Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, I am not rich, attractive or female enough.
A/N: This is my first attempt at writing something longer than a few pages. The first few chapters are a bit rough around the edges, stick it out and it improves drastically. I may come back and clean it up at a later date.
Harry Potter sat alone in the smallest bedroom of number 4 privet drive. The last week had been a revelation. He was a Wizard, he even had a wand that was sitting in his new trunk downstairs locked in the cupboard under the stairs. Appropriate, he thought to himself. He always felt that he or at least a part of himself would remain locked in there with the spiders. Hedwig, his new owl, headbutts him gently to the cheek. His first friend bought for him by a giant of a man that may one day also be a friend if he didn't get chased away by Dudley, or his ragged clothes, or his painfully odd silent moments that seemed to chase away the other children his age.
Harry was alone, as far back as he could remember it was his one defining trait. In a fit of inspiration, he picks up his new quill and a roll of parchment. Staring at it for a few seconds he realizes what he is missing… ink. Pulling out a bottle and uncorking it he shrugs to himself. "Why not learn now.." he mutters to himself. Unsure what to write, or why he even wanted to Harry put quill to parchment.
My name is Harry,
According to magic I live in the smallest bedroom in number 4 privet drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Last week I found out I am a wizard… an Orphan wizard. I expect any day to wake up in my bed in the cupboard under the stairs. I have never had a friend…
Harry frowns at what he wrote and shakes his head, glad that no one would ever read his weakness. Thinking for a moment he feels… better… lighter. He shrugs and keeps writing.
My cousin Dudley puts much effort into chasing anyone off that might be nice to me. Maybe Hogwarts will be better. A place filled with freaks like me surely would not mind just one more… and Dudley won't be there to chase anyone away.
Just one friend… someone to be lonely together with…
Tears course quietly down His cheeks leaving a few small stains on the poorly written letter. Harry put down his quill and lays back closing his eyes drifting into an uneasy slumber. Hedwig looks sadly at her new master and uses a claw to unlatch her cage. She gently pushes it open, hops out and grabs the letter in her talons. With one last look at the forlorn boy she flys out the window in search of a friend.
A small girl somewhere in France awakens to the sound of something scratching at a window… Her window she blearily realizes shaking off her morning confusion. Her bright sapphire blue eyes open to the site of sunlight streaming into her large well-appointed bedroom. Rolling out of her bed that looks like an overzealous cake decorator designed it she wobbles over to the window and pushes it open. "Bonjour?" she hesitantly says. With a small squeak she stumbles back as the most beautiful owl she has ever seen hops onto the sill and tilts his head to the side eyeballing her as if to inspect her for worthiness. "Brek" barks the bird holding out a talon with a crumpled piece of parchment.
"A letter? Who is your owner?" she mutters to the owl as she takes the letter. The owl nods in a short concise way as if to indicate she did the correct thing. She gives a brief dazzling smile to the owl then slowly opens the letter her eyes growing slowly wider as she does, tears sparkle on her dainty blonde lashes then slowly drop to join those already on the parchment.
It had been three days since Harry had written his letter. He vaguely realized it was gone when he woke up in the morning but never really registered it. His aunt screaming from the bottom of the stairs for him to cook breakfast and fertilize the garden. He kept the light at the end of the tunnel firmly in mind, within a few weeks he would be away from them. A place where they could not reach him until next summer. Laying back on his bed with a sigh he tried to forget how sore he was.
"Brek?" Hedwig barks at him in an inquisitive manner. Sitting up quickly his eyes opening wide "Your back girl? I… I thought you might have left…" Hedwig glared at him then hopped over head-butting him on the cheek. "I know girl…" He strokes her then grabs out a few owl treats from the box Hagrid gave him. Turning around he noticed she had a piece of parchment tied to her foot. Reaching out with nervous fingers he unties it and crumples to the bed holding the letter over his eyes. Someone had seen his letter, the thought almost made him hyperventilate. Someone had seen his weakness, what would they think of it, how pathetic he was. Something about the letter broke through his downward spiral. It smelled wonderful, like flowers in spring after a fresh rain.
Something about it was extremely calming. Harry opened his eyes and sat up inspecting the missive. It was higher quality parchment then he used, smelled good and… his heart skipped a beat. Had writing on the back 'To: Harry'.
I too am in need of a friend. I live in France and go to Beauxbatons Academy, My Maman says it is a lot like Hogwarts. I am a witch going into my third year, I used to have friends… but I still look like a little girl. They do not want to be seen with me any longer.
I am sorry to hear you are not happy at home, I hope school is a happier place for you. Will you write me back? I think I would like that.
Harry read and reread the letter until he knew it by heart. Laying back on his bed he put it over his face and closed his eyes inhaling the scent of parchment, flowers and fresh rain thinking it over. Someone wanted to be his friend. His first friend. Hedwig was drinking out of her water dish and staring at him. "Thanks, girl… how did you" she tilts her head at him "Brek." Came her reply, figuring it was all he was likely to get from the recalcitrant bird he smiled at her and ruffled her feathers gently. He pulled over more parchment and his quill and started to write.
You are going into your third year? So you have used magic before… that is really neat. What is it like? How are your classes? Your school is in France… your English is very good. Maybe I should learn some French, would that be easier for you?
Sorry about all the questions, I did not know magic existed until my birthday this year July 31st if you're curious. When is yours?
