A/N: I've been working on this for a while now, never got around to finishing it, but after finishing Chapter Eight: The Portrait on the Wall for Power of Three, I decided to take a break and finish this and read the rest of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, which I've been re-reading. Only have a couple days until Deathly Hallows, you know, so I don't have long at all. That's what I get for being such a big procrastinator. sigh I really do wonder where I get it sometimes. The ability to do something early just doesn't come naturally to me. I may have the time, but I don't care. Grr. Well, I'll let you read the fic now, so please enjoy and REVIEW!!!
Through the Eyes of Another
Goblet of Fire
Dumbledore looked just about as shocked as I felt. There was a pang of anger that throbbed inside me as I sat and watched the headmaster stare at the parchment with Harry's name on it. I glared at Harry, fully expecting his face to show a sneer of triumph, when I saw that he was staring off into space, eyes glazed over in what looked a lot like horror. I knew he was faking it, but I have to admit, he was a pretty good actor.
"I didn't put my name in," Harry said suddenly, still with the same blank expression on his face. "You know I didn't."
Ha! Of course he did it, what does he take me for? I didn't look at him, only continued to stare at the staff table. McGonagall was whispering urgently to Professor Dumbledore, no doubt about Harry. It was always about Harry.
"Harry Potter!" Dumbledore called again. "Harry! Up here, if you please!"
"Go on," I heard Hermione whisper to Harry, and I glanced over to see her give him a slight push. What was up with him, anyway? You'd think he'd be happy; wasn't this why he'd entered in the first place?
I frowned as Harry got up slowly, trod on the hem of his robes, and stumbled slightly, as if dazed. He continued to walk the length of the Great Hall until he stopped in front of Dumbledore.
"Well . . . through the door, Harry," I could hear Dumbledore say without a trace of a smile. Harry obeyed, walking like a sloth to the doors that Krum, Fleur, and Cedric had walked through moments before. No more than a minute after he was gone, the rest of the staff, along with Karkaroff and Madam Maxime, followed him. The hall immediately burst into life, students at every table talking about what had just happened.
"Ron? What just happened?" Hermione asked me, her face pale. I looked at her in amazement. How could she not understand?
"Harry put his name in the Goblet of Fire and didn't tell us," I replied coldly.
Seamus leaned over. "Yeah, how d'you reckon he did it?"
I shook my head warily. I couldn't, despite my anger, tell him about Harry's Invisibility Cloak. That was probably how he'd done it. "I don't know, but I'm going to find out."
"Ron! You don't honestly believe that Harry put his name in the Goblet himself!" Hermione asked, bewildered.
"Come off it, Hermione! You know he did it; probably wanting more attention," I snarled. Hermione stared at me, eyes full of disbelief.
I could just make out the Hufflepuffs whispered conversations at the next table. They were not happy. "I can't believe he'd steal Cedric's title!"
"He's only an attention-seeking prat!"
"Bet he's only in it for the money and glory! Cedric actually wants to bring Hogwarts honor!"
"What a git, that Potter! Bet he was jealous of Ced."
I looked away, choosing not to hear the steady stream of insults, though they reflected much of what I felt. How could Harry go off and not tell me how to enter?
I didn't see Harry until much later, when I was lying on my bed, still fully dressed. I wasn't tired, and I would rather die than be near that celebration downstairs in the Common Room. All of a sudden, he burst through the door, breathing heavily and looking more sullen than I'd ever seen him, though that was most likely from the interrogation he probably received from the teachers.
"Where've you been?" He asked me, slamming the door behind him.
I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I settled on, "Oh hello." Somehow I managed a smile, though it was a funny, strained smile that I bet looked more like a grimace, judging by the look he was giving me. He caught my eye and looked around, finally noticing that he had a Gryffindor banner draped over his back. Looking like he was going to be sick, Harry ripped it off.
"So," I said after he'd torn the scarlet banner off. "Congratulations."
He looked at me strangely. "What d'you mean, congratulations? I can assure you, I'm not happy."
"Well, it's just that, no one else got across the Age Line – not even Fred and George. Did you use the Invisibility Cloak, or something?" I could tell that my voice was sharper than usual, but I didn't care.
"The Invisibility Cloak? That wouldn't've gotten me over the Age Line," Harry said slowly.
What did he use then? "Right. I thought you would've told me if it'd been that. I mean, it would have covered both of us, right? But you found another way?"
