornered he'd admit they'd chosen some killer outfits for him but when he suggested they pick up a few for Fleur and Gabrielle the topic was quickly changed. The French version of Gringotts was more impressive than the English but Goblins were goblins, quick and all business. Harry was able to get a credit card that worked in the muggle world and enough Galleons to get him through the day's shopping with enough left over to last a month or so he hoped.
At Dinner that evening Joseph Delacour said, "While you were enjoying a day shopping I have been trying to reach your godfather. I wanted to invite him to visit it would make several things I've planned much easier. However despite my best efforts I haven't been able to locate him. Every owl would just fly around before returning to his or her perch."
Harry thought for a moment. He knew were Sirius was and while not knowing warding knew Hedwig had carried mail to him before. "Send your message with Hedwig. She's always been able to find him," Harry offered.
Knowing several wards that would allow only specific owls through Joseph agreed making plans to visit the Owlery right after dinner.
Two days later Harry was at the station waiting for his godfather to arrive. "Sirius Black any problems getting here?" Joseph asked holding out his hand to the younger man.
"Had to get rid of a few tracking charms on me and my stuff once I was out of that place but no real problems." Sirius replied. Smiling at the sight of you godson holding hands with a great looking young blond he said, "Hey Harry you're looking better."
Harry felt Gabrielle drop his hand. Looking over she motioned to him that was all the encouragement Harry needed going over he hugged his godfather. Sirius looked between the two kids then to Joseph raising an eyebrow. He received a slight headshake in return. Smiling he ruffled what little hair Harry had before grabbing his bag and following everyone as they left the station.
After an evening of recounting the Tri-wizard tournament to Sirius both Gabrielle and Harry were tired and headed up to bed Sirius made noises to join them thinking Apolline and Joseph were just waiting for him to retire. "Sirius if you are able my wife and I have a few things to discuss with you."
Thinking he might know the issue Sirius said, "I didn't come here to get you or your government in trouble. Now that I've seen Harry and assured myself of his safety I can make my goodbyes and head off."
Joseph reacted quickly, "You misunderstand your presence here is not a problem. I have already discussed this at the necessary government levels and everyone that needs to know is well aware of your arrival. Should the British wizarding government demand your capture and repatriation our ambassador will remind them the government of Monte Carlo has demanded the same thing regarding one Ludovic Bagman for his attempting to fix several games of chance in their casino. Until that is resolved we will not discuss anything regarding you further. However should you ever wish to testify under Veritaserum concerning the incidents of that day I can assure you several departments in the French ministry would love to listen and perhaps ask a few questions."
"That shouldn't be a problem. If this isn't my presence then I take it is about those two?"
"Yes, I'm sure you remember Harry saying he retrieved Gabrielle from the lake when Fleur was unable to finish the second task."
Sirius nodded having heard exactly that earlier in the evening.
"Mr. Black I need your word that the remainder of this conversation will not be repeated beyond us and the two that have just left." Apolline said.
As Sirius started to pull his wand Joseph quick said, "That won't be necessary your word is enough for us. Besides who knows what the future holds you might find it necessary to inform someone else but please be careful with this knowledge."
"I promise," Sirius said firmly wondering what prompted the request.
"Mr. Black," Apolline started only to stop and restart at his raised eyebrow, "Sirius, Veela breed true my daughter is as much of a Veela as my mother and some do not consider us human because of various abilities, your English ministry being one of them."
"If that's true then either us or muggles are not human either. You're just human with some special abilities," Sirius countered.
"Thank you. However it is those special abilities, a nice turn of phrase by the way, that created the problem we are going to talk about. Under the right conditions a Veela will find herself imprinting on an individual or rather the individual will imprint themselves on the Veela. When this occurs the Veela must stay close to the individual, most always a male, or suffer problems ranging from temporary madness to death."
"Let me guess Harry and Gabrielle?" Sirius asked his delivery making it more of a statement than a question.
"Right in one."
"So how did you notice and how bad is it?"
"My oldest daughter noticed her sister having problems after Harry recovered her from the lake. She contacted me with the details. I suspected what was going on and went to Hogwarts performing several spells on my daughter I verified my suspicions and arranged for her to spend time with Mr. Potter every week."
"So they just need to visit weekly?" Sirius asked thinking 'that isn't too bad.'
"If that were it the problem would be easily handled. They could go their separate ways while staying friends and only their significant others might realize there was something unusual between them. Did you notice how they glossed over the fight in the cemetery?" Joseph asked.
"Now that you mention it yes,"
"Harry did that to protect my daughter's feelings. One of the death eaters cast the killing curse at my daughter as they were leaving. Harry jumped in front of Gabrielle taking the curse for her."
Sirius really did try not to yell his next question, "Are you telling me my godson got hit with a second killing curse and is up walking around?"
Apolline's sharp, "Mr. Black!" brought Sirius to heel.
All was quiet for a minute until Sirius said, "Sorry but it was a bit of a shock," by way of an apology.
"Understood, The surprising thing is according to him he actually feels better since getting hit, but we are going off topic. Harry's actions in saving Gabrielle changed the nature of her imprinting," Joseph continued.
"But he's only fourteen and she's what eight?"
"Actually she will be thirteen and he will be fifteen before the month is out. The problem with her looks will be cured shortly." Apolline said drawing a look from her husband.
