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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45. Chapter 45 The Day after the Rescue

*** July 17th 1995 ***

The next morning, Harry had barely opened his eyes to a blurry, well-lit room when Fleur's and Hermione's voices were in his mind.

"How are you feeling Harry?" There was worry and concern for Harry in Hermione's voice.

"Well, eet's about time you woke up," Fleur's voice was more teasing, but Harry could tell there was just as much concern from her.

"I….I'm fine," Harry replied slightly confused at their concern but then the memories of the last couple of days poured into his mind. "Gabrielle!" Then he realized that was the weight on his left arm.

"Is she all right?" Hermione asked.

"She's still sleeping."

"Lunch will be ready soon. Will you join us or do you want us to bring it to you?"

"Let me wake Gabrielle and find out."

"We're in ze library working on something."

"Big surprise there," Harry mentally chuckled. He just caught 'portkey' in Fleur's thoughts before he turned back to Gabrielle. Harry gently pulled his arm from under his still sleeping fiancée and reached for his glasses. He then stared at his youngest bondmate for several seconds. He couldn't help but admire her beauty. He moved a bit of her blonde hair that was splayed across the dark blue pillowcase and looked at her neck. Thanks to her Veela powers, the small cut the knife had made was entirely gone. Harry gently ran a fingertip along her cheek before he leaned closer and lightly kissed her on the lips.

Gabrielle stirred slightly but did not wake. Harry gave her another kiss, and then another.

"I know you're awake now," Harry whispered an inch from her lips after the third kiss before he gave her another one.

"But eet ees such a good way to wake up," Gabrielle murmured as her eyelids opened revealing her bright blue irises. She reached her arms around Harry's neck and pulled him closer to her.

"Let me help you wake some more then," Harry replied in a husky voice as he kissed her lightly on the neck.

A soft sigh escaped Gabrielle's lips. Another kiss lower on the neck brought another sigh of contentment. "Zis is nice, but I'll never get out of bed if you keep doing zat."

Harry leaned back on his elbow and grinned cheekily. "Fleur and Hermione said it's almost lunchtime so I better stop then," He ran his fingers along her cheek again. "How are you feeling today?"

Gabrielle's eyes lost a little of their brilliance as she looked up at Harry. "I…I'm fine."

Harry could feel the emotions that swept through Gabrielle and knew she wasn't. He shook his head at her. "I don't think so. Want to tell me about it?"

A silence fell between them for several seconds as Gabrielle's eyes looked into the care she found in Harry's green orbs. Finally she answered in a soft voice. "I was so scared."

Harry knew she had been, he had felt it, but knew she had to say it. He lay back down on his pillow and pulled her into his arms. As he waited for her to continue, he slowly started to stroke her hair.

The seconds of silence became a minute but finally she continued and for the next ten minutes she explained all that she'd felt. Tears leaked onto Harry's chest as he held her even tighter. "But zen you found me and …and I knew it was going to be all right. Zen ze man pulled me up and 'e 'ad ze knife…"

"You were very brave you know," Harry murmured into her hair. "You didn't panic."

"Not brave enough. I couldn't do anything."

"Nonsense," Harry murmured. "I've seen Fleur's memories of what you did in the alley. You stopped and tried to protect me. That was very brave."

"But I couldn't save you," Gabrielle sniffled. "I was captured and you…you almost..."

"I didn't die and it was your help again, giving me your love that helped me defeat Voldemort. Even unable to move and fearing for your own life, you still protected me with your love," Harry kissed her hair. "As for the alley, well that's why we need to be trained. Besides, personally I thought you did an excellent job last night. You performed the best wandless casting I've ever seen."

"What? What do you mean? I didn't do any wandless magic."

"I beg to differ; with only your foot you performed an excellent silencing charm. I admit that it took you two times casting it but I doubt that man spoke a single word the rest of the night."

A small giggle escaped Gabrielle's lips as she tilted her head to look at Harry. A smile was fighting to emerge on her lips.

"Now if any man ever tries anything with you, I expect them to receive the same treatment. You can also blast him like Fleur did Uncle Vernon."

Now Gabrielle's eyes had regained some of their brightness and the smile fully emerged. "Oui, I will," She moved up and kissed Harry lightly on his lips. "I love you, 'Arry Potter."

"And I love you, Gabrielle Delacour."

Another silence fell as they held each other. Finally Gabrielle said, "One of ze worst parts was thinking of other men… of zem forcing me to do what I only want to do with you."

Harry rolled slightly so he was on his elbow again. Gabrielle's head slipped back onto her pillow and he stared down at her with eyes that had grown darker. He gently caressed a trail of wetness that was still evident on Gabrielle's face before he replied in a soft but firm voice. "I promise you that if any man were to do something like that to you, I…I," Harry swallowed as he tried to control the thoughts of exactly what he'd want to happen to such men. "They will regret it. I think if Tonks hadn't stopped me last night, I would have killed that man," Harry leaned forward and kissed Gabrielle. "Though no man can take what is most precious to me and that is your love."

Gabrielle smiled. "My love is only for you," She put her hand on Harry's and guided it to her breast. "You are ze only man I would ever want to touch me."

"Good," Harry said as his own lips formed into a small smile. "I'm starting to become very possessive of my bondmates, of my fiancées," His fingers started lightly caressing her breast. "Someday we will take that step and it will become one more way for us to express our love, but not this summer."

"Oui, but eet ees something to look forward to."

Gabrielle's blue eyes showed the love that poured from her in the bond. Harry leaned forward one more time to kiss her but the moment of shared tenderness was broken by a long, loud grumble from Harry's stomach.

"Oh là là," Gabrielle giggled. "We better go to lunch and feed zat beast. Eet sounds dangerous. Zen…maybe I'll put on my bikini and we can go to ze beach?"

"I'd like that," He paused for a moment. "Hermione and Fleur are still in the library. They said they'll meet us when we come downstairs."

The two of them shared another tender kiss before reluctantly climbing out of the bed.

Apolline was sitting at the table sipping a cup of tea when the bondmates entered. As soon as the teens sat down, elves immediately surrounded them with plates of sandwiches and sides.

"Winky is happy that Gabi is safe," The little elf said solemnly to the young witch as she put a plate in front of her. "Winky was worried. Winky wanted to come get Gabrielle but couldn't. Winky wanted her Gabi to call her. Why didn't Gabi call her Winky?"

"Zey 'ad me silenced. I couldn't call," Gabrielle explained. She gave the little elf a hug. "Thank you zough. I am fine."

