A/N 9/11/2020: Overhauled this chapter quite a bit. I always felt that I made it seem like Fleur couldn't hold her own in a fight, so I changed that as well as some of the other inconsistencies that I found.
Let me check, nope still don't own Harry Potter or anything associated with it.
As always, read, enjoy, and please review. Also, if you don't like my story, go read someone else's.
The World Cup and What Came After
A Bad Situation
She was running. There was just no two ways about it, Fleur Delacour was running for her life through the nighttime forest close to where, just a few hours ago, her and her family had enjoyed the championship match of the Quidditch World Cup where Ireland had won the match despite the Bulgarian Seeker, Viktor Krum, catching the snitch, a golf-ball sized golden ball with wings that flitted around the Quidditch pitch at speeds too fast for the human eye to see most of the time. In fact, the only negative to coming to the match had been the openly staring witches and wizards who had been ogling her and her mother with open lust or jealousy, for Fleur, her sister, and her mother were Veela and thus had a strong magical allure that drew others, muggle or magical, to them as a moth to a flame and further accentuated their natural beauty.
The night had been relatively quiet following the match, despite the Ireland fans' loud and overly-enthusiastic, in her opinion, celebration. Her family had retired to their tent to discuss the finer points of the match, Fleur and her father, Dastan Delacour, both being avid Quidditch fans, while her mother, Apolline, and her sister, Gabrielle, were only marginally interested in the sport, when, for lack of a better term, all hell broke loose.
Their first sign that something was amiss was the unnatural silence that seemed to fall over the large city of wizarding tents that housed the families that had attended the match, followed by the sounds of spells being fired and people screaming. Dastan, having been an Auror for the French Ministry of Magic during the last war against a dark lord, a British dark lord by the name of Lord Voldermort, immediately told his wife and daughters to head for their backup portkey, a magical transportation device that activated when touched and a certain phrase said in some cases, while he drew his wand and exited the tent in an effort to join with the British wizards and witches that were fighting against whoever the attackers were.
When the three women had exited the tent, they had immediately been swept away by the mass of people, all of them trying to get away from whoever the attackers were. Somehow during the attempted mass exodus from the sight of a group of masked and cloaked figures firing random dark spells indiscriminately at tents or people that crossed their path while they marched forward with what appeared to be a muggle family suspended in the air above their group, Fleur had been separated from the rest of her family.
Now, with the sounds and flashes of a pitched spell fire fight far behind her, Fleur was running in the direction that everyone else had gone to escape. She had lost track of how long she had been running, it couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes, but to her adrenaline-fueled body it felt like hours. As Fleur continued to search for her family at the edges of the forest under the light of a full moon and an eerie orange glow on the horizon behind her, she had to admit to herself that she was lost. Fleur slowed down and came to a halt leaning her back against the wide trunk of an oak tree as she surveyed her surroundings.
The area of the forest she found herself in had a high canopy that stretched from one tree to the tree next to it and little to no underbrush, causing all of the trunks to appear silver when the light of the moon hit them. At any other time, Fleur would have found the sight beautiful, but right now, she saw deadly shadows lurking in the midst of the trees.
She had just begun to breathe deeply, trying to slow her heartrate like her father taught her and her sister to do when they were scared or excited and in an attempt to ease the stich that had formed in her side due to all of the running she had done since this madness had started when she heard a soft crack nearby to her right. Fleur immediately froze at the sound, a small amount of fear coming to life in her gut. She drew her wand and whispered, "Homenum Revelio."
Fleur instantly felt the pulse of magic extend out from her wand like a sonar ping, the magic searching for and revealing to her the presence of at least nine people, and judging by the returns that she got, all of them males and much bigger than her. The small inkling of fear turned into a full blown icy shower when she heard a gravelly voice very close to her, "Hello Poppet. What's a beautiful young lady doing out here all alone? My friends and I would be more than happy to keep you company."
The voice came from her right and as she turned to face the voice, another answered from the other side in a lilting tenor, "Why Georgie, it looks like one of them Veela birds we saw earlier."
