A/N: The following chapter is a teaser for the sequel to Fleur De Lis. Please see AN at the end of the chapter.
Desperation. It was the only emotion she could feel as her legs attempted to propel her forward. Running faster than she ever had before, she prayed she would see the sunrise again. If she could not cross this field before the attack began she knew her chances of survival were infinitesimal. Gripping her wand as tight her hands would allow, she felt her heart thudding against her chest. She had to make it. Flashes of different colored lights indicated to her the start of magical warfare, and she could not leave her husband to face it alone.
Fleur was thrown off her feet as the bomb struck well over a 100 meters away. Despite the distance from the impact, the force of the muggle weapon was immense. Thumping against the grassy hillside her body felt like a ragdoll as she wheezed for breath, the air was knocked out of her lungs. Each breath was excruciating as she felt her ribs may have splintered upon impact and the smoke in the air entered her she struggled to find oxygen.
Using her wand she cast several numbing charms on herself as she tried to get back to her feet. Between lack of oxygen, her ringing ears, and her muscles shaking from the pain it felt beyond impossible. With her wand in hand her eyes scanned the dark praying for salvation to come in the form of her husband. Instead of her husband the whistling of another bomb dropping nearby caused her eyes to shoot to the sky. In a panic she managed to summon a shield that absorbed the indirect impact of the explosive, yet still she was sent rolling backwards several meters as she tumbled down a hill.
Laying on her back she groaned in pain as warfare echoed in her still ringing ears. Struggling back to her feet, she spit blood that was pooling in her mouth. Fleur wasn't sure when that had happened, but the pain from her swelling tongue seemed to indicate that she had possibly bitten herself. Even with the sight of her blood and the pain in her mouth it hardly compared to the jelly her body had been turned into from the blast that had knocked her down. The only thing that allowed her to begin stumbling forward again was the desperation of escaping Death who was now seemingly breathing down her neck.
The wards around the area were too strong for her to breach. She had been observing them for days, and had seen what they were capable of withstanding. Even at full strength the wards around this no man's land would've taken her hours to decipher and that was only if she were in uninterrupted peace. Hope felt lost as she began running in the direction of where she thought her husband may be fighting for his life. Spellfire in the distance and bombs hitting the hills were the only source of light she had to guide her.
Why had she wished for this? Why had she not been content with her quiet life? She had a healthy baby girl, a husband who loved her, and a family that would've moved mountains to keep her safe, yet she allowed herself to fall deeper and deeper into this dangerous situation. For what? The thrill? No thrill was worth this.
She had to make it back. She had to get to Harry. Her daughter would need her father. Fleur would need her husband. The sound of another bomb came, but this time she tracked it better, and with a flash of her wand the device turned into a raven that took off into the sky. Another came and she sent a concussive force from her wand knocking it a long way off her current course. Gun fire erupted across the area, but she kept her eyes on the sky waiting for another bomb to fall.
Suddenly she felt magical saturation coat the area and a pop rang across the battlefield as a lone man stood in front of her making her come to an abrupt halt. Staring at the large man with familiar features, a lump formed in her throat. He looked like her husband in many ways. The build, the hair, the facial structures, but the one way Fleur knew it was not her husband was the hate that reflected in the shadows of his eyes. Charlus Potter had arrived, and she knew her life was forfeit.
Crying that echoed in the shop nearly had Fleur snapping her quill in frustration. All little Tyra seemed to do was cry while Fleur worked. Her sister, Gabrielle had been a great help with the baby over the Summer, but now that she had returned for her fifth year at Beauxbatons Fleur had lost her little helper.
When the crying stopped she took a deep breath, Susan must've been upstairs taking care of Tyra. The little tot had just turned a year old in November and the crying seemed to never end, something that was taking a toll on the creativity of the enchantress.
Susan had been a godsend to the woman over the last year. Not only was she an incredibly talented apprentice, she was also very willing to help with Tyra. The freshly 18-year-old teen had married her brother-in-law on Halloween this year, and Fleur was starting to think Tyra might have a cousin sooner than the family would have originally expected.
