Fandom: Harry Potter
Series: Song Out of Tune
Title: It's Magic When I'm With You
Author: Morte206 -- email@example.com
Pairings: HG/FD, BZ/PP
Disclaimers: The initials on my drivers license continue to be CMF and not JKR therefor the characters are not mine though this otherwise original work of fiction is.
Summary: It's not just hormones, magic calls to magic.
Author's Notes: (1) Thanks to Blyss (beta extraordinaire and the best idea-bouncer-off-of in the world), Kritter for the late breaking grammar tune up, Bekka for the early looksie and encouragemtn and lastly HL for telling me to finally post it.
(2) This one takes place after the events of Here You Come Again.
Feedback: Lastly, feedback makes the fic world go 'round folks so how about it. Feedback the good, the bad and the ugly can be sent to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or posted on list, which ever works for you dear reader.
Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
-- Elvis Presley , I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You
Blaise, smiling indulgently, watched as Fleur brushed Hermione’s cheeks with the rose she’d spelled for her friend earlier that day. She bent her head to whisper in Padma’s ear. "See I told you. Aren’t they cute?" Padma turned her head so that her lips met Blaise’s in a kiss, which quickly deepened.
"Yes dear heart," Padma said when they parted. They hurried to catch up with the other pair who had gotten a bit ahead.
"I thought perhaps,” Fleur smiled hesitantly, “there’s a reading at the bookstore. I thought you might like to go, Jarrod Mycart, have you heard of him?" Hermione shook her head, no. "He’s a travel writer. His new book is about his travels in the Brazilian jungle, the ancient native magic there. It got wonderful reviews," Fleur finished quietly.
"That sounds like fun." Hermione licked her suddenly dry lips and Fleur, believing Hermione to be flirting, blushed demurely. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Anything." The one word sent tingles throughout Hermione’s body.
"I love your voice. I love listening to you speak. It’s almost physical."
"Good," Fleur said cryptically.
"Why is that?"
“Why is it good? It’s good because I like talking to you and I want to do that a lot with you, talk, you know. I should hate to think you did not like the sound of my voice."
"Well you don’t ever have to worry about that. It’s just . . . I remember the Veela singing at the Quidditch World Cup and well I wondered." An image of Mr. Weasley plugging his ears with his fingers and urging the boys to do the same came to mind. She recalled reading the book of Greek myths her father had given her for her seventh birthday, the sirens and the harpies. She wondered if Fleur, in her displeasure, would undergo the same transformation as the full-blooded Veela at the World Cup.
Fleur smiled wanly. "If that was part of our magic, like the sirens of legend?" Further discussion was cut off as Blaise and Padma caught up with them.
"I’m craving ice cream, my treat." Blaise called out.
"You’ll have to excuse my rather exuberant other half," Padma said solemnly to Fleur, "If you’ve other plans we understand."
"Fleur was just telling me about a book reading later this afternoon," Hermione said to Blaise.
"Perhaps we could get some ice cream and then go to my apartment,” Fleur offered. “I promised Blaise last time we met that I would make coffee for her in a French press.”
"Ooh, ooh real coffee, never mind the ice cream. Who’s reading?"
"Is it decaffeinated? Because clearly she doesn’t need to be more wired," Padma said wryly. Fleur watched as Blaise jumped up and down repeatedly in an attempt to reach an overhanging tree limb.
"I have some decaffeinated left over from my parents’ last visit."
"Jarrod Mycart, have you heard of him?" Hermione answered Blaise.
"I read a review of his new book the other day in The Prophet," Padma turned to Blaise, "You remember I told you it sounded interesting. Let’s go."
Blaise beamed down at her lover, "Whatever you want my love. Your wish is my command."
"And no more sugar for you either, you had entirely too much jam and juice this morning. I haven’t seen you this hyper in ages."
/ / / / / /
"Three o’clock at the bookshop then. We’ll see you there." Fleur closed the door after Padma and Blaise, the couple having decided to stroll around the village and do some window shopping so that Hermione and Fleur might have some time alone. Fleur leaned back against the door and watched as her remaining guest walked towards her, a small impish grin on her face. "What’s that smile for?"
