Author's Note: This is a standalone one-shot that started as a drabble and then kept growing, the idea demanding to be written. My attempt at a soul bond story. Veelas and Bonds, the tried and true classic of tropes. It was inspired by a prompt on the Flowerpot Discord server (discord．gg/Np2zjAH).
I'd like to give many thanks to the beta-readers, Astro Hawthorne, Emp (JuicyFruits), Ben , Umbrardor, Raphaël the Nameless, and x102reddragon. You guys are amazing,
Harry Potter was a strange boy, quiet when his peers were loud, withdrawn, while his cousin surrounded himself with friends. Where others would have reacted to his relatives' barbs, he just kept silent, looking mournful. Whoever had a good heart and looked in his eyes, beheld inexplicable sorrow. For as long as he could remember, Harry felt hollow, plagued by a yearning beyond words. Compared to the gaping hole in his very soul, what were the jeers and insults of the Dursleys?
And Harry dreamed.
He was a hunter, Crow's Flight his mother called him, and he was looking for food to feed his tribe. There was a fleeting flash of white in the trees. Predators? No. He peeled his eyes but found nothing.
Fleur Delacour was the apple of her father's eye, his beloved princess. Apolline adored her daughter, the fruit of her and her husband's love, a blessing after many years of trying. But they were worried. Their princess was withdrawn, the windows to her soul reflecting nothing but sorrow. Many times they tried talking to her, buying her gifts, taking her around the world, to see magnificent sights and erudite healers, yet nothing could truly move the quiet girl. She was incomplete, every day of her existence she suffered from the lack of warmth she knew was supposed to be by her side.
And Fleur dreamed.
Silver Blossom was watching the intruder in her glade. Carefully, and with grace, he moved, his startlingly green eyes, a shade richer than even the most magnificent forest canopy, scanned the horizon, looking for prey.
Even in school, Harry was an outcast, content to sit and be by himself. Whenever called on, he provided an answer, proving that his mind was sharp. During PE, he was fast. Nobody was better at dodgeball. No one could overcome his reflexes nor his aim. Though picked first in every sport, Harry still stood alone. None of those he met could fill the vacancy he felt.
And he dreamed.
Hadarth the Fast he was called and none dared intrude upon his territory, zealously guarded by the black-scaled drake. His fire had seared numerous challengers in the past. But now, the territory, rich in both shelter and prey, was his. A shade passed him, so he bent his sinuous neck and beheld a silvery silhouette, glittering in the morning sun. He unfurled his dark wings and with agility belying his size, the drake took flight.
Fleur was home-schooled. All her tutors remarked on her beauty, exceptional even for a Veela, on her sharp mind, an instinctive grasp of any matter they introduced to her, and on her aloof nature. She never sought out the company of her peers and spoke only after being directly addressed. Nothing seemed to truly interest her, her eyes looking for something only she could see, or perhaps even she knew not what she sought.
And Fleur dreamed.
Frikyth the Bright glided on the air currents, surveying the landscape beneath her glittering silver scales. She was young, graceful, fast and strong. Many males rose to challenge her, yet none could catch her during her mating flights. This territory looked abandoned. No other drakes seemed nearby, and prey was plentiful. Then, there was a shadow rising from the ground. With mighty beats of a pair of wings, dark as night, a drake was rising fast through the air. On his long neck an aggressive head, a pair of glowing, slit, green eyes taking in every detail about her.
Harry found out he was a wizard, told by Hagrid, the gentle giant. But even the revelation of magic, of his murdered parents, of an entire hidden world, wasn't enough to rouse him from his malaise. Though Hedwig was a faithful companion and despite fate having brought Ron, Hermione, and him together by dramatic means, Harry remained achingly alone.
And when he wasn't plagued by strange nightmares, Harry dreamed.
Jindřich, the village blacksmith's son, now an orphan and squire to a hedge knight, followed his master through thick and thin. The knight, Oldřich, proved a patient mentor and together they sought out adventure. Now, after dispersing a bandit gang, they were resting at a meadow. Oldřich sat smoking his pipe and Jindřich decided to explore a bit. Walking under the forest's canopy, he heard melodic singing, the voice surely resembling what an angel's voice should like. Finally, he found a spring and with it, the source of the heavenly song. A willowy figure with cascading silver-gold hair was bathing.