"Has she started the change already?" Joseph asked his wife while Sirius looked between the two confused.
"Yes, I noticed the first indications yesterday morning. Sirius, Veela stay very young looking, like my youngest, until the change hits. Over the course of the next few months she will grow into a beautiful woman, gaining over a foot in height along with… her attributes. The interesting thing to watch will be how this affects Harry."
"He's a soon to be fifteen year old boy. He'll be drooling on the carpet as he chases her around the house. We will need to teach her how to whack him on the nose to keep him in line." Sirius said a bit of laughter in his voice.
"That is the problem, she's imprinted. If he wants to do anything at all she will be very willing to accommodate his every whim. However what I meant was as long as Harry is not an adult it is possible for her condition to also affect Harry physically. If her magic and his are close and he allows it either consciously or unconsciously. Harry will also experience significant physical changes." Apolline replied.
Sirius had his head in his hands when he asked, "How significant?"
"Best case or worst depending on your point of view?" she asked continuing at Sirius's nod. "Harry will be over 2 meters tall with a good amount of muscle mass. The exact outcomes in both their cases would be worked out magically based on how they view each other and how they view themselves. I suspect her desires would override his poor self image and pray that his teenaged hormones don't distort my daughter too bad. I have already requested that a Veela healer visit us tomorrow to make sure everything with Gabrielle is alright. I will see if they will examine Harry afterwards. Perhaps he is not being affected."
Sirius picked his head up out of his hands and looked at Apolline saying, "This is Harry of course he's going to be affected."
Late the next morning the Veela Healer confirmed Sirius' statement. "It appears we have a joint maturing taking place. Not only is Gabrielle's Veela abilities maturing her as they normally would all indications are her Veela abilities are combining with his magic. Together they are… I don't know was he abused as a kid?"
"If you mean beaten and underfed then yes. I don't think they did anything… that way with him," Sirius said cautiously.
"Then that is what I'm seeing. It would not be a stretch to say their combined abilities are rebuilding him. Remaking his bones without the weaknesses from prior breaks, correcting various organ problems that would surface in a few years. It will take a bit longer than Gabrielle's process but he will be far healthier in the long run."
"So is there anything we can do to help?" Sirius asked expecting to be told to sit and wait.
"Yes, Seeing as we have both parents and guardian here there is something that can speed their maturing and it is a joint maturing I am talking about."
Apolline looked at the healer her eyebrow raised as she asked, "I hesitate to ask seeing how you phrased that. I suspect it involves them and one bed."
Nodding her head the healer continued, "And lots of skin contact. Be aware should we proceed there is a strong possibility they will fall in to a deep sleep until the process ends and we will have to feed them occasionally."
Sirius asked, "I hope he can keep his boxers on."
The healer hesitated for a moment then realizing she wouldn't get a better offer took it, "Yes that might be best. Would it be acceptable for Gabrielle to be similarly attired?" she asked looking at Apolline and Joseph who'd stayed home for this exam.
"Yes," Joseph answered knowing that no matter how much he wanted to scream 'Two beds in separate countries,' that answer would not be in his daughter's best interest.
"Everyone agreed?" Apolline asked looking around and seeing no disagreements she said, "Then let's get the two of them in here and explain it. Then it's up to bed with them."
The explanation went quickly getting the two teens to agree was the hardest and longest part of the discussion. It was decided that Apolline would be in the room with the healer as they settled in. If they stayed awake then they would rise and just spend nights sleeping together with a very strong emphasis on sleeping.
A shaken Apolline emerged from Gabrielle's bedroom to questions from the two men waiting for her. "What went on we heard some noises before a silencing ward was cast. Is everything all right?"
"You might say that. The healer is checking Harry over as best she can."
"Is he alright? I thought this was going to be easy." Sirius asked jumping into the conversation.
Apolline held up her hand saying, "Let me get a glass of wine and I'll explain everything. After that shock I need one."
As everyone was settling into the sitting room wine in hand the Veela healer walked in saying, "Harry is fine. Gabrielle is fine. They are both out cold and should stay that way for a while provided everyone leaves them alone."
Sirius reached the end of his politeness, "What the heck happened in there?"
Apolline looked at the healer saying, "Allow me to start," as she passed a glass of wine to the Veela healer. Then to the group at large she said, "Harry was a perfect gentleman. He stayed out of the room until Gabrielle was in bed and her modesty protected by the covers. He then entered and after dropping his shirt and trousers on a chair climbed into bed facing away from Gabrielle while keeping his eyes averted. It was when Gabrielle reached forward to hold Harry in her arms that it happened. At her touch he fell unconscious so she started to snuggle against him. Suddenly she transformed, instead of hands she now had sharp claws that made short work of his boxers and her briefs. Once total skin contact was assured she settled down to hold him. I left at that point."
"It was a good thing you left. She stayed in the partially transformed state while I examined Harry and what I could of her. She was quite protective of Harry. Once I was at the door she lay down and transformed back in to a sweet girl holding him close. Just to see what would happen I again approached the bed only to watch one hand rise with a fireball in it. Seeing that I quickly left the room."
Sirius took a sip of wine muttering to himself, "The poor kid can't catch a break. He's in bed with a Veela and he's unconscious."