Chapter 1: Grounded
The girls usually loved staying at their Grand-mères over Yule, the chateaux was large enough for the entire flock to stay should they choose meaning 2 weeks with cousins, aunts uncles and the occasional friend. Once the flock started to arrive and a sufficient number of the younglings had been corralled, once quite literally, they'd be sent to clean one of the less used parts of the chateaux.
"This is all your fault Apolline, if you hadn't chased that snitch into the house we might be in an actual room, not the attic!"
"CHASED THE SNITCH!! You sent a bludger after me straight down the hall! If I hadn’t rolled into Grand-mère's vase I’d of been run through!”
Minerva grabbed her younger sisters by the collar almost lifting them off the ground “Constance, Apolline. If you don’t stop bickering and help the rest of us, By the Valkyries I’ll smash your heads together.” The silver flash in her eyes and the small feathers sprouting from her hair line left her sisters and cousins in no doubt just how serious she was. With snarl at her audience the assembled family scrambled for boxes to sort.
“Cut the snark Min and help me. Besides who brushed your feathers the wrong way?”
“I was in the library trying to research my Histoire de la Magie paper,”
“of course if you get a decent mark on this you’re guaranteed a place on the Tri-Wizard Exchange to Hogwarts.”
“Exactly! It’ll be awesome to see where my Maman’s met!”
“And you want to meet your mate the same way they did”
“Anyway, why only trying? The clans library is almost the equal of Hogwarts?”
“Ugh I’m doing my piece on Hermione Granger but Beauxbaton’s Library only has a short mention of her during the war and the clan Library only notes she came to France to do a Transfigurations Mastery under the former Beauxbaton Professor! There’s no note of her even finishing!”
“look let’s make a decent impression up here and then we can ask Grand-mère Fleur and Grand-mère Lion if they met her while they taught at Hogwarts?”
“Odette you’re the best cousin ever, Pass the crate please”
While the younglings returned to the attic after a short lunch, Minerva and Odette asked their Grandmother if she’d sit down with them after tea to talk about the war. Fleur agreed on the condition they’d made significant progress in the attic, chuckling as the cousins transformed and flew up the stairs in a bid to be finished sooner. An hour later Odette called Minerva over.
“Min take a look at this.” In her hand was an intricately carved oak box with ornate golden hinges.
“I’ve tried the unlocking charm but no luck”
“did you try partially transforming? It may need a touch of Veela magic?”
Odette took a moment to focus on bringing her Veela to the fore, small dappled blue feathers sprouted at her hairline, she performed the wand movement with a talloned hand only “Alhorama”. The box opened with a barely audible pop. The cousins found the box to be filled with letters and photos. The parchment yellowed with age, corners well thumbed and photos creased as if they’d been carried for a long time.
“This photo’s Grand-mère Fleur, she’s in her Beauxbaton’s summer uniform. What have you got Min?”
“Sorry, it’s, It’s a letter from Hermione Granger!”
My name is Hermione Granger, my headmaster has explained that an event will be occurring next year (although not what that event will be) and that you will be one of the representatives from international schools who will be attending Hogwarts for the majority of the year. I have been selected as a pen pal to try and build friendships before you arrive. So I guess I’d best tell you a bit about myself. When you arrive I’ll have started my 4th year, we’ve not been told when you’ll be arriving either. I’m a member of Gryffindor house so our dormitories are quite high in the north tower. I’m rather hoping this goes to someone from Beauxbatons as what little I’ve been able to find out indicates that unlike Durmstang or even our own society blood purity isn’t important. I’m a muggleborn you see. I didn’t even know this world existed until I was 11! I’m often to be found in the library or hunting my elusive familiar.
If there’s anything you need to know before you arrive please don’t hesitate to contact me muggle post or owl are both possible.
“Well what was Grand-mère response?”
“Now who’s eager? Huh Odette”
“Oh hush let’s read the next one, might as well do it aloud we’ve got an audience”
Good morning, my name is Fleur Delacour. Your wish has been granted I’m a 6th Year at Beauxbatons. My school is always paired with Ravenclaw and Gryffindor as a descendant of your founders fled to the Languedoc, during the period of your Muggle history known as The Anarchy, He was one of the founders of Beauxbatons. I’m not entirely wizard myself nor are many of our delegation assuming our grades are sufficient. Some of my family have said they’re worried especially with all the paperwork that needs doing.
How does the muggle post work I’d like to try it? If you don’t mind?
“Girls we need to talk to Grand-mère Fleur" Minerva grabbed the box of letters and stormed down from the attic. Her thrall sparked as it broiled around her sparking off anything metallic she passed the recently repaired vase crumbling as the magic binding it, not fully set, dissipated in the face of the unrelenting wave of magic. Storming into the dining room she stopped abruptly upon being met by a raised eyebrow from her mother.
"Real your thrall in girl, you know better than that"
"Sorry Maman, have you seen Grand-mère Fleur?"
"She'll be in her study, why?"
"Grand-mère lied to me!" She spat before storming out slamming the door behind her. She froze 2 paces later as her mother's voice reached her,
"Come back here young lady and close that door properly!"
Wincing at the tone of her mother's voice Minerva quickly returned to the door apologizing to her mother she closed the door softly before continuing her hunt for their Grand-mère.
