A/N so many of you will know that this one has been floating around in my head for a while, this was one of the first pairings I adored while reading the books and sadly there are not too many stories. This fic will be split into three parts, the first I have drafted which will cover the TriWizard Tournament.
Thank you to Kreeblim Sabs who helped a lot with this chapter!
Hermione landed ungraciously on her back and winced at the shudder that ripped through her frame. Magic was perfect for expedient travel, but when these methods had been invented, those involved seemingly hadn't focused on comfort in the same way that muggles did. Every form of magical transportation seemed to include some variant on being squeezed within a tube or dropped from a great height.
As Ginny helped her to her feet, she shot a pointless scowl at the old brown boot, while trying surreptitiously to dislodge any grass from the back of her bum. She was sure she would be covered in grass from where she fell. Her humiliation was increased by Cedric Diggory's artful drop into the middle of them, not a hair out of place.
She watched him saunter through the rest of the tangled bodies with the hint of a smirk on his chiselled face. When she began to think unkind thoughts about the unruffled pretty boy she cut herself off, it wasn't his fault she was in a bad mood. Though she couldn't help the eye roll as he moved between herself and Ginny murmuring "Ladies".
She wasn't even sure why she was here; she didn't even like Quidditch. Or at least she didn't like the time the others devoted to it. Since she had arrived at the Weasley house, the evening before, it was all any of them could talk about.
She didn't want to be ungrateful, it was clearly a massive deal that Mr Weasley had got these tickets, and she was very pleased to have been asked, she just wasn't sure that she would enjoy it. Worse still she couldn't help but worry that she would mess it all up for everyone, by saying the wrong thing, angering Ron and causing Harry to be disappointed in her.
Once they had rubbed the various aches and pains in their limbs Mr Weasley and Mr Diggory took the lead talking animatedly about events at The Ministry. Hermione brought up the rear with Ginny, and the red head channelled her excitement by talking non-stop at Hermione, moving between discussion of Irish players that 'even Hermione would be able to get interested in' and sighs relating to the fit of Harry's jeans.
A short walk later all of Hermione's concerns fell away as they stood on the crest of a large hill overlooking the biggest, noisiest campsite that Hermione had ever seen. It was vast and so very full of life that she found it breathtaking. At the furthest point, she could just make out the stadium in the distance if she squinted her eyes from the sun.
Navigating the campsite should've been difficult; Hermione couldn't help but be impressed at the level of the organisation The Ministry had undertaken, earning her a beam from Percy when he heard her whispering her praises to Ginny. Mr Weasley had a plot number for their tent as well as a map which lead them in the right direction in no time.
Despite the ease of their route Hermione had never been the best with crowds, mainly due to being shorter than most of the others there. After stumbling for the third time, Hermione jumped as she was grabbed on either side of her waist and lifted off the ground, releasing a yelp as she was chucked forward and dropped onto Fred's back. She turned abruptly to see George smirking at her.
"Now, now Granger" he spoke placatingly with a beam that did nothing to hide his amusement.
"Temper temper" Fred broke in from in front of her.
"We were only trying…"
"... to prevent you from injuring yourself."
Realising the futility in a potential protest, Hermione just sighed before scrambling to link her hands around Fred's neck as he ran off at speed.
When they made it to the tent, she was more than a little bemused. It looked old and shabby round the edges, not that any of that mattered to her, she was more concerned that it appeared to be a one-man berth. She managed a quick, slightly panicked glance at Harry who was looking equally wide-eyed before Fred abruptly dropped his knees and they walked in.
She gasped in surprise as she took in the interior. Hermione had been in the magical world for three years now but it never stopped surprising her, inside the tent was like a small apartment; decorated in a similar style to the Weasley's home with homemade blankets and knick-knacks scattered everywhere.
Fred crouched to let her down, and before he feet were firmly planted on the floor, an excitable Ginny grabbed her wrist and dragged her off to the smallest bedroom to pick beds.
Minutes later the tent was full with the usual squabbling that could be found when all the Weasley children were at home, and Mr Weasley sent the youngest of them out of the tent to explore, meaning her usual trio carried the additions of Ginny and the twins.