Fleur stood alone at Beauxbatons, continuing the trend from her homeschooling. No question asked of her went unanswered. She excelled at magic, yet all the students failed to elicit a reaction from the silent beauty. The school's majesty went overlooked because what she sought was much simpler yet so much more elegant. But it was nowhere in sight.
And so, Fleur dreamed.
Květoslava had always loved her forests, plants and animals alike, taking care to preserve its balance and keeping the peace between the forest and the humans from the nearby settlements. There was little she loved more than dancing in the meadows and bathing in the springs. The humans tended to be respectful, with the exception of the band of bandits that recently were plaguing their surroundings. But she recently heard that the band had been dispersed by a pair of courageous fighters. Perhaps she would find them and give them a present.
There was a rustle from the bank of the stream in which she was bathing. She turned around and there stood a young man, his hair resembling a blackbird's nest, his green eyes mirroring the surprise she felt.
Even surrounded by magic, and having made tentative friends, Harry stood apart from his peers. Silent unless spoken to, he excelled at magic. His phoenix feather wand, unlike its owner, seemed to sing freely. The charms it cast were a thing of beauty. The transfigurations sharp and precise. Though some tried to antagonize him, when they failed to get a reaction, they grew frustrated, eventually most leaving him alone. Only Malfoy persisted, yet whatever he tried, Harry came out on top.
It was only when he was sitting on a broom that a smile blossomed on his face when he felt the wind rushing against his face, often causing Harry to recall images of hillsides rushing along. His classmates noticed his talent and Harry found himself a seeker for Gryffindor. His focus on the snitch never wavered.
And still, Harry dreamed.
The Stag Lord, his coat of arms emblazoned on his shield and surcoat, stood tall, a tower of strength, inspiring his allies and compatriots so that their formation, bristling with spears, fortified with shields, held against the onslaught of the monsters. Vaguely resembling humans, the beasts, coloured black and crimson, surged forward, baying for blood. His formation held, exacting a bloody price for every assault of the blighter beasts. Still, there was no end in sight.
Horns, there were horns sounding, carried by the wind. As a great hammer, the strike of a wedge of heavy horse, banners flying, lances couched, hit the beasts, bringing much sought after relief to the Stag Lord's beleaguered formation. And on the banner leading the charge? A silver falcon carrying a lily in its talons on an azure field.
The years at Beauxbatons pass. Fleur is a model student. Magic comes naturally to her, but there is still a gulf between her and her peers. As she grows, her beauty attracts suitors. Many try to woo the searching beauty with haunted eyes, but none catch her eye. When jealous girls challenge her, Fleur demonstrates speed, reactions and reflexes that seasoned warriors would envy.
She stands alone, and dreams.
The Dame of Flowers led her formation forward, her banner flying in the wind. None knew where the Beasts had come from, only that they pillaged and did unspeakable things to any human or elf unfortunate enough to be caught. She'd been given leadership of her unit and sent to assist their valiant neighbours. Their pikemen and heavily armoured footmen held the line, bravely standing up to the merciless enemy. With a blare of horns, the Dame of Flowers commanded her formation to charge, she went to be the tip of the wedge, urging her steed forward, to relieve the battered formation led by a banner of a golden stag on a field of crimson.
Harry had earned a reputation over his years at Hogwarts, a silent child, accompanied by his two worried friends. While magic seemed to run in his veins, coming to him as easily as others breathe, he still spoke little, never seeking the company of others. Strange things keep happening around him. In his first year, when encountering the Mirror of Erised, he saw only a mist, a blue light, a shroud of feathers. Not even Professor Dumbledore could make sense of that.
When his friends convinced him to help Hagrid smuggle a baby dragon out of the castle, it took one caress of Harry's hand for the dragon to fall silent and close its eyes in contentment. Harry couldn't explain, he just knew where to pet, where to caress the little baby.
Again, it was his friends that convinced him to try to save the Philosopher's Stone. Professor Quirrell grew curious when he saw the quiet child facing him. At Voldemort's urging, Quirrell tried to kill the oddly behaving boy. Instead of freezing as a preteen should, Harry did his best to avoid Quirrell's attacks and fight back. And when his touch proved to be searing for Voldemort, without hesitation, Harry aimed for places to cause as much damage as possible, killing the man with his own hands.
