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Chapter 10 : The Triwizard Tournament
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine, so don't sue me! Sue JK Rowling for butchering the series.
Author's Note: We are now moving into fourth year. The R/Hr will be more pronounced and more ridiculous. Sit tight and wait for H/Hr. It will come, near the end. Parseltongue will be written in italics with quotation marks. In this chapter, I use some German. This is accurate, as I have checked it. Tell me what you think.
Chapter 10 The Triwizard Tournament
The Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade station with a hiss and a clang. Students started disembarking and climbing into the waiting carriages. It was pouring down rain, and no one wanted to wait. No one except Harry Potter, of course. He didn't mind waiting. He knew it would be best if he got in the last carriage. He was starting his fourth year at Hogwarts, and it was starting to show. He was taller and leaner, and some of the new first years on the train thought him to be a prefect. Especially a small mousy-haired boy he was sure was related to Colin Creevy. Colin called out to him, “Hey Harry! Do you want to grab a carriage, Harry?” Harry saw that there was only one carriage left, and it was picking up a few stragglers. Harry shrugged and boarded with Colin, and saw Ginny Weasley and another girl sitting on the bench. Ginny beamed when Harry sat down, but he didn't beam back. He still thought there was something suspicious about her...
When they reached the castle, they saw Dumbledore looking out the door as the carriage pulled up. Harry, Colin, Ginny, and the blond girl with the cork necklace got out. Harry distinctly saw Dumbledore look over the three kids, as though checking for puncture marks. Of course, he found nothing, because Harry's not that kind of vampire. The four of them ran in through the doors Dumbledore held open, though the Headmaster tried to block Harry entering. Harry glared at him and swept past, careful not to strut.
The Sorting started a little late, as the boats carrying the first years were blown off course. The boat carrying Hagrid wasn't affected, so he, with the Giant Squid's help, was able to get the kids back on course. And sure enough, that mousy-haired little boy Harry was sure was related to Colin, was called up. “Dennis Creevy!” McGonagall called. The boy stumbled forward wearing Hagrid's moleskin overcoat. He put the Sorting Hat on, and was declared a Gryffindor. The sorting continued, and then Dumbledore stood up. “I have great pleasure to announce that the Triwizard Tournament will be played at Hogwarts this year,” the Headmaster began. As he went on to explain what the Tournament was, Harry looked down the table for Hermione and Ron. They were sitting together, and Ron was looking raptly up at Dumbledore, hanging on his every word. Harry knew that Ron was going to try to enter, no matter what restrictions Dumbledore put in place.
The doors opened with a ponderous creak, then a bang as they slammed into the walls. Dumbledore looked over, annoyed, as his speech was interrupted. His face brightened, and he looked triumphantly over at Harry. Harry glanced coolly over the newcomer, and extended his empath abilities. He had gotten some training in that over the summer. It seemed that Remus' werewolf senses included a tiny hint of empathy: he can sense the fear of others. He was able to train Harry some in how to put a lid on his powers, which were admittedly far stronger than anything Remus had ever seen. Harry sensed a pit of evil in the new Defense teacher.
“Everyone, may I introduce our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Alastor Moody!” Dumbledore announced. Everyone applauded politely, as they didn't know much about Moody, other than that he was a famous retired Auror. “He has kindly agreed to come out of retirement and teach for this year.” More polite clapping, though Harry could distinctly see Ron hopping in his seat for a chance to get a look at the old Auror. “I always knew the Weasley's were either weasels or rabbits...” Harry muttered to no one in particular. “Hey, Colin, do you have your camera with you?”
“Sure I do, Harry! Do you want me to take a picture of Moody for you?” the third year asked excitedly.
“You know what, yes. Take a picture of Moody and give it to me. It might come in handy sometime. I was originally going to have you take a picture of Ron jumping in his seat,” Harry answered with a small grin. Colin excitedly snapped both pictures, and said, “I'll get these developed tonight.” Harry thanked him, and went back to staring at Moody.
The next morning, Colin handed the pictures to Harry, who looked them over with a critical eye. They had come out really well, and Harry said, “Thanks Colin, they're excellent,” before putting them in his pocket. During break, Harry went up to the Owlery to send the photo of Moody to Sirius. He kept the photo of Ron as blackmail evidence if he needed it.
