A/N 9/11/2020: So, here is a rewritten chapter three. I only made some minor changes in this chapter, mainly dealing with the architectural style of the Potter family home and the mention of the changes to the Weasley-Prewitt family dynamics (more on that later).
Damn, still don't own anything to do with Harry Potter except what I have written here.
As always, read and enjoy. And if you don't like my story, go read someone else's.
The Life Debt Confirmed
Dastan Delacour and the house-elf Misty arrived in the foyer of the Edwinsford Potter family home with a crack. It took him a few moments to get his bearings, after all it had been over twenty-two years since he had had to be side-along apparated, but when he did, Dastan found himself standing in a large foyer with a six-foot tall fireplace set on the wall to his left that had an ornate jar resting on the mantle that he assumed contained floo powder, hardwood floors gave the house an overall feeling of warmth and comfort, the walls and high ceiling were done in a slight off-white pearl color that accented the warm feeling of the large house. He felt a strong urge to leave the house for some reason and it confused him for a moment before he remembered the piece of parchment in his hand. He looked down and read, The Ancestral Home of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Potter is located at Wyvern's Rock, Edwinsford, Wales.
He looked up from the piece of parchment as he felt the magic of the Fidelius Charm settle over him, his uneasiness at being there disappearing. On the wall to his right was a large blue-gray banner that featured the coat of arms for the Most Ancient and Noble House of Potter: a black wyvern with wings spread set behind a shield that featured a witch and wizard back to back with wands drawn fighting the darkness that was at the edges of the shield set above a scroll that read in Welsh, "Cryfder mewn Teulu, Honor mewn Bywyd" (Strength in Family, Honor in Life), and the chandelier hanging from the high ceiling bathed the whole entry hall in a warm, flickering light.
Dastan was tempted to explore the rest of what appeared to be a Roman-era villa to find where Bella and Harry had apparated to with his eldest but that thought was interrupted as the house-elf spoke in a gentle tone, "Missus Bella said that you can use the floo to contact your home, sir. The Missus and Young Master will be down in a moment. For someone to comes through, they need to say the phrase on this piece of parchment. You may share with your mate only."
As she finished saying that, the house-elf handed Dastan a small piece of parchment and disapparated with a crack, leaving Dastan alone in the foyer of the home. He quickly read the piece of parchment and felt the magic of a second Fidelius Charm settle over him. Dastan took a deep breath and let it out in a single sigh as he moved over to the fireplace, which had a small fire crackling merrily in it, grabbed a pinch of floo powder from the jar on the mantle, and said in a clear voice as he tossed the powder into the fireplace, "Delacour Chateau."
The fire in the fireplace at the Delacour Chateau turned emerald green, causing Apolline to flinch for a moment before she turned to face the fireplace to see her husband and mate's disembodied head sitting in the midst of the green flames. Relief flooded through her as she rushed over to the fireplace and knelt down, her eyes looking at her husband's head and spoke to him in their native tongue, "My love, you have no idea how happy I am to see you alive and safe. We heard that the Dark Mark was seen after we fled. Do you have any news of Fleur? We got separated while we were running for the portkey."
Dastan looked up at his wife with love and adoration in his eyes and said, "Fleur is safe, now. She had been attacked by a group of men who intended to rape and murder her, but she was saved by a young man. I am in the home of his family right now. I need you here as soon as you can, my love."
Apolline gasped, "You mean a life debt has been formed?"
Dastan's grave look was enough of an answer for her, "I fear it may be so, but I still need to confirm it. Bellatrix Potter said that you would be allowed through the floo. Come as quickly as you can, love, our daughter will need you. I need you to read this piece of parchment so that you can know the floo address. The phrase to get through is on the second piece of parchment. Hurry, my love."
Apolline nodded as she took the two pieces of parchment from her husband's disembodied hand, "I will. Let me contact my mother, Angelique. As soon as she is here to take care of Gabby, I will be there."
Dastan nodded and withdrew his head and arm from the fireplace just as he heard the clicking of boot heels on the marble floor approaching him. He turned and was greeted by the sight of Bellatrix Potter standing in the middle of the entry way with an unreadable look on her face as those violet eyes seemed to cut right through him, "So, would like to tell me why you were so bloody insistent that we get here as fast as possible and what it has to do with my son?"
He looked at her and said, "How is Fleur?"
