Halloween, October 31st
Harry groaned as Luna began to slobber all over him, yanking his face away to stop her as he muttered incoherently. Sighing in resignation, Harry pouted; he'd been having a very good sleep and wasn't amused at being woken up. Unfortunately, sleep wasn't for him, not now, he knew if he wanted to he could go back to sleep, but Luna needed the toilet, he knew all her tells, so still half asleep, he slid his feet into his slippers and grabbed a warm winter cloak before shuffling out of the room, not before noticing his dad was still asleep.
A small smile appeared on his face as he closed the door, and padded to the front door of the cabin they'd be using until they returned to St. Lucia. He jumped when he heard barking, and it definitely wasn't Luna, it was a dog's bark. Glancing around, he found himself confronted with a massive - perhaps not when compared to Luna - black dog, it was a boarhound, or rather a Great Dane, he knew his animals. He'd seen one before, he liked visiting the vets. Ever since Mark had tended to Luna, he liked to visit the veterinarian at least once a month, and Mark didn't seem to mind. Mark didn't own the practise anymore, mostly just provided the potions for them, but occasionally he would go in, at least ten times a month.
"Don't yeh worry, he ain't gonna harm you none," a loud booming voice insisted, looking star struck at the sight of Luna.
"I'm not worried or afraid," Harry explained craning his neck upwards to see the giants face, and he wasn't being metaphorical when he called this man a giant, he definitely was one. This must be Hagrid, Sirius, Remus, Minerva, Filius and his dad mentioned him quite often. "Luna won't hurt him either, she's just curious!" he explained with a grin, hearing her thoughts, Luna was used to being around people and animals and had never hurt anyone unless they were trying to harm him.
"She's a beauty!" he boomed, "I'm Hagrid, keeper of keys here at Hogwarts, and the care of magical creatures professor, it's nice to meet ya, you a Grande Riviere student?"
"I am, professor," Harry said politely, giving him the respect his station deserved. Teachers put up with a lot, and didn't get much in the way of monetary compensation at least that's what his dad says.
"None o' that now, call me Hagrid," Hagrid said, beaming in happiness. "I didn't expect anyone up so early," he was still doing his rounds.
"Luna needed out," Harry shrugged, his way of explaining. "Oh, my name is Harrison, Harrison Regis, you can call me Harry though!" remembering his manners.
Hagrid's eyes gleamed a little and he sniffed, "its nice ter meet ya Harry," thinking of another little boy taken before his time. Oh, he held a lot of regret for what happened to the little tyke.
"You too!" Harry chirped.
"Yeh be careful now, there are a lot of dangers in the forest," Hagrid warned him.
"I will be," Harry said solemnly, taking the warning to heart, his dad would kill him if he did anything stupid like that. Headmaster Addison had already warned them repeatedly until it took about the dangers in there. He wouldn't be surprised if Talin had added some wards to prevent any mischief from happening probably his dad too.
"Come on, Fang, let's go," Hagrid called out to his hound, "Yeh take care o' yer self, Harry!"
"Bye, Hagrid!" Harry called out, mentally calling out to Luna through their bond, both of them bound back into the cabin again, and into the warmth. Despite the fact Luna was used to the heat, she didn't seem even the slightest bit daunted by the cold weather that was normal in Scotland.
"Good morning, Harrison," Talin said, looking up from the newspaper in interest to see who it was.
"Good morning Headmaster," Harry replied, he no longer found it difficult to differentiate what to call Talin most of the time, at home it was always Talin, and most of the time in his head too. At school though, or even here it was definitely Headmaster, even though all his friends knew his dad and the Headmaster was close, it was about time and places as well as respect.
"The House-elves are making breakfast, it should be ready soon," Talin explained, watching as Harry prepared Luna's breakfast.
"Everyone will be disappointed," Harry sniggered in amusement, "They liked dining at Hogwarts last night."
