This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the Harry Potter world, which is trademarked by J. K. Rowling. I own nearly nothing. I do however, own the plot. The plot is mine! Mine dammit!
Edit – So…this is the story I donated a few months back to the HP section for the Fandom For Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Fandom4LLS) for their fundraiser. According to the rules I couldn't post it anywhere until it was the first of December. *Checks calendar* Well…now's as good a time as any.
I think this one's also a bit different from my normal style. No bashing of any characters...well, it's there but it's rather subtle if I say so myself.
Ps – Apart from my new notes, everything is unaltered from the original piece.
Edit - Thank you so much for the feedback I got from everyone. Glad you all enjoyed this one :)
"Like our badges Potter?" Harry sighed as the burly sixth year leaned towards him, a stupid grin on his face as he fingered the green badge pinned just underneath his house emblem with the words 'Potter Stinks' emblazoned.
"Please move." He repeated quietly.
"Not until you give us your opinion." A few people who were within earshot laughed. Ignoring them he pushed his way past, but before he could walk another couple more steps the strap on his bag suddenly came loose making him drop it. The shattering sound meant that the ink bottles inside were no longer intact.
Laughter echoed from the sides as he stared down at it. His nails were digging into the palms of his hands so tightly that it was painful. Don't rise…Ignore them.
This was how things were for Harry Potter in Hogwarts ever since the goblet of fire spat out his name, thereby forcing him to compete. It was actually kind of funny how rapidly things can change…it seemed like only yesterday he had been happily discussing about the Triwizard tournament with Ron and Hermione.
Ever since his name came out he'd been victimized by the whole school. The Gryffindors shunned him for 'shaming' them; the Hufflepuffs hated him for 'stealing' their glory; the Ravenclaws looked down at him in disdain and the Slytherins…well, they were themselves…just a whole lot more delighted that this time they had the support of everyone else.
It was to be expected after all, Cedric Diggory was everything he was not. Extremely handsome, popular, good at everything…all in all, the perfect school champion. Harry Potter was just an untidy haired, quiet, somewhat shy fourteen year old.
Ron and Hermione? Oh no, they followed the masses. Ron only went too happily, he wasn't surprised…he'd known long enough that Ron was just a jealous coward at the core. Still, losing a friend was never pleasant, even if it was for the best.
Hermione…the morning after his name came out, she'd wanted him to tell the truth; That he'd cheated his way into the tournament and broken a few rules along the way. After he'd refused her he hadn't spoken to her up to this day. Sure, she never took part in the heckling or anything else, but she'd chosen to abandon him.
"Enough!" A stern voice called and he looked up to see professor McGonagall. "Don't you all have lessons which will start in another few minutes? Get going, now!" Slowly the crowd thinned while the elderly witch walked towards him. "Potter…"
"Thank you." He muttered as he knelt down and started gathering his things. Her eyes softened.
"Tell me who did this." Minerva McGonagall, the woman who was notorious for never favoring any student over another always had a soft spot for him.
"It's nothing professor." She regarded him for a moment before nodding.
"Never mind, I will make sure the ones I saw are dealt with."
"That's a lot of detentions to dish out." He said dryly causing the corners of her lips to twitch upwards.
"Yes well…I will take my chances." He smiled slightly as she left before moving stuffing the last of his things into the bag. The ink had only gotten on some of his books but it was easy enough to lift with a simple cleaning spell. After gathering the last of his quills he slowly got up before he felt someone tap his shoulder from the back.
"Whatever it is, I'm sure it's amusing but right now I…" He began tiredly before he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Non, I was just trying to give you zis." The soft, lilting voice made him turn around and almost immediately he felt the blood rush to his cheeks and the words fail in his throat. Fleur Delacour, the Beauxbatons champion who was also part Veela. The words beautiful, gorgeous, attractive…none of them came even close to doing her justice.
He'd met a few Veela before, back when he'd met one of the mascots of the Bulgarian Quidditch team back at the World cup. It was a long story, but after the Death Eaters attacked, one thing led to another and he found himself saving one of them who had been unfortunate enough to run into a few drunks.
He basically took the entire group down. That was one of his secrets, the reason why he needed such a tight grip on his emotions. When he loses control it feels like something else takes over him, changing him. Only Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin knew about him and his…curse.
Drunks…especially the ones who had no qualms about taking advantage of a helpless woman, that's enough for anyone with a moral code to lose control. Thankfully the beautiful Veela had been the only one to see what he did…it would be surprising if those men even remembered or even saw what hit them. She'd been extremely grateful. He'd thought she'd be afraid of him, but right after he'd released her binds she'd thrown herself into his arms sobbing uncontrollably.
He did have his first kiss stolen unceremoniously by her as her way of saying goodbye...not that he was complaining. Who could ever say they had their first kiss with a naked Veela?
Fleur looked nothing less than a goddess. To him, she looked far more beautiful than any woman or Veela he'd seen. He really couldn't explain why he felt this way about her; she acted like a snob, called him a "leetle boy" at the night of the selection, looked down at him in disdain…yet he couldn't bring himself to hate her.
And now he was face to face with her and he could tell by the amused look on her face that he was blushing enough to put Neville Longbottom to shame.
"'Ere…" Fleur handed him something. It was a quill, one of his quills…he'd probably missed that one.
"Oh…erm…thanks." He managed to get out without stumbling over the words. Much. "And sorry about before."
"Eet's alright." She said with a soft smile. He was briefly taken aback. Why was she acting so nice?
"Ok…erm, well…I-I have to…"
"Will you join me?" He stared at her.
"Do you 'ave anyzing to do now? I was on my way to ze grounds and I was 'oping zere would be someone to keep me company." He couldn't believe his ears, she was asking him? Him of all people?
"Err…me? I don't think that's a good idea…" She smiled before taking his hand and pulling him with her through the crowd who were watching mutinously.
He remained quiet all the way, letting her take him until they reached a spot beside the lake. He couldn't think of anything to say to her. Why was she doing this? Was it a trick? Was she in on some plan with the others to humiliate him?
"'Ave a seat." She patted the ground beside her after she'd sat down against the tree. He regarded her for a few moments before complying.
"Why?" He asked quietly after a few moments of silence.
