Hi everybody, I'm back with the newest update of this story. Hope you like it.
It was the evening, the students from first and second year were exhausted. They had done many tasks during the day and had tried to win as many points as possible for their schools. Not to mention the individual competition. Dinner had been great, what with the Great Hall being expanded to fit all the guests into it. The house tables had been replaced by smaller, round tables that could seat eight people each and many of the groups that had been set up over the day were now sitting together, while the older years mostly sat with their friends. They had come to watch several tasks, but as they didn't directly compete, they didn't really have as much interest as the first and second years.
Dinner had consisted of specialties from all the participating countries. There was bouillabaisse from France, souvlaki from Greece, Wiener Schnitzel from Germany and Shepard's Pie from England, next to many other tasty things. Harry had sat with his new friends and the group that had walked around with Neville. Seems as if he had somehow found two other plant enthusiasts from Aquaticos and they had exchanged stories about the plants that were present in the greenhouses of their schools.
Thanks to the translation charms, the second years could easily converse with each other. Neville had already decided to learn Greek soon, as he was eager to keep up letters with his new friends and fellow plant lovers. It seemed that the way of making contacts with other schools had worked out quite well. Even some of the Slytherins were sitting with students from other schools. Not Malfoy and his group though, they seemed to glare at certain other groups. Ron also seemed to have decided to stick with Hogwarts students, even if he had at least branched out and accepted to walk around with some Hufflepuffs next to Seamus and Dean. That was some progress.
Finally, after everybody had eaten more than their fill, the headmasters of the four schools that had participated stood from the head table and walked around it. The students quieted down to listen for what they had all been waiting for. Dumbledore let a stage rise from the ground, onto which the four people walked. Dumbledore represented the hosting school, Hogwarts, thus he spoke first.
"I hope everybody had an enjoyable day, I know that I saw many mixed groups, which pleases me immensely. It is important to make friends with wizards and witches all over the world when you get the chance for it. These bonds will, if cared for, hold your whole life. It takes effort and will to do so, but I can tell you from my own experiences, it is worthwhile. I want to thank Madame Maxime from Beauxbatons, Mrs Falkner from Rosenstein and Professor Babos from Aquaticos for agreeing to this trial run of an interschool competition, especially as it was very short notice," The students applauded.
"I has been a pleasure to come here, Professor Dumbledore," Mrs Falkner replied, "I was very happy about the friendly welcome my school found here and I will certainly continue letting my students participate in future events to further the friendship among the European wizarding youth."
"Ze same is true for Beauxbatons," Madame Maxime agreed, "I enjoyed visiting 'Ogwarts for zis Magical Olympics and I can say for sure zat my pupils took a lot from experiencing ze different tasks, which were both entertaining, challenging and educational."
"I agree with my counterparts and Aquaticos will definitely also be part of any further events. It was an honour to be part of the pilot project for more cooperation and friendship between the European leading magical schools," Professor Babos finished.
"We teachers have watched the way the event went, and we are incredibly happy with how you all embraced the chance to meet new people and still competed to the best of your abilities. Which now leads to the award ceremony," Professor Dumbledore stated, and all the students perked up.
"The judging was separated into several categories. First is of course the overall school result per year," Mrs Falkner continued and revealed two gleaming silver and gold cups with a crest on them that none of the students recognised, which had been hidden under a large piece of cloth, "These cups have been newly created and are going to be challenge cups. A school will only be permitted to keep them permanently if they manage to win three years consecutively. The crest that you can see on each of them is the crest of Merlin, which was gifted to him by King Arthur Pendragon. Ever since Merlin's time, this crest has been used in all European magical competitions to signify their importance."
"Next to these two cups, which are going to be used to reward the winners for the Magical Olympics, there will be more cups for the events that we are also working on realising during the coming years," Professor Babos added, "Be they in the area of sports like Quidditch or broom racing, or more the creative part, like competitions in artistry. We want to give all students a chance to participate, based on which area they are strongest in. Magic is more than just learning incantations and potions recipes. There are so many wonderful branches and we consider it our duty to teach the children entrusted to us as educators in as many of them as we can. And that includes giving you all a stage to present your skills."
