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.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5403795/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Price-of-Being-Noble

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3. Chapter 3 Grindylows and Bonds

Fleur presumed the Merpeople lived toward the center of the lake allowing them to be as far away from human contact as possible. She started in that direction, confident in her abilities. Fleur was a strong swimmer. Her parents' home was on the Mediterranean Sea and she swam all the time during the summer, but as she swam deeper and deeper into the darkening waters, she soon found out this was different. The stress from racing a clock and racing to save her sister soon found her energy levels dissipating at an alarming rate.

The air bubble that surrounded her head kept a constant pressure. The sometimes painful pressure change in her ears that she'd normally suffered as she swam so deep didn't affect her now. The problem she discovered with the bubblehead charm was she couldn't hear anything in the water. Her first indication of a problem was when she felt a pull at her ankle. She looked down and found long fingers wrapped around it; Fingers that led to the arm and body of a pale green creature with sharp little horns.

"Grindylow," Fleur thought as she aimed her wand at the horned creature and sent a hex at it. The spell barely had an effect. Frustrated at the lack of power in her spell, she tried again, but again the hex had little effect. "NO!" She exclaimed as she saw another Grindylow appear out of the darkness and grab her other ankle. Again and again Fleur sent spells at the creatures but as before, they barely made a difference in her fight. She kicked out at them as well; but as she'd get rid of one, another would grab onto her. She fought and fought, but already tired before the fight, she felt what little energy she had left slowly ebbing away. Through her struggles a single line of thoughts ran through her mind. "Gabrielle, Gabrielle! I must get to Gabrielle," She no longer cared about the Triwizard tournament; she only wanted to get to her sister and make sure she was safe. As she continued to struggle, another feeling developed deep inside of her, fear. The stories of Champions who had died in previous tournaments came to mind and were amplified by the darkness and the isolation around her. The fear grew stronger as she became weaker. She could see her sister's face in her mind's eyes; a face she wondered if she would ever see again; if she would see any faces again.

A movement caught Fleur's eye as a shadow seemed to form in the very darkness of the water. The fear she felt increased even more as she thought another monster was coming to join the attack, but then a jet of water rushed past her and hit two Grindylows who had a grip on her left leg. Another stream of water followed and another. Each forced several Grindylows back until finally the creatures gave up the fight and fled.

Fleur turned to face the shape emerging from the murky darkness with her wand at the ready. She didn't know if it had been a friend, or possibly a natural enemy of the Grindylow that she'd now have to fight. Slowly the shape changed until she saw those eyes; eyes of emerald green that almost glowed in the gloom that surrounded them. "Harry?" Fleur mouthed.

Harry gave her a small smile, but never stopped looking around for further dangers. As he did, Fleur noticed the gills that protruded from his neck. "Of course, Gillyweed," She thought. "I should have thought of that," The next time his eyes swept toward her, she looked more closely at her rescuer. His green eyes again seemed to call to her. She reached out and touched him and smiled to tell him thanks. The smile he returned was not a smile she'd grown used to from men; it was not the smile of someone trying to hide the lust he felt because of her allure, it was one of warmth, of friendship; of caring. He then shrugged, and motioned with his hand toward the center of the lake and waited for her to lead the way.

Fleur was confused, though thankful of his help. She looked again at the young man who swam beside her as they proceeded deeper into the lake. She noticed with a smile that his black hair was as messy underwater as it was all the other times she'd seen it. "Why didn't he leave me?" She asked herself. "He would be ahead in the competition, should be," The puzzle that was Harry Potter intrigued her as they continued on toward their hostages.

Fleur set the pace of their swim. She could see the elongated webbed feet the gillyweed had given Harry and knew that he could have easily outpaced her, but he didn't. He kept to the same speed as Fleur, looking around as he swam for more grindylow or other dangers that might exist. For some reason though, and she knew she'd never be able to explain it, Fleur felt at ease, even safe, swimming in the lake that had threatened her just minutes earlier.

Fleur was startled when the ghost of a girl materialized from the darkness. Though Fleur could not hear what was being said, she could see that Harry seemed to be on polite terms with her. "He even went to a ghost's Deathday party," She remembered her Headmistress saying.

