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Changes by Lupins_cub
Chapter 7 : Curses
 
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Heather wasn’t really abuzz about the Triwizard Tournament as everyone else was. She was still dwelling on the fact that many Ministry workers thought the new teacher in their school was crazy. She remembered Amos Diggory speaking to her father, saying how Moody had gotten skittish with old age. Heather found this abundant in class the next day as she as with Kira in the back. With a low clunk from the hall way they listened as he clunked into the room, looking as strange and frightening as ever.

“You can put those away,” he scowled, stumping over to his desk and sitting down, “those books. You won’t need them.”

With a shrug everyone put their books away, it was then Moody took out a register and began to read off names. One eye scanning the names the other blue one studying the room and students around him.

“Right then,” he said picking up a paper, “I got a letter from Professor Lupin about this class. Seems you’ve had a pretty thorough grounding in tackling Dark creatures- boggart’s, Red Caps, hinky punks, grindlylows, kappa’s, and werewolves, is that right?”

With a few yes’s and nods around the room he continued.

“But you’re behind-very behind-on dealing with curses,” said Moody. “So I’m here to bring you up to scratch on what wizards can do to each other. I’ve got one year to teach you how to deal with Dark-”

“Aren’t you staying, Professor?” Anthony Goldstein asked raising his hand.

Moody reared on him and for the first time smiled, it made his face even more contorted giving it a creepy grin. He said he was, a favor to Dumbledore of some sort then would return back to his quiet retirement. Heather laughed unexpectedly, she couldn’t help it, after hearing about exploding bins. After a bark of laugh she clasped her hands over her mouth, going paler than she ever look. Moody’s eye swiveled onto her,

“Something funny Smith?” he asked

“N-No, sir, nothing really,” she said.

He gave is head a slight jolt, “Your father was that way too, always found everything funny. So-” he turned back to the rest of the class, “strait into it. Cruises. They come in many strengths and forms.”

Moody went on explain but Heather wasn’t listening, he knew her father, who seemed to be becoming increasingly famous around Hogwarts. Her thoughts drifted until they were draw away by a loud shout of “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” Everyone jumped and Heather watched Moody pick up a somersaulting spider and put it in a jar.

“Anyone else know another illegal curse?” he asked,’

A girl told him of the Cruciatus Curse, he engorged the small spider to the size of a tarantula and pointed his wand at it, “Crucio!”

Heather watched the spiders legs bend back upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. Heather heard a small squeaking sound, but it wasn’t the spider, she knew that. But oddly enough…it was, she could hear it, screaming and becoming louder. It was like she could hear its thoughts, no one else could hear it; suddenly it took on a voice:

“stop, stop!” it screamed, shrieking confused thoughts in a high pitched voice. Moody didn’t remove his wand and its shrieks and shuddering become more violent and terrifying.

“Stop!” Heather snapped, unable to stop herself.

Heather found herself standing everyone else staring at her, hands clenched and the spider still screaming.

“Reducio,” Moody said softly and spider shrank back to its original size, its cries faded from Heathers ears. Heather sat back down in the silence, a cold sweat on her face and her hands trembling. “Pain,” he said quietly. “You don’t need thumbscrews or knives to torture someone if you can perform the Cruciatus Curse…That one was very popular once too. Right…anyone know any others?”

The class was quiet for a while, it was then Heather held up her hand; which still trembled. Everyone stared at her anxiously before Moody turned to look at her, “Yes?”

“Avada Kedavra…” Heather muttered.

“Ah,” Moody said, a twisted smile on his disfigured face. “Yes, the last and worst. Avada Kedavra… the Killing Curse.”

Heather watched hunched slightly as he took another spider out of the jar, she knew what was coming. He placed it on the desk where it tried to make and escape but Moody’s curse got to it first. With a flash of green light Heather flinched, seeing her mothers eyes as she had on the train before. The spider tried to leap away but was stopped in mid air and flumped to wood table, limp.

“Not nice, Not pleasant. And there’s no countercurse. There’s no blocking it. Only one known person ever survived it, Harry Potter. Even a select great few cannot evade its charm, some people I even knew personally.”

