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.



33. Chapter 33

Jun 26 1995 continued

Dumbledore was staring out the window of his office. The view allowed him to see the lawn far below and currently students milled around after a day of end-of-year tests. In the distance he saw a group of four young people walking toward the lake and knew from the color of their hair who they were. As he watched Harry and the young ladies who were bonded to him he felt a sense of regret and of pride. Dumbledore really did consider Lily and James Potter amongst his friends and it appeared from Harry's encounter with them that they held no grudge against him. He thought again of the night he left young Harry on the Dursleys' doorstep. He still had the memories of the bondscene that showed the abuse Harry suffered there. He hadn't returned to those memories once the bonding had been completed until that morning. Though he truly could not bring himself to allow the Dursleys to fall to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, he was glad that Alain Delacour would be arranging matters there.

A motion on his desk broke his concentration and he glanced toward it. The Daily Prophet was there and it was open to the story of Crouch Junior masquerading as Moody. The motion that had caught his eye was the drawing of himself and Crouch. Though Dumbledore enjoyed a good laugh at some of the things written about him, this article had hit very close to home. That Barty Crouch Jr. could fool him for an entire year seemed impossible, but yet it had happened. His thoughts turned to the conversation with Alain Delacour once more and after a few minutes a small silver device broke his reverie as it started emitting a sound that sounded very much like a burp. He glanced at a clock that hung on his wall and knew it was time to leave. He had to address the International Confederation of Wizards later about the return of Voldemort. He secured his Pensieve into his traveling bag wishing once again it could be shrunken and lightened but the magic that imbued the unique device prevented it.

Three hours later a weary Dumbledore concluded his briefing to the Witches and Wizards of the ICW. He had displayed several memories to show the return of the Dark Lord and then gave a request to his colleagues.

"Though Magical Great Britain does not request world assistance as of yet, we do ask that you do your best to prevent Voldemort from gaining resources from your respective countries," Dumbledore paused for a few moments and then finished his speech. "Finally I wish to announce my resignation from the position of Supreme Mugwump of this astute organization," This caused a cacophony of voices and yells throughout the chamber. Dumbledore finally requested quiet and the noise settled. "Recently I was reminded that time is something we all crave but never have enough of. I feel I need to spend more of my time dealing with the troubles in my country. I ask only that you choose my replacement carefully for it is imperative that the spread of darkness be contained," He looked around the chamber one last time and then he stood up from the Supreme Mugwump's chair and walked briskly out of the room.

**** E E *****

Harry's interview with Rita Skeeter went much better than he had imagined. With Fleur and Hermione guiding Skeeter to the appropriate questions and cutting her off when she asked one that they knew Harry didn't want to answer, the time wasn't nearly as bad as Harry imagined it would be. Finally the last question was asked.

"Harry, I appreciate your time this evening and hope we can follow up some time in the future, but for now do you have anything that you would like to say directly to the readers."

As Harry contemplated his answer, his thoughts roamed back to a conversation he had with Alain Delacour when he had approached the politician for advice. Alain had asked Harry what he really wanted from the interview.

"Actually sir, I just want to be left alone," Harry had replied. "I just want to be Harry."

Mr. Delacour had studied Harry for a short time before he grimaced and replied. "Son, I wish you could 'ave what you want, but I think you know it won't 'appen. You are 'Arry Potter, ze boy-who-lived and ze banisher of Voldemort. Zough you might not 'ave deserved ze attention when you were an infant, your feats ze other night are all your own. You once again faced down and drove off ze Dark Lord while surviving another killing curse. You selflessly threw yourself in front of it in fact to save someone," Alain's hand came down and rested on Harry's shoulder. "To ze people you are a 'ero..."

"Not really," Harry said. "You, Moony and Dumbledore were there. Voldemort knew he had to leave. Besides, the only reason I was able to hit him was because he didn't expect me to be alive."

"Don't sell yourself short 'Arry. Remus and I were trying to stop 'im ze whole time you were...out of it shall we say. Even with 'im suffering in extreme pain, 'e was still able to block our spells. It was your spell zat forced 'im to flee as quickly as 'e did," Alain gave Harry's shoulder a slight squeeze. "You are a very powerful wizard 'Arry. I could not drive zat many Dementors away, nor could I slice an Acromantula in half with a single spell."

"It was less than half," Harry mumbled. "I only took off a part with a couple of legs."

Alain chuckled. "Nor could I do even zat much. Though speaking of your magical abilities, I still plan on arranging some instructions for you and ze others zis summer when you're with us."

