Okay, so another rewrite. Honestly, I want to lower the dialogue and make this a much better story. And in truth, I also have to refresh what I have done, making the quality better.
Consider the other chapters rough drafts until they are replaced. I wanted to do this sooner; but typing had given me a case of carpal tunnel that I was lucky was only to the point that if I would have kept on, it would have gotten bad.
So here I refresh myself, reworking chapters; besides, it will help me work on the characters I was just bringing in.
Also, I wanted to mention, since I have been asked plenty of times, I just wanted to assure people, this is not a Lord Harry story. I am going to try and implement some politics and inheritance into it, not to make him the wealthiest Wizard ever, these will be essential for the later parts of the story.
Another thing I wanted to mention, throughout this story I am trying to escape the tropes of fanfiction Harry Potter stories. I want something different. And while there will unavoidably be many different aspects that may seem to be brought in from fanfiction, I am not talking certain parts; but the story as a whole (Though who knows? This may be eerily similar to something I have never read).
And lastly, I will try and limit myself on these author's notes from here on out, either that or put them at the end of the chapter, since putting them atop it would seem annoying to many, probably.
Funnily enough, I wanted to shorten this chapter, it was 8,500 words before; and now I have shortened it to a whopping 3,000 words more than I had before. I had to laugh after checking the word count.
Anyways, I like this version of the prologue a lot more than before, the original was only 4,400 words.
(Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, I certainly wouldn't be writing this story a fanfiction; so, obviously I don't.)
I've always heard people labeling others as Dark or Light Wizards; and I can't help but wonder at the sheer hypocrisy of it. Especially since Light Wizards use dark spells in good ways; just as easily as a Dark Wizard could use light spells in rather nefarious ways. So the question is: Why do we label them as such?
In fact, if we look at the truth of the matter, the only thing that really separates the one from the other, is intentions. Though, actions alone should be what label us This is something that I believe that Wizarding Kind has never truly understood.
Quoted from a conversation of Harry James Potter.
Harry awoke with a start, darkness filling the room and pain throbbing from the every beat of his heart. This morning again it hurt, the scar above his brow thrumbed with pain and anticipation from the horrors the future had yet to bring.
This was a feeling that was beginning to become all too common, as of late. Ever since just before the World Cup, this summer past.
The problem that came with this, was that this was no ordinary scar, this scar was a remnant of the night that his family died. The night that the darkest Wizard of this century, had marked him with this scar. Not to mention the fact that this same scar was also what caused the caster of the curse, to fall from his glory, at the height of his power, fame, and notoriety.
This Dark Wizard, the casters name was Lord Voldemort to his followers, along with the most of the Wizarding World. But in truth, he was born Tom Marvolo Riddle, to the few of those in the know. Though, he was more commonly hyphenated as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, even now, a decade and a half after his reign of tyranny ended, fear still gripped the United Wizarding Kingdoms, of the British Aisles.
This naming scheme, that the Wizards had, The-Boy-Who-Lived often mused, was so ridiculous. Why do they always have to hyphenate the fame name? But that was neither here nor there. Wizards were often strange like that.
Well anyways, for most Witches and Wizards, they believed the man to be gone...dead; but for Harry, he knew the truth. Especially since the scar had brought him dreams and visions of this infantile little creature, that had Voldemort's voice.
But even if it was not for these visions, that Dumbledore told Harry he got through a connection caused by his cursed scar, Harry had actually met two shades of the man. One in the form of something straight out of The Lord of the Rings, and another, in the form of his younger self. A teenage boy, who used a younger girl, talking to her about her crush, and gradually began to possess her, freeing her from her mind and will, as she, or to be more technical, He, had controlled a thousand year old basilisk, to randomly attack students and cats. But more horrifying than that, to even attack ghosts. Making it all the more easy for him to get a chance at the one who was his elder self's nemesis.
Aftersitting up, Harry began to rub at the scar, wishing that he could use a pain reliever to get rid of the throbbing. Unfortunately he had tried that once, and it was as pointless as him wishing for a normal life. Basically, he could wish for it all he wanted, but the past few years had shown him just how pointless wishing could be. And as much as he would like his life to be ordinary, he would not give it up for the Muggle World.
Do not get him wrong, relatives aside, he loved the Muggle World too. But at heart, he was a Wizard. And he would not want that to be taken from him. For anything.
With a stretch and a yawn, Harry reached out and groggily grabbed for the water that the elves left bedside. A service done in order to keep children in their dorms at night... A fact that Harry had yet to adhere to.
Tonight had been a bad one, Harry idly thought as he walked over to one of the castle windows, and opened the shutter, breathing in the crisp, fresh dawn air, and relaxing to the dawn birds gentle chirrups.
The weather this morning, it was chilly, and brisk as an early autumn morn should be, waking him from whatever vestiges of sleep that remained, as he looked over this scenic vista, that his room in this high tower showed.
If one thing could be said for Gryffindor Tower, it was that the view one could get from a high tower in Hogwarts was truly beautiful.
In the horizon, Harry viewed the sun begin to peek over the mountains of the east, as a beautiful red, orange and pinkish tint, began to fill the sky. If he looked hard enough, his seeker refined eyes may have been able to see the small animals that were still out at this time of year, though he ignored the idea.
It was funny to him, his eyes were horrible; but as long as he had his glasses on, he was still able to see better than most. If not, he would never once have been able to play as seeker, despite his reflexes and skill. Since he would never have been able to see such a small snitch. Probably because his friend Hermione Granger had enchanted his glasses in order to have them the perfect prescription for anybody's eyes.
After a few moments of calming himself, Harry walked over to his desk, and began to write. Each dormitory came with desks located next to the beds, in case the students wanted the isolation of their room, making it a temporary sanctuary for them...unless the ones they were trying to avoid were their roommates.
What he was writing, right now was a letter to Professor Dumbledore, since after this summer past, Sirius had told him of Harry's vision, and Harry was asked to keep them informed.
As he wrote, he told them of the dream, and how Voldemort seemed to have something in mind for tonight. Not something that they spoke of in great detail. Actually, it was more of a passing reference, as Wormtail had stammered: M-m-my lord, all-all is in place for tonight, and the plant has made his m-move. This in turn, gave Voldemort, such great pleasure, and since the only times he had ever felt such emotion from the man, was when he spoke of what he would do to Harry. Harry was sure that this had something to do with him.
If only the dream had lasted a little longer, then he may have had some answers; but it ended just as abruptly as it began. If only he could have delved further into the recess's of this man's mind...he would not even want to try. That was a place he would never want to go.
As he finished, he wrote down even the pointless stuff. Before he duplicated the paper, walked over to Hedwig's perch (thankfully she did not sleep in the Owlery last night) and attached the envelope for Dumbledore to her foot, and sent her off. The other he would send with another bird for Sirius later.
