Chapter 2 : A Flawed History of Magic
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"Alright, boys on the left, girls on the right. You all separated? Good. Time for the first challenge of the competition! Now, this challenge will require a lot of knowledge about what we are. That's right, this is the History of Magic challenge!"
The contestants looks ranged from the overly excited Hermione to the confused looks of Goyle and Crabbe. Rita cleared her throat and stood up.
"Excuse me, Mr. Bagman, but History of Magic? You're submitting them to a boring test for the first ever challenge?"
"Yes, Ms. Skeeter. I feel like the Champion should know all about the history, where we come from, in order to be a great wizard. So yes, as Ms. Skeeter announced, this will be a test challenge."
Rita sat back down and started writing, mumbling words such as "boring" and "could do better."
"Let me introduce the two people that will be helping us today. First, coming in on my left, is a professor that is familiar with each and every one of you. I would like you to all welcome Professor Cuthbert Binns!"
A small applause welcomed the ghostly professor. Professor Binns gave a curt nod, and sat down next to Harry.
"Coming in on my right, I would hope you will all give a more welcoming invitation to the author of Hogwarts: A History and a History of Magic, Bathilda Bagshot!"
This time, the contestants were confused, as Bathilda was dead. But lo and behold, the old historian was there, taking a seat next to Rita, who now mumbled "expired."
"These two will be grading your tests that you will be taking. After they grade, they will report the results to me, and at the end, two of you, one boy and one girl, will receive rewards, while two other, also one boy and one girl, will leave the competition. Now, we will supply all the information needed for today's challenge. When you return to your tents, you will see the books at each of your beds. Testing will take place tonight at 9 p.m. That leaves you 12 hours of studying. I wish you all luck."
The contestants exited the Grand Hall, and returned to the tents. Indeed, there was a stack of textbooks at the ends of each bed. Hermione, Ron, and Myrtle all grabbed their books and started reading. Hermione took control and pointed out all what could be on the test. Both Ron and Myrtle felt like they could do well, as they had both the help of the best witch of their year, and Myrtle did live through part of Hogwarts History.
The Slytherins, on the other hand, were having a harder time. Although all eight of them teamed up, not many of them were bright. Draco, Astoria, and Blaise all opened and started reading the books while Pansy, Millicent, Crabbe, Goyle, and Marcus looked confused. Hermione looked over to the group, wondering if any of them knew what a book was. Pansy caught her glaring at them.
"That's right, Mudblood. You only get this challenge to do well. Cause we know that if this wasn't a smarts challenge, you and your little crew would be out first!"
Hermione just ignored the loud Slytherin girl and went back to her studies. Myrtle looked back at them. Pansy continued to make faces at them, while Draco looked into her eyes. There was a sadness in his eyes. He knew that as long as each group remained in the competition, neither of them could talk to each other.
Meanwhile, each student was paired off into groups, except for Zacharias. He was ostracized by all the other students. Even the one that betrayed most of them, Marietta, was still on a team with the Ravenclaws (who all looked liked they were having the best time of their lives. A knowledge test? Ha! They can all pass this.)
No problem, he thought to himself. He was a smart guy. He could gain their trust by winning this challenge. He opened all books all at once and started reading, trying to gain all the knowledge he could get.
9 p.m rolled by, and the students were led into the Great Hall. Inside, there were 38 desks, all with the four page test on them. Most of the students gasped at the thickness of the test. Ludo stood at the podium.
"Each one of you take a seat. Once again, boys on the left, girls on the right. We have provided you with quills of our own, to decrease the chance of cheating."
Cormac groaned at the announcement, and threw his quill on to the ground.
"Now, Ms. Bagshot will be grading all of the ladies tests, as Professor Binns will the gentlemen. You have two hours to complete the test. I wish you all the best of luck. You may all begin."
The test began. The students picked up their quills and started writing. Ludo, Harry, and Rita walked up and down the aisles, making sure to catch anyone who was cheating. Harry picked up the quill that Cormac threw to the ground. As he examined it, he realized it was Auto-Answer quill, and hit Cormac on the head.
However, that was the only instance of cheating, as each student went in on their test. Zacharias looked down at his paper and looked at the questions.
"Who are the four founders of Hogwarts?"
Easy, he thought to himself. Unfortunately, due to his study method of reading everything all at once, he started putting down "Uric the Oddball," not giving it a second thought. He mixed up the questions and the answers for most of the test.
Each contestant finished the test quickly, with the last person, Crabbe, finishing with 30 minutes to spare. The students turned in the test to the prospective graders, and headed out the Great Hall.
After such an exhausting challenge, the contestants started to have a little celebration. Even though they were competing, they all tried to have a little fun to keep what little sanity that they had. Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas noticed crates of Butterbeer left in the middle of the tents. They grabbed glasses for everyone, and started pouring drinks and sharing.
Zacharias grabbed a glass for everyone in his house. He went and joined the group, handing out the Butterbeer. Hannah Abbott looked at him skeptically.
"Look, Hannah, I know I was a bit of jerk during our years at Hogwarts. But let's forget about tonight and have some fun, ok?"
Hannah still had that look on her face, but still took the Butterbeer from his hands. Ernie Macmillan stood up and raised his glass.