"I just wanted to apologize for ze way I 'ad been treating you 'Arry." She sounded sincere. "Eet was not fair of me to judge you by rumors and for zat I truly am sorry."
"Oh…well, it's alright." He scratched the back of his head before giving her a quick smile.
"You really didn't enter did you?"
"What makes you think I didn't?" She smiled back.
"Because I 'ave seen what kind of a person you are."
Ever since then life dramatically improved for him. It was amazing how much he could trust her with. They spent every moment of their free time talking to each other. She had no friends in her school due to her nature, jealousy and vicious rumors. He was surprised to find that she was a lot like him; the only difference was that her defiance to everyone else came in the form of her snobbish persona she'd developed for herself.
They helped each other for the first task. She'd told him about the dragons about two weeks before the actual task. He helped her practice her enchantment. He was rather good in magic and that was putting it mildly, something which she like to tease him about. He knew more magic than half the seventh years in Hogwarts. But in his defense, he did need a hobby after all.
Neither she, nor did anyone understand exactly how he got his egg. All they saw him do was calmly walk out of the tent, unarmed and making an odd crooning noise in the back of his throat which was making the Hungarian Horntail, the notoriously violent dragon respond in kind. He'd walked right up to the dragon with a small smile on his face and inclined his head slowly before standing still.
The dragon had regarded him calmly for a few moments before nudging at him with her snout and licking him from head to toe making him yelp before laughing. After that she moved her left foreleg, allowing him to get the golden egg. After a final pat on the snout, he'd merely walked away, egg tucked safely under his arm.
It catapulted him into first place. All he'd tell Fleur whenever she asked what he'd done was, "I made a new friend."
They grew closer as time passed. Fleur was growing fond of him. The two were rarely seen out of each other's company. He asked her to the Yule ball, an invitation which she accepted readily and they had an enjoyable night together. She kept teasing him about how he couldn't dance and he kept talking about how he was thinking she'd put on weight since he'd first seen her. He did pay dearly for it by a few painful jabs at his side.
"Zank you for a wonderful night 'Arry." She said softly, kissing his cheek after he'd escorted her back to the carriage.
"You're welcome." He was surprised he could speak clearly. His eyes were fixed on her bright blue ones and for a moment neither of them said anything, each captivated by the other. With a sharp jolt he realized her face was getting closer to his. Unconsciously he leaned in too but suddenly the carriage door burst open unceremoniously making them jump as a boy stumbled out. The moment was spoilt and after gazing awkwardly at each other before exchanging a few more words she'd disappeared inside while he walked back to the castle, wishing that the boy could have just waited a couple more minutes.
They worked on figuring out the clue for the second task together and by the time of the actual task both were armed with the bubble head charm and partial transfiguration. He was the fastest back with his hostage, Neville. It was funny how they seemed to think his 'precious thing' was the boy who he hardly ever spoke to. There wasn't much choice though, at the stone it was only Cho Chang, Gabrielle Delacour (as he'd learnt later) and Hermione Granger who went with Krum for the ball.
He'd severed the bindings and grabbed the pudgy boy by the collar before swimming to the surface. He didn't have much tolerance for the boy. Neville was just…cowardly. Then again, he had little affinity for anyone in Hogwarts now. Once he'd reached the surface he pulled himself up onto the podium before pulling the boy up and dumping him abruptly on the side before walking away to stand at the back, waiting for Fleur.
He'd returned 20 minutes before the time limit which once again placed him at first place. Fleur took second, Krum third and finally pretty boy Diggory took last.
The time between then and the third task were confusing for Harry. Fleur was always with him, but he felt like he was missing something. She seemed distant to him. He even talked to his godfather about her, but all Sirius would do was tease him about her. Sirius seemed to think he had a crush on her.
That wasn't it was it?
Mrs. Weasley, Bill and Charlie all came to watch the third task about 2 days ago. He did see Bill chatting with Fleur and she happily talking with him too, but he didn't think much of it. He had no idea how much this was going to haunt him in the years to come, making him wish he'd stopped being such a coward.
The third task was finally upon them. The maze was easy…too easy. Most of the obstacles were just mere hindrances to him. He barely even had to use any spells other than 'Stupefy'. The cup had been standing there in front of him. The Acromantula guarding it had been dealt with easily.
The cup of course, had been a portkey. He was caught unawares as it whisked him into nothingness. Stunned before he could even compose himself, he was tied to a tombstone. He watched as Lord Voldemort rose again.
"We meet again Harry Potter…" Those thin lips curved into a cruel smile, those vivid red eyes blazing as they stared at the clouds above them which were turning grey. "That…might not be enough to help you this time."
It was far different than the time in his second year when he'd vaporized the memory with the aid of a powerful bolt of pure energy which had erupted from him.
He could manipulate the storms at will. Dumbledore told him he was a 'lightening elemental', a unique being that hadn't been heard about for generations. It was important for him to never lose control of his emotions; if he did it would make for a very ugly mess. He wasn't that great at controlling anything when he succumbed to anger.
It wasn't hard to lose it now. The Death Eaters were rapidly backing away from him as he growled. The storm clouds were gathering…he was changing. His eyes were becoming pits, pits containing swirling pools of energy. His entire body was bathed in a blue aura, a spectral form of a demon. The demon's hands were clawed, the head which vaguely resembled a dragon roared and as it did it discharged multiple bolts of energy, a few of which struck the Death Eaters who fell.
Voldemort watched calmly, waiting for him to complete his 'transformation'. "Still the mind of an animal." He sounded disappointed. Harry was losing consciousness now, the last thing he remembered was pure rage coursing through him before he'd rushed at Voldemort, his claw outstretched as those red eyes blazed with excitement. The last thing he heard was Voldemort's roar of "Show me your worth!"
Of course, Voldemort did what he always did best. He underestimated him. As he learnt later, he'd actually managed to seize control of himself and rushed at the portkey, enabling him to get away. From the multiple cuts and how his clothes were drenched with his own blood, it didn't take a genius to tell he'd gotten toyed with by Voldemort.
He told Dumbledore about the return, he told the minister, a week later papers were published about him being a liar. Even if he won the Triwizard tournament fair and square, after all…he'd gotten to the cup and grabbed it first, no one concentrated on that.
