Harry and the Triwizard Tournament
A/N - I wrote this during Nanowrimo in November 2016. It is the first half of my original story, but I have writers block on the second half so I decided to post the first half. This is MY version of the Tri Wizard Tournament. I hope you like it.
If I ever manage to continue the second half, I will add to this story. Please note - Character death - there is one minor character death in this story .Story is Rated T for Language
"NO! DAMN IT, NO! I will NOT take part in this tournament. I did not submit my name." Harry Potters voice was heard above the hubbub and noise that arose after his name was announced as the 4th champion of the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
"Harry Potter. You are now contracted to take part in this tournament and you must do so, or you will lose your magic." Dumbledore replied in a tightly controlled voice. He was furious that his little weapon was not doing what he was supposed to do.
Harry sat back down. "That's fine with me. I would prefer to lose my magic than be subjected to all the abuse I have had to live with. If I had to choose, I would choose to be a muggle any day. "
"Then why dont you go back to being a muggle, you muggle son of a mudblood whore?" Draco sneered.
"Because the goddamn controlling puppetmaster will not let me go back!" Harry stood up again and yelled, while pointing directly at Dumbledore.
There was dead silence in the great Hall. Nobody breathed. You could hear a pin drop.
"Ever since I stepped foot in this world, my life has NOT been mine to control. Everyone else controls my life, but not me. Well this stops NOW. So NO I will NOT take part in this tournament. If I lose my magic then so mote it be!"
"Harry Potter you will come up here now, this instant." Professor McGonagall shouted. "It is a huge privilege to compete for the tournament, and you will compete."
"You see what I mean." Harry spoke up. "They want to control me all the time. They are always telling me what to do. Well NO MORE!"
Harry got up from his seat again and headed for the doors of the Great Hall with the clear intention of leaving.
Dumbledore was fuming. He waved his wand and surreptitiously sent a charm to close the doors so that Harry could not leave. He also sent an Imperious curse to the boy.
"Harry Potter, you will come here now." He announced in a loud voice. Noone noticed the blank look that came over the boys face. Harry did an about face, away from the doors and marched back up the aisle between the tables to stand in front of the headmaster. He was then directed to go into the room where the other champions had disappeared into.
"What is it?" Madam Maxime asked. "Do they want us to go back out there?"
Harry stood there not saying anything. A few minutes later, Dumbledore arrived and grabbed Harry by the arms.
"Did you put your name in the cup, my boy?" he asked, shaking Harry a little to make seem like he was getting an answer. Harry said nothing.
"Did you ask anyone else to put your name into the cup for you?" Again Dumbledore shook the boy slightly to make it seem that Harry was shaking his head.
Dumbledore let go and turned to the rest of the champions and to the visiting school leaders.
"It seems that Harry's name was submitted to the Goblet, possibly by someone other than him. Be that as it may, he has been chosen by the Goblet as the fourth champion. He must now compete or lose his magic."
A shouting match broke out as everyone argued for or against this new wrinkle.
"Ludo, what do the rules say?" Dumbledore asked Ludo Bagman, the Director of the Magical Games and Sports Department.
"Well, now that he is here in this room, he has accepted the contract and must compete. If he does not participate, he will lose his magic."
Dumbledore smiled to himself. His weapon was still his for another year.
Harry heard the one word he needed that would help him, and he too smiled to himself.
The headmaster of Hogwarts decided to be magnanimous and made another announcement.
"Champions may be excused from classes and exams for the year, while they train for the tournament."
Harry was pleased about that too. That would help his plans immensely.
The Champions were dismissed to their beds for the night. They and all the staff members left the room, except Harry. He just continued standing there. Noone thought anything of him staying behind. As soon as the room was empty, the blank look on Harrys face disappeared and he scowled.
He put me under a damn imperious curse in order to force me to enter this room and thus seal the contract. Who the hell does he think he is to control me like that? I am sick and tired of him controlling me and my life. This stops now.
Well at least I learnt a few things. And this year might even be fun! It's getting much easier to throw off the imperious curse. He can tell me what he wants me to do, but it will always be MY decision as to whether I do it or not. No classes, huh? So now I have the whole year to get my studies and grades back on track, and maybe even start on 5th year as well. Oh and that word Participate? I LOVE that word! Excellent. That's my strategy all done. Now to find somewhere to live that is NOT in Gryffindor Tower. Speaking of that house, maybe I should take Neville with me so he doesn't get bullied either.
Harry left the room and softly called for Dobby.
"Mr Harry called?" The house elf asked as he popped into view.
"Yes, Dobby. I need someplace to stay in this castle that the headmaster does not know about and where I can stay all year. It needs to hold at least 2 people as I think I want Neville to stay with me, if he agrees."
"The Come and Go room should be a good hiding place. It's on the seventh floor. Shall I pop you up there?" Dobby asked. Dobby had learnt to speak the Queens English over the last 2 years while being in Harry's service.
Harry nodded and found himself in a corridor facing a blank wall.
"You have to walk up and down by this wall three times, thinking of the kind of room you want. Be as detailed as possible." Dobby explained.
Harry walked back and forth thinking that he needed a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and shower and also a study room, with lots of books and books shelves to complete the OWL and NEWT exams.
After the 3rd time, a door opened in the wall, that Harry swore was not there 5 seconds earlier. He opened the door and walked in.
He found himself in a large bedroom that was easily 3 times bigger than the Gryffindor dormitories. It had Harry's favourite colours - Blue walls with green trim and accents - and a large 4 poster bed in the centre along with 2 doors in the far walls. Upon investigating, Harry discovered that one door led to an ensuite bathroom, and the other to a study room which had a desk, some chairs, a sofa and lots of bookshelves.
Harry grinned. "This is perfect" he announced. Being as tired as he was, it was now long past midnight, Harry lay on top of the bed and fell asleep. He did not feel Dobby remove his shoes and transfigure his clothes into PJs. He also did not feel the sheets and blankets being drawn back, his body being tucked under them, and then the covers lovingly being drawn up to his neck. Harry slept on.
It was noon the next day when Harry woke up. If he missed any classes, no-one bothered to tell him. Besides he didn't need to attend any classes anyway, since he was now a champion.
Once Harry had rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he did a tempus charm to learn the time. Then he called for Dobby.
"Dobby. Where am I?"
"The Come and Go room. Remember yesterday? Professor Whiskers imperiused you to enter the tournament despite you being under age. I think you need to go to Gringotts and find out if you have been emancipated, since you have been forced to participate."
Harry giggled. "Oh yeah. Participate. I think I like that word. I had a thought float across my mind while I was standing in that room yesterday. All I have to do is to participate, which means I can do the absolute MINIMUM possible. There is nothing in the rules that says I have to win at all costs, right?"
"That's correct, Mr Harry."
"Good. As for the not attending classes, I want to review my third year, change my electives, complete all my 4th year and do as much of the 5th year as possible. If I could possibly sit my OWLS by the end of this school year, that would be great too. As soon as I have my OWLS, then I can legally leave Hogwarts and Britain."
"Sounds good, Mr Harry. If I can ask, where would you go?"
"Australia. I do have a plan, but those can stay in my head for now. Do you know if Neville is having any trouble in Gryffindor Tower?"
"Other than being ignored, no, he's doing OK. He is lonely though. You are really the only friend he has."
"Then perhaps once he is in bed behind his curtains tonight, you might want to pop him here so we can have a chat. "
"Will do, Mr Harry."
"Now, what other reactions are there to my being chosen for this silly tournament?"
"Hufflepuff house is upset, because Hogwarts now has two champions, and you are taking attention away from Mr Diggory. The other two schools are not happy, but since the deal is done, there is not much else they can do. Your former friends, Miss Grangy and Mr Weasel, are snapping and snarling at everyone in Gryffindor House because they cannot find you. They are also disparaging you, pretty much every time they open their mouths. The blondie in the Snakes house is also disparaging you a lot, with pretty much every breath he takes as well."
"So everything is normal." Harry grinned. "Thanks Dobby. Now. Could you please rustle up some food for me to eat. I'm kind of hungry. Oh and if you can rescue my trunk from my dormitory and bring it up here as well, since I will be living here now. Please sure my invisibility cloak and the marauders map are both in the trunk as well. If you have to take them back from the Weasel then please do so. He goes through my trunk on a regular basis. Thanks."
"Yes, Mr Harry." Dobby disappeared to prepare some lunch, and then rescue Harry's trunk and belongings.
As it turned out, Ron Weasley was rifling through Harrys trunk in the dormitory at the precise moment that an invisible house elf removed it. Dobby also had to rescue the map and cloak from the weasels belongings as well.
"Oi! What happened? Who took my trunk?"
"YOUR trunk, Weasley?" scoffed Neville Longbottom. "That was not your trunk. That was Harrys trunk."
"Shut your mouth, Squib." The ginger weasel glared at the squib before stomping out of the dormitory to tell his best friend Hermione, that Harrys trunk had disappeared.
Hermione promptly dragged Ronald to see Professor McGonagall, their head of house, in order to report that Harrys trunk had been stolen, from right under Ronald and Neville's eyes.
A few minutes later a parchment drifted down in front of the professor.
My trunk has not been stolen, Since it is MY trunk, I simply removed my personal belongings from the dormitory while the Weasel was rummaging through MY trunk. Weasel when you learn to stay out of other peoples trunks and stop claiming other peoples property as yours, (That is called stealing) then maybe you might make some friends. Oh and Weasel, I rummaged through your trunk and took back MY cloak and MY map.
Signed Harry Potter.
Ron turned red as his nefarious activities were exposed to his head of house.
McGonagall requested a school elf to ask Neville Longbottom to come to her office. As they waited, Ron got more and more upset, and Hermione became more and more embarrassed. She was embarrassed for having a boyfriend who stole other peoples things.
When Neville arrived, the Professor had one question to ask.
"What exactly was happening when Harrys trunk disappeared from your dormitory, and I want the complete truth please."
"Ron was rummaging through Harrys trunk when it disappeared. Ron claimed it was his trunk. He actual words were 'Oi, what happened to my trunk?' So I told him that it was Harrys trunk, not his. He then left the room telling me that as a squib I had to keep my mouth shut."
"Thank you, Neville, you may return to the tower now."
Ron lost 20 points for telling lies to his Head of House. He was also told to leave Neville Longbottom alone. If any reports came to McGonagall about Neville being bullied or harassed in any way, Ron would find out what she was like when she was really angry.
When Neville went to bed that night, he found a note on his pillow.
Neville, please close the curtains and put up silencing charms around your bed. Then call for my house elf Dobby. He will bring you to my location. We need to talk. HJP
Two minutes later, Neville found himself sitting on a sofa in a bright cheery room with Harry sitting right beside him.
"Harry. Thank goodness you are alright. I have been so worried. I haven't seen you since last night when your name came out of the goblet."
"Yes, Neville, I know. I've been here. I have decided to hide from the headmaster because, as I said in the great hall last night, he interferes in my life far too much. How are you doing? Because I would be happy for you to move here with me if you feel the need to. One of the perks that the headmaster gave to the champions is that they do not have to attend classes and do exams. Which helps me a lot because I want to review my 3rd year, and then try and study all the 4th and 5th year subjects this year. I want to call it independent study."
"But what about the tournament? Don't you have to compete or lose your magic?"
"Actually, no, I do not have to COMPETE." Harry grinned. " I just have to PARTICIPATE! There is a difference."
Harry explained. "Compete implies that I must win at all costs. I am not going to do that. Participate means I do the absolute MINIMUM to satisfy the requirements without losing my magic!"
Neville thought this over and then smiled as he understood the implications.
"To hell with Gryffindor then?" he asked.
Harry nodded. "To hell with Gryffindor."
"In that case, Harry, yes I will move in here with you. I don't think I will survive the next year in Gryffindor on my own."
"OK. Good, Now we just have to get your grandmother to approve you doing independent studies for the year. Then you can live here with me."
"That's OK. I'll just tell her that you can help me far more than anyone from my house can and I would rather learn from you than them."
"Good. Because you can teach me a lot as well." Harry replied.
"I can? Like what?"
"Like what it means to be the Head of House Potter, Pureblood customs and traditions and all that stuff that you must have been told when you growing up. I didn't get any of that at all."
Neville put his heads in his hands and moaned. "Oh no. How could I have forgotten! Stupid me. Silly me."
"Neville, you are not stupid and you are not silly! What are you on about?"
"The Longbottom and Potter families have been allies for centuries. I need to renew the vow so that we can reform our alliance. Then I can teach you everything you need to know. We were told by Dumbles that you were safe, happy and that you were already been told what you needed to know."
Harry scowled at that. "Dumbles lied. I was not informed of anything. I was not safe and I was certainly NOT Happy."
Neville got down on one knee as if he were going to propose, bowed his head and repeated the age old vow of allegiance that every Longbottom heir has spoken for centuries."I, Neville Longbottom, do swear allegiance for the House of Longbottom to the House of Potter. I will teach you, fight for you, fight with you and have your back at all times, both in peace and in battle, so mote it be." He flashed a gold aura as his magic accepted his vow.
Harry simply replied. "So Mote it be." and his body also flashed a gold aura.
"The first thing you have to do is to get to Gringotts." Neville stated. "You need to know if and when you can take up your Potter Head of House Duties. The Potters usually allowed one to do that at age 13, if there was no adults around to step in as Regent. You are now 14 years old. If there is any way to do this, can you go today? The sooner the better. And if the Tri-Wizard Tournament has emancipated you, as I suspect it has, then you really need to do it now for your own protection."
