Part Three: Chapter One
-△⃒⃘- The Greengrass Contract -△⃒⃘-by ncronan
A/N: Just needed to get something off my chest that I mentioned in response to some reviews; I'm 14 years old; in fact, my birthday was just a few weeks ago. People have told me that I should release that information because it might actually encourage some 'flamers' to be constructive in their criticisms. And the reason I've been updating so much as of late is because the day before my birthday, I had a surgery to extract an osteochondroma in my knee. As a result, I've been ben ridden because I don't want to risk popping my stitches. So, I can't say that once I'm back to full health that you'll get updates almost every night, as you do now, but I'll do my best. Keep in mind that as a 14 year old, I will do my best to continue to improve as a writer. OK?
Oh, and if I said something before about this story being three parts long, each part consisting of five chapters, it's changed. This story will now be four parts in all. So, there WILL be a part four. You're welcome.
Also, look at Privileged Victim, my other story. I like it.
WARNING: This chapter will contain another heavy scene; it will be quite sexual. Sorry.Disclaimer: I don't own any significant portion of the Harry Potter franchise. Unfortunately.
Part IIIChapter One: The Second Task
When the cannon sounded, the water was a lot colder than Harry had expected. It acted as a kickstart to get him moving immediately. He glanced around.
During their previous meetings, they all had brainstormed different ideas, with different opinions on each of them. In the end, they decided to each do something different, but still meet up underwater to coordinate; above all, they valued each other's safety.
Harry glanced around in the dark, blue-green water. Viktor had done a half-self-transfiguration, and as a result, he looked to be half-shark, half man. Next to him was Angelina and Fleur, who both decided to use the bubble-head charm at the cost of their mobility. Harry had used the Gillyweed after researching it a bit more; it had grown him gills and webbed his fingers and toes, making him the ideal participant in this particular task.
Previously, the plan was for each of the guys to tow the girls along because they wouldn't be able to move well through the water. Knowing this was next, Fleur went to Viktor but found there was no way he could tow her along; his hands had transfigured to fins, and his back was grey and slippery. Looking for a solution, Harry gestured that she and Angelina both grab onto him from behind while Viktor lead them to where the victims were. They all obliged, but when Fleur wrapped her arms around Harry and he felt her lithe body against his, his mind once again went fuzzy.
He shook his head forcefully, ridding his mind of the obscenities, and Fleur did the same. Angelina then piled on top of Fleur, and because of the extra weight Harry slowly began to descend in the water; but because of how strong he was and his heightened physical ability, he was able to swim at a somewhat slow-ish pace through the water, following his half-shark friend.
The coolness of the water once again caught Harry off-guard. On the surface, it was late winter/early spring, with the snow having just completely thawed, but the air was still extremely cold, leaving the water cold as well. Harry shivered, and soon found himself unable to stop. Fleur figured that he was freezing and didn't want him to get hypothermia; so she rubbed his upper body with her hands, desperately trying to keep him warm.
Unfortunately, this did not have the affect she wanted; instead, Harry's mind began to grown fuzzy again, so he shook his shoulder forcefully to let her know that she should stop. She did, feeling somewhat guilty.
Finally, the floor of the Lake rose slightly so that they could see what looked like a scene out of Atlantis; below, there were Greek-style buildings, covered in fish and under-water plants. What worried Harry was the amount of mer-people swimming about in them. Unlike the stories, these mer-people were a territorial, fierce, and stubborn. They had been briefed as to what the Task would be and was instructed to treat the intruders like other intruders; if they attacked, the merpeople would retaliate.
And so, they were somewhat cautious of the group of four, for the one leading them looked to be half-shark and what bite and snap at anything that came too near. Soon, the group reached four figures, looking to be in deep sleep, tied with ropes to an underwater building below them. Of the four, there was Hermione, a little blonde girl Harry couldn't recognize, a young black boy, and Daphne.
Harry shrugged Fleur and Angelina off as he noticed a something small whizz by him before turning and focusing on the group. It looked like a miniature old-fashioned camera, with a small black lens that seemed to focus in on the group. Harry guessed that was so that the people above could watch them compete, and guessed that they were probably puzzled at how they were working together.