Justin and Susan were hopelessly in love to the point Fleur found it comical. Justin had been traveling off and on with the dueling league, and every time he returned the redhead would get all dolled up for her husband while smothering him with affection as soon as he was in sight. This was something Harry had teased his little brother endlessly, but the youngest Potter son could hardly protest his brother's jesting.
Fleur looked down at the sketch she had been working on, but shook her head crumpling the parchment and tossing it into the rubbish bin. The lack of sleep was really taking its toll. She had been dreaming of designing a music box that could perform basic legilimency and show the person you were thinking of, but she was having a dreadfully difficult time with the magic and the design. Each idea seemed as ridiculous as the last, but she was certain it was possible. The item would be frightfully expensive due to the craftsmanship it would take, but Fleur was confident she could find the right buyers.
Glancing out the window into Rue Girardon, Fleur sighed. The shop was everything she had dreamed of. She was right in the heart of Montmartre and the Enchantee Fleur store was booming in the sales department. The business was bringing in so much money she was certain that within a few years, she would be able to help support Susan in opening up a franchise location back in her home country of Britain. She knew the girl's heart belonged in her homeland, and while Justin had helped her purchase a home in France close to Fleur and Harry it was clear their desire was to one day return to Britain permanently.
There could be no doubt of how content she was. She had everything she had ever wanted as a little girl. Money, the baby, the husband that understood her, but what she craved these days was adventure. She needed something to get her mind spinning again. Something to spark her creativity.
Harry had suggested she take a vacation to the island and spend time with his master in the magical arts, and she had been tempted to study under the man for some time. There was no doubt Gellert Grindelwald was one of the most brilliant wizards of the last several generations. His intelligence and creativity with magic could be matched by very few, and he could very likely give some insight into challenges she never even dared to dream of.
Taking a deep breath Fleur shrugged away her worries. Harry would be coming home tonight from a trip to the island, and she was looking forward to having him back in their bed after his few days away. He had joked after returning from his last trip about her being so anxious to have another child, but truth be told after little Tyra she was unsure if she could handle another. She could hardly believe that Harry was so patient with their little girl. If he had it his way she had no doubt he would keep good on his promise from all those years ago and have as many as they could manage.
Fleur had expressed her concerns to Susan and her mother, but both had encouraged her to hang tough until Tyra came out of the toddler stage. They both claimed she would become easier to deal with as she aged, but Fleur was beginning to doubt the sentiment. Harry did promise if they had a second child he would employ a house elf, but until then he insisted on raising their daughter the old fashion way. The notion had seemed sweet at first, but it had undoubtedly worked some kinks into Fleur's life.
To his defense when he wasn't training with Gellert he was usually taking care of their little girl to the best of his ability. He also took care of most of the cleaning with a flick of his wrist, and cooked for their family most nights. His runic design of keeping muggle appliances alive in the magical world had set them up financially for life with the help of Gringotts. Her husband had not worked a day since he graduated, but stayed up on his training constantly, and pushed himself further and further in his magical studies, something Fleur was amazed and slightly disturbed by.
Her husband's abilities were beyond legendary now. A few enemies of the veela conclave had attempted to rise from the ashes and have a go with different members, but each time Harry was called there was nothing left of the threat. He had even answered a massive bounty offer from MACUSA to squash a rising dark lord in America. He was a hero to many, but not to everyone.
There were fears across the world that the young magical titan was becoming unstoppable. Fear of what he was capable of was whispered in the streets as people constantly reminded each other just who trained him to be so powerful. It was unfair considering he had never made a bid for power. As Heir to the Potter family he could even have run for Minister or Chief Warlock, or even made a bid for the seat on the ICW, but he had remained in France as a citizen with the help of her father and showed no ill intention to the world despite the mumblings.
She knew the weapons her husband possessed too. She knew he was powerful beyond what people even knew of him. They had no idea he possessed the Death Stick and the other Deathly Hallows. If they did she had no doubt they would amass an army to take him down. Undoubtedly they would be unsuccessful especially if Justin and Gellert were at his side. Despite these facts, Harry did not even carry the Elder Wand on him at all times. He left it in a magical safe behind wards that even Fleur and all her enchanting abilities would have no hope of breaking. He confided to her that some weapons were just too dangerous to be out in the world every day, and she couldn't help but agree with the sentiment.