"What type of instructions?" Harry asked. "I mean I can't do magic when I'm there can I?"

"Of course you'll be able to. Zere are certain advantages to being bondmate to my daughters. One of zose is I can take care of things on ze government side. As for what it will be, I 'ave something in mind, but let's get you to France before we discuss it, oui?"

"Thank you sir," Harry replied.

"We'll see 'ow thankful you are when you're 'ot sweaty and tired zis summer," Alain said with a smile.

"It will still be better than my previous summers. I've always been hot, sweaty and tired, but now at least I will have..."

"My daughters including 'Ermione?" Mr. Delacour replied and chuckled lightly when Harry blushed and nodded.

"Yes, I imagine so. As for your previous summers, I will be taking you from ze train station to your Aunt and Uncle's 'ome."


Alain eyes developed a small twinkle. "I just wish to introduce myself...properly. I do not know why Dumbledore did not do more to ensure a better life for you, but I will make sure zey understand."

"Yes sir," Harry replied.

"Now as I was saying, to ze people you are a 'ero," Alain said. "Whether you want it or not, you represent ze fight against Voldemort. You're a...a figurehead is a good word. Ze people are going to look to you and ze interview will be ze start of 'ow zey perceive you. If you tell zem it was luck and not accept zat you did anything against Voldemort, zen ze people might lose 'ope zat 'e can ever be beat and if people lose 'ope, zey can never win."

Harry's stomach churned at those words, but he knew Fleur and Gabrielle's father was right.

Harry was still looking at Rita Skeeter as his mind returned to the present and the ending question. He swallowed and finally replied. "I want the people to know that though I don't think I'm any kind of hero, I do believe Voldemort can be beaten. He is but a man who also went to Hogwarts fifty years ago. A man who though gifted magically cannot win if the Witches and Wizards of this country come together to oppose him and his followers. We must not step willingly back into the darkness, but fight against it."

"So…you plan on fighting him?" Rita asked.

"I have already and I will again."

"Very well said," Rita said. "You mentioned that You-Know-Who went to Hogwarts. What did you mean by that?"

"He was a student here fifty years ago. Look up Tom Marvolo Riddle," He nodded at Fleur who had taught him along with Hermione and Gabrielle the Flagrate spell. She quickly did the same routine as Riddle's soul fragment had done in front of Harry. "See…even his name is made up. He's no Lord of anything."

"In fact, he's actually a half blood," Hermione added. "Voldemort's father was a muggle."

Rita Skeeter was amazed at the calmness Harry Potter and the young ladies were when mentioning the Dark Lord by name. Her quill was busy writing as quickly as she could. Though she was uncertain if she wanted to address the Voldemort being a half-blood issue since it could cause a backlash from the Dark Lord himself; she wasn't about to not write about the look in Harry Potter's eyes as he calmly discussed him by name.

"Yes, well thank you Mr. Potter," she finally said as she stood up. A bit of curiosity came over her and she asked. "You mentioned you found the Chamber of Secrets in your second year," Harry had glossed over a lot of the issue with Riddle in the Chamber since questions of the Horcrux might have arisen. He only suggested Riddle had possessed Ginny Weasley like he had Quirrell. "Could you show it to me?"

Harry looked at his bondmates and a quick discussion was had. Finally he looked back at the Reporter and responded. "I can if you will apologize to Tom Riddle's first victim."

"How do I apologize to someone who is dead?" Skeeter asked.

"You know her by another name. Moaning Myrtle," Hermione replied.

"Myrtle? The ghost in the toilet?"

"She was killed by a sixteen year old Tom Riddle fifty years ago," Harry stated. "In fact it might be a good story to recount her murder. I do not know if her parents are still alive, but if they are, you can ask them and Myrtle if it's something they wished done."

Skeeter was once again envisioning the story "The Birth of the Dark Lord!" in her mind. She could already see the words forming in her mind for a tearjerker story about a young woman whose life was cut short by a young man destined to lead the wizarding world into darkness. After she agreed and they had started toward a second floor bathroom she thought once again how being captured by these young teens had turned into the best day of her life.

The apology to Myrtle sounded remorseful and the ghost accepted it with glee. Harry had never seen the young ghost as happy as she was having Skeeter apologizing to her. She also readily agreed to being interviewed and the story. "I can't wait for Olive Hornby to read it. You will make sure you write that it was her fault that I was in here won't you?"

"Of course," Rita replied already knowing who she'd contact to find out everything about this Olive Hornby person.

The tour of the Chamber didn't take long and they did not take Skeeter into the hidden rooms. Finally they escorted the Daily Prophet reporter back to the castle lawn.

