The rest of the summer passed in a flurry of innocent jokes, warm embraces, harmless (except for maybe one or two) pranks, toe curling kisses, and heart to heart chats. Bill and Charlie and Fred had become the older brothers that Harry had wished for when he cried in his dark cupboard as a child. And George…
Sweet, wonderful, amazing, smart George.
After their first kiss things had been awkward for a few hours the next morning. Harry had thought that with the entire night to think things over, George would regret kissing him. So, naturally, the younger boy hid away in Bill and Charlie's room. George, thinking that he had scared Harry off, spent the better part of the morning beating himself up.
It took several threats and a locking charm for George and Harry to confront each other. It took a few well placed pranks to get them to actually speak.
With Harry's insecurities let out in the open, George realized just how much emotional damage there was to his little lion. There had been more kisses and the promise to never abandon Harry before the door opened and their three eavesdroppers came back in.
A few weeks later they were on the train, heading off to Hogwarts. Harry was sitting on George's lap (much to his embarrassment, but George didn't care so long as he didn't let go of Harry) as the twins brainstormed for new prank ideas. Lee Jordan, the twins' oldest friend, had found them and was even contributing to the idea list. Harry seemed to be the only one in the room who noticed just how close the dark skinned boy and Fred were sitting. And…was that a blush on their cheeks? What was going on there Harry idly wondered. 'George will love to hear about this'
About half way through the train ride Neville and a girl named Luna Lovegood weaseled their way into the compartment. To everyone's surprise, the first thing that the blonde haired girl did was rush over to Harry and wrap her arms tightly around him.
"You're safe from the blubberbings Harry. The nargles won't let them harm you again." She whispered in his ear. Harry nearly stopped breathing. She couldn't possibly know about…
When she pulled away she smiled at the Gryffindors. "Hello, I'm Luna Lovegood. Do you all know that you're infested by a pack of Humming Crux flies? They're not bad, not bad at all. The louder they hum the stronger your love is and right now they are quite loud."
Silence filled the compartment. The twins desperately wanted to laugh, but the withering glare that both Harry and Neville were sending them were enough to shut them up.
"Thank you for telling us Luna, would you and Neville like to stay here with us until we get to Hogsmeade?" Harry asked politely. When he received two nods he motioned for the empty places for them to sit. "So Luna…how did you know about the B-blubberbings?" Harry asked slowly. Fred and George zeroed their attention onto him.
"Nasty little buggers, blubberbings. Don't you agree? Violent, temperamental; not at all helpful to properly raise a wizard. To answer your question, Seer blood runs through Daddy's side of the family." Luna explained calmly.
Green eyes blinked in confusion. "Seer?"
"It's someone who can see into the future, Harry" George said in his ear. Harry blushed at both his stupidity and the feeling of warm air on the side of his face.
"True Seers are very rare in the Wizarding World, Harry. Too many frauds have claimed to be a True Seer so they stopped teaching about them in schools." Neville said. Harry sent him a grateful look. Neville was such a sweet boy, never wanting any of his friends to be upset.
Conversations branched off from there. The twins and Lee went back to talking about their pranks while Harry, Neville and Luna were really just rambling. They spoke of their summers (Harry carefully omitting certain events), plants (something that Neville and Harry had bonded over in the past), and Luna's various creature hunts she went on with her father.
Sometime through their chat, Ron Hermione and Ginny tried to get into their compartment. The surprise on their faces when the door spat acid green sparks at them was priceless. Though, Harry's humor was short lived as he saw the look on Hermione's face. She looked so…betrayed. Harry grew angry. Why the hell should she feel betrayed? She was the one who turned her back on Harry! If anyone should feel betrayed, it was Harry!
"Can't you take a hint? Go away!" Fred yelled.
Deciding that it was not worth his time to grumble over Hermione, Harry turned away from the door. Neville had started talking again and Harry was more than happy to jump into the conversation.
The Triwizard Tournament. Dumbledore had just announced that Hogwarts would be hosting the most dangerous Wizarding tournament in history. Harry groaned as he realized that nothing good was going to come from this. Why did Harry have a bad feeling about it? Well after three years of psycho teachers, dementors, escaped convicts, basilisks, possessed diaries, three headed dogs and a megalomaniac with an obsession with little boys and immortality you come to expect the worst.