Your friends were wrong to abandon you, I would never abandon a friend… I will never abandon you.
Sitting at breakfast with her baby sister and her mother the same girl catches sight of the snowy owl that had brought her a letter. The first letter she had received outside of the family in over a year. She smiled faintly at the owl, he had written back… "An owl dear, who is it from?" her Mother asked. She looked thoughtful at the owl then removed the letter it offered as it put its leg out. "A friend Maman." Her mother smiled at her with a somewhat curious look on her perfectly even features. "That's good dear, glad to hear they are coming around. I told you it would just take time." She nodded back absently not bothering to correct her.
She ran up to her room leaving her breakfast half finished to read her most recent letter. A soft content smile graced her lips as she read. She frowned briefly realizing she had never given him her name. She had to write back… she would be returning to school soon and may be too busy then.
Yes, I have used magic, I am very good at charms. My teacher thinks I may end up becoming a master of them. I do not know how likely that is… but I do enjoy them the most. It just feels right? Thank you for complimenting my English, my parents have always thought it was important we learn and I have been learning for a few years now. If you want to learn French I would be happy to help you. I do not mind the questions, I have had very little conversation for a long time…
I am sorry I missed your birthday mine is September 20th, my pere always said I was summer's last breath.
I would never abandon a friend either.
I realized I forgot to tell you my name,
It is Fleur.
Fleur looked at the letter then nodded to herself. She walked over to her bookshelf and pulled down her old annotated copy of her magical French to English dictionary and with a brief thought one of her earliest workbooks. Even if it was the wrong way around he may still learn something from it. Grabbing her wand she tapped the two books shrinking them down and attaching them with the letter to the waiting owl. She smirked to herself, he asked about magic. She hoped he liked it.
Harry was sitting on Hogwarts express, today had been a whirlwind. He had trouble finding the platform as his relatives laughed and drove away. He managed to follow a large noisy family and get himself onto the train without anyone noticing him. If Diagon Alley was anything to go by people liked to gawk at his forehead and he wanted very badly to be known for something good. That was not to be as a freckled redhead entered his compartment and almost instantly knew his name. It was a bit disconcerting to be treated like he was an animal in a zoo. The boy, Ron he found out was friendly enough. So Harry decided to buy them some food and talk to him about Hogwarts and the wizarding world in general.
Harry found out quickly that he was lost. This boy had never known a world without magic, the very idea was foreign to him. And things he took for granted shocked and amazed Harry. Eventually, the boy laid back for a kip giving Harry a chance to process what he learned. Leaning back himself he closed his eyes briefly until he heard something hit the window of the train. His eyes snapped open and he looked at the window seeing Hedwig barely keeping pace with the train with a letter tied to her foot. Harry let out a small strangled yelp and hopped to open the window letting the bedraggled owl into the compartment. Surprisingly this did not seem to disturb Ron whose mouth now hung open as loud snores issued forth.
Only one person had ever owled Harry. With a grin he pulled the letter off Hedwig's foot, he noticed two small objects tied to the outside of the letter. Pulling them off he inspected the tiny few inch objects. They appeared to be tiny books. His inspection of them was interrupted as the carriage door opened with a snap and a bushy-haired girl stuck her head in. "Excuse me, but have you seen a toad? I am helping a boy look for his he has lost his pet." Her tone, Harry felt, was somewhat bossy and overly official for an eleven year old. He shook his head and looked back to the tiny books. "Are those books? I read about the ability to shrink things down for easy transport in 'Charms year one' did you do it yourself?" Harry mutely shook his head. "The book says to reverse it you simply tap them with your wand. Like so." she reached out with her wand and poked the bigger of the two books. Both Harry and the girl jumped back slightly as it expanded. As if they were one both at the same time breathed out "Wow…" Harry turned to grin at the girl.
"Thank you, It probably would have taken me ages to figure that out," Harry said with a slightly chagrined look. The girl smiles a small smile then nods "I have to go, toads don't find themselves you know." Within seconds the door was closed and Harry was alone again save the sleeping redhead across from him. Reaching into his new school robes Harry fished out his wand and tapped the second book his eyes widening in wonder at how awesome magic could be. He inspected the two books smiling when he realized they were books used to teach someone who spoke French English. Or in his case perhaps the other way around. Opening up the workbook the smell of fresh flowers and new rain washed over him calming him, it had already been filled out in hesitant but flowing handwriting he recognized from the letters he had received.
Harry set down the books and grabbed the letter, the books could wait. He read it over twice, her name was Fleur… There was something right about that. He grabbed the dictionary she had sent him and flipped to the 'F' section, shortly he found it. Fleur meant flower, what a beautiful name he thought. Her birthday had not yet past, he even has time to figure something out. She had given him a present and it was not even his birthday, at least not anymore. He tucked the letter into his trunk with the utmost care then picked up the two books she had sent him, he had work to do.
His first two weeks of school had been busy. Everything was so different, he was free of the Dursley's, he was learning things that were amazing. Everyone treated him different still though, in this world he was The-Boy-Who-Lived and people treated him like a zoo exhibit or like what zookeepers shoveled out of zoo exhibits at the end of a long hot day. Hanging out with Ron took some of the loneliness away. At least he was friendly enough.