"Was it this ghost?" She wondered as she watched the two.

The ghost appeared to ask Harry how he was doing and then she pointed in a direction to which Harry had given her a thumbs up. That's when it happened. Harry reached out and touched her arm. It had been a gesture to indicate that they should swim in the direction the ghost had pointed, but it had been so much more. Where his fingers had touched her skin, Fleur had felt warmth, warmth that had nothing to do with the warming spell that still protected her. She couldn't describe it, but it was something she felt she wanted more of. She found herself looking into those green eyes and wondering what they hid, or wanted to say. She wanted to know why he was there and she wanted to know what he was thinking. But thoughts of her sister reappeared forcing her to turn and swim in the direction that he'd indicated. On and on they swam but eventually the landscape changed and they found themselves approaching the outskirts of an underwater village.

Merpeople lined the street that led to the center of the village; all of them watched the two of them as they swam by with looks of eager anticipation on their faces. As they neared the center of the town, she could see many more merpeople; these were moving their mouths and even through the silence surrounding her, Fleur could feel they were singing. Then she saw them; the hostages. The four young people floated in the center of the village tied to some structure by ropes made of weed. At the end was the small stature she saw what she was most desperate to see, the blonde hair of her sister, Gabrielle. A sense of relief flooded Fleur's mind at the sight. With extra strong kicks she propelled herself to her sister's side and start examining her for injuries. Gabrielle's eyes were closed and she appeared calm as if she was only sleeping.

"Good," Fleur thought as she verified her sister was uninjured. Surrounded by more light and the merpeople, she realized that Gabrielle had never really been in any danger. With the danger lifted from her mind, Fleur's attention returned to the competition and getting her sister free from the ropes. She first ran her fingers over the knots but found they were too tight to work loose. Fleur then pulled out her wand and tried a cutting spell, but again the power was inadequate and the ropes remained intact. "Why didn't I bring a knife?" She thought in frustration but at that moment movement caught her eye and she looked in that direction. She could see Harry appeared to be arguing with a merman holding a spear. When it was obvious Harry wasn't getting the spear, she watched him as he looked around for a way to release his hostage as well. Fleur watched, hoping he'd find the answer. It was only a second later that Harry dove to the bottom and grabbed a flat sharp rock and quickly returned to the red-haired boy and started hacking at the ropes.

"Yes, that will work," Fleur thought and found a rock as well. Though the idea was good, it was very slow going since her rock wasn't very sharp. She'd been struggling for a minute or two when she found that warmth touching her again as fingers gently grabbed her wrist. In surprise she started but as she turned she found those emerald eyes looking at her. Harry had freed his hostage and now held up his own rock, offering to help her. Not understanding and not knowing what else to do, she nodded. With a smile, he grabbed the weeds binding Gabrielle and made short work of freeing her. When Gabrielle floated free, Fleur smiled at her rescuer, her protector and then she grabbed her sister and started pulling her toward the surface. She'd only swam a short distance when she realized Harry wasn't there, wasn't beside her, and for some reason she felt like something was missing. She looked back and saw that he was trying to free the other two hostages as well.

"What is he doing?" Fleur asked herself. She knew the time must be running out; for her bubblehead charm and his gillyweed only lasted an hour. "We have to hurry," She tried to force her thoughts to the black-haired young man who was still waiting for something. She then realized what he was doing, just as he wouldn't leave her, he would not leave any hostages behind. Again she started to kick up toward the surface only to find that she couldn't, or more truthfully, she wouldn't. She glanced back toward the village and without a second thought turned and kicked her way back until she was next to Harry.

When Harry saw she had returned, he motioned that she should go, but Fleur shook her head in response. For a couple of seconds they stared at each other. Green eyes upon blue. A disturbance brought their attention back to what was around them as Cedric swam into view. He barely even noticed Harry and Fleur as he cut the black-haired girl loose and quickly disappeared into the murky waters. They'd hardly turned their attention back to the remaining hostage when Krum appeared. He'd partially transformed himself into a shark. His powerful jaws made short work on the weed rope that held his hostage. When she was free, Krum snagged the loose end of the rope and quickly swam out of sight, dragging the limp brown-haired girl behind him.