Heather looked up and saw Moody’s blue eye on her, she felt her blood run cold and was glad to leave the classroom. Heather had never seen her mother die, but she had no idea why she was seeing her eyes. She knew those eyes she kept seeing were hers, they were once her eyes, crystal blue. Kira was trying to get any word out of Heather after the lesson but she wouldn’t budge.

“You have to talk Heather, you can’t bottle up,” Kira said

“I don’t want to talk, my friend, please,” Heather said then jumped violently as a hand came to her shoulder.

“S’alright lass, come with me, have a cup of tea…” Moody grunted at her, clunking off into the Dark Arts room with her.

Heather really wanted to rip away from his grip and say no thanks. But another part of her wanted to know, if the person he knew was her mother. Heather sat down at a front desk in the classroom, Moody stumped ahead of her; pulling a flash from his cloak and drinking from it.

“Stone, yeah I knew her,” he said, which made her look up quickly. “Madeline, everyone did, popular girl, so was her boyfriend there, Nick.”

“He was a murderer,” Heather muttered.

“That maybe, but ye’ can’t blame the man fer going mad. That’s You-know-who’s fault.” he said briskly.

“That doesn’t matter!” Heather snapped, standing glaring at him strait in the eye. “He knew what he was doing was wrong, that’s why he ran. That’s why he’s still alive.”

Moody’s mangled face came inches from hers, his breath smelling, not like gin but an unknown odor. “You know Smith, the maddest can be the most clever. Remember that, dismissed!”

He then clunked up the stairs to his back office and slammed the door, leaving Heather in the silence. Heather walked back to the dormitories and found Kira near the fire place with their books ready for Transfiguration.

“Hey, what’d he say?” she asked,

“He’s on my fathers side!” Heather snapped, sitting down.

“What do you mean?” Kira asked

“He thinks it’s not my fathers fault that he went mad and killed my mother. He says that its all Voldemort’s fault!” a few people jumped around her and Kira took her arm sitting her down.

“Calm down, Moody’s mad, you heard Diggory yourself. He’s gone off his rocker with old age, Dumbledore only employed him for a year.” Kira said,

“I don’t like him, Kira,” Heather told her as Isaac sat down next to her. “There’s something…not right…”

With this comment the three went off to transfiguration, dropping the subject. Transfiguration was a relief for Heather, a great end of the day subject that was easy to do. After diner they went back to the common room, Heather flumped onto her bed and heaved a sigh.

“Is it Friday yet?” she asked

Kira laughed, “I wish,”

Heather jumped, as something landed on her back and began pecking at her shoulder. She sat up and an owl flew off her pack and onto her headboard, staring at her with silver eyes. The owl was quiet large with a black sleek body, its eyes a grey-silver and inquisitive.

“Where‘d he come from?” Heather asked

“Don’t know, read the thing on its leg,” Kira said, pulling off her shoes.

Heather go to her knees and took the parchment from the owls leg and opened it up, finding it was from Remus.

Heather,

I found this owl not too long ago while out, he just wouldn’t stop following me. Since I have no use for him I decided to send him to you. You can name him whatever you like, though he does respond well to Max.

Yours,
Remus


Heather looked back to the owl who was joyously nuzzling Kira’s cheek and smiled. “Lupin sent it to me, said his name was Max,”

“Cool,” Kira said, holding out her arm as Max climbed down to her wrist.

About a week later it was announced that other students from two other schools would be joining in the Triwizard Tournament.

TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT
The Delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving at 6 o’clock on Friday the 30th of October. Lessons will lend half and our early
-

“Thank Merlin…” Heather said, Snape wouldn’t be able to criticize her that much that day and Trelawney probably won’t get around to predicting her horrible lonely future!

Students will return their bags and books to their dormitories and assemble in front of the castle to greet out gests before the welcoming feast.
Reading this notice Heather realized how fast September had gone, it seemed so long though. With Snape threading to poison them over Christmas break as they searched for antidotes to Trelawney telling Heather she had-as usually and grim future. But at least things were looking up, one she knew her potion was right and two she wouldn’t be as lonely as she thought; she was going to have sixteen owls. Heather had slipped a couple of times and burst out laughing at Trelawney, some of her predictions just seemed so fake!