The first voice answered with a low chuckle that made Fleur's blood feel as if it had been replaced with subfreezing ice water, the moonlight causing the man's lewd smile to glow eerily in the shadow that outlined his tall and willow-thin form, "Why Mack, I do think that you are correct about that," then turning that smile that made Fleur's stomach give an involuntary lurch as she came to realize what these men wanted before he continued, "and it seems to me that a young lady such as yourself shouldn't be out here all alone. Whatever shall we do about that, gentlemen?"
Fleur began to quiver with fear as she heard a round of the same sickening chuckles coming the other men that were slowly closing in on her. As she looked around at the shadowed figures, Fleur saw the same light gleaming in their eyes that she had seen one other time when one of the boys at her school had tried to force himself upon her because he was unable to resist the natural allure that Veela like Fleur have. Fleur's eyes flickered to the others around her, trying to judge who to fight first as she said, "Ztay back! My fazzer is th-"
Her threat was cut off as the now-identified Georgie barked out a mocking laugh, "Aww, Poppet, we don't care who your father is or if you are a Frenchie or Veela. We just know that we're all lonely men who want to keep you company on this chill night," and then continued while turning to his companions, "isn't that right, gentlemen?"
Another round of chuckles floated its way to Fleur's ears as the men drew closer to her, closing their net as it were, trapping her completely. She thought to herself as she prepared to defend herself from a fate that was worse than death, I have to do something! I can't let these pigs have their way with me!
Suddenly Fleur's fear was replaced by an all-consuming rage. The air around her began to grow warm as her magic slipped her control and radiated from her, causing the grass and underbrush around her feet to wither in the heat of her magic. Her voice became an almost deadly calm as she stated, "You will not touch me!"
Fleur loosed a brilliant flash of white light from the tip of her wand, bright enough to blind her assailants momentarily and then began a spell chain directed at the closest two. One of them seemed to have some form of training as he instinctually cast a Protego around himself to block some of her heavier spells in her chain. The first one wasn't so lucky as the first disarming charm/banisher combo that she cast yanked his wand from his hand and sent him careening across the clearing into a nearby tree, where his body landed in a crumpled heap, never to rise again.
Fleur then focused her attention on the assailant who had used the shield charm a moment ago. The two moved around casting at each other while it seemed the rest of the group were satisfied with just watching.
At least that's how it seemed to Fleur as she battled her opponent for several minutes managing to take a few shots at the others in the group, managing to take out an additional opponent with a conjured dagger to the heart and another with a well-timed throw of a ball of Veela passion fire to his chest, while dueling her main opponent in a deadly dance. That continued until she dodged to the left to avoid her opponent's bone breaker curse and stumbled right into one of the other's banishing charm, causing her to go flying.
As her momentum was forcibly changed from her dodging one way to flying backwards, Fleur felt her wand slip from her hand only moments before her back followed by the back of her head connected with the tree that she had used at the beginning to keep from being completely surrounded. Stars exploded in her vision at the instant her head connected with the tree and she felt like she lost control of her body as she crumpled to the ground due to her legs no longer working properly. Her head spun as she heard more than saw the remaining figures closing in around her, their lecherous grins reflecting the moonlight from above and that same greedy, lust-filled light dancing in their eyes that she had seen many times before.
Suddenly a patronizing voice cut through the ringing that had taken residence in her ears, "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Poppet, Poppet, Poppet, didn't anyone ever tell you not to get tunnel vision when you're fighting? We're only trying to be kindly gentlemen keeping you company until your family shows up. All we ask is that you share a little bit of yourself to pay us back. Is that to much to ask for?"
As Georgie finished speaking, he knelt down in front of her, grabbing her chin with one of his grubby hands. Fleur couldn't quite focus on the scum in front of her as her head was still spinning from the impact on the tree. Through her muddled thoughts, Fleur summoned as much clarity as possible and spat in the man's face. She saw anger take hold in the man's eyes a moment before stars exploded in her vision for the second time as the man used his hold on her chin to pull her head forward and then slam it into the tree trunk she was slumped against.
Fleur was dimly aware of the man releasing her chin and standing up before her, making a big show of wiping the spit from his face as he said, "Poppet, why would you do that? All we were doing was being kind and didn't want any trouble. We would have been gentle about this, but..."
The other men had watched in anticipation as their leader had drawn his wand while speaking to their prey, "Now, since you don't to be social and share with all of us gentlemen willingly, we're taken our payment now. CRUCIO!"