Afterwards, Harry went to the dormitory bathroom, taking a quick shower, before magically brushing his teeth and spitting out his mouth after gargling, before descending the stairs.
"Did you finish your homework?" Hermione asked as Harry helped her over to the table, with her arsenal of books. The sheer amount she carried was enough to overwhelm any man, so Harry had decided to refer to this as her armory, and once Ron had heard this, it just kind of stuck.
"Yes mum," he replied, just before handing her his work to look over. He gave up years ago, on arguing with her on how she always checked his homework over, it was just the natural order of things. The sun shines, the wind blows, Snape demeans people, and Hermione checks their homework. That was just how life was.
Her not doing this, it would be like, well...Chicken Little being right, and the sky was really falling. Or worse yet, it could be like Hermione...failing. Or so she felt that would be worse than death. With an idle speculation, Harry wondered whether she still felt that way...probably.
With a loud thump, Harry set her books on the table. The book was called: Arithmantic Discussions Over the Centuries, and as he looked at it, he decided to label it a tome, since it was rather large and heavy. Though more accurately, he thought tomb would be better, as he was sure that this reading had brought many people who tried reading it to theirs at an early age.
"How the hell can you read such a thing?" Harry cringed as he asked. He was sure this thing would bring him nothing but sleep.
"Well, it is interesting. I mean, there was this one Witch, Valery Vestebule, and she argued about how the arithmantic formula for the spell to-"
Harry began to pour himself a cup of coffee, as he ignored Hermione's ramblings. Thankfully she never asked his opinion on these conversations; or maybe she does, and he is just off in his own world when she does it. He did not know, but she did love to talk about and specualte to herself, so he just let her go on. He would never have understood it anyway, as all of the words to do with the subject were foreign to him, and just blurred out after a while.
"And you see, this was why she argued the point. It was a fascinating read, and though I am not sure that I can agree with her, I have to say, that she did bring up some amazing points," Hermione finished happily.
"Coffee?" Harry asked, passing over the carafe.
"Ugh, no," she said, accepting it, and pouring herself a cup, adding in artificial sweetener. "Do you know how fast this stuff rots your teeth? And the discoloration is just horrible," she said, before taking a sip.
The problem for Hermione is that her parents had strictly forbid her from drinking coffee, being dentists and all. But Hermione being the bookworm she was, thrived off of coffee, and needed it to keep her awake at all hours of some nights. She knew she needed the stuff, and she knew that magic could clean her teeth to a perfect sheen; but the arguments were ingrained into her. Apparently her parents were really adamant about the perfection of her teeth, and seemingly tried to brainwash her into not drinking coffee. Probably got the idea from playing a record backwards or something.
"Let me see, you have most of this right Harry, but your presentation is a bit sloppy, and Professor McGonagall will take off for that. So what I think you should do, is reword how you worded this here, and this down here, before moving this paragraph to the beginning just after this here, and everything else should be fine."
Heaving a sigh, Harry sat down and began to rewrite his essay. He knew first hand that Hermione knew what she was talking about, and it was just plain annoying to ignore her. Since she would not let it go. And then when getting marked with a lower grade, seeing the teacher's comments, she would get really smug. And a smug Hermione was a frustrating Hermione.
As Harry began his work in silence as Ron entered the room, yawning to himself and looking groggy as ever.
Before sitting down, Ron grabbed the carafe, and loading his cup with a heinous amount of sugar, and began to pour.
Harry could never understand this, as he always loved the taste of coffee, so a spoon or two was more than enough for him. He tried adding more once, and shuddered at the thought of how sickeningly sweet it was.
"Get this," Ron said, as he took a large gulp of his syrup-like coffee, smiling in satisfaction at the taste. "Seamus and Dean having an argument again, you know, over that football thingy—Really, I will never understand how Muggles find kicking a ball around so fascinating; it's nothing like quidditch. But anyway, he got pissed when Dean told him that he could never understand what was so great about the Irish team, when Seamus tore that poster of his favorite player down. the one that had been up for ages."
"Well, I am not sure if their friendship will survive that, because Dean turned around and slugged Seamus after that. And you know Seamus, loud to the mouth and no action. He just turned around and sulked, but man that was crazy."
"Boys..." Hermione sighed, with a roll of her eyes. "You all get into fights over the stupidest of things."
"Except for you Harry," Hermione said, smiling at him.
"What about me?" Ron asked.
"Ronald Billius Weasley, just yesterday, after somebody had mentioned the Canons losing streak, you flew off the handle, and dumped your hot tea on her head, and she wasn't even talking to you. So don't expect any praise from me, on your benevolence. Because Ron, sometimes you may have no tact; but other times you just have no common sense."
"Here, here," Harry toasted with his coffee, earning a glare of betrayal from Ron, who started chuckling afterwards. Even he could not help but admit that sometimes he just should not act before thinking. "Anyways, the problem this time may take a long time to mend. Because in most sports fanatics minds, it could be considered akin to some sort of religion...That, and I have actually heard about riots happening at football games across the world."
Shaking her head at the concept, which she knew to be pretty accurate, Hermione walked over to Ron, as he grimaced before she put her hand out for his homework; but still, he handed it to her.
"Seriously Ron, you are rather decent with practical work; but how horrible can you be with theory and history? Which are rather simple," said Hermione, as she began marking things off, and analyzing what was wrong. All of that before she began to tell him what he needed to fix, and with a sigh, he began working.
Despite the fact that the representatives of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons had arrived the day before, it was a rather ordinary day. This was a fact that many including Harry found a bit odd; but in reality was caused by the fact that none of the other schools had entered the castle until it was time to eat.
On the other hand, after classes ended for the day, many of the students from the other schools could be found roaming the school corridors and even in such places as the library or the other recreational rooms of the school.
Oddly enough, Harry had even taken notice of coordinated duels in the classrooms meant for such a use (though in all of the time that Harry had been in the school, only a few times had he seen such event).
It was a bit odd, since he knew of the Dueling Club, which was open to post-O.W.L. students, but they were normally so strictly restricted, due to the advanced spellwork that they did not want the younger years trying, that they were relatively unheard of, outside of Professor Flitwick's supervision. And after the whole ordeal in Harry's second year, they all but openly refuse to teach the younger students.
This was a problem brought about by the fact that the students and teachers all acted irresponsibly, just because they saw a student talking to a snake, which made them all believe Harry to be some sort of Dark Lord, who wanted to kill all of the Muggle-Borns; despite the fact that one of his two best friends was just that...a Muggle-Born.
That aside, practically nobody but from his friends and teammates believed in his innocence, he even had to deal with the Hufflepuff's believing he was after one of their own, Justin Finch-Fletchly; until it was Hermione's turn to be petrified.
With all of that happening, it was decided that for now at least, the Dueling Club would remain to the upper years. Or at least, that was how Professor Dumbledore explained it, in one of their random(?) encounters.
