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The Little Veela that Could

Chapter Thirty: Untying

Alain made his way up the path from Hogwarts' gate to the castle doors in quick, hurried steps and the crowd went silent at his passing. Maybe it was his unreadable face or maybe it was the full ICW escort that followed him every step of the way but his presence reeked of importance. It reeked of fate. Of doom.

Something had happened.

Constance Brown continued to murmur over the crowd but she dare not predict the meaning of this visit. She didn't want to send the wrong message and put the Wizarding World into a tizzy only to be called on it later. Obviously the reporting standards in Wizarding Britain had risen dramatically.

The next few minutes were uncomfortable for Alain as well as for the crowds, a condition that only served to raise the tension even higher than before. He marched through the school doors unchallenged. He passed through the Great Hall and the massive crowd of students and concerned citizens fell silent at his presence. He stepped into the side chamber where his family had gathered and the aurors stopped at the door behind him to block it off with their presence.

Alain allowed the door to stay open. Was this a good omen? Ill? Most who watched on could not tell.

When he walked into the room, all talking ceased. Those gathered looked at him in a mixture of hope and fear. Alain looked around the room and took in the faces of those gathered here for comfort and for news. The center of the room was clear though there was seating along the walls. Alain's wife, eldest daughter, Segolene and the Grangers were all grouped together near a fireplace. Nathalie was there with her hands on Apolline's shoulders. His mother-in-law was between Fleur and Segolene, giving both girls much needed comfort. The Diggory boy and Miss Bones were in a group with the Grangers while Victor Krum loomed protectively over Hermione and Luna. Alain didn't miss the look Cedric shoot over to Fleur even if Fleur missed it. Mister Lupin and Miss Tonks were sitting together on one of the seats near his wife and child. There was a large cluster of redheads as well as a small selection of Hogwarts students from all four houses. The Slytherin girl next to Miss Weasley was a surprise but not important enough to call her out on it. There were others, of course, but they were inconsequential now.

Before anyone could call him out, Alain drew his wand and cast a Patronus Charm.

"Come. They are all here." Alian called to the glowing silver hawk which then swiftly turned around and blurred away at high speed.

"Well Alain," Régine called crossly. "Don't keep us waiting. Why are you here?"

Alain turned an unreadable gaze to the woman and spoke. "It is not my place to say. This must be seen to be believed."

"For the love of God, Alain, plea-" Apolline had started but was cut off by a soft ringing tone and a disturbance in the air.

A ball of blue-white light formed two meters above the stone floor and began to grow and fall in a now recognizable pattern. Joy filled the room. Literally.

"Gabrielle!" Apolline cried in shock at the halo with beautiful white feathers breaching the air above its ring.

Momma! Her baby girl lyrically chirped in return.

Apolline fell to her knees on the floor and held her arms wide. "Gabrielle!"

Gabrielle's ring tapped the floor before gently dissipating into the charged atmosphere of the room. The girl then shot into her mother's arms with open wings, wings which quickly surrounded her Momma and squeezed tight. We won Momma, we got him!

Apolline didn't know nor did she care about the other two new arrivals in the room as her whole existence was focused on her nine year old miracle. Other people, however, did notice the other two arrivals.

"Yes well…" Harry called out, one hand on Aimee's shoulder in silent support of the young orphan. "We would have got here sooner but the aurors wanted to make sure I wasn't a dark lord and then it took an extra ten minutes to explain that I was also not a child molester. Alain got tired of waiting so he threatened to fire everyone if they didn't release us from quarantine, so here we are."

The room was silent. Everyone gaped at the boy in open shock.

"Is there something on my face?" Harry asked his companion.

Aimee looked up at him. "I don't see anything."

"…harry…" Hermione whispered, a touch of hope lacing the name.

"Go hug Gabby some more." Harry told Aimee with a soft nudge.

She nodded and trotted over to the angel-mother hug fest. Aimee giggled a bit and latched onto Gabrielle's back. Angelic thrall crested through the room again with feelings of peace, love and devotion. Little Angel began to coo loudly in contentment.

With little Miss Devereux occupied, Harry took a step towards Hermione who was shakily getting up from her seat. "Hey, 'Mione. Miss me much?"

"Harry?" Hermione asked.

She reached out with her hand. Harry walked into her grasp allowing ten shaky fingers to run over his chest.

"It's what Voldemort had laying out for me when I got up." Harry said looking down at his rich cloak, silk button down shirt and slacks combination, all in black. "It's a bit creepy wearing a Dark Lord's clothes, I know, but there's nothing dark about the clothes themselves. We checked."

"Harry?" Hermione asked.

Harry stepped close enough to put his arms around Hermione, who was now a bit taller than he was, and pulled her close. He put one hand in the small of her back and the other hand behind her hair. He pulled her in close trapping both her arms between them and put his cheek against hers.

"I know we've been together nearly every night for months yet I still feel like I haven't seen you in forever. How does that work?"

"Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Harry, you're alive." Ron called out.

"Way to state the obvious, mate," Harry replied. "Now come over here and give us a big manly hug. I can't meet you halfway as it seems Hermione's legs don't work. I think I broke her."

"Bloody hell, mate, you're alive!" Ron jogged over to Harry and wrapped his arms around his two best mates since First Year.

"When did you get so bloody tall?" Harry asked Ron.

"You're a lot shorter when you're not floating about like a fairy." Ron shot back.

"Harry!" Hermione cried into Harry's chest as tears splattered over his shoulder.

"I love you too, 'Mione." Harry soothed.

Harry finally realized that the room wasn't silent anymore. It was a madhouse. The next time Hermione yelled his name he barely heard it even though her mouth was right at his ear. Everyone was shouting their approval or their support or their questions all at the same time. Not Harry's favorite situation to be in, but then Hermione and Gabrielle were in the same room so that made it easier to keep track of both his girls. The Great Hall must have been twice the madhouse this room was if the noise coming through the open door was any indication.

It would take nearly an hour for Hermione's vocabulary to expand past 'Harry'. He held her in his lap while telling bits and pieces of his story to anyone who came up to welcome him back. She let him hold her, arms still pinned between them, and absorbed his presence. Aimee came over to sit with them before moving off again three times. Once after Aimee walked back to Gabby, Harry lamented to the girl in his arms that he was too young to adopt. He did not want Aimee to live the life of an orphan if there was anything he could do to prevent it. His saving maidens thing clearly ruled both his life and his afterlife.

He was back. He was back in her arms and he felt wonderful and he sounded wonderful and he smelled wonderful and he looked wonderful and when she was finally willing to move again she'd see what he tasted like too. Of course, there was that one comment he made that needed to be explained first…

"Harry, what was that about not being a child molester?"

"'Mione. I come back from the dead and that's the first question you have for me?" Harry murmured. "Maybe I should just go back and ask Jeanne if she'd like to go on whatever passes for a first date in the afterlife."

"Don't you dare!" Hermione huffed.

"All I'm saying is-"

She growled, "Shut up and kiss me you prat."

Harry knew when to give in. "Yes love."

-o\0/o-

The next day was Sunday and Mass was letting out in the Meuse Valley.

Alain suggested going to Mass as a way to have a bit of peace and quiet before Monday morning began to pull the family back to various schools and offices with hundreds of kilometers between them. Domrémy-la-Pucelle was to be the balm that soothed the nerves and brought the family back together. It even worked after a fashion. There were still issues but then there always would be. Only time could heal some wounds.