Bella gestured for Dastan to follow her as she turned around and made her way deeper into the house. As Dastan followed her, he noticed that the entire house seemed to have the same warmth as the foyer that they just left. He also noticed numerous pictures and Ancient Roman-style tile mosaics hanging on the walls.
He was sure the pictures from Harry's childhood, as a good number of them featured the now fourteen-year-old young man, some with just him, others with a variety of other children: one older, a few seemed to be the same age as the young man, and a couple were most obviously younger than Harry was in the pictures. Dastan also noticed a variety of adults in the pictures with Harry, many of them featured Bella and/or Sirius, a redhead he recognized as Amelia Bones-Black, current head of the Department for Magical Law Enforcement as well as being the wife of Sirius Black, some featured a woman with long blonde hair, others a woman who looked strikingly similar to Bella but with warm brown eyes instead of violet, and a couple must have been salvaged from the Potter's home in Godric's Hollow because they featured James and Lily Potter holding baby Harry. The one thing that all of the pictures had in common was that they showed how much this large and unlikely family loved and cared for each other.
The mosaics seemed to depict various members of the Potter bloodline through the centuries, dating all the way back to Ancient Rome. Some of them showed scenes of battles being fought, others showed scenes of the family simply living their lives to the fullest.
Dastan had been so absorbed in the pictures and mosaics on the walls that he didn't even notice that they had ascended the grand staircase that swept upwards from the first floor to the second in a wide arc to the second floor which seemed to radiate outward from the staircase and was segregated into four main hallways. He followed Bella down one of the wings as she said, "This is the North Wing. You and your family can stay here while your daughter is recovering and you can tell me what the bloody hell has you so tense. Also our family rooms are in this wing."
He looked at her and said in a defeated tone, "Let me see that my daughter is fine first, then I will answer your questions, oui?"
Bella gave him a hard look that told him that the witch wouldn't be satisfied until her questions were answered, "Fine. She's in here."
She said the last part as she opened the door that they had stopped in front of, revealing a large bedroom complete with a four-poster bed, book cases that seemed to be built in to the right hand wall and stretched from the front corner to the back corner, and two doors on the opposite wall from the book cases that flanked the waist high dresser and vanity set. The room itself was in keeping with the overall warm motif of the house at large with walls and ceiling painted in a light tan color that set of the antique furniture and hardwood flooring in the room quite well, a high ceiling featured a silver chandelier that seemed to be electric complete with lightbulbs, and a candelabra standing on the nightstand to the left side of the bed.
The only breaks he saw with the style of the house were the green and silver comforter and the green banner that hung above the fireplace and featured a silver serpent that looked remarkably like a basilisk in the shape of an "S" in the center as well as a large serpentine skull with a fierce looking set of teeth adorning the mouth that was open enough to where the top of the skull could act as a side table set in an alcove with a what appeared to be a plush high-backed chair resting to either side of the skull. The alcove was a decent-sized sitting room that was arranged on the opposite side of the bed from the side with the two doors and actually allowed the book cases to extend out into the room. He saw that the sitting area had three set's of curtains hanging in it, one on each of the walls, he assumed that they were hiding more windows.
Lying on the bed was Fleur, still unconscious with her arms still wrapped around the neck of a now equally unconscious Harry, but instead of their tattered clothes that they had come here with, both seemed to be dressed in modest night clothes and were tucked under the blankets with a rather motherly woman standing to the left of the bed, her wand out and a bag that looked remarkably like a muggle doctor's travel bag open on the night stand next to her. The woman stood a few inches shy of six feet with dark brown hair that was shot through with streaks of gray, hazel eyes were focused on her task at hand, stern features that had been weathered by age, and a body that had once been remarkable had been claimed by age and loose clothing to become slightly larger than it had been previously.
Dastan hadn't even realized that Bella had followed him into the room until she spoke from behind him, the door closing softly as she inquired, "Poppy, how is she?"
Poppy Pomfrey answered in a matter-of-fact tone, "You mean besides the aftereffects of repeated application of the Cruciatus curse? No other serious injuries but she will more than likely still be fairly weak when she wakes due to the trauma she suffered. Harry did great getting to her when he did or else she could have been in much worse condition. I vanished my strongest Dreamless Sleep Potion as well as a potion for the pain and tremors into her so that she will sleep until sometime tomorrow afternoon. That's how long I expect it to take for the effects of her injuries to take to wear off. Other than that, there is nothing I can do except say that she is to minimize her time out of bed tomorrow. The most she should be allowed to do tomorrow is shower and join the family for meals. Then the day after tomorrow she should be okay to move around largely on her own. During those two days, she is to use very little magic, preferably none."
