True Love Isn't Always Conventional

A Veela is Bound

Chapter 3 - A Veela is Bound

Harry leaned back on his bed in Ron's room, staring up at the ceiling. He could hear Ron, Fred, and George snoring peacefully around him. He hadn't been able to fall asleep yet. The events of the day were too vivid in his mind to allow him to sleep. Especially…especially her. Fleur. Fleur Delacour. Even her name was beautiful. He sighed. She had risen magnificently to his defense about the Dark Mark (which Hermione had finally explained was the sign of Voldemort and his followers—her and Fleur's reactions to it now made sense), and then it had been revealed that her father was the French Minister for Magic. Which was probably why Diggory, and even Crouch, had listened to what she had to say without immediately shouting her down. Thankfully, her word had been accepted (probably backed up by the hulking presence of her father in the background). Then Fleur had introduced them.

"'arry, this is my Father, Jefferoi Delacour." Her musical voice had said. "Papa, this is 'arry Potter. 'e iz the one who saved my life." Harry flushed deep red at that and quickly protested as the large, dark haired and dark-eyed man had turned to look at him.

"Oh no sir, it wasn't like that at all. Fleur and I escaped together, that's all. It was luck, really." Harry said, just managing not to stutter. The man had raised one big, bushy brow.

"You are telling me, that my daughter lies?" his deep voice rumbled. Harry stared at him in horror, not noticing the amused look on Fleur's face beside him, as she covered her mouth. He started backtracking.

"N-no sir! N-never! T-that's not what I—" A big hand clamped onto his shoulder, and Harry found himself looking up into two dark, mirth-filled eyes.

"I know, I know. I was just 'aving a laugh, my boy." His eyes became serious. "But I do want to thank you for helping my Fleur. She has told me what happened, and I am certain that, without your assistance, she would have had much worse trouble." Harry remained silent, unsure how to respond. "Please know, young 'arry. If ever you have need of help, you will always find it in France." The French Minister then slipped a small card into his hand. "Show this card to any French witch or wizard, and they will help you." Harry stared at the card. It was blank. The Minister laughed at Harry's puzzled expression. "It is coded to you, so that no one else may use it. Tap it with your wand, and whisper, Revelio." Harry did as instructed, and watched as words scrolled across the card, first in French, and then in English.

The bearer of this card has performed a great service for France, and is thus entitled to aid such as is within the power of the person asked for assistance. Any outstanding costs should be forwarded to the French Ministry.

"Sir…I…I don't know what to say." Harry stared at Fleur for a moment, and then at her father in awe. A gift like this was priceless. Harry didn't know what he would ever use it for, but he had never received anything so generous.

"Say nothing," Fleur's father responded, "Or say thank-you. Use it, or don't. I am just grateful that my daughter is safe." He then left Fleur and Harry to themselves for a moment, and Harry found himself speechless before the beautiful girl. Fleur seemed to understand, and took one of his hands with a smile.

"'arry, I am glad that we met, even under such dire circumstances. We may see each other tomorrow. Until then, please take care." Harry watched as if in a trance as Fleur leaned in slowly, and placed a light kiss on his cheek. She stayed close to whisper quietly in his ear. "If anything…strange…begins to happen, please write to me at once." She pulled back, and he could see the worry in her eyes. Harry wasn't sure what she was talking about, but he nodded anyway, still unable to speak, and watched as she walked away with her father, arm in arm.

Ron's voice behind him broke the spell. "Blimey. She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. How'd you get so lucky, Harry?" A rather loud smack followed this statement, and Harry smiled, turning around toward his friends. "Oy!" Shouted Ron indignantly. "What was that for, Hermione?" Hermione, for her part, was walking back to the campsite with her arms folded over her chest. Harry thought he heard her mutter something under her breath that sounded suspiciously like, "Boys".

