Daring, Nerve, and Chivalry
Full Summary: The Goblet of Fire is enchanted to only select Champions who are of age, but is tricked into choosing fourteen year old Harry Potter. To resolve this internal conflict, the Goblet ages him to seventeen, gifting him the body, knowledge and maturity of a young adult. This older Harry makes friends with a mysterious young woman from Durmstrang, and her secrets could either save him or endanger his life. Meanwhile, in a hidden room on the Seventh Floor, Harry meets an ancestor to help prepare him for the conflicts to come.
A/N: So this one's going to be an epic length monster. Fourth Year is just the beginning. There will be pairings, but I don't want to spoil it, so for now you'll just have to wait and see. Your only hint is that any OC that appears in this fic will be transient or unimportant. Updates will probably be infrequent and unpredictable, but I'll try my hardest to actually finish a fic (for once). I hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN HARRY POTTER
"Do you really think Angelina's got a shot?"
Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, shrugged his shoulders noncommittally. Ron had been obsessed with the Tri-Wizard Tournament for over a month now, and honestly Harry was exasperated with the entire thing. The only time he really thought about the upcoming event was to blame it for the lack of Quidditch.
The Tri-Wizard Tournament was a newly reinstated international event involving the three largest magical schools in Europe: Beauxbatons, located somewhere in southern France, Durmstrang, an Eastern European school with quite the nasty reputation, and of course Harry's own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each of the three schools would put forward three Tasks, meaning that the three Champions would compete in nine different life threatening situations throughout the course of the year. Meanwhile, the rest of the student body would go about their normal days; their only duty was to show up and watch.
For a brief moment after Professor Dumbledore announced that the school would be hosting the tournament, Harry had allowed himself to daydream about being Hogwarts' Champion. He'd stood in the middle of the an arena, a massive cup held above his head, as people chanted his name. That's when the daydream turned sour. Glory? Fame? Fortune? Harry already had those things, and hated the attention they brought. He hadn't had much time to sulk, however, for the Daily Prophet had reported dark news the following day.
Bellatrix Lestrange had been broken out of Azkaban. No one knew how, or who had done it, but most blamed it on Sirius Black. While Harry and his friends knew that Sirius would never do such a thing, the Daily Prophet and many government officials had announced that the manhunt for the 'Black Cousins' would be intense and unforgiving. Harry had written to his godfather, imploring him to stay away from England no matter what, but he'd yet to receive a reply.
Then the other schools had arrived. Harry hadn't given either of them much thought. Sure, it was cool to see Victor Krum, a prodigal Seeker, in person. Sure, several of the foreign witches were extremely attractive. At the end of the day, however, it didn't really matter. Bellatrix was out there, no doubt working towards her master's resurrection alongside Peter Pettigrew. Harry had no time to think about gorgeous, silver-haired witches or Quidditch. He needed to get stronger, better, and he needed to do it fast. It was only a matter of time before Voldemort returned, and Harry would definitely be the Dark Lord's first intended victim.
"Harry?" Hermione Granger's hand on his shoulder shook the young wizard from his musing. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, sorry," Harry replied, realizing that he was in the Great Hall sitting at the Gryffindor table. He'd mindlessly followed his friends to their customary position at the foot of the table, as far away from the glaring eyes of Severus Snape as possible. Looking down, he saw a half eaten plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Hermione frowned. "You haven't said anything at all for almost an hour."
"Just worried about Snuffles," Harry said.
Ron leaned in from Harry's left, jostling his arm. "You reckon he's come back?"
"I hope not," the Potter scion sighed. "But with Bella still out there..."
"It'll be okay," Hermione said firmly. "Snuffles can take care of himself."
"I guess," Harry said, unconvinced. Sirius had taken a lot of punishment in Azkaban. He knew first hand how terrible the Dementors were; their terrible powers causing him to faint from fear and grief every time they came near.
Without warning, the dishes of food cleared away from the tables as the Headmaster and his colleagues stood. The entire hall slowly descended into silence, save for Argus Filch's shuffling steps as he carried the Goblet of Fire towards the head table. Harry briefly felt sorry for the bitter man. He was far too old and weary to be heaving such an enormous object around.
