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Summary: Her beauty caught his eye first. It was later that she captured his heart. AU. Inspired - but not entirely a response to - whitetigerwolf's 'Seekers Challenge'. Fem!Harry/Viktor.
Viktor Krum isn't handsome. His nose has met too many bludgers to be properly straight, his eyebrows are out of control and his mouth is pulled up into a perpetual scowl, but regardless, Haden is captivated. She isn't sure why - perhaps it's because his shoulders are slumped in the same way Haden's get when she becomes uncomfortably aware of the eyes that constantly follow her - or maybe it's because he walks with the same grace - or lack thereof - that Haden does, indicative of one who is far more comfortable in the air than on the ground. Either way, as the Durmstrang boys pile into the Great Hall and settle themselves at the Slytherin table, Haden can't look away.
"What's the big deal? He's only a quidditch player, Ron. Merlin, you're acting like a fangirl."
Krum looks up at Hermione's exclamation, though Haden honestly doubts he's actually heard her from the other side of the hall. Whatever the case, his unexpected gaze captures Haden's and the girl looks away, abashed. His gaze - dark and fathomless - is intense and she wonders if this is how people feel when she herself catches them staring, but the idle thought is fleeting and her focus quickly moves to Dumbledore's introduction of the guests to their school.
Afterwards, as she's idly stirring her dinner around her plate, Haden's pulled from her thoughts by Hermione.
"You're quiet, Hay. Is everything okay?"
Haden smiles wanly, shrugs her slender shoulders and brushes her fringe out of her emerald eyes. Her hair has been pulled into a high ponytail and she misses the comforting presence of her self-made curtains from the rest of the world, but there are expectations of her as the heiress of two old lines - expectations that she is most definitely not willing to cross. "I'm fine, Herm. Just tired."
The feast draws to an end, students are dismissed and slowly but surely, they begin to depart. The lower years first, lured to their beds where food comas and blissful dreams await. Upper years follow soon thereafter. Their feet drag with the promise of assignments and homework, but eventually, it's only the fourth and sixth years loitering and the foreign delegates, their respective languages a sharp contrast to the English that dominates the room. She can understand the French and the German, but it's the curious tones of Russian that draws Haden's gaze to the aisle between the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw tables, where Viktor Krum is in rapid-fire conversation with his headmaster.
Again, Haden's captivated by his form, shoulders hunched, feet wide apart. He's not quite six feet, but his shoulders are broad and she can imagine that he's very well-muscled beneath the heavy, militaristic style of the Durmstrang uniform. If she's learned anything from Oliver Wood's manic training regime, it's that one needs to be very fit to survive it. She can imagine the professional league is far more demanding of their players, but she has absolutely no intention of asking.
"You're not crushing on him too, are you?" Hermione's voice is exasperated. It makes Haden smile, very familiar with the tone. "Is Ron not crushing on him enough for the entirety of Hogwarts? Merlin!"
Haden shrugs and laughs, drains her tumbler of water and stands to her feet. Her ponytail swishes behind her and without adieu, she pulls the ribbon from her hair. She gives a relieved sigh as her hair cascades around her, shakes it out quickly and turns towards the doors, thoughtful. "I think I'm going to head up to the tower now. It's been a long day."
"Aren't you going to talk to some of the foreign students?" Hermione insists, "This is such an opportunity, Hay. You shouldn't be wasting it."
"Says the one who is no doubt itching to return to the four foot Transfiguration essay waiting for us upstairs," Haden deadpans, though the jibe is goodnatured. Hermione grins sheepishly, but she doesn't retract her words. "What would I say?"
Hermione shrugs. "You have a lot in common with Krum, I bet. Seeking, fame - a match made in heaven, no? I can just imagine your freakishly prodigious seeking babies now."
"Shove off," Haden laughs. She pulls away from the table, spins around in her place and looks to her friend, expectant. "Will you come with me to the tower, or will you stay and make friends?"
Hermione chews her bottom lip with indecision. Haden drops the subject, gives her a wave that speaks more than any words said and heads towards the doors. Her bed is calling her to the realm of dreams. Haden has every intention to answer.
"Have fun, Herm. Don't stay out too late. You know how light I sleep."
"Put up a silencing spell, fool!" Hermione exclaims at Haden's retreating back.
"But where's the fun in that?" Haden calls back, laughing. It's ever so amusing when she catches her roommates sneaking in at all hours of the night.
When she reaches the Great Hall doors, she turns back to look behind her. Students have spread out across all four tables, conversing between school and house barriers and Haden's pretty sure she's never seen her peers so united. At the head table, Dumbledore's in council with Madame Maxime, Mr Crouch and Mr Bagman, looking entirely genial regardless of the late hour, Mr Bagman's progressively reddening cheeks and Mr Crouch's growing scowl. Mr Karkaroff is returning to them and Krum himself is approaching Haden - or the doors, more likely - and for another moment, she meets his gaze. Then she smiles shyly, turns away and heads towards the grande staircase.
Surprisingly, he follows her.
"May I help you?" The German that rolls off her tongue is surprisingly fluid. She hasn't spoken it since she started Hogwarts, but it seems she's not forgotten it. Stood on the first step of the grande staircase, she's turned to face the quidditch star. He looks surprised that she knows a language that he's far more familiar with than English.
"You left this," he answers and offers his palm. Wrapped around his callused fingers, the ruby red of her Gryffindor themed hair ribbon contrasts starkly against his olive complexion. There's something beautiful about it, but Haden's never been into art.
She reaches a hand out to take the silken band, her palm touches his and Haden hesitates, unsure. She doesn't know why, but she wants him to hold onto it. With that thought in mind, Haden drops her palm once more, without the ribbon in hand. Her palm tingles where her hand touched his, the presence of her magic thrumming beneath her skin. It's more active than she's used to - desperate for a release Haden doesn't understand - but she doesn't dwell on it for long.
"You know what? Keep it. For good luck. For this competition, you'll probably need it."
He looks bemused, but regardless, he drops his hand, pockets the ribbon and gives her an awkward smile. "Thank you. For the good luck. Can I have your name?"
"My name is Haden." She gives a slight curtsy, straightens up and smiles. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr Krum."
"As it is to meet you too, Miss…?"
"Potter," Haden answers, "My name is Haden Potter." She expects the usual upwards flick of someone's gaze, but it doesn't come. She wonders if she's only famous in Britain and silently hopes so. One nation is enough celebrity for her lifetime.
He bows over her hand, kisses the unblemished skin there and rises once again. The move is surprisingly graceful, considering his walk. Then again, a lifetime of etiquette training works wonders - she should know. "Then until we meet again, Miss Potter." He turns and she watches his retreat out of the Entrance Hall.
When he disappears into the darkness outside of the castle, Haden finally makes her way up to Gryffindor Tower, all the while, her heart pounds. She's never felt like this before. It's simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating.
Author's Note: Racing hearts and sweating palms. The joys of first crushes. Do you remember that feeling? I do. A lifetime ago and yet, it wasn't long ago at all. We all change in five years.
Drop a review. Tell me your thoughts, your feelings. Where can I improve? Where did I go wrong? What should be fixed? What should be scrapped? Do you like my characterisation of Haden and Hermione? Do you like the present tense, third person perspective? How is the description? How is the tone of the chapter? Let me know. Reviews are encouragement, help me improve and give me food for thought. All are welcome.
I hope you enjoyed