She moved too quick for George to grab her this time, opting to stick next to Ginny instead, now that most people had settled the crowds weren't so bad, or at least the people weren't carrying as much stuff.
If she had thought the Weasley tent was impressive she hadn't seen anything yet, tents of all shapes and sizes were put up in neatly ordered rows, most covered in flags or decoration declaring their support for one of the teams in the evenings final.
Fred and George took it in turns to list off the scores and attributes of the Irish team players and Hermione tried her best to keep up with the rest of her group started to sound as if they were communicating in another language.
She knew enough to discern that Ireland were favourites to win that evening, as well as popular with the fans. Not to say there weren't Bulgarian fans in the campsite as there were obviously many, where there was red one face was draped over tents and flying from banners more than any other. Seeking to redirect the conversation in any other direction, even if it was still about Quidditch, she pointed towards the nearest one.
"Who's that?" she asked idly.
Five faces turned to look at her with expressions that ranged from incredulous to full horror.
"That Hermione… that" began Ron sputtering "is the best seeker in the world... Viktor Krum"
"Oh, a seeker?...Like Harry" Harry looked decidedly happy with her pronouncement, and she was glad to have done something right.
Ron began a speech of Viktor's prowess that sounded like he might have moved alarmingly beyond hero worship.
"He looks a little grumpy," Hermione said, tilting her head to the side to look a little closer, seeking to derail Ron from his declarations before the Twins began hassling him.
As that didn't work and the others began taunting Ron mercilessly for his passionate display, Hermione turned back to the face on display. Grumpy didn't seem to be the best way to describe him, the more she looked, the more she recognised the expression he wore looked like possible reluctance to be in front of the camera, which was something to be empathised with, though he was scowling slightly more than she would do in pictures.
His dark hair was clipped close to his head with a dark prominent brow that was made all the more so by the expression on his face, pulling his eyebrows down over his eyes. He looked older than seventeen; she suspected this was to do with being more worldly, considering he already had a professional career, whatever that entailed.
He wasn't pretty, not in the way many of the players Ginny had shown her were, not in the way Oliver Wood or Cedric were, but, there was something there. He had a largish nose and a full mouth both of which wouldn't normally be attractive features, but somehow they worked for him.
While the twins continued to rib Ron over his undying affection for the Bulgarian, Hermione absentmindedly regarded the nick in his right eyebrow, wondering if it came from a Quidditch injury.
When night had fallen the Weasleys and guests had all bundled up against the incoming chill and joined the streams of fans heading towards the stadium, it was so tremendous Hermione could barely take it all in. She had been impressed with the structure of the stands at Hogwarts, this was so far beyond that, beyond compare actually.
The excitement among the party ratcheted almost with every step they took towards The Minister's box; even Hermione had begun to succumb to the delight of the event, she may not have been the biggest fan of the sport, but she couldn't deny the splendour and magnitude of the evening.
As they found their seats Hermione's eyes lit up and she regarded the magically illuminated pitch and the thousands of fans visible from her perfect spot. A shiver moved through her, whether down to the mounting excitement or the slight chill she couldn't be sure and Fred leant over to secure his Ireland scarf around her neck. Hermione smiled gratefully and privately ruminated on how strange it was not to be wearing house colours. That was until the team mascots arrived, producing such a massive response from the crowd that for the first time since she had joined the magical world, she concentrated on the sporting action happening in front of her without looking for a distraction.
Viktor felt the air rush around him as he zipped into the stadium in preplanned formation with his teammates. Everything he had been working for, since even before he could even remember clearly had been building to this moment. After a couple of quick laps of the stadium and some, admittedly, showy tricks he began to shut off into his professional mode.
It was harder than normal, though he had been playing at a national level for a while and had experience of being a respected, famous player the scale here was something else. He had attempted to keep a low profile all day and had avoided the campsite entirely. Anywhere he had gone he'd used a few complex transfiguration to charms to disguise himself completely, not that it took a great deal, people were expecting to see Viktor Krum the international Quidditch star, most days he could blend in just by making sure not to wear anything sport affiliated.
He missed seeing the campsite a little, though, from the noises he had been able to hear all day it sounded like the crowds are having a good amount of fun. He was sure he could forgo those pleasures to avoid looking at flags depicting his face; he had been ribbed enough about the ones that were visible from the stadium.