Anyway, in these classrooms he had seen supervised duels breaking out among the delegations from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, and he had to admit, they were relatively well matched, and quite skilled. Not that he himself was the greatest judge; but he had been in more danger throughout the years than possibly all of the participants combined, to get a fairly accurate guess on how dangerous they could be.
Other than that, Harry had noticed some things at dinner, for one, the Beauxbaton lot were mostly female, and their giantess of a Headmistess seemed to ignore the males, though there were still a good few. And then there was the most beautiful girl Harry had ever seen, a girl with silver-blond hair, beautiful eyes, and a sway that could transfix any man's attention to her backside. Harry immediately determined her to be high-strung.
The reason for that was, because she was quite loudly complaining about anything that wasn't French, and comparing everything to Beuxbaton's, and quite loudly too. Apparently the place was too old fashioned and it gave off the vibes that many did not want others to use to think of the Wizarding World, because it reminded them of the days of the witch hunts.
Harry though, he could care less what they thought of the place, this was his home and he thought it as brilliant as the day he first laid eyes upon it.
Durmstrang on the other hand, they were all too chummy with the Slytherin's. Though, Harry did have to laugh at the attempts Draco Malfoy was making with Viktor Krum, star seeker of Bulgaria. Basically, from what he could see, Draco was elevated to the level of fan-girl in Krum's eyes, and it was frustrating the Malfoy Scion to no end.
As for Hogwarts students, they were focusing their attentions on their house favorites. Harry knew little of who they were; but Hufflepuff was giving their all to Cedric Diggory. A name known throughout all of the school, and Angelina Johnson was getting the attention of those from Gryffindor. Well...not only her, but the Twins were getting it from those who were listening in on the plan that Fred and George were cooking up.
Well..that was until earlier in the day when they were sent to the infirmary to be shown by Madam Pomphrey, how to give themselves a good shave.
As for Ravenclaw and Slytherin, Harry knew little of the people from their houses, and almost nothing about their upper years. Except for the few girls that threw passes at him, trying to ride the coattails of the famous young Wizard.
Not that he particularly disliked their attention, he was a boy after all, though Harry did have to listen to Ron whine when it happened, and hear Hermione's lectures.
It wasn't like he was encouraging them; but he wasn't going to be outright rude either. And plus, it was just plain stupid to be rude to a beautiful girl, no matter their motives...and...well, some of their offers were quite enticing; despite knowing the reason they would even hint at such things.
Anyway, for now, he avoided such situations...though with his life, he could not make any such promises to himself for the future, since only Mars knew what the future would bring. And who knew when it would become so bright again? Those centaurs certainly wouldn't be talking.
Thinking about it though, they might actually tell him that...and only that. Actually, Firenze aside, that seemed to be the only thing they knew how to say, in his experience.
As he came out of his revelries, Harry decided to try some sort of Bulgarian dessert. It was not something he was used to and the texture may have been a bit different, but he found it quite good. Though his biggest problem was that the night had not ended, and between his dream this morning and all of his other Halloweens since returning to the Wizarding World, he was sure that something was going to happen. He just wasn't sure what yet.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the lights began to dim. Slowly this happened, until the room had completely darkened.
Then, out of nowhere, burst forth a green and golden flame, illuminating the room in a dim ambiance, that seemed both foreboding and intriguing. With this, the room had been startled into a shocked outcry, before silence and awe settled upon them.
"Tonight," clapped loudly, with an amplified voice, "will be the first night to mark the opening celebration of a tournament that had not been done in ages. Now, I hope all of you realize just how dangerous this tournament is, before you had put your name on the parchment to enter. As this tournament may wield you great wealth upon winning, you should understand that it will also have a danger that far surpasses the rewards," announced Albus Dumbledore, from right behind to the goblet, bathing himself in it's ethereal glow, and bowing to the magnificence of the moment.
"So...be sure that you are able to at the very least, compete, even if it causes you great fear, as this goblet will create a magically powerful and binding contract. Since this is an artifact created by some of the greatest Runesmith's and Enchanter's of the Goblin Nation's of the past. And one who does not live up to the contract, like the Goblin's of old, will be stripped of their magical talents, rendering them no different than a Muggle—not that there is anything wrong with that, but as a Wizard, I myself would not want to lose what I was born to."
At this proclamation, there were sudden gasps filled throughout the room. In truth, not very many had dug much into the contract created by the goblet, many people just wanted to know what the tournament consisted of, and after finding out that the tasks changed tournament by tournament, stopped looking into it.
As friends of Hermione though, both Harry and Ron had already known this, she wanted to make sure to stop any foolish behavior, like that of Fred and George, before they began. And when Ron heard about the reward, he was ready to try with those two; before he learned of the consequences.
Also, another reason for his reluctance, even though Ron may not have dealt with all of what Harry had, but after a dangerous game of chess that got him hospitalized, he was wary of what the tasks may be. And then after hearing some of the previous tasks...Well, Hermione was rather adamant about telling him of the breeds of oversized spiders that had been faced throughout the tournaments of the past.
And after that, Ron had totally lost all of his zeal. Especially after remembering the the time he and Harry were chased out of the Forbidden Forest, by a herd of stampeding acromantula...and one could even talk.
Funnier yet, out of the corner of his eye, Harry had noticed that Draco Malfoy became so pale, that he had nearly fell from his own chair. Pointing this out to Ron and Hermione, they began to chuckle, along with a few others sitting next to them.
After that, Malfoy's face became paler yet, as he noticed the commotion at Gryffindor table, and when his eyes met with Harry's, who couldn't help but send back a condescending smile. One ever so similar to that which Draco Malfoy gives to the people he feels beneath him, mainly...everybody.
"Now, I would like for you all to give a hand to Bartemius Crouch, who has done more than all to get this tournament up and running," a smattering of applause broke out, while Hermione glared. She still had not forgiven him for the way he treated his House-Elf. Winky, Harry thought her name was, as he tried to remember.
"And I am sure many of you know, and may have even seen some of his previous games through the omnioculars that your parents may have recorded them with, Ludo Bagman," this time, the applause was loud and uproarious, though out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a dark look cross the faces of the Twin's.
Harry wondered about that for a quick second; but went back to watching the stage. He couldn't understand them at the best of times, and could understand them even less now.. They should be happy, after all of the gold they won off of him.
"We have others, that have worked to a lesser degree," and as he said this, the Professor gave a quick glance at Bagman, "but you may see them around. Do not be shy, you may talk to them, though they are bound to speak nothing to the children or Headmaster's of the school—I am sorry," he said with a bow to Madame Maxime, "Heads of our schools, about what awaits our Champions. So please be nice to them, they are our guests, and should be treated as such."
"Now, for the main event of the night, the drawing of Champion's. The lotto of lots. As I call your name, please enter through the door to my left," and with a snap of his fingers, the lights from the chandeliers reignited and a a door magically appeared that nobody had ever seen in the Great Hall before.