“You have no experience with Dark Curses,” Moody growled in class on Thursday. “I am here to teach you about the Darkest of the Dark Arts, so that you can try to defend against them. I have one year to do this, then it's back to quiet retirement.” The class fidgeted with excitement. They obviously thought Moody would be a good teacher.
“You, Potter. Do you have any experience with the Dark Arts?” Moody asked suddenly. Harry sat up straighter, as Hermione turned to look at him from her seat in the front row with Ron. “Yes, I do.” Harry answered simply.
“Care to elaborate, Potter?” Moody growled. Harry shrugged and said, “I guess I have no choice. Fine. I can cast Dark spells, and I've fought against Dark Wizards and Creatures.” Moody seemed to smile at that moment, though what would have passed for a smile for someone like Snape, only made Moody's face appear more twisted and grotesque.
“Go on then. Cast a Dark Curse on me. I will block it, thereby showing the class how it's done, when fighting an amateur,” Moody grinned. He raised his wand, ready to deflect a standard Dark spell cast by an inexperienced teenager. Harry smirked, and said, “You asked for it.” He raised his wand and, without a word spoken, conjured a twelve foot long King Cobra. The pale olive snake recoiled for a moment, but Harry hissed in parseltongue, “Threaten him, but don't attack.” The Cobra slithered forward, raised its head with its hood opened, and hissed. Its two-inch-long fangs were bared as it hissed. The class was starting to become alarmed. It swayed as Harry spoke to it more, then turned to feign a strike at Ron. When it returned its attention to Moody, Harry said to the teacher, “I can dismiss it now, if you wish, Professor.” Moody tried to banish the snake but, like Lockhart two years ago, the spell only made the snake mad. Moody finally nodded, and Harry dismissed the Cobra with a wave of his wand.
An hour later, class was dismissed. Everyone but Harry had homework. “You clearly know your Dark Arts Mr. Potter,” Moody complimented him as the class filed out. “Twenty points to Gryffindor.”
The next day, Harry got a reply from Sirius. He had sent his godfather a question about Moody's identity, and the answer had taken a little while. The reply said,
I agree that it is a little odd. The last I heard, Moody and Dumbledore had a falling out. Now Dumbledore has called Mad-Eye out of retirement, I don't like it. Keep on your guard. And come to think of it, this photo you sent me of Mad-Eye arriving doesn't even look that much like the Mad-Eye I remember. Assume this is an imposter, and act accordingly.
The next month passed as though in a heartbeat. It seemed to pass more quickly for Harry; as the undead, trivial things like time don't matter so much, as he has all the time in the world. On October 30th, An announcement was made that the delegations from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons would be arriving that night. Classes would let out early so everyone could greet the guests. Harry was having some trouble blocking out all the excitement, and he also kept having dreams involving the Durmstrang Headmaster. He knew, even before he met the man, that he was evil.
The first delegation to arrive was Beauxbatons. Their carriage appeared over the forest, drawn by a team of huge palominos. The horses skidded to a stop, and stood heaving. Their ears flattened and their nostrils flaring, they sniffed around, as though they sensed danger. Harry knew they could bolt at any second, and hurt someone, so he went to calm them. McGonagall watched, ready to run to his rescue if he needed it. Dumbledore watched in disgust and muttered too low for anyone to hear, “...must be hungry.” Harry stopped short, hand already outstretched to calm the frightened horses as the women disembarked. He shook it off, and continued forward. Madame Maxime, Headmistress of Beauxbatons, watched curiously as Harry worked. “Dumbly-dor, is this child your gamekeeper?” she asked in a thick French accent.
“No he isn't. He's just a student who I've given up on,” Dumbledore answered with an easy smile. Harry heard that, too, and nearly lost control of his emotions. McGonagall did lose control. She turned on him and screeched, “You cold-hearted bastard! Miss Granger was right last year! What are you, Voldemort's Heir Apparent?!” Everyone winced, and some, like Hermione, actually applauded McGonagall. Moody looked him over appraisingly, as did Snape.
