Prompt: 12 Days of Christmas, Day 3 – Three French Hens
Written for The Golden Snitch Forum
All right, here's Day 3. Sorry if it seems a bit hurried, we were operating on a tight schedule!
Fleur bit her lip nervously as the great castle of Hogwarts came into view out of Beauxbatons's carriage. Despite being half-Veela, she still worried about giving good first impression. Yes, she knew it was silly, but it was just one of her long-time habits.
She anxiously checked her watch and waved her wand in a nervous flourish. It accidentally showered pink flowers all over her friend Adalene. She started and brushed the flowers off her head in annoyance.
"Fleur, sois prudente! Be careful!" she said in annoyance. "I'm sorry!" said Fleur. "I cannot help eet!" Adalene smiled and all annoyance faded away. "Zo not worry, Fleur. You'll be fine." As Fleur opened her mouth to speak, Madame Maxime walked into their compartment and said deeply, "Nous arriverons bientôt. We'll be arriving shortly." Fleur hurried to the window, and sucked in a gasp. Hogwarts was magnificent.
Normally, Fleur thought that other schools would've not compared with her precious Beauxbatons, but as she took in the magnificent floating lights and the sheer size of it, she couldn't help but admire its beauty. Her fellow students were just as entranced by the castle, and Fleur thought she could see the hundreds of students waiting inside, like the one with a long, dark plait down her back, and another one with startling green eyes, messy black hair, and a hint of a lightning scar . . . She was startled by Madame Maxime clearing her throat.
"We are here," she announced. Fleur felt Adalene grasp her hand, and squeezed it back. She took a deep breath and put on her dazzling smile, prepared to walk in.
When Beauxbatons was announced, Fleur sauntered in with what she hoped was a pleasant face. She did not flinch when she noticed some boys' head turn, gaping rudely. She was used to all that boyish nonsense. Instead, she politely sat with her friends at one of the tables, occasionally introducing herself to some students from Hogwarts. Adalene picked up a shimmering goblet with a look of incredulity on her face, and whispered, "Eet ees real gold!" Fleur smiled with what she was an unimpressed face, even though inside she was marveling at how perfect everything here was.
She kept her face covered by her scarf, in case the gaping boys started again. She may have been used to it, but she didn't necessarily enjoy the attention. They sat through the Durmstrang introduction, many whisperings of awe and delight at Viktor Krum's arrival. Fleur wondered whether he would be declared Triwizard champion. Finally, Hogwarts' headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, made his welcoming speech. Fleur liked him. He seemed like he knew what he was doing, all the same with a twinkle in his eye. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts and - most particularly – guests," he said.
"I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to Hogwarts. I hope and trust that your stay here will be both comfortable and enjoyable." Fleur, becoming less impressed with Hogwarts the more boys stared at her, let out a derisive laugh. Dumbledore didn't seem to notice and continued. "The Tournament will be officially opened at the end of the feast. I now invite you all to eat, drink, and make yourselves at home!" Fleur, not noticing anything on the table previously, glanced down at her plate and nearly fell over in shock. Here, foods of all sorts had appeared, including some that were French. There was soupe à l'oignon,coq au vin, and even cassoulet!
She helped herself to everything, and even then her stomach rumbled when she saw some bouillabaisse with the raven haired boy from earlier. Walking over to their table and removing her muffler, she asked, "Excuse me, are you wanting ze bouillabaisse?" The raven haired boy didn't react to her presence as other boys would've done, which she found intriguing; the red haired one, however, went purple and made and odd gurgling noise. The boy with glasses seemed exasperated and handed the dish to her. "Yeah, have it." "You 'ave finished wiz it?" The freckled boy spoke. His voice was oddly breathless.
"Yeah," he said, "Yeah, it was delicious." The glasses boy rolled his eyes which made Fleur want to smile. Nevertheless, she carried the dish carefully back to the table and almost laughed out loud when she heard the red haired one say,
"She's a Veela!" Now that the feast was over, Fleur anticipated the arrival of the so-called judge who would be deciding the Triwizard champions. She trailed in and out of Dumbledore's speech, impatient and constantly sneaking glances at the curtained door. After what seemed like an eternity, she heard, "Mr. Bagman and Mr. Crouch have worked tirelessly over the last few months on the arrangements for the Triwizard Tournament, and they will be joining myself, Professor Karkaroff, and Madame Maxime on the panel which will judge the champions' efforts."
Fleur felt the tension in the Hall rise. Dumbledore gestured to a wizened old man to bring forth a casket, and Fleur realized the judge must be a magical object. Dumbledore continued to explain the rules of the Tournament, and at last the moment came where the casket was opened. "May I present to you, your impartial judge. . . the Goblet of Fire." There was a collective gasp, and Fleur completely drifted out of reality and imagined her name being pulled out of the Goblet, the glory of being champion, and perhaps at winning. . . At that moment, she decided this was her new dream, to be a Triwizard champion. She also wanted to put her name in privately. When her friends gestured for her to come back to the carriage, she said, "Een a minute." She magicked a slip of paper and wrote her name on it.
That was her name, and she was going to go down in wizarding history. She took a deep breath, stepped over the shimmering Age Line, and placed her name in the Goblet. It went up in flames, then died down, waiting for the next person to put their name in.
The day had come. The champions were to be chosen today. Everyone ate quickly and feverishly, anxiously awaiting fir the champions to be announced. Fleur didn't eat. She felt sick and feverish. Why did she ever decide to do this? Dumbledore stood and the Hall went quiet. "It's time," he said. The Goblet was brought before them, and once again, all was silent in the Great Hall as it had been on the day the Goblet was brought out.
"The champion for Durmstrang," he said, as the Goblet shot out a first name, "is Viktor Krum!" There was a smattering of applause, but no surprise as the slouching figure of Krum disappeared behind the curtains. Fleur could've fainted right there and then. It was time for Beauxbatons. "The champion for Beauxbatons"—the Goblet shot out another name— "is Fleur Delacour!"
It took a lifetime for Fleur to process those last 2 words. When she did, her entire school was erupting around her, Adalene and Madame Maxime were positively screaming with delight, and a few girls were sobbing in the corner, but how could she care about that, she had done it, she had become a Triwizard champion— She was being pushed into the velvet curtains, and smiling the brightest she had ever smiled in her life, Fleur prepared herself for what was going to be the best year of her life.
And here you are! A little Triwizard Tournament spirit from Fleur, I felt a lot of girl power today and decided to write this! Hope you enjoyed! -Parvati