Then slowly, the lights yet again began to dim, showing only the dim green glow of the goblet's fire.
With barely enough light to even show himself, the professor walked towards the goblet. Reaching out his hand, in a perfectly timed gesture, the green flames turned into a violent, blinding crimson, before dying off and leaving forth a piece of parchment, as the flames ebbed leaving in a golden hue. One that seemed so reminiscent to that to Fawkes' flame.
"Curious..." the Headmaster said, as he tapped his fingers in a way that reminded Harry of Mr. Ollivander, from the wand shop in Diagon Alley. "Curious..." and with a smile, he popped another lemon drop into his mouth.
"Mm— I have always found it so curious about how such a tiny piece of candy could invigorate one so much that they could feel so alive after consumption..."
"Huh, what? Why has the place gotten so silent?" The Professor asked, looking around as if he had just noticed the silence.
Sighing, a thought crossed upon Harry's mind, one that he had often though plenty of times before, I wonder what is in those lemon drops, the Headmaster has an addiction to them like a drug.? Maybe they are hallucinogenic, like that acid stuff I had heard about. Well, it would explain some of his more odd eccentricities.
"Oh yeah! Sorry did I get of tangent? I have tendency not to notice when I do that, you know. Especially with age creeping up on me. But then it is not like I am as old as Bathilda. Poor old Mrs. Bagshot, I think she has dementia...or maybe Alzheimer's or something. Lovely lady though—what!?"
"Oh fine, our first Champion is...Mr. Viktor Krum please exit stage left. I believe that is the Muggle expression," silence reigned, as the students began to comprehend the Headmaster's meaning, but it wasn't until after the words sunk in and Viktor Krum rose from his seat, meeting everybody's gaze with a surly one of his own, that a thunderous applause met the room.
As expected of an international celebrity, all schools began to cheer for him. Well, at least his fans and the quidditch lovers among the student and staff, which was a good three quarters of each school, especially after the performance he gave at the Quidditch World Cup a few months ago.
Finally, after near ten minutes of applause, the crowd began to settle down. Harry himself having a raw throat from cheering of his own. He had to admit, after watching that game, he became a fan himself, though he also had a desire to surpass him one day.
But if his cheering was one thing, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as Ron's, who right now seemed to have finally matched the color of his face to that of his hair, through the exertion of just cheering loud and hard. Maybe the loudest and hardest of everybody?
"Now, I can see that you are all excited, but please quiet yourselves so that we could continue," the Headmaster lectured though through a booming sonorus, though he did not seem perturbed in the slightest.
"Our next champion is," he said, as the room erupted in the brightness of the flames. "Fleur Delecour of Beuxbatons."
This time silence met the room, even those from Beuxbaton had not made a sound, save for a few. Harry could not understand why, but then it became apparent. He once heard that there was nothing uglier than the jealousy of a woman, now he understood why.
The person who got up was arguably the most gorgeous girl he had ever laid eyes upon. Though it was not his first time seeing her, as she asked for their dish of bu...bou...ah to heck with pronouncing that foreign word, he thought, while watching the hypnotic sway of her hips, move from side to side.
Snapping out of it, Harry had just felt as if he had once again been placed under the imperius curse, and he could understand the looks of rage and incredulity among those of the Beuxbaton delegates. She was so beautiful that not one male had averted his eye from her beautiful frame.
"I think she must be Veela?" Hermione said from right next to him. "Take a look at the way everybody stares. No matter how beautiful a person is, there will always be those that aren't interested, or may be attracted to different traits. But with males, and even some females, there is an attraction that is drawn, and it is almost as potent as the imperius."
"But as you may see, when looking around the room, some are coming back to themselves, especially after getting smacked. You yourself Harry," she said as the palm of her hand connected with Ron's cheek. "seem to have an immunity to the curse, especially after all of the times Professor Moody made you fight it."
"Ow! What in Merlin's name you do that for!?" Ron shouted as Hermione turned to look away from him. Eyes showing a mixture of irritation and satisfaction.
"You might be right," Harry answered, both wanting to forget the feeling of lust that swelled up in him, when the Beuxbaton representative walked near their area of the table; but not wanting to forget the sway her hips made. "But I doubt she would really need such an ability to make a guy do what she wanted. I mean, I bet wars were fought over women less beautiful."
"True," Hermione conceded with a roll of her eyes. "Historically speaking, the Illyad was based off of a war started by Aphrodite, who herself was a Veela Witch that enchanted Helen of Troy, through the imperius. But that is neither here nor there. As she was a jealous person, who couldn't stand the fact that the man she loved was immune to her charms, while being enamored by Helen."
"The Illyad?" Ron asked confusedly, as he came to himself.
"A book that pretty much all Muggle children are forced to read in school," Harry replied.
"That and The Odyssey," Hermione added in.
Ron stared at them with a blank look.
"The war started by the Greek Enchantress Aphrodite, it was exaggerated in muggle culture, turning history into fantasy, recreating Greek Witches and Wizards into Gods, and over-embellishing some of their feats," Hermione informed them.
"Oh yeah, dad used to tell me about that, until mum thought that I was going to get ideas in my head, about joining the Muggle World and proclaiming myself God."
"Okay, so maybe I joked about it once or twice," Ron explained as they stared at him. "But that was just because Fred and George were pissing me off."
Hermione just rolled her eyes and gave up for the moment. Sometimes these boys were just so frustrating. This was the second time today she was called that.
"Anyways, lets quiet down, they are about to finally call out for the Hogwarts Champion," Harry said, turning his gaze forward, just as the lights went out again. And then in a flash, the final one for the night, and Harry could swear that it was twice as bright as the last two.
"And finally, the Champion that my own school has been waiting on," Professor Dumbledore said, as he reach for the pouch at his waist.
"Hmm, this can't be right. Would anybody happen to have a lemon drop they could spare, I seem to have run out."
The entire student body groaned, and again Harry had to ask himself just what was in those candies to make them so addictive, and he would have to be sure not to take any more of them, if they made you act like this...
"Albus," Professor McGonagall chastised. "Not now."
"Fine Minerva, as you say," the Headmaster pouted.
"Cedric Diggory, you may enter the chamber," he said inn an exasperated way; but everybody could see the twinkle in his eyes, and could tell he was taking great pleasure in his eccentric activities.
Looking over to Cedric, Harry could see the joy and elation on his face, from this turn of events. In fact, after a few moments of looking, he thought he could see surprise on his face also. Which Harry found a little strange, as it was well known that Cedric Diggory was one of the top students in the school, and in fact, the best with overall practical work, he couldn't see how he was surprised.
Comprehension was not quick to dawn on him, though, with the way it was said, nobody could really blame him for that. But after a minute, Cedric got up and began walking towards the door, followed by the applause of Hufflepuff table; while being quite frustrating to the others.
