If you loved Bobmin356's "The Power of the Press" or LordVishnu's "When Fate Intervened," you'll love (or at least like) this story. When Dumbledore calls Harry's name as the fourth Triwizard Champion, Harry says no, then backs up his words with action.
A reminder: "The Boy Who Planned" is not my only AU story to begin with the Goblet of Fire spitting out Harry's name as the fourth Triwizard Champion. My story "Harry Casts a Curse" has another twist on how that frightening and unfair event could play out.
Take This School and Shove It
Monday, 31st October, 1994; after dinner
The Great Hall, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Harry Potter had watched as the Goblet of Fire had chosen Viktor Krum, famous Quidditch player, as Champion for Durmstrang; Fleur Delacour, a gorgeous blonde, as Champion for Beauxbatons; and Cedric Diggory, the Seeker for the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, as Champion for Hogwarts.
The Great Hall had been silent, except for Dumbledore's voice announcing Champions, whilst the Goblet had done its work; but now Harry Potter heard the murmurings of students in three different languages—and Dumbledore still was talking.
To Harry's right, Hermione asked, "Head back to the tower?"
"Not yet," Harry said. "I have a hunch."
"What?" said Ron, to Harry's left. "Mate, the show's ov—"
The Goblet spit out a fourth piece of parchment. Dumbledore stopped talking. Everyone stopped talking.
So everyone in the gigantic room heard Harry's murmured words: "Here it comes."
"HARRY POTTER!" Dumbledore yelled.
Harry was disappointed, but not shocked, to hear his name called, even though he had not submitted his name to the Goblet. As Harry took a deep, calming breath, he thought, Execute Emergency Plan Bollocks.
Only two people in the Great Hall knew for sure what had just happened: Barty Crouch, Jr, who had Polyjuiced himself to impersonate Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody; and Albus Dumbledore.
The Elder Wand truly is a marvel, Dumbledore thought. Through an Elder-Wand Legilimency spell, Dumbledore had learnt about Tom Riddle's plot and about Barty's part in it (and about Harry Potter's unwilling part in the plot); then an Elder-Wand Confundo had Barty convinced that his Polyjuice-disguise had the headmaster completely fooled.
Dumbledore at the moment did not know Tom's full plot, because Barty at the moment did not know the whole plot. All Barty knew was that his assignment was to trick the Goblet of Fire into picking Harry Potter's name as a Champion, then to make sure Harry lived through the first two Tasks.
Dumbledore presumed that sometime during the Third Task, Tom planned to kill Harry.
Dumbledore was fine with this. The sooner that Harry Potter died, the sooner that the prophecy would be fulfilled—which meant the sooner that someone other than Harry could try to kill Tom without suffering fatal bad luck.
Someone other than Harry could try to kill Tom, such as, hypothetically speaking, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
"The Defeater of Grindelwald and the Vanquisher of Voldemort"—such a title would have a nice ring to it, Dumbledore thought.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Great Hall
"Wicked, Harry!" said Ron. "How'd you put your name in?"
Hermione looked at the two boys to her left. To Harry's left, Ron's face showed the delight of the Weasley twins when they pulled off an "impossible" prank. Whilst Harry's face was trying to show no expression at all—but not quite succeeding.
Harry turned to Ron and said through gritted teeth, "I didn't put my name in, Ron."
Then Harry turned to face the headmaster. "Professor Dumbledore, I didn't submit my name. I refuse to be a part of this."
"Harry, my boy," the headmaster said, his eyes a-twinkle, "Your name is written on this parchment. I'm told your handwriting is distinctive—"
Hermione thought, "Barely legible," more like.
"—and the handwriting that I'm looking at is quite distinctive."
"Bloody hell, Harry," Ron murmured, "if you're going to cheat, be brave enough to admit it. Don't be a sodding coward."
Harry ignored Ron. "Professor Dumbledore, I repeat: I didn't submit my name, and I will not take part in this. Besides, have you forgotten that this tournament is for of-age wizards, and I am only fourteen?"
"Look, kid," Ludo Bagman said, "the Goblet spitting out your name creates a binding magical contract. Fourteen or forty, doesn't matter, you're in it now."
Harry said, "But I'm fourteen. Fourteen-year-olds can't sign contracts. If I went over to Gringotts and asked to borrow money, the goblins would say, 'We won't loan you money, because you're too young to sign the loan contract.' "
"Harry, my boy," the headmaster said, "you're keeping the other Champions waiting." Hermione saw the headmaster give Harry the I'm so disappointed in you look.