Harry shrugged at Fleur and smiled. He motioned that she should lead the way back to the surface. Fleur nodded and grabbed her sister; with a kick she propelled herself upward. She knew though without even looking, Harry was right behind her. She did glance back and proved herself right, as before he could have easily out distanced her, but he was there rising at the same speed she was.

She couldn't help but glance at the young man a couple of more times as they ascended; it was during one of those looks that she felt her sister jerk in her arms. Fleur quickly glanced at Gabrielle and saw her eyes open while at the same time her body began to glow. "NO!" Fleur screamed in her mind. "She can't...It's not her time to transform," But time or not, she knew what was happening, as it happened to all Veela, as it had happened to her. Gabrielle's body started to grow, her legs, her arms, her body stretched and transformed right in front of her. The robes that her sister wore stretched and then shredded under the strain of the increasing size of the wearer. Gabrielle's eyes first were confused but then grew wide in fear and she began to struggle, to fight for a breath of air that would not come. Fleur desperately kicked harder trying to get to the surface. She could see the light in the distance above her moving in the shallower water. As she fought to rise faster and faster, she felt a familiar pull at her ankles. A panicked look down confirmed what she feared, more Grindylows. As she tried to kick one loose another grabbed her and another. She continued to kick at them desperately, but the struggle was in vain; there were too many of them. Slowly they started pulling her and Gabrielle back into the depths of the lake.

Harry had been following Fleur to the surface, the dead weight of Ron slowing his ascent, but he had kept his wand out. After months of 'Constant Vigilance' being yelled at him, he wasn't about to let his guard down. It was the glow that first alerted him that there was a problem. The gloomy water suddenly lit up around them. Harry's eyes quickly found the source of the light; Fleur's hostage. As he stared at the two of them a most peculiar thing occurred. It was if Polyjuice potion had ended or started, the girl who appeared to be about eight or nine, started enlarging, taking a new shape, one not of a child but of a young woman. At the same time Harry saw her start struggling. Obviously she was awake and panicked. He looked at Ron to make sure he was still asleep, when he looked back at the Beauxbatons champion he saw she was now under attack by another swarm of Grindylows. Harry instantly knew he had to help. After another glance to make sure Ron was still asleep, he shoved his friend upward and turned to help the struggling women. He could see Fleur was fighting as best she could but it was obviously a losing battle as they started descending back into the depths. Without a moment's hesitation Harry kicked hard to bring himself nearer to the pair. Just as he closed, he saw the air of bubble that surrounded Fleur's head disappear, saw her eyes widen in fear and desperation. Just as Harry sent a jet of hot water at the first set of horned creatures, he felt the effects of the the gillyweed start to fade from his body as well. With his last few breathes he sent spell after spell at the Grindylow, forcing them to abandon Fleur and flee into the depths.

Harry grabbed Fleur and her hostage and kicked hard, struggling to pull them toward the light that was the surface of the lake many feet above them. Without the webbed feet, the struggle was much more difficult. His lungs started to burn as they craved the needed oxygen, but still he struggled. He felt the load lighten and looked to find Fleur was now also kicking hard as well. Upward the two of them fought, with the younger girl between then they struggled to reach the light that seemed so far away. Harry looked back at Fleur and found her blue eyes looking back at him. In the terror and desperation that loomed in her eyes, Harry saw something else; he couldn't describe it but knew it was something worth fighting for. He kicked even harder as he felt a rush of renewed energy.

They broke the surface and each gasped the lungfuls of air they had to have.

"GABRIELLE!" Fleur shouted at her hostage. She'd stopped struggling sometime during the ascent. "OH...GABRIELLE," She looked at her sister and then at Harry. "She's not breathing."

