Harry Potter and the Price of Being Noble

Harry helps Fleur in the second task of GOF and pays the price. HP/Fleur/Gabrielle/Hermione. A Veela bonding fic based on love. T Rated and it will stay that way. Thirteen year old Almost fourteen Gabrielle to start the story. Good Dumbledore.



26. Chapter 26 The Third Task

I was 'oping I could speak to Mr. Brown," Mr. Delacour started as they walked out of the room off of the Great Hall. "Also Mr Lupin."

"Of course," Harry replied. "They're both still in the same place they were."

"I've been following ze Daily Prophet," Mr Delacour continued. "Ms. Skeeter's articles were not what I expected zem to be."

Harry looked over at Fleur and smiled and then he turned back to his bond mate's father. "That was entirely your daughter sir."

"We can discuss it soon Papa," Fleur said as both she and Harry looked around to make sure no beetle was in sight. They led the Delacours into Myrtle's bathroom.

"Hi Harry," Myrtle said as she saw the group come in the bathroom. "Good luck tonight."

"Thanks Myrtle. Can I introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Delacour? They are Fleur and Gabrielle's parents." Harry asked. "Sir, Ma'am, this is Myrtle. She's been a big help this year. She helped Fleur and me during the second task, helped me with my egg and she played a huge part in dealing with Rita Skeeter."

Alain Delacour had been taken slightly aback to be introduced to a ghost, but he was a natural politician and immediately acknowledged the greeting. "Thank you for ze 'elp you provided my family Miss Myrtle."

"It's nice to meet you. I liked helping them; they are the only people who treat me well."

"I hope I treat all my friends well," Harry said.

Fleur took the opportunity to hiss the opening command and they watched the wall open.

Though she had felt her husband's shock when Gabrielle had done the same thing in front of him, watching her eldest daughter hiss in parseltongue still amazed her mother. Before she could comment though, the wall sunk out of the way. Soon the group made it to the Chamber of Secrets.

When they entered the chamber, they found Remus and Sirius around the table staring intently at the the Marauder's map.

"I don't see any more charms," Remus was saying.

"But it still shows him there, so there's got to be another one," Sirius replied.

"What's going on?" Harry asked.

"Still trying to break Moody's confundus," Remus replied looking over at Harry for the first time and noticing the Delacours. He quickly got to his feet and walked over to them "Welcome back sir. I apologize for not noticing you to start with," As he shook hands with Alain, his eyes wandered to the beautiful half-veela by his side. Trying not to stare he fought to get his eyes back to Mr. Delacour. "And this must be your lovely wife?"

"Remus Lupin, my wife Apolline; Apolline my dear I would like you to meet Mr. Remus Lupin."

Apolline held out her hand and Remus accepted it. "Bonjour Madame. Comment ҫa va?" He asked in greeting.

"I'm fine Mr. Lupin. Thank you."

"And ze gentleman who is still staring at you my dearest is Sirius Black," Alain continued with mirth in his voice.

It was only after Harry walked over and shook his godfather did his eyes return to focus. He looked sheepish at the Delacours before apologizing. "I'm sorry sir...er…uh...nice to meet you Madame."

"A pleasure to meet you as well Mr. Black, at least in 'uman form. I've 'eard many things of you from my 'usband."

"You know from your godson's bond zat I cannot keep secrets from my wife Mr. Black," Alain said when Sirius looked at him quizzically.

"Of course. I'm still getting used to it I guess," Sirius replied. "Merlin help any lady who gets in my head."

"Yes the echo would be terrible for the woman," Remus agreed. "Such a hollow place."


Alain smiled at the pair before turning his attention to Remus. "Ze background check on you is complete Remus, outside of some interesting remarks in your school records, everything else is acceptable. You might 'ave to explain any activities you participated in when you a member of ze Phoenix Order during ze war but nothing appeared in a criminal manner. Can you be in my office in Paris a week from tomorrow to conduct ze interview? Zat is if you're still interested in ze position I mentioned to you earlier in ze year."

"Yes sir. I am definitely still interested sir," Moony replied. "As for those remarks in my school records I can only say that I probably deserved a lot more than what is actually there and you know Dumbledore lead the Order of the Phoenix. We had strict orders to what we could and could not do."

"Yes," Mr. Delacour said and was about to say something else but let the subject drop. He then turned to Sirius, "What are your plans for ze coming months Mr. Black?"

"I plan on watching Harry and Fleur in the third task tonight and then next week when the school year is over and Harry has left, I thought Buckbeak and I would take off for warmer climates. After being down here for these months, I could use some sunshine for a while. If everything goes as planned and the invitation is still offered, I hope then to join you and your family later in the summer. As much as Sally and I have bonded over this time I grow tired of his hospitality," He nodded toward the statue of Salazar Slytherin.

"I'm sure you are and course ze invitation is still zere," Alain replied. He turned and looked at his eldest daughter who was holding her bond mate's hand. Letting out a small sigh he turned back to Sirius. "I'm going to do something zat I really shouldn't do, but I feel I must," He reached into a pocket and pulled out a small polished yellow stone and handed it to Sirius. "Zis is an emergency international portkey. My staff 'ave zem when zey travel overseas to insure zey can escape any difficulties zat might arise. Zey are allowed by ze ICW within ze laws of diplomatic immunity. Zey require no wand and no words. You just 'ave to 'old it tightly in your 'and for ten seconds to activate it. It will give you an avenue of escape if you need it."

Sirius looked at the small stone in the palm of his hand. "I don't know what to say sir. Thank you doesn't quite seem adequate," He glanced up at Alain. "Will you get in trouble for this?"

"It could cause me some difficulties if it were to be found out, but, understand zat as much as I would never want an innocent man to 'ave to go through what you are going through, I am doing zis mostly for 'Arry's sake. 'E is part of my family now and I will not allow 'im to lose 'is godfather if I can 'elp it."

Sirius nodded at the man in front of him. "That's even better sir. Knowing that if something does happen to me, that Harry has a family that will look after him is worth twenty of these stones."

The two men shook hands and then Alain motioned toward the table. "What were you two working on when we came in?"

"We've been trying to remove a confundus charm on this map," Remus saw the look in Mr. Delacour's eyes as he watched the dots move on the parchment. "This is something Harry's father, Sirius and I cooked up when we were students here."