As the game began in earnest Viktor became single-minded in his search for the snitch, he relied on the other members of the squad to tell him when he could or could not act. It was evident fairly early on from the face of his captain that the match was not going their way. That development was not unexpected; Ireland had put together an incredibly strong side. When he registered the pre-planned throat cutting motion he knew he had been given the green light, they wouldn't win, but they would end it on their terms.
Like the rest of the team, the Irish Seeker was a great player, and certainly far superior to the other adversaries he had battled with to get to the final. Aidan Lynch had also been buoyed by the strength of his team; Viktor knew he would have to do something drastic to shake him off, failure to catch the snitch was not an option.
He waited until Lynch had tucked behind him, in close formation, before he began a sudden, quick ascent to the ground, darting slightly as if tracking the snitch's fluttering movement. He suppressed a grin when he heard the rush of a behind him letting him know he was being followed. He forced the front of his broom down, rapidly gathering speed and narrowing his eyes to pinpoint the very last moment he could pull back.
The stadium noise was gone, the bright lights muted as he focused on the pitch below that he was fast approaching. When he could make out the individual blades, making up the sea of green, he hastily pulled back on his broom, speeding back up again hearing the crunch is Lynch collided with the ground.
He felt a familiar rush of adrenaline at his move success, the first time he tried that he broke every bone in his right arm by misjudging the distance. It felt unbelievable to have pulled it off on an international stage, with any luck talk of that would soften the blow of the loss.
Seconds later a new kind of adrenaline took over when he spotted, in his peripheral vision, the flickering shimmer of gold. He sped after the tiny orb in a motion he had come to think of as having more resemblance to dancing with an unwilling partner than sport of any kind. Locked in pursuit he barely registered the bone crushing force of the bludger colliding with him; he didn't have time. He roughly wiped his face, clearing the haze from his eyes, dimly aware his fingers came back wet before reaching forward to place his arm almost so overstretched that he went over the tipping point of his broom.
One breath... he secured his feet.
Two breaths… he splayed his fingers as far as they would go.
Three breaths... his fingers plucked the winged menace right out of the sky.
After he had whooped in relief and triumph is teammates swooped to approach him at speed, he blinked heavily suddenly more aware of the harshness of the stadium lights and the shooting pains in the front of his face.
The initial shiver of conquest faded quickly, by the time he was on his way to The Minister's Box for the medal presentation Viktor was feeling decidedly unhappy.
The odds had been stacked against them from the start, but he couldn't help allowing the all too familiar weight to settled onto his shoulders. He was the star player, what if he had... The negative thoughts droned on as he climbed the many steps.
When Viktor reached the box he smiled, as best he could, when he was handed his consolation prize, posed for photos and shook hands with whoever required before retreating into the shadows while the Irish had their moment.
He thought about returning home to his country, his school, his family his friends. How would they perceive the loss?
He was pulled from his mounting disappointment by a sharpish tone whispering or trying to, over the other side of the box.
"...I mean really they're going to just make him stand there like that... yes, Ron, I understand that… I know… but...someone should do something about his nose."
A familiar awareness prickled through him, the feeling of being spoken about was not unusual; it often happened in his hearing. He lifted his hand gingerly to his face only to register pain. He had done his best remove the blood before walking up to the stand, but there had been time to fix the bone.
He turned looking to locate a speaker, it wasn't difficult, though the stand was packed as soon as his head moved in the general direction of the voice he noticed a witch, not so discreetly, stiffen. She was surrounded by a sea of redheads that didn't seem to paying much attention to what she was saying. As her eyes locked with his she bit down on her bottom lip, he imagined with some embarrassment at being caught, and he unconsciously took a step forward towards the girl and her large chocolate eyes.
"You is speaking to me?" he asked, knowing full well that she wasn't. She flushed, and he found he liked it.
"I…." she squared her shoulder a little, and he watched fascinated at how the tiny movement of her body had such a huge effect on her mass of curls "I was just saying that someone should probably have taken a look at your nose."
