A/n: Hey! Another chapter. Hope you enjoy.
Twitch: I don't really know how to write a duel, so I had to do that. I'm sorry.
KrystyWroth: Well, here's the third stage! Yes, it is sort of like GoF, isn't it? But this is strictly Hogwarts, not like GoF. You like how Draco and Hermione are slowly becoming friends? Cool. What would you like me to do with their relationship? (And by relationship, I mean, they're working together, so, that's a relationship.) Thank you!
Tom felton's hot: Thank you! And I will keep writing, I promise! Am I gonna put a few smooches in? Well, that question I answered a long time ago, and you'll just have to wait and see what my answer was, because I'm not gonna tell you. You'll have to wait. (P.S. I like your name!)
Hermi Lu: Thank you! I'm so glad you like my story!
The competitors followed Dumbledore into the room behind the Great Hall, and waited for further instructions.
"Now, students." Dumbledore said. "The next task will be a Resourcefulness test." They all looked around strangely at themselves. What the heck is a "Resourcefulness" test? They all thought.
"You will all get further instructions on that day like you have so far." He instructed. "Take this time before the next task to get some rest as you will need it come Saturday. There is no preparation needed for the next task. Just come in bright, refreshed, and rested, and your minds ready and you will do fine." They all looked around at each other.
"You are dismissed," said Dumbledore, and the students filed out, to go wherever they please.
Draco and Hermione walked out of the Great Hall, and stopped, and stared at each other.
"I suppose we will see each other on Saturday." Draco said. "There is no preparation for this next task, so…"
"Yeah," Hermione agreed. "So, I'll see you Saturday?"
"Yeah," he agreed. "Bye."
They slowly walked away from each other, and Hermione found Ron and Harry, and Draco found Crabbe and Goyle. (Well, of course he found them. What are they without him? Nothing!)
Hermione slowly realized that she missed spending so much time with Draco. Draco realized the same thing. They both just shook that thought out of their heads, and thought their mind must be playing tricks with them, and that it was nonsense. They didn't miss each other. That was stupid!
Time passed slowly before the next task. It seemed like forever before they heard Professor McGonagall calling, "All competitors out to the Quidditch field immediately. Students will follow suit in 15 minutes when the task starts."
Hermione excused herself from Ron and Harry's presence and started to walk toward the Quidditch field.
When Hermione near the dungeons, she thought she saw Draco coming up the stairs. She stopped to look closer and realized she was right. She stopped and waited until he caught up with her.
"Hello." She greeted cheerfully. "Nervous?"
"Hello." He greeted back. "A little. You?"
"Yes, I'm a little nervous, too." She said. "I wouldn't be nervous if I knew what to except! A Resourcefulness test?"
"I've been thinking the same thing. That's why I'm nervous." Draco agreed. "I have no idea what to except."
"Well, at least no one knows." She said. "We're on the same playing field."
"Yes, at least there's that." He agreed.
They walked the rest of the way in silence onto the Quidditch field. When they got there, though, Draco stopped dead in his tracks, his mouth gaping open. Hermione stopped when she noticed that he had stopped. "What's wrong?" she asked, concerned.
"The Quidditch field!" he cried. "Look at it!"
Indeed it was a sight to see. If you thought the maze in the third task in the Triwizard Tournament was bad, you should've seen that. Plus, last night, it hadn't been there. It would've been a shock to anyone, especially a Quidditch player and/or Quidditch lover like Draco.
"I hadn't even noticed." Hermione noticed. "Was it there last night?"
"No!" He cried. "I mean, I wasn't paying attention, but I know it wasn't."
"I'm sure it's only temporary." She said.
"It just shocked me." He said, calmed down.
"I'm sure it did." Hermione said. "Now, let's go. I'm curious as to what this next task is about."
"Alright." And with that they walked to where the rest of the competitors were waiting with the teachers and the headmaster.
"Hello, everyone." Greeted the Headmaster. "Now, that we're all here, I'll explain to you what the next task is about."
"It's about time." Draco whispered to Hermione as she giggled at his comment.
