This chapter is dedicated to Irish Joe, a small token of gratitude for your continued support of my dream. It means the world.
The turrets, towers, galleries and stained glass windows of Beauxbatons clung to the mountains, poised across the summit of a small peak and framed between the pine-covered sides of its larger neighbours. A crisp, blue sky spread over the heavens.
I am done with this place. Fleur pulled her wand from her waist. She transfigured her uniform into a midnight-blue dress, her hat into a soft, white wool jumper, and her slim, half-smart shoes into something a little more chic. Poor Gabby must endure it for a few more years.
‘Au revoir.’ Fleur wrinkled her nose. ‘Non. Goodbye.’
She pictured the home entrance hall and appeared amongst Gabby’s shoes, kicking her own into a spare space near the door.
‘Your final exam was this morning.’ Maman drifted in from the kitchen. ‘Did it go well?’
‘It went as well as I needed.’ Fleur shrugged. ‘If not quite as well as I wanted.’
‘Which one was it? Advanced Transfiguration and Conjuration?’
‘It was never your strongest subject.’ Maman smiled. Little lines crinkled at the corners of her eyes and mouth. ‘But you are still good at it. You got all the best bits of your Papa and I. We’re so very proud of you.’
‘Transfiguration is more Harry’s gift than mine,’ Fleur said. ‘I conjured a goose and turned it into a rather nice vase, which got me good marks, but not all of them.’
‘He can’t be better than you.’ Maman pursed her lips. ‘Not when he’s so much younger.’
Fleur narrowed her eyes.
Maman winced. ‘Sorry, Fleur. I didn’t mean that how it sounded.’ She studied her thumbnail and turned a little pink. ‘Although, I do hope you and he aren’t doing anything.’
Fleur shot Maman an innocent smile. ‘Not yet…’
Maman twitched. ‘Fleur. He’s–’
‘How old were you when you got pregnant with me again, Maman?’ Fleur asked.
‘Eighteen.’ She pressed her lips together into a thin line. ‘But just because I’m telling you to do something I couldn’t manage to do, doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. I was lucky with your Papa. He loved me very much and we just started that part of our life a little earlier than we’d planned.’
Fleur tucked her wand away. ‘Well, Maman, I don’t intend to get myself pregnant just yet, so don’t panic.’
‘It doesn’t always happen when you intend.’ Maman’s face turned a little darker pink. ‘I had every intention of applying certain spells the night you were conceived, but, as I’m beginning to suspect you already know, things like that can get forgotten in the heat of the moment.’
Fleur turned her nose up. ‘I know what I’m doing.’
Maman grimaced. ‘Yes, I’m sure you do. You’ve been bookmarking certain pages in my books since you were fourteen.’
Heat crept on Fleur’s cheeks. ‘Can we not have this conversation?’
‘I just want you to be safe,’ Maman whispered. ‘You’re my little girl. Even though you’re already better than me at nearly everything, I remember holding you when you first came into the world. You had this little tuft of blonde hair and big, bright, blue eyes. I’d never been so happy.’
‘Was that before or after you set fire to Papa?’ Fleur asked.
‘After.’ Maman scowled. ‘He made a joke at a very foolish moment.’
Fleur sighed. ‘I will be careful, Maman. We’ve not gone that far anyway.’
Maman crooked her finger and drifted back toward the kitchen. ‘Good. Not that you should be doing anything more than kissing him at his age.’ She threw a sharp look back over her shoulder. ‘I do not want your Papa to have to explain to the papers why his eldest daughter is in bed with someone who’s legally a child.’
Fleur huffed. ‘We’re not talking about this anymore. If you want to worry about one of us, worry about Gabby. She’s bookmarked all the same pages, and she probably reads them thinking about the same person as I would if I didn’t already have him.’
‘Gabby doesn’t actually have a boyfriend.’ Maman grimaced and waved her wand around the kitchen. Various cupboards fluttered and a steaming, white mug of coffee drew together in front of her. ‘Have you thought about what you will do now?’