Viktor swam forward and bit the rope holding Hermione, cutting it cleanly, before taking the remaining rope in his mouth and swam towards the surface. Just as the other three drew their wands, there was a strangled scream. Whipping around, Viktor watched as something grabbed Angelina's foot as began to tug her away. With ferocity, Viktor let go of Hermione, leaving her in a floating limbo, and swam full-speed after Angelina. Fleur looked at Harry, scared, who shook his head and mouthed, "We're too slow. He can help her."
With worry still in her eyes, Fleur reluctantly nodded before swimming to the blonde-haired girl, taking her face in her hands and turning her head side to side, checking for any sign of damage. Noticing the similarities between them, Harry knew that they were sisters. He glanced around warily. He was not worried about the neutral mer-people; he was worried about Grindylows, something he was certain that had Angelina. He knew that Viktor was definitely capable of incapacitating a Grindylow, but at the same time, the Bulgarian wouldn't be able to cast spells due to his shark-head.
When the other two still hadn't come back, Harry nodded to Fleur, and they began to tow up the victims. Harry wrapped Hermione's rope around his waist while he sliced Daphne and the black boy's ropes with his wand. As he began to bring them all up while Fleur took her sister, a disturbance in the water caused Harry to turn around. Angelina and Viktor swam out of the darkness, with Viktor's transfiguration having worn off (for now he had a bubble-head charm) with panic etched on their faces. They turned and drew their wands just as a dozen or so Grindylows swam out of the deep, snarling and snapping their jaws. Viktor yelled something, and while it was muffled by his charm, Harry could hear it. "Take the others and go!"
Harry looked desperately at Fleur, who looked back just as Viktor and Angelina began to fight off the creatures. She swam to him and dumped her sister on him, forcing Harry to carry her up. She said, "I'm going to help. Get them to the surface."
Before Harry could protest, Fleur swam towards the other two, who were definitely having trouble fending off the increasing out of dark creatures looking to kill them. Harry winced at the weight draped over his body and began to kick up.
The swim to the surface was a long, excruciating process. His Gillyweed had begun to wear off, so he sucked in as much air as he could and held it as he inched towards the surface. At the last second of his remaining air, he broke to the surface, all four captives around him.
Cheers erupted from the stands about two-hundred meters away. He waded towards it as fast as he could, and when he finally reached the wooden stands that stood in the middle of the Lake, he hoisted all four captives onto the dock, all of them jerking awake the second they touched the wood.
"And Harry Potter is the first to emerge, with all four captives!" The announcer said. "What a turn of events!"
Harry took a very long break, breathing heavily for a full minute as the victims recovered before he remembered where his friends were. As Dumbledore approached him, Harry rasped, "Where are the champions?"
Before Dumbledore could say anything, the announcer said, "And it looks like the others are having trouble fending off the Grindylows! What a spectacle this has turned out to be."
Harry whipped his head up to see a massive projector shining onto a flat bit of white cloth, to be seen by everyone. On it was a third-person view of the three champions firing spells off into what looked like a wall of two to three dozen Grindylows. Harry paled before turning and swimming back to where he emerged. Knowing he had to save his strength, he didn't cast a bubble-head charm, sucked in a massive breath and let himself sink into the Lake.
Forcing his eyes open, he watched as the Grindylows forced his friends back, coming closer every second. With a burst of adrenaline, Harry pushed himself next to his friends and began to fire off every offensive spell he knew. His friends noticed his lack of bubble-head charm but would have to wait to wonder where it was; they assumed his Gillyweed was still working. With Harry's help, the group stopped retreating and began advancing towards the now uncertain group of creatures. With one last push, Harry yelled something unintelligible, and the Grindylow nearest to him screamed before exploding into a patch of blood.
There was a long pause, and then the rest began to screech and swim away, leaving the champions tired and kicking to the surface. Except for Harry. As he began to follow his friends up, he suddenly addressed the burning in his lungs, and he suddenly breathed in mouthful of water. Choking, he froze in the water, and Fleur just so happened to look back as his vision darkened and he lost consciousness.