"Can a house elf take me to Gringotts?" Harry asked.
"Yes." Neville confirmed.
"Dobby." Harry called.
"Yes, Mr Harry?" Dobby asked when he popped into view.
"Can you pop me over to Gringotts? I need to see the Potter Family Account Manager ASAP. Neville, I need you to stay here to hold the room." Neville nodded.
"Dobby, Let's go."
"Yes, Mr Harry. " Dobby held out his hand which Harry grabbed hold of.
The next second he was standing a large room with marble walls and a large desk at one end. An old Goblin was sitting at the desk. He looked up.
"What is this? Who are you?" Too late he recognised his client. "Harry Potter?" he asked.
"Yes sir. I apologise for the intrusion, but I need to get emancipated. I was put under the imperious curse and forced to enter the tri-wizard tournament. If I don't get emancipated, I may not survive."
"You were Imperioused?" the goblin roared.
"Yes sir. I think it was Dumbles but I'm not absolutely sure."
The Goblin pulled a large pensieve out of a cupboard and asked to see Harry's memory of the previous evenings events. He was not at all happy after he had watched the memory.
"Yes, I saw the curse as it was sent to you, and yes, it was Dumbledore. He used an unforgiveable on one of his students. That calls for the Veil or a Dementors kiss. As for being emancipated. Well you are already emancipated due to being forced to participate in an adults only tournament."
"Is it possible for me to claim the Head of House Potter? Especially since I am the last Potter?" Harry asked. "And may I also ask for your name, sir?"
"My name is Ragnok. I have been looking after the Potter Family accounts since your great grandfather Henry Potters time. I don't plan on stopping now. Let me find the forms and the ring so you can claim your rightful title as Lord Potter, the Head of House Potter."
Harry spent a few minutes signing forms and was then given a ring and told to place it on the middle finger of the right hand. The ring would prick his finger, just to ensure that he was the rightful heir.
As he placed the ring on his finger, Harry felt the prick, the ring resized itself to his smaller fingers and then his mind was flooded with all the past Potters who had previously worn this ring. The more recent Potters were Harrys grandfather Charlus and his great grandfather Henry, for whom Harry had been named. Harry's father James had never been Head of House, only the Heir.
So Harry became Lord Henry Potter. He had been named after his great grandfather. Harry then took the Dobby express back to the Come and Go Room.
One of the first things Neville mentioned, was that Harry, now being a lord of the Wizangamot, despite not yet being introduced there, was entitled to a Lords suite of rooms in the castle. He just needed to ask Dumbledore for the Castle to prepare such a room for him. Each suite generally had 4 rooms, The lounge, a study, the bedroom and the bathroom.
"Will he?" Harry asked. "I'm thinking that he might say NO, just because he can."
"He has to." Neville Insisted. "It is in the school charter. And you can always tell him, NO suite, no participation in his precious tournament!"
Harry laughed. "That's true, I can do that, can't I."
Harry was curious. "Forgive me for being rude about this, but if your father is unable to be the head of house, is there any reason why you can't do it? Or is it because your regent is your grandmother? I think the two of us together could be quite powerful."
"We have the same rules as you. But precisely because I do have a regent, I cannot take up my duties until I am at least aged 16 years old. So I have 2 more years to go." Neville didn't like this restriction and he chafed under his grandmother's rule. She did not always do what HE thought was best for House Longbottom.
"So now that you are Lord Potter, what plans do you have for your future?" Neville asked. The answer was rather shocking.
"I'm going to run away - after this damn tournament is done." Harry replied.
Neville lifted one eyebrow. "Where to and why?"
"You remember back in second year after the duelling class when I told the snake to get away from Justin? And everyone thought I was the heir of Slytherin just because I am a parselmouth?"
"Yes." Neville nodded.
"Well I have discovered that parselmouths are highly revered in India and Australia. Those two countries have large snake populations, and it is my intention to move to Australia and become a snake handler. But I cannot legally leave Britain and Hogwarts until I have my OWLS. It is my intention to study like mad this year, squeeze 2 years of studies into 1 year, and hopefully be able to sit my OWLS at the end of this school year, after the tournament is done, and then leave. Please do not tell anyone else about my plans. I would love for you to come with me, if you wish."
"I would love to go with you." Neville replied with a sad smile on his face."But I have to stay here to claim my head of house duties. I will consider moving after I turn 16 and claim my title, if the situation and the political climate warrants it. In the meantime I will study with you, and teach you what you need to know to be head of House Potter, and how you can use Pureblood traditions to your advantage."
"Fair enough," Harry agreed.
Neville went back to his dormitory to pack up his trunk and to write a letter to his Gran asking to be allowed to do independent studies for the 4th year. He was requesting this because his best friend was now a champion and he was doing independent studies as well as training for the Tournament. He explained to his grandmother than Harry had actually been imperioused to compete. At NO time did Harry submit his name. Someone else had entered Harrys name but he was now being forced to participate! In the meantime, the rest of Gryffindor house were a danger to both boys - to Harry because they were jealous and to Neville just because he was Harrys friend.
Neville then had Dobby take his trunk to the Come and Go room. There were now just 3 boys left in the 4th year Boys Dormitory. He was soon walking through the corridors, intent on getting to the owlery unseen, in order to send off the letter.
On his way back from the owlery, Neville was confronted by Ron, Hermione, and Ginny as well as Fred and George.
"Where have you been Neville? You missed a few classes. You really should not be disappearing like that. It is dangerous for you!" Hermione lectured.
"In what way is Hogwarts dangerous for me, Ms Granger?" Neville's eyes were flashing with anger, but the others never noticed this.
"Harry is a bad influence on you. Heck, he's a bad influence on everyone. He did put his name in the Goblet and we have proof of this. He will lose this tournament, and when he dies, and he will die, any advantage you have by associating with him will disappear. So it's best to not get your hopes up, or be supportive of him. In fact we are going to censure him and have him removed from Gryffindor house. We would ask that you support this action."
"Besides, Harry belongs to me." piped up Ginny.
Neville drew up himself as straight and as tall as he could be. He spoke in the wizengamot voice his Gran had taught him. "No, Ms Granger, I do not support your action. In fact, if you are going to kick Harry out, then I too will leave Gryffindor house. And what about your Quidditch team? If you throw him out, then you lose your seeker."
"Since there is no Quidditch this year, that is irrelevant. Well then, since you choose not to support our action, then we may need to include you in this censure action as well, since you are clearly not supporting the house."
Hermione had a triumphant look on her face. She just knew that Neville would fall into line and follow her directions, because everyone knew that he could not survive outside of Gryffindor.
"If that is your decision, then so mote it be." Neville murmured as he pushed past the Ginger weasels and headed back to the Come and Go room to tell Harry of this new development.
Hermione had a very shocked look on her face. She was gobsmacked that Neville had not done what he was supposed to and fallen into line like a good like soldier. When had he stopped listening to the Gryffindor leaders? He had always followed their orders in the past. She had to tell the headmaster of this new and unexpected development.
Back in the Come and Go room, Neville told Harry of the encounter.
"I got the letter sent off and I was on my way back when I was accosted by the Gingers. I was told by their spokesperson in that superior arrogant tone of hers that the house all believe that you lied about putting your name into the Goblet. They claimed that they have proof. So they have now decided to censure you. That means they wish to kick you out of the house until you apologise and tell them you were wrong. They expected me to support this action and when I said no, the arrogant bint said that the censure could be extended to me as well. I just said, if that is your decision then so be it. So I too am now kicked out of Gryffindor. I would rather be with you than them. Anyway, that takes care of your House and Quidditch problem. Oh and the Weaselette made a comment. 'Harry belongs to me', she said."
Harry shook his head. "Nope. I dont belong to anyone. Not right now. I have way too much on my plate to bother with whiny, greedy, grabby females."
"So should we still ask for the Lords rooms or should we just stay here?" Neville asked.
"I would prefer to stay here. I think this is much safer." Harry pondered out loud. "Dobby can get us food from the kitchens and we have plenty of room to do our studies, to exercise and to practise anything we need to learn.
"Once we submit our letters to McGonagall and Dumbles that we are both doing independent studies, we should be OK to live here on our own."
Neville nodded his head. "Then I will stay here with you. It will be much safer for both of us, since we have both now been exiled and dumped from Gryffindor House."
"Thank you Neville." Harry replied with tears in his eyes.
After a few minutes as Harry calmed down, he began to think of strategies to prevent both himself and Neville from being snatched and removed from this safe haven. Harry started thinking out loud.
"We need to change the access to this room. Room, please prevent any phoenix and passenger from entering this room for any reason whatsoever. I would not put it past Dumbles to use Fawkes to get in here to start making demands of us. Room, please prevent any and all other students, staff and visitors from entering this room for any reason whatsoever. Room, please prevent any and all other creatures, except for Dobby, and the Goblins, from entering this room as well. So mote it be." The room flashed to indicate that the new rules had been accepted.
"The goblins?" Neville asked.
"In case we need to call a goblin from the bank." Harry explained.
"Fair enough." Neville shrugged.
Dobby popped into view. "Master Longbottoms grandmother has written her reply to the letter." he stated, holding out the letter.
"Let's see it, please." Neville opened the parchment looking slightly worried and scanned it. Then he smiled and began reading out loud.
Just minutes after reading your letter, I had the headmaster on the floo demanding that I call you back to the Gryffindor tower so that you could be a good little student and do what you are told. But you are already doing the right thing. You are standing with a Potter in his time of need, and I am so very proud of you. I told the headmaster that you were doing your duty to your ally, and that he, Dumbledore, no longer had any say over your decisions. I told him that I give you permission to stay with young Mr Potter and help him through this tournament, just like we Longbottoms have been doing for centuries. And yes, that includes whatever Independent studies that you and he both need to learn. If you need any help, supplies, books, questions answered, or anything at all, please send me a letter and I will do whatever I can to help.
Good luck to you both.
Your loving gran
Both boys had great big grins on their faces. They had passed their first obstacle. Getting permission to stay in the room and do whatever they needed to get through this tournament. They also had the backing of a powerful and formidable witch in the Wizengamot as well.
After the depths of despair that Harry had been in the previous evening, things were finally looking up.
Since I have been forced to enter the TWT and compete with the adults, this action had effectively emancipated me and made me an adult as well. This has been confirmed by Ragnok, the Potter Family Accounts Manager at Gringotts. Thus I no longer need a magical or a muggle guardian. This is my notice to you that I have effectively withdrawn from Gryffiindor house and will be doing independent studies. Just so you know, Gryffindor house are planning to censure me and expel me from the house for lying about entering the TWT. They claim they have proof that I did enter. I know that I did not. I will be on the school grounds ONLY on the days of the 3 official tasks. As to my location, noone needs to know that, as I am safe and protected. Do not try to contact me at all as I will not respond to any summons. Nor will I do anything a professor tells me to do. Remember I am now an emancipated adult.
I have been given permission to withdraw from classes for my 4th year in order to do independent studies with Harry Potter. This permission comes from MY guardian, my grandmother Augusta Longbottom. See letter enclosed. I will not respond to the summons of any staff member. I have also been censured and expelled from Gryffindor house.
Minerva McGonagall was shocked when she read these notes that appeared on the desk in her office. She headed up to the Gryffindor Common room and entered quietly. It was a few minutes before anyone noticed her, but during that time, she heard several comments about how they were glad to have gotten rid of the Attention seeking liar and the squib.
"I hear you have censured and expelled Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom." she stated.
"Harry is nothing but an attention seeking git and always has to have all the attention. He lied about entering his name into the Goblet. Who else could possibly have done that? He should have told me how he did it so I could do it as well. I am his best friend after all." whined Ron Weasley.
"Miss Granger. May I see this censure document please? I would like to know the terms."
"It's been left open. There are no deadlines or end dates. This situation will continue until they finish school. But I don't think they will last that long." Hermione stood up and stated proudly. She was quite pleased with the document she had drawn up. "Harry and Neville will not be permitted to re-enter the Gryffindor house until Harry comes crawling back and admits that he lied about putting his name into the Goblet."
"And if he is telling the truth?" McGonagall asked.
Hermione scoffed. "We know he is lying. Who else would have put HIS name into the cup? He gets more than enough attention as it is. Why would anyone else have put Harry Potters name into the cup?"
Minerva decided not to argue and to let this play out. She had a feeling that the house was going to learn that Harry Potter does not tell lies. Since her position as Head of House was required to activate the censure document and make it active, she spoke the required words while holding the document. "Very well then. So mote it be."
McGonagall knew that the House of Gryffindor would probably fall apart, the longer Harry Potter was absent. It had been at the top of the school while he was present. Now that he was gone, it would drop back to its previous mediocre standards, that not even Miss Granger could prevent.
McGonagall was very disappointed in Hermione Granger. The girl had become somewhat arrogant and quite cruel in the last 3 years. Where had this attitude come from? Minerva thought that maybe it came from the two youngest Weasleys. Sometimes their pureblood attitudes leaked out to the rest of the students. Especially whenever Ron got all jealous and had a temper tantrum which happened on a regular basis.
McGonagall was thankful that Harry was not here to see and hear his former best friends stabbing him in the back like this. She also hoped that both Harry and Neville would survive living outside of their house. Especially since they would no longer be attending classes. She wondered if they would still show up for meals.
Since both boys were now effectively emancipated, they were no longer required to even be in the school, although they did have to complete their OWL exams before they could officially leave. She had deliberately chosen not to pass the news of their emancipation on to the headmaster. He really did not need to know this little detail.