"Now, next to ze school competitions, zere will be a prize for the best students of zeir year group for zeir own school and for all schools zat participated," Madame Maxime informed them, "You will get a medal for your results and your name will be engraved onto the challenge cup for ze category. As you won't be able to participate more zan once for zese cups, zey will be kept in the trophy rooms of your respective schools. Ze medals are yours to keep."
The students were excited to receive a prize they could keep and show off at home.
"The results of each school will be displayed on the school notice boards in whichever place they are located, which for Hogwarts is next to the grand staircase," Dumbledore then told them, "Though only the thirty best students' names will be on it, as per the agreement between our schools to make things fair in the judgement. For those not on the lists that would like to know how they ranked, the heads of house, or councillors for your years at your school have the complete lists."
Many students nodded, understanding the sense in this.
"Then let's now come to the intra school rankings first. We drew lots to determine which school would go first and Rosenstein was the winner," Dumbledore stated.
"The first group to be awarded will be the first-years, followed by the second years," Mrs Falkner told them and then read out the names of the first three of their respective years, who walked towards the stage, where a pedestal with three steps for the places one to three had appeared with a flick of Madame Maxime's wand.
Each student was given a medal in gold, silver and bronze, like it was also done during the muggle Olympics, around the neck and a cup made of silver was given to the winner of the category. Once all three were awarded, they got their picture taken with the four heads of schools on the victor's pedestal, before the next group was called out. The Rosenstein second years followed their younger school mates and then Beauxbatons and Aquaticos honoured their winners. Hogwarts was the last one. And Professor Dumbledore took over, as each headmaster or -mistress awarded the medals to their own students. As before the first years were first.
"In third place, we have Ginevra Weasley," He announced, and Ginny got huge applause from her classmates in Gryffindor, her brothers cheered loudly and applauded, especially the twins, and she walked up to the stage beaming happily.
She took her spot in the step for third place and got her bronze medal from Professor Dumbledore and then shook all for school heads' hands happily.
"In second place, we have Astoria Greengrass," Dumbledore continued and the Slytherins in the hall applauded greatly, enormously proud that one of their own had managed to outdo most other first-years at Hogwarts.
She too got her medal and shook hands.
"And, in this year, the female students seem to have surpassed their male counterparts, in first place is Luna Lovegood," Dumbledore told the winner.
Many Ravenclaws were shocked that the odd young girl had managed to win the competition, but they clapped loudly, nonetheless. Luna seemed to glide to the stage and smiled at the four school heads when she got her gold medal and the cup, which would bear her name as the first winner of the Olympics in the first-year group for Hogwarts. The three girls smiled for the camera when the photograph that had been engaged for the event took their picture. The pictures of all winners would also be printed in the Daily Prophet, which had sent a reporter that was known for factual reporting to the award ceremony. After all, this was a historical event. There hadn't been any interschool competition between the leading European magical schools since the Triwizard Tournament had been abolished centuries ago due to the high death toll.
And, going by the comments done at the beginning of the ceremony, there would be many more to follow, in areas that would interest the wizarding public a lot. Mainly Quidditch, but anything that involved the schools where their children were educated was good for selling papers.
The three girls went back to their tables and got congratulations from their friends. Then Dumbledore coughed and got their attention again.
"Next up are the second years. In third place is Justin Finch-Fletchley," Dumbledore announced and the Hufflepuffs cheered.
Justin walked forward and happily took the bronze medal. He got the usual congratulations before Dumbledore continued.
"In second place is Susan Bones," Which caused the Hufflepuffs to really explode in cheers and applause, as they had two winners in this year group.
Susan joined Justin on the pedestal and took her medal and congratulations with a beaming smile.
"And in first place, we have Harry Potter," Dumbledore stated, and Harry looked surprised, but walked forward, with Gryffindor cheering and applauding for him.
He knew that this would become big news for the papers, but this time he didn't mind. He had fairly won the award by doing his best in the competitions. He smiled for the picture that was taken and then returned to his table to get the congratulations of the ones sitting there.
