Chapter 7 : The Third Task
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When Harry arrived in the Great Hall the following morning, he could feel the tension and excitement. Tonight, the Triwizard Tournament would end with the third task. For the other students it was the last day of exams. Harry had sat in the back of the room researching for more curses while the others took their exams, as he was excused from taking them. When his friends got up Harry made to follow them, but he was stopped by Professor McGonagall.
“Potter! You are expected in the antechamber of the Great Hall. The family of the champions has been invited to watch the third task.”
Harry looked at her, dumbfounded. “I don’t think my family would want to visit Hogwarts, Professor. They hate magic.”
Professor McGonagall merely smiled. “I think you’d be surprised”, she said and she left him alone.
Not knowing what to expect he entered the chamber. He saw Fleur and Krum with their families close to the door. By the fire he saw Cedric with his parents and talking to them were Arthur, Molly and Bill Weasley and Remus Lupin.
“Harry!”, Lupin exclaimed. He hugged Harry and said: “I’m proud of you, Harry. I knew you were capable of holding your own in this tournament, but you’re doing better than even I expected!”
Harry grinned. “I learned from the best”, and Lupin smiled broadly.
After greeting the Weasleys, Harry took them for a tour around Hogwarts. Mr and Mrs Weasley were very interested in the Whomping Willow, as they had never seen it before. Harry and Lupin looked at each other briefly and smiled. After the tour they had dinner in the Great Hall with all the other Weasleys and Hermione. Harry had the time of his life. It was like being back at The Burrow. That illusion was scattered by Professor Dumbledore who had raised from the staff table and requested the champions to accompany Ludo Bagman to the Quidditch field. Harry started to get nervous again, but was still fairly confident. They all wished them good luck and Hermione and Ginny kissed him on the cheek. They hadn’t told Mr and Mrs Weasley they were dating yet.
Harry met Cedric at the doors of the Great Hall.
“You ready?”, Cedric asked.
“As ready as I’ll ever be”, Harry said, but there was confidence in his voice.
Cedric gave him a pat on the back. “We can win this.”
Seeing as Harry was in the lead he entered the maze first, but he assured Cedric he would wait. Five minutes later Cedric met up with him and smiled. “I was hoping you wouldn’t ditch me.”
“You didn’t really expect that, did you?”, Harry said.
“Not a moment. You’re a Gryffindor”, Cedric stated. “Come on, let’s go.”
They quickly searched their way through the maze. They had been walking for about half an hour and still hadn’t encountered anything.
“Point Me”, Cedric said. Hermione had discovered the spell when they were training for the task. “We’ve wandered too far to the north, let’s go to the left.”
They walked around the corner and saw…
“Oh bloody hell”, Cedric said when he saw the Blast-Ended Skrewt. He paled and looked extremely frightened. “Impedimenta”, he shouted but the spell missed. The Skrewt was advancing rapidly, but Cedric looked too petrified to move.
Harry jumped in front of him and sent a stunning spell at the Skrewt, only there wasn’t a Skrewt anymore. It had whirled and changed into a Dementor. Harry stood there stunned for a moment and then he realized what it was. “Riddikulus!” The Boggart disappeared and Harry looked at Cedric, who seemed rather embarassed.
“Sorry about that”, he muttered.
“No problem.” Harry grinned. “Blast-Ended Skrewts... Hagrid really messed you up, didn't he?"
Cedric blushed. “Have you seen those things. They’re gigantic.” But he was grinning too. “Let’s go.”
Harry and Cedric hurried through the maze and encountered several more creatures. When they came across a sort of fog the two friends stood still.
“Should we go on?” Harry asked.
“It could be dangerous”, Cedric answered. We could try and find a way around.”
“But we have to be almost there! And there’s two of us. I doubt we’d really be in any danger.”
“All right”, Cedric agreed. “I’ll try and walk through it. You stay here in case something happens.”
Harry nodded and Cedric slowly approached the weird fog that blocked their path. Suddenly he gave a yell of fear.