None of that hurt him as much as it did by what Fleur told him.
"'Arry, William asked me out!" He stared at her blankly. It had been 3 weeks since the tournament had ended and they were sitting under the tree next to the lake. Sirius was in his Animagus form a few feet away.
"Oh…I mean Bill." She blushed slightly.
"What?! I mean…tha-that's great!" He managed to gasp out as he felt a weight settle on his chest.
"Isn't eet? 'E's going to 'elp me get a job in Gringotts. I'll be able to see you again next year." She said happily while he could only nod, his throat dry. "I just zought I'd let you know, I'll probably be seeing you zis summer."
He carefully arranged his face into a smile as a new male voice came floated in, calling her name. It was Bill.
"Hey Harry, Fleur told you the good news eh?"
"Yeah…" He was thankful that no one seemed to notice the way his voice shook. Bill wrapped his arm around her waist as she leaned happily into him.
"She couldn't wait to tell you, well…the awarding ceremony is in a few hours, you better get inside." Bill said with a smile. "Can't have the winner sitting outside right?"
"I'll be in." He said quietly, avoiding Fleur's eyes. She was looking at him in concern. For what?
"Are you alright 'Arry?"
"Yes. I am. I just need to…" Bill's smile slid off slightly.
"Leave him alone for now Fleur. He's been through a lot. Hey…if you ever need to talk don't hesitate to come to us okay?" Harry nodded, trying not to flinch at the way Bill said 'us'. I have nothing against Bill or Fleur. Stop this!
"I'll see you soon zen?" Fleur asked softly. He nodded again. She smiled before allowing Bill to pull her back in the direction of the castle as Sirius padded over carefully before sitting beside him and giving his hand a quick lick.
"She won't." He whispered, patting Sirius's head as he watched their retreating figures.
The summer was unbearable. He worked diligently on all the chores Petunia and Vernon set for him. He took everything they said without rising. He was getting the full grasp of his emotions now and he liked it. The more control he had, the more closer he was to controlling his element. He immersed himself in magic, using his Triwizard winnings to purchase books by mail order among other things. It was the only way he could stop himself from allowing his thoughts to drift to her.
She'd sent him multiple letters, half of which he never replied to. He was angry, he felt betrayed, but he knew he was being irrational. She was his friend, he should want her to be happy and she sounded happy. His feelings for her shouldn't get in the way, especially if she was never going to return them.
He had his chance to make them known, he missed it. It was a lost cause.
It was with these new thoughts that he finally wrote back, apologizing for not replying and giving her a bit of insight to how he spent his time. He then told her that was probably not going to be able to keep in touch as he had too much work to do. Whether she was offended or he'd never know, but the letters stopped.
A few weeks later he and Dudley were attacked by Dementors. He managed to repel them, but just barely. His happiest memories were with Fleur, yet they were now his worst ones. So Ironic.
He'd gotten a letter from the ministry, summoning him to a hearing. Then, a few familiar faces arrived at the Dursley's doorstep, whisking him away to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix; Number 12, Grimmauld Place; Ancestral home of the Blacks.
The hearing went in his favor, but he couldn't rejoice. Fleur arrived in Grimmauld place a week before he returned to Hogwarts. She did reprimand him for not writing before proceeding to hug him, something which opened the old wound with a vengeance.
If that was something, seeing her kissing Bill over dinner was enough to bring him dangerously close to losing control. Quickly excusing himself he locked himself in his room and cast a strong silencing charm over it before letting loose a strangled, inhuman roar and punching the wall. The thing inside him, it wanted out. It wanted to claw at the things that were hurting him. Those 'things' unfortunately included Bill and Fleur.
He was propped up against the bed, his knees drawn up to his chest as his hands were wrapped tightly around his head, as if they could stop the pain, keep the thing at bay. His door suddenly opened slowly and he hastened to get up before he saw who it was.
"Hey Harry." Sirius said quietly, closing the door behind him and locking it again. He allowed his godfather to sit beside him and wrap his arm around him. "I would ask if you're alright but that's pretty pointless."
"It is." He muttered.
"If it hurts you that much…why don't you just tell her?" Despite himself he gave a low chuckle.
"That's the butterbeer talking."
"She's happy. I like Bill, I have nothing against them. And…" He faltered before gathering himself up again. "I'd rather not lose her as a friend." Sirius remained quiet for a few moments before sighing.
"You always asked me why I never married didn't you?" He nodded slowly. "It wasn't because I never found someone to love…I did find that person."
"Who was she?" Sirius didn't answer for a few moments.
"I was the same as your father. I liked her since the moment I saw her. Beautiful, witty, charming…but...I could never be as brave as your father was. I loved them both, I wanted your father happy and I wanted your mother happy. I didn't want to get in the middle of that." He paused before looking at him. "Sound familiar?"
Harry remained silent.
"Do me a favor…start thinking about yourself for once and not just about the good of the others. Not even your friends. You had your chance, but you didn't use it. Move on. I allowed myself to be ruined and I resent the fact that I could never move on. Don't let that happen to you."
Harry didn't say anything but he felt him lean into him and they stayed like that in silence, each lost in their own memories.
Finally he realized Harry had fallen asleep on his shoulder and he gently laid his head on the pillow and threw the covers over him. Before he could leave however, Harry's voice stopped him.
"Did it hurt?" He smiled back at him sadly.
"You learn to cope." Harry seemed to nod. Not knowing what else to say to him he slowly closed the door behind him and started making his way back downstairs when he came face to face with Fleur who'd just come up.
"Sirius! 'Ave you seen 'Arry?" He was surprised Bill was nowhere to be seen.
"He's asleep…no…don't go in." He grabbed her hand as she made to go past him making her glare at him.
"I just want to see 'im. 'E's been avoiding me and I need to know why." He stared back at her before sighing and letting go.
"You know…for a girl you're pretty dense." Her eyes narrowed but he didn't care. "I mean this in the nicest way possible and if you really do care for him like you say you do, you will listen to me." He started walking away, leaving her standing rooted on the spot. "Figure out where you went wrong and fix it or leave him alone."