"Winky would have…have taken care of those bad people."

"I'm sure you would 'ave," Gabrielle replied. "Arry did find me.'E saved me."

"Tonks did most of it," Harry said. "Besides, Gabrielle took care of the man."

"Oui, I kicked 'im very 'ard, right where it did ze most good," Gabrielle said to the little elf.

"Good, now if Gabi needs anything, let Winky know."

"Thank you Winky."

"Eat up," Apolline said when the elves were gone. "Alain would like you to come to 'is office at two hour."

"Why?"

"Zere's someone 'e wants you to meet," Mrs. Delacour explained.

"Oh great," Harry groaned as his fingers ran through his hair. "Like I want to go meet everyone and be shown off."

"Remember zat a lot of people spent ze better part of two days finding you and Gabrielle," Apolline said gently. "Eet would not 'urt to show your appreciation. Zough zat is not what Alain 'as in mind. I will tell you ze person is someone 'e 'asn't met either but Alain is looking forward to ze visit."

Harry blushed at the slight rebuke and nodded."I really am appreciative for everything," His arm went around Gabrielle. "It's just I don't..." He shrugged.

Apolline reached over and placed her hand over Harry's. "Oui, I understand. Maybe better zan most. Most of my life I've been dealing with attention. As 'alf Veela I came under ze unwanted attention of men wherever I went. Zen later, as ze beautiful wife of a fast rising politician, I drew even more attention. Ze rumors of why I would marry Alain were rampant of course. With 'im being very rich and everything, ze newspapers called me a...a croqueuse de diamants...eh... ze English call it gold digger I think," Apolline gave the young man a smile. "eet ees not ze same, I know, but I can say zat ignoring ze attention of ze news people will not make it go away."

"Yeah I know," Harry said with a sigh. "Mr...uh I mean Alain and Fleur have said the same thing," Harry looked over at his oldest bondmate. "Ok, just hit me in the head when I start moping about it again."

"Oui, I can do zat," Fleur said with a wry smile. "Or I should say we.." She indicated her sisters, "can do zat."

"Great," Harry muttered before he changed the subject. "Where is everyone else?"

"Alain is at 'is office of course," Apolline started. "Marl and ze female English Auror...Tonks? Zey went with Alain. Sirius is still asleep. Poor man, 'e never went to sleep ze 'ole time you are missing. You know 'e blamed 'imself for your capture. E thinks ze 'ole thing in the restaurant was 'is fault and zen 'e found out about ze English Ministry."

"What about the Ministry? He's not in trouble again is he?" Harry asked as he swallowed the bite of food he had in his mouth.

"No, nothing like zat. Of course you wouldn't know would you?"

"Know what?"

"It seems 'e told someone 'oo works at ze Ministry about you being kidnapped. Someone named Weasley I think."

"Arthur Weasley works at the Ministry," Hermione replied as her eyes took on a look of concern, "but what does that have to do with Sirius blaming himself?"

"Eet seems zat zis Monsieur Weasley told your Minister who called in every department 'ead to 'elp find you. Zat is 'ow zat Yaxley person found out about 'Arry being in ze 'ands of ze kidnappers and 'ow Voldemort ended up with 'Arry."

"But...but that's ridiculous. Of course Sirius would tell Mr. Weasley and of course Mr. Weasley would tell the Minister," Hermione sputtered. "How can Sirius blame himself for that? There was no way for him to know that Ministry person was a Death Eater."

"It's more than that," A tired voice said from the doorway. They all looked to see Sirius standing there, fatigue still evident on his face. "Look," He started and then sighed before continuing, "everything I've ever done for Harry has been wrong. James and Lily trusted me to take care of him, of you Harry and..." Sirius paused before he continued. "I...I just can't seem to do anything right. The night your parents died, I only thought about revenge. I didn't think twice about giving you over to Hagrid," Sirius sighed again as he continued. "Then in the graveyard, I went after Peter..."

Harry raised a hand to stop his godfather. "I already told you that I don't blame you for that one."

"It was still my idea for you to run out of the restaurant. I should have known better," Sirius ran his fingers through his black hair before he continued again. "And then to find out it was my suggestion to get Dumbledore that actually made it worse for you? I...I can't get it right."

"So what happened with Mr. Weasley?"

"You know he got promoted right?"

"No, really?" Hermione asked. "What's he doing?"

"He's doing Crouch's old job. International Cooperation."

"That's great!" Harry exclaimed. He was truly happy for the man who'd been so nice to him.

Sirius went on to explain what had happened finishing with how Yaxley seemed to have actually used Ministry funds to pay the kidnappers.

"You can't blame yourself for any of that," Harry said when his godfather had finished. "It sounds like everyone did exactly what they should have but Voldemort had a spy that took advantage of the situation."

"I should..."

Harry didn't let Sirius finish. "Stop blaming yourself. Besides, I should have remembered the portkeys earlier. If I had, none of this would have happened," Harry lifted his shoulders in a shrug. "I'd say we both made a mess of things but we're still not doing too badly are we? You're free, I'm free, that Yaxley bloke is now found out, Pettigrew has paid for what he did to mum and dad and..." Harry glanced at his bondmates before looking back at Sirius, "I'm pretty happy the way things have worked out."

That brought a sliver of a smirk to Sirius' face. "Yeah, I can see much suffering to come in your life with those three," He caught the croissant thrown by Gabrielle in mid-air and took a bite. "Thank you. I am feeling a bit peckish."

"Finished moping?" Harry asked.

"Do I get another croissant if I'm not?" Sirius wasn't able to dodge all four of the croissants the teens hurled at him in silent unison. "So what do you have planned for today?"

"Alain wants zem to come to ze Ministry at two to meet someone."

"How about we go a little early and see Moony?" Sirius asked.

*** E E ***

"Well look at you Moony. You're all official now," Sirius said as a middle-aged woman with brown hair showed them into an office deep inside the Ministry building. They had been escorted from the incoming floo room by two Aurors whom Mr. Delacour sent.

Harry's first impression of Remus' office was that it was far smaller than Dumbledore's office at Hogwarts, but larger than the Defense of the Dark Art's office. Bookshelves lined one whole wall of the office, while a fireplace was on another. Behind Remus' desk were shelves with a few items from Moony's past. Harry recognized the old tea set that sat on a shelf beside several pictures of people waving back. He'd shared more than one cup of tea from that set during his third year.