Dumbledore looked straight at Draco and Hermione and they both pursed their lips and tried not to laugh. When he cleared his throat, signaling that he was going to go on with his explanation, Draco and Hermione both began to laugh.
"Now, I will explain exactly what you will have to do in the Resourcefulness Test." Dumbledore began. "Actually, it's more of a maze."
"A maze?" asked the chorus of students.
"Yes, a maze." Dumbledore answered. "Each team will find their way through their part of the maze – as the maze is split up into seven different obstacle courses, one for each team – and to the other side, and the finish line." He cleared his throat. "You will have to make your way through the obstacles without using your wand." Every student's mouth dropped. "Except to blast your way through the finish line. And you will have to use muggle objects to get your way through." Almost every student gasped, except for the muggle-borns and the half-breeds. The purebloods were in sheer distress. Hermione just patted Draco's arm. Dumbledore clapped and said, "Get your positions. The starting openings are in order from one to seven, left to right. Good luck, everyone!"
Almost every team had a muggle-born or a half-breed, except for two: the second years and the sixth years. Actually, one team had both, and that was the seventh years.
Draco was clearly distressed. He knew nothing about muggle artifacts at all. (Well, neither did the other purebloods.) Hermione patted his arm again.
"This is going to be hell." He commented.
She rubbed his arm, comfortingly. "Have you forgotten something?" she asked.
He looked at her. "What?"
At first he seemed shocked. He actually had forgotten. (Not that he would admit to that.) Then a sly smile came on his face. He knew that we had this competition would be much easier then he'd anticipated.
The competitors saw the students filing out and taking their seats in the stands. Once all of the students were present, the tournament began and the competitors raced into the maze.
When they got there, Draco and Hermione seemed confused at first. There seemed like nothing there but a long corridor lined with an endless bush that went above their heads.
They kept walking until they came up to a wall. A wall that had no way around it.
"How do we get around it?" Draco asked. "B-"
"No magic, remember?" Hermione reminded him.
"There's a way." She said.
"Yes, I'm sure. Don't worry." All the time she had been looking around the spot where she and Draco stood for any clue as to how they could get over the wall. It wasn't very high, so there had to be a way. Then she spotted something in a corner on the ground.
"Look!" she called to Draco. "There's something in the corner."
"What?" he asked.
"I don't know." She replied, as they walked slowly over to the corner. "Let's see."
When they got there, Hermione and Draco bent down and saw some rope and a muggle radio. Hermione picked it up and stood back up.
Draco looked quizzically at the 2 artifacts. Hermione looked at the artifacts and then at the wall and back and forth.
"Hm." She said.
"Hm, what?" Draco asked.
But all Hermione said was, "Hm," and ignored him. She then proceeded to tie the rope around the radio.
Draco stared at her. "What are you doing?" he asked.
But still she ignored him and threw the radio over the wall.
Draco was lost for words. He just stared, open-mouthed, at her.
"Here," she said, handing him the rope. "Pull on it. Hard."
"What? Why?" He asked in amazement.
"I want to make sure that it won't move or come loose." She said. "You're stronger."
He was still confused, but he took the rope without question. He planted his feet, and leaned back and pulled as hard as he could. When it didn't give, Hermione said, "Ok. Now let's try something different, just be sure that it won't come loose."
"Alright." Draco agreed.
"Now, put your around my waist." She ordered.
"Ok." Draco said, putting his arms on her waist, not knowing where this was going.
"Farther." She said. "Get closer to me."
"Alright." He did as she said.
"Now," she said. "I'm going to grab the rope, and then you and I are going to lean back and we're going to pull it as hard as we can alright?"
"Alright." Draco agreed.
"Ok." Hermione said. "Now!"
They both leaned back and pulled as hard as they could.
"That's good." Hermione said, and they stopped, and Draco didn't take his arms off her waist.
"Now, lift me up." Hermione ordered.
"Lift me up!" Hermione said. "I want you to lift me up high enough so I can climb over to wall."