Sadly further down the table he saw Angelina let out a sigh of frustration. But even with the dejection she felt, even she began to clap good-naturedly.
If there was one thing good he could state about his teammates, it was most certainly that they were all nice and understanding. Even back in his second year, they were some of the only few, who thought him not a Dark Wizard.
Fred and George, for the love of magic, were even able to get him to laugh and smile back then, escorting him down the halls, blessing him with a black cape, telling others to make way for their newest Dark Lord. Harry Potter.
But that didn't sound right, maybe he should take a lesson from Voldemort's book, an anachronism. Yes, he should make it one of them. How about, Lord Hampy Raho Jerry Asotte?
And while it may be true that there was no special meaning to it; but at the very least he thought it better than something as cowardly as: Flight from death.
Yes, as usual he had gotten his information on this from Hermione. Who had a one point explained the definition to him. Along with recounting the many tragedies that had befallen his victims back in the days of his reign of terro. Which included nothing less than rape, torture, killing, kidnapping and extortion.
She explained in some gruesome details exactly what was done to Muggles and Muggle-born, along with the pure Witches and Wizards that these Pure-Blood supremacists propagated their protection over. Nothing but damned hypocrites if you asked Harry.
Anyways, he found the name quite cowardly...and very fitting from what he remembered of the time he had met this master of malevolence. He clung to life like no other, even at the expense of his humanity, while he drank the unicorn's blood.
Not that Harry believed he had much of that humanity left. You know, with him sticking out of the back of that Quirrel's head and all.
But, to get to the point, Harry did not feel that the man having a cowardly nature made him any less dangerous than if he were truly brave.
Over the years, when he grew up, Harry had spent much time in the libraries, and had read up much on history. Not that stuffy old stuff that he was taught by Professor Binns. no. But he had read up on Muggle history and Voldemort's acts had the makings of a ruler from the Middle Ages. A Feudal Lord.
From what he had read on some of them, they acted as they wanted and were only capable of it by having an army to back the up. These people in Harry's guess, were some of the most dangerous people to ever live.
If one of them wanted your wife, that Lord could have his men walk up to your home and take your wife, if they wanted your daughter...the same. Not that all rulers were like that; but the ones that were reminded Harry so much of Voldemort. Cowardly but dangerous.
But at the same time, these people who incited fear and hatred, were the ones who created there own worst enemies.
Since fear is a productive motivator.
This Harry knew well. And while he never considered himself to be any real kind of threat to Voldemort, his first and second years had proven to him that fear was very motivating. Since in his first year, it was his fear that Voldemort may come back into power, that got him to follow Quirrel after the stone.
And in his second year, it was his terror at what may have befell his best friends little sister, that gave him the courage to face that giant serpent and stab that diary with the poisonous fang. The one that he had just pulled from his arm.
If anything. The thing that he truly learned as a Gryffindor, it was the fact to show true bravery, you must know fear. If it hadn't been for the fact that he was so scared when he faced the basilisk back then, he would have never pulled that sword from the hat.
The Sword of Gryffindor. A symbol of courage and a sword that could only be called by the truly courageous.
He was a different sort of coward than Voldemort, that was for sure; but in Harry's estimation, there should only be three sort of cowards: the ones who face their fear, the brave ones, the one who flee from them, the cowards, and the ones who do nothing.
This was what made him different from Voldemort. Voldemort had always ran from death. The proof of that is in the name; but Harry truly never thought of running from it and there were even a few times he embraced it. Not in the act of running away from life; but with thoughts of preserving others lives.
So if one truly thought about it, there was nothing more dangerous than a coward. A coward is one who sits behind others, letting them get their hands dirty, or they could be the type to run away. All the while making other people's lives hell.
Voldemort was the type that is the ladder of those options and many died because of it.
It was at that very moment that it happened, at a moment when Harry was lost in his own thought. Thoughts that came unbidden, due to the dream that he had this morning. The vision, along with the nagging sensation that he had felt all day—due most likely to what day it was, the anniversary of his parents death. What he felt was a cold certain ominous foreboding.
And that was when his name was called forth from the cup.
It barely registered on Harry that his name was called. So wrapped up in his own thoughts was he, that he never even responded. Not until Hermione had nudged him. Heck, it was only the smallest part of him that even noticed that the lights once again went out, nor did he even comprehend the flash that was the green flame turning crimson.
Not until after Hermione had gotten a hold of his attention and had said the dreaded words, "Harry, you have to go up there, your name just came out of the goblet and the Headmaster has been calling for you," not until then did his pale white skin turn an ashen hue and his eyes had begun to lose their luster. That was when he began a dismal march.
As this was all happening, there was only one thought on his mind: Not again...why me?
It was not that it came as a surprise, he expected something to happen today. But why couldn't it be Trolls or snakes, he had handled all of those.
And on top of being selected, Hermione had told both him and Ron about the history of the tournament and how at one point, a freaking manticore was brought in as a Task to overcome. That day, not only did all of the Champions die, but so did the judges. Which meant all of the headmasters present, along with some French Ministry officials (since it took place in France that year) but to make things even worse, more that a quarter of the spectators were brutally annihilated.
It was through the muddled haze of his thoughts, that he walked up to the old Headmaster. And it was that haze of thought, that made it impossible to remember what it was that he was thinking, by the time he got to him.
"I—" he began to say, before the Headmaster raised his hand, motioning him to silence, as he massaged his temples, from what seemed be a pounding headache.
"Harry..." he said, taking him out of ear shot.
"I have to ask, have you done anything to influence the outcome of this tournament? Something like say, giving an older student a piece of parchment that you wrote your own name on, and having them place it into the goblet for you?" and as he asked this, he made sure not to avert his gaze from the young student.
Harry then stared him down him down, looking straight into his eyes, willing the Headmaster to believe him, before Harry finally said, "No."
The Headmaster then let out a sigh of frustration before responding, "That was what I had thought," and in a moment, one so unlike the Headmaster, he actually cursed under his breath.
"Okay Harry, the oath is binding and somehow your name made its way into the goblet, as I am sure we are both aware on how—given your most recent trip into the psyche of a madman—so there is nothing we can do for now. All I can say is to go into the the other room and await us with your fellow Champions," the Headmaster said with a gentle shove towards the door.
"What eez it, leetle boy? Did zay zend you in to get uz finally?" with a sigh, that was the question that Harry walked into.
It was not a fact of being called a little boy that had bothered him; but rather the fact that a beautiful girl not much older than him asked the question. Now that was bothersome. Seriously, what healthy young male going through puberty would like to hear such a thing. Not Harry, that was certainly for sure.
Not only that, but it also seemed rather...condescending in a way.
"No," Harry replied, as he walked over to an empty corner, sitting with more aplomb than he actually felt.
This, Harry felt might have been foolish, as it would probably not help him in the least, when he tells them that he did not put his name in; but it did help him relax...a little.