Harry let out what sounded a lot like a low growl, though why I hadn't the slightest. "Listen. I didn't put my name in that goblet. Someone else must've, because I never did."
I raised my eyebrows. "Why would anyone do that?"
Harry paused for a moment. "I dunno." I knew he was lying.
"It's okay, you know, you can tell me the truth," I said. "If you don't want to tell everyone else, then fine, but I don't know why your lying, you didn't get into trouble, did you? That one witch in the Fat Lady's portrait already told us everything. A thousand Galleons, eh? That and no end-of-term tests, either. . . ."
"I didn't put my name in!" Harry yelled.
I let out a mock-laugh that visibly made Harry angrier. "Oh, yeah, sure. Only, wasn't it just this morning when you said that you'd have entered last night, and no one would have seen? I'm not stupid, you know."
"You're doing a really good impression of it!" Harry snapped.
I immediately dropped that stupid grin I'd been wearing and glared at him. "You better go to bed. I 'spect you'll want to be up early for an interview, or something." And with that, I grabbed for the crimson curtains surrounding my four-poster and slid them closed, blocking out the horrid sight of Harry. I had never hated anyone like this before, not even Malfoy.
The next morning at breakfast I was pestered by Hermione about Harry. She believed his lies, much to my dismay, and was going to meet up with him later. After she left I finished my breakfast with Ginny, scowling at my porridge.
"Your porridge didn't do anything to you, you know," Ginny said, looking at me.
"Shut up, Ginny," I growled.
Instead of shutting up, she persisted. "Ron, he is your best friend. Shouldn't you take his word instead of the school's? He'd do the same for you."
I looked at her. "No, he wouldn't. He's too busy with his fame to bother with the likes of us."
"What? Where'd you get an idea like that?"
"Ginny? Have you ever been around him? He's so . . . so . . ." I struggled to find the word.
"Completely miserable right now because his best friend's ignoring him and he's been forced to enter a dangerous tournament he had no wish to enter in the first place?" Ginny offered, taking a bite of her toast.
My eyes narrowed. "No, he's arrogant. Completely self-centered."
Ginny raised her eyebrows. "Since when?"
Instead of answering, I stood and grabbed my bag. "See you."
"Ron!" Ginny shouted angrily, making to stand up, too. I was quicker, though, and practically ran to the front doors. I was going to, well, I didn't know what I was going to do, but I wanted to go outside.
Out on the grounds, I walked toward the Lake, staring into the depths at my angry reflection. I don't know how long I stood there before I glanced up and noticed Harry and Hermione walking on the other side, talking in hushed tones. I crept out of sight, not wanting to talk to either of them, and stood behind a tree within earshot. I caught bits of their conversation as they neared my tree.
"They'd never be able to get over Dumbledore's Age Line, or fool the —" Hermione said quietly.
"Have you seen Ron?" Harry interrupted her. I frowned at the sound of his voice.
"Er, yes, he was at breakfast."
"Does he still think I entered myself?" Harry asked testily.
It sounded like Hermione paused, because it was silent for a moment. "Well . . . no, er, I don't . . . not really."
"Come off it, what's 'not really'?"
"Oh, Harry, it's obvious!"
"Really? I don't think so."
Hermione sighed impatiently. "Harry, he's jealous!"
Harry let out a cold laugh. "He wants to make a fool of himself in front of the whole school, maybe get killed in the process? That's what he's jealous of?"
"Well, it's always you who gets attention, you know that, though it's not your fault. I know you don't ask for it or particularly want it —"
"I don't," Harry cut in furiously.
"Well, yes, but Ron's got all these older brothers to compete with at home, and well, you're his best friend, and he has put up with the fame; the being shunted aside as you get attention. He never mentions it, but I think this is just one time too many . . . " Hermione's voice dwindled off. I thought about what she'd said, and the more I did, the more I knew it to be true. Harry got the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry rescued Ginny, Harry conjured a Patronus and saved Sirius and Buckbeak — Harry, Harry, Harry! It drove me mad thinking about it! I was there most of the time, and did I ever get credit?
"Tell him I'll trade with him any day — people gawking at your forehead everywhere you go — not to mention the many, many times that I've almost been killed. Yeah, that's a lot to want in a life, let me tell you."
"You can tell him, I am not telling him anything."
"Hermione, I'm not chasing after him trying to make him grow up! Maybe if I break my neck, or die, perhaps, he'll believe I'm not enjoying myself one bit."
