A/N: This is for Season 5, Round 2 of the Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition. I am Chaser 1 for the Caerphilly Catapults. The main challenge this round was to set our stories in specific places. I got Beauxbatons.
AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU AU FOR GOD'S SAKE READ WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. THIS IS AN AU. I'M LOOKING AT YOU, JUDGES. DON'T YOU TELL ME YOU DIDN'T KNOW THIS IS AN AU.
*PRIMAL SCREAM* AAAAAAAAAAAAAA UUUUUUUUUUUUUU *PRIMAL SCREAM*
My optional prompts were:
4. (image) image . shutterstock z / stock-photo-376350100 . jpg
10. (genre) Suspense
15. (quote) "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful! Hate me because I'm beautiful, smart, and rich." – Calvin Keegan
BY THE WAY, THIS IS AN AU, MOTHER PLUCKERS. MAKE A NOTE OF IT!
Harry felt that the world had been quite unfair to him thus far. His parents had been taken away when he was just a baby. He had been isolated from the wizarding world until he was eleven. If the Dursleys had had any say in the matter, he'd probably still be in his cupboard under the stairs, completely ignorant of his talents except for the occasional strange thing that happened around him. He faced mortal danger every year at school for some reason or another. Most recently, his name had been pulled out of the Goblet of Fire, enrolling him in the Triwizard tournament against his will. He had known from that moment that one of Voldemort's Death Eaters was in the castle, and that his participation in the Triwizard Tournament was a trap. He just didn't know quite how.
However, he'd managed to survive two tasks thus far. With the help of Ron and Hermione (mostly Hermione), he'd retrieved the golden egg from the dragon's nest at Durmstrang and rescued Ron and Gabrielle Delacour from the Black Lake at Hogwarts. That left the third and final task, to be administered at Beauxbatons.
A wing of the Beauxbatons castle had been enchanted into a sort of maze, promising the Triwizard Cup at some undisclosed point in the middle of twisting staircases, dark corridors, and…well, and that.
Following a rough growl, presumably from Viktor Krum, Harry had come upon the Bulgarian seeker just in time to witness the stone wall reach out and grab him. He stood there staring in disbelief for quite a while, before he saw the wall move out of the corner of his eye and came to the conclusion that he didn't want to be anywhere near the spot.
He'd run down the first hallway he saw, staying as far away from the walls as possible. Finally, he started to slow down, breathing hard and uncomfortably aware of the fact that he was entirely alone. There were stone walls surrounding him. No way out except through, until someone found the Cup. Would they? Was there even a Cup to find at the end of this nightmare, or was this some sort of plot to kill each of the competitors, and leave the maze unsolved? He knew the Tournament had been the Dark Lord's idea, one way or another. Just how fairly would Voldemort play?
Harry shivered involuntarily as his mind conjured up the answer to that final question. Voldemort didn't care about fair; if he ever had, he'd abandoned the qualm when he'd failed to kill Harry.
A small, unidentifiable noise broke into Harry's thoughts, and he looked around. He'd just climbed a long flight of stairs, and he was standing at the top on a narrow landing, staring at what looked like a perfectly ordinary birdcage, housing what seemed to be a perfectly ordinary metal heart covered in a crisscross pattern with red string.
No magic? What would be the point? How could this throw him off? Or was it somehow meant to point him in the right direction? Even if he could figure out what it meant, was it worth following the clue in the hope that it had been planted by a friend, rather than a foe?
There was the noise again, and this time Harry knew where it came from. Something was dripping from within the string surrounding the heart. It was blood, and it had been pooling on the ground for quite some time. There was a sizeable pool under the birdcage.
Harry jumped, accidently sticking a foot in the pool of blood as he turned around to face the voice.
Fleur was standing a few steps down, looking at him quizzically.
"Yes?" Harry responded, trying to sound calm.
"Aren't you going to take it?" she asked, gesturing to the heart.
Harry looked at the birdcage, then back at Fleur. "What is it?" he asked.
"It is a—how you say?—a charm. A lucky charm. The 'eart of an Avis."
"Then you take it," he said, "I don't need—"
"Of course you do!" she snapped, "You saw what 'appened to Viktor: what could 'appen to you or me at any minute."
Harry couldn't argue with that. He opened the cage and stuck his hand in, grasping the heart and pulling it out. He began to unravel it and noticed something was moving in the middle of the string and wire frame. When the red string was gone, he found himself holding a tiny heart—a bird's—still beating, spilling blood into his hand with every pump. Setting it down for a moment, he wrapped his hand with the ribbon, then picked up the heart and rested it on his covered hand. He could still feel blood seeping through, but it was better than the constant drip.
"We should share it," he said.
Fleur shook her head. "I couldn't. It is yours. You found it."
"You saw what happened to Viktor!" he said, mirroring her earlier argument, "This is a dangerous task. We both need protection."
"We go together?" Fleur asked.
"Yes, we'll go together."
Fleur nodded, and they descended the staircase together. It was only then that Harry realized Fleur hadn't been anywhere near when Krum was taken by the wall.
But then, perhaps she had been, and Harry hadn't seen. She might have been following the sound of his footsteps after catching the last moments of Viktor's incarceration. She hadn't screamed, though. But then again, Harry thought, neither had he.
"We go zis way," Fleur said when they came to another fork in the corridor. She was pointing to the left.
Harry shrugged. He had no objections. If Fleur had a plan, he was happy to follow.
Fleur chose their direction after that. "Zat way." "Zis way." "Over zere." "Forward." She seemed to know where she was going and Harry wasn't about to argue. In fact, her way took them all the way to the Triwizard Cup.
Harry stared at it in amazement. "How did you—?" He turned to ask her, but she was backing away, a wicked grin on her face.
"Don't 'ate me because I am beautiful. 'Ate me because I am beautiful, smart, and a survivor," she said, a wicked grin on her face. Then, "I'm sorry, 'arry. Flipendo."
Harry was shot back towards the Triwizard Cup, and he grasped at it desperately. Then, suddenly, Beauxbatons was gone.