Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again.

Chapter 8. The Second Task.

I don't own the Harry Potter verse. Just playing.

08/10/18 Beta by alix33. Thank you.

Thank you for all your kind reviews.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Encouragingly, the Magic of the Night was growing stronger but would it be enough to overcome the fact that this is still a Harry Potter story, and he still has a dark lord who wants him dead and a headmaster who seems only too happy to use our hero for bait and to help in anyway he can, for the Greater Good, of course.

Plus there is that little thing the Ministry of Magic had cooked up at the headmaster's behest, called the Tri-Wizard Tournament, that Harry has to participate in, due to a dubious binding magical contract and the explicit wishes of the aforementioned fearful manipulative headmaster or our hero might just lose his magic.

But like Harry and Hermione, the Magic of the Night would never give up!

Never surrender!

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Harry and Hermione were surprised how much the school had changed since the Yule Ball. All the badges and hostile vibes were long gone and replaced with Balls and fun as the castle came alive with glorious music that filled the hallways with good will and broke down the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Even professor Snape had changed completely and was actually teaching and awarding points to all houses, and even trying to be helpful as he had instituted the seating plan that allowed Hermione to sit with Harry and moved their other former friend to the back where he was distracted by the charms of Lavender Brown. While no one would believe that the professor had advanced Luna Lovegood but Neville was very happy he did and so was Luna. The simple changes had removed the distractions and constant arguments, and everyone was benefiting from the positive learning environment. Even Ronald was trying to impress Lavender Brown with something other than his expeditious table manners and ebullient personality.

Hermione loved it when Winky and Dobby brought her parents to the Hogsmeade weekend and they wore the new robes that Sirius had brought them so they didn't stand out as Muggles. But that didn't prevent Hermione's mother from embarrassing her as she wanted to see and taste and do everything like a five year old hyped up on sugar at a magical theme park except that it was all real. Even Brunhilde's Best Garden Fertiliser came from real live fire breathing Dragons. They had lunch at the Three Broomsticks after touring the village as Emma looked at everything and asked so many questions faster than Hermione could answer. As Hermione was dragged off by her overeager mother, that left Harry and Dan alone and they had a great time quietly touring the village as Dan asked Harry questions about the things they found. Harry realised how well his future in laws loved each other and balanced their strengths and weakens to make a great team. Harry then understood what a true loving family was like and he wanted to be a part of this one.

It was getting late and Emma had even more questions for Hermione, but she was saved by Padfoo who invited Dan and Emma to dinner at the Shrieking Shack after Harry and Hermione had to returned to the castle and demonstrated why the Shrieking Shack was the most haunted building in all of Britain and almost scared the proverbial out of them until Emma started asking questions. Sirius had never seen Peeves the poltergeist turn tail and run away from anyone before.

Particularly screaming. "AAARRRRUUUGH! There's two of them!"

Of course, Emma would get her revenge on Sirius, and Winky and Dobby were only too happy to help.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

While the subjects and class courses hadn't changed that much, Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Moody had, oddly enough for certain fourth and sixth year classes, had added charms and hexes to their lessons which could be used under water like the Bubble Head and an underwater version of the Lumos charms as well as warming and drying charms, plus defensive and cutting hexes. They even had Harry and Hermione demonstrate the charms and hexes under water in a small swimming pool they had conjured up in the classroom. While Professor Sprout added lessons about dangerous plants that could be found in the Black Lake, and Hagrid added lessons on the Merpeople and creatures that lived there.

Cedric invited Fleur and Viktor to his sixth year classes to get first hand local knowledge of the environment of the Black Lake, and they invited Harry and Hermione to their un-Official Tri-Wizard Tournament Champions' study group.

Harry and Hermione heeded Cedric's suggestion and spent a lovely evening together in the Prefect's Bathroom with Neville, Luna and Moaning Myrtle, where they worked out the clue for the second task. They discovered to their horror that something or worst some one, Harry would sorely miss would be taken and hidden on the bottom of the Black Lake, and Harry would only have one hour to save them.