Harry got through the week without incident. It was quite easy, seeing as he merely stayed in his room for the most part. Fleur did drop in once but it was like something was wrong. What they once had was gone. It hurt him to dismiss her like that, especially seeing that hurt mirrored on her face, but as he reasoned, the sooner he got past it the better.
He didn't talk to Ron or Hermione…or anyone else for that matter. Soon they were back in Hogwarts.
They had a horrible new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, whose sole aim in life it seemed was to make him miserable. Not that she had to try.
He never paid attention to her in class. She kept trying to get him to admit that the return of Voldemort was a lie but he refused, which resulted in him spending weeks at a time, getting the words 'I must not tell lies' carved into the back of his hand.
Even through all this he couldn't stop thinking about Fleur. He tried, he always tried to forget. But his traitorous mind wouldn't let him. The memories of her didn't want to go away.
At the beginning of the first week of December, a vision of a snake attacking Mr. Weasley outside of a dark corridor woke him up, his mind in a state of panic. He'd run to Dumbledore's office, reducing the stone gargoyle to rubble when it wouldn't let him in. After quickly stammering out what he'd seen he and the rest of the Weasley children who were summoned there were sent to Grimmauld place.
Thankfully Mr. Weasley was on his way to a full recovery. Sirius was ecstatic to have him back for Christmas so he decided to just stay even if it meant seeing Fleur again who arrived about a week before Christmas.
He didn't want to talk to her and it seemed like she didn't know how to approach him either. Their eyes kept meeting but both would look away. Bill was always around her…maybe he was being delusional, but it looked like she didn't seem as happy as she was before with the eldest Weasley.
Harry spent most of the Christmas day in the attic. No one seemed to notice him gone. The Weasley twins had invited him to listen in on their parents while conversing with Mr. Weasley in the ward and they'd theorized that he had perhaps been possessed by Voldemort. From then on everyone acted like he was invisible, something which hardly bothered him anymore as it had been that way for the most part now. He already told Mrs. Weasley that he wasn't feeling well and that he'd appreciate it if she could send his food to his room.
He made the mistake of finding a bottle of old muggle liquor inside one of Sirius's old boxes in the attic. Towards the evening his godfather found him with the bottle half empty.
"What are you doing to yourself Harry?" Sirius asked sadly, pulling a chest over so that he could sit on it.
"What're you talking about?" He mumbled before taking a long swig from the bottle. "I just needed a distraction."
"And getting drunk is it?"
"Not really." Sirius snorted.
"Put that down…I don't even know where you could have found that. You're lucky you seem to hold liquor better than your father. Half a bottle down and James couldn't even form proper words."
"Another advantage to being Harry bloody Potter." He said quietly, trying to get up before swaying dangerously.
"Easy…easy…" Sirius steadied him. "Why don't we get you into a shower and we'll have dinner downstairs."
"Not a chance in hell."
"Look, it's my house. I will not have my own godson hiding in the attic while the rest of them enjoy themselves with a Christmas dinner down there. I'll kick them out if I have to."
"Whoa…you're serious aren't you? Serious Sirius." He giggled before stumbling and falling backwards while Sirius just rubbed his head tiredly.
"Look, if it's the kids..."
"Granger and the Weasleys? Come on…I've dealt with them long enough. You and I both know I'm not possessed. Honestly…that Hermy…Hermone…err…Granger…she makes herself out to be smart but she can't even figure that out."
Sirius sighed before sitting beside him. "I thought we'd gone through with this already Harry. You can't keep thinking about Fleur." Neither of the two heard the small gasp coming from underneath the trapdoor leading to the attic.
"You told me to move on. You told me to." He took another long swig before putting the empty bottle down. "You never showed me how."
"Harry…look at yourself! Forget Hogwarts, I know they all think you're a lunatic but have you seen yourself? Have you ever paid any attention to how girls look at you? If you can't get a good shagging I don't know who can." He gave a hollow laugh.
"Shagging? Yeah…that's one of the things I need to get done soon. Who knows how long it will be before I finally kick the bucket?"
"That's not what I meant and you know it." Sirius growled.
"I know what you're saying." Harry snapped, louder than he'd wanted to. "Do you think I want something like that? Why didn't you do that then? Why didn't you just go out, shag the first girl you could and get over my mother?"
"You can't just keep wasting away. I told you all that so you wouldn't make the same mistakes that I did. Don't ruin yourself just because of one girl."
"She's not just a girl." He said quietly. Sirius remained quiet, regarding him silently.
"I know how you feel…"
"Do you?" He asked. "You had them, my father, Remus…even my mother. You weren't alone. Fleur…she made me feel like I was normal again. It was the first time I ever felt anything like it…just being with her made me happy." He sighed before rubbing his eyes tiredly. "She was special."
"I can't take it…" His voice shook. "I don't know how you did it but I can't keep watching them together. Whenever I see her with Bill I feel like my chest is going to…" He closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall. "This thing inside me…" Self disgust found its way into his voice. "It wants to lash out every time I see them. I can't let that happen…I can't." He finally broke down crying as the bottle rolled across the floor.
Later that evening no one could find Fleur. She was locked inside the room she and Bill shared, her arms wrapped tightly around the small teddy that Harry had given her for Christmas last year. Tears were sliding down her cheeks as she kept remembering all the times they'd spent together.
How could she not have seen what was right in front of her? What had she been doing all this time?
Harry returned to Hogwarts and soon fell back into his routine of enduring each day.
He thought things couldn't get any worse. How wrong he was…
During his History of Magic O.W.L he'd gotten another vision. This time it was one of Sirius, alone in a room surrounded by Voldemort and a dozen Death Eaters. It threw his mind into wild panic as he rushed to Dumbledore's office only to find it empty. Quickly using the fire to call Grimmauld place he found out quickly that Sirius was indeed at the Ministry verifying his suspicions. He'd long since found out that he was dreaming about the Department of Mysteries.
One wayward trip to the Ministry via Thestral (a mode of transportation he was never going to use again) later, he was beating down the now familiar path to the Department of Mysteries.
He found himself in a hall filled with orbs, prophecies as he realized. The exact same place as it had been in his dream. However there was no Sirius, or Voldemort for that matter. After cautiously walking through the long, narrow paths something caught his eye.
A prophecy with his name on it.