The ringing of the front doorbell had Fleur's eyes go up and they widened as a red-headed young woman stepped into the shop with a smile, "Hey Fleur, I grabbed us dinner before we go home!"
The look on her boss's face stopped her in her tracks, "What happened?"
Before she could answer Fleur shot to her feet and went towards the stairs that took her to the upstairs part of the shop where she usually let Tyra sleep with wand in hand. As she shot to the door her heart was pounding and deadly magic swam through her mind that her husband had taught her if the need ever arose to defend their daughter, but when she pushed open the door the sight stopped her in her tracks.
Harry was sitting in the rocking chair with Tyra curled into his arms, a book levitating in front of his face as he read her Babbity Rabbity. He looked at peace with their daughter in his arms and her heart continued to hammer in her chest as she realized her husband's silent apparitions had once again nearly scared the life out of her.
At her arrival, he lifted his eyes and a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, "Everything okay, mon amour?"
Staring at the man for a moment she shook away the sense of dread she had been feeling trying to appear unphased, "D'accord. I just thought Susan was up here, and she just came in with dinner so I came to check on her."
"With your wand drawn ready to curse someone?" Harry asked as he stood rocking their daughter gently in his arms, "Did something happen while I was away?"
Allowing the man she loved to wrap his free arm around her waist she melted into him as she shook her head, "Non, I just wasn't sure how lost I was in my work. I take no chances with our daughter's safety."
Nodding his head in acceptance he looked towards the door where Susan was observing the scene quietly. Turning to face his sister-in-law, Harry offered the girl a smile, "Hey Sue, what's for dinner?"
The girl dismissed his words with a flick of her hair, "Nothing for you, prat. The way Fleur ran up here I thought there might be something going on."
With a shift of his eyes, Harry glanced at his wife before brushing it off, "Gellert was in somewhat of a mood tonight, so I decided to go ahead and come home a few hours early. How are things here?"
The young man spoke softly in light of their sleeping daughter, and his hand rubbed soothing circles around his wife's back. Fleur listened quietly to Susan go on about a sale she had made earlier this morning and the project she had been working on over the last week. Harry was always very interested in what the creative enchantresses were up to, but Fleur's heart was still racing from before.
Her magic had been singing with anticipation when she had run towards the room. Her mind was sifting through possible scenarios where a battle would erupt. The possibility of allowing her magic to lash out with impunity to protect her daughter gave her a dizzying rush of blood to the brain. A desire coursed through her body that was animalistic in nature. The desire to protect her family the way her husband had.
Hearing stories of what her partner had encountered in the Graveyard at the end of the triwizard tournament sent a small surge of adrenaline in her bones every time she thought of the story. She remembered what it had been like to watch her father and Harry duel. It was an intoxicating sight that had appealed to her very nature.
She had never been given that chance to test her magic like they had. She had never been given a reason to push herself beyond the limits of what she believed herself capable of. It was different when she occasionally stepped into the magical ring with her husband, or even her brother-in-law. At this point in her life, she was so outmatched by the young magical anomalies that it was hardly a fair test for her to compare herself to. A part of her longed for that type of test.
The triwizard tournament had been a good experience, but she was standing against her husband, a magical phenomenon, and his little brother, who had been trained since he could hold a wand. Her pride told her that she was Fleur Delacour, a beautiful woman, with a good family, a great business, and a notable career ahead of her, there was no need to prove herself.
She had pushed herself really hard at Beauxbatons and made a name for herself as one of the brightest young witches in Europe. Standing next to her husband now however, it was easy to feel lesser. It was an odd war with herself that she experienced when this line of thinking started. Veela by nature sought power. They wanted a man that could resist their allure, and protect their families at any cost. There was no doubt Harry could do both of those things. There was also no doubt that she could spend a lifetime searching and not find a man that loved her as Harry did, but that didn't change the fact that at times she wished that they had waited to start their family, or wished that she had delved deeper into the wonder of magic before choosing to settle down.