Talin hummed in agreement, "Yes, indeed they did," and he'd had to give out six potions to soothe stomach-ache to prevent it from actually leading to being sick. They tended to eat a lot more healthily at home, most of the food at Hogwarts was fried, almost swimming in grease, and the amount of meat they consumed…he doubted even the moon wolf's would have been able to consume it.
Harry swiped his hands together, having completed his first talk.
"How are you feeling?" Talin asked, his stomach in knots just thinking about last night. He had at ten o'clock led them up to Hogwarts again, letting those who actually still wished to enter the tournament to do so. To his immense pride and anxiety none of them had stepped back, even his sons had put their names in. Harry was like a third son to him, so like when Ale and Jaden put their names in he'd felt his heart pounded like a never ending drumbeat.
Harry turned around and slid into his seat, having been taught not to lie, Harry rarely did, especially because his dad always seemed to know or find out. He hated being grounded or going to bed early, it sucked, especially when he got his mirrors taken off him. "I haven't thought about it," he answered honestly, showing how smart he was that he knew what Talin was referring to. They'd returned back to the cabin right away after submitting their names to the goblet and had an extra hot chocolate to warm up before heading to bed. He'd fallen asleep almost right away, if he didn't know any better he would have thought there was something in the hot chocolate to help them sleep.
Talin nodded, today was going to be exceedingly long, tonight they would find out which one of his students would be competing in the tournament. Removing his wand from his holster he held it out at the corridor before using a spell to make a loud noise, like a bell for a short moment before food appeared for their breakfast.
Toast, butter, strawberry jam, an assortment of fruit, eggs done three different ways, scrambled, omelettes, boiled and Benedict made the usual way with half muffins, each topped with Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce then there was some bacon, sausages all done the healthiest way possible.
Harry dived right in, not realising just how hungry he was until the delicious smelling aroma penetrated his still groggy mind. He picked tow egg Benedict's, waving to Dylan as he walked in, his hair sticking up at all ends, still in his pyjamas like Harry was and slouched down.
Harry made an enquiring noise through pursed lips, gesturing towards the hallway, not even needing to say anything properly for Dylan to understand.
Dylan sniggered as he scooped up two portions of omelette with pepper and onions in it. "Shower," he murmured, and that was the last of the conversation as they began to eat their breakfasts, waving or nodding to their friends as they too made appearances. Josh was last to come in, already dressed his hair still damp.
It was half an hour later before anyone spoke.
"Are we doing anything to celebrate Halloween? Headmaster Addison?" Chao questioned curiously, after the House-elves cleared the table leaving only the juice behind for them to drink. Normally they had at least a party, ones that everyone in the school attended, dressed up or otherwise, so that those at home could have fun just as much as those who stayed full board while at Grande Riviere.
"Why? It's not like we can dress up, I mean I didn't bring anything with me!" Deacon said in half panic, wondering if the others had.
"Wait, Hogwarts is bound to be having something happening tonight, other than the tournament announcements surely?" Dylan pondered.
"I wonder what they normally do?" Josh mused, as everyone tried to give their own questions.
"Hogwarts doesn't do parties or dressing up for Halloween, it's a grand feast nonetheless, but that is all they do." Severus answered their questions as he entered the room. "Do not go crazy with the sweets," he warned them, but his tone wasn't scathing, but concerned.
"That's just boring!" Josh groaned, "A feast? It's supposed to be about dressing up and having fun!" revealing their age, sure they might be what people here called 'Advanced' for their ages intellectually but the reality was, they were still just fourteen-years-old.
"Every school has their own quirks and has different ways of celebrating things," Talin said soothingly, "I think once the announcements have been made this evening you won't be bothering overly much about dressing up."
"I can't wait!" Ale said practically shaking with excitement.
Talin just groaned at his son's words, his son might not be able to wait but he was dreading it. Glancing at Severus he saw that his own emotions were reflecting in those black eyes, yes, he wasn't the only one.
"Did you hear the rumour about Durmstrang?" Chao exclaimed, eager to share.
"What do you mean? What rumour?" Harry asked curiously, everyone looked Chao's way quite excited to know too.
"Well, they've said that only one student put his name in the goblet! So, he's like guaranteed to end up as the champion!" Chao said seriously.
