"Did you see?"
"Yea, looks like Draco is starting to use his grunts for his spying now." Harry acknowledged.
"What are you two talking about?" Ron asked looking between his sister and friend.
"Nott was behind one of the suits of armor along the shadowy section of the hall before we got in here." Hermione said from the corner of her mouth as she sat with the rest of her friends at the long tables.
"Do you think he heard anything?" Neville asked.
"No, I don't." Ginny stated. "He might have heard about the Map if Ron had kept talking but since Harry... well you know."
"Sorry." Ron whispered looking abashed again.
"Don't worry about it. Hey look Nott's giving his report to Malfoy." Harry said as he casually watched the pair across the hall. He winced as the others jerked around in a none too subtle way.
Malfoy listened to his agent come back with nothing of consequence. Anger tore his calm smirking mask away and he slammed his hand onto the table just centimeters from the activation fork.
After a quick introduction from Dumbledore the tables filled themselves with mountains of food. The six calmly took portions of the treats around them, filling their plates, while they tried their best to keep the anxiety from showing too much.
It didn't take long for the festivities to start. Sitting on the side of the table to be able to watch Malfoy, Harry calmly watched Draco pick up the fork in a bid to grab as many of his favorite food as possible. Magic rippled slightly before one of the charms activated. One designed to draw everyone's attention.
The noise of the dining hall was broken by a clear cat call whistle from the Slytherin side of the hall. As everyone turned to look at the disturbance the magic started its work again. Draco's body slowly formed into that of a female with large assets. His black robes turned into a flowing white dress and his white hair grew down his back.
Realizing what was happening, the Slytherin jumped from his place in horror, just as Harry had planned it. A wind picked up around the blond blowing the dress up in a classic impression of Marilyn Monroe but with a more panicked face. Finally a compulsion charm kicked in, adding to the effect of the inhibition potion that had laced the inside of his goblet. God Harry really loved house elves, especially his two bound and vengeful ones.
Malfoy sauntered up to the head table and to his head of house. By now everyone was laughing. He bent down, looking for the world to be whispering something in the greasy potion master's ear, when he grabbed Snape's head and planted his lips onto that of his professor's in a searing kiss. It took the shocked bat precious seconds to gather himself and push his young protégé away. Draco, however, didn't relent.
"Please Severus. I need you. Please let me be yours. We could be happy together." Draco pleaded much to the horror of Snape and amusement to all others.
A few minutes of trying to keep Draco off the professor only ended up in a cat fight with Sprout and Dumbledore on the ground in pain from Draco kneeing the old man where it counted.
Harry laughed so hard he couldn't breathe at the show. He had set out to humiliate Malfoy but managed to get both Snape and Dumbledore at the same time. He was surrounded by his friends. Life was good he realized as he struggled to breath.
"I want to know who is responsible for the very malicious prank played on Mr. Malfoy." Dumbledore said in his 'I'm disappointed in you' grandfatherly voice. All it did was cause the line of students lining the hall way to snicker again.
It had taken nearly an hour to regain some sort of order within the halls of Hogwarts. Draco eventually gave up on Snape and started showing his affection for both Crabbe and Goyle as he jumped onto the Slytherin table and started a strip tease. That had not been in the plan and Harry wandered if it was a combination of the different spells that caused him to do it or was it the inhibition inhibitor potion. At the hours end the magic wore off as it was suppose to and an utterly humiliated Draco sped from the room as fast as his legs could carry him. Pansy had chased after him crying and screaming at him adding to the amusement.
Personally Harry was glad Dumbledore was the one behind the questioning and not Snape. He wouldn't put it past Snape to just start using Legilimancy on everyone, starting with him, to get his answers.
'Speak of the devil.' Harry muttered to himself.
Snape, in his entire bat like fury, stormed through the hall toward them, interrupting the disappointed glare of the Headmaster.
"Why do you even bother with this foolishness? We already know it was Potter that did this! I demand he be expelled for this once and for all!"
"Now Severus we don't know if it was Harry behind the attack." Dumbledore chided gently. It made Harry want to puke. He had come to see how the old man had always given chances to those who had followed the 'darker' path but when it came to people under his control he willingly sent them to their deaths. Harry firmly believed Dumbledore would sacrifice one of the 'Light' in an attempt to pull someone back from the 'Dark Path'. It was really a wonder they hadn't lost the first war before he was even born.
"You have coddled him enough Dumbledore. It is time for the insolent brat to learn a lesson." Snape spun around with his wand in hand, a spell on his lips. Years of training and reflexes came to his aid and Harry spun almost quicker than one could see. He hands had already drawn a dagger and his wand as he finished the spin and he set himself into an attacking position. A spell of his own nearly completed.
"STOP!" Dumbledore's voice cracked like a whip. It was too late however. The legilimancy curse dissipated on the grey stone and the golden energy of the disarming hex slammed into Snape, lifting him bodily and throwing him into the wall behind him.
Harry didn't stop moving though as he rushed forward. He only stopped when the silver blade of the dagger he had purchased in Diagon Ally was biting into the flesh on Snape's neck.
Severus Snape knew pure hatred when he saw it. Now, looking into the eyes of his bane's spawn he knew, knew without a shadow of a doubt, that Harry Potter would feel no remorse killing him.
"Harry Potter! Cease this immediately!"
The voice of the Headmaster settled his mind enough for Harry to gauge his surroundings. He slowly back away from the downed potions master and slid both weapons back into their respective places.
"Never cast a spell toward me again." Harry stated with a voice so cold it made the other in the hall shiver.
"He was only trying to find out what happed to Mr. Malfoy, Harry. Professor Snape would never harm a student." Dumbledore spoke calmly, trying to defuse the tense moment.
