Chapter 14 - Night Terror
Previously in True Love Isn’t Always Conventional:
Harry and Fleur escaped for a “date” of sorts in Hogsmeade, and there they were able to test their bond a little as well as come to understand one another just a little more. Harry finally learns the reason why Fleur is allowing Madame Maxime to bully her into participating in the Tri-Wizard Tournament: blackmail against her father, Jefferoi.
Fleur had been dreaming peacefully, something about a horse and flowers, she thought. But now she faced blackness. And she was scared. Fleur knew she was dreaming, but she also knew that she shouldn’t be aware of that-had never been aware of that before. Something wasn’t right.
“Hello?” she called into the darkness. There was only silence for a moment, and then a cry came echoing back. She couldn’t make out the words or the voice. She called louder.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” The darkness was pressing in, almost suffocating. She wished she would wake already. The cry came again, echoing louder this time. Fleur listened hard, straining her ears.
"Run!" The voice echoed around her, shouting at her. All at once she had legs again, and Fleur ran. There was no ground, and no direction, but the desperation in those words was enough to push her into action.
The blackness was lightening, and the voice came again, more familiar this time. “Fleur go, get out of here!” The timbre of the voice changed, and Fleur could make out a shape in the black.
“No. No, please. Please don’t hurt her-she hasn’t done anything to you!” Fleur felt a chill. Something warned her to stop moving, but she felt herself drawn inexorably onward. The shape becoming a figure, and the figure becoming clearer with each passing moment. The voice...she knew that voice.
“Harry?” She queried. The figure ignored her. Or maybe he didn’t hear her. Another figure suddenly loomed up, towering over Harry, whom she could now make out. Harry, who was on his knees.
"Oh Harry." This was not Harry’s voice. Fleur felt her whole being clench in fear at that dark, oozing voice. That was the voice that created the darkness. It was spreading the black with its very being-she could see it pulsating off of the figure. Her will to flee grew stronger, but she had no power over her own consciousness as she was pulled up level with Harry. Black souless eyes turned to look at her disdainfully, the malicious glint only returning when they turned back on Harry. “What she has done is irrelevant. You know that.” The eyes turned back to look at her, and all at once an excruciating pain exploded from her forehead. She screamed.
Fleur flew up in bed, gasping for breath with sweat beading her face. Her roommate stared at her with wide eyes, covers pulled up to her chest. Fleur knew she looked wild. She didn’t care. “Harry.” She breathed. She flung back the covers and leapt out of bed. Not bothering with a cloak, she raced out of her room and the Beauxbatons carriage, blue silk pajamas flapping around her. Her head still ached, but she could only imagine what Harry was feeling.
She made it into the castle without much trouble but would have been stumped from there if not for the Bond calling her on. She could feel Harry’s fear and pain calling her like a beacon. She didn’t pause for a moment as she raced for the staircases, letting the magic guide her forward. If she had stopped to think about it, she knew she would end up lost. Best to act on instinct sometimes when magic was involved.
Fleur raced up a staircase, jumping one step for unknown reasons and continuing on. The meowing of a cat caused her to pull out her wand, and perform a basic light bending spell to make it harder to see her-the shadows in the corridor helped make her invisibility more of a reality. This and more she found herself doing under the direction of the Bond magic she held inside, it was a strange sensation of pre-destiny that Fleur didn’t like, but she dare not defy it now. Not when Harry needed help. Besides, she thought as she ran. The Bond hadn’t left them much choice of other more important things and she was coming to terms with that.
Before she knew it she came to a halt before a huge painting of a rather large woman in a dress. Fleur stared at her perplexedly. The woman gazed back. Fleur knew Harry lay beyond the painting of the Fat Lady, but she did not know what to do now. The magic was done figuring things out at this point, it seemed.
The Fat Lady was becoming impatient.
“Well?” The painting said. Fleur frowned.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know the password.” she said, her expression pleading. The Fat Lady sighed.
“Well then I’m sorry, but you will not be able to-” An ear-shattering scream tore through the Fat Lady’s words, rendering them both silent. The Fat Lady winced, clearly on edge.