"That can't be right…" Harry frowned, glancing at his dad to see what he thought.
"It isn't," Severus explained for his son, always up to sharing any shred of information with him so that he knew what was what. "There has to be at least three participants put forth, and no name can be the same, the line has a spell that absorbs magical signatures, so nobody could their names in more than once or for someone else."
"Two others could have put his name in for him," Harry pointed out.
"They could have," Severus agreed.
"How cool is that Mr. Regis!" Deacon grinned.
"Not very, it's not so much of a competition if the others are already cheating to get their own way," Severus replied, his distaste at the thought already showing on his face. It wouldn't surprise him if Igor had done exactly that, he had already shared with his son what Igor is, demanding that he keep away from him as much as possible without rousing suspicion. Only fellow Death Eaters would know of Igor's deflection, or those high up in the Ministry, if Harry avoided him for no reason, suspicion would be roused, and he wasn't risking it. He was going to have to be cautious anyway with Dumbledore around.
"Not only that but they say it's Viktor Krum who's only put his name in!" Chao ended her titbit with flare.
"KRUM!?" they called out half excited half terrified, "But he's brilliant!"
"Yeah," Harry muttered, he had to be, in order to play Quidditch you had to keep your grades up, he'd imagine he was under immense scrutiny due to the fact he played professionally not just for a school team."
"Oh, man!" Josh groaned, "Maybe I shouldn't have put my name in! He has the best grade for Defence in his year!"
"So do we!" Dylan stated right back.
"I guess," Josh mused thoughtfully, ignoring all the chatting going on around him. "What do you think, Harry? Do you think the rumours are true?"
"I would say so," Alexis whispered, braiding her long brown hair, "I was leaving the Great Hall when I heard the Headmaster offer mulled wine to Krum, he sounded really gentle, parental even like my mum is with my older brother, Adam when he gets home from work…Krum said no, but when another student asked…" Alexis shuddered, "It was like he became a whole different person, he was so cold, and then he embarrassed him just for having food down his clothes!" Headmaster Addison would never do such a thing to them, he was always kind.
Harry ducked down so they could hear him, before starting slowly, "I…wouldn't put it past their Headmaster to set something like this up, maybe thinking it himself…or the ICW helping him." there was no doubt Krum was absolutely the best not just at Quidditch either. It looked like the Headmaster also favored Krum too.
"You think they're trying to sabotage us?" Josh's jaw tightened in anger.
"I don't know," Harry said quietly, frowning, "If anything you'd expect them to help Hogwarts…they are biased in favour of this school…but the Headmistress is very fair, she wouldn't allow it, everyone probably knows that so they might have decided to go to someone else…honourable?"
"Bloody hell," Dylan groaned, rubbing his head.
"Well if anyone knows Karkaroff then yes, he's definitely capable of it," Alexis admitted, her blue eyes filled with fire. She believed it completely, that wizard…there was something about him she'd never trust him.
"It could be just a rumour though," Harry said unhelpfully, and it was obvious he didn't believe what he was saying.
"There's always some element of truth in rumours though," Josh pointed out pensively.
"Guess we'll find out tonight," Harry stated determinedly. "Whoever gets picked, we'll stick together, help each other through it."
"Hell yeah!" Deacon chimed in, "One for all and all for one!"
The two adults watched possessively over the students, eye gleaming with pride, this was what the competition was meant to be about. Sticking together, helping each other, becoming strong, united in face of trials and tribulations.
The students all laughed, relaxing in their seats, they were right, they had each other, and they would do their school proud, no matter what. They had agreed to this wanting to help their Headmaster, strongly believing that their school deserved international recognition, although in hearts of hearts some of them did indeed desire eternal glory, the money that came with it. It was why Jay had wished to come, one thousand galleons was a lot of money, it would have helped his mum cover the cost of attended Grande Riviere, but she wasn't having any of it. She'd rather work around the clock than risk her son for anything, he was all she had, and Jay had been gutted.