"Because today is finally here, because we’re finally alone. Because I wanted to see your home and here we are. Because I want to touch you," Hermione came to a stop just in front of the blonde reaching up to caress her cheek. She ran the pad of her thumb over full lips. "Because I want to kiss you." Her voice was shaky, breathy and Fleur ached to hear it. "May I . . . please?" Fleur nuzzled Hermione’s palm, kissing the inside of her wrist whilst drawing her closer, one arm sliding around the brunette girl’s waist as the other wound itself around her neck.
"Hermione . . . we should . . .” Hermione’s hands slid into silver blond tresses as she kissed her way across the line of Fleur’s jaw.
The kiss started out slow, they were, after all, content to have gotten even this far, but that changed quickly. Hermione ran the tip of her tongue over Fleur’s bottom lip seeking permission to deepen the kiss. The blonde gave it with a small shudder and a whimper that segued into a deep moan as Hermione filled her mouth. Fleur’s hand found its way under Hermione’s shirt to rest palm down in the small of her back and Hermione felt the heat of her hand slowly suffuse her. Perfectly manicured nails began lightly stroking gentle, ghostlike, circles the length of Hermione’s lower back, a mirroring of the gentle stroking of the teen’s tongue in the Frenchwoman’s mouth. They moved closer still, molding themselves to each other, Fleur’s right hand entwining itself in the short hairs at the nape of Hermione’s neck, Hermione’s leg sliding between Fleur’s. Hermione’s hands slid up coming to rest so that her thumbs barely grazed the undersides of Fleur’s breasts and the blonde gasped, the sound swallowed by Hermione’s mouth still on hers. They drew apart breathless and panting, cheeks brushing as they remained still in each other’s arms.
"My God . . . Fleur," even to her own ears Hermione’s voice was tight with desire. She’d dreamed of this, fantasized about it and it had been better than she’d imagined. She nuzzled the long slope of Fleur’s neck before, with a soft growl, taking her earlobe between even white teeth and beginning to suckle. Fleur licked along the Gryffindor’s jaw line, nipping playfully at her chin before claiming her kiss. This time Fleur took command, slipping her tongue past Hermione’s lips, stroking the velvet interior of her mouth then gently sucking on the younger woman’s tongue. Hermione groaned, she felt on fire and suddenly she was scared. Scared enough to roughly pull away from the other girl, leaving the blonde flushed and disoriented, blouse askew, and chest heaving as she leaned back against the door. Hermione stared at her as if seeing the blonde for the first time and bringing her fingertips to her lips murmured. "Bill . . . he . . . I thought surely he was exaggerating."
"Bill?" Drawing herself upright the Veela fixed her shirt, tugging it back down, before brushing past Hermione to take a seat on the sofa. "What does William say, what has he told you?"
"Nothing," Hermione shook off her stupor joining Fleur on the sofa. She reached out to entwine her fingers with Fleur’s but before she could do so the Frenchwoman snatched her hand away.
"Nothing. Bill said nothing to me. I’ve never even talked to him really. I overheard him one night he was talking to Charlie."
"What did he say?"
"He said you were like a drug. And he craved you your touch, your taste." The Gryffindor’s voice trembled slightly. "He was right."
Fleur closed her eyes, took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. She opened her eyes to meet Hermione’s steady gaze. She was conscious of her heartbeat going into overdrive and an overwhelming desire, her own craving, for Hermione’s touch.
"It was painfully obvious that you did not feel the same way. He said something about your ‘nature’ but I couldn’t hear too well after that."
"My ‘nature’, yes well . . . I was going to explain about that," Hermione quirked an eyebrow, "What do you know about the Veela?" Fleur asked.
"I’ve done some reading of course"
"Of course,” Hermione shot Fleur a lopsided grin.
"It’s my nature."
Fleur laughed. A sense of relief washed over her, Hermione would listen with an open mind. "I understand. Books sometimes they seem safer." She scooted closer to Hermione but was careful not to touch her. "I’m sorry about,” her voice drifted off. She took a deep breath then exhaled before continuing. “It isn’t usually so hard for me to control. It’s our ‘magic’ but in my excitement,” Fleur caught herself reaching for Hermione’s hair and drew her hand back. “Well I will try. I would like very much to see where our feelings lead us but I would prefer that it be genuine."