Harry stared at the ceiling, thinking of the kiss he had received from the most beautiful girl in the world. A girl who had trembled to see the Dark Mark…but had also stood up in determined defense of him in front of some of the most powerful men in Britain. They would probably see each other at the Ministry tomorrow morning, he thought. His heart gave a funny leap in his chest, and he turned over on his side, closing his eyes. The sooner he fell asleep, he thought, the sooner he would get to see Fleur again…

~Switching POV—Fleur~

Fleur sighed. "I am fine, Papa. Really, I am." She watched in exasperation as her father paced back and forth before their fireplace. Fleur had learned side-along Apparition last year, and so it was a simple matter for she and her father to get home. No need to stay overnight in England. Fleur leaned back on the sofa. "The only hurt I received is this cut, on my wrist." Fleur had long since been cleaned up—and was now comfortably in her pajamas, her silvery blonde hair fixed in a braid for bed. Jefferoi Delacour stopped for a moment, tapping his foot in agitation, before coming to sit beside Fleur. The serious look on his face made her nervous, and she sat up straight.

"Fleur, my daughter…how can you be so calm? If young Harry had not been with you…you might not have escaped those men!" Jefferoi shuddered, and Fleur knew he was imagining what might have happened to her. Remembering a similar incident not so long ago…that had not ended quite so well. Those were thoughts that had been tormenting her all night as well—a fact that she would not reveal to her papa. Being a quarter Veela brought with it many dangers—something her father did not need further reminding of.

"Papa, I am ok. Harry was there to help me." Really, she was frustrated she had allowed one of those men to get the drop on her with a binding spell anyway. That was embarrassing in and of itself. She was a sixth year at Beauxbatons, and should have been able to defend herself better. There was a matter that was worrying her more, however. "Papa, there is something I did not tell you, before." Jefferoi lifted his face with a frown. Fleur was nervous, shifting her weight uncomfortably on the couch. The silence stretched as Fleur struggled to find the words to explain what she feared had happened. Jefferoi took her silence to mean something else. He surged to his feet, his face livid. Fleur sat back in sudden shock at this change.

"You mean to say…that something did happen to you? But you said those men didn't…" His dark eyes widened, and became something terrible to behold. "Did Harry Potter touch you?" he roared, fists balled at his sides. "If that little rat…and I gave him…" Fleur stared at her father in shock, she couldn't remember the last time she had seen him in such fury. It took her a minute to find her tongue.

"Papa, no. Harry didn't touch me at all! He wouldn't do that!" Except when he had taken her hand, she thought to herself privately. She remembered how strong and sure his hand had felt around hers. Her heart gave a little jump. Fleur mastered herself and met her father's eyes. "That is not what I was going to say." Some of the wind went out of his sails at this, and he sank back onto the couch.

"Then what?" he asked, much more subdued. His dark eyes held nothing but concern, and finally Fleur was able to speak.

"I think…I think we may have become Bound. An…an inadvertent Binding Ceremony may have taken place…" Fleur shifted uncomfortably. Fleur was only a quarter Veela, but it was enough. When a Veela marries another person, be they wizard, Muggle, or anything else, a Binding Ceremony takes place during the marriage. Jefferoi's eyes widened as he stared at Fleur. Typically, a small cut was made to the hand of the Veela, and the hand of the partner, then their hands were pressed together to allow their blood to mingle. This would bind the two people together for life. The Veela, because it is a part of her nature and her blood. The partner, because now a little blood from their Veela partner is running in their veins, keeping their promise. Overtime, changes would occur in each partner, as some of each person's attributes become apparent in the other. The most important aspect of the binding, however, was the ever growing sense of the bound partner. In time, two people would be able to feel each other, wherever they were.

"Explain to me what happened." Jefferoi said weakly. Fleur shifted under his gaze. "It wasn't just blood, was it?" he asked, but Fleur shook her head.

"Father…when I was with Harry, a flying curse caught my arm, leaving a small cut on my wrist. Harry was hit by a similar spell, which sliced into his arm, causing a lot of bleeding. We had only just escaped from the men trying to…trying to…" Fleur shook her head. "I had taken him by the arm, and he lost his wand—he wanted to go back for it, but I kept him with me. I was holding his bleeding arm, with my bleeding arm…" She took a breath, remembering what had happened. "My heart was racing, and we were running as fast as we could. I could hear Harry breathing hard beside me, and I knew he was just as scared as I was. He asked me to stop, because I was hurting his injured arm. That was when I realized…" Fleur stopped and looked away, feeling upset. She felt her father take her hand in one of his own.