Fleur's mind suddenly became clear as her body locked up as what felt like thousands of dull nails were being driven into every square inch of her body, the pain so overwhelming that all she could do was scream…
Harry James Potter was not having a very good night. It had started out great with watching Ireland winning the Quidditch World Cup alongside his family, followed by getting to meet Viktor Krum and heading back to their family tent to exchange seeker stories with the Bulgarian. As they had been talking, the topic of Harry and Viktor's conversation drifted from Quidditch to other things such as school, family, and had moved onto childhood stories when an oppressive silence fell over the camping grounds, causing Harry to fall silent.
Everyone in the Potter family tent fell silent until they saw the first flash of light followed a few heartbeats later by a loud BOOM that resonated through the earth under their feet. Instantly Harry's mother jumped into action, barking orders like the senior auror that she was, "Harry, take your sister, cousins, and our guest, and head for our backup portkey. You and the others know the password. Remus, Cissy, Andi, Sirius, Nym, and Ami with me. We're going to link up with the aurors here and fight whoever the bloody hell is doing this. Go!"
Viktor stood and said, " I vill go wit' you, Lady Potter and fight."
Bellatrix nodded to the Bulgarian before turning back to Harry and the other underage kids, "Be safe and stay together. Now move!"
Harry and the others immediately moved to obey and left the tent, blending into the mass of humanity while desperately trying to keep track of each other. As they ran along with everyone trying to flee, they had watched as spells of all manner started flying from the wands of the attackers indiscriminately as they sought to cause as much havoc and fear as possible, several of the spells starting to land around and amongst the people fleeing the scene, causing screams to be loosed from frightened or injured witches and wizards with Harry's cousin Draco leading the group and Harry trailing, protecting their backs from the attackers and to ensure that they stayed together.
Everything seemed to be going fine as they were running towards the forest, which should have let Harry know that something would go wrong with Murphy being the right bastard that he was, until a particularly powerful blasting hex hit the ground directly at Harry's left side and sent him sailing through the air and into several tents that hadn't been touched by the devastation yet…
By the time that the others had managed to put some distance between them and where Harry had gotten hit by that blasting curse, one Harry Potter was slowly regaining control over his body after his impromptu and completely unguided flight which had been followed by a particularly rough landing that had seen him inventing a new way of rapidly taking down wizarding tents: the tumbling body method. While Harry looked back towards where he had been hit and surveyed the varying degrees of success of his new method for taking down wizarding tents, he was also trying to reorient himself the way his mother and Uncles Remus and Sirius along with his Aunt Amelia had taught him to do, his senses keen for where the next attack may come from.
He was looking towards the group of cloaked and masked figures who seemed to have a whole muggle family suspended in the air above them when one of them noticed him standing amongst the ruin of five or six tents and lifted his wand to fire a spell from some thirty feet away. Harry didn't wait to find out what the guy was going to send his way as he dove to the side while pointing his wand back towards his attacker and loosed a silent blasting hex that hit the remains of a tent near the masked man, shattering it and sending his antagonist and wooden shrapnel into the two of his compatriots, causing all of the rest to turn their attention towards their fallen comrades and ignore the source of the hex. This gave Harry the break he needed to get up and take off towards the forest as he silently counted the seconds until one of the masked goons noticed him running, One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-.
Just as he reached three a fireball caught the tent immediately to his right on fire followed by several more various colored hexes, several of them quite nasty if he remembered his training with his mother and uncles correctly at all. It took all of Harry's instincts and reflexes honed over years of training from his family for something like this and Quidditch to avoid and defend against the spells being sent at him. He had just reached the edge of the tents with one thought running through his head, well, now I'm screwed. All out of cover.
Just as that thought flitted through his mind, Harry heard the pop-pop-pop of multiple people apparating into the area and suddenly the spells being sent his way stopped as his attackers now had a whole group of enemies to face as the battle was joined in earnest. Harry didn't bother to look back as he kept his legs and arms pumping towards the forest that now lay directly in front of him. To be safe, Harry slowed down from his dead sprint to a jog as he moved into the forest as he heard the sounds of a pitched battle raging where the campground used to be. He didn't know who was winning but he was hoping that his family and friends had managed to get to the portkey location. After a little while more, Harry slowed down again and began walking as he started taking stock of his condition: extremities work just fine if not a little scraped up, ribs are a little sore, probably bruised, but not broken thankfully, clothing is a little singed and torn but still fine, and my wand is intact and in working condition if that hex was any indication.