‘I have.’ Fleur pulled a letter from under her jumper. ‘I applied to join the Bureau des Énigmes and Gringotts offered me a job checking and selling enchanted trinkets. I think some of their clients don’t trust goblins.’
‘Gringotts?’ Papa appeared at the kitchen door. ‘That’s an interesting coincidence.’
A good thing he didn’t appear a few minutes earlier. Fleur smothered her flush. Maman’s one thing. Papa’s another altogether.
‘You’re home early, mon chéri,’ Maman said. ‘Was it a particularly good day, or a particularly bad one?’
‘A good day.’ Papa shuffled into the kitchen and stole a sip from Maman’s coffee. ‘There was a miscommunication with whomever was arranging the portkeys for the other heads of departments. They all ended up somewhere in Sardinia rather than in Paris and as I was the only one in the right place, they had it without me in Sardinia.’
Maman plucked her coffee out of his hands. ‘Didn’t you need to be present?’
‘Oh not even slightly. I’m only the vice-président for the Bureau des Affaires Internationales, it was Henri who had to go and sort things out. I’m glad that I’m not the président. He had to cancel his entire afternoon in the vineyards and hurry off to somewhere in Sardinia while I did some interesting research on English magical nobility.’
‘Papa.’ Fleur whirled on him. ‘What sort of research?’
Papa raised his hands. ‘Harry clearly has little knowledge of his family and its history, he needs to know about things like this, especially as he’s English. I did a little bit of investigating through the outpost of Gringotts in Paris. The only wizarding bank in England is Gringotts, so they would have the most accurate records I could easily see.’
‘The goblins do not share information on their clients for no reason,’ Maman said.
‘No…’ Papa edged away from Fleur. ‘I may have had to follow through the first steps of legal action against him to find out what I wanted.’
‘You what?!‘ Feathers exploded out from under her skin and heat boiled in her bones; liquid flame shifted her chin and upper jaw forward into a sharp beak.
Papa flinched. ‘I didn’t take any action and the goblins will be discreet. They simply wanted me to pay them for the information by way of acting as legal advisors for a case that will never exist. I was rather hoping that you would invite Harry here to join us. I expect he would like to learn this, and he should really be the first person I tell.’
Fleur let the heat fade and the feathers slip back beneath her skin. ‘He is in school, Papa.’
Papa snorted. ‘He’s been visiting you at all hours of the day throughout your suspension and if even the merest fraction of what we’ve read is true, then I don’t think breaking school rules will upset him.’
It will be nice to see Harry again.
‘I will ask.’
Fleur wandered out of the kitchen, drifted down the hall, and pulled the acorn out of her cleavage. ‘Azure.’
It sprouted into a mirror.
Harry’s face appeared in it. ‘Fleur? I was about to go to one of my classes.’
‘Can you come here instead? It’s probably more important than some class you’re already well ahead of.’ She let a small pout creep onto her lips. ‘And you owe me a visit.’
His eyes turned soft and a small smile crept onto his lips. ‘Our history teacher is a ghost and his lessons are always impossibly dull.’
‘You will likely learn more important history by coming here. Papa took it upon himself to investigate your family.’
‘Oh?’ Harry quirked an eyebrow. ‘I will see you in a few moments.’ He vanished.
Fleur poked her head back into the kitchen. ‘He is coming.’ She heard a soft snap echo from the hall. ‘He is here.’
Harry appeared, adjusting his robes with one hand. His magic saturated the silk like water through a sponge.
‘Nice try, Harry,’ Fleur teased. ‘But I can sense they’re transfigured.’
Harry’s smile shrank a fraction. ‘Mr and Mrs Delacour.’
‘Harry,’ Maman murmured.
Papa inclined his head.
‘Fleur told me that you’d been investigating my family?’ The slightest edge hovered in his tone.
‘My interest got the best of me,’ Papa confessed. ‘I was surprised to learn that you knew so little of your family and I took it upon myself to determine whether or not we might discover some unpleasant surprises when you turn seventeen.’
Harry’s eyebrows rose. ‘Will we?’
‘I made some inquiries through the Parisian branch of Gringotts,’ Papa said. ‘They were helpful in some regards, but without your presence I couldn’t discover everything I wanted to.’