Minerva stopped at her Grand-mère's study stealing herself as she felt a calming thrall wash over her she knocked and entered leaving the door for her quickly pursuing family.
Fleur looked at the door as she felt the sharp edges of one of her granddaughters’ thralls approaching taking a deep breath she concentrated on keeping calm, the war is over and it won't help the girls if they feel her thrall go on the offensive.
Looking into the hazel eyes her eldest granddaughter inherited from her cœur de lion, Fleur wanted to soothe her worries but she was taken aback by the hurt in her voice.
"Grand-mère, you lied to me! I told you I needed help with my essay about Hermione Granger, 'everything you need is in the library' you said. 4 days I've scoured that library and nothing I don't already have!"
"Did you ask Grand-mère Lion for help?"
"Non she was working on clan business and I didn't want to disturb her. To make it worse we found this tidying the attic, you were in contact with Hermione Granger before the war! But you didn't tell me?"
"Shhh it's ok Minerva why don't you and the girls get nested in the lounge and I'll get us all some bitter shandies and we'll go through the letters and photos. I'll answer any questions you girls have and fill in any blanks. Ok?"
"I'll tell the girls, but Grand-mère?"
"Go easy on the lemonade in ours?"
"Just this once but don't tell your Grand-mère".
Chapter 2: Shandy
With drinks prepared Fleur begins her tale
As Fleur walked down to the cellar the lack of plaster on the walls showed the history of the Chateaux, the black stains a mark of honour from the fire the building survived. Metal stanchions all that remained from when the vaulted ceilings had housed an armoury. Deeper still, the remains of the hypocaust that had been used as a foundation. As she stood on the tiled floor the current and impressive use became obvious, Fleur had maintained and built upon her grandmother's wine collection to include a small number of ales she had come to enjoy during her years in Britain. The soft humming lead her to the only house elf that enjoyed working so deep underground.
"Ah Dobby I see you've started without me"
"Miss Fleur, the others let me know a large number of blankets and pillows had suddenly "disappeared" it was only a matter of time before you joined me for their drinks. What mysteries of the veela will you be discussing today? Do we need to give you your privacy?"
"Non, Dobby, Merci! The younglings found letters from when Hermione and I first met so now they want the full story. You are more than welcome to join us but I understand hearing about your father may be painful"
"Thanking you Miss. I might join you for a bit, I'll go before.. well you understand."
"Oui the girls may want to fuss you like they did when they discovered your age"
Smiling at the memory the duo continued preparing the drinks before walking them through, apperating with carbonated drinks is after all something you only do once.
The sight that greeted then on entering the lounge warmed Fleur's heart, even as Dobby sighed. The girls had happily taken their Grand-mère suggestion to get nested very seriously even with the number present everyone was huddled together with blankets and pillows everywhere whilst still being close enough to see and hear all that was revealed.
"Oncle Dobby are you joining us?" Feu Delacour enquired shyly after receiving her glass. Looking at him with big brown eyes he would be hard pressed to refuse.
"Only if you don't tell my mother I brought own bottle" quick as a flash the youngest girl had him cuddled on her lap both drinks at hand she glared at her cousins
"Nobody tell Tante Winky!"
With their nod of agreement Feu snuggled her favorite elf closer
Odette handed her Grand-mère the next letter somewhat confused
"Why are there holes burned out of the top of the letter?"
"Hermione did some complex magic before they went on the run to protect her loved ones. One of the things she achieved was to completely remove any trace of where she had lived in the muggle world. However that's jumping ahead in our tale.
This letter arrived shortly before final exams"
Good luck with your exams! I'd hate to have to get acquainted with another French student!
To send something by muggle post you need to put the above address on the front of a sealed envelope. It will then require a stamp depending on the size of envelope and the speed with which you want it to arrive here. Your local post office should be able to advise you on the correct amount and type of stamps required. Some of them can be quite artistic. There are a few advantages to muggle post over long distance it’s markedly quicker especially airmail. It's also rather more humane given the weather over the channel.
Have you any plans for the summer?
I'm going to spend the majority of my time catching up with my parents, we'll probably have a weeks holiday in Cornwall. Well I'm hoping it's Cornwall my aunt has promised to teach me to fly, yes I'm aware as a witch it's perfectly possible to fly a broom but I refuse to touch another broom unless it's to sweep the yard! I'll spend the last 2 weeks with friends from Hogwarts, the boy's are excited about tickets Ron's father's got unfortunately I suspect they're not for the theatre but something quidditch related. It'll be interesting to compare magical sports arenas to Lord's
Did it work? If this came by by muggle it did, there's also an owl coming, if you only read the duplicate from the owl I did something wrong.
If your friends like quidditch you're probably going to the world cup, we can't go to the final as one of my cousin's is playing her first game opening for the Kestrels (a local team) against the larger Spanish team "Hispania".
How can your aunt teach you to fly without a broom. Unless muggles can grow wings?
Lord's is a muggle sports arena? What do they play there?
Apparently they're finalizing the list of students traveling to Hogwarts but I'm confident you won't need to befriend anyone else.
"Well did it work? The muggle post"
"Minerva there are 2 identical letters in the collection aren't there."
"Yes Grand-mère "
Dear Fleur, warning incoming rant.
I'm sending this by owl, her name is Hedwig. She likes bacon bits but is unfortunately claustrophobic.