Just as he was finishing his self-assessment, Harry heard a woman scream in pain. Harry froze at the sound because whoever she was wasn't just screaming in pain, she was being tortured. He pulled his wand out and cast a silent Homenum Revelio to see where the scream was coming from and sure enough, a moment later, the spell revealed that there were eight people to his right a short distance away. If he had had any kind of qualms about going to whoever the person's aid, they vanished as said person let out another scream that made his blood turn cold. He quickly and quietly moved through the sparse underbrush of the old forest towards where the spell had revealed the people to be.
As he reached the edge of the small clearing where he could see seven men from the size and bulk of their shadowy shapes standing around one woman who was on the ground between all of them, her clothes seemed to be torn and her body writhing under what Harry could only assume was the Cruciatus Curse, one of the Three Unforgivables, curses so evil that the mere use of them could never be forgiven and carried the instant penalty of a Dementor's Kiss. Fire flashed through his veins as rage flooded his system at the sight. With barely a thought, Harry cast both a silent disillusionment charm and a silencing charm on himself and crept out of his hiding place, moving quickly towards the group but slow enough that no one would notice the slight shimmer of his not-quite-perfect disillusionment charm.
As he drew even with one of the men, placing himself in a position to strike, he shook his left hand just the right way to allow his dagger hidden in his forearm holster to slide into his hand. He quietly drew a deep breath and calmed himself in preparation to strike, his mind quickly analyzing his opponents and the chaos that would ensue when he struck, First, throw my dagger at opponent casting the torture curse. Next, opponent to my left seems to be favoring his left knee as he has the majority of his weight being supported by his right leg; analysis: side kick to his right knee to obliterate the joint, elbow to side of jaw as he falls to silence and render unconscious. Then, step inside of his buddy to my right's reach before he can react, use left arm to deflect wand arm, right arm to deliver a powerful forearm strike to side of jaw to break followed by low kick to right knee, driving it backwards and destroying the tendons and meniscus, and banish now disabled opponent into his friends across from me to momentarily take them out of the fight.
Harry's eyes flickered to the opponent on the opposite side of him as he tried to plan the next stage of the fight, Close distance between me and the opponent to my left while firing a bone breaker/stunner/banishing combo at his friend to shatter his wand hand, render him unconscious and send him flying into the three that will just be getting themselves untangled from their other unconscious friend. Strike initial target with elbow to solar plexus followed by open palm upper cut to man's jaw to break and render unconscious.
He then surveyed the final three and thought, Strike with a combination of stunners and bone breakers while they are trying to disentangle themselves from their two comrades. Verify that all of them are unconscious with stunners, send patronus to my mum, and transfigure something into a blanket to cover up the girl. End result: all threats neutralized with one dead and all others in various states of disrepair and unconscious.
Georgie had been enjoying himself with the torture and slow disrobing of the French Veela whore that was lying in the middle of their little group and judging by the heavy breathing that he was hearing from the others around their prize, the others were becoming as aroused by her screams and the slow revealing of her feminine assets as he was. He ended the Cruciatus curse with a flick of his wand and grinned at his compatriots, "So, who wants the first taste?"
Before any of them could respond that they wanted the first go at the Veela, there was a flicker of movement from across the circle, a flash of something in the moonlight and Georgie felt a sensation that he never wanted to feel as a dagger blade slid through his ribs and into his body just to the right of his heart. Georgie looked down at the black handle that had seemed to suddenly appear on his chest and registered that if the knife had been thrown an inch to the left, it would have pierced his heart. He was about to count his lucky stars that it missed his heart and lungs when a debilitating fire swept through his blood. Almost as soon as it had started, the fire in his blood stopped as death claimed him.
