Part of the Enchantment Series
Title: Swan Song – A Veela Love Story
Pairing: Harry/Orignal Male Veela
Summary: AU of fourth year. The night Harry’s name comes out of the Goblet, he goes down to the Black Lake where he sees a beautiful mute swan who, unknown to him, is a pure Veela in its natural form.
Warnings: Dub-con, Underage sexual relationships, Bestiality, Slight violence.
Part the First
Harry could not sleep, the accusations of his best friend ringing through his mind and the nightmarish vision of his name coming out of the Goblet replaying in his thoughts. Tearing the sheets from his restless body, he sat up in the darkness, his breathing heavy in anger and his hands shaking as they clutched at the shreds of reality.
Slipping out of bed, he stilled as he listened to the sounds of his dorm mates breathing into the night, Ron snoring as he usually did. He had to get out, away. He felt like he was suffocating—no one believed him, not even Ron who was supposed to be his best mate.
In a single moment an entire friendship was ruined. His first friend other than Hagrid. His first friend his own age was now nothing to him.
Sighing, he grabbed his invisibility cloak from his trunk, and slipped out of the castle, delighting in the cold October air against his heated skin. Not certain where to go, he made his way toward the Black Lake, the moonlight playing across the waves in the darkness.
The Durmstrang ship stood proud and strong upon the water, magically tethered to one place so it would not run ashore. All of the lights aboard were off, showing that the students from the Northern school were all fast asleep.
As he walked toward the lake, he allowed the cloak to billow around him, hauntingly revealing snatches of his pajama bottoms or the slight movement of his arm. Harry knew he was being careless, that he should either hold the cloak close to him or just take it off, but he couldn’t bring himself to in the ethereal darkness.
He felt a yearning, a call almost, pulling him forward in the night, and his feet continued onward with little thought.
The sound of wings flapping against the water turned his attention back to the waves, and he inhaled softly when he saw a magnificent swan swimming under the moonlight. He had never seen a swan at Hogwarts before or in fact during his entire life. He had always been entranced with the idea when he was younger, secretly hoping as a child that he was like The Ugly Duckling and would grow up to be beautiful and loved for what he was and not hated for being scrawny and a freak.
The swan’s silver-gray plumage glinted in the moonlight and it moved beautifully through the cold water, it’s neck stretched out and its eyes blinking up at the waxing crescent above them.
Rustling about him, the wind moved through his cloak and the swan beat its wings against the still lake once again, turning its black glinting eyes toward him. As Harry’s invisible eyes held its unearthly gaze, he swallowed. He had never seen anything so beautiful, so enchanting, so magical than the swan in that moment. His heart pulled him toward the mystical creature, almost as if its soulful black eyes were calling for him, entreating him to wade into the lake and come towards it; it was almost as if the swan could actually see him through the cloak.
Breathing deeply, Harry calmed himself. The swan must be magical, he determined. A beautiful, magical creature.
Tilting his head slightly to the left, he smiled softly when the swan mimicked his movements, the gray feathers of its neck glinting silver in the moonlight.
The young swan beat its wings against the lake, creating ripples of movements, that drifted out upon the surface until they reached the shore near Harry’s feat, the water lapping slightly onto the shore and onto his slippers—a gentle greeting.
“Hello,” he called back, and the swan’s black beak dipped beneath the surface, before jerking it out again, water splashing around him in the distance.
Harry laughed softly at its antics before sitting down on the shore. As the moon gently set, he watched the beautiful bird continue to swim about the lake, occasionally diving to catch a fish as a snack. When the dawn finally began to lighten the sky, he ran across the still lake and took off into the air, leaving Harry behind on earth.
As soon as Harry awoke the following noon, he quickly got dressed and ran down through the Common Room, uncaring that his former friends were whispering about him.
“Harry!” Hermione called to him, grabbing his arm, but he quickly pulled away.
“Not now,” he ground out, only thinking of the beautiful swan and how he could still feel its silent call.
“Harry, wait!” she called again, but he was already out the portrait hole, uncaring in that moment that Hermione was following after him.
As he reached the Great Hall, he slowed briefly so that he could walk in and grab several slices of toast and drink down a gulp of pumpkin juice, giving Hermione just enough time to catch up to him.
“Harry, really,” she wheezed as she caught the edge of the Gryffindor table. “What possessed you to run down here?”
“Not now, Hermione,” he said, not wanting to hear her berate him for putting his name in the Goblet.
She, however, wouldn’t listen. Putting a hand on his arm, she caught his eye. “Harry—I need to know—did you put your name in?” she asked softly, searching his face.
“You know the answer to that, Hermione,” he replied just as quietly, but a few Gryffindors around them heard him.
She sighed, her shoulders slumping. “I was afraid of that.”
He looked at her, hurt, before turning away. “Fine, if that’s what you think,” he muttered, not caring that he left tears in her eyes and whispers behind him.
Rushing out the doors to the castle, he felt the weight of the world slip away from him, and he hurried to the lake, his eyes scanning it for the ethereal creature that had been able to see him through his cloak. In his peripheral vision, he saw a Beauxbatons student standing not far from him, his hair a pale silver blonde like his school’s champion, his eyes a misty gray. The swan, however, was absent, and the earth seemed suddenly empty as his heart cried out for the creature.
The Beauxbatons student’s head snapped toward him, and a gentle sigh met his ears. “You ‘ave a beautiful lake,” he offered and Harry turned toward him, surprised to find a handsome man staring back at him. His features were aristocratic, his form tall and broad, and his hair was clipped neatly about his head.
“Er-yes,” he offered, not certain what else to say, before looking back out toward the lake.
“You are zee other ‘Ogwarts Champion, non?” he asked and Harry nodded, not meeting his eyes. “Bonne chance,” he offered.
The student laughed, the tone deep but kind. “Eet means ‘good luck’ in French. You are ‘Arry?”
“Aubrey Roland du Lac.” He bowed deeply and Harry, uncertain what to do, bowed clumsily back. Aurbrey smiled at him and Harry, strangely, found himself smiling back.
Over the next few days, Harry found himself visiting the Black Lake when he was not in class, and each time found that the swan had not returned. On that Tuesday, after dinner, he decided instead to go to the library to try and find anything about magical swans, but found nothing in the various creature books. At night he dreamt of the swan, calling to him, singing to him in the pale moonlight.
Every morning he would wake up cold, his blankets shoved from him, and his heart calling out to the nearly grown cygnet of the Black Lake.
When he went down to breakfast he would always sit alone, Ginny occasionally smiling sadly at him or sitting beside him. They never spoke, and her many friends would sit around her, pointedly ignoring him.
He could feel everyone looking at him, whispering at him, but the only eyes he ever met were Aubrey’s, the French student offering a soft smile to him before Harry looked away again.
After a week of not seeing the swan, Harry found himself walking the halls at night, the invisibility cloak drawn around him. Stepping out onto the grounds, he let the cloak fall from his shoulders, and made his way to the Lake where he heard water gently lapping upon the shore. The beautiful cygnet raised its head in greeting, a silent cry erupting from his lips, and Harry smiled as it gently swam toward him, waiting twenty feet from shore.
Harry dropped his cloak on the stony shore, kicking off his slippers. Without even thinking about it, he rolled up his pant legs and stepped out into the freezing cold water. He shivered as the water gently caressed his legs, a silent lover, and with a determined look, he walked out until he was only a few feet from the gorgeous creature.
“I went to the library,” he whispered, hoping the swan would understand, and the cygnet looked up at him with intense, dark eyes. “I know you’re magical, know you can see me. I know that you call to my heart somehow,” he admitted, not certain why.
The bird flapped its wings against the waters, revealing the white underside of its plumage, and Harry laughed as he was splashed with cold lake water. When the swan calmed, Harry let his arms fall, submerging them to the wrists, a soft gasp escaping his lips.