"And the champions successfully defeat the clan of Grindylows! But it looks like Harry Potter has suffered almost drowning in the process." The announcer said happily with only a bit of concern as Viktor helped Fleur and Angelina hoist Harry onto the deck. Before any of the medics could get to them, Fleur stood and pointed her wand at the lying form of Harry and muttered something with, "Aguamenti."
Suddenly, Harry's head jerked up, and water flew from his mouth as he choked and gasped. He left his head cocked up for a few more seconds before he let his eyes close and dropped his head onto the wood. "That really sucked." He said weakly. The other three champions laughed before embracing their friend.
"So, it seems that the champions worked together to rescue their respective captives. The judges have conversed and agreed on each score. Ms. Johnson, for facing the creatures of the deep with bravery despite being almost snatched by one, we award her 42 out of 50 points. Mr. Krum, for selflessly going to save his friend in her time of need while on course to being the first one to return his captive is awarded 46 out of 50 points. Ms. Delacour, for staying back to help your friends despite your need to keep your sister safe, is awarded 46 out of 50 points. And Mr. Potter. For saving all four captives despite his need to stay back for his friends, and above all for going back to their aide despite having won already, is awarded 50 out of 50 points. However, for being the first ones to stay back to help their friends, Mr. Krum and Ms. Johnson will receive an additional four points for their courage. As it stands, Ms. Delacour has 79 points, Ms. Johnson has 62 points, Mr. Krum has 89 points, and Harry Potter has 90 points. Congratulations to all of you."
There was much cheering as the students began to leave. However, before they did, Angelina hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, thanking him for saving her little brother Ryan, who was the black captive. Viktor embraced him in a manly hug to thank him for coming back in the end. And then Fleur went up to him. For a moment, they just looked at each other before Fleur enveloped him in a friendly hug.
"Thank you for saving my sister, Harry." Fleur murmured quietly in his chest. Harry smiled slightly and shrugged a little.
"Don't mention. I'd do it again in a heartbeat." He replied. She just sighed slightly.
"Harry, we need to talk. Later tonight, at dinner." She said quietly and Harry nodded in agreement.
She unentangled herself from him before things could go anywhere and stepped back, holding her hand out for the little girl. "This is Gabrielle." She said in French. "Say thank you, Gabrielle."
The little girl looked up at Harry with wide eyes before saying quietly, "Thank you, 'Arry Potter."
Harry smiled down at her. "It is not a problem, Gabrielle. You are welcome."
With that, Harry and Fleur walked off, leaving only a few students behind, one of which was Daphne Greengrass. She was still wrapped in a blanket and talking to that Tracey again. Calmly, Harry approached her and held his hands behind his back as Tracey glared at him scathingly.
"If you're looking for some kind of reward for saving Daphne, look somewhere else." Tracey said rudely. Harry froze for a moment at her mention of a reward before he quickly shook it off.
"I'm not looking for a reward. I'm here to apologize." Harry replied. Daphne looked up at him. Harry continued, "I know a month's passed since I yelled at you, but I figured I'd apologize anyway. I'm sorry about yelling at you before. You riled me up and I'm sorry."
There was a long silence as Daphne stood to look at him eye-to-eye; unfortunately, she was still much shorter than him, so she had to look up at an embarrassing angle. She then sighed.
"I'm sorry too. I've realized that it wasn't just your fault. You're just being a good friend to Fleur. I'm not going to make you stay away from her." She said softly, looking him in the eyes. As she said this, the guilt hit Harry like a wrecking ball. He physically winced at how much trust she'd put in him; and yet he'd betrayed that trust on that day at the shores of the Lake.
"So, can we go from where we left off?" Harry asked, hoping Daphne had missed his guilty expression. Daphne had most definitely noticed but chose to ignore it. She nodded before suddenly grabbing in a tight hug.
"I know I was angry but I've missed you a lot." Daphne confessed, surprising herself at her own candidness. Harry hugged her back.
"I miss you too. If you're not doing anything tomorrow, it is the weekend . . ." He trailed off expectantly. Daphne smiled a little.
"Yes, I'll go on a date with you. But if you don't recall, it's my turn to chose when and where the date is." She said smugly. Harry groaned.
"Whatever. Fine. Just maybe no dragons this time." He joked, and Daphne chuckled.