None of the other would-be rapists had a chance to react to the sudden departure of their leader as everyone heard the sickening pop-pop-pop-crack and watched as a second of their companion's right knee went towards his left in a manner that almost had them believing that he had turned his knee sideways and was accompanied by the same man's loud shriek of pain, only for him to be silenced by a sharp elbow strike to the side of the jaw, knocking him out cold. The man crumpled to the ground unnoticed as every still-standing member of their group was focused on the now-visible young man standing next to where their friend had gone down. Harry, not waiting for them to recover from their initial shock, burst into motion, becoming a devastating blur in the midst of the group of men who just wanted to have a good time with the French Veela, but now found themselves in a fight for their lives. Well, not so much a fight as them being systematically dismantled by this knight in black armor.
Their spell fire was being countered by the knight's quick feet, deadly aim, as well as his impressive and creative usage of banishing charms. Oh, and let's not forget to mention the knight's well trained mind and body. The different colors of light caused by spells being used flashed back and forth between the group, not to mention at the very least two flying bodies, interspersed with the sounds of bones breaking, full grown men screaming like little girls, and the occasional thud of a body unceremoniously meeting the ground after being mangled in some way, shape, or form.
Fleur, who had been barely holding on to consciousness through the repeated application of the Cruciatus, felt the curse lift, heard that sick person, who seemed to be the leader of this group, say something that she couldn't hear past the ringing in her ears only to be answered by a shadow flickering past her pain-blurred vision followed by the sound of the object hitting one of her attackers. She barely was able to register the sounds and sights of the fight that was going on around her as Fleur slipped into darkness with the last thing she saw being a pair of emerald green eyes darkened by uninhibited fury as they quickly took in the state of her tremoring and almost nude body and refocused on the men that had been attacking her. One last clear thought broke through to the forefront of her pain-addled mind as the darkness claimed her: those eyes were the most beautiful thing that she had ever seen…
Meeting the Father
Harry had finished off the attackers and had sent off his patronus as he finally turned his attention back to the now unconscious girl.
He grabbed a stick that was lying on the ground nearby, transfigured it into a blanket large enough to wrap all the way around the girl, laid it on the ground near the girl, used the Leviosa spell to levitate her onto the middle of the blanket before wrapping the blanket around her, and picked her up bridal style just as he heard the crack-crack-crack of multiple people apparating to his location.
The first person he had seen was his mother, a little dirty and frazzled, but otherwise the same stunning beauty that she always was with fire dancing in her eyes and her wand ready. Bellatrix only relaxed when she saw that her little boy was completely unharmed though the girl in his arms required a little more explaining in her opinion. The second person he noticed was a bear of a man that stood almost half a foot over six feet with a broad, barrel chested frame that was heavy with thick muscle, strong features, black hair cut short and beginning to gray at the temples, and piercing sea blue eyes that bore a look of deep concern at the moment. The third was Harry's godfather and uncle, Sirius Black. He was of average height with a narrow frame the supported a willow-thin build that hid a lot of strength, shoulder-length shaggy black hair, sharp black eyes, aristocratic features, and a five o'clock shadow. Everyone watched as the bear of a man let out a sharp gasp and charged towards Harry, his eyes fixed on the girl in his arms.
Harry, not knowing who this man was, shifted to where his body was slightly protecting the girl in his arms and said as he shifted his wand hand to point his wand at the man's knee, his voice full of steel, "Come any closer and you will regret it. If you want to get to her, you'll have to go through me."
Dastan Delacour stopped in his tracks and looked around for the first time, taking in the sight of the circle of dead and unconscious men as well as the state that their bodies were in. He was shocked at the devastation that had been wrought on this group and kind of surprised that he hadn't noticed it when he, Bellatrix, and Sirius, both of whom he had fought alongside in the previous war against Voldermort, had apparated to this location.
After surveying the damage for a moment longer, he turned his attention back to the boy, no, young man who was protectively holding onto his oldest daughter and had her modestly wrapped in a large blanket that he had probably used transfiguration to create. His sea blue eyes met emerald green eyes that held an edge in them, as if daring Dastan to do something and somehow seemed familiar, but he couldn't quite place where he had seen such expressive emerald eyes before as he spoke, "You would seek to keep a father from checking on the condition of his daughter?"
The young man's reaction was immediate and humorous as he flushed beat red and stammered, "Oh, uh, my apologies, sir? I didn't know that you were her father."
Bella took this moment to intervene, "Harry, it would probably be a good idea to give young Miss Delacour to her father now. That is, unless you want to marry the girl? Then I daresay my sweet little boy, that you will find a very angry papa bear in front of you and you will be on your own."