Harry looked around desperately, but there was no one close. He could see Ron swimming toward the platform some fifty yards away, but no one else was close. He looked back at Fleur and at the beautiful young woman. He knew he needed to do something, anything, but only one thought came to mind. He wasn't sure if he could do it, or if it'd even work on a person but he had to try something. He pointed his wand at the girl and shouted "WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA" with the proper swish and flick just as he swallowed a mouthful of icy cold water. The young woman rose from the water and as Harry forced himself to not cough or choke, he urged her toward the stands. He could feel his energy leaving and knew he wouldn't get her there, but he also knew she needed him and he would not fail. Just as the strain was about to break him he felt it lighten and stop altogether, but the girl did not plunge back into the icy lake, she continued toward the platform. Harry looked past her to see Professor Dumbledore with his wand out guiding her to safety.

Exhausted, Harry sputtered the water from his mouth and lungs. When he caught his breath he glanced back at the Beauxbatons Champion and saw she was staring at the platform. They both watched the girl float gently to the ground and a witch Harry recognized to be the school nurse knelt down and started attending to her. He again turned to Fleur. "She'll be fine," He tried to assure her. "Madam Pomfrey is the best."

"Thank you," Fleur said as her blue eyes found his. "You...I..."

"Let's go so you can be there when she wakes up," Harry said cutting her off. Fleur only nodded and together they swam toward the platform. The water was frigidly cold and every stroke felt like an eternity. Harry, without the webbed hands and feet, was the slow one now, but even though her sister was on the platform, Fleur swam with Harry.

"You can go on. I'll be..." Harry tried to say.

"Non!" Fleur responded sharply but said nothing else. Though for the rest of the swim every time he glanced at her, he found her looking back at him. Fatigue and concern clouded her brilliant blue eyes, but a hint of a smile was upon her lips.

Finally they made it to the platform and Harry insisted that Fleur leave the water first. He pulled himself up immediately afterward. People swarmed them, some throwing blankets on them while others handed them mugs of hot liquids. Though it was appreciated, Harry and Fleur were only concentrating on one thing, the person lying on the blankets being tended to by Madam Pomfrey.

The school nurse was surrounded by several empty potion bottles of various sizes and shapes. Currently she was waving her wand over the young lady. Harry could see the fear and concern that Fleur felt but almost immediately they heard the sputtering and coughing and relief swept over both of them. She was alive.

"She'll do," Madam Pomfrey said. "I want her up in my ward soon though."

'Give them a moment," Dumbledore said as Harry and Fleur knelt beside the young woman.

Fleur took the young girl's hand in her own as she smiled at her sister. "How are you Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle looked back at her sister and then closed her eyes as if trying to remember something. "What happened?" She asked weakly in French when she reopened them.

"My little sister grew up, you transformed Gabrielle. You are now a young lady," Fleur said with tears in her eyes as she squeezed her sister's hand. "But we were underwater, and zen we were attacked and I couldn't get you to ze surface."

"But 'ow–?" Gabrielle started this time in the same language her sister had used, and then she saw the dark-haired young man who was beside her sister. Her eyes widened and she started "You're–"

"Eet was 'im. 'E saved our lives Gabrielle. I...I owe 'im my life and yours. I..." Fleur didn't finish what she was saying. She turned back to Harry. "You saved me, you saved Gabrielle, I owe you so much and I...I need you, I..." She stopped. She knew what she wanted, and as her veela powers rushed back into her she couldn't stop herself.

At the same time Gabrielle's eyes widened when she realized what Fleur was about to do. "Non Fleur, 'e's mine!" Neither heard the other or if they did, it didn't stop them, their voices said the same words at the same time "With all that I am and with all of my love, I name you my bondmate," Fleur's lips touched a shocked Harry's while Gabrielle desperately grabbed for Harry's hand and kissed it. Harry felt a rush of power overwhelm his senses. He sensed warmth, a brilliant light, he saw two beautiful birds flying into the air surround by fire, and then he succumbed to the darkness as he lost consciousness.

When Harry awoke he found himself in a very familiar spot, Hogwarts hospital wing. Harry had spent many nights in this room over the last three and a half years. He tried to remember what had happened this time. After a few moments of silent contemplation, the events started to unfold in his mind. Harry remembered the lake; he remembered helping Fleur and saving Ron and then saving Fleur and Gabrielle. He blushed as he remembered being kissed by Fleur and Gabrielle but then he remembered the birds blazing in fire and that's where his memory ended. He searched for more, but nothing else came. He tried to sit up and was surprised that for being as sore as he was, he felt incredibly well.