So it turns out our former defence against the dark arts teacher is a werewolf, not the best kept secret at Hogwarts. He's been sacked. Admittedly we were out after curfew when he attacked us and in the forbidden forest, but that's our fault not his. It's almost as If the ministry forgot their beloved dementors stormed the train in September. He's protected us from so much and is probably the first actually competent teacher the subjects had in years. But because he "isn't human" poof no more job. Sorry it's just infuriating. What are werewolf rights like in France?
Ps I've just got your letter... if you lick the underside of the envelope (the shiny bit) glue is activated and you can then seal the envelope to itself. You don't need to use a sticking charm. How the postman didn't get stuck to this I don't know. Now I need to find the counter charm so I don't stick to anything else
" Grand-mère, is this why we have to send Birthday and Yule greetings in muggle envelopes?"
"Oui, my Papa made it a clan tradition once he found out, in fact he'd send me letters from his travels with sticking charms to tease me. Until he accidentally stuck Maman to the coffee table"
"I knew we didn't cause that mark" Odette huffed to Minerva
Hermione I'm so sorry, I had no idea, it seemed better when the wax seal broke. Hopefully this doesn't stick where it shouldn't.
As for werewolves it's important to note that for 150 years Lycans have been emancipated from werewolf legislation in France so they are viewed akin to animagus they must register their form but as this takes the form of puppy pictures it's usefulness is debatable. Werewolves aren't barred from job's here but they need to follow strict containment during the full moon and by registering with the government they get wolfsbane on prescription for free (that's a recent development based on the success of your muggle health system)
Once again I'm truly sorry about the charm, I promise I'll lick this one
Chapter 3: End of Summer
Letters continue as summer draws to a close
Miss Fleur Delacour
It is my honour to inform you, that you have been selected to represent our school in the upcoming Endeavour to Hogwarts.
This expedition will be fraught with danger however there will be equal chance for glory and honour.
The exact time of our arrival is yet to be determined by the British Ministry. It will however require 2 days for us to travel to Hogwarts as we will be traveling by carriage and will therefore be required to stop at Syllingar on entering British territory.
Mme Maxine, Headmistress
“This is awesome Grand-mère, but there’s no mention of the tournament?”
“Non, we wouldn’t learn it was a tournament until we returned to Beauxbatons”
“Syllingar? Isn’t that where the band you and Grand-mère listen to are from?”
“Not quite Feu, The Weird sisters are the band. The Norse believed one of the Norns, the three sisters who weave men’s fate, lived on the Island.”
I’m not much of a Quidditch fan but I’ll see if Ginny can get the match on the wireless. The boy’s have confirmed it is indeed the World Cup, I can’t help feel it’s something of an expensive waste to get me a ticket though.
My aunt was an ATA pilot, there’s little she isn’t qualified to fly. As to how she’s a member of a local Gliding club. We sit one behind the other in a cockpit and control the Glider using a vertical stick for lift and roll, and a pair of pedals to control yaw, truthfully it’s not much different to a broom control is still by stick and stability with pedals or stirrups the main difference is it feels safer I suppose in a proper seat and harness than flying with a glorified stick between your legs. Landing is different though with brooms you’re supposed to lower yourself to your feet gently whereas a glider landing is just crashing with style.
I’ll send you a picture of the glider while we’re there!
Lord’s, Lords is indeed a stadium but it’s for cricket, a far more civilized game to Quidditch that thankfully is played on the ground. Dad took me to see England’s women’s team win the World cup against the west-indies at lords before I knew about magic. If you ever see a red ball about the size of an orange flying for your face, DUCK. It may not be as large or impressive as a bludger but it still hurts.
Muggles can’t grow wings, they’re earned and sewn on
It's official! I'm part of the group coming to Hogwarts!
It is concerning however that our headmistress has warned us that Hogwarts is "fraught with danger". Have a look yourself; I've included a copy of my letter. What's Syllingar? I'm only aware of it from Norse mythology.
Wouldn't sewing on wings be impractical?
What's the ATA?
I hope you enjoy your holiday with your parents and gliding with your aunt. Pictures are certainly helpful!
"Wow, smooth moves Grand-mère "
"Sorry Grand-mère "
Wing's are a fabric badge, for pilots this consists of a pair of wings sprouting from a central crest they're sewn onto a pilots uniform upon completion of training and becoming a fully qualified pilot. The ATA, Air Transport Auxiliary, were ferry pilots during the last Muggle world war. Their job was to transfer aircraft from their factories to their squadron so as to free up young men who could otherwise be fighting.
"Fraught with danger" interesting description of Hogwarts, from my own experience:
I made my best friends fighting a mountain troll in 1st year.
Last year we all became proficient in the use of the patronus charm due to the grounds being patrolled by dementors.
Fraught is putting it lightly.
As for Syllingar I think it's customs control for anyone not arriving via the ministry building in London. Other than that I don't know I travel Muggle for obvious reasons.
I wish I could spend more time with my parents over the summer but it's incredibly difficult to access Diagon alley for school supplies or to catch the express from the north of England as a Muggle. First year I had to catch multiple Muggle trains south in order to board at Kings cross. It's easy enough for magical families but for Muggleborn students it's ridiculous that the train only stops at Kings cross and Hogsmead!