"Yes, I'm really excited, and I can't wait, I don't even think Fleur has been there, right?" Susan asked, turning in her direction.
Fleur blinked a few times before the smile began to fall from the red-heads countenance. Harry squeezed her closer to him before he said, "I think my flower is a little out of it today. I believe we are both looking forward to our dinner at Jules Verne. I am also looking forward to taking the mickey out of my brother again. It has been a few weeks since we have trained together."
A flash of emotion crossed the girl's face that Fleur did not recognize, but whatever it was it disappeared quickly as Susan forced a laugh, "Yes, but I expect both you boys to behave. We will be among the muggles, and-"
"A simple confundus charm could solve all our problems." Harry interrupted with a grin.
Susan rolled her eyes, but a grin replaced the previously foreboding look on her face, "You two are going to wind up getting arrested."
Fleur chuckled at the words trying to recover from her faux pas, "I think any Auror that showed up to that call would be terrified to mutter the words you're under arrest to either of our husbands."
The comment made the two smile briefly, but quickly the room had turned silent. It was clear the conversation had gone stale and both were glancing at Fleur with concern in their eyes that sent a hot flash of irritation into her body. Susan seemed to pick up on the woman's increasing annoyance so turned back towards the stairs, "I am going to go ahead and close up shop for the day since we are a few minutes from closing time. Give Mum and Dad my best when they pick up little Tyra! See you guys tomorrow night."
"See you tomorrow, Susan." Harry said softly as the young redhead drew her wand and began summoning the store's defenses to life.
When Harry turned to his wife the woman's frown appeared immediately but he was not deterred in the slightest as he smiled and offered his hand, "Shall we go home for the evening?"
Deciding there was no need to linger in the store or in her thoughts Fleur nodded resolutely and took the proffered hand and felt the wash of her husband's magic embrace her.
Usually, side-along apparition was always a poor experience, but when Tyra was born the doctors had told Harry that it was not safe to apparate his daughter in her first few years of life. When they had told him that the discomfort was too much for an infant and the risk of an irrecoverable splinch was too high the young man had taken it as a personal challenge to defy normality. Months of side-along apparitions with different members of his family led to a smoother and smoother transition of travel. By the time none of them could feel the pressure of apparating Harry tested it with their daughter. Needless to say Tyra did not even stir during the magical travel nor could Fleur even feel it. Harry did admit the sensation was slightly more unpleasant for himself, but the discomfort was worth it to him. Floo travel wasn't always convenient, and with the ability to apparate silently at any moment the benefits were plentiful.
In the blink of an eye, Fleur found herself at the front door of the chateau she had been calling home for the last 3 years. The home was a modest size two story with two wooden doors that had been decorated with nearly floor-to-ceiling glass panels that were covered by acrylic glass. To her left the chestnut-colored porch had a small fence with patio furniture that pointed towards where the sun rises each day. Behind her, the sounds of the ocean waves brushing up against the beach could be heard, and her mind instantly relaxed.
Turning to offer his wife a knowing smile Harry squeezed her hand before releasing it and placing it on the door before them. The doors shimmered briefly and opened slowly as Harry stepped through the doors with their daughter humming a soft tune. The protections around their home and property had been costly, but it was clear that Harry had felt more safe and at ease in their home knowing he had done the work himself.
As Fleur stepped through the door she remembered the day that Harry had put the blood wards up around the property. The family had been skeptical when he told them about the defenses he planned to put around their home. They seemed excessive and costly to Harry, but Gellert had assured the family it was the best protection their world could offer and no chances should be taken. After the first month of living there, Fleur had learned they were necessary.
Cloud 9 was hardly an apt description of how the young Veela felt as she laid in her bed that evening. The strong arm wrapped around her bare body sent a feeling of adoration through her heart. It had been a long evening of enjoying their new home together, and Fleur listened carefully to the even sounds of her husband's breathing as she simply melted into the man's embrace.
