Disclaimer- I do not own Harry Potter or its characters, a misguided author called JKR does...

I sincerely thank each and every last one of you, who takes the time to read these chapters and review or point out my mistakes. And I'm sorry about my crude way of writing regarding the past, the present and the future perspectives of the story. In my defence, I try to write the chapters from how I feel and how I think of it as, so it may have felt rather crude to you. If I'm feeling sad or happy or interested or any other mood, it will directly reflect on my chapters. Despite that, I'm working on correcting it, but it's a trial and error sort of way, it's undoubtedly working because my standard and style of writing have definitely improved when comparing to my very first fanfic till now.

June 24th-

The stadium built on the Quidditch field was tightly packed with guests, Ministry and media personnel along with the students of Hogwarts and the delegations. Sirius, Remus and Rosalie were seated among the crowd, while Amelia, her aurors and several of the Hogwarts staffs were patrolling various sides of the maze to ensure that the maze is intruder-free.

All the four champions of the Tournament were standing on the Quidditch field and in front of them was a large gap in the hedges and behind them was the stadium filled with spectators. Each one of the champions was standing separately in front of four different gaps between the hedges.

Professor McGonagall walked up to them and instructed, "We are going to be patrolling on the outside of the maze."

"If you get into some difficulty and wish to be rescued, send red sparks into the air and one of us will come and get you, do you understand?" McGonagall finished with a question and all of them nodded in understanding.

Soon after the warnings and safety regulations were explained, Moody limped out of the maze and signalled Bagman with a nod, and Bagman understood that the Triwizard Cup was placed at the centre of the maze and so he pointed his wand at his throat and muttered, "Sonorus." Moments later, his magically magnified voice echoed into the stands as he started the commentary.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the most awaited ending of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin! Let me remind you of the current standings! In first place is the Hogwarts champion, Harry Potter." Almost all the Hogwarts students erupted in cheers along with all the special guests and most people in the stadium.

Bagman continued when the cheering reduced a little, "In second place is the Beauxbatons champion, Fleur Delacour…" Bagman never finished as the contingent of blue-robed Beauxbatons students and several other foreign guests began cheering.

"Followed closely behind Miss Delacour are the Hogwarts and Durmstrang champions, Mister Diggory and Mister Krum." For this, huge applause erupted from the Durmstrang contingent and the Hogwarts students along with modest cheering from everyone else. Bagman too clapped for a few minutes, until the cheering died down.

"Well let's get this started…" Ludo began, "On my whistle…, Mister Potter." Ludo signalled the raven-haired boy to get ready, if luck was on his side and if his prayers were answered all of his money problems would be solved if the boy won.

Hoping for the best, Ludo began counting, "Three…, two…, one…" And he gave a short blast on his whistle.

With that, the raven-haired boy sprinted in through the gap between the hedges and disappeared into the maze. The hedge behind him closed and knitted itself together as the entrance was closed.

In the Maze-

He was waiting for the other champions to enter the maze. He had no doubt that Barty Crouch Jr was keeping a close eye on him, especially with Moody's magical eye.

"Point me…" He muttered and his wand pointed him to his target and he moved along.

He navigated left and right through the maze as he made his way to his target. As he was jogging around a corner, he heard a strange rustling noise among the hedges. He couldn't pinpoint where the noise originated from, but he could tell that it was from somewhere close. He put the disturbing noise behind him as he moved on.

Suddenly he heard another series of noise and he instantly whipped his head to the back drawing his wand in the process, as his paranoia got the best of him. He let his breath out, which was something he didn't even know that he was holding as he briefly chuckled at his own fitful behaviour.

He shook his head out of mild amusement as he turned around just in time to see a Blast-Ended-Skrewt propelling towards him at blinding speeds. His instincts reacted as he fell backwards like a puppet with its strings cut and fortunately, his tactics worked as the Blast-Ended-Skrewt propelled past his prone form on the ground. He pointed his wand at the creature while placing it over his head and he spoke the incantation hurriedly, "Orbis…"

The Skrewt got sucked into the ground, where it landed and within seconds the only things visible were the motionless stingers of the creature, protruding out the grass. Again, he breathed out in relief as he tried to sit up from his position on the ground. But to his surprise, he couldn't move because he was feeling restrained by several roots of the hedges that were wrapping around him.

Fortunately, his wand was still in his hand, and so he pointed it on the ground and yelled out, "Deletrius…" And within a moment, the roots of the hedges were disintegrated and he was free. He stood up and instantly began jogging at the direction his wand pointed him towards.

At the Stadium-

The crowd was watching the projector screen, monitoring the champions' movements in the maze. Until now, Viktor Krum was the only champion who had come across some kind of obstacle in the maze and that too ended within minutes. And so, the crowd felt the entire task to be greatly unsatisfying.

What the crowd of onlookers didn't know was the fact that they were watching a well-doctored series of images of the champions. The projectors and the screens were all enchanted by Barty Crouch Jr so that the squads and squads of aurors can be kept out of the maze from interfering into the task.

What Barty Crouch Jr didn't know was the fact that he was being watched by Sirius, Remus, Rosalie, Amelia, and Hermione and above all was a special squad of aurors, who were all waiting for the opportune moment to nab the idiot red-handed in front of a lot of witnesses.

Meanwhile, silently amidst the crowd, Sirius, Remus and Rosalie exchanged glances for a brief second before they continued watching the series of projected images.