“I couldn’t find a magical swan,” he continued, looking the swan in the eye as it now cocked its head in thought. “I know I’m missing something—I know you’re magical and-and sentient.” He laughed quietly and the swan dipped its head under the water, its beak gently nipping at one of Harry’s fingers, before it came back up for breath. “Hermione would know, but she thinks I put my name in the Goblet, so we’re not really speaking. I’m not speaking to anyone really” —a flutter of wings— “except for you.”
He smiled hesitantly and the bird swam closer to him, circling him as if to take in every angle of his form.
“You’re so beautiful. More beautiful than the French champion who thinks I’m nothing but a little boy,” he whispered in wonder. “How can you be so beautiful?”
Harry found himself standing in the water, his body gently shivering, watching the swan swim around him and occasionally float off to find fish, the moon glinting off its enchanted feathers. Still he could not move, and when the sun finally rose and the swan took flight, he found himself heartbroken as he returned to his warm bed.
Soon, Harry spent none of his nights in Gryffindor Tower, instead sneaking out to see the swan under the moonlight, until he fell asleep, wet and shivering on the lake shore, the swan draped over him tenderly to bring him warmth, its black beak nuzzled into his hair. As the sun would rise, the magical being would flap its wings against him, awakening him before it took off into the heavens, Harry sadly watching it as it left him until the next evening.
He didn’t know what he felt—why he craved the swan’s attention and beauty, why it called to him during the day and silently sang to him every night when the moon shone. No one but the swan mattered to him, and he found himself walking through the day as if nothing but a wraith, silently completing his schoolwork and dreaming only of the cygnet.
When Hagrid told him to follow him one night—the night he saw the dragons—he quickly ran back to the Black Lake, and not caring who saw and who was out, he plunged head first into the lake, swimming through the cool water until he came up near the swan, taking it into his arms and stroking its gray feathers. “I’m sorry, so sorry,” he murmured, the cygnet burying its beak in his shoulder and biting it slightly.
Harry’s hand faltered before resuming its movement, a small gasp erupting from his lips when the swan continued to bite his shoulder until finally it slipped back into the black waters.
The swan submerged itself completely under the waves before resurfacing, ruffling its feathers as the water slipped from its body.
“Dragons,” Harry whispered, and the swan glanced up at him. “The first task is dragons—that’s where I was. There are dragons in the Forbidden Forest.”
The cygnet flapped its wings, splashing Harry with water, and Harry quickly brought his arms up to shield his face.
“It’s not my fault,” Harry protested, somehow knowing what the gray bird wanted from him. “I swear—it’s not my fault.”
Looking at him suspiciously the enchanted being stilled, its feet moving gently beneath the surface so that it could come closer to Harry.
“I really didn’t put my name in the Goblet of Fire,” Harry whispered brokenly. “Please believe me—hardly anyone does. I’ve lost most of my friends, and everyone insults me, not that I’m not used to it, but—“
Moist feathers brushed against his cheeks and Harry looked up, shocked, to see the swans brilliant beak only an inch from his face. It nudged his nose in affection and Harry sighed in relief.
“Thank you,” he said softly before reaching out and stroking its head lovingly. Hesitating, he took the swan back into his arms, smiling as it flapped its wings gently, and buried his face in its feather, breathing in deeply. “I don’t understand,” he whispered dejectedly. “You’re all that I can think about. What are you, my swan? What does this mean? Why do I do everything now just for you?”
The swan wrapped its long neck across the back of Harry’s head, nibbling softly on the ends of his hair, causing him to laugh slightly.
“I know, my hair,” he sighed happily. “Aunt Petunia hates it and has taken scissors to it so many times and yet it just keeps on growing back over night. It’s a curse—the Potter family curse, of sorts. Dad had hair just like mine.”
A gentle puff in his ear caused him to pull away, smiling down at the swan in his arms. “If you needed to get past a dragon, my swan, how would you do it?” he asked rhetorically and the swan stretched its neck to the skies, flapping its wings.
“You’d fly would you?” he murmured, gently stroking the powerful wings that he dreamt about each night. “I don’t have wings.”
He gently dropped further into the water, already cold and wet, only allowing his nose to hover above the surface so he could breathe. He tipped his head back, soaking his hair completely. He watched the cygnet beat its wings against the cold lake, creating ripples as it lifted into flight, its powerful body blocking the light from the moon.
Harry smiled up at his friend, leaning back until he was floating in the water, watching the swan swoop around him.
“We should go flying sometime together,” he whispered, knowing the swan couldn’t hear him. As the words filtered through his tired thoughts, he sat up quickly, disturbing the now clear surface of the water, and smiled happily up at the swan. “Fly, swan. I can fly my way around the dragon!”
Later that night, when he drifted to sleep once again on the cold shore, the swan settling heavily on his back, a smile played on his lips as he dreamt of Firebolts and the flight of the gray swan, his truest friend.
The morning of the first task, Harry awoke to the blinding sun in his eyes, a hand gently shaking his shoulder. Blinking rapidly, the hazy memory of the swan’s wings lovingly caressing him before taking off into the dawn reentered his mind, and he groaned. He must have fallen asleep again.
Looking up, he saw the amused face of Aubrey staring down at him. “Eet eez time for breakfast, I think,” he murmured before helping Harry to his feet.
Harry blushed slightly at the handsome student before glancing down at himself, seeing that he was wearing pajama bottoms and a turtleneck that had barely dried in the morning light.
“I’d better go change,” he admitted, looking away again, and Aubrey chuckled. He quickly bent down and picked up his wand, holding it his hand and remembering the long hours he had spent the night before, trying to summon a bemused looking swan from across the lake. He found that he learned so much better when he was rewarded with the caress of feathers against the back of his neck.
“Perhaps,” Aubrey conceded. “I will walk you as far as zee Great ‘All, unless you object.”
“N-no,” Harry answered quickly, too quickly. “I don’t mind.”
“Bon.” Aubrey stretched out his arm, silently telling Harry to lead the way. After several moments of almost comforting silence, he finally spoke. “Do you often sleep by zee lake, ‘Arry?”
Harry shook his head. “No. Just thinking of the task,” he admitted.
“Ah, yes. I cannot decide eef I shall attend, but I fear not knowing what ‘appens will be—unbearable.”
“Are you friends with Fleur then?” Harry asked, but Aubrey shook his head. “Related then? You look similar,” he explained.
“Yes and no. I am—she eez a quarter-Veela, as I am sure you ‘ave ‘eard.”
Harry nodded. “She said something about it when our wands were weighed.”
Aubrey hesitated before stopping, looking deeply into Harry’s eyes. Harry searched his gaze, something familiar about the gray eyes, similar to something, but he could not place it.
“You ‘ave not seen many Veela, I think,” he said softly, his hand reaching out toward Harry before he quickly drew it away.
“I’ve seen a few,” Harry admitted, breaking eye contact and walking again toward the castle. “I went to the World Cup and several Veela were the Bulgarian team’s mascots.”
A deep yet gentle laugh escaped Aubrey’s throat, and Harry turned to him, smiling slightly.
“Ah yes. I was also in attendance. My cousin—Florence—eez one of zem. She quite enjoys eet, een fact.”
“Y-you’re Veela?” Harry asked, astonished.
“Mais oui,” Aubrey replied. “You did not think zat zere were only female Veela, did you?”
“A common misconception,” Aubrey waved it off. “Not much eez known of us except een Muggle stories, and eet eez rare zat one such as myself, a pure Veela, would attend a wizard institution for my education.”
They reached the Great Hall and Harry paused, looking up at Aubrey.
“Now, eet eez only eight and I believe zere eez a full ‘our before your classes, ‘Arry.”
With a nod and a parting glance, Harry quickly hurried away, his mind full of what legends Muggles told of the Veela and the gentle brush of wings.
As Harry’s feet touched the ground, the egg clasped under his arm, he sighed in relief. The audience cheered around him, but he hardly heard, his eyes instead searching the skies for a lone cygnet, but he saw nothing. He often wondered where the swan spent its days after it flew away from him, but he knew better than to follow it, if it even could be once it had taken to the open skies.
Madam Pomfrey quickly ushered him into the medical tent and he dropped gratefully onto a bed, finally releasing the egg. The matron fussed around him, but he barely noticed, his eyes instead hovering shut as he drifted off into sleep.