Remus looked up from the scroll he had spread out on his desk and smiled a tired smile when he saw Sirius. He stood before he said. "Well, what can I say, my old friend. Some of us had to grow up," The tone was light but then it sobered as he looked past Sirius toward the teens. "Harry, Gabrielle, I need to apologize. I wanted to come when I heard about what happened but we had a couple of incidents during the full moon and…" Remus let out a sigh, "it took me longer than it should to sort it all out. I'm still feeling my way around the various departments here and I couldn't leave them in jail..."

"We understand, Remus, really," Harry said cutting off the apology. "We're both safe," Harry's arm went around Gabrielle's and Fleur's waist. Hermione had wandered over to the bookshelves and was busy reading the titles.

"Yes, I heard about the rescue this morning. You and Tonks by yourselves?"

"I hadn't planned on doing it, but…but they…well I had to act."

"And you did a great job I hear. Now I haven't heard the entire tale of your encounter with Voldemort yet though. I will understand if you don't want to talk about."

"We don't 'ave time right now. Papa wants us in 'is office at two hour," Fleur explained as she looked at her watch.

"That's fine. We'll have plenty of time at the estate next week won't we?"

"At the Delacours? What do you mean?" Harry asked. "Not that we mind you visiting, of course, but is something going on?"

"Oh, Alain hasn't spoken with you yet? About Marl?"

"No, what about him?"

"I'll let Alain explain, but you'll definitely be seeing me," Remus replied and then looked over at Sirius. "Now what have I been hearing about Padfoot and a certain woman? Are you now corrupting women on this side of the Channel?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sirius said but his gaze left Remus' and wandered the room.

Moony snorted. "Well, that's a change. In the old days you couldn't help but tell all of us of your woman du jour," He put his hand on Sirius' shoulder. "How about we escort this lot up to Alain's office and then you can tell me all about this woman you are desperately not wanting to mention?"

"Gabrielle and I do know ze way," Fleur reminded him.

"Yes, but your father made it perfectly clear; you are not to be out and about without escort, even here in the Ministry. I'm sorry, but he is my boss; well, my boss' boss."

Harry felt annoyed but his eyes had looked past Remus to the shelf again and he was surprised as he now saw who were in the pictures. There was a picture of him obviously taken at Hogwarts sometime during the previous year. There was another of him with his bondmates. In the middle of the group of pictures was one of Harry's parents standing beside Remus and Sirius. All of them were waving happily.

Remus followed Harry's eyes and turned to look. "I hope you don't mind me having your picture. I guess I've started thinking of you as my family," his voice dropped to an almost whisper that wasn't meant to be heard. "since I'll never have one of my own."

"Of course we don't mind." Harry replied trying to keep the emotions he felt out of his voice. "But can I have a copy of that one?" He pointed to the one of him and his bondmates. "And that ...if it's not too much trouble that is." This time he pointed at the one with his mum and dad with Sirius and Moony.

Moony picked up the picture of James and Lily and ran a finger over it. "This was one of the few good things Peter ever did, taking this picture," He was silent for several seconds before looking up. "I'll get the copies made and bring them next week," He set the picture back down and regained his composure. "We need to hurry if you're going to be in Alain's office by two."

Alain's office was, of course much larger than Remus'. It was a corner office with windows lining two walls. A third wall had a large fireplace set between several bookshelves. The desk was large and made of mahogany. It was arranged in front of one the windows. There were a neat pile of scrolls at one end of the desk while several pictures were on the other end. A sofa and several chairs were arranged around a table on a rug in front of the other window. Currently one of the chairs was turned to face out the window.

As Harry, Hermione, Gabrielle and Fleur entered the office Alain immediately rose from his desk and moved toward them. They could see he still wore the fatigue heavily on his face, but his eyes had regained some of the twinkle they normally had. "Well 'Arry and 'Ermione, welcome to my office. Fleur and Gabrielle of course 'ave been 'ere many times."

"It's beautiful sir," Hermione said as she gazed over to the windows that looked out over Paris. "But aren't you afraid people might see magic in here?"

"It is beautiful isn't it?" Another voice said and their attention went to a bit of pink hair that could barely be seen over the chair that was set to look out the window. Tonks rose from the chair and walked over to join them. "I could definitely get used to an office like this. I wonder if I can get Magical Maintenance to put this scene on the Auror Department window."

"What are you doing here?" Harry asked. "Though I'm definitely glad to see you, I was too tired last night to say a proper thank you for rescuing Gabrielle."

"As I remember it, I was only half the team. I seem to remember a young man flying the broom and taking out the bad guy. Looked a bit like you, he did," Tonks smirked. "Besides, it was good fun. You're a heck of a flyer," She glanced mischievously over at Fleur. "Yep, you definitely know how to handle your broomstick and your wand. Maybe someday your fiancées will let me ride on your broom…"

"Tonks…" Fleur's eyebrow had risen an inch.

Tonks grinned at the witches who were now glaring at her. "Don't get your knickers twisted. I'm just having a bit of fun. I know he's yours. Besides he's a bit young for me, though he does have potential," She gave an appraising eye over Harry before she shrugged. "As for why I'm here, Minister Delacour can explain that."

"Zat and what is 'appening with Marl? Remus Lupin said zere was something wrong?"

"To answer your question 'Ermione, ze windows are magical. Anyone looking in will only see ze normal working of a government office," Alain explained. "As for Marl, nothing is wrong, but 'e..." He paused as the door opened and one of Mr. Delacour's assistants entered.

"Il est ici."

"Faites-le entrer," Alain replied and the assistant nodded. He turned back to everyone else and said. "I'll explain later. Our guest of 'onor is 'ere. 'E does not know why 'e is 'ere so indulge me a bit," The last he said with a smile.

A few seconds later a very nervous young man, dressed in Auror robes entered the office. He first looked toward the desk and hesitated when no one was there, then he glanced toward the group of people. When he saw Alain he immediately went rigid looking straight at Minister Delacour.

"Ministre Delacour, J'ai été…" He stopped when Alain raised his hand.

"Excusez-moi Monsieur Durand, parlez-vous anglais?"

"Oui, Monsieur."

"Zen because of my guests," Alain nodded to teens and Tonks. "May we speak in zat language?"

"Oui…yes Ministre. I…I was ordered to report to your office by my instructor sir," The young man was still looking straight ahead nervously.

"Monsieur your name is Paul Durand?" Minister Delacour asked.

"Oui."

"Monsieur Durand do you know why you are 'ere?" Mr. Delacour asked as he looked at the teens and gave a small wink.

"Non Monsieur," Paul swallowed nervously as he kept his eyes staring straight ahead. "On ma...eh...I mean my instructor only said to report to your office at zis time. 'E...'E said it was important."