As if in a trance he reached over and took it. Almost as soon as he'd gotten it, shadows materialized around him.
"Potter…hand over the prophecy." It had been a trap. He closed his eyes in frustration, carefully controlling his emotions again.
"You mean this dusty old thing?" He asked quietly, holding it out as the long blonde haired Death Eater stepped forward. Lucius Malfoy.
"Exactly…now be a good boy and hand it over." He reached forward, as if meaning to drop it into the gloved hand before taking it out of reach again.
"Nah…I think I changed my mind. It looks pretty."
"Cut the crap, Accio prophecy!" That was all he'd been waiting for.
"Protego!" He roared and a blue shield expanded in front of him before he let himself go. A surge of power coursed through him and without warning he slashed at nearest Death Eater, none of the defenses were holding as they all crumpled under his claw, cutting through the flesh.
The next few minutes were a blur. All the control he'd been practicing had paid off well as he could still retain some form of himself which was enough to stop himself from being a mindless beast. The Death Eaters found themselves in a very difficult position. They couldn't kill him, they couldn't use harmful spells at all in the fear of breaking the prophecy. He however, had no such reservations.
Two more Death Eaters fell but soon he found himself cornered. It took a lot out of him, maintaining that form. And now it seemed, he'd reached the end of the line.
"Potter…the prophecy if you will." Bellatrix Lestrange said happily. They were closing in and he was on his knees. There was nothing he could do…except…
"You want this?" He held it out, the dusty old orb. "Sorry, go tell your master you…FAILED!" He yelled as he threw it as hard as he could to the ground, shattering it as Bellatrix screamed in fury.
A lot of things happened at once. A ghostly figure of a woman rose and started saying something, no one could hear her though seeing as spells started flying in all directions as more people suddenly filled into the room. Sirius, Remus, Kingsley, Tonks and the rest of the Order.
Sirius got to him first, pulling him out of harm's way.
Next, he was watching Sirius taunting and dueling his cousin, Bellatrix before a red spell suddenly hit him. He watched transfixed as the laughter never left his godfather's face as he disappeared through the veil.
The last thing he remembered was chasing after Bellatrix.
"I know you're hurting Harry."
"Professor, with all due respect please stop aggravating me. We both know how I can be when I lose control." He said in a monotone. When he'd regained consciousness, he'd found himself staring at the viciously mauled body of Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort had tried possessing him but it had been for naught as the thing inside him had not taken too kindly to the intrusion.
"Now would be a good time for the secrets to stop." He said quietly. "The prophecy, everything. I want to know." The headmaster stayed silent for a while before finally nodding.
"The Horcruxes too…if you will." Stunned silence settled in. "It's amazing what a few books on Dark Arts from the Black family library and a little common sense can do isn't it?"
Why did you do it Harry?
I died because of you. All because you just…"
Someone was roughly shaking him. "Wake up!"
I didn't mean…
"'Arry! Wake up!" His eyes snapped open to find someone restraining him and with a growl he fought back, his hands closing on around the intruder's tightly.
"Get off me!"
"'Arry…" That voice…he knew that voices. Reaching for his glasses he put them on to find Fleur's face hovering directly above his.
"Fleur…" He glanced at her hands which he'd been gripping and was ashamed to see they looked like they'd been bruised. "I hurt you didn't I? I…"
"Non…'Arry you didn't 'urt me." She said softly, wiping his brow with what looked like a piece of cloth. "You'd never 'urt me." She added quietly, more to herself than him as she continued her ministrations.
"You…" He glanced around. He was in his room in Grimmauld place. It had been a few weeks since he'd gotten back and he kept to himself in his rooms most of the time. He'd point blank refused to return to the Dursleys seeing as he couldn't get anything done there and surprisingly the headmaster hadn't protested. Much. He didn't want to keep wasting any more time. "How long were you here?" He asked quietly, looking at the bowl of water along with a small pile of discarded pieces of cloth on the bedside table.
"A few minutes." From the way she avoided his eyes and the number of discarded pieces of cloth lying in the pile, he could tell she was lying. "You looked like you were 'aving a fever earlier so…" He watched her as she dabbed at his forehead again, trying hard not to keep looking at the way her lips were pursed in concentration. He couldn't have that happening now. He couldn't afford to succumb to those feelings again and end up hurting himself more.
"Thank you. But…you should probably be getting back. It's the middle of the night and Bill mi-"
"I'm not leaving." She said simply, cutting him off before carrying on with her self-assigned task. He opened his mouth to speak again before closing it and decided to remain quiet.
A few minutes of silence later, the door creaked opened and he felt like a weight had dropped on his chest when he saw who it was. Bill. She looked over her shoulder to see who it was before turning back as if there had been no interruption.
"Fleur? What are you doing here?"
"'Arry's sick." Bill frowned.
"So let my mother tend to him, I'll go get her…you come-"
"No Bill, I will not. Go back to sleep and do not wait up for me." She said irritably. "I 'ave to go to work first zing in ze morning." Harry couldn't help noticing how she addressed him as 'Bill' instead of the usual 'William' he'd heard her call him the last time he was here.
"I will not say eet again. And please stay on your side of ze bed ze next time." Bill scowled before ducking out of the room, slamming the door behind him. "Sorry about 'im 'Arry." She added nonchalantly, turning back to him as if nothing happened. The anger in her face had disappeared.
"No…Fleur, please. I don't want to cause any problems for you two-"
"Don't say zat." She said icily, cutting him off. "Eet's not you zat's causing ze problems. As for ze problems…eet's been long overdue." He chose not to respond to that.
As soon as she was done he thought she'd leave but that didn't seem to be the case as she instead sat down on the edge of his bed. "'Arry, I know now may not be ze best time, but I've 'ad enough. I'm tired of you pushing me away every time I try to talk wiz you."
"I zought we agreed we would always be zere for each ozzer back zen. Why won't you let me?" He froze, this was not what he wanted to do. They were both still, staring at each other. Blue eyes on green and neither of them were willing to look away.
But something had to give, and it was him. He couldn't keep looking at her.
"I…I can't say that." He muttered weakly. "Don't make me lie to you Fleur." He felt her finger on his chin, lifting his face up so that his eyes met hers. It was difficult to not look away.