‘What did you want to learn?’ Harry asked.
You and your secrets, mon Cœur. Fleur slipped to his side and took his hand. At least you trust me.
‘I’m going to have to explain a few things.’ Papa gestured into the hall. ‘It might be easier to sit.’
Harry followed him through and took a seat on the chocolate-stained sofa in the corner.
Gabby’s sofa. Fleur squeezed in next to him and threw her legs over his.
‘Here in Europe things are done a bit differently than in Britain,’ Papa said. ‘The German States, Spain, Italy, and most countries have lost the majority of the noble families that ruled in the last two centuries. Traditions and practices have moved on and been modernised. France is split, but every year a few more old laws are overturned by the growing pro-modern majority.’
‘I take it this is not the case in Britain,’ Harry said.
‘No.’ Maman smiled. ‘As my husband is far too fond of mentioning, Britain has been the pre-eminent magical community for three centuries, only growing relatively stronger since Grindelwald massacred his way across the mainland.’
‘You’re concerned about the pure-blooded mantra of some noble houses?’ Harry raised an eyebrow.
‘I am concerned about Britain’s Dark Lord, but should he fall, then the pure-bloods will fall with him. Britain’s revolution has finally come, two centuries after France’s, and the effects are still felt in this country.’
‘My family is one of the old pure-blood houses,’ Harry said. ‘But we’re not in any way associated with the bigoted nonsense Voldemort uses to lure in followers.’
‘As a noble family in a traditionalist society, I was worried about the existence of any agreements your family might have that you were unaware of,’ Papa said. ‘In France, these practises have mostly died out and those that do occur between the few surviving old pure-blood families are frowned upon. Those families are the ones that fled the disastrous attempts of Robespierre to unite magical and muggle societies under his control and survived the war that followed. They are unpopular for abandoning their country to shelter in Britain, as most of France’s magical families, including mine, were created during or after that chaos and looked down on those that had not suffered as we did.’
‘I take it these agreements still exist in Britain,’ Harry muttered. ‘What kind of agreements?’
You’re not going to like this. Fleur wriggled her fingers through Harry’s and gave a gentle squeeze. Someone suddenly appearing on a piece of paper to snatch your sunset away.
Papa rubbed his chin. ‘They do. They can often be very specific and still binding even generations after they are created.’
‘It was once normal practice in Britain and not unlikely that such agreements exist,’ Maman said. ‘Since you are with Fleur and my daughter seems quite determined that you are who she wants, we wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to suddenly be disappointed.’
Harry’s brow creased. ‘I don’t understand.’
‘I went looking for several types of agreements,’ Papa said. ‘First and foremost on my list was any outstanding, accepted offers of marriage between your family and any others. Such an agreement would prevent you from having any future with Fleur should it be valid.’
Harry’s face tightened. Every muscle in his body tensed beneath Fleur.
He took a long, quiet, deep breath. ‘Were there any?’
Papa grimaced. ‘I still do not know. The goblins would not help me without personally giving proof you were involved with a member of my family.’
Harry’s eyes hardened. ‘How likely are these agreements? What makes them valid?’
‘Increasingly less. The old families are too closely intermarried in most cases.’ Papa massaged his fingertips into his chin. ‘They’re validated in certain circumstances, usually specific to each contract. Old families often have a couple of unusual ones knocking around. The best way to check is simply to ask. The goblins have mediated such disputes for millennia for one reason or another. They will know.
‘Then I will ask.’ Ice crept into Harry’s eyes. A strange, desperate gleam lurked beneath. ‘And if there is one, I will stop it however necessary.’
However necessary… The burnt corpse of Peter Pettigrew reared up among her thoughts and the Dark Mark swirled in the sky above Rita Skeeter’s ruined house. I hope there isn’t one. Taking the one perfect thing away from someone who’s never had anything like it is a dangerous thing to do.
‘If I return with your company, the goblins will be willing to answer,’ Papa said. ‘You might also take the chance to learn about the state of your family’s finances. It’s best to keep on top of these things.’
‘I have absolutely no idea about any of that.’ Harry shrugged. ‘I just assumed there wouldn’t be anything.’