Over that week the castle transformed, it was much cleaner and seemed to sparkle all over the place. Several grimy portraits had been scrubbed, much to the displeasure of their subjects, who sat huddle in their frames muttering darkly and wincing as they felt their raw pink faces. The suits of armor were suddenly gleaming and moving without squeaking, and Argus Filch, the caretaker, was behaving so ferociously to any students who for got to wipe their shoes that he terrified a pair of first year girls into hysterics. Even the teachers were cracking down on the students rather harshly. Snape was criticizing Heather more than ever and McGonagall urged Kira to practice a few spells after class.

On the morning of the thirtieth of October, they found that the Great Hall had been decorated overnight. Enormous silk banners hung from the walls, each of them representing a Hogwarts House. Behind the teachers table , the largest banner of all bore the Hogwarts coat of arms: lion, eagle, badger and snake united around a large letter H.

“I heard that the Beauxbatons are real snobs, stuck up.” Kira said, sipping some orange juice.

“Yeah, the Durmstrang are extremely proud, no one even knows where they keep their school.” Isaac said

“Why not?” Heather asked

“Many think its because they don’t want anyone getting in, it’s a very elite school. Hogwarts is the same way but people can still see it; only it just looks like a run down building to a muggle.” Isaac explained, “That’s how my old school was, a creepy castle in the middle of the Black Sea.”

Heather like it when Isaac told of his old life, he seemed to miss it so much that talking about it was the only way he could remember. Heather wondered what her childhood was like, she couldn’t remember much, only when she woke up in a hospital. That was when Dumbledore found the Wong family and helped her get adopted. But before that, she had no clue, everything was either a blur or nothing.

“How’d you get their then?” Kira asked, “Transylvania is land-locked.”

“A train like you guys, then large ships out to the sea. Old sail ships that looked like pirates once sailed. youngsters loved it, their first time going but many were scared, which put in all the fun of ghost stories and myths.” he said with a grin, “But we have to leave a day early to get to school, at least some of us.”

Followed by his voice was a large whooshing sound, which told them owl post was coming it. Heather looked up and spotted Max immediately, he stood out so much in the flock of brown and white; she liked that. With a swift movement Max reached out his feet and landed on her shoulder, he shook his head and cooed softly.

“Nothing today, mm, maybe he’s busy; too bad you can’t tell me.” Heather said, referring to Remus who hadn’t written her in quite a while. She made sure to write him well after the full moon but got no response.

Heather thought of the order and looked to Isaac, she hadn’t asked him about it, nor did Kira. They didn’t really know how to approach the subject or if they were allowed to speak about it. Heather had told her how Isaac made her promise not to tell anyone, how he wasn’t suppose to either. Max nipped her on the finger then took off, probably going to sleep or eat in the Owlery.

There was pleasant feeling of anticipation in the air that day. Nobody was very attentive in lessons, being much more interested in the arrival that evening of people from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang; even Potions was more bearable than usual as it was half an hour shorter. When the bell rang she and Isaac jogged from Hagrids hut from Care of Magical creatures up to the west tower to the dormitories. Meeting with Kira they pulled on their cloaks and rushed back downstairs to the entrance hall. The Heads of Houses were ordering their students into lines.

“In the back you two,” Flitwick said, since Heather and Isaac were among the tallest.

“How’d do you think they’ll get here?” Kira asked following them even though she might not be able to see.

Heather shrugged, “The train?”

“No…” Isaac said, they looked to him questioningly. “Just watch…” he wasn’t revealing any secrets.

“There!” yelled a sixth year, pointing over the forest.

Something large, much larger than a broomstick-or indeed, a hundred broomsticks- was hurtling across the deep blue sky toward the castle growing larger all the time.

“It’s a carriage…” Heather breathed in amazement.

“It is?” Kira asked, squinting, “I can barely see it,”

“…it’s a flying house!” Heather heard a first year say.

As the gigantic black shape skimmed over the treetops of the Forbidden Forest the lights from the castle windows hit the object letting everyone see. It was a gigantic, powder blue, horse-drawn carriage, the size of a large house, searing toward them, pulled by a dozen winged horses, all palominos and each the size of an elephant.

The front three rows of students drew backward as the carriage hurtled ever lower, coming in to land at tremendous speed- the, with an almighty crash, the horses’ hooves, larger than dinner plates, hit the ground. A second later, the carriage landed too, bouncing upon its vast wheels, while the golden horses tossed their enormous head and rolled large, fiery red eyes.