An offer had been made for Gabby to stay home from school for another week but she said no. She had Harry now so why would she be all broken and weepy and stuff – and she insisted that she would keep an eye on Aimee. The girls went everywhere together, hand in hand. The only time this changed was when Gigi began visiting more often to make the pair into a trio again as it always had been before. Sadly, poor Miss Devereux was following in Segolene's footsteps quite well. Her aunt never liked children anyway and used Aimee's infamy as Gabrielle's betrayer to publicly shun the child. That is why Gabby was walking hand in hand with her 'abductor' everywhere they went. Wounds of the heart were best healed by love and Gabby had that in spades. Harry couldn't have been more proud of his Angel or his sort-of-adopted father Alain.

Domrémy-la-Pucelle did provide quiet contemplation… right up to the time one of the magicals visiting the shrine to the Angel Gabrielle recognize Harry and Gabrielle. That's when things got loud again.

There was a bit of excitement before the family managed to escape into the church of Saint Remy for an hour plus long service. Luckily even rabid fans of the Boy Who Came Back knew not to chase him into a church on Sunday morning. By the time the family was ready to go outside again, Alain's demand for an escort was heard and members of the magical press were pushed back by a line of aurors. Only a handful of locals had to be Obliviated and no hexes had to be reversed. It could have been worse.

"I can't believe I forgot what it used to be like for you, Harry."

Harry looked around, taking in people, places and things. He listened to the crowds and the cameras. He gazed at the clouds passing by as they brought the village from light to shadow to light again. He smelled exhaust and burnt oil from the cars and lorries that passed by. He focused on the young witch who's hand was in his.

"A lot of people were looking at you today as well." Harry shot back.

Hermione squeezed Harry's hand. "They were looking at my necklace, Harry. Most people who go to Mass on Sunday wear crosses, not ankhs. One woman was glaring so furiously I'm surprised that I didn't burst into flame right there in the pew."

"Image how she would have reacted were she to find out you are both English and a witch." Harry replied before adding, "You don't have to wear that everywhere, you know."

"But you gave it to me." Hermione answered and then smirked playfully. "And how many young witches can say that the Harry Potter has given them a gift let alone jewelry?"

Harry used his best pout. It didn't work. Back to the matter at hand… "Want me to get you a cross for your birthday?"

"I'm happy with my ankh, thank you very much." And she was.

"Good." Harry replied. "A cross would just remind me of Jeanne anyway. When I sneak glances at your baps, I do not want to be reminded of a Catholic Saint."

"And what do you think of when you look at my… ankh?" Hermione teased.

Harry took the bait and stared shamelessly at and around Hermione's necklace. The small gold charm tended to nestle into the top of her cleavage when she wore it under a shirt, though it was more common for her to wear it above fabric and in plain view. Now that he had hormones again Harry found himself checking his ladylove out with increasing regularity.

Still, there was the ankh to consider. His mind flashed back to a room full of priceless artifacts in a Veela temple. There was also an image of a bleeding palm. Gabby's palm along with the ankh cut into it. But Harry couldn't use those answers. A compromise then.

"I think of beauty, power and wisdom." Harry said with utmost confidence. "And breasts." There was a hint of a leer at the end.

"And when will I meet the woman who inspires such thoughts?" Hermoine challenged. Her hormones were battling with feelings of inadequacy that have been part of her since the first time she was shunned by a peer. At the age of six.

Harry smiled. This was a conversation he wouldn't have been able to have a year ago even had he lived through the Second Task. He had changed in indescribable ways. Smart as she was, Hermione did not posses half the flirting skills Segolene had, let alone Nathalie, and both have had their fair share of fun teasing Harry in the past year.

"Next time you look in a mirror."

Game, set and match to Harry. Hermione would randomly blush and smile throughout the rest of the day.

They toured Jeanne's childhood home. They walked the grounds around the church of Saint Remy. They lit devotional candles at the small outside shrine to Gabrielle. Gabby couldn't stop giggling as she tried to pray to herself. Eventually the extended friends and family of Harry Potter made it back to the Delacour home for some true peace and quiet.

Harry re-entered the home deep in conversation with Hermione and Luna.

"… and that's why the aurors asked me about my relationship with both Gabby and Aimee - why I was in bed starkers with one of them when aurors came in wands at the ready." Harry ended a rather embarrassing explanation.

"But didn't they ask how you managed to come back? It sounds like they focused on trying to ferret out how you got rid of Riddle." Hermione asked.

"I told them that Gabby worked a miracle and Gabby told them the same thing. We both gave them the same answer from different rooms. They 'knew' we couldn't work together to lie to them therefore it was true, yeah? We weren't left together without a chaperone even once after the portkey went off." Harry added with a twinkle in his eye.

Hermione and Luna glanced at each other. Like that was going to stop Harry and his angel from conspiring…

Harry continued. "They weren't too happy that I wouldn't explain how I got the Dark Lord to go away for good. In fact, I think they still believe he'll come back again… some of them anyway… but I did promise to talk with them about it if – and that is a big if – they end up having to deal with Riddle in the future."

"Harry?" A voice called from ahead of the three.

"Yes Apolline?" Harry answered.

"Gabrielle has something she wants to show you in the parlor." Apolline announced. "If you would please…"

Harry was surprised. He hadn't felt anything unusual from his Angel, not that he would begrudge her some privacy, but Apolline's voice carried a hint of seriousness to it. Harry looked to Hermione and Luna. Hermione didn't seem to expect Apolline's announcement. Luna didn't react at all, the dirty blonde was much more interested in the ceiling and its centuries old fresco.

"Okay?" He answered uncertainly.

Harry and the girls followed Apolline into the parlor only to find that Gabby was waiting for them… as was Alain and Fleur and Segolene and Aimee and the Grangers. Was there a family meeting called that he didn't know about?

"Harry?" Gabby called from the center of the room.

Harry looked into his Angel's eyes. He felt both pride and fear bubbling through the bond though Gabby made sure only pride was visible on her face.

Gabby took a cleansing breath and brought up her hands. Harry hadn't noticed until just then but she was holding his old Holly and Phoenix feather wand in both hands, the golden chain still hanging down one side.

"I… I think you might want this back now. It's yours. I really liked using it but you're back now and you should get to have your wand back too now 'cause it's yours…"

Gabby held the wand in open palms just waiting for Harry to say 'thank you for keeping it safe' or something. She felt so big and proud giving Harry his wand back. Wands were important. Really important. Even… even if it did feel like him and remind her of him and even if it was the most precious single thing she ever, ever owned. But it wasn't hers anymore, was it? Which was why she was so shocked when Harry gently curled her fingers around the smooth polished shaft and closed her fists over it.

"It stopped being mine when I left it to 'Mione, Gabby. And then she gave it to you, fair and square. But you know what?" Harry leaned in closer to the little witch. "The wand chooses the wizard, or at least that's what Ollivander told me. That wand chose you. It wants to be yours. I want it to be yours too."

Everyone who looked on as Harry and his Angel gazed at each other could tell that an intense love held these two together. Only half of them knew just what kind of love it was. Even those that did not could see that Harry and Gabby were at least as close as brother and sister and that 'little sister' was as devoted to 'big brother' as he was to her.

"Besides," Harry broke the silence, "I have a spare."

He pulled out the wand hidden up his sleeve. It was the wand Voldemort had on him, Dumbledore's old wand and Gabby's substitute. The silver end cap was still there and everything.

"It doesn't feel cold to me like it does to you. It works as well for me as your wand used to and the aurors let me keep it since your Poppa recognized it and told them to give it back." Harry smiled and slid the wand up into a pocket sewn into his sleeve. "See? I don't have to go buy another one or anything."

