Hello everyone! Welcome to the final chapter of Pranking The Tournament! There is a time for speeches and this is not it; enjoy the chapter!
"Come on, Harry, get up! You're going to be late to the feast if you don't get out of bed!"
Harry groaned as the light hit her eyes. "Five more minutes, Luna!" she whined, pulling the blanket back over her head.
The blonde frowned. "You've been napping for three hours already! If you don't get up right now, the nargles are going to get you!" Harry merely rolled over. Luna grinned impishly before levitating some water over Harry's head. She stifled a giggle then cancel the spell, drenching the bed and the girl in it. Harry shrieked and jolted upright, the cold water forcibly dragging her away from dreamland and into the real world.
"I warned you, big sister," Luna said innocently. "The nargles are not to be trifled with! You should go take a shower before you catch a cold."
Harry glared at her. "You little brat!" She lunged forward to try and grab her little sister, but got tangled up in her sheets instead.
Luna laughed as she raced towards the door. "See you at your victory feast!" she teased. She closed the door behind her and skipped her way to the Great Hall.
Scowling, Harry sneezed before heading inside the bathroom, shrugging off her drenched nightgown on her way, trusting Dobby to clean it for her and pack it with the rest of her things. "Grr, if I actually catch a cold, I am going to be so mad at her!" Harry fumed as she turned on the hot water. "I'll pick up a Pepper-Up Potion from Madam Pomfrey on my way to the feast, just to be safe," she decided.
After drying herself off, Harry brushed her hair then used a cute sky blue headband to hold her bangs back (ever since the madness of the third task, she'd been proudly displaying her unblemished forehead for the world to see). She then applied a little makeup the way Lavender had taught her before before putting on her deliciously ironic lightning bolt earrings and slipping into her Salem uniform. While she normally wouldn't go through the trouble, she wanted to look her best for her victory party.
Once Harry was fully satisfied with her appearance, she smiled and took one last look around the suite that had been her home for nearly the entire school year. Come next September, she'd be living in the girls' dorm with Hermione and the other Gryffindor girls. Professor McGonagall had spoken to the others a few days ago and they all said they were perfectly okay with it. Unfortunately, Luna would have to go back to living in Ravenclaw tower, but Harry wasn't too worried. Her little sister wasn't the same timid waif she'd been when they'd first met anymore. Plus, she was fairly certain 'the nargles' were far too terrified of her nowadays to even think about messing with her little sister anymore. The depth of her fellow students' knowledge regarding her trip to the graveyard was a mystery to her, but she knew they were all at least aware that she'd fought and captured both the Dark Lord and one of his Death Eaters before surviving the Killing Curse again. As a side note, her status as a 'real' girl had spread throughout the entire school within a day of the Third Task. The Hogwarts' rumor mill never failed to amaze and terrify.
On her way down to the feast, Harry thought back on the fates of Voldemort, Crouch Jr., and Pettigrew. Three days after the third task, Rita Skeeter had released a very detailed article on the culmination of the Triwizard Tournament. Due to public outrage, Pettigrew and Crouch Jr. had both been given the Dementor's Kiss, despite Dumbledore's protests. As for Voldemort himself, the public story was that he was being kept under surveillance 24/7 in an undisclosed location while the Ministry's best and brightest tried to figure out how he'd survived that night in Godric's Hollow. Harry had come out of the article smelling of sunshine and rainbows, while Fudge, Dumbledore, and everyone else in charge of the Triwizard Tournament were in the public's metaphorical doghouse.
The truth about Voldemort, Harry knew, was that Amelia Bones had immediately ordered her most trusted aurors to hunt down the Dark Lord's horcruxes after Harry had told her all about them during their meeting after the third task. Amelia had offered to let Harry be the one to toss the tosser through the veil once all his soul containers were destroyed, but Harry had declined and told Amelia she could have that honor instead. Rita Skeeter had somehow managed to learn the truth about Voldemort's horcruxes and Amelia's literal witch hunt for them, despite the ironclad secrecy protecting the truth. However, the scandalmonger had been suitably intimidated into staying silent for once by the Iron Lady of Magical Britain when she threatened to hang the reporter by her infamous Quick-Quotes-Quill if so much as a single word about the vile soul magic made its way into the Daily Prophet.