"Now Mr. Potter, I know that the readers of Witch Weekly are going to want to know all about your girlfriend. I've received several owls already wanting to know more," Skeeter said. She turned to Gabrielle. "Young lady, I'd like to interview you sometime. My readers want to know everything that made the Boy-Who-Lived fall for you."

Another silent discussion happened as Rita waited finally the youngest bondmate responded. "You can do it in ze summer. We'll let you know when. Though, I 'ave a friend whose father owns a magazine and I might want it written for eet."

"Which magazine does he own?" Rita asked. "I'm familiar with most of them and can start negotiating when them already for the story."

"It's ze Quibbler," Gabrielle replied.

Rita's expression went blank as she stared at the young French girl. She just managed to fight down a retort about the magazine. "You're friends with Xenophilius Lovegood's daughter?"

"Yes, Luna is a very good friend."

"Mr. Lovegood doesn't publish articles like that," Skeeter argued desperately.

"I'll ask Luna and let you know," Gabrielle replied.

"Yes, well I'll await your owl," Skeeter said as she turned around and walked away shaking her head softly. The bonded could hear the word 'Quibbler' several times.

*** E E ***

"Lucius," The cold high voice said to the blond Death Eater who knelt before his master. "Tell me why I shouldn't kill you Lucius."

"I've been nothing but faithful My Lord," Malfoy said as he stared at the floor.

"Faithful? Faithful enough to come find me when I needed you the most?" Voldemort said softly but in a voice that chilled the very air Lucius breathed.

"My Lord, I had no idea where to find you...I swear."

"You, with all of your gold, couldn't do what that weak-minded rat was able to do?" Voldemort asked.

Lucius Malfoy had no reply, so all he could do was remain silent.

"Then you gave the thing I told you to protect with your life to some silly girl in hopes of changing a law?"

Sweat now beaded on the brow of the Death Eater. The silence in the room was deafening. He couldn't even hear the shuffling footsteps of the two muggles that had been imperiused to serve his master. In fact the only sounds existing to Lucius Malfoy at that moment were those of his own breath and heartbeat.

"Faithful," The word hung in the air. "And now...now because of your foolishness I was forced to flee your home. Tell me Lucius, what did you tell the Ministry to gain your freedom? How faithful were you when you were questioned?"

"No...nothing my Lord," Lucius stuttered. "I...did tell them about you appearing but I...I was given veritaserum."

"We shall see," The Dark Lord replied. "Now look at me Lucius, open your mind to me."

Twenty minutes later Lucius was lying on the floor crying as pain like he had never known before shot through his head. His master had been most brutal in the mental interrogation.

"WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM?" Voldemort screamed out. "What memory were they trying to hide from me?"

"Nothing my Lord," Lucius cried. "I...I would never betray you. Please, you must believe me."

"Must? I must believe? Because why? Because you have been so FAITHFUL?" The Dark Lord snarled as his wand came up again. "Legilimens," Deeper he dug into the memories of his servant. He fed more and more power to break the memory modification that he was positive had occurred. Ignoring the screams of his servant he continued the assault. He thought he'd done it when he felt the memory of Lucius sitting alone in a room shatter only to be replaced by...nothingness. Voldemort found himself staring into the vacant cold grey eyes of a very dead Lucius Malfoy.

Voldemort sat back in his throne as he studied the dead body in front of him callously. Though no regrets or remorse would ever be felt by him, he was annoyed by the loss of such a useful tool. A tool he had planned on using for his gold and connections. With a wave of his wand he sent the body to the exact place and position he wanted it in.

Narcissa Malfoy awoke the next morning and found her husband's side of the bed was still undisturbed. She knew he had been called to Voldemort's side and had been worried about him. As she made her way to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea, she glanced into her husband's study. She breathed a sigh of relief as she saw the familiar blond hair cascading onto her husband's desk. It appeared he had returned and fallen asleep before he could come to bed.

"Lucius?" She called quietly. "Lucius, you should go to bed."

When her husband still didn't answer, she walked over and shook his shoulder. The motion caused the body of the Death Eater to shift and it fell out of the chair. Narcissa didn't understand as she watched her husband fall upon the floor until she looked down and saw his open blank eyes staring back at her from a face filled with unmasked pain.

*** June 28th 1995 ***

Monday morning Harry and his bondmates had their next surprise in the Daily Prophet. Skeeter had told them that her editor wanted to tease the interview with Harry another week before actually publishing it so he could garner as many subscriptions as he could. Harry almost spilled his pumpkin juice when he unfurled the paper to see a large picture of Lucius Malfoy staring back at him.