Now Harry and Hermione understood why the Professors had added all these lessons of spells and charms that could be used under water and they appreciated the help.

But Harry also remembered what Hermione had rather hotly informed Ronald at the Yule Ball that; "This whole tournament' was supposed to be about getting to know foreign wizards and making friends with them!" And that Percy had bustled over, rubbing his hands together and looking extremely pompous. "Excellent! That's the whole point, you know - international magical cooperation!" …. GoF.

So a month before the second task Neville, Luna, Harry and Hermione realised that Harry's best chance to survive this task was to join forces with Fleur Delacour as Luna explained that the French Veela would have a big problem with the ice cold water of the Scottish lake in winter. Icy water and Veelas didn't mix as the coldness would drain the fire of their magic. Plus Harry had never learnt to swim as the Dursleys wouldn't waste the money on him and would consider it a bonus if he drowns.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Harry and Fleur were concerned on the morning of the second task as Hermione and Fleur's little sister, Gabrielle, were missing and they were horrified that a very foolish manipulative headmaster was using them as bait. Worse still, Hermione's tracking and monitoring charms were not working and they feared that someone had removed them. Kreacher had kept Harry and Hermione up to date with the current schemes of the headmaster through their spy and fly on the wall, Lord Phineas Black. They knew he was going to try something with Hermione and Ronald as hostages, but Gabrielle's disappearance was totally unexpected as Madam Maxime had vehemently refused to endanger the little Veela while the headmaster just nodded his head with a knowing smile.

To make matters even more worse, Molly Weasley had come to the school to fill in as part of Harry's official family on the invitation of the aforementioned headmaster. Harry was very uncomfortable with the arrangement as his former redhead friend still hated his guts for abandoning him at the Yule Ball and Mrs Weasley loudly expressed her disapproval of the French Veela, whom she disparagingly called Phlegm, being anywhere near her Ginny's Harry. While Ginny had made herself scarce and kept out of her mother's sight with her cute Durmstrang wizard. Oddly it was Luna and her magical creatures that distracted the redhead harridan long enough and gave Professor McGonagall an opportunity to escort Mrs Weasley to her office to discuss her youngest son's bad behaviour towards Harry and Hermione, and her own poor example.

Harry was terribly embarrassed by the poor behaviour of Mrs Weasley but Fleur, Neville, Luna and himself were able to avoid her and the headmaster for the rest of the morning as they went over their plans for the second task while Dobby and Winky searched the castle for Hermione and Gabrielle. Their concern grew after a visit from Moaning Myrtle who confirmed their worst fears that the missing two were together at the bottom of the Black Lake and she looked Harry in the eye and said one word.

"Hurry!"

That meant that Harry and Fleur didn't have any time to waste and would go with plan FBBS; the Flying Broom Bubble Submarine.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

At precisely 9:30 am on the morning of the Twenty-fourth of February, the cannon fired to signal the start of the Second Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. The four champions gathered around to wish each other good luck and then they took out their wands to cast their point-me charms to locate their hostage. Unfortunately their wands stayed limp in their hands as the charm failed.

Cedric glanced at the officials and noticed the look of concern that Professors Sprout, McGonagall and Flitwick had, and the smirk on the headmaster's face who was staring at the back of Harry's head in a way that creeped Cedric out.

"Damn." Harry cursed under his breath as his point-me charm failed while Fleur expressed her disappointment in French and he didn't want to know what Viktor had said in his mother's tongue.

Fleur looked at Harry and whispered. "Hide me from that damn headmaster. I know an ancient powerful Veela enhanced point-me charm that will locate family."

Cedric and Viktor heard the whisper and had seen the concern and fear in the eyes of Harry and Fleur and they also had their doubts about the headmaster's actions and the safety of their hostages. They moved to either side of Harry to shield and hide Fleur as she made a partial transformation into Veela mode and cast the ancient point-me charm.

"There!" Fleur whispered as she transformed back and pointed to the darkest patch of black water of the center of the Black Lake.