It took him two weeks but he finally built up the courage to approach his charms teacher Professor Flitwick with a request. The diminutive man always seemed so excitable. "What can I do for you, Mr. Potter? I daresay you do not simply want to stay in my classroom after for its delightful ambiance." Harry chuckled. "No sir, I was wondering if you could teach me a spell…" Flitwick's eyebrows rose into his hairline "Well that is what I am here for Mr. Potter is there anything specific you were looking for?" Harry looked down at his feet fidgeting with his hands "I was hoping to make a flower." A knowing smirk passes over Professor Flitwick's face "Ah, I see. That is a fourth year spell." Harry's face fell "Oh Mr. Potter don't give up hope, It may be difficult for you but I believe that we will manage."
After a few hours of patient tutelage, Harry had managed to produce a small Lily flower. Harry was not impressed. "You should be proud Mr. Potter for a first year with barely two weeks of magical education this is extraordinary." With a small smile and a few words of thanks, Harry took the flower and headed off to the owlery.
I am sorry it took me so long to reply. I wanted to have something to give you for your birthday before I wrote back. I hope you like it.
How is your year going? Mine has been interesting, I have yet to find any friends… people keep treating me different. They just look at my scar and their eyes change.
Thank you for the books, I have learned a lot from them. Do you happen to have more workbooks?
How is school going? I had to learn a charm for your present. It took me a long time but my professor was happy with my work.
Would you tell me about yourself? I did not even know your name until your last letter. Maybe some questions would make it easier. Do you have siblings? What do you do for fun? What is your favorite spell?
He looked over his messy scratchy handwriting that he had managed to learn with the quill and shrugged to himself. It had yet to bother her so far, so he decided not to worry about it… The content seemed lacking but he was never much of a writer and they seemed to have a similar style. He shrugged and motioned for Hedwig to hop down to him. He carefully tied the letter to her foot ensuring the flower was securely held inside the scroll to keep it away from the weather. "You only have four days to get it her Hedwig, think you can do it?" The glare he received was enough of the answer, he really didn't need the nip to the ear to drive the point home. She flew out the window leaving Harry in the owlery, he couldn't help but feel nervous as a small amount of blood trickled down his ear.
Exiting her morning shower the day before her birthday Fleur looked over her uniform, she would soon need a whole new wardrobe she thought to herself. It was an odd thought, she had been the same for so long. She was interrupted in her reverie by a scratching at her dorms window. A beatific smile crossed her face as she saw the same white owl, she really had to ask Harry what her name was. She opened the window and retrieved the letter with a brief head scratch for the owl. She opened up the letter and a lily flower rolled out onto her bed. Her eyes widened as she picked it up and sniffed it. It smelled light, wonderful and fresh like it had just been picked. She could faintly sense the magic from the flower, it was a charm she thought with a small amount of excitement. Opening up the letter she read, slowly sinking to the bed as she did.
He had made the flower himself, as a first year. How sweet she thought to herself, and he wanted to know about her. She had been so alone for so long but for some reason, this year had not felt so lonely… she had a friend. During the school year, she rarely smiled but it just wouldn't fade sense she read the letter. Quickly dressing in her uniform she slipped the flower into her cap and looked at herself in the mirror, she felt special.
It was the day after Halloween and Harry Potter had fought a troll. He had also gained a second friend, or so he thought. He suspected that she thought of him as Harry Potter first and Harry second but his convictions on the matter had started to waver. After his last letter, he had yet to receive anything back. She said she would never abandon a friend but something deep inside of him was scared. A fear that grew with every passing day. Having Hermione next to him helped dull it somewhat. Hermione nudged him from his left "Harry, your owl has been trying to get your attention for a few minutes now." He jolted out of his brooding silence and looked around spotting Hedwig in front of him, she was scarfing down half a rasher of bacon while no one had been looking. Harry waved his hand trying to back her off the plate so he could grab the letter. With an indignant bark, she hopped towards him and offered her leg.
He carefully untied the letter with a grin, he got up from the table "Harry you have barely eaten" Hermione said watching him with some concern. "Got to go Hermione, important," he said quickly as he ran from the hall leaving Hermione with her mouth still slightly open with Ron next to her still shoveling food into his face. Malfoy and his goons had been halfway to the Gryffindor table to harass their favorite target when without a glance in their direction he booked it out of the hall.
Dropping into his bed Harry finally took a second to smell the parchment. Without even looking at the handwriting or who had addressed it he knew who it was from. It smelled of spring flowers and rain showers he smirked at the way the words matched in his head and opened the letter. He set it down and took a deep breath, he wanted to savor this letter. He rarely got anything from his first friend, today was a special day. He pulled the curtains on his bed closed and picked it back up to read.
First I would like to thank you for the flower, it is beautiful. I am sorry I had not had a chance to write you back, I truly meant to but school got so busy. My Birthday was most pleasant, and you made it brighter. I am very impressed you managed to do the charm work yourself.
I have a much younger sister named Gabrielle some people say we look like twins. As for fun, my family lives on the coast of France, it is truly wonderful. We have our own private beach, and even though water is a deep source of fear for me and my people my pere has taught me to swim. The waters are warm and safe, protected by family wards. Maybe one day you can visit. My favorite spell… you do ask interesting questions, Harry. Perhaps the bubblehead charm, it is a seventh year spell, but as I have told you I am very skilled at charms and my pere taught it to me so I can see the fishes when I swim. It wraps a bubble of air around your head much like a fish bowl. But in this case, it is me in the bowl.