"Oui, it is very important," Alain said and allowed a pause to hang in the air for a few seconds before he continued. "What were you doing last night?"

"Dernière nuit monsieur? I...I was out on assignment, I assure you. We were in Lorient, monsieur. We were looking for information on a young girl 'oo 'ad been kidnapped and..." He stopped when again Alain raised his hand and smiled.

"Oui, you were," Alain said as he motioned to his youngest daughter. "Do you recognize zis young lady?"

Paul glanced to who Alain was pointing before he replied. "Non," but then his eyes widened in recognition. "Oui, eet's 'er, ze girl. Ze one 'oo 'ad been kidnapped."

"Oui, Monsieur Durand, eet ees. I would like you to meet Gabrielle Delacour, my daughter."

"Your daughter, monsieur?"

"Oui, it was not widely known 'oo she was since she just recently transformed."

"Trans…yes, of course, monsieur."

"Please relax," Alain told the young man. "I apologize for making you nervous but eet was difficult to resist. You see it was your information zat allowed 'er to be rescued," He walked over to the young man and put out his hand. "I am eternally in your debt for what you did."

"Mes...excusez-moi, my information?" Paul asked in stunned surprise as he took the older man's hand.

"You were ze man 'oo spotted a woman 'oo might 'ave a glamoured scar on 'er 'and?"

"Oui, ze way she was rubbing 'er palm. I..it…"

"It was zat information zat allowed us to find 'er," Alain replied with a warm smile. "Now, allow me introduce ze rest of zese people. Zis, as I said is Gabrielle, and zis is Fleur my eldest daughter. Zat young woman is 'Ermione Granger. She is an English witch but we won't 'old zat against 'er and she is like a daughter as well. Ze young man is.."

"Arry Potter?" Paul asked as he instantly recognized the scar.

"Yes," Harry replied as he held out his own hand to the young Auror. "I would also like to say thanks. Gabrielle is...is well I love her."

"I was just doing my job," Durand replied as he took the younger man's hand.

"Possibly," Alain agreed,"but in zis case you found ze important clue and you reported it, no matter 'ow minor it might 'ave seemed."

"Actually I...I was nervous about it sir, but my friend said it was better safe zan sorry."

"And you did. Now I should also introduce zis young woman. She is an English Auror 'oo, if I'm not mistaken is just out of zeir academy. It was actually 'er and Monsieur Potter 'oo rescued Gabrielle."

"I graduated about four months ago sir." Tonks replied. "It is nice to meet you...Mr. Durand was it?"

"Oui," Paul replied. "Paul Durand mademoiselle, but please call me Paul. May I ask 'ow it 'appened? Ze rescue I mean?"

Tonks looked at Alain who replied. "I think you 'ave earned it, but I must ask zat you not repeat any of it to anyone. We 'aven't released ze story to ze press yet except to explain ze fireworks and noise at Lorient last night and we need it kept quiet for a while longer."

"Why sir?" This question was from Harry.

"I'll explain later, but it 'as to do with Marl," Alain explained. "Now would you like ze 'onors Auror Tonks?"

Tonks quickly told the story of the rescue but Paul had to stop to ask a question. "Bonded? I understand ze Veela love bond, but I zought it 'appened when ze are older? You're already bonded to Mr. Potter?" The final question was to Gabrielle.

"Oui," Gabrielle said smiling as she interlaced her arm with Harry's. "We all are. My sister and 'Ermione as well."

"Trois...eh three?" Paul was fighting to keep the disbelief from his face.

Harry shrugged. "It happened and I'm a very lucky person it seems."

"And you?" Paul asked Tonks curiously. "You're not Veela, but neither is..." He nodded at Hermione. "Are you bonded or something as well?"

"Alas no," Tonks said melodramatically. "They claim I'm just an old witch and couldn't share in the man of my dreams. My life is now all but over," She winked at the Paul and smiled. "I think three witches are enough for any man, don't you?"

"I'd settle for one," Paul muttered under his breath.

"Anyway back to the story. Harry went to where he knew Gabrielle was and I took on the woman slaver. I wasn't in a good position so I tried to fool her. I took on Gabrielle's appearance…"

"Er appearance?" Paul interrupted. "What do you mean?"

"I'm a metamorphmagus. Know what that is?" Tonks asked, but decided to demonstrate anyway. A couple of seconds later, she stood next to Gabrielle, a perfect match except her clothes were too big now. Another few seconds and she was back to her normal self.

"Zat is wonderful," Paul exclaimed. "You can do zat for anyone?"

"Yes mostly. I can even give myself a pig nose," She quickly demonstrated that talent.

"I'd bet you'd be a great person to take on a date," Paul said and then blushed. "Excusez-moi, I shouldn't 'ave said zat."

Tonks sighed. "It's alright. I get it all the time. Everyone has an old girlfriend or someone they want to pretend to date. Sucks to me sometimes."

"Non, non zat's not…I mean I wasn't thinking zat," Paul exclaimed with obvious dismay on his face. "I...I thought you, well if you can change your appearance so easily, you must be able to get ready faster and not be late."

"Oh…" Tonks looked surprise. "Well in that case, don't hold your breath. I mean I have to match my hair color to my shoes and all of that but," She moved over and put her arm in Paul's, "where exactly were you thinking of taking me on this date?"

"Mademoiselle…eh...I wasn't…I mean I'd like to but..." Paul glanced at Alain for help.

Tonks wasn't about to let the Auror trainee off so easily. "So tell me, handsome, what hair color do you like best in your English women?"

"Eh…pink is fine but…"

"Then it's settled, I'm going to be leaving tomorrow for a week and then have to get back to my job in England, so tonight? Maybe you can show me this beautiful city of yours."

Paul looked over at Alain who was fighting to control an amused grin.

"If you want to take Mademoiselle Tonks to a nice dinner, I will gladly inform ze academy zat you will be at my disposal for ze rest of ze evening," Alain said in obvious amusement. "eet ees ze least I can do."

"Eh...Mademoiselle Tonks, may I ask what your first name is?"

"Nope."

"Eh...oui," Paul looked confused but finally shrugged. "Eh...Tonks, would you allow me to show you Paris?"

"I thought you'd never ask," Tonks replied cheerfully.