"You just keep telling yourself that." Harry scowled and resumed his place in line.
"Be that as it may I demand entrance into this boy's head to know the truth!" Snape spat with even more venom than he normally did. Getting embarrassed then held at knife point in a matter of hours had really soured his mood.
Harry smirked internally. This might be a way to get some well earned revenge. He knew, unfortunately that he couldn't get rid of Snape now. It was simply too soon. That didn't mean he couldn't put the fear of God into the man though.
Normally the defenses surrounding the young man's mind made it impossible to even find any neurological activity therefore making a legilimancy probe think that there was nothing there to find. That was just the first level and like many defenses they could be adjusted to give desired results. Harry quickly set up his mind's defenses to look easily breached. It was only after the intruder entered that they would encounter the full power and ingenuity they young mage had used in his creation. As far as he knew he was the only one with this type of occlumency.
"Will this prove my innocence?" He questioned Dumbledore, completely ignoring Snape and the horrified gasps of his friends.
"I believe it will Harry. If you would just hold still for a moment."
"No sir. You would find nothing and Snape wouldn't believe you anyway. Let him do it himself. If for no other reason than to satisfy his morbid curiosity."
Snape's eyes lit up. He had wanted to find out what happened to the boy during the holidays since he first heard what he had done to Draco on the train. Potter had obviously been in contact with someone who knew way too much about his past life for him to be comfortable.
"Agreed." Snape said with his black eyes shining with malicious glee.
The potions professor leveled his wand at Harry and again Harry had to squash the urge to evade and defend. The watery wave of magic slammed into him with all the subtlety of a train.
Harry quickly lowered his outside barrier so Snape could enter and once the essence of the man's mind was within his new wards and barriers slammed into place, leaving no way of escaping.
Snape looked around the mindscape in utter amazement. Only master occlumens could create a mind-scape. The lush jungle forest stretched out in all directions so far he couldn't see the end. Above him a thick blanket of clouds rolled continuously past. Killing curse green bolts of lightning arced from one place to another, occasionally striking the ground, killing everything around it only to be re-grown in seconds. In the distance a large volcano shot its smoke into the air.
'That must be where his memories are.' The greasy man mentally thought and set a path for the mountain.
He hadn't made it a hundred meters when he ran into his first obstacle.
In the search for the Horcurxes Harry and his friends had scoured the world over. While in Rome he had met with a high ranking priest who knew about the hidden world of magic. After explaining what he was looking for, Harry was lead deep into the catacombs under Vatican City. Months of work and negotiations had finally led him to where he thought one of the soul fragments might be hidden.
They didn't find what they were after but Harry still found it worth the time. Demons, they had found out, really had once roamed the earth. They never stopped killing, always needing to kill and cause pain. A wizard with more power than Harry had ever heard of hunted these things and left a pensive of the creatures he ran into. According to legend, he had perished fighting his greatest foe.
Harry watched the final memory of some demon that had been this wizard's last battle. Harry also modeled his mind's defenders after this demon.
A screeching yell blasted though the clearing Snape had found himself in upon entering Potter's mind. He had hardly taken three steps toward the mountain in the distance.
As Snape watched a glistening black…thing stalked from the dark shadows onto the edge of the clearing. It was vaguely humanoid in the torso and legs though knees had been reversed and giant sharp claws adorned where the feet should have been. The creature walked with a stoop like it could either walk on four or two legs. The arms were long ending in two scythe like appendages looking like a praying mantis. The head though was the most horrifying thing the potion master had ever seen. It was ghastly imitation or mockery of a lion. The mane was a seemingly alive mass of vine like tentacles. The head was long and thin like one would see on a barracuda fish. It had four eyes that seemed to be able to work independently of each other. At the end of the mouth was a razor sharp beak and on the inside of its enormous jaws were row after row of razor sharp teeth.
Over all the beast was very powerful and extremely deadly looking.
Snape didn't move as the beast stalked around the edge of the clearing. Since this was his mind there he slowly pulled his mental wand from his sleeve, ready incase the beast attacked. The animal made a few odd chirping clicks before it moved further back into the dense foliage.
Having never met one of these beasts the greasy man decided it would be a prudent time to pull out of the foreign mind before the things attacked. He tried to move back into his body only feel like he was slammed back to the earth. He scowled as he remained in Potter's mind and tried to leave once more. This time putting more power into his leaving. Again he was thrown to the ground.
Another series of the chirping clicks sounded and this time at least two more of the beasts called back from way too close for his liking. Beginning to panic, Snape stood and pushed all his mental strength to return to his own body. Again he was forced to the earth below him.
Eyes wide with panic Severus stood fearfully. Even in the Dark Lord's presence he had never felt fear like this before. He knew he was safe playing both side against each other and the his previous master had never been able to get through his occlumency shield to see his real loyalty. Loyalty that belonged to him alone.
A snap of a broken branch focused his attention back to the tree line. Four of the creatures were now visible sticking their terrifying heads into the clearing.
Panic bubbled in his chest like a potion gone wrong. He could barely contain it. Suddenly one of the beasts lunged at him with amazing speed. The cutting curse from his wand bit deep into the thing but it just kept coming. Panicking as the creature neared and the others attacked he shouted his curses, using everything in his arsenal.
In the hall of Hogwarts minutes passed and everyone was looking rather questioningly at the ridged form of their most hated teacher.
"Do you feel Severus viewing any of your memories yet Harry?" Dumbledore questioned with concern.