The caretaker heavily dropped the Goblet on an ornate, conjured table in front of Dumbledore. The Headmaster thanked Filch before addressing the entire hall. "Ladies and gentlemen, students from across Europe, it appears that the Goblet of Fire is ready to choose the Champions!" He waited for the excited mutterings to die down before continuing. "If your name is called, please enter the door behind me and wait for myself and the other judges to give you instructions regarding the First Task." Harry looked sharply at the innocent looking wooden door. Despite himself, he couldn't help but be grateful that he wouldn't have to compete in this wretched tournament. He'd had enough life or death situations to last a life time.
The flames inside the fiery Goblet grew in size, changing in color to a bright, sky blue. For a brief moment, Harry imagined one of the sparks or tongues of flame catching Albus Dumbledore's beard and setting the old man's entire head alight. Fighting back a grin, he watched the fire grow ever higher, almost reaching the ceiling before dying down to its original height and color. Years of being Gryffindor's star Seeker let his sharp eyes catch a small scrap of paper fluttering down to be snagged by Dumbledore's outstretched hand. Looking to the Beauxbatons contingent sitting at the Ravenclaw table, Dumbledore shouted, "The Champion for Beauxbatons Academy of is..." the ancient wizard paused for dramatic effect. "Fleur Delacour!"
Polite applause rippled throughout the Great Hall, though Harry could tell that the other Beauxbatons students were unhappy. One boy was left sobbing horribly into his hands while his neighbor looked on in shock and disgust. A gorgeous, silver-haired young woman that had caught Ron's attention the night before stood primly, a wide smile adorning her perfect face. Her smile alone was enough to make Harry's heart wrench in his chest. "That girl is not normal," Hermione muttered. Harry nodded his head in agreement. Ron's eyes never left the pretty witch until she disappeared through the door behind the head table. "Look at all the boys making fools of themselves," she snarled.
"No surprises there!" Ron shouted into Harry's ear, causing him to wince. He didn't understand his friend's excitement. The beautiful witch was obviously way out of both their leagues; there was no point for the redhead to get his hopes up. Harry turned his attention back to the Goblet, which was once again shooting off violent sparks. Its flames this time were a rainbow of colors, shifting rapidly between red, blue, yellow, and green, before shooting toward the ceiling in an amalgam of all four. The entire hall watched the slip of paper flutter casually towards the Headmaster. Even Harry was leaning forward in his seat, wondering who would be chosen. "The Champion for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is..." The headmaster paused for much longer this time, a twinkle in his eye as he surveyed the entire hall before coming to rest on the Hufflepuff table. "Cedric Diggory!"
The Hufflepuffs lost their minds. As one, the entire House was on its feet, clambering to their Champion while shouting their approval. One small Second Year had climbed atop the table, running its length, to launch herself at Cedric, bawling her eyes out on his robes. Their was polite applause from much of the rest of the Hall, except Slytherin, of course. Cedric, after extricating himself from his housemates, grinned brightly as he passed by Dumbledore and through the door beyond.
The Hufflepuffs finally quieted down once the Goblet started roaring higher. It bathed the Headmaster's face in a deep, dark, unnatural crimson that precisely matched the Durmstrang students' uniforms. Once again, the fire flashed towards the ceiling before returning to a merry orange and simmering in the Goblet's basin.
Dumbledore snatched the final piece of parchment from the air. "The Champion for the Durmstrang Institute is... Lyra Noir!" More polite applause echoed from the Hogwarts and Beauxbatons students, though the Durmstrang contingent sat in silence at the Slytherin table. Harry couldn't really blame them. Everyone had just assumed that Victor Krum would be chosen as Durmstrang's Champion. Then again, Harry knew first hand that skill with a broom didn't necessarily equate to skill with a wand.