The sight of the Great Hall drew Harry back into the present. As she stepped inside, all noise immediately died off as everyone turned to stare at her. Harry blushed at the attention, still not used to it despite the past four years, and scurried over to the Gryffindor table where she plopped down next to Hermione.
Once Harry was seated, Dumbledore stood up to speak before conversation could pick back up again. "The end of another year," he said wistfully. "And what a year it has been! I would like to inform you all, before we present our young victor with their due rewards and become befuddled by the rather excellent feast, that every guest here tonight is welcome back at Hogwarts at any time." His eye twinkle was running on overdrive as he swept his gaze over the foreign students. "The Triwizard Tournament was formed to create unity and understanding between the witches and wizards of our magical schools three. I sincerely urge you all to hold fast to the bonds of friendship you have made this year. Love, after all, is the greatest magic there is."
Dumbledore paused to smile serenely at his audience. "This year's tournament has, admittedly, been most unusual. However, our four champions all competed valiantly, and I would like to propose a toast. To the Triwizard Champions!" He lifted his goblet into the air.
"TO THE TRIWIZARD CHAMPIONS!" the Great Hall echoed.
"Of course," Dumbledore continued. "There can be but one winner in any competition. Only one champion rose above the rest and claimed victory, one thousand galleons, and eternal glory from inside the depths of the maze!" With a theatrical flick of his wand, the Triwizard cup and a sack of gold came zooming out from behind the Staff table to hover at his side. "I would like to invite… the winner… of this year's Triwizard Tournament… to claim their prize!" The headmaster paused for dramatic effect then gestured to the Gryffindor table. "Harry James Potter!"
The Great Hall erupted into chaos as people began screaming themselves hoarse. However, after a few minutes, they all quieted down as they realized there was a problem. Harry wasn't moving; she remained firmly planted in her seat as a playful smile danced across her lips.
"Harry?" Dumbledore prompted.
The youngest champion waited until the noise level had died down completely before responding. "Oh, I'm sorry Headmaster, you haven't heard yet?" she asked innocently. At Dumbledore's bewildered frown, she giggled, eyes sparkling with mischief. "I thought you'd have known by now, Madam Bones told me about it two days ago. Apparently, the name on my magical birth registration was changed." A wave of confused murmurs rang through the hall, but they quieted quickly as she continued. "Nobody quite understands how it happened, since both my parents' magical signatures are recorded as the last ones to change it and it's still dated back before their passing, but regardless it's all very official. I am not Harry James Potter anymore; legally and magically speaking, I never was. My name… is Harriet Jane Potter."
Stunned silence filled the air. After a few moments, Dumbledore coughed awkwardly into his fist. "Er- yes, well… in that case, I would like to invite Harriet Jane Potter to come up and claim her prize," he said hurriedly, and with far less showboating.
Harry grinned and rested her head on her palm. "Honestly Headmaster, 'Harriet' is such a mouthful. I insist you just call me Harry."
Dumbledore gave her a tired look. "Very well then. Harry, please come up and take the cup."
Harry giggled and smiled sweetly at him as she made her way up the stage, the majority of the Great Hall still trying to process what she'd just said. However, something caught her eye midway that caused her to stop. Her victory banners were displaying the Hogwarts' crest. Huffing her cheeks, she drew her wand and Transfigured them into the emblem for Salem Witches' Academy. Smiling again, she put her wand away and primly continued her walk towards the dias.
This was finally too much for a certain pair of twins to handle. Fred and George burst into hearty guffaws, and were soon joined by the uncontrollable giggling of Luna Lovegood. Next was Hermione Granger, whose deep, full-belly laughter surprised all who knew her. Like a chain of dominos, students started joining in the laughter one after the other. Pretty soon, the entire hall sounded like a madhouse, with all of the students- and the majority of the professors- cackling and pounding on the tables. Dumbledore looked extraordinarily put out though.
It took several minutes for the laughter to finally die down, and by that point Harry had already reached the platform and was smiling amusedly at the headmaster, who in turn was frowning at her while stroking his beard. Once it was quiet enough, the ancient wizard gestured towards the cup. Harry smiled angelically before swiping it and the sack of gold from the air. She then put the sack of gold in the cup, turned to the crowd, and lifted the trophy high above her head.