Several days after Harry and Neville disappeared, there was a Weighing of the Wands ceremony. An announcement was made throughout Hogwarts that All champions must attend, but if Harry heard it, he ignored it. The reporter from the Daily Prophet, Rita Skeeter was promised an interview with Harry Potter by the headmaster. She never got an interview, since Harry never bothered to show up for the ceremony. That however did not stop her from writing a flaming denunciation on the poor behaviour of the Boy Who Lived, who ignored his duties to the wizarding world and acted in a very arrogant manner.
If Harry ever saw or read this interview in the paper, he gave no response.
Headmaster Dumbledore was also very angry. He did not like losing control over the Potter boy. The boy was supposed to compete in order to learn how to defeat You-Know-Who. This tournament was supposed to show off his training.
In the following days after the champions had been chosen and after the weighing of the wands ceremony, Hermione was concerned that neither Harry nor Neville showed up for breakfast, nor any of their classes and not even for dinner. The last time she had seen Neville was in the hall ways when she told him that Harry was now censured and that he too would be censured if he did not support them. She wondered where they were staying and voiced this to Ron, as well as to the twins.
"He chose to leave. He's on his own now and I really don't care any more." Said Ron in an angry tone of voice. He was slowly becoming influenced by Rita Skeeters vitriole that regularly spewed out of the Daily Prophet on the disappearance and abandonment of the Boy Who Lived, the Saviour of the wizarding world.
"Harry is a survivor. He is also very stubborn. Something tells me that he and Neville will not be back," George spoke up while his twin Fred nodded away beside him.
"But he is required to get his education or he will be expelled." Hermione huffed. "It has long been a Ministry rule that students may not leave the school until after they get their OWLS. And Harry is only in his 4th year. Besides both those boys will need my help to pass any of their exams. They are both the pits in potions."
George and Fred looked at each other.
"Since the Ministry and the headmaster both agreed that only of-age students may compete, then it stands to reason that if any underage child were forced to participate they too would be made of-age, or be emancipated. If that has happened to Harry, then he will not be back. As an emancipated child he does not have to live in the school." George explained.
"We also heard from Hufflepuff house that the Champions do not have to attend classes and will not be required to sit any exams. Thus Harry has all year to learn whatever he needs to know to survive the tournament." Fred continued.
"But- but- but- Harry needs me." Hermione whined. That was the one thing she was scared of. That Harry would not need her any more.
"Not any more-" said one twin,
"- and not if he has been emancipated." continued the other.
"After all, it was you who threw them-"
"both out of Gryffindor house-"
"according to what you told Neville."
That twin speak that the twins did was annoying!
Hermione went white.
"So they won't come back? And I wrote that document that for nothing?" She asked.
The twins nodded and the twin speak continued, to drive the point home.
"If Harry is emancipated, he can get private tutors and do independent studies."
"And if Neville has his grandmothers permission, he can do the same."
Ron had been listening to all this, and now he spoke up.
"Never mind Hermione, you still have me." He flung his arms around Hermione and squeezed, so that her chest was pushed up against his. His foul smelling breath was in her face. Her arms were held down at her sides and she was unable to bring them up to push him away. She did twist her head away to the side, a grimace on her face.
When he released her, Hermione raced up the stairs to her dormitory. She needed to think about the consequences of the very stupid actions she had performed since Harrys name came out of the goblet.
Why was she so eager to believe what Ron said about Harry telling lies? Was she under a confundus or compulsion spell?
Hermione went to the Hospital wing to ask Madam Pomfrey to check her over for any spells and possibly potions. The results were devastating.
"Are you sure you want to know the results?" The medi-witch asked.
Hermione set her face into its stubborn looked and nodded. "I'm sure" she replied.
"You have been under compulsion spells keyed to Ronald Weasley since your 2nd year. These were done by the headmaster. Basically they make you agree with any and all suggestions and ideas that Mr Weasley has.
"You have also been under denial spells keyed to Harry Potter. Anything he says, or ideas that he has, you immediately reject out of hand, and you won't even consider them. Again these were placed by the Headmaster.
"You have some weak love potions and also loyalty potions in your system, again keyed to Ronald weasley, but these have only been in your system since the beginning of this year. None of the love potions were amortentia thank goodness. That is a class 4X love potion - very dangerous, very addictive and very hard to get rid of. Do you want me to get rid of these for you?" The Mediwitch asked.
Hermione nodded her head. "Yes please, and make a written note as well. I have no choice but to use these results as my reasons for transferring away from Hogwarts." The mediwitch nodded and set about her task.
Several hours later, Hermione walked away from the infirmary in shock. She did not even care that she had missed a day of classes. She just knew that she had to get away from these people who were clearly trying to control her.
She needed to find out if she could also get private tutors and do independent studies or transfer away from Hogwarts. There was no way she would even want to deal with Ron for the next 2 years without Harry around. One thing she was determined not to do, and that was to continue doing Rons homework for him. She also vowed to stop nagging at him. In fact, she was determined to stop speaking to him.
Hermione wrote a letter to her parents telling them about the spells and potions that had been found in her body. She included a copy of the medi-witches findings. She begged her parents to allow her to be transferred to Beauxbatons as soon as possible. She spoke reasonably fluent French, so she would not have any trouble keeping up with her studies.
Since the headmistress of Beauxbatons was already at Hogwarts, Hermione could approach her directly, but only if she had her parents permission.
She admitted to her parents that she had been stupid and arrogant to think she could control Harry. Essentially she had forced her own best friend out of Gryffindor house because she thought he had lied. She was now on her own because Ron had never really been her friend. She had only put up with him because he was Harry's friend and now that Harry was gone, Ron was intending to latch onto Hermione and she did not want that at all. They had absolutely nothing in common any more.
Hermione took the letter to her parents, to dinner that evening and made sure to sit as far away from Ron as she possibly could. After dinner, she went up to the owlery and sent off her letter with one of the school owls. She did not see Hedwig in the owlery and wondered if she was with Harry.
Professor Dumbledore sat at the staff table looking at Hermione with concern. Now that Harry had left, she and Ron had clearly split up and this was not good. He had promised Ron that he could have the girl. He leaned over to Minerva and asked her what was going on.
"I think Hermione regrets listening to Rons jealous tantrums and after driving her best friend out of the house, she now realizes what a huge mistake she has made. I would not be surprised if she too requests a transfer."
Dumbledore was surprised. "Why should she want to leave the best school of magic in the world?" he asked.
"Perhaps because we are no longer the best school of magic in the world and have not been the best, for quite some time." Minerva snapped back.
"If she did leave, where would she go? I don't think anyone else would accept her."
Minerva lifted one eyebrow. "And why not Albus? What makes you think she could not continue her studies elsewhere? She is a very intelligent girl."
"She drove Harry away, and I needed him to stay in this school." Dumbledore pouted.
"She is intelligent as in book smart. However she is not socially smart. She has no idea how to deal with people, let along her fellow teenagers. Which is why she made the mistakes she had made, Now she will have to learn from them."
"I need her to stay, to help Mr Weasley through his studies." Dumbledore pontificated.
Minerva shook her head. "That boy is the laziest child I have ever met. No, I fully expect Hermione to leave him to sink or swim on his own. A lot of this all came about because he is very jealous and incredibly lazy. He has the typical pureblood attitude. Muggleborns like Hermione are here only to serve the purebloods. In fact, he acts like a Gryffindor version of Draco Malfoy." Minerva swung her head between Gryffindor and Slytherin tables, mentally comparing the two boys.
"A Gryffindor version of Draco Malfoy." she repeated to herself. "That is exactly what he is. Why did I not see before? The question now is, why?" Minerva nodded.
Dumbledore paled. It would not do for Minerva to start thinking and seeing what he had been doing. He must remedy that as soon as possible.
In the meantime, he needed a distraction.
"By the way, Minerva. I don't see Mr Longbottom at the table. Dare I ask where he is?"
Minerva waved that off. "He got permission from his grandmother to do independent studies and is now helping Mr Potter to train for the tournament."
Dumbledore was not at all happy to hear this. Neville was the last person he wanted to be teaching Mr Potter anything. The Potter boy had to be kept ignorant of his place in wizarding society at all costs!
He made a note to himself to demand from Augusta Longbottom that she revoke the boys independent studies immediately. He nodded. Yes that should do the job.
Meanwhile back in the Come and Go room, Harry and Neville were busy. They had a routine in place now. Waking up every morning, having showers and breakfast, and then into the duelling room to fight with dummies to help the boys become faster, more accurate and more varied in their spell usage. The more Harry and Neville dodged to avoid hexes and curses, the more exercise they were getting.
One of the books that the room had provided mentioned Spell chains. Groups of 3 to 5 spells chained together so that they all went out at once, and not one at a time. Most wizards were not expecting more than one spell at a time.
An early lunch and then the afternoons were usually spent in book work. History of Magic, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, Potions, Mundane Studies which Harry was teaching to Neville. They had chosen to drop both Divination and Care of Magical Creatures from their lessons since one was kind of woolly, and the other was kind of dangerous.
The evening hours were spent reading up anything and everything on the tri-wizard tournaments. The first task usually had something to do with dangerous animals of some kind. Harry was quite interested in learning that as reptiles, Snakes and Dragons were distantly related and both spoke some form of parseltongue. So Harry decided that if he ever had to face a dragon, or a large snake such as a python or a basilisk, his first choice of action would be to talk to it.
Dobby in the meantime was kept busy, keeping the boys supplied with food, and spending time being invisible in the classrooms and the Great Hall, trying to determine what the first task would be. The first task was set to take place less than 1 month after the champions had been chosen so Harry did not have a lot of time.
There had been rather a lot of grumbling and muttering in the great hall over Harry's being chosen as a fourth champion, but since he never showed up in the great hall after that first day, the muttering had eventually died down. He was never seen in the corridors, the classrooms or in the common room, so none was able to attack him, either physically or verbally.
Still, Draco Malfoy did bribe some Ravenclaws into creating a large number of badges that were charmed to say Support Diggory in large friendly letters, and then when you got up close enough to read them, they changed to Potter Stinks. Most of the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws and Slytherins wore them.
The Hufflepuffs were the only house to not wear these badges. Even if they did support their champion, Cedric Diggory, who was a Hufflepuff, it was only a backhanded compliment attached to a major put down, and Hufflepuffs were nothing, if not loyal. No put downs and back handed compliments for them.
Since Harry was not around and never saw these badges, their effect was somewhat lost on everyone. Unknown to the student body, Harry and Neville did get to see these badges. Dobby borrowed one to show them.
Hermione had received a letter back from her parents giving her permission to speak to the headmistress of Beauxbatons. Hermione approached the tall woman with a view to asking for an appointment.
Speaking in french so that the nosy Gryffindors would not understand. Hermione began talking. "Madame Maxime. I was wondering if I might be allowed to request an appointment time to meet with you to discuss some educational issues."
Madam Maxime directed Hermione to an empty classroom, and sat down on one of the desks. Indicating a chair, she encouraged Hermione to sit.
"I have time now. How can I help you, child?" she asked in her deep rumbling voice.
"I fear I have done something rather bad to Harry Potter and now I need to flee from the consequences."
"What could you possibly have done that was bad?" Maxime asked.
"I was influenced to believe that Harry lied about putting his name in the Goblet. I now believe him when he says that he did not do it. Someone else did, but I have no idea who or why. In the meantime, I was also influenced to draw up a censure document effectively throwing both Harry and his friend Neville Longbottom out of the house of the Gryffindors, so that they will be on their own. Noone has seen or heard from them since. The first task is now just days away.
"I was also told that with Harry being forced to enter a contest such as this for those who are of-age only, this has effectively emancipated him and made him also of-age as well. Which now leaves him free to make any decisions about his life after the tournament if he survives.
"I no longer wish to remain with Gryffindor house. I now also no longer wish to remain in this school where I can be so easily influenced, confunded and manipulated. I need to be in an environment where I am not going to be so easily manipulated, So I am formally asking for, no, begging for, a transfer to Beauxbatons as soon as possible."
Madame Maxime thought for a moment. Then she asked the girl a few questions.
"You were a close friend to Harry Potter in the first years since he came to Hogwarts, no?"
"Then please tell me what is true and what is not."
"Did he kill a Basilisk when he was 12?"
Hermione nodded her head. "True." she said.
"Did he defeat Lord Voldemort and save the Philosophers stone?"
"Yes. He did that too." Hermione confirmed.
"Rumour says that his godfather was out to kill him. Is that true?"
"No!" Hermione was quite emphatic. "Sirius Black was looking for Peter Pettigrew, the person who really betrayed the Potters to the Dark Lord. Peter Pettigrew was an animagus and he spent several years disguised as Scabbers, the Weasley family rat. Peter Pettigrew was NOT killed back in 1981." she explained.
"And the rumours also claim that Harry can produce a fully formed Corporeal Patronum." Maxime spoke this last line in a scornful tone of voice.
Hermione nodded. "Now that one is true. I have seen it. He once drove off around 100 dementors when they were sent to protect the school last year. I am so glad they are not around this year."
"And what exactly did you do during these adventures?" Maxime asked.
"Well, I didnt do anything for the Basilisk, other than some research to find out WHAT it was. Harry went down to the chamber with Ron, but Ron got himself knocked out so Harry was there on his own.
"All 3 of us worked together to get through the puzzles for the Philosophers Stone. And all 3 of us were together while Harry was fighting those dementors and trying to get his godfather to safety."
Madame Maxime sat up straight. The girl had provided all truthful answers, in so far as she knew them to be the truth. And her french was also pretty good.
"Have you received your parents permission to transfer?"