"No." Harry said confused. In reality he knew what was happening. His mental defenders were preparing to tear Snape a new ass hole. If they managed to kill him in his mind then the Snape in the real world would be little more than a brain dead body so he had to ensure a happy medium. He settled for a good mauling then release. It would ensure Snape would be of no consequence for a few months as he recovered sufficiently to teach again but the man's mind would be torn still. Medi-magic didn't work on the mind as it did on the body."What do you think happened?" Hermione questioned.
"I do not know. I have never heard of an instance of this happening before." Sighed the old man looking defeated.
Harry thought of another way get one over on the old man and Snape. "Do you think it could be an adverse reaction to the failed killing curse? I mean what if he saw a memory of me getting hit by it? Could the mere memory of the incident kill him? Or his mind at least?" This was a question he had wanted answered for a long while now. The last defenses around his mind mountain were first the memories of being tortured. Finally his memory of being struck with the killing curse. It really didn't matter any as the whole mountain was just a big ruse to lead the invader into more and more traps. Something people never seemed to think of were the stars that shown brightly past the thick blanket of rolling clouds where his memories were truly held. If someone did manage to figure out the game they would have one hell of a time figuring out how to get to the stars to view the memories.
"No, both Severus and I have preformed ligilimency on you before." Dumbledore answered without thinking. He didn't realize his mistake even when those around him went deathly quiet.
"As to your follow up question, I do not know. As the only one to survive the curse no one has been able to study the effects one might have by reviewing the memory. It very well could perform the same task the curse does."
Surprisingly it was Fred and George who took the most offense to having Dumbledore admit that he and his pet professor had spent time poking around in the minds of their students.
"You mean to tell us that even in our own mind we aren't safe from that greasy bastard?" Fred yelled for the entire hall to hear.
"You just let one of your professors go around playing with people's minds..."
"Invading our thoughts..."
"Destroying our privacy..."
Then both continued in their eerie twin unison. "We will not stand for this. We will be writing to our parents.
"The ruddy Minister!" They yelled in unison once again. Fred even went as far as to connect with a vicious right hook to Snape's slack face. If the cracking and crouching sound were anything to go by he had done a number on Snivillus' jaw.
As the enormity settled into the pit of Dumbledore's stomach of his admission in front of so many students he seemed to age. No one knew better than he that there were very few laws regarding the seldom learned art of legilimancy and occlumency. One of the few was that professionals were band from using the technique on minors without parental consent. It would also bode very poorly for his potions teacher in the public eye and both of their reputations. Without thinking the aged mage whipped his wand out, an obliviate spreading though the hall with only a continued wave.
Student's eyes went glassy as the information they had just been subject to was removed. Thinking quickly Dumbledore removed all the memories after Snape attacking and entered Harry's mind. All but six left the hall thinking that no culprit had been found.
Two twin red heads however remembered pieces of the events. The still incomplete occlumency shields and mental sorting of the art kept chunks of the memory in place. It was all that was needed as if one could put together inconsistencies during or after obliviation the spell would fail and the subject would remember what really happened.
The twins continued toward their dorms confused as what really happened replaced what was placed by one of the men they had grown up thinking was the embodiment of light. It seemed Harry had been correct during the summer when he addimitely refused to mention anything of what they were doing to the old man. He just couldn't be trusted. And by the next morning all the real memories would be remembered.
Luna, Neville, Ginny, Ron and Hermione knew better than to reveal to the Headmaster that the spell didn't work on them. Harry's personal tutelage had brought them further along than the twins. Already each had a fairly solid shield protecting them from any outside influence. They still needed work though and Harry had told them it would probably be some time around Christmas that they would have solidified their barriers enough to start on the wards and traps.
A deep gash appeared to rip from Snape's left eye, down his face and continued under his robes. The back of the fabric glistened as the blood soaked them. Another then another gash appeared. The ridged professor howled in agony as a large chunk of flesh ripped itself from Snape's left shoulder.
"Stay here all of you while I go call Madam Pomphrey." Dumbledore mumbled before setting on his way to the nearest teacher's office.
After Dumbledore left Hermione started ranting at Harry. "I know what you are doing. You have Snape trapped in your mind. You told us you could do that already you know."Harry smiled devilishly. "And currently he is being mauled by some rather pissed off demons. They really don't like people spraying them with acid."
"We'll talk about all this later." Hermione huffed. She really didn't know how Harry had learned all of this so quickly. "You need to let him go Harry. I think you have played with him enough."
"Can you make sure he's hurt for awhile?" Ron asked sincerely.
"Yea he deserves it for what he did to you. Plus you need to make sure he doesn't remember. Is that even possible?" Ginny asked
"Yea I will be able to obliviate him and make him think that he just hit normal shields that reacted with my scar. He won't be in any position to defend himself after I release him."
With that Harry ordered his mental animals away from the close to death professor. Then, with a force of a giant hammer, Snape was hurtled back into his own mind. The ass crumpled to the floor and Harry quickly shot the memory spell to change the memories slightly then kicked him in the nose, breaking a second set of bones on the man's already ugly face.
"Harry!" Hermione screamed.
"What?" He questioned calmly. "He did it when he fell to the floor." He added pointedly just before Dumbledore arrived.
As an ironic twist of fate the potions books they had all ordered from Blotts were waiting with five owls when they arrived back in the common room. They would have time to study them before Snape was well enough to teach again.
"Well an eventful night." Ron called as he settled down in his favorite chair. Most of the others had already left to bed. Ron grabbed one of the smaller, more elementary books from the pile. "What?" He asked as every one looked at him as if he were insane.
"Any reason you picked that book?" Neville asked.
"Well it looks like it is the most basic book of the lot. If my potions skills are anything to go by I think I need to start with this one." He stated honestly.
"I thought you didn't like to study or read?" Ginny quirked.
