"We'll be there soon, Tolja says." Viktor closed the door of his and Vanja Poliakoff's cabin, and started rummaging through his pack in search of school robes and cloak.
Vanja just groaned and turned to face the wall, blanket over his head. He had been seasick ever since he set his foot on the ship, and had refused to leave his bed at all the whole journey. Viktor found his friend's robe as well and tossed it at him.
"You better put this on. Now I must go tell Headmaster Karkaroff as well."
Vanja pretended not to hear. "I can't wait to get off this bloody ship," he muttered as Viktor left.
Headmaster Igor Karkaroff was, as always, pleased to see Viktor. He brought out vodka and two small glasses from a secret cupboard.
"Let's have a toast for your latest victory," he said as he handed Viktor glass, "and for your next."
Viktor nearly choked on his drink. Coughing, he put the glass down. Karkaroff's jovial expression changed into concern.
"Have you caught a cold, Viktor?" And before Viktor had time to explain, he continued: "You must borrow one of my coats, the school cloaks are far to thin. It won't do at all, having our champion ill, eh?"I am not your champion yet. There are twelve other candidates aboard this ship, have you forgotten them? But Viktor didn't point that out; he was far too used to his headmaster's favouritism. He was, after all, Durmstrang's own star student. Never mind that both Tolja Sergevskij and Dunja Raskolnikovna were much better at him in most classes, and that anybody was better than him in History of Magic and Herbology – they weren't international quidditch stars.
The dark water swirling outside the window began to grow lighter, and there was a slight change in the way the floor moved under Viktor's feet, suggesting that they were slowing down. Karkaroff hurriedly put his best coat on, handing the second best to Viktor. As he struggled with the buckles of the far-to-heavy garment, there was a sound of water rushing and Viktor turned to the window again just in time to se how the ship broke through the surface of the Hogwarts Lake. He heard his schoolmates shouting orders as the various and complicated travel-spells were lifted, and other wards were put in their place. He ought to be helping them, but Karkaroff did of course not think of that.
"Well then, Viktor, it looks like we've arrived Hogwarts," Karkaroff said at last, adjusting his fur hat in front of the mirror. "Let us greet our British brothers."
Smiling, the Headmaster of Durmstrang opened the door to join his lesser students on deck. Viktor followed him, trying not to notice the half-annoyed, half-awed gazes of his classmates.