Cedric nodded to Fleur as he cast a bubble head charm over his head and dived in, while Viktor gave her a look of thanks as he transfigured his upper body into the head of a shark and followed Cedric into the dark cold water, as Harry summonsed his Firebolt broom.

The Firebolt flew over to them from the castle but it was trailing some clothes that were snagged around the foot rests. A ripped bed sheet and some soiled underwear with a big red letter 'R' stitched on the front. Harry cursed under his breath. While Neville, Luna and he were worried about the second task and the missing Hermione, the idiot Ronald, must have gone through his trunk, looking for food and had borrowed his Firebolt, so he could sleep with it. The broom seemed to sense Harry's discomfort and shook itself to dislodge the offending bits into the lake. He hoped no one had noticed.

A certain platinum blond hair idiot tried very hard but couldn't help himself as his witty words of wisdom would dump both of his long-standing arch-enemies in it, and his dreaded sarcastic voice loudly started to say.

"Hey Scarhead? You let that weasel to sleep with..."

But Malfoy was drowned out by an even louder, far more dreaded voice.

"RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY!" Ronald's mother roared drawing all attention to herself and then remembered that her little Ronniekins was not present. "Er Percy could you be a dear and please fetch Ronald's underwear from the lake."

Now everyone knew whose underwear was floating in the lake.

The platform for the Slytherin students had heard all of what Draco had said and roared laughing distracting everyone while Harry quickly applied cleaning and sterilising charms to the broom as Fleur applied some cushioning charms. He helped Fleur to sit on the broom and then he sat in front as she wrapped her arms around his waist. While Molly saw red, and the headmaster became concerned that two champions were working together without his knowledge or permission, and he was afraid that he might have to disqualify Harry for thinking for himself.

Harry and Fleur flew off in the direction that Fleur's wand was pointing, before the headmaster and Molly could reach them, as their path was blocked as everyone from all three schools moved to watch what was happening with the underwear in the lake and roared laughing at a very red faced Percy, the former head boy of Hogwarts, and now self-important Ministry official, pompously walked down the steps to the lowest level of the Minister's platform and tried to summon the offending underwear with the big letter 'R' from the water.

Fred and George tried to help by summoning the offending underwear across to the Gryffindor platform. They hated the way their mother would mark their clothes with a big red letter of their first initial. It was so embarrassing to have a big red letter 'F' or 'G' on the chest of their singlets, shirts, jumpers or on the front of their underpants. Especially for George as he would accidentally sometimes get some of Ginny's unmentionables. One of the first charms they learnt at Hogwarts was the shrinking charm to shrink the big red letter down to a small monogram. But obviously Ronald hadn't bothered to learn that charm.

Then the Slytherins decided to join in the fun and summonsed the offending underwear across to the Slytherin platform. Fred and George decided to let the Slytherins win for once, much to the loud screaming of Percy and Molly.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Harry and Fleur soon overtook Cedric and Viktor as they could see them swimming together in the same direction just below the surface of the Black Lake. Harry slowed the broom to a stop as Fleur's wand pointed directly down. The broom hovered two feet above the cold water as Fleur cast clearing and light charms on the depths of the Black Lake so that they could see the four hostages on the bottom.

Fleur cast the full body bubble charm over both Harry and herself, and the broom, as Harry pushed the broom to climb, and then roll over into a desperate Wronski Defensive Feint. Harry bent over to flatten himself against the broom to streamline their shape as Fleur hugged and flattened herself against him as she pushed as much magic into holding the full body bubble charm as she could. They hit the water with a small splash as Harry forced the broom to dive deep.

It was a brilliant Wronski Defensive Feint, and it only took a few moments to reach the hostages, but for Fleur it seemed a lifetime as she could feel how cold the lake water was, even through her bubble charm. She cursed Dumbledore under her breath as she saw that was no full body bubble charm around her sister and she was already blue with the cold.

Harry carefully lowered the Bubble Submarine over Hermione and Gabrielle as Fleur pulled them into the space between herself and Harry, and then he used his wand to cast a cutting hex to sever the ropes holding them to the statue.