Heather looked t the door and saw a coat of arms, two crossed, golden wands, each emitting three stars; before it opened. A boy in pale blue robes jumped down from the carriage, bent bore ward, fumbled for a moment with something on the carriage floor, and unfolded a set of golden steps. He sprang back respectfully. Then a very, very large woman stepped from the carriage, with silver heals the side of a child’s sled. She was about the size of Hagrid, maybe bigger, with dark hair and dressed in black satin; with a stern look upon her face.

Dumbledore started to clap and all the students joined in, following his lead many standing on tiptoe to get a better look. Her face relaxed into a gracious smile and she walked forward toward Dumbledore, extending a glittering hand. Dumbledore, though tall himself, had barely bend to kiss it.

“My dear Madame Maxime,” he said, “Welcome to Hogwarts,”

Heather looked to the carriage as a about a dozen or so girls and boys came from the carriage. All in their late teens, they were shivering, which was unsurprising, given that their robes seemed to be made of fine silk, and one of them were wearing cloaks. A few had wrapped scarves and shawls around their heads. Many looked apprehensively at the large castle they now stood before. After a few words, Dumbledore offered them to go inside, the Hogwarts students parted to let the newcomers in they came back together to await the others.

It was quiet now, all but for the soft snorting of the Beauxbatons horses, many students looking hopefully upward at the starry sky. It was then Heather heard a soft bubbling sort of sucking noise, it was ever faint and seemed to dance on the wind. She looked to Isaac who was looking in the lake and looked down.

“The lake!” yelled Lee Jordan, pointing down at it. “Look at the lake!”

From their position at the top of the lawns over looking the grounds, they had a clear view of the smooth black surface of the water- except that surface was suddenly not smooth at all. Some disturbance was taking place deep in the center; great bubbles were forming on the surface, waves now washing over the muddy banks-and then, out of the very middle of the lake a, a whirlpool appeared, as if a giant plug had just been pulled out of the lakes floor…

What seemed to be a long, black pole began to rise slowly out of the heart of the whirlpool…Heather then realized what it was. Slowly magnificently, the ship rose out of the water, gleaming in the moonlight. It had a strangely skeletal look about it, as though it were resurrected wreck, and the dim, misty lights shimmering at its portholes looked like ghostly eyes. Finally with a great sloshing noise, the ship emerged, bobbing on the turbulent water and began to glide toward the bank. A few moments later, they heard the splash of an anchor being thrown down in the shallows and the thud of a plank being lower onto the bank.

Heather watched as people emerged from the ship and couldn’t help but think of what Isaac had told them this morning. How all the students at his school would ride in-maybe a ship similar to this- to their school; it was a magnificent thought. Heather saw that the people emerging all with a stock husky built to them. But into the light she saw creating this bulk was cloaks, made of shaggy fur. But the man who was leading them up to the castle was wearing furs of different sort: sleek and silver, like his hair.

“Dumbledore!” he called heartily as he walked up the slope. “How are you, my dear fellow, how are you?”

Karkaroff had a fruity, unctuous voice; when he stepped into the light pouring from the door so the castle they saw that he was tall and thin like Dumbledore, but his white hair was short and his goatee did not entirely hide his rather weak chin. Heather watched as he beckoned a boy foreword into the light and heard Kira gasp.

“It’s Krum!” she squeaked quietly. 





“This is so cool!” Kira said excitedly, as they all filed back into the great hall, taking their seats.

“He seems a bit drafted to me…” Isaac said offhandedly. “OUCH!” he yelped as Kira punched his arm.

“You walked right into that one,” Heather said chuckling.

The feast composed of a mixture of foods, many different from which they had seen, from French dishes to Bulgarian appetizers. After a plethora of different desserts the golden plates wiped clean and Dumbledore stood.

“The moment has come,” he said, smiling around at the sea of upturned faces. “The Triwizard Tournament is about to start. I would like to say a few words of explanation before we bring in the casket just to clarify the procedure that will be following this year. But first, let me introduce, for those who do not know them, Mr. Bartemius Crouch, Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation” there was a smattering of polite applause- “ and Mr. Lundo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.”