In the Maze-

He was running faster because his wand was changing directions irregularly, which meant that his target was moving quickly. All of a sudden, he heard a shrill, high-pitched scream of a woman, reminding him of his mother's voice on the night she died; he instantly mustered up the speed and ran faster than ever.

He turned to his immediate left only for him to stop dead in his tracks as the hedge in front of him was closed as it was a dead-end. His wand was pointing forward and so he muttered, "Reducto…" And there was a huge hole in the tall hedge before him. He promptly jumped in through the hole and landed on a narrow path of another section of the maze with tall hedges before him.

He checked his wand and it was still pointing forward and he quickly cast another 'Reductor curse' and he once again jumped through the resultant hole in the hedge before him. This time, however, he landed on a wide path and barely a foot before him, on the ground, Fleur lay unconscious. He instantly knelt beside her on one knee and placed his finger on her neck to check for a pulse. He was relieved, when he found a pulse and so he placed his wand on her forehead and he whispered, "Rennervate…"

His spell instantly revived Fleur out of her unconsciousness and she screamed as she tried to grab for her wand as soon as she woke up, he held her by her shoulders and he sternly shouted back at her, "Fleur, calm down…calm down, it's me, it's Harry…"

She quietened as she tightly held to his right hand and he replied to her calmly, "You're in a state of shock. It's perfectly normal."

"Arry, what 'appened…?" She asked as she heavily gulped for air.

A few minutes later, he asked her again, "Can you stand up?"

"Yes…" She answered softly. And she stood up without his help and he handed her wand back to her and then he asked her, "Can you remember what happened to you?"

"Non, je ne peux pas!" She instinctively replied due to her dizziness.

He understood her reply and he answered back to her, but mostly to himself, "Just as I had suspected, whoever attacked you also erased your memory of the event."

"We have to find the others and warn them that there is an intruder in the maze." He continued and then he cast the 'point-me spell' again as he took off and Fleur followed close behind him.

Twenty minutes later-

"Crucio…" Krum yelled excitedly.

Cedric was screaming loudly as he was on the ground thrashing in obvious pain. The Hufflepuff Champion felt as if countless red-hot iron rods were being stabbed all over his body. Out of nowhere, a blue spell flew through the hedges as it made contact with Krum's head, knocking the hefty Bulgarian unconscious on the ground. Fleur had almost instantly cast a 'Stunner' at the Bulgarian Champion in order to help her boyfriend.

Cedric immediately mustered up the strength to get up and readily pointed his wand at the downed champion intent on hurting him. He had anticipated this, so he immediately grabbed Cedric's hand and he diverted it off the Bulgarian before the Hufflepuff could cast a spell.

"Cedric, what are you doing?" He yelled out to the older boy. And the angry Hufflepuff, in turn, tried to shake off of his grip, but he held on tightly. Fleur seeing that the fight would escalate easily, if not contained, because of her boyfriend's reasonable anger, she took hold of Cedric's hand and then she forcibly pulled him away from Krum's prone form.

He, on the other hand, checked Krum's eyes and his pulse to make sure that his fellow champion was indeed bewitched. Krum's heartbeat was unsteady and uneven; his eyes were dilated a little and when he used his Legilimency on him, he noticed that the Bulgarian's mind was muddled at best. And once he clarified his doubts, he spoke facing Cedric and Fleur, "He's bewitched…"

"What?" Cedric asked baffled, being in genuine shock.

"He is imperiused." He repeated while feigning his shock.

"I heard you, Harry. But how, I mean why…, by…by whom?" Cedric asked with a little stuttering while Fleur was just as confused as her boyfriend.

"I'm assuming it to be the very same person, who attacked Fleur." He replied seriously.

Cedric turned towards his girlfriend and stared at Fleur for a long moment and when the French champion nodded her assent, the Hufflepuff looked baffled and then he asked again after another few minutes of silence, "Why would someone want to attack Fleur and Krum?"

After a minute of intense staring, he queried back, "I have a better question. Why would someone want to attack, Fleur, and then mentally compromise and bewitch Krum into making him immobilise you?" He reiterated the question more practically.

Cedric and Fleur realised what was indeed happening and they both simultaneously replied, "To get you alone." He nodded back at the couple, positively.

"There is definitely someone else in the maze, isn't there?" Cedric asked logically.

He answered as best as he could, "Yes… I've been feeling this…mysterious presence the moment I stepped into the maze. I've felt this before in school as if someone is shadowing my movements. However, at the time I simply ignored it as paranoia, but apparently, I was wrong."

"We should stop zis task and leave zis maze, now…" Fleur suggested since she was keen on being alive than winning a tournament.

"The entrances are closed, believe me, I tried finding it myself. I'm positive that the only way to get out is to go forward." He replied as he had expected such a proposal.

"No, it isn't. All we need to do is send red sparks in the air and they will find and evacuate us." Cedric reasoned to his girlfriend's suggestion.

"What possible reason will we give them, for stopping the task midway?" He asked logically.

"What reason do we need other than the truth?" Cedric countered back equally.

"At this point, anything we might say will surely be considered as a conjecture. In the end, they will simply send us back in here, because their money and reputation is at stake here and that's what they care about, not us or our safety." He reasoned calmly.

"I understand the part about money, reputation and bureaucracy, but why would our testimonies be considered a conjecture?" The confused Hufflepuff asked back curiously.