"As would I," Hermione said wryly.
"Unfortunately one only learns it over time."
"Is it always like Bill? Because his voice he . . . "Hermione paused, searching for the right word. “He yearned, Fleur."
"You overheard him when?"
"Last winter holidays only three months ago."
"Bear in mind then that I had ended things with him only a month previously."
"Then why did you come with him?"
"Because he asked. It had been planned for so long and it was important to him. He insisted as a ‘friend’ and I suppose I felt guilty. So I went and I’m glad I did."
"Why? Because you got to know me,” Hermione said sardonically.
"No," Fleur chuckled. "And people say that Veela are self absorbed. But no, I’m glad because that weekend confirmed that I’d made the right decision about Bill." The blonde stood and crossed the room to the kitchenette. "Would you like something to drink?" Hermione declined and when Fleur rejoined her on the couch she was sipping from a glass of water. "Surely in your readings . . . " Hermione interrupted her.
"You’re only part Veela though and for some reason the books don’t really talk about that much."
"Okay would you agree that magic calls to magic?" Hermione nodded. This was one of the simplest precepts in the wizarding world, the foundation upon which many long-lasting marriages, even between seemingly polar opposites, had been built. "Bill’s stopped calling to me."
"But your’ didn’t stop calling to him."
"Not at first. And that is part of our magic, the Veela, to bind people, men, to us. It isn’t so strong in me, not like with a ‘pure’ Veela, but I genuinely cared for Bill, was attracted to him, and loved him even. It made . . . I broke it off with him so as not to bind him further to me, his magic no longer called to mine, there would have been no point. We bond for life with our chosen partners but, and this is, I suspect, what the books you’ve read do not talk about; without their magic to fuel our own we cannot have children. We cannot continue as a ‘people’."
"The magic of the Veela is passed down through our daughters, specifically the ‘daughters of our body’."
"Sort of like magical Judaism." At Fleur’s look of confusion she offered a hasty explanation. "The adoptee must convert in order for the Law of Return to be invoked but any child born to a Jewish woman does not."
"You are Jewish? I did not know.”
"Not at all. My parents are Anglican all the way but I. . ."
Fleur finished the sentence for her -- "Read it somewhere" -- making Hermione give a small laugh
“Why did you end things with Bill?”
“I could have bonded with Bill. I could have married him and had a good life but I would never have been able to have a ‘daughter of my body’. We would have had children and they would have been witches and wizards but it’s not the same. I would never have been able to pass down that part of my magic that is Veela and that too is part of my nature that desire to continue our race, our magic. In order to do that I need to find a life-mate, someone whose magic calls so strongly to my own, resonates so well with mine, that I might use our combined magical energies to generate the magic necessary. It is how new Veela are born."
“Was not resonating enough,” Fleur supplied, “Besides I am inclined towards monogamy.”
“Well that’s nice to know but what has that to do with anything?”
"There is no such thing as a ‘part-Veela’. You either have Veela magic or you don’t. The stronger the magic, the gift, the more ‘Veela’ you are. Men can never be Veela. It is a solely feminine sort of magic and though a wizard’s magic can be the catalyst, as my father’s was, it is very rare." Fleur checked the time on the wall clock by the door. "There’s more if you want me to continue but,” she pointed at the clock on the wall, “If we’re to meet your friends at the reading we should leave soon."
Fleur stood and held her hand out for Hermione. “I promise I am not trying to avoid any questions you might have. I don’t want to overwhelm you, it’s a lot to take in and I’d like this to just be a regular date.”
Hermione blushed and taking Fleur’s hand in her own brought it to her lips to kiss the knuckles. “Enough time to play twenty questions later,” she murmured before pulling the blond closer to her for a gentle kiss. “Shall we head out then,” Hermione breathed out when the kiss finally ended.
Fleur could only nod dumbly.
/ / / / /
"So a life-mate is a bond-mate?" It was a Sunday evening and Hermione was talking to Fleur’s disembodied head in the fireplace that was one of the perks of the Head Girl’s suite.
"Not always, frequently in fact they are not. A life-mate is simply someone, usually a witch, whose magic resonates with a Veela’s own strongly enough to allow that Veela to create her daughter."