It was a Saturday so they didn't need to worry about school or classes they just enjoyed their day.
The anxiousness didn't return until night fell.
Once the Grande Riviere students made their way to the Hufflepuff table, they began to absorb all the talk of the day. Apparently, Fred, George, Fawcett who was a Ravenclaw, Summers -who flushed at the attention - who was a Hufflepuff, had all tried to fool the Goblet of Fire into accepting them, an aging potion apparently. Only to be flung after successfully getting over the circle to grow enormous beards.
The Grande Riviere students had all laughed in amusement.
"It's curious, isn't it? How the age line worked for us?" Josh said, his eyes twinkling brightly like they usually did when there was a mystery presented to him and his three best friends. They liked to know how everything worked.
"That's easy, when we stepped into Hogwarts our magical signature was collected by the age line before it was activated, we are the exceptions," Harry breezed through the answer, the Great Hall was packed with people, pumpkins and candles floating through the air, ghosts bobbing up and down speaking to the students or doing their own thing.
"Whoa!" a few Hufflepuffs murmured in awe having heard Harry's reply.
"That must have been some intricately designed work, I wish I could have seen it!" the fourteen-year-olds breathed, "Can you imagine having to tweak the original works like that?"
"It's not easy, but once you get the hang of it…" Dylan said thoughtfully, "I suspect it was runes, they're always best when tweaking certain spells."
"I agree," Harry nodded, "Definitely runes," absently patting at Luna, ensuring her tail was tucked in so she didn't get stepped on, glancing at her bowl, she was nearly finished with her food.
The fifth through seventh-year students at the Hufflepuff table gaped at the fourteen-year-olds for a few moments. Runes was an exceptionally difficult subject, they should still only be on the basics never mind advanced work like tweaking Runes, the seventh years actually understood the implications more than any others. Just watching them, they realized the others laughing had been premature, these students were actually going to be very good contenders for winning this.
"Hey, Harry, where's your dad? I've not seen him at Hogwarts yet?" Alexis queried, they all liked and respected Mr. Regis, he may be stern sometimes but he always answered any questions they had, helped with their homework when they were at Harry's and attended all his games and his books were a major help for those like her who just didn't get Potions like the advanced class group - or she hadn't back then, but with the book…she'd understood it better and ended up in the advanced group a few years ago. It was a good thing because she wanted to be a Herbologist, and that required an EE in potions. She also wanted to do well in Alchemy, which was also steeped in potions knowledge since it was half…more than half potions.
"He's back at the cabin, he's coming for the announcements though," Harry answered her immediately, he had gone off to the goblins to find out about tweaking the pendant, to make his features less prominent, but to prevent anyone who had seen him from seeing any of the changes. Like Harry himself and everyone from his school and maybe even Minerva and Filius to everyone else he will be just different enough nobody could say he was Severus Snape or related to the Princes. He wouldn't be different enough to call any attention to him and his friends though. Even the thought of trying to figure it out baffled even him. He definitely wanted to see and inspect the pendant when he returned home though.
"I really hope its Cedric!" Summers admitted, still put out her plan had failed, "A Hogwarts, Hufflepuff victory!"
"It would show them all what we can do!" agreed Bones sagely, they were looked down upon for being loyal, "That just because we're Hufflepuff's we aren't idiots or spares!"
"What do you mean by that?" Chao asked, who was sitting closest to Susan Bones, they were already friends, pen-pals really, they'd been writing then talking through the mirrors for years now. It was odd being at the school but she was looking forward to spending proper time with her when she could.
Susan took a deep breath and told Chao about everything they endured by the other students within the castle just because of where they were sorted. That there were fewer students wishing to be with them because of it or feeling embarrassed, bullied and ostracised due to their placements. She never said this when they wrote, other than the first few letters the school hadn't been mentioned again, it had just been a factor for breaking the ice between the girls.
"Do you know if the other schools work the same way?" Sophie asked, joining the conversation, shaking her head, glad Grande Riviere didn't sort its students, it sounded like blatant permission to just be a horrible person and judged because of their placements.
