AN: Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling, Warner Brothers, etc. No copyright infringement is intended.

This was written in response to a Secret Santa prompt given to me by Republic over at DLP, requesting a light, fluffy Harry/Fleur Yule Ball scene. I'll be the first to admit that this ought to be fleshed out in places, but I ran out of steam on it. So, with that said:

Azure eyes, impossibly blue and oh-so lovely, scanned the boy up and down. A predatory smile crossed glistening pink lips, speaking more clearly than any mere words, had the boy cared to listen.

He ran trembling fingers through dark hair, swallowing heavily. "I, um. Well, that is, if you don't already have plans."

She cocked her head to the side. "No, I do not have plans."

The boy's face brightened considerably. "Oh, um, great. So you'll go with me, then?"

Her smile widened, and she laughed, a beautiful lilting sound that rang like a bell through the Great Hall. She shook her head, long blonde hair cascading around her as if caught by a breeze. "No."

A long moment passed, and the boy stood rooted on the spot, his face reddening. Never looking away, the girl arched an elegant brow. Finally, the boy felt the full weight of hundreds of eyes bearing down on him, and he turned, making a hasty retreat back to the Slytherin table.

Across the hall, Harry Potter watched the scene unfold with rapt attention. Fleur Delacour waved at Adrian Pucey's retreating form as peals of laughter erupted from the cadre of girls surrounding her. Harry shook his head. "That looked … devastating."

"Must not be true what they say about French girls, eh?" Ron asked.

"And what do they say about them, exactly?" asked Hermione from across the table, a dangerous glint in her eye.

"Well, it's like Charlie always says, isn't it?" Ron looked around the table for support. Finding none, he continued. "A French bird's like Chasing without a Keeper. Easy to-"

"What a lovely expression."

Ron shrugged, looking back across the hall at Fleur, who had fallen in to a hushed conversation with the girls surrounding her. "Load of bollocks anyway, at least where she's concerned." Ron's cheeks took on a pink tinge as he no doubt remembered his own previous encounter with the French witch.

"How many's that make now, anyway?" asked Seamus from further down the table.

"By my count? Oh, about half the blokes in this ruddy castle," Harry said. "If she doesn't watch out, she'll run out of people to shoot down."

"Maybe she's holding out for Krum?"

Across the table, Hermione harrumphed. "Well, some men prefer women with substance."

"Oh, don't worry about that." Seamus said, his eyes finding Fleur. "Frenchie's got plenty of … substance."

Hermione stood, casting them one last glare before leaving the Hall.

"What about you, oh esteemed Fourth Champion? Who's the lucky lass taking your bespectacled arse to the Ball?"

"Hmm." Harry's gaze did not stray from the French contingent. "No idea."

"I've got three sickles here that say you're not man enough to ask Delacour."

"Well, they're right." Harry shuddered. He'd done some foolhardy things in his school years, but asking Fleur Delacour to the Yule Ball was beyond the pale. "Pass the tart, Seamus."

The meal ended in companionable silence, but Harry wasn't able to shake Fleur Delacour's image from his mind. On his way toward the staircase, Harry found himself being funneled toward…

Merlin, why am I walking toward her? He stopped short, and Fleur stood less than a meter away, giving him an appraising look. "Um. Hi."

"Bonsoir, 'Arry Potter."

"Yeah, um, bone soire to you, too. I'm the Boy Who Lived, you know?" Bugger me sideways, why would I say that?

"Boy Who Lived, indeed." She smirked.

Harry gave an emphatic nod. "And I'm Gryffindor's Seeker."

"Is that so?"

Get a hold of yourself, Potter. If you can fight off Mad-Eye Moody's Imperius Curse, you can talk to a pretty girl. Even an impossibly pretty one. Harry shook his head, trying to clear out the cobwebs, and his face glowed red. Oh, damn. "Say, is there any chance you might be willing to forget I just said that?"

She laughed, and Harry's heart raced. "I am afraid not."

"No, I didn't think so." Harry fought the urge to look at the floor. Oh well. He started to leave. Hang on. I've already made a fool of myself. Stopping, he met Fleur's eye again. In for a knut, in for a galleon. "How about you give me a second chance to make a decent impression."

The corners of her mouth twitched. "It sounds like you are asking me on a date."

"I suppose I am. Will you go to the Ball with me?" I'll be taking those Sickles now, Seamus.

Fleur rubbed her chin, an inscrutable look on her face. She looked him up and down, like a butcher assessing a cut of meat. "You are short."

Leetle boy. Yeah, I remember. "True."

"But you do 'ave nice eyes."


"And I like your 'air zee way it is. You will wear it like that."

"Um." Wait, does that mean…? "Okay."

"You shall pick me up from zee carriage at eight."

Harry nodded, and with that, she turned and walked away. The girl who had been standing beside Fleur giggled. "Poor, poor boy. You've no idea what you've just done."

What have I gotten myself into?

Five minutes 'til eight on Christmas night, Harry paced back and forth in front of the Beauxbatons carriages, the violet corsage Hermione had recommended in his hand. He wore midnight black dress robes that fit snugly around his small frame. Despite the bitter Scottish winter, sweat covered his palms.

"A flower for my flower," he muttered, then shook his head. "Merlin, no... This mere flower pales in comparison to your-" He exhaled angrily. Never should have asked Ron for advice.