"By ‘resonate’ you mean enhance or amplify."
"Amplify, yes, that is it, amplify."
"But wait, you said that a wizard’s magic could be the catalyst but if men can’t be Veela then how...I’m missing something."
"A wizard can be the catalyst but only if he is also the Veela’s bond-mate. Even still it takes a much longer time than when the life-mate is a witch. For example, it took my mother twenty years being bonded to my father before she was able to have me. Contrast that to my grandmother who, while bonded to my grandfather, took a Veela as her life-mate and had my mother within two years."
"And if that life-mate is also the bond-mate, then what?"
"A very strong Veela, a ‘pure’ Veela, like those you saw at the World Cup."
"Do you change? The Veela at the World Cup looked like harpies, it was quite awful."
"No. Though, I must tell you that I can have quite a temper."
"Yes, I seem to recall something happening during the tournament."
"In my defense I am less petulant now than I was then."
/ / / / /
The next Hogsmeade weekend found them back in Fleur’s apartment sitting on the sofa talking quietly in between bouts of intense snogging. Hermione reached out, lightly running her nails up and down Fleur’s forearm, "You say with time the need to touch you will diminish."
"If things end with us, yes," Fleur nodded.
"And my magic calls to you . . . calls to your magic?"
"Yes. I hope,” Fleur closed her eyes as Hermione continued to stroke her arm, “I suspect, mine calls to you."
“Not just the Veela in you?” Hermione gently teased.
“It’s precisely because you didn’t react to it before. I’ve had other girls react but you didn’t.” Fleur opened her eyes and caught Hermione’s gaze, “I admit that I find that attractive too.”
“I’m seventeen,” Hermione squeaked out. “Can’t we just date?”
Fleur smiled and reaching out twirled a lock of Hermione’s hair around the fingers of her right hand. “And I’m only twenty.”
“I mean I’m not ready to settle down or anything like that. Much less ....”
“Much less bond with someone, I understand. I completely understand that. I feel much the same way. But I would very much like to court you.”
“It’s the whole ‘for life’ angle.” Hermione gulped and threw the blonde a panicked look.
Fleur continued to gently play with Hermione’s hair. “Forgive me. I did not explain properly.”
“No I’d say you did. ‘Veela bond for life’ I’d say that was pretty explanatory.”
“Our life, we bond to one person for our lifetime.”
“What if...what happens when....”
“Wizards are long lived. In comparison Veela are not. It would be selfish beyond compare to expect those left behind to mourn forever. Alone.”
“And what Veela don’t believe in divorce? How very Irish, it would seem your sisters were cheering on the wrong team,” Hermione said sarcastically. Fleur sighed heavily and withdrew her hand from Hermione’s hair. “Don’t stop,” the younger girl murmured, inclining her head towards Fleur’s hand which rested on the back of the sofa, a fingerbreadth away from Hermione’s shoulder, “Please.”
“Divorce,” Fleur’s hand made its way back to its previous task, “is not…. You like how this feels right?” Hermione nodded. “You like how you feel just being around me right?” Again Hermione nodded. “Why would you want to give that up?”
“I don’t know,” Hermione said softly.
“The answer to your question is this: I would release you from the bond if you truly wanted it. And you must trust that I wouldn’t bind myself to you unless I was certain you were who I wanted. Remember we bond for life.”
“Live hard, die young and leave a pretty corpse is that it?”
“I beg your pardon,” Fleur said a hint of confusion lacing her voice.
Hermione shook her head and smiled. “It’s a Muggle saying.”
“I’ve never heard it before and we don’t really die young. By normal non-wizarding standards we are quite long lived. But the average wizard lives to be well over one hundred and twenty while the average Veela only lives to her nineties.” Fleur rose from the sofa with a grace that captivated Hermione, leaving her speechless as she watched the blonde cross the room to take a framed picture from the wall. Retaking her seat next to Hermione; Fleur presented her with the picture, a family portrait, she’d taken from the wall. “That’s my great-grandmother holding Gabrielle.”
“Is Gabrielle Veela too?”
“No. Remember I told you it took my mother almost twenty years being bonded to my father before she was able to have me.”
“Is that ... I mean does it usually take that long? Or is it because it was your dad?”