Lucius Malfoy's Mysterious Death


Patricia Perriweather

Yesterday morning officials from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement were called to home of prominent businessman and former (and evidence suggests current) Death Eater Lucius Malfoy. His wife, Narcissa Malfoy discovered her husband's body slumped over his desk upon awaking. Sources say officials investigating the scene found no evidence of struggle or foul play nor was the killing curse thought to have been used.

"It's possible that he died of natural causes," Another source in the DMLE suggests.

Narcissa Malfoy, wife of the deceased was insistent that she had no idea what her husband had been up to the previous evening, but I shall remind the readers that Mr. Malfoy was recently involved in assisting the Dark Lord when he returned. He was released from custody after questioning. Could Malfoy's death be associated with that return? An old victim who wanted revenge? An angry Dark Lord? This reporter shall continue to report on any further information that comes available.

Dark objects found while investigating Malfoy's death see page 8.
Crimes Lucius Malfoy was cleared of when he was found innocent by reason of Imperius see page 4.

Harry couldn't help but look over at Ginny Weasley who was reading the article with Gabrielle. When she had finished the same article for the second time, she looked over at her friends and asked. "Is it wrong for me to be happy about someone's death?"

"Non," Fleur responded first. "Zat man tried to cause your death, and we all know 'e was willing to 'elp Voldemort. 'E would 'ave killed 'Arry if Dobby 'ad not saved 'im. Be 'appy for ze many people 'e will no longer torture or kill."

While Fleur was talking to Ginny, Harry looked toward the Slytherin table. He found Draco still staring at the newspaper while everyone around him was doing anything they could to not look at or talk to the young man. Harry's eyes followed his nemesis as he folded the newspaper, stood up and stiffly walked out of the Great Hall.

Harry was surprised that he didn't feel a single shred of pity for the young man who had just lost his father. He knew that in a past time he might have, but the moment Draco had touched Gabrielle any chance of him caring what became of the ferret had died.

Fleur had the start of her graduate exams that morning. Since a good portion of the Beauxbatons seventh years were at Hogwarts, the French Ministry had sent a small delegation of test givers to conduct them. Instead of N.E.W.T.S they were called ASPIC Exams which Fleur said stood for Accumulation de Sorcellerie Particulièrement Intensive et Contraignante or Accumulation of Particularly Intensive and Constraining Sorcery.

"Good luck," Harry said as Fleur left the table.

"Thank you," Fleur replied. "No kissing," She continued mentally with a mischievous grin.

"What about nibbling or caressing?" Harry asked back.

"Just remember someday you'll be taking your tests and you wouldn't want me to disrupt your testing zat way would you?"

"Who would you kiss to disrupt my tests?" Harry asked but was immediately bombarded with images of his older bondmate in her black knickers and matching lace bra that seemed a half size too small. That was followed by an obviously choreographed time of her slowly starting to remove them. "Okay...okay...uh...you win," Harry stammered. "No kisses. Now I think I need a shower this morning. A very cold one."

Fleur giggled as she smiled her victory smile. "I love you 'Arry."

"I love you to my flower and in four more days there will be no more hiding it."

Those four days passed quickly. Each day Fleur left for exams and each evening she returned mentally exhausted. After dinner, Harry, Hermione and Gabrielle would escort her back to her room to study for the next day. It became routine for Fleur to lay her head in Harry's lap and as he ran his fingers soothingly through her hair, Hermione and Gabrielle would query their sister on the next day's topic. Gabrielle had to spend a great deal of time translating certain parts of French textbooks for Hermione. Though unintentional, Fleur benefited from the bond during the testing. On several occasions as she pondered a particular problem, her thoughts bled over to the rest of them, and Hermione couldn't help but respond with the correct answer if she remembered it.

The examiner for Fleur's Charms exam was impressed by Fleur's Patronus. In fact everyone who was testing at the time paused to stare at the silvery Osprey as it circled the room.

***July 2nd 1995 ***

The day of the End of Year Feast arrived and the bondmates had gathered as they normally did to walk to breakfast together. On their way their path was blocked by two house-elves. One had large brown eyes while the other elf looked nervous.

"It's after the third task and Winky has not drunk a butterbeer in weeks," Said the little elf. "Winky wants to know about this family that will have lots of children."

"This is yours Gabrielle," Harry said as he pushed his acknowledged girlfriend forward toward the little elf.

"Bonjour Winky," Gabrielle said in a quiet voice. "You look much better zan you did."