"Zen what are you dooing here?"
With a sigh, Harry looked up without responding. It was not that he wanted to be rude; even if her own attitude seemed that way. It was more that he just did not want to reply, as everything that had just happened still seemed so surreal to him.
"Excuze me, but—"
"Wow! That was simply fabulous, I mean really, a fourth Champion. Seriously," Ludo Bagman laughed, as he entered the room, "Barty had made plenty of arrangements and contingencies; but even he had never seen this coming."
"Might I ask?" this time it was Cedric who spoke up, after a short deliberation. "You just said a Fourth Champion. And unless I missed my guess, you are speaking of Harry over there. But what I am wondering is: This is the Tri-Wizard Tournament right? Then how in bloody hell are you saying that there is a fourth Champion?"
"Beats me," Ludo shrugged. "If this is something that Barty couldn't answer, then there is no way in hell that I would know the answer to that. And right now he is out there, in the heat of an argument, as they try and figure out what is going on here."
After their conversation died down, nobody even said a word. Though Harry could feel their glares on him, as he sat there staring at the ground, contemplating.
If he had really wanted to, he could have began arguing the fact that he himself did not put in his name, or he could even just shrug it off and ignore the whole ordeal. Worrying only about the challenges ahead of him; but over the years, he learned not to worry too much about what was coming in the future. Since it will happen, regardless of whether or not the worries are still there.
Though saying this, it was not that he wasn't frightened; but just trying not to worry about the unknown. He had faced many tasks like this before; but this time, unlike then, he knew that he would be in a seriously deadly situation before hand. So he just thought about what he had faced before, then thought about what he should have done differently. Since this was a situation that if he did not participate, he would lose his magic.
It was as he thought about his first year foray into the deepest depths of the third floor corridor, when finally somebody else entered. Actually, quite a few somebodies entered. Snape, Professor McGonagall, Bartemuis Crouch, Mad-Eye Moody, and all of the schools heads entered. Snape having a look of frustration as he argued with Professor Dumbledore over something.
"But I tell you Albus, this is but a ruse and the boy is guilty I tell you. I mean, look at the mischief he gets into every year. And I mean every year," Snape said this as entering the room and it was obvious to Harry that it was meant to be heard by all, giving them a jaded view of him. As expected of Snape, just entering the room and already trying to make Harry's life more of a living hell than it already was.
"Severus, I have already pointed out my views to everybody that councils the tournament here and trying to change my views won't do a thing."
"But Albus, the boy has been crossing too many lines since entering the school and you need to discipline him with a firm hand. If not, he will end up just like his father."
"First off Severus, as Headmaster of this school, I do not believe in corporal punishment; but if you really want that implemented into our school, you are welcome to join a committee with Argus, he is often telling me of his thoughts on such matters. It is actually rather tiresome, so please add your thoughts to his, so that I can hear them all at the same time," the Headmaster said with a wary sigh.
"That is not what I meant," argued Professor Snape, "and you know it was just a figure of speech."
The Headmaster did not answer; but one could see that frustrating twinkle in his eyes.
"Anyways, it is not—"
"Enough Severus!" the Headmaster thundered over Professor Snape. "Even with the bias evident in your argument, I have heard you out. Now, I grow weary of your arguments and whether or not you want me to forcefully eject him from the tournament, he has to take part. This is a non-negotiable contract that he has been entered into, and one would cease to have their magic, lest they break the oath bound by the contract."
"So unless you have something else to argue about, let us seek the council of our dear associates over here."
The room was devoid of any sound after their argument, as the truth of the reality over the contract that they had been bound had hit the Champions with a huge shock.
True, they may have been told earlier about this; but it was the fact that the unexpected Champion could not be forcefully ejected from the tournament that had made them understand.
After the realization had hit, Cedric looked on with pure shock, like he had swallowed something bitter. Fleur looked shocked herself...at first, but hid it after she regained control of her facial features, other than that, Harry could not read any other emotion, and Viktor Krum seemed even sulkier than ever, but Harry was unsure if that was what he had felt; or just how he always looked.
And as for Harry, he was well aware of this fact and understood it from the beginning, Hermione made sure they knew of this fact after hearing Fred and George plan out their ideas. But he was starting to get used to how unfair that bitch named fate seemed to treat him, so he just took the consequence with distaste but understanding.
"Alright, alright, now lets stop bantering and bickering among ourselves and get down to business. And as loathe as I am to agree with Severus," Bartemius said as he glared at the man with a look of contempt and disgust. "I myself wish there was something we could do to put a stop to this charade and relieve the boy from his chance at entering."
"But unfortunately, this is all done through a magically powerful and binding contract. One that had to be made where the contractor actually writes there own name on parchment and feeds it to the flames."
"I myself do not fully understand the logistics of how the Goblins had been able to discern the persons capabilities; but it has something to do with giving the goblet a semi-cognizance, in which it is able to read the magical traces and abilities of the people who enter their names into the lot."
"The problem with this is the fact that there was never a limitation of age in tournaments past. Which is the reason that we took extra precautions, since the goblet understands ability; but not age and experience. And unfortunately, we could only use external methods to prevent things such as this from happening."
"And what exzactly doos thees mean?" asked the Giantess of a Headmistress, Madame Maxime.
"I'll tell you what it means Olympe. It means that this oaf of a Wizard made a mistake with his spell and this useless little brat was able to sneak his name in," answered Professor Karkaroff.
"Possibly, but the boy says that he did not put his name in and I am inclined to believe him."
"Oh posh Albus," Professor McGonagall chimed in. "If you were to make such a mistake, then this here hack of a Wizard has never held a wand a day in his life."
"Then how do you propose—"
"I'll give you a scenario Igor," interrupted Mad-Eye Moody. "This boy is a famous Wizard. And with fame comes consequence. But this boy more than any, has many different enemies."
"You see, what you may have failed to notice from Barty's explanation, is the fact that nobody ever said that the boy himself had to put his name in. and if I may say so, I myself have to see plenty of papers that the boy has to put his name on each week. And then, do you think that a young lad such as himself would think to hide all of them with his name written on it. Not even I do that...yet."
"And then you have to think about the most important thing of all. This is a powerful artifact, and it would take nothing short of a truly powerful confundus could trick this thing into believing there were four schools instead of three."
"And you would know this how?" Karkaroff asked in the snidest tone of voice he could manage.
"Yes well, as you could no doubt understand through first-hand experience, I have spent my life tracking, learning, and understanding Dark Wizards. Simply said—as you yourself had learned thirteen years ago—I am quite apt at it."
"Alastor!" Professor Dumbledore shouted.
"Fine Albus, and I know what you want to say, but he asked and I only told him in the best way I knew how," Moody replied.
"Still, you need to learn to know when not to pursue a matter," the Headmaster said as he eyed the intrigued students within the room, hoping that no rumors spread.
