Chapter 11 : Year Ten - Hermione's Year Four
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“Yes, Mi-Mi?” Jayson said.
“Jayson, I need your help badly.” She replied.
“I figured as much. What exactly do you need me to do?”
Hermione took a deep breath and told Jayson everything that had happened on that night. Jayson listened carefully to Hermione’s story and, when he realized what she was asking of him, his eyes bugged out.
“You want me to watch over Harry Potter???” He asked.
“In a word…yes. He needs someone to stand with him and all the faculty is committed to being neutral.”
“That’s what he gets for putting his name in the Goblet.” Jayson said with a scowl.
“But he didn’t put his name in. He couldn’t have. No one under seventeen could have gotten past the age line. You should have seen him when his name was called. He was white as a sheet. Something is very wrong here, Jayson. Someone did something to the Goblet of Fire so that Harry’s name same out. No one can figure out what though…but I bet you could.” Hermione said the last part with the sweetest sing-song voice she had, hoping that it would influence Jayson.
Jayson looked at her directly in the eye. “First of all, this is a HUGE favor you’re asking of me, you do understand that. On my top ten favorite people list, Harry Potter is around number 562; and that is on a good day.”
“Yes, I know that.” She responded.
“Secondly, I am going to have to pull some strings to have the Ministry allow me to stick around here. This is not normal procedure.”
“I understand…oh please, Jayson. I’m afraid for him. Something is just not right.”
Jayson looked at her for a moment and saw the fear in her eyes. He saw that she really believed that someone was out to get Harry. But then, he thought, what else is new. But if Dumbledore and the rest of the professors were bound to stay out of it, then he really did need help. He thought for about another minute before agreeing. Hermione jumped up and hugged him.
“Now then, one thing is clear; you are not to tell Potter about any of this. He is technically supposed to be on his own.” He said.
“Okay, I can do that.” She replied.
“Why me, by the way?”
“The professors have to be neutral. It’s in the rules.”
“Like that ever stopped them before. Okay, let me talk to Dumbledore and get his okay on this.”
“Okay…and Jayson?” She asked.
“Yes?” He answered.
Dumbledore and Fudge were continuing to argue over what happened at the Goblet of Fire when they reached his office. What Dumbledore was not prepared to see was someone waiting for him in it. He walked over to the chair and saw Jayson sitting there and the chess board set up with one piece moved.
“Good evening, old friend. The board is ready and I have already made my traditional first move. It is your turn. Please sit, for we have much to discuss about this evening’s events.” Jayson intoned.
“Good evening Jayson. How do you know of this evening?” Dumbledore asked.
“From Hermione, of course. I do have some intelligence for you, namely, how the Goblet was coerced to naming Potter the fourth champion.” Jayson looked over at Fudge. “Cornelius…”
“Jayson…” Fudge said with a scowl. He did not like the fact that Jayson had risen so quickly in the ranks of the Ministry. Jayson knew this too and usually kept a considerable distance from the Minister.
Dumbledore sat down, thought for a moment, and made his move on the chess board. They began to play like they had done all the years ago when Jayson attended Hogwarts. Dumbledore relaxed a little, as did Jayson. Fudge was bored.
“So…you have an idea how the Goblet was fooled?” Fudge asked.
“Not fooled, Minister, altered.” Jayson replied. “Though it will take a detailed explanation.” He looked at Dumbledore. “Albus, what do you know about the Muggle machine called a computer?”
“Some, but not a lot, why?” Dumbledore answered as he made his next chess move.
“How does this have anything to do with the Goblet?” Fudge asked.
“Because the same thing happened to the Goblet as would a computer.” Jayson replied. When both men looked at him funny, he continued. “For a computer to work properly, it needs what is called a program. A program is a series of commands that, when written and executed correctly, enables the computer to do what the programmer wants it to do. The Goblet is the same way, except the ‘commands’ are actually spells and enchantments that act the same way. Change the commands, get a different result.”
“I see, and how was the Goblet’s ‘program’ changed, Jayson?” Dumbledore inquired.
“It was changed from there being three schools to being four. The fourth school had only one name in it…Harry Potter’s. So the Goblet did what it was supposed to and spit out Potter’s name.”
“That all sounds so simple.”