"We'll see. See you, Harry." She said. Harry nodded and turned. "Bye, Daphne."
Harry walked off as Tracey glared at Daphne. Daphne raised an eyebrow at her friend. "What?"
"I thought we agreed it would be good cop bad cop, me being the bad cop." Tracey accused.
"It was." Daphne reminded her as she started to walk away. Tracey followed.
"Well, yeah, but I spoke like once. That's no fun." She whined. Daphne rolled her eyes, and Tracey broke into a smile. After a second, her smile vanished and she gave Daphne a questioning glance.
"Did you see his reaction when I said 'reward'?" Tracey asked. Daphne nodded.
"And did you see how guilty he looked when you talked about Fleur?" She asked. Daphne glared at her.
"We're dropping the thing about Fleur, Tracey. I trust him to be responsible and not do anything bad. So, drop it." She said firmly. Tracey met her gaze but sighed and nodded.
But on the inside, she knew she'd be keeping a close eye on Potter and Delacour. She didn't trust either of them one bit.
"Congratulations once again to our champions for completing another Task. The Third Task will be held in April. However, the Inter-School Quidditch Tournament will be held in two weeks time. Many of you have been wondering how there can be a tournament with only three schools; the International Quidditch Association has convinced the U-19 teams of five different professional Quidditch teams to play against us. These teams include the Chudley Cannons, Falmouth Falcons, Vratsa Vultures, Puddlemere United, and Yorkshire United. Now, tuck in!"
As they ate, their daily owls flew in and letters were dropped to both Harry and Viktor by the same owl. Confused, Harry opened and read his.
"To Mr. Harry Potter,
There had been a major setback in terms of your signing with Puddlemere United. The club has been accused of entering into illegal transfer negotiations and are being investigated by the IQA. As a result, I have resigned from my job as scout for Puddlemere United and am offering my services to be your agent as you step into the world of Quidditch.
With regards,Joseph Goode"
Fleur, Hermione and Angelina watched their male friends with a bit of concern. Both of them had confused expressions on their faces. Harry looked up. "Viktor, is that a letter from your agent?"
Viktor nodded. "It seems that Puddlemere has been signing invisible contracts with transparent clubs and other such illegal things. Looks like I'm not moving to Puddlemere this summer."
Harry handed him his own letter. "Got the same news. I don't know where I'm going to go, now."
Viktor looked over his letter and sighed. "These modern clubs are so stingy with their money. I think you should accept his offer, and then we need to take action."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked as he wrote his reply to Joseph. Viktor smirked and began writing.
"I'll get my agent to hold a public conference and I'll bring you, too. We'll answer a few questions and rile up the clubs. Get them to come to us, thinking we're close to moving to other clubs." Viktor said. "And if we do it soon, by the time those other teams get here to participate in the Quidditch Tournament, they can send scouts too to try and get us."
Harry chuckled as he signed off his return letter. "That's brilliant. You and your agent must get along well."
Viktor nodded. "We can send these later tonight. I can have the conference set up tomorrow; the media is always excited to get one going. After all, they haven't interviewed us in months."
Fleur and Hermione glanced at each other before rolling their eyes at their friend's obsession of Quidditch. They continued to eat until Harry suddenly said, "Viktor, in our first conference you said you were dating a girl that you'd met. Who is she?"
Hermione tensed visibly to Harry, Angelina and Fleur's surprise. Viktor sighed wearily, not noticing his female friend's frigidity. "I was lying. I find it is easier in those interviews to lie and say you are dating someone. It somewhat relieves the pressure of having your fans crush on you."
Harry nodded in understanding as Hermione relaxed, and he smiled at his smart friend. She blushed profusely and refused to meet his gaze.
"Ah, there you are, m'boy." Dumbledore said as Snape entered the room. "We have much to discuss."
Snape sat down in the chair across from him and waited expectantly. Dumbledore then said, "After investigating the aspects of what you say is inhabiting Harry's mind, I believe I have come to a conclusion. Voldemort created seven horcruxes at the height of his power."
Snape paled. Because he had always been interested in dark magic, he had done his research and consequentially stumbled across horcruxes before. He knew they were the darkest of magic, made of pure evil and malice.