"Now that we have the champions for each school, I know that you all are eager to find out which school and students won overall. We won't let you wait any longer. The third place is shared, with identical points total for the best thirty students in first year by Beauxbatons and Hogwarts," Dumbledore announced, and the students clapped for this result.
The two schools got a certificate of victory for their performance.
"In second place is Aquaticos," This got applause and the Rosenstein students already cheered, as it was clear now that they had won.
"And I guess I can already announce the winner, which is Rosenstein," Dumbledore chuckled, and the headmasters took their spots on the pedestal, with Professor McGonagall handing over the certificates of victory to both winner and second place winner, next to the golden cup that Rosenstein got to keep for the next year.
The heads stepped down from the pedestal again and the students waited for the second-year results. This time Mrs Falkner was the one to announce them.
"In third place, we have Aquaticos," She told the students, who applauded, and Professor Bonas took another certificate of victory while taking his spot on the pedestal.
"In second place is Hogwarts," Mrs Falkner announced, which let the Hogwarts students cheer.
"And, the winner for the second years is Beauxbatons," She told them, and the French students cheered for their victory.
Again Professor McGonagall handed over the prizes and another photo was taken.
"And now the final two award ceremonies. The overall student winners in both categories, definitely the ones with the largest competition," Professor Bonas declared, "In third place for the first-years is Mikos Rofanis from Aquaticos."
A boy with brown hair and tanned skin walked forward smiling and happily took the bronze medal for becoming third overall, next to the golden one he had already won for being the best of his school.
"In second place, we have Luna Lovegood from Hogwarts," Bonas continued, and Luna glided forward again, smiling in her unique way. She got a silver medal and looked towards the table where Ginny and the two Aquaticos girls that they had walked around with were clapping loudly for her.
"And in first place, we have Thomas Steinhoff from Rosenstein," Bonas announced and the boy with long brown hair walked forward grinning like a loon for managing to beat all other students in his age group.
All three winners got congratulative handshakes again and a photo was taken. Then they returned to their tables and looked eager to find out which students would be winning in the second-year age group. Madame Maxime was now stepping forward.
"Now we come to the second years. In zird place is Nicole Zalarde from Beauxbatons." She was incredibly pleased that her student had managed to get this far, which was clear to see on her face.
Nicole was a pretty redhead and looked immensely proud of her achievement. She got a bronze medal to join her golden one.
"In second place is 'Arry Potter from 'Ogwarts," Madame Maxime announced, and Harry got huge applause from nearly the whole school, just some people like Malfoy didn't clap, sulking instead.
Harry got a silver medal to go with his golden one and took his position. Congratulations followed again and then everybody wanted to know who had won this year group.
"First place winner and champion for ze second years is Iris Apfelglas from Rosenstein," Madame Maxime announced, and the Rosenstein students cheered for the second first place in the individual category.
Once the photos were taken again, a representative of the Hogsmeade shop owners stepped forward.
"Dear students and teachers of Beauxbatons, Rosenstein, Aquaticos and Hogwarts," The man with grey hair and a full beard started, "I have a nice surprise for all of you, provided by the Hogsmeade shop keeper association. We were very impressed with the idea of a friendly competition between the leading schools of magic in Europe and decided to contribute something to this historical event, the first Magical Olympics to be held, which I expect to become a great success in the following years, with other schools also deciding to join this worthwhile endeavour to promote unity and friendship among the youth of the magical world.
"Your teachers informed us that, as a special treat, you all would be given the chance to explore Hogsmeade tomorrow. We put our heads together and decided that, as we couldn't be sure of everybody's likes and dislikes, we would take the simple route. Each student that participated in the Olympics will get a small voucher that can be used in any of the shops of Hogsmeade tomorrow, and the village will be open for all students, even the ones in first and second year, who normally wouldn't be allowed to visit the village yet. For those that didn't make it into the top thirty of their school, we will give you a voucher for one sickle each. Those in the top thirty get a voucher for ten sickles. Those that won any kind of medal will get one galleon vouchers each. That is for each medal of course."
The announcement caused huge cheers and the students that didn't know their placement yet were eager to find out to get their vouchers. And, as they had never before been allowed to visit Hogsmeade, they were extremely excited for the chance to explore the village.