I will attach a photo along with my other workbooks, I am glad you got use out of them, maybe soon we can converse in my mother tongue. I must admit it would be easier for me. The photo may answer a lot of questions you have in a simple manner, I would appreciate a picture of yourself unless it is too much trouble.
After reading through it twice Harry almost frantically looked through the objects Fleur had attached. Three small workbooks, Harry frowned and pulled out his wand. He tapped the three books resizing them to full size he shook each one vigorously and grinned like a loon when a wizarding photo slipped from the cover of the top book. He flipped it over and was stunned, two young girls waved and smiled at them. They stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean, they both had platinum blonde hair and sapphire blue eyes. Their beauty was ethereal, Harry could hardly believe his eyes. He did not know girls like this existed. One was about a third the size of the other and was clearly younger if Harry was any judge of children's ages he thought she may be four or five. The other young girl appeared to be eight or nine, he thought much too young to be his friend in her third year of school. She had mentioned her friends abandoning her because she still looked like a little girl… Maybe she had some magical sickness.
Harry didn't care, he was just happy to see his friend. He was fascinated by her choice of favorite spell and by the rest of the information she provided and what it implied. Her family had a private beach, they must be rich a small part of Harry was glad he found out his parents had left him some money. He had no idea what it amounted to in pounds but he thought he was at least not so poor that it would upset Fleur. And she had suggested one day maybe he could visit her, this seemed a dream beyond dreaming. But… maybe, magic was real, maybe anything could happen. He would need to learn everything he could so he could speak her language. He would need a camera, Neville had always been nice to him and he had seen him taking pictures in the greenhouses and taking notes. She was smart, pretty, and nice Harry needed to work harder.
You and your sister look extremely happy. It made my day to finally see my friend, I will ask an acquaintance to take a picture of me to return the favor. It will not compare to yours but fair is fair.
I have never swum before, it sounds fun. I would love to someday visit you, my relatives would never let me though… they do not like it when I am happy.
Thank you for the workbooks, perhaps one day soon I will surprise you. I figured I would answer the questions I gave to you, I have no siblings. And I may have mentioned that I am an orphan, don't worry about it my parents died when I was very young. A Dark wizard no one wants to name killed them. I do not remember them. I really enjoy flying, I have made one of the school Quidditch teams as a seeker. "Go Gryffindor!" And so far my favorite spell has been Wingardium Leviosa. It made me a friend last night. A girl in my year was crying in the bathroom and a troll got into the school. I ran to make sure she was okay and found her cornered by a huge stinky troll. I tried floating her out of the way but missed and floated the troll's club and then dropped it on its head.
You have no idea how relieved I was when he fell over, I think he may have died but the teachers got there and wouldn't tell us after. She still sees my scar first… but does not let it get to her as much as the rest.
Fleur was laying on her bed with books spread out in front of her. The one positive side of having only one friend was all the time it gave you to study. She kept eyeballing the advanced charms book she had pushed out of easy arms reach, she was sick and tired of transfiguration. It seemed to hate her as much as she hated it. Just as she was about to stretch for her charms book she heard the scratching at her window that she had come to love. She really had to remember to ask Harry the owls name, she really was something special.
Her thoughts of the owl's name quickly fled her mind as she read Harry's letter and looked at the picture of the young man in her hands. He waved shyly at her in front of a vast dark lake, he was scrawny, with messy raven black hair and piercing green eyes. He also had a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt. Harry had mentioned people judging him by his scars, Fleur had simply figured he had been disfigured in some fashion and didn't like talking about it. Scars did not bother her, she had been judged by her looks her entire life and would be for the rest of it. What was in front of her was beyond anything she had thought possible. Harry, her Harry was the Harry. The sound of the sea filled her ears and she felt faint, slowly sinking into her bed not even noticing the transfiguration essay she had been working on was squashed beneath her.
Not only was he Harry Potter but he was unhappy, and if his previous letters were anything to go by his relatives did not treat him well. And a troll? A first year should not be anywhere near a troll let alone having to fight one. She had to contact her parents, something was wrong with what was going on with her only friend.
Harry had spent a great deal of time since his last letter to his first friend trying to find information on Nicholas Flamel. Maybe she would know something about it he thought. She was really smart and could ask her parents without anyone wondering why she was asking in the first place. Christmas was fast approaching and he could not for the life of him figure out to get a girl who probably had everything.
With Hermione gone for the holidays, he couldn't ask her what a girl would want, but she really seemed to appreciate when he made her something. With an idea in mind, he hopped up to go find Fred and or George. It did not take him long, as soon as he made it into the common room he saw the two of them with their heads together with a suspicious gleam in their eye as they watched Ron play chess. He walked over to them "Harrikens!" the twin grins turned on him making a small shiver shoot up his spine.
An hour later and a few new bruises from product testing he had what he needed. Turns out the twins had been planning a joke shop since they could remember. It was amazing to think that those two had been aiming their education for years based on the concept designs they had been talking about for years. The idea of the twins running a joke shop empire made him both grin with delight and shiver with dread. Pulling out his wand he charmed another lily flower then took a deep breath, the twins had taught him how to enchant it to not whither for a long while. They said it was based on his power and how well he did it, he hoped that he could get it to at least last a month.