“It just depends on the individual Veela but it doesn’t generally take that long. My great-grandmother met her life-mate when they were in school; she had my grandmother when she was twenty.”
Hermione looked from the portrait in her hand to the woman seated next to her and then at the portrait again. “You all look alike.”
“But of course.”
“That’s the secret isn’t it, the reason you all look alike. Parthenogenesis of a sort, literally you create the ‘daughters of your body’ almost like cloning really.”
“Now you know what the books don’t talk about.”
“You know I wonder how it’s managed to stay a secret for so long. Seems the sort of thing there would be tons of material on,” Hermione said much to Fleur’s amusement.
“Really? Think on it. Do you honestly believe, even for a moment, that the old boys’ networks, the powers that be, are going to want witches to know that there is in fact another way?”
“Point taken,” Hermione conceded.
/ / / / /
“So how did it go?” Blaise caught hold of the sleeve of Hermione’s robe and pulled her aside out of the flow of traffic leaving the Great Hall.
“I was looking for you last night. Where were you?” Hermione asked indignantly.
“We brought dinner back from the sandwich shop in Hogsmeade and had a picnic in Greenhouse Four.”
“Any way how did it go?”
“It went fine. Great. I was barely able to tear myself away,” Hermione said sardonically.
“And that’s bad why?” Blaise cocked her head inquisitively reminding Hermione of Mr. Zabini.
“Could we maybe talk about this somewhere else, say down by the lake?”
“Sure love. Let me just tell Padma, we were supposed to go kite flying down by the Quidditch pitch.
“Oh that sounds like fun. Besides I’ve a feeling I could use Padma’s insight too.”
After a spirited hour of kite flying they called it quits and collapsed, breathless and flushed with laughter, on the grass. They spent a few quiet minutes catching their breath and watching the clouds before Blaise spoke.
“Did something happen yesterday?”
“Yesterday was wonderful,” Hermione sighed heavily. “That’s just it. It was wonderful. Every minute I spent with her was amazing and delightful and just…incredible. I miss her already. I missed her the moment I crossed the Hogwarts gates. Does that make sense?”
“Of course it does,” Padma said. “You like her. And from some of the other things you’ve said before I’d say you like her a lot.”
“Sounds to me like you’re falling in love,” Blaise cut in.
“Well let’s see, you can’t stop thinking about her. You miss her. You miss talking to her, seeing her, just being with her. You find yourself getting lost in memories of her touch, her kiss; you told me you dream about her. Weasley and Potter may be thick enough not to notice, but I’ve seen your assignment planner” – Hermione’s assignment planner was covered in small pencil drawings of lilies, orchids and Fleur’s name – “and if that’s not an indication that you’re into this girl then I don’t know what is.”
“I know what you mean, Hermione.” They had been lying on their backs staring up at the sky as they spoke but now Padma rolled over to look down at Hermione. “I know what you mean. Is it that you’re ‘falling in love’ or is it really her magic?”
“Okay granted the whole ‘Veela’ thing is a bit freaky,” Blaise began but was quickly cut off by her girlfriend.
“No it’s more than that,” Padma caught Hermione’s gaze. “It’s scary isn’t it?” Hermione stared back at her for a long moment before slowly nodding her head.
“Is this one of those ‘girly’ things I don’t usually get?” Blaise whined petulantly. The Ravenclaw and the Gryffindor burst out laughing. “What? It is isn’t it?”
Padma got her laughter under control and kissed Blaise’s cheek. “No sweetheart it isn’t a ‘girly thing’ it’s an ‘ordinary magic’ sort of thing.”
“I don’t understand.”
“But I do,” Hermione whispered.
Blaise sat up abruptly and began to fish around in her pocket for something. She pulled her talisman out of her pocket and looked at the display. “I’m not going to be able to help you with this really, am I?” Hermione shook her head, no. “Well then I suppose it’s a good thing duty calls,” Blaise smiled down at her best friend as she held the talisman aloft. “I have to go.”
“We can talk later,” Hermione offered.
“I’ll come find you,” Blaise ruffled Hermione’s hair then stood pulling Padma up with her as she did so. The couple kissed goodbye under Hermione’s watchful gaze. When they parted Blaise whispered in Padma’s ear and fingered the satin band around her neck before loping off. They silently watched her quickly receding form until she disappeared into the castle.