A chant- started by the Weasleys Twins, no doubt- echoed through the chamber, steadily rising in volume as it carried on. "HARR-I-ET! HARR-I-ET! HARR-I-ET!" Harry grinned as, for once, she enjoyed the attention. She had never been comfortable with her fame from being the Boy-Who-Lived, or rather the Girl-Who-Lived now. But this? She'd been pitted against three of-age witches and wizards, the best that Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang had to offer, people who'd lived and breathed the magical world their entire lives, while she'd only learned about the existence of magic a scant four years ago. And yet, despite all that working against her, she'd won. Nobody could say she was just a famous name anymore. She'd damn well earned her Triwizard win, and she was proud of it.
Locating Cedric, Fleur, and Viktor from the throng of people, Harry grinned at each of them and they smiled back. Making her way back to her seat, Harry placed the cup on the table in front of her.
After casting several Cannon Blast Charms to regain order, Dumbledore told them all to tuck in and enjoy the feast. The noise level quickly returned to its previous state as people started chatting and following his suggestion with gusto.
Two helpings of treacle tart later, Harry looked up from her plate to see the Weasley Twins imitating Dumbledore's nonplussed expression for the crowd's amusement. "Oi! Gred, Forge, c'mere!" she called out. The twins grinned when they saw her waving them over. They bowed comedically low.
"Love the new name, by the way."
"Although I seem to recall-"
"You telling us earlier-"
"To never call you that."
"Harriet?" they finished as one.
Harry laughed, brushing her hair out of her face. "What are you talking about, you miscreants? I've always been Harriet, and I challenge you to find any legal proof otherwise!"
The twins broke out into mirror grins. "Of course-"
"Old age, you know?"
"Memory's not quite what it used to be, I'm afraid."
The twins adopted confused looks.
"At least, we don't think it is…"
"We can't quite remember anymore."
"So!" the twins continued.
"How can we help you-"
Resting her chin in her palm, Harry observed the twins for a moment before cutting straight to the chase. "You two want to open a joke shop one day, right? Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes, was it?"
The twins sighed wistfully. "Yeah-"
"It's our dream-"
"But we don't have the money for it."
"Bagmoron won't give us what he owes us-"
"From our bet at The World Cup."
"He won't even return what we gave him-"
"The bloody wanker!"
"Hmm…" Harry reached inside the Triwizard cup, pulled out the sack of gold, and tossed it to them. "A thousand galleons, miscreants. It's all yours! Just give me a third of the shares once you boys hit it big. Deal?" She grinned at their poleaxed expressions. "Close your mouths before you let in wrackspurts," she teased.
"Harry, a-are you serious?" George asked, voice trembling slightly.
"A thousand galleons is a lot of money," Fred pointed out, sounding equally overwhelmed.
Harry waved her hand dismissively. "I've got enough in Gringotts to get me through; I'll be fine. Plus, once WWW really gets going, I'll probably make it all back- and more- in a couple of months, at most. Besides, you two deserve a shot at your dream."
Fred and George had a quick non-verbal conversation that ended with them nodding simultaneously. They immediately fell to their knees and began bowing down to her while singing her increasingly elaborate praises.
"She's an angel!"
"Nay! A goddess!"
"We're not worthy!"
"Hear ye! Hear ye! Let all present know of her greatness!"
"Her wisdom and kindness are beyond mortal comprehension!"
"We are but worms basking in the glow of a glorious sunrise!"
"The sun itself is a mere candle compared to the radiant glow of her beauty!"
"I think I'm in love!"
"Okay, that's enough!" Harry shrieked, putting her hands over their mouths. Her entire face was coated scarlet, and the sound of people busting a gut all around her didn't help. "Knock it off or I'm taking my money back!" she hissed. She could feel their unrepentant smirks on her hands. Pulling back, the twins slowly got back to their feet.
Harry smiled hesitantly. "Hey, you guys gave me my dad's map back last year, and I don't have much to remember him by. It's the least I can do."
It took a full two minutes and forty three seconds for the twins' brains to process that information and reboot. When they finally did, they lifted Harry onto their shoulders and spun around in circles.
"O' joyous day!"
"The prodigal daughter has returned!"
"Praise be unto the Marauders!"