Harry pulled himself back from Gabby and immediately found two wide silver-grey eyes staring into his. Luna was practically nose to nose with him. Harry flinched.

"Er – Luna?" Harry forced out.

Luna didn't flinch. Her eyes did bounce back and forth between Harry's eyes and his sleeve. His wand sleeve.

"Have you ever read the tales of Beedle the Bard?" She asked him.

"No? No I haven't, Luna." Harry rallied. "Should I have?"

She stared deep into his eyes, into into his soul, and then she smiled brightly. "You have an invisibility cloak."

"Well," He replied, "technically Hermione has an invisibility cloak. Maybe I should ask to get that back. It really is a family heirloom, dead useful and loads of fun too."

"You don't have a stone that let's you talk to dead people, do you?" Luna chirped.

"I don't need a stone to talk to dead people."

"Hmmmm..." Luna thought about it. "I suppose you are right about that."

And then she started humming. And then she drifted away. And that was the end of that.

"You know, Harry…" Hermione piped in, "I have a few other things that rightfully belong to you like the cloak."

"Oh?" Harry turned to face her.

"Your trunk... your bank vaults… some land in Godric's Hollow…" Hermione murmured.

"Oh. Oh, that!" Harry chuckled. "You know what they say, 'Mione."

Did she? Harry smirked at his catching her off guard.

"You can't take it with you, yeah?" He challenged. "And seeing as I crossed that border twice I feel I should be twice removed from it all. It's not my money or land anymore. It's yours."

"Honestly!" Hermione huffed. "Are you okay being a pauper without a knut to your name?"

Harry didn't lose his smile. He could have on account of his history, but he didn't.

"'Mione. With the exception of those rare times when I went to Diagon Alley for school shopping or Christmas shopping, I've never had much money other than what I found on the sidewalk." Harry took in a breath, but not too big of one for he did not want the ex-Gryffindor to get into a proper rant. "I have you as my girlfriend. Gabby is my Angel. Luna, Fleur, Segolene and Aimee are like sisters. There are two men in this room I would be proud to call dad and two women whom I would love to call mum. Honestly, 'Mione, if this is being poor then I'm fine with it."

There wasn't a single person in the room who didn't love Harry Potter after that. And if there had been a holdout then the Angel broadcasting pure love and serenity into the room would have melted even a Scrooge's heart. That's not to say that Harry would ever want for anything ever again because he was as good as adopted by the Delacours. Still, Hermione began thinking of ways to sneak Harry's money and things back to him. She had an idea or two right off. She blushed at them but she had them just the same.

-o\0/o-

"So..." Cedric spoke up, not quite sure what to say.

It was Monday morning. Ced was having breakfast with the Delacours and the Grangers... and Victor... before heading back to Hogwarts and class.

"So." Harry confirmed.

The four champions were the last four at the table. It was as close to private as they were likely to get without using spells.

"Figured out what you're going to do now?" Ced asked Harry. "Will I see you in Hogwarts soon? O.W.L.'s you know... you still need them and your N.E.W.T.'s."

"Not really sure yet." Harry answered while staring down at his place. "You'll be out soon, right? Have any plans?"

Cedric shot a not so discreet glance over at the resident Veela Champion.

"As a matter of fact, I know exactly what I'll be doing. I won't even be out of Hogwarts for a week before starting at my new position."

"That vas quick." Victor commented somewhat jealously. "I miss whole first year of professional career after Durmstrang and no sign of doctors letting me back on team."

Victor scratched at his shoulder. Harry narrowed his eyes at the action. A thought began to stir. That snake's venom must have been something special to have such troublesome long term symptoms. Harry remembered Danya and what the Healers said about her.

Cedric spoke up again before Harry could organize his thoughts.

"I've been offered a position – almost drafted really – as Minister Bones finds herself rather short handed while also trying to reorganize the Ministry. There's a big push to get rid of any perceived corruption that may still be in place even though the blood purist movement has been almost completely erased from Britain."

Fleur stared at him pointedly. She may have meant it as a challenge but he was still glad to have her attention.

"Granted, there are plenty of ignorant wizards that still believe much as Malfoy did, but they are all keeping away from the new regime and out of the public eye... and none of them have the money or influence that Malfoy or his group once had. Even the new Lord Malfoy isn't the threat his father was. Amelia has her eye on them anyway... But what I was going to say is that I'm going to join the Department of International Magical Cooperation which is actually going to be seeing a lot of growth this year."

Harry smirked a bit. It would be nice if Ced could get the Ministry to actually cooperate with other nations. He knew Amelia and Alain were working together quite often of late but he had wondered if all of this cooperation would dry up once the remaining Death Eaters were dealt with and the ICW pulled out of the British Isles.

Cedric continued. "I actually plan on joining the staff for several tasks that my father has been presiding over for years."

"But your fazer works in creature regulation, does 'e not?" Fleur challenged. It had been a sticking point with her for some time.

"Exactly." Ced confirmed. "His department will be losing some of their scope. Amelia believes, and I agree, that sentient magical beings who have their own societies or social order should be treated as equals and not as mere creatures."

"You mean like the Goblins..." Harry offered.

Ced turned his eyes to Fleur. "And Veela. Someone in the Ministry needs to be able to address the wants and needs of near-human and non-human magical beings with the respect they deserve. I intend to be that someone."

"Zere are no Veela families native ze British Isles." Fleur spoke neutrally.

"I want to change that – assuming it's not an environmental issue, of course." Cedric answered.

"It is not." Fleur answered. "I 'ave many cousins in Nordic lands. We don't mind cold."

Cedric nodded. Harry suspected that Cedric let out a breath he had been holding too.

"I had hoped not -" Ced blurted before changing direction and moving on. "My first task for the Department, one I'm not waiting for the end of the school year to start working on, is to go through the magical creature laws on record so that she can see what still works and what has to go. First up is getting rid of the Veela marriage statues, of course."

The message was as clear to Harry and Vic as it was to Fleur. Cedric knew what he wanted, he wasn't backing off and he was willing to work hard to get it. Fleur spoke next.

"Loyal and 'ard working. You are a credit to your 'ouse." Fleur said with approval.

"You should know zat ze Veela will soon reclaim what we lost centuries ago. We will be our own nation once more. I..." Fleur paused for a moment and made sure she had Cedric's attention. Not that she needed to. He belonged to her. "I intend to be an important part of zat nation at ze international level. If one day you speak to ze Veela nation on be'alf of Britain zen you will deal wiz me."

There were sparks flying between Cedric and Fleur, and Harry and Victor both tried to pretend they didn't see anything. Harry decided to speak up before things got out of hand.

"Here I am unsure of what school I should be going to and you two are taking the bull by the horns. Good on you."

Ced seemed to have heard him. "Harry. You're Gryffindor. When new Firsties ask the upper years what other houses are like, you are the example all of Gryffindor is judged by. I honestly can't imagine you anywhere other than the house of lions. In Hogwarts. How can you even think of going anywhere else?"

"Easy." Harry responded. "When I was still a just a Fourth Year trapped in a tournament I didn't enter, I had no real family to speak of. I had friends, good friends, but that was it. Now I have a family and every member of that family calls France home. France, not England. Even the Grangers and Luna are happy where they are."

"You expect Harry to go to school vithout 'Mione?" Vic snorted. "Vill not happen."