The Heir of Slytherin releasing his monster on the school proved one of the only things to earn Harry's ire. While the size of the basilisk surprised him, Fawkes eagerly came to assist the boy so aptly wielding the wand with his feather. When the sword of Gryffindor's hilt fell into Harry's hand, it closed itself around the hilt as if caressing an old friend. Wielding the sword with an inexplicable familiarity, Harry, though wounded himself, slew Slytherin's beast. No amount of taunting, jeering, and, finally, begging from Riddle's shade could dissuade Harry from impaling the diary with the blade.
It was the dementors who had the most impact on Harry, causing him to faint, hearing nightmarish screams and sobs, various names being called out. Each of those sounds feeling like an arrow to his heart, transferring the terrible feeling of bereavement. After each such episode, Harry was morose, knowing in his heart of hearts the feeling of loss. Whatever he had been missing all his life, he now knew he had lost it time and again. As with all spells, the Patronus came to Harry as if he were merely remembering instead of learning. And finally, an elegant, hauntingly beautiful, impossibly gentle looking silver dragoness, as Harry instinctively knew her to be a she, flew over Hogwarts, chasing the dark shades away with a silent roar.
The Triwizard Tournament was announced in his fourth year of schooling. The school was buzzing in excitement and Harry was growing restless. The ever-present feeling of emptiness and longing, exacerbated by the still acute feeling of loss and accompanied by the strange dreams, of hunters, dragons, and knights, was growing even worse than usual.
The other schools' delegations were set to arrive later that day, but Harry truly just wished for the day to be over, hoping for one of his strange dreams, not one of the nightmares lingering with him since the Dementor attack last year. Now they stood outside the castle, arranged into rows and waiting in the chilly Scottish weather.
The first to appear were the witches and wizards from Durmstrang, departing an ancient looking ship, all seemingly grim and morose. Not even seeing Victor Krum could move Harry, could distract him from his thoughts.
Then the carriage of Beauxbatons arrived and landed with a mighty crack, drawn by mighty Abraxans. The doors opened and, after a moment, a flood of blue spilled from the carriage. Harry's headache worsened. While he could normally focus better than most, now he felt as if in a storm, an incessant thrumming in his ear making it seem as if he were surrounded by a whispering sea.
The students parted, ready to move into Hogwarts' warm halls.
Ron tugged Harry's hand to follow him with Hermione frowning worriedly.
Harry shook his head in a vain attempt to clear it, glimpsing a painfully familiar shade of silvery gold.
Finally, all the students were gathered in the Great Hall.
As one of the best in her year, Fleur was chosen to represent her school in the tournament. The arrival was unpleasantly cold, and she could not shake off the sudden feeling of restlessness as she watched the Hogwarts students part before the delegation like a black sea. She was ushered inside, the only sight truly worth remembering was a pair of hauntingly familiar eyes, greener than a forest's canopy, lonely, haunted, mirroring her own.
In the Great Hall, Fleur shocked her classmates by showing initiative, as she approached the Gryffindor table, standing to address the owner of the eyes so different, yet so similar to her own.
"Excusez-moi, can I sit here, please?"
And Hogwarts' populace was surprised to see the quiet young man smiling for the first time and freeing a space for the enigmatic French beauty to sit. Unknown to all, old dreams surfaced in both of their minds.
After many days watching the young, wary hunter, Silver Blossom decided to sate her curiosity and approached him. Crow's Flight reacted with relief, knowing now the origin of the silvery shade that had been stalking him for days. Their first true meeting went peacefully as they exchanged names and agreed to meet again, the young, predatory Veela and the youthful human hunter.
Many times they met under the trees, on river banks, sitting on cliffs, sharing food and tales. Their clans grew alarmed at their frequent absences, but both Crow's Flight and Silver Blossom could not part for long. She longed for his gentle gaze, turning soft as she ran her clawed fingers through his messy hair. He yearned to hear her divine voice, conjuring unheard before melodies as he held her in his arms.
The air grew tense as the two drakes watched each other, both peak examples of their lines, boasting powerful sires and dames. Frikyth the Bright rolled in the air and stopped in place, her slit silvery eyes able to see the details of every scale on Hadarth the Fast's body. He, in turn, produced an impressive burst of speed and now faced the young female in the air.
The pheromones both of them produced were in the air, both were young, strong and healthy and the territory was large with beasts of prey aplenty. The drakes both roared, a denial of challenge, and each departed on a hunt. They would both need their strength soon.