“Simple is usually the best way to go Albus. It’s the how they changed the program that’s difficult. This would take some serious magic to do. Also, when it was done is another challenge as the cup was seldom out of someone’s sight.”
“Quite so…” Dumbledore replied. “Now comes the matter of his participating.”
“He must! The Goblet of Fire is a binding magical contract that cannot be broken!” Fudge declared.
“Unfortunately, Cornelius is quite right. He’s in.” Jayson nodded to Fudge and made a move on the chessboard. “Who else is in?”
“Viktor Krum for Durmstrang, Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons, and Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts.”
“That’s going to make things even more difficult for Potter, now isn’t it? I remember Diggory when I was here and he was good then. Krum I know from Quidditch. Never heard of the Delacour girl, but I am willing to bet she right up there.”
“Any ideas Jayson?” Dumbledore asked as he moved another piece. “Oh, by the way…check.”
Jayson looked at the board and sighed. “Nice move Albus, and yes I do. I would like to be Potter’s second if you don’t mind.” He then moved his king out of check.
“If I remember correctly, you aren’t fond of the Potter boy.” Fudge interjected. “Why would you be willing to do this?”
“It will put me in a position where I can snoop around and not be noticed. Plus, as I am not a student or teacher, I can aid without it looking like the school is playing favorites.” Jayson replied.
“Very well Jayson, you may be Harry’s second. I have also asked Alastor to keep watch, but only you know that.” Dumbledore added.
“Good, I will avail myself of Potter now…oh yes…” Jayson moved a piece into position. “Mate in three moves.”
Dumbledore smiled. “Well played, all the way around my young friend.” He knocked over his king to signal the end of the game.
“Don’t worry Albus, we’ll get to the bottom of this happening and why it was done.”
With that, Jayson exited the Headmaster’s office
Jayson went looking for both Hermione and Harry. He found them in the Gryffindor common room. He then informed Harry of the decision. Harry wasn’t pleased at all.
“Why you? You hate my guts! Dumbledore must have been crazy to pick you!” He yelled.
“Calm down Po…Harry.” Jayson intoned soothingly. “Your second has to be an adult, who knows you, isn’t connected to the tournament in any way, and strong enough to aid you if something or someone tries to mess with you. I was here anyway, so I got picked. Besides, I do not hate your guts. I neither like nor dislike you. Furthermore, I am taking this appointment seriously, so stop getting your wand twisted in a knot.”
“Sorry, but I never thought that I would ever have you watching my back.” Harry said, and then went to the dorms.
Jayson watched him go and turned to Hermione. “Happy?”
“Yes I am.” She said with a smile. “I know you’ll keep Harry as safe as is allowed.”
“I cannot do the challenges for him, you know.”
“True, but you can keep whoever is behind this from getting to him.”
“I will do my best.”
“Thank you.” Hermione said and kissed Jayson on the cheek before heading up to the girl’s dorms.
The next few weeks were mainly uneventful. In fact, the only real commotion occurred when Jayson and Moody caught Draco Malfoy and his two cronies trying to jinx Harry when his back was turned. Jayson went to telekinetically “push” the three of them when Malfoy suddenly turned into a ferret. Jayson was laughing so hard he didn’t hear McGonagall come in and break up the scene. She was livid.
“I can’t believe you allowed this to happen, Jayson. There are better ways to deal with this situation than transfiguration.” She said angrily.
“Perhaps, but this is Malfoy were talking about. He tried to curse Potter from behind. I said when he first got here that boy was bad. It seems I was proven right.” Jayson replied.
“Maybe so, nonetheless you should have done something about it.”
“How? I couldn’t stop Alastor from doing what he did even if I didn’t find it funny. Worse, the thought of “Draco the amazing dancing ferret’ was just so apropos that it was hilarious. I was going to flatten the three of them up against the wall, but his way made sure they wouldn’t try that again.”
“I expect better than that out of you Jayson…” She said with a tone.
“I will do better in the future, Madam.” He replied.
“See that you do.”
By the time Jayson found Harry again, he was with Moody in Moody’s office. Moody had just given Harry the idea of how to get his broom into the first task with the dragons. Jayson then suggested that he place the Firebolt somewhere where the broom could arrive easily. As Harry went on his way, Jayson looked at Moody.