"That's not funny at all, Harry," I could tell Hermione was anxious. "I was thinking about it, and you do know what to do, right?"
"Yeah, kick Ron so hard he sees spots."
"Er, no. Write to Sirius! He'll know what to make of this. Let's go now, you can write your letter in the Owlery."
"Honestly, why don't you just go up to Ron and kindly explain this . . . " Hermione's voice got fainter as they walked toward the Owlery. I came out from behind my tree, deep in thought. Harry had really hooked Hermione into this lie, but how? Hermione was smart, and yet she'd fallen for Harry's trick. Quite frankly, I was disgusted.
The next few days were some of the worst I've ever lived through; at least at Hogwarts. Even though I was furious with him, I still hated to hear people talk bad about Harry. Unfortunately, Harry was very unpopular with almost everyone who wasn't a Gryffindor, so I had to hear a lot of horrid things being thrown at him.
Things took a terrible turn for the worse one afternoon, when we had Double Potions with the Slytherins. I was standing with Dean and Seamus by the wall in the dungeons, waiting for class, when Harry sidled up with Hermione close by. The Slytherins were all wearing these glowing badges that said something I couldn't read from my position.
"Like our badges, Potter?" Malfoy shouted loudly as he and the other Slytherins saw him approaching. I gritted my teeth in frustration; I hated Malfoy, and Harry, but the both of them having it out? That would be difficult. "This isn't all they do, by the way. Look see, Potter." Malfoy turned around for all to see; I got a clear view to what they said:
SUPPORT CEDRIC DIGGORY–
THE REAL HOGWARTS CHAMPION!
Then, after dramatically pressing the button, it spun and revealed a new message, in glowing, acid-green letters:
The Slytherins laughed while Harry growled. I saw that his face was a bright scarlet.
"Oh very witty," Hermione said sarcastically to Pansy Parkinson and her gang of Slytherin girls, who were all laughing maniacally.
"Hey Granger, you want one? I've got loads, just don't touch me," Malfoy said cheekily, holding out a red, glowing badge.
This snapped something in Harry, because he was on Malfoy in a second, his wand out and pointing at his chest.
"Just try, Potter. No Moody here now to protect you," Malfoy sneered, pulling out his own wand.
I watched as they glared at each other before each saying a different spell at the same time. The two jets of light ricocheted off the walls and hit each other in mid-air, before hitting both Goyle and Hermione. She gasped and whimpered in panic as Goyle started howling in pain as boils started to erupt on his great, ugly face.
"Hermione!" I yelled and bounded forward, leaving Harry and Malfoy to their own fight. Hermione was clutching her hands over her mouth and refused to remove them. I sighed in exasperation before prying her hands off.
Hermione's teeth were growing longer. They were now past her chin, and heading for her collarbone. She felt them and let out a horrified cry.
"What's going on here?" I heard Snape's voice behind us ask. I whipped around. "Explain, Mr. Malfoy."
"I was standing here, and Potter attacked me, sir —"
"What? We both attacked at the same time, you slimy —" Harry started angrily, but Malfoy continued on, louder.
"He hit Goyle, look!"
Snape took one look at Goyle, who's face was covered in angry boils, and sent him to the Hospital Wing.
I couldn't contain myself. "Malfoy got Hermione!" I forced her to show him, and, in removing her hands, I saw that her teeth had now reached her collarbone.
"There's no difference that I can see," Snape said coldly. Hermione burst into tears and ran to the Hospital Wing, trying frantically to cover her teeth. Harry and I rounded on Snape and started to shout all the insults we could think of, though our voices blended and echoed so much you couldn't even tell what we were shouting.
"Detention — Potter, Weasley, and fifty points from Gryffindor. Now go inside, or you'll lose more than house points."
I scowled and walked moodily inside, Harry close by. I was too angry with Snape to bother with him, so instead, I sat by Seamus and Dean, leaving Harry to sit by himself.
The lesson went on for about two minutes before Colin Creevey burst in, smiling goofily at Harry. Snape cleared his throat loudly and Colin turned pink. "Sorry, sir, but I'm supposed to take Harry Potter upstairs."
"Why? Potter has a class to finish," Snape leered.
"Sir, all champions have to go, Mr. Bagman wants them. Something about taking photographs, or something."
Of course. I felt the anger rise inside me, but I stared at the ceiling, knowing that if I looked at him, I'd curse him silly.