Harry had been drained magically by installing the protections for nearly two weeks, but now he was as strong as ever and pleased to catch up on enjoying their home they had been building together. It had been less than six months since the battle had erupted in the Graveyard at Little Hangleton and despite the fact that everything had been quiet for the last few months Harry had seemed on edge until today.
Today had felt like a switch had finally been flipped inside her husband. He seemed more at peace behind the protections of their new home, and the smile that had crossed his face that morning as he watched the sunrise with his wife was one she would likely never forget. It was what led to a very long day of what people often referred to as christening the house.
Fleur wasn't sure how long she laid in the embrace just listening to her husband's breathing, but at some point, the peace pulled her into a light sleep.
The peace was interrupted however by a gong-like sound that reverberated through their home. In a flash Fleur's eyes shot open and she was sitting up her heart no longer feeling at ease. Turning to face her husband the man was already out of the bed halfway through putting his clothes on with his wand floating in front of his body. Fleur quickly scrambled to follow his lead, but his voice calmly washed over her, "You stay here, Fleur. I will handle this."
"We are a team." Fleur protested.
Offering her a grin at what seemed like an inappropriate time, he retorted, "And I am sure they would be mesmerized by the view, but don't worry, by the time you are ready I will have this taken care of."
A blush crossed her cheeks, and before she could respond he had disappeared. Not wanting to be left behind, despite her husband's warnings, she dressed, grabbed her wand, and took off towards the front of the house to the sounds of exchanging spellfire. Her heart surged with adrenaline at the sounds of screams that certainly did not belong to the voice of her husband.
By the time she made it to the front lawn and had taken off towards the ward line, Harry had one man in the air clawing at his throat desperately. The words that Harry spoke were inaudible to her over the roaring of blood in her ears, but the man's eyes widened in fear before the life left his eyes and he dropped to the ground as Harry turned to face her his eyes glowing with rage.
Swallowing hard Fleur stumbled through words in a mixture of French and English, "How did they find us?"
"A small leak in the French Ministry. They had been searching the area for days without any luck. Today was just their unlucky moment. I will take care of the leak tomorrow, and ensure we are not bothered like this again." Harry said evenly as he walked towards his wife and turned her away from the grizzly sight before her.
Attempting to ignore the fact that there were nearly a dozen bodies on her front lawn Fleur asked, "Why were they here?"
"They thought they would make an example of me, and draw Gellert out of hiding. They were all Eastern European, and had lost family in the Great War. The one I used legilimency on also had heard rumors that I was holding the Death Stick. It was beyond foolish of them to come here, but for some reason in their minds they thought they would take us by surprise."
Harry's irritated voice told her all she needed to know. They had both known it was likely blood would be spilled defending their home at some point, but Fleur could admit she did not think it would be this soon, and the tone of her husband's voice indicated he thought the same, "At least the blood wards will strengthen. With every fool that attacks our home, the stronger we will be."
A smirk tugged at the corners of Harry's mouth as he shook his head, "That's a dark thought, but you are correct. It was part of the reason we had decided to go with these wards. The more that falls to our magic the more protected our family and future family will be."
"For our greater good then." Fleur said, taking the man by the hand, "Now since we are awake I hope you can find some energy to continue our activities from before?"
The look of desire that flashed through his eyes told her all she needed to know, and she was swept off her feet and carried back to the house in Harry's arms before she knew it.
Shaking her head from the memory she followed Harry into the house where he had placed Tyra in a conjured cradle before swooping his wand across the kitchen counter and began summoning ingredients to cook dinner. Fleur sighed as she realized she had forgotten about the food Susan had brought her in all the excitement at work and watched as her husband prepared them a meal without thought.
It was often difficult to compare the loving husband before her eyes to the man that had killed Voldemort. To the man that had wielded magic beyond what the world believed capable. If the world could see him now making dinner for his family in the kitchen without even being asked things would be different.
The wards around her store were intent-based. No one wanting to cause damage to her life or business could enter the grounds of the establishment, but that didn't change the fact that when she was out whispers usually followed her around. This was something she had dealt with since she had hit puberty as a young veela, but instead of awe or admiration sometimes she was looked at in disgust or rage.