Hermione awoke as soon as the rope anchoring her was cut and it was very fortunate that she was surrounded by the air contained in the bubble otherwise she would have drowned as she gasped for her next breath. She cheerfully inhales Harry's scent and automatically wrapped her arms around him as he forced the bubble submarine to the surface as fast as he could.

The broom broke through the surface and rose six feet above the water and Fleur cancelled her charm. Harry turned to see how his passengers were doing, and Hermione kissed him so hard he almost fell off the broom. But their kiss was interrupted by a blood curdling scream from Fleur.

Harry and Hermione turn to see that the little Veela was not breathing and her lips were blue, as Fleur looked like she was going into a panic. Even though Harry and Fleur had rescued Hermione and Gabrielle from the bottom of the Black Lake in less than three minutes, they had no idea how long the hostages had been there in the dark ice cold water since they disappeared during the night.

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other to have a quick silent conversation. He pointed the broom towards the Ministry Platform and set the autopilot to let it fly itself as Hermione looked Fleur in the eye.

"Do you trust us?"

The terrified Fleur gave Hermione a nod and she took the little Veela from Fleur. She checked that there was no water in her mouth and that her airways were clear. She felt for a pulse and found none.

Hermione looked at Harry and he nodded his head as they agreed to perform CPR on the young Veela. Harry had done CPR in his last year at Muggle school and he could never forget the foul smell of the dummy after Dudley had given it the kiss of death.

Hermione laid the little Veela across their laps as they balanced sideways on the broom as it flew across the lake.

"Two quick breaths, Harry!"

Harry took a deep breath, positioned his lips on Gabrielle's and blew gently twice and watched as Hermione pressed down on the girl's chest five times.

"Two more Harry!" Hermione encouraged as she paused then continued the pump the girl's chest as they got into a rhythm, while Fleur was trying not to go into shock and used her wand to dry and warm Gabrielle and Hermione, and recast the full body bubble charm to protect them from the cold winds as they raced towards the platform where Fleur's parents were waiting.

Harry and Hermione continued to give Gabrielle CPR and they had almost reached the Ministry platform, when Hermione saw the little Veela's lips change from blue to pink as she finally coughed back into life and opened her beautiful blue eyes to see a pair of Emerald green eyes looking back very relieved and very happy.

A joyful Fleur surrounded Harry, Hermione and Gabrielle with a bone crushing hug, as they reached the lower level of the Ministry platform where the unhappy headmaster, Molly and Ministry officials were waiting.

Unfortunately, as no one was actually flying the broom, it ploughed into the unhappy headmaster, Molly and all the officials and knocked them flying into the icy cold waters of the lake.

Harry quickly took back control of the broom and pushed it to circle back and climb up to the second level of the Ministry Platform where Fleur's family and Madam Maxime were waiting. Fleur's mother quickly took Gabrielle into her arms as she and Madam Maxime spoke in rapid fire French to thank and kiss Harry and Hermione as Fleur would not stop hugging them.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

In the background Harry and Hermione could hear the faint strains of the The Imperial March, and they heard a very angry wet soggy Molly demanding to know where her poor little Ronniekins was, as she loudly climbed the stairs to the second level of the Ministry Platform. Then they heard the March of the Gladiators, and Harry could just sense that Dumbledore and Karkaroff were standing just behind them when they heard that sad lamented voice say.

"I am afraid, Harry, my boy, that you have rescued the wrong hostage." Dumbledore said sadly as he shook his wet head showing how disappointed he was in his boy, as Karkaroff sneered, while in the background they heard Ride of the Valkyries.

Madam Maxime had been worried sick for her students, and she was angry that the manipulative old fool had ignored her specific instructions and had taken the young Veela. Little Gabrielle had almost died despite the old fools reassurances, and now the headmaster had declared it a mistake to rescue and save the little Veela's life.