"One of which was the diary Harry destroyed in his second year. However, I believe that when he tried to murder Harry as a child, the spell rebounded for some reason and tore another piece of Voldemort away from his body. I think that piece latched onto the closest living thing, which was Harry, and has been lying dormant for years."
"If that is true, then why hasn't it influenced the boy before?"
"You and Karkaroff know that Voldemort is gaining strength. I think that with every bit of power he receives, the more influence he has over Harry's mind. But I also think that Voldemort is not aware that Harry is a horcrux; if he was aware of their link, he would have driven Harry insane or forced him to do something horrible. No, I think that Voldemort's desires are leaking through his link with him and influencing Harry to do things that the Dark Lord is thinking about doing."
"So when Potter gets his random fits of anger-"
"It's not that Voldemort is angry at that particular time; it's that the excess anger he possesses is going to Harry, through that horcrux; the dark spot in his mind."
"Then what do we do, Albus?"
"I know you have been trained the boy once. You must continue to do so, and you must make sure the Dark Lord is not aware of their link."
"I'll get right to it. But, sir . . . if Voldemort's feelings affect Potter, then why not the other way around?"
Dumbledore sighed. "I don't think Harry is a powerful enough Legilimens to having his emotions reach out on their own. What we have to do is keep a close eye on Harry. Voldemort is weak at the moment, but evidently has had a large influence on Harry's emotions. When – and I say when – Voldemort rises to full power again, I do not know what Harry will do."
"Alright, Fleur. Come on." Harry said to his friend quietly in her ear. Against her will, her whole body tingled as Harry walked out of the Great Hall and to the next empty classroom. He made it so that no one could listen in or come in, and he sat on one of the desks as he had done with his talk with Daphne. Fleur mirrored his posture and sighed.
"I don't know what happened between us." Fleur admitted.
"Me neither. Your allure has never affected me before." Harry agreed.
Fleur sighed. "And it was as though you had an allure of your own. My mind went completely blank and it was like you were the only thing in the world."
Harry shivered. "It was exactly the same with me. Could it have been with how close we were to each other?"
"We sit next to each other at lunch every day." Fleur reminded him. Harry conceded the point.
"Alright. Well, could it have been the fact that we were both dressed – er – in our swimsuits?" Harry asked. Fleur shrugged.
"It could, but at the same time we both know these aren't normal, teenage feelings towards each other. Something else is at work here." She said.
"I agree, but at the same time something must have triggered it." Harry insisted.
"Well, how do we figure out what triggered it?" Fleur asked, ideas forming in her head. She blushed at her own thoughts and Harry seemed to read her mind.
"I know what you're thinking, but we will use that as a last resort." Harry said immediately. He was a bit pissed that those thoughts had come to him just as quickly, and he mentally berated himself for having covetous thoughts.
"Right. Sorry." Fleur said sheepishly. There was a pause as Harry debated whether or not to tell her, but he did anyway.
"Right, so, you know what Occlumency is, right?" Harry asked. When Fleur nodded, he continued. "You and I both know I've been getting weird fits of anger this year. I think that the anger and the sexual desire is connected. I had Professor Snape look into my mind and he saw something weird, and I haven't taken a second glance at it yet. We both think it has something to do with my weird personality disorder. I think I should look closer at it to figure out what it is."
Fleur thought about it and nodded. "Do it. I'll be waiting here."
Harry nodded and breathed deeply and remembered Snape's instructions. His life had been so busy for the past couple months, so he had had no time to practice Occlumency, but he tried to find the black spot anyway. He cleared everything from his mind and imagined his thoughts as a landscape. Suddenly, he felt as though he'd been dropped on his feet, and he felt like he was floating.
He was in a dark forest surrounded by trees. Each tree had dark green leaves capping it off, and in each of those leaves was a memory; something that had happened to Harry in his life. He looked down to see a dirt path forming beneath his feet; he immediately began walking along it.
The forest grew much, much darker until it was almost pitch black. A soft glow emanated from each of the leaves, and Harry caught sight of one particularly dark time in his childhood. He looked away and moved on. Then he saw it.