Days later, I noticed a change in Harry. He was much more depressed-looking, with a glazed look to his eyes. But, what did I care? I noticed that Hermione was looking anxious, too, though I had no idea why, and I'd rather die than ask her. Turns out I didn't have to, though. She walked right up to me during lunch one afternoon, after Harry had walked silently out of the Great Hall looking sullen.
"You really need to grow up, Ronald," she spat at me. I was reminded strongly of Crookshanks when he's been thrown off someone's lap.
"What? He's the git!" My temper was rising rapidly. I was glaring daggers at her, but she didn't shrink away – she persisted.
"You have no idea, none at all, of what Harry's going through right now!"
I snorted. "He's probably enjoying the extra publicity."
This set her off. "No, he's NOT! He knows what the First Task is now, and he's scared! He won't say it, but it's so obvious!"
Despite myself, I was curious about the task. "What is it, then?"
It was her turn to snort. "Only care about the task, not of Harry's feelings. I'm not telling, it's Harry's business." With that, she stood and walked out of the Great Hall, no doubt to catch up with Harry.
"Ron, why are you such a prat?" Ginny hissed behind me. I whipped around in surprise.
"Ginny, we went through this already, it's all him. He's just an arrogant git." She narrowed her eyes, staring at me hard as if seeing me for the first time.
"I really expected more of you, Ron. You were his best friend, and I know this isn't how a best friend should act. Hermione's right, you need to grow up." She tossed her hair over her shoulder angrily.
An idea came to me. "Hey Ginny, d'you know what the First Task is?" I was hopeful she hadn't heard the bit about it being Harry's business.
"Yeah, Charlie told me."
"What?!" I stared at her, shocked. "He didn't tell me anything! How would he know, anyway?"
Ginny rolled her eyes annoyingly. "The four champions have to get past a different dragon each. Chinese Fireball, Swedish Short-Snout, Common Welsh Green, and a Hungarian Horntail are the breeds, Charlie said. The dragon's have been given an egg to protect, and it's the egg the champion has to get." Her eyes looked worried at the prospect of diving in front of a nesting dragon mother, then, almost instantaneously, they grew steely as she looked at me. "I wasn't going to tell you, seeing as I did hear what Hermione said, and the fact that you are a prat, but I wanted you to know, because maybe now you will know that Harry's not having any fun. He's very scared." She strode out of the Hall after that, her red hair whipping behind her angrily.
From that point on, I think I really started to doubt my earlier feelings about this whole tournament. Maybe, just maybe, Harry wasn't enjoying this limelight, and was actually worrying about living to see the Second Task.
The day of the First Task, I made up my mind: Harry hadn't put his name in the Goblet. I mean, it wasn't the first time someone had tried to do him in, was it? And a dragon, well, that was a sure-fire way to go about doing it.
I looked for him, hoping to catch him before the task started, but was unsuccessful. I was just coming down from Gryffindor Tower when I ran into Hermione and Ginny, who were heading toward the front doors. They stared at me, eyes narrowed, and I looked at the floor in embarrassment.
"Are you coming to the task, Ron?" Hermione asked stiffly.
I looked up, avoiding her gaze. "Yeah, I am, d'you mind if . . .?"
"Are you saying," Ginny said disbelievingly, "that you have finally realized that you are the biggest prat to ever live?" I looked at her for a few moments before nodding slowly. I knew she was right, I had been a prat. Harry hadn't done anything to me, and I'd gone off and started accusing him of something he didn't do.
Hermione smiled for a second before frowning again. "I don't know if Harry's going to forgive you very quickly, Ron."
Ginny snorted. "Can you blame him?"
"No," I said miserably. I had probably lost myself my best friend over something stupid. My stomach churned horribly as we took our seats in the stands. I hadn't even realized we'd been walking as we talked. I looked down into the pit before us and gasped audibly, eyes wide in shock.
There was a huge blue-grey dragon crouched low between two rocks. It had to be bigger than a house. I wondered which dragon Harry'd gotten.
"That's the Swedish Short-Snout," Ginny whispered in awe. "Charlie told me what to look for in each dragon. I hope Harry didn't get the Horntail."
"Horntail?" I asked.