"You said Winky had to not drink butterbeer if Winky wanted a new family. Winky did that."

"As I said zen, it's not a real family yet, but someday I think it will be."

"Who is this family? Winky wants to see them," The elf pleaded.

Gabrielle looked over at Harry and he smiled and nodded.

"We are the family," Harry said as he knelt down to look at the elf. "Someday these three women will be my wives and I guess sometime after that, there will be children."

"Three wives?" Winky asked suspiciously.

"They are bonded Winky," Dobby said.

Winky's eyes grew even larger and a look of excite came over her. "Harry Potter and his wives want Winky to be their elf?"

"Oui," Gabrielle replied. "We want you to be our elf."

"We also want Dobby to be our elf as well," Harry added remembering Dobby's request. "But we don't have a house yet so if you do bond with us, you can either spend time at the Delacours in France or here at Hogwarts."

"What about Sirius?" Hermione asked. "They might be able to help him."

"That's a possibility also," Harry agreed. "So you two want to bond with us?"

"If you do bond, we'll have some rules you must follow," Hermione added.

"Dobby wants to be elf to the great Harry Potter sir and his wives," Dobby replied. "Dobby's greatest dream has been to be Harry Potter's elf sir."

All eyes turned toward the female elf. "Winky wants to bond. Winky promises to be a good elf, always doing what she's told."

They ended up in the Room of Requirements to perform the required bonding ritual which seemed pretty complex to Harry and Hermione. When the bonding was completed Hermione gave the rules that Fleur had suggested.

"Winky, Dobby now that you are our elves, you must follow three very important rules at all times," Hermione began. "The first one is if you ever want to be free, you must ask us."

Dobby and Winky looked nervously at each other.

"Dobby that rule is because we believe all families should be required to free any elf that doesn't want to be a part of their family like you and the Malfoys," Harry explained.

Dobby nodded his head rapidly. "Dobby will never want to not be Harry Potter's elf."

"The next rule is you must always tell us if we ask you to do something you don't want to do," Hermione continued. "For example, Winky your old Master told you to go up in a very high place when you didn't want to go."

"A good house-elf does what she's told," Winky replied and then remembered she was speaking to her new mistress. "Mistress Hermione."

"Hmmm, make that four rules then..." Hermione started but Fleur cut her off.

"You don't need to make zat a rule. Zey will call you want you want as long as you allow zem some latitude to show zat zey are your elf. Remember zat zey want to serve you," Fleur smiled at Winky. "I would like you to call me Miss Fleur and I think Miss 'Ermione and Miss Gabrielle will be good."

Winky nodded. "Miss Fleur. Do you have other house-elves?"

"My parents 'ave three," Fleur replied. "Zey 'ave a very large 'ome in ze south of France. You can work zere if you want."

"Large home?" Winky asked in an eager voice. "Children?"

"Non, Miss Gabrielle and I are ze only children, but zere are large gardens to keep and a boat to clean and ze 'ouse itself is very large."

"Can you work in a muggle house?" Hermione asked.

"Only if the muggles know about magic," Dobby replied.

"Maybe you could help my parents then," Hermione suggested. "They loved Dobby when he served them when they came here."

Dobby beamed in pride at the compliment.

"You can decide what you want to do," Hermione said.

"Dobby would like to be where Mister Harry is," Dobby stated instantly.

"Thanks Dobby," Harry said. "But for the next two weeks I'm going to be at my relative's house. The one where we first met and you can't be there unless..."

"Winky will go help Miss Hermione's parents for those two weeks," Winky said. "Most muggles don't know how to clean a house properly," She looked at Hermione. "Can you tell Winky where they live? Winky can go right now," The little elf looked frustrated when Hermione suggested she wait until tomorrow when they would see the Grangers and could explain about the elf and why she would be cleaning their house.

"But now you two can pack up mine and Gabrielle's belongings in our room," Fleur said. "Mamam will retrieve zem once ze carriage is back at Beauxbatons. Zere are clothes off to ze side zat we'll need in ze next two weeks. Zose will need to go with us on ze train."

"Yes Miss Fleur," Winky replied happily.

Hermione sighed as she knew it would take time for her to undo what she thought she knew. "You can pack up mine as well," she said, "but first I need to tell you the last rule."

Both elves again looked nervous.

"You are not allowed to punish yourselves," Hermione said. "If you think you did anything that you need to punish yourself for, you come tell one of us and we'll decide."

The elves nodded their agreement to the rule and then left to start doing the work they were assigned.

** E E **

The bondmates were notified that the Hogwart's Headmaster wanted a meeting in the early afternoon.

