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Fear by acciorobin
Chapter 1: a test of a different kind of intelligence.
a test of a different kind of intelligence
Hi there. If you're reading this then you've decided to check out my story. And for that I'm grateful. This idea was inspired from watching TDKR, a certian Doctor Who episode and listening to Hans Zimmer's work. I apologise in advance, as I am a rather slow updater, but I will do my best.
–––––Edit: So, it's been a couple years but I've been wanting to start this up again for some time now!! I'm changing quite a few things, so if you've read this before it'd be best to read it again!!!
The beginning of the new school year had been painfully average. Amanda had almost managed to miss the train the week prior, Chloe was complaining for the fifth night in a row about her N.E.W.T subjects and the weather was getting progressively worse. Megan had had another close shave with Jeremy Thornberry in the boys’ dormitory when searching for Michael (Thornberry was still trying to ask her out, unfortunately), who was already studying for their exams. All very normal.
So generally, the atmosphere at Hogwarts was shifted into very dangerous territories when Professor Hogarth had broadcasted they were to make their way to the Great Hall for an announcement. The last time there had been anything of the kind, they were told the Christmas holidays were to start three days earlier due to an epidemic that had taken the student and staff body by storm. Michael had informed Megan this could not be the case this time, as they were stumbling down the stairs behind the rest of the Gryffindor house, as all teachers had been present at dinner for the past week and he would have picked it up anyway. Megan believed him.
Frowning in discomfort, Megan stayed close by her friend as the crowd suddenly got larger with the Ravenclaw’s having climbed down from their own common room and meeting the lions at a junction on the stairs. The mixture of red and blue continued down to the bottom floor of the castle where yellow and green started to appear.
“Cor blimey, we come down to have breakfast, lunch and dinner like this everyday but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it this congested.” Michael says in amazement, having to quickly grip on to Megan after almost losing her in a crowd of second year Hufflepuffs before running a hand through his dark hair in frustration. She nods in agreement, looking around on her tiptoes for the other two of their group. The conversation of students was getting louder and Megan was only just able to make out some of their words: a mishmash of confusion, excitement and annoyance because, understandably, it was a Friday night.
However at a sudden voice, Megan whips her head around to Michael who appeared to already be there with her mentally, because before she could speak––
“I heard, Lucy Weasel was complaining about it in Alchemy earlier. Mr. Potter’s definitely here.”
”Michael, that means this is serious,” Megan replies, ignoring his comment on Lucy’s family name, which she would usually tell him off for. The two had been rivals academically since they joined the school, which was the least of her worries right now.
“I know, I suspected it would be but–– Oh, there they are! How’d they get here so quick?”
Without recognising it, they had reached the Great Hall and Megan followed his vision to see Chloe and Amanda in their usual spot, apparently mulling over a sheet of parchment intensely. With students piling onto their tables, Megan and Michael followed suit and situated themselves opposite each other, Chloe on Megan’s right and Amanda on Michael’s.
“Oh dear, is it Chloe with last minute homework again? On a Friday evening? How does one even achieve that?” Michael smirks at the blonde, hands clasped together with interest.
“Oh shut it Seung, this was due in last period but I was generously given an extension, happy?” Chloe groans, thrusting her quill away from her in annoyance.
“Actually, Chloe put on quite a show, the extension wasn’t necessarily generous so much as forced,” Amanda adds, still focusing on the homework she was helping her friend with what looked like Arithmancy, Megan concluded after bending forward to peak.
“Anyway,” Megan starts, hands placed face palm on the table, “would anybody indulge us in their theories about this all? I heard it was something to do with the Ministry.”
“So did I, apparently Oberon is here too,” Chloe says from where her head was on her arms, her voice slightly muffled against her robes.
“The Minister is here?” Michael questions, mostly to himself.
“So is Harry Potter, I saw him talking to Professor Hagrid and James,” Amanda says nonchalantly before crossing out a piece of writing angrily, “Chloe, you’ve made this impossible. I can’t read a single thing you’ve written.