Madam Maxime finally had a target for her growing rage, and she had had enough of the old fool's platitudes, so she didn't even try to talk sense into him. She drew herself up to stand her full nine feet tall, gracefully stepped around Harry and Hermione, and slapped the headmaster across his face. Spinning him around twice and into the fist of Fleur's father, breaking his nose and knocked him off the platform as he gracefully cartwheeled down into the icy cold waters of the Black Lake. Next, Karkaroff tried to open his mouth and Madam Maxime slapped it shut and knocked him back into the lake. While Fleur's mother switched to full Veela mode and started to throw fireballs at a screaming soggy Molly and the other Ministry officials, driving them back into the lake and setting the Ministry Platform on fire.

Madam Maxime instructed her professors to take the Beauxbatons students back to the carriage and then she used her wand to turned a wet towel into a Portkey. In a moment Harry, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Fleur's family and Madam Maxime were standing in the medical ward of the Beauxbatons carriage. The beautiful French healer quickly checked Gabrielle and Fleur, and found them cold and magically exhausted. They would be fine after a hot meal and a warm bed.

Then the beautiful French healer checked Harry and Hermione and they were also found to be cold and magically exhausted but had some further issues when Dobby popped in to take them home to Hermione's parents while Winky took Neville and Luna. Dobby and Winky had been slowly working through the issues that they had and were removing the bewitching potions, binding, obliviations, charms and compulsions, and didn't want to alert a certain manipulative old fool.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Ten minutes after the Ministry Platform had burnt down to the water line, Cedric and Cho bobbed to the surface. They swam over to the Hufflepuff Platform to the cheers of their housemates. While Viktor returned alone and swam to the Slytherin Platform. He had absolutely refused to rescue the MoRon-Who-Had-Made-Hermione-Cry, leaving him marooned at the bottom of the lake with some strange teeth marks and the better half of his butt missing. It was not a pretty sight.

It fell to the headmaster to go down to the bottom of the Black Lake and rescue his useless redhead minion as the arrangement he had made with the Chief of the Merpeople so that they would be able to use the Black Lake for the Second Task, was that they could keep one hostage. But he couldn't let them have the redhead as he needed to keep Molly happy. He had planned to sacrifice The-Know-It-All, she would either accept her fate and become a Mermaid or drown. While the Chief of the Merpeople wanted to keep the young Veela which the headmaster wouldn't have objected to but it would have caused a major international incident for Fudge and his Ministry.

The chief of the Merpeople wasn't a fool and he certainly didn't want the redhead but he wasn't going to let him go without a better offer. So the headmaster promised to give the chief two witches. And he had already decided on the two lucky witches who he would volunteer; The-Know-It-All and a young blonde third year Ravenclaw that he didn't think anyone would miss and besides she could search the Black Lake for all the imaginary magical creatures she could find.

When the headmaster returned to the surface with his redhead minion, he cursed as the monitoring charms he had placed on the boy and The-Know-It-All that morning informed him that they had left the building er Hogwarts. Annoyed, he said to himself that the Chief will have to wait until they returned to the school. He then promptly put it to the back of his mind and forgot about it as he had already gotten what he wanted and besides the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards had more important things to do than keeping Merpeople happy. For all he cared, the Chief could try to claim his prise the next time they went swimming in the Black Lake.

The headmaster took his minion to the Slytherin Platform for professor Snape to check him over and give him a pain potion for his the missing half of his butt. The redhead opened his eyes to see all the silver and green trim on the black robes and he saw Snape foolishly waving his wand at him. He tried to reach for his own wand, but it wasn't in his pocket. Then he saw Crabbe was wearing a pair of underpants over his Slytherin robes like those stupid Muggle super heroes he had seen in Dean's dumb Muggle comics. He opened his mouth to say something nasty at Crabbe when he noticed the big red letter 'R' on the front of the underpants, and his rage exploded.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