"How am I supposed to get up it?" Draco exclaimed.
"You're stronger." Hermione said. "I believe you'll be able to get up on your own."
"Are you sure?" Draco asked, unsure.
"Yes." She said confidently.
"Alright." Draco said. "If you say so."
And with that, he grabbed her by the waist and lifted her up as high as he could. Luckily, she was very light. She grabbed onto the rope, praying that it wouldn't fall or break on her. She slowly started to climb up, although visibly scared. "You'll be alright." Draco called from below her. "I'm right here, remember." She nodded in agreement. Then she disappeared over the other side of the wall.
Draco waited anxiously for any sign of Hermione, and then he heard her voice call out to him. "I'm alright, Draco! It's ok, come on!"
He sighed in relief, and prepared to jump. He jumped at grabbed hold of the rope. He slowly pulled himself up the rope, and over the other side. When he got to the other side, he saw that the rope Hermione had thrown over, had hooked itself on some sort of hook about a foot down. Draco groaned. He would have to let himself down as much as he could, and then drop to the ground.
Draco lowered himself down as much as he could without letting go. He sighed, and then let go, hoping to fall on his feet. Instead, he fell on his back.
He just sighed. "Great. That's all I need," he said. "To break my back so that I can't play Quidditch, or do a bloody thing for that matter."
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked, holding out her hand.
"Yeah," He said, grabbing her hand and lifting himself up. "I'm fine."
"You're heavy." She said when Draco had gotten up.
"Oh, really, I am?" He asked. "What are you trying to say? That I'm fat?"
"No, of course not!" Hermione exclaimed. "I'm only saying that you're heavy. Especially for someone like me. I'm not exactly a very strong person physically, you know."
Draco smiled. "Yes, I know." He said. "Shall we move on now?"
"Yes, of course." She said, and with that, they began to walk through the maze again.
Shortly after that they came across a gap in the path. The path stopped and then started again about 15 feet later. In the gap was some substance they didn't look very pleasant to Draco and Hermione.
"What is that?" Draco asked.
"I have no idea," she said, bending to touch the substance.
"No, don't!" Draco said, grabbing her hand. "We don't know if it's toxic or poison or something."
"I'm sure Professor Dumbledore wouldn't put anything in here that would harm us." Hermione told him.
"Yeah, I'm sure." He said. "But I would still feel safer if you didn't touch it."
She looked at him, at little smile on her face. "Alright, Draco. You win."
"Good." He said, obviously relieved.
"Now," she said, as they stepped back a bit, Draco's hand still holding hers.
"How are we going to across?" He asked. "There's no way around."
Hermione sighed. "I have no idea," she said as she began to look around for something to help them get across. "Hm…" she wondered.
"Look," Draco said. "There's something over there." He pointed to an area a little ways away from them. They walked slowly toward what Draco had seen and then bent down. "What is that?" He asked. Whatever it was, it was covered in grass.
"I don't know." Hermione said. "Looks like… rope… of some kind…"
"Rope?" Draco exclaimed. "Ok, look, I know I may be a complete idiot when it comes to muggle things, but I'm not a complete moron, you know?"
"I know that, but that's what it looks like." Hermione said. She bent down, and picked it up. Sure enough. It was a rope. But, now the question was. What where they going to do with it? The obvious solution was to throw it, but come on; the other side was about 15 feet away. How were they going to throw it that far?
"What are we going to do?" Draco asked. "We can't throw it that far!"
"No, we can't." Hermione said, admitting defeat. "The honest truth, Draco? I don't know what we're going to do." Draco looked at her in astonishment as she sat down on the ground, completely dumbfounded as to what they were going to do.
Hermione just sat there, utterly lost at what to do. Draco sat down beside her. "I'm sure something will come to us." He said.
"Let's hope so," she said, "because I don't have a clue what to do."