"Very impressive," Alain said as his eyes continued to watch the dots in amazement.

"Thank you sir. I'm sure you have heard of Mad-Eye Moody? The famous auror in this country?" At the nod of Mr. Delacour he continued. "I'm not sure if it's been mentioned to you that he's teaching here this year. Well, he had this map for a while and he seemed to not want to be tracked. We found several layers of confundus charms on it," Lupin pointed at a spot on the map. "Here is his office. It seems he confunded it to always show him in there no matter where he is. We thought we had just broken through the last charm, but you can still see him there," What Remus, Sirius or anyone else looking at the map at that time failed to notice was another dot with the name Barty Crouch underneath it had appeared when the last charm had been lifted.

"And it bothers your pride zat ze man did something to ze thing you created and you can't figure out what 'e did?"

"A little, but they," Remus nodded to Fleur and Harry, "are planning on using the map tonight and I wanted to make sure there were nothing else affected on it."

"Use it? 'Ow?"

"Eet shows ze area where ze maze is Papa," Fleur explained. "Ermione will be watching ze map and can 'elp guide us to where we think ze cup will be. We are also concerned zat 'Arry might be in danger tonight. Zis will allow 'er to let us know if someone who doesn't belong in ze maze is zere."

"Danger?" Mr. Delacour asked. "You 'aven't mentioned anything about 'Arry might be in danger in your letters? Is zere something specific?"

"Can I tell 'im?" Fleur asked Harry.

Their eyes looked into each others' for several seconds before he answered. "Of course. But I don't want him to think he needs to do anything else."

Fleur turned back to her father. "Eet seems like 'Arry 'as some kind of connection with Voldemort with 'is scar. Did you read ze article Skeeter wrote where she called 'Arry disturbed?"

"Of course, but with all ze other things 'appening…" Mr. Delacour shrugged at Harry as his voice trailed off.

"I understand sir. I mostly ignored it myself."

"Professor Dumbledore thinks zat ze bond 'as been 'elping protect 'arry from ze connection but on zat day 'e was buying Gabrielle 'er birthday gift."

Alain Delacour instantly made the correct logical leap. He looked at Harry. "Ze potion?"

"Dumbledore thinks so sir. It happened while I was under its influence."

Harry had a good idea that the string of French the elder Delacour was uttering was blaming himself for what had happened. "Sir, there was no way for any of us to know that would happen. So please don't blame yourself. I think overall it was for the better since I now know the connection exists."

Mr. Delacour visibly calmed down at the words of the young man. He took a deep breath and asked the original question again. "Why do you think you're in danger?"

"I...I had a dream or something over the summer that Professor Dumbledore thinks was more of a vision of something occurring. It was of Voldemort planning something that involves me sir."

Apolline Delacour wanted to hug the young man, but a look from her daughter and she knew it wasn't something that would be appreciated at that moment. Alain appeared to be thinking very hard on something. Finally he looked up at Harry. "Why do you think ze connection to Voldemort is through your scar?"

"It burns when he is close or feeling strong emotions," Harry explained. "In the case of the dream or whatever it was, I woke up with the scar burning."

Alain lapsed into thought and then shook his head. "As you might imagine I did a lot of research into bonds before accepting my Apolline's. Mostly it was the Veela bond of course, but bonds in general and I never came across anything where a bond or connection can do such a thing through a curse."

"But no one has ever lived through the killing curse before either," Sirius said.

"True," Mr. Delacour agreed and then to Harry. "Do you mind if I 'ave my staff research ze topic in general. Not mentioning you or Voldemort?"

"That's fine sir," Harry replied.

Sirius looked at the yellow stone he had put on the table in front of him. "Why don't we let Harry carry this tonight?" He asked.

"NO!" Harry exclaimed. "If you're going to be out there near Fudge, Moody and all of the others you need to be protected Sirius. I can take care of myself."

As Harry and Sirius glared at each other they heard the Chamber doors open. Harry already knew that Hermione and Gabrielle were coming in.

"I'm going to have Fleur helping me Sirius. Nothing is going to happen to me. I need to know you'll be fine out there," Harry said to his godfather. "Besides I think the rules say I can't use any kind of magical transportation. If I have that on me, I might be disqualified if it's found."

"No broom this time?" Sirius asked with a smile. "Guess that would have made it too easy."

"Definitely," Harry replied as he wondered if someone in the past did exactly that; flew over the maze to claim the cup. Presuming a maze had been used as a task in the past. He turned to look at the two ladies who had just entered the Chamber.

"Papa…Maman," Gabrielle rushed over to her parents with Hermione not far behind her.

Apolline gave her youngest daughter a hug and then another hug to Hermione. Gabrielle held up her wrist to show her mother the charm bracelet Harry had given her.

"But eet wasn't my best present," Gabrielle said mysteriously then gave a fake pout. "Though Fleur got ze same present ze next morning."

"And what did 'Arry give you zat was so special?" Her mother asked.

Gabrielle looked over at Harry who was smiling at her. "Is love. 'E loves me and 'e loves Fleur."

Apolline and Alain both turned to look at raven-haired boy who blushed under the scrutiny. They suspected it wouldn't take too long to occur, but were still surprised that it had happened after such a short time. Harry continued to surprise them but in ways that only made the young man more and more welcome in their hearts. A warm smile broke over both of their faces. "Zat's wonderful," Mrs. Delacour said. "Ave you decided on when you will announce your bond?"

The bonded quickly held a conversation no one else in the chamber could hear and finally Hermione replied. "We think right around Harry's birthday. That particular timing will help a couple of friends of ours."

"In what way would your bond announcement 'elp someone?" Alain asked.

All of the bonded smiled as Hermione explained. "It seems like many people in the school presumed Harry and I would eventually be together and well…"

"There was even a pool to the date of when Hermione and I would…uh…become a couple," Harry continued.

"And you're 'elping your friends win ze pool?" Alain asked.

"Zey 'ave been good friends Papa," Fleur said.

"I'm sure zey are ma petite," He took the opportunity to change the subject. "Ms. Skeeter's article on ze attack on Gabrielle? 'Ow did you make zat 'appen? When ze 'eadmaster contacted me, I was prepared for ze worst. I 'ad our personal lawyer ready to file a libel suit against ze Prophet and Ms. Skeeter as well as instructing several of my staff to research ways to fight off any legislation zat might be presented against Veela in zis country."