"I think I really am in love!"
"Put me down, you prats!" Harry squealed, slapping them on the heads. The twins ignored her and continued dancing, singing their mother's favorite Celestina Warbeck love song horribly off-tune.
It was at that moment, Sirius Black strode into the Great Hall. He still looked skinny and underfed, but he no longer held the mangy demeanor or the crazed look in his eyes that had haunted him since he broke out of Azkaban. With impeccable clothes, a styled beard, and slicked back hair, he looked every bit the Pureblood Lord he was. As a result, nobody in the hall recognized him as the man who'd been the most wanted criminal in Magical Britain less than a week ago.
Scanning the room for his goddaughter, he identified her as the blushing girl hoisted on a pair of dancing redheaded boys' shoulders, screaming bloody murder at them. He chuckled as memories from his own school days of a near identical redhead doing something very similar came to mind. "Pup!" he called out, waving a hand. The three teens snapped their necks around to see who had called.
Harry's face lit up at the sight of her godfather. "Padfoot!" she cried. Taking advantage of the twins' momentary distraction, she wiggled free and sprinted towards the man. Sirius caught her as she jumped at him and spun her around, the sound of her delighted laughter putting him more at ease then all the potions they'd given him at St. Mungo's after his trial.
"Hey there, pup! Having fun?" he asked.
Harry nodded eagerly. "Of course! But what are you doing here?"
Sirius quirked an eyebrow. "You didn't think I was gonna miss my goddaughter's 'I-kicked-arse' party now that I'm a free man, did you?"
Harry blushed, then beamed at him and hugged him tighter. "I'm so glad you're here! Come on, I need to introduce you to my friends!" Grabbing his hand, she dragged him over to the Gryffindor table. Introducing 'Sirius Black' as her godfather- especially when the man had only been declared innocent a few days ago, and most of the country still thought he was a deranged, psychotic murderer- caused a bit of a panic attack for the surrounding students, but they got over it quickly. Seeing Harry Potter- the person he was supposedly after- clearly overjoyed to see him, put most of their fears to rest. He was also really funny, which definitely helped his case.
Over the course of dinner, Sirius explained how he had been cleared of all charges after testifying under Veritaserum, and had been given compensation by the ministry for wrongful imprisonment. He had then applied for guardianship rights over Harry, and the ministry had practically bent over backwards to sign off on it. Sirius spent dessert explaining to Harry, in great detail, all the places he had planned for them to travel to over the summer. Their vacation was scheduled to overlap with some of the Lovegoods' expeditions, so they'd be spending time with Luna and her father for a good three weeks. Both Harry and Luna hugged him after hearing that.
The last two weeks of summer were set aside for them to get settled into their new home. Coincidentally, the place Sirius had bought was only a few blocks away from Hermione's. This time it was Hermione who joined Harry in hugging him, and Harry even gave her dogfather a shy kiss on the cheek to go along with her thank you. The beaming smile that put on Sirius' face remained there for the rest of the night.
The feast carried on long past curfew. When Dumbledore finally declared it to be over, the multitude of youngsters trodged on up to their respective dormitories. As Harry's head hit her pillow that night, her last thought before falling asleep was that her 'prank' was the best idea she'd ever come up with.
"Who's sending you a letter now of all times?"
Looking up from the regal owl she'd been petting- who'd just flown in through an open window in their compartment on the Hogwarts Express to deliver a very official looking letter mere moments ago- Harry grinned at her friend. "I don't know, Susan. I haven't opened it yet," she teased, holding up the sealed envelope.
Susan huffed as Hannah giggled. "Well open it, then!" she demanded.
With a lazy grin, Harry peeled the envelope open, deliberately moving as slowly as possible just to rile Susan up, before finally taking out the letter. The missive was written on actual paper, not parchment, which instantly piqued Harry's curiosity. Unfolding it, she began to read.
Dear Harriet Jane Potter,
My name is Anastasia Meadows and I am the Principal- what you would call Headmaster- of Salem Witches' Academy.
On behalf of Salem Witches' Academy, I would like to thank you, Miss Potter. I am well aware of the 'selection malfunction' that occured at the start of the Triwizard Tournament. While I have no doubt that the man who entered your name under our school intended for it to be an insult, and that your reaction was not decided on for altruistic purposes, your actions have brought much notice to SWA this past year. Therefore, regardless of intent, we deeply thank you.