"Excellent," Alain said with his voice still laced with amusement. "Zis 'elps me some too. You see, I can't give you a monetary reward but…" He moved over to his desk and reached into a drawer. His hand came out with a fairly large bag. "I can give a reward to Mademoiselle Tonks or at least a gift of appreciation," He handed the bag to her. "Zere is five 'undred galleons in 'ere. Use eet to enjoy yourselves zis evening with my thanks. I can also ensure you reservations to any show and or restaurant you want. Just ask my assistants."

Tonks took the bag and smiled. "Thank you Minister. I'm sure we can find a few things to spend this on. Don't you Paul?"

"Oui…" Paul replied and then, "Eh…thank you Monsieur le Ministre."

"Non, eet ees I 'oo thank you. My daughter is worth far, far more zan those galleons. Now before you go, I do 'ave one thing I can give you zat is within my power. You graduate from ze academy next year?"

"Oui, monsieur."

Alain nodded as he lifted a scroll from his desk and looked it over. Then he glanced back to Paul as he lifted the scroll. "I 'ad your records sent up zis morning. Currently you are in ze top fifteen percent of your class?" Again he waited for an acknowledgement from the young Auror trainee. "Well as long as you remain in ze top twenty-five percent, I will promise you zat any assignment you want when you graduate, you will get. I will request your selection shortly before you graduate. Any city in ze country or even in any Embassy in ze world where we 'ave Aurors; America, Japan, Australia, anywhere you wish. Zat is my real reward to you."

"Merci beaucoup, monsieur," Paul said, the shock clearly showing on his face. "eet ees not necessary, I…"

"It is necessary, to me," Alain replied. "By your actions, Gabrielle was saved from a fate zat is unthinkable," Alain again shook the young man's hand. "Now Monsieur Durand, I must return to my duties and I think you 'ave a woman to show ze city of Paris to. You can speak to my assistants outside about any dinner or show you would like and zey will assist."

"Yes, show me this wonderful city," Tonks said as she again took the young man's arm and guided him out of the office. She tripped on the door jam and Paul promptly caught here. "Oh...how strong you are..." were the last words the people in the office heard.

"Should I feel sorry for him?" Harry asked his bondmates as he watched the door close. "I mean Tonks seems nice enough, but I'm not sure she's all there sometimes."

"Oh, I'd say she knows exactly what she's doing," Fleur said in amusement. She turned to her father. "So what is going on with Marl?"

"Let us sit down," Alain said and led them to the sofa and chairs. When they were all comfortable he continued. "I must stress zat what I am about to say can't be discussed outside zis office," Alain waited for the four heads to nod before he continued. "As you know ze slavers 'ave kidnapped many people, many of 'oom are Veela, but witches and muggle women as well. We know from zeir interrogations where zey were 'eaded and 'oo zey were going to meet."

"So? What is the Ministry going to do about it?" Hermione asked.

"Officially, there is not much we can do."

"WHAT?"

"Please, let me explain," Alain said. "We can't just send a bunch of Aurors into a different country and apprehend someone. Also knowing ze man 'oo's responsible is friends with very 'ighly placed government officials in ze country involved, what do you think would 'appen to ze women if we raise a diplomatic issue? Allow ze information to be made public?"

No one said anything for several seconds before Gabrielle answered in a quiet voice. "Zey would be killed wouldn't zey?"

"Oui and any possible links to zose women 'oo aren't still zere, zose 'oo 'ave been sold again, would be gone," Alain let out a sigh.

"But…" Hermione started but Alain raised a hand.

"Zat does not mean we aren't doing things unofficially," Minister Delacour explained. "Do you think I could tell my mother-in-law zat I wasn't doing something?"

They all agreed the regal full Veela would definitely have issues if something wasn't being done to help those of her race who were enslaved.

"Marl is what we are doing. Zat is why 'e will be gone at least for ze next week. It was 'is idea. 'E read ze article about your instructor being substituted and thinks 'e can try zat approach. 'E and Tonks zat is."

"Tonks?"

"Oui, Tonks. Zat is why she is still 'ere. I coordinated with Madam Bones to get 'er on special assignment. Marl's plan is simple. Sometime in ze next couple of days Marcus Knight, zat is ze man's name, is going to escape with 'elp from someone in ze Ministry 'oo'll take a bribe."

"Escape? But…oh, a trick?"

"Oui, but only a very few people know of eet. Eet will be ze real Marcus Knight 'oo escapes since we do not know 'oo might be an informer in ze Ministry. Besides, ze type of confusion zat surrounds a real escape would be too difficult to duplicate. Marl will track 'im and quickly substitute 'imself for ze real Monsieur Knight once zey are well away. Marl, as Monsieur Knight, will zen kidnap a young witch, again it will seem legitimate and it will be done in a way so it's noticed by an innocent bystander 'oo 'opefully reports it. Obviously ze witch 'e will capture will be Tonks in disguise."

"Marl is going to pretend to sell Tonks?"

"Oui. Marl will pretend to be looking for a place to 'ide and bringing Tonks as payment."

"Are you letting the woman who was on the boat escape too?"

"Non. It would be unlikely for both of zem to escape and Marcus is ze lesser of a threat since 'e lost 'is wand arm, zough 'e might be able to cast left 'anded."

"What's going to happen to Knight when Marl takes his place?" Harry asked.

"Marl suggested just killing 'im but as much as I would desire it, I can't do it. Zough I'm sure Marl will not 'esitate if ze slaver tries anything. Non, 'e will be given ze...I think ze English call it ze Draught of Living Death and zen 'idden away."

"But what if something goes wrong?" Hermione asked. "Wouldn't it cause the same type of problems for France?"

Alain took a deep breath and let out a sigh before he shook his head. "If something goes wrong we'll just never see Marl again and Tonks will either be dead or..." He didn't finish the statement as they all knew what would happen. Alain forced a smile, "Zough I do not expect Marl will fail and ze English Auror seems to be pretty good 'erself."

Silence hung in the office for a while before Alain spoke again. "I need to get you new portkeys. I 'aven't 'ad a chance yet to request zem."

"Sir, Fleur and I have been thinking about our Portkeys and had a question about them," Hermione said. "I was reading about the Protean Charm earlier and we were wondering if there was a way to connect that to a portkey."

"Why?"

"We thought maybe we could then cause someone's portkey to activate remotely or maybe all of our portkeys activate simultaneously. That way if even one of us is able to use their portkey, they can get all of us to safety."

"Hmm..." Alain considered it for a moment. "Zat is an interesting idea. It would have to be something that's always touching your skin."

"We thought about our rings sir," Hermione lifted her hand where her engagement ring was back on her left ring finger.

"Overlapping portkey destinations might be a problem."

"What's that?"

