|Before I Decay
Author: XsaekostarX PM
Hermione had always thought her fourth year would be eventful. And it was, just not wholly for the reasons she expected. Hermione might have found something just as interesting as books in the library. HGVK, VikMione.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Hermione G. & Viktor K. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 23,735 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 111 - Follows: 181 - Updated: 01-22-13 - Published: 01-22-12 - id: 7764084
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N; Shipping; VikMione VKHG - Canon Based.
Hermione watched the Beauxbatons carriage arrive with wonder. The French school made an impressive entrance, she thought, half amused as the flashy carriage opened and a huge bejewelled woman stepped out. She would put Hagrid to shame. Hermione watched as the students, who followed the tall woman out of the carriage, shivered. A surge of pity ran through Hermione; their uniform was not appropriate for the cold weather as they didn't even have cloaks.
"Welcome to Hogwarts, my dear Madame Maxine," greeted Dumbledore.
"Dumbly-dorr, I 'ope you are well," said the giant woman in a deep, thick voice as she grasped Dumbledore's proffered hand. Hermione was amused to find that Dumbledore, quite a tall man, only came to shoulder height with Madame Maxine.
" 'As Karkaroff arrived yet?" inquired Madame Maxine.
Dumbledore shook his head. "He will be arriving shortly. Would you like to warm up inside or wait?"
"Warm up, I think," replied Madame Maxine, who ushered her students inside. The Hogwarts students parted and they all watched the Beauxbaton students up until the doors closed behind them. Tension was high; the Beauxbatons had made an exciting entry, would the other school be up to par? Apparently so, and there was an audible gasp as the Durmstrang ship erupted from the lake and the students piled out and walked up to the school.
"Dumbledore! How are you, dear fellow? How are you?" The Durmstrang professor greeted him enthusiastically in a deep voice. "Blooming, thank you, Professor Karkaroff," Dumbledore replied cheerfully. "Madame Maxine has already arrived," he added, gesturing to where the recently opened doors were and to the Beauxbatons inside. Karkaroff nodded and gestured to one of the students behind him to come forward.
"Come inside the warm, Viktor," he said, before looking at Dumbledore with his head cocked to the side. "You don't mind, Dumbledore? He has a slight head cold," he added.
Dumbledore shook his head, and Karkaroff smiled widely, revealing yellow teeth. Hermione noticed his smile didn't reach his icy eyes. The aforementioned student stepped into the light from the entrance hall, and he looked familiar, but Hermione couldn't place why. His dark hair and eyes were hardly uncommon amongst the Durmstrang students assembled. He wasn't the most attractive person Hermione had ever seen, but he was still undeniably handsome. Some of the other females felt the same and voiced their opinions with giggles and squeals - something Hermione would never lower herself to.
She watched as Ron gasped and punched Harry in the arm. "That's Viktor Krum!" he cried, adoration clear in his blue eyes. Harry nodded; his admiration also stark in his expression.
Recognition flickered in Hermione's brain. 'Ah, he was the Seeker from the World Cup match they had seen during the summer,' Hermione realised. She had seen firsthand how talented Viktor was, but Ron's puppy dog eyes and unwavering look of worship were a bit too extreme. "For heaven's sake, Ron, he's only a Quidditch player," Hermione sighed and received horrified glances from Harry and Ron.
"Only a Quidditch player?" Ron repeated incredulously, as though saying such was a heinous crime. "Hermione – he's one of the best Seekers in the world! I had no idea he would be here!" he added.
Hermione ignored him; she didn't see the reason to get so worked up. Hermione loftily observed some girls who were squabbling over how they'd get his autograph.
Harry, Ron and Hermione walked over and sat down at the Gryffindor table, and many of the occupants, including Harry and Ron, glanced longingly at where Viktor and his fellow Durmstrang pupils were seated at the Slytherin table. Hermione noticed with extreme distaste that Malfoy was looking incredibly smug because Viktor Krum was sitting beside him, although Viktor did have a scowl on his face, but it seemed like a permanent expression. There were a lot of murmurs running around the hall, and as usual Dumbledore created silence by standing up and addressing the students in his usual jovial way. Even the foreign students gave him their complete, undivided attention.
'Dumbledore just naturally commands respect,' Hermione thought happily about her headmaster. Hermione observed three of the Beauxbatons girls were holding shawls around their heads to keep them warm, and most of them looked around the Great Hall with vacant, unimpressed expressions. "It's not that cold!" Hermione remarked sharply. "No one's making you stay!" she whispered briskly when one Beauxbatons girl who was making a head scarf out of her thin silk cloak laughed derisively.
"I now invite you all to eat, drink and make yourselves at home!" Dumbledore announced in his cheerful tone.
Food appeared on the plates and Hermione shrugged aside her anger and turned her attention to her dinner. Ron ate ravenously. Hermione put some beef, roast potatoes and vegetables onto her plate and dug in. Hogwarts food always tasted delicious. Hermione, after washing down a mouthful of food several minutes later, reprimanded Ron for talking with his mouth full. A habit that after four years of nagging later was still present.
"Malfoy's such a smarmy git. Krum can probably see straight through him," he repeated, mouth now devoid of food. There was definitely a hint of bitterness in his voice as he watched Malfoy lean over and talked to Viktor. "Probably," Harry agreed, nodding. Hermione just rolled her eyes and sighed. Her thoughts turned to the sullen Bulgarian. Surely, being a world class seeker, he would be used to all the attention. Hermione had expected him to enjoy the spotlight, but she had been mistaken; Viktor looked very uncomfortable.