“Come, Potter,” a voice broke into his dreams of a sleek neck and a grey beak, “it’s time to get your scores.”
Shaking himself from his dreams, Harry stumbled out of the tent, his Firebolt still clutched protectively in his hands. He was given equal points with Viktor Krum, Fleur a far away third, and Cedric trailing in fourth place as it appeared he was the only one who hadn’t known about the dragons somehow.
Just as he was making his way back to the tent, a familiar hand alighted on his arm, and he pulled it away, glaring angrily at a stunned Hermione and defiant Ron.
“Yes?” he asked harshly and she flinched away.
“Harry, we just wanted to say—that is—“
He sighed, lifting his hand to his eyes in emotional exhaustion. “Just say it,” he half-begged her, wanting to find somewhere warm to sleep until Hogwarts was covered in darkness.
“Where are you, mate?” Ron interjected, his ears going slightly pink. “We never see you and you don’t even sleep in the dorm anymore.”
Harry’s head snapped up and Hermione turned her head so quickly that she winced slightly in pain, before turning her attention back to Harry.
“You don’t sleep in the dorms, Harry?” she asked, strangely concerned about his well being now that he survived facing a dragon. “Where do you go?”
“What does it matter where I sleep?” he said tiredly, before turning away, wanting nothing more than to sleep rather than to talk about it with people he barely exchanged words with anymore.
“Harry,” Hermione persisted, following him into the tent, but Harry ignored her. “Where do you sleep?”
“Here at the moment,” he snapped as he lay down next to the golden egg.
“How long has this been going on?” she asked Ron, who had unfortunately followed them both in.
Ron shrugged. “I don’t know. Around the time his name came out of the Goblet—or a bit after.”
Hermione made a disgruntled sound at the back of her throat before turning back to Harry and resting a hand on his shoulder.
He shrugged it off. “Don’t touch me, Granger. We haven’t been friends in over a month.”
“Mate, don’t say that—“ Ron began, but Harry turned around and glared at them.
“Don’t say what? You stopped talking to me because you were jealous about something I had absolutely had no control over—“
“You put your name in,” he defended but Harry rolled his eyes.
“Right. Of course I did. How strange that I have no memory of actually doing that. Thanks for that, Weasley.”
“Whatever,” Ron muttered before leaving the tent, but Hermione unfortunately didn’t follow.
Harry glanced around the tent, noticing that the other three champions were looking at them intently. Cedric had appeared to have charred half of his face and now had an orange goo plastered over it. It looked painful—maybe he should have told him about the dragons, but his thoughts were so focused on how to get his Firebolt to the arena without physically bringing it with him and on his swan, that it never even crossed his mind.
“Harry—you said yourself you put your name in,” Hermione whispered, but her words carried throughout the tent.
“I said,” Harry growled, “that you knew the answer to the question when you asked me. I’m tired of saying I didn’t do it, and frankly I don’t care what you or Ron think anymore.”
“You don’t mean that,” she said, crossing her arms, and Harry just turned around again, willing her to go away. “Harry!”
“Miss Granger,” Madam Pomfrey chided. “This tent is a place of healing and relaxation. If you can’t be quiet, I’ll ask you to leave.”
“Please do,” Harry mumbled, but the matron either didn’t hear him or didn’t heed his request, not that he was surprised. She bustled out of the tent, leaving Hermione behind her.
“Harry,” she hissed before taking a seat beside him. “Harry, this is really ridiculous. I-I miss you,” she admitted before placing her hand again on his arm.
It felt invasive somehow—wrong—deceitful. The thought of beating wings and brilliant black eyes flashed through his thoughts, and he somehow felt that he couldn’t let Hermione touch him, especially when her fingers were curled within his wizarding robes possessively. His swan was the only one who could lay any claim to him. The magical being was his, and he was the swan’s. He didn’t understand how this came about or why he felt this way. He just knew it was the truth.
He pushed off her hand and closed his eyes.
“Why are you being like this?”
“I don’t take kindly to people who believe I’m a liar. I spent my entire childhood like that. I don’t need it at Hogwarts.” He turned over and his green eyes glinted in the tent, everyone’s attention on him.
“I didn’t—Harry—I—“ she reached for him again, but before she could rest her hand on his arm, a firm hand wrapped around her wrist.
“I think ‘Arry wishes for you to leave now,” Aubrey said quietly and Harry looked up at him gratefully.
Hermione shivered as she turned toward Aubrey, her eyes glazing slightly, and her lips parting almost suggestively.
Harry shuddered at the thought.
“Sleep, ‘Arry,” he gently commanded before tugging Hermione out of her seat, and Harry closed his eyes gratefully.
Just as he was drifting off, it almost felt as if cool fingers were ghosting across the back of his neck, almost like the feathers of a swan.
Part the Second
Harry blinked in astonishment as he tried to process Professor McGonagall’s words. She stared at him, her eyes never leaving his face, almost like a cat who had spotted a mouse.
He never wanted to feel like a mouse again.
“I can’t,” he finally admitted.
She blinked at him several times. “I’m sorry, Mr. Potter, but you must.”
He sighed and then shook his head. He didn’t want to go the Yule Ball, he’d much rather spend the night floating in the Black Lake with the swan, not with some girl whose name he hoped he would never have to use again.
Several excuses started running through his mind. He briefly considered telling McGonagall the truth—I can’t escort anyone or dance with her because my swan is probably the jealous type—but instantly decided against it. She’d probably take off points for being disrespectful.
“I’m in a relationship,” he finally said. It was technically true, he saw the swan every night and he felt closer to it than to any human he’d ever met.
“Excellent, Mr. Potter. Then you can escort your girlfriend to the Yule Ball and dance with her.”
He grimaced. “H-They’re not attending a wizarding institution. I’m afraid it’s out of the question and I couldn’t possibly ch-cheat on them by taking somebody else.”
Cheating. Taking someone else would be cheating somehow on the swan. He just—felt it. He shook himself mentally. This was, by far, the most bizarre situation he had ever found himself in.
“I’m sure the young lady will understand when you explain it to her in a letter,” she said kindly and Harry’s eyes widened. “Now, there’s nothing for it, you must open the ball with the partner of your choice. Take your friend, Miss Granger, even. I’m certain she would do.”
He clenched his jaw. Clearly it had escaped her notice that he wasn’t actually speaking to Hermione.
“I don’t think—“
“If the lady is not understanding, Mr. Potter,” she said, as she hurried him out of her classroom into the crowded hallway, “then she is perhaps not the type of young lady you wish to be in a relationship with. Simply tell her your attendance is mandatory and you’re doing a favor for the witch you escort.”
“I don’t want to escort—“
“Young love. Yes, I know, but really, Mr. Potter, you must do this for your school and your country.”
A few girls around him began to giggle and he glared at them.
The next few days he spent moping, barely talking to anyone and not even able to confess to the beautiful gray swan. Every night he would still sneak out to the Black Lake and wade out into the dark waves, his clothes now discarded, and watch the swan swim around him or fly into the sky as he tried to discover the secret of the golden egg.
The cygnet would always splash him angrily when he opened it and the wailing released itself into the night sky, each time getting more and more violent in its protests.
“Swan,” Harry whispered. “Please. I need to figure out the clue of the egg.”
The night before term ended, the cygnet got so upset that it flew directly at Harry, causing him to drop the screeching egg into the water.
“Swan!” he shouted before diving beneath the surface after it. He wasn’t too far out, so it wouldn’t sink too deeply, at least, but when he broke beneath the surface, he heard the most beautiful singing coming from the egg. Staring incredulously, he listened as the mermaids sang their song, before closing the egg again. He resurfaced, gasping for air.
“Swan,” he murmured, looking at the disgruntled bird that was preening its feathers. “You—you have to hide.”
The cygnet looked up at him, confused, its black eyes darker than midnight, its gray feathers having lightened to a beautiful silver over the past few weeks.
“I—it, they’ll take you, Swan,” Harry admitted. “I don’t want them to take you.”