"Oh Mr. Potter I'm so glad you are awake," Madame Pomfrey said as she came over to his bed. She immediately started waving her wand and uttering spell after spell. Her wand would glow with various colors until finally, "All looks well Mr. Potter. Here take this," She handed over a bottle of greenish liquid with flakes of blue floating in it.

Harry didn't bother to ask what it was; he just downed the contents in a gulp.

"Now the Headmaster asked to be notified upon your awakening. I shall return soon," With that she hastened out of the hospital wing leaving Harry looking around still very much confused.

Harry found his glasses lying were they normally were when he awoke in the hospital wing. Once he'd put them on, he noticed that Fleur and Gabrielle were lying in beds on either side of him. He looked at Fleur first as he remembered her giving him a kiss to thank him for saving her.

"She's very beautiful," He admitted as he saw her silvery-blonde hair splayed across the white pillow, her skin aglow, and her lips curved in a smile. Harry then looked over at Gabrielle, and could see the same silvery hair, though not quite as long. Her skin also was aglow and she also seemed to be smiling in her sleep. "What happened to her?" He wondered. "She changed from a small child into this young lady in front of my eyes."

Harry looked around the Hospital ward and was surprised to find no one else in the beds. Normally Madam Pomfrey would separate the girls from the boys if there was room. "Maybe they're not injured, maybe they were just waiting to say thanks again and fell asleep."

Harry's musing ended a few minutes later when Professor Dumbledore walked into the wing, "Good afternoon Harry, I hope you are feeling better."

"Yes professor, but I'm still trying to figure out what happened," Harry replied. "I mean I remember getting out of the lake and a few other things...but then nothing."

"Ah yes, make yourself comfortable Harry for we have much to discuss. We have a," Dumbledore looked out a window and then back at Harry, "unique problem and we must figure out what you want to do."

Harry propped himself up on his pillows and waited. He knew Dumbledore explained things at his own pace. He could see from Dumbledore's blue eyes that something was troubling him greatly. "Do about what sir?" He finally asked.

"Harry, do you know what a Veela is?" Dumbledore asked.

"Yes sir. I saw them at the World Cup," Harry responded.

"And you saw their magic?" Dumbledore asked.

Harry remembered how he was ready to jump out of the top box at the World Cup when they were dancing. "Sort of sir, they can make men well uh do things and they can turn into bird form and throw fireballs."

"Mostly correct Harry. Did you know Miss Delacour was part Veela?"

"She mentioned at the wands thing that her grandmother was Veela," Harry replied.

"Yes she did. I remember her doing so. Yes, she is quarter Veela and obviously so is her sister Gabrielle," Said Dumbledore and with a nod he gestured at the girl in the other bed.

"Sir, what happened to Gabrielle? When we first got to the hostages, she looked like...like a child, but as we were swimming to the surface, she started to glow and...and...well she grew up," Harry asked.

"Well Harry," Dumbledore started. "That is part of the Veela in her. A Veela will stop growing at a young age until her mind and body is ready for the stress of, shall we say womanhood."

"Why?" Harry asked in obvious confusion.

"One of the, hmm, many virtues of Veela is their tempers."

Harry remembered the World Cup and how the Veela acted when things didn't go their team's way and he just nodded.

"Having the power of the Veela in a young woman who is going through the, umm, changes a woman undergoes as she grows," Dumbledore eyes were now focused on the wall above Harry's bed, "Well nature has decided that would be unwise. So they stop growing while their minds and body undergo those changes and then transform when the time is right."

Harry didn't quite understand what Dumbledore meant but left it at that. "But sir what does Fleur and Gabrielle being Veela have to do with me?"

"Ah, now that is the difficult part Harry. Let me ask you, what happened in the lake and please I need every detail when it comes to you and Miss Delacour."

Harry started with his story, how after taking the gillyweed, he had swum toward the center of the lake and how he had come across Fleur struggling with the Grindylows. He explained how he had assisted her and at that he stopped and asked. "Professor, they were simple spells, why wasn't Fleur able to do them? She's a lot older and..." Harry's question disappeared into nothing as the Headmaster nodded his head.

