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.



46. Chapter 46

"Harry, you can't blame everything on Professor Snape," Hermione argued. "I mean he didn't make your Uncle treat you the way he did."

"Didn't he?" Harry replied sharply. "Tell me, why did my uncle hate magic so much? He had no reason to even believe it was real until he met my Aunt. If my Aunt hadn't been jealous of my mother, would Uncle Vernon have developed such a hatred of me?" Harry sighed. "Yes, I know, my uncle still probably would have been violent, and maybe the jealousy might have even been some of my mother's fault but still..." Harry paused to collect himself. "If it hadn't been for Snape it very well could have been different," Then in a lower voice, one filled with sadness, "and if it hadn't been for Snape, my parents might still be alive and I wouldn't have this damn scar on my forehead."

Hermione wrapped her arms around Harry's neck and held him for several seconds before replying, "Well let's not put too much of the cart before the horse shall we. Let's see what Dumbledore says. We might be wrong and it might not be Professor Snape at all."

Harry nodded as he read the letter once more. Finally he folded it and put it carefully back in the envelope.

"I can put an impervious charm on it if you want?" Fleur offered.

"Thanks, but let's wait until tomorrow," Harry replied. "Tonight I'm ready for bed; that is if you're ready as well?"

"Oui, I am always ready to be 'eld in your arms," Fleur said.

"Do you mind if I send Hedwig to Luna to coordinate the story in the Quibbler?" Hermione asked.

Harry turned his head and looked at his friend and bondmate. "Love, why would I mind if you send OUR owl somewhere as long as she doesn't mind going."

"No...Hedwig is..." Hermione sputtered.

"Hedwig is my friend, a friend to all of us; but if you think I own Hedwig then we all own her now, right? Isn't that what Fleur has been trying to pound into our heads?" He looked at his eldest bondmate and smiled. "We share everything right?"

"Oui, it is best zat way."

Hermione's arms squeezed a little harder as she kissed Harry's cheek. "Fine, but if I catch you wearing OUR knickers, we'll have to talk."

"Speak for yourself 'Ermione," Fleur smirked. "If 'Arry wishes to wear my culottes..."

"Wait..." Harry held up a hand. "I'm not going to wear any of your underwear."

"Not even ze emerald green pair made of silk zat matches your eyes?" Fleur asked. "Zen I'll wear zem to bed tonight."

Harry groaned as he lowered his head to the table with a thud. "You're trying to kill me aren't you?"

"Non, just giving you better things to think about zen zat Professor Snape."

Harry couldn't argue that it was a very effective distraction technique, especially later when Fleur re-entered his bedroom wearing those emerald green silk knickers and a nightshirt that didn't cover them.

*** E E ***

It had been a beautiful day in Paris that Paul Durant and Nymphadora Tonks had enjoyed. The sun had been shining and it had been a perfect twenty-three degrees Celsius. Paul had given Tonks a tour of various places including the Eiffel Tower. After a show and a late dinner at an upscale restaurant that had a perfect view of the Parisian skyline, they were now walking the sidewalks heading back toward the French Ministry of Magic.

Paul had been entranced by the free spirited English witch and even now as they walked, he couldn't help but steal a glance at her ever so often. He shyly looked away when those glances found her looking back at him. As they turned a corner, the lights of late night store caught his eye. Through the front window of the store he could just see a rack of toys and something there brought an idea to mind. "Wait 'ere," He said as dashed into the store. Paul emerged a short time later carrying something in a small bag which he handed to Tonks. "For you Mademoiselle."

"What is it?" She asked smiling curiously at him. She reached her hand into the bag and felt something soft and plush. "What the..." escaped her lips when she pulled the present from the bag. She found herself looking at a stuffed toy pig. Her eyes immediately found Paul's. "Is this supposed to be some kind of hint? Did I eat like a pig tonight?" Her tone had a definite edge to it while her eyes revealed disappointment and sadness.

"Non...non," Paul replied as he quickly took the pig from her hands."Je suis désolée," He continued with obvious distress in his voice while his cheeks darkened in the streetlights. He shoved the pig back into the bag it came from and looked at Tonks. "Je suis désolée," He repeated. "I...I am no good with beautiful women. I think I know what to say or do, but eet never...eh never comes out right," He paused for a second before continuing. "Please forgive me. Zis," He lifted the bag with the pig in it, "was not meant as an insult, it was ze opposite," Paul looked away as if trying to compose himself. After few seconds, he swallowed and turned back to Tonks. "I...I... just let me explain what I was thinking zough I know it was stupides."

Tonks could see the distress in the young man's expression and realized he hadn't been trying to insult her. "What was it then?" She asked in a calm voice. "What could you have possibly been thinking that would make you think giving a pig to me would be a compliment?"

Paul pulled the pig back out of the bag and looked at it for a couple of seconds before his eyes turned to Tonks again. "You see, I...I was remembering 'ow you changed your nose and...and I thought..." Paul eyes moved toward the pavement as he continued, "I thought zat no one of your beauty should ever change 'er nose so and if someone wanted to see zat type of nose you could show zem zis instead," He lifted the pig up to show it again to Tonks.

"Oh..." Tonks replied as she took the pig back from his hands as a small smile threatened to break across her lips. "You really know how to charm a woman don't you?"

"My deepest apologies Tonks, I would never do anything to insult you."