The lake started frothing at that moment, and everyone glanced over. Harry looked over at the turbulent water for a second and muttered, “Durmstrang. Sturm und Drang. Storm and stress, clearly. The lake is stormy, and it must be putting stress on the Durmstrang ship.” McGonagall walked over to him, and said, “You know, I've never thought of it like that, but you're right. Let's see, ten points to Gryffindor for your keen observation of language meanings, and I've never seen anyone besides a Ravenclaw who thought like that before. Very good, Harry.” The Durmstrang ship rose creaking from the lake, which settled down. All the students walked down the gangplank to the ground, and Harry saw the man leading them. “Professor, who is that?”
“That's Igor Karkaroff. He's the Headmaster of Durmstrang, and just between you and me, he's a former Death Eater. Left Voldemort's side after the war ended. Turned in several other Death Eaters, like Snape,” McGonagall answered.
Harry just glanced once more at Karkaroff, and muttered, “He never left, and neither did Snape.” McGonagall nodded, and replied, “I believe you.”
The next day, several students put their names in the Goblet of Fire. Harry kept a watch on it, making sure nothing untoward happened. He kept his vigil all the previous night, going without sleep he didn't need. He would not interfere if something happened, but he was determined to know who did it. His vigil paid off, just before dinner on Halloween. He saw Moody stump in, look both ways, and drop a slip of parchment into the Goblet, and stump away, smirking. A few minutes later, a dark-cloaked figure slipped in and dropped a slip of parchment into the flaming Goblet. He left, and another dark-cloaked figure sauntered in and performed the same act as his predecessors. Harry smirked as he thought, I thought so. I guess I should play along, if so many wish me dead.
Right after dinner, Dumbledore announced that the Goblet was ready to make its decision. He dimmed the lights, and everyone watched with rapt expressions. The Goblet flared up, and a tongue of flame nearly reached the enchanted ceiling. It descended with agonizing slowness, dropping a slightly charred slip of parchment into Dumbledore's waiting hands. “The champion for Beauxbatons will be Fleur Delacour,” he announced. Everyone clapped politely, while the unchosen Beauxbatons girls cried. A second tongue of flame shot up, and descended, dropping a second piece of parchment into Dumbledore's hands. “The champion for Durmstrang will be Viktor Krum.” Everyone clapped wildly, and the other boys from Durmstrang clapped their classmate on the back. A third tongue of flame had already shot up, and dropped a piece of parchment in Dumbledore's hands. “The Hogwarts champion is Cedric Diggory!” All the Hogwarts students went wild at that. The Hufflepuff sixth year stood up to join the other two champions in the side chamber.
Harry was about to leave, when something strange happened. The Goblet flared up a fourth time, and spat a fourth piece of parchment into Dumbledore's hands. He read it, and paled, then read it again, as though it would have changed to announce that it was all a practical joke. It wasn't. “Harry Potter...” he muttered. He spoke again, louder, “Harry Potter.” Harry stalked over to Dumbledore almost threateningly and snarled, “I do not appreciate being the butt of your practical jokes, Headmaster. Grow up.”
“Just get in the side chamber, creature. I'll be along shortly to find out how you bamboozled that Goblet,” Dumbledore snapped, intending not to be intimidated. Harry obeyed angrily, and stood in the side chamber. As promised, Dumbledore came in with McGonagall, Moody, and Snape, as well as the judges from the Ministry.
“All right, Potter. Explain,” Dumbledore growled.
“To put it bluntly, I didn't do it,” Harry said. Moody and Snape snickered as McGonagall glared at them. “I didn't enter my name, and I didn't ask anyone to do it for me, but obviously they did.”
“Who would enter your name without telling you?” Dumbledore asked.
“Show me the slip with my name on it, and I'll tell you,” Harry countered. Dumbledore thrust the slip of parchment into Harry's hand almost angrily. Harry examined the slip, and smirked. “This isn't my handwriting. This is Snape's. I'd know it anywhere, as he loves to mark random things in my essays.” Dumbledore spluttered with rage, while Snape was incandescent. “You think I would waste my time killing you, Potter?” McGonagall took the parchment from Harry and confirmed it. She stalked toward Snape like a cat stalks a mouse. “If you touch him, Snape, I will kill you.” Then she turned on Dumbledore, and snarled, “He will not compete. He didn't enter and isn't eligible to enter, therefore he can't compete.”