"Eet was 'Ermione," Fleur said quickly. "She figured out a secret of Skeeter's."

"But it was your idea on how to use the secret," Hermione replied.

"Sir, Hermione did find out a secret of Skeeter's that gave us some control over what she was to print."


"It started that way, but considering the stories she is going to get from us, it's more of an exchange."

"Other stories?"

"Did you see the story about Ludo Bagman? The previous head of Magical Games and Sports?"

"You gave 'er zat story too?"

"Yes sir. The same friends we are trying to help with the bond announcement lost a significant amount of Galleons to Mr. Bagman at the World Cup when he paid in Leprechaun Gold," Harry explained. "They had been saving their money to help open a Joke shop to compete with Zonko's and they lost their entire savings to him. We also promised her an interview with me and possibly an interview with Sirius. We thought that would work best right after everything starts to break over the summer."

Alain Delacour was thinking of what he had just heard; his daughters and their bond mate had just opened an avenue into the press of this country. He then had another question. "We also expected ze elder Malfoy to retaliate once ze story came out, would you know why 'e didn't?"

"Yes sir. Do you remember the house-elf Dobby? He served our lunch the last time both of you were here."

"Yes of course."

"He used to be Lucius Malfoy's house-elf and I helped Dobby get free of him," Harry continued. "As you can imagine Dobby knows a lot of Malfoy's secrets and we let Skeeter talk to him."

"It looks like you have ze making of a fine politician my son," Mr. Delacour said with a smile.

Harry visibly shuddered at the thought then he looked at his bond mates' father. "I'm not sure I would want to do that sir. I really don't know what I want to do yet but earlier this year Professor Moody suggested I might make a good Auror."

Alain put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "Don't be influenced by ze politicians you 'ave seen 'Arry. I 'ave a question for you. What would you consider more important, catching dark wizards or protecting innocent people?"

"Isn't it the same thing?"

"Not really. Look at your godfather; 'e is innocent, but if 'e were still on ze run ze day you took ze oath and became an Auror, you could be charged and sent to Azkaban for not turning 'im in," Mr. Delacour explained. "As an Auror, you do not decide who is guilty or who is innocent, your job is to bring in anyone ze courts dictate you must."

"But I'd prefer that than be like Minister Fudge or Percy Weasley."

"Ze young man who was judging ze second task?" When Harry nodded, Alain shrugged. "I don't know enough about 'im to make an opinion but I will agree zat Minister Fudge is not ze best man for ze job. Unfortunately 'e 'as a lot of friends in certain circles zat control a lot of money."

"In other words he's been bought?"

"Very astute," Mr. Delacour said. "But you do not 'ave to be like 'im to be a politician. I 'ope your opinion of me is a bit 'igher zan Minister Fudge."

Harry blushed as he realized he had basically insulted the man in front of him. "Sorry sir. You…well you're just so different than Fudge that I just don't think of you as a politician."

"I shall take zat as a compliment," Mr. Delacour chuckled. "We'll discuss zis further another time. Though before you seriously consider becoming an Auror I suggest you do one thing. Look at ze old Aurors around and ask if zat is who you want to be later in life. Ze ones I know are cold and 'ave lost all ability to love. If you're an Auror long enough, zere is a good chance that eventually you will 'ave to kill someone. You will also see innocent people killed and you'll see much sorrow as you talk to surviving victims," He looked Harry in the eyes and said softly. "Sometimes such a career can kill a man inside and 'e ends up a shell of what 'e used to be," Alain sighed as he seemed to contemplate something but then continued. "My daughters will always love you and I 'ope you always 'ave ze ability to give ze love you 'ave bestowed upon zem. I just ask zat you think very 'ard before pursuing such a career."

Harry thought of Mad-eye Moody; a man so paranoid he drinks out of a hip flask instead of trusting anyone. Harry couldn't imagine the man actually loving anyone. "I'll definitely have to see and talk to other older Aurors before going down that path." He then started wondering if he could be a politician in the same mold as his bond mates' father. He looked over at Remus and thought of how he looked up to Mr. Delacour. As he thought of it, the idea of being a man like Alain Delacour grew more acceptable. He smiled at his bond mate's father. "I will sir and I won't rule out the political possibility either."

"Speaking of careers Harry," Remus said. "Here are the keys to your primary vault from the sale of the Basilisk," He handed four keys to Harry who immediately gave one Hermione, Fleur and Gabrielle.

"May I ask how much it came out to be?" Alain inquired. "You would not hurt my feelings if you say no."

"Trois millions huit cent quarante mille galleons," Fleur said and then realized she had slipped into French. "Three million eight hundred forty thousand galleons. Zat's after paying Moony and 'is sellers as well as us keeping eight liters of venom, twenty square meters of skins and ze longest fang as well as as four liters of blood."

"Several fashion houses got into a bidding war for the skin trying to corner the market in that particular fashion. We ended up getting twice the going rate for it," Remus explained.

"And Bernadette's 'ouse of Fashion won ze bidding?" Apolline asked with a knowing smile.

"How did you…" Remus asked.

Apolline turned to Fleur and Gabrielle. "Aunt Berdine dears."

Fleur and her mother started speaking rapidly in French until finally Fleur looked at Harry. "Sorry love. I thought zat mamam might 'ave asked Aunt Berdine to bid for ze skins."

"I wouldn't do zat 'arry," Mrs. Delacour said at once. "But after Alain told me about you getting ze Basilisk and zen several weeks later Bernadette talking non-stop about a big auction for Basilisk skin coming up and 'ow she must 'ave zem I found it amusing. I didn't tell 'er I knew who was selling zem."

"If we'd known, we could have saved her money and sold them directly to her."

Apolline laughed. "Bernadette thinks she's ze one who made a killing 'Arry. Three days after ze auction she already 'ad orders for over a quarter of ze skin at many times what she paid for it even with ze actual clothes not being available for Three years. I'll try to introduce you to 'er zis summer. Though you 'ave to be careful or she'll try to convince you to sell 'er line of fashions."