The weather is excellent for flying. I've included an old picture of the glider. Mum will send the photos from this week onto Hogwarts once auntie gets them back from the chemist
"This is an old Polaroid picture of the glider, pass it round girls but be gentle with it. Feu let Oncle Dobby hold your drink first"
Hermione Jean Granger,
What happened at the World cup?
Before you try to deny anything. You neglected to inform us that wizard mail sometimes explodes and starts shouting at you! Which is undesirable mid coffee! Once you've explained yourself you'd better apologies to your exchange partner for scaring her as much as her letter shocked us!
Ps. Thank you for my birthday present. An owl of our own is especially helpful for keeping in contact with you and your world. Frank (yes we named him for your Grandfather) has taken a special liking to biltong, we may need to experiment with your first care package so he doesn't eat it all himself. We've attached the speaking letter in a separate envelope as we're unsure if it'll start talking again, do these work like the greetings cards you hate? It really surprised your father when the mornings post exploded and a letter started shouting at us.
All our love
Tell me you're not hurt. The Aurors locked down every sporting event on the continent! We didn't find out why till after they released everyone. The wireless reports it's a mass casualty event! Are you and your friends safe? Was anyone hurt?
" What happened Grand-mère?"
"Death eaters in the crowd at the World cup attacked spectators and the Muggle campsite owners during the post game festivities. They didn't kill many but hundreds were injured by shrapnel and glancing spells. After the war it was concluded a man on the board of governors at Hogwarts, Lucius Malfoy, lead the attack. They scattered when the dark mark was cast. Tante Winky was blamed for casting Voldemorts signature using Harry Potter's wand. She was clothed on the spot by Barty Crouch, the man responsible for the return of the tournament. It was actually his son but that wouldn't be known till the end of the school year."
"Dumbledore didn't believe that Mum could be responsible so he gave her a job at Hogwarts. She was the second paid elf at Hogwarts and that's where she met dad"
Feu starred at her favourite Oncle in wonder at the admission.
Chapter 4: Back to School
WARNING: Mentions of life during the African Bush wars
Fleur Delacour did you really need to send a howler to my parents!?!
I'm fine and so are the boys. Just a few scrapes and bruises from fleeing through the woods. Congratulations by the way, I'm grounded when I come home over Christmas. My parents are understandably upset I didn't tell them I was in danger and I've had to get them a subscription for the prophet not that that rag is useful for anything but wrapping your chips in. I'm trying to keep them in the dark in regards to death eaters and the like in case they don't let me return to this world let alone school.
Sorry I should explain Dad was born in Bulawayo when it was Rhodesia, he grew up in a terrorist hot zone. If they went anywhere with school the teacher's had weapons with them in case they were attacked. I know it's strange to think considering every witch and wizard has a wand capable of offensive and defensive spells but it's rare for Muggles outside the police or military to carry weapons. They moved here to be safer! Not for me to fight mountain trolls or a basilisk never mind that a mass murderer broke into the school to kill an honest to god rat. Okay the rat was actually an animagus and Sirius is innocent but that's beside the point.
I love my parents; I just want them to be safe and not to worry.
Doom and gloom aside by the time you get this I should be back at Hogwarts, any further letters can be sent straight to the school or if you want to continue with Muggle post there's a post office in the village of Hogsmead that forwards Muggle mail onto the castle or lets us know if it's too big for owl post
Sorry for scaring your parents. Grand-mère is sending them a bottle of wine on my behalf by way of apology. We've just received further instructions from your Ministry. All students and teacher's travelling to Hogwarts must have quarantined for 2 weeks before we travel. They've also requested all non pure-bloods are fully vaccinated... the medical certificates also require us to be flea'd and wormed. What do they think we are Muggle familiars?
How is your return to school? For us there's very little difference to the summer our clan is all together we've just got different adults watching over us and we've all come in the same outfit! Quelle horreur!!
Dumbledore officially announced that we will have visitors this year for an event starting in October. Still hasn't said what the event is. The boy's are put out as apparently Quidditch is cancelled this year, it won’t mean they actually study more but I can hope. My parents say thank you for the wine, it's stronger than they're used to but wonderful. I don't suppose you're bringing any to Hogwarts by chance? It would be advisable if you're not fond of butterbeer.
Ps what size flea collar do you take? Would you prefer it in Beauxbatons blue or Gryffindor red and gold?
We've just been told what's happening, there is an old trophy currently held at Hogwarts that hasn't been awarded in over a century. That's why we are coming. Sorry if this is all rather cryptic our mail is being censored and returned to us if we mention directly what's happening.
If you’re not careful I will find a way of replacing your shampoo with this flee soap we have to use.
P.S Blue obviously, wouldn't want it to clash with my uniform would we?
"Accio Flea collar!"
"Looks like we know what Francesca is getting for Yule.”
“Tais Toi! Apolline! You’d of tried it if I hadn’t.”
How do you feel about gambling?
The twins have got odds running on how each school will arrive. So when your headmistress says carriage does she mean railway or horse drawn? I'm rather hoping for horse drawn as I've always loved the story of Cinderella. For some reason the most common bet is either broom or apparition for both schools.
If anyone actually read "Hogwarts, A history" they'd know apparition is impossible into Hogwarts grounds and seriously who'd want to fly on a glorified stick over that distance with a years’ worth of luggage!