"You will stop avoiding me. Ze only reason I am still 'ere is because of you and I will not allow zat to change." Her eyes softened. "You talk in your sleep you know…" A chill settled in his stomach, that was very unwelcome news. "You are not alone. You will 'ave me. You will always 'ave me." There was an emotion he couldn't quite place in her eyes as she gazed at him. He had no idea when but her hand was on his cheek, stroking it gently. Finally she leaned in and placed a soft, lingering kiss on his forehead, just over his scar.
"Try to get some sleep. I'll be 'ere."
Fleur Delacour sighed as she returned to the Burrow. It had been a long day at work.
It had been almost 7 months since she'd gotten Harry back. The thought made her smile. True, it was awkward a bit but this was only the beginning, she was not going to make the same mistakes again. She made the worst few of her life and she was already having enough trouble trying to correct them. She knew what she wanted to make her life complete. She wasn't going to rest until she had him.
He was finally opening up to her again, confiding in her. She could even make him smile…just as he could her. It was not gone unnoticed, no one failed to see that Harry only ever seemed to talk to her and that she spent most, if not all her time around him. Bill always scowled whenever he saw them.
They were all staying at the Weasley's for Christmas, including her. She'd stopped sleeping in the same room as Bill a long time ago and made it painstakingly clear that they were not going to work out and that she was only here because of her duty to the Order. But he kept coming back…he just didn't seem to understand the meaning of 'No'.
Bill was infuriating. The whole Weasley family was. She really couldn't understand what she'd seen in him before. It was extremely difficult trying to drop the hints but now she was done, it was over. She needed Bill Weasley out of her life as soon as possible. If she had a choice she would have left the Order already and completely cut ties with the Weasleys but the Order was her only way to Harry and that was something she wouldn't give up.
As soon as she stepped inside the Weasley household, she knew it couldn't be good. There was Bill, his mother and the rest of the family along with Harry and Hermione. Harry looked devastated; she could see it in his face. But the rest of the family was too busy laughing and talking to notice. The thought angered her.
"Ahh…there she is!" Mrs. Weasley gushed as soon as she caught sight of her and everyone looked up at her.
"What?" They were acting way too happy. This could not be good. Her eyes found Harry's but all he did was smile weakly at her before he got up and left, disappearing up the stairs. No…She made to follow him but found her way blocked by the twins.
"Wait there." They said cheerfully. Bill suddenly got up, and walked towards her, a positively foolish grin on his face. What did I see in this person before?
"Fleur…I know we've been having some rough times lately." Everyone went quiet. "I've been thinking about it and decided that something needed to be done."
"Bill…" She said warningly.
"I know we can work everything out. I want us to start over again, on a clean slate." He got on one knee, producing a small, black box. "Only this time, as my fiancé." Cat-calls came from the watching family, courtesy of the twins. "Fleur Delacour…will you marry me?"
She was stunned momentarily. Was he really that dimwitted? Had she been so stupid enough to think he would have been a suitable mate?
"Non." Heavy silence settled in. No one spoke for a few moments.
"No?" Mrs. Weasley asked loudly. "What do you mean 'no'?"
"Exactly what I mean. Non. Bill, I will not marry you."
"But…" He stammered.
"Didn't I say we needed to talk just a few weeks ago Bill? Didn't I?" The twins made wounded noises. "Whatever in ze world was giving you ze idea zat we were going to work out? Were you so blind all zis time?"
"I thought…" She had to control herself from not snorting derisively.
"And zis is your solution? Merde!" Mrs. Weasley looked like she was going to blow up.
"It's because of him isn't it?" He asked suddenly making a chill go down her back.
"Who?" Mrs. Weasley suddenly snapped.
"You're in love with him aren't you? I've seen the way you look at him." More cries of 'who' were sent up from the Weasleys. Most of them looked outraged.
She stared at him for a few moments. Everything about him disgusted her. She'd been no better than a teenage girl for falling for his pretty face.
But…if this was the way he wanted to do it…
"Yes. Yes…I 'ave feelings for 'im."
"How dare you lead my son on like that!" Mrs. Weasley shrieked. The youngest Weasley girl and most of the others made similar cries of outrage.
"I did not lead your son on. Ask Bill, ask 'im 'ow long eet's been since I told 'im we weren't going to work out?" She demanded. "We stopped seeing each ozzer a long time ago."
"Is this true?" Mr. Weasley asked suddenly. Bill chose to ignore his father.
"But Fleur he's too…"
"Zat is none of your business . Even if eet wasn't for 'im zings would never 'ave worked out between us."
"Wait…who is it that she…" Mrs. Weasley suddenly asked. "It can't be…" She trailed off, looking stricken. Bill scowled before getting back up to his feet.
"Harry." He said shortly. A hush fell as soon as the name left his lips. It was a little funny at that moment because the person in question burst into the room suddenly.
What happened next wasn't.
"Everybody down!" Harry yelled before there was a sound like a canon going off and as if in slow motion the ceiling began to cave in. Something hard hit her head and everything went black.
When she next woke up she found herself staring at a pair of vivid green eyes. Harry's eyes. Without thinking she reached out and wrapped her arms around him.
"You're alright Fleur…" She heard him sigh in relief.
"W-what…" The words died in her throat as she stared at the destruction before her. The Burrow was lying in ruins a few feet away from them. There were a few bodies next to it. "What 'appened?" She asked, sitting up with his help.
"Death Eaters. Guess they decided to go on the offensive." He said humorlessly.
"No, everyone's safe." He got up and helped her to her feet. She could see the rest of the Weasleys standing a few feet away, huddled together with Kingsley and a few others from the Order.
"I guess I 'ave to zank you for saving my life?" She asked with a smile. He shrugged. She knew it was him, she'd seen what he could do and frankly, it never scared her.
"I'm leaving." He repeated. "I have a few things that need to be done. Voldemort will keep attacking anywhere I am until he succeeds. I need to kill him, that's the only way this will all end."
"So let us 'elp you. Let me 'elp you."
"No. Please…listen to me." He said wearily but she was having none of that.
"Leave zat to ze Order 'Arry! To Dumbledore, to zose people! What is eet zat only you can do alone?" He smiled slightly.