Dastan answered, some of his stress melting away as he heard the matron speak, as he moved forward towards where his daughter was lying on the bed, her arms wrapped around Harry's neck and her head resting on his chest with the rest of her body pressed against his side, if the single lump under the blanket was to be believed, "Thank you for caring for my daughter. I am relieved to hear that she will make a fast recovery."
Poppy nodded to the man and then turned her attention to Bella, "Harry will be okay, Bella. He only has a few bruised ribs and some cuts and scrapes. All rather minor injuries for what normally befalls your son at school. I also gave him a Dreamless Sleep Potion so that he would sleep, not that he really needed it, as tired as he was, but he and I felt it was the safer bet with how the girl seems to refuse to let go of him."
Poppy gave the man who had entered the room with Bella a hard look and almost moved to block him as he made his way to her patients' bedside but stopped as she saw Bella give her a small shake of the head to tell Poppy not to interfere. Dastan didn't notice as he approached the sleeping teens and drew his wand. He used the spell that he had been taught by Apolline when she had found out that she was pregnant with a girl, knowing that any girl born to a Veela would be a full Veela. The spell was a variation of the typical medical diagnostic spell, but this one was focused on the target's magic and would reveal any magical bonds that had been formed between the target and anyone or anything else.
Dastan was hoping against hope as the aura that showed Fleur's magical bonds showed him that she was his daughter, the aura matching the color of his own magic briefly before changing to match the color of his wife's magic briefly before changing a second time to a dull gold in color that then encompassed Harry completely. He felt his heart sink as he saw the golden aura settle around Fleur and Harry and pulse a few times before he canceled the spell. There it was, confirmation that his daughter indeed owed a life debt to the young man she was sharing a bed with at the moment. The weight of the knowledge came crashing down on him and almost caused him to collapse to the ground as Atlas had when he'd been forced to hold up the sky in Greek mythology.
Bella had watched Dastan cast what was obviously a form of diagnostic spell on his daughter. Her keen eyes were focused on Dastan's body language and facial expressions as she leaned against the wall opposite the bed, her arms folded across her chest. She had watched the colors of the aura around the girl start out a brilliant white and remembered that the color of Dastan's shield charms were always white, then had changed to what she would describe as lilac in color before changing to become a dull gold in color and surround her son.
Bella would have missed the crestfallen expression that flitted across Dastan's face for the briefest of moments before he schooled his expression like the Master Auror that he had been during the last war, but the pain that had accompanied the expression was still there in his eyes as he turned away from the sleeping teens after placing a gentle kiss on his daughter's forehead. Bella had seen the look in his eyes a thousand times before, hell half of those times where when she looked into the mirror after coming back from a particularly difficult assignment…
A Little While Later
A Discussion About Veela
Dastan now found himself in a comfortable sitting room, sitting in one of the antique chairs that was situated a comfortable distance from the large fireplace that dominated one part of the room with a rose colored marble mantle and matching sidings that were shaped in the form of the ancient roman pillars, a side table sat between his chair and its twin that was occupied by Bella, his wife, who had arrived as he and Bella had descended from the second floor was sitting nearby on the sofa, her presence providing an immeasurable amount of support to him as he not only felt her closeness, but sensed her love through the mate bond that they shared. The far wall of the room featured windows that stood from the floor to the ceiling and flanked a pair of glass French doors that opened onto a covered patio that looked over a large portion of the property associated with the house as well as the valley below, a set of book cases filled with books and tomes of all types occupied one wall and the other featured the double doors that led into the room from the hallway just outside, again the ever-present candelabras were present in strategic locations around the room, but the focal point of the room was the large wizarding family portrait that hung on the wall above the fireplace.
Resting on the side table between Dastan and Bella was a bottle of Wyvern's Reserve Blue Label, a brand of firewhiskey that was widely regarded as the best firewhiskey brand to come out of the British Isles with a pair of tumblers that were each half full of the amber liquid. Apolline had a cup of tea sitting on the side table next to where she was sitting on the couch as she had never been one for the stronger liquors, but knew that her husband occasionally needed something stronger than wine or champagne with the jobs that both previously held and currently hold at the French Ministry of Magic.