"Well said, mate." Harry thanked the Bulgarian Champion before continuing. "It looks like I'll have to ask 'Mione if she can help me whip up some transfer papers or enrollment forms or something."

"You should talk to Madame Maxime. My muzer can 'elp you no doubt." Fleur offered. "My beloved school would not be so foolish as to turn you away."

Harry slid into silent contemplation. It wasn't just Hermione that he was anchored to in life. Gabby held him also. Hmmmmmm... would they let him go to Beauxbatons as a day school? Or maybe let him see Gabby on the weekends... Of course, he was always with her but there was something about physical presence that spiritual presence couldn't match.

Vic scratched at his arm again. Harry noticed.

"Vic." Harry prompted.

"Yes Harry?"

"You said the bite's still giving you trouble, yeah?"

Vic scowled and nodded. Harry shared a glance with Fleur before addressing the older wizard again.

"Have the Healers given you any idea as to how long it will take before you're cleared to compete again?"

Victor's face was all the confirmation Harry needed. It would take a miracle for him to get back into the game. Perfect.

"Harry!" A sweet, high pitched voice called out from across the room.

"Hey there, Angel!" Harry called back to Gabrielle.

The little girl trotted up to the table of Champions and began to pout for her audience. She opened up her big puppy-dog eyes, tilted her head a little bit and began to draw short lines on the floor with her big toe.

"Momma is so mean, Harry. She won't let me go find a hospital and heal all the sick people like we did at St. Mungo's. I want to heal someone! It's not fair!" Pout, pout, pout.

Gabby looked for Harry's approval out of the corner of her eye. She got it.

"How would you like to get back on a broom competitively today, Vic?" Harry asked.

The large Bulgarian wizard looked at the tiny girl in front of him with something akin to hope. It was all over the press that she had indeed healed cases that St. Mungo's had given up on years ago. Maybe he wouldn't have to look for a career outside of quidditch after all.

-o\0/o-

Time began to pass faster as the threat of Dark Lord Voldemort vanished once again from the UK and her neighbors. The British Ministry of Magic continued to rebuild itself into a new form, one which embraced reforms favored by their ICW allies. Students went back to school. Peace returned to the Wizarding World but there were still issues left to be resolved. Issues like blood magic.

The hearing on blood magic was high profile and highly publicized. Minister Bones wanted to have the hearing in London but ran into French interference after Hermione Granger was served a notice to appear in court. The notice reached her as she ate breakfast in Beauxbatons. The Delacours protested. The I.C.W. got involved. Things moved to Bern. Various politicians and noted figures of the Wizarding World laid down what was 'know' about blood magic until Hermione Granger mounted the stage with Gabrielle Delacour on her left and Harry Potter on her right. Fleur, Victor and Cedric were all in attendance as character witnesses. With Harry and Gabby's stage presence and Hermione's solid documentation, they put on a very impressive and exhaustively detailed presentation on the light side of blood magic. It could protect. It could save lives. It could heal wounds thought to be beyond the reach of regular Healers. Yes, blood magic could be used for dark purpose but so could any 'light' magic. More research on the lost art was vital should magicals want to learn the true limits beyond what uses Lily Potter had pioneered. Or so the argument went, anyway. In the end, a motion to assemble an executive level inquiry was carried. With luck the bureaucrats might get around to opening the inquiry sometime in the next decade or so. Hermione, Harry and Gabby didn't win the day so much as they confused everyone about the issue. It wasn't their preferred result but it was better than having Neville, Hermione and Harry all thrown into prison for using forbidden magics.

On the bright side, Fleur was still not the Great Embarrassment her mother once feared. Yes, some of Nathalie's clients finally leaked Fleur's 'day' job to a wider audience but those who knew still kept quiet. Why? Nathalie was very pregnant now and Fleur ran the Garden. She literally had the Wizarding World's A-list celebrities and power players by their short hairs and she made sure everyone knew it. In fact, her seat of power may have even helped Hermione at the blood magic hearings. The Boy Who Lived Again's girlfriend had the support of both the Angel of House Delacour and the Succubus of House Delacour. Had anyone been threatened with actual prison time, Harry and Gabby would have had to do something and Fleur would have politically slaughtered whatever was left.

Life continued.

It was only after the school year ended and young magicals everywhere were given the freedom to travel that Harry's extended family were able to gather in any numbers again. There was a party for Cedric celebrating his N.E.W.T.'s and his new ministry position. There was a party for Victor to celebrate his tenth consecutive victory on the pitch now that he played professionally again. There was another party too but this one wasn't for everyone. No. The list of who could attend was quite restrictive. It was also written in crayon on a linen napkin magically affixed to Gabby's bedroom door.

G.W.H.B.P.S.B.H.P.

No Boys Allowed

Silverware clinked on fine china. Giggles echoed up and down the room. Cake was eaten and tea was sipped.

"So Apolline is Fleur's mother..." a brown eyed redhead started.

Hermione nodded as she sipped from her cup, pinky extended daintily.

"And that Jean woman?" Ginny prodded.

"Madame Régine Mitterrand." Hermione answered. "Gabby's grand-mère."

Ginny's brow shot up and her teeth clinched. It looked painful.

"That is Fleur's gran?" The young witch hissed.

"Oui." Fleur stated simply.

Ginny tried not to flinch. She turned to the object of her envy.

"So not only are you ridiculously good looking but you're damn near immortal too?" She tried to be civil. Really she did. "Just how long do you Veela live anyway?"

The words drew a bit more of a crowd than there was before. That was a question that none of the English girls here knew the answer too. Not even Hermione.

Fleur sighed. "Lao Tzu once said zat a flame zat burns twice as bright burns 'alf as long. It is so for we Veela."

"Lao who?" Ginny countered.

Hermione grabbed the opening and ran with it. "Lao Tzu was an extremely important Chinese philosopher from the sixth century BC who was deified as the central figure of Taoism. His name and teachings have become immortalized in the muggle world."

Fleur chose to cut in before Hermione could expound on more of the man's history. "Ze point is zat while most witches can live past one 'undred ten and some may live decades more, few Veela live to see sixty years and only ze very lucky ones live to see seventy."

"Sixty?" Hermione looked shocked. Madame Mitterrand couldn't be far from that now. Ten, twelve years away at most.

Fleur nodded sadly. "Drugs and alco'ol. Abuse, slavery and murder. Zese zings kill far too many Veela before zey 'ave a chance to die naturally. My cousins are also victims of many illnesses zat strike non-magicals... when zeir fazers are not wizards zen ze share zeir fazers 'ealth problems."

Segolene slowly came up behind Fleur and pulled her close. "Régine asks me sometimes about Fleur's male suitors. Régine fears she will not live long enough to see her first great-granddaughter."

"But Nathalie..." Hermione offered.

"Is once removed from 'er line." Fleur returned. "Nathalie is one of Régine's sister's brood. 'er deceased younger sister, may she rest in peace."

The teenaged girls went quiet for a moment out of respect for the dead. Across the room, two nine-nearly-ten year olds continued to eat angel cake and play their games.

"What does your gran think of you and Segolene?" Not all that subtle but that's Ginny for you.

"She knows my 'eart." Fleur smiled a bit and leaned into the brunette behind her. "She also knows zat when ze time comes and my blood calls to me, I will mate."

Segolene spoke in support of her lover. "I will not deny Fleur the chance to be a mother just as she will not deny me the right to be one either. I only wish that I could carry her child."

Fleur's response was immediate. "As I would bear yours if I could."

Hermione almost raised her hand but then she stopped. This wasn't a classroom.

