Authors note: My version of Slytherin Harry completing the second Tri-Wizard task. Read, Review, and Enjoy. And when you're finished, go out and do something spontaneous.
Yes, I know the Latin doesn't make any sense. Still sounds cool, so there!
Light dawned over Hogwarts' lake the early on the morning of the Second Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. The four champions huddled in the middle of an enormous crowd, clad in their bathing suits with only a few trusted friends at their side to help them prepare for this most dangerous task.
"Potter, you're an idiot." Daphne Greengrass said in exasperation. "Do you really trust an herb given to you by a mad house elf?" The attractive Slytherin stood shivering in the early morning air. Sniffing, she glared at Harry—as if her presence at the lake was his fault and not the result of something she had volunteered to do. "I should be in the library studying," she muttered. "I can practically hear Granger's marks rising over mine."
"First, the only grade you have higher than Hermione is your charms grade, so don't play the 'my grades are suffering' card with me." said Harry Potter, youngest of the four champions, said with an unconcerned shrug of his shoulders. "Second, I didn't exactly come up with a better plan. Third, the only one who thinks he's mad is Draco." Harry looked around suspiciously. "Where is Draco, anyway?"
The pretty auburn-haired witch shook her head. "I don't know. Probably having a bit of a lie-in, you know how we lazy purebloods are." She finished with a smile.
"Don't I now." Harry said sarcastically.
The two friends stopped when Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stepped forward, along with the other Tri-Wizard judges. He smiled beneficently at the group. "Welcome one and all to the Second Task of this most glorious tournament. Our four champions," he said, motioning to the four teens in bathing attire, "Shall venture forth into the depths of this lake in search of something they have lost. Something they truly treasure." At that the crowd burst into worried murmurs. "Someone they truly treasure."
The two Slytherins exchanged glances and, putting two and two together, realized where their missing friend was. Daphne cracked a slight smile. "I didn't realize you cared so much about Draco, Potter."
"Shut it, Greengrass. You're just mad its not you under the lake." Harry words were biting but the kindness behind them took out the sting. Daphne was one of his closest friends, along with Draco Malfoy. The two had helped bring the shy boy out from his shell and three of them had become a formidable trio, with many exciting adventures under their belt.
A slight hint of caring showed through the female pureblood's eyes. "Be careful Potter. Dumbledore isn't lying: people have died in this tournament before… and I would just hate to have to break in two new manservants."
"Perish the thought." Harry answered back dryly.
"The Champions will have one hour to recover that which they have lost." Dumbledore said. "The first to return will automatically earn full marks. Anyone returning past the time limit will lose points." he surveyed the four teens to ensure they understood his instructions. "Begin."
Fleur Delacour, the stunning Beauxbatons champion tapped her neck and cast a quick charm before diving into the water. Victor Krum transfigured his upper body into a shark and sliced into the water. Cedric Diggory cast a spell which grew a bubble around his head before belly flopping into the water.
Harry took stock of the spells his competitors used and pulled a clump of green weeds from his pocket. "You better not have let me down Dobby," he muttered. At that he swallowed the slimy herbs and jumped.
His muscles burned. His vision was blurry. His arms and shoulders ached, although the chill of the water had seeped into every aspect of his being, blunting the worst of his pains. He wasn't breathing well, which meant that he was starting to revert from what the gillyweed had transformed him into. All that existed for Harry Potter was the mantra he repeated to himself, and the pain.
Pain was everything. It was in every fiber of his being. Lesser men gave up or died in the face of such pain, but not Harry. Harry had nearly been poisoned to death by a Basilisk. He had stood defiantly before an army of Dementors. He had been nearly killed by one of his teachers. Harry didn't quit, didn't give up, didn't stop. Not ever.
At the end of the day, Harry had been shaped by growing up with the Dursleys. He knew pain, real pain that hurt more than the body, pain that crippled the soul. It had nearly crippled his. It had been the Slytherin House and Draco Malfoy, the boy he grasped tightly in one of his arms now who had rebuilt him, taught him how to take his pain and use it. To make himself stronger for having faced it.
He would die before letting his friend down.
Gamely he swam on, Draco grasped in one hand and the younger sister of one of his competitors in the other. He had refused to leave the tiny blond behind, even though it might cost him the tournament. He could already hear Draco's voice in his head, scolding him over failing to seize the moment for victory.
