Disclaimer: These characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not to me. No copyright infringement is intended.
They ran quickly, but carefully, trying hard to get away from the men they hoped weren't following them. Harry didn't have his wand anymore, which left them outclassed, and outnumbered. Harry thought that Fleur was older than him, but that didn't mean she could take on three qualified wizards alone. He winced as she squeezed his arm again.
"Fleur," he panted, reaching up to place a hand over hers, urging it to loosen. "Could I hold your hand instead? You're hurting my arm." Fleur stopped abruptly, and Harry nearly tripped over her. She took her hand from his arm so fast it was like she'd been burned. She brought her lit wand around and looked at the blood staining her hand an arm, mingling with the blood oozing from a cut on her wrist Harry hadn't noticed before. He winced in sympathy, wondering when she'd got that. Fleur raised her wand and studied Harry's arm, the gash was deep, and blood was still flowing. She swallowed, and he thought her face lost a lot of color—though it was hard to tell in the dim light.
"I am…am so…s-sorry, Harry." She managed, her voice shaking slightly. Her eyes were wide, the sapphire depths oddly…fearful? Harry frowned. His wound wasn't that bad.
"It's alright Fleur. You didn't do it, you were just squeezing kind of hard." Fleur took a shuddering breath, and started ripping a strip from her long night shirt. Harry was about to ask what she was doing when she wordlessly starting winding the cloth around is arm, tying it tightly. "Thanks." He said in surprise, still a little confused by her odd reaction. Harry reached out and took her hand in his, careful of the cut on her wrist. "Come on, we'd best keep moving." Fleur only nodded, face still seeming even paler than before, so Harry guided them further into the forest. Fleur kept her wand lit, so they could see their way.
"Harry!" Harry whipped his head around at the familiar voice, and grinned broadly when he saw Ron, and right beside him, Hermione.
"Fleur, these are the friends I got separated from!" Harry led Fleur over to Ron and Hermione, introducing them as we went. "This is Ron, his dad works for our Ministry—I'm sure once this is over, he'll be able to help you find your friends again. And this is Hermione, they're my best mates at school!" Still clutching Fleur's hand, he gestured to her with the other one.
"Ron, Hermione, this is Fleur. I ran into her when we got separated—she's from Beauxbatons, also separated from her friends." Harry didn't get a chance to say more before Hermione gasped. He followed her eyes and stared into the sky. A giant skull was floating in the air, with a snake protruding for a tongue. It was grisly, but Harry was surprised when Fleur suddenly hugged his arm, leaning against him.
"Mon Dieu…" She murmured, trembling slightly. Harry felt a sudden surge of protectiveness, and placed his free hand over one of hers. He could feel Ron's questioning eyes on him, and blushed faintly.
"What is it?" Harry asked, mostly to distract himself. Suddenly, there were a serious of pops around them. He heard men's voices around them, shouting angrily to one another. His gaze locked with Ron's. A sudden flash in the air illuminated at least a dozen men around them, all pointing their wands directly at the four teens. Ron grabbed Hermione, and Harry swept an arm around Fleur, dragging her to the ground with him even as a dozen red curses flew over them and past them. They were in big trouble now. Harry felt his heart racing, and he cursed himself for losing his wand.
"STOP! STOP YOU IDIOTS! THAT'S MY DAUGHTER!" A very deep, slightly accented voice thundered through the trees, and Harry stared around in confusion. Daughter? When Fleur's head lifted, he realized who it must be. "Pere!" She cried in response, getting up. Harry let her go and she hurried across the clearing, silvery hair streaming behind, to meet her father—a towering man—and hugged him, relief evident upon her features. The man started speaking softly to her in French, and Harry was glad he didn't know what he was saying, not wanting to intrude on the reunion.
"Ron!" Another, much more familiar voice called. Harry turned in relief to see Mr. Weasley vaulting the bushes towards them. "Harry, Hermione! Thank heavens you're all alright!" He pulled Ron into a hug, which so shocked the redhead that it was all Harry could do not to laugh. He glanced at Hermione and shared a knowing grin with her. For all that Ron blustered about his family, he really did have a great one.
"Augh, I'm alright dad. We're all fine." Mr. Weasley reluctantly let go of Ron, keeping a firm hand on his shoulder. Ron's face was pink, and he refused to meet Harry or Hermione's eyes.
"Fine, are you? Well, that's just dandy! Now which one of you hooligans conjured the Mark?!" A man intruded on the reunion, and Harry recognized him as Amos Diggory—Cedric's father. They had met at the Portkey before the cup. Harry was taken aback by Mr. Diggory's vehemence, and just stared at him. Mr. Weasley, however, stepped forward angrily, his face was scarlet.