“Oh poo, to hell with Arithmancy, I hope Professor Galway gets hit in the face with a bludger,” and with that, she wiped her wand once, making the homework burst into flames and crumble to ashes.
“Let’s appreciate Chloe’s presence for now, we aren’t going to see much of her for the next two years unless we get ourselves to join her in detention somehow,” Michael shakes his head, turning a page of the Daily Prophet she wasn’t aware he even had with him.
Chloe had opened her mouth to respond with something equally as witty when Professor Hogarth had stood up from his chair, silence falling over the Great Hall instantly.
“Now, I’ve always found it aggravating when someone tells me there’s news for me but only prolongs it, so without further a do, I’d like to introduce to you Professor Reginald Fletcher, along with Minister Oberon and Harry Potter. I’m sure you’re all as excited I am for this announcement.”
The silence that had blessed Megan’s ears had suddenly been disturbed by the realisation of Harry Potter and the Minister being present. Straining her eyes, she tried her best to get a better look at him but found it difficult with everyone else bending their necks this way and that to do just the same. Chloe and Michael were looking as amazed as herself, as it was their first time setting eyes on the Boy Who Lived too, but she needn’t look at Amanda to know the news hadn’t affected her in the slightest. Amanda Thomas would visit the Potter’s for Christmas occasionally, and her family would send postcards whenever they went on holiday.
“So you didn’t know he was coming?” Michael asked Amanda quickly, his curiosity peaking.
She shakes her head in confusion, getting shushed by Chloe before she could speak as Professor Fletcher stood up to speak. He wore mustard yellow robes, square glasses and had wispy, curly hair, but apart from that Megan couldn’t make out much.
“Thank you, Professor Hogarth. Thank you for welcoming me. Hogwarts is an exceptionally outstanding establishment with exceptionally outstanding students. I must make it clear to you, you should all be proud of that as I’ve picked your school, out of all the eleven wizarding schools around the world, to take part in this competition.”
The four friends glanced at each other quickly, neither of them knowing any more than the other yet still expecting someone to present more information. Megan noted that his voice was extremely nasal and there was a slight lisp on certain words.
“This competition, open for students in sixth and seventh years, will allow the brightest and best among you to prove yourselves in compromising circumstances––”
“That’s made it all the more clear,” Megan heard Michael mutter, earning a huff in response from Amanda.
“––Which go further than just the physical contexts.” He stopped speaking for a moment, a finger moving to his head slowly before tapping it three times. Megan felt her fellow Gryffindors beside her shift and shuffle uncomfortably.
“I’ve looked over every single one of your files, exams, records, health papers and grades, allowing me to pick eight able students from this school. Two boys and girls from the sixth years, and two boys and girls from the seventh. If you have been chosen, consider yourselves lucky. You will all be informed more in due time. Now, I’d like to hand over to Minister Oberon and Harry Potter to read out the players for us all. If you’ve been called out, please come to the front. Whenever you’re ready, Minister.”
Oberon, a tall, dark man with curly hair nodded towards the Professor and opened the scroll in his hands, announcing the first pair of students.
“From seventh year, Sylvia Rofle from Gryffindor and John Clarke from Hufflepuff.”
The hall erupted into applause, but rather than applause in congratulations for being picked, it in fact was simply applause because Sylvia and John were possibly the most known names in the school, aside from the Weasleys and Potters. With his beater’s body and bright eyes, John Clarke was hard to miss in a crowd. Megan could see his Head Boy badge glistening on his robes as he strutted to the front of the hall; catcalls and whistles following him close behind.
Sylvia had been sitting near Megan and her friends when she was called up, a smile on her face as the girl smiled at others, long, dark hair swaying behind her as she followed her boyfriend to the front of the hall. She was very kind, most people knew that personally. The pair shook hands with the Minister, then Mr. Potter before standing side by side and facing the students.