"You not like my nose?" he forced his voice to be serious, he wasn't sure what he was doing, why he had even turned to speak to her in the first place. But he felt somewhat captivated by her flushed face and excited eyes and found he didn't want to turn away from her… not yet.
Her voice sounded strained "no... that's not what I... you must believe" he saw the moment she must've caught the glimmering his eyes and her eyes flashed in indignation for a moment before she huffed "that was mean."
"Sorry… could not stop."
"I just meant... you should get your face looked at, it won't heal properly if you leave it too long. Magic or no magic."
Magic or no magic he turned the phrase over in his mind before relegating it to the back for further consideration at a later point.
He nodded in acknowledgement, after all, she was right, the sudden silence that descended between them signalled the end of the conversation, a cue he would normally have followed, but for some reason, he didn't want to. He scanned around the box for a second hoping to find someone or something he could mention to the girl but found nothing, until his eyes fell on the Ireland scarf around around her neck.
It was something to talk about though he didn't really like it.
"You are Ireland fan?" he realised he must've frowned when his face pulled, and he let out a small groan as he became more aware of the residual pain in his eyes and cheeks.
She looked confused for a moment, and he ran the expression over in his mind, he wasn't entirely confident in his grasp of English and had a sudden panic that he may have inadvertently insulted her; he tried to explain himself by gesturing to the scarf around her neck
That was excellent Viktor point and grunt like a caveman.
She looked down, and comprehension dawned on her face, her brows unknotted and she looked back at him "no, cold girl" she said while gesturing to one of the two redheads next to her, he was minus a scarf and Viktor was suddenly a bit sad she hadn't just been a fan.
"I don't know much about Quidditch really" she admitted in a small voice, and he couldn't stop the splutter and ensuing bubble of laughter that escaped him. It was enough to get the attention of one of his teammates who looked at him with raised eyebrows at his, very uncharacteristic, show of mirth. Viktor shrugged his shoulders at the player and he turned back around.
He wasn't sure anyone had ever told him that they didn't really know much about the sport he was famous for, even when it was clear they didn't know anything they would still prattle on regardless, there was something so beguiling about her honesty.
He winced again as he smiled broadly at her and she flinched at his show of pain, her slight shudder giving him an idea, a mad one but still…
"You fix nose?" he stated determinedly.
"I no have wand" he held his hands away from his body as if to demonstrate, "you say it should be done" she seemed to turn his proposition over in her mind.
"You probably shouldn't ask strangers to point their wands in your face Mr Krum" he smiled again, he couldn't help it, the earnest expression she had on her face as she lightly admonished him was adorable. The conversation felt more normal than those he routinely experienced with a woman; those were typically simpering requests to hear about his supposedly 'glamorous' life and sporting achievements.
"What is your name?" he asked softly.
"Hermione... Hermione Granger" her words coming out bolder now they were back on safe ground.
"Hello Hermy-o-ninny" he winced.
"Her-my-own-knee" she repeated kindly.
"Hello ...Hermy-knee.. my name is Viktor."
"Yes I know" she laughed.
"Well, not strangers now yes?" he asked hopefully, and she laughed again, he liked the sound, it was soft and warm.
"Not strangers, no" she took a step forward, all of the others in her group were still distracted, she pulled her wand from her hip and stood in front of him "hold still" she commanded softly, unnecessarily, he was already rooted to the spot.
"Episkey" she all but whispered.
"Govno" he swore at the sharp pain that erupted in his face as the nose realigned.
"Sorry," she said, sounding anything but.
He only became aware of the little bubble they had around themselves when it burst, commotion in the stands alerted him that the presentation was over, and the players would begin leaving.
"I go now, I...thank you for help."
"You're welcome" she answered quietly.
He paused for a moment reluctant to leave, he considered inviting her to the after match celebrations but decided against it; the rowdy pub would be no place for someone like her.
Suddenly a thought occurred to him "you attend Hogwarts yes?" he asked, attempting nonchalance but knowing hopefulness permeated his tone.
"Yes, this will be my fourth year" she answered nodding.
He started little at that, she was younger than he had expected, but he couldn't be downcast, he would have the whole year opportunities, he would make sure of it.
He flashed her a bright smile "have good summer, Hermy-knee Granger."
A/N Let me know what you think!