She looked at me, eyes wide in fear. "The Hungarian Horntail. Charlie said it was the nastiest dragon he'd ever seen. It's got these long, horrible spikes on its tail and can breath fire really far." I swallowed nervously as a whistle blew and Diggory came out. He got past the Short-Snout pretty quickly, but got badly burned. After he left the arena, about a dozen wizards took the dragon out, returning five minutes later with a smaller green one with smooth scales.
"Welsh Green," Ginny said quietly, eyeing the champion's tent, which was just visible from where we were sitting, "goes to that Fleur girl. Don't worry, though, there's still the Fireball."
Fleur got past her dragon without a scratch, though it took her longer to do so. She walked out with the golden egg clutched to her, beaming at her marks. I couldn't help but feel a swooping sensation in the pit of my stomach as she smiled, but I was shook out of it by a loud gasp.
"Oh no!" Ginny said loudly. Hermione and I started and whipped around to look at her in concern. "What?" We both asked quickly.
"That's the Chinese Fireball, and here comes Krum! That means . . ."
"Harry got the Horntail," Hermione finished for her in a quiet voice, which was shaking slightly. I swallowed hard and took a breath, not really even paying attention to Krum's performance. I looked down when there was a deafening roar from the crowd, knowing Harry would be next. My stomach squirmed uncomfortably. What if Harry died? Would I forgive myself for being angry with him till his last moments?
I watched numbly as the 12 wizards brought in the Horntail. It truly was menacing, with yard-long bronze spikes on its scaly tail. It's cold yellow eyes glared at the crowd as it let out a roar of disapproval and stretched its monstrous leathery wings.
"There's Harry!" Ginny shouted suddenly, and I tore my eyes away from the awful dragon to my best mate, or ex-best mate, who was walking into the enclosure as if toward his execution. He entered, glancing toward the Horntail nervously, before raising his wand and shouting something I couldn't make out.
"What'd he say?" I asked no one in particular.
Hermione, not taking her eyes off Harry, answered, "Accio Firebolt."
"How d'you know?" Ginny asked.
"I helped him perfect the Summoning Charm before the task. Now, shush."
I turned back to watch as Harry's Firebolt zoomed into view and Harry jumped on, flying directly at the dragon. He flew around its huge head, dodging the bursts of fire that the furious Horntail sent his way. Suddenly, though, the Horntail's horrendous spikes caught Harry's arm and he plummeted, blood forming a red patch on his sleeve. I heard Ginny and Hermione gasp in horror, but continued to watch, scared to look away.
Harry was acting the part of annoying fly, and finally, exasperated, the dragon spread its enormous black wings and flew at him. Harry was too quick, however, and made a spectacular dive underneath the monster and his hand closed around the Golden Egg. I let out the breath I hadn't known I'd been holding in relief. He'd lived, and I could patch things up with him . . . or at least try to, anyway.
Harry staggered out of the arena looking pale, but happy. I jumped up, accompanied by Hermione, and we left Ginny as we ran to the first aid tent. We hurried inside and saw Harry sitting in the back. Hermione rushed over. "That was brilliant Harry!" Hermione squeaked. "That was amazing, really! And against a Horntail!"
Harry wasn't looking at her, but at me. I knew the colour must have drained from my face, and that I must be looking at him strangely, but I didn't care. I needed to fix things.
"Harry," I began in a shaking voice, "whoever put your name in the Goblet of Fire, well, I reckon their trying to do you in!" He looked at me long and hard, his eyes taking on a steely glint. "Have you finally caught on? Took you long enough." His voice was icy, and there was no sign of forgiveness. I plowed on, though, determined to get my mate back.
"Look, I'm. . . ." I started, but Harry cut me off. "Forget it, its alright." My spirits soared and a small smile broke out on my face.
"I was a prat, mate. How could you even stand to be around me?"
Harry gave a small shrug. "Used to it."
I couldn't tell if he was joking or not, and I stood uncertain for a moment before he grinned and said, "I'm joking, Ron." I laughed along with him. Hermione, though, the killer of fun, just shook her head, tears running down her face. I looked at her in shock. "What's wrong with you?"
She shook her head furiously, sobbing. "You . . . you two are so . . . STUPID!" I grinned at Harry, who grinned back. I had my best mate back.
A/N: So what'd ya think? I don't know, I liked it. I really liked the fight between Harry and Ron in GOF, not because I hate their friendship, but because it proves that they are NORMAL. Well, thanks for reading, I'd really appreciate a review! I love reviews! I'm going back to Power of Three now, so look out for Chapter Nine – Forest Blood!