“Her magic is so dominant, it pulls, sometimes it’s hard to…at first I wasn’t sure if what I felt for Blaise was entirely me, the pull of her magic calling to mine, the subjugation of mine to hers or some combination thereof.” Padma sank down on the grass next to Hermione.
“I love her. And yes, her magic calls to mine, yes, it draws me in but it’s more than that. I know that I love Blaise with all that I am and all that I will be.”
“With Fleur…the Veela,” Hermione’s voice drifted off.
“It must be hard differentiating between what you really feel and what comes as a result of Veela magic.”
“But remember fourth year, you weren’t taken with her then.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“I think that’s saying something.”
“Fleur said the same thing. She said it was one of the things she found attractive about me. That I didn’t turn into a sycophant,” Padma quirked an eyebrow at Hermione’s tone.
“Well isn’t that a good thing? Would you rather be with someone who wants to lead you by the nose or would you rather be with someone who wants to be with you. Conversely think of it from her point of view; would you want to be with someone who so easily succumbs to the fantasy or would you rather be with the one who sees past the surface and still wants you.”
“The latter on both counts, it’s just,” Hermione ran a hand through her hair with a sigh. “I saw her yesterday, right, for only a few hours. And I miss her terribly. Physically, even. We spent most of the day in her apartment kissing and talking and kissing some more. Nothing more than that and yet it was the most erotic thing I’ve ever done. The best time I’ve ever had. Not even…I loved Shelagh, I really did but this is something completely different.”
“The bonding thing?”
“How do you know about that?”
“I’m Ravenclaw through and through,” Padma grinned and gave a sly wink.
“In other words you read it somewhere.”
“I used to watch her at the Ravenclaw table that year. I was curious.”
“She says that if things don’t work out with us, this craving this need for her will go away.”
“Do you believe her?”
“Is it like that for you with Blaise?” Hermione asked choosing to counter Padma’s question with one of her own rather than answer her.
“Blaise isn’t Veela.”
“What, you want me to tell you what the side effects of Blaise’s magic are on ‘us’, on me?” Padma ducked her head in an effort to hide her blush while subconsciously she nervously began to fiddle with the satin choker Blaise had placed around her neck only yesterday.
“Please. I just need to understand, need to know that I can be myself.”
“I swear Hermione if you tell Blaise any of this I will hex you into the next century,” Padma threatened in a teasing tone before turning serious once again. “Promise me, not a word.”
“My lips are sealed.”
“I promise Padma.”
“I’ve thought about this quite a bit actually.” The Ravenclaw prefect paused choosing her words carefully. “The opposite of death is life, wouldn’t you say?” Next to her Hermione nodded silently. “And the most positive, most basic way to celebrate life, to counter death, however symbolically, is to create life. How do you do that?” Padma answered her own question before Hermione could even begin to formulate a response, “Sex of course, making love, what ever you want to call it. Blaise is usually cold, so cold, when she comes back from work and it’s like something takes over me because the only thing I want to do is make her warm again. Bring her back to life, as it were and not just physically but magically too.”
“But do you feel compelled; because I feel compelled, Padma. The only thing I can think about is how soft her skin is, the caress of her voice, the warmth in her eyes and the heat of her touch. And all I want is to go back to yesterday afternoon and her apartment.”
“She’s so drained sometimes…I can feel my magic trying to ‘recharge’ hers’ automatically. Compelled,” Padma enunciated the word carefully, slowly and though she did not say so aloud she thought Hermione had hit it on the head. Compelled was the perfect word because sometimes some of the things she found herself doing, the things she allowed Blaise to do to her, her desires ran contrary to everything she’d once believed about herself.
“Well I don’t fancy loosing myself like that.”
“But you did with what’s her name, Shelagh. It’s what you do when you fall in love. The only difference is…”
“Is that I’m not as young and dumb.”
“No, the only difference is that with Shelagh you weren’t suspicious of it; didn’t fear that your actual feelings were being tainted by magic.”
“What if they are?”
“Of course they are magic calls to magic. You know that.”
“Then why didn’t it happen before?”