"Arry does need a complete new wardrobe zis summer…" Gabrielle said smiling mischievously. "And 'e makes a wonderful model."

"Don't try to deny it Harry. You know you had fun when we picked out your clothes," Hermione said.

"I think it had more to do with the company, than the actual clothes purchasing," Harry smirked.

"Well you're in luck. The same three women will make themselves available again this summer."

"Can we go shopping for knickers for you three as well?" Harry thought.

As he watched the three young ladies blush, Mr. Delacour said, "I doubt I want to know what you just said 'Arry, but maybe we should 'ead back upstairs and walk around a little? It's almost time for lunch."

"And some of us still have a Potions final to take," Hermione said.

"And I 'ave my Charms final today," Gabrielle replied. "Can I 'ave a kiss for good luck 'Arry?"

"Of course," Harry replied and started to give her a small kiss but as their lips touched; Gabrielle reached her arms around his neck and turned the kiss into a more passionate one than Harry would have been comfortable with in front of her parents. Parents or no, he couldn't resist giving Gabrielle the kiss she wanted. When it ended, Harry remembered he was kissing Gabrielle in front of her parents. But when he turned to look at them expecting a more stern expression, they both were wearing a bemused look.

"Uh..sorry…I…well," Harry stammered.

"Nothing to be sorry for 'Arry," Gabrielle's father replied. "You were just doing what our daughter asked from you. I will not play ze angry father."

"Well in that case, the potions final is probably going to be difficult as well," Hermione said as she still felt the kiss Harry and Gabrielle shared. "Maybe I need a little luck as well."

The rest of the day passed more quickly than Harry would have wanted. The nervous confidence he had felt earlier started to turn to only nervousness and he felt the same feelings from Fleur. Every time he looked, the sun seemed to be hastening toward the horizon instead of the slow march it should be making. In what seemed like no time, it was the start of the evening feast to celebrate the event. Mr. and Mrs. Delacour sat with their daughters and Harry who in turned introduced them to Ginny and the twins.

The Great Hall fell into silence later when Professor Dumbledore rose from his chair as the charmed ceiling darkened to twilight. "Ladies and gentlemen, in five minutes' time, I will be asking you to make your way down to the Quidditch field for the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Will the champions please follow Professor Hagrid down to the stadium now," He nodded in the direction of the half giant who was rising from his seat at the Head Table.

Harry kissed Gabrielle and hugged Hermione and Ginny while Fleur hugged her mother and father as well as her sister and Hermione. The entire Gryffindor table erupted in cheers and applause as Harry and Fleur left the table and joined up with Viktor and Cedric.

"Al right there Harry?" Hagrid asked and then "And the rest of ya?" When everyone nodded at him, he continued. "Okay then follow me," He led then out of the hall and through the front doors. Harry walked silently beside Fleur still wanting to take her hand in his. Neither of them had anything to say except an occasional "It'll be over soon."

"I'm going to let Sirius and Remus out of the Chamber," Hermione said. "Once I have the map, I'll stay in Myrtle's bathroom. Good luck."

As they walked onto the Quidditch field Harry momentarily stopped. The hedges were now twenty feet high and completely surrounded the field. In the falling darkness the looming hedges took on a sinister quality, making Harry feel uneasy. Hagrid led them to a spot in front of an opening into the hedge; an opening that had an unnatural darkness behind it.

"That must be the entrance," Harry said to Fleur as he stared at the darkened opening.

"Oui," Fleur replied as she glanced at the opening.

"It will be over soon," Harry continued as they waited for something to happen.

"Not soon enough," Fleur replied.

It was only a couple more minutes before the students started to arrive and fill the stands. Voices arose from all around as the students started taking their seats eagerly awaiting the start of the final task. The laughing and joking of the crowds helped ease the tension that surrounded the Champions. Harry glanced at Fleur and smiled. "I love you."

"And I love you."

The sky was losing the final light it had left. After months of spending time with Moony, Harry instinctively sought out the moon and found it to be nearly nonexistent. Then he remembered it was only three days until a new moon. "We won't get any light from the moon in there," He thought to his bond mate. She also looked up and searched the sky.

"Good thing we know zat light spell isn't it?"

Harry felt a hand on his shoulder and looked to see Cedric who had a nervous smile on his face. "Ready for this Harry? Fleur?"

"I hope so," Harry replied honestly.

"We'll see Cedric," Fleur answered.

Cedric offer his hand to Harry. "Good luck in there."

"You too."

Fleur gave the older Hogwarts champion a kiss on the cheek. "Good luck Cedric."

"Watch it Fleur; you'll make Cho jealous," Cedric joked.

"Not to mention Bill," Harry added under his breath. The mention of Cho Chang's name brought up an image of the young lady he had had a crush on earlier in the year. He remembered the jealousy he had felt when he had found out she was going to the Yule Ball with Cedric. "If only I had known what was going to happen," Harry thought.

His reflections were disrupted when Professor's McGonagall, Moody and Flitwick joined them along with Lee Jordan. Harry first was confused by the appearance of the Gryffindor student until he realized that Bagman had been announcing all the tasks and now that he wasn't there, someone had to do the job. Jordan had been announcing the Quidditch matches since Harry's first year so he would definitely be the person for the job.

Professor McGonagall handed Hagrid a large red star. "You'll need to wear this Hagrid," Harry noticed that she and the other two professors had similar stars on the back of their hats. As Hagrid removed his moleskin vest in order to put the star on it, McGonagall addressed the Champions. "We will be patrolling the outside of the Maze. If any of you find yourself in trouble and need to be rescued, send up red sparks. Understood?" When the four champions had all nodded their understanding. she continued. "Professor Dumbledore asked me to pass on that though some of the tasks can be difficult, you should stress safety above all else."

McGonagall's eyes lingered on Harry the longest as she was saying those words. When again the four champions had nodded. she added, "Okay then, we'll be off to our patrolling stations. Jordon, it's in your hands now. Remember that we have guest from the ministry and several countries; please keep the commentary socially acceptable."

"Yes Professor. It shouldn't be a problem with no Slytherins involved."

"JORDON!" McGonagall screamed in a whispered voice.

"Yes ma'am. It will be acceptable ma'am."

Once McGonagall had given one final look at the Champions she nodded at the other professors and led them away.