"Because, we have no proof with us apart from our memories, that's why. And I'm positive that they won't give much thought to it, they'll just say that we are misremembering things due to trauma and fear. And besides, Fleur has no recollection of what happened to her and I suspect that Krum here too won't remember much. Even if they use the 'Priori Incantatem' to check Krum's wand for the Cruciatus curse, they still won't admit that he was indeed bewitched, they'll simply condemn him for using one of the three Unforgivable spells. In the best case, we'll only be stalling for time." He replied carefully.

"Then, we refuse to participate. If they try to force us back into the maze, we refuse. The contract forbids us from not participating, but since we technically participated in all three tasks, we've fulfilled the terms of the contract."

"In theory, it would be true, but I'm sorry to burst your bubble, Cedric, it isn't the case. You see I had this idea before the first task; you know, participate in the first task just for name's sake and then drop out of the tournament for good. So, to exploit any possible loopholes, I read the contract very thoroughly, many, many times. But unfortunately for us, the contract is rigged from the event of the Champions' selection to the eventual recovery of the 'Triwizard Cup', in short, unless until we recover the 'Triwizard Cup', we're not completely out of the binding contract. So, essentially, we'll lose our magic, if we refused to participate." He elucidated the complexity of the contract to Cedric and Fleur.

"The only definitive way I see for solving this is to move forward." He reasoned carefully.

"You just want to find who's behind this..." Cedric asked having analysed his inner reasons.

"Yes…" He replied bluntly, agreeing with the physically older boy, not wanting to lie.

There were another few minutes of short silence between the three of them and he continued, "Don't you want to solve a mystery by finding who's been planning all of this…? I do, and I could really use your help."

They all stood there for a short period of time, and then Cedric began, "In any case, I still owe you, Harry."

Fleur took a step forward and stopped beside Cedric and she spoke, "I am with Cedric."

He beamed at them both because his plan was proceeding as expected. He wanted his fellow champions to join him as he is about to face Voldemort and his men, last time, he was stuck in a position, where he was severely outgunned in sheer number with all of their attention cemented on him. He figured that if he had Cedric, Fleur and Krum with him, he would only have to deal with one-fourth of their attention on him; it will be much easier to manage. Initially, Hermione and the others didn't agree to his plan, they tried to reason with him by saying that he will be distracted accounting the welfare of Cedric, Fleur and Krum, but in the end, they succumbed to his reasoning fearing for his safety.

"Thank you." He thanked them sincerely.

Cedric then began out of the blue, "We have to wake him up and explain these things to him too."

"I fear what he will do when he learns that we were ones who 'Stunned' him." He commented while worrying just a little.

Meanwhile, Cedric and Fleur both took a few steps back simultaneously, meaning that he will have to the one, who wakes Krum. He looked at them in shock and he asked in a peevish manner, "Why does it have to be me?"

"It was your idea to save 'im…" Fleur reasoned with an awkward smile.

He exhaled sharply as he replied with evident frustration, "Unbelievable…" With that, he knelt down in order to wake up the hefty Bulgarian.

Another Ten minutes later-

He was walking hurriedly, as he was soothing his bruised left jaw with his left hand as he snapped in a slightly different voice, "Technically, she is the one who 'Stunned' you, and you should be punching her in the face." He complained concurrently implying Fleur, who was smiling awkwardly, while Cedric was giving a deadpanned look.

"I…am sorry…!" Krum replied regretfully although the apology sounded rather hollow and indifferent.

"Shush…" Cedric hushed all his fellow champions.

"Don't shush me." He protested sharply, "I have every right to complain, you weren't the one who got punched in the face for your girlfriend's 'Stunner'."

"SHUSH…" Krum, Fleur and Cedric, all three hushed him simultaneously and he, in turn, looked both appalled and shocked by their simultaneous response.

And that's when he tuned in and listened to the noises of the maze as a peculiar sound stood out, a very familiar rustling noise, which was getting closer and closer. Cedric being the one who was walking last, he was the first one to hear the noise that was continually becoming sharper as it grew louder.

All three champions noticed their youngest colleague's expression shifting from amusement to appalling to being absolutely serious.

He was first one to realise what it was that was coming towards them, "Guys, I suggest that we run." As soon as he said that, over the tall hedges, six menacing Acromantulas, each of them, the size of a horse quickly paced over the top of the hedges to their location, almost surrounding them while leaving only one way for them to proceed to, forward.

Krum was the first one to react; the Bulgarian yelled and raced away, "Split up…"

Without warning, Cedric and Fleur ran forward behind the Bulgarian and took the immediate right, while Krum took the consecutive left. He sighed heavily, as he had wanted them to run as soon as he had warned them, and also to move in a group so that they can defend themselves better, but now there was no point in trying to outrun these giant spiders separately and that too on foot. To him, it was fairly obvious that these huge spiders were provoked by Crouch Jr and then directed towards them on purpose because they hadn't provoked these creatures in any way for these Acromantulas to track and attack them.

His fellow champions' apparent flight triggered the Acromantulas to rush behind them. He, on the other hand, stood his ground, in the path of the spiders, as all the Acromantulas zeroed in on him. At the last possible moment, he plunged to his right and disappeared in through the thick hedges like an intangible object, leaving the Acromantulas no possible scent to track him by.

Subsequent to his disappearance, the Acromantulas rushed forward picking up the scent of Cedric, Fleur and Krum, while following behind them. Cedric and Fleur were the closest ones to catch up to, hence the spiders followed behind the closest targets.

Soon the Acromantulas cornered Cedric and Fleur to a dead end and closed in on them both for the kill. Cedric and Fleur stood their ground facing the Acromantulas. Fleur had her wand at the ready, while Cedric was unarmed, as he had dropped his wand on the way. They both knew that even if they sent red sparks into the air for support, assistance wouldn't arrive in time.