"Well personally I think you might want to have your eyes checked if you think I'm beautiful," Tonks said but couldn't help but look at the little pig again as she fought to keep the smile off her lips. "I don't think many people will like my nose any better than the pig's." She held up the little pig in front of her face.

"Well I for one do. Zen again I would like it even if it was shaped like his," He pointed at the stuffed toy.

"Still sweet talking aren't you?" Tonks asked.

"Please, please tell me you forgive me," Paul almost pleaded.

"Of course, though I see there is nothing to forgive. Maybe I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. I should have just asked what it meant."

"Non, it..it was stupid."

Tonks reached her arm through his and led start walking again. "So...no more pigs as gifts?"

"Zere was a nice swan, would zat be better?" Paul asked as he reached for the pig.

Tonks pull the small stuffed animal away. "I'll keep it. At least I can say it is a truly unique gift."

"For a unique woman?" Paul asked.

Tonks eyes rolled playfully. "Well it's better than a pig I guess."

They walked in silence for another minute but finally Paul stopped again and turned to Tonks. "Susan?"

"Nope, not even close," Tonks replied with a grin. It had become something of a game the whole day. Paul had kept trying to guess what her name was only to be told no.

"Won't you please tell me what it is?"

"No," Tonks replied curtly.

Paul's expression changed as a look of regret passed over his features but in a second he'd composed himself as his shoulders squared and his back straightened. "I understand Mademoiselle," This came out in a very formal tone. "I felt... never mind. Allow me to escort you safely back to ze Ministry. I 'ope I've been a suitable 'ost. If you'd prefer we can just apparate. Zere is a secluded spot behind zat building we can use."

Tonks studied the young man as she realized she'd hurt him unintentionally. She looked at the small pig in her hands and then with a sigh she looked back at Paul. "I think I owe you the apology this time," She said softly. "I...I just don't like it, my name I mean," Again her eyes went to the small pig in her hand and then after a few seconds they returned to Paul. Another sigh passed her lips before she finally said, "My name is Nymphadora okay, but don't you dare call me that."

"Pourquoi?" Paul asked as he relaxed at her admission. "Eet is a name zat reminds me of ze painting in ze Museums. A Nymph is a goddess portrayed as a beautiful maidens as befitting you."

"You really are a charmer aren't you?" Tonks retorted. "I know all about those paintings. There was one at Hogwarts, magical of course. Since the goddess as you say, in the painting was nude the boys kept suggesting for me to pose like she was, sans my clothes. Then of course... there was my ability. 'Hey Nymph make your tits bigger' or ' Hey Nymph you sure know how to make a fine arse,'" Tonks mimicked her old tormentors.

"Zat wasn't very nice, but I 'ope you don't think I would say things like zat," They now had started walking again along the sidewalk.

"Probably not, at least as long as you're not trying to charm me," Tonks replied. "It was more than that though. Once they got bored with those insults, it became Nymphadora the Nymphomaniac. I never slept with anyone at Hogwarts, but once the name got started, no one would ever believe it. I ended up in detention many weeks for the hexes I performed to deter the boys from...well from trying things," She tried to force a smile onto the frown that now crossed her face. "Hopefully you can understand why I don't like my name."

"Oui, but I do believe what I said at first, it is a fitting name for a beautiful woman."

"Still trying that charm huh?"

"Only saying what I believe to be true," They walked in silence for a while. Finally they turned down another street and the River Seine twinkled in the evening lights in front of them.

"Oh...it's beautiful," Tonks exclaimed as she paused to view the lights of Paris reflecting from the water.

"It is beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as you," Paul stopped and smiled.

"You're hopeless aren't you?" Tonks replied with a grin.

Paul shrugged. "I am saying what I believe. I would prefer to look at you zen to see ze anything zis city 'as. Even ze beauty of zis river makes me think of you, a nymphe aquatique."

"That's...that was really bad you know," Tonks said with a shake of her head but a smile appeared on her lips all the same. "Though..."

"I'm sor…" Paul started to apologize again but had to stop when Tonks put a finger to his lips.

"I think I could get used to hearing your compliments," Tonks murmured as she lowered her finger and replaced it with her lips.

The startled young Auror trainee hesitated only briefly when the beautiful woman he had spent the day with touched her lips to his. His heart leapt in his chest as he returned the kiss. Another kiss followed the first and then another.

"About that secluded spot you mentioned earlier," Tonks murmured.

*** July 18th 1995 ***

"The first thing on the agenda tonight," Dumbledore started at the opening of the meeting for the Order of the Phoenix. "Is that Harry Potter will be returning here next week on the Twenty-fourth. The Minister will be awarding him and Miss Fleur Delacour the Order of Merlin Second Class for the actions in the graveyard against Voldemort the following evening, the Twenty-fifth."

A snort came from half-way down the table as Snape scowled at the Headmaster. "His actions? The idiot boy gets himself captured which allows the return of the Dark Lord. He gets a lucky hex in and he is being awarded an Order of Merlin? The boy deserves to be throttled not rewarded."

"He SAVED that girl's life," Molly exclaimed. "HE THREW HIMSELF IN FRONT OF A KILLING CURSE," Molly definitely wasn't going to take Snape's antics tonight. She'd already cornered Dumbledore and gave him an earful about him not bringing Harry directly to Grimmauld Place once he'd been rescued from You-Know-Who.

"That is supposed to impress me?" Snape asked with a sneer. "His stupidity? Or maybe his arrogance? He's nothing but a glory seeking..."