"To Hufflepuff finally winning a competition!"
While the Hufflepuffs applauded, Pansy stood up and made an announcement of her own.
"Yeah, about time Hufflepuff did anything. Right Cedric? Or are you all just going to fade into the background letting others take over?"
All Hufflepuffs stared at her. They all took out their wands and pointed at Pansy when Hermione stepped in between.
"Come on, everyone. It's the first night, we just had our first test. Let's just celebrate, ok? And two of us are not going to be with us tomorrow, so lets have fun!"
All but Zacharias lowered their wands.
"Sure, since you think you are still going to be here!"
Hannah glared back at Zacharias. "Not now, Zacha-"
"No, let's be real Hannah. This little know-it-all thinks she's going to beat us all because she's friends with Harry Potter! We all know that Harry has a bias for the jock Gryffindors! We all know one of those idiots will win!"
"Zach, this is exactly why we didn't allow you to join us. You are just a little troublemaker!"
"Idiot Gryffindors you say? I'll show you idiot!"
Each student took out their wands. Curses and hexes fill the tents. Colin Creevey and Myrtle took shelter behind the beds, as they wanted nothing to do with this fight. The spells kept coming out as Harry entered the main tent.
"Enough! We will have no fighting on this grand scale! The next person who fires a curse shall be eliminated on the spot! Clear?"
Everyone lowered their wands, giving half-hearted apologies to each other.
"Better. Now, the tests have been finished, and the following twelve students have summoned to the Great Hall:
If your name wasn't announced, that means you all are remaining in the competition for another week. Congratulations. The twelve I mentioned are the 6 highest scores, 3 girls and 3 boys, and the 6 lowest scores, 3 girls and 3 boys. At the end of the night, only 10 of the students announced will return to the tent. Would the 12 of you that I have annouced please follow me to the Great Hall?"
Ludo stood at the top of the steps. He conjured four platforms for the students to stand on. He urged they separate into groups.
Hermione, Myrtle, and Penelope formed one group, and stood on the top right. Pansy, Millicent, and Lavender stood on the bottom right. Percy, Blaise, and Roger stood on the top left, with Cormac, Marcus, and Zacharias stood on the bottom left. Zacharias looked nervous, but he was pretty sure that he scored better than the two he was grouped with.
"Obviously, you are grouped into the best, and the worst. The top groups, you have the best three scores of each group. The bottom groups, you did the worst, and two of you will be leaving tonight. Let's start with the best. There's nothing to say, you guys have the highest scores in each group. The highest scoring boy and highest scoring girl will receive this!"
Harry came up from behind the table and picked up two golden books.
"That's right, golden editions of Hogwarts: A History!"
Pansy was glad she didn't win. Who would want that?, she thought. She turned around to Hermione who was beside herself with glee.
"And the best of the boys is...............Percy Weasley! And the best of the girls is.......................Myrtle Moaning! Please come up to the table and grab your books! The rest in the top groups, you did amazingly well, and should be congratulated. Now, you six return to your tents while I deal with the eliminations."
Percy and Myrtle got off their platforms and headed toward the table where Harry handed each of them their golden copies. Hermione looked enviously at Myrtle. How could she not be the best?
The six of the top students left while Ludo turned his attention to the bottom.
"Let's start with the girls. You three girls have the lowest scores among your group. You young ladies didn't take this seriously. You need to know that if you want to be the Hogwarts Champion, you need to prepare for everything. Lavender, although you did poorly, you were still better than the other two, please return to the tents."
Lavender stepped off. Millicent and Pansy looked at each other. This is the last time that they would be working together in the competition. They held each others hands as Ludo read the results.
"Ms. Bagshot let me know that you two both got the same score. Which also happens to be the lowest. So I have to decide which one of you has potential to be the Hogwarts Champion."
He looked back and forth between the two Slytherin girls. "He pointed at one of them.
"I think you have more potential. Please return to the tents. Now, on to the boys."
"You three did the lowest. But one of you did so horrible that I have to single you out. Zacharias Smith, please step forward."
Zacharias stood right in front of Ludo. He couldn't be the worst student, right?
"Mr. Smith, Professor Binns actually had to show me your test. As I looked over it, I was shocked. You got nothing right! Even the founders question was wrong! A student that doesn't know anything shouldn't be a Champion! You scored worse than a Squib!"
"But sir, I studied everything!"
"Not enough, or at all if these scores mean anything. Zacharias Smith, you are eliminated. You are not the Hogwarts Champion. Join the other loser, and leave us."
The contestants in the tents looked at the opening for the others to return. They saw as Myrtle and Percy came back first, showing off their brand new books. Hermione and Penelope soon followed. Hermione, although glad for the praise, was sorely disappointed that she was not the best. She felt like she raised Myrtle to be the Champion. Although she's glad for her alliance win, she would try to help others less and focus on herself. Blaise, Roger, Lavender, Marcus, and Cormac soon came in. It seems that out of the boys, Zacharias Smith was eliminated.
Cheering filled the tents, as one of the biggest troublemakers is gone. But who left from the girls?
They soon found out as the last contestant summoned returned to the tent. Groans were heard from the Gryffindors.
"Draco, I'm back!"
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