Květoslava smiled at Jindřich and asked the handsome young man to wait a moment. She dried herself off and donned her flowing white dress. Jindřich proved to be shy, and she found him adorable. Together they walked around the wood, her showing him the various plants and animals and he watching the vision of beauty excitedly, animatedly talk, as he listened intently. Then it was his turn and he spoke of his life, of his losses, and of meeting Oldřich; travelling around on their many adventures. Her excited clapping, gasps and laughter brought a smile to Jindřich's face. He was getting lost in her glimmering, silvery blue eyes.
The battle was done, the beasts routed. Though they had paid a heavy price in lives and blood, fortune stood with the Stag Lord and the Dame of Flowers, for they stood under their own power, tired but neither injured. Now they stood facing one other, he clad in mail and surcoat, a golden stag proudly rising on a field of crimson, his handsome, scarred face no longer obscured by the greathelm crowned with antlers. Though clearly exhausted, the man's green eyes shone with the calculating gleam of a sharp mind. Now he was looking gratefully at the slender figure clad in silvery armour hewn as if crafted from leaves of the forest. Clearly an elf, as was confirmed when the Dame of Flowers removed her helmet and a silvery golden cascade spilled out, revealing a pair of pointed ears and sharp, silvery blue eyes.
Though surrounded by a field of battle and the smell of blood, ages seemed to pass in the moment their eyes met. No words were necessary, and with a short nod, the two leaders returned to their people. They would meet again under better circumstances.
French and Brits alike watched in silence as the odd pair kept smiling at each as they sat and ate. Their eyes, usually haunted and sad, were now dancing with mirth, their smiles lighting up the room as they exchanged whispered words. Polite phrases, little jokes flew rapidly between the pair. Ron and Hermione, by now well used to their brave, quiet friend, exchanged surprised looks before smiling softly at each other. It looked like their friend's long quest, searching for the unknown thing missing in his heart, had made a huge leap forward.
When the Goblet of Fire was brought forward and all the others began excitedly chattering, Harry and Fleur still had eyes only for each other. At Harry's subtle gesture, pointing at the Goblet, Fleur nodded. No worries bothered either of them.
Over the next day, whenever they had a free moment, Harry and Fleur sought each other out, walking around the castle and even finding their way to the castle grounds. Soon they were sitting near the lake, leaning against the trunk of an old tree, making it look like its branches were arranged protectively around the pair.
And that night, both went to sleep with a smile. And dreamed.
Crow's Flight, after many days of worrying his clan with his long absences, finally brought Silver Blossom to see his people and family. Many gawked at her silvery plumage, her wings caused nearly all to watch her in awe. Still, Crow's Flight's mother proved a formidable woman and she watched the young Veela carefully. All the menfolk were asked to leave as Crow's Flight's mother, aunts, sisters and cousins gathered in a circle around Silver Blossom.
The deliberation was long, yet he needn't have worried. The womenfolk welcomed Silver Blossom among them, they approved of her and welcomed her to the family.
Now it was his turn to follow his love. The Veela settlement was well hidden, without being led by his hand, he would never have found it. It was a curious mix of feathered, winged females and human males. No male went unattended and many single Veela watched him with hungry eyes.
Being prodded, poked, and questioned by all the mothers in the settlement proved a bizarre experience, he was touched when none but his mother touched him before.
Yet he withstood this ordeal and was released, only to be immediately caught in Silver Blossom's embrace. Their relationship received blessings from both tribes.
The time to choose the Champions has come. All occupants of the Great Hall were waiting with bated breath and watching the flames dancing along the rim of the Goblet. All bar two. Harry had only eyes for Fleur, focusing on their whispered conversation. And Fleur, although meant to represent her school in the contest, also ignored all but the young man sitting next to her.
After years of feeling empty and cold, of looking, seeking and never succeeding, she felt a warmth fill her heart. Now if only the rude people around her stopped trying to interrupt her conversation with Harry. Twice now she had ignored somebody trying to jump into their conversation.
With a jerk, she jumped up a bit upon being called on by her Headmistress. She had been chosen as a champion? Her apology to Harry was cut short by his understanding smile and so she went, ignoring the whispers of her classmates. She was not worried, none of them could overcome her spells.
A surly Durmstrang student was already waiting in the antechamber and his silence suited her just fine. In a moment they were joined by a rather plain looking Hogwarts student and in another minute, there was an outcry in the Great Hall.
Soon enough, the doors to the antechamber burst open and the Hogwarts Headmaster was ushering in another student. Harry?