Suddenly Draco felt something stabbing him in the back. He tried to adjust himself so it wouldn't, but no matter what the stabbing persisted. "What is that?" He exclaimed, and Hermione looked at him in surprise. He moved a little bit, and then grabbed what had been stabbing him. It was two hooks! He and Hermione looked at each other in amazement. This is how you got across! You put one hook on each end of the rope and put it in such a way that you got across! Amazing! They were both glad that Hermione had given up hope temporarily.
But a question still remained… How did you get across?
Draco said, "You know, Dumbledore made this sound like a bigger deal that it was."
"Yes, you're right." She agreed. "He probably did that to scare us. If you too worried about what might happen, and you don't think, then you don't do as well."
Draco nodded, and then looked at the hook. "So, what do we do with the hook?"
Hermione's eyes lit up. "We can hook either end of the rope onto the hooks. We can throw one of them up right here, and then throw the other one farther down."
Draco just stared at her, because it didn't sound like she had solved the problem. "That still doesn't explain how we're supposed to get all the way across."
Hermione looked at him. "Hm…" She walked over to the wall, hooked the rope onto the hooks, and threw the hook up onto the fern wall. It hooked up there, and didn't seem to go through, like it would in a plant. "It's solid. It's not a plant."
Draco nodded. "I see." He said. "So we just simply throw it as far as we can, and then move it when we get there, by holding onto the wall temporarily."
"Yes." She said. "It would be too hard to go all the way across that way, or try to. The wall is too high up, but we can stay there for a little bit."
"Right." Draco agreed. "Here." He took the other hook and threw it as far as he could.
"Not bad." She said. "About halfway."
"There's a reason why I'm not a keeper or a chaser." Draco stated.
Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "Go ahead." She said. "Help me up."
Draco took a large sigh, and did as she told him to. Then he proceeded to jump up himself, which was not that easy, but he managed. They moved along, and when they go to the other hook, they swung up and hung onto the top of the wall. Indeed, it was solid. Hermione threw it, and it got most of the way across. They went back down on the rope, and made their way to the hook again.
"Let's just jump from here." Draco said.
"Are you sure that's a good idea?" She asked.
"Sure." Draco said. "What are you, afraid?"
"Of falling into whatever this is below us?" Hermione said. "Yes."
Draco smirked at her. "What happened to Miss 'I'm sure Professor Dumbledore wouldn't put anything in here that would harm us.'?"
Hermione glared at him. "All the same, I might get hurt from falling."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Ah, so you get hurt, so what?"
Now it was Hermione's turn to roll her eyes. "What happened to Mr. 'To break my back so that I can't play Quidditch, or do a bloody thing for that matter.'?" She raised her eyebrows inquisitively at him.
Draco shook his head. "It's ok to get hurt while you're playing Quidditch, but it's not ok to get hurt so that you don't have the chance to play in the first place."
"Whatever you say." Hermione said.
Draco shook his head again. "Flatten yourself against the wall, I'll go around you since you're so scared."
"Fine." Hermione said, and she did so.
Draco climbed around her, and the faced the other side. He took a deep breath, swung a couple of times, and then jumped to the other side, falling flat on his face as he did so. "Ok, Hermione, it's ok. Jump." He said. "If you fall, I'll catch you."
Hermione looked at Draco, and then back at the wall. She turned towards him and the other side of the land. She took a deep breath, and jumped. She ended almost falling off, but Draco caught her. She thanked him, and they continued on.
Again, they walked along a bit longer, until they came to a very large door. They both looked at it inquisitively.
"Is there a key somewhere?" Hermione asked.
Draco looked around. "I don't see one."
"Hm…" Hermione said, wondering how they were going to get out of this one.
She started looking around, and Draco started doing the same. Suddenly, Draco spotted something a little wase away in the grass. "Look. Over there." He walked over to it, and Hermione followed him.
Draco looked curiously at the object. To him, it looked like no more than some kind of weird, strange box, with one side that had a different colored screen type thing. "What is that?" Draco asked, looking strangely at the thing.
"It's a television." Hermione said simply.
"A what?" Draco asked her, completely confused as to what a 'television' was.
"Oh, it's a machine box that is used for muggle entertainment." Hermione explained.