"I don't know about wizarding Healers but non-magical fertility clinics are working on that these days." She offered.

That got the undivided attention of all the other teens in the room.

"'ow?" Fleur demanded. "I 'ave not 'eard of zis."

Hermione started. "It's... it's not something I know a great deal about mind you..." There were snorts at that. The British witch continued. "...but there has been a lot of progress in the last two decades in the field of in vitro fertilization. Prospective parents can have their eggs and sperm removed, united in a laboratory setting and placed within the future mother's uterus... even if that mother is not the original donor of the egg."

Both Fleur and Segolene stared hard at Hermione for a moment after the end of her explanation. Then they turned to gaze at each other.

"I..." Fleur stammered, "I could have your child."

"And just maybe you could have my son." Segolene pointed out.

Those who understood French gasped at the implication. A Veela bearing a son. That has never happened before. It could change so many things.

"Are you done eating? Aimee and I are done eating and I think it's time to start the meeting." Gabby jabbered.

No one could argue with her. In fact, a distraction seemed like a really good idea to most everyone. The two oldest teens didn't notice. Fleur and Segolene soon found that loving kisses were the best way to clean bits of cake from each others mouths.

"I, Hermoine Jane Granger, President of the Girls Who Have Been Personally Saved By Harry Potter do hereby call this meeting to order." Hermione rang in the meeting by tapping her empty tea cup with a spoon.

The other girls began to pay attention. Those who were standing sat. Those who were still eating angel cake put down their plates and forks. Those who were snogging, however, kept on snogging.

Their emotion was understandable, true, but it was time to move on to more lighthearted pursuits.

"Miss Delacour, Miss Royal." Hermione huffed imperiously. "Must I censure you publicly?"

The two oldest teens in the room slowly disengaged from each other. The others giggled and let out the occasional wolf whistle. Luna looked for Wrackspurts, searching extra hard in niches and corners far away from the snogging couple. Happy as she was for Fleur and Segolene, it still hurt. Stupid blood magic making her love Fleur like Segolene did.

"Very well." Hermione continued. "First on the agenda is old business. Fleur?"

It wasn't a cut on the Veela's age. Fleur stood to address the club.

"I 'ave learned zat Danya and her fiance will 'ave zeir wedding in Vidradne on ze first Sunday in August. Zey expect to be expecting in September. My family is invited and we may bring guests as well. Please speak to me soon if you wish to come wiz us. Gabrielle will give a blessing to ze 'appy couple as an angel; it will be ze first angelic blessing in what we Veela 'ope to be a new tradition."

There were hums of approval. Who wouldn't want a real angel to bless their wedding?

"Is there any more old business?" Hermione asked Luna.

The dirty blond shook her head.

"Very well." Hermione retook control of the room. "I move that the floor be opened to new business."

"Seconded!" Gabby loved playing the Stuffy Rules game when Hermione wanted to play it with her. It was fun.

"Thank you Miss Delacour." Hermione returned. "It must be noted that we have two guests who are here for indoctrination. I trust everyone has met Miss Weasley and Miss Devereux?"

There was a round of head nods and a couple of murmured yeses.

Hermione turned to her trusted lieutenant. "Miss Lovegood-Granger. Have both initiates met the two requirements of membership in this organization as codified by our charter?"

"They have, oh Verbose One." Luna intoned respectfully.

Gabby tried not to giggle. A small niggling of a smile on Luna's face betrayed her true level of respect for the President of Girls Who Have Been Personally Saved By Harry Potter.

Gabby didn't think Luna's answer was clear enough. "They're both girls and Harry saved them too!"

Luna nodded in support. Hermione huffed.

"All those in favor of granting membership?" Hermione asked the group.

Hermione raised her hand, and as she did Gabby, Luna, Segolene and Fleur all raised their hands as well.

"Six love in favor of expanding the group, Magister Granger." Luna answered.

"Six?" Hermione asked.

"You mustn't deny Venus Fornier-Black's wishes in the matter sister dear."

Hermione hmmmm'd to herself. So the invisible girl from their first Girls Who Have Been Personally Saved By Harry Potter meeting finally has a name. No matter, she would deal with Luna's imaginary friend in private but for now she had the votes required. She turned to Gabby and nodded.

Gabby hopped up and ran into her closet. Two seconds later she came sprinting back out holding her two largest hats. The little angel with silver-blonde hair quickly summarized what just happened in French for Aimee's benefit. Then she distributed the hats.

"I want the pink one!" Aimee shouted.

"Okay!" Gabby agreed and handed over a very wide brimmed neon pink hat to her friend.

Ginny looked relieved at getting a pure white headpiece even if it would not have looked out of place at the Royal Ascot. Maybe it was the color she had a problem with.

"When did Harry save you?" Ginny jumped into a conversation with Fleur. She knew the stories of everyone save the two older French witches.

"At ze Zird Task." Fleur replied evenly. "From ze dementors."

"I thought Gabrielle did that." Ginny commented from under her new hat.

"Little Angel did toss out a patronus, this is true," Segolene defended, "But Harry Potter was that patronus."

"Yeah." Gabby interrupted on overhearing their conversation. "I have the best patronus ever!"

"True." Ginny agreed. A Harry Potter patronus did sound divine.

Speaking of new girls, Gabby took a quick look over at Aimee and had herself a thought.

"Your Highness?" Gabby began waving at Hermione. "I have a question!"

"You may address me as Madame President, Magister Granger or Miss Granger, Miss Delacour." Hermione answered.

Segolene began translating for Ginny.

Gabby ignored the censure. "Can Gigi join our club too?"

"Has Harry saved her life?" Hermione asked.

Gabby paused in uncertainty. "He beat Voldemort..."

"If him beating Voldemort were enough, every girl alive would be in our club, Miss Delacour." Hermione reasoned. "Do you want just any girl to be able to join our club?"

Gabby squirmed. She liked being part of a secret special club. She also liked her friend healthy and not about to die unless Harry saves her. She shook her head.

Hermione quickly surveyed the crowd and came to a decision. "I'm sorry Little Angel but Gigi can't join the club."

Gabby pouted big time. Aside from getting Aimee and Luna to cuddle with her, it didn't help fix things.

"Don't be so sad, Gabby." Ginny tried to console the smaller girl. "I let slip to Susan that I was going to be part of this club and now she's chomping at the bit to get in. Rumor has it that she's put a price on her own head just to become a 'distressed damsel' so that Harry can ride in on his Firebolt and save her before they fly off into the sunset."

"'Mione's got tracking charms on him now." Gabby grumbled.

Ginny chuckled. "Wish I'd have known a tracking charm back before... you know. I would have tagged Harry with one first chance I got. Misses Ginevra Potter..."

"I thought you were done with all that." Hermione called from behind the redhead.

"That was before he came back from the dead." Ginny snapped. "The boy is too bloody irresistible! And he's in my year now – not a year ahead of me like before where I would gaze upon him from afar..."

Fleur, Segolene and Aimee were all slowly backing away from the disturbed British witch.

"'Mione, could you pretty please with pixies on top dump him and send his arse back to Scotland broken and vulnerable? Arrgh! Why does he have to be so dreamy?" Ginny whined.

Hermione was not pleased. "Hell no. He's mine."

Grrowwwwwll...

Gabby pitied the redheaded girl for she knew Harry's heart and Ginny would never get what she wanted. Luna looked on sadly and commiserated. She had her own unrequited love to deal with and knew how painful that could be.