Fleur tensed as the Bond’s crushing need intensified. “Please, please let me through! That’s Harry. He’s in pain, and he needs me. I have to help. I swear to you, on my magic, that I will do no harm to anyone or anything beyond your painting this night. I so swear, may my magic forever be destroyed.” Fleur felt her magic writhe within her as she swore that solemn oath. Magic would make sure she kept her promise.
The Fat Lady drew in a breath, looking worried. “He has been doing that for quite some time. I suppose...this once...” She swung forward, and Fleur flung herself through the portrait hole. A brief moment of relief swept through her-she hadn’t wanted to harm the painting. She found herself in the Gryffindor common room and looked up at the two staircases that led to the bedrooms. The sense of Harry was so strong it was impossible to tell which way he was. Taking a wild guess, she flew up the stairs to the boy’s dormitories. As she drew even with the fourth year’s door, she heard another cry and several other voices talking worriedly. She opened the door and pushed into the room, disregarding the myriad states of dress and undress of the boys in the room. Several fell silent in shock at her appearance, but one came forward immediately.
“Fleur!” Called Ron. “He’s over here. We can’t get him to wake up. He’s been calling for you for some time now.” His face was drawn and scared. “I wasn’t sure whether to get a professor or not. Maybe you can wake him?” Fleur drew even with the redhead and looked down at Harry. His black hair was wild, and his face pale and sweaty. Every muscle in his body was clenched, and she could hear faint whimpers escaping his lips. She carefully sat down next to him, her heart hammering in her chest. What if she couldn’t get him to wake up?
She placed a hand on his forehead. Harry sucked in a breath and whispered her name so softly she could barely hear him. “Harry,” she called, “Harry can you hear me? I’m here now. I’m safe-he didn’t get me. Wake up Harry.” She hesitated a moment, before running her fingers through his hair. She wasn’t sure if he would find that comforting or not, but she wanted to try something. “Harry, I’m alright. Come back now, push him away.” She remembered their practice the day before, and started pulling him with the Bond. She forced the connection between them open wider, and tried to push warm, comforting feelings through. Fleur kept talking to him, though she wasn’t sure what she was saying anymore. She sorted through what she was feeling from him, and tried to draw the pain and fear away from him. His fear felt like a sharp knife slicing through her, and she gasped. But the pain, the pain was far worse. It felt like her head was splitting open, how could he stand it?
Fleur focused on breathing deeper and drew more of the pain into herself, shielding him from some of it. She knew she had stopped talking, and that sounds were escaping from her now too. It was a battle now. She knew Harry was trying desperately to escape whatever was holding him asleep-and she had a pretty good idea just what was doing that-and she was trying to rip him away from it. With another deep breath, Fleur reached further, and with all the power she could yanked the fear and pain away from Harry, desperately trying to help him realize what was happening. “Harry!” She cried out.
Her head exploded.
Fleur came to slowly, feeling groggier than she ever had before. Her entire body ached. Someone was stroking her hair. She cracked a sapphire eye open and managed a smile when she met familiar green ones. “Hey.” She murmured. “You’re awake.”
Harry smiled, relieved. His face was tired, but Fleur was just glad to see his eyes open. “Thanks to you. Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to escape. He would have kept me there until he got bored.” Fleur felt chilled. Her assumption had been correct. It was Him. Reality. Harry Potter was The Boy Who Lived, and You Know Who was after him. A fear began to grow in Fleur, for Harry. She knew already that she would do all she could to protect him. Fleur shifted up a little so she could put her arms around Harry, feeling comforted by the solidness of him when he put his arms around her in return. It felt so good to be connected like this, especially after the mind battle they had fought.
With a start, Fleur realized they had an audience. All of the other fourth year Gryffindor boys were crowded around Harry’s bed. Which she was laying on... Her face went scarlet, and Fleur immediately sat up. Harry understood and let his arms drop from her regretfully. “Thank you Fleur.” He looked at her earnestly, and she knew he wanted to say more. She gazed back at him, wishing she could talk to him about what had just happened. But they would have to wait for another time.
“I’ll see you later Harry.” She glanced around at the silent boys who were regarding her with mixed looks of awe, respect, and suspicion. She offered Ron a nod, and hurried out of the room.
The rest of the night proceeded sleepless for both Harry and Fleur, each anxious to see the other again.
They would get their wish at breakfast the next morning.