Hermione showed the giantess a copy of the letter her parents had written.
"Alright then. I will accept you as a transfer student. Do you wish to start now in our carriages or next year back in France?"
"Now, if you don't mind, Madam Maxime." Hermione admitted. The sooner she could get away from Ron, the better.
"Alright then. I will need to make some space, so perhaps you can come and see us in our carriages tomorrow, yes? Pack everything you own into one trunk and bring it with you."
"Oui, Madame, et merci beaucoup." Hermione was thrilled to be part of a new school.
She would have to be sneaky about removing her clothes from the dresser and wardrobes, but maybe she could do that during lunch.
First however, she would need to tell McGonagall.
Now that I was dumb enough to chase Harry and Neville out of Gryffindor House, I find myself without any protection. I have also discovered that I was under compulsions spells to accept Ronald's ideas and reject Harrys ideas which is why I wrote those censure documents. I bitterly regret doing so.
In the last few days I have had to fend off Ron's frequent and regular sexual advances. Therefore, I am advising you of my notice to leave Gryffindor House and Hogwarts School. Please find enclosed my transfer forms and my parents permission. I have been accepted to Beauxbatons Academy effective immediately and will be taking all future classes with them in their carriages as well as leaving with them when they depart Hogwarts after the tournament.
I apologise for this abrupt notice, but now that Harry is gone, Ron is acting like a caveman, groping me all the time, and expecting me to submit to his pawing and his grunts whenever he wishes. I did not come to this school to find a husband. I understand that this is what pureblood girls do, but as Ron and Draco frequently point out, I am a mudblood, not a pureblood.
When Professor McGonagall read this note, she pursed her lips. It seemed to her that students were now fleeing a sinking ship. If Miss Granger was correct and Ron was acting like a depraved pureblood, then she (McGonagall) would have no choice but to at least suspend the boy until he learned how to behave.
Two days later Hermione was comfortably settled in the French carriages and attending their lessons. That evening, wearing a Beauxbatons uniform, she sat with her new classmates at the Ravenclaw Table.
Within minutes Rons voice could be heard throughout the great Hall.
"Oi. Granger. What are you doing sitting there with those damn frogs? You need to get back over here where you belong."
The Hall went silent. Everyone stopped talking and eating in order to listen.
Hermione turned around. "I dont need to do anything you Moron. I am where I belong. Finally."
"Hermione." Ron whined. "You are not French. You do not need to attend the frog school. You are English. So get back over here now." The scowl on Rons face was becoming quite ugly.
"No thank you Moron." Hermione sat on her bench with a serene look on her face. She was keeping an eye on both Ron and the headmaster who was frowning at her.
Headmaster Dumbledore stood up.
"Now now, Miss Granger. Could you please explain why you are sitting with the lovely ladies from Beauxbatons?"
Hermione smiled at him. "Thanks to your benevolence, headmaster, I have now transferred to this school and am a permanent student here. I am no longer a student of Hogwarts."
"Come now child, that is not true, I am your magical guardian and I have not given you permission to leave Hogwarts."
"You were never my guardian at all. My parents gave me permission to move to a new school after you and the ginger moron over there dosed me with loyalty potions and planted compulsions charms on me so that I would force Harry out of Gryffindor. I was forced to do that so that the ginger moron had no further competition. Well I did what you wanted and I didn't like myself, so I got myself tested to find out why. Imagine my shock to discover that-"
"That is enough, Miss Granger." Dumbledore put his hand up. He was desperate to silence her before she said too much. "Please stop with these lies. You are mistaken and you should be back in Gryffindor with your friends."
"Friends. You call those sexual deviants friends? They are more like sexual predators. The Ginger moron for examples regularly rapes the girls from 3rd year and upwards.
"And NO I will not be returning to Hogwarts as a student. I am now a Beauxbatons student."
Hermione stood tall and spoke to the air.
"And Harry and Neville, If you can hear me. Please accept my deepest apologies for writing that disgusting censure document. I was forced to do it through compulsion charms and loyalty potions. I wish you the best of luck in the tournament and in your future."
Hermione sat down and said nothing more.
"Miss Granger," Dumbledore growled. "If you know where Harry and Neville are, please tell us."
"No, I do not know where they are. I assume they are still in the school but well hidden. They probably have some means of listening to us. And even if I did know where they were, I would certainly not be telling any of the teachers where they are. You are a manipulator Dumbledore. You think nothing of placing compulsion charms and using loyalty and love potions on certain students just to get them to do what you want. Like you have dosed and spelled me for the last 2 years. Which is why I have transferred out. If any of you attack me, a student from a foreign school, you will cause an international incident and the ICW will be called in to investigate. You would not want that now would you, Dumbles? You don't want anyone to know all your secrets."
Hermione was in a roll. She was finally free to speak her mind and tell the truth.
"That's 50 points from Gryffindor!" Snape growled out.
"I do not belong to that house any more, and I do believe that no points have been removed." Hermione grinned. Her hand pointed to the points boards and sure enough, no red diamonds had been removed in the last few minutes.
Dumbledore turned to his Deputy and demanded to know what he could do.
"Nothing." McGonagall replied. "Miss Granger is perfectly within her rights to leave if she chooses. She had her parents permission and the new school has accepted her as a student. She is now under their jurisdiction. As for her assertions about how you operate, I have a feeling she is telling the truth." Minerva shrugged her shoulders. "There is nothing I can do other than lay a complaint in front of the board of Governors, which I intend to do as soon as possible."
Dumbledore sat down. There was nothing more he could do. He had now lost three of his top students in just three days and he was shocked. The only student he had left to work with was - what did she call him - oh yes, the moron.
Ron had no compunction about ignoring all that had been said over the last ten minutes and he yelled again. "Granger. I thought the old man told you, get over here now."
"No thanks Moron, You can go shag your girlfriend Lav-lav this evening. I am no longer available. Not for you. Not for anyone."
Ron made to move away from the table when the twins grabbed him and sat him down on the bench, while they whispered furiously to him. Soon Rons shoulders slumped. He had finally gotten the message.
Now that the whole issue of Hermiones new school was done with, the entire Beauxbatons group stood up and swept out of the great hall, with Hermione being surrounded and clearly protected.
On the day of the first task, Neville and Harry were up at their usual time, getting ready and having Dobby bring them some breakfast. Harry was a little nervous. He really had no idea what the first task would be other than it would be dangerous animals. The first task was set to begin at 10 am, so that each of the 4 contestants had time to compete. Classes were cancelled for the day so that everyone could come and watch.
Harry was intent on staying out of sight for as long as possible so he hopped on his broom and rode it over top of the crowds while under a disillusionment charm. Eventually he landed near the Champions test. He shrunk the broom, placed it in his pocket and walked into the tent, still disillusioned.
Meanwhile Neville was making his way to the seating stands underneath Harrys invisibility cloak, He did not want to be bothered by questions about where he had been or why he had dropped out of his classes.
In the champions tent, Ludo Bagman was getting impatient. "Where is that boy. He has to be here in the next 2 minutes or he will forfeit his chance and probably lose his magic." The other 3 champions stood around nervously, not talking to each other. As soon as Ludo Bagman walked out of the tent, Harry removed the disillusionment charm and became visible to the champions.
"Harry. Great, You are here. Are you OK?" Cedric asked.
"Nervous, but otherwise OK." Harry replied.
"Well, all I can say is good luck." Cedric replied, just as Ludo Bagman returned to the tent.
He spotted Harry instantly and a look of relief crossed his face.
"Good. you are all here." He held up a small bag. I want you to each remove one item from this bag. This will tell you WHAT you will be facing and in which order. Ladies first." Bagman offered the bag to Fleur.
Fleur pulled out a wriggly worm-like-thing with the number 3 tied around its body. She dropped it on the floor and gave a little scream.
"Is that a worm? A flobberworm?" she gasped.
"No, Ms Delacour, That represents the Snake you will be facing. I do believe that it is a -" Bagman picked the small snake up and had a close look at it. "- an Ashwinder. Yes you will be facing an Ashwinder and you will be the 3rd person to start. You will all have to find and take the golden egg from the nest of snake eggs being guarded by the mother snake."
Harry suddenly felt very relieved. Snakes, They would be facing snakes. Well he could talk to them easily enough. It was likely that the others did not know Parseltongue, but there was not much he could do about that now.
Cedric went next and pulled out a Boomslang, with the number 1 wrapped around it.
"Remember those snakes will be full size and will probably attack you. They have NOT been defanged." was all the information that Bagman could offer.
Krum pulled out a Runespoor snake with the number 2 attached to it.
So Harry knew he would be last, He wondered what kind of snake he would get. Knowing his luck he though, it would probably be a basilisk. He placed his hand in the bag, and sure enough he pulled out a basilisk with the number 4 wrapped around it.
Harry sighed. "Been there, done that." he thought. "Any reason why I could not get a different type of snake?"
"And Harry goes last with the Basilisk." Bagman announced. "Just remember that you will need to keep your golden eggs if you get them, because they hold a clue to the second task. Good luck everyone." Bagman couldn't wait to get out of the champions tent, and run back to safety behind the judges desk. A few minutes later his voice boomed out under a sonorus charm making the introductions.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls! Welcome to the Triwizard Tournament's first challenge. Our four chosen Champions have to rescue a golden egg from the next of a mother snake! Yes! That is correct. I did say a Snake. And not just any snake, but a magical snake."
The whistle blew. Bagman continued.
"Our first challenger is Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts who will be facing a Boomslang. Now if you remember your care of magical creatures or your potions classes, correctly, Boomslang skins is used for the Polyjuice potion and the snakes themselves are rather poisonous. Now what will Mr Diggory do. Oh, where is Mr Diggory? He must be under a disillusionment charm. Well done, If we can't see him, neither can the snake."
"What am I doing here. Is this our new home? What are the two leggeds doing here? Is there a two legged creature here? Where are you?" Harry could hear the snake hissing.
"Oh well done, Mr Diggory. Well done." Came Bagmans voice. Harry sighed with relief. Clearly Cedric had survived his Boomslang. Bagman continued. "There he is over by the medical tent holding a golden egg and we did not see anything. He sure does know how to avoid those snakes. Handlers, may we have the next snake, please!"
Several minutes later the whistle blew and Victor left the tent. Harry gave him a thumbs up. Harry could hear all three heads of the runespoor arguing amongst themselves as to where they were and what they were supposed to be doing.
"This two legged is attacking us. We must bite them." Was what Harry heard.
The snake must have lunged at Victor Krum because a large gasp went up with the audience and Bagman announced. "Oh dear. He seems to have been bitten. Medic? Medic? We need some anti venom here, now!"
Victor was sent to the medical tent and the runespoor snake was removed from the enclosure.
The whistle blew again, and Fleur Delacour was quiet as she left the tent to face her ashwinder snake. She knew that Victor had been bitten and that Cedric had used a disillusionment charm and survived. She decide that that would be the best option for her as well.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the lovely and enchanting Miss Fleur Delacour, from Beauxbatons. What will she do? Oh, she is copying Mr Diggory and has performed a disillusionment charm."
"I smell veela. I want veela. Where is the veela?" Harry could hear the ashwinder demanding to know where the veela was.
"Oh, a fireball? That would be from Ms Delacour. The snake must have come too close." Bagman announced.
There was silence again for a few minutes and then Bagmans voice.
"And there she is, Ladies and Gentlemen. Safely at the Medical tent, with her egg." The audience clapped.
Harry stood up mentally preparing himself. He knew he would be facing a basilisk and did not want to be petrified or killed. The first thing he would have to do was to create a blindfold, cover his eyes and then he could talk to the snake.
The whistle blew and Harry stepped out of the tent.
There was silence. No noise. No applause. Not even any booing or jeering for the supposed saviour of the wizarding world. His actions of hiding from the world for the last 4 weeks since his name came out of the goblet had condemned Harry as both a liar and a coward. This had also allowed the Gryffindors to keep pushing this message of Potter being a liar and a coward throughout the whole school.
Harry didn't care. He was here to do the bare minimum and then he was outta here - once he had done his exams.
Harry looked at the crowds in the stands, took his wand in his hand and waved it around, in order to conjure up a small but long piece of cloth which he tied around his eyes like a blindfold.
Now he could safely turn towards the enclosure and face the basilisk.
"Basilisk, king of all the snakes, I beg you grant me a boon." Harry hissed.
"A speaker? You speak the tongue?" The smallish basilisk swung his head towards Harry.
"Yes, great king, I do."
"What boon would you ask of me?" asked the snake.
"There is an egg in your nest that does not belong. I would ask that I be allowed to cross to your nest and remove only that egg which does not belong. I swear I will try not touch or defile any of the other eggs." Harry injected some seriousness and concern into his voice.
There was a pause. Finally the basilisk spoke.
"I will not hurt you speaker. You may remove your eye coverings. You may come close to my nest and show me this egg that does not belong."
Harry reached up and removed his blindfold. As he walked over towards the nest, He slowly became aware of the audience's mutterings and the dark looks coming from his fellow students. They seemed to be getting louder.
"Which one does not belong, Speaker?" asked the basilisk.
Harry pointed to the golden egg sitting on one side. That one he said.
The basilisk nosed it out of the nest and hissed, That one is yours. You may leave.
Harry picked the egg up and bowed to the basilisk hissing out his thanks.
He walked out of the enclosure with not one injury on him. He had not actually used any magic either, apart from conjuring the blind fold, other than speaking parseltongue.
Once Harry was clear of the enclosure the noise level in the stands exploded and became very loud. Now he could hear some of the words being hurled at him.