"Thank you for coming," Dumbledore started when they arrived in his office and sat down. "The last time we talked there was frustration on both sides and I'm hoping we can put that behind us and move forward."

"Yes sir," Harry responded.

"I know I have made mistakes, but I really did what I thought was best for your safety," Dumbledore said. "I think you are familiar with Mrs. Arabela Figg?"

"The cat lady who lives near my Aunt and Uncle?" Harry asked in confusion. She was the last person he would expect Dumbledore to mention. "What about her?"

"She's a squib," Dumbledore replied. "I've known her since she was a very young girl. She lives there for the sole reason to look after you."

Harry was stunned as he remembered the woman with all of the cats who watched him on occasion. He couldn't believe that she was connected to the Magical world.

"I should have checked on you from time to time," Dumbledore admitted, "but I thought..." His words trailed off as he removed his half-moon glasses and removed an imaginary speck of dirt from his tear duct before putting the glasses back on. "When you get as old as I am, time seems to get away from you. Hours pass in what seems like minutes and years can pass as quickly as a week. But that is neither here nor there. I understand Mr. Delacour will be escorting you to your relatives' house tomorrow. I will leave what occurs in his and of course your hands."

"Yes sir."

"Now I wanted to give you an idea of what has happened in the last week," He looked over at Hermione. "Miss Granger, I personally warded your parent's home yesterday. The wards are strong enough to withstand most attacks and should provide at least enough time for your parents to activate portkeys if a sustained attack is initiated."

"Thank you sir."

Dumbledore pulled out a wooden case from his desk drawer and opened it. Lying on a soft green velvet lining were two necklaces with small crystal vials as pendants. "Since obviously your parents do not have wands, I made touch portkeys. Inside these necklaces are small pebbles. All they have to do is open the vials and pour the pebble into their hand to activate the portkey."

"Where will it take them?" Hermione asked.

"Here," Dumbledore replied as he closed the box and handed it to Hermione. "The house-elves have been instructed to notify myself or Professor McGonagall immediately if they appear."

"I appreciate what you have done," Hermione said.

The twinkle emerged in Dumbledore's eyes as he looked at the four teenagers. "I wasn't given much of a choice in the matter, nor should I have been."

"I read about your resignation from ze International Confederation," Fleur said.

"Your father's remarks made an impact," Dumbledore replied. "If I do not get a chance to see him before tomorrow, please extend my appreciation for his help," He then opened a drawer and took out two rolls of parchment along with two wands and passed them over to Harry. "Your parents' wills and their wands. The wills have been confirmed by the proper authorities and you were left everything," He handed over another roll of parchment. "If you give this to a teller at Gringotts they will insure you are issued a key to the Potters' main vault."

Harry was staring at the two wands he had in his hand. His thumb was rubbing up and down the willow wood of his mother's. Finally he looked up into the Headmaster's blue eyes. "Thank you sir," he said in a choked voice.

"You're most welcome Harry," Dumbledore replied. "Please look at your mother's will carefully. She references a non-magical solicitor who was responsible for her muggle world affairs. I have no way of determining what that may concern."

Harry nodded his understanding.

"I've also started the requirements to transfer your guardianship away from the Dursleys to Sirius per the instructions in your parents' wills. It can't be actually completed until Sirius is fully cleared and available to sign the appropriate paperwork at the Ministry, but by starting the process the Dursleys are removed as your legal guardians. That will prevent them from doing anything that would be detrimental to you such as taking you out of the country or trying to seize your possessions; nor can they prevent you from leaving in two weeks to go to the Delacours."

"What is 'Arry's legal status zen?" Fleur asked.

"Ward of the court basically," Dumbledore replied. "Though in this case I volunteered to be responsible," At the suspicious looks the bondmates gave him he continued. "I won't do anything you don't want done. Even if you decide to go to Beauxbatons I will not prevent it. I truly hope you don't though. I hope we can repair any damage that has happened between us and move forward in finding a way to defeat Voldemort," Dumbledore sat back in this chair before continuing. "In fact I want to offer a, well let's call it what it is, a bribe though I think overall it will help this school as well."

Harry stared wearily at the old wizard.

"What are your plans for next year Fleur?" Dumbledore asked.

"We were going to discuss it zis summer, but if 'Arry and Gabrielle return to 'ogwarts, I'll probably get a place in 'ogsmeade," Fleur responded. "Why do you ask?"

"I would like to offer you a position here at Hogwarts next year," Dumbledore replied. "Though the pay would be minimal, it would provide you with your own quarters and a chance to be with Harry."