“It's a binding magical contract. His name came out, so he entered. He must compete, or he'll die for breaking the contract,” Dumbledore said firmly, with a strange glint in his twinkling blue eyes.
A week later, Harry was called from Potions class for the Weighing of the Wands and accompanying photo-shoot. He left in a hurry, as he didn't want Snape to try to poison him. It would be too inconvenient if he had to make up some story about how he's immune to the poison. Of course, knowing Dumbledore, Harry wouldn't be surprised if Dumbledore ordered that he drink a cauldron-full of the most lethal poison in Snape's vast repertoire.
“Are you excited, Harry?” Colin asked excitedly. He was bouncing along at Harry's side like a puppy.
“I'm excited to get away from Snape. Do you know, I heard a rumor that Snape is a vampire?” Harry replied with a grin. Colin nearly fell on his face, he stopped so suddenly. Of course, he was bouncing again soon. “Nooo. I didn't know that. Do you know what kind he is? I just heard in Defense Against the Dark Arts that there are different breeds,” Colin gushed.
“Yeah, I heard a vampire expert two years ago call Snape a 'low-grade Romanian'; of course, never let Dumbledore know about this. He's liable to expel anyone who speaks out against Snape,” Harry replied with a conspiratorial smirk. Colin fell for it easily. “I won't ever tell him you told me. Do you mind if I tell Dennis, though? I wouldn't want Snape to hurt him.” Colin stopped at the doors to the Great Hall, where the Ceremony was taking place. Harry answered quickly, “Sure, go ahead,” before entering.
“Ah, now that our fourth champion has decided to grace us with his presence, we can proceed with the Wand Weighing Ceremony,” Dumbledore sneered. Madame Maxime looked askance at Dumbledore at his tone. She didn't think there was anything wrong with this child. He certainly looked innocent enough. Her eyes followed Harry as he took his seat.
“To examine the champion's wands, we have the wandmaker Ollivander,” Dumbledore continued. As he called their names, the champions came forward. “Ladies first. Miss Fleur Delacour, if you please.” Fleur stepped forward as Dumbledore announced her. She handed her wand to Ollivander, who took it and waved it. At an incantation, a bouquet of flowers appeared. “Wonderful! Though it does seem to be a rather unique creation... It looks to be 10 ½ inches of willow with a...Veela-hair core. Is that right?” Ollivander asked. “Yes, that is correct. It is one of my grandmother's hairs,” Fleur answered.
“Next up, we have our Durmstrang champion: Viktor Krum” Dumbledore announced. Krum lurched to his feet and thrust his wand into Ollivander's hand. Ollivander examined the wand, and said, “Ah, this is a Gregorovitch creation, unless I'm much mistaken.” Krum nodded, embarrassed. Ollivander caused red wine to shoot out, and then handed it back to its owner, well pleased.
“Next is Cedric Diggory of Hogwarts,” Dumbledore announced proudly. Cedric stood up and handed his wand to Ollivander. “Ah, yes. I remember this. Ten and three quarters inches of birch with a dragon heartstring core.” He produced a covey of doves and pronounced himself pleased. Dumbledore stepped forward to speak to Ollivander before Harry could step up. “I have some concerns about the mental stability of Potter. I feel sure he is doing more than dabbling in the Dark Arts,” Dumbledore murmured. Unfortunately, he didn't murmur quietly enough. Everyone heard him, but only Krum and Karkaroff seemed to believe it. Fleur glanced at Harry, patted his hand, and muttered, “I do not believe that. You look too innocent and kind.” Cedric echoed her sentiments, and added, “I'm behind you, Harry. You're too honorable to do something so despicable.” Harry grinned, his eyes wet. “Thanks guys, that means a lot.” Madame Maxime came up behind Harry, and said, “Dumbly-dor told me he had given up on you. I think he gave up before he ever tried to know you, and that was his mistake.” No one noticed the flash of light, or the puff of smoke, as the picture was taken.