Suddenly a huge wind started blowing through the maze and this triggered the Acromantulas to rush in on them almost instantly. Cedric and Fleur held hands and closed their eyes accepting their impending doom. Both stood there for a whole minute expecting the Acromantulas to maul them, but nothing happened as the wind kept getting stronger and stronger.

They slowly opened their eyes to find out what was keeping the spiders at bay. But to their horror, they saw a bloody huge snake, the size of over one hundred feet in length stretching past them while moving towards the Acromantulas. Its body was overlapped over them both, while sprawling on top of the hedges, on both the sides, while the tall bushes were straining under the weight of the snake's heavy body.

The snake pecked the closest Acromantula and trapped it in its mouth in one move and it whipped its upper body once and subsequently threw the dead Acromantula away across the hedges of the maze.

Instantly, the remaining Acromantulas fled in fear, while Fleur and Cedric both stood petrified on spot, praying to god that the monstrous snake won't notice them. They were interrupted off of their thoughts when they heard someone speak from behind them, "You have no idea…how much magic…I spent…to conjure that…snake. I won't…wait here…any longer." Behind them stood their youngest fellow champion leaning down and holding onto his knees while gasping heavily for air. What he failed to mention was the 'invisibility charm' that hid the huge snake from being evident to the audience and the monitoring squads of aurors outside the maze, it was that what made it difficult for him to maintain the rather large supply of magic.

With that, Fleur took hold of Cedric's hand and ran to Harry while pulling her boyfriend along. They all ran away quite a distance, but close enough to the snake's range, still fearing for the remaining Acromantulas, and there they stopped to rest for a bit. Harry raised his wand in the air and gave a long horizontal wave and the conjured snake disappeared and as the creature vanished, he then gasped quite hard.

After only a few minutes of rest, he spoke softly, "Come on, let's go find, Krum."

Fleur and Cedric looked at each other as if weighing their options and then they both turned to him and nodded their heads simultaneously, agreeing with his suggestion. Because Fleur and Cedric now believed that it would be better to navigate through the maze as a team rather than finding the Triwizard Cup alone.

Fleur raised her wand to the sky and spoke, "Accio…" She summoned Cedric's wand that the Hufflepuff had lost earlier. Meanwhile, he cast the 'Point-me' spell in order to find Krum. Once they were all settled, he followed the direction his wand pointed him to and his fellow champions trailed behind him.

Around eighteen minutes later-

Cedric and Fleur were following behind the boy who had saved them earlier. All three simultaneously heard a scream, to which they panicked, but the scream was followed by a growl that sounded a lot like Krum and now they were confused.

Fleur immediately cast a spell, nonverbally, the spell instantly made the hedge beside them to vanish altogether and then she led point. Soon they came across an injured Krum who was being chased by a 'Sphinx'. The creature stopped when it saw them approaching the Bulgarian Champion, the creature had the body of an over-large lion, great clawed paws and a long yellowish tail ending in a brown tuft. Its head, however, was that of a woman.

"Oh shit…" Harry muttered to himself, but the silence made it loud enough for everyone to hear.

She stared at them all for a moment and then turned its attention on Krum. The creature spoke in a feminine voice, "This one failed to answer the riddle, he must be punished. Stand aside…"

"What riddle, we don't know any riddle, just let us pass." Cedric being nervous, he blabbered out loud sounding worried.

He stepped forward and tried to defuse the situation, "Give us another chance at the riddle, we will solve it." Krum, on the other hand, moaned loudly as he was on the ground in obvious pain, due to the bite marks and scratches on his chest.

"You are a brave one, speaker…" The Sphinx spoke softly, then continued after a pause, "I gave the last one, three choices, but you only get two. Answer my riddle correctly, I'll let you pass…, fail and I attack."

"Okay…" He immediately agreed to the sphinx's terms, since he knew the creature's question.

Cedric pulled him back by catching his shoulder and spoke agitatedly, "Harry this isn't a good idea, it's four against one, we'll fight it and find a way to move forward."

"Zat won't work!" Fleur commented on hearing her boyfriend's idea.

"Why…?" Cedric asked not understanding the danger of fighting a sphinx.

"Because a sphinx's skin has very potent magical resistivity, which far surpasses that of the Dragons and Basilisks, nothing short of the 'Killing curse' will work and even such a curse will fail if you don't 'mean' it. Even spells like conjuring ropes to restrain it will fail because the magical resistivity will wear off the conjuration very quickly and the creature will escape and once it does, it will come after us. If you want to fight that Sphinx, which is about the size of an over-large lion with your bare hands, be my guest, Cedric." He explained in an equally agitated tone, but also in detail.

Cedric stared dead at him for a few minutes and then he spoke hurriedly, "Solving the riddle seems good!" He nodded his head back vigorously at Cedric accepting the boy's consent.

"Answer this…" The Sphinx gave them the riddle.

"First think of the person, who lives in disguise,

Who deals in secrets and tells nought but lies.

Next, tell me what's always the last thing to be mended?

The middle of middle and end of the end…?

And finally, give me the sound often heard,

During the search for a hard-to-find word.

Now string them together and answer me this,

Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"

Cedric and Fleur were thinking whereas Krum was relieved that the creature wasn't attacking him, whereas he waited for a minute feigning to think and then he pretended as if he was unsure and answered, "Spyder? SPIDER…!"

