To the Masses (and Llama, who heard the idea just as soon as I had it): I'm not sure if there are a lot of good Krum/Harry stories out there. This site only has two pages, and I don't even like half of them (no offence), so I decided to write my own. It was actually inspired by 'Once Upon A Cedric,' 'One Wizarding Summer,' and 'Harry Potter and the Vale of Destiny' all by twistyguru.
Warnings: Slash, Child Abuse, AU (also known as ripping this universe to pieces to fit my own twisted standards), and I'm sure there will be more to add in later chapters.
Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimers Apply.
"Unity Makes Strength" Motto of Bulgaria
An overwhelming sense of sadness flooded Harry's mind in the middle of breakfast. The only indication of what he was feeling was the slight narrowing of his green eyes and a thin sheen of tears that developed as Ronald Weasley walked past him without saying a word. Harry watched with a nearly blank expression as Ron took a seat next to his sister (who was also mad at him, for some reason), and then returned his gaze back to his breakfast.
Truthfully he wasn't all that hungry, but he wanted to sit in at breakfast in case Ron decided to forgive him. Maybe it was too much to ask of his simple friend to believe and trust him, but the small boy couldn't be certain. After all, Harry never had any friends before discovering the magical side of the world. He had to learned how to socialize, and not just the kind that was required to know when serving dinner at the Dursley's house, but there had never been a situation quite like the one Harry found himself in.
He still held onto a little hope and tried to rationalize all that he was feeling, but it only became increasingly painful. Not so much in a physical way, but Harry knew if he devoted too much time to thinking about it then he would most likely develop one of his legendary headaches. Still, there it was -a small feeling deep inside of him that told him his friend would come around, and it took him by surprise.
For several minutes Harry stared at his runny eggs and dry toast, wondering if he should join Hermione in the library. She'd seemed to have sensed the tension between her friends as soon as she stepped off of the last stair and into the common room, in response he fled to the library. Later she would claim that it was to give them space to talk out their problems, but Harry knew she was about as socially competent as he was. After all, fleeing the conflict was usually what Harry did when he thought he could get away with it.
Quickly he glanced back at Ron, who was eating carelessly and spraying crumbs over his sister and her friends. Harry let out a pitiful sigh and turned away from his meal. It wasn't hard to squeeze out from between Dean and Seamus and grab up his bag. Neither of the boys asked where he was going, didn't ask if he wanted one of them to walk with him, and didn't even offer to move while he sought to escape their company. They knew the young boy almost as well as Ron did, and cleverly deduced his mood and what actions would should be taken (or avoided). Any attempt at the before mentioned actions would have led to a mild outburst and maybe a shattered goblet or two, or -Merlin forbid that young Harry actually break down and cry in a room full of people (which would lead to even more shattered goblets, and the boys had theorized at one point that Harry could actually bring down the castle in a bout of rage-turned-accidental-magic.).
After three full years of sharing a dorm they all knew that Harry didn't like attention being drawn to him, especially when he was in such as depressing mood. The best they could do was be there when he was ready to talk, if he was ever going to be, and to gear attention in other directions. Still, Harry was perfectly aware that as soon as his back was turned they would probably dig their claws into Ron -being the bloody protective mother hens they were. He chose to feign ignorance, as to save all of them the embarrassment of explaining their actions and there was nothing he could really do about it, he surmised as he grabbed his ratty old bag and exited the Great Hall.
It turned out Hermione was in the library, found behind a pile of dusty old books in her favorite corner of the library. Much to his surprise she wasn't alone, and sitting across the table from her was a very familiar Bulgarian Seeker with his own book in hand. The sudden appearance of an unknown being was almost enough to deter Harry from immediately stepping forward, but that was overwhelmed by a curiosity for what they were both reading. The sight was also enough to temporarily shock him out of his steadily darkening mood.