Dumbledore reluctantly announced the last champion. “The fourth champion, Harry Potter.” Harry stepped forward, and Ollivander said, “I informed Dumbledore that the spells your wands produce are the spells the wizard is more 'in tune' with. Miss Delacour's wand produced flowers, Mr. Krum's produced wine, Mr. Diggory's produced wildlife, and now I will see what your wand produces.” He took Harry's wand, and said, “Yes, how well I remember. Eleven inches of holly with a Phoenix-feather core. Phoenixes are amazing creatures, and uncommonly good judges of character.” He waved Harry's wand once, and instead of something being conjured, nothing happened. Until, that is, Harry slowly shortened. His arms lengthened into wings and he sprouted feathers. Everyone gasped as Harry straightened. He threw his wings out wide, and let out a burst of song, his emerald eyes on Dumbledore's blue the whole time.
“Oh Merlin... Merciful God in Heaven...” Ollivander muttered, awestruck. “I have never seen a reaction like this before in all my years... This is remarkable...” The Phoenix took flight, and alighted on Dumbledore's head. Dumbledore looked up, speechless, at the boy-turned Phoenix, before it took flight again. It landed in the same spot before the desk Ollivander was sitting behind, and then turned back.
“Mr. Potter... Harry... You just turned into a Phoenix... That proves that not only is your wand in perfect condition, but that you are as much a Dark Wizard as Godric Gryffindor was. Meaning, you are the noblest wizard alive,” Ollivander stammered, still stunned.
The next day, the newspaper came out. Students and teachers were whispering about it in corridors, and were even seen glaring at Dumbledore. Ron and Hermione flanked Harry as they went to the Great Hall for breakfast that morning. When the owl delivered the Daily Prophet, the headline seemed to jump out at them.
Potter Accused of Going Dark! Other Champions and Judges Rally Around Him in Support.
by Rita Skeeter
With the Triwizard Tournament approaching at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Wand Weighing Ceremony was held yesterday. In a controversial decision, you'll remember from a week ago, Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore announced that the fourth champion selected will compete in the Tournament, even though he is only fourteen years old. Hogwarts Fourth Year, Harry Potter, participated in the Weighing of the Wands. He was last to be called, and before he could be, Dumbledore made his two knuts known. He openly accused Potter of, and I quote, 'doing more than dabbling in the Dark Arts'.” Commentator Ludo Bagman and Judges Barty Crouch and Igor Karkaroff sat in stunned horror as this reporter witnessed the magical scene. The Beauxbatons champion, Fleur Delacour, and her Headmistress Madame Maxime, as well as the other Hogwarts champion, Cedric Diggory both expressed their support of young Mr. Potter.
In a surprising turn of events, young Harry Potter proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is not, nor ever could be, Dark. Ollivander, the famous wandmaker from Diagon Alley, informed everyone that the wands will produce an effect close to what is in the heart of the owner. Mr. Potter's wand turned him into a Phoenix for a short time. Before the spell wore off, Potter flew around the room singing, and even landed on Dumbledore's head. This reporter firmly hopes that Headmaster Dumbledore will cease and desist in his attacks upon Harry Potter's character.
Below, it showed a picture of Cedric and Fleur expressing their support of Harry, and Madame Maxime's declaration. There was also a small photo of Phoenix-Harry perching on top of Dumbledore's head. Ron and Hermione laughed, and glared at Dumbledore. Hermione even marched up to Dumbledore and snapped, “Do you have no honor?! Shut your trap about Harry! He's a good boy, and he's going to be a good man!” McGonagall applauded her, and said, “Twenty points to Gryffindor for your loyalty to your friend.” Dumbledore scowled, and ground out, “Deten-” before he was cut off by a pair of giant hands coming out of nowhere. Two swats later, Dumbledore was on the ground trying to count canaries only he could see.
“I can read the paper,” Hagrid growled. “I didn't like what you said about Harry. He's a good kid, whether or not he's suffering from any kind of medical condition.”
Madame Maxime echoed Hagrid, and threw in her two knuts. “I am stunned you are still Headmaster. Do parents care so little for their precious children they send them to the likes of you?”
McGonagall and Hermione applauded the two half-giants. Hermione even hugged Hagrid around his knees as Ron came over to offer his support. Harry followed, his eyes once again misty as he looked on the smiling faces of his true friends and allies.
* * * *
EDITOR’S NOTE: So what do you all think of Harry turning into a phoenix? Tell us in a review! And thanks for reading.
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