Flapping its wings slightly, the graceful bird swam toward him, its neck outstretched until it wrapped itself around Harry’s upper arm, a feathery embrace, and he stroked its feathers lovingly. “If they come for you—the people of the lake or even a wizard—promise me you’ll fly far away. It doesn’t matter if you can’t come back—“ The swan nipped his shoulder and Harry smiled. “I just need you to stay safe. Birds can’t breathe under water, after all,” he mused to himself.
Webbed feet pawed against his thigh, and Harry reached down, clutching the bird to him, the egg falling from his grasp. He looked into the black eyes, a flash of silver running through them for a moment, and he narrowed his gaze.
“Swan, are you an Animagus?” He ruffled the feathers teasingly and the bird looked down, shaking its head.
“No, I suppose you wouldn’t be.” He sighed. “Just a thought—wishful thinking.”
Nudging his shoulder, the swan flapped its wings several times, trying to get comfortable.
Harry yawned. “I suppose it’s time to sleep,” he finally mused and the swan ruffled its wings in agreement. “We do make an odd pair, don’t we,” he continued, as he slowly walked toward the shore, the egg forgotten on the floor of the lake. “My first friend was a boa constrictor, so I guess it makes sense in a strange way. Of course, he could talk back to me, but we only knew each other for about twenty minutes before my cousin Dudley got in the way. If you ever see Dudley, Swan, fly in the opposite direction. You’ll be a much happier bird—trust me. I’d fly away from him, if I could.”
He hadn’t spoken so much in over a week, and Harry was happy to have confessed to his confidant again. Stretching out on the blanket he now brought with him every night, Harry settled himself on his stomach, the swan pressed firmly against him, wings outstretched in a quiet embrace.
Tomorrow, he thought in resignation, the words unable to escape his lips. Tomorrow I have to invite someone to the ball.
After far too much thought than he was willing to admit to, Harry decided to ask his former crush, Cho Chang, to the Yule Ball. He managed to get her alone—without all of her giggling friends—only to find out that she was already going with someone else.
Now he was not only dateless but also humiliated.
Stripping off his clothes, he waded into the cold water, swimming out to the swan under the new moon. He found himself brushing against the feathered underbelly, webbed feet tapping against his stomach and thighs, until he broke the surface, rivulets of cold lake water running down his pale shoulders.
“Swan,” he whispered desperately, taking the bird that called to him into his arms, the webbed feet padding against his groin, trying to gain purchase. “Swan,” he moaned again and, burying his face in the sweet wings, wept for the first time in years.
The cygnet’s elegant neck arched upward, its face and beak burying itself in Harry’s wet hair, offering silent comfort in the night.
“It was horrible,” he finally whispered, his tears spent and mixed with the ripples of the Black Lake. “I have to ask someone to the Ball—so I asked Cho—and—“
Flapping its wings harshly, the swan pushed itself away from Harry’s embrace, causing him to fall backwards into the dark waters, his breath stolen from his lungs.
Harry flailed uselessly beneath the surface, the cygnet’s wings beating him down, its dark webbed feet pounding against his arms and chest, its beak even dipping down beneath the waves and pecking at him mercilessly.
“Swan!” Harry tried to screech, as he fell deeper, until he could barely see anything about him. He did not know which way was up or down, all he could sense was blackness, darker, darker, no air.
Still the wings kept coming, beating, flapping, pushing him down, down, downward.
His glazed eyes opened in fear and he saw merpeople all around him, watching the swan that was now beneath the waves, clawing at him with its feet, its beak nipping cruelly at his hair. He silently called for their help, but only bubbles escaped his lips, and the merpeople did nothing, simply watching in fascination.
Kicking his legs up, he tried to push the swan away, his hands wrapped protectively over his face, and he felt the great water-logged wings clasp beneath his knees, holding his legs up as its slippery webs pushed against the back of his thighs.
A sudden blow.
Harry felt himself tense, the wings now flapping against the back of his thighs, urging them upward, and in the surreal pain and grayness that was now overtaking his vision, Harry complied, wishing for release from his cygnet’s feathered embrace. The swan stretched out its neck, its wings flapping lazily in the water as it thrust into Harry, catching Harry’s neck in his bill, holding him still as the last remnants of air left his lungs in a silent cry.
An alien heartbeat against his own, anchoring him to the mute reality of the moment, as the gray rush leaned against him lovingly and a shudder in its loins solidified their strange union, the beak gently releasing Harry from its embrace. Strong wings beat against the water pulling them upward where they were still joined until, gasping for breath, Harry broke against the surface, his thighs loosening as the feathered glory slid from him.
Rain poured down on them, a full tempest having erupted while they were beneath the water, and waves crashed harshly against Harry’s aching form.
“Swan,” he murmured, barely able to keep himself above the water. Soft feathers splayed against his chest as he was gently pushed toward shore where he finally rested, blood staining his pale skin. The rain fell on him, getting gentler every minute, washing all evidence from his body. “Swan,” he said again, looking into concerned black eyes, and found that he could not be angry at his silent companion, no matter the pain and the hurt.
He belonged to the cygnet just as much as it belonged to him. As he drifted off to sleep that night, he knew he could take no one to the ball, and instead held the swan tightly to him, silent tears falling unnoticed in the darkness.
“It was horrible,” Ron said and Harry sighed, wishing that he weren’t in the Gryffindor common room. He glanced out the window, turning briefly away from the large tome in his hand, and saw that the sun was setting, and was undecided as to whether to venture out of doors again. He had forgiven the swan, understood in a way—as long as the cygnet never did it again. He would never stray—could never stray from the haunting majesty that called to him, beckoning him out into the night. He would be content to live with the swan by his side for the rest of his days, untouched by human hands or cygnet feathers, with the companionship of one who still caressed him lovingly after inflicting such pain.
The ethereal being was magical and sentient, if an entirely different species from him. If only he were human, Harry thought, but quickly tore the notion from his mind. Nothing would come from vain wishes that could not come true.
“She was just there—walking—I love how they walk.”
Harry snorted. It appeared he wasn’t the only one recently humiliated. This had to be good then.
A few heads turned toward him and he didn’t look up from his book on wizard marriage laws. He’d gotten it from the library and, since he knew that swans were monogamous, was morbidly curious to see if last night somehow qualified as a magical bonding. He wouldn’t put it past wizards. Hagrid was half giant and Flitwick had Goblin blood. Fleur Delacour was part Veela, and they transformed into winged harpies, which was more bird than human. If all of their ancestors had been able to marry another species, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility that he was now bonded legally to a sentient magical being—the silver swan.
“And then—I just—I just asked her,” Ron continued, his voice strangled. “She didn’t even look at me and just turned and walked away. How could I do it?”
Ginny and Hermione appeared to be cooing over Ron. At least they weren’t paying attention to him, then.
“It’s the allure,” Hermione said importantly. “She should really try to control it better. The full-blooded Veela controls his perfectly. Did you know that there are legends that Veela can transform into horses and other animals? I’ve walked out on the grounds a few afternoons, hoping to see him, but I haven’t come across him at all. They’re more water beings, however. They can control storms, even, when they’re angry.”
A thought tugged at the back of Harry’s mind, but he ignored it, trying not to relive the feel of angry rain washing away his blood.
Harry tuned her out when she started talking about every single form a Veela could take.
“Hermoine—you’re a girl,” Ron finally stated, and then proceeded to ask her to the ball. She blushed slightly and stuttered that she would, not having a date, though rumor had it that Neville had asked her but she had turned him down for some reason.
“Harry,” Parvati asked. “Who are you going to the ball with?”
“Er-what?” he questioned, looking up from the large book.
“Who are you taking to the Yule Ball?”
“No one,” he stated flatly, turning back to his book.
“What, no one?” she asked loudly, drawing the attention of all four Weasleys and Hermione.
“No. No one.”
“Harry,” Ginny said quietly. “Aren’t you supposed to lead the dance?”