None had attempted to attack her yet, but the world knew what would happen if someone were to try. Not only was she herself a gifted witch, but if somehow she fell there would be no doubt that Harry would come for her attackers. The attack on their home had made the front pages across Europe and despite a location not being given the nearly dozen bodies were all identified and shared among the press. It was becoming known around the world that messing with the family of Harry Potter was suicide, and that was the way her husband preferred it.
Dinner was a quiet affair and Tyra had hardly fussed in the presence of her father who doted on their daughter every chance he was given. The girl had not even raised her voice as her father cradled her closely to his chest and hummed a soft tune into her ear. Tyra was tucked in and dinner was being put away with a bottle of wine being pulled out as she was escorted to the patio.
The beautiful winter weather in southern France was moderate and with the slight breeze the temperature was beautiful with the light jacket she was wearing. Two glasses of wine were poured as Harry swirled his glass absentmindedly with a slight smile on his face, "The new millennium is coming."
"It's hard to believe that we are going to live through such an event." Fleur answered after a moment of silence, her mind on the ocean waves on the horizon.
"We have our whole lives ahead of us. Tyra will grow up in this new time and any future children we may decide to have together." Harry answered with an even tone, but he could no longer hide his optimism from his wife.
Fleur wanted to smile at his tone, but more children meant it would just become harder and harder to find more babysitters. Harder and harder for her to find adventure in her life, and instead of agreeing immediately she took a long sip of her wine and released a sigh. Her silence did not seem to fool her husband however as he frowned asking, "Is something wrong? You have seemed off since I returned?"
A long moment, another sip of her wine, and then an answer, "I think I would like to visit with Gellert for a week or two. Let Susan run the shop while I brainstorm with a master of the magical arts."
Harry frowned for a moment as he took in her words, but then lit up at the idea, "I think that is a great idea! You both seem to be a little frustrated with whatever you are working on, and I think it is a great opportunity for two brilliant people to pull each other out of their funk. It's…Brilliant!"
Fleur smiled briefly at her husband's optimism and then sighed, "I do feel stuck. I seem so lost in my ideas of what I would like to create, and I think I am feeling a little disorientated. Do you think you could watch-"
"Absolutely." Harry interrupted, "I have been meaning to take Tyra to visit with Sirius, Mum, and Dad, for a while now. With everything settling and you visiting Gellert for a while I can think of no time better."
"You would be welcome of course." Fleur offered quickly realizing she may be overstepping her bounds, "He is your mas-"
"My family." Harry corrected, cutting her off again, "If you want to spend time with him you don't need me around to do it. Like I said he has been in a funk too. Maybe you two can help each other. You are both beyond brilliant, and it may be exactly what the two of you need, is a different perspective."
Fleur wasn't sure what she felt by the offer but offered her husband a hard nod at the thought. Maybe it was what she needed. A different perspective. Truth be told she had been considering it for a while, and this may have been the opportunity she needed. The turn of the millennium was coming, and perhaps it was exactly what she needed as they came into the new era, new perspective and opinions. It was certainly something she didn't want to dismiss, particularly after how much her husband had benefited from it over the years. In her mind she committed to it as Harry encouraged her by grabbing her hand lovingly and talked about what the new times would bring them. Despite her internal troubles she smiled at the man's enthusiasm and thought of the good times ahead that would certainly bring new adventure.
(A/N) Welcome to Chapter 1 of Fleur La Fois. Unfortunately this is the only chapter we are going to see until the New Year, but I wanted to give my readers a little hint of what is to come!
Today marks my 12 year anniversary on Fanfiction and I am so grateful to all of you who have taken the time to read my stories over the years. 20 million hits across 13 stories, and thousands of reviews have encouraged me to stay in this game for as long as I have. To all of you. Thank you.
Year 12 is promising to bring lots of excitement to my readers, and the continuation of Dreams of Home, and the start of Fleur La Fois is only the beginning. Starting on September 5th we are going to host trivia nights every other month on Kahoot! The easiest way to get in on this is by following me on Discord. We are going to have prizes in the form of Steam Keys for first and second place, and my team and I look forward to playing with all of you!
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