"That is enough Severus," Dumbledore said cutting off the Potions Master. He could see Molly turning red and really didn't want the meeting turning into an argument. When everyone was looking at him again he continued. "Now, I am concerned that Voldemort might believe Harry has returned to the Harry's muggle relatives when he returns to England..."

"He's coming here isn't he?" Molly asked. "You wouldn't send him back to those people..."

"Yes, he and his...his friends will be staying here," Dumbledore answered. "Now, what I was about to say, was I need people to keep an eye on Privet Drive while Harry is in England. I'm afraid Voldemort might think he returned there."

"While?" Molly asked. "You mean he's going back? He should stay here the rest of the summer so we can protect him."

"I do believe it is their intention to return to France, but he will stay here for a few days anyway," Dumbledore replied. "Now as I was saying I want to keep the Dursleys under observation just in case."

"Can't you do something..."

"What do you have in mind?" Arthur asked Dumbledore cutting off his wife.

"As you all know, Harry's old home is now part of a tour, so each day during the time Harry is back in England I would like a member of the Order to take the tour to ensure all of the Dursleys are safe. We'll also keep a watch outside."

"Can't you just get them to leave during that time?"

"I highly doubt it," Dumbledore replied with a shake of his head. "They are very...resistant to the magical world. Now my plan is for you Severus to be the first on the twenty-fourth.."

"I shall never reduce myself to such actions," Snape sneered.

"You must," Dumbledore insisted. "In fact I want you to inform Voldemort that Harry is returning on that day and convince him that you should go on the tour to look for him because I won't tell you where he is staying. Allow him to see in your mind that Harry is not residing there once you do. That should prevent him from bothering them further."

"Surely you are joking?" Snape replied. "Do you really think we need to protect those muggles?"

"Yes Severus I do. It is very important to protect all of those who need to be protected," Dumbledore stared at Snape for several seconds before the Potions Master turned away in disgust.

"Now moving on," Dumbledore said. "Hestia, have you a schedule for the guarding of the Hall of Prophecies?"

"Not yet," The black-haired witch replied. "But as soon as things settle down I'll have it ready."

"By tomorrow night then?"

Hestia Jones nodded.

"And you can't tell us about this prophecy Voldemort would be after?" Kingsley Shacklebolt asked in his deep voice.

Dumbledore's eyes barely caught Snape's before he returned them to Shacklebolt's. "It's just a prophecy that might have bearing on Voldemort's future," He explained in as bland terms as he could. "I will not say what it contains, but it is imperative we protect it."

The meeting continued for two more hours but finally it concluded.

*** July 20th 1995 ***

"Excellent. Zat ends our time today," The apparition instructor said as he started to gather his instructional material and pack it away. "Now continue to work on your focus. Remember ze two things to guide your focus and zey are?"

"Who and Where," The teens responded automatically.

"Oui, qui et où. Who is apparating and where you are wishing to go," The instructor agreed. "Ze first is most important. Getting to where you want to go in pieces does no good. Demain we shall make our first attempt at apparating so be ready," With a curt nod, the instructor left the room.

"Whew…glad that's over," Harry said as he fell into a chair. It was the second day of apparation lessons and so far it had been all theory and mental lessons. They had spent the last two hours doing some of those mental exercises including closing their eyes and describing exactly what their body looked like including their fingernail and hair length. Their instructor had pointed out that if they had no idea what your body was like, how was their magic suppose to know.

"At least tomorrow we'll actually try to apparate," Hermione replied as she sat down on Harry's lap.

"I should be looking forward to it," Harry admitted as his arms went around Hermione's waist. "But that feeling of being squeezed through a tube isn't much fun."

"You do get used to it," Fleur remarked.

"And it'll make it safer for us," Hermione added. "Now what should we study next?"

"What about some time on ze beach?" Gabrielle suggested.

"What about you meet me around the pool in ten minutes?" A voice said for the doorway. Every one turned to see Lupin standing there. "We're going to work on freezing charms and how they are useful in a fight. Then we'll spend a couple of hours on ward creation and detection."

Harry groaned as he waited for Hermione to stand up and then climbed out of his seat. "I need to use the bathroom first," He muttered as he slipped out the door and moved down the hallway.

"The freezing charm accompanied by Aguamenti is probably the single most useful spell for multiple people to be able to use in a fight," Lupin explain when they all had met back up on the patio a few minutes later. "I personally think your unique ability of communication will make it even more powerful."

"So… we make ice and people slide?" Hermione asked. "How is that the most useful spell?"

"Yes that is one way to use it; you can change the environment by causing the area around you to be icy. It can very easily distract your opponent but it's a lot more than that, especially if you are fighting someone with nothing around."

"What would that have to do with anything?"

"Easier to give you an example," Lupin said. "Harry, how did Dumbledore protect you from the killing curse in the graveyard?"

"An old tombstone," Harry said. "He levitated it in front of the curse."

"Exactly. A killing curse can't be blocked by shields but it can be blocked by physical objects," Remus lectured. "But what if you didn't have anything to levitate or to duck behind?" Remus pulled out his wand and aimed it at the pool of water. "Glacius," Ice started to form and as soon as it did, Lupin ended the spell. Floating in the pool was a 3 foot piece of ice.

"Now, someone send a stunner at me," Remus ordered.