As Hagrid walked past Harry he put a hand on his shoulder and whispered quietly. "Good luck Harry."

Harry watched as each of the four professors went in different directions to position themselves around the maze.

"As commentator I'm not supposed to be biased," Lee Jordan said as he looked at the Champions, "so before I start commentating, I'd like to wish you two," He nodded at Cedric and Harry, "good luck in there," With a quick smile, he raised his wand to his throat and said a quiet 'Sonorus." Instantly his voice filled the stands.

"Students, Professors and Honored Guests, welcome to the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament. I am Lee Jordan and I will be commentating this evening as a last minute replacement for the despicable, low life, thieving.." Lee noticed that Professor McGonagall had reversed course and was headed back toward him and quickly completed the sentence. "er..Ludo Bagman, who was unable to be here this evening due to professional problems. Hopefully those of you who attend Hogwarts know who I am, but for those honored guests and fellow students and professors from the other schools I will say I do the commentary for the school Quidditch matches. Now on with the task."

"The goal of this task is simple," Lee continued. "The Champions will enter the maze based on their current point standings and whoever touches the Triwizard cup first wins the Tournament. That winner not only gets to keep the cup but also received ONE THOUSAND GALLEONS and glory for their school." Lee waited a few seconds for the crowd to quite down before he continued. "First to enter the maze will be the two Hogwarts Champions Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter who both have eighty-five points," Lee once again had to pause as deafening cheers erupted around the stadium. Shouts of "DIGGORY!" and "POTTER!" could be heard from the stands.

When the noise finally abated Lee continued. "The lovely and talented Fleur Delacour of the Beauxbatons Academy has eight-three points and will enter the maze after the first two." The blue-cloaked Beauxbatons students rose and cheered their champion and through that cheering Harry distinctly heard Ginny and Gabrielle's voices cheering as well.

Again Lee waited for the noise to settle before continuing, "And following her will be seeker extraordinaire of the Bulgarian National Quidditch team, Viktor Krum, the Durmstrang Institute Champion who currently has eighty points."

"Sirius and Remus are headed there now," Hermione's voice came in Harry's head. "I have the map ready to go. Myrtle's going to help me watch as well. Be careful you two."

"Love you Hermione," Harry thought.

"Love you too."

Lee looked over at the Champions. "Are you ready?" His amplified voice echoed throughout the stadium. Again the four champions nodded without saying anything. Lee glanced at the judges table and Dumbledore gave a nod. He turned once more to the Champions. "Then Cedric, Harry…on three then. One…two…three…go."

The moment Harry and Cedric entered the opening all sounds ended abruptly. One moment they could hear the crowd cheering, the next, they could only hear their footsteps and heartbeats. Between the silence and the darkness that the minute amount of moonlight could not overcome, the sinister feeling grew stronger. Harry pulled out his wand and hissed "§Light§". An enhanced brightness spell came off his wand and illuminated an area up to ten yards ahead of them.

Cedric looked at Harry's wand in amazement. He had performed his own lumos spell but the light from his wand was barely visible in Harry's wand light. "What's that?" He asked nodding at Harry's wand.

Harry smiled at the older student. "Brighter light." It had been in one of Salazar Slytherin's Parseltongue books and one of the few parseltongue spells he had made work. "If I've got to be a Parselmouth at least I should get something out of it."

Cedric grinned back. "True; though light alone isn't going to get you that Trophy."

"Won't hurt though," Harry argued jokingly. Fifty yards into the maze, the path the two champions had been racing along came to a fork.

"I'm going this way," Harry said as he nodded down a path.

"I'll go this way then. Good luck," Cedric replied.

"You too," Harry answered. He watched Cedric disappear down the path for a few seconds and then he walked a couple of steps into his fork and stopped to wait.

"I'm coming in now," Fleur said a minute later causing Harry to smile. He stepped back to where the path forked and waited for his bondmate. His smile grew even larger when she asked. "Is zat your wand or are you 'appy to see me?" When she caught sight of the light from his wand.

"Very funny love," Harry replied. He could see her jogging up the path toward him, her own wand lit with the same intense light. "I am very glad to see you though."

After they exchanged kisses, Fleur replied. "I don't like it in 'ere."

"Let's just finish it and get out then," Harry replied. "Hermione, we are at a fork. I am standing directly in front of it. Any way better than the other?"

"Not yet. Well maybe the left one. Go a little further."

Harry and Fleur started down the left-hand path, while Hermione studied the map. She noticed a something strange. "HARRY! It's Mr. Crouch. He's not dead. He seems to be walking around the maze."

"Is he near one of the four professors who are patrolling the edge? McGonagall, Moody, Flitwick or Hagrid?"

"No..wait…I see McGonagall, Flitwick and Hagrid but Moody's still not showing on the map."

"Gabrielle, can you go look on the south side of the maze and see if you see Mr. Crouch," Harry asked. "Take Ginny with you."

"Okay Harry. Oh and Viktor Krum just entered the maze."

At the next fork, they queried Hermione once more and she directed them down the left path once more. Again and again as they had to choose paths Hermione guided them as best she could.

"Shouldn't we have encountered something by now?" Harry finally asked Fleur when they still had not encountered an obstacle.

"I would 'ave thought so. Maybe zey all wandered out of zese paths or we're going toward a dead end zat doesn't need to be protected," Fleur shrugged. "Or maybe ze real challenge was our nerves and zere are no obstacles."

"That's not likely," Harry muttered.

"You need to go to your right more," Hermione said. "You're going away from the center."

A short distance away they found a right turn and took it, but still there was nothing. No creatures, no spells, not even a garden spider (for those who have read my Champion's tale).

"I don't..." Harry started but stopped when the hedges shuffled behind them. Harry and Fleur spun quickly and crouched low with their wands raised. As they had practiced, Harry kept his wand lit while Fleur had a defensive spell ready on her tongue. Again the leaves of the hedges moved.

"What do you think," Harry asked, but just as he finished, a person raced out of another path. In Harry's wandlight, they could see it was Cedric. Smoke was rising from his robes as if they had been ignited and then extinguished.