All ruminations of Victor Krum were driven from his mind when a young woman stood, making her way towards the head table. She was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. Let everyone else drool over Fleur Delacour's silver, ethereal beauty. Lyra's ebony locks cascaded wildly down her back, the ends brushing her hips. Full lips, dyed a dark crimson, complimented shadowed eyes with impossibly long lashes. The air around her positively crackled with danger and excitement. She caught him staring, her violet eyes meeting his for the briefest of moments, and Harry knew that no woman could ever compare to this goddess. She gave him a wicked smile that left him blushing madly, then turned to follow the other Champions. Harry couldn't help but watch her walk away.
"Honestly, Harry!" Hermione chided beside him. "You'd think you'd never seen a woman before!"
"What?" Harry replied numbly, his thoughts still resting on the raven-haired beauty.
"Boys!" Hermione muttered quietly, annoyed at her friend's antics.
"We have our Champions!" Dumbledore called. "Lyra Noir, Fleur Delacour, and Cedric Diggory!" The Hufflepuff table exploded into another round of cheers. "Your three Champions will compete in Nine Tasks of knowledge, wit, bravery, and skill throughout the course of the year. You won't have to wait long; the First task will commence in two weeks on Novem..." The Headmaster trailed off, frowning. The Goblet of Fire had re-lit itself, its flames a mixture of crimson and gold. The entire hall was immersed in whispered muttering as the flames grew ever higher. Harry couldn't help but notice that the fire seemed uncontrolled, almost wild this time. The Goblet was sputtering and sparking with abandon, shaking heavily on the table. With a loud grating sound, a thin crack ran across the ancient artifact from cup to base.
For a fourth time, the flames shot toward the ceiling, rebounding off the enchanted stone before shooting towards the Gryffindor table. Harry was too stunned to dodge the crimson and gold flames as they surrounded him. Harry could see Ron and Hermione staring at him with worry from beyond the circle of fire, joined quickly by Dumbledore and the rest of the Gryffindors. The headmaster's face was lined with concern, his eyes no longer twinkling. Without warning, the ring collapsed upon Harry.
Pain. So much pain. Harry couldn't think, couldn't feel anything beyond the burning pain that filled his entire body. Shouting, he fell to the ground, not even feeling the hard stone beneath him as he writhed on the floor. The flames were digging into his skin, burning into his mind... into his soul. Eventually, it was too much, and Harry descended into the welcoming, numbing feeling of darkness. The last thing he saw before succumbing to unconsciousness's tender embrace was a small slip of parchment twirling its way towards him.
"Madame Pomfrey! He's waking up!"
Harry awoke slowly to the sound of Hermione's excited shouts. They thundered in his ears, causing his already aching head to throb in protest. Wincing, he opened his eyes, immediately shutting them again as the evening sun pierced through his head like a lance. Everything hurt, from his head to his toes. Every inch of skin, every bone, every muscle in his body ached, though they were mostly drowned out by the pounding in his skull.
"Mister Potter," Madame Pomfrey's calming voice said softly beside him. "Can you hear me?"
"Yeah," Harry croaked, regretting the decision to speak. His voice was raw, even breathing was an exercise in masochism. "Water?"
"Aguamenti," came the reply. He heard water being poured into a glass, then felt that glass pushed into his hand. Slowly, painfully, he brought the glass to his lips. The cool, refreshing water helped soothe his sore throat, giving him the courage to once again open his eyes.
Blinded once again by the evening sun streaking through the open window across the room, Harry raised one hand to block the offending rays of light. Madame Pomfrey evidently understood his predicament, waving her wand and causing the window's shutters to snap shut with a bang. "Thanks."
"It's no problem, Mister Potter. How are you feeling?"
The matron frowned. "I imagine it does. Let me get something to help relieve the pain." She bustled over to a nearby cabinet, rummaging through it before returning with a goblet full of a dark red liquid. "Drink up. The Headmaster will be here shortly."
Harry complied, gulping down the foul tasting liquid. Almost immediately, the pain lancing through his body faded, though it didn't disappear entirely. "What... what happened?" He was still groggy.
"What do you remember, Harry?" Hermione piped up from behind Madame Pomfrey. The older woman seemed perturbed by her interruption, but still nodded for the young man to answer the question.
"I... remember the Goblet." His voice sounded different, deeper. "Then Beauxbatons's Champion... I can't remember her name."