Harry kept pacing, until approximately ten past eight, when the carriage door shot open. Fleur stepped across the threshold wearing chiffon pink robes that cascaded around her porcelain white ankles like the sea at high tide. His eyes followed the plunging neckline down to-

Oh, Merlin. He gulped. Blinking, he held out his corsage.

Seeing the violets, Fleur looked pointedly down at her pink robes. "Lovely."

"Er, thanks."

Fleur extended her arm, looking away from him as he placed the corsage on her wrist. As soon as it was affixed, Fleur's wand was in her hand. With a silent flick, the violet was replaced with a brilliant pink rose.

Harry's face turned crimson. He looked away, not wanting to meet her eye. "You're beautiful. Er, that is, your robes are beautiful. Where'd you get them?"

She smiled at him, brilliantly white teeth lighting up the Scottish night. "Milan. Your robes are … nice. Where are zey from?"


"'Ow charming."

Without another word, she offered Harry her arm, which he gladly took, and they made for the castle. Fleur walked with an effortless grace, with strides so long that Harry struggled to keep up. By the time they made it to the castle, he was breathing heavily.

They waited outside the Great Hall for the other champions to arrive. The minutes ticked by, taking either hours or seconds—Harry wasn't sure which—as the moment he was dreading loomed. Finally, McGonagall ushered them inside for the first dance.

Harry took her right hand in his left. Though she stood perhaps two inches taller than him, her hand was small and delicate, and it fit perfectly in his. He placed his other hand on her back. Through her paper-thin robes, he could feel the warmth of her skin, and his heart raced.

"I should warn you, Fleur. I'm not exactly the best dancer."

"Then I shall look all the better in comparison, no?"

The music started, and Harry tried to move in time with it. But as the seconds ticked by, he found himself following Fleur's movements rather than the band. Surprisingly, she guided him through the waltz with minimal error.

Whereas Harry struggled to get through the dance without making a fool of himself, Fleur seemed to glide across the floor. She danced with a grace and ease that left Harry inspired and embarrassed at the same time.

As the dance wound down, she leaned in close to him. "Smile for ze cameras, 'Arry. We shall make ze front page of your Prophet."

With her pressed up against him, he found it all too easy to comply with her request. He doubted whether the smile would ever come off his face. Hardly noticing as the Prophet's photographer's flash bulb went off, Harry moved into her touch. It was easily the greatest moment of his life.

And all too soon, it was over.

The music ended, and the couples made their way to the tables at the edge of the Hall to order their meals for the evening. As they ate, Harry found that he was unable to draw his eyes away from hers. So they talked. About classes, at first. Then about Quidditch.

"You mean to tell me zat you caught ze Snitch in your mouth?"

Harry nodded, and she laughed a laugh that made his heart flutter.

After that, they talked about family, hers not his. Her father was in middle management at the French Ministry, and her mother was a housewitch. She had a little sister who she adored.

The one thing they didn't talk about was the Tournament. Then, when the dinner ended and the band retook the stage, Harry took her hand and led her back onto the dance floor.

The dances passed in a blur. It seemed that they danced closer and closer to one another as the night went on.

All good things came to an end, Harry realized, as he saw the last person he wanted to speak with approaching. In a pause between songs, Draco Malfoy came at them from the side and tapped Fleur on the shoulder.

"Madame Delacour, might I have this dance?" Absent from Malfoy's face was his usual superior smirk. In its place was a glassy eyed stare, while he gnawed at his bottom lip.

"Why, Monsieur Malfoy." She approached him slowly, all her teeth visible. Malfoy's expression turned gleeful as she placed her hand on his cheek. "When you asked me to ze dance weeks ago, did I not made it quite clear zat I 'ave no wish to suffer your presence further?"

"But, I—my father—"

Malfoy's face reddened, while Harry and Fleur twirled away, leaving him there spluttering.

Harry spared him a backward glance and barked out a laugh. "Wish I could handle him so effectively."

"It is easy, when they are so far beneath your notice." They went back to dancing, and he didn't spare Malfoy another thought.

The thrice-damned clock kept ticking, until at last, the band played its final song. She rested her chin on his shoulder as they slowly circled one another, his hands on her waist and her arms wrapped around his back. In that moment, Harry knew that he would never again have difficulty casting the Patronus.

Harry cursed as the band wrapped up and bid them goodnight.

"I guess that's it," he said.

"I suppose so."

Her arm in his, they made their way back to the Beauxbatons carriages in silent contemplation. There, he regretfully removed his arm from hers and held open the door. She stepped inside without another word, and Harry sighed at the loss of contact.

All of a sudden, she turned to face him once more. Before he could react, she leaned down and pressed her lips against his cheek. The kiss was sweet and short and chaste, but when it was finished, Harry felt confident he could fight every Acromantula in the forest.

She turned away from him one final time, but before she could pull the door closed behind her, Harry called out. "Hey, Fleur."

"Yes?" The corner of her mouth twitched.

"I had a really good time tonight, you know?"

"I rather enjoyed myself as well."

"There's a Hogsmeade weekend coming up."

"So there is."

"Would you, I don't know, maybe want to go with me?"

She smiled, and Harry felt lighter than air. "Yes, 'Arry Potter. I think I would like zat."

She pulled the door closed, and Harry practically skipped back to the castle.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.