From here on the room delved into random debates on the matter and in fact, nobody once even seemed to question Harry.
As for Harry, it was obvious to him that very few here believed that he had nothing to do with entering the tournament, especially the other students. Fleur herself had made that clear, as she chided and complained to her headmistress.
And Cedric, Harry had never thought ill of him, and in truth he still couldn't, even now; but it was obvious that he believed Harry to be the perpetrator and would not meet his eyes even once, he just sat there kind of shunning him.
Viktor though, he was the most confusing of his fellow Champions to figure out, as he just looked as surly as ever. Harry was beginning to believe that that was a natural expression for him, and unlike the others he sat off in solitude. Probably for the same reasons that Harry often does. Though it did shock him that before he left, he gave Harry a shrug that seemed to say: what can you do?
In the end, they were there in that room for over an hour, before they all agreed that there was nothing that could be done, short of forcing Harry to not participate and causing him to lose all of his magic. Something that Crouch pointed out, would cause a ruckus, making families withdraw their students and bring the Ministry Officials down on them.
And worst of all, the Champions found out that they would not even get to know what the First Task was until they were facing the challenge. So that none of them would even knew what to prepare for.
They did this in order to find out how the Champions would cope in the face of unexpected danger.
He wasn't boasting to himself; but Harry at least felt that he had a decent chance with this event, as he was accustomed to the unknown and unexpected. He just hoped that it wasn't as preposterous as fighting a manticore.
But then, they wouldn't do something as foolish as bringing a manticore onto school grounds... Would they? After his past few years here, he wasn't so confident that the answer would be no.
"Merlin" Harry cursed as he sat down next to Hermione, who like usual, was studying in the midst of the celebration of Gryffindor Tower.
One may wonder exactly why they were partying; but at the same time could easily guess the reason to be Harry's entrance into the tournament. It was a sad reality, after he got back from the tense atmosphere of that room. That one of the first things he discovered, was the joy that enveloped Gryffindor Common Room.
Though it was not only joy and a fondness that radiated the room; there was also a tense atmosphere from a good number of his dorm-mates as well.
"Seriously Harry, what have you done to piss The Fates off this much?" Hermione asked, giving him a wry smile. "I could just imagine three old women surrounding a ball of thread, trying to cut at your sting, every chance they got. Though luckily for you, it seems to be made of a tougher substance than their shears could cut...so far."
"You...actually believe me? That I didn't put my own name into that damned cup?" Harry asked, causing Hermione to exude a tense atmosphere for a moment.
"Harry..." she sighed. "Without a doubt I believe you...but please, don't take it too hard."
"What exactly are you talking about?"
"Nothing," Hermione quickly replied...almost too quickly.
"But if I were to seriously answer you. You were far too shocked when I pointed it out to you. And then there is the fact that you get moodier and moodier after every time something like this happens. So I know you would never intentionally do something like this."
"And I mean seriously, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that you would prefer to take a break from these do or die situations," after saying that she began to chuckle; then for some odd reason, her laughter became nervous.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked, feeling an odd anxiety creep over him.
Harry was not sure exactly what was going on, she seemed sincere in believing him that he did not enter himself into the tournament, and to be honest, Hermione was a horrible liar, so he knew something was going on; but he was just too tired to figure out what.
"Harry, dear Harry," one of the Twins came over and put an arm around him, guiding him away from the study corner. And to make things even more concerning for himself, Hermione seemed to sigh a sigh of relief after he was led away.
"You have a party thrown in your name and the first thing you do is head over to the study buddy corner, I tell you, that girl seems to have you whipped."
"Only about as much as your mother does you. I mean, Hermione...and me... In my eyes, that would be like dating my own sister. True, I love her...but that would be in the same sense as you loving Ginny."
"Hey, I resent hearing that. Why do you think we are all reds, that is because we are pure of blood and our parents marry us off to others of our family!"
"..." Harry stared at the unnamed twin blankly.
"Well, it is kind of true. I think mum and dad are like seventh cousins, two or three times removed. Something like that or other. But if actually look at the Pure-Blood families, most of them are closely related, marrying first and second cousins. And Merlin's salty balls, if I remember correctly, there was a family called the Gaunt's, and they died off in the past due to inbreeding."
"You know, father and daughter, brother and sister, along with mother and son. All of that just to keep their line pure...and I believe that a few other families died off in such a way."
"So don't be too weirded out if you say that to a Wizard and they just shrug off with a smile... No, actually, be weirded out," the twin laughed.
"Oi, Fred, slosh him some butterbeer!" George yelled out like a drunk.
"Anyways, come, join us, party with us! You cannot escape it. Tell us how you put your name in!" he said, as he pulled Harry down and put him into a headlock. "We must know."
After a moment, Harry muffled something out.
"What was that?" George asked.
"I said, I have no clue on how my name got in."
"Oh, come on. Why won't ickle Haarykins tell us?"
"I would, if I knew how; but I can't tell you if I don't know," Harry repeated himself.
"Oh come on—"
"George, look at him," Fred interrupted.
"Ah, your right...I didn't see that one coming. But if it is our dear little ickle Harrykins here, well it is possible."
"Well, you do us proud," Fred said, putting a hand onto Harry's shoulder.
"Well, you know, with all of the trouble you get yourself into and all that. Well, we figured out just now, that it should be about that time, so if that is the case, take your butterbeer and go upstairs to rest, we shall enjoy the party enough for you."
"Thanks Fred," Harry said, as he retreated to his dorm.
It took a while, for Harry to slowly ascend the stairs, as he was still trying to come to terms with what happened today. For Harry, he still was quite shocked; but at the same time, he was expecting somebody to come after his life today. It was something that happened with quite a bit of regularity on this day in question.
Well, there was arguably the fact that in his second year, it was not him that got attacked. Though the perpetrator had basically left him a calling card, with a message attached.
And then there was the fact that last year, it was not him that Sirius was after. No, not him, but Peter Pettigrew. Though the man was thinking so irrationally that he made it seem as if he was coming after Harry.
So, in all reality, it was not like Halloween was too bad for him; his parents death aside, it was just that every year, Halloween was the day that rung the gong and pulled the trigger that started the race that headed towards the day that fucked up the life of Harry Potter, for the year.
Basically, what today told Harry was that like every year in this Wizarding World before, the bell has just tolled, and the bitch that was fate, just laughed happily smacking Harry, while scorning him to his face...one of these days he would love to sever those strings they attached to him...just without the, you know...immanent death part.
As he walked into his room, Harry realized exactly what he had been too preoccupied earlier too. And that was the fact that Ron was not downstairs; but sitting up here in the dim candlelight, with an expression on his face that could be best described as nothing short of, listless.
"Oh, hey Harry," he said, barely looking at his best friend, before staring back into the oblivion that be the night outside the window.