I checked a few books on what you said, Dumbledore caught me and I'm sworn to secrecy. This "event", it's barbaric! People have died! Not just the participants but official observers and heads of school. Did you know the youngest participant was 12...
Is entering this "thing" a requirement for coming to Britain? Do you have to enter?
"How did Hermione hear about Cinderella? I thought Veela myths were supposed to be secret"
"Many are Francesca, but Muggles have a similar, what they call "fairy tale". It's possible someone said something they shouldn't or equally perhaps we were once closer to the non-magical population and our myths intermingled in our dim and distant past.
Considering you know my sister, Had Hermione gifted me a flea collar don't you think it would be protected against accio?"
Assuming our myths are the same we will travel like Cinderella except for the whole transfiguration element.
I must compete if I am able to enter myself for consideration, it is our way. My culture that is, though
Mme Maxine will insist on it. For France and For Beauxbatons!
It may sound strange but it was the battle cry used during the magical equivalent of the 100 years war, and is regularly used by former students that play Quidditch.
Hermione I think this is the last letter I will be able to send you before we depart. This is Ylva, yes I know it means wolf but in my defence I was 6, I don’t know how well she will cope with flying in the carriage. As such I may send her on ahead. If she arrives before me please give her a treat and order her to “s’asseoir ici” and point at where you want her to stay. If you don’t point she’ll sit on your shoulder.
By the Gods I hope I don’t get air sick.
A common theme is Hermiones' Reticence to tell her parents what's happening in the Wizarding world. I thought there must be a deeper reason to this than overprotective parents. Hermiones account is based on accounts I've heard and is not entirely fiction. I also chose Rhodesia as it will fit something that will occur in the future.
I am neither Rhodesian nor Zimbabwean and do not mean to cause any offence
Chapter 5: Syllingar
And so It begins
"Oo more photos!"
"Pass them over Francesca. Ah! This first one is of our delegation before we departed Beauxbatons. Hmm. Ah and these are copies of the photos from the French coverage of our arrival display as well as that of Durmstang.
So, our flight over France was rather fun honestly. We stayed in what would become the lounge once we landed as it was the only magically unaltered space. As such if there were any problems during the flight we weren't theoretically at risk. Once we were at our cruising altitude Mme Maxine allowed the Veela amongst us to exit via the window and stretch our wings, on the understanding we wouldn't fly too far ahead of the Abbraxens. The weather became quite fowl over Brittany and Normandy so we had a small lunch and talked through our routine till we descended into Syllingar..."
"Is everything alright Grand-mère?"
"Oui, that place, was a terrible place. So much so, that, they removed the enchantments holding back the waves after the war. They buried the shame of that place on the sea bed, mostly for what happened when Voldemort came to power."
"If I may little miss, I'll get everyone a refill while Miss Fleur speaks?"
"Okay Oncle" Feu leant closer to Dobby before whispering a request for crackers. With a weary sigh he collected the empty glasses, smiling at Fleur as he left.
"As we approached, the air grew colder and depressing, through the window we caught our first sight of a dementor.
Once we landed we had to leave the carriage so it could be checked for contraband and so we could be processed. They split us into different ques. Purebloods and those we disguised such as your Aunt Gabrielle, she hadn't reached Veela Puberty so had no perceptible thrall, on the left. Mixed race and magical creatures in the center with Muggleborns on the right. The non purebloods had our vaccine cards checked, our parents and grandparents recorded, as well as their blood status. They then required us to sign a document for the 'Regulation and control of dangerous creatures' with what they considered us and our signatures. The Secretary for Border control, the horrible woman could be seen in her Office wearing the most awful shade of pink, had decreed we needed to use blood quills so it could be authenticated."
"What they thought you were?"
"Oui Roxanne, apparently I'm only one quarter Veela"
"But? You said that's not possible?"
"I wasn't telling them. Would you?"
The lack of explosions and fire shouldn't have alarmed Victoire. However considering her daughter had been on the warpath not too long ago it was perhaps prudent to ensure nothing else had been harmed in the younglings search for their Grand-mère. The silence in the chateaux was unnerving especially considering the number of adolescent Veela currently residing within its storied walls. Which was how she came to be doing something reminiscent of her own youth. Sneaking out of the office and through the corridors like a thief in the night. Considering the subject matter she put her head round the door of the library.
"Psst. Ah mum have you seen Maman? Seems the girls found a box of her letters from before the war and Minerva got quite upset with her"
"How come dear?"
"Minerva has been in here most of the week researching her hero for a school project and Maman failed to mention knowing them apparently"
"Which hero would this be?"
"Only the great Hermione Granger of course!"
"Ah, that would explain why your sister's youngest two attempted to sneak out with all the throws and pillows that weren't nailed down. In which case you'll probably find them nesting in the lounge."
"Makes sense. Are you coming?"
"No dear it's just the way I'm sitting."
"Before you head through would you mind heading downstairs, I believe Dobby just popped down. He'll appreciate an extra pair of hands"
"Of course Mum, still don't know how you can sense that, I'll get a bottle for you in case you join us."
"Thank you dear."
“Ah, Mon Fille thank you for helping dobby it is much appreciated.”
“Never mind Tante! Sit down, we’ve left your seat free and things are getting interesting!”