Harry is going dark.
Definitely the Heir of Slytherin. I bet he never killed any basilisk since he can clearly control them.
We have to get him out of the school. It would not do to have a dark lord in our school.
Remember You know who, He can talk to snakes as well. Definitely a sign of a dark lord.
Sitting on a bed in the medical tent Harry discovered that Victor Krum had been bitten by his runespoor and had been rushed to St Mungos for treatment. Both Cedric and Fleur survived with no injuries since they had disillusioned themselves.
Upon opening their golden eggs they could hear hissing. So they both came over to Harry to ask him to listen to their eggs and translate for them.
All three eggs had the same parseltongue message
"Come, seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot hide below the ground,
And while you're searching, ponder this;
We've taken what you'll sorely miss.
Six hours long you'll have to look,
And recover what we took,
But past six hours — the prospect's black,
Too late, they've gone, they won't come back."
Six hours long? what will an audience do for six hours? Fleur asked.
What could possibly take 6 hours long" Cedric asked.
Harry thought about the poem for a few minutes.
"Clearly we will have to search for someone and we have a 6 hour deadline to find them and return them to the school. We could be searching anywhere in Scotland. Also the one we will miss the most - this could be a family member or your boy friend or girl friend. Be sure to tell them to NOT agree to help with this second task. Otherwise they could be hidden away and it may take us up to 6 hours to find them. Remember this is scheduled for February which is a very cold month.
"Once you have found your hostage, you have to get them back to school. I would suggest you take the knight bus. It's the fastest way so make sure you have some galleons on you to pay for the knight bus."
The other two champions nodded.
Just then Ron Weasley came into the medical tent and stood beside Harrys bed.
"Wow, that was wicked Harry. The way you spoke to that snake. Was that the same kind of snake you killed back in second year? Anyway, I came over to say I'm sorry for being so stupid and jealous over you being in this contest and I was wondering if you could forgive me. I'd like to be friends again."
Harrys voice was cold. "No Mr Weasley. We will never be friends again. You have shown me how fickle you are. In first year you were my friend. In second year you called me a dark lord, In third year you claimed to be my friend again and now this year you claim that once again, I am a dark lord, You even supported my being expelled from Gryffindor. You clearly have no idea what it is means to be LOYAL. No Mr Weasley you and I will never ever be friends again. No more. Now get out!"
Harry didnt need to ask where Hermione was, since Dobby had been in the great hall on the day she and Ron had had their showdown over Hermione changing schools. So Harry had indeed received Hermione's apology - albeit second hand- but still. He was no longer angry with her, considering that she had been given potions and spells to make her act the way she had.
The audience was dispersing back to the school and so Harry and his fellow champions remain hidden in the tent a few minutes longer in order for most of the students to pass by before they ventured out.
Neville stepped up beside Harry just as he stepped out, and Harry was pleased to have him there.
"So what did you think?" he asked his best friend.
"I thought you were brilliant." Neville replied.
"What about our scores?" Harry asked.
"Cedric and Delacour are both in first place. They are tied because they used the same disillusionment charm. You are in third place because you survived with no injuries but did not use any obvious magic, and Krum is last because he was bitten and did not complete his task."
Noone even tried to talk to the two boys as they slowly walked back to the castle. Noone was bugging them about where they had been. Surprisingly, even Hermione stayed away. She and Harry did give each other brief smiles of acknowledgement but that was all.
As they got closer to the castle, Harry disillusioned himself and Neville went back under the invisibility cloak,. They needed to avoid the old goat headmaster at all costs. Slipping past the staff was not easy, but they managed it. The staff had orders from Dumbledore to bring Harry and Neville to his office as soon as possible. After ten minutes when it was clear that all the students were back in the castle, The teachers all trooped up the stairs to the headmasters office and reported that there had been no sighting of Harry or Neville. Dumbledore was not happy about that.
"The good news is that Harry is alive, he looks well and he did participate in the task." McGonagall was quite pleased about that.
"He came in third." commented Snape in a snarky tone.
"That's because he did not use any magic." The headmaster spoke up in a sad tone of voice
"Actually he did. He conjured up the blindfold so that he would not be blinded." countered McGonagall.
"That was not any real magic. All he did was to have a chat to the snake, and basically told the snake what to do." Snape responded.
"So? That was perfectly legal within the rules." McGonagall was clearly on the boys side.
"He should have been attacking the snake to get the egg. He should have put on a show." Dumbledore interrupted.
"Why should Harry have put on a show headmaster?" McGonagall asked.
"To prove his worth." Dumbledore whispered.
"Prove his worth for what?" Snape asked with a suspicious tone in his voice.
"Harry has a destiny to face and he needs to be trained for his destiny and only I can train him. And his performance today did not show him in a good light."
Dumbledore seemed to have forgotten that the other teachers were there as he began mumbling to himself.
"What is this destiny you speak of Albus?" McGonagall leaned over the desk to ask, but Dumbledore did not reply.
When the headmaster became morose like this, it meant that he was usually lost in past memories. The teachers had learned to not hang around and wait. As they left the office, they did however wonder about this destiny that Dumbledore had spoken of.
Meanwhile Harry and Neville had called for Dobby to pop them back into the corridor outside the Come and Go room. Harry called up the room as it had been when they left 3 hours earlier and soon they were both back in their rooms. Dobby arranged a lunch for them, and Harry spoke to Neville about the clue in the eggs.
Harry explained how the 4 champions would probably have to search all of Scotland for whomever they would miss the most. They had 6 hours and spending 6 hours out in the cold February weather was not at all a good idea. Neville was to take particular care to not be caught or kidnapped in order to be used as a hostage. Neville agreed.
Two days later came the announcement of the Yule Ball, to be held on the day of the mundanes Christmas eve. December 24th. Anyone from year 4 and above could attend. The 4 Champions were required to attend, with a date, They were to be prepared to open the ball with a waltz. 3rd year students could only attend if they were asked as a date. 1st and 2nd year students were banned from attending.
Dobby repeated all the instructions.
"So, No going home for Christmas." Harry muttered.
"Are you going to go, Harry?"
"According to the Tournament rules this is NOT an official task, so I dont intend to go. But then I will probably be forced to go so I'm not sure what I am going to do."
"Will you ask Hermione? Now that she seems to have changed schools?" Neville asked.
Harry shook his head. "No but I can ask Fleur. That way, we can go together and I am not affected by her veela allure."
Harry sat down and wrote a quick note. He asked Dobby to give it to Fleur as soon as possible when she was alone and to wait for a reply.
Ten minutes later the reply came back.
"Harry, I would love to go to the ball with you, Thank you so much for asking. Merci beaucoup. Fleur Delacour"
"Good, now thats settled, I can relax. What about you Neville? Will you to the ball? and if yes, who will you ask?"
Neville turned red and admitted that he rather liked Ginny Weasley. Harry told him to write her a note and ask her before she got any other offers. This he did via the Dobby express and was ecstatic to receive a confirmation that she would be happy to be his date.
Now that their dates for the ball were arranged, Harry and Neville flung themselves into completing as much as they could of their 4th year education so that they could start on the 5th year curriculum after the Yule Holidays.
So the boys spent December learning summoning spells (Accio and Expelliarmus) for charms and switching spells for transfiguration. For Herbology they learned everything they could about Bubotubers and their poisonus pus, what the pus was useful for and the symptoms caused if the pus touched any part of the body. Dragonhide gloves were an absolute necessity in dealing with bubotubers.
In defence the boys continued to do battle against their dummies and each other.
And they were both taking French and Latin for languages just for something different to do.
As the Yule ball drew closer, the boys arranged for their formal dress robes to be purchased. Neville silently helped Ginny out by starting up a tab at Gladrags and placing 100 galleons in it. He told the store owner to give Ginny Weasley anything she wanted up to the cost of 100 galleons, Anything over that amount she had to pay for. If she began asking too many questions, Neville was familiar with the Weasley pride, the owner was to tell Ginny that it was all on sale. The store owner agreed.
Ginny ended up purchasing a lovely gown in pale pink and green that complemented her red hair.
Nevilles grandmother wrote Neville a letter about the long conversation she had endured with Albus Dumbledore after the first task. The headmaster had tried to persuade her to remove Neville from Harry Potters bad influence and to have the boy returned to Gryffindor house.
Augusta had adamantly refused and told Dumbledore that Neville was exactly where a Longbottom should be - helping the Lord Potter as their family had been doing for centuries. Augusta told Neville to avoid the Headmaster at all costs, "I would not put it last him to kidnap you for one of these nasty tasks for this tournament." she wrote. "It would probably be a good idea to stay away from the teachers as well. Just keep doing what you are doing. Harry successfully completed the first task. That is all that matters."
Meanwhile, Ginny had spent the most of December fending off her stupid brother Ron who was demanding that Ginny was not to attend the ball.
"You are only a 3rd year. Ginny, You cannot attend, I demand that you stay back in the dorms." Ron was spitting as he got into Ginnys face to make his demands.
Ginny just ignored her brother. She was tired of explaining that 3rd years could attend if they were asked by someone from the 4th year and up. She had been asked by a very nice 4th year boy and she was going and Ron was not going to stop her. Naturally she refused to tell Ron with whom she was attending the ball. Ron had tried to enlist the help of Fred and George to stop her from going to the ball, but the twins told him that the rules were the rules. She had a date and thus she was allowed to go. They were certainly not going to stop her.
Ron did not have a date at all. He had tried to ask both Hermione and Fleur from the french school and both girls had turned him down, saying that they already had dates. Rons comments to Hermione were along the lines of "Who in their right mind would ever ask an ugly know-it-all like you to a dance."
It did not take long for Rons comments to Hermione to get around the school, which meant that each and every girl whom Ron asked out to the ball, turned him down and refused to go with him, no matter if they already had a date or not. Rons comments were becoming more and more puerile and childish. He had absolutely no idea that the worse his behaviour became, the more the girls closed ranks and refused to be his date.
Eventually he went complaining to his head of house, whining that he could not get a date to the Yule ball. Even worse, he told Professor McGonagall that since Harry was his best mate and was a champion, Ron felt that this meant that he was entitled to a date and that all of the girls should be fighting to go with him.
Minerva was well aware of the comments Ron had made to Hermione and the comments he was making as he continued to ask other girls. She did not have any sympathy for him at all.
"Well, you have two choices. Either you don't go to the ball, or you go stag, as the muggles say. That means you go on your own and just behave yourself."
Ron shook his head. I have to go, I have to see who Ginny is going with and I have to tell that bastard that Ginny is not available for him or any other boy in this school.
"You know, Ginny will not appreciate your attempts to control her. she is entitled to make her own decision on whom she eventually marries." The professor commented.
Ron shook his head. "Not while I'm around. We are the Weasley family and I am sick and tired of being treated like a blood traitor. She is the only daughter and she will bring a high price on the market. She will marry only whom we tell her to. And she must remain a virgin for that to ever happen. This is the only way for House Weasley to get back into good standing."
"Does Ginny know this?" Minerva asked.
"No, of course not. She will do as she is told." Ron growled.
"But Ron, She is not doing what she is told. She refuses to listen to you." Was the next argument.
Ron frowned, "Yes I know and I don't understand why she won't do whatever I tell her to do. I am her brother."
"Making demands of her without her knowing the reason why, is not the way to deal with a strong willed girl like Ginevra. You really should get either your father or Bill to explain to her why it is not a good idea for her to attend the ball."
"I can't do that. Mum already gave her permission to attend the ball."
Minerva gasped. "So why are you going against the parental approval she already has?"
"Because she is our family's means of getting our status and some respect back, and noone else seems to understand that!"
Minerva nodded. Ron had always had self esteem issues, and this came from being the 6th son. He had also been unwittingly neglected by his parents in favour of the longed for daughter which did not help Ron while he was growing up. He was unable to compete with his older brothers, nor could he compete with the only daughter.
Selling the only daughter on the bridal market could be a means of gaining back some respect for the Weasley family, but this was NOT the way to go about it.
Minerva decided that she needed to speak to Arthur and Molly about Rons jealousy and self esteem issues.
In the meantime, since Ron was unable to acquire a date, he decided to go to the ball on his own. He really wanted to be able to tell Ginny's date to leave her alone and go and find someone else. In Rons eyes, noone else was good enough for Ginny.
The day of the Yule Ball finally arrived. Harry and Neville took a break from all their lessons. Dobby was in high speed mode carrying messages back and forth between Fleur, Harry, Ginny and Neville all day. They had all arranged to meet outside the great hall, five minutes before the doors were to open.
For their own safety, Harry and Neville both agreed to have tracking charms placed on them, just in case Dumbledore did something stupid and actually dared to kidnap one or both of them. Dobby would be keeping an eye on both couples during the festivities.
At 4.50 PM on the afternoon of December 24, 1994, Harry and Neville suddenly appeared at the bottom of the main stairs outside of the Great Hall. Victor Krum silently joined them as per the previous arrangement made between Harry and Victor, and within minutes of the boys arrival, a trio of lovely young ladies was seen at the top of the stairs slowly and carefully making their way downstairs. One blonde, one brunette and one red-head.
Everyone waiting to enter the Great Hall stopped to watch.
Fleur was wearing an off the shoulder grey dress with green tones. Hermione wore a rose pink dress that looked stunning on her. Ginny wore a dress of pink and green. The pink complemented her skin while the green complemented her red hair.
Now the question was, who were their dates.
Fleur reached the bottom of the stairs first and was met by her date, Harry Potter. The two champions moved off towards the door where Professor McGonagall waited.