The silence had been building for the last several minutes was broken as Bella spoke in a cold tone that told the other occupants of the room that she would accept nothing less than the truth, "So, Delacour, are you going to tell me what the bloody hell was that golden aura around your daughter that had you so concerned, not to mention what it has to do with my son?"
Just then the door to the sitting room opened to admit one Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, both who had just arrived after making sure that their own immediate families were safe at home. Both men moved over to where the other three were and, after Sirius gave Bellatrix something that was heavily wrapped in cloth and vaguely shaped like a dagger, conjured chairs to sit in, Sirius summoning the bottle of firewhiskey as soon as he sat down while Remus silently conjured two additional tumblers, into which Sirius poured the fiery amber liquor. After the bottle had been returned to its previous perch via reverse summoning charm, Dastan picked up his tumbler and emptied it in a single gulp, allowing the fiery liquid to scald the insides of his mouth as he exhaled a little bit of smoke before swallowing, feeling the whiskey burn a path from his mouth all the way down to his stomach. When he had poured himself a second half tumbler of the amber liquid and returned the bottle to its place on the side table he spoke, "All of you are aware that my wife is Veela, correct?"
Sirius spoke for Bella and Remus when he said, "Yes, we are aware. Even now, I find it difficult to keep my attention off of her."
Dastan asked a second question, hoping that the Lady Potter would hold her infamous temper for a little while longer, "Are you aware of the other aspects of their magic?"
Remus answered this time, "Do you mean how they are creatures of fire and air? How magic involving either or both of those elements come naturally to them to the point where they can cast said magic wandlessly? Or do you mean how their magic interacts with magical bonds?"
Dastan nodded, his voice small, "Yes," he paused to take another sip from his tumbler before asking another question, "Bella, does Harry have a girl that he is interested in at Hogwarts or here?"
Bella frowned as she thought about the question for a moment, really starting to not like the direction this conversation was going. She recalled how Harry had had a crush on the seeker for the Ravenclaw house team at school last year until he had asked her out and found out that she actually liked Harry's best friend, Hermione Granger, a muggleborn witch that had been sorted into Ravenclaw and was in Harry's year, but didn't know how it was related to this conversation. She recalled how Harry had swallowed his hurt feelings and helped the girl, Cho Chang get with Hermione.
As it turned out, Hermione had had a crush on Cho, but was afraid of acting on it since she knew that Harry had liked her as well, and now the two of them were visiting Spain with Hermione's parents and were very happy together, which had made Harry happy for his friends in the end, as Cho had become part of Harry's little group at school. Bella quickly ran through the list of girls that she knew her son had mentioned at one point or another, but most of them fell completely under the 'friend' title and the rest fell under the 'have no intention of getting to know them even if they were the last woman on earth' title. She shook her head, "No, Harry hasn't mentioned being interested in any girls. I don't see what this has to do with how Veela magic interacts with magical bonds."
Dastan heaved a sigh before tossing back the rest of his tumbler, he would need the courage that he hoped the liquor would provide, "Veela magic is very peculiar in how it interacts with magical bonds. For example, marriage, a Veela's magic will not accept the typical magical binding that occurs during wizarding weddings unless the Veela has taken their partner to mate within a solar cycle. In other words, if the marriage is not consummated within one day of the vows being exchanged, the Veela's magic will cause a magical divorce, separating the Veela and their partner in the eyes of magic and as you know, our laws accept magic's decrees as gospel. In other words, their magic will declare their partner unworthy and force the separation. I know several Veela who have made use of this loophole to get away from abusive partners.
"Another way it interacts with magical bonds, is in the way that the gene is passed on through the generations. Female children born to a Veela will always be full-blooded Veela, whilst male children born to Veela will simply carry the gene and have a small possibility to have a natural affinity to fire and air spells as well as some wandless magic, but if they have a female child, then she will be half-Veela."
Dastan paused to take a gulp of the firewhiskey before continuing, as he knew that he was about to drop the proverbial atomic bomb, "Well, another way that Veela magic is peculiar is in the way it interacts with life debts. If, and that is a big if for the reasons I am about to give, a Veela comes to owe someone a life debt, then the debt must be satisfied within one lunar cycle. In other words, the Veela has one month to satisfy the life debt or else their magic is stripped from them and as you all know, a Veela cannot survive without her magic. Now there are two ways to satis-"
Bella cut him off, her voice inquisitive, "Wait, are you saying that Fleur owes Harry a life debt?"