“Supposedly,” he responded before turning the page. He was now on werewolf marriage laws, who were often classified as a “beast” and not a “being.” At least he seemed to be getting closer. He really wished that the entries were in alphabetical order, though, when he came across laws regarding marriages to Centaurs.
There had never been a recorded case and one had to file at the Ministry.
He didn’t want to have to file at the Ministry for Magic, if he could help it … if he even wanted to be married to the magical being.
“What are you doing?” a soft voice inquired, but he only shrugged.
He closed the book shut, the spine pressed to his stomach so no one could read it. “Nothing special,” he answered in a voice that he hoped was casual, leaving the Common Room, the book still pressed against him.
He moved almost like a wraith, his mind elsewhere, to the gentle call in his heart, and as the moon quietly rose, no more than a sliver, he found himself on the edge of the Black Lake, the book abandoned on the rocky shore. Pulling off his clothes hesitantly, he waded into the water, the biting cold reminding him of the night before, when he was trapped beneath the waves, drowning, his cygnet gloriously claiming him with strong, meticulous movements.
Swimming out into the darkness, he barely paused when he heard the flap of wings in the sky, the swan moving toward him until its pale wings caressed his aching back.
With a splash the swan landed, its webbed feet glistening in the dark, its neck outstretched as it called, silent, to the heavens, its throat undulating majestically as no sound was released from its black beak.
Harry found himself relaxing, and began to speak, the swan’s head tilted, listening to his every word.
“Ron—my former friend—asked Fleur to the Ball and she completely ignored him,” he whispered. “He seemed—rather upset. Hermione then started going on about the allure.” He paused. “Aubrey doesn’t have an allure—not that I’ve noticed.”
The swan glided over, its pale neck stretched upward, until it placed its head firmly on Harry’s chest. Harry smiled hesitantly down at it, stroking the soft plumage. “This is nice,” he admitted, his eyes never leaving the black ones until the swan stretch up, its mouth open, and bit down on Harry’s cold nipple.
“Nng,” Harry gasped, inhaling deeply as sensation assaulted him.
The cygnet beat its wings powerfully, splashing water at Harry, driving him back until, panting, Harry pulled himself upon onto the cold shore.
“Swan?” he asked, but the swan never released him, still biting down mercilessly until Harry moaned in pain-filled pleasure. “Swan,” he gasped.
Dark, webbed feet, found purchase on his thighs, flapping its wings until Harry lay completely on the shore, his head thrown back and contorted, a hand grasping tightly against the swan’s shoulder. With each powerful stroke, the swan lifted itself up as if for flight, before landing against Harry, its movements stroking Harry until he was whimpering in unwanted pleasure. The smooth feathers caressed his hardening member, worshipping it silently as the swan continued to bite down on Harry’s chest, blood leaking from its bill.
“Swan—please—stop,” Harry moaned, unable to push the large bird from him. It was too precious, too dear to hurt it, so still it ravished him under the dark sky, fog swirling about them, until with a faint moan Harry released himself against the plumage.
As Harry rode out his pleasure, tears fell down his cheeks and his dulled green eyes looked helplessly at the bird that now rested against him, ruffling its feathers as it preened itself in his lap.
“Why?” he whispered brokenly, but the swan did not acknowledge him. “Why, Swan?”
A wing gently tapped his knee in answer and Harry sighed into the night. Glancing at the large book discard near them, he summoned it to him and opened its pages dusty pages once again. He could barely see, the little light there was reflecting off the Black Lake as deep shades of gray, but he needed to know—needed an answer.
“Where are you?” he asked quietly and the swan, startled, looked up at him. “Where are you, Swan?”
“I hate you,” Harry muttered dejectedly as the swan thrust into him again and again, its wings caressing the nape of his neck. Nearly every night he had gone to see the swan; no matter how gentle or affectionate he was, the cygnet would still rise up against him and take what it obviously craved.
There were only four days left until the Yule Ball and now, even when Harry stayed in Gryffindor Tower, the cygnet would come and find him, lovingly stroking him with soft feathers and webbed feet, before claiming him again and again.
He despised himself for being unable to deny the swan, for allowing it to caress him and bring him to pleasure when he did not want it.
Every moment his heart yearned for the beautiful creature, and he found himself trapped in a nightmare world where the fowl was too far away but always too close to him. When he finally faded off into fitful sleep, his skin would burn until the swan would take him again against the crimson sheets, its head thrown back in silent song, while Harry dreamed of gray eyes and soft lips kissing every inch of him until he moaned out in his sleep, once again degraded and ashamed.
When he walked the halls during the day he felt dispassionate, disconnected, almost as if this were a dream and the only truth he knew was of feathers and passionate release. Soon he wasn’t even paying attention to Ginny who would sometimes try to speak to him during meals, her words falling on deaf ears that could only hear the beating of feathers and the splashing of waves.
Several times he had gone to the Hospital wing, only to stand around the corner, trying to determine whether or not to go in. He knew the swan was magical—that it was other. He dreamt of it transforming into a man, and searched for the same black eyes, only to find his mind focusing on Aubrey du Lac and the pensive gazes and long looks he sent Harry whenever their eyes would meet.
He knew anything could happen in the world of magic and with that many couplings, bringing them both to completion, the unforeseen circumstances could be horrific. Not only was he possibly married to the elegant bird, but his body contained its essence. He’d never heard of a wizard getting pregnant, but it was not out of the realm of possibilities that he himself might be transformed.
Vampires changed a human just by feeding it their mixed blood. The untold possibilities of Harry exchanging bodily fluid with a magical being could possibly even do that.
“How long have you been having intercourse, Mr. Potter?” Madam Pomfrey asked when he finally forced himself to enter the Hospital Wing and vaguely outline the problem.
“Er—four days,” he mumbled.
“Have you been using contraception?”
He flushed. “Er—that’s not really the problem.”
She raised her eyebrows in an unspoken question.
“I—that is—it’s not—he’s not female.”
A concerned look crossed her face. “Have you been using any protection, Mr. Potter?”
He shook his head. “It’s not an option,” he admitted quietly. “I just—I need to know—if he’s not h-human,” he swallowed and Madam Pomfrey blinked at him before setting aside her clipboard, “will there be any—reactions?”
“What type of being are we talking about?” she asked as she sat down beside him. She didn’t offer any more comfort, her back erect and professional, but still he liked that she seemed to care just a bit.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? At all?”
“I can’t figure it out.”
Her lips thinned and she nodded. “You haven’t seen fit to ask before now?”
Harry shivered, thinking of the magnificent swan. “Even if I asked, I wouldn’t be able to get an answer I understood.”
“A foreign student then.”
He shook his head.
“A Hogwarts student?”
He didn’t respond.
“A professor from one of the institutions?” she inquired, voice hushed and eyebrows furrowed in disapproval.
“It’s—he’s—I don’t understand. I feel—drawn,” he began to babble, relieved that he could finally speak about it. “It started when I first saw him—so beautiful, so perfect, and my heart has gotten to the point when it feels it can barely beat without him there.”
“Definitely not human,” she hummed to herself. “Something else, then.”
“I just—I love him so much. Even when he does this, I can’t fully hate him, even when I say I do. I don’t understand. Why is he doing it? Why does he need to? I apologized for asking Cho to the dance—I know he can understand every word I say—yet still he comes every night when I don’t go to him. Every night and it gets harder and harder to breathe without him there.”
“Is your—“ Madame Pomfrey paused delicately “—companion a vampire?”
He laughed. “No. That I could figure out.” He sighed before getting up.
“Mr. Potter, you really must tell me—“
“I can’t. Not to him. He’s too—dear to me.”
She sighed, knowing there was nothing she could do.
“Is there a potion I can take or spell that can tell you if I’m not fully human anymore?”
Pomfrey shook her head sadly. “I’m afraid the only spell was banned by the Ministry. During the war, it was used too indiscriminately and as a weapon. I’m sorry, Potter.”
He nodded once before turning to leave the room.
“Potter?” she called after him and he paused. “If you notice anything different about yourself—any change—come and find me immediately. Certain beings and creatures have different—needs as well as allergies that may need to be addressed. —And ask this young man. Please.”