Oberon continued after the noise had quietened down. “Second pair from seventh year, Mary Finnigan from Ravenclaw and Peter Gregory from Hufflepuff.”
The clapping commenced once more but not as loud as previously, both Peter and Mary were quiet students and Megan had only been in contact with them when playing against the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff Quidditch teams. Peter was almost as tall as John when he was standing beside him but had the same confused and slightly apprehensive expression on his face as Mary had, who usually looked very disconnected with things, Megan had noted.
Oberon passed the scroll over to Harry Potter with a smile, clearing his throat and reading out the next pair with clear surprise in his voice.
“From sixth year, Hannah Ashdown from Ravenclaw and Albus Potter from Slytherin.”
Silence fell for a moment in response to Harry Potter reading out his own son’s name, Mr. Potter looking rather sheepish with his eyebrow raised before the Slytherin table started to cheer, along with the entire Potter-Weasley family scattered here and there in the hall. Albus stood up from his table with the smallest of smiles on his face, Scorpius Malfoy beside him with an excitement expression on. The pair had been inseparable since their first year, Megan had Potions with them both and it was nearly impossible to talk to one of them without the other intruding.
“Wonderful, Potter probably put Albus’ name down beforehand. Of course he’d get privileges,” Michael complained as the clapping continued, eyeing the black sheep of the family as he walked past their table with dislike.
“Please Michael, you’re just stressed because now there’s only a twenty-five percent chance you’ll be picked,” Chloe retorted with a smug look, the other two sniggering at their friend.
“Gracious Wood, you did some Arithmancy. Why don’t you transfer those skills to your homework, where they’re actually needed?”
His insult wasn’t appreciated though, as the three girls were still laughing as he slumped in his seat, attempting to cover his anticipation for the final names to be called. Of course he’d want to be picked, Fletcher had said only the smartest would and everyone knew Michael was one of the brightest students at Hogwarts, as well as slightly bossy and self-assured.
Mr. Potter gave his son a pat on the back before shaking hands with Hannah Ashdown, unfortunately not getting any attention having been called out with the famous Albus.
“Second pair from sixth year, Gavin Cooper from Slytherin and Megan Crow from Gryffindor.”
Her brown eyes immediately widened in shock, the other three looking equally surprised and if it were a different situation, Megan would have asked why they looked so stunned in irritation. Licking her lips quickly, she looked over for help but Chloe tugged at her robes, pushing her to get to her feet. She wasn’t expecting her name to be called; sure, she was smart. She had earned eight Outstandings and three Exceeded Expectations in her O.W.L’s last summer but others had gained more than that. It wasn’t the best.
Stumbling to the front of the hall, her house started to cheer her on and she could only smile submissively, concentrating more on her feet and not tripping up on the way. Looking to her left, Gavin Cooper was getting slaps on the backs from his friends as he took the same journey to the front as her, looking a lot more confident than she currently felt. She knew the back of his head from Potions as well as Albus and Scorpius', as well as in Charms and Transfiguration. Aside from just the back of his head and his laid back aura, Megan knew nothing.
Shaking the hands of the Minister and Mr. Potter quickly, Megan stood beside Hannah and Gavin, blinking quickly at the pairs of eyes staring back at her. She wasn’t necessarily a nervous girl, in fact over the years of being friends with Michael, Amanda and Chloe she’d become increasingly passive aggressive, to her surprise. She was just quiet. But silence did not determine confidence, she knew.
“Well, those are our players! Give them another round of applause!” Professor Fletcher announced, clapping in their direction.
Looking to her friends, they clapped and smiled along with the others but she knew they were feeling just as apprehensive as she was. They still had no clue what this would entail and Megan wasn’t sure she’d like it very much. Frowning to herself, she followed the others into what appeared to be the Trophy Room. It was big and shone so bright Megan was forced to squint as she sat down in one of the chairs arranged in a semi circle. Gavin was sitting to her left and she offered him a smile, understanding they would be a pair in this competition together now. He looked as though he was going to crack an inappropriate joke but Fletcher’s voice stopped him instantly.