"Well I want to keep up with all of you. Out of the lot, I'm probably the one holding us down the most." He looked to his lap with a guilty face. "I don't want to be left behind I guess."
There was a rush as each of them denied that they would leave the boy behind. Still in the end it looked like Ron was going to change a little for the good. Inside Harry sighed, relieved. One major obstacle had been moved from his path. Now all he had to do was work on his friends to show them that magic was magic and that dark arts could be used for good.
Harry sighed, that might take a while.
The following day had occurred just as Harry remembered. That's not to say that he recalled the events of the other schools arriving all that much. Durmstrang had, again, appeared via ship and Beaubuxton their flying carriage. He managed to line his pockets with even more gold when he made a few bets with the Ravenclaws and Slytherins on the method of arrival. He really loved knowing the future and the look on Malfoy's face when he handed a hundred galleons, his only spending money for the year, over to Harry was priceless.
Knowing what was going to occur left Harry to view his surroundings better this time around. He laughed as he heard some first or second year Hufflepuff having to explain the fairy tale of Cinderella to some of her upper year house mates.
'And the purebloods think we're ignorant.' He scoffed mentally.
After the arrival of both schools they had all seated themselves for the meal again. Ron had made less a fool of himself this time when Fleur had taken one of the French dishes from their table. He had only smiled a little goofy and his eyes only clouded over a little bit. It still hadn't stopped Hermione from blowing her top.
Harry glanced at Neville and Ginny who each shared a look with him. As if reading each other's minds they all shook their head sadly. He sighed as he added another mental notation onto the ever growing 'To-do" list in his head.
After the first week of school the announcement of the Tri-wizard Tournament, the excitement and talk had died away in favor of new classes and a new work load. Now that the other schools were here along with some of the Ministry the excitement was nearly palatable. Crouch Sr., Percy and Bagman, Harry recognized as he took a glance toward the head table. The noise and chatter of the event renewed its self full force. The excitement in the air brought back memories for Harry. He could see why everybody was so excited. With so many excited under aged witches and wizards in one place accidental magic seemed to fill the air, leading to even more excitement.
"May I please have your attention?" Dumbledore's voice of authority boomed over the crowd. "I would like to thank..."
Dumbledore was always good at making speeches. He knew how much to say and how long to talk as to flatter those he was conducting the speech for but not going so long as to bore the crowd. This one was no different. After thanking the schools the powerful man, with the help of Crouch and Bagman introduced the Goblet of Fire.
"The Goblet of Fire is a strictly impartial judge. It will choose one champion from each school. However due to the danger and skill needed to adequately defend one's self we, which is all the officials, have decided that no one under the age of sixteen will be permitted to enter." Crouch announced with no small amount of trepidation. It was obvious he expected an out roar of disapproval.
The hall remained quiet though. Many of the students, even those from Durmstrang and Beaubuxton frowned and sneered at the man.
"Yes it is for the best I believe." Dumbledore bailed out his ministry colleague. "I will personally be drawing an age line letting none pass under sixteen. You will have until mid-day Sunday to enter."
It was Friday night so they would have all day tomorrow to enter.
"Now as we have been fed and watered I bid you good night." Dumbledore announced signaling the end of dinner and for students to return to their respective areas.
Harry glanced around once more but again didn't see Aimee with the other Beaubuxton students. Of course it was hard to identify any of them as they all had kept their shawls on during dinner, trying in vain to keep the November chill out of their silk robes.
As Harry and his group got up to leave he distinctly heard a familiar voice.
"It iz so cold in dis castle. I do not know howz we are to keep from geeting zeek."
Harry rolled his eyes as he changed direction, heading toward the ever complaining part veela. Harry knew it was just a quirk the girl had when she was nervous but heaven above that didn't make it any easier to listen to her.
Harry distinctly remembered the same voice, though slightly more matured, complaining and ranting for three days strait before she married Bill.
"We will just have to wear more layers under our robes." A very familiar voice spoke from beside the complaining one. "We can also write our families asking them to send us more seasonal clothing for this part of the world."
Harry knew Aimee's voice as soon as the first letter rolled off her lips and it took every bit of his will power not to rush over to her. He remembered the love they shared, the time they spent together. But he kept having to remind himself that no one else remembered. Only he did. And for now... for now he was alone in that.
"There is also a clothing shop in Hogsmeade, just a short walk down the road from the castle gates. I'm sure Dumbledore will provide carriages as well if he were asked." Harry supplied jumping into their conversation. "But for now maybe a warming charm would help?"
The two girls turned to see Harry looking at the pair expectantly.
"Please." Aimee answered quickly. And as Harry cast the charm to make her comfortable once more she continued. "We will bring the subject to our Headmistress. Thank you..."
Fleur cut her off. She seemed particularly angry tonight. "Yes, cast zee charm on me as weel." She stated sharply. Harry only raised an eyebrow at her tone but cast the charm much to her obvious delight. "Now oo are you little boy?" She questioned.
Harry allowed the comment to roll off him easily. He knew he was not viewed well initially by the part veela and when annoyed had a rather vicious tongue. Aimee visibly tensed at her friend's attitude. This 'boy' who to her looked to be well on his way into manhood looked quite handsome to her. His roguishly messy hair and brilliant emerald eyes, her favorite gem stone, seemed to set him apart from the rest of his peers. He was slightly short but no smaller than she was. But it was the aura of command and power that really drew her attention. But from the soft look on his face, and how he had not risen to Fleur's baiting, that let her know this young man did not use his position to lord over anyone. Yes she was quite interested in knowing who exactly this young man was.