Her Headmistress and the goatlike Headmaster of Durmstrang followed and with them a rather rotund official accompanied by a man with perhaps the straightest mustache she had ever seen.
They were shouting, accusing her Harry of cheating his way in.
"Impossible. 'Arry cannot compete, 'e is too young!" She cried out in concern, shooting Harry a worried look. She was assured by his quick smile, he understood her concern!
Yet her protestations were in vain. All seemed determined to make Harry compete. The scarred professor's words sent a chill down her spine. Somebody wished to hurt her Harry?
That wouldn't do. Not at all.
That night, though worried, both Harry and Fleur dreamed.
Hadarth the Fast easily located Frikyth the Bright's lair. The pheromones led him there as if he were following a clear trail. Clutched in his talons were several large rocks, each round and each having the ideal properties for building a nest, retaining heat for a long time.
He was welcomed by a loud roar. Frikyth the Bright was ostentatiously stretching her wings, swishing her tail and craning her neck, eagerly displaying her agility, speed and ferocious talons and fangs.
It was an instinctual display as much as acting she had learned by watching her mother. She presented herself as young, strong, and healthy, a worthy mate.
The rocks were gently lowered to the ground and offered to her in an age-old ritual of the male bringing a nesting gift to the female. She sniffed and prodded them and rose to her powerful feet. Splaying her wings in a challenge, she took to the air defiantly, daring him to follow her.
The time of the First Task was upon them. Both had found out the details beforehand and it filled them both with revulsion. Stealing an egg from a nesting mother dragon simply felt wrong to both of them. The other students talked and whispered, pointed at them and fed the rumour mill, but Fleur paid them no mind, seeking out Harry much like before.
However, instead of idle chatting and companionable silence, both were now focused, preparing for a task they both hated. In their short time together they had scoured the books in the Hogwarts Library, expanding their repertoire. When they weren't studying, they practiced. Their mock duels would shock seasoned aurors with their fierceness, both duelists fighting like seasoned veterans.
They had been gathered in a tent with the other two competitors, and none of them reacted to the official revelation of their task. The crowds gathered outside, sitting in stands surrounding the arena, were loud, roaring and cheering. In contrast, the competitors were silent, each grimly watching the figurine representing their dragon.
Fleur went first and her heart went to the scared mother in front of her. She could see it in the squint of her eyes, the bent of her legs. Her wings were furled to protect her unhatched young. She opened her mouth and started singing. It was a soothing song, one she knew would calm the frightened dragon mother down. With a few subtle spells, she made sure that her melodious voice made it to the dragon's nest.
The audience grew silent, taken aback by what they were witness to. Nobody knew the song nor the words if there even were any. Yet the song spoke to all of them, a promise of peace, safety, warmth. Many remembered the times in their mothers' arms
The young mother watched carefully the two-legs standing in front of her, the one from whom came the song of comfort and safety. She knew she stood above her nest, her young. But the memories of her own mother shielding her with her mighty wings, crooning to her to calm her and make her sleep, pervaded her mind. Perhaps she was safe here. Her children would come to no harm. And she was tired. How could she protect her young when tired. Yes, she could sleep for now…
With careful, deliberate steps, Fleur approached the nest, never once interrupting her comforting song. The golden egg, an intruder in the mother's nest, was easy to remove and Fleur found her way to the medical tent. What worried her the most was what awaited Harry.
He was welcomed by a loud roar. As soon as he entered the arena, he beheld the female in the middle, crouched over a nest where his goal lay. The din of the crowd watching the spectacle seemed to blur into mere background noise as Harry focused on the dragon standing in his way.
Hogwarts was his home, he had lived here for years and this stranger dared roar out a challenge? To him? Pointing his wand at his throat, Harry released a ferocious roar of his own. The crowds grew silent. After the French champion's performance, they were curious what Harry would do. They felt an instinctive shiver, a chill down their spine. There were two apex predators in the arena now.
The female released a torrent of fire but it failed to reach Harry. He answered her with another roar and aimed his wand at a boulder near her left flank. It burst into pebbles with a deafening boom. The shocked dragoness swivelled her head on her long neck to the new crater and Harry stepped forward.
She swiftly returned her attention to him and Harry, this time pointing the wand at his mouth, breathed a cone of flame of his own. This time, there was contact. The female shrieked as her nose got singed, the intense heat enough to damage her scales. A challenging roar from the male followed and another torrent of fire.