He carefully wove his wand in an intricate pattern his forehead beading with sweat, with a snap he felt his magic surge and settle into the flower in front of him. He had done it, and on his first try! With any luck it would last long enough, he pulled out his ink and parchment to start writing. She had not written back yet but he would not let that stop him. This time he would try to write in French.
Happy Holidays. I got some friends to show me how to make this flower last for longer than it should. I hope I did it well enough that you can enjoy it for a long time.
Do you know who Nicholas Flamel is? Maybe you could ask your parents if they had ever heard of him. It would really help me out.
Hopefully, you can understand my French, this will have to be short. I clearly need more practice.
He smiled at it faintly then pulled out his workbooks to double check everything. As far as he could tell everything looked fine. But sometimes weird things were incorrect that made no sense to him when he looked over the workbooks. He hopped up and headed off to the owlery, hopefully, it would get to her in time for Christmas.
Fleur woke up to the snowy white owl offering a letter inches from her nose. With a start, she jumped back shaking her head gently making her platinum blonde hair fan out and brush the owl who looked slightly affronted. She took the letter untying it and unrolling it to read it as another lily flower tumbled out. She smiled faintly, Harry seemed to like giving her flowers. Maybe he had figured out what her name translated to she thought. She read the short letter and shook her head gently, he never stopped amazing her. A preservation charm, she had read about them but had not yet gotten to try them herself, they were pretty common in Wizarding households to keep food and potion ingredients fresh.
She slipped it into a vase next to her bed, the picture of her friend rested against it waving back at her. She felt bad that he had sent her two letters now without a reply but her parents had talked forever about what to do about the last one. They did not know what they could do or if they even believed what was written in the letters. Fleur had decided to completely trust Harry after all friends do not lie to friends. At least she could help him now, she pulled a small box out from under her bed and dug through it till she found the correct chocolate frog card.
Sounds of excitement poured into Harry's subconscious as he slept slowly drawing him out of his deep slumber. He sat up and blinked a few times snagging his glasses and slipping them over his ears. With shocked excitement, Harry realized what was at the foot of his bed, presents. Harry had never gotten a present in his life, at least not one he could remember. With a grin, he grabbed the first one he saw. The smell of flowers and fresh rainfall immediately informing him of its source. Looking between the letter and the package it was attached to in a brief moment of indecision he decided to go with the package first. Carefully unwrapping it ensuring he did not tear a single edge he slowly slide a broom care kit out of the wrapping paper. Attached to the top with a light sticking charm was the chocolate frog card for Albus Dumbledore. Looking somewhat quizzically at the card and the Headmaster's smiling face Harry opened the letter.
I am sorry I did not respond earlier, am I wrong to think that you are Harry Potter? It makes no difference to me what your last name is… but it all fits. My parents do not seem to think there is any way we can help you. I am sorry Harry.
Thank you for the flower, every time I look at it I smile. I hope you enjoy your present and have attached a chocolate card frog that will help you with Nicholas Flamel, I am very happy I can at least do that much.
Why do you want to know about an ancient alchemist? School project?
Your french is very good for how little time you have been practicing, it made me giggle a little. Keep practicing.
I know how you feel about your scar. It hurts when people see something that you can not help on the outside and think they know who you are on the inside…
Harry frowned at the letter, there was a little water damage near the bottom he suspected maybe a tear or two. He hoped he had not made her cry, he wondered what she meant about understanding his scar… He pulled out her picture and looked carefully over it hoping to spot and blemish that would explain why someone would judge his friend. Maybe it was how small and young she looked, would it be rude to ask?
Running for the owlery his school bag banging against his legs Harry was on a mission. He had to save the stone from snape, but he had to tell his friend what he was doing… just in case he never came back. Skidding in the droppings that had gathered on the floor Harry pulled out the parchment and his quill writing roughly against the wall.
Thank you for your help, all of it. I am going to go after the philosopher's stone, its hidden in Hogwarts and the dark wizard who killed my parents is after it.
If I do not write again thank you for being my friend.
Harry James Potter… Yeah, that one.
P.S. Please care for Hedwig for me, I understand if you can't. But my relatives are not fans of having an owl living with them.
Harry Attached the letter and pet Hedwig across her brow lovingly. "Okay girl, take this to Fleur. She will be taking care of you for awhile, do what she says for now okay?" Hedwig glared at him bumped her head against his chin and took off out an open window. Harry waved half-heartedly and gathered his stuff to rush back to Gryffindor tower, It was past time.
A week later Harry slowly awoke, his eyes cracking open and looking blearily around. He reached towards the bedside table and felt for his glasses, finding them he slowly slid them on. The world came into focus and he realized he was in the hospital wing. It must have been late at night, the lights were off and he could not see anyone else around. Spotting is wand he picked it up and murmured "Lumos" blinking in the dim light he took another look around. He spotted a few cards on his bedside table, he did not know how to feel about that it was a weird thought that anyone would have been worried about him.
The chair next to his bed contained his school bag, he suspected that Hermione had been responsible for that. He jumped as he heard a light scratching sound at the window, turning in bed he saw Hedwig struggling to stay even with the opening. He turned onto his knees and pushed the window open enough for her to come inside. "Sorry girl, I do not have any treats on me. Didn't you make it to Fleur?" Harry said whispering his head close to hers. She nudged him with her talon until he got the message and removed the letter tied to her.