"I am sorry Miss. My name is Harry and these are my good friends." Harry said as he waved his reluctant friends forward. Ginny seemed the least reluctant of the group seeing as Hermione seemed to channel a dragon as she horred her treasure, Ron, from those who would try and steal it. "This is Ginny Weasley, a third year and a Gryffindor."
Neville stepped forward with a slight blush at his bravado. Harry had been helping him get over his shyness all year and he wouldn't let Harry make all the introductions. "Good evening Mademoiselle. I am Neville Longbottom. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."The two french girls turned their gazes on to the new arrival with a hint of respect in Fleur's case at the formal greeting. She knew how to handle culture.
"A pleasure moinsuer." Fleur responded with a nod as did Aimee.
There was a moment of silence as Harry beamed at his friend and the other goggled at him.
"This is Luna Lovegood. She's in Ravenclaw, the house whose table you sat at during dinner this evening." Harry gestured toward the eccentric female.
"And finally we have Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, by best friends." Harry pulled the two forward. Ron grinned sheepishly but he seemed to have recovered himself from earlier that evening. Hermione however was now channeling the horntail that he was sure to draw again if things went according to plan.
"It is nice to meet you all." Aimee responded as Fleur relaxed now that she was comfortable once more. "I am Aimee Kampe and this is my friend Fleur Delacour both from Beaubuxton. I am in fifth while Fleur is in sixth year." Aimee state in near perfect english with a hint of her french accent.
"It is a pleasure meeting both of you." Harry mentioned as they started walking toward the doors and into the entry way. "Are you both going to enter the tournament?" He continued their conversation.
"I weel be able too." Fleur answered looking at Aimee with regret. "We deed not know of the age limeet before we left so Aimee will not be able to enter."
Harry nodded. "Neither will we." Ginny spoke from her new place beside Aimee who was still covered in her shaw. "Though after reading what past tournaments included I don't think I would like to face most challenges willingly."
As they approached the doors to the outside of the castle Aimee spoke up again, looking at Harry the whole time. "We will have to continue our conversation another day." She more asked than stated.
"Yea, I'd like that." Harry smiled, his eyes shining with a light none of his friends had ever seen before.
"Before we leave." Fleur added. "We didn't get your last name Harry."Harry smiled his trademark lopsided smile. "No I guess you didn't. It's Potter. My name's Harry Potter."
With his smooth closing, the same he had used on Aimee Before, he casually gathered his group around him and made his way to the Gryffindor dorms.
When Harry was out of site and the two french beauties made it safely back into their carriages Fleur turn to her best friend and squealed. As Aimee removed the shaw the veela saw the absolute dumbstruck face of her friend. Harry Potter was not just a name known to those in England. Sure the engish knew him better and outside his home country he was only a famous name but neither of the two girls thought they would be meeting the 'Vanquisher of Evil' as he was known better as on the continent.
The first war had spread into many of the wizarding establishments in Europe. It was easy for a relative small force that was deatheaters to hit targets all over the world with magic travel such as apperation and portkeys. Both girls' fathers had fought the dark forces in and around France before the downfall and subsequent killing or capture of many in the dark force. Those who had escaped prosecution integrated themselves back into normal life.
Aimee's father had been part of the army that had risen to stop Voldemort's forces. He along with Jean Delacour had risen in ranking quickly due to their magical power, charisma, knowledge and skill. Jean retired after the war and started his political career. He was now one of the most powerful men in France. Clovis Kampe stayed in the auror program and now worked as the head auror in France. Aimee had always found it amusing that her father's name meant famous warrior. For that is exactly what he had become.
Both girls stayed up late in the night talking about the boy they had just met.
Harry Potter had made his first major change to history. Be it for ill or gain had yet to be seen. Only time will tell in the end.
As Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville finished up the last bit of homework they had for the week Fred and George burst through the portrait hole. Spying Harry they made their way over.
"We just got back from the Great Hall.""Dumbledore set up the age line around the Goblet."
"So how are we going to get around it?" Both twins asked at once.
Harry looked at the two like they were crazy. "I don't plan on entering." He responded and interrupted any further argument from the twins he plowed on. "Though if someone wanted to get themselves killed all they would need to do is have someone of age drop their name in for them. Dumbledore only said that anyone below sixteen couldn't cross the age line. That leads me to believe that there is no way for someone to adjust the Goblet of Fire to only choose people above a certain age, only who is best qualified.""We were thinking of making an aging potions but We like your idea better."
"Yes much easier.""And we know just the person." The twins spoke back and forth again.
"Yes that probably would work." Hermione grumbled out as she thought of a way that the professors would have negated that loophole.
"How did you come up with that so quickly?" Ron asked with mild surprise.
"Well," Harry rubbed his cheek, "I've found wizards think too one dimensional. Like if there was a raving crazy portrait on the wall with a perminate sticking charm and couldn't be silenced. Well most wizards would just give up trying to get it down and shutting the thing up. Instead why not try to cut the canvas away from the frame. Or blow the thing up. Or cut out the wall around the portrait. I'm sure there is no way that aging potion would fool Dumbledore's line. Probably nothing will. But there are a lot of creative ways to do things. Having someone else older than the limit seemed like the easiest. Another would be to stand outside the line and throw wads of parchment at the cup until you get one in. Maybe magic to levitate your entry in.""I guess I just see so many wizards and witches give up if a simple spell doesn't get what they want done. We put so much emphasis on a spell to block the killing curse. We call in the unblockable curse. Bolloks! Instead of waiting for the damn spell to hit move out of the way. It is one of the slowest traveling spells in existence. There case closed. Spells ineffective. If you can't move levitate a chunk of ground or rock, conjure something. A simple avis will be a more than effective shield for it."