"Fleur Delacour," his friend supplied. "Ron thinks she's part Veela."
"Veela? I guess..." Harry recalled the beautiful girl, flushing slightly. "Then Diggory. The 'Puffs were really happy."
Madame Pomfrey smirked. "We still are," she said haughtily. Harry couldn't help but let out a painful chuckle.
"Then... Lyra. Lyra Noir." Harry blushed furiously at the thought of the beautiful girl. Though he'd only seen her for a moment, he could still vividly remember her dark hair and violet eyes.
"Honestly!" Hermione scoffed. "You're as bad as Ron!"
Harry couldn't bring himself to deny the comparison. "Then... the Goblet attacked me," Harry said, frowning. "It went wild. Merlin's beard! The fire!" Fumbling for his glasses, he frantically searched his arms for signs of burns. Though there were no signs of scarring, burns or otherwise, what he saw caused him to worry far more. His arms looked different. They were bigger, more muscular, and much longer than he remembered. Confused, he looked to his feet. They were far further from his head than they should have been. "What the...?"
"Mister Potter, please remain calm," Madame Pomfrey ordered, placing a hand on his chest. Ignoring her, Harry shrugged her off, throwing the thin blanket to the floor. He was in someone else's body. That wasn't his broad chest gasping for air. It wasn't his legs stretching towards the end of the bed. Disregarding both Hermione's and Pomfrey's warnings, he stumbled to his feet, unable to miss the fact that he towered over them both. He'd been Hermione's height before the incident.
Frantically, he stumbled towards the nearby bathroom, tripping over his own feet. He fought down the nauseousness that threatened to overwhelm him. He reached for the door, yelping in pain as his too-long limbs caused him to jam his fingers.
"Mister Potter!" He could hear Madame Pomfrey calling him back, but he didn't care. He had to see. Finally fumbling the door open, he staggered to the mirror above the sink. Taking a deep breath, steeling himself for whatever he'd see, he gazed at his reflection.
It wasn't his face looking back at him. He could still see parts of himself, but they were different. He was older, for sure. His face had lost all traces of boyish youth, showing off angular cheek bones. The reflection's strong jawline was completely foreign, his dark brow sat heavily above his eyes. He looked almost exactly as his father had on his wedding day, though Harry's eyes were green. People had told him all his life that he had his mother's eyes, but now he knew that they were wrong. They shared the same emerald orbs, but his were shaped just as his father's had been. Harry ran a hand along his jaw. A week's worth of stubble shadowed his cheeks and chin.
"Mister Potter," Madame Pomfrey said softly from the doorway. "Please return to your bed."
"How long?" Harry asked, his voice shaking. "How long was I out?"
"Almost a week," she replied, causing Harry to shoot a disbelieving glance in her direction. "Six days, to be precise."
"There's no way." He shook his head, unable to comprehend what was going on. All the fight drained out of him as he leaned heavily against the sink. "I look like I'm in my late teens. People don't age four or five years in six days."
"These are... unusual circumstances," Madame Pomfrey replied, not unkindly. Harry allowed the matron to guide him back to his bed. Hermione gazed at him, concern written across her face. She didn't look any older, lending credence to Pomfrey's claim that he hadn't been unconscious for years. He gingerly sat on the edge of the bed, unable to ignore the fact that his feet reached the ground. A week ago they would have been left dangling in the air. "The Headmaster will be able to explain it to you much better than I can."
As if on cue, Albus Dumbledore chose that moment to enter the Hospital Wing. His blue eyes swept over the room, focusing on Harry. "Harry," he said kindly, his voice soft. "How are you feeling?"
"I don't know," the young man replied honestly. "Everything hurts. I feel different, and I look like a Seventh Year. It's a lot to take in." He looked up at the older man. "What happened to me?"
"Miss Granger, Madame Pomfrey, would you please give us a few minutes?" Dumbledore asked. Both women acquiesced, though the matron only did so with great reluctance. After they left, closing the door to the Hospital Wing behind them, the Headmaster turned back to its only patient. "First of all, Harry, I need to know: Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?"
Harry shook his head, almost offended. "No, sir."