Fleur’s heart sank. Mon Cœur.
Papa exchanged a glance with Maman. ‘The Potters are an old family, though never particularly prestigious until the fourteenth century, when the last member of a very old and famous family married into their family and suddenly elevated their status. They were originally from France, but were forced to choose a new name to escape the associations the other branch of their family made in Aguilar with the Cathar movement. It was a good thing they did–’
‘The Cathars were rather prejudicially crusaded against in France and Italy over a century or so,’ Fleur said. ‘They were a point where muggle religion met the magical world, and drew the ire of the muggle Papacy for it. It’s not really relevant, Papa.’
Papa twitched. ‘Your family moved away and was forgotten long before the crusades of De Montfort, but they were renowned for being a neutral, conflict-wary family for many years and consequently outlived and absorbed a lot of other magical families, some of which were quite prestigious. Eventually all the links with greater families made the Potters great too.’
‘You were serious about inquiring about my family,’ Harry murmured.
‘I actually already knew all of that.’
Maman laughed. ‘And finally, after all these years, it’s useful.’
Papa chuckled. ‘I have a long list of names that might yield something if the goblins are asked about their vaults, but they’ll only do it if you’re present and won’t actually do anything but register a request has been made until you’re seventeen or they get something out of it. The goblins aren’t popular. They survive only by keeping a stranglehold on the wizarding economy.’
‘I see…’ Harry’s eyes turned distant. ‘So you’d like me to accompany you to Gringotts?’
A silver eagle the height of a man burst into the room, flaring its wings to stop in front of Harry. Silver vapour trailed from the tips of its feathers.
Maman sat bolt upright. ‘Anzu…’
‘There’s likely nothing left.’ Harry’s voice emanated from the bird, echoing like he stood at the end of a long tunnel.
Maman gasped. ‘That’s your patronus?’
‘He suggests making a request just in case, but insisting it remain a secret,’ the eagle said in Harry’s voice.
Harry’s face turned scarlet. ‘Yes, it’s my patronus.’
Maman’s eyes went wide as coins, then she pressed her hand to her mouth and covered a smile.
She knows something. Fleur narrowed her eyes, but Maman’s smile only widened.
‘I didn’t know you could send messages using your patronus,’ Papa said. ‘How do you do it?’
‘I don’t know.’ Harry banished his patronus without sparing it a glance. ‘I suspect I’ll find out sometime in the next six hours. Let’s go. I need to know if anything’s there.’
The time-turner. Fleur grimaced. I hope you’re not overusing it.
She caught her mother’s eye and motioned toward the kitchen, then swung herself off the sofa. Harry’s fingers flinched after her.
‘We’ll leave you two to talk about history,’ Maman said. ‘Try not to be too enthusiastic about it, Laurent. These are the only conversations that explain how my youngest daughter ended up like she did.’
Harry glanced at Fleur.
‘Beauxbatons,’ Fleur said. ‘She’s doing ok.’
Maman drifted into the kitchen.
Fleur strode after her. ‘What was wrong with his patronus?’ she hissed.
‘Wrong?’ Maman shifted her weight from one foot to the other. ‘There’s nothing wrong with it at all. Far from it.’
‘So you reacted like that for no reason…’ Fleur wrinkled her nose. ‘Try again, Maman.’
‘Veela’s origin myth is that they are the descendants of beautiful witches who were raised by Anzu, long extinct, magical birds.’ Maman shot Fleur a pointed look. ‘We then migrated through Mesopotamia into eastern Europe and spread.’
And the corporeal patronus is a manifestation of someone’s most positive emotions. Fleur’s heart squirmed. How sweet of him.
‘We’re going to Gringotts,’ Papa called. ‘Do you wish to come, Fleur, Apolline?’
‘Go,’ Maman said.
‘Maman doesn’t wish to come.’ Fleur shot Harry a smirk. ‘I can apparate with Harry.’
Harry raised his hands. ‘It’s fine.’
‘I insist.’ Fleur laughed, stepped close to him and wrapped her arms around his chest, then pictured the streets of Paris.