"Hagrid's skrewts," Cedric exclaimed when he saw them. He glanced over his shoulder and then back at them; the danger he had just faced was clearly evident in his eyes. "They're huge now. Hexes just bounced off of it. I barely got away. I wouldn't go that way if I were you." He nodded back up the path he'd just come from. With another glance over his shoulder, he turned and bolted up another path.

"So it's not just our nerves," Fleur said. "Guess we've just got lucky so far."

Harry didn't reply, but only gripped his wand tighter as they continued along the way they had been traveling. Fleur led the way around another corner and came to a stop.

"What?" Harry asked but was already looking past his bond mate. He was first confused because he only saw a doppleganger of himself. Another Harry Potter, one with a cold hard look residing on it's face was staring back at them.

"Boggart!" Fleur exclaimed.

Harry only spent a second trying to figure out why something about himself would be Fleur's greatest fear, before he yelled "NO!" and raced past her. The Boggart slowly changed from Harry into a Dementor.

When Lupin had suggested the possibility of Boggarts in the maze, Harry already knew what his would turn into. The trick was imagining something that would make it funny. It was Sirius who made the suggestion. Bringing the image up in his mind he leveled his wand "Riddikulus!" Harry shouted. The Dementor in front of him found itself with three cigarettes between his bony fingers and he was reading an adult magazine. Even Fleur couldn't help but laugh at the image. With a crack the Boggart was gone.

"Thank you." Fleur said to her bond mate. "but.."

"I know you could have handled it, but I really didn't want to see myself doing something ridiculous," Harry replied. "If you want, we can talk about it later. There should be nothing about me that you fear."

Fleur smiled and gave Harry a kiss. "Later."

"Hermione, which way?"

"You need to go left some. You're about forty yards from the center."

They found a left turn and took it and with Hermione's guidance they moved closer and closer to the middle. As they turned another corner they found themselves looking at a golden mist.

"What is it?" Harry asked.

"I don't know, but..." Fleur said as she cautiously approached the mist. With a twist and shake of her wand, she performed the revealing charm Lupin had shown them. A magenta colored light flared followed by a silver swirl before both disappeared. "It's an inversion illusion spell," Fleur said. "When we go in, it will fill like you are upside down even though your feet are still on the ground. Just continue walking and it will be all right. I'll go first and you follow."

"Fleur...I'll go…" Harry started.

"Arry I'll be alright," Fleur replied determinedly.

"Krum is coming up about fifteen yard behind you," Hermione said.

Fleur turned and walked into the gold mist. As she disappeared, he pulled in her thoughts and felt her feel like she was upside down. She took a step and her world returned to normal. Harry followed into the mist and felt the same upside down effect. He was about to take a step when he felt a sharp wave of fear from Fleur that quickly disappeared. He immediate raised his foot to step and he also found his world right again.

"What happened," He asked Fleur as he looked around for the danger.

"Devil's snare," She said nodding at some vines withering away from a ball of bluebell light. "I was waiting for you and it grabbed me by the ankles. It startled me."

As they moved away from the mist up the pathway, Harry heard a sound behind them and turned in time to see Krum leveling his wand. He only had a split second to realize the wand was pointed at Fleur. A jet of red light poured out of the Durmstrang champion's wand and would have hit Fleur if Harry hadn't knocked her to the ground.

"KRUM! What are you doing?" Harry yelled, but Krum's wand was tracking Fleur and Harry knew he was about to send another hex. Harry rolled away and quickly brought his own wand up pointed at Krum. He sent a stunning spell back at Krum but the Bulgarian seeker dodged easily and disappeared back into the gold mist.

Harry sent two additional stunners into the mist hoping for a lucky hit. He then turned back to Fleur. "Are you alright?"

"Oui," She said as she stared at the mist Krum had disappeared into.

Harry helped her to her feet and wrapped his arms around her. "What's got into Krum? Do you think he wants to win that much?"

"I don't know. I thought 'e was..." she let the words dwindle as they both were thinking the same thing.

"Harry, Hermione," Gabrielle said. "We're on ze south side of ze maze and ze man Crouch is not 'here. Only Professor Moody is 'ere. 'E's been pointing his wand and casting some spell."

"Where are you in relations to Moody?" Hermione asked.

"We are about thirty yards away to ze right of 'im."

"That's him," Hermione shouted. "That's where the map says Crouch is."

"We just had Krum attack us in here," Harry said.


"Gabrielle, get to Dumbledore. Ask him about Crouch. Hermione go to him as well. He might want to see the map for proof. We are close enough I think," Harry instructed. "I have a bad feeling about this and the faster Dumbledore knows the better."

Harry looked at Fleur. "For some reason Crouch is impersonating Moody or at least that's what the map is showing. Gabrielle and Hermione are going to let Dumbledore know," He grabbed her hand and they started down the path again.

When they made the next turn they were face to whatever with what they didn't want to meet; A blast-ended skrewt. It was ten feet long with thick armor coating it surface and a huge stinger hanging over its body.

"Just don't offer it a teddy bear whatever you do," Harry muttered to Fleur. The Skrewt had momentarily stopped when it saw them. Its stinger wavered slightly and then it started racing toward Harry and Fleur. They did have a plan for the thing – sort of. They hoped it was too large to turn around in the maze. Harry pointed his wand at Fleur with a swish and flick and the right words he levitated her up and over the skrewt. The skrewt stopped as it sensed one of its prey was escaping in some way. Harry gently put his bond mate down on the other side of the gigantic beast. As Fleur was about to levitate Harry up and over, the Skrewt did what neither of them could believe, it started to raise its body up the hedge trying to turn around.

"FLEUR!" Harry yelled. "It's underside is visible, Blasting Hexes right there."

Two different 'Reducto' curses hit the skrewt on the soft underside and a chunk of the creature flew off. The part of the skrewt that had tried to move vertical fell back to the ground with an audible 'thunk'. It was dead.

"You're covered in blood or whatever zat thing 'ad in it," Fleur said to Harry when he caught up to her. "Let me clean it for you. Scourgify," she said and Harry's robes were clean.

"Thanks," He said and gave her a kiss. "Had enough excitement yet?"

"Oui. Let's find zat cup and get out of 'ere."

They heard Cedric's voice from off to the side. "Krum, what the hell are you doing?"

Harry looked at Fleur both remembering Krum attacking them. Harry looked both left and right and could not find a path in that direction.