"A lot of things." She refused to return it. "You will understand later and…Fleur, don't try to find me because you won't. Get out of this country, I don't want you getting caught in the war." He paused as a shadow crossed his face, his smile losing humor. "Make Bill come with you if you have to…just leave."
"What?! Non, you don't understand 'Arry I…" She found herself unable to speak when she felt his hand on her cheek. There were tears in his eyes and that sight alone was robbing her of her strength.
"Be happy. Thank you for being there for me all this time, I wouldn't have made it this far without you after losing Sirius."
She desperately wanted to speak, but she couldn't get her voice to work properly. She had to stop him. She had to.
Unfortunately it looked like he knew what was going on in her mind. She froze when he leaned forward, kissing her cheek and she couldn't help closing her eyes at the touch of his lips. They were so soft, gentle, unlike anything she'd ever experienced with anyone before and she wanted more.
"I'm sorry I won't be around for the wedding." He whispered in her ear before stepping back away from her as her eyes widened. She tried to reach out for him but in the blink of an eye and a loud crack, he was gone. She could only stare at the spot he'd been just moments ago, refusing to believe that once again, she'd managed to lose what had been right in front of her.
The war ended a few weeks ago with the battle of Hogwarts.
Harry had been utterly, and completely alone during the first few months on the run. Dumbledore passed away, the curse from the Gaunt's ring, the resurrection stone claimed his life. He had systematically searched and destroyed the rest of the Horcruxes with the aid of an unlikely ally, the man who everyone thought to be the murderer of Albus Dumbledore. The final one, the long-lost diadem of Ravenclaw had been in the Room of Requirement back at Hogwarts.
This had led to a battle, the battle of Hogwarts. Numerous Death Eaters had perished at his hands and finally they were given the ultimatum; The life of Harry Potter or the lives of every single person in the castle.
He had accepted it and left instructions to Neville, the once cowardly boy to kill the snake in case he didn't get the chance to. He had then walked calmly to his death, hidden under his invisibility cloak. He really had no reservations with it. He had nothing to fight for, nothing to live for. He just wanted everything to stop.
However fate had other plans for him. The bit of Voldemort inside him died instead and he was sent back to the living to finish the job.
He'd then waited, pretending to be dead before the perfect opportunity presented itself when Neville got the snake. The final battle had gone down in history, the world's first lightening elemental in decades against the greatest dark wizard of all time. It was ironic how he would be remembered as the demon and not Voldemort. But then again, he couldn't exactly blame them. Pictures, drawings, statues...anything dedicated to the aftermath of the battle would always depict him in his elemental form, the spectral fiend of lightning.
The most memorable moment for everyone was not the battle. It was what happened afterwards.
Fleur Delacour had marched up to him. He would always remember that as the scariest moment of his life. He would face Voldemort any day if it meant not coming face to face with the angry French beauty.
She had given him a resounding slap which had left a permanent red mark which is still visible on his cheek to this day before growling under her breath at him to make sure he would not miss the wedding which was in a few weeks. Those were the first words she ever spoke to him ever since they'd parted so long ago. All he could do was nod dumbly as she walked away.
Which brought him to where he was now; His trunk packed and ready, Number 12 Grimmauld place which had been his home for the past few weeks was now empty. He'd sold most of the furniture among other things and the house was to be turned into a wizarding pub. Today was the day she would be getting married…but even after all his effort, he hadn't been able to settle his affairs in order before today.
He knew he was being a coward, leaving Fleur on her most important day without saying goodbye, but he had no idea how he would react to seeing her marry Bill. He knew Bill had asked her to marry the last time he'd been at the Burrow, but since then he hadn't heard or seen from either of them up until that moment after the battle where he'd promised Fleur he would come for her wedding.
"Won't be the first promise I've broken." He muttered quietly to himself as he walked through the empty house, ignoring the pain in his chest. Even after all this time, he still hadn't been able to suppress his feelings for her. "I guess I'm more like you than my father after all Sirius." He said loudly, surprising his owl who had been asleep on his shoulder with her head under her wing. "We will both never move on." A low chuckle escaped him.
Great, first sign of madness…talking to yourself.
One final look around the house and he was ready to go as he dragged his trunk behind him. No sooner had he reached the long corridor leading to the door it opened and the last person he wanted to see on this day stepped in.
He was momentarily mesmerized by her. She looked so beautiful in the white wedding dress that she simply took his breath away.
"Where do you zink you're going?" Her voice snapped him out of his reverie as his gaze met hers.
"Somewhere." He muttered after a while. There was no point lying.
"You were going to break your promise to me?" He winced at her phrasing.
"Fleur..." He sighed before running a hand over his hair. "Don't do this, not on your wedding day. You know why I can't be there…the whole Weasley family blames me for the deaths of Fred and Percy. Me being there will…"
"Is zat ze only reason?"
"I asked if zat is ze only reason. A long time ago you told me zere was somezing you could never tell me. Do you zink you could tell me now?" He backed away, shaking his head frantically. "I never pressed you to tell me about eet. I valued our friendship zat much. You can't be zere for me on my most important day?"
"It's just…" He clenched his fist and closed his eyes, controlling his breathing. She was right, she had been there for him every time he needed her. Well…mostly. This was the one thing she was asking from him, if he couldn't give her that, what kind of a person was he? "No, I'm sorry." He said with a small smile, moving forward to pull her into a hug, horribly aware that this would be the last time he'd be holding this incredible woman in his arms. "I'm being stupid. Of course I'll be there."
He would do this for her, but that was it. All that'd be left to do was leave England and start over elsewhere. There was nothing left for him here anyway.
"Zank you." She murmured against his chest.
"Just let me get changed…"
"Non, zis is fine."
"What? No…" He was just wearing a white shirt which was a size or two too big for him along with a pair of blue denim trousers. He'd decided to forgo wizarding clothing entirely. Muggle clothing was just…better.
"You look more 'andsome zan you usually do like zat." She said softly, a smile on her face as he felt himself blush.
"Erm…okay then let's go. But remember, if the Weasleys kill me it's on you." She scoffed.
"Like I would let zem." Her hand slipped into his and shte urned and he was pulled into the darkness with her for a few seconds before the uncomfortable sensation stopped.