Dastan nodded, "Yes, that's what the golden glow signified. Usually the glow is silver in color, but the color doesn't matter at this point."
Apolline looked at her husband sharply and interjected, "The color of the bond was gold?"
Dastan looked at his wife and nodded, "Oui."
Sirius's eyes narrowed as he asked the question that Bellatrix and Remus were also thinking, "What does the color signify for them?"
Apolline answered while still giving her husband an annoyed look, "The color of the bond when it is revealed through a spell signifies how strong the bond between the two. Silver, as my husband has said, signifies a life debt with the more muted the color of the light, the weaker the bond. Gold however, signifies that a life debt exists as well as the fact that the two are very compatible magically, with the brighter the color being the more compatible. Another way to think about it is that their magics have similar affinities. As we said earlier, a Veela's magic is centered around air and fire, elementally and charms is the main branch of magic that comes most easy to a Veela."
Dastan didn't miss the look that passed between the three members of their audiance. He would have to ask about that later.
Bella broke the brief silence that had fallen over everyone following Apolline's description, "So how did this happen? How does a Veela life debt form?"
Dastan heaved a sigh and looked to his wife, speaking to her through their mate bond, do you want to tell them or do you want me to do it?
He watched as Apolline spoke, "We can fall under a life debt only if certain conditions exist. One is that the person saving us from a life threatening situation has to have no prior knowledge of us. Meaning, they cannot know us before they save our life. The second is that the person saving us cannot be doing it for selfish reasons, which means that if Harry had saved Fleur so that he could have his way with her, the debt would have been void. The third condition is that the Veela cannot be bound to another. This means that if Fleur had already chosen a mate, a life debt would not have been formed, whether she and her chosen had married or not."
Sirius frowned, "Okay, that tells us how a life debt is formed, but how do we satisfy it and why do you and your husband look like you just found out that your dog ate your cat?"
Dastan closed his eyes for a moment before opening them and looking directly at Bella as he spoke again, "There are three ways for the Veela to satisfy the life debt: the first is if Fleur saves Harry's life within a month and it has to be as honest and selfless an act as when he saved her life, the second is that if Harry ignores the debt, the Veela's magic will call the debt due at the end of the same time frame and Fleur's magic will be stripped from her, and because a Veela cannot live without their magic, it would result in our daughter's death."
Bella was dumbstruck, if what she was hearing was true then Fleur would have to save her son's life within a month or die. That wouldn't sit well with Harry. He always wanted everyone to have a chance at life, after all because of his birth mother's love he was given a chance at having a full life, dark lord's followers be damned, and finding out that he had saved Fleur's life just to have her die because there wasn't a possible way for her to save his life in the same spirit as he had hers within a month would kill him, hell it pained her just to think about it. There had to be another way that both could live, preferably without a life-threatening situation occurring, since that seemed to happen to her son while he was at school plenty.
As her mind raced for anything, Bella remembered Dastan's question from the beginning of the conversation, and then it hit her: the third way to satisfy the debt was through marriage. Why else would Dastan ask about girls that Harry was interested in? Because if Harry was interested in a girl other than Fleur he would have to break off whatever relationship that was. She spoke, her voice soft and disbelieving, "Marriage?"
Dastan looked her in the eyes, and in that moment, Bella saw how truly aged he was by the enormity of the situation, "Yes, Bella, Harry would have to take Fleur's hand in marriage and they would have to consummate their union."
Everyone in the room sat in silence for a few moments, processing the information that had just been shared, before Bella chuckled, "Well, at least now I have a good reason for continuing to turn down the marriage contract proposals from the Prewitt Matriarch."
Sirius barked out a laugh, "That will likely send her blood pressure through the roof. Poor Arthur, having to deal with that bloated banshee due to her children having Weasley blood. At least Avalyn will help keep the banshee out of Arthur's hair."
Remus spoke up then, his own Marauder's grin showing now, "Let's not forget the banshee-in-training, Ginerva Prewitt. She will be insufferable when this news gets out. Fancied herself the next Lady Potter, she did."
Dastan spoke, "Which is why we must keep this as quiet as possible."
Sirius spoke, "Well seems like I will get to plan Harry's bachelor party after all."
Dastan frowned at Sirius, "That's not necessarily the case. Harry hasn't agreed to it yet," he paused to look at Bella and asked the question that had been burning in him since he saw the devastation wrought in the forest, "Bella, what kind of man is your son?"
A/N: Let me know what you think.