"Crucio!" Krum's voice called.

As Cedric's screams started, Harry turned to Fleur. "We've got to help him."

"Oui, but how? There is no path."

"Well make one," Harry exclaimed. He raised his wand and aimed it at the hedge a few meters from where the screams were coming from. "Reducto!" A small hole appeared. It wasn't large enough to get through so he sent another blasting hex and another. By then Fleur was sending cutting charms into the same spot as well. Finally the hole was big enough to scramble through.

Harry wasted no time in struggling through the branches of the hedge. When he stood on the other path he looked toward Cedric's screams and saw Krum standing over the writing body with his wand raised. A distant look was in his eyes.

"Stupefy," Harry yelled and this time the red beam connected with the Durmstrang Champion and he collapsed.

While Fleur pulled herself through the opening in the hedges, Harry rushed over to Cedric.

"Thanks," Gasped Cedric when he saw Harry then glanced over at Krum's unconscious body. "What the hell's got into him? He crept up and had his wand on me before I could do anything."

"Here let me help you stand," Harry offered and with Fleur's help they pulled the other Hogwart's Champion to his feet. He could tell that Cedric's legs were still shaking.

"I…I thought he was alright," Cedric said still looking at Krum.

"E attacked us earlier," Fleur said.

"Us? Are you two working together in here?"

"Something like that," Harry replied. "Good thing to. I'm not sure I'd have got through that hedge in time without her."

"I'm not complaining Harry," Cedric said. He nodded over to Krum. "Should we leave him here?"

"No; let's take his wand and send up red sparks," Harry replied.

"Take his wand?"

"If he comes around before they rescue him, I don't want him still able to attack us," Harry explained.

"True. Good idea; though right at the moment I think I would prefer to feed him to the skrewt."

"Can't," Harry replied. "We killed it."

"Good. Hope it was the only one in this damn maze," Cedric said. With unsteady legs he stumbled over to Krum and grabbed the wand that had rolled a couple feet from his hand. Once he had pocketed Krum's wand, he pulled out his own and sent up red sparks which hovered over Krum's body.

"Are you going to be alright?" Harry asked.

Cedric nodded. "Thanks and good luck." With those words he turned and moved down the path; his stride becoming stronger and stronger with each step.

"What's going on Harry?" Hermione asked. "Red sparks just went up over the maze."

"Krum. He attacked Cedric. Used an unforgivable. I was able to stun him and we sent up the sparks so they can get to him. What about Crouch?"

"Dumbledore is talking…wait...Moody or Crouch or whoever just tried to hex Dumbledore," Hermione replied. "That was a mistake. He's down. I have no idea what spell Dumbledore just cast but Crouch or Moody collapsed on the spot. I'm going to see if I can find out what's going on…but let me see where you are," About ten seconds later she continued. "You're only about ten yards from the center. It's left of forward to you right now."

"Thanks love," Harry replied. "Go see what Crouch was doing and let Dumbledore know about Krum. He might want to talk to Karkaroff," Harry then directed his thoughts to his youngest bond mate. "Gabrielle, can you let Sirius and Remus know we are alright, but that Krum attacked us."

"Of course 'Arry."

Harry turned to Fleur and pointing in a particular direction. "Ten yards that way. If we can't find a way soon, I'm just going to blast my way through. I am not going to let anything happen to you."

It only took them three minutes to find the right pathway. Along the way Hermione told them that Dumbledore was taking Moody to his office.

When they made a turn they were sure would take them directly to the center of the Maze they found themselves confronted by a Sphinx. Harry was mesmerized by sight of a head of a beautiful woman sitting on the body of an enormous lion. The creature was pacing back and forth across the path, blocking the way. She stopped, and flicked her tail as she regarded Harry and Fleur. The stare lasted for a few seconds before she finally spoke.

"You are very near your goal and the quickest way is through me."

"What must we do to pass?" Fleur asked.

"You must answer my riddle. Answer on your first guess - I let you pass. Answer wrongly - I attack. Remain silent – I will let you walk away from me unscathed."

"What is the riddle?" Fleur asked and then asked all of the bond mates to listen so they could help.

The sphinx sat down upon her hind legs, in the very middle of the path, and recited:

"First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"

Working between the four then the answer came rather quickly.

"Spider," Fleur answered confidently.

The Sphinx smiled. She got up and then moved aside. Fleur quickly moved down the path but as Harry attempted to pass the Sphinx moved in front of him. "One riddle per Champion. You may not pass," The creature start pacing again back and forth across the path.

"Fleur wait," Harry thought. "I have to answer my own riddle."

Fleur stopped and looked back to see the Sphinx once again pacing across the path with Harry not being allowed through.

"Okay, give me my riddle," Harry asked the Lion bodied creature. He again asked the bond mates to listen and help.

The Sphinx sat down again in the middle of the path and stared at Harry. "The same conditions apply. Answer my riddle correctly and you shall pass, Answer wrongly and I shall attack, remain silent and you may walk away unharmed."

"I understand," Harry replied as he looked past at Fleur. "If I can't answer this, go on and get the cup."

"Non 'Arry, we will answer it."

Harry looked at the Sphinx and nodded.

"Two parts to follow to make a whole.
First, what does a river do from beginning to end
next What gives Glory, Sorrow, Strife and Death
It starts with the beginning of Winter through the second of Fall
and finally ending with the last of Summer.
Answered correctly you'll find beauty defined."

The bonded immediately started throwing out ideas. "What does a river do?'

"Runs...erodes...flows..." The suggestions kept coming until..

"Let's try the second part and see if it gives us a clue to the first part," Hermione suggested. "What gives all of those things, but lasts for a year."

"I don't think it's a year. Ze seasons are all out of order," Fleur said.

"It's a letter clue like ze middle of your riddle was Fleur," Gabrielle said. "Beginning of Winter..'W'"

"Of course..War. War gives all of zose things, but what about ze river part?"

Harry was again looking past the Sphinx at Fleur and instantly he knew the answer.

"It's Flower. That's the answer," He said as his eyes continued to look at the young woman ahead of him. "And it is beauty defined," He turned his gaze to the Sphinx and said. "The answer is Flower."

Once again the Lion bodied creature moved aside.