"I am not inclined to accept a charity position 'eadmaster," Fleur said, "even if it allows me to spend time with my bondmate."

"As I said, I think it will help the school as well," Dumbledore sighed before continuing. "As I am sure you know from Harry and Hermione, the instructional quality of our Defense classes has been less than it should have in the last few years. I am concerned that students like Harry might not have the required basis for their upcoming OWLs, not to mention the possibility of fighting against Voldemort. I am suggesting you, in an unofficial instructor capacity, provide those students who wish to learn an opportunity to do so," Dumbledore said. "Your classes would be purely voluntary but must be open to anyone who wishes to participate; though you would have full rights to bar anyone who is disruptive from future classes."

"Eet is a tempting offer 'eadmaster. We will discuss it and I will let you know."

"I would just like to add one other thing, though it is not part of the bribe," Dumbledore said. "As you will have you own quarters, Prefects are allowed out of their dorms after hours and as long as they perform their required duties, there will be no problems with them spending time in those quarters."

"Are you saying that you have already chosen next year's prefects sir?" Hermione asked.

"There really isn't much of a choice in the matter Miss Granger," Dumbledore replied. "You are the best student in the school, though Gabrielle is quickly catching up with your last year's performance," He nodded toward the youngest Delacour. "As for the boys' side, thanks to the company he is surrounded with and of course bonded with, Harry's grades have increased at a remarkable rate over the last few months. He also brings the intangible benefit of leadership to the position. Even amongst the Slytherins he is grudgingly respected."

"It is a generous offer 'eadmaster," Fleur said. "If 'Arry, 'Ermione and Gabrielle return to 'Ogwarts, one zat I think I would like, but I will not commit to either it or of my bondmates returning until we can discuss it."

"Very well," Dumbledore replied. "Now for what else has been going on; as I'm sure you've read, Lucius Malfoy is dead. Though there is no official cause of death, I feel he died somehow at the hands of Riddle, possibly for being caught by the Ministry."

"But he wasn't charged with anything."

"But because he was questioned and his loyalties identified, his value became less. His influence in the Ministry had evaporated and his expenditures would be carefully watched," Dumbledore explained. "Understand that Voldemort does not care about anyone Harry, he only cares about what he wants. His Death Eaters are only resources to be used and discarded if necessary."

"Yes sir."

"Peter Pettigrew's trial is scheduled for the 10th," Dumbledore said next. "Can I presume you would like to attend?"

"Yes sir," Harry replied.

"I will make sure you are escorted then. Now Cornelius is asking if you would make a public appearance with him," Dumbledore said. "Or at least a statement of support for his administration."

"Why would I do that?" Harry asked.

"The Minister is on very shaky political grounds at the moment. A word of support from you would go a long way to prevent the Wizengamut from calling for his removal. The reverse is also true. A word against Fudge and he'd not stand a chance in the current political atmosphere."


"Arry, let's talk zis over with Papa," Fleur suggested. "I know you don't like it, but you can make or break ze Ministry right now. We need to know what is best for ze fight against Voldemort."

Harry buried his head in his hands, but nodded.

"Now before I send you on your way I want to wish to a good summer," Dumbledore said. "I know Alain plans on some type of training for you. I suggest you also work on tapping your source of power as well."

"How?" Harry asked. "I've only done it when someone I care about is in danger."

"I'm not sure, but maybe try to use the same feelings you have for your Patronus and try casting. If I come across anything this summer that might help, I'll make sure to get it to you."

"Yes sir, thank, you sir," Harry replied.

"Very well then. Again have a good summer. I think though, I shall see you before it is over."

*** E E ***

Harry and Hermione were walking together a short time later in an empty corridor back toward Gryffindor tower. Fleur and Gabrielle had left them to go say goodbye to Madam Maxime and to make arrangements for the Delacours to pick up their belongings at Beauxbatons.

"Are we coming back here next year?" Hermione asked.

"What do you want?" Harry asked.

"You to be safe," She replied instantly. "But since that never seems to be an option for you, what I want more than anything is for you to be happy."

"I am," Harry replied. "Even with Voldemort, prophecies, and everything else, I am happy as long as I'm with you, Gabrielle and Fleur."

"It was a nice offer to Fleur," Hermione said.

"It was," Harry said, "and of course you being a prefect."

Hermione blushed. "You too, you'll probably be Quidditch captain as well."