"A portkey will magically not allow you to end up in a spot where someone or something is, but it can't detect another magical arrival. Two people arriving by portkey at ze same time to ze same spot can cause...problems," Alain explained. "I will definitely bring up the possibility with ze 'ead of Magical Transportation and see what she says."

"Thank you."

"Now we should get you back to ze 'ouse. Do not go anywhere or speak to anyone about what I said earlier."

"You'll let us know if you 'ear anything?" Fleur asked. "About what Marl and Tonks are doing?"

"Of course," Alain rose and started toward his desk. "Let me arrange for Aurors to escort you back to ze floo area."

"Sir, I wonder if...if we could go to the tower; the Eiffel tower before we go back?" Harry asked. "I wanted pictures of us there to hang in my..." Harry paused as he realized what he had been about to say 'my room'. He looked over at Fleur and saw she was looking, waiting. He smiled at her as he realized that in only the few days he'd spent at the Delacours, he'd already had more people showing they cared than in thirteen years with the Dursleys. That room signified more than where he was sleeping. It really was 'his room'. "My room," He finished. Fleur's expression showed the happiness he felt in their bond.

Alain also had recognized the importance of what he'd just witnessed, in words and in expressions, and he hated the idea of not letting Harry do what he wanted, but he knew that he could not. He sighed before delivering the bad news. "Unfortunately not today. Zis is one of ze busiest times for tourists and it would be difficult to protect you."

"But..."

"Please 'Arry," Alain interrupted. "Give me time to make arrangements when things aren't so complicated. Your safety is paramount at ze moment but you will 'ave you visit, zat I promise. We can arrange a private tour after it closes if you don't mind being up at two in ze morning."

"Yes sir that would be great."

"Can you do the same thing with the Louvre?" Hermione asked. "My parents took me several years ago but if it would be possible to..." She blushed. "I'm sorry; I shouldn't have asked such a thing."

"Nonsense," Alain had a hint of a smile now. "You can ask for anything you wish. As for ze Louvre, of course I can arrange something for you. Give me some time."

"Really?" Hermione's eyes were wide as she thought of wandering the Louvre without a lot of other people around.

"Of course, now let me summon those Aurors to escort you back to ze floo," Alain said. "Oh, Albus will be joining us for dinner tonight."

"Dumbledore?" Harry asked incredulously.

"Oui."

"Why?"

"E just said it was sometime important he wished to discuss with you."

*** E E ***

When they arrived back at the Delacour estate, Harry insisted even if Marl wasn't going to be there they should still run and improve.

"We have to be better, or at least I do. I still have to find a way to..." Harry stopped. "I've got to be able to protect you."

"We all 'ave to be better to protect each other," Fleur replied. "We are all part of zis."

"Can we at least change this time?" Hermione asked.

"Sure."

"Zen to ze beach?" Gabrielle asked.

"We can run in our bikinis and see if 'Arry can keep 'is concentration," Fleur suggested with a smirk.

"Well it might be pretty effective way to test his concentration," Hermione added.

"Do you really want me trying to ignore you?" Harry asked.

"Good point," Hermione replied. "I think he just doesn't want to run with his pants tight," She said to her bond sisters. They mentally laughed in reply.

An hour later they all had finished their run and changed into their bathing suits. They discussed Marl, Tonks and the possible rescue of the other victims as they made their way to the beach. The seriousness of the discussion dissipated after the first few minutes of swimming.

After a few minutes they each performed the bubblehead charm and disappeared into the depths of the water. As Harry watched Fleur swim ahead of him he couldn't help but remember the last time he'd seen her with the bubblehead charm.

She must have been thinking the exact same thing as a few seconds later she turned and looked back at him. "Not Black Lake, but it still reminds me of my 'ero and 'ow my life is so much better."

"I was just thinking of that time as well. No grindylows here?"

"Non. Come; let me show you my favorite place to see the fish," Fleur said as she dove even deeper into the depths.

"I'm tired," Hermione said a while later as she walked out of the water. "I'm going to work on my tan," She reached into the bag she'd brought with her and took out a book and the bottle of suntan lotion. "Harry could you help me," She said a few minutes later. "I can't reach my back."

"I thought you said you were going to sunbathe topless," Harry said as he took the bottle from her hands and poured some into his palm.

"Mmmm..." Hermione replied as Harry's hands started caressing the lotion over her back. "We'll nothing is stopping you from untying it is there?" She asked. She felt the top loosen as the knot came undone. "Well now that my breasts are uncovered, they need suntan lotion too don't you think?" Hermione asked as she rolled over.

"Well we definitely don't want them sunburned do we?" Harry asked with a smile as he poured more suntan lotion into his hands.

"Mmmmm...oh..." Hermione replied as Harry started gently applying the lotion.

When Harry had finished he looked over at Fleur who was looking back expectantly. "My turn?"

The sun was getting lower in the sky when Dobby popped in beside them sometime later. "Bon joy Harry Potter sir and Mad-mo-snails..."

"Mad-mwa-zels," Gabrielle corrected the elf again.

"What is it Dobby?" Harry asked.

"Professor Dumbledore is here and dinner is almost ready. Madam Delacour said to tell you to come in and get ready. Dinner will be in the formal dining room tonight."

"We'll be up soon," Fleur replied before she rose from her chair and put back on the top of her bikini.

"Hello Harry," The voice of the Headmaster said as the bonded entered the dining room twenty minutes later. It had taken that long to take a shower and change clothes.

"Sir," Harry replied. "I never had a chance to thank you for helping yesterday and Fawkes of course."

"I am glad I was able to, but as you know, it was Miss Granger who came up with most of the idea."

Elves interrupted as they started serving the dinner. Bowls of onion soup were distributed to everyone and the glasses were filled with either water, white wine or pumpkin juice as requested.

The soup was eaten amongst small talk but as the bowls disappeared, Dumbledore turned to the teens. "I presume you are wondering why I'm here."

"Yes sir."

Again the conversation was interrupted as the elves appeared with bowls of Bouillabaisse and fresh baked bread.

As Harry sipped a spoonful of the fish stew he couldn't help but remember the first time he'd seen Fleur. She'd been asking for the bowl of Bouillabaisse. He looked over at his oldest bondmate who was staring back at him, seemingly thinking the same thing. He smiled and turned back to Dumbledore was speaking again.

"The reason I'm here, is that the Minister wishes to award you, and you," Dumbledore had looked toward Fleur, "the Order of Merlin Second Class for your actions against Voldemort in the graveyard."