Hermione was next to reach the bottom, and she was met by the Durmstrang champion, Viktor Krum. They too moved off toward the door.
Ginny was the last to reach the bottom of the stairs and Neville was very proud to step up to met her.
Ron was desperate to speak to Ginny's date, but he was held back by his friends Seamus and Dean.
"You do not want to spoil her very first grown up dance. If you cause any trouble for her, she will never forgive you for that." Dean explained. Seamus nodded.
"Besides, what is wrong with Neville? He is a great guy. Kind of quiet and shy, rather like Ginny is. I think they go well together." Dean continued.
Since Dean and Seamus also did not have dates to the ball, the three of them had decided to go as a group.
Professor McGonagall was fussing over the champions at the door. Viktor Krum and Hermione were at the front of the short line, Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang in the middle and Fleur and Harry at the back. The professor had not expected to see two champions together and it had thrown her plans off kilter. She had expected to be chaperoning four couples, and not three. And some of the dances required either 2 or 4 couples.
Once inside the Great Hall, the champions were led to the head table where the first two couples were placed next to the headmasters and Fleur and Harry were placed at the end of the table next to Percy Weasley who was representing the Ministry.
Of course as soon as Fleur and Harry sat down, Percy was overcome by Fleur's veela allure and could not say anything. He just sat there and stared at her. Fleur was used to it, but at least this meant that Percy was unable to actually speak coherently. This allowed Harry and Fleur to spend their time chatting together and getting to know each other. Especially since she and Harry could now converse in French.
One of the first questions Fleur asked him was "How come you can ignore my allure? Very few males can ignore it."
"I have a very specific goal in mind and no female is going to distract me from it. No male either. No offence to you, my dear Fleur, but I just do not have any time to pursue any relationships while this tournament is taking place."
Fleur nodded. Someone who was already in love or already set on a specific goal that did not include a relationship could easily ignore the allure.
"May I know what this goal is?" she asked.
Harry shrugged. "I just want to leave the wizarding world and get on with my life. I don't like being on display like this. I have decided to take back control of my life. But I beg of you, please do not tell anyone this. Especially not Professor Dumbledore. Are you familiar with Occlumency?"
Fleur nodded. "Since my father is a high ranking member of the French Magical government, I do have to know it so that noone can take any French government secrets from my head." she explained.
Harry relaxed. "Good, Then please keep anything I tell you under those same shields as well."
The rest of the evening actually ended up going quite well. Harry and Fleur had a few dances with each other. Fleur had one dance each with Krum and Diggory. Harry danced with Hermione and Cho for those dances. Harry even introduced Fleur to Neville and Ginny and they too swapped partners for one dance.
At 10 pm, the dance began to wind down and Harry eventually escorted Fleur back to her carriage. He then cast the disillusionment charm on himself as he made his way back into the castle and back to the come and go room.
Neville was already there having escorted Ginny to the Gryffindor tower. He was excited. He and Ginny had discovered that they had a lot in common. The only downside to the whole experience was Ginnys obnoxious brother Ron. He had constantly been trying to interrupt and demanding that he and Ginny end this farce of date now.
In the end, Neville had had to stand up and in a pureblood tone of voice, tell Ron that he was just the 6th son of a minor house and that he, Neville Longbottom, was the heir of the House of Longbottom. Ron did not have any power or authority whatsoever to be interfering in either Ginny or Nevilles lives. If Ron did not leave them along, Neville would be speaking to Rons parents about his lack of social skills and suggesting a course of action for their son who claimed to be from a pureblood house, but who obviously was not aware of pureblood traditions.
Ron backed down since Neville clearly had the authority that Ron lacked.
"What kind of action were you thinking of when dealing with Ron?" Harry asked.
"I think the threat of being disowned should be enough. After all he is the youngest son and he is a pretty useless one at that." Nevilles comment was harsh but true.
Harry silently agreed but would never say that out loud. Despite the fact that Ron had been his first friend, Harry was still sad to lose a friend, but he really did not have any choice. He had to find new friends who knew how to be loyal and Ron clearly showed no loyalty.
The two boys finally settled down to sleep at around 1 AM.
The day after the Yule Ball was Christmas Day, a muggle celebration. Harry and Neville had managed to buy each other a few small gifts. A letter from Neville's gran telling them to stay the distance, and keep doing what they were doing, was gratefully received as well. They had support from the outside and they were doing the right thing and taking the right actions.
Doing the absolute minimum possible was throwing Dumbledores actions off. He could no longer boast about his personal champions actions, Not when his personal champion was currently standing in 3rd place. Diggory was the school champion and in first place tied with the veela girl. Harry was Dumbledores personal champion. That seemed to be how Dumbles saw things, according to Augusta Longbottom, but Harry did not agree.
Despite frequent requests and demands for interviews and media sessions, Harry had adamantly refused all interview requests. If anyone demanded to know why, he would send a letter explaining that he was concentrating on his school work, as he would hate to give everyone the impression that he was a pampered prince and a lay about. Noone could argue with those reasons.
After the New Year, Harry and Neville got down to business and began studying the 5th year curriculum.
It was a brutally cold winter that year so everyone avoided going outdoors. Herbology was pretty much cancelled after everything in the greenhouses froze one night.
By the time February came around Dumbledore was sorry he had agreed to the longer time period for the second task. In this brutally cold winter, the participants were not going to have a very good time.
On February 14, it was of course Valentines day. It was so cold that most students were not in any mood to celebrate the day of romance. Everyone was bundled up in scarves, hats, gloves and sometimes even blankets. The Beauxbatons girls were the worse off since they had not really brought any cold weather clothes with them. A few of the younger children sent valentine day cards to their classmates but noone above the 3rd year even bothered.
So it was more of an apathetic crowd that was brought together into the great hall on February 24th to watch or to at least see the start of the 2nd task.
Harry was at the meeting under a disillusionment charm as always. Neville was back in the come and go room to hold the room.
Professor Dumbledore called everyone to order and asked them to all settle down.
"I know it is cold out there, but the second task is for our four champions to go out and rescue their hostages - and they best do it fast. Using only their brooms and a Point-Me Spell, they have 6 hours to each rescue their own hostage. Each champion will sent off in a different direction. There will not be a lot to watch back here in the hall, so we won't force you to wait here, but we did at least want you all to see the start of the second task. These hostages could be anywhere in northern scotland. If anyone gets to Edinburgh or Glasgow then they are too far south. They must turn back to the north and continue looking. As always you must avoid the muggles and make sure that noone sees you. Anyone breaking the statute of secrecy will be disqualified. May I have our four champions up here please?"
Harry slowly dissolved his disllusionment as he walked through the crowd up to the front of the hall. He stood as far away from Dumbledore as he could.
"The clue in the golden egg said that they must search for someone they will miss.
Mr Potter, we have chosen your beloved cousin, Dudley Dursley as the one you will miss the most. He is hidden on a mountain east of the school and you have 6 hours to find him and bring him back." Dumbledore smiled.
Harry was shocked. Dudley? Why the heck did they choose Dudley? He was not at all inclined to go and save Dudley. Harry would actually be doing a good deed for humanity if that particular bully was to die of Hypothermia before it procreated.
"Ms Delacour, You will need to rescue your younger sister Gabrielle."
Fleur was clearly distraught as her hands came up over her face, covering the loud sound of her sobbing.
"You will be searching to the North to find your sister." Dumbles continued.
"Cedric Diggory. You must look to the south to find your hostage, Cho Chang.
"And lastly Victor Krum will be looking for his new girlfriend, Hermione Granger somewhere to the west.
"Each of you will choose a broom from this pile, and using a point me spell, you must leave from this balcony in the direction we have given you, You have 6 hours to find your hostage and bring them back."
Harry had made his decision in milliseconds. He didn't give a damn about his cousin Dudley. One less bully in the world would be kind of helpful. Harry decided that he would go with Fleur and help Fleur to find her younger sister.
"Champions are you ready?" Dumbledore was eager to get this task started.
The four champions lined up in front of the pile of brooms.
"Go!" said Dumbledore dropping his hand as if starting a race - which he was actually.
Krum and Diggory raced to the brooms, pulled out them all out and started looking for a good one. Fleur and Harry took their time. As they walked Harry gave Fleur a quick rundown on his plans in French. He basically told her that he was not going after his cousin. The fat tub of lard was not worth saving. So he would be helping Fleur to rescue her sister instead.
When Dumbledore stood in their way, blocking them from getting to the brooms, he was demanding to know what Harry was doing.
"What are you telling her Mr Potter. This is an individual race. Each candidate is on their own."
"Oh, yes sir" Harry replied with a big albeit fake smile." I know that, but Fleur has not seen any parts of Scotland outside of Hogwarts and I was just telling her what to expect as she travels north in terms of geography and infrastructure. Especially since she won't have a map to guide her."
Dumbledore nodded as if that was acceptable and moved away. By this time both Krum and Diggory were out on the balcony and about to fly away.
But first Krum had to ask in which direction was West.
"That way!" the students all pointed to the west.
Krum took off and flew toward the west, while Diggory headed south.
Now it was Harry and Fluers turn to find decent brooms for themselves. For as Harry pointed out, they would be sitting on these brooms for quite some hours, so they needed to have good seats and excellent charms.
Harry also asked a couple of school elves to pack up some lunch for both Fleur and himself. Packed lunch baskets soon arrived. These were hung over the brooms.
At the balcony, Harry pointed out which way was north to Fleur and quickly told her in French, to fly slowly until he could catch up. He had to make a show of flying east just to make it look good. Fleur nodded and departed from the balcony, heading north. Harry left a few minutes later heading east.
Within minutes he was out of sight of the castle and could finally make a long sweeping turn towards the north. Using his wand, he said. "Point me Fleur Delacour." and he followed the wand. They met up again within 10 minutes. Fleur was very relieved to see a friendly face.
Another Point me spell scrying for Gabrielle Delacour and the two of then continued to head north.
It was a cold and overcast day. It was clearly not a good day to be outside. There was a threat of more snow in the air.
Harry discovered that his broomstick was a Cleansweep and this particular model didnt fly very fast. It's top speed seemed to be about 50 miles per hour. After about an hour of flying, Fleur's point me spell finally indicated a slight change of direction heading for a large hill, already covered with snow. There was a lake or a loch at the bottom of the hill.
At the top of the hill when Harry and Fleur landed, they discovered a rude wooden shelter had been erected, with young Gabrielle lying underneath wrapped in a blanket, and shivering. Her skin was cold to the touch as well.
"Hypothermia I think." said Harry. "We need to get her to a hospital now or she will freeze to death. First we need to get her back down to the road and then we can catch the knight bus. Unless you can apparate us?" Harry looked at Fleur with a hopeful look.
"I cannot do side along apparition. Not yet." Fleur hung her head but she was getting distraught.
"Drats,. Ok lets get her down to the roadside and then we can call the Knight Bus."
Fleur shrunk the brooms down and Harry picked Gabrielle up in his arms while Fleur held out her wand with a lumos light, and helped them pick a trail down to the bottom of the hill. That took another hour. Once back on a road, Harry raised his wand hand and a purple bus arrived within seconds. The three of them were crowded in and Harry paid 3 galleons for an emergency rush to St Mungos hospital.
The trip took a while, (as in about 10 minutes) since they were travelling from the very north of Scotland all the way down to London.
Once at the hospital, Harry marched in and demanded to see a healer immediately, preferably someone with hypothermia experience.
"Hypo what?" came the reply.
"Cold, freezing, extremely low body temperature, whatever you want to call it. I need a healer now or this witch is going to die if she doesn't get her temperature back up soon. Then you will have to deal with a full blown international incident" Harry scowled at the healers who just seemed to be dithering and not actually doing anything.
"Who the heck are you to be ordering us around, you rude boy!" replied a man who stood tall with his nose in the air.
"I supposed you are a pureblood?' Harry sneered.
The man nodded.
Oh well, that explains your ignorance. I am Harry Potter a Tri Wizard Tournament champion. These two are the daughters of the French Minister of Magic and if this girl dies, then Magical Britain will probably be at war with Magical France. So forget who is going to pay and just treat her, if you know how."
One mediwizard cast a temperature spell on Gabrielle. Her temperature was down to 36.2 degrees. "What do I do? What do I do?" the mediwizard began to panic
"Body heat would be best. And lots of blankets. Find us a bed now." Harry demanded.
A nearby bed was pointed out and Harry placed Gabrielle on the bed. He placed a blanket on top of her, and tucked it in close to her body and then spelled her clothes off. Harry then turned to Fleur and told her that she would need to go under the blanket and snuggle up to Gaby in order for Fleur's body temperature to help bring Gabys body temperature back up to normal.
"Being a male, I cannot do this for obvious reasons, Oh and you will have to be naked as well, and hugging her, but that is why the blanket is there. To keep you both warm and help with the temperature."
Fleur slipped under the blanket, spelled her clothes off and snuggled down next to her sister. "Oh, She is so cold."
"Yes, She will be until her temperature rises, This could take a while. Several hours at least." Harry muttered.
"We have to be back at Hogwarts in a few hours."
" I will deal with Hogwarts. You just work on saving your sisters life."
"Is this a Muggle treatment, Harry?" Fleur asked.
"Yes it is and it is the fastest known means to bring a body temperature back up to normal, after it has dropped too low. Muggles use this body snuggling method all the time, especially after Search and Rescue operations."
Fleur nodded. She continued hugging Gabrielle under the blankets, while Harry kept an eye on them both from his chair beside the bed.