"Where do you reckon they'll sleep? We could offer for them to stay in our dormitory... He can sleep on my bed. I'll just sleep on the floor," Ron mused, again outright staring at the Bulgarian Seeker, who was still scowling.
No one replied to Ron's musings, but Hermione snorted. 'Ron is unbelievable,' Hermione decided.
After finishing their main meal, beautiful desserts appeared on the plates, and Hermione helped herself to a sticky toffee pudding while Harry and Ron had a rich treacle tart. Food, however nice, was not enough to distract Ron from his current obsession with Viktor Krum. "I want to get his autograph if I can," he murmured longingly into his treacle tart.
"Same here. It'd be great!" Neville Longbottom agreed, happily eating a thick slice of chocolate cake.
Hermione tried to hide her exasperation, but it was quite difficult; she couldn't understand her friends at the moment. However, she was pleased to see that the Beauxbatons that had been wearing make-shift head-shawls had taken them off and were talking quietly amongst the Ravenclaws and the Durmstrang amongst the Slytherin as after all, the spirit of the Triwizard Tournament was building friendships. Most people, after finishing their dinner, were craning their necks to get a good look at the thirty or so visitors.
The problem of where the Beauxbatons were going to sleep was soon solved as they stood up, following the suit of Madame Maxine, who led them out of the Great Hall and back to their carriage. Hermione noticed Ron lean out of his chair to watch the departure of the Beauxbatons, who were wiggling their backsides magnificently.
"Seventeen! You have to be seventeen!" cried Fred Weasley as he made his way over to the doors to the Entrance Hall.
"You'll try and enter, won't you, Harry?" George said, smiling widely.
Harry thought for a moment, but never got a chance to answer as Ron cut across him looking around frantically for Viktor Krum. "Where is he? Dumbledore never said where the other schools were sleeping!"
In a similar fashion, Karkaroff bid goodnight to Dumbledore and moved down to collect his Durmstrang students. "Viktor, would you like some mulled wine from the kitchens?" he inquired.
Viktor shook his head, still scowling, and Karkaroff smiled widely, flashing his yellow teeth. "I vood like some vine," said one student to Karkaroff hopefully.
"I wasn't offering it to you." Karkaroff shot him down with a mean glint to his dark little eyes. Most of the Durmstrang students were shrugging on their fur cloaks. "Back to the ship," Karkaroff said, ushering his students towards the Entrance Hall at the same time Harry, Ron and Hermione reached the doors. Harry politely stopped, and Ron and Hermione, who were behind him, also stopped to let them pass first. "Thank you," Karkaroff said, smiling forcedly. He caught sight of Harry's scar and stopped dead, eyes widening. Viktor, who was standing beside Karkaroff, (Viktor's trademark scowl still in place,) flicked his eyes from Harry to Karkaroff before sneezing loudly.
Hermione supposed that would be the most she'd see of Viktor Krum during his stay at Hogwarts, and quite frankly, she didn't care.
"Yes, that's Harry Potter. Now move along Karkaroff, you're blocking the doorway," Mad-eye Moody growled, his magical eye transfixed on the Durmstrang Headmaster.
Karkaroff turned and his face became thunderous when he recognised Moody. "You," he seethed. Moody remained emotionless and Karkaroff quickly regained his cool and swept out of the Entrance Hall dramatically. Hermione wondered how Karkaroff knew Mad-Eye Moody but didn't voice her thoughts as the intense look of dislike on both professors' faces said enough. She shot Harry and Ron a glance, but they looked just as confused as she felt.
As they were walking to the Gryffindor Common Room, Hermione's thoughts returned to the anti-social Seeker. His constant scowl should have reminded her of their hated potions master, but instead of feeling dislike, Hermione was slightly curious about the Bulgarian teenager. If he hated the scrutiny that his fame came hand in hand with, why did he stick with his chosen career? Hermione had no doubt he had enough gold to settle down nicely and never have to work a day in his life, so Hermione ruled out money as his reasoning.
A snippet of Harry and Ron's conversation drifted into Hermione's mind. They were discussing the 'wonky faint' Viktor had pulled at the World Cup. She smiled to herself as she watched her best friends chatting so animatedly and happily about their beloved sport. Hermione came to the conclusion that Viktor was probably just as Quidditch crazy as her friends and unwanted attention was a small price to pay to do the thing that he loved.
Hermione glanced out of the window of the Gryffindor tower as Harry gave the Fat Lady the password and she saw the lights on the Durmstrang ship flicker out in all of the compartments.
"C'mon Hermione!" Ron called out. Hermione snapped out her daydream and looked at her friends. She smiled at them and stepped through the portrait hole and into the welcoming Common Room. She had been secretly glad that there was an age restriction on the Triwizard tournament. Harry didn't need any more danger in his life, and he has proven himself many times already.
"Night 'Mione," Ron called out as he and Harry walked up the stairs to their dormitories. "Good night, Harry, Ron," Hermione replied before slipping up the stairs to her own dormitory.
Hermione walked past Lavender and Parvati who were talking quickly in hushed voices, their giggles and squeals occasionally breaking their soft whispers. Hermione changed into her pyjamas, wished Ginny goodnight, and lay on her bed. As she was waiting for sleep to totally overcome her, she caught a snippet of Parvati and Lavender's conversation. "Viktor Krum is so hot!" Lavender whispered and Parvati giggled her agreement. Hermione turned her back on the two girls and tried to push Viktor Krum's face from her mind's eye.
A/N; I would like to thank the four beta's (poetintraining576, StoryPainter, Blue Pen Obsessive and Mariico) at PTB (Project Team Beta) that made this chapter a million times better than before!
I'm focusing on their relationship in GoF but I might carry it on to HBP. :)