Harry shrugged and raised his wand. "Stupefy!" He commanded and the red light moved toward Lupin.

Remus sent a levitation spell at the ice and it jumped out of the water blocking the path of the stunner. "Two of you working together can create the ice and make a temporary shield. One creates the water while the other freezes it," Lupin allowed the dripping ice shield to drop onto the cement where it shattered into many pieces. "Of course a killing curse or any of the higher end spells would shatter it like this but that can also be an advantage."

"Purquoi?" Gabrielle asked.

"This," Remus aimed his wand at the ice. "Depulso," The pieces of ice shot off the cement and zoomed across the patio where it slammed into the low wall with loud pops as they disintegrated. "From shield to weapon and all created from basically nothing."

"Couldn't we just conjure something? And send a blasting hex?"

"You are conjuring something, water," Lupin argued. He pointed at Hermione who was about to object and said in a loud voice, "YOU'RE ABOUT TO BE ATTACKED, CONJURE SOMETHING."

"Uh… what?" Hermione stammered as she tried to change focus.

"Exactly my point," Lupin replied. "Water and ice are useful in just about every situation. You don't have to think in this case about WHAT, just how to use it. As you grow more experienced, you can broaden your repertoire but for now, keep it simple. Understand my reasoning?" When each of the bonded nodded, he continued. "Now as for sending a blasting hex, or any single hex, it's easier for your opponent to block a single hex instead of an entire barrage of items coming at you. Any questions so far?

"How...how did you banish all of the ice at once? I thought it was single objects only," Hermione asked.

"It's a matter of focus actually. Think about it this way. Could you banish that book?" Remus nodded at the book in front of Hermione.

"Yes, of course," Hermione replied as she placed a protective hand over the advanced charms book she'd brought in case there was a break in the training.

"But it's multiple things isn't it? Pages of paper, bindings, glue..."

"But they are all one thing and connected."

"They are all one thing only because you have convinced yourself they are all one thing," Remus explained. "You don't see the book as a collection of objects, but as a single entity. It's the same principle when you want to banish multiple objects at the same time. You just need to see them in your mind as a single object," He smiled at the looks the teens were giving him. "We'll work on that later, but now can any of you tell me the single most important weapon you have in a fight?"

"Your wand," Harry offered as he held up his.

"Good guess, but no; the single most important thing you have in a fight is your mind," Lupin replied as he tapped his head with a finger.

"Or foot," Gabrielle smirked as she glanced at Harry who smiled back.

Remus nodded at the melting ice chunks next to the wall. "Every Death Eater you face will know how to create water and freeze it, but most would never think of using those spells that creatively. The same goes for many of the spells you'll be taught. The key is to use them in a fashion no one can anticipate. Of course your magical abilities and endurance are also critical but intelligence and creativity will usually mark the winner between two similar opponents."

"I guess summoning a rock from behind your opponent would qualify for something like that?" Harry said. "Marl showed us that one and I used it when I was trying to escape."

"Exactly," Remus replied. "You must also consider what your opponent might do as well, though from experience I can say that Death Eaters rarely use creative attacks or defenses. I would caution thought to not always presume that will be the case. Carelessness or underestimating your enemy will only get you killed or captured."

The lesson continued for the next hour. The bonded made short work of mastering the freezing spell and they spent a good bit of time discussing more creative ways to use the spell in a fight.

"You could freeze water around someone's feet. Zey can't block a freezing charm not headed for zem and if they're already standing in ze water it would freeze zeir shoes to ze ground."

"Water and ice on their cloaks would definitely weigh them down."

"Just remember that if you freeze the ground, you might be affecting your own ability to fight."

"Okay, excellent job and I think you can see how creativity can help in a fight. Now let's get into wards and ward detection," Remus said later when he looked at his watch and saw what time it was. "It's critical in a battle to know what wards are up around you. Can you apparate? Portkey? What about you own wards, are they still up? If you think you've set anti-apparation wards and your opponent apparates behind you, you're dead. During the rest of the summer we're going to discuss detecting wards as well as creating them. If we have time, and from seeing how quickly you four seem to learn, I believe we will, I'll teach you how to link wards to your own magic and/or objects that will tell you if the wards are tampered with or taken down," Now let's start with a simple detection spell. The incantation is..."

It was late in the afternoon when Apolline stepped out onto the patio. "Excusez-moi, but Professor Berceau 'as arrived."

"Tell 'er we'll be right in," Fleur replied before she turned to Remus. "Excuse us Remus. We 'ave been waiting for 'er."

"What is she teaching you?"

"Nothing. Professor Berceau is ze Veela bond expert who 'elped us get bonded," Fleur explained. "We 'ave a few questions for 'er."

"Well in that case I'll be back tomorrow."

"Non, stay for dinner," Fleur said. "I'm sure Sirius will be glad to see you."

"Where is the old dog? I thought he'd be out here heckling us," Remus asked.

"E left right before our apparation lesson, saying 'e'd be back for dinner."

"I presume that means he went to Marseilles again?" Moony asked with a smirk. "I still need to meet that lady."

"Aunt Berdine is a wonderful person," Fleur assured him. "So, will you stay for dinner?"

"I'd be glad to," Remus replied. "I'll go find Alain. There are a few things I wanted to discuss with him anyway."

A few minutes later the bondmates had showered and changed from their sweaty clothes. They found Professor Berceau and Apolline sitting in the salon drinking ice drinks.