Nodding for the final time, he quietly left the Hospital wing.
Part the Third
Harry couldn’t ask the swan that night when he lay awake in bed. The nights had turned unnaturally cold, and Harry found he preferred—joining—with the swan in the comfort of his own bed than in the freezing water of the lake or the harshness of the pebbled shore. He wasn’t sure how the cygnet knew where to find him or even how it opened the high tower window, but just after midnight, a wind rushed through the room followed by the gentle flapping of wings.
Opening the curtains wide, Harry greeted the magnificent bird by pulling it to his chest and stroking its wings gently.
“Swan,” he murmured lovingly, despising himself for his own weakness and the swan nipped playfully at his ear. “Swan, I need to talk to you.”
The cygnet moved its bill up and down the side of his neck, causing a shiver to run through Harry.
“I know—I know you’re not a Muggle swan. I need to know what you are.” Tears formed in his eyes and the swan leaned up gently and nuzzled them as they fell down Harry’s cheeks. “I need to know if I will—change from all of this. Swan, please,” he begged.
It ruffled its feathers and Harry let it go.
“Vampires change humans when they exchange blood. I need to know.”
Black eyes gazed hauntingly into his and Harry looked away, picking up a book he had taken out earlier from the library entitled A young wizard’s guide to Magical Beings. He’d looked through it for any type of being that was a swan, but still he had found nothing. It was more comprehensive than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Monster Book of Monsters, as it included both spirits and beings.
The swan ruffled its feathers and wiggled its tail. Harry’s eyes roved lovingly over it. Whenever the cygnet came to him, sang its silent song, the aching in his heart would ease and he could find he could not blame the creature for its misguided attentions. He hated himself for allowing it, for not being able to put an end to the surreal situation, but he could not blame his beautiful swan.
He opened the book to the five page long table of contents and held it up in front of the swan.
“Anything?” he questioned.
The swan stared at him and Harry sighed, though he didn’t give up hope. Turning the page he repeated the question, only to find the cygnet looking away toward the new waxing moon.
“Swan,” he whispered. “Please. It doesn’t—it doesn’t matter. How can it matter when—after—“ His voice broke off into a quiet sob and the swan turned to him, its feathers rustling, concern in its dark eyes. “Please,” he whispered again and the swan dutifully looked at the page before glancing away in answer to his question.
Turning finally to the last page, Harry waited, holding his breath when the cygnet reared up and flapped its wings expressively.
“Here then?” Harry whispered, stunned. “It’s on this page?”
Wings flapped again.
“Alright,” he murmured turning to the back of the book. “I’m glad you’re not a mermaid,” he admitted. “That would be—difficult.”
He began to slowly turn the pages again, waiting for the swan to make some signal that he recognized itself. When he finally came across the entry for Vila, the swan ruffled its feathers again and Harry looked at it, shocked.
“Veela?” he breathed in wonder. “Veela can turn into swans?”
The cygnet cocked its head to the side and Harry gulped, quickly turning the book around so he could read the entry. Skimming it, words and phrases jumped out at him as he absorbed the information … Vila … Slavic fairies or nymphs … beauty, lust … fidelity … usually female … shape shifting … swans, horses, snakes, wolves … beautiful … long flowing hair … naked or dressed in white … intermarriage rare … control of weather … chosen beloved … fierce warriors … vengeful … healing and prophetic powers … magical voice … plucking the hair will kill the Vila … secretive … not much known of their ways, even when married to wizards …
He glanced up, his eyes full of wonder. “You’re a Veela?”
The swan nudged the book from his hands and flapped back into his awaiting arms, and Harry held onto it protectively.
“My swan,” he murmured, tears once again falling from his face. “I am your beloved then?”
The cygnet—the Veela—reached up and drank in his tears, and Harry took this as confirmation.
Harry stroked his neck gently, affectionately, love swelling in his heart. “Why then?” His voice cracked. “Why did you—rape me if I’m your chosen beloved? Why, Swan? It hurt so much—you nearly drowned me—and then after, again and again—why if you love me?”
Feathers stroked against his neck and Harry threw his head back, moaning softly. Gently, webbed feet pushed down his sleep pants, leaving Harry free to the cold night air. Harry bit his lip, remaining perfectly still and willing the tears forming again in his eyes not to fall.
The Veela—his swan—loved him. He was the chosen beloved, he reminded himself. Not much was known of the ways of Veela. Fleur and Aubrey had not offered much information to him on their ancestry and the swan had at least told him what it was so that he would know and not be left to wonder.
And the swan was loving him the only way it could in this form. Harry knew he could not comprehend its reasoning, he had known that since the first time the cygnet had taken him beneath the surface of the lake. It was sentient, yes, but not human. Its culture and perceptions were different and no matter how betrayed Harry might feel in the depths of his mind, he knew the cygnet adored him and loved him. He was the swan’s and he would never be anyone else’s.
Feathers stroked his thighs and Harry sighed as he allowed his emotions to slip away and gave himself over to the sensations his swan could coax from him. Rubbing gently against him, the great waterfowl hissed softly, the first sound to escape its dark beak, as they shuddered together, one heart beating in their two breasts, sweat slicked skin caressing downy feathers.
“Swan,” Harry sighed as he reached for his wand to clean them, but the swan pecked his hand away.
Webbed feet padded across his stomach and its long neck wrapped around Harry’s throat.
He smiled gently. “My swan.”
Harry discovered quite quickly that there was very little information about Veela in the Hogwarts library. He learnt that ‘Vila’ was the native Slavic term for the nymphs and that ‘Veela’ was an English variant, as well as the French ‘Wili’, but that hardly helped him. He doubted his Veela was English, and wondered what term or spelling he preferred. He was a full Veela to be able to transform into the form of a swan, and Harry suspected there was a reason why her never transformed back to his nymph form unlike Aubrey and Fleur, who was only a quarter Veela, by her admittance.
She had said her wand core was a hair from her Veela grandmother’s head, and he shuddered at the thought. A Veela died when a hair was plucked from her head—and to admit so casually the death of a loved one disturbed him. He could not imagine his swan dead, gone even. His heart was pulled toward him too much, and he suspected it was more than just the Veela allure. Fleur had little if any affect on him and the Bulgarian mascots only could hold his attention while dancing. This—this was something else—the hauntingly silent swan song called to his very heart and sometimes he felt like he could barely eat when he was away from his swan.
The book on magical creature marriage laws, however, did give him some insight. As his swan was in its ‘natural form’ the bonding was considered a magical union, a wedding, and could not be undone. It was a tradition, a sacred ceremony to the Slavic nymphs, the reason though a mystery to wizard society.
If the Veela had been in its harpy form certain words would have to be spoken before and after the act and it would mean nothing if they were human, as non-bonded Veela were known for entrancing young wizards and witches to dance with them—which could sometimes end in a rapturous union before the Veela disappeared into the night air, or the cruel treatment of the wizard before he was left alone and lost in the wilderness.
He, Harry James Potter, was married—and yet he did not even know his swan’s name or his nymph form, which he prayed the cygnet would soon reveal to him.
“Veela,” he whispered to Madam Pomfrey. He had returned to the Hospital Wing for his own peace of mind. He knew that Veela did not transform their partners into Veela—Fleur Delacour’s existence proving that humans remained human after taking a Veela wife and their children were of mixed descent—but there still could be unseen effects. Werewolves could impregnate human mates, even wizards occasionally although wizards weren’t supposed to be able to carry children, and he needed to make certain nothing like that could happen to him.
The matron looked up at him and eyed him critically, a second year Hufflepuff sitting before her.
“A Veela in his natural form,” he clarified and she nodded.
“You realize that I am honor bound to inform the Headmaster about this, especially if the Veela in question is, by any chance, Monsieur du Lac?”
Harry blushed and looked away. He hadn’t considered that his swan might be Aubrey—that his friend might have kept his dual identity a secret, but it made sense. Aubrey had been reluctant to attend the first task but said it would be unbearable not to know. He even admitted he was not friends or closely related to Fleur Delacour, and they were never in each other’s company. Aubrey’s eyes followed him whenever they were both in the Great Hall and he came and saw him after the first task, the gentle feel of feathers against his neck as he fell asleep.