"How was the party downstairs? They started celebrating it for you, while you were down meeting with the Professors and Ministry Representatives."
"So, how did it go?"
"I expect that Dumbledore would not allow them to cast you out of the tournament, not with the severity of the consequences and all that. Bloody hell mate, I doubt that even Snape could come up with a reason good enough for them to cast you out," Ron replied in an unemotional manner that he never seen aimed at Harry before.
Confused, Harry began to explain: "It wasn't for a lack of trying. Though even if Snape did not succeed in getting them to make me forfeit the contract and lose all of my magic; he most certainly did succeed in turning them against me."
"You know the drill—he has been crossing the lines since the beginning Albus, and you need to reign him in—and all that crap."
With a deep intake of breath, Harry laid back and sighed.
He was trying to figure it out, Ron was never really listless like this and if anybody, it should be Harry over there acting like that. So he sat there in silence in the silence of the moment. Confused and curious. What could make his friend act like this.
It was only a few moments later that he found out the cause: "Harry, sorry if you don't want to talk about it. I mean, I thought if you had a way in, I thought you would tell me—"
Sound cut off on Harry as he sat in this moment, shocked about what he had just heard. It felt as if time and the reality of the moment just stopped.
"What...?" Harry asked, unsure if he heard Ron right.
"Come on Harry, we're best mates. Right?"
"I mean, I can understand if you didn't want anybody to know; but we have been through a lot together and you can trust me."
Befuddled, Harry stared at Ron uncomprehendingly. He knew that there were certain times that Ron could act like a git; but this was just the icing on top of the cake. What better way to ruin ones day, than to have ones best friend believe him guilty.
Fate...you truly are a cruel bitch. You know that. Right? Harry thought to himself.
In the back of Harry's mind he felt as if he could hear a loud cackling. One like muggles depicted of a Witch from the days of old...or The Wizard of Oz.
Breathing, quietly and deeply, Harry tried to maintain his composure before asking: "Why Ron, would you believe I put my name in the goblet?"
"Well, there are plenty of reasons one would. The fame and glory that one could get with the prestige of winning the cup, the money that you could win."
"And Bloody hell Harry. Do you know how much a thousand Galleons is worth?"
"Roughly...no, I do not."
"Well, you remember how my father could barely even tell the difference between those muggle pieces of paper and Wizarding money?"
"Well, my dad began asking Bill about the exchange rate from Muggle to a Galleon, and Bill had told him that 1 Galleon was roughly near 100 Pounds. Which he said could be a rather substantial amount in the Muggle World."
"Though, he also mentioned about how for exchange, the Goblins charge a ten percent fee for exchange when the sum is small; but for a large exchange they drop it to three percent rate," Ron replied, seeming as if he began to feel nervous.
"Yes, that is nice," Harry said, realizing that he really did have a fortune in his account, and was surprised about how much stuff costed to use at school. But then, he had heard from Collin that the school also provided for the Muggle-Borns that could not afford it.
"But what does that have to do with me entering the tournament?"
"Well, the other day you did say that it would be nice to actually participate in the tournament," Ron replied sheepishly.
"As did you. Now do you want to repeat what it was exactly that happened during the last tournament that they held? You know, what Hermione told us about?"
"So what if a manticore ran amok over a century ago. We both know that they are going to make it much safer this time."
"But why are you still playing ignorant Harry. If you like the money, if you want the fame, it doesn't matter to me. Just don't lie to me about it."
This was the final straw that snapped. Harry was quite sure that coming back from meeting with the tournament officials and school heads, he would come back here, sit down with Ron and Hermione, and have a good laugh at how fucked up his life was.
What a joke that thought was. He was now beginning to understand what had Hermione so nervous and why she was so glad to see him pulled away. She didn't want to have to be the one to explain that Ron's overzealous ego had pulled him in, once again.
He could understand the fact that Ron was jealous of him. He had five brothers he had to compete with, got average grades, and his family was poor.
Yes, Harry could understand that.
The problem was, that Ron could not understand that there are worse things in life than being poor.
And to top matters off that made it even worse was, that Ron understood well that Harry hated his fame. That fame came with a price that he would gladly refund.
But worst of all, the thing he couldn't stand about Ron's jealousy. And for him to act this way, on this night of all nights.
"Ron..." as he said this, his normally vibrant eyes became dull. "You just accused me of being ignorant right?" his voice became a cold chilly whisper.
"Yet do you realize how unbecoming jealousy can make you? I will point out that with what you have just said, you are far more ignorant than I am."
As a sign of danger, Ron's ears took on a dark crimson hue.
"No Ron, you always have your say. So shut up and listen for once. Or do you think friendships are a one way street? You get to have your say all of the time and I have to keep my mouth shut."
"I have put up with this unreasonable jealousy since first year. I have money, yes, true. But yet I have to be careful and not mention it."
"Do you believe money is everything? I have lived in a household with a rather well off family for thirteen years, and your fucking clothes are better than mine."
"In the Muggle World I am no richer than you are. So...it may be true that I have Galleons; but other than when I am at your place, when am I even in the Magical World, and even then I spend as much on you and Hermione as I do on myself."
"This is not out of obligation or flaunting my money, it is because I actually enjoy doing things for my friends...and then, how often do you have to go and spoil it. Arguing about how this is too much, in a way that makes a person feel as if they had done something wrong."
"You yourself saw the living conditions I had in second year. A lock on my door, a slit in the door to insert food. I may have gotten fed...cold cans of soup; but it was more like a prison."
"Those are the living conditions you are ever so jealous of. And the worst part is, that you know it. Or do you think it was a joke after you saw me being locked in my room like Rupunzel, and I told you about how they gifted me the ever so luxurious cupboard under the stairs until I got my Hogwarts letter."
"That was no joke."
"And the fame...the fucking fame...are you fucking kidding me?"
"I am fourteen, and so fucking famous that I already have books on my, quote on quote, defeat of the Dark Lord, at the age of one. And that fame has brought me nothing but misery. So, why would I want more?"
"You act as if you have nothing Ron, and if you truly feel that way. I pity you for the fool you are. You have a fucking family that cares."
"If you almost die, your family worries; mine tell me to make sure I get it right and actually die next time."
"Or would you prefer that your family be murdered off, just so you could have a few lousy Galleons, along with the fame that is so double bladed that one minute you are lauded, and the next you are criticized for being evil and dark...just like in second year."
"But truly, do you want to know what is pissing me off right now?"
"When the Dementors attacked me last year, do you know what I saw, every time they affected me?" Harry's voice got icier and chilled Ron to the bone.
Harry smiled a sad smile before answering, "My mother pleading and begging for me to be spared; before a maniac turned his wand on her and killed her. She even begged for him to take her life instead of mine."
With that, Harry turned over and fell asleep. While Ron had realized that he had said something so irrevocable that it may never be mended. And if it was, they would never be the friends they once were.
He felt ashamed.