"If it isn't my favorite quaternary bond?" Rachelle said with a smile with they came into the room. "Of course you are also the only four person bond that I know of so that makes it very simple to say. Now may I ask how your relationship is going?"

"We couldn't be better," Harry replied.

Professor Berceau inclined her head in a nod as she continued to smile. "Well I'm glad to see you all are very happy," She looked directly at Hermione. "Now Miss Granger, your letter mentioned you have developed Veela powers? You can change your hair as Veela do and you are healing?"

"Yes Ma'am. My fingernails and toenails...well everything that seems to be what Fleur called the power of beauty," Hermione answered.

Rachelle's eyes lit up at Hermione's words. "It's been documented before, but never to this extent and it was never explained then. Of course I've never seen it," As she reached into a bag she asked. "Can I see? Start with your hair." She pulled a book out of the bag and while Hermione made her hair change she thumbed to a page. "Excellent," She said when the hair change was complete. "Now tell me about the other things."

"I had blisters from a long run and they healed quickly," Hermione explained. "And my fingernails. I've always bit my fingernails, but see..." she held out her hand and displayed the even nails.

Rachelle examined the young witch's hand and then went back to her book. "Yes, here it is. There was a previous case in Bulgaria but she never developed the ability to change her hair, but her toenails and fingernails stayed perfect," She murmured aloud. Rachelle looked up and realized the teens were still standing. "Oh, sorry please sit down and maybe we can shed some light on the subject."

Harry sat on the sofa with Hermione sitting beside him closest to Professor Berceau and Fleur on his other side. Gabrielle sat down in a chair beside Fleur.

"Now, you must understand that a non-veela woman bonding is very unusual in itself. Only two that I know of in the last ten years," Rachelle said in a professorial tone. "So the population of potential people having this happen to them isn't very large. Now add the incredible uniqueness of your bond, I mean your youth...oh that reminds me," Rachelle closed her book and looked at the youngest member of the bond. "Gabrielle you are definitely the youngest Veela to ever bond."

Gabrielle shrugged. "Eet does not matter. Eet only matters zat I'm bonded to 'Arry."

"True, but I thought you'd want to know. It will become official when you announce the bond. Now as I was saying, your bond is truly unique, outside of the youth and the non-veela participant, there was also the simultaneous bonding, the problems of the bonding and of course the original circumstances of the bond initiation," Rachelle's eyes glanced toward Fleur and Gabrielle with the last statement.

"E loves us now," Gabrielle said excitedly. "E truly loves us. 'E told me on my birthday."

Rachelle's eyes moved to Harry then back to Gabrielle. "Really? I'm very glad to hear it of course."

"We're even engaged," Gabrielle held up her left hand to show the diamond ring that was on her finger.

The Veela expert saw the ring on Gabrielle's finger as well as Hermione and Fleur's. She smiled at Harry. "Well Monsieur Potter, you do work fast. I am happy for all of you that the bonding has worked so well. I can see you all are very happy. I have to admit though; I am not surprised by the love, not after viewing your bondimage."

"What do you mean?" Harry asked suspiciously as he was immediately on alert to what was in his bondimage.

"Your love Harry," Professor Berceau explained in a soft voice. "The amount of love you possess is beyond anything I have come across. I mentioned it at the time I originally witnessed the bondimage. In all of my research I have never come across that much love from an individual," She looked over at Hermione. "I also think it might also explain your powers, though I can't really explain why."

"What? How?"

"First I have a question for you about your hair Hermione. Did you like it the way it was? I see you are definitely wearing it differently than you did."

"No...not really," Hermione admitted as her hand brushed back a few strands of hair subconsciously.

"I presume you liked the way Fleur and Gabrielle could manipulate their hair as well as this latest thing, with the healing and beauty?"

"Of course, but I don't think I was jealous of them. Not really anyway."

Rachelle turned to Harry, "And Harry did you know Hermione didn't like her hair?"

Harry shrugged. "I knew she thought it was a pain, but I've never minded it. I thought she was beautiful long before she could change her hair. What does that have to do with anything?"

"It gives a second possibility I think," Rachelle replied. "Let me see if I can explain. What is the Veela bond made of?"

"Love," Fleur answered at once.

"Yes, and I think somehow Harry's love is causing the changes in Hermione."

"WHAT?" Hermione gasped.

"Wait," Rachelle put up her hand. "Let me explain my possible theories of how or why it happened or is happening," She paused as she noticed all the bondmates now entirely engrossed in what she was saying. "One of the possibilities is that it all happened at the beginning of the bonding. Harry was truly only in love with Hermione at the time, am I right?"

"Oui," Fleur replied. She felt pressure on her hand as Harry squeezed it as well as a wave of love from him as well.

"I love you now my flower."

"I know," Fleur replied as she looked down at her hand and the ring on her finger as she sent a wave of her own love back to him over the bond.

"Again I am very happy it is otherwise now," Rachelle continued, "but at the time think of what was happening at the moment of bonding. There was all of this Veela magic coming from not one, but two Veelas participating in the bond as well as the magic from the two Veelas who assisted Hermione into the bondimage. Now it is possible a...a backlash is a good word, a backlash of that Veela magic rode the overabundance of love from Harry into you Hermione. That much love all focused on one person might possibly cause something like this; especially with the Veela magic trying to protect your minds."

"But we all felt 'is love. We knew it was for 'Ermione, but we all felt it."