Ron Weasley looked at the list of students that had been among the first thirty of their schools. He was happy to notice that he hadn't done badly at all. He was eleventh among his year. He had had fun with the tasks and now he would have ten sickles to spend on whatever he wanted in Hogsmeade. It was a lot of money for him, and the best part was, he had earned it fair and square. It wasn't charity at all. While he didn't like that Ginny had done better than him, again, he was honest enough to know that she invested much more time into her studies than he did, and she also invested a lot of work into Quidditch training. That had to show in some way. At least she wasn't compared to him directly, as they were in different years. He liked it a lot less that Harry had won their year's competition, but at least it hadn't been Malfoy.
That would have been unbearable. And, to his satisfaction, Malfoy was only in nineteenth place. Far behind him. He had even beaten Hermione, who was seventeenth. Well, most tasks had been outside the educational field, which she excelled at. He would be able to buy a lot of sweets from ten sickles and perhaps some things from his favourite Quidditch team, the Chudley Cannons. He even got a smile from Professor Peverell when he went to collect his voucher, which the heads of house were handing out. He had certainly earned it.
Older Harry was happy about the surprise from the shop owners. It would be a great finale to the Magical Olympics. The children had taken well to the event and had done their best in the tasks set before them. He was especially happy that Luna had won the school ranking in her year. Thanks to the closer watch they kept on the students, she wasn't bullied like she had been before. The one and only attempt to do so had been thwarted by a prefect, who had directly reported the incident to Professor Flitwick, who had sent the two perpetrators, incidentally Cho Chang and Marietta Edgecombe, which were in their third year currently, into detention for a week and they had to clean the owlery manually for the first hour, before being taught the spells to do it magically. Needless to say, they had needed long to be clean again and hadn't repeated their foolishness.
He was also content to watch how Harry had branched out during the year. Where he had been hindered by Ron and Hermione, his younger self could grow at his own pace, with the proper support being in the background, there to catch him if he fell. Older Harry knew too well that not everything was perfect, but compared to his past, this was a major improvement. He was incredibly happy that this event had been established. It was a precedent to counter arguments that favoured reinstating the Triwizard Tournament.
Thanks to the great success of this trial run of the Magical Olympics, Albus could argue much easier that it didn't need a highly dangerous competition to create bonds of friendship among the schools. Competing in funny tasks worked just as well and better. And he, as headmaster, needed to agree to let Hogwarts participate in any kind of competition. It was even better as Madame Maxime would agree with it, as she had let her school participate in the pilot competition as well. With two of the Big Three being in agreement, the Games and Sports Department wouldn't have an easy time to sway opinions.
With the summer break in the near future, he knew he would have a lot to do. Last work on his and Ginny's house, some work to prepare for the next school year, then he and Ginny would finally have their honeymoon, they had chosen to go to Fuerteventura for it, as they both wanted a vacation on a sunny island for this, and of course, he would continue keeping an eye on his younger self's development. While Harry would live with Sirius, he wouldn't be out of contact. Sirius had even invited him and Ginny, after they got along really well during the Christmas break, to visit for a party that he would hold for the summer solstice.
This was at the beginning of the summer break, and their vacation was planned for the first two weeks of July. Both Older Harry and Older Ginny had already confirmed that they would come. They had never celebrated it before, as it was more a tradition that was kept up in the older families. Sirius fully planned to teach his godson more about the good traditions of the wizarding world, the ones he supported or didn't mind. The Weasleys didn't hold with traditions, not even the harmless ones. One of their traditions was a big going back to school dinner at the end of August, as then they wouldn't see all members of their family for a while.
Older Harry had experienced that during the summers before second and fourth year. Before sixth year, even if he had been at the Burrow at the time, Molly had been too worried about the war getting worse to plan a big party. He and Older Ginny planned to get a better idea of common wizarding traditions to decide which ones of them they wanted to follow for their new family. After all, their new start had been great so far, and they could set-up their family and way of living the way they liked.