"Nope, don't want it," Harry looked around and seeing no one, he pulled Hermione into a broom closet. "I only want you at this moment," His lips found hers and they spent several minutes enjoying each others lips. It was until they heard a bump on the door that they separated. They first thought of waiting until whoever it was gone, but they recognized a familiar hum and knew it was Luna Lovegood. As they opened the door to go out they found the blonde witch hanging a sign on the door.

"Hello Harry, Hello Hermione is Gabrielle in there also?" Luna asked as she poked her head into the closet looking for her friend. When she was doing that Harry glanced at the sign she was hanging. It listed a bunch of items and books with a plea for their return.

"What is this Luna?" Harry asked.

"Oh, people like to hide my possessions. They do it all the time," Luna replied. "Now though I need to pack so I need them returned."

"Why do people hide your things?" Hermione asked.

"Oh...well..." Luna shrugged. "Some people think I'm a bit odd you see. They call me 'Loony' Lovegood sometimes."

Harry remembered Gabrielle mentioning that and it made him angry. Luna had been a great friend to Gabrielle and Ginny. "No one has the right to take your things Luna," He said.

"It's alright Harry," Luna said. "It always comes back eventually."

"No it is not alright," Harry replied. "Can I help you find...wait I have a better idea. Dobby, Winky."

Two elves popped in beside them. "What can Dobby and Winky do for Mr. Harry and Miss Hermione?"

"Do you two know Miss Lovegood?" Harry asked.

"Dobby knows Misses is a Ravenclaw student."

"Excellent," Harry said. He took a sign from the ones Luna was holding and handed it to Winky. "I want the two of you to find all of this stuff and put it on Luna's bed. I also want to know if someone had it with their things."

"Yes Harry Potter we can do that sir," and the two elves were gone with the list.

"There," Harry said. "Now you can go enjoy yourself."

"You didn't need to do that," Luna said. "I don't want to bother anyone."

"They like the work it seems," Harry said. "And helping a friend is not a bother. If you need anything else you let me know."

"Thank you," Luna replied as she looked at Harry's hair. "I still have my lunar charts out in case Gabrielle needs them," She said. "I really like your hair."

Harry's hand immediately went to his head. As he ran his fingers through his hair he tried to connect what his hair had to do with lunar charts. "Uh...thanks," He said.

"You're welcome. Well have a great evening," Luna said and turned to leave.

"Luna," Hermione called to the witch. "Would you like to sit with us for the feast tonight?"

"Me?" Luna asked. "You want me to sit with you?"

"Of course Luna," Harry replied. "I want the whole school to know that you're my friend."

Both Harry and Hermione thought the smile the younger witch had as she walked away was one of the best things that they had ever seen.

Later that evening, with Luna was sitting between Harry and Gabrielle waiting for the end of the year Feast to begin, the Headmaster climbed to his feet for his announcements.

"Another year has gone. It has been a year filled with excitement of the Triwizard Tournament and of uncertainty caused by the return of Lord Voldemort," The Headmaster paused to wait for the whispering from the name to die down. Finally he continued. "The purpose of the Triwizard Tournament was to bring together three schools and their students in a friendly competition; in other words, to unite us with our fellow wizards and witches of the world. Lord Voldemort wishes to do exactly the opposite. He will try to divide us. He will try to sow uncertainty and fear. He will try to turn people against their friends, and he will try to make you think there is no one you can trust," Dumbledore again paused before he continued. "I believe that we will be facing dark and difficult times. I also believe the only way we can be victorious in fighting that darkness is to stand together. We must unite with our friends and unite with our fellow witches and wizards if we are to fight the darkness. We must put aside our differences. We must concentrate on our sameness, we must stand together or we shall fall separately."

A good portion of the Gryffindor table led the applause followed quickly by the Hufflepuffs and the Ravenclaws. Only a few students from Slytherin joined in.

Dumbledore waved everyone back down to their seats before he continued. "Now for a more pleasant duty I get to announce the winner of the House Cup," He looked over at the giant hourglasses before he continued. "In fourth place with two hundred and ninety-three points is Slytherin."

"From first place to fourth," Hermione said, "all because of what Draco did."

"In third place, with three hundred and sixty-eight points is Ravenclaw. Hufflepuff barely missed out as they finish with four hundred and fifteen points while Gryffindor wins the House Cup with four hundred and thirty three points." With a clap of his hands, the decorations turned to red and gold.

The cheers erupted again from the Gryffindor table. When the noise settled down, Dumbledore said. "Have a safe summer and tuck in." With those words the food magically appeared in front of them.

After dinner they retired to the Gryffindor common room until bedtime and then snuck out to the Room of Requirement for a good night's sleep.

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