"Yes, but you were already Veela, so if the magic was there in his love it couldn't affect you."

"What is the other possibility?" Hermione asked.

"The other possibility is why I asked Harry if he knew you didn't like you hair," Rachelle explained. "It is possible the actual power of his love is somehow giving you what you want by duplicating the Veela powers into you. I admit it's still beyond me how it could happen but sometimes love and magic can do strange things."

"Do you mean it's possible he's been stealing Fleur and Gabrielle's power for me?" Hermione asked.

"No, nothing like that. Well I don't think so, not unless they have noticed a difference," She glanced at the Delacour sisters who shook their heads. "Nor, of course, is he consciously doing it, but somehow his love might be replicating the Veela abilities in you," Rachelle shrugged her shoulders. "I don't really know how it's happening, but those are my best educated guesses at the moment. If possible I would like you to come to Veela Magical sometime in the future and allow me to examine this further."

"Sure, but we're supposed to go back to England soon for a short..." Hermione stopped as her eyes flew open wide. "Love...Harry's magic," She exclaimed as she looked at Fleur. "It's love based, could that be how? I mean a love-based bond interacting with a love-based magic?"

"What?" The Veela Professor asked. "Love-based magic? What do you mean?"

"Uh..." Hermione stammered trying to figure out if she should tell the professor about Harry's magic. Finally she shrugged. "Just something we discovered. It seems Harry can tap into more power when he's protecting someone he loves," She finally answered. "But it's something we don't really want to have mentioned. Don't want more people threatening us just to test Harry," She quickly added in hopes of keeping the information away from Voldemort.

"Really?" Rachelle's eyes sparkled in amazement. "Can you give me examples..."

She was interrupted by an elf which appeared by Apolline's side and told her dinner was ready to be served.

"Ow about you join us for dinner Rachelle," Madam Delacour said with a smile. "We can discuss zis afterwards."

"If you don't mind, I'd love to," Professor Berceau replied. "I want to hear more of this magic."

"After dinner, I must insist," Apolline said as she led the group toward the smaller dining room.

Alain was already seated at the dining room table discussing something with Remus when they entered the dining room.

"Where's Sirius?" Harry asked.

"Don't know," Remus replied. "I guess he's running late."

"Remus 'ave you met Professor Berceau?" Apolline said.

"No, I definitely haven't had the honor," Remus said as he rose from the table. "Madame," He said as he looked at the half Veela Professor.

"Zen Remus Lupin zis is Professor Rachelle Berceau of the Veela Magical Institute. Rachelle, Remus Lupin."

Remus took her offered hand. "Bonsoir, Professeur. Je suis heureux de faire votre connaissance."

"I am pleased to meet you as well Monsieur Lupin," Rachelle replied as she gave Remus a warm smile. Being half Veela she appreciated the control he displayed but as she studied him, she realized why.

"Please call me Remus; I understand you were the one who helped in the bond?" Remus inquired as he waited for Rachelle to take a seat before returning to his own chair. "I am an old friend of Harry's father and Harry means a lot to me, so the help was definitely appreciated."

"I'm just glad my expertise allowed a positive outcome. Love is something that should be rewarded."

"Remus is a professor as well," Hermione said.

"Really? What do you teach?" Rachelle asked Lupin with enthusiasm. "And where?"

"I'm not, not really or at least not anymore. It was only for a year," Remus explained shyly. "Hogwarts needed a Defense Instructor and I volunteered to help out. That's all."

"He was the best one we've had," Harry added.

"Did you not find teaching enjoyable?" Professor Berceau asked in genuine curiosity.

"I did enjoy it, but I...I had other reasons for leaving," Lupin said in a quiet voice.

"Because you have Lycanthropy?" Rachelle queried.

"Uh...yes," Remus replied but the tone of his voice and the look that appeared in his eyes were both troubled.

"I'm sorry; I did not mean to upset you, but all the signs are there," Rachelle replied. "Is that subject taboo?"

"No...no it's fine," Lupin assured Rachelle. "I'm still getting used to…to well people accepting it."

"In this household I doubt you would ever have that problem and definitely not from me."

"That is very kind," Remus replied. "Alain has been very kind as well but still..."

"You think a Veela or even part Veela could ever think badly of a werewolf? Come now Remus. Get me upset and I can do my own scratching with talons," Rachelle said in a playful manner as she clawed the air in front of Lupin. The troubled expression returned to Lupin's face and Rachelle immediately regretted her words. She placed a soft hand over his before she said. "I'm truly sorry if I touched on a sore spot. I just wanted you to see that I have no problems with being friends with a werewolf. Each of us are who we are."

"Thank you," Remus replied.

"You're welcome," Rachelle said and gave his hand a warm squeeze before releasing it.

"Remus is currently in charge of ze Werewolf liaison office at ze Ministry," Alain said to move the subject along. "We are fortunate to be able to steal 'is talents from ze English."

"I just got started, but I'm trying," Remus replied.

"I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job," Rachelle said. "And I now know who I can call upon if I need help in that area or maybe if I have a question about defense?"

"Anytime," Remus replied honestly.

Just then the elves started appearing and putting dishes on the table.

"Hey are we late?" Sirius asked as he walked into the dining room. Behind him Bernadette was smiling as she came into the room. "Moony! Good to see you. I mean it's been two whole days," Sirius closed the distance to his old friend who had stood up. He took his hand and pulled the werewolf into a hug.