Tired and finished with his work Harry moved off to bed, leaving a shocked group behind. They had never seen Harry get so agitated over something like that before.
Saturday passed quickly for the six Hogwarts students. Most of the day was spent watching others enter their names. Many like Cedric seemed a little shy about entering but a host of friends laughed and kept pushing them to the cup. Krum stilled the room with his mere presence. The famous quidditch star stalked to the cup and dropped his name in. Harry wondered how someone could be such a great flyer but seem so awkward on the ground. It seemed he should have been born an eagle but was somehow mixed up when entering his body. Maybe there was an eagle out there somewhere that couldn't fly well.
Instead of Fred and George entering with so much fanfare, it was Malfoy. Trying to salvage some of his nonexistent masculinity, he entered the Great Hall. Beside him were his ever present trolls. The three of them pulled a vial of milky white potion from their pockets and showing it to everyone, bragging that they had found a way to get past the age line.
As one they tipped the potion to their lips and drank the contents.
"It was an aging potion like the twins were going to make." Hermione whispered into the group.
"This ought to be another good show." Ginny whispered back.
"The idiots had to make it themselves since Snape is still in the infirmary." Harry said. "They weren't able to get his help to cheat the line."
"Watch as I enter my name into the Goblet. Eternal glory will be mine!" Draco yelled as he sauntered past the line.
It let him through, along with his two guards.
"Why didn't anything happen?" Ron asked. "Surely Dumbledore would have thought about a simple aging potions."
No one was able to react as the blue flames shot into the air, spitting the out the parchment that had just been dropped into it. Lines of orange flames lifted into the air.
"The line must set the spell but it won't do anything unless you actually enter."
"That was pretty ingenious." Harry had to admit. A good piece of magic was just a good piece of magic.
Draco watched as the lines of floating fire grew more and more agitated before they congregated.
BAM! An explosion echoed from the walls and the three boys were bodily lifted and throw half way across the hall. They landed in a pile of limbs. Suddenly their hair started growing and then turned grey.
Harry looked over to see Fleur, Aimee and a few of their friends had shown, prepared to enter the contest. They had stopped however as they watched the three boys get tossed away from the cup.
"You told me this would work you brainless monkeys!" Malfoy screamed. His voice had risen in pitch and now resembled his voice from a few days before.
"But it was your idea." Goyle said in a confused voice.
"Yea, it was when we were in the common room. You said that since Snape wasn't around to help us we had to do it ourselves." Crabbe supplied.
Draco turned red and started ranting at the top of his lungs, completely forgetting where he was. Students from all three schools chuckled and snickered at the irate blond as he made even more of a fool of himself.
The soft voice beside Harry surprised him and it was only the fact that he knew that voice anywhere that kept him from taking drastic measures as he normally would in that instance. That didn't mean he didn't jump at the shock or let out a rather loud, but still manly, exclamation."Holly Harrah Aimee! Don't do that." He panted, recovering from his shock.
Aimee, Fleur, well everybody laughed even harder then they were at Harry.
"Yes, yes, it was all very funny." Harry conceded smiling. If it had been someone else he knew he would have laughed as well. "To answer your question though: That is our very own Draco Malfoy, Slytherin prince, and all around arse hole. You've managed to catch him in a particularly amusing display this evening. You should have seen the prank we played on him before your school arrived."
"I'm sure I would. Maybe you could show me some time?"
Harry nearly jumped in the air, pumping his fists at that. "Yea sure." He ended up saying instead. He was glad the attraction and magnetism the two shared Before showed again. "We made sure to get pictures and I'm sure Ron would be more than willing to provide the sound effects."
Aimee laughed and Harry loved the sound of it. Her Coppery golden hair was pulled back in a pony tail and her aquamarine eyes danced. He couldn't take it any more. Harry had to do something, anything to get them closer to one another.
"Um Aimee?" The black haired youth seemed hesitant to ask. "I know they haven't announced it formally yet but when they asked us to bring dress robes to school this year I figured there would be something special going on, other than the tournament that is."
Aimee looked at the young man she found herself growing more and more attracted to through her eye lashes.
"Well what I'm trying to say is that, if you want to, you really don't have to if you don't, but I think we could have a good time, that is to say, um." He stopped and looked at Aimee sheepishly. "Would you go to what ever event that is being held with me?"
The sound of his voice pleaded with her to say yes and Aimee found she couldn't refuse. Not like she wanted to.
"I would love to Harry. It is a ball by the way. A Yule ball. Madam Maxime informed us before we left and I would love to go with you."
Both gazed at each other for a while. Both wearing stupid expressions on their faces, lost in the other's gaze.
Ginny watched the two below her. She always thought that she would eventually be with Harry. She worked hard to be able to actually sit and talk with him this summer. She, more than anyone, had been bursting with joy when Harry showed up at the Burrow and seemed to demand she become part of his close knit group.
"It was love at first site Gin. There's nothing to do about it I'm afraid." Hermione said as she placed a hand on her friend's shoulder.
"I have never seen her act these way weeth anoother boy before." Fleur added from the petite red head's other side. "She is normally very reezerved around other males. Not shy, but it takes much to gain her trust.""Really I'm happy that he seems to have found someone." Ginny replied with a bitter sweet smile. "He deserves so much and had received so little."
"I just hope she knows how to handle herself in a life threatening situation. Every year someone or something has tried to kill him. You-Know-Who's shade first year with the stone. I'll have to tell you the story about that Gin."
"Aimee and I as well. We had no idea Harry had overcome even more since he vanquished Oo-Know-Oo before." Fleur asked looking curious.