"Entertainment?" Draco asked incredulously. "What kind of entertainment could you get out of that?"
Hermione almost felt like laughing, and explained further. "Well, it has moving pictures with sound. You can watch a bunch of different stuff on it, and even watch the muggle news."
Draco looked at the "television", and then back at Hermione. "If you say so…" Hermione giggled slightly, and then cleared her throat. Draco snapped his head towards her. "What?" He asked.
"Nothing." She said. "Your reaction was just a little funny to me, that's all."
"Why?" He asked, clearly not understanding her.
She looked away. "No reason."
He looked at her, not really believing what she had said. "Sure…"
Hermione just shook her head. "Anyway…" She said. "I think this could help us get closer to the doorknob and the keyhole. Do you think it's already open?" She asked Draco.
"Knowing Dumbledore, no." He said.
"Right…" She replied. She began looking around for something else.
As Draco was looking around, he managed to spot a part of the fern wall that was a slightly different color than the rest of it. As Hermione kept looking elsewhere, he walked over to it, and spotted another weird muggle thing. "Hermione!" He called. "I found something. It must be muggle."
Hermione walked over to him, and looked what he had picked up. "Yes, it is muggle." She said. "It's called a bobby pin. Muggle women use it to put their hair up, since they don't have all of the different ways that women in the Wizarding world do."
Draco nodded. "I see…" He looked at her. "What can we do with this?"
"I don't know…" Hermione said. "Let me see something." She took it out of his hand, and also grabbed the televisions, which wasn't that big. She set the television down in front of the door, and then stepped up on it. She had been right, the television did help one to reach the doorknob. She turned the doorknob, testing it. Yep, it was looked. She looked at the bobby pin, and then at the doorknob, and the keyhole. She spotted something unusual about the keyhole. "Wait… This keyhole is different…"
"Different?" Draco asked her. "How so?"
"It's a different shape. It looks to be the shape of a… bobby pin…." Her eyes lit up. Draco just watched, and she stuffed the bobby pin in the keyhole, and felt the door unlock. "Now all we need to do is open it."
"We could move 'television' or whatever it's called a little further away, and then pull on the door." Draco suggested. "That way it'll only open a little bit, and it'll be plenty of room for both us to get through."
Hermione nodded in agreement. "That's a good idea, Draco." She stepped down, and then moved the television a bit farther away. She stepped on it again, and pulled on the door again. She could almost feel it opening, so she pulled harder. Slowly, it opened, and Hermione stood sideways and slid her away to the other side of the door. Draco soon followed her, and then they were both on their way.
Now the pathway became more like a maze and began to start twisting and turning, and before long they came to fork in the road. By now, the two teens were starting to breath heavily from all of their climbing and stuff. They both looked at each other, and then down each passage way.
"Which way do we go?" Hermione asked.
"I don't know." Draco asked. "We could just pick a way, and then retrace our steps if it ends up being wrong."
"Alright." Hermione said, and she went right, and Draco followed her. Luckily, she ended up being right, and there was no dead end, but they were not so lucky when they came to the next fork in the road that had 3 directions to choose from instead of 2 like the one before. Hermione ended up choosing the center path, and they walked for a little bit and then ran into a dead end. Draco glared at Hermione, and then turned on his heal, and went back the way they had come, and then went left, saying to Hermione, "Let me choose."
Hermione huffed as she followed him. "Fine."
They walked along some more and the came to another fork in the road that had 4 directions to choose from. Draco choose the 2nd one from the right. Shortly they came to another fork in the road but this time it only had 3 paths. He choose the center, and they came to another one. Draco and Hermione looked at each other, and then Hermione pointed to the left one, and they went that way, and the path straightened out.
"Glad that's over." Draco commented.
"Agreed." Hermione said.
They walked along some more, and then came to a wall.
"How do we get past this one?" Draco asked. "I'm getting tired of this 'test' and I want out."
"I agree." Hermione said. They started looking around carefully, and saw nothing. Hermione looked at Draco. "I don't get it…"
"Me either." Draco said. "Perhaps this is the end."