“Maybe because it’s not the Veela in her, not that magic, that’s calling to you. In her own right Fleur is a powerful and talented witch, she wouldn’t have been chosen as Beauxbatons’ champion otherwise. Has it occurred to you that it’s that magic calling to your’ and that what you feel, that pull, has absolutely nothing to do with her being Veela.”
Hermione pondered Padma’s words in light of what she knew about Fleur, and came to a decision. She would trust Fleur’s assertion that she was not a particularly ‘strong’ Veela; trust her word that she would not use those ‘gifts’ to influence Hermione and lastly she would trust herself. Trust her instincts and follow her heart.
“Merlin but I hope you’re right.”
“You’ll be seeing her next month no doubt.”
“She’s taking me to brunch to celebrate.”
/ / / /
"Did you have a good time in Hogsmeade this weekend?" It was Tuesday evening, Ginny and Hermione were walking to Gryffindor Tower after that week’s Prefects meeting which had been held in Ravenclaw Tower.
"I did," Hermione replied. "And you? How was your date with Dean?"
"Wonderful once Ron left us alone."
"He’s just being a big brother."
"He’s just being a big pain in the arse," Ginny said lightly. "What’s he going to do next year when he’s not here to keep an eye on me himself?"
"Heart attack most likely," Hermione muttered. Ginny laughed. "Of course at the rate he’s going it wouldn’t surprise me if he got left back. Though I suspect your Mum would kill him if that happened." Hermione giggled. "Either way it works out to be a Ron free year for you."
"In the words of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Free at last. Free at last.’"
"Good to see you’ve gotten some use out of that book of quotes I gave you for Christmas."
"It’s been loads helpful in Muggle studies, thanks really." They’d reached Gryffindor Tower by then and Ginny gave the password. They stepped through the portrait hole to find the common room abuzz with activity. "Mione," Ginny leaned down to speak directly into Hermione’s ear, "maybe we could go to your room or upstairs. It’s just . . . I really wanted to talk to you privately. Or at least more privately than this."
"We’re here so we might as well go to your dorm." Upstairs they settled on Ginny’s four poster bed drawing the curtains around them then invoking a privacy charm.
"What’s going on Ginerva?"
"I don’t know, why don’t you tell me?" They stared at each other silently until Hermione looked away with a heavy sigh.
"What have you heard?"
"You know me better than that, Hermione." The Head Girl nodded. It was true Ginny was one of the most levelheaded people she knew, unlikely to pay any heed to rumor or gossip. "I saw you on Saturday in the alleyway by the teashop."
"No I saw," Ginny teased. "Is there something you wanted to tell me maybe?"
"Honestly I thought you saw," Hermione rolled her eyes. "Really though Gin what is it you want me to say. I like girls. I’m a lesbian."
"No you twit. I could have told you that a long time ago. I’m not blind and you are not the model of subtlety. Alicia Spinnet and Professor Humana are all I have to say on that subject. Though I must say, you’re loads more subtle than Blaise. She can be downright brazen. I’ve noticed you noticing other girls. When did you start dating Fleur? I thought she and Bill were trying to work things out." Ginny frowned. "At least I think Bill thinks that’s what they were trying to do."
"Wait a minute what does that mean you’ve ‘noticed me noticing other girls’? Why were you taking note of me in the first place?"
"Ron," Ginny snorted, "who else. You know he fancied you for the longest. He asked me to -- you’ll love this -- ‘Get the lay of the land’ as it were." Hermione interrupted with a snort.
"And you saw what you saw."
"Exactly," Ginny patted Hermione on the knee. "You know you still haven’t answered my question."
"Fleur and Bill haven’t dated since before winter holidays. As for the other, Fleur and me, well I don’t know. There’s Fleur and there’s I and maybe one day there will be a Fleur and I but for now we’re just getting to know each other better."
"Is that what you call it, what you were doing, because that looked suspiciously like snogging to me?" Hermione snarled playfully hitting Ginny with a pillow. "Or do lesbians call it something else?" Ginny grabbed her own weapon and swung. "Enlighten this poor heterosexual."