"Fleur's magic is a combination of Veela and wizarding power Harry," Dumbledore started, "What do you remember most vividly about the Veela?" Then with a small chuckle at the look on Harry's face. "Besides their beauty?"

Harry thought of the Veela at the World Cup, "The fire."

"Exactly. Veela magic is born in fire very much like the phoenix's. When she was deep underwater she mentally was unable to call for the fire part of her magic and it left her magic much weaker," Dumbledore explained. "That doesn't mean she isn't able to. If she were to go into the water and practice, she would eventually be able to pull only from her witch's power and it would be effective. But she probably has never needed to. Now back to that delightful tale."

Harry continued, telling Dumbledore how he had swum with her to protect her in case of more grindylow attacks.

"Noble as always Harry."

Harry continued telling about getting to the village and getting Ron and helping Fleur with Gabrielle. How he had waited for Cedric and Krum to get Cho and Hermione before leaving.

"We heard that part from the merpeople, again noble, though you might hear differently from some of your classmates."

Harry told Dumbledore how Fleur had come back to be with him after she had first started swimming away with Gabrielle. Dumbledore was most intrigued that Fleur had returned to Harry's side instead of continuing on.

"I don't know why she did sir. I just couldn't leave Hermione or Cho there."

"Yes and I'm sure if Fleur hadn't been with you, you would have made sure Gabrielle was safe as well, wouldn't you Harry?"

Harry thought of that, "Yes sir, I would have."

"You have a noble spirit, but again you will probably hear differently from others."

Harry continued telling Dumbledore how, once Krum and Cedric had claimed their hostages he once again swam protection for Fleur to make sure she got to the surface safely. He explained how he saw Gabrielle start to glow, how the bubblehead charm had failed and the grindylows attacked again. Harry explained how he'd pushed Ron up and swam to help but his gillyweed expired. That he used his last air to send the spells that drove off the grindylows then helped Fleur get Gabrielle to the surface. Then remembering how Dumbledore had taken Gabrielle from his spell, "Sir, thank you for saving Gabrielle, I couldn't hold the levitation any longer."

"Harry, I didn't save her, you did. You saved both Fleur's and Gabrielle's lives while risking your own in doing so," Dumbledore said quietly, he looked again at the ladies on the beds beside Harry, "We thought we had enough safeguards in place. I just never considered a Veela transformation at that time," He dabbed the corner of his eye with a finger before continuing. "The transformation knocked her out of the spell she was under. Harry if it hadn't been for you, Gabrielle and Fleur would have died under that lake," He paused to let Harry understand what he had done. "Harry, do you remember what happened when you got to the platform?"

"We went to see how Gabrielle was; Fleur said she wasn't breathing when we surfaced," Harry started.

"Yes, she was correct, but as you saw, Madame Pomfrey did her usual magic and brought her around in no time. What else do you remember?"

"Fleur said something and Gabrielle also," Harry said and then blushing "They both kissed me, but when they did I felt something and I saw two birds surrounded by fire or at least I thought I did, and the next thing I remember was waking up here."

"Do you remember what they said?" Dumbledore asked.

"Something about love and bonds."

"Yes, they both invoked deep Veela magic," Dumbledore stopped and again looked at the unconscious forms of Fleur and Gabrielle. "They initiated a love bond with you Harry."

"What is that sir?" Harry asked but had a horrible feeling in his stomach that he really didn't want to know.

"Ah, well Harry think of it as a Veela wedding vows."

"Wedding vows? I'm married? How–?" Harry started.

"Maybe that was a bad comparison. No you're not married, at least not if you don't want to be," Dumbledore started, but seeing Harry let out a sigh of relief, "it's much deeper than marriage, at least for them."

"WHAT?"

"Harry, they connected their lives to you. In Veela terms it is called a bondmate," Dumbledore said. "Now you can reject the bonding but there would be consequences."

"What kind of consequences?" Harry asked quietly.

"Nothing on your part, but the Delacours, well, Harry you have to understand they have given you their love," Dumbledore explained. "If you reject it and not complete the bond, it disappears and those two ladies will never be the same."