Of course, Draco had never quite grasped the idea that victory came in many different guises.
Harry could see a diffuse light around him, and indistinct figures above the water. Blurry as they were, he could still pick out the distinctive ramrod-straight posture of Daphne Greengrass, worried out of her mind and desperately pretending otherwise. He gave one last push, all he had left, and in exultation broke free from the confines of the lake. Somehow he found the strength to heft Draco and the little girl onto the dock before wearily pulling himself onto it.
None too soon, it turned out, because seconds later his gills retracted and he felt excruciating pain as the bones in his fingers and feet broke and shifted, returning to their original configurations. Harry lay on the dock, wheezing and choking. He heard the screams from Fleur and the little girl as they tearfully embraced. Smiling through the water that burbled from his lips, Harry rolled over in exhaustion, and then pushed himself to his knees. "Will somebody please enervate me?" he rasped.
"Don't see why I should." Draco said snottily. Water had plastered his fine hair against his face and he pushed it aside. "You could have won the race, but instead you stopped for that little girl. What in the bloody hell were you thinking? There's no way Dumbledore would have let her die."
Harry shrugged casually as Daphne aimed a few drying charms at him. Nodding gratefully to her, he replied "Seemed like a nice thing to do."
Draco threw his hands up in the air. "Nice! Nice? Potter, Slytherins are not nice. We are double-crossing, untrustworthy, ambitious malcontents who seize every advantage we can. We do not do 'nice'."
Harry smiled as he saw Dumbledore in conference with some fearsome looking Merfolk and the other Judges. "Watch and learn, Malfoy. Watch and learn." he said confidently.
Clearing his throat, Dumbledore spoke to the crowd. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have had a bit of an unorthodox result for this task. Harry Potter was the last to return from the water and he did so well after the time limit, but he was also the first to reach the hostages. The only reason why he finished last is that he refused to leave any of them behind. He demonstrated tremendous moral character, and for that he will receive full marks."
The crowd burst into cheers as Harry nodded politely. He shot a smirk at Draco to which the blond teen merely shook his head. 'Lucky' he mouthed to the Boy Who Lived.
"Sorry Drake, I'm just that good." Harry said quietly to himself.
He politely clapped when the other points were announced. The crowd was just starting to break up when Fleur Delacour, the stunning Beauxbatons champion approached him. Daphne and Draco stopped a short distance away, curious as to what she would say. The older teen had not hidden her disdain for Harry in the slightest in the early portions of the tournament.
"You… You rescued Gabrielle?" she began softly.
"Zat was kind of you, Harry." She said in a lilting accent. "I am your opponent. You could have left her. You should have left her."
Harry shook his head. "I would never do that. I know what people say about my house, about how it never produces any heroes. I mean to change that, to make everyone eat their words." He said in a serious tone.
Fleur smiled. "Still, if there is anything I can do to repay you…"
Harry stepped closer. "There is one thing." he answered with a completely Slytherin grin. "I want for you to not be angry with me after I do this."
Swiftly closing the remaining distance, Harry kissed a startled Fleur on the lips. At first she stiffened as she was caught off guard but soon melted into Harry, wrapping her arms around him. When she began to reciprocate, Harry broke away. Dabbing slightly at his lips, he flashed a quick grin at the breathless older girl. Turning, Harry walked away, a huge smile on his face where she couldn't see it. "Is she watching me?" he asked when he reached Draco and Daphne.
"I'd say so." Daphne answered with a smirk. "The girl looks fit to mess her pants."
Draco just shook his head in amazement. "You are bloody impossible, Potter." He said. "You violate every rule about being a Slytherin and still come out of smelling like flowers."
Harry grinned and flung his arm around his two best friends. "Well, smelling like one flower at any rate." He said cheerfully. Facing Draco he continued. "And I beg to differ. I acted in a perfectly Slytherin manner. Consider: I've wanted Fleur since I first laid eyes on her and when I saw her sister in the bottom of the lake, I took a chance to do something nice and get something I wanted." Harry rapped his friend lightly on his head. "Sooo, I did what you're always telling me I should do, Draco. Seize the moment of advantage. Carpe Slytherin." Harry smiled broadly. "I just did it to gain something a lot better than a stupid trophy."
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