/ / / / / / /
The second Thursday of each month Fleur and her mother met for dinner. They would catch up on each other’s lives, family gossip and the latest books they’d read. Normally they would go to a restaurant but this time, at Fleur’s request, they’d eaten at her apartment in Hogsmeade. Dinner over they moved to the sofa where Mrs. Delacour poured Fleur a glass of wine then sat back to observe her oldest daughter.
“You’ve met someone.”
It wasn’t a question but a statement; Fleur was glowing, a soft silvery light that brought to mind moonlit nights, autumn coolness and falling in love with her husband.
“Oh Maman I have, she’s cute, smart, funny and brave and talented and….” Mrs. Delacour interrupted the litany with a throaty laugh.
“Breathe child, it won’t do to have you hyperventilate and pass out before you finish telling me about the eighth wonder of the modern world.” Fleur’s smile blinded her mother.
“Her name is Hermione Granger, maybe you remember her from the second challenge she was Viktor Krum’s hostage.”
“Vaguely…bushy hair, rather like a poodle actually.”
“Well yes humidity does do awful things to it. But really she is rather pretty when she takes the time.” Fleur smiled remembering how Hermione had taken the time just that past Saturday, the last Hogsmeade weekend before NEWTs and the Leaving Feast, when Fleur had taken her for a celebratory brunch. “She has the most beautiful eyes and she sees me, Maman, really sees me not the whole Veela thing, not a beautiful trophy, but me. She sees me.” Fleur’s voice as she spoke was filled with both wonder and adoration, qualities Mrs. Delacour mused, which had not colored Fleur’s voice when she was with Bill Weasley. Certainly Fleur had cared for Bill, loved him even, and adored him the way all young lovers adore their beloved but this was different.
“And you’re sure it’s not…”
“She detested me the year I was at Hogwarts, I’m sure this has nothing to do with being Veela.”
“I hope this isn’t going to change your plans to go to University this year.”
“She’ll be going too in September.”
“Yes on scholarship, I told you she was clever, she’s so smart Maman and not afraid to show it. I can’t stand girls who try to downplay their intelligence.”
“Believe me it’s not an attractive trait in men either; combined with their innate tendency to become drooling idiots around a pretty face it’s rather unattractive.” Fleur, who had been sipping her wine as her mother spoke, almost choked with laughter at her tone.
“This would explain why you chose Papa.”
“Who better than a blind man to truly see the Veela,” Mrs. Delacour said archly.
“Touche`,” Fleur nodded and raised her glass in salute to her mother’s greater wisdom.
“How did you explain to Papa about being Veela?”
“You’ve already spoken of it to her? Was that wise?”
“Oh Maman, I want to be honest with her. She deserves that and I don’t want her to feel later on that I somehow lied to her, even by omission.”
“But it isn’t your secret alone. Our entire…”
“And still you…”
“I trust her,” the power of her conviction, her faith in Hermione, flooded Fleur’s voice.
“What have you told her?”
“What does ‘almost everything’ mean, my Fleur? You’ve explained about our need for a life-mate?” - Fleur nodded - “And the nature of our bond?”
“After a fashion,” Fleur murmured into her glass. Mrs. Delacour said nothing knowing her daughter would eventually talk simply to fill the awkward silence. After several moments she did. “I explained that we bond once in our lifetime.”
“And,” the older woman asked archly.
“I would have, I will…I just don’t…. I don’t want her to feel obligated or manipulated…I simply,” Fleur paused, taking a deep calming breath before resuming, “I told her that she’d have to trust that I wouldn’t give my bond lightly,” she nervously caught her mother’s eye. Mrs. Delacour, smiling reassuringly, nodded for Fleur to continue. When she didn’t the older woman set her wine glass down and took her daughter’s hands in her own.
“For every gift there is a curse, bonding, that entwining of your magic with another’s, is the Veela’s gift and the Veela’s curse.”
“If she knew then she would stay.”
“And if she didn’t, if she broke the bond are you prepared for that?” Mrs. Delacour bit out.
“To lose my magic…”
“To lose your self, the magic that makes you a witch, the magic that makes you Veela and if you haven’t had your daughter by then, do you realize what that would mean?”
“The end of our line,” Fleur answered so quietly her mother almost didn’t hear her.
“So, my Fleur, think long and think hard and be certain of your choice.”
“I know Maman. I know.”