Although, the worst was probably hearing Fred and George planning to enter themselves despite the age limit.
"What do you mean you don't want me to enter?" George yelled. They were in the Common Room and gathering far too much attention for Harry's liking.
"George, lower your voice." Harry hissed.
"No! I want to understand why you are forbidding me from entering the tournament!"
"I'm not forbidding you! I'm asking-no I'm begging you to just let it be. Don't try and outsmart Dumbledore. Please, just don't enter. I have a really bad feeling about this tournament." Harry said quietly. He averted his eyes from George. Why he had decided to confront his boyfriend(?) in the Common Room, Harry had no idea. All they ended up doing was making a scene instead of discussing the matter maturely.
George's blue eyes softened. He could tell that Harry was worried for him, but couldn't Harry see what was at stake? With the winnings Fred and George would finally have enough for the deposit for their shop. He and his brother didn't care about the fame. They were going to become famous by their pranks, they didn't need to win the tournament for that.
With a sigh, George pulled Harry to him as he offered a compromise. "Give us one shot Harry. If we don't make it in that one shot, then we won't try again. I promise."
The light kiss that they shared sent all of the little gossips into overdrive, not that the boys really cared.
As George pulled away Harry informed him of his little revelation from the train. "I think that Fred and Lee have a thing for each other." The younger boy whispered. "Look at them."
When George did he could honestly say that he agreed with Harry. Fred and Lee were nearly touching on the couch they were occupying. There was more than enough room for the two of them, so their closeness was a bit suspicious. Their heads were bent to each other as they talked about Merlin-knows-what. George and Harry watched closely as Fred pretended to yawn. He stretched his arms up and then rested on the top of the couch behind Lee.
Harry giggled (It was actually a very manly chuckled, thank you very much!) and George gagged. Seriously, could Fred be any more obvious?
The other two schools involved in the tournament arrived the next day. There was Beauxbatons of France, and Durmstrang of Bulgaria. The students of Hogwarts, save for a few, openly gawked and ogled the foreigners.
"The Cup will now be open for candidates until October 31. That evening the cup will pick our champions." Dumbledore said.
Why was it always Halloween? This definitely furthered Harry theory that something bad was going to happen.
Fred and George's 'one shot' had been a fluke. They had decided on an ageing potion. Harry sat and watched as they jumped over the age line and placed their names in the cup. For a moment, dread filled Harry as the cup did not reject them. But as it spit little blue flames, Harry knew they were safe, even if they looked like seventy year old cavemen.
On Halloween the students and faculty of the three schools gathered in the Great Hall. Harry sat in the back with Fred, George, Lee, Neville and Luna. He did not particularly want to be there, but George did. George wanted to find out who was the lucky sod that got to be the Hogwarts champion.
The lights dimmed and the entire hall went silent.
Shortly after, the cup went from its brilliant blue to red. A piece of paper shot out and slowly floated down until Dumbledore caught it. "The Beauxbatons champion is Miss Fleur Delacour."
This process repeated two more times until all three champions were called.
"The Durmstrang Champion is Viktor Krum."
"The Hogwarts Champion is Cedric Diggory!"
With the three champions selected Dumbledore sent them to a small room adjacent to the Great Hall to wait. He was in the middle of sending the students off when the cup turned red again.
"Harry Potter." He said quietly. When harry didn't get up he yelled the name. "Harry Potter!"
Harry was frozen in his seat. He knew for a fact that he didn't put his name in the cup, so why did it come out?
Neville nudged him up. "Go on Harry."
Harry walked up to Dumbledore like it was a death sentence. Students all around the hall hissed at him.
"He's a cheat!"
"He's not even seventeen yet!"
Dumbledore sent him to the room with the other champions. As he was about to leave the hall, he glanced at his friends. They were all smiling sympathetically at him, except for George. George wouldn't even look at him.
That hurt more than the insults the students were throwing his way.
A/N: Oh Fred, why are you so corny?
Sorry for how fast the chapter went, but I wanted to get into the tournament.