“Alastor, you’re a professor. You’re supposed to be impartial.” He said
“Balderdash, this stuff has been going on since the tournament first started.” Moody replied.
“Perhaps, but not this openly. We do not want Potter disqualified now do we.”
“You’re right, Livermore, we don’t.” Moody said with a scowl.
Jayson tensed a bit, for Moody seldom used his last name when addressing him, not even when he was a student. Something was odd here, but Jayson couldn’t say what.
“Pass your ideas to me, Mad-Eye, and I will pass them to Harry.” He said
Jayson left the office with an uneasy feeling.
It took a considerable amount of coaxing to convince Jayson to chaperone the Yule Ball. First of all, he hated chaperoning anything, period. Secondly, there was no one he could possibly see as being a dance partner. He had assumed, much as Harry and Ron did, that Hermione didn’t have a date either. So he was as surprised as everyone when he saw her.
Her hair was not its usual bushy but sleek and shiny, and twisted up into an elegant knot in the back of her head with only a strand dangling next to her ear. She was wearing robe made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material; with layers going from her waist to the floor. Everyone look mesmerized by her, including Jayson. What shocked him even more was who reached for her hand…namely Viktor Krum. How Hermione landed him as a date nobody knew, but she did. He also saw Harry’s eyes bug out and Ron’s get jealous; something he noted for later possible use. As the champions and their escorts walked in to applause, Jayson sighed.
“They do grow up, don’t they?” He said quietly.
“Do they ever…” Moody said with a look on his face.
Jayson narrowed his eyes. That was so not Moody to leer at the teenagers. What was the matter with him, he thought. It was almost like… Then it hit him, this wasn’t the real Moody. What if that stuff in the flask was polyjuice potion? That explained everything. But how to get that information to Dumbledore. It was then that Jayson saw Hermione crying and Harry and Ron leaving.
“Excuse me, Mr. Moody, I have hero to play.” He said as he walked over to Hermione and offered his hand. She took it and immediately buried her face into his shoulder and continued to cry. He held her softly and stroked her hair. “Now now, Mi-Mi, everything will be alright. I’m here. Just let it all out.” She did for almost half an hour. Jayson just listened and hugged. Some people were staring, but he didn’t care. She was here, in his arms, and that made everything all right. Finally, she stopped sobbing and looked up to his warm smile.
“Everything better now that you’ve gotten it all out?” He asked.
“Sort-of. I just can’t believe what Ronald said to me. He claims that Viktor was only being nice to me because he wanted…”
“Yes, I know. I was actually worried about the same thing to tell you the truth. But Krum seems to be a man of honor, so I stopped worrying. Weasley isn’t that on the ball, so he wouldn’t have picked that up…or he didn’t want to.”
“Both probably.” Hermione exclaimed.
“Let it go MI-Mi. He was looking out for your best interests, even if he did it in a dumb way.” Jayson retorted.
“Okay…” She said as she gave him a huge hug.
“Now that you’re better, I have to find the Headmaster and report some stuff to him.”
Jayson left her at the stairs and hurried to the Headmaster’s office. He needed to see Dumbledore now with what he learned. However, as he rounded the corner to the stairs, he was hit from behind and dropped straight to the ground. Standing over him was the figure known as Moody.
“No, Livermore, you won’t be telling Dumbledore my secret…” He said.
Jayson’s sudden disappearance did not go unnoticed. Everyone accepted Moody’s explanation that he was called off on ‘urgent Ministry Business’ and had to rush off. That is, everyone except for Hermione, Dumbledore, and McGonagall; all of them knew him too well to believe he wouldn’t have said goodbye. Hermione kept trying to reach him via the pendant with no success, which told her that something was definitely wrong. She knew Jayson was somewhere and that he couldn’t reach her or her him. This thought frightened her. Whatever could keep Jayson at bay was someone that had frightening powers of their own, she thought. She also thought that someone was at Hogwarts.
Jayson woke up to find himself in a deep dark hole sitting next to the real Alastor Moody.
Moody pointed to the top, and Jayson “pushed” as hard as he could. He was able to shake the top, but not blow it open. Jayson was as stuck as Moody in this trap. Finally he sat down and looked at Moody
“So how did you end up in this hole?” He asked.
“The same way you did, he got me from behind.” Moody answered.