For a moment he stared at the scene before him. Hermione wasn't dividing her attention, so there was no obvious crush that came with their mutual acceptance of each others presence. Her gaze was fixed on the large book in front of her, completely oblivious to the flyaway curls that would normally be pushed behind her ears or the dust that stuck to her sweater. Her thumb was pressed to the front of her teeth in some sort of alternative to a thumb-sucking problem she most likely had as a small child, a clear indication that the subject she was studying was also causing her much worry.
Viktor Krum, Champion of Drumstrang, and an older man was a small threat at first. His own dark brown hair had been trimmed since the World Cup, and it looked neat and clean with no signs of gel. Purebloods as Harry understood often kept their hair long in some tribute to the older ways and more often than not they used some Wizarding equivalent of hair gel to slick it back and out of their faces. The small difference was enough to ensure that Hermione was in no obvious trouble for being a muggleborn.
Once that was decided his eyes roamed over the broad shoulders that seemed relaxed enough, his thick frock coat was resting over the back of his chair. Viktor's thick eyebrows were raised just a bit, maybe something he was reading proved to interesting. His dark brown eyes moved slowly across the words, stopping only once or twice to derive the meaning of an English word he wasn't familiar with. His wand, Harry wondered as his eyes raked over the other Champion once more for good measure -Correction, wands were identified. One was strapped to the his forearm, and the other wasn't meant to be seen, and was hidden in some sort of flat holster along the left side of his rib cage.
Harry managed to project a calm disposition (which almost happened to be a complete lie), and took another step forward and then another until he reached the table. He was mostly confident that Krum would do neither of them harm, but meeting new people was still a little outside of his comfort zone. "Did either of you eat breakfast?" were his first words. His primary concern, of course, was his friend because she'd had a habit for skipping meals in favor of books. Viktor Krum was a complete mystery to Harry, but the small boy decided it would be equally unsettling for him to miss breakfast if he was to keep himself in top physical condition for the blasted tournament.
Hermione wasn't startled at all, of course she was used to Harry. Instead she glanced over the gargantuan tome she was studying pulled her thumb away before speaking, "I stopped by the kitchens this morning," there was clearly more she wanted so say about that but she continued with her original train of thought, "I thought it would be alright to give you and Ron some time to work things out." Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes, and chose to look at the Bulgarian Champion instead.
Viktor Krum hadn't so much as looked up from his book, which he held in one hand at eye level. The title had been worn so Harry had no idea what the subject was, but if it was anything like the texts piled in front of him it was about the history of the damned Tri-Wizard Tournament.
After several seconds he must have sensed Harry's gaze and looked up, he colored slightly under the intense stare. It wouldn't have been noticed if Harry wasn't so adept at reading people, but he let it go. "I ate," he said slowly, his voice was deep and Harry swore he could feel the vibrations of a strong base from where he stood.
Harry didn't sense either of them lied, but now that his question was answered he had less to shield himself from all of the feelings that threatened to break him down. He thought he was only seconds away from running out of the library, and maybe take solace in Hagrid's hut for the rest of the year, but he also felt compelled to stay. After a single paranoid glance over his shoulder he walked around to the other side of the table and sat between Hermione and Viktor Krum. He felt safe enough with his back to a wall and a clear view of the entrance of their little nook.
There was still an hour until breakfast was officially over and then fifteen minutes to make their way to the correct class for Double Potions. It was plenty of time to get a little reading slash observing done, drag Hermione away from her precious books, take a secret passage to the correct floor, and find a seat before Professor Snape started class. Some of the insults would be unavoidable, but Harry saw no reason to give the overgrown child any excuses.
"All right," Harry said slowly, directing his attention to Hermione, "What is today's topic of concern?" Harry thought he knew well enough what it was she was researching, but it was always better to enter a conversation with the illusion of ignorance because it made the young witch all the more happier when she explained. It would take a while for her to get to the point, but he was more concerned about her thoughts on the matter than the facts. He knew Hermione wouldn't be able to resist telling him just what she thought, and he wanted to make sure she wasn't on the same bandwagon as Ron.