Everyone else stared at the creature waiting for it to attack or to let them pass; the Sphinx just stood aside and made way for them to pass. Instantly, they all looked at him in shock, and he simply grinned awkwardly and replied, "I'm good at riddles." With that, they all walked past the creature without it attacking them, and Cedric supported the injured Bulgarian up and helped him move.

Then they all cautiously walked the final one hundred yards towards the Triwizard Cup. The trophy was on a stone pedestal at the centre of a circular opening of the maze with several visible routes all around it. However, they didn't dare go near it because they were sure that a trap was close by.

He raised his wand and randomly pointed it towards a path and he cast one of Hermione's spells, "Homenum Revelio…" He kept moving his wand while pointing it to every pathway but the results still were negative, there was nobody to ambush them.

At the same time, Fleur and Krum cast a few spells to ensure that there wasn't a trap, "This is strange; I expected a trap in the end at the very least." Cedric was the first one to voice his thoughts.

"So did I…!" Surprisingly Krum supported Cedric's statement.

"Ve must take the trophy and get out of the maze, now." Krum cautioned them to hurry.

"We…?" Cedric asked astonished by the Bulgarian's nerve.

And Fleur continued to her boyfriend's place, "Ze trophy is not ours, it is Arry's…"

"Vhat…?" Krum was outraged that he won't get a share of the credit.

Cedric explained casually, "It was Harry's idea that helped us get here. He is the one that got us out of trouble, so by definition, we owe him."

Meanwhile, he was weighing the pros and cons of his plan of action. He felt bad about putting his colleagues in trouble, but if he didn't do it, then there is no point in him having had worked this hard at saving them and getting them through the maze all the while leading them here. He would have simply knocked each of them out and made sure that they were out of the maze and out of danger. He watched the three champions who were in a discussion for a time, and then he intervened, "I agree with Krum. We'll all equally share the credit amongst ourselves."

"Harry, you saved us, you deserve this more than any of us, maybe more than all three of us together."

He countered back smoothly, "I'm not even supposed to be in this tournament, Cedric. Furthermore, I'm the one who caused all of these problems in the first place, I just did what I thought would be right, so that it would recompense for the trouble I've caused. You guys don't owe me anything."

It was obvious to him that Fleur and Cedric's morals didn't allow them to act on their unilateral desires. And so, just as they were about to counter back, he stopped them as he began, "We'll all take the Cup together, end of discussion."

He walked towards the Triwizard Cup and he then raised and held his hand just near the handle waiting for others to join him. Fleur and Cedric walked together and stood to oppose him on the other side of the Triwizard Cup and finally, Krum came and stood near him. "On three..." He instructed and continued, "One, two, and three!"

They all simultaneously took hold of the respective handles of the Cup and they all subsequently felt a pull on their navel and they disappeared with a shimmering twist of warped images.

At the Stadium-

The guests and students who were watching the on-going third task via the projector screens seemed bored. To them, the task was unsatisfying because the Champions were all simply navigating through the maze with their wands at the ready. For the last hour, the only action they witnessed was the Bulgarian Champion, Victor Krum, overcoming the 'Limbo Mist' and that too was at the beginning of the task.

Remus who was keeping a close eye on the imposter noticed a slight movement in the man's posture. Meanwhile, Moody reached into his left pocket and took a golden pocket-watch and checked the time, however, the man's magical eye still seemed to be pointed at the maze. As he was about to turn back to view the progress of the task, suddenly, a thin unnoticeable smile almost touched the man's face before it disappeared, however, it didn't go unnoticed by Remus.

Remus was about to inform Sirius of the imposter's reaction but was interrupted. Suddenly, there was a huge commotion from the crowd beside him because the projector screens above showed the images of Harry running into the maze with the other Champions still waiting their turn to enter the maze. The images were running from the very beginning again and it naturally meant that the projectors weren't working.

As soon as the commotion of the crowd began, almost all the aurors rushed into the maze, while successfully alarming everyone in the vicinity.

Sirius looked at Remus and gave him a deliberate look, and when Remus met his fellow Marauder's gaze with his own, they both simultaneously turned back to look at Moody's imposter only to find the intruder to be missing. Sirius immediately turned to observe Amelia only to find her, Dumbledore and Cornelius surrounded by a group of angry people, a group containing, Igor Karkaroff, Madam Maxime, Mister Amos Diggory along with Mister and Mrs Delacour.

Neither Sirius nor Remus or Rosalie saw any benefit in arguing with Cornelius or Dumbledore. They realised it would be better if they apprehended the responsible party on their own before the imposter could escape, it was the plan they had discussed independently of Harry's opinion. Harry had wanted it to happen just like it happened the last time around. Dumbledore apprehending Crouch Jr, with the only change being that they prevent Cornelius from having the Dementors kiss the imposter. Though they had other plans in mind; Hermione advised that Harry's usual emotional detachment made him almost inconsiderate of human lives when it is of a collateral nature. As such, they resolved to take action if Harry refused to do it and that was exactly what they were doing, taking action.

Hermione quickly approached Sirius, Remus and Rosalie intending to ask the status of the situation. However, Sirius started inquiring before she could ask her question, "Hermione, do you have the Marauders' Map?"

"No, it's with Harry... I mean, it must be in Harry's trunk." She replied as it made sense to her because she too noticed the absence of one Alastor Moody. Because, if the man went back to the castle, then it would only be wise to keep track of him and if necessary, apprehend him before he escapes.