"No, I don't want it," Harry replied immediately. "I didn't really do anything, besides he's only doing it make himself look better."

"Arry, do you remember our discussion before you interviewed with zat reporter?" Alain asked.

Harry glanced at Alain. "You think I should accept it?"

"Oui," Alain looked at Dumbledore. "I presume ze story of yesterday is being reported?"

"Yes, and Miss Skeeter sent me an owl this morning asking about contacting Harry concerning an interview that was promised her," Dumbledore said.

Harry sighed. "Yeah, about our bond, and now I guess about yesterday," Harry ran his fingers through his hair. "I...I..."

"Arry, as I said zen, you represent ze fight against Voldemort and zis is part of zat. You beat 'im, twice now. Let ze people recognize you for it," Alain looked at Dumbledore."I am surprised 'e is including Fleur zough. I never took your Minister for being open to 'er 'eritage."

"It was my idea actually to include her," Dumbledore admitted. "I thought it would be very...useful."

"It should only be her," Harry complained as he looked at his oldest bondmate. "She's the one who risked her life..."

"And eet was you 'oo saved my life," Fleur replied cutting him off. "Zey should be awarding you ze First Class for your 'eroism."

"So you want it, the award I mean?"

"I think, as Papa said, eet serves a purpose to ze people, and I also think ze 'eadmaster was trying for something else by including me."

"What? You deserve it, why wouldn't you be included?" Harry looked over at Dumbledore. "Why wouldn't the Minister include her to start with, because she's Veela?"

"There is a strong pureblood movement in the government still, you must realize that. I think with Fleur's inclusion in the award it will do a great service in promoting Veela in general to the populace and go a long way in helping in the announcement of your bond," Dumbledore explained.

Harry sighed. "Thank you," He looked at Alain. "So you really think I should receive it?"

"Oui, but if you really don't want it, may I made a suggestion?"

"Of course."

Alain laid out the plan he had in mind and at the end, even Harry had stopped frowning.

"Well if that is settled, then I shall inform the Minister when I return and we can establish a date," Dumbledore said. "It should be before the bond announcement so expect it within the next few days. Is there a time that would be inappropriate?"

"No, not really. Anytime would be fine, I guess," Harry replied as he mentally polled his bondmates.

"I will let you know, then. Now, may I inquire if you have reached a decision about next year?" Dumbledore asked.

"Hogwarts, sir," Hermione said. "We... well with it being the OWL year for Harry and me..."

"I understand. I am very glad to hear that of course. I will ensure your book lists are forwarded as soon as possible," Dumbledore looked at Fleur. "Are are you going to take me up on my offer?"

"Oui, Headmaster. I would like to."

"Excellent. I will forward suggestions but I think you can get an idea from Harry and Hermione what is lacking in their education," Dumbledore replied. "I do have one thing to ask of all of you. Would you consider coming to London for a few days around the award ceremony? I understand Mrs. Weasley wishes to express her apologies."

"Mrs. Weasley?" Harry asked. "Apologize to Gabrielle and Fleur?"

"I do believe so. Even before she knew you had been kidnapped she had expressed such an interest and her last words before I left that evening were, and I quote 'find both of them'."

Harry put his hand over Gabrielle's and smiled at her and then to Fleur before looking back at Dumbledore. "I think we'd like to come then sir."

"But zey will return 'ere for 'Arry's birthday and ze rest of ze summer?" Alain asked.

"Of course, Alain, if that is their wish," Dumbledore replied.

The rest of the meal passed in quiet conversation. Finally, after dessert, Dumbledore excused himself. "I need to get back to Hogwarts this evening. I shall inform the Minister of your willingness to accept the Order of Merlin and I'll personally escort you back."

"Sir," Harry started. "With all that happened with Gabrielle, I forgot to ask; what happened with Voldemort and the Death Eaters yesterday? Were you able to find the place?"

"Unfortunately it took some time to mount the response and then more time to bring down the wards protecting the area. By that time no one was left at the old Rosier home," Dumbledore disclosed. Then seeing the look on Harry's face he explained. "That's where Voldemort had been hiding; the home of Evan Rosier. He was a Death Eater who died in the last war."

"So they all got away?"

"Two of the newer Death Eater recruits weren't as careful in hiding their escape apparation trail, and the Aurors were able to capture them. We did find two muggles who had been Imperiused to serve Riddle and… to provide entertainment. They'll need to spend time at St. Mungos and then will have their memories altered," The Headmaster explained. "Though from what they went through, it will definitely be better to not remember what had happened to them."

"What about Goyle?"

"Gone. Madam Bones assures me that his home is being watched, but he has not made another appearance there."

"And the Ministry person?"

"Yaxley is also missing."

"So, nothing?" Harry's face showed the frustration. "Voldemort just escaped again? All the Death Eaters?"

"Harry, I know it might seem like nothing, but you dealt him a terrible blow yesterday. One I doubt he'll recover from for some time."

"What do you mean?"

"In less than a month, you've made him flee three times. The graveyard, Malfoy Manor and now from his latest place of security. Also in front of many Death Eaters you defeated him and escaped right from…well if you'd like to add a little humor you could say from under his nose that doesn't seem to exist anymore."

"But I didn't kill him."

"No, and you can't until his items we have discussed are destroyed. But..." Dumbledore paused. "Voldemort has to be uneasy about the Prophecy now and he will definitely have a harder time recruiting."

"Have you figured out about how many of those things exist?"

"Not precisely but it is definitely less than ten. Presuming he wants a significant number, seven is most likely but there is no proof of that yet."

"And we don't know where any of them are?" Hermione asked.

"Two, three if you count Harry are destroyed, but no we don't know where the rest are," Dumbledore replied. He then rose from his seat. "I really must depart. Now as soon as the Minister sets a date for the presentation of the Order of Merlin, I shall personally escort you back to London. In regards to that, I have one last thing to say so please listen carefully. The Order of the Phoenix Headquarters is located at number twelve Grimmauld Place, London."

"Why..." Hermione started then stopped as her eyes widened. "That's the secret isn't it; Sirius said it was under Fidelius."

"Very good Miss Granger and you must know I am the Secret Keeper."

"Yes sir."

"Now, Alain if you'd escort me to the floo..." The two men left the dining room and Apolline excused herself as well.

"We need to study some this evening," Hermione said as the elves removed the last of the dishes. "We are already behind and Harry really needs to learn runes if he wants to be in Gabrielle's class."