“What? What’s wrong?”, Harry asked.
“I’m upside down!” Cedric yelled. “The whole world is upside down!”
Harry looked at him dumbfounded. “What are you talking about? You’re just standing there!” Then it hit him. “It has to be an illusion! Just walk on.”
Cedric looked terrified but moved one step further. His face visibly relaxed. “It’s alright, you just have to walk through it.”
Harry followed him and after having the weird feeling that the world had turned upside down they were at the other side of the fog. They continued their path. Suddenly they stood in front of a sphinx who told them they had almost reached their goal and would be allowed passage if they answered her riddle. To his own astonishment it was Harry who was able to give the correct answer and they hurried around the corner. There, they finally saw it. The Triwizard Cup. They ran towards it, but suddenly Harry felt smack something against him. He tumbled onto the ground and dropped his wand. His insides turned into ice when he saw he was being attacked by a giant spider.
Cedric was running towards the Triwizard Cup when he suddenly noticed Harry wasn’t beside him. He looked after him and saw a giant spider. Harry was nowhere to be seen. Cedric realized the spider had to be on top of Harry and his heart stopped for a moment.
Cedric’s spell hit the creature, but he could just as easily have thrown a pebble at the spider. However, the beast did leave Harry alone and went after him instead. Cedric panicked when he saw it approaching. “Stupefy!”
Harry wondered why the spider had suddenly left him alone, but wasn’t complaining. He sat up with a lot of effort and watched how the beast that had attacked him moments ago was quickly approaching Cedric. He realized his friend had come to his rescue, but was now in danger himself. He swiftly grabbed his wand that had fallen beside him. “Stupefy!”
Two spells did what one spell would never have been able to do. The beast fell on the ground unconscious and Cedric hurried over to Harry.
“Are you okay?”, he asked, looking extremely worried.
“Yeah, I think I’m fine. It got my leg, though.”
Cedric helped Harry get up and looked at his leg. “Looks painful. But nothing Madam Pomfrey can’t fix. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
The two of them moved over to the Triwizard Cup, Harry leaning heavily on Cedric’s shoulder. “Alright, you ready?” Cedric asked.
Harry nodded. “On three”, he said. “One, Two, Three.” He felt a hook somewhere behind his navel pull him away and they arrived on a graveyard that looked deserted. The moment his feet touched the ground, his injured leg bend and he fell to his knees.
Cedric looked at him worriedly before he examined his surroundings. “Where the hell are we? I thought the task was just finding the cup in the maze? Why is it a Portkey?”, Cedric asked. “Someone’s coming”, he added after a short silence.
Harry got back to his legs, quickly aided by Cedric. Harry looked around and his eyes narrowed when he saw the closest tombstone. “Tom Marvolo Riddle”, he muttered. “Cedric we have to get out of here!”, he yelled as his scar started burning. “We have to get back to the Cup!”
“Harry? What the hell is going on?”
“It’s him, Cedric! It’s Voldemort!”
“What?!” He turned to the cloaked figure who had almost reached them.
“Kill the spare”*, a high voice ordered.
The cloaked figure pulled out his wand, but Harry was faster. “Expelliarmus!”
The man was blown backwards by the force of Harry’s spell and his head hit the tombstone behind him. He fell on the ground, unconscious, next to the Triwizard Cup.
“Harry, tell me what’s going on”, Cedric demanded.
“I don’t know either, but we need to leave now.”
“But how do you know it’s him?”
“Because my scar – “, Harry started. “We don’t have time for this now. Just get to the cup.”
Cedric looked at him for a moment and then followed him to the Cup. “Alright”, he said. “One, Two, Three.”
The moment Harry took hold of the Portkey, he felt a hand gripping his arm firmly.
“We are in the same boat and we owe each other a terrible loyalty” – G.K. Chesterson
*Quote from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter 32: Flesh, Blood and Bone by J.K. Rowling
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