Harry rushed passed her and found himself in Fleur's arms. A not so quick kiss later and they continued on the path. In a fork in the path they bore right at the next fork and there it was. The Triwizard Cup sitting on a plinth ten yards away.

"We did it," Harry said as he slowed to look at the cup. "Wait..." He then said to Fleur who had kept running.

Fleur stopped and turned back with a look of concern. "Arry?"

"I'm fine," Harry replied as he continued toward his bond mate. The out loud he continued. "I just paused to...FLEUR LOOK OUT!" A large black shape had materialized in the wandlight running along the top of the hedge. Before either of them could react further, the giant Acromantula was on top of Fleur.

Harry could see the Acromantula's pincers starting to close on Fleur and he reacted with only a single thought - he HAD to save Fleur. "LACERO!" He yelled as he slashed his wand as Fleur had shown him. A red arc raced from his wand and slammed into the spider knocking it away from his Bond mate. He ran forward with his wand pointed at the spider but it wasn't moving. As he got closer he could see why. The spider was missing a large piece of its body. The cutting charm had sliced through the body of the spider, removing a good third of it along with two of its legs.

Harry knelt beside Fleur who was covered in the blood of the Acromantula. "Are you alright? Are you hurt?"

Fleur was in mild shock at the suddenness of the attack and rescue. It was only when Harry's arms encircled her that she was able to regain her composure. "Thank you," She said as kissed him gently. "You saved my life again."

"And you would have saved mine if I'd been the one attacked," Harry replied as he looked over at the carcass of the spider. "I don't know what they were thinking. These things can kill you before you can even send up sparks much less be rescued."

Fleur looked over at the spider that had attacked her and seeing the damage she turned and looked at Harry. "How?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I just knew I had to save you."

Fleur wrapped her arms around Harry again. The blood smearing between the two of them. Finally she let go and said. "Let's clean up and get out of 'ere."

"I agree."

After a quick cleaning spell on their robes they walked hand in hand into the lit clearing where the cup was.

Harry glanced at Fleur and noticed how imperfect his perfectly beautiful bond mate was. Sweat ran down her dirt covered face and she had several scratches on her cheek as well from climbing through the hedge to get to Cedric. At that moment she was the most beautiful he had ever seen her "We did it," He said.

Fleur smiled at her bond mate. "Yes we did love."

Harry pulled Fleur to the pedestal the cup was sitting on. "We both take it on three," Harry said, but as he looked at Fleur he saw she was backing away from the cup as she shook her head negatively.

"Non, 'Arry. It is yours," Fleur said. "Take eet. I'm 'appy wiz second place."

"No Fleur. We are family. You're my bond mate. This is ours to share."

"Non, I won't 'usband of mine…" Fleur said.

"What?" Harry asked as he looked up sharply.

Fleur realized what she'd said. "I...I shouldn't 'ave said zat. She took a deep breath and sighed. "I should explain," She moved until she was only a foot away from Harry and took his hands in hers. "Love, we...we are bonded..."

"Yes, but..."

She put a finger to his lips. "Whether we 'ave exchanged our vows or not, you are ze only man I shall or can love. Nor would I ever want to love another. To me you're my 'usband," She leaned forward and kissed him. "I love you 'Arry Potter with every bit of my being."

"I love you too, but I still don't understand."

Tears weld in Fleur's eyes now. "Do you remember what I used for my Patronus?"

Harry remembered the image he had seen in her mind that moment in the Chamber. He had seen the two of them standing on a cliff overlooking a beautiful blue body of water that had stretched forever. It was the wedding Fleur imagined for them, she was dressed in a beautiful dress, and he in his dress robes similar to what he had worn at the Yule Ball. The two of them were exchanging their vows. Hermione and Gabrielle were there dressed in their own wedding dresses.

"My 'appiness is being your family and you being mine, but it's also my greatest fear."

"Your Boggart?"

"If you'd let 'im speak it would be you telling me I'm not worthy to be your wife, to be your family."

Harry pulled her into a hug. "It's me who's not worthy Fleur. I'm not worthy of you, nor Hermione or Gabrielle. I..I am just…how do I say it. I just know that I love you and I will give you that wedding whenever you want it. Then I want to tell you over and over that I love you. You really are the flower of my heart."

Fleur smiled. "Take your trophy love and let's get out of 'ere."

"But it's our victory Fleur. Take it with me."

"Non. You have given me so much in ze last few months. You've saved my sister's and my life, actually twice for Gabrielle and three times for me since you agreed to bond with us and now my 'usband you offer me my dreams and banish my fears."

Harry looked back at Fleur, "You've given me as much. You made my life complete, giving me your love. You have given me a life worth living."

Fleur smiled at him. "Zen when we get out of zis maze, we will find a quiet spot and continue zis but for now ze cup is yours 'Arry and I will not take it wiz you. You beat me fairly in ze first task, and saved my life in the second and without you I would be dead to zat spider. Zis victory is yours my 'usband. We will share all in ze future but not zis. Zis is for you to win and for me to be proud of my bond mate."

"CLAP,CLAP, CLAP" ranged out through the clearing and both Fleur and Harry spun around to see Cedric standing at the entrance to the clearing. His robes were torn in several spots, he was favoring his left leg and he had blood coming out of a wound on his forehead.

"Husband? Love? Bondmate? I thought you were dating Fleur's sister Harry?" Cedric said. "I can't wait to hear this fascinating tale. As much as I was tempted to take the cup while you two were having your spousal argument I couldn't do it. Now Harry, do as your wife told you to do and take the cup and let's get out of here before another of Hagrid's pets show up."

Harry looked at Cedric and then back at Fleur who was had moved away again. "Take it 'Arry."

Harry looked one last time at the determined smile that graced his bond mate's face before he nodded. He gave her a smile and then turned and grabbed the cup. Just as his fingers touched the handle he heard Hermione scream, "HARRY WAIT! Dumbledore.." It was too late; he felt the jerk behind his navel as the portkey whisked him away.

Cedric turned to Fleur and asked, "Did you know the cup was a portkey?"

"Non!" She replied as a look of concern passed over her eyes as her bond went silent. A second, then two. She called out to Hermione and Gabrielle but knew they couldn't answer without Harry being available...Five seconds, six seconds. Each second seemed like an hour to Fleur as she waited.

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