I would like to offer you an official place in our school, Miss Potter. I am aware that you have lived in Britain your whole life, and have been enrolled in Hogwarts for the last several years. However, given what has been imposed upon you, should you wish to try something new- a change in scenery, as it were- we would be honored to have you here at Salem, for however long you desire. If you would like to know more about SWA, I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
I would like to invite you for an all-expenses-paid trip to Salem Witches' Academy so that you can be shown around the campus, introduced to our current students, and meet our faculty. I'm sure you'd enjoy opportunities to make new friends, and experience the magical community we have to offer. I myself would like to meet the skilled young lady who won the prestigious Triwizard Tournament for our school at the tender age of 14.
The semester begins- like Hogwarts- on September 1st, so there's no need for you to rush a decision. Any letter addressed to either 'Anastasia Meadows' or 'Principal Meadows' will always find me. I wish you a lovely summer, dear, and I do hope to hear from you soon.
Principal of Salem Witches' Academy
Harry had to read the letter again, just to make sure it was real. She then proceeded to read it a third time. By that point, her friends were growing impatient.
"Well, Harry? What does it say?" Susan asked before she could get started on round four.
With a shaky grin, Harry pointed at the letter. "I've just been invited to Salem Witches' Academy next year," she said weakly.
Harry rubbed her ears. "Oww! No need to shout, you four!"
"You've been invited to Salem Witches' Academy?" Hermione asked, scrutinizing her best friend's face for any hint of deception.
Harry held out the letter. "Here, read it yourself," she offered. "It's from Principal Meadows. She also wants to meet me in person to thank me for the positive publicity I've apparently generated for SWA this year, regardless of my decision." Hermione snatched up the letter and her eyes immediately began roaming over the text.
"Are you gonna go?" Susan pressed.
Harry twirled her hair around her finger. "I don't know. I think I'll at least check it out. Be rude not to."
"But why would you want to leave Hogwarts?" Hannah asked incredulously.
Harry looked at her pityingly. "Hannah, I love you dearly, but you live in a bubble. I've told you what my life in Hogwarts has been like, haven't I? And Magical Britain is so insulated from the rest of the world. I want to try new things, explore a little! I might go to Salem, I might not, but it won't hurt to see what it's like."
Hermione eyed her best friend approvingly, having already finished reading the letter twice. "That's very mature of you, Harry."
Harry pouted. "Why do you sound so surprised by that?"
"Well it is you," Hermione reasoned, smiling innocently. Harry rolled her eyes and gave her best friend a playful shove, a smirk tugging at her lips.
"Hey big sister, do you think it'll be cold in Salem? Should we pack jackets?" Luna asked, putting a finger on her chin.
Harry shrugged. "Maybe, we'll ask Padfoot when we get off the train."
"Bet you never expected all this to happen when you first took that potion, did you Harry?" Susan asked, grinning widely.
Harry giggled. "Most definitely not! But I'm really glad I did." She smiled brightly. Harriet Jane Potter was a very happy witch.
And that's a wrap! Whew, can't believe this story is finally over. I'm so grateful to all of you wonderful readers out there who've supported me along the way. Thank you all so much, you all are the best!
When I first started this story I had meant for it to just be a one-shot. That's how I planned out the plot line. Then I actually started writing it and it kind of just wrote itself. This story is my first completed, multi chaptered story and I can't even begin to describe just how awesome that makes me feel! If you enjoyed Pranking The Tournament though please leave me a review, they're what keep me alive. If you didn't enjoy Pranking The Tournament then why the hell are you still reading it after all this time?
I know a lot of you want me to continue this on to fifth year, but I don't have any plans to. Like I said, this was originally meant to be a one-shot so I don't have any plot outlined to continue it with. I've also got other stories I'm writing that I'd rather focus on then thinking up another plot line for a story that's already finished. Maybe one day way into the future after I've finished writing all the other stories I have planned I'll think of something, maybe a quick little blurb of Harry visiting Salem, but for now I won't be continuing it as I want to focus on newer ideas.
Once again, please don't forget to leave a review. This is Gardevoir687 saying ciao one last time!