A soft snap echoed across the cobbles. Elegant, pale stone facades flanked them.
Harry sighed. ‘Did you have to do that?’
Fleur huffed. ‘Yes. It was funny. I wanted to ask you a question, anyway.’
‘Ask away. I’m sure we have a moment while your father recovers from watching you throw yourself at me.’
‘I did not throw myself at you.’ Fleur turned her nose up at him, then reached out and cupped his chin. ‘What do we do if we find out there’s some contract in there?’
Harry’s green eyes frosted over and his face hardened. ‘I will avoid setting it off.’
‘And if it’s too late for that?’ Fleur whispered. ‘You would be legally bound, maybe even magically bound.’
That small, bright, desperate gleam welled back up in Harry’s eyes. ‘I’ll find a way.’ He took a deep breath. ‘I’ll kill them if I have to. I can’t lose you. I won’t.’
Of course you would. Warmth rushed through Fleur. The heat pooled in her eyes and glimmered on her lashes. Your one perfect wish.
She tugged him close and kissed him. ‘We’ll find a way. No more of this I will, I can’t, I won’t, mon Rêve. You made me a promise. Don’t break your promise.’
Something dark rose in Harry’s eyes, a dazed, dire, hollow glint. ‘You made me a promise, too,’ he whispered. ‘You promised you were different.’
Fleur cradled his head to her breast. ‘I promise,’ she breathed into his ear. ‘I am not like the shallow little girls. You’re not my hero. I don’t want you to save me and I don’t want you to vanish when I don’t need saving. I. Just. Want. You.’
Papa appeared beside them with a loud crack. ‘Am I interrupting?’
‘I think she was about to let go of me,’ Harry said.
‘I was not.’ Fleur pressed her lips to his and leant to his ear. ‘I will not. Not ever. You’re mine.’
‘Shall we go?’ Papa suggested.
They strolled across the street and into the marble-floored, slim-pillared colonnade of the Parisian branch of Gringotts.
‘Mr Delacour.’ An old gnarled goblin stepped out from behind his desk to greet her father.
‘I’ve returned with the aforementioned third party,’ Papa said.
‘Ah…’ The goblin smiled, displaying a sharp set of teeth, then plucked a thin, black briefcase from under its desk and ushered them toward a private meeting room. ‘Step this way, please.’
‘Be polite, but firm,’ Papa murmured.
‘I am Nagnok, Mr Potter.’ The goblin set the case on the table and snapped it open. ‘I assume that you’re here to verify Mr Delacour’s questions are legitimate inquiries.’
Harry studied the goblin. ‘I am.’
‘I take it this is the daughter with whom you’re involved.’ The goblin spared Fleur half a glance, then reached into the case and pulled out a sheet of paper. ‘Here’s a list of the current contracts a member of the Potter family might be able to fulfil.’
Harry plucked it from the creature’s grasp.
Fleur’s stomach knotted and churned. I will kill whoever’s on it myself if I have to.
‘What does it say?’ she asked.
Harry crumpled it up into a ball. ‘Gabrielle Delacour. It seems like Gabby will get her forbidden romance after all.’
Fleur’s heart seized. She blinked, then caught the small curve at the corner of Harry’s mouth. ‘Idiot. I should burn you to ashes for that joke.’
‘You can set fire to him later,’ Papa said.
‘Can I enquire about the status of my family’s assets?’ Harry asked Nagnok.
Harry rolled his eyes. ‘Will you tell me when I do?’
‘Then consider that my inquiry,’ Harry said.
Nagnok turned back to his case and flicked through a stack of paperwork. ‘As I am not the account manager for your family and not authorised to share the explicit details without their express permission, I can only tell you that the majority of the assets your family held were liquidated by Charlus Potter to try and limit losses in the escalating wizarding war, but after his death James Potter spent all but a small fraction of it. Since then there have been a multitude of wills bequeathing small amounts to you and no further action required other than maintaining your trust fund.’
‘Are there any further details you could share?’ Harry asked.
Nagnok closed his case and snapped the catches. ‘I can tell you that your trust fund cannot possibly be exhausted under any circumstances, but if you truly tried, you’d come close to wiping out half your family’s remaining fortune.’