Dumbledore nodded, stroking his beard. "I didn't think so. I wondered at first, but after having some time to consider it, I decided that it would be completely out of character. Professor Moody is investigating, but there aren't many leads."
"Do you think that Voldemort had anything to do with it?"
"I don't know," Dumbledore replied. "It doesn't seem like his style, honestly. Any plot to harm you via the tournament would be needlessly complicated. If he could infiltrate the castle with one of his followers, why not just have them kidnap or attack you themselves? Why go through all of the effort it would take to trick the Goblet of Fire?"
"I don't know," Harry replied, scratching at the stubble beneath his chin. It was extremely itchy. "But who else could have done it?"
"Though we can't rule out Voldemort's involvement, we can't place the blame on him or his followers without evidence," the Headmaster rebuked. "It could be any number of people for any number of reasons. Focusing on Voldemort could blind us to evidence of the true perpetrator, letting them go free."
"I guess," the young man shrugged. "So... what happened to me?"
Dumbledore sighed. "The Goblet of Fire is a very powerful, very ancient artifact. For centuries, it has been enchanted to only choose three students who are seventeen and older. Some unknown person managed to alter those enchantments very slightly, tricking the Goblet to believe that there were instead four schools instead of three, then casting an extremely powerful Confundus Charm to force it to accept a name of an underage student."
Harry nodded, easily understanding. "I thought the Age Line would prevent underage students from entering, not the Goblet itself."
"The Age Line was placed to protect students from the Goblet. If an underage student had attempted to place their name in, it would have burned them while rejecting their parchment. I had no desire to see the Weasley twins get scarred for life because they believed an Aging Potion would allow them to trick a powerful artifact."
"So whoever put my name in had to have been really powerful, too."
The wizened Headmaster nodded. "There are not many witches or wizards in Britain capable of such a feat. Bellatrix Lestrange is one of the more likely candidates."
Harry gulped. "I heard that she was crazy. That she was utterly deranged. Why wouldn't she have just attacked me?"
"Why indeed?" Dumbledore replied thoughtfully.
"But why did the Goblet attack me?" Harry asked, starting to get impatient. All of this speculation was interesting, but he needed answers. "Why am I older?"
"Ah, yes. My apologies. We assume that your name was the only submission for an unnamed fourth school, and that the Goblet was Confunded to allow your name to be submitted at all. In essence, it was forced to choose your name, though you were underage." Harry nodded, wishing the old man would get to the point. "However, such a thing went against centuries of powerful enchantments, causing several of them to conflict with each other."
"Keep in mind that this is all conjecture. On one hand, the Goblet had to choose a student for this unknown fourth school. On the other, it couldn't choose an underage student. Two of its most basic enchantments clashed against each other, which is likely the cause of the Goblet's more... enthusiastic final choice."
"That still doesn't explain why it made me seventeen," Harry said flatly.
"Doing so was the only avenue that the Goblet of Fire had to bring all of its conflicting enchantments back into harmony. If you were of age, then it could choose you without difficulty."
"How could it even age me in the first place?" Harry demanded. "I thought it was simply enchanted to choose names for the Tri-Wizard Tournament."
"The Goblet is an ancient, powerful artifact from an age long gone," Dumbledore replied patiently. "It predates the tournament, even Hogwarts itself. No one truly remembers its original purpose, and though its enchantments have been altered slightly over the years, there's not a soul alive that would be able to tell you what the Goblet of Fire is truly capable of." Harry frowned. Why would they use something when they had no clue what it did? "Furthermore," the Headmaster continued, "the Goblet was enchanted during the Age of Wonders using methods long lost. That's why we're able to adjust its abilities only very slightly, and even then we must be cautious. Wizards have been studying the Goblet and its like for nearly a millennia to unravel the secrets of such objects. There are very few artifacts from the Age of Wonders left; most have been lost or destroyed, but those that still exist are powerful beyond anything we create today. Your Invisibility Cloak is one."
Harry's eyes widened. "My invisibility cloak is that old?"