It was a gnarled, massive tree that gave off a sinister feeling. Its large branches extended far, far over his head, and he saw happy memories move along the branches and into the old tree.
Harry shivered as he approached it. Evidently, it was sucking in happy memories. He looked down. Its roots extended far across the grass, and he touching those; dark leaves traveled along it. He walked up to the trunk of the tree and felt himself grow cold. This was the blak spot Snape had spoke of; it was feeding off his good feelings and giving off bad ones.
Hesitantly, Harry reached his hand out. The minute he touched it, his mind exploded in a million sensations at once. He found himself lying on the floor of the abandoned classroom, Fleur leaning over him. The strands of hair fell around her face, and Harry felt his eyes glance just below her collar bone. Fleur narrowed her eyes.
"Harry, are you alright – mmph!"
She was cut off when Harry covered her mouth with one hand and held her still with the other. She tried to jerk her head back, but found that Harry was far to strong. With fear coursing through her, she looked her friend in the eyes and saw nothing but desire filling the green orbs.
Immediately, Fleur's whole body tingled as Harry slowly stood, dragging Fleur with him, roughly shoving her against the wall, still covering her mouth. Then, he smiled.
"I found it. Do I get a reward?" He murmured, still pressing her against the wall with his hand on her mouth. Fleur arched her back as Harry reached down and moaned into his hand. He smiled wider and let his hand away from her mouth. Immediately, she lunged forward and pressed her face against his, breathing heavily as his other hands moved sensually.
Within, Fleur was thinking of nothing but the tingling in her whole body and the feeling of Harry's hand against her stomach, working its way down. She moaned into his mouth, knowing its next destination.
In Harry's mind, there was absolutely nothing but the feeling of Fleur's body against his and her lips attacking his own. His lower hand moved like it knew what to do on its own as Fleur arched her head back and moaned again.
"I missed this so much." Harry said lowly, kissing Fleur's neck and working his way down and he continued to move his other hand.
"Oh my god . . . Harry . . ." Fleur whispered. For a split second, Harry's mind returned to his normal state, but there was only enough time to say one thing.
"I'm sorry Fleur – there's no way to stop it." He whispered, before his mind went blank once again. The kissed again, grinding and touching and groping and they both knew that there was nothing to stop them from making a mistake this time.
"Tracey . . . what are you doing?" Daphne groaned as Tracey tugged her friend out of the Great Hall. Tracey had a very determined look on her face.
"I want to show you something." She said firmly. Unbeknownst to her friend, Tracey had seen Potter and the French girl leave and go into the hallway.
"But I'm tired." Daphne whined. "Is this about Harry again?"
There was silence until Tracey confessed, "I saw him and Delacour walk this way, out of the Great Hall. None of the dorms are this way."
Daphne groaned. "I already told you, Tracey. Just drop it. They're probably just going to start training for the Third Task with the other champions, like they have been doing for you know, the past year."
"Then why haven't the Bulgarian and Johnson gone this way too?" Tracey asked, leading her down the hallway. She stopped suddenly at the abandoned classroom they had used to talk to Potter months ago. "I think they're in there."
Daphne sighed, really annoyed. "Just drop it, Tracey. I know you don't like Potter, but I trust him enough to not do anything stupid. Now, can we just go to bed?"
Tracey hesitated, but then glared at the door. She turned the handle, but it was locked. She crossed her arms.
"Daphne, this door is always unlocked." Tracey said. Daphne growled and grabbed her arm.
"Listen, Tracey. I don't bloody care. I'm tired and I said I trust Harry. Can you just give up already? This whole things where you hate Potter for no reason is immature and stupid."
Tracey glared at her friend and wrenched her arm from her grasp. As she turned to the door and pulled out her wand, Daphne huffed and started leave. Just before Tracey could utter the unlocking spell, Daphne said over her shoulder, "If you unlock that door, I am not going to consider you a friend anymore. I trust Harry. If you don't trust Harry, then I can't trust you."
Tracey froze. After a minute longer of just glaring at the door, she sheathed her wand and stalked after her friend. Daphne may be stubborn, but Tracey knew that she would get to the bottom of whatever was making Potter feel guilty.