“If you insist Elise, where were you Maman?”
“Just about to meet Feu’s Great Grand-father. Charlie Weasley was a nice enough man, he realised we were in pain and provided murlap for our wounds, apparently they used it frequently in his profession. He was kind enough to wait with us until Mme Maxine was allowed through. We didn’t realise it but one of his charges had got loose and caused us a roaring welcome. Charlie was helping escort the dragons for the first task. An especially difficult task given they were all pregnant and hadn’t laid their eggs yet. One of the dragons got loose as they were transferring it from its travel cage to a holding pen, as they needed to check the cage for contraband. In her bid for freedom she must have come close to the carriage as the Old dragon on Wyddfa smelt her as we were flying past. He left us alone once we flew out of his territory but it was scary at times. Who would of thought we’d be attacked by dragons on this trip!”
“What Grand-mère won’t tell you is that she’s responsible for the motto above the current carriage door. As they were approaching Hogwarts apparently Mme Maxine told everyone to prepare for a rough landing, apparently your Grand-mère thought it would be of great comfort to the other girls to tell them ‘Don’t worry we aren’t landing. We’re crashing with style”
Firstly in the bottom of the envelope is some biltong in waxed paper, you’re welcome to try some but don’t forget to give Ylva some. She wouldn’t leave until I promised to put some into the envelope for you both. Thank goodness Frank (Mum and Dads owl) wasn’t here we may have had a fight on our hands.
Anyway, Wow! That was some entrance your school put on. It was really beautiful and you could see the skill required to pull of the dance. One of the girls from your school, tall blonde very statuesque, came to our table and pinched our Bouillabaisse I hope there was enough for all of you. Ron’s certain she’s a veela.
Hopefully that crash hasn’t caused any problems with your accommodation. When you find out your class schedule we’ll have to find a suitable time for me to give you the tour.
"Ok girls, what do you notice from the photos of our entrance?"
" The way you're holding your hand out to Hermione it looks like you're asking her to dance?"
"Non Apolline, but it is a good photo for what you're looking for."
"Grand-mère? Why is Hermione wearing a flower? No one else is?"
"So close Feu, that's exactly what you're looking for. However in the other photos you'll notice Hermione isn't the only one."
Landing? You said it yourself, we merely crashed with style! Honestly it wasn't fun. But we're here now that's the important thing. Mme Maxine has informed us the final application before the judge will be Saturday, one week tomorrow that is, with the announcement of the Champions after the feast Sunday. I wonder if the acclimatisation period will put anyone off entering.
As for what your friend surmised, a large number of my clan are indeed Veela, you will no doubt hear rumours about us in the coming weeks even supposing one of us isn't selected as champion. I ask that you take such gossip as just that, gossip. You're government don't understand us so I doubt the student population will be any more accurate. If you have any queries about my kind please ask. I can't promise I'll answer as our culture is naturally defensive and secretive but I'll do my best to at least point out any falsehood.
I don't mean to pry, but, a number of the Hogwarts students are wearing flowers on their robes. It isn't everyone and no-one in Slytherin wore one. So I'm guessing it's muggle related? Did we arrive on muggle Valentine's day or similar?
We're confined to the carriage till Monday breakfast as Mme Maxine wants the carriage fully repaired, functional and ready before lessons start. It can't really take 2 days to unpack and organise can it?
"We didn't even finish before lessons Monday, we ended up finishing during our free periods after lunch."
Muggle and Magical Valentine's day are both February 14th. You're correct in thinking it's a Muggle thing. They're poppies. We wear them from the last week of October through to the 11th of November. Dad volunteers with the Royal British Legion, they're a charity that support veterans of the muggle wars. He sends me a box of paper poppies every year and for a small donation I offer them to the muggle students during the period of remembrance. All of the muggles have family that were involved in the muggle world wars and the conflicts since. We remember all those that were affected by the conflicts in the fight for freedom. It also keeps us connected with home. In the muggle Britain and overseas they have a 2 minute silence to mark the moment the guns fell quiet at the end of World War 1 and a service on the closest Sunday both at 11:00. We can't do that because of school and the lack of understanding in the Magical world, So Dumbledore allows us to hold a candlelight service at 23:00 in the great hall. The service is open to all so you're welcome to join us as is the rest of your contingent.
The next thing you're wondering is probably why poppies? John McCrae's poem probably says it best:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The teacher's who lost friends and family in the wars with Grindelwald and Voldemort sometimes join us.
If you're finished early send an owl and I'll come introduce myself otherwise I guess I'll see you Saturday after lunch? If that's agreeable?
Who designed this staircase? We, the entire flock, got trapped when it suddenly changed. We stayed there until our landing returned as we had no idea what corridor had arrived! It's ridiculous! To make it all worse my feet are sore from being stood so long.
This is a copy of a map Harrys dad and friends made while they were students here. It's not a spelled copy so don't worry about spell decay. I wasn't going to risk using magic on something those "Gentleman" made for my own safety!
"Did you lose the map Grand-mère?"
"Odette, open the silk scarf you're trying to hide"
This is wonderful, how did you make it? On silk no less! Just in case the girls want their own.
It's quite simple but you're going to need a friendly house elf.