It has been half a week, please respond as soon as possible. You are not supposed to go charging off after dark wizards alone! I do not have enough friends I can afford to lose one to heroics.
I took good care of Hedwig, but she came and refused to stop biting my fingers this morning. I hope that means you are okay.
Harry frowned at the missive, he did not mean to scare her. He just did not want her worrying about him if he did not come back, in hindsight he realized that was pretty dumb. Fishing out his writing materials he wrote a short note hoping that Hedwig was not too tired for a return trip.
I am fine, I am sorry I worried you. I think I was successful, I woke up in the hospital wing of the school and I do not see any Dark Lords around. I am sorry I worried you, it just had to be done. You would not believe me if I told you what happened. There were trolls, devils snare, three-headed dogs and giant chess sets.
I did not go alone I took Hermione and Ron… mostly because they made me.
Anyway, thank you for taking care of Hedwig. Hopefully, we can write more during summer.
Harry tied the note to Hedwig and pet her a little more. "Think you can make it back to France without any rest girl?" he said in a whisper. She cuffed him on the head with her wing then hopped up to the window sending him a look that spoke volumes then disappeared into the night. With a heavy sigh Harry slumped back into the bed closing his eyes, oblivion did not take long in claiming him.
Fleur almost fainted in relief when she saw Hedwig land on her window sill as she was working on her summer assignments. If she wasn't a Veela she would be concerned that being friends with Harry Potter would be likely to give her grey hairs. Untying the small note she opened it and read it over quickly. "He's sorry huh?" she said to Hedwig who gave her a mysterious look in return, she shook her head in exasperation "If he is not now he will be" she muttered.
She tapped the note against her chin for a few moments trying to decide what could be done then walked calmly downstairs and knocked on her father's study door. "Yes?" she heard from inside. Pushing it open she looked around seeing him behind a desk doing some paperwork "I will be done in a little while angel." Alain said to her barely looking up from what he was working on. "Umm Pere, could we go to Diagon Alley sometime this summer?" she asked demurely. Alain stopped what he was doing putting his quill back into the inkwell and looked at her for a few moments. "And why would we go all the way to England, is it that boy?" Alain smirked seeing his daughters surprised expression. He looked her in her sapphire blue eyes seeing the trepidation and excitement in them. It had been a long time since he had seen his daughter happy and this pen pal of hers seemed to be the cause.
He might as well meet the boy he thought, he nodded slowly seeing hope dawning on his daughter's beautiful feature. "We can go next week, do tell your boyfriend the right date" he teased and was pleased to see his daughter flush and squeak with embarrassment. "He is a friend pere!" she said with what little dignity she could muster then retreated with a shouted "Merci!" from the hallway.
Harry sat in his bedroom in number four privet drive. Leaning up against the wall exhausted from the days work, the yearly best lawn competition was coming up and Uncle Vernon had been worse than usual. He had his eyes squeezed shut and was waiting for nightfall so he could sneak his homework out and do it by torch. With a start, he realized he had been hearing a scratching for a while. Opening his eyes he spotted Hedwig at his window, jumping to his feet he rushed over and opened it to let her in. He had been hoping to see her for awhile now and grabbed his owl treats from his bedside table and offered her the open bag, she really deserved all he could give her.
As she ate out of the open bag he untied the letter and sat down on the bed. It was the first time hearing from her this summer, he knew it took a few days for Hedwig to make the trip. Still, it had been a few weeks, but she has family and they probably missed her while she was away for a whole year. A small part of Harry was jealous, he wished he had anyone excited to see him when he got home. Instead, he got a long list of chores and heaps of abuse. Shaking off the thoughts he unfurled the letter.
I am coming to England with my father the day before your birthday! Do you think you can meet us somewhere?
I really hope you can. Send Hedwig back with your answer!
Harry's heart fell, there was no way the Dursleys would take him to Diagon Alley. They hated him and hated making him happy, it being so close to his birthday made it even less likely to happen. But they did always spoil Dudley on his birthday… if he suggested he really wanted to go to a theme park he thought they might leave for a few days without him. He was confident he could make it to Diagon Alley by himself, he could steal Dudley's stash of money he used for cigarettes then return it with money he got from Gringotts. With a mischievous glint in his eye, he took the same slip of paper and a muggle pen and wrote on the back.
I will be there, there is an ice cream shop near Gringotts named Florean Fortescues.
With a determined expression, he tied the note to Hedwig's foot "I know this will be tough girl, but feel free to stay there for a while to rest up." She gave him what he would swear was the owl equivalent of a shrug and flew out the window. Harry walked slowly down the stairs and over to his uncle Vernon. "Uncle Vernon?" Harry said timidly. "What do you want freak?" Vernon grumbled without looking up from his paper. "It's my birthday soon, a friend from school mentioned a theme park… could we go?" Harry watched with mounting trepidation as Vernon slowly lowered his paper, the evil gleam in his eye told Harry all he needed to know. "Oh we are taking Dudders to his first theme park, you are staying here to keep beggars off the lawn. Can't let the judges see filthy vagrants in the yard."
Harry Hung his head and did his best to look disappointed "Yes sir." He said with a quaver in his voice he was most proud of. Not trusting himself any further he turned and shuffled out of the room and up the stairs a grin slowly plastering itself onto his face.