"So is this the woman?" Remus asked as Bernadette came up beside Sirius.

"Remus Lupin, let me introduce you to Bernadette Blanche."

"You're kidding right?" Lupin asked immediately.

"No, why would you say that?" Padfoot asked in a confused tone as he looked from his old friend to Bernadette.

Remus ignored Sirius and addressed Bernadette. "Madame, my apologies. It's just the coincidence of the names surprised me. I thought for sure Padfoot was pulling my tail, figuratively at least."

"What about her name?" Sirius asked curiously as his eyes still showed confusion as they traveled from Lupin to Bernadette.

"You were supposed to have studied those French books as well," Remus said to his friend. "Don't you know what Blanche means in English?"

"Uh...not really," Sirius admitted.

"Eet means ze colour white," Bernadette replied as she came up beside Sirius and put her arm through his.

"White? To my Black? Why didn't you say something?" Sirius asked her.

"I didn't want to be...presumptuous," Berdine admitted as she raised an eyebrow. She reached her free hand out to Remus. "Eet is my pleasure to finally meet ze man 'oo Sirius speaks of so 'ighly."

"And you," Lupin replied and lifted her hand to his lips. "You must be someone of exceptional patience if you can find yourself in the mangy mutt's company for very long."

"Oh, I've found 'im to be quite charming," Bernadette replied as she glanced at Sirius.

"Berdine, 'ow nice to see you," Apolline said. "We 'ad just started dinner, but with Remus and Rachelle, I'm afraid we will need to move to ze formal dining room."

"Zat's fine," Bernadette replied as she waved Apolline back to her seat. "You eat, we can go elsewhere."

"Nonsense, ze elves will take care of it in no time."

"Sirius, have you met Professor Berceau?" Remus asked as he motioned to the other woman at the table.

"Actually yes," Sirius replied with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. "But not officially and she'll definitely not remember me."

"We've met before? I don't remember it."

"And I thought we had something special. I mean you even tossed me a biscuit," Sirius said feigning sadness before he turned and winked at Berdine.

"You really do like to tease don't you?" Bernadette asked. "Show ze poor woman already before I 'ex you."

"Promise?" Sirius grinned but then he turned to Rachelle and morphed into Padfoot.

"L'Animagus?" Rachelle was startled enough that her normally perfect English reverted to her native French. "You were the dog that was always around at the bonding. Harry's dog."

"WOOF!" Padfoot replied before transforming back and holding out his hand. "I'm Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, just in case they haven't told you. I couldn't tell you who I was at the time because I was the most sought after man in the country and I don't mean in a good way."

"Well it is a pleasure now to meet you Mister Black."

"Don't…" Harry started but it was too late.

"Seriously you must call me Sirius," Padfoot replied.

Harry and other teens groaned. "It gets old Sirius, it really does get old."

The laughter coursed through the people as they moved to the formal dining room. The elves quickly arranged the dishes and started serving the food. Dinner progressed through an appetizer of Duck Foie gras, followed by a vegetable soup. The main course was a curry chicken dish with peas and mushrooms served over a bed of rice. When it was completed, several cheeses along with fresh bread were placed on the table with small plates and several bottles of wine.

After the final dishes were cleared, Rachelle returned to the subject of Harry. "Now I was promised a tale of the power of love in a more literal sense I do believe? Tell me about this magical ability Harry has."

"Are we talking about when he saved my life?" Sirius asked and at Hermione's nod he continued. "Well then let me tell you how the young man saved my soul," He went on to describe the rescue without mentioning the time turner only saying he was the only person under attack from the Dementors when Harry and Hermione came to the rescue.

"Zen in ze Triwizard tournament," Fleur said. "I was under attack by an Acromantula when 'Arry killed it," She went on to describe the entire event.

Rachelle Berceau left about an hour later promising to continue her research and again insisting the bondmates call upon her anytime they had any questions or if any other unusual aspects of the bond crop up.

*** July 21st 1995 ***

The next morning Hedwig had returned with several letters.

"Zis one is from Ginny," Gabrielle said excitedly as she started to open it.

"I've got Luna's reply," Hermione added as she took another of the letters.

Harry saw the familiar scrawl of handwriting on the next letter and sighed. "Ron. I wonder what he wants."

"Ginny's brother ees going to teach Defense zis year," Gabrielle said out loud as she read the letter.

"Which one? Surely Dumbledore wouldn't have hired Percy?"

"Non, Percy is doing Monsieur Weasley's old job. Eet is going to be Bill," Gabrielle said. "She also says thanks for ze galleons and again expressed zat we shouldn't 'ave."

"Bill?" Harry asked as his eyes went to Fleur.

"You aren't worried are you love?" Fleur asked teasingly. "Even though he is handsome, you know my love is only for you."

"I know, but he seems to like you," Harry said.

"Well 'e will be very disappointed won't 'e?" Fleur asked as she leaned toward her bondmate and kissed him. "E can just be jealous of you. Zat is what you wanted before ze third task was it not?"

Harry returned the kiss before replying. "Maybe," Harry admitted. "But he's going to be teaching us Defense, you do know he'll be able to hex me as he wants don't you?"

"You will learn faster non?" Fleur's answered with her eyes twinkling merrily.

"I love you too."

"I know."