First acquire a large flat tray of jelly and a sheet of grease proof paper. Both should be bigger than the map you want to copy. You should be able to source both from the elves.
Place the grease proof paper over the map and trace all the information you need. Do not use quick drying ink.
Now place your trace onto the jelly, ink side down. Slowly peel back the paper. This should of transferred the trace to the surface of the jelly.
Lay your chosen piece of paper or smooth fabric (such as silk) flat against the jelly. Allow a second for the ink to take then remove your brand new map.
You should be able to make a few more maps from your existing jelly trace just add more silk etc
Once finished, dice up the jelly and dispose of in your nearest human dust bin. I find Ron rather agreeable to this task but he seems to go an interesting shade of maroon in the presence of Beauxbatons blue!?
Hope this helps,
"Gryffindor tower: Balderdash and Quid Agis?"
"They're the first and last password I needed to gain access to Gryffindor tower. The dark smudge under Quid Agis is the result of changing passwords. Hermione wrote the first one in ink not realising the fat lady would change the password.
The different colour denotes the secret passages and any relevant password"
Sorry for running off like that in the library, I was barely on time for Transfiguration as it was. It occurs to me I may have seemed overly formal calling you "Miss Delacour" I just didn't want to risk causing any offence by calling you Fleur in public. Should I continue calling you Miss Delacour or may I call you Fleur?
I'm related to almost half our delegation, nearly a third of us share the surname Delacour. While you're more than welcome to call me Fleur, the person you met wasn't me...
"When did you actually meet Grand-mère?"
"They unveiled the goblet of fire at dinner on the Friday. Dumbledore repeated his warnings about the peril of entering the tournament and the age restrictions in place that year. We were encouraged to sleep on our intent to enter. Should we be intent on competing we were to enter our name and school on a piece of parchment then drop it into the goblet once the great hall opening for breakfast but before the hall closed after dinner. The announcement would take place after dinner on Sunday.
Mme Maxine allowed us to head to breakfast at our leisure but we were to be ready to enter our names by 11.
As I entered the hall I spotted a poppy lying on the ground, understanding its significance to some of the students I put it in my lapel with the intention of returning it to Hermione should we meet as she had the best chance of knowing to whom it belonged.
I'd finished my breakfast by the time the flock descended for breakfast. Elise noticed the poppy first and positively squealed. She thought I'd accepted it as a favour, a good luck charm for my bid to be champion. You know what our clan is like, especially when you consider I'd given anyone outside our clan the ice queen routine during that first week, they flocked at the first sign of gossip and potential romance. It took a good 10 minutes and me accioing the letter for them to calm down. Once the girls and the rest of the hall settled I spotted a commotion at the Gryffindor table. The red head, Ron, had spotted the flower at my lapel and between turning purple and drooling was trying to get his friends to look. I recognised the bushy haired girl next to him as the girl with a poppy I'd bowed to during our entry, but her poppy was missing now. Assuming it must be hers I headed over."
Having missed last week I was going to upload a double however I'm still figuring out if I want to do the girls first meeting as Fleur speaking or as a flashback
Chapter 7: The Goblet of Fire
And so it begins
Fleur took a steadying breath before rising from her bench and heading round the curious Ravenclaws and towards the increasingly irate Gryffindors. As she progressed along the long tables she felt the differing gazes piercing her thrall, from the idle curiosity of first years as yet unaffected by the thralls siren call, to the love sick puppies and jealous or murderous eyes of the older years.
"Hermione! Why didn't you tell us you were friends with the gorgeous Beauxbaton?"
"Ugh. For pitys sake Ronald, as you kindly pointed out after they arrived they're all gorgeous so that's hardly a distinguishing feature! Secondly I'm not friends with any of them! Yes my exchange partner is one but I've yet to meet her face to face, yes I also met one of them in the library but I only spoke to her for 5 minutes and only know her Surname."
"Oh yeah? Then why's she wearing one of your stupid flowers?"
"Monsieur, a symbol of respect for the sacrifice of others is never stupid.
Mademoiselle, Granger? I believe I have something belonging to you?"
Startled at the interruption and having missed Fleur's approach Ron choked and quickly started colouring from the collar, his jaw worked at a mile a minute without uttering a sound.
"Hermione, please. I rather hope that means you're Fleur, Mademoiselle Delacour."
Fleur took Hermiones outstretched hand, instead of shaking it as expected by her audience she bowed slightly drawing the hand to her, her lips ghosting over Hermiones knuckles.
Fleurs nervousness increased as she noted the looks of surprise on the Gryffindors around her and she felt the looks of glee directed at her by the flock. Outwardly she appeared unfazed by the reactions apart from the small silver and blue feathers sprinkled along her hairline.
"Please join us.
Ah you found my poppy, they're always falling off"
"Here allow me."
Withdrawing the poppy from her lapel Fleur stopped short at the look she was receiving.
"What are you doing with your wand Fleur?"
"Fleur Delacour, I am already familiar with your sticking charms! If you try and use one I swear I will bat-boggie hex you into the next millennia."
"Harry Potter, Miss Delacour. That particular hex would be Ginnys specialty, the red head on your right not currently drooling, it transfigurs your snot into bats which errupt from your nose and usually attack you. What did you do to earn that reaction?"
"Never mind Harry. Sorry Fleur, we normally just use safety pins or you can bite the branch off the stem and push it through a jumper if that's the only place you're going to put it.