There was a large amount of applause for Bagman, perhaps because of his fame as a Beater. Heather and Kira had heard about Bagman before, since their father was in the Ministry he was a friend of the family; though they had never met or seen him personally. Heather remembered Crouch’s accusing tone and glare from the World Cup and wasn’t surprised by the lake of applause. Dumbledore explained how Mr. Bagman and Mr. Crouch arranged the Tournament and would be joining in judging along with himself, Professor Karkaroff and Madame Maxime. With the mention of judging of the champions stirred the students and the casket was brought out.

Filch, who had been lurking unnoticed in a far corner of the Hall, now approached Dumbledore carrying a great wooden chest encrusted with jewels. It looked extremely old. A murmur of excited interest rose from the watching students. Dumbledore explained the rules, three tasks were set to challenge the champions in different skills. Three champions were to compete, one from each school. Dumbledore now took out his wand and tapped three times upon the top of the casket. The lid creaked slowly open. Dumbledore reached inside and pulled out a large, roughly hewn wooden cup.

Anyone who wished to submit themselves just had to write their name and school clearly upon slip of parchment and drop it into the goblet. Aspiring champions had twenty-four hours in which to put their names forward. Tomorrow night, Halloween, the goblet will return the names of the three it has judged most worth to represent their schools. The goblet was in the entrance hall, to be freely accessible to all who wished to put their names in. Of course, there was an age limit of seventeen, he warned that the tournament wasn’t just a Quidditch game in a sense. It was to test each student upon their skills and would not be able to back out once they were picked. All three were expected to finish the games, even if all were lost; Heather had a feeling the only why they couldn’t finish was if they died.

With his great announcement everyone rose to their feet, preparing to go and either sleep or talk endlessly of the tournament. Kira, Heather and Isaac were in a group of Ravenclaws behind some Durmstrang’s who were in back of some Gryffindor’s. Heather halted and looked forward seeking Karkaroff had stopped and was staring at a boy holding the door.

“It’s Harry Potter,” Isaac said, who was a few inches taller than Heather.

He had his head turned on him and stared at him as though he couldn’t believe his eyes,. Behind their headmaster, the students from Durmstrang came to a halt too. Karkaroff’s eyes moved slowly up Harry’s face and fixed upon his scar. The Durmstrang students were staring curiously at Harry too. Heather stood as tall as she could, watching Harry’s face, knowing the feeling. The feeling of being under a microscope of a scientist who had just discovered something absolutely mind boggling. A boy in front nudged the girl next to him and pointed openly at Harry’s forehead. It was then Moody pasted them, his eye rolling wildly as he strode to the front of the crowd.

“Yeah, that’s Harry Potter,” he said a growling voice from behind them.

Professor Karkaroff spun around. Mad-eye Moody was standing there, leaning heavily on his staff glaring unblinkingly at the Durmstrang’s headmaster. The color drained from Karkaroff’s face as Harry watched. A terrible look of mingled fury and fear came over him.

“You!” he said, staring at Moody as though unsure he was really seeing him.

“Me,” said Moody grimly. “And unless you’ve got anything to say to Potter, Karkaroff, you might want to move. You’re blocking the doorway.”

Heather looked back to find it true, half the students in the Hall were now waiting behind them, looking over one another’s shoulders to see what was causing the holdup. Without another word, Professor Karkaroff swept his students away with him. Moody watched him until he was out of sight, his magical eye fixed upon his back, a look of intense dislike upon his mutilated face. Heather caught a glance of Moody drinking a strange smelling liquid from his flask as she walked past him.

“Merlin, that stuff smelled…familiar…” she said, as they walked into the dormitories.

“It’s probably just a strong gin,” Kira said

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Isaac said, because the last lesson was Moody making them fight of one of those three curses.

“No…” Heather said, picking up the potions book Kira gave her for Christmas, “It wasn’t gin…”

A/N: I hope you got what I was saying in the small summary of this chapter if not this is what-I at least I thought- it meant. Heather sufferes from a curse of being sought after and looked down upon. So does Harry, but he also suffers from fame-note the Karkroff scene. I'm not sure how to explain what Isaac suffers, but being who is and so far from his culture, we'll learn more about his family in either a few chapters or the fifth year. Heather is his only connection to his own world, even though she barely knows about it herself. Thanks for reading please review!


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