"Our Lord is an awesome Lord indeed," Luna spoke up in 'support' of Hermione, "but it is our duty as His messengers to spread His love to the world, not to hoard it all to ourselves."

Hermione put a hand to her temple. "Luna, Harry is not the Messiah! He is an exceptionally wonderful young wizard with an admittedly close relationship with the world's only known living angel. These things do not a god make."

Gabby preened. There were fighting over how awesome her Lord was. This was great!

"Well..." Luna wavered. "It did take him a whole year to come back from the dead. That carpenter's son did it in only three days."

"But then he was in his thirties when he pulled that trick," Segolene gleefully poured petrol on the fire, "so our Harry is much more impressive pulling the same trick at less than half Jesus's age."

Aimee leaned over to Gabby and asked what the older girls were fighting over. Gabby explained. Aimee told Gabby she really liked this club. Gabby totally agreed.

-o\0/o-

Harry relaxed in his chair and sipped at his drink.

"It's ever so peaceful here." His companion called from across the table.

"Umn." Harry grunted. "I hope it stays that way. They could make the mistake of turning it into a sort of tourist trap or something."

The view was quite nice from three floors up and his balcony overlooked a fair sized lake, one he first encountered when it was covered in ice and snow. Of course, it was summer now and the lake was a beautiful wavy mirror with birds flying in lazy circles through the sky above. The island of Edem wasn't visible from here but Harry hadn't expected it to be. Aside from angelic transport, the only way to even see the island of Edem was to pass through the ancient brick portal… a portal now hidden in the back of a new museum dedicated to the ancient settlement that once hugged the lake shore. Marion's use of modern archeological techniques revealed artifacts that her granddad and great-granddad had missed and now a not-so-secret effort was being made to translate 'newly discovered' Scythian rune sets.

And then there was the balcony Harry was currently relaxing on. Harry was currently enjoying the view from a new low rise housing block which would soon house a great Veela colony; Edem would become their magical nation's capitol. The once abandoned village was now a hive of construction with several buildings going up at the same time and it was that burst of construction that had Harry hoping for restraint before the natural feel of Edem was lost.

Long brown curls shook back and forth. "I can't see Fleur letting that happen. This is the spiritual homeland of the Veela race. It would be sacrilegious to allow too much development."

The soft buzz of a turboprop aircraft could be heard in the background.

"Does a new airport qualify as too much development, 'Mione?"

"It's five kilometers out and the flight path does not pass over the lake. Apolline told me as much last week." The young witch returned.

She lowered a book she had been reading and looked at Harry.

"Why didn't you go with her?"

Harry's gaze drifted over the lake.

"I am with her."

"That's not what I meant." She huffed.

Harry paused a moment. "The other Veela would wonder why a boy was allowed on their island. It's a question we don't want to answer so the safest thing to do is prevent people from asking it."

"But what about lessons?" Hermione pressed. "You still need them, don't you? You said that Gabriel and the others still had plenty of lessons for you."

Harry put down his drink.

"I am with her and my lessons continue as planned." Harry chose not to mention that his hard earned skill in magics of the mind was more than sufficient for the task. His time spent in other people's dreams had been good for something after all. Hermione's own experience should have clued her in to that.

Harry smiled as a wave of understanding passed through his girlfriend's features.

"You do still enter my dreams at times, don't you?" She saw the agreement on his face. "I suppose you must bring the Hall of Angles to you instead of going to it."

Harry smiled and tapped a finger to his nose. "That's my 'Mione."

She basked in praise for a moment before remembering a new bit of gossip. "So… what do you think of Cedric's proposal?"

Harry's smile got bigger. "An international school level Quidditch league? Brilliant! I don't know why they haven't done that before… I can't wait to play!"

"Are you so sure you'll qualify for the team?" Hermione teased. "You haven't played a real game in two years…"

Harry huffed in indignation. "I won my first game even though I still wasn't sure what all my teammates actually did. Get the snitch or die trying!"

"And if you have to face off against Hogwarts and Gryffindor House to get it?" She asked in real curiosity.

"I hear Ginny's the seeker now." Harry mused. "She'll be more of a challenge than Malfoy, I'm sure, but I'll get the snitch in the end."

Hermione smiled warmly at Harry. He had as much as admitted that he would be wearing Beauxbatons blue next fall. The young wizard has been taking private lessons with tutors since his 'return' and next year he'd join her at Beauxbatons as a 'regular' student. They would not be in the same classes but they would be in the same school. Beauxbatons had broom cupboards, right? As long as they got to act the part of boyfriend and girlfriend outside of class, they would be fine. The year after next would see 'Mione, Harry and Gabby in one school all at the same time even if it was to be Hermione's final year.

Hermione had another thought and suddenly her warm smile turned into a wicked smirk. She rose from her chair, sashayed around the table and took Harry's hand in hers.

"Do you want to go upstairs?" She asked.

Harry looked at her oddly. "This flat hasn't got an upstairs."

"Oh, honestly!" Hermione huffed. "I cannot believe a teen aged boy in this day and age hasn't watched enough telly to get that reference."

"Blame uncle Vernon." Harry returned. "So what's the reference mean?"

Hermione smirked again. She could fix this. "It means, Mister Potter, that I am offering to snog you now that no one is around to stop us. We are two young people who have managed to misplace our chaperones and I feel like messing around a bit."

"Oh…" Harry's eyebrows flew up. "Oh!"

The now alert boy shot out of his chair and held the door open for Hermione to head inside.

"In that case–" He called an octave higher than normal. There was a cough before he forced his voice lower again. "In that case, I would very much like to go upstairs. After you milady."

Hermione giggled and trotted inside. Harry followed with a leer and a quickening pulse. They were without chaperone and would be so for a good hour or more. Of course, their chaperones today were Veela so the code of conduct on this trip was different from what it would be were they under the strict watch of Headmistress McGonagall or the elder Grangers.

When in Eden, do as Adam and Eve did, yeah?

Gabrielle stood at the edge of gently flowing waters and looked up to the infinite stars above. The glen was just as beautiful this time as it was every other time she visited. She loved the Hall of Angels with all her heart.

"Hey, kid!" A welcome voice called from nearby.

Lucifer! Gabrielle chirped as she turned and jumped at her spiritual big sister.

Big angel spun little angel around in the air a few times before setting her down and giving the kid a few tickles. Gabrielle shrieked happily as her body shifted to it's more human form. It was hard to stay angel through good tickles.

"It's been a while sweetheart, what kept you?" The lavender eyed woman asked.

"I was busy?" Gabby asked. "Momma said there was too much to do before."

"I'll bet. It worked, didn't it?" Lucifer winked at Gabby.

Gabby lit up. "Yes! Harry's alive again and he's even better as a boy than a ghost! And he let me keep his wand and he's going to go to school again and he's teaching me to fly on a broom soon and he says I could be a seeker just like him too! It's great!"

Lucifer laughed at the younger girl's enthusiasm.

"Oh, and we beat Voldemort too! He's gone, won't come back!"

"Wonderful!" Lucifer clapped in support, and so to did Gabriel.

"Gabriel!" Gabby squealed and launched herself at the brown eyed angel.

"Yes, very well done young one. I could have done no better in your place. We are all very proud of you."

Gabby cooed in joy even without wings or feathers.

"We are proud of you... In fact, I want to reward you for your efforts." Gabriel teased. "Would you like to see your reward?"

Gabby hugged the larger woman even tighter and nodded into her chest.

"Very well..." Gabriel nodded to Lucifer over Gabby's head and Lucifer stepped back.