Confused, the female took a step back, not expecting to be issued a challenge for territory. But those were eggs! She spread her wings to seem more impressive and breathed fire again. It made contact with a shimmering blue barrier in front of the two-leg and he answered with another focused cone of flame, this time singing her front left paw.
The audience watched in stunned shock as Harry Potter directly challenged the fiercest dragon known to man As one they tried to shrink down in their seats, all their instincts screaming at them to play dead, to avoid notice. To flee.
Step by step, roar by roar, Harry advanced, pushing the dragon to the edge of the arena. Finally, with one leg stepping on the edge of the nest, he roared one last time, but now, only a scared whimper answered him.
Unchallenged now, he bent down and took his tribute. Even as he turned his back to the Hungarian Horntail female, she merely cowered, all too happy to still have her nest and all of her actual young.
The following night, many inhabitants of the castle shivered in their beds, too afraid to sleep. Those who fell asleep were plagued by nightmares of being hunted by winged shadows.
And Harry and Fleur dreamed.
Jindřich introduced Květoslava to his master. The seasoned knight was overjoyed for his squire. Whenever they had time together, he taught Jindřich how to properly court a maiden, taught him to sing and compose rhymes. Seeing the young lovers progress in their relationship brought happiness to Oldřich's heart and light into his soul.
But one day, a distraught Květoslava told Jindřich of a new threat to both the forest and the people nearby. Tearfully she described the suffering caused by a newly arrived monster, a black, spectral hound with glowing red eyes. Many people, animals and forest spirits were mauled or killed by the slavering beast.
And so the knight and the squire went on another adventure, tracking down the beast. The trek was long and were it not for Jindřich's newfound knowledge of the forest, the beast would have ambushed them. Even then the fight was arduous and exhausting. Wounded, bleeding and bruised, they returned triumphant, however, having slain the enormous spectral hound.
Upon their return they were welcomed by a joyous call from the beauteous Víla, who had spent the last few days worrying she would have to mourn two brave souls, one of whom was dear to her heart.
Her embrace of Jindřich lasted long, as did their kiss. That evening, though hurting, Oldřich sang with joy as Jindřich asked Květoslava for her hand in marriage.
They were both given a wide berth after the first task, the dragon-whisperer and the dragon in human skin. Many other things they were called, but, as before, Harry and Fleur paid those no heed. When not in class, they spent their free time together, getting to know one another, teaching each other. But mostly they held hands or sat in each other's arms.
Nobody dared scold them for working on their eggs together. The message within did blackens both of their moods. They were determined to improve further, to make sure that whatever was taken from them, they would take it back. Charms, transfiguration, animation, curses, they absorbed whatever knowledge they could find, grim in their purpose and preparing to dive into the Black Lake.
The only true interlude was provided by the Yule Ball. As soon as it was announced, their eyes sought out each other, no words were needed. They attended together, ignoring the curious, scared and envious looks, lost in each other's presence. Their bodies moved together to steps none of them learned, moving perfectly in sync. That one late evening, seemingly lasting forever yet being all too short. They had to let each other go again.
Time flew fast as it often does and it was time for the Second Task. Gathered together and cold in their swimsuits, the four champions stood gathered on the pier. Each was lost in their thoughts, each found one person close to them to be missing. Fleur stepped in place, knowing that her sister depended on her. Harry knew that Hermione was at the bottom of the lake. And Krum and Diggory, too, were shooting murderous looks at the judges.
A cannon blast sounded and the champions dove in, each using magic of their choice and swam down. The environment of the lake, dark and cold, was deeply unpleasant to all four of them. They split up, each looking for their own way, the fastest way to their missing friends or relatives.
Fleur swam through a veritable jungle of plants, feeling numerous sets of eyes, glinting with malice, upon her. Wand in her arm, she faced the onslaught of Grindylows, her spells lancing out and piercing the diminutive figures. Sharp claws raked her back and as she twirled around, multiple hands grasped her legs.
Fierce spells came from behind her back, with unerring accuracy, the grindylows holding her were slain. A shadow swam closer to her and she felt Harry's strong arms stabilizing her. She patted his shoulder and stemmed her bleeding with a quick spell.
Together they found the merpeople village. The inhabitants there swiftly parting before them, sensing it would be unwise to try and stop these two. They untied their hostages and together, they ascended to the surface.