Waiting for the sound of his relatives pulling out of the driveway Harry snuck into his cousin's room. Prying up the loose floorboard he shuffled through the spent cigarette packs and the adult magazines till he found a crumpled bundle of bills, Dudley had clearly been busy stealing kids lunch money. He ran downstairs and rang up a cab, waiting just inside the door to the house hoping that none of the neighbors would notice. Not that he really cared in the long run, if he got punished for the rest of the summer at least he got one day to meet his first friend.
The cab pulled up and he ran and hopped in. "Kings cross please," Harry said handing the man a twenty pound note to show he could pay. He was not entirely sure where the Leaky Cauldron was but he had heard someone mention that they walked to the Hogwarts express from there so it couldn't be too far. Getting out once he got there he looked around, he saw a man wearing galoshes in summer and smirked to himself and walked in the direction the man was. After passing a weird battered phone booth that seemed like it came from the wrong century he saw the entrance to the pub.
Walking through as quickly as he could he waited near the entrance until opened for someone else and darted inside around the middle-aged witch that looked slightly startled at his action. He could barely stop himself from running to Gringotts he needed some money. Walking in the door alone was a different experience, everything was so… big. He made his way over to a teller and cleared his throat "Excuse me sir, is Griphook available?" The goblin slowly stood up from his chair and looked over the desk at Harry. "And what does a youngling wizard want with Teller Griphook?" the goblin near snarled. Harry held his ground and replied as evenly as he could "I would like to make a withdrawal from my account, sir" the goblin eyeballed him "Key?" Harry shook his head vigorously "There will be a fee." Harry nodded at the goblin "Of course."
After what felt like several hours Harry emerged from Gringotts with a copy of his own vault key a few hundred pounds worth of muggle money and a sack full of galleons he felt should last him a long while. Harry made his way to Madam Malkins robes for every occasion and bought something he thought looked casual but nice in his size off the wrack, he changed in the dressing room and put his hand me down Dudley clothes in the bag. Feeling more presentable he made his way to Fortescues and sat down at a table that provided good visibility on the street and waited.
Harry waited for a little while checking his cheap watch every few minutes and was eventually pestered into ordering a sundae by a cute witch in her early twenties, her eyes had locked onto Harry's scar for an uncomfortable few minutes until she wrote down his order and left to get it. "'Arry?" a low pleasant voice said from behind him. He turned in his seat and was momentarily stunned by the diminutive platinum blonde behind him, she looked just like the picture. Waist length hair, smooth unblemished skin the almost glowed and sapphire blue eyes. For the first time, emerald met sapphire and they both flushed beet red. Alain Delacour roared with laughter and headed into the parlor to order having a hard time not holding in his chuckling.
Harry stood up and before he could offer his hand he was being hugged around his middle, the scent of fresh rain and spring flowers almost overwhelmed him. He stiffened momentarily then wrapped his arms around her "It is so nice to meet you in person Fleur." She pushed him back slightly still holding him and looked up into his eyes and gave him a dazzling smile that threatened to overwhelm him again, she started chattering away in French far faster than his limited experience with the language could keep up with. "I am sorry Fleur, could we speak in English I did not catch a single word of that" a cute blush came back to her cheeks "I'm sorry 'Arry I got excited." Her accent was noticeable, especially when she said his name but it made Harry feel all warm inside. "'Ave you been waiting long 'Arry?" He shook his head and released Fleur from there hug sitting down in front of his ice cream. "No, not really I waited for a bit then ordered. It must have just come out." She smiled then got an evil gleam in her eye and reached over and pinched his leg hard. "Ow!" he squealed "What was that for?" she glared at him "Zat was for worrying me senseless, really 'arry a letter that you're going to go fight Voldemort then nothing for more than a week."
He looked down at his ice cream and mumbled "Sorry." She smiled at him and snatched his spoon taking a large scoop and putting before putting it into her mouth declared "Good." They talked about school for a few minutes passing time sharing his sundae until Alain came back out with two cones. "I see I may be too late, should I return one?" Fleur shot out of her seat to snatch the cone away from her father "Non! I only 'ad one or two bites" she said with a slightly guilty expression shooting Harry a look that clearly warned him to keep his silence or get another pinch.
Alain chuckled and offered Harry his hand to shake which Harry took "I am Fleurs father Harry, Alain Delacour it is a pleasure to meet you." Harry put on a serious expression and shook back as firmly as he could manage "Harry Potter sir." Alain put on a serious face and nodded sitting down at the table. To Harry's surprise the conversation was light and friendly. Fleurs father was kind and warm, something that Harry had no experience with. Adults were somewhat of a mystery to him, they all seemed to either think he was a liar or dislike him for something he did. The magical world was slightly better, many adults gawked at him like the younger generation but most introduced themselves in an overly friendly manner. It made Harry uncomfortable, the only time people were that happy to see him a boot to the rear was not far behind in his limited experience.
Far too soon for Harry's tastes Alain stood up and shook his hand again. "It was nice to meet you Harry but we need to catch an international portkey." Harry tried to smile but it most likely came off as a grimace, he had never felt so at home with anyone as he did with Fleur. Before he could turn to say anything to her in parting she was wrapped around his side again embracing him tightly. After a brief moment of stiffening from the contact, he was unused to he hugged her back. She released him and pulled a small book out of a pocket "Can you do me a favor and read zis book 'arry?" she looked so hopeful he couldn't do anything but nod. He looked at the cover 'Sirens of the Modern Age' it said in bold copper. "Of course Fleur, anything for you" she gave him a watery smile and took her fathers hand and waved at him "write to me 'arry."