""Ginny also says zat 'er mother is definitely ready to apologize. She's been telling everyone 'ow wrong she was," Gabrielle said interrupting the eye contact between Harry and Fleur. "She's even told Ron 'e better apologize as well."

"I'll believe it when I hear the apology," Harry muttered. "But I really hope she and Ron are ready."

"Luna says her father is holding the next edition of the Quibbler in hopes we can get them information on...can you believe this? He is holding it not for our bonding announcement, but he thinks the duck-billed Platypus must be a magical construct and wants more information on it," Hermione looked up at the rest of the teens."But he'll be glad to run our story at the same time."

"Zen you better get Luna ze information you promised 'er," Fleur replied with a laugh.

"Skeeter has already contacted them as well."

"I almost feel sorry for Rita for having to be second to a platypus," Harry smirked. "Almost but not quite."

"It's not her; it's us playing second to it," Hermione replied. "Anyway, Luna's father told Rita he wasn't going to pay her for our story."

"Good," Harry replied.

"She'll still sell our story to other magazines as well," Fleur said. "We told 'er she could sell ze follow up story to Witch Weekly. Once ze original bonding story gets out, she'll make a fortune with our stories."

"I know and that's fine," Hermione replied. "Though I'm not happy about the whole bio thing on us."

"I prefer for us to control what is written zan 'aving information made up," Fleur replied with a shrug. "You've come a long way in your thoughts on Skeeter 'Ermione."

"I still don't like her, but you were right. She has proven to be very useful as an ally."

"As long as you never trust 'er."

"That definitely goes without saying. Oh, Luna also mentioned Neville. They have visited each other several times it seems. He even brought her some new plants."

"Zat's good," Gabrielle said. "I like Neville and 'e won't say things to 'urt Luna."

"I agree. Remember him trying to stop us when we went after the stone?" Hermione asked Harry.

"Yeah and I also remember who put him in a full body bind."

"I didn't want to do it, but I had to."

"And you even apologized when you did it, I know," Harry smirked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and looked back at the letter. "Anyway, Luna wanted to remind us that Neville's birthday is the thirtieth. It seems he gets very little attention and would like to see if we would get him presents."

"Definitely," Harry replied instantly as he remembered his mother's words about Neville.

"Luna suggested books on plants or possibly even unusual plants themselves."

"Those are excellent ideas," Harry replied. He looked at Gabrielle, "He was the one who suggested the type of flower for your birthday."

"It was beautiful."

"It was for a very beautiful woman."

"What did Ron say?" Hermione queried as she motioned toward the unopened letter in Harry's hand.

"Do I want to read this?" Harry asked as looked at the envelope in his hand. He sighed as he opened the flap and removed the letter. He looked at his bondmates and then started reading it out loud.


Mate, I heard you and that Veela are getting the Order of Merlin next week. You know that comes with a few galleons don't you? You are so lucky. Speaking of galleons, thanks for giving Ginny and me the money. I guess it was only fair though. Mum and Dad told us about it last week. Guess what? They said I could buy a new broom before I go back to school.

Mum says you're coming the day before the award ceremony and you'll be staying here. Look Harry, I know we didn't end the year as friends but I've been thinking.

Hermione snorted. "Ron's been thinking?"

Harry tried to contain the smile that threatened to escape as he continued to read.

I know what the problem was and I have a plan but I can't say what it is in this letter. I'll tell it to you next week.

Mum also says Hermione is there, so tell her I said hi but don't say anything to her about the plan.

See you next week,


Harry's eyes lifted from the letter and met Hermione's. "What do you think?"

"Well there wasn't an apology in there but he's been our friend so we have to listen to him. I am curious about this plan of his I'm not supposed to know about," Hermione said. "I'm also not happy he called Fleur 'that Veela' again.

"I know and I agree. Wonder what he'll think of you?" Harry asked. "My Veela chick," He raised his eyebrows at her.

"Keep that up and you'll have a very cold bed tonight," Hermione replied as she gently shoved her bondmate's shoulder. "As for Ron, we'll have to see, but truthfully," she shrugged. "I really don't care what he thinks about me."

"I won't let him insult any of you," Harry said determinedly as his eyes went from one bondmate to the next.

Rita Skeeter's letter arrived the next day saying that Dumbledore had suggested the interviews occur at the Ministry immediately after the award ceremony.

"As Alain had already suggested as well," Hermione said as she read the letter. "She'll probably want to know about the awards anyway. We'll be able to cover all of it in that one interview."

"I will start making ze arrangements with Alain's staff person in charge of media releases to coordinate your announcement with ze French newspapers," Apolline said when they mentioned it to her later at breakfast. "Zey will want pictures of course and since you will be leaving in two days, we need to do zose tomorrow."

"Well I wanted pictures of us together," Harry said. "But I really dread them being in the newspapers."

"Oui, but I know ze photographer. 'E is very good," Apolline explained. "We can also send zose pictures with you for ze English articles."

"Good, I don't trust Skeeter's photographer," Hermione replied.

"What about the Eiffel Tower before we go?" Harry asked.

Apolline looked away for a second before answering. "Non, ze Tour de France is ending tomorrow in Paris. Tonight and tomorrow ze streets of Paris will be filled with people."

"Tour de France?" Harry asked.

"It's a huge bicycle race," Hermione explained. "It lasts for weeks and covers over two thousand miles."

"Alain will make sure you 'ave you time in ze city when you get back," Apolline promised. "And I shall make sure Alain makes sure."

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