It was windy and he could almost taste the salt in the air. They were on a cliff overlooking the sea below them and there was a priest waiting for them at the small podium in the middle. There were rows of chairs filled with people around them, most of them looked like they were Veela. He could recognize her little sister and her parents who were smiling at him, but those were the only people he could. There was no hint of red hair anywhere, or even a hint of a familiar face.
"Fleur…Where's Bill? The Weasleys…?"
"Oh zem…non, zey won't be 'ere today." He gaped at her.
"What?! What about Bill?"
"Oh, I'm not getting married to 'im. Bill and I broke up quite a long time ago…before you even left actually. Didn't I mention zat?" She asked with a smile as a few laughs rose around them.
"You…did neglect to do that." He mumbled, looking around. Now that he came to think of it, there was no one that even remotely resembled a groom anywhere. There was no one waiting on the altar for Fleur other than the man who he assumed to be the priest or whatever who was smiling at them. "Who…are you going t-" He found himself unable to speak due to the pair of extremely soft lips which were upon his suddenly. His eyes widened in shock but as soon as her arms wrapped around his neck, he found himself responding in kind.
He couldn't believe it, he was kissing Fleur, he was kissing Fleur Delacour; the woman of his dreams. This couldn't be happening. He tried pinching himself but the pleasant sensation never went, nor did those lips part from his. When she coaxed his mouth open and deepened the kiss, his mind shut down.
Finally, after what felt like days, months even…she parted from him. Her lips slightly swollen and a blush on her face as she gazed at him lovingly. "Ze man I am marrying…" She murmured quietly, caressing his cheek. "Is you. If you will 'ave me." It took a few moments for him to pull himself out of his daze and process what he'd just heard.
"I…" Try as he might he couldn't get his voice to work properly.
"I love you 'Arry." That statement stopped his stammering and he looked like he'd just gotten punched on the face.
"What?" He whispered, hardly daring to believe it. She smiled before wrapping her arms around him, her eyes bright.
"I love you." She smiled. "I'll say eet as many times as you want. I love you 'Arry Potter."
"I-I don't understand…what about…"
"Zere are a lot of zings you don't understand. I broke up wiz Bill long before you left. I realized a long…long time ago zat my feelings were all for you. Zere was just never a right moment to reveal zem."
"I made a mistake 'Arry…please, I waited a long time to make zis right. I don't want you to disappear off my life again." Her voice broke and he felt his heart break when he saw tears forming in her eyes. "I love you so…"
"Hey…" He said gently, cupping her cheek. "I'm just having a hard time believing this is happening." She nodded before leaning into his hand. They stayed in embrace for a few moments while the rest of the people around them stayed respectfully quiet.
"Fleur? That one thing I could never tell you…Why I kept trying to push you away?" She nodded slowly.
"Why?" She asked softly.
"It was because I couldn't bear to see you with Bill, let alone marrying him." Her face was barely a few inches from his own, her warm breath was on his lips…taunting him.
"And why was zat?" She whispered.
"Because I had fallen in love with you ever since the moment I saw you." She smiled coyly at that. "I love you Fleur...but are you sure you want me?" He asked a bit more timidly, there was still some part of him that refused to believe this was happening. She cupped his cheek before kissing him tenderly.
"I want you for ze rest of my life. And ze next." He smiled as he buried his face in her hair.
"And the next?"
"And ze next." She agreed. "But zat's eet." She giggled before frowning slightly and wiping away a few stray tears from his eyes. "Zose are ze only kind of tears I want to see from you from now on."
He smiled back at her. "I could say the same for you." She leaned into him with a content sigh. He couldn't even begin to describe the feeling of having her in his arms, knowing that this was how it was going to be for the rest of their lives. Nothing else mattered anymore.
"Oh god…stop it you two." A familiar voice called and turned to see Remus walking towards them, his wife Tonks beside him.
"Remus!" The old werewolf laughed as Tonks moved to embrace them both.
"Good thing you got my message earlier, he would have been long gone otherwise." Fleur nodded, looking rather ill.
"I know. 'E was packed by ze time I reached 'im. If I 'ad been any later…" She trailed off, gazing at him. He shook his head before briefly hugging her closer to him.
"Well, anyway Harry…" Remus smiled before pulling out a small, black box. "This was your mother's...Sirius asked me to hold onto it and give it to you when the time was right." He opened it to find a beautiful ring with a modestly cut diamond. He took it out and let out a deep breath. He knew what he had to do.
Gathering all of his courage he knelt before her, taking her hand in his. The smile on her face made her look far more beautiful than she ever had before.
"Fleur Isabella Delacour, this…err...I know it's a little too fast…but…" The crowd around them erupted in laughter. "Will…will you marry me?"
"You really 'ad to ask?" She whispered. "Yes…of course I will marry you 'Arry James Potter."
Harry could honestly say this was the happiest day of his life. It was one he never expected to see, he thought he'd missed his chance…but fate had decided to give him another one.
They took their vows, their eyes never leaving each other's. And as her lips met his in a kiss they would remember for the rest of their long life together, there was only one thought forming in his mind which he would hold onto from then on.
No way would he ever let the things that matter slip by again.
"What are you thinking about?" Tonks asked softly as they watched Harry and Fleur descend from the altar, both looking like they were drunk on happiness as they all got their feet.
"Just thinking how much Padfoot would have liked to see this." Remus said softly. "I mean come on…Harry kissed the girl for the first time, proposed to her and married her all in the same day. To top it all off she's a Veela too." He grinned before directing his attention to the skies. "You guys happy now?" He could have sworn he saw two clouds in the forms of a dog and a stag respectively fade away.
AN: I originally intended for this to be my very first one-shot when I finished writing this one a few months back. Funnily enough, just a few hours after I had just finished this one I got a PM requesting a donation for the HP section so I went ahead and submitted this 'cuz the timing was just too perfect. If anyone read my other one-shot which I published about a month ago, you'll notice that I've leaned towards angst on both of them.
I don't usually ask but for this one I'm rather anxious to know if this was a good read for a number of reasons. As you guys have noticed I played around with a bunch of ideas I've had and sort of…err…meshed them all together. Don't know if I went over the top or not.
So yea…let me know what you guys think.