A tight surge of love, joy and peace flooded the glen as Gabriel changed quickly into her angelic form. She continued to hold the smaller girl close even as a golden ring of magical fire formed, grew and dropped around them. When the loud ringing of Gabriel's halo faded to a quiet hum, the two angels separated. Gabby looked around.

"We're in the tomb of the Seven Sisters, aren't we?" Gabby asked.

Indeed they were. Seven beautiful women were immortalized in art around them, above them and below them inside the smaller temple on Edem Island. Bright sunlight shot through the occulus rendering all of the artwork in an unearthly beautiful glow.

Yes. Gabriel replied to Gabby's question.It is here that I will show you something, something wonderful. Something I will only ever be able to show you once.

"What?" Gabby was bouncing in excitement.

Gabriel held up one finger in a silent request for patience. Then the archangel reached one hand into the plumage of her own wing. One perfect feather with soft brown spots was removed.

And now I will show you something very special.

The archangel began to move the point of her feather in her left palm. Though there was no incantation, Gabriel soon coaxed out a small pool of her own blood.

The angel then knelt down onto the floor. Using her blood as ink, Gabriel drew a small, tight pattern of elegant lines onto a small patch of stone about one meter from the center of the floor. Gabby didn't recognize any of it as runes but it certainly did seem to mean something special. Soon the design was complete and Gabriel stood up again. Gabriel then presented her lightly blooded feather to Gabby.

Gabby was a bit confused that Gabriel, or rather the magical being made in Gabriel's image, would give her a feather that couldn't leave the Hall of Angels but she accepted the gift just the same.

Gabriel explained, One day your control of magic will advance well beyond the restrictions of a magical focus such as the wand your Lord gifted to you. Before that happens though, you may find yourself in need of a new wand. Take this, my own feather, and take it with my blessing. One day you may need it.

Gabby was very thankful. Confused, but thankful just the same.

The archangel then stepped into the exact center of the mausoleum. She bade Gabby back up a few steps and spoke.

The script at my feet is my name as it is written in the very first script I was taught in the very beginning.

Gabriel drew her wingtips together to summon her halo a second time. Once again the golden ring grew and dropped low, but this time Gabriel did not leave. Instead, her magic reacted to the blood script on the floor and the lines in her name began to glow in a bright golden light. Almost immediately after that, dozens and then hundreds of names began to glow near hers. The golden magical script linked one name to the other and then another and then another. Soon, every one of the names were joined together in a perfect circle around the center of the floor. Gabriel held her position right in the center of the circle.

This is my Lord's name, His Word, as it is written in script. His Word is perfect and unbroken. It is made of the names of all the angels who served Him. I will join Him now, and when I do we will be together once more for eternity, as it was meant to be.

Gabriel was paying close attention. She didn't really understand what she was hearing, but she payed attention just the same. In the back of her mind, Harry payed attention too. You just don't hear this kind of thing every day.

I have watched you and your Lord learn and grow these past few years and I am well pleased with the love and spirit you two share. Live your life. Follow your heart. Express your love in the world around you. Do this and the two of you shall never know despair.

"Okay?" Gabby responded.

Seeing as she was in her angelic form Gabriel could not smile, but she could influence her thrall and waves of amusement mixed into the serenity flowing out from her being.

My Lord's age is at an end and yours has just begun. Fare thee well, Gabrielle, daughter of House Delacour, Angel of House Potter. May you know peace and love all your days.

"Goodbye!" Gabby returned. "I love you!"

Gabriel released one last pulse of pure love like a magical kiss on the cheek. Her halo flared brightly and a stiff wind kicked up inside the room. Gabby's ears began to ring between the howl of the wind and the hum of Gabriel's halo. Suddenly, the halo became a shaft of golden light which stretched from the ring of names up through the occulus above. Gabriel's form became indistinct. The elder angel became light itself, and when that light faded she was gone.

The wind settled and the noise dropped... and Gabby found herself alone in the mausoleum of the Seven Sisters.

"Gabrielle!" Well, at least Gabby was only alone for a few seconds. "What happened? What was all that light and noise? What are you doing in here?"

"Fleur?" Gabby was really confused. "How did you get in the Hall of Angels?"

"How did you get out of the Hall of Angels with out going by me first? And just what is that in your hand?" Fleur shot back.

Gabby's eyebrows rose in confusion... which slowly became excitement. Her gaze once more fell to the brown spotted feather in her hands. The feather with just a bit of fresh angel blood on the tip.

"An archangel gave it to me?" Gabby answered uncertainly.

Fleur wasn't sure what to think. "Let's get you back to Maman before she has a heart attack."

"Okay." Gabby answered obediently. "I can keep the feather, yes?"

Fleur looked at the feather even as she took her sister's arm and lead the girl out. "I don't see why not."

The two sisters went back outside, and with each step Gabby became more and more excited. An angel feather. Gabriel's feather. An archangel's feather. A real live angel feather and it wasn't one of hers. Wow.

...

Half-way into a rather heated snogging session, a flushed face shot up and green eyes stared out through the large window facing the lake.

"H-Harry?" Hermione panted from beneath the startled boy. "What's wrong?"

In spite of the fact that Hermione's shirt was mostly unbuttoned and Harry's hands had just been roaming over very wonderful places, the boy straightened himself out and moved closer to the glass panes and the glittering water they revealed. Something out there had caught his attention so thoroughly that not even soft feminine flesh could compete. As Hermione looked on in confusion, Harry moved as close to the glass as he could without going through it.

"Harry?"

Harry's pupils narrowed to better adjust to the outside light. His brow furrowed in an attempt so see from here what Gabrielle was seeing from over there.

Harry gasped.

"Harry, what is it?" The young witch on the bed was beginning to get concerned. One hand went to a shirt button just in case they needed to leave soon.

Harry turned to address Hermione, shock clearly on his face. "Did you see that?"

She looked back and forth between him and the window. "See what?"

Harry turned back to the window. "The gold. The shaft of light. Did you see it?"

Hermoine slowly shook her head. "No. I didn't see anything. Should I have?"

Harry slowly disengaged from the glass panes. When he turned back to his girlfriend, his face revealed a level of peace and happiness that tore through her anxiety and settled her nerves. He couldn't look like that if something had gone wrong again.

Harry seemed to shake himself free of the unexpected feelings and turned his focus once more to the exposed bra and heaving bosom – er, eyes of his lovely girlfriend.

"I love you. You know that right?" He grinned.

Hermoine smiled and nodded. "And I love you. Of course it never hurts to remind me. Often."

Harry's grin turned into more of a smirk. A small golden ankh was stuck to the sweat in her cleavage and since there was no snitch in view Harry decided to go after the one golden shiny thing he could see.

"You remember my first ever Quidditch match, don't you 'Mione?" Harry asked, eyes sparkling.

"Of course I do." She playfully huffed. "How could anyone forget that game?"

Harry looked back down into her cleavage. He attacked. She squealed. After another few minutes of fun in which Harry never let his golden prize escape his lips, Hermione spoke up.

"Harry?"

"Uh-hummmn?" He replied around the captive ankh.

"I - I told Fleur and Segolene about your first match once... and... and Segolene joked that I should get a tattoo." Hermione admitted, face burning in embarrassment and excitement.

Harry seemed very interested. "You, Miss Books and Cleverness, are telling me that you are considering getting a tattoo?"

Hermione's face burned even hotter. "Well... you see... Segolene managed to drag me to a tattoo parlor at the beginning of the summer. I... I already got it."