"What do you mean?" Harry asked, somehow knowing the answer was not going to be something he wanted to hear.

Dumbledore again looked sadly at the Delacours, "The bond is formed by Veela magic from every ounce of love in their hearts. If you accept it, the love will be freely shared amongst all of you, but if you reject it, they will live the rest of their lives with no way to love again. That usually means they will go insane or worse."

"But why did they do it?" Harry asked.

"I don't truly know, it could be that you saved their lives, or the dramatic experience you shared," Dumbledore said. "But I will tell you this; they each had already found love in their hearts for you before they committed themselves to you."

"They loved me?" Harry asked as he looked inquisitively over at Fleur.

"The bond cannot be formed out of nothing; there must be love for the individual before it can start. The love might not have been deep or it might have been from the depths of their hearts but it was there."

Harry continued to stare at Fleur, "She didn't even know I existed, I was just a little boy to her. How did she love me?"

"I can't answer that Harry, though returning to your side under the lake might start to answer that question. I think even if she hadn't realized it at the time, love was what brought her back to you. I do know that if you accept the bond, she'll be glad to tell you, that is if she knows herself. For you see, in the bond there will be no secrets between the two of you," Dumbledore said.

"What do you mean?"

"Fleur and Gabrielle's parents were kind enough to give me a deeper understanding of exactly what this bond entails," Dumbledore explained. "Part of it seems to be the ability of the bonded to communicate silently."

"They'll be able to read my mind?"

"More like your thoughts, unless you are actively thinking something it would not work. They couldn't just go dive into your memories."

"Oh," Harry said. He put his head back and stared at the ceiling for a whole minute before he turned his gaze upon the older Delacour. "Professor, um..." Harry asked finally. "What do I do?"

"That is entirely up to you Harry; though your options are simple enough. You can accept both bondings and share your life with two very lovely young ladies," Seeing the look in Harry's eyes, "Yes, since the bond is permanent you would eventually probably marry them both."

"How can I marry both of them sir, isn't that, well against the law or something?"

"In normal circumstances, yes it is Harry," Dumbledore said. "But this is a magical bond and as such recognized by all as a justifiable exception to the law. Now your other option is to only accept one of the bonds, in which you would condemn the other to the life of insanity I mentioned earlier. Though this is an option, the results of such a choice would most likely create an undesirable problem within the bond of the other one, not to mention their family. And finally you can reject both bonds, live your life as you want and both women would be as I mentioned earlier."

"I have no choice then sir," Harry said as again his eyes drifted to the sleeping form of Fleur.

"You always have a choice, but sometimes the choices are not always equal."

"Are they sleeping or unconscious?" Harry asked.

"We had to put them in a deep sleep until you awakened," Dumbledore explained, "Usually the bond must be formed within forty-eight hours of its initiation and we had no idea when you would awaken. Not even the strongest of Madame Pomfrey's restorative potions could bring you around. It seems in your weakened magical and physical state, the energy from the dual bond initiation overwhelmed your body and magical core."

"How long have I been unconscious?"

"Three days, and no before you ask, the bond formation will not continue until the ladies awake," Dumbledore said. "But we cannot keep them out for more than another two days."

"So I can talk to them, before the bond?" Harry asked. "I mean I have never even spoken to Gabrielle and now I have to decide if I want to spend the rest of my life with her?"

"Of course Harry. But before we bring the ladies around, may I suggest speaking to the ladies' parents and maybe to a certain canine we are both fond of?"

"Uh, how about just Si..I mean Padfoot. I think I would prefer to speak to uh, them," nodding to the beds beside him, "before talking to their parents," Harry replied.

A twinkle emerged in Dumbledore's eyes, "Yes, meeting the girlfriend's parents can be quite daunting especially when you didn't even know you had a girlfriend. But understand they are very much concerned for their children. They know you have their daughters' very lives in your hands."

"Yes sir, I understand."

"I do believe Madame Pomfrey wishes to check you over one more time." Dumbledore said. "Once she finishes please come along to my office. My favorite candy of the month just happens to be Chocolate frogs."

 
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