People have always held certain expectations for celebrities. Those paraded about in front of others are expected to be special, better in some way than the norm. They are expected to thrive in the limelight, to be confident, to be leaders, or role models. Their opinions and beliefs are often counted as more important than the average person. However, sometimes, most of the time, those we admire are just like us. Average people, expected to do extraordinary things. Good people, expected to be great people.
The cannon blast rattled the tent around him. Harry flinched at the sound. Cedric, Fleur, and Krum were done with their dragons. Now, it was time to face his dragon, the Hungarian Horntail, supposedly the worst of the lot. Harry hesitated for a moment, then stepped out of the tent and into the arena. His face hardened as the sound of the crowd's booing and the Horntail's hissing melded into one ominous sound in his ears. His eyes went wide as he glanced around the arena. 'Let it never be said that Harry Potter wasn't brave', he thought as he caught his first glimpse of his opponent.
A massive creature, dark greys and blacks all the way down. It was covered in mean scales and sharp spikes from the tip of its tail to the top of its head. It stared down at Harry with dark yellow, slitted eyes, eerily reminding him of what he'd always imagined the basilisk's eyes would have looked like. These eyes were almost intimidating enough to kill with but a look, just as its cousin could.
Harry backed up for a second, and so focused was he on the dragon, he did not notice the loose rock that he was about to step backwards into. The dragon's mouth and throat began to glow eerily, a deep orange, almost red color shining through the thick scales of the Hungarian Horntail. Its mouth began to open wide.
He took another frantic step backwards to move out of the dragon's way and stepped onto a rock. The dragon breathed out, flames billowing outwards in a tight cone from its mouth. Harry's foot slipped, and suddenly he was falling. The flames were burning just a few feet above his head. The heat was intense, he felt the hairs on his arms singing from the proximity. There was also a strange pain in his left angle.
As the flames began to die out, Harry dragged himself behind the nearest outcropping, hoping that the dragon would believe him burned to death by its own breath. He panted a little, resting back against the cool grey stone he was hiding behind. His ankle was throbbing, he had once again come so very close to death, and once again, pure, dumb luck had saved his life. He pointed his wand outwards, towards the castle, remembering the spell he had put so much effort into the past few weeks.
"Accio Firebolt", He whispered as forcefully as he could. He waited. He'd never attempted summoning from such a distance before. How much time had passed now? Should he try again? He raised his wand to attempt the spell again when he heard a distinct whoosh in the air. His eyes darted around. There! The broom was flying to his position speedily. He grinned, all his hard work had paid off. Maybe he'd live through this after all.
A burst of dragon fire burned through the air, his broom lost to sight as it was enveloped in fire, a comforting embrace as if to say "sorry, you tried". Harry's grin fell off his face, maybe he wouldn't live through this after all.
He racked his brain trying to come up with another plan. If only Hermione was here, she'd mention some random, obscure, magical fact that would spark a brainwave to save them all. Too bad Harry wasn't Hermione. His only special skills were slightly above average defense skills, fluctuating luck and the ability to speak to snak… Are dragons related to snakes? Would it be able to understand him? Perhaps with a horrible accent or something. Maybe he could talk the Horntail down. Explain that it had a fake egg in its nest and he would leave it alone if he could get rid of the fake. He was just trying to help it after all.
Harry was beginning to get excited about his idea. The more he thought about it, the more confident he felt in his plan. He slowly got up from his seated position against the rock and limped out in front of the massive reptile, carefully keeping weight off of his ankle. He paused a few dozen feet from the giant, dangerous beast.
"Oh, great and powerful dragon! Please, you have a false egg hidden among your young! Let me remove it for you", Harry spoke with confidence, trying his best to remember how it had felt to talk to the snakes before. The hissing sounds came easy to him this time, unlike his attempts just two years before.
The dragon looked down for a moment, as if glancing at its eggs, and then began moving slowly towards a very confident looking Harry. The crowd began to murmur at each other. The dragon came to a stop and began lowering his head towards Harry. Harry reached out with his hand, as if to place his palm on the Horntail's snout.
Everything was silent. Could Harry Potter really so easily tame a dragon, a beast that could withstand a dozen wizards simultaneously, a true king of beasts? This must be the true power of the Boy-Who-Lived, the Dragon Tamer.
The moment was over quickly and the crowd gasped. How had this happened? They were in stunned disbelief. Then, something broke the silence, laughter. A boy's laughter echoed all across the field.
That boy was Draco Malfoy, laughing rancorously as the bet he had made in front of his rival that morning came true. Harry Potter had not lasted five minutes into his fight, he had barely lasted three. The scene in the arena was grisly. Harry Potter was still standing in front of the dragon, part of him at least. His legs had not moved an inch, but everything from the waist up was gone. There was blood, dripping from between the Horntails teeth, little shreds of Harry's robes hanging from its teeth.
Harry Potter was dead. He was just a boy, standing in front of a dragon, asking her not to eat him. An average boy, playing in an adults game, just trying to survive. The people had always believed there was something special about Harry Potter, and maybe that's why he died. Maybe, just maybe, he started to believe he was special too.