Sirius thought for a brief moment and then spoke, "Hermione take Rosalie with you and get the map from Harry's trunk. Use it and if you find Crouch anywhere in the castle's vicinity, then signal us via Patronus and intercept him at the earliest."

"Moony, go to Alastor's room and check the area. If you find Crouch in there, then do not engage him directly just keep him confined to the room. And if you do engage, then don't compromise your safety by holding back all in an attempt at capturing him, safety first, just go for the kill." Sirius ordered his friend.

"Where are you going?" Remus inquired wanting to know where his friend would be.

"To Hogwarts' underground Rune room... If Crouch tries to use the floo or the gates, then I'll be able to keep track of him for a while. We must hurry, Harry's out there fighting for everything we believe in, and it is imperative that we pull this off." Sirius finished with an inspirational note at the end. Sirius was fairly sure and positive that he would be able to convince his ancestor, Phineas Nigellus Black's portrait and get access to the Rune room.

They all gave a nod of acknowledgement to each other and they subsequently split up separately in order to go about their assigned tasks.

In the Castle (Dungeon Corridor)-

"You shouldn't have involved me, Barty. You almost blew my bloody cover." Snape barked being infuriated by his fellow Death Eater. The two Death Eaters were walking as quickly as they can while maintaining a distance as they both hated each other for various reasons and yet they were united by the cause that guided them towards the common goal.

"This is one of the most strategically expedient locations in all of Britain. The Dark Lord demanded that we install some reconnoitring spells in the castle and that is what we must do. I've waited this long because of the increased scrutiny and not to mention the squads of Aurors monitoring the castle walls for the entirety of the year. The chances of the spells being discovered and to be undone were rather high, this is the right moment for the installation and I need someone to cover me as I do it." Barty Crouch Jr, who was still in Moody's body form reasoned carefully yet in an irritated gruff tone.

"That is supposed to be your job and yours alone, not mine. The Dark Lord made it mandatory to me that I have to keep myself hidden and among Dumbledore's trusted members, and by doing this for you, I'm compromising my own mission's parameters." Snape retaliated back being equally angry.

"When the Aurors are finished in the maze, they will be back here in the castle to search for any signs of intruders, we only have a limited window here and we have to make this count, now. Are you in, or do I have to inform the Dark Lord that your non-cooperation has led me to my failure regarding the task 'he' entrusted me with?" Crouch reasoned with logic and defeated Snape's ire.

Snape agreed with a bit of tooth-gritting, "Very well, let's just get this over with as quickly as possible…"

"Nobody is going anywhere." A voice came out of nowhere particular but it kept echoing through the corridor. Meanwhile, both the Death Eaters stopped abruptly as they heard the voice that alarmed them.

Crouch and Snape were standing in the mid-path of an H-shaped corridor. One of the most important places to embed the required spells to monitor the castle was right ahead of them and the obstacle that stopped them from moving forward was one Sirius Black.

Snape didn't even turn his head to acknowledge Sirius instead he simply spoke to Barty Crouch Jr lethargically and yet proudly, "I'll deal with this…I already have Black under the influence of my lasting Imperius." Crouch, who was still in Moody's physical form visibly deflated and eased at his fellow Death Eater's statement regarding Sirius Black. Crouch, was no fool, he knew that Black was a formidable adversary on his own right. An enemy who was both capable and skilled enough to injure the Dark Lord in a duel and escape alive and a man with such skills was not to be trifled with, at least not without some stable assistance.

Suddenly, Snape's wand's tip suddenly went bright with an eerie purplish glow and he voiced his command, "I order you to step aside and forget of this forever." Snape stood there with his guard wide open still expecting Sirius to obey his orders.

The Marauder didn't reply, instead, he swiftly whipped his wand out and non-verbally shot a blue orb without any kind of warning. Crouch Jr drew his own wand out intending on defending himself, but the spell wasn't pointed at him, it instantly disarmed the conniving Potioneer, relieving the bat off of his wand. The moment the 'disarming spell' made contact, all of a sudden, out of nowhere a thick black smoke covered the entire corridor while completely enclosing Crouch and Snape, leaving them trapped inside the smoke.

The next thing the hook-nosed Potioneer saw was Sirius Black appearing through the smoke in blinding speeds, straight in front of him. The only thing that registered in his devious mind was the debilitating kick on his lower abdomen as pain completely overcame the Potioneer's mind. The pain was so blinding that he didn't realise himself being flung backwards due to the kick or roughly falling on his back. The smoke that surrounded him didn't help one bit, he couldn't breathe and at the same time breathing made him cough profusely, but every time he coughed his stomach pained sharply that he had to stop himself from breathing.

Meanwhile, Crouch Jr banished the smoke with a 'Reverse-Impervius Charm'. When the smoke cleared, the imposter was stunned to see Sirius standing beside him on his left, all the while impassively staring at him with an active Bubble-Head Charm covering both his nose and mouth to counter the smoke.

Crouch immediately tried to point his wand at the Marauder, but unfortunately, the man was right handed and Sirius Black was standing to his left, unsurprisingly, he couldn't react to the Marauder fast enough. Before he could comprehend, he was forcefully pushed to the wall behind him, successfully throwing him off balance. The moment he stumbled down, the imposter again tried to point his wand at the enraged godfather.