On the horcrux destruction front, Albus planned to speak to Sirius soon. They had pushed talking to him back, but by now he had a clean bill of health from his mind healer. He still needed to attend sessions, simply because they helped him keep more control over his mind when he had had flashbacks of Azkaban, which would come and go unpredictably for a while longer, he simply had been there for too long to expect a fast improvement there, but he learned to deal with them. It was also another reason why Older Harry would keep in contact, to offer Sirius some time for himself if things got too bad. Then Harry would come to visit the Peverell couple and Sirius could concentrate on doing the exercises his mind healer had shown him to help him get better.
Harry would be informed about the reasons for that, to ensure that he didn't feel like Sirius didn't like him anymore or saw him as a burden. It was much better for Harry to know that his godfather had a medical problem, for which he needed some peace and rest to deal with. During that time Harry simply couldn't help him, and it was better if he was with somebody that could look after him, and he already knew the Peverells well and liked them. If something like that happened during the vacation on Fuerteventura, Remus would come over to the house. There was no full moon during the two weeks the Peverell couple was gone, therefore it was no bother for him, and he wanted to get to know Harry better too.
During the school year, there hadn't been much opportunity to do so. Harry had his classes, Remus his work and Sirius, who could have bridged things a bit, was mostly busy with getting his life back on track. While Harry liked the idea of getting to know Remus better during Christmas, and he had sent a few letters, he didn't personally know the man like he knew Sirius, simply because Sirius wasn't as busy with work and had spent the whole of Easter break with Harry in Italy. But they had planned some trips together, which Older Harry hoped would let Harry had a better relationship with both men than he had been able to, due to circumstances.
Well, he would enjoy the visit to Hogsmeade as well, even if he had to somewhat keep an eye on the students, to make sure that nothing happened. He didn't expect it, but it was better to be prepared. Especially with some student rivalries.
The school was empty of students. One hour ago, the Hogwarts Express had taken them back on the journey to London, where they would be greeted by their families in about seven hours. The teachers were assembled in the staff room, for a small celebration of the end of the year. For them it was a time where they could let their hair down and behave normal, without worrying about being bad examples to the students. While during the normal staff meetings they also didn't keep up their normal teacher images fully, knowing that their work for the year was done until September was still a different situation.
"Alright, everybody. Like every year, let's celebrate that we survived another year without too many problems. I'm especially happy how much our changes have positively influenced the life here at Hogwarts," announced Albus.
"I certainly appreciate that no drama unfolded this year," agreed Minerva, "Even if it was quite eventful at times."
"That's true. But the events turned out to be positive in the end, so we can put them down as successes for our school or even our world," nodded Albus, meaning the discovery of Peter Pettigrew, the clearing of Sirius Black's name and the better offers in classes for the students.
"I hope that we can continue in the way we started during the upcoming years," stated Filius, "I really look forward to see how our students will develop. I also want to mention that I'm happy that Harold seems to have managed to break the bad-luck streak on the Defence position."
"Hear, hear," chorused many others.
"Well, I don't intend to get beaten by some rumoured curse," replied Harry with a grin.
He knew of course that the curse hadn't been a rumour at all, but Albus had broken it already, even if they had kept that part a secret from the others beside Ginny.
"As if I would let any stupid curse get to my husband," joked Ginny, "He is mine and nobody else can have him."
Harry grinned and pulled her into a kiss. Some others catcalled. But it was all in good fun.
"Then let's just celebrate with the buffet that the house elves have prepared for us. I know that most of us will leave the castle tomorrow morning for our well-deserved vacations. Enjoy the food and drinks and be merry. I certainly will enjoy some of the lemon tarts that the elves made for dessert," announced Albus, causing the others to laugh. His love for sweets with lemon was famous after all.
The long table at the window side of the room immediately filled with the assortment of food and drinks that Albus had ordered with the house elves and the teachers took what they liked, mingling among each other, talking about old stories, things that had happened during the year, and hopes for the coming years. For Harry and Ginny, they mainly hoped that they could continue influencing things towards a future with less death and destruction. And less heartbreak for their younger selves, caused by betrayal of their friends and families.
That's it for this story for now. I plan to continue with a sequel, but I'm still in the early parts of that story. Thanks for following this story.