"Yea, that shouldn't be a problem." Ginny stated. She had taken a liking to the two french girls when they had first met. After the Chamber incident it had been hard for her to trust anyone. But when Harry accepted them so quickly she decided to as well. So far Harry had only made friends with those who were trustworthy. He seemed to have natural radar when it came to the unsavory people. Like in first year when, without even knowing him, he had refused Malfoy's hand of friendship.
"So what else have you and Harry done since coming to school?" Fleur prompted from Hermione.
"Well first year we save the Stone from Voldemort, keeping him from coming back. Second year Harry killed a basilisk that was residing in the Chamber of Secrets and saved Ginny's life in the process. Last year he saved someone really close to him, me and Ron and produced a patronus that drove away over a hundred dementors. I can only guess what this year will bring. It's no wonder really that Harry was so glad that he wasn't of age to participate in the tournament. He's hoping for a year that he gets to watch all the excitement from the sidelines for once."
Fleur shivered violently at the mention of the dementors but both other girls didn't notice. The french veela placed her name in the goblet to many applause. Then she and Aimee left to prepare for dinner. There was only one more day before the Tri-Wizard champions would be drawn.
"You know we're going to have a Yule ball this year?" Harry asked around a piece of toast the next morning at breakfast. He had timed it so that Ron was in the middle of stuffing his face. Eggs sprayed across the table into a luckily empty place.
"What!" Ron shouted looking panicked. Neville didn't look much better. His face had drained of all color.
In direct opposition to the males at the table, Ginny, Hermione and even Luna seemed to radiate excitement at the pronouncement.
"A ball?" Ginny asked with hope. She knew Harry wouldn't be taking her but that didn't mean she wouldn't have fun.
"Yea, Dumbledore seems to want to keep it a secret from us. Beaubuxton and Durmstrang have already told both their students." Harry responded.
"How do you know about Durmstrang?" Hermione asked.
"Ran into Krum on the way down this morning, literally. Did you know you could surf down the stair rails all the way from the seventh floor? Anyway, I was sliding down the banister between the second and first floors when I lost control. Managed to break my fall on Krum though." Harry laughed as the others seemed gob smacked. It wasn't every day that someone you knew plowed over a famous quidditch star. "Anyway, we got to talking and I just asked him if they had been told. You can guess the rest."
"You-yo-you spoke to Krum?" Ron asked on an awed voice.
"Yea Ron. It's no big deal. He's just a person. Why should I be nervous to talk to the guy?"
"But it was Krum, Victor Krum."
"By that logic I'm Potter, Harry Potter. You don't have a problem talking to me so why should you him. No difference really.""Good on you Harry." Hermione beamed. "We should really use this opportunity to build friendships with those from other schools. I am very glad to see someone attempting to do such a thing."
"Yea, well I told him we would be more than happy to have him over at our table every now and then. Fleur and Aimee will probably be sitting with us as well a lot."
"You sure seem to get along with that Aimee chick." Seamus cut in from just down the table. "She is a looker. Way to go Harry. I'm thinking of making a move on her veela friend myself soon."
"I do not date leetle boyz." Fleur responded from behind the Irishman in her typically frigid manner.
"Oh well, was worth a try. Can't blame a guy for trying." Seamus smiled at Fleur.
The veela laughed and shot him a smile back.
"This is Seamus, Fleur. He is my dorm mate. They guy beside him is Dean, also my dorm mate. So be nice."
"Oui, Harry. I will try to."
Harry scooted over to make room for Aimee beside him as Fleur rounded the end of the table and prepared to sit at the place across from Ron.
"Hold on a sec." Ginny said as she quickly scourgified the table and chair of the eggs Ron spat earlier.
"So your part veela?" Hermione asked. Harry rolled his eyes. That girl would never stop learning and one day she was going to have to remove her foot from a long way down her throat.
"Oui. My mozare was half veela. My sister and I are quarter veela."
"There were some veela at the world cup. They seemed to have some cool powers. Like nearly making Ron jump from the top box." Harry quipped enjoying the reddening face of his friend.
Instead of blowing his top like he would have Before he merely responded with a sarcastic laugh. He followed it up with a question to Fleur. "How is that though? It felt like I had to do something to impress them.""That is zee veela enchantment. It eez natural and even with practice we can only tone it down to a degree. It doez not seem to effeect your group much though. It eez nice to not have to constantly worry about the charm while around people."
"We've all been studying occlumency to help organize and protect our minds from outside intrusion since the summer. I've already finished up and am helping the others. We figure we will all be done around the end of the school year."
"Occlumency? I ave never heard of such a skill before." Fleur wondered.
"You said it protects your mind? In what way?" Aimee asked the table.
"Well the basic form that we are all still trying to learn builds a basic shield around our minds. Since we are just starting the shield is rather thin." Neville stated.
Hermione pick up. "But with study and practice the shield gets stronger. We are then able to sort our minds. It really helps remembering things better as well as retain information. Only Harry has moved on to the advanced version."
Everyone in the growing group looked to Harry to explain.
"I don't know how I was able to pick it up so fast. It could be that I gain the skill from Voldemort as a baby. Still I think I have made something new. At least in a way." He hadn't gone into depth what the more advanced occlumency was like. He didn't want anyone trying it too early and destroy all the progress they made so far. "After the basics are done you can then turn your shield into anything you want. You can then add more shields. I just call them wards. If you are worried about someone getting past your shields you can turn your mind into a mindscape. A setting, place that can confuse and defend your mind. I personally made a jungle. You can do a lot of things. I would recommend deception when it comes to placing the memories. I will tell you all later after you master the basics. But I also added mind defenders. Since it's your mind it can be anything you can imagine."