Alain re-entered the dining room at that time. "Good, you 'aven't left yet. I wanted to tell you zat Magical Transportation is...is intrigued is a good word for it, about your idea on ze Portkey. I also spoke to ze 'ead of ze Aurors for support because such a thing would aid Auror team partners as well. It is on 'igh priority."

"Zat is good, Papa."

"Well, if will excuse me, Apolline and I are taking a garden stroll zis evening."

"Papa, can you make contact with ze Daily Prophet and invite Skeeter 'ere?" Fleur asked. "We should go ahead and prepare 'er for ze bond announcement."

"Certainly 'ough if you are going to London soon, would it not be better to meet 'er zere?"

"That's true," Hermione agreed. "We can speak with her at the award ceremony."

*** E E ***

As Harry entered his room later that evening to prepare for bed his eyes fell onto the table with the plans his parents had made, and then onto the letter from his mother. He sat down at the table and picked up the envelope. He was still staring at it when Fleur entered his bedroom several minutes later.

"Do you want me to leave while you read it?" Fleur asked.

Harry shook his head as he continued to stare at the envelope.

Fleur wrapped her arms around Harry's neck as she whispered, "Wait zen, 'Ermione and Gabrielle will be 'ere soon."

Less than a minute later Harry's other two bondmates entered the room and stood with Fleur. Harry looked at them and gave a soft smile and a nod. He ran a finger under the flap of the envelope and then pulled out two sheets of paper in what was his mother's handwriting and read.

To my son Harry,

I hope you never see this letter, my darling son, but I feel I must write it. You see, I buried my parents today, and at the funeral I could only think of you. I could only wonder if someday you would sit beside my grave with your father, or someone else, and cry as I did. If you are reading this, you must have, because I plan to remove it when you are seventeen. The things I would have wanted to tell you would have been said. So if this letter is in your hands, then the time I would have wanted to be with you did not last as long as I would have wished.

I do not know if I've died from disease, accident or if the darkness that pursues your father and me finally caught up to us or just me. I sincerely hope James is there with you but I fear he won't be.

If your father is there, all I need to say is I love you, for I'm sure James will have said everything else. If he isn't, then I will presume you are with Sirius or possibly Alice and Frank. Give all of them my love and my thanks for raising you when I could not.

I'm not even sure what to write. Trying to express the love I have for you in words is impossible. Just know that my love is there. Even when I am dead, the love I have for you will never end.

Harry paused to wipe away a tear as he thought of his mother. He murmured "I love you too, Mum," before he continued reading.

I guess what I really want to say is that I want you to be happy, my son. I want you to be or do whatever you want in your life that makes you happy. One day you're going to wake up and think back on your life. In that moment, I hope you find you have no regrets.

Regrets. Maybe that is the real reason for this letter. Regrets. I have one singular regret in my life, one that came clear today. I doubt you will know this since Sirius and James hate her and Frank and Alice don't know her, but I have a sister. Her name is Petunia and she is my biggest regret. You see, Petunia and I were best friends until we found out I was magical and she wasn't. I became friends with another magical person and we didn't include Petunia as we should. I was young and drawn to the magic. My new friend told me tales of the magical world and I was caught up in them. Then I went to Hogwarts and left Petunia behind. I gave up my best friend because I thought I had a new best friend, one who'd later prove he wasn't. The next few words were marked out. Harry could just read 'one who would' through the cross out. He ignored those as he he thought of who his mother was describing. "That was Snape." Harry muttered to himself.

I was wrong but it's too late now. Petunia became jealous of me and she lashed out at that which drove us apart, magic. Now I am a freak to her. At the funeral today I found out she has a son as well. He's about your age. In a different time and place, I could imagine you two growing up and playing together just as Petunia and I did, but that is not to be.

Harry snorted at that. "Yes, mum it was to be and I didn't enjoy it," He murmured before continuing.

The sad part is that the person who I befriended betrayed his true feelings. He despises non-magical people and even those like me, muggleborn magical people. I lost my sister because of him and from this stems my regret. If this letter reaches your hands before I am able, I hope you can reach out to Petunia and tell her that I am sorry.

But it is time for me to end my melancholy ramblings and seal this letter to you. Wherever you are, my son, whoever you've become, know that I will always love you. I can just hope that you are happy and if the words of a wise man do come true, I will someday await you in the Next Great Adventure.

Lily

"Next Great Adventure. Dumbledore, of course," Harry said as he remembered being told the same thing by the Headmaster. "I did see you mother and I'll see you again," He reread the letter twice more until he finally set it down on the table. "She wanted me to reach out to Petunia. She presumed I wouldn't know about her."

"May I?" Hermione asked as she reached for the letter. "I...I didn't want to read your thoughts."

"Of course," Harry said as he wiped his damp eyes.

As Hermione, Fleur and then Gabrielle read the letter, Harry thought about what it said. Then he thought of his Aunt's attitude over the years. "It's all because of him," Harry murmured.

"What?"

"I was thinking that my Aunt hated magic because of Snape. So you could actually put the blame of the way the Dursleys acted toward me on his shoulders as..." He paused as a memory tickled his mind. Several things linked together in his mind.

His Father saying "Sn..someone overheard some of it and told Voldemort"

Dumbledore's reluctance to say who had overhead the prophecy and then telling Alain "I can assure you the man has suffered for many years because of what he did."

"Tell Severus I can forgive him for myself, but never for what he has done to you." His mother had said.

Harry took the letter from Gabrielle and looked again at the words his mother had crossed off. "What do you think she was going to write here?" He asked his bondmates but he already thought he knew.

"One who would... I don't know," Hermione replied. "But she was talking about Snape."

"I think I know," Harry replied. "When my father told me someone had overheard the prophecy being recited to Dumbledore he almost said a name. He started with an 'Sn' sound."

"Snape? You're thinking it was Snape your father was going to say?" Hermione asked incredulously.

"Yes or maybe Snivellus; remember that's what Padfoot called him," Harry replied before a hard look appeared in his eyes. "And Dumbledore knows it. Remember how, when Alain asked about him who had overheard, Dumbledore seemed to avoid answering the question."

"It can't be," Hermione said. "I mean…he...Dumbledore trusts Snape. He's a professor," But as she thought about it, it made sense. "Why?" She asked. "Why would Dumbledore trust him if…if.."

"I don't know, but I plan on asking the Headmaster when I see him," Harry said forcefully. "The way I see it, everything that has gone wrong in my life can be laid at the feet of Severus Snape. If he is the one who overhead the prophecy, then he's responsible for my parents dying, for Aunt Petunia hating magic and for most of the stuff at Hogwarts."

 
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