Some time later the door was slammed open as a man walked in. "Get me the healers. I want to know what's going on with my daughter!"
Harry stood up. "Monsieur Delacour?"
The man turned to Harry. "Are you a healer?"
"Well, no. But I did initiate the treatment since the wizarding world doesn't seem to have any idea who to raise the body temperature of a child being left out in the snow for several hours." Harry felt no twinges of guilt that he had left his cousin Dudley out in the same conditions as Gaby and yet he was probably still there. Harry did know that he was going to lambast Dumbledore loud and long, when he got back for doing something so dangerous to the French Minister of Magics daughter.
Mr Delacour waved a temperature charm and Harry was pleased to note that Gabys temperature was now showing a much healthier 36.7 degrees. This showed a half a degree rise, which was good, but there was still some way to go.
Dumbledore was getting worried. The 6 hours were nearly up and only one champion had returned to the school with their hostage. That had been Cedric Diggory and his girlfriend Cho Chang. Dumbledore has no idea where Krum, Delacour or Harry Potter were.
He decide to send someone to check on the hostages.
Severus Snape apparated to the Isle of Skye where he found that Hermione Granger was not present. So Krum had found his hostage. Then why was he not back at the school yet?
Snape apparated to the Cairngorm mountains next and was shocked to see a very cold dead body, slowly but steadily being covered with snow as the snow fall continued. Snape raised up the body of Dudley Dursley and apparated them both back to Hogwarts.
"Hermione Granger is not at her mountain on skye. I found Mr dursley right where we left him. He may be dead. I have not yet checked on the french girl."
Dumbledore was shocked. Harry did not rescue his cousin? He wondered why not. He gave permission for Snape to go and check on the french girl,. He reported back a few minutes later saying that she too was missing.
Dumbledore wondered what the heck was going on. Why were 2 of the hostages missing? Why was Mr Dursley not rescued by his cousin Harry? And where were the other champions?
Poppy was called and asked to do what he could for Mr Dursley keeping in mind that the boy was a muggle. Poppy had no idea of what to do.
Snape sent off a patronus message to Harry Potter.
Potter. Get yourself back to school and tell us how to help your cousin who is near death because you were too stupid to rescue him.
Back came Harrys reply by his stag patronus.
Put the fatso under lots of blankets to help raise his temperature. I dont care if he dies or not. He is a bully and not worth saving.
This was followed shortly after by a second stag patronus from Harry.
Dumbledore. If the french girl dies, then you will have a war on your hands which YOU started because you dumped a french veela child into the snow on a mountain top and left her there overnight with no food, no water and no means to keep herself warm. The French minister wants your head on a platter! He will be taking this to the ICW!
Snape sent another patronus.
Potter. The headmaster demands that you return to the school now and explain yourself.
Back came another stag patronus reply.
Nope. I am too busy trying to save the French veela girl that Dumbledore was willing to kill. If she dies this will be war. If Dursley dies, well he doesn't matter at all because he is just a muggle. So what happened to Chang and Granger?
Snape was getting quite upset at Potter's rudeness. He sent yet another patronus.
Diggory and Chang won this round because they were the first ones back to the school. Granger has not returned yet, and of course neither have you nor the french girls. Did you make any attempt to rescue your cousin? I found him on top of the mountain like he had never been moved at all.
Harry's patronus came back with its reply.
Congratulations to Cedric and Hufflepuff House. Assuming Granger has the same problems as Dursley and Delacour, she probably went to a muggle hospital to be treated for Hypothermia. And like I said before, I dont give a rats ass for Dursley. So no I was not too stupid to rescue Dursley. I simply chose not to rescue him. I helped Fleur rescue her sister instead. Good thing too or she would have died.
Snape had a little chat to the headmaster and insisted that the brat be expelled for being so impertinent, arrogant and rude. Dumbledore suggested that he mention that threat to Harry and see if the boy fell in line or not.
The doe patronus was sent out with a new message.
Potter, the headmaster says that if you don't get back here by curfew, then you will be expelled from school, your magic will be bound and all access to the wizarding world will be cut off.
Snape hated seeing the stag patronus, because that was James Potters animagus form. A constant reminder on what or rather whom he had lost. The stag spoke.
He wants to expel me? Really? Then tell him to send me a letter of expulsion right now. I will be more than happy to not return to Hogwarts. But that's OK, I know he won't do that. He needs me far more than I need him. I will be back when the girls have recovered and the threat of any war that the HEADMASTER started has been averted. The headmaster will owe me a HUGE favour for saving his lily white ass - again.
Snape turned to the headmaster.
"Do it now, You promised that you would expel him. He is laughing at you, daring you to do it! The arrogant brat needs to be expelled now!"
Dumbledores eyes stopped twinkling, As much as he trusted Snape, he could not do what Snape demanded. Unfortunately Mr Potter was right. He had a destiny to fulfil and it would not help to expel him. None of this had ever been explained to Snape.
Dumbledore had no choice but to shake his head and say NO to Snape's demands. "I'm sorry my boy, but Harry has a destiny that is far greater than yours and I need to keep him here for a while longer."
Snape was furious. "Then I will leave." he snarled as he started moving towards the door.
"And do what, my boy?" Dumbledore asked in an arrogant tone of voice that grated on Snapes nerves. "You are a death eater. Noone will ever hire you to make their potions. Noone will ever want to buy potions from a death eater. Face it, Severus. I am the only person willing to support you and give you a home and a job."
This was Dumbledores method of manipulation, Being a hypocrite and a liar. He would keep Snape under his thumb by telling him that as a former death eater noone would ever buy any potions from him, To the rest of the wizarding world he portrayed Severus as a former death eater who regretted his actions
Back at St Mungos, Harry had been keeping an eye on Fleur and Gabrielle while exchanging these patronus messages with Snape. He was a little worried about Granger also disappearing, but if she was at a muggle hospital being treated for hypothermia, then until she surfaced, there was not much else he could do.
He made a note to mention the very poor execution of this particular task to both the board of governors and to the magical education and magical sports and games departments at the Ministry as well. If necessary, He would even push it all the way up to the ICW. This second task had not ended well at all. Only one champion in four had been able to complete it. Harry certainly considered the second task to be a disaster!
There was a more important problem to deal with at the moment, Trying to prevent Monsieur Delacour from taking Dumbledore to the ICW and demanding a war against magical Britain - which was what the man wanted to do. Technically under wizarding laws, that was his right since his daughters had clearly been endangered by the British representative of the ICW.
Harry cast a temperature charm on Gabrielle and was pleased to see the reading of 37.5. Just 3 more points and Gaby's temperature would be back to normal. Fleur was no longer snuggling under the blankets with her sister. Once Gabys temperature had reached 37 point zero degrees, Fleur had been removed and warming charms used to help the childs body to continue raising the core temperature.
It had been a close call though. If Gaby's temperature had dropped below 36 degrees she would not have survived.
It was two days later before the 4 champions could finally gather back in the Great Hall at Hogwarts school.
The Ministers of Magic for Bulgaria and France were both present as were the Minister of Games and Sports for England, Ludo Bagman, along with several members of the ICW as well as Minister Fudge.
Dumbledore had tried to keep them all out saying that this was an internal school matter, but when the ICW pointed out that since two of the competitors were foreigners, this made the tournament an international one, the ICW automatically became involved.
In front of the staff, the champions were praised or lambasted for their actions, Harry was slowly stewing to a boil.
Cedric had rightfully won the second task. He had rescued his hostage, Cho Chang and returned her to the school in 4 hours.
Granger had not been returned within the deadline. She had taken herself off to the nearest muggle hospital even before Viktor Krum showed up looking for her. He returned to the school empty handed. Granger showed up a day later after recovering from Hypothermia and releasing herself AMA (against medical advice). They received second placing.
Gabrielle was still in St Mungos recovering from her ordeal and because her father refused to allow her to come anywhere near Hogwarts School. Mr Delacour and his older daughter Fleur were both at the school to demand retribution from the headmaster.
Since both Fleur and Harry had not returned with their hostages, they both received zero points for that task.
As for Harry. The sad news was that his cousin Dudley Dursley had died. The muggle boy froze to death on a mountaintop in the Cairngorms.
Dumbledore looked at Harry over the top of those halfmoon glasses and said, "I am so disappointed in you, Mr Potter. This does make you a murderer you know, and therefore you are now sentenced to Azkaban."
Everyone looked at Harry. He stood up and stood firm, knowing that everything he said at this time, would determine the course of the rest of his life.
"I am not a murderer. I did not place the muggle known as Dudley Dursley on that mountain top. YOU placed him there headmaster. Therefore you are the murderer.
"His death was caused directly by YOU, Headmaster Dumbledore. I had no idea he was even involved until you announced it just minutes before we had to leave to go and find them.
"And since when has anyone sent to Azkaban for killing Muggles? Do you know how many death eaters are running around today after killing muggles claiming they were under the imperious curse? Therefore I too was under the imperious curse. I was ordered to go and rescue my "beloved cousin" Dudley Dursley.
"Let me tell you, Dudley is not beloved by anyone! He was nothing more than a bully and a fat lazy tub of lard. He was hitting me pretty much every day from the time I was dropped off on the doorstep of my mothers sister, my Aunt Petunia. I was just 15 months old.
"So when I am told that I must rescue my tormentor and bully from the elements, I chose not to do so. I knew he was in no danger because you would not allow any hostage to die.
"But I forget. Dursley was just a muggle. It is acceptable to allow muggles to die. That is the message that has been instilled in all of us witches and wizards here at Hogwarts School, so I simply followed my training. I chose not to rescue the muggle and instead I chose to help Miss Delacour to find and rescue her younger sister instead. Veela witches are more important than muggles.
"Headmaster, you have now made it impossible for me to ever return to my so called home with my relatives as they will most certainly blame me for the death of their son. So where am I going to live during the summer holidays now? Number 4 Privet Drive was NEVER my home. The wards, if they ever existed, will have fallen at my aunts place.
"Oh yes. I keep forgetting. Since you have forced me to enter this competition for of-age participants only, I guess that has also made me of-age as well, which means I have been emancipated. Oh Goody. I can do things that every other adult can. Find my own home. Don't worry, Headmaster, I fully intend to do that.
"And for the record, I demand my right to a trial in front of the wizengamot or the ICW with veritaserum. That will back up every word I have spoken here today."
The buzz of conversation that broke out after Harry stopped speaking was loud.
"I am still your magical guardian, Harry!" Dumbledore's voice was loud against the buzz.
"He has been emancipated by his forced entry into this tournament, Mr Dumbledore, and therefore as an emancipated adult, he no longer needs any guardians. Your guardianship of Mr Harry Potter has been revoked." replied the Department Head of Games and Sports for the ICW.
Minister Delacour spoke up.
"I would also like to remind the esteemed members of the ICW, that my 8 year old daughter Gabrielle was kidnapped from our home in Paris, and placed on a mountaintop in this cold weather for her sister to find and rescue. If it were not for Mr Potter helping Fleur to find her sister, Gabrielle would also have died and Dumbledore would then have been responsible for 2 murders.
"May I call for a vote to have Mr Dumbledore be removed from the ICW? I would like to know whom else he has attempted to control and what laws if any, he has tried to pass, while he has been the Supreme Mugwump." Mr Delacour sat down.
The other ICW members nodded.
"Do we have a quorum here?" Someone asked.
"Two Thirds of all members of the council of the ICW are present, so yes, we have a quorum." was the reply.
Another voice spoke up. "Those who wish to have Mr Dumbledore removed as Supreme Mugwump, please raise your wands." Several wands were raised.
Those against this motion? Dumbledore raised his wand. No-one else did.
"Motion passed. Mr Dumbledore, you have been removed as the Supreme Mugwump for the ICW. I would say that your position as the British representative to the ICW has also been revoked as well. You are hereby banned from the ICW for the rest of your life."
"This is a kangaroo court, sir! This is not legal. I will not accept this ruling." Dumbledore stood up and roared.
The speaker for the ICW sighed. "You know the rules just as well as we do. There are 10 members on the council, and a 2/3 majority vote requires 7 members or more to be present. There are 8 members of the ICW council present here tonight. No doubt thanks to Mr Delacour. This was a legal vote and the result is unimpeachable. You sir, are no longer the Supreme Mugwump. You have no further say in any ICW business. You have also been banned from any and all ICW buildings and offices for the rest of your life. Good day to you sir."
The ICW council members swept out of the Great Hall, except for Mr Delacour who remained behind.
Dumbledore was furious. He had lost one of his most coveted positions of influence. He could not afford to lose any more.
Minister Fudge spoke up next. "Wha-what just happened?"
Harry Potter laughed and replied. "Fudge, You just lost your british representative for the ICW. The Wizengamot will have to vote for a new representative for the ICW and believe me, whomever you choose had better not be a lackey for the old goat. I would certainly not vote for anyone who is a lackey for the old goat."
"You are just a child, Mr Potter, You dont get to vote at all." Professor Snape snarled.
Harry straightened up and stood tall. "Mr Snape! I have been emancipated and am now considered an adult. I have already claimed my title as head of the house of Potter and thus I now have at least one vote on the wizengamot, I fully intend to use it. If I have more votes, I will use them as well. I fully intend to see that the old goat is removed from his positions of Chief warlock and as headmaster of this school. He has controlled everyone for far too long. He claims it is all for his greater good. Does anyone know what this greater good is? No. And because of that I believe that this greater good will benefit only ONE person, namely Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore! The rest of us will be left to hang. We will be left to survive with whatever Dumbledore allows us to have. He is actually putting himself in a position of being a supreme dictator, with control over everyone and everything. I for one refuse to allow that man to control my life any more."