"Let me see if I have this straight," Harry growled. "I don't put my name in, somebody puts it in for me—but I still must be a Champion in this tournament. I'm too young to sign a written contract and my signing meaning anything, but I'm still stuck in this tournament."
"Potter," said Hermione's least favourite professor, "one hundred points from Gryffindor and detention with me tomorrow night, for lying."
"Lying, Snape?" Harry quickly pointed his wand at the ceiling. "I swear on my magic and my life that I did not put my name in the Goblet, I did not ask someone of-age to put my name in for me, and I do not know, and cannot guess, how my name was put in. May Magic judge my words."
Hermione gasped at Harry risking everything with such an Oath.
Meanwhile, Harry yelled, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!" A stag-shaped, glowing white form gushed out of Harry's wand and galloped about, overhead, for a few seconds before fading away.
Harry looked at the headmaster and said calmly, "I refuse to be a Champion, because I didn't put my name in."
"But you have to!" said Bagman. "You're under contract now—"
"Am I?" Harry asked, whilst staring at the headmaster.
"My boy," Professor Dumbledore replied, looking like the sad bearer of bad news, "there's nothing I can do."
Harry snorted. "You're the headmaster of this school, and the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and my magical guardian. Self-appointed, I might add.—"
Hermione blinked, startled. The headmaster is Harry's self-appointed magical guardian? What does this mean?
Harry continued, "So don't tell me that you can't help me. It's not only a lie, but it's a stupid lie."
"Another night of detention, Potter!" Professor Snape yelled. "And another hundred points from Gryffindor, for disrespect!"
Mr Bagman said, "Listen, kid, you're not hearing us. This is a magical contract you're in. You gotta participate in all three tasks of the Triwizard Tournament, or else you'll lose your magic."
Harry laughed scornfully. "Have you thick, gormless pillocks forgotten that I'm Muggle-raised? I didn't know I could do magic till my eleventh birthday!"
Hermione started to get a bad feeling about how this argument would end.
Harry looked at Ron. "What do you say now, Ron?"
Hermione saw that Ron's ears were apple-red as he replied, "You could've told me, your best mate, how to put my name in the Goblet too, but nooo. The Boy Who Lived doesn't want to risk somebody else getting the glory. You're a cheater, and now you're a liar too."
Hermione said, "Ron, how can you say such a thing? Harry gave an Oath, with a patronus right afterwards!"
"Just proves he's really, really good at lying," Ron snapped.
"Enough, Harry!" said the headmaster. "I insist that you join the other Champions."
Harry put his wand to his throat. "Sonorus." Then he looked at Mr Bagman. With magically-amplified voice, Harry asked, "When is the First Task, Mr Bagman? What date? What time?"
Both Bagman and the headmaster looked puzzled by Harry seemingly changing the subject, but Hermione felt frightened. Please, Harry, don't do what I think you're about to do.
Meanwhile, Bagman was saying, "The First Task is on 24th November. Early afternoon sometime."
Harry took a step forward and to his right, putting himself in front of Hermione, then he turned round to face Hermione. In the process, he turned his back on the headmaster. Harry took Hermione's hand, as his amplified voice said—
"Hermione, you are the only person in this wand-waving insane asylum whom I'll miss. Nobody else will I miss; and the lazy, envious, redhead slob I won't miss at all."
Then Harry looked at Ron. "In case you haven't figured it out, Weasley, you're no longer my friend, 'best' or otherwise. You remind me of Malfoy too much."
Then Harry turned back to Hermione, who now was silently weeping. Harry's amplified voice said, "If I lose my magic on 24th November, it won't be a problem. Surely there's someplace in Muggle Britain where I can live and can go to school."
Then Harry yelled, "FUCK YOU ALL."
"Harry, stop this grandstanding," the headmaster demanded.
Harry leant forward. "Goodbye, Hermione. I love you. Quietus."
Harry then kissed Hermione on the lips; but it was a brief, chaste kiss. Hermione wanted both to cry and to dance.
"Harry, please don't do this," Hermione whispered.
Harry patted the pocket of his robes and whispered back, "I've your parents' post address and their telephone number. We won't lose touch."
Harry leant back till he was standing straight again. He grabbed his wand with his free hand, snapped his wand in half, and tossed the two halves over his shoulders.
Then Harry walked out of the Great Hall and out of the castle.
Professor Snape said loudly, "Finally, we're rid of the brat."