"Indeed," Dumbledore replied, smiling. "Your cloak is one of the most powerful artifacts to ever grace Britain's shores. The invisibility cloaks that you're able to find in a shop are vastly inferior, though still wildly expensive." The old man leaned back, stroking his beard thoughtfully. "They are woven from demiguise fur and enchanted with powerful Disillusionment Charms, making the wearer invisible to the naked eye. Spells such as Homenum Revelio will reveal the wearer to their enemies. Yours, on the other hand, is the Invisibility Cloak, able to mask not only your physical body, but even your magic and soul from detection. If the legends are true, even Death itself cannot find you beneath its folds."
"Wow," Harry replied, stunned. "That's pretty cool."
"Indeed," the Headmaster replied, his eyes twinkling. "Please exercise caution when revealing its true nature. Many would happily kill you without hesitation to get their hands on such a priceless artifact. It has more powers than even you know."
"All in due time, Harry." Dumbledore smiled. "It is up to you to discover the cloak's abilities."
Harry frowned as a sudden thought struck him. "If the cloak is what you say, how did you see me beneath it in my First Year?"
The Headmaster chuckled. "You were undetectable. The door and your footsteps were not."
Harry couldn't help but flush, embarrassed. He resolved to always cast a Silencing Charm when wearing it from now on. "Professor, what happens now? With the tournament?"
The twinkle disappeared from Dumbledore's eyes. "You must compete. To do otherwise would risk both your life and magic. The Goblet, upon choosing a name, created a binding magical contract that cannot be broken."
"How? I thought contracts had to be signed by both parties. The others 'signed' their side of the contract by putting their name in, right?" The Headmaster nodded, clearly unaware of where Harry's train of thought was going. "I'm sure that if the Goblet of Fire is as powerful as you say, it could detect anyone trying to forge someone else's name. If I didn't put my name in, how could I be bound to a magical contract?"
Dumbledore's eyes widened. Though the emotions were very swift, and very subtle, Harry could clearly see shock and suspicion flash across the old teacher's face. "How indeed? Perhaps someone was able to get a hold of your signature from an unrelated piece of parchment...?" The Headmaster stood, pacing at the foot of Harry's bed. A long moment passed before he turned back to Harry sharply. "Has anyone asked you for an autograph recently?" Harry was stunned. He'd never seen the professor like this. The grandfatherly air he normally possessed was gone, replaced by the powerful wizard standing before him.
The young man shook his head. "No. I don't go around signing autographs, Professor, despite what Snape thinks."
"Professor Snape, Harry," Dumbledore scolded, resuming his pacing. "What, exactly, have you signed your name on since term began? Think carefully."
Harry took a moment to consider the question. "Just homework."
"Nothing else? Not a doodle on a scratch of parchment, not in any of your books?"
The old man didn't reply for a long time, merely paced at the foot of the bed, stroking his beard absentmindedly. "You've given me a lot to consider, Harry. Thank you for bringing this to my attention." The Headmaster turned to leave, before addressing the young man. "I nearly forgot. You will be expected to attend the traditional Weighing of the Wands ceremony tomorrow at four o'clock in the Great Hall. The First Task will be held on the fourteenth of November. You will receive further instructions before then. You are, of course, excused from all classes in order to prepare for the arduous Tasks before you. Use your time wisely." With a nod, the Headmaster opened the door, showing both Hermione and Madame Pomfrey waiting in the hallway beyond.
"Professor!" Harry called after him. Dumbledore stopped, giving the young man his full attention. Harry tried to hide his vulnerability, but he didn't think he was successful. "Is there any way that I can go back to how I was? Can you undo what the Goblet did to me?"
Dumbledore's harsh gaze softened. "I will do my best. There's a chance that once the tournament is over, you will revert back to your old self. It's unlikely, though, and I implore you to not get your hopes up." Harry's heart sunk, his head dipping as he tried to blink away the tears in his eyes. Dumbledore placed a hand on his shoulder. "I will do everything I can. You have my word."
A/N: And there's Chapter One! Let me know what you think! Reviews are appreciated and help me get the gumption to write faster. And if you figure out the pairing... kindly leave it out of the reviews so you don't spoil it for everyone.