"Fleur," he said gently, "That does not mean you are Bound. Blood alone doesn't do it, or else Veela could become bound to anyone. There must also be feeling—great feelings. Usually love? I cannot imagine that you love this boy already, nor he you." Fleur wasn't sure why those words somewhat bothered her.

"But Papa, the feeling does not have to be love, either. Or else Veela would only marry their true love. Great hate, can do it too. Look at grandmother. She was bound to her husband, even though she hated him…because she hated him." Her voice trailed off as she stared at the crackling fire. Jefferoi frowned, smoothing his fingers over her hand.

"I did not get the impression that you hated this boy either…and I can tell that he did not hate you." Jefferoi spoke quietly, reassuringly. Fleur wanted to be reassured, but she couldn't ignore this either. She met Jefferoi's eyes then, her own sapphire depths gleaming.

She gathered her courage to speak again, "Great love, and great hate…they are not the only feelings that can be great. Fear…fear fed by adrenaline…can also be great. And I fear that now, I am Bound to Harry Potter." Fleur got up, letting her hand slip out of her father's. "I don't know how to tell him that this thing has happened…that his fate is sealed. We do not have to be together…but I do not think it possible for either of us to ever be happy with anyone else." Fleur wrapped her arms around herself and bowed her head for a moment, letting the warmth of the fire comfort her. "I am going to bed, Papa. We must be up early to go to the English Ministry." Her father didn't respond as she left the room, heading up to her bedroom.

When Fleur pushed open her door, the first thing she saw was her mother, sitting on her bed. "Maman…" she said in surprise. "You should not be out of bed…" Her mother, Apolline Delacour, had been very sick the last year. The healers had told them to keep her in her room as much as possible, and not to overexcite her. Fleur quickly crossed the room and sat next to her mother, taking her frail hands as she did so. She had not told her mother of her troubles, not wanting to worry her.

Apolline smiled at Fleur gently. "My daughter…a mother knows when her daughter has been Bound." She freed a hand from Fleur and pressed it against her chest. "We feel it, here, when our daughter has found someone, and no longer needs us." Fleur swallowed, her throat thick. Apolline urged her to explain, "Fleur, tell me of this boy? Does he love you? He must, you know, for the bond to have worked." When Fleur still couldn't speak, Apolline frowned. "Or, perhaps it is a girl? A little unconventional, but that is okay too." Fleur choked out a laugh and shook her head.

"No Maman, it is a boy. I'm glad to know it wouldn't have mattered to you, though." Fleur laughed, despite herself. "Does he love me?" she whispered, half to herself. Fleur felt ravaged inside. Harry couldn't possibly love her. Not now, anyway. And definitely not when he found out what had happened. She had effectively taken away his future. Fleur felt a tear slip down her cheek, and then another. Her mother must have been confused by this reaction, but she pulled Fleur into her arms and rocked her as gently as she had when Fleur had been a small child.

"Oh, ma fille," she crooned. "Tell Maman what has happened." Fleur spoke in choking sobs, explaining the chaos after the Cup, and the men who had attacked her and Harry…and the blood, all the blood.

"Maman, you told me. You told me almost any great emotion would do—Love, Hate…and Fear. I never understood the fear until now. He doesn't know, Maman! He doesn't know! How do I tell him?" She cried as she had not cried since she was very small. "He will hate me." Fleur could feel her heart breaking inside for this boy she didn't even know.

Apolline's soothing voice cut through Fleur's crying as she rested a hand on her head. "My dear, I cannot tell you what to do. But you should know, that fate has a funny way of working things out. Be honest with him. Your heart is so full of love, Fleur. I know this was not how you expected to spend it, but give this a chance. You must." Fleur let her mother put her to bed then. Something she would never have allowed normally. It was comforting, feeling her mother's soft hand on her head, stroking her hair. It calmed her as effectively as it had when she had been a small child. The tears slowly stopped as her mother continued stroking her hair, whispering comforting things. Fleur's last thought before sleeping was of a black haired boy, with eyes greener than grass.

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