He swallowed. His swan very well could be the French Veela. Glancing back at the curious second year, he tilted his head toward Madam Pomfrey’s office.
She nodded and a few minutes later bustled in, looking at him sternly.
“I’m married,” he confessed. “I won’t have anyone take that away from me. I checked the laws and there’s nothing anyone can do to us since he was in his natural form. What does it matter who he really is when not—well, not a sentient and magical animal?”
She clucked her tongue and sat down behind her desk. “Several international agreements were signed for the Tournament to even take place. Although Veelas’ rights are protected internationally, if this happened against your will—“
He shook his head. “I will never claim anything of the kind.”
Madam Pomfrey looked at him appraisingly before nodding once again. “The headmaster still needs to be informed. Do you know your husband’s identity?”
“No. I don’t.”
She sighed. “I don’t think we’ve ever had such a situation in Britain. It is rare even within Eastern Europe.”
A chime sounded magically through the office and she looked up.
“I appear to have another patient,” she said before getting up. “Expect to hear from Professor Dumbledore within the next day or so. If you can find out who your husband is, it might be helpful.”
She quickly walked out and Harry followed her, startled when he saw a weeping Cho Chang in the arms of Cedric Diggory.
“What happened, dear?” Madam Pomfrey asked as she and Harry took in Cho’s changed appearance.
Her eyes were swollen and tears ran down her cheeks, but what was truly startling were the streams of blood that were pouring down her neck and the fact that clumps of her hair appeared to have been ripped from her scalp and other swaths of her black hair appeared to almost have been chewed shorter.
“I was just—outside. Talking to Cedric,” she admitted and he grimaced. Neither of them had noticed Harry’s presence. “We were talking about the Yule Ball and I mentioned who else might have asked me.” She blushed.
“Was it a large swan with silver feathers?” Harry asked quietly and the three turned toward him.
“Y-yes,” Cedric admitted, holding Cho close. “It just—it came out of nowhere and attacked, ripping at her hair. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was so fierce and yet so beautiful.”
Cho cried even harder and Harry stared at her briefly.
“Mr. Potter,” Madame Pomfrey asked sternly, a question in her eyes.
“Yes. It’s him.”
“I’ll call the Headmaster.” She quickly drew a partition, hiding Cho, Cedric and Harry from any prying eyes that might walk in and quickly ran into her office.
Harry looked over at Cho and Cedric warily before taking a seat in the only chair. He figured Cho and Cedric could sit on the bed if they needed to. Cho continued to cry on Cedric’s shoulder and he kept on casting curious glances at Harry, who stared at his hands not wanting to look at either of them.
Thoughts swirled through his mind and all he could concentrate on was the thudding of wings and the splash of water when his swan first claimed him—when they were bonded. He knew this was connected. If the cygnet had such an extreme reaction to him, it was plausible that he would stake his claim on Harry in other ways including attacking Cho and destroying a symbol of her beauty. He sighed. He needed to learn more about Veela—if that was even possible.
He hoped international law protected his swan—his husband—in this situation.
Glancing back up at Cho, he took in the ruined sight of her hair and found that it barely moved him. He used to find her pretty; he still did, objectively, although perhaps not with her new hair. When he had to ask a girl, he decided on her because he had once fancied her, but now all he could think about was the cygnet and the repercussions that would befall him.
The door to infirmary swung open again. “Madam Pomfrey?” Dumbledore’s voice asked and within a few moments, they were both standing in front of the three students. “I see,” he said quietly. “A Veela in its natural form did this?”
“His,” Harry whispered. “His natural form.”
Dumbledore looked at him, his bright blue eyes stern and appraising, before he nodded.
“What happened, Miss Chang?” he asked, but Cedric repeated the story.
“We were up in the owlery, just to have some time alone. She was teasing me about the fact that Harry asked her to the Ball.”
Harry looked up at Cho, shock on his face, and Dumbledore glanced over at him again.
“I see. Continue.”
“Next thing we knew, there was this large swan with silver feathers. It just—attacked her. It pulled at her hair and started ripping it out. It happened so quickly and I couldn’t get it away from her. Then, it just flew away. I brought her straight here.”
“And Mr. Potter?”
Harry looked away.
“Mr. Potter,” Madame Pomfrey supplied quietly, “came in yesterday with questions about—a magical creature bonding with him. He didn’t know what it was, but figured it out before this morning, when he came to tell me that he had been married to a Veela in its natural form. It turns out it was this swan.”
Cho looked up, startled, her eyes drying briefly as her dark gaze fell on Harry.
Dumbledore sighed. “A male Veela?” he asked quietly and Harry nodded. “When exactly were you married?”
“The night after I asked Cho to the Ball,” he admitted. “I told McGonagall I couldn’t escort anyone at all—but she was rather adamant and, well, I did. Swan was—angry and it—happened.”
“Was it against your will?”
Harry shook his head. “No. Swan is dear to me.”
He nodded sagely though he looked like he didn’t fully believe Harry. “Miss Chang, Mr. Diggory, I need to know exactly what was said before the attack.”
Cedric gulped, fidgeting, and glanced at Harry. “I was telling Cho she should feel special that I asked her—I was teasing her—and then she said that three other boys asked her to the Ball including, well, the Harry Potter, and clearly he was in love with her and was so—sweet. That if she wanted, she could probably still go with him and be—well—Mrs. Potter one day.”
“She only said it to make me slightly jealous,” he added hurriedly.
Madam Pomfrey and Dumbledore exchanged meaningful glances.
“Do you know the identity of your husband, Harry?” Dumbledore asked kindly.
He shook his head.
“What can be done, Professor?” Cedric asked, stroking what was left of Cho’s hair. “Surely this—Veela—must be punished.”
“I’m afraid there is nothing to be done. The Veela chose to mate with and marry Mr. Potter. From what we wizards understand, this is sacred to Veela.”
“I thought they had a mate?”
Dumbledore laughed quietly. “A wizard myth, nothing more. A Veela has a chosen beloved, Harry in this case. This bond is recognized internationally by wizards as a legally binding marriage that cannot be broken, even in death. My congratulations, Mr. Potter,” he added quietly with a nod of his head, though his eyes were sad. “You will be greatly loved.”
Harry smiled slightly.
Cedric cleared his throat.
“Unfortunately,” Dumbledore continued, “Professor McGonagall clearly did not know of the forming bond between Mr. Potter and the Veela and urged Mr. Potter to ask a young lady to the Ball, and he chose Miss Chang. The Veela, most likely feeling threatened by any interest Harry might show to one of his own kind, solidified the bond. When Miss Chang claimed in his hearing that the Veela’s husband was in love with her instead and that she could one day marry him, he took action to prove his dominance over her and punished her for a slur against his union. As I said, international law protects this bonding. There is nothing I could do, even if I knew the identity of the Veela. I am sorry.”
Cho was now only crying gently against Cedric’s shoulder and Madam Pomfrey, during the conversation, had bustled about, stopping the bleeding and sheering the hair so that it was a semi neat cut around her face. Cho looked completely transformed, almost like a different witch.
Harry briefly wondered why he ever fancied her. All he could think of was the swan and how beautiful it was in its majesty.
There was little left for him in the wizarding world—everything, his heart, his mind, his body, belonged only to the Veela.
Harry sat in a corner of the Gryffindor common room, gazing out onto the Black Lake which mirrored the blue sky above it. It was now Christmas Eve, the day before the Yule Ball, and he still didn’t know the identity of his husband.
He hadn’t seen Aubrey in the Great Hall and refused to ask Fleur anything about Veela and their culture. He knew he could ask the swan, but he feared its wrath if he guessed incorrectly. The swan could even be a few of the Durmstrang students who had the signature silver Veela hair, even if they didn’t have any Veela heritage.