The audience were witness to a bloodied Fleur Delacour and Harry Potter emerging together from the depths, carrying Hermione Granger and Gabrielle Delacour. As soon as the hostages were in the Healer Matron's capable hands, the spectators were witness to Fleur grabbing Harry and planting a long kiss on him.
That night, Harry and Fleur, exhausted and cold, dreamed.
The fighting moved away from their lands. The hordes of beasts, much thinned, had dispersed and regrouped elsewhere. The Stag Lord, therefore, could meet the Dame of Flowers again, without an army at either of their backs. Their horses left with stable boys, the handsome Stag Lord gently held the strong yet soft hand of the Dame of Flowers as he guided her through an immaculately maintained garden and headed towards a gazebo.
Now in a comfortable shade, the young knight made sure the bench was clean before the lady at his side, in a flowing white dress, daintily sat down.
In the summer's sun rays, the young lord strummed a lute and his rich voice filled the gazebo, singing his admiration for the beautiful, brave lady gracing him with his presence. His words and passion moved the beautiful lady, for she put her hand on his arm and invited him to sit beside her.
Alone and together, the young couple sat, exchanging compliments and secrets, reciting poetry and sipping spiced wine. Only the birds in the garden bore witness to their secret kisses.
Hogwarts' most discussed couple stood before the hedge maze on the day of the Third Task. Ever since that day, since their first public kiss, people gossipped about them. The Hogwarts students murmured about the Veela seductress leading the previously quiet boy astray, preying on his youth when compared to her. Beauxbatons students pointed at him, accusing him of using dark magic to ensorcel the typically quiet, gentle beauty.
Despite all that, Harry and Fleur stood together, hand in hand, wands drawn. They walked, ate, and practiced together. The Delacour family had met Harry and joyfully welcomed him, elated that their daughter had finally found what she had been missing for so long.
In secret, Harry and Fleur agreed to test each other. This time, in this maze, they would see how one measured up to the other. On the blast of a cannon they both purposefully strode into the maze, waved at one another, and each took a different turn.
What awaited them were traps, surprises, riddles, and beasts. From giant skrewts to acromantulas, spectral hounds and cemetery demons, to meeting a friendly sphinx. In the end, it was merely a coincidence, they both had reached a clear way to the Cup, yet Harry was closer. It was his hand that grasped it.
As he was whisked away, the last Fleur saw of him was his surprised face. And while Fleur, devastated, shocked, screamed at the judges to find Harry, he had to face his fated foe in a desperate struggle for his life.
When Harry arrived at the portkey's destination, he was ambushed. He woke up tied to a tombstone, his blood used in a vile ritual to grant Voldemort a body again. The villain summoned his lackeys and spoke, boasted of beating death and of proving his undisputed might again.
Harry and Voldemort faced one another in a duel. While Voldemort fired the first curse, fast as an attacking snake, Harry movedlikes a seasoned warrior and his returning, angrily pulsing red curse met Voldemort's green.
A duel of wills followed the duel of magic. Voldemort, driven by base fear, struggled mightily, yet, in the end, he proved weaker than Harry and his desire to see his Flower again.
Guided by the apparitions of his parents, Harry fought his way to the portkey resting on the ground, leaving several Death Eaters crippled, weaving his way between spellfire, using the terrain to his advantage. A few Death Eaters fell to curses from their own compatriots as Harry instinctively used their superior numbers to his advantage.
His return to Hogwarts, however much he was looking forward to holding Fleur again, did not prove triumphant. The Minister for Magic, driven by his cowardice and greed, refused to believe Harry's tale.
In the end, the foreign visitors had to return and Harry and Fleur's goodbye was long, filled with hugs, tears and promises. With one last goodbye and a vow to see him again, Fleur let go of Harry, joining her classmates in the powder blue carriage.
Fleur kept her word, her promise, her bond. Not even a week into the summer, Privet Drive received a silvery blonde-haired visitor. Many heads turned when this beauty sought out the Dursley's unpopular nephew, dragged him into the shade of a nearby tree and settled into his embrace, her head on his shoulder.
The war lasted for years, much blood was spilled in one man's pursuit of power and immortality. The Death Eaters fought, killed, and fell for their master while the opposing forces, the Order of the Phoenix and many aurors and young students, fought to protect the innocents. Many were lost on both sides, Albus Dumbledore succumbed to a slow-acting curse. Severus Snape was found dead, killed by snake venom. The Malfoy family all perished in a cursed fire gone out of control. Sirius Black took his insane cousin with him to the afterlife. Many more fell, but even the fighting had to stop.