In return, Hermione gave an exaggerated sigh of frustration and turned her attention to Harry. "Honestly, Harry," she took the opportunity to huff in indignation, "Isn't it obvious that I'm looking for a way to get you out of this mess. Oh, and wouldn't believe all of the rubbish that's turned out about this tournament either! The Goblet of Fire seems to make a point out of making sure at least one of the Champions has some sort of mixed heritage. What if they're not the most capable of representing their school?…"and on and on she went.
The term 'mixed heritage,' was Hermione's polite and politically correct way of referring to someone like Fleur Delacour, who was not a hundred percent homo sapien. He could see that she didn't really approve of the coupling of a human and anything distinctly not human by the way she stressed her words, and his gaze shifted subtly to see if their guest had taken offence. Thankfully, the man's attention had returned to his own book.
"…and until 1901 every Champion was a man…" Harry zoned out, not interested at all in what she was spouting. As he understood from her fist few statements she thought it was his fault, but as they were friends she would stand next to him and try as hard as she could to help. He just needed to for the most opportune moment to explain what Barty Crouch had explained to him the night before, that he was under a 'binding magical contract,' with casual references to his own innocence and confusion.
"So how did you get drafted to do research," Harry's chin rested in the palm of his hand and he leaned towards Viktor as he asked his question. The man in question looked over the top of his book, his dark eyes staring into Harry's green ones. Only a small twitch at the corner of his mouth reassured Harry that he was amused by the way Harry had worded his inquiry.
"I found him hiding in the muggle history second from a third year Ravenclaw," his friends voice was full of disapproval, but Harry wasn't sure what it was directed at. After a moment of thought he wondered if it was because he had interrupted her, and another second later he determined that that was probably it.
"It was Debby McHarmon wasn't it? The chit with really curly hair, likes to wear it in a bun, doesn't wear a tie, and sort of looks like a baby whale?" Hermione slapped his arm at his rude description of the girl while Viktor just nodded, "I saw her giving you the predatory stare this morning. She likes to collect autographs and is well worth spending an hour clinging to the ceiling beams to get away from. I think Collin Creevy's been selling some of his pictures to her. He's not as aggressive but still pretty annoying" He paused to think if he wanted to share the next bit of information, and after remembering how she had nearly stalked him for a week he spoke up, "She's very allergic to cats, and she'll probably leave you alone after the second sneezing attack."
Viktor's right eyebrow rose a little in a silent question, maybe as to ask why Harry was sharing such information. "I don't like the attention," he tried to explain, "and even if you or anyone else did people like McHarmon are just so frustrating that it's better to steer them onto a different road before they turn stalker. I didn't handle Collin as well as I should have in his first year, and now I think he's got at least four albums of the most stalker-like pictures of me…" he wasn't really certain how his blabbering was making the situation any better, so he quickly stopped talking.
"Harry," Hermione's shrill voice began to scold him, but he quickly stopped listening. He didn't miss the nod of appreciation from Krum though, and after only four minutes Hermione gave up and shoved a book in her hands. "Here," she snapped, "make yourself useful and figure out how to get yourself out of yet another mess." The words stung, but Harry ignored them. He thought it was a great improvement over the loneliness that had swamped him earlier. He would take a hissing and bitchy friend over one that completely ignored him.
For the rest of the hour Harry read a book that Hermione would just reread behind his back, probably while thinking he didn't know enough about anything to extract any sort of meaning out of the words. Viktor continued with his own little book, and was still there when Harry and Hermione nearly sprinted out of the library so that they could get to potions on time.
For the time being the feeling of loneliness was pushed to the back of his mind. He even had a clear enough conscious to laugh as they stuck behind a portrait of Margaritte the Great Witch of Eir, opening a wonderful passage way that lead straight to the dungeons.
To Those Who Just Read:
This chapter is a lot shorter than I wanted it to be by at least two thousand words. It'll be the shortest chapter out of the whole story, unless there's some sort of intermission or something, I don't really have one planned.
I like quotes and reviews