It was likely that his swan was a foreign student as he had appeared just after the foreign delegations, but it was not completely certain. There might be other Veela in England that chose Hogwarts for some reason. It was rare, as Aubrey said, for a pure Veela to attend a wizarding institution and it might be a tradition to travel if they hadn’t fully come into their maturity like his swan—who was a juvenile swan, he had learnt, while researching the waterfowl in the library.
“Coming, Harry?” Fred asked him, causing him to visibly start.
“Coming to lunch?” his twin said.
“Er—right. Yeah, sure.” He stood up slowly, wondering why he could never think of food when away from his husband, but shook himself mentally. It could be part of the allure—if what he felt was an intensified version.
“Have a date yet, then, Harry? For the dance?”
He shook his head as they exited the portrait hole. “No, I don’t.”
“You really need to get on that,” George noted, before turning to his twin and starting a conversation on Chang’s mysterious attack. Dumbledore had asked all of them not to speak about the incident, but many students had seen Cedric rushing Cho to the Infirmary, Cho babbling about a swan and her hair. Rumors had run rampant through Hogwarts.
Harry didn’t bother to listen in.
When they reached the Great Hall, Harry sat at the end of the table, as was his custom, but was startled when Fleur Delacour stood at the sight of him and walked gracefully over, the entire male population of the hall staring after her.
Harry looked up at her and she smiled, flipping her hair back. He felt nothing for her.
“Mon ami,” she greeted, leaning down and kissing both of his cheeks in friendship. “Felicitations on your marriage.”
He blinked at her. “He told you?” he asked in awe.
“But of course! When I ‘eard of zee swan I knew instantly eet was ‘im. ‘Ow could I not?”
Harry just nodded in disbelief.
She sat down across from him and Ginny and her friends, who were sitting next to Harry as they usually did, looked over him in curiosity.
“You’re married?” Ginny asked quietly and Fleur scoffed.
“Of course ‘ee eez married!” she declared to the Great Hall at large. “Eet eez an ‘onour. Not many ‘umans are chosen to be loved by Veela, and ‘is ‘usband even wants to take ‘im into zee sacred veils, once you are finished wiz your education, of course,” she added kindly to Harry. “Not even I am permitted to go and my grandmozzer was Veela!”
She began to serve herself some cod and picked up her silverware prettily.
Ginny gaped at them. “You’re married to a Veela?” she asked and Harry smiled slightly. “Since when?”
“Was eet romantic?”
Harry stared at Fleur. “Not really.”
She waved a hand at him. “I should ‘ave explained. To a Veela, zee elements are often called, air or water usually. A sign of deep devotion is the joining with a form of nature. Veela are nymphs of nature. To violently connect with one eez zee goal.”
“It was romantic then,” Harry said slowly.
Harry stared at her.
“Air, fire, earth, water—“
“Water. I was nearly drowned.”
She smiled beautifully and Ron, who was about five seats away, almost passed out from the intensity of it.
“Très bon. But forgeeve me, zere is anozzer reason I ‘ave come over, zough I weeshed to congratulate you, of course.” She paused before taking out her wand and casting a privacy spell over them. “I understand ‘ee ‘as not revealed ‘imself to you, yet?”
“Yes,” Harry admitted. “I don’t know why.”
“I thought as much.” She paused and delicately placed a piece of fish in her mouth, savoring the taste before continuing. “You ‘ave not proved zat ‘ee is beloved. ‘Ee weell not transform until you do, ‘Arry. ‘Is ‘eart eez breaking and ‘ee cannot bear to look upon you wiz ‘is ‘uman eyes. Zat eez why ‘ee is not ‘ere at present.”
“Is he—“ Harry paused and took a long drink of pumpkin juice. “Is he Aubrey du Lac?”
She looked at him appraisingly before nodding. “I ‘ope ‘ee does not disappoint.”
Harry shook his head, smiling, thinking of his dreams when his swan transformed into the handsome and kind Aubrey. Part of him wondered if they weren’t dreams after all. Did his husband—Aubrey—transform and take him lovingly when he was sleeping and burning for him?
“Thank you,” he said quietly and she smiled before taking down the spell.
“Not at all. Not at all.”
Harry stared at his reflection in the mirror, looking at the green dress robes that Mrs. Weasley had picked out for him.
“Are you mental?” Ron asked him again, not paying attention to his own horrible robes. “You married a Veela?”
He sighed, wondering why Ron suddenly cared. “It’s not like it’s Fleur, so you don’t need to be jealous.”
“Jealous? Jealous! I’m not jealous.”
“Of course you’re not. You only stare at Fleur even when Hermione is around.” He turned away and walked out of the room. He only had a few minutes before McGonagall expected him in the antechamber next to the Great Hall for the processional. He’d tried to find Aubrey to ask him to the Ball, even if he was in his swan form, but the cygnet had not appeared the night before and, too tired to go out into the freezing night, Harry had fallen asleep, alone and unhappy.
He didn’t pay attention as McGonagall fussed over his lack of a date or when Fleur smiled kindly at him from the arm of Roger Davies, a sixth year Ravenclaw. Cho was looking pretty but sad beside Cedric and Krum was escorting a pretty Beauxbatons student.
As he processed in, his eyes sought out Aubrey, but he saw him nowhere and had to sit beside Percy Weasley who droned on about how important he was.
Harry couldn’t pay attention to him, his heart pulling him toward his beloved swan, and he kept glancing out the large windows toward the Great Lake that was barely visible through the thick rain.
“A peety eet should rain,” Viktor’s pretty date was saying. “I ‘eard zey were supposed to ‘ave les fées for zee gardens.”
Krum quietly agreed with her.
Harry didn’t care about the gardens or the fairies; all he cared for was his missing husband, out alone in the rain possibly. The rain …
He stood up quickly, knocking over his chair. It was raining and Veela controlled storms. The only other time he had done it, the swan—Aubrey, he mentally reminded himself—had been upset that Harry had asked someone else to the stupid Ball. It was the way he cried, Harry realized, and without looking back, he rushed out of the Hall and into the rain.
“Aubrey!” he called but the storm swallowed his words. Making his way toward the Black Lake, Harry began to strip off his soaking robes. He knew no one could see him, half naked. He probably wouldn’t care if they did. All that mattered was Aubrey was upset and needed to know how desperately Harry craved him—how much he adored and loved him.
Kicking off his shoes and stripping off his trousers, he plunged head first into the turgid waves and swam toward the center of the lake where barely, just barely, he could make out brilliant white feathers shining against the dark pools of water.
“Aubrey,” he said softly as he reached the swan who appeared to come into his full maturity over the past week, his feathers lightening from gray to silver to white, its beak still a gray-black, however.
The swan looked up, startled, and Harry smiled, pulling it into his arms. Plunging them beneath the waves, he stroked his feathers and gasped in water when he could feel the familiar flapping of wings against his thighs, and he opened himself willingly for his husband to claim him in nature’s domain. His thighs loosened with every thrust of the feathered glory and Harry called out when he felt Aubrey shudder against him. Swimming hastily to the surface, Harry gasped for breath, the swan flapping beside him in the rain.
Harry reached out hesitantly and gently stroked the cygnet’s head, kissing the top of it gently. “I love you,” he murmured, knowing this was right. “I love you, Aubrey.”
Feathers struck against the water, blinding Harry in the rain, and he pulled back slightly from the cold until strong human arms encased him and brought him to the smooth chest of his husband. He looked up in the rain to see Aubrey, with gray eyes and a large smile, gazing lovingly down at him.
“Took you long enough,” he murmured before kissing Harry thoroughly in the rain.
When dawn broke the next morning, Harry awoke to soft lips against his own and smiled against them, tangling his hand in silky silver hair.
“’Arry,” Aubrey murmured lovingly, the sun shining down on the two oblivious lovers on the shore of the Black Lake.
One thought on “Swan Song – A Veela Love Story”
I always loved Swan Lake and this fanfic is utterly magical and enchanting, embodying the essence of the original tale and befitting your Enchantment series.
I’m glad you reuploaded it and shared it with us again! Lots of love!
LikeLiked by 1 person