It was a time of rebuilding, of healing, and of reform. But for Harry, the most important event in his eyes were the upcoming nuptials to the love of his life. While they had been together for years, standing and fighting side by side, marriage was a new step for them both.
Harry, guided by the surviving Remus Lupin and his best male friend, Ron Weasley, watched enraptured as the vision of beauty that was Fleur Delacour in an elaborate white dress approached him and the wedding official.
Crow's Flight stood facing Silver Blossom in the sacred Oak grove. Her silvery plumage glistened in the sunlight, she looked even more glorious than usual. She was watching him intently, her mother and eldest sister behind them, just as his mother and father brought him.
"Give of yourself to me." Silver Blossom intoned. "And accept into yourself what I give of myself." Her taloned right hand rose to meet his outstretched arm.
He grasped her and nodded. "I accept what you give of yourself. Please take what I give freely of myself."
They moved closer together, both their arms encircling each other, his lips hungrily claiming hers, just as her wings closed around him.
"Marriage is a sacred vow," the official started, "a sacred promise. You swear to accept the other, you swear to hold them in your heart and to give of yourself freely.
The audience were raptly watching the ceremony while Hagrid tried to surreptitiously wipe away his tears.
Just as Frikyth the Bright rose to her mating flight, Hadarth the fast followed her into the air. Her teasing growl caused him to beat his wings with fervor just as she sharply turned left. Not deterred by such a simple manoeuvre, he adjusted his flight. She led him on a twisting chase, from near touching the treetops to closely following the slope of a mountain, he followed her, knowing she bent her neck left and right, watching him and teasing him with her show of teeth.
Finally, near the mountaintop, his wing brushed against hers. The flight changed now. Both drakes spiralled around each other, ever upwards, until, finally, they stopped their ascent. Their hind legs extended and they clasped each other's talons. Folding their wings, they went into a dazzling, dizzying free fall.
Just as they were about to hit the ground, they separated, each searing the ground in a different direction in celebration of their new union. After that, the newly mated pair headed to their now shared lair.
The official continued with his speech. "Marriage is not the end. Now, it is a new beginning. You start a new life together. The change may seem insignificant at first glance, yet it is deeply profound. What were separate individuals, is now a complete union.
Jindřich and Květoslava were immensely grateful to Oldřich for helping them organize their wedding. The local priest had a knowing twinkle in his eyes when he spotted the bride and smiled gently at Jindřich. Yet, before the ceremony, Květoslava took her husband-to-be aside.
"Jindřich," she had spoken, "before we marry, we must talk. As you know, I am a Víla."
Jindřich had nodded with a smile. "Indeed, it would have been difficult not to notice."
Her eyes twinkled merrily at his answer but she continued seriously. "Before the wedding, you must promise me something." Her smile had disappeared. "Every mortal marrying a Víla must make a promise."
"What should I promise then?" he had asked her as he had furrowed his brows.
"Promise me never to stray with another woman."
"Of course, I would never cheat on you, my love."
"Promise me never to strike me without just cause." She had continued gravely.
He had paled on hearing that, "I will never hit you like that, I promise."
"I know," she smiled. "And promise never to boast to friends nor to strangers about marrying a Víla."
"You have my word."
As the beaming couple stood before the official, he still continued, "In times of plenty and in times of strife, keep in mind the sacred vows you swear to each other on this day. May your word be your bond."
The Stag Lord and the Dame of Flowers stood on the central plaza of the City of Marble, surrounded by well-wishers, friends and family, both elven and human. They stood side by side, her hand in his and in front of them, the Elven queen and the human king, both smiling, bade them to speak.
"Speak your vows now or be forever silent."
The Stag Lord turned to his bride and spoke, "To you, I swear my love and my heart."
She replied to his declaration, "You I will love and hold as my spouse for good and for ill."
Under the expectant gazes of the official and all the guests, Harry and Fleur spoke in unison, surrounded by a golden glow.
"To you, I will be loyal from this day to the last."
The audience applauded as the glow only intensified when the newly-weds kissed.
As they later danced together, everyone remarked how extraordinarily suited they were for each other. It was true, they were right. Just as the stars dance in the skies, so did the lovers, intertwined in an eternal dance, a cycle of love.