“First things first, congratulations! I’m looking forward to going on his exciting journey with such able students as you all are. Well done!” He spoke with great arm movements and Megan suddenly wanted Michael beside her to pick up on the eerie vibes he was giving off so she knew she wasn’t making them up.
“I won’t bombard your heads for much longer, as I’m sure you all want some sleep. I will tell you more information tomorrow. You’re to be in this same room after breakfast tomorrow for further instructions. For now, good night!”
Megan sighed and stood up straight away; walking towards the door and realised that Hannah was just has eager as her to leave the room.
“They really didn’t tell you anything more?!”
Megan shook her head at Michael and said no for what felt the umpteenth time that evening. Throwing her head back against the sofa in the common room, Megan groans in frustration and rubs her hands over her face.
“I don’t get it. Do you think Hogarth knows anything? He’s got to, he wouldn’t just allow his students to take part in a competition not knowing what could happen.”
“Amanda, he’s not stupid. He knows what he’s doing.”
“Regardless, they can’t just pick people for this cheap Triwizard Tournament copy and not let them know what they’ve been picked for,” Amanda says in response to Chloe, who was currently sitting cross legged by Megan’s legs and seeming to be the only one calm about the whole thing.
“We’re going to find out what this is about,” Michael says, raising his eyebrows. The other three knew he would if they didn’t; Michael Seung never let anything past him.
“I’m to go back to the Trophy Room after breakfast tomorrow,” Megan says, “I’ll try to find something out but with the It-Couple and Potter people might be a little distracted.” The brown haired girl admits, “plus Cooper might set something on fire on accident and delay everything.”
“I still can’t believe Cooper –– Cooper gets picked but I don’t?!” Michael exasperates, hands flying around the place as he speaks.
“Michael, Lucy didn’t get picked either. Doesn’t that make you feel even the slightest bit better?” Amanda says, feigning concern for his first-world problem.
“Of course it does–– makes you wonder what kind of intelligence they’re testing,” he suddenly interrupted himself, voice trailing off. “There’s no doubt Weasel is smart ––I’m afraid to admit it ladies but she might become Head Girl next year, but I’ll be Head Boy so you needn’t worry–– so if neither I nor Weasel is picked––”
“Or your brother Chloe, he’s a genius isn’t he?” Megan pipes up, sitting up straighter.
“Penelope Corner wasn’t picked either, she got twelve O’s in her O.W.L’s,” Michael adds, unable to hide the bitterness in his tone of voice at that fact. Megan rolls her eyes.
“They’re clearly testing a different sort of intelligence then,” Chloe says bluntly.
“Right well, Megan,” Amanda stops the pacing she had been doing for the past half an hour and stands with her hand on her hip, despite her height and short hair, she was a force to be reckoned with. “You know what you are? You’re a Gryffindor. You know what that means? You’ve got plenty of blood intelligence. You’re brave. That’s all the intelligence you need––”
“Thomas, that’s rather debatable––”
“Sod off, Michael! Yes, that’s all the intelligence you need. You’ve got this, you hear me?” She smiles, her pearly whites shining bright and takes her dark hand in Megan’s pale (and rather frail looking) one, squeezing it tight. “And we’re right behind you.”
Just as the words left her mouth, there was a large thump and Chloe yelped in pain. “What the hell was that for, Michael?”
“There was a spider on your shoulder, calm down Wood it’s still there I––“
“Merlin, get it off! Get it off right now––”
Megan raises her eyebrows and smiles fondly whilst Amanda sighed and moved to break the fuss up.
Well, that's the first chapter! I'm really curious as to what you think! I know I haven't explained much on what the 'test' is and things, but you'll find out soon enough. :P If you think I should improve on anything, feel free to tell me! I'm open to cristism!
Edit: So I've changed rather a lot of things and will be doing so in the next few chapters so none of it will really make sense, I'm afraid!!! Bear with, I'm going to redo it all.