Please keep it, I have plenty. Besides I'm sure you must have lost family in one of the conflicts over the last century."
"Oui, all lost some, some lost all. It's how our clan has become so diverse"
"Huh there's a muggle sentiment that's similar"
"What happened then Grand-mère?"
"As it's for charity I offered to make a donation for my poppy, turns out a galleon is far more than the usual donation but before she could refuse Mme Maxine called us from the hall to enter our names with the schools photographer taking everyone's photo as they dropped their name in the goblet. Surprisingly the flames were actually cold."
"Let's be honest Min only reason she offered to stick the poppy on Hermione was the chance of getting her hands on her"
"Don't be ridiculous Odette. She was far too young at that point."
"At that point Grand-mère?"
I have excellent and troubling news.
Firstly I have been chosen by the goblet of fire to represent Beauxbatons in the TRI-wizard tournament. My fellow champions and competition include Mr Krum for Durmstang, Hogwarts is to be represented by a Mr Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter.
To see the look of abject fear on the boys face. I'm positive he had no knowledge of his name being entered into the cup. His lack of beard would also indicate he didn't enter himself. If it were an attempt by Hogwarts to improve their odds I'm certain they would of selected an older student if they were fixing the selection. Do I have Grand-merés blessing to instruct the flock to watch Mr Potter's back along with anyone especially close to him? I have a feeling this year has just become more dangerous.
All my love
Harry didn't do it. We were hoping for a quiet year. No risk of death. He just wouldn't do it. Ron, Ron doesn't believe him. He accused Harry of being a glory hunter and a traitor to us and Hogwarts. Nobody else seems to care right now they're just happy for an excuse to party. No doubt by morning more will have sided with Ron or Digory.
I'm hiding on my bed with a silencing charm on the curtains to keep out the noise of the party and the gossip. But in the silence there's nothing to drown out the thought someone's trying to get my best friend killed.
The girls and I were nesting in the lounge when your letter arrived. I hope you don't mind, but Yvette read it aloud thinking it must be from an admirer. It was Yvette you met in the library. I don't know how to help you I'm afraid. When the flock is troubled we retell myths from our heritage would you like to hear one?
Elise, Yvette, the rest of the Flock! And Gabby!
Gabrielle Sophie Delacour do not shout at my quick quotes quill!
"Let that be a lesson to you all. Don't use anything that record's voice around your Aunts unless you want them to join in"
I'd love to hear more about your culture but it's after curfew and I wouldn't want to impose.
If this has worked the way we hope it shouldn't break your silencing charm. While you've already seen the "french howler" as you dramatically put it this is a minor variation Yvette thought of by way of apology for invading our privacy.
You have heard a version of this tale before but this is the version we were told as children, don't worry if the speaker changes the girls insisted we do it together. Sort of a nesting by proxy.
"A long time ago, in a place shrouded by the mists of time. A child was conceived to a loving home. The home would not stay that way for long however. As one life entered this world so to did a life depart. The father raised his daughter as best as he could."
"He knew his daughter was special but alone he couldn't give her everything she needed. He thought his prayers answered when he encountered a woman from his youth and her daughter's destitute at the side of the road. A woman to confide in and girls her own age to grow with, he opened his house to them."
"As the year progressed the adults grew closer. When winter came they shared their warmth and by spring they were married. But the marriage was short lived, her father was killed, some say it was murder, others illness and some say it was an accident"
"The daughter's life shifted after that, her adoptive mother put her own daughter's first not caring what their "lodger" did. Then the change came as she started the transition from child to womanhood. With it she drew the attention away from her stepmother and stepsisters."
"They kept her inside after that, if guests came visiting they locked her in the kitchen. The stepmother decided if she was locked in the kitchen she might as well cook. That was the tip of the iceberg within a short time she was doing all the housework their distaste for her developing beauty caused them to give her less water to wash with and filthier tasks to complete"
"The son of the lord had refused every marriage his father tried to arrange stating he would choose his own bride. As such the lord sent an invitation to all women of age throughout his domain and those allied to him inviting them to a ball in the hope his son would finally choose a bride"
"The stepsisters conspired to prevent the daughter from attending the ball, the carriage provided by the lord disappeared down the road as the daughter finished her chores, standing on the doorstep covered in sweat and ash."
"The fae in the woods sensed her despair and recognized a kindred spirit. Combining their magics they endeavoured to aid her"
"She arrived at the ball and a subtle aura spread around her intriguing those she passed. She could feel the differing gazes about her overloading her senses. She sought sanctuary outside still within the confines of the ball but finding solace in the open sky."
"That's where the young lord found her, drawn in by her beauty and her distance. They danced the night away till she felt the fae begin to falter. Panicking she fled home losing one of her mothers shoes in her flight"
"For a year he searched to find the woman of his heart. When at last he did he asked her name. Not having been addressed by her name for so long she replied she'd risen from the ashes to meet him. The beauty that rose from the ashes to be the home of his heart.
Cinder'ella De la cour. She's the founder of our clan and the rebirth of our Veela"
"Hermione I know you have questions and worries but we can look to those tomorrow for now Goodnight. Say Goodnight Girls"
My laptop has decided to go on strike so this has all been done in app. If anything looks odd just let me know