"Wow." Aimee said with wide eyes. "Have you ever heard of occlumency before Fleur?"
"Non. Would you be willing to teach us Harry. It might help with zee charm as well.""No problem. We've been working out every morning and practicing. If you want to meet me at the entrance hall around six tomorrow morning we could get started.""Six?" Aimee asked in amazement. "You start working at six in the morning?"
"Yep, an early start to the day."The two Beaubuxton students were a lot more reluctant to learning after hearing that but they would try, at least for a little bit. If they didn't like it they could stop.
"I still don't know why you won't enter the tournament." Ron groused as he finished off the pudding on his plate. "You were the one to figure out a way around that stupid line and you didn't even take advantage of it. Oliver must have entered half of Gryffindor. All you needed to do was ask him."
"I already told you Ron. I just want a quiet year on the sidelines." Harry had made sure to spend all his time the past few days since the entrance of the Goblet with his ginger headed friend. Hopefully it would keep the boy from thinking Harry had betrayed him by entering. Also giving Ron a way to enter if he wanted to should help.
"I for one am glad to not have to worry about anything other than school for once." Hermione stated. It was the five Gryffindors sitting next to each other. Luna, Fleur and Aimee were again at the Ravenclaw table as mandated for the drawing in a few minutes.
"What do you think the challenges are going to be?" Neville asked.
"In the past they have been based on three things." Ginny supplied. She had done quite a bit of reading on the history of the event. It was because of her that Ron decided not to enter after hearing story after story of people maimed or even killed in a few instances. "Usually the first even is a test of bravery and quick thinking. It has historically been the only event that the contestants were not supposed to know about before hand."
"What do you mean by 'suppose'?" Ron asked.
"Well it also seems to be a tradition for the schools to do their best to cheat for their contestant. There was one recorded event back in the 1600s that a school was disqualified for blatant cheating. Since then it still occurs but behind the scenes."
"So what happens after the first task?" Harry asked. He really wished he had this much brain power working for him the first time around.
"Well, traditionally, the next event has to do with problem solving skills, probably a riddle of some sort. The answer to the riddle must be solved in order to know how to prepare for the next event."
"The final task is usually an over all test of skill, cunning, brains and determination." She finished.
Neville let out a low whistle. "Glad I didn't enter. Just think of what they could make you do. They might make you travel though the forbidden forest or something."
"Good evening to one and all to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Dumbledore beamed at the assembled students below him. "After our most delicious meal, courtesy of our esteemed house elves the Tri-Wizard ceremony must continue. Shortly the Goblet of Fire will choose who among you is to represent your school in a test of skill and daring. The winner shall bring not only themselves glory and riches but to their school and country as well. Now please," Dumbledore waved his hand around the room, dimming the torches and creating a mood of anticipation and drama, "turn you attention to the Goblet of Fire."
With the torches banked the Goblet sent off a blue glow around the hall. The dancing flames flickered and grew. Blue flame turned green then orange then a tower of flame shot from the mouth of the cup. Out of the top of the flame a single, singed, piece of parchment floated down into the waiting hand of Albus Dumbledore.
"The contestant for Durmstrang Institute is Victor Krum!" The mage shouted.
The Durmstrang students cheered as did the other students around the hall. Igor Karkaroff pumped his fist in an exclamation of approval.
Again the Goblet flared and a second piece of parchment floated to the waiting hand.
"The contestant for Hogwarts School is Cedric Diggory!"
The Hufflepuff table exploded in shouts while all but the Slytherins cheered for Cedric.
Again the Goblet worked its magic.
"For Beaubuxton Magical Institute, Ms. Fleur Delacour."
Again the announcement was met with cheers of approval. Harry noticed Aimee hugging her friend and the two talked excitedly for a moment.
"Yes very good." Dumbledore exclaimed happily. "Would those chosen please make their way into the back room." He gestured toward an iron door just past the head table.
As the three filed thought he door Dumbledore started to speak again. He was interrupted however by the Goblet of Fire shooting bolts of fire around the ceiling of the entire hall. Students screamed and the teachers stood abruptly. The elderly headmaster had his wand in hand in a flash ready to defend his students.
Harry watched, a lead weight filling his stomach. He didn't know why he felt so much trepidation. He had been working hard to ensure this happened. He had been a model student. Kept his grades above average but nothing truly outstanding like he was capable of. When in class with Moody, or Crouch Jr. as Harry knew him to be, he was polite and listened intently as he had done in the classes taught by the man Before. They had yet to get to the unforgivable but by the end of November they should have them done.
Once again the Goblet spewed fire from its maw and a singed piece of parchment floated back towards the earth. As if on their own, Harry's eyes focused on the parchment as it drifted down. His enhanced vision, thanks to the potion he made that summer, zoomed in on the lettering. The name 'Harry Potter' was the only thing it said.
"So be it." Harry whispered softly. Still his four friends turned to him in confusion.
A second later the elderly mage's hand snatched the paper from the air and stared at the name in shock and confusion. His head swiveled to the officials at the head table only to meet their confused gazes. It then shot to where Harry sat.
"Harry Potter." He spoke softly before gathering himself. "Harry Potter!"
I went for the big chapter this time. I know I haven't posted in a while. To tell you the truth I just haven't felt like writing lately and a few good books I have read have taken my mind in a different direction to this fic. I said early that the postings on this would be sporadic so there was fair warning. All of you interested in Identity should know that I am trying to put together the final two chapters to it. I'm going to erase the last chapter all together. I was really not happy with it after I had a chance to go back and read it a week ago. I will try to have it done by Christmas. Thanks for keeping me motivated to write. Each review made me feel a little more guilty that I had left this hanging where I did.