"Only one other school sorts the students," Josh explained, having spent weeks looking them all up after Harry told him about Hogwarts and how they had to wait until they were eleven to attend. "It's the American school, um, what it is called…"
"Ilvermorny," Harry imputed as he slowly ate his food, he wasn't in the mood for a gigantic feast. He was definitely taking some of the treats back with him though. He made a mental note to remember cauldron cakes, they were his dads favourite.
"That's right! It's mirrored after Hogwarts! Four houses, four animals, even the subjects are the same, with some alterations," Josh went right back to it. "At least when I read it, I know Hogwarts is starting to make more classes available to its student's now." none came even close to the number of choices they had at his school though he thought with satisfaction. "It was fascinating to read about all the diff…" Josh trailed off when every golden plate in the hall reverted back to their normal spotless states. As soon as this happened the noise cut off completely, as every student in the hall including him turned to the Headmistress of Hogwarts, to hear what was going to be said.
"The Goblet is ready now to make its decision," Minerva stated calmly, as she stood up, not even the slight bit apprehensive to see so many students gazing at her impatiently, the desire to know who the champions were was written across their faces. "When I call out the name of the champions, please come up to the top of the hall and walk along the staff table, and go through into the next chamber," Minerva gestured towards the chamber for those who weren't familiar with the school. "This will be where you will receive your first instructions."
Minerva removed her wand, just as Severus stepped inside giving her a nod and every candle in the Great Hall was extinguished, and darkness descended, except for the pumpkins and the glowing Goblet of fire.
Severus closed his eyes feeling quite anxious, before opening them and breathing out, whoever it was, he would help them as much as he could. They were fourteen-years-old and the others competing where seventeen, magically they were all the same level, in fact, he'd say Harry and his friends were magically stronger having been using magic longer, but physically and mentally…well that was the difference. Especially when met with the students of Durmstrang, it made Harry and the others look exceedingly younger. The Beauxbaton students though didn't have the same intense - probably intimidating to others - presence.
Severus straightened his spine when the Goblet sparks turned red, Minerva was already summoning the charred paper towards her, he could tell she wasn't completely confident about the tournament, he'd known her long enough to see her tells. Her eyes were narrowed a little more than usual, mouth slightly tenser, it gave away her anxiety.
"The champion for Durmstrang will be…." Minerva called out, "Viktor Krum!" without too much dramatics.
Harry and the others all glanced at each other, no surprise showing, but they nonetheless cheered politely for the champion. Alexis gave Harry a pointed look when even over the cheering they heard Karkaroff bellowing out his own congratulations. Harry just smirked and shrugged his shoulders, before both were once again distracted by the Goblet and more red sparks.
"The champion for Beauxbatons," Minerva called, "Is Fleur Delacour!"
Harry craned his neck to see who she was, a blonde girl rose from the table next to their temporary ones. Oh, she was a Veela, well, half-Veela, he'd definitely know if she was a full one, everyone would. Still, the pull would be quite immense, especially to those who don't have strong magical cores, she was like a siren, had an allure about her. He was quite glad he'd managed this, between giants, Veela's, half-goblins this was going to be so much fun. He definitely wanted to talk to her at some point, he had quite a few questions about her lineage if she'd permit him.
"This is it!" squealed Susan, her red hair shining like a beacon even in the darkness.
"The champion for Hogwarts is…"
My apologies for the long wait between updates, I was in an accident and I'm still recovering (I was hospitalized for three weeks) and I'm still trying to get back to normal - sorry to those who've already heard this-this is just for those who don't read my slash stories! - I am doing good though and I hope soon I can get back to writing the way I used to...but with RL and the accident getting in the way it might not happen (for a while) BUT I'll still update as often as possible and it's more than some people can so I have to content myself with that.
Soooooo who will be the Hogwarts champion? Cassius Warrington from Slytherin...Cedric Diggory from Hufflepuff or Angelina from Gryffindor? AND who will be the champion from Grande Riviere? Jaden Addison? Josh? Dylan or Harry? R&R! please!