"What about Voldemort?" someone asked
"What about him?" Harry sneered. "He was defeated back in 1981. If he does come back, well I don't plan on being around to defeat him again. He is your problem now, not mine. I have already done my part. I have no wish to perform a repeat act. I will not survive a repeat act. My parents did not survive the first act!"
"Besides the Dark Lord will prevail, He is a pureblood and we all know that purebloods are vastly superior to halfbloods." came Draco Malfoys mocking tones.
"Are you sure about that Draco? Harry smirked. "You might want to check your facts. Check the Trophy room. There is a trophy awarded to one Tom Marvolo Riddle dated from the 1940s. Whatever happened to Tom Marvolo Riddle? Oh yes, he changed his name - to Lord Voldemort. Is Riddle a wizarding name? No, it is actually a muggle name. Lord Voldemort is nothing more than a half blood - just like me. His mother was a pureblood and his father was a muggle. At least my mother was a muggle born witch. His father was not even a muggle born wizard!
"Lies. Those are lies, The Dark Lord is a pureblood." There was a sound of desperation in Dracos voice.
"Alright then Draco. Ask yourself these questions. Where was Lord Voldemort born? Where was he raised? Who were his parents? his grandparents? Where did he go to school? Next time you are standing in front of your dark lord, ask him these questions and see what kind of answers you get. Go on, I dare you. If you don't ask, then you are nothing more than a coward, just like your father. Hiding behind the imperious curse. The Malfoy family is nothing!" Harry stood strong and sure as his voice rang out across the great hall.
"Mr Potter, You cannot be slandering a great family like the Malfoys." came Dumbledores voice.
"No Dumbles,. You are not in charge any more." Harry scoffed.
"This is my school." Dumbles roared back.
"I do believe the Board of Governors would disagree with you on that statement. This was never your school. Why do you think you even have a Board of Governors? This school has always belonged to the Founders and to the Founders heirs.
"Then where are these founders heirs?" Snape's voice was scornful.
"Not in your house. Thank Merlin!" Harry snapped back.
"I ask again. Where are these heirs? Why do they not show themselves?" Snape repeated himself.
"Because Hogwarts says this is not the right time for the heirs to return."
"And when will that time be?" More scorn from the Dark Bat of the Dungeons.
"When your dark lords have been removed from the playing field." Was Harry's response.
"Dark lords? Plural? As in more than one?" Dumbledore was quick to ask.
"Yes Dumbles. As in more than one. When they have been dealt with, then the Heirs will return." The sneer in Harry's voice was now quite obvious to anyone listening.
Just then the members of the Board of Governors entered the great Great Hall
"Headmaster Dumbledore. We have been called to the school for a meeting. If you would be so kind as to explain what is going on?" snapped Madam Augusta Longbottom, the chairperson of the Board.
Dumbledores eyes were twinkling madly as he tried to think of a way to get the governors to see his point of view.
"Mr Potter." asked another board member. "Perhaps you could comment?"
"Certainly sir. It seems that the second task of the Tri wizard tournament was not very well organized, Of the 4 hostages sent out to be rescued, one unfortunately died, and two others have been hospitalised for medical care. Only one hostage was successfully rescued and returned to the school."
The Board members gasped. They swung around to face the headmaster.
"Is this true headmaster?"
"I'm afraid so. But there are special circumstances. The one who died was a just muggle and Potter did not do what he was told and rescue the muggle. I blame Potter for the death of the muggle boy as everyone knows he was living with muggles and therefore he should have rescued the boy." Dumbles as always, tried to put the blame onto someone else.
"Potter?" asked another board member, clearly wanting a response from the boy.
"One of the clues from the golden egg we had to rescue in the first task, was to find the one we will miss the most. I got barely 5 minutes notice that I was to rescue my beloved cousin Dudley Dursley. I have no idea who determined that Dudley would be the one I will miss the most, but I will tell you that HE most certainly was not anyone that I would ever miss. Dudley was a bully. He bullied me from the day I was left at that house like a bottle of milk, which was the day after my parents were killed. I was 15 months old. I was raised as a house-elf in that house. I had to do all the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, general washing, drying, vaccuming, dusting, mopping the floors, and everything else a house elf does.
"When I was told that I was to rescue my cousin, my first thought was, hell no! I had noticed that Fleur Delacour was most upset that her younger sister was chosen as her hostage and knowing that Fleur was not terribly familiar with scottish weather and geography, I decided that I would help her. I did not think that Dumbledore would allow my cousin to die. I did not place Dudley on that mountain top, He died because Dumbledore kidnapped him from his home and placed him on that mountain.
"Dudley was never the healthiest of muggles. In fact he was a baby whale and a huge fat pig. Because he was never in the best of health, he had no survival skills and was unable to survive one night of sleeping out in the snow. I have nothing to feel guilty about and I refuse to allow others to make this my problem. It was Dumbledores problem, pure and simple. He caused it to happen and did nothing to stop it from happening either."
Harry stopped speaking and the board moved into a huddle to deliberate.
In the end, they decided that Dumbledore did have overall responsibility and he was put on suspension and that all of his decisions from now on would have to go through the board of governors. This meant that for every decision he made that concerned the school or any of its students, he must advise one of the board members and get their permission.
"No!" Dumbledore could not allow this. He didn't need a guardian.
"You have a history of making poor decisions." Lady Augusta Longbottom replied. "We need to know how often you do this if you are to be trusted with our heirs in the future."
Harry stood up again, and waited to be acknowledged. When the board noticed, they indicated for him to speak. Harry asked. "Respectfully, Sir. What about the third task? We who are competitors have our magic tied to the goblet and we will need to compete in one more task or we may lose our magic."
"What is the last task, Dumbledore?"
"A maze on the Quidditch pitch." He replied reluctantly.
"When is it scheduled for?"
"June 24th. We have to grow the maze first and then place obstacles inside."
The board agreed to allow that to stand and so the competitors now had 4 months to prepare for a maze. But the board also had one more thing to say.
"Mr Dumbledore. This suspension you are currently under will be reviewed on or after June 24th. None of the decisions you make, between now and that date, that directly concern the school or a student or a staff member, will be permitted to go ahead until it has been reviewed by a board member. You have been warned."
The members of the board of Governors withdrew from the great hall.
McGonagall stood up. Since Dumbledore had effectively been silenced in terms of everyday decisions, she would have to now take over the day to day business of running the school.
"Since it is almost dinner time, I call for dinner, and we can start the new day tomorrow." Dinner was soon piled on all the tables and the students all tucked in.
All except one. Noone noticed Harry also leave the great hall and find his way up to the 7th floor. The door was still there and as soon as he entered the come and go room, the door disappeared. Neville was very please see his friend.
"Struth mate!" he exclaimed, "What happened to you?"
I have spent most of today trying to stop a war. Harry replied. "I believe I was successful."
"So give me a summary of what happened. What was the second task?" Neville did his best to coax the details from his best friend.
"They gave us hostages to rescue. They were supposed to be people we would miss the most. These hostages were left out on various mountain tops around Scotland and we had 6 hours in which to find and rescue them. Of the four hostages, only one was found and rescued. That was Cedric Diggory by the way. One hostage died, and the other 2 hostages ended up in hospital being treated for Hypothermia, which is a lower body temperature and all around extreme cold. Not a good place for the body to be."
"One hostage died?" Neville gasped. Then his face became sceptical. "Don't tell me. Your hostage, right?"
"Who, how and why?" Neville had learned a lot about Dumbles machinations during his time with Harry. He was no longer as trusting as he had been at the beginning of the school year.
"The who was my cousin Dudley Dursley. Dumbledore claimed he was my beloved cousin, I said he was nothing more than my bully and tormentor from the time I was 15 months old. I chose not to rescue him. Instead I chose to help Fleur Delacour to rescue her younger sister. Viktor Krums hostage was his date to the ball, Hermione. Gabrielle Delacour and Granger both ended up in hospital being treated for Hypothermia. They survived. Dudley did not. Dumbledore tried to put the blame on me because I didn't rescue him. I put the blame back on Dumbledore for kidnapping the boy out of a muggle home, and putting him on that mountain top with no food, no water, no blankets and no warming charms.
"The ICW and the board of Governors both agreed with me. As of now, Dumbles has been fired from the ICW and is no longer the Supreme Mugwump. He is also on suspension by the board of governors and every decision he makes concerning the school or any student or staff member must now go through the board of governors, This has effectively put McGonagall in charge.
"The third task will go ahead, because our magic is tied to all three tasks. It will be held in June, so we have 4 months.
Harry never heard about the huge rage that had occurred at the Dursley House after Dudleys body was discovered by the muggles, lying dead at the top of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. Snape had put the body back where he found it on Dumbles orders. Dumbles was far too scared to tell Petunia that her son had died. He left it up to the muggle police to tell her. That Dudley froze to death was obvious and listed as the cause. But as to how he got there, the muggles had no idea.
Vernon and Petunia knew it was the magicals who had done it, but not why! And in their arrogance, nobody from the wizarding world, including Headmaster Dumbledore, even bothered to come and tell them why their son had died. This was the last straw. They abandoned their Privet Drive home in Little Whinging, without even trying to sell it, and moved to a new country. It had to be the least magical country they could find which still spoke English. They eventually immigrated to Canada and settled in Vancouver. This area had the most English type weather system - mostly rain and not a lot of snow.
Harry and Neville flung themselves into their 5th year studies. Keeping themselves tucked away in the Come and Go room that was known only to the House Elves, they had 4 months between the Second and Third tasks to study up on their OWL level courses in order to sit the OWL exams a whole year early.
They were deep into Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, History of Magic, DADA and Astronomy. Of the 5 electives available to them they were taking Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy. This allowed them a total of 10 OWL exams to take.
March rolled into April which floated into May and soon it was June. Since Harry already knew that the third task would be a maze. He had practiced mostly those spells that would defend himself from Hagrids various dangerous creatures. Although Harry and Neville had both naturally studied all the fifth year spells as well.
Dumbledore had been desperate to contact Harry during this time, but every time he demanded that Fawkes take him to wherever Harry was, the Phoenix refused to do so.
June 21st was the summer equinox, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. June 24th was the day of the 3rd task. The announcement was made through the school that all champions were required to be down on the Quidditch pitch at 11 am, thank you.
Harry made his way down to the pitch, under a disillusionment charm as always. And Neville went to the stands under Harrys invisibility cloak like he usually did.
Dumbledore was hoping he could catch Harry early and have a chat to the boy, but he could not be seen anywhere.
As the 12 pm starting time for the Task drew near, Dumbledore became more frantic. The 3 other official champions were present, Cedric, Viktor and Fleur, but no Harry.
Since Harry had won the first task and Cedric the second task, this put the two of them tied for first place. Fleur and Viktor were both tied for third place since both of them had one incomplete task and one task in which they had come in second.
Therefore Cedric and Harry would both enter the maze together at 12 noon, and the other two would enter the maze together 3 minutes later.
The whistle blew and Cedric was seen to enter the maze alone. Noone except for Luna saw anyone else enter the maze. Luna could see Harry's aura as plain as day but naturally never said anything. She watched Harry's aura stop at the first corner inside the maze and wait. Three minutes later after the second whistle blew and Fleur and Victor entered the maze, and after they had turned the first corner, Luna watched Harry's aura as it did a leisurely walk through the maze, blasting an acromantula here and having to walk upside down through an anti-gravity charm there. Then she watched as Harry's aura found another corner and sat down to wait.
In the meantime Cedric was making all haste to the centre of the maze. He had no trouble with acromantula spiders, confundus charms, and blasted end skrewts although he was held up by the Sphinx in trying to solve her riddle. But, within 15 minutes of entering the maze, Cedric was getting very close to the centre of the maze. Once he arrived, it was a race between himself, the cup and the last acromantula spider trying to skewer him, as to who won. Cedric reached the cup seconds before the large spider did, but then the portkey activated and Cedric disappeared. As he disappeared the maze was also magically ended and the hedges began dropping into the ground.
Harry appeared in his corner, Viktor appeared standing over an unconscious Fleur as if he had beaten her. And Cedric was nowhere to be found. The cup was gone. This caused chaos. Harry had not wanted to make an "appearance" but he had to show up just to prove that he did do the third task. So even if noone saw him enter the maze, he was there legally at the end, thus satisfying the terms of the magical contract which was now expired. It no longer had any binding on any of the champions. Fleur was rescued. Viktor was thrown into Azkaban for assaulting the French Ministers daughter and Harry disappeared while being led away to safety by Alastair Moody.
Dumbledore went looking for Harry. He had caught a glimpse of the boy in the maze when it first dropped, and had assigned Moody to take the boy to safety in the headmasters office, so that Dumbledore could interrogate him. But for some reason, both Harry and Moody had disappeared.
After stunning Moody, tying him up, and emptying the flask that Moody had always carried around with him, Harry and Neville met up in a quiet corner of the Hogwarts grounds. They called Dobby to collect their trunks and other stuff from the Come and Go room, and transport their belongings and themselves to Potter Castle.
Cedric's body and the Triwizard cup was found several days later in the graveyard of a village called Little Hangleton. Cedric was declared the winner since he had reached the cup first, despite his death.
Harry and Neville disappeared, which left Dumbledore frantically trying to find them to no avail.
A/N I will eventually be posting a sequel, (or the second half of this story) but I currently have writers block so it may take a while to get it done and posted.
My other HP story - HIPS (Hidden in Plain Sight) - will also remain on hiatus for some time.