"Are you accusing my son or one of his friends of doing this, Diggory?" Now it was Mr. Diggory's turn to be shocked, and he took a step back in dismay. "For god sakes man, that right there is Harry Potter! What are you thinking?" Diggory shook his head, suddenly uncertain.
"Well…I.." Just then, a rustling in the bushes beside them made them all jump. Harry could see Fleur pulling her father over to the rest of them out of the corner of his eye, but his attention was fixed on the bush. Mr. Weasley had already trained his wand on the bush, and spoke in the most authoritative voice Harry had ever heard from him.
"Out of there, you! Or I'll send a hex in there after you." The bush quivered violently, and out stepped a trembling house elf. Harry stared.
"Winky! Wha-" Harry was lost for words. Here was the elf who had so obediently saved a seat for Mr. Crouch at the cup. His eyes drifted down to her little hand, clutching a wand. Harry's eyes widened. "Hey! That's my wand!" He made to take it from her, but Mr. Diggory was immediately in his path.
"Watch it there boy! I think we've all just heard a confession!" Mr. Diggory took the wand from Winky and flourished it triumphantly. "I think we can all see what's happened here!" A sharp crack in the air announced a new arrival, and Mr. Crouch himself was on the scene.
"What is going on here, Diggory? Have you apprehended the culprit?" Mr. Crouch, despite the night's disturbances, was still as impeccably dressed as ever, not a hair of his mustache was out of place as he stared down Amos Diggory.
For his part, Mr. Diggory grabbed Winky by the arm and pulled her forward. "It seems Potter here gave this elf his wand, and made her conjure the Dark Mark! He's just admitted to this being his wand, and to knowing this elf personally!" Harry was thunderstruck. What on earth was he talking about? Mr. Weasley looked equally shocked, and Ron and Hermione were outraged. Before Mr. Crouch could respond, Fleur broke away from her father, despite his protest, and moved to stand beside Harry.
"Please sir, 'arry did not do zis." Harry could tell Fleur was agitated. He wasn't sure how he knew, since she seemed calm and determined, but something in the set of her shoulders, and the timbre of her voice, gave it away. He reached out and subtly took her hand, giving it a squeeze of gratitude. Fleur flinched slightly at the contact, but allowed him to hold her hand. "'e was with me before and after ze Mark was in ze sky." She glanced at her father briefly, before continuing. Mr. Diggory seemed content to hear her out, which surprised Harry. He took another look at her father, wondering if there was some significance there.
"We both were separated from our groups, and came across each other in ze woods. We were attacked by three men." Fleur paused, remembering no doubt how close a call that had been. Harry squeezed her hand again. "We 'elped each other, and got away. When we ran, a man shouted at us and disarmed 'arry—I was wiz 'im when 'e lost iz wand. It was not iz fault." Fleur finished, and Harry turned to look at Mr. Crouch and Mr. Diggory, both who seemed to be ruminating over this information. Mr. Crouch took a step forward, and spotted Winky, instantly recognizing her. He seemed staggered.
"Winky!" The elf was obviously terrified, and prostrated herself on the ground at his feet.
"Master! Winky is sorry! Winky is sorry! Winky saw the bad men coming, and ran to get out of their way!" Mr. Crouch's face was suddenly cold.
"I have no use for a disobedient servant. You have brought shame upon me." Harry could feel Hermione winding up beside him, but Ron placed a hand on her shoulder, warning her not to intervene. Surprisingly, she subsided.
"Mr. Crouch!" Said Amos Diggory in surprise. "This elf belongs to you?" Mr. Crouch nodded shortly.
"Yes. And while displeased with her behavior, I can attest that it is not my practice to teach my servants Dark Magic." Diggory straightened up, as though realizing how close he had been to accusing Mr. Crouch of something. "Winky, give me Harry's wand." Winky immediately offered it to him, and Mr. Crouch took it, touching it to the tip of his own and muttering a quiet spell. There appeared, from the end of Harry's wand, a ghost of the image still in the sky. Mr. Crouch nodded to himself. "Harry's wand was definitely used in the conjuring. Whoever did it has likely left by now…I will question my elf closely, and find out what she knows. In the meantime!" Everyone snapped to attention. "Miss Delacour, and Mr. Potter. I will expect to see you both at the Ministry first thing tomorrow to give detailed descriptions of these men you say attacked you." Mr. Crouch turned and bowed to Fleur's father. "I hope this will not create an inconvenience, Minister Delacour. But we need to apprehend these criminals immediately. They may have had something to do with the trouble tonight." Harry swallowed hard as he stared at the tall man, Fleur's father. Unintentionally, his hand tightened around Fleur's. He heard Ron and Hermione's intake of breath beside him. Fleur's father was the French Minister for Magic!