"Maybe…" Hermione said. "How do we know?"
Draco shrugged. "Good question." He went to the wall, and peaked through it as best as he could.
"Do you honestly think that'll work?" Hermione asked in a teacher-like tone.
Draco glanced back at her, and turn towards her. "Maybe, because I didn't see any green on the other side." He said.
"So, this is the end, then?" Hermione asked.
"I think so." He said.
They gave each other one last look, and then took a deep breath. Draco and Hermione stood side by side, and then took out their wands.
"On the count of 3…" Hermione said. "1…. 2…. 3!" They blast through the wall, but smoke appeared. They grabbed each other's hand and then ran out through the smoke.
When they got past, they realized that Draco had been right. It was the end. They bent over, and put their hands on their knees, trying to catch their breath. Once they finally decided to look around, they saw only the 7th years. The Head Boy and Girl glanced at the 5th years, and the looked back ahead.
Draco glanced to Hermione. "Looks like we got second." He said.
She glanced at him. "Yes." She said.
Slowly, the other years started to come out of the test. Last, being the 1st and 3rd years. Dumbledore stood up, and clapped, and everyone else followed suit. "Great job, everyone." He congratulated. "Now for the results of the third part in this wonderful competition."
"I wouldn't call it wonderful." Draco whispered under his breath as Hermione shushed him.
"First I would like to give a round of applause to everyone who competed." Dumbledore said, and everyone clapped again. "Now, the results." Finally, Draco thought. "In 3rd place, Year 6." Everyone clapped and Year 6 waved and shook each other's hands. "In 2nd place, our Head Boy and Girl, Year 7." Draco and Hermione gasped. If they were 2nd than that means… "And the winner of the Resourcefulness Test is the representatives of Year 5, Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger." The two looked at each other in shock, and then embraced, smiling. Draco swung her around as everyone clapped.
Harry and Ron looked at that, and then looked at each other, both wondering the same thing: Why did Hermione let him touch her like that? Why did Malfoy even want to?
"What was with that?" Ron asked Harry.
"I don't know, Ron." Harry replied.
Back down on the field, Dumbledore was telling all of the participants to come join him for a second, and for everyone else to go back inside. Draco and Hermione walked up to Dumbledore while Harry and Ron walked back inside.
Dumbledore faced the students standing in front of him. "The next challenge, and last challenge, will be in two parts." He explained. "The first one will take placed a week from today, and then the final part in this competition will take place a week from then, or two weeks from today. Get your brooms ready, as the next two parts will both involve brooms." That brought joy to many of the students, including Draco Malfoy, and dread to others, like Hermione Granger. "The first part taking place next week involves 2 separate parts where 1 team member flies and picks up certain things that will be hanging in the air, then the give the bag containing the objects to the next team member who will do the last leg." Dumbledore smiled. "So, make sure you both know how to fly, and sharpen up your flying skills." Draco smirked, as he was confident that he didn't have to. "See you all next week." Dumbledore proceeded to go back inside the castle, and the students slowly followed.
When they got back, Draco turned to Hermione in front of the entrance to the dungeons. "So, we'll practice flying tomorrow night after dinner." He said.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. "You need to practice?" She asked, surprised that the arrogant Slytherin would say something like that.
Draco glared at her. "No, I don't, but you do." He said, seeming offended at her remark.
Hermione nodded. "Yes, of course." She said. "Tomorrow after dinner then."
"See you then." Draco then went to Slytherin Common Room to meet Crabbe and Goyle, and Hermione began her trek to Gryffindor Tower to meet Ron and Harry who were surely there already. Both secretly wanting tomorrow night to get there faster.
A/n: Well, this chapter is a long time coming! Sorry I took so long. I finally finished, and you have a long chapter to read in exchange for a long wait! (This chapter is long, too… Over 5000 words… My longest chapter ever, in all my stories, I think.) Hope you enjoy, as I stayed up almost to 3 am to get this chapter up for you guys, so… Enjoy! R/R!