The Second Task had been held at 9:30 in the morning and had been completed by the four champions before 10:00 am. So that very afternoon, Madam Maxime with Gabrielle's parents and delegation of very important officials from the French Ministry of Magic and the ICW. (That's the International Confederation of Wizards and not the other Scottish ICW, the Insane Championship Wrestling, a Scottish wrestling promotion based in Glasgow. But with Dumbledore and Soggy Molly involved it would be hard to tell the difference.) Along with Professor McGonagall who was there to protect Harry's best interest. They all arrived to attended the Post Second Task Meeting in the headmaster's office so they could lodge an official protest. Sadly they found the start of the major international incident when Molly quietly protested (her terms) that the foolish boy (Potter) had rescued the wrong hostage. She was supported by her Icky Ronniekins who wanted to loudly complain about his former best mate who had abandoned him at the bottom of the Black Lake, while Karkaroff agreed and launched his own additional protest in support as he claimed that the boy had stolen Viktor's hostage. While Viktor was nowhere to be seen as he didn't want any part of this stupidity. Neither did Professor Snape and Dumbledore only had Soggy Molly and Ronniekins to support and back him up as he tried to calm things down by blaming everything on the boy for not following his clear instructions. Then he tried to penalise him and take away all of his points which the kitty would never let happen. Gabrielle's parents wanted to roast the old fool alive for endangering their little daughter. Madam Maxime launched her own protest against the manipulative old fool for putting a young Veela at risk and offered to give Harry and Hermione sanctuary at Beauxbatons as a reward for saving Fleur's little sister. But the headmaster and Molly would never allow the boy to leave the country. As you can read from this long single convoluted paragraph, it would be easy for you to imagine that they were all screaming at each other at the same time and from there it all went downhill and Professor McGonagall, AKA Vengeful Kitty, dealt with the fools in her own indomitable feline style.

But Harry and Hermione had already left on the Dobby Express to see Hermione's worried parents and missed all the fun until Kreacher popped in to give them Lord Black's report and an update of the situation. He very cheerfully reported that.

"The Demented Blibbering Humdinger, the Death Eater Karkaroff, the red harridan, the red harridan's Umgubular Slashkilter, an obnoxious pink toad and numerous pompous Ministry officials are all suffering from a painful shredded posterior and would be unavailable for a week."

"Oh, is that the good news?" Emma very cheekily asked after the elf's colourful descriptions as she wanted her own opportunity to express herself to the headmaster. While Harry and Hermione looked at Luna who had a beaming smile, and wonder what other secret creatures codes had Luna taught the ancient elf?

Kreacher nodded as he continued. "The French Headmistress has offered the Great Harry Potter and his Hermione sanctuary at Beauxbatons for saving the little Veela, but the Humdinger and the red harridan vehemently refused to let the Great Harry Potter to leave the country."

Dan and Emma looked at each other. "We should seriously consider that as the manipulations of the headmaster are getting worse."

Harry and Hermione nodded in agreement.

"Who is this red harridan?" Emma asked angrily.

"Mrs Molly Weasley." Harry answered. "She is the Umgubular Slashkilter, er, Ronald's mother. The headmaster brought her to school to act has my official family for the second task. I didn't know the headmaster would do that as Ronald still hates our guts."

"Oh?" Emma said. "We better start making plans for a holiday in France this summer."

"Yes, dear."

"And Luna and Neville will be included if they wish to come." Emma said as Neville and Luna smiled and nodded. They didn't want to be left behind with the Demented Blibbering Humdinger running around.

"Lord Black said that would wise and the Vengeful Kitty has banned the red harridan from the school." Kreacher continued. "Unfortunately, the Great Harry Potter's points have been reduced to half while the blonde witch is in third place with the Hufflepuff second and the Bulgarian in first place."

Hermione was annoyed at the headmaster's petty actions, but Harry said. "I don't care about the points. I never wanted to be in this mad Tournament, far less to win it. But I will do anything I can to ensure everyone can endure the manipulations of the headmaster and survive the Tri-Wizard Tournament unharmed.

Harry was also very happy that Professor McGonagall had his back while Hermione suspected that the Vengeful Kitty was having way too much fun.

- Harry Potter, I will never make her cry again. -

Thank you for reading.