Harry did his best imitation of his friend Ron Weasley as his face flushed an even darker shade of red as he squeaked out the first word of his response, "Marriage?!"
He then gathered himself and continued, his eyes flickering down to the unconscious girl still in his arms before returning to his mother-in-all-but-blood and his godfather, "You're not going to let this one go are you?"
Both Bellatrix and Sirius gave him what Harry, his cousins, and friends had all come to term the "Marauders' Grin". He felt as if a lead weight had been dropped into his stomach as he knew the answer to his question was a resounding "No" even before Sirius spoke up in a playful tone, "Let's see: Save a very beautiful girl, check, wrap her up in a blanket to protect her modesty, probably after getting an eyeful of her beauty yourself, check, and then threaten her father's wellbeing if he tries to take his daughter back from you, check," he paused for dramatic effect, "nope, not letting this one go anytime soon, Prongslet. So, what kind of wedding cake do you want? Oh, and by the way, dibs on planning your bachelor party."
Harry groaned in response as both his mum and uncle both chuckled at his expense. That was also when Dastan Delacour spoke, cutting off his mother and uncle's mirth, "Is there somewhere we can go and discuss things more privately? Also I would like to have my daughter rest in an actual bed and not the young man's arms all night."
Sirius quipped before Harry could respond, "Oh, I'm sure Harry wouldn't mind having her in his arms all night, Daz. Isn't that right, Harry?"
Again Harry groaned at his uncle's antics. Seriously, was he trying to get him murdered by a man that, despite his earlier bravado, could actually pick him up and break him in half without a second thought and who happened to be the father of the girl in his arms at the moment? He was so busy wallowing in how his life was so unfair at the moment that he almost missed the slender pair of arms that snaked up around his neck and the girl's soft form snuggle further into his chest with a content sigh. Harry looked down at the girl and was surprised to see that she was still unconscious but somehow had managed to get her arms free of the blanket.
Somehow that sigh caught all three adults' attention. Dastan spoke again, his voice taut with anxiety, "We need to move somewhere more private, now."
Bella's eyes flickered between where Dastan was standing, suddenly tense for some reason, and where her son was holding Dastan's oldest daughter in his arms when she noticed that the girl's arms had found their way around her son's neck and nodded, "Come with us to our home, Dastan. You can contact your family from there and we can have the best mediwitch I know have a look at her."
Bella quickly conjured a piece of parchment and a pen, gotta love some of the muggle inventions, and quickly jotted something down before handing it to Dastan, "Read and remember this. Also, I will allow you to pass the note on to your wife so that she can come through the floo. My house-elf will tell you what you need to know."
Sirius spoke up, "I'll follow in a bit, after I take care of these goons and get them into custody or the morgue, as appropriate," then seeing his nephew's glance towards the dagger embedded to the hilt in one of the men's chest added, "don't worry Harry, I'll bring your dagger back to you. Also, I will need an official statement and pensive memory from you for the report, when you are available."
With that decided, Bellatrix moved over to stand by her son and placed a hand on his shoulder while speaking, "Misty."
A moment later, the motherly house-elf had appeared in front of her mistress via apparition and, unlike Dastan, immediately took in the devastation around them before turning towards Harry and seeing the young woman asleep in his arms, her eyes narrowed as she asked, "What has Young Master done now? Got himself in trouble again! Fighting against bad men! And look at Young Master's clothes!"
Bellatrix had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing at her son as the Matron of the House of Potter house-elves started in on a rant directed at Harry. She could tell that Sirius was having a hard time not laughing as well. Lady Potter let the house-elf continue to rant for a little bit longer before she cleared her throat to get Misty's attention again, immediately ending the house-elf's rant.
Once she had the Misty's attention, Bella smiled at the house-elf, "Can you take Monsieur Delacour to our home and then show him to the floo fire place so that he can contact his family?"
The little house-elf's ears flapped wildly as she nodded, "Oh yes, Lady Potter. At once Lady Potter."
With that, the little house-elf took Dastan's hand in hers and they disapparated with a crack only to be followed a moment later by Bellatrix taking Harry and Fleur by side-along apparition with a second crack.
A/N: Rewrite of the first actual chapter is done. More rewriting to follow as well as continuing forward with more actual chapters.