She had his undivided attention.

"Would... would you like to see it?"

His 'Mione, his stuffy British bookworm got a tattoo? Oh hell yes he wanted to see it.

Harry silently thanked any God listening that his life got mixed up with the Delacours on that fateful February morning when he took a spear to the chest to save an eight year old's life. He couldn't imagine what his life would be like now had they both lived through that ordeal. He didn't want to imagine it.

When Harry finally did see the snitch, he swore by Jeanne that he was beating Victor to this one.

End Chapter

Epilogue To Follow

(deleted scenes below)

Chapter Notes:

Only the epilogue is left now. The epilogue will be of the 'years later' and/or 'many years later' variety.

By some miracle, I have made it all this way misspelling an important character name. It's Viktor Krum, not Victor Krum. Vik, not Vic. When I finally sweep the whole story for a last cleaning pass, I expect I'll change it over. Nobody called me on it? That is the most surprising thing, really.

It hasn't happened yet, but there will be a sort of reference to canoncansodoff's Movie Night at the Grangers below. There are some good stories on canoncansodoff's page if you haven't been there yet.

Deleted Scenes (Canon? Yes. Plot-laden? No. Fluff? Pretty much.):

Scene 1: The Scientologist

"So there she was: young, hot, fifteen and on her way to meet her cousin for some family errand or other while still wearing her school uniform..." Segolene spoke over her audience.

"I was not wearing my uniform." Fleur whined from Segolene's right.

"Shush you." Segolene censured her love. "I'm telling this story. If you want some boring historical account, you tell it yourself."

Fleur backed off quietly. To the rest of the girls who belong to Girls Who Have Been Personally Saved By Harry Potter, it was clear which member of this sapphist pair wore the pants behind closed doors. Segolene cleared her throat.

"As I was saying..." The perky brunette continued, "Fleur was being her normal delightful beautiful self – in her school uniform – when she entered the Garden – that's the name of Nathalie's place – and almost stumbled over a recently divorced Tom Cruise who was chatting up the front desk attendant for the night."

"Don't forget Brad Pitt..." Fleur added.

"Yessss..." Segolene seemed almost annoyed. She must really be into telling stories her own way. "Brad Pitt was there too."

"Both of them?" Hermione asked incredulously. "But they starred in Interview with the Vampire. When Madame Maxime allowed that film to be played in the Dining Hall I could have sworn an area affect love spell must have been released. Practically every witch in school drooled over Brad Pitt posters from that night to the end of the year!"

"I can not be sure," Fleur offered, "but ze two may 'ave been in town togezer discussing zat very film. It 'adn't been filmed yet."

"Anyway," Segolene cut back in, "so mister Top Gun himself sees this absolute vision in blue with her long silvery hair and her deep blue eyes and legs that should really get an award of some sort..."

Fleur blushed a bit at the praise. Segolene doesn't usually praise her physical attributes in public. In private yes but not in public. Segolene kept going.

"...and Tom get's it in his head to sing that song in Top Gun that his character used to woo the leading lady."

"I was not impressed." Fleur murmured.

"She was incensed." Segolene stated. "She told him to get lost. It was about that time that the attendant hurried over and apologized profusely to Tom by telling him that Fleur did not work there and that she was, in fact, a real schoolgirl as the uniform implied..."

Fleur may have murmured something about uniforms again but it was too quiet to hear.

"...and that was when Brad walks over and says 'Crash and burn, Maverick. Crash and burn.'"

"I practically flew out of zat room looking for Nathalie, I was so embarrassed." Fleur grumbled as the crowd giggled at the story.

"You could have negotiated something," Segolene suggested coyly, "you were of age."

"No zank you." Fleur shivered. "'e was still zere when I came back down from Nathalie's office. He tried to apologize to me, which was nice I suppose, but zen 'e started to tell me about some religion... Science somezing or ozer. I was not impressed. I left and 'ave not seen 'im since."

Hermoine almost pissed herself laughing. Tom Cruise tried to convert Fleur to Scientology? Harry had to hear this... assuming Harry knew who Tom Cruise was which was not a sure thing. Hmmmm. Maybe a movie night or three was in order for this summer's calendar. Movie Night at the Delacour's. That could work.

It was Luna's turn next, and she chose to talk about the first time she kissed a boy. Really kissed a boy.

Scene 2: Sky Captain and the Moon Girl of Tomorrow

A door opened and two teens stepped through, one witch and one wizard.

"This is where you expect to find the... what again?" The boy asked.

"Blibbering Humdinger." The girl answered with an airy detached voice. "They are very, very rare. I almost cornered one in Hogwarts' astronomy tower but Headmaster Snape must have scared it away."

"Well, Luna." He tried again. "I'm still not sure what they look like. Can you give me any clues to go by? Do they hide in shadows? Inside of books? Are they usually invisible or something? Anything?"

The boy, a strapping young man in Luna's opinion, turned to look around the room. He was honestly trying to help. Luna thought that was adorable. It made her nefarious plan all the more enjoyable now that she found a boy who at least gave her the benefit of the doubt. Made her feel special... a bit tingly inside even. Luna had plenty of time to magically lock, silence and notice-me-not the door while her young man was distracted actually looking for rare magical creatures.

"Don't worry Captain Lambert." Luna called. "The hard part was following their trail into this room. They have no way out now and I'm fairly certain you will know them when you see them."

"Very well... and my name is Léon." Léon replied with a rather roguish smirk before turning to look around the dust, debris and detritus near a large dormer window.

Luna saw the smirk. He didn't do that before. Had she been found out already? Perhaps undoing her top shirt button on the way upstairs gave away the game plan? No. She refused to back down. As the older wizard searched for rare magical creatures, Luna applied some lipstick and a bit of mood enhancing perfume. Novelty store stuff, not the illegal to brew kind.

Luna centered herself and whispered into the air. "This one's for you, Sirius."

She then turned around and walked over to the upper year wizard while doing her best Veela impression. Swing those hips, arms too, and make it look natural and sexy without going too far. Having spent a great deal of time in Fleur's presence, she pulled it off remarkably well. Captain Lambert certainly took notice when he saw her approach.

As Luna tried to raise the good captain's pulse, two rare magical creatures peeked over the top of a dusty oak bureau. No, they were not Blibbering Humdingers.

One of them began to sniff it's own crotch.

"Bad doggy, Padfoot!" Myrtle hissed as she floated further behind their cover. It wouldn't do to be caught out now.

Padfoot whined a bit and used his best spectral puppy-dog eyes on Myrtle. It didn't help his case at all.

"Remember," The dead British witch whispered, "That girl is doing this for you so you better not spoil it for her. Got it?"

Padfoot nodded. He'd be good from now on. Promise.

"Oh, look mistletoe!" The two ghosts heard Luna shout. "No wonder all the nargles congregate in this wing of the school."

Two spectral heads peeked around the bureau once more to see that Luna was pointing to a section of the roof rafters directly above herself and Léon where there was an enormous patch of mistletoe. Coincidentally, she was also standing a lot closer to him than before. They were almost hip to hip.

Myrtle and Padfoot both watched eagerly as Luna tried to close the deal. It didn't take long for Padfoot to begin panting happily or for Myrtle to begin openly leering.

The Delacour Veela hadn't needed Luna for any altar consecrations, so she needn't maintain her chastity on their account. Luna would finally get to make good on her promise made to Sirius during his memorial service. Giving herself to a nice young man is just the kind of think he would have wanted, and the wishes of the dead must be honored.

End Deleted Scenes