Sirius instead swiftly caught Crouch's right hand with his left and stopped it midway with the wand still being pointed away from him. And then he continued the flow as he kicked on the back of Crouch's left leg, effectively making the imposter to buckle down to one knee. Crouch swung Moody's cane hoping to hit his opponent with the length of it, but Sirius was prepared, he used the 'Cutting Curse' on the cane making it split into two pieces, successfully putting the imposter out of balance. And then, he followed through by using another 'Cutting Curse' on the left side of the imposter's stomach causing a deep laceration. And subsequently, he used a purple hex that created an explosive push-burst onto the imposter's bleeding stomach. With that, Sirius simply stepped back and watched as his offensive hex propelled the imposter flying into the door of the empty classroom nearby while the door shattered open on impact.

Sirius quickly followed into the classroom towards the imposter Moody who seemed as if he was trying to get up from the floor again. Crouch Jr tried to feign his incapacity and get his opponent off guard by whipping his wand towards Sirius at the last moment and curse him. Hoping that the head of the Black Family would be close enough to not be able to dodge it but take the full brunt of it.

But unfortunately, before Crouch could initiate his plan and put it into action, he felt a right-handed punch connect to the left side of his face which disarmed him instantly as the imposter fell face-first on the ground, with the wand flying to the floor. Sirius turned Crouch Jr's body over as he punched the man's face again while iterating a very serious question, "Where…" another punch and he kept on asking, "…is…" another punch followed, "…my…" another punch, "…godson?" Sirius stopped when his anger subsided and when he stood up; he slowly nursed his right wrist and knuckles. He had to do this for appearance's sake, but since it came with a good amount of personal satisfaction, he did it decisively.

On the other hand, Crouch Jr was a bloody mess, as the imposter was barely conscious to comprehend what was happening to him and yet he was somehow still awake. At that very moment, the Polyjuice Potion wore off and the imposter transformed back to his original form. Whereas, original Moody's magical eye which was unhooked when Sirius thrashed Crouch Jr, the magical eye fell to the ground and it kept moving about on its own. All of this happened in a span of a minute.

Sirius, who took a minute to calm himself, noticed the magical eye lying on the ground. He was so disgusted by Moody's single magical eye; he failed to notice the moving figure behind him. And Sirius got a reply for his previous question to the now incapacitated Crouch Jr. However, the answer to his question came from the Potioneer standing behind him by the doorframe, who was pointing his wand at the Marauder.

Anger got the best of the hook-nosed Potioneer, a momentary lapse in judgement that caused the fool to point his wand at Sirius intending on finishing things forever, "You can go and meet him yourself, Black. Avada…" Snape spat furiously and was about to cast the 'Killing Curse' with every bit of his mustered hate conveniently derived from his memories about Sirius Black, James Potter, Harry Potter and the Marauders.

Unfortunately for Snape, he never had a chance to finish, as he felt a tight grip on his right wrist, the Potioneer who was barely holding himself up-straight flinched sharply at the iron grip. The prejudiced Potioneer glanced to his right only to see Remus Lupin shaking his head sideways indicating that he was wrong. Remus pulled the Potioneer towards him via the tight grip on his wrist and then tossed him backwards like a rag doll using his superior strength, a useful side effect of his lycanthropy affliction.

As Snape fell down, he dropped his wand. The hook-nosed Potioneer stumbled on the ground and mustered up all of his remaining strength, ignoring his pain and tried to crawl towards his wand. But just as he was about to reach to his wand, someone stepped on his wrist and he looked up only to see the deputy headmistress of Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall pointing her wand right at his face along with Potter's girlfriend Granger and a blonde woman standing right behind the deputy headmistress. Merely a moment later, Snape saw a very familiar red flash from the tip of Minerva's wand and everything went black.

Near the Maze's Entrance-

By now, it was confirmed that the Triwizard champions were all missing and the Triwizard Cup/portkey was off the grid. The aurors checked the maze and found out that the portkey was indeed activated and the champion who took it must have been transported somewhere else, but they all had a question, what happened to the other champions who failed to reach the cup.

The Minister of Magic was doing his best to calm the enraged parent of one Cedric Diggory, "Calm down, Amos…we've sent every available Auror into the maze in search of the children, they will find them." Cornelius tried to reassure the distressed father.

The elder Diggory retorted, "It's been more than an hour, Cornelius. They should begin searching elsewhere too."

"Don't worry; everything's being worked on from different directions." Cornelius did his best to assure them all.

"Zat isn't good enough." Madam Maxime claimed seriously with Mister and Mrs Delacour nodding in agreement standing right beside the French Headmistress.

Meanwhile, the former Death Eater, Igor Karkaroff was very silent because he could literally feel the dark magic surging in through the Dark Mark again, he started feeling its profound effect almost twenty minutes ago and it almost had him petrified. It meant only one thing, the Dark Lord was back and he knew that the disappearance of the Triwizard champions and the Dark Mark becoming active again was no isolated coincidence and the presence of Harry Potter among the missing made perfect sense.

Suddenly, there was a loud gasp from the crowd behind them, who were all observing everything quite carefully. The group of concerned parents and officials turned towards the closed entrance of the maze hoping that their children have arrived, but they were disappointed. In their disappointment, they turned towards the crowded stadium and noticed the crowd viewing a blue light emitting orb approaching them from above.

The orb approached and stopped a few feet before them and then it morphed taking the shape of a cat. A voice echoed from the cat, the voice of Minerva McGonagall, "Albus, Amelia, Minister, please come to the castle immediately. There is a situation that requires your attention."

Albus and Amelia immediately rushed away to the castle, closely followed by the parents, the Heads of the foreign schools along with the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Amelia, however, was positive that their plan had come to an end. Many of the Ministry employees who were all seated among the crowd, immediately stood up and walked down intending on following after the group towards the Hogwarts castle, but they were all promptly stopped by the aurors who were previously guarding the entrance of the maze.