‘Thank you,’ Harry said. ‘I would ask that you investigate any claim I might have to these vaults.’
Papa passed him a paper list. Harry glanced at it, then added a single name, using his wand as a quill.
Charming writing onto a page. Fleur pursed her lips. Impressive.
Nagnok scanned the list. ‘There’s almost no assets attached to these names, little more than an unpaid dowry and its interest.’
Harry reached out and touched his wand tip to the list; it crumbled to dust. ‘Make sure that inquiry remains discreet. I’d prefer that nobody learns of it.’
‘I understand, Mr Potter.’ Nagnok’s smile showed all his sharp teeth. ‘It might cause a bit of a stir.’
Papa’s frown deepened as they left the bank. ‘Which family did you add? I’m sure I didn’t miss any.’
Harry glanced around them. ‘Slytherin.’
Papa stopped dead in the street. ‘That’s not mentioned in any of the books.’
‘I have good reason to believe it,’ Harry murmured. ‘Very good reason.’
‘Parselmouth,’ Papa muttered. ‘The Daily Prophet mentioned it, but I assumed it was simply more rumour-mongering.’
Fleur huffed. ‘It was one of the few things that they got right. Shall we go back before Harry is recognised?’ She jumped at Harry and wrapped her legs ‘round his waist.
He caught her ‘round the small of her back, then slipped his hands down to her thighs.
‘That’s me throwing myself at you,’ Fleur whispered, apparating them back.
They collapsed in the entrance hall, Fleur still wrapped around him.
‘How do I always end up on the bottom?’ Harry’s muffled voice drifted up from beneath her cleavage.
‘I’m sure you didn’t mind that much.’ Fleur leant back, then hopped to her feet.
Maman won’t like seeing me straddle him after our talk this morning. She fought a pout. Who cares how old he is? He’s mine and that’s all that matters.
‘I couldn’t breathe,’ Harry said. ‘But there are definitely worse ways to die than that.’ He stood up and dusted himself off. ‘I should return to school, curfew starts soon.’
Maman edged out of the kitchen. ‘It was lovely to see you, Harry.’
‘You could stay until the morning.’ Fleur shot Maman a broad smirk. ‘Nobody would ever know where you were and what you were doing.’
Harry turned red. Fleur caught his eye and gave him a little pout. He quirked an eyebrow. She bit her lip, gave him a little wiggle, and watched Maman’s lips flatten into a thin, white line.
He turned to Maman, scarlet-cheeked. ‘If everyone’s ok with it, then yes. I’ll still have to apparate back briefly, just to make sure I can send the patronus.’ He glanced up and down the hall and fixed a bright smile on his face. ‘Let me do that now.’
Harry vanished with a soft snap. Papa appeared with a loud crack, his nose in a battered, brown-covered book.
Maman glanced past Fleur’s shoulder at him and folded her arms. ‘Laurent?’
Papa glanced up. ‘Yes?’
Try it, Maman. Fleur pushed a little heat into her bones until her face started to shift and her eyes turned dark. See where putting yourself in between us gets you.
‘Fleur would like Harry to stay the night,’ Maman said.
‘Seems fine.’ Papa kicked his shoes off and stumbled toward the hall. ‘We have space.’
Papa stuck his head back through the door. ‘Yes, ma chérie?’
‘I don’t think Fleur’s planning on Harry using a spare room.’ Maman’s arms tightened a notch. ‘Don’t you have anything you’d like to say?’
Papa shot a look at Fleur out of the corner of his eye and wrinkled his nose. ‘He is a bit young, Fleur. Although, I must admit I find it hard to remember he’s fifteen half the time–’
‘Laurent,’ Maman hissed.
‘I have plenty of space for him right next to me.’ Fleur folded her arms. ‘And if I don’t have space for him there, then I’m sure Harry will find some space for me.’
‘Right…’ Papa sighed and drew himself up. ‘We had this talk when you were a lot younger, because pretty girls attract a lot of attention in a certain sort of way and we wanted you to be safe. I really didn’t want to have it again.’