Jayson was not sure how long he had been kept in that small prison, but it was for awhile. He was able to get some small amount of revenge by using his telekinesis to prevent the imposter from getting any more of Moody’s hairs. It was a chance, seeing as it also meant no food. But the chance finally paid off. Jayson heard voices and then saw the top of the hole slowly being opened. He waited until the second to last lid had been lifted and then “push” like never before. The top exploded straight up in the air and the Jayson used his telekinesis to “push” himself through the hole. He reached the top and out the box.
“Accio wands!” He shouted as his and Moody’s wands flew to his hand. He dropped Moody’s down to him and then he sought the imposter. He saw Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Harry, and someone in Moody’s clothes. He made for the imposter and jammed his wand in the man’s neck. “I wonder what curse to do first, there are so many that cause pain, and I want to do them all.” Dumbledore grabbed his wand arm.
“Jayson, this isn’t the way…” Dumbledore pleaded.
“Why not? This is the man responsible for everything that has happened.” Jayson shouted.
“More than you realize, Livermore.” Snape said. “Apparently the Dark Lord has returned.”
“What? Voldemort is back? How?”
Snape pointed to Harry and Jayson saw the bloody arm.
“That’s right! He has risen with the aide of Potter’s blood. Now he will reign again!” The figure shouted in gleeful tones.
“Who is this bastard anyway?” Jayson asked.
“Barty Crouch, Jr.” Snape replied. “We will see him back to Azkaban.
“I think Alastor will want his clothes back first.”
“Yes I would!” Moody said as he was helped up from the box,
“Jayson…” McGonagall pleaded. “Let us handle it. You cannot gain by vengeance and there is a lot to lose.”
Jayson studied Dumbledore and the others carefully. He was angry beyond anything he had ever felt before. He did not want to heed the advice of his friends. Even Snape pleaded with him to stay his hand. Finally, he sheathed his ward and headed for the door.
“If anyone wants me, I will be in the prefect’s bath on the fifth floor trying to wash this slime off of me.” He announced.
About half an hour later, Jayson was sitting in the bath having washed himself completely twice over to clean off all the dirt and sweat that had accumulated on him during his captivity. He was leaning on the tub, enjoying the food and wine that the House-Elves brought him when he heard soft footsteps creeping up towards him. He closed his eyes and pictured Hermione.
“Trying to sneak up on me?” He asked.
“I didn’t know I could.” She responded. Then she went up and hugged him. “Are you alright?”
“I will be. I am just very strained right now. The fact I have food in my stomach is working wonders.”
Hermione reached around him and hugged him tightly. “I was so worried about you when I couldn’t call you with the pendant.”
“I believe you, and I could feel you calling, but that hole I was in wasn’t conducive to communication.”
“I am glad that you are okay…” She stated as she leaned in to give him a hug. Unfortunately she slipped on some water and fell head first into the bath.
“You alright?” Jayson asked.
“Just soaked.” She responded.
“Well, you’re definitely all wet in this instance.”
Hermione splashed him with the water around her. “Smart Aleck. What am I gonna do now?”
Jayson thought a minute and then called out “Marmaduke!”
A house elf appeared right next to Jayson. “You called sir?”
“Thank you old friend. The lady will need her clothes cleaned and dried fairly quickly. Hermione, give the elf your clothing.”
Hermione just sat there for a moment then began disrobing. She tossed each piece of clothing toward the elf as they came off. Marmaduke said he would be back with the clothing in a few minutes, and then disappeared.
“Everything will be worked out Mi-Mi. I am almost clean myself.” Jayson said.
Hermione laughed when she heard that. She stared at Jayson for a minute and then swam over to him. When she got to him she did something unexpected, she kissed him.
“I love you, Jayson.” She said.
Jayson wrapped his arms around her. “I love you too, Hermione.”
They stayed that way for about fifteen minutes while they waited for her clothing to arrive. He rocked her gently and stroked her hair. They talked during the entire time about various topics; with a few kisses thrown in. Marmaduke then came back with her clothes cleaned and pressed. Jayson let her go out first. She did a drying spell on herself and quickly got dressed. Jayson then followed suit, but used a towel to dry himself. He dressed in his clothing that had been repaired and cleaned.
“Ready to go?” He said. He reached over and kissed her cheek.
“Yup, I am.” She responded.
They headed out to the headmaster’s office…
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