Champions' Chamber-

Cornelius was the first one to walk in, he swung open the door and he bellowed out loud, "What in the name of Merlin is going on in here?"

Cornelius stopped short and stood there in shock when he noticed the two people bound to the chairs. Flitwick, Vector, Pince and McGonagall, Sirius and Hermione were guarding the bounded Death Eaters, while Madam Pomfrey and Rosalie were nursing Crouch Jr's injuries.

Barty Crouch Jr and Severus Snape were tied up to the chairs they were sitting on; both of them were unconscious in a seated position. Madam Pomfrey and Rosalie were both tending to Crouch Jr's injury, the facial injuries were minor enough as it wasn't anything that won't heal in time, but the wound on the stomach was a little serious that had to be treated immediately.

Behind the Minister, Remus brought the rest of the crowd. Dumbledore, Amelia, Mister and Mrs Delacour, Mister Diggory, Karkaroff and Maxime all walked inside the chamber only to see something none expected to see. Everyone was surprised, meanwhile, Amelia was thrown off for a moment when she saw Snape bound to a chair along with Crouch Jr, but she didn't think much of it. However, Karkaroff was the most expressive of all; he was ashen as if he has seen a ghost, his gaze was locked on Crouch Jr.

Fudge was the first one to recover, "Good heavens, that's Barty Crouch Jr."

Moments later, all hell broke loose; everyone began speaking and shouting at each other. Mister Diggory, Igor Karkaroff and Fudge were no strangers to Death Eater caused conflicts, whereas Madam Maxime and Mister Delacour knew about Barty Crouch Jr having heard about the entire incident about Barty Crouch and his disgraced son from the dignitaries at breakfast on the morning of the first task.

"SILENCE…" Dumbledore yelled out loud and earned the attention of everyone present in the room.

"Let's not lose our heads people. We'll evaluate this calmly and rationally." Dumbledore stated impassively in a composed manner. However, on the inside, the man was furious, how could this happen even with all of his careful planning, he didn't know. And above all, how was he supposed to vouch for Snape, if he was incompetent enough to get caught playing a double game. He asked curiously wanting to know the seriousness of the situation, "Firstly, may I ask what Severus is doing in that chair?"

"We detained him, Albus…" McGonagall replied quickly, sensing the hidden notion behind the headmaster's query. McGonagall's answer was short and stern because the deputy headmistress was disappointed with herself that children were exposed to a Death Eater disguised as a potions professor for all these years and she had done nothing to stop it, she simply chose to trust in Albus and in his infinite wisdom. And the knowledge that she could have done something to help the children made it all the more difficult for her to digest.

"I'm sure that is unnecessary, Minerva. I'm positive that this is all just a misunderstanding." Albus replied carefully, but not really expecting anyone to listen to him. He wanted to vouch for Severus, but with Cornelius's presence, he decided to choose his words carefully. He most likely would have vouched for the Potioneer if it wasn't Minerva who responded to his previous query. Since it was Minerva who reacted, he was fairly certain that things were serious.

"He tried to use the killing curse on me, Albus. They're the ones who are responsible for my godson, who is currently missing. Perhaps, we should simply accept your words and just agree that this is all a big misunderstanding!" Sirius exclaimed mockingly.

"Calm yourself, mate!" Remus spoke trying to make the best of their current situation.

"What happened?" Amos Diggory asked being unable to keep his curiosity contained any longer.

Minerva took a single step forward and replied, "When Mister Black, Mister Lupin and Miss Rosalie along with Miss Granger here realised that something has happened in the maze, they assumed that whoever is responsible for all this, must have been in the immediate vicinity. They also correctly speculated that this perpetrator would attempt an escape and so they immediately returned to the castle in an attempt to stop whoever that did this before they can elude. They all split up in order to cover a large area and fortunately, Sirius here intercepted the perpetrators in the dungeon corridor and stalled for time. I myself was in the castle, I was about to check the wards for any unusual activities, Miss Granger and Miss Rosalie here…, they found me and informed me of everything and subsequently we grouped together and captured these 'two' in the act."

Cornelius laughed happily, "Ah hah, finally…, some good news. We have the ones responsible for this entire fiasco."

Cornelius turned around to Amelia and spoke, "Madam Bones, they're all yours. Do whatever you have to do and straighten up this mess, any cost, any price."

"We've got them, Amos." Cornelius turned to the distressed father. None in the room was surprised by the bureaucrat's evasive speech and his obvious attempt at damage control.

To this, Amos Diggory simply turned around and walked away quickly, he wanted to know his son was safe and that was the only thing that mattered to him. The Delacour parents too followed behind the distressed man who was heading back towards the stadium.

But before any of them could even reach the door, a brown-haired auror opened the door and addressed Amelia, "Madam Bones, the champions have arrived, but there's bad news. It seems…Harry Potter has been…killed."

As everyone stood there in stunned shock, before anyone could even comprehend what was happening, Hermione ran to the door and pushed the auror out the way and rushed outside in tears. Sirius and Remus followed behind her with the others quickly following.

Hermione only had one thought going through her mind as she ran towards the stadium, "Harry, please be alright."

I'm sorry for the long wait, but I got a new job and I barely get any time to write stories, but I'm doing my best. At the same time, I've had other ideas for Naruto stories which I wanted to try. Thinking of four stories and writing them simultaneously in the little free time that I get is very difficult. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter.

Until next time,

Thank You…