Fleur turned her nose up. ‘I haven’t forgotten it and I definitely haven’t forgotten what age you two got started at.’
Papa grimaced. ‘Yes. Right. Well, I mean, I think it’s alright if you want to share a bed, but I don’t want to hear about the two of you doing anything like that until he’s older.’
‘Fine.’ Fleur shrugged. ‘You won’t.’
I can ward my room more than well enough to keep any noise from getting in or out.
Harry reappeared by the shoes. ‘Was it ok?’
Maman dropped her arms. ‘It’s fine, Harry. You are family.’
Fleur whisked Harry up the stairs. ‘Come on, before Maman changes her mind.’
‘Do you have a spare room I can stay in?’ Harry laughed. ‘Of course you do, you live in a chateau.’
Fleur plastered her most innocent expression across her face. ‘Non.’
‘You don’t? Really?’ Harry paused and studied her door. ‘Isn’t this one yours? It looks familiar…’
Fleur smirked and pushed her door open. ‘No spare rooms, mon Cœur.’
Harry froze, then managed half a grin. ‘You don’t snore, do you?’
Fleur hid her smile and led him into her room, tugging the door shut behind them. She tapped her wand on the lock, leaving a soft glow.
Harry glanced at the glimmering door handle and managed a faint smile. ‘You’ve trapped me again. Is there a particular word that will let me out?’
She smirked. ‘There are no words that’re going to let you out of here, mon Cœur. You’re mine.’
He grinned and slid his arms ‘round her waist. ‘Not even I love you?’
Fleur’s heart flopped about. ‘A good start.’ She slipped her hands into his hair and tugged his lips to hers. ‘Say it again.’
His lips curved. ‘Not until you say it back.’
She pouted. ‘You know I love you.’
‘I like to hear you say it,’ he murmured.
Fleur kissed the side of his neck and trailed her fingertips down his chest to his stomach. ‘That’s not the only thing you like to hear me say.’ Her hand slipped beneath his shirt and the beat of her heat quickened. Heat traced through her veins and coiled in her abdomen.
Harry’s lips caught hers. His tongue traced over her lower lip and his hands curled round her waist. The tips of his fingers crept beneath the hem of her underwear. ‘Aren’t you going to ask?’ he teased.
‘No.’ Fleur felt his hands slide lower. Her underwear strained over his knuckles, the silk tight and hot against her as his fingers curved over her derriere. She held her breath. ‘Make me ask.’
Harry’s thumbs drew gentle circles over her thighs, then slipped up the inside of them until they pressed against the heat pooling between her legs. Silk brushed past her thigh and drifted to the floor.
Harry crushed his lips into hers until she moaned. Fire smouldered in his green eyes. ‘Make you, mon rêve?’
She released a shaky breath. ‘If you can.’
Harry’s thumb brushed over the heat between her thighs and a ripple of pleasure swept through her. ‘You’ve no idea how beautiful you look right now.’
Fleur pushed the fire swirling in her abdomen into her hands and scorched the clothes from him. Her own crumbled into ash and wisps of smoke. ‘What about now, mon Cœur?’
Harry’s eyes held hers for a moment, then slid down. They were full of flames when they flicked back up.
Fleur’s heart lurched and her breath caught. I’m not waiting any more.
He pressed his lips to the curve of her throat and drew gentle circles over her with his thumb. Heat pooled in her stomach and curled between her thighs, washing through her in soft, pleasant shudders until her legs trembled and a gentle moan slipped from her mouth.
‘You look like a dream,’ he whispered in her ear. His left hand traced up her side to cup her breast. His palm brushed over her stiff nipple.
‘Non,’ Fleur murmured. She took hold of his right hand and drew his fingers from between her legs, then pulled him down onto the bed on top of her. ‘Non.’
Harry’s breath tickled her cheek as he pressed her forehead against hers. He was hot as fire and hard as stone against the inside of her thigh. ‘Fleur…’
‘Non.’ She kissed him, then put her finger to his lips and eased her hips forward until he hissed and clenched his jaw. ‘No more waiting, mon Cœur.’