All too soon she was gone and Harry sat back in his chair and ordered another sundae before he left. It would be the last treat he would get before he got back to Hogwarts he might as well enjoy it. To get his mind off everything once he was finished eating he picked up everything he could for his second year, he would still need a few things but anything that didn't need buying later would help out and he could read next years textbooks over the summer. Once he was finished with the book Fleur gave him of course, something told him it was important.
Harry managed to get back home without any fuss, it rather surprised him how easy it was with a hundred pound note in his hands. Once he got back he was treated a Dursley free week, which he spent ordering pizza for himself and reading the book Fleur had given him. At first, he had no idea why Fleur wanted him to read it, it was interesting but she had never recommended any other books to him. About halfway through he realized the Veela he was reading about shared some similarities with his friend. They were beautiful women that could change into birds and throw fire when angry. The thing that tipped him off was when he got to the section about their development, Veela would look like adolescents until their magic felt they could handle an adult body. And if what he read was correct almost overnight they would be mostly fully grown, they had some later maturity the book talked about in a secretive manner but the important part was that if he was right Fleur could look like a young adult at any time.
He thought about it for a little bit and then decided just to ask her if he was right, the worst thing she could do was laugh at him. I mean being mistaken for a mythical race of ultra beautiful women would hardly insult a young woman. Harry hoped so at least, women were still somewhat of a mystery and for all he knew he could be woefully incorrect. He grabbed his writing supplies and started writing.
Fleur paced her room, she had been nervous since she handed that book to Harry. Her mother had recommended it to her, it was the best possible way to explain herself to someone but she really should have talked to him about it. She had been too embarrassed how do you tell someone you're not human. How would someone take that? She had enough experiences and whispered stories from cousins to know that it rarely went well in the wizarding world. She knew Harry would understand, at least she hoped so. Hedwig had left her family owlery two days before, she was not sure how the owl knew Harry wanted her but somehow she did. She hoped Harry had written for her, with her nerves in bundles she laid down and passed out. If Harry had written her it would be here in a day or two.
She woke up after a fitful night and got dressed, looking around with a sigh not seeing any sign of Hedwig. She made her way down to breakfast "Morning pere" she said blearily "Morning Angel" her father replied looking up from his paper. "Your Maman has a letter for you that came this morning, I think she may have been as nervous as you" Fleur's head popped up and her eyes went wide. Before she could ask her father pointed at the counter that had a letter already opened on it.
I have read the whole book you have given me. At first, I was not sure why you wanted me to read it, I do not want to sound rude but are you a Veela?
It does seem to fit, I have wondered why you seem younger than me but are in a higher year. I figured you would tell me when you wanted too and maybe you have.
If I am wrong you can ignore this letter and hopefully accept my apology.
If I am right though...
What is it like? Does this mean soon you will be much bigger than me? I am very small for my age, shortest in my year, so id be used to it at least. The book implies wizards think some really unfair things about Veela if you are one I don't care you're my friend.
Fleur almost jumped for joy, he did not care and was still her friend. She did frown at the line about him being so small, when she hugged him he had felt barely there. She had been too wrapped up in meeting him for the first time she had hardly noticed. He had mentioned not getting enough to eat at home. Her mother walked into the room and smirked at her "Your boy have something nice to say?" Fleur flushed crimson. "You read it maman he took it very well I think," she said in a serious tone "I do to dear, I am happy for you." Fleur thought for a moment "Maman, Harry is very skinny. I do not think he is treated well at home… is there anything we can do to help?"
Her mother gave her a look she did not recognize then sighed and leaned back against the counter "Maybe suggest he goes and sees the school nurse about nutrient potions, that might help." Fleur nodded and ran upstairs without ever having touched her breakfast.
Harry sat alone in Ron's room at the Burrow. His summer had gone from weird to weirder when a deranged house elf had tried blackmailing him into not going back to Hogwarts like that was ever going to happen. The headmaster had shown up and cleared up the matter for him and left him at the Burrow. Ron was not the best friend but his family was nice and big, It was nice seeing what he had missed growing up. It was all a little hectic for him when he got overwhelmed he would come upstairs and read some of his school books. This did not go over well with Ron but Harry was not about to stop.
A knock at Ron's door made Harry hop up and crack it open, Molly Weasley stood just outside with a letter in her hands. "Harry dear, your owl arrived with this for you. Who is it from?" Harry frowned slightly, seemed a bit nosey to be asking that he thought. "It's just a penpal Mrs. Weasley, thank you for bringing it up," he said as evenly as he could as he took the letter from her and closed the door. It was from Fleur, it was her first response since he had to ask if he was correct about her being Veela. His nerves mounted, he prepared himself for a scathing dressing down and opened the letter.
Yes. I am a Veela. I can not tell you how happy it makes me that it does not matter to you. Being a Veela is hard, it is why I have no friends at school… I only expect that to get worse once I mature, I will get an allure that will make boys act stupid around me. Maman says the other girls will be jealous and boys will find it hard to even talk to me, she says you might be stupid too. But I know you won't be.
I want you to do me a favor. When you get back to school, go see your school nurse and ask her if you need nutrient potions. Maman says it could be very important, please do it.
Your friend forever,