The Founders' Intervention
I still don't own Harry Potter at all
A/N: hey all, I am so sorry for how long this chap took. I had to go back and read what I've been doing since it's been so long. But here's the new chap. Hope you like it.
Chapter 18: Names Drawn, Tournament Begins in Earnest
Hermione and Fleur were now good friends. They along with Susan, Luna and Daphne became a nice group and would have several nice talks. Now this surprised the Beauxbatons students since Fleur always acted so haughty to them and this more relaxed and carefree Fleur. Madam Maxime was pleased to see Fleur to have friends since the French Veela always put up a wall of some kind in front of others because of her Veela heritage. But now Fleur had friends that saw her for who she was and welcomed her.
Meanwhile in the founders chamber Rowena was hard at work.
"Rowena dear, what are you doing?" Godric asked.
"I am providing Harry support he'll need for this blasted tournament" Rowena said.
Godric nodded and left it at that since he knew his wife had some clever plan that if she explained it to him he'd get frightfully lost due how complex it might be. Sadly for Godric the plan Rowena had hatching wasn't that complex. Main thing was to have a press agent for Harry so he couldn't be slandered in the media like what happened in the now non-existent timeline. She was working with Gringotts for the business part of it and she had a candidate all picked out.
Penelope Clearwater walked into Gringotts. She had gotten a letter about a job offer and she jumped at it. It said the pay was quite nice and given that Penny was just getting by at where she was working at now, the Ministry, this could be a great boost.
"How may I help you?" a goblin asked.
"Um, yes. I have a meeting with Skinpeeler" Penny said.
"Right this way" the goblin said.
Penny followed the goblin to an office and led Penny inside. She sat down and soon another goblin appeared. She assumed it was Skinpeeler.
"Miss Clearwater, I am glad you came. You've read about the possible job offer" Skinpeeler said.
"First off we need to know you can be trusted. The client who is offering this job is quite private and doesn't want his life splashed everywhere" Skinpeeler said.
"I am very good at keeping a secret sir, and you can trust me" Penny said firmly.
"That is not for me to decided, but you'll be asked many questions by the one who'll be interviewing you. Follow me" Skinpeeler said.
Penny was confused, but followed Skinpeeler out and they walked til they got to a room. Skinpeeler led Penny inside then left. Penny was confused til she heard a strong female voice.
"Sit down Miss Clearwater."
Penny saw a chair and sat down. She still couldn't see who was speaking though and that unnerved her a bit. Soon light appeared and Penny couldn't help, but gasp. Before her was a large portrait. But what shocked her was in that portrait was one Rowena Ravenclaw. She had seen the founder's bust many times in the Ravenclaw common room, but seeing the founder in portrait form she was speechless.
"I know you have many questions for me Miss Clearwater and I'll answer them, but after the interview. Understand me?" Rowena asked.
Penny just nodded numbly.
"Good, then lets get started" Rowena said.
Penny just nodded as she was so still stunned seeing the founder of her house in front of her even if it was a portrait.
"Full name and year graduated as well as house" Rowena said even if she knew this.
"Oh, um, Penelope Gemma Clearwater, graduated in '93, house Ravenclaw" Penny said.
"Good, now, do you have any experience as a press agent?" Rowena asked.
"No, I don't, but I can learn and not afraid of hard work" Penny said.
"Miss Clearwater, you will be facing off against some powerful people who will try and intimidate you. Can you handle that, can you stand up to them?" Rowena asked.
"I, I'm not sure ma'am since I've never done that before, but I am willing to try. Um, who might I ask is the person I am representing?" Penny asked.
Rowena smiled at this.
"You'll be representing Lord Harry Potter" she said.
Penny's eyes widen. Harry, she'd be Harry's press agent. Oh Merlin, what was she getting herself into. But she steeled herself. If Harry needed her than she'd be there. He was such a good friend and she wanted to help him out. Though when Harry mentioned help getting her a job she didn't think he meant this.
Rowena read Penny's face and smiled. She knew she made the right choice. Though Salazar liked to boast about being able to read anyone's face and being the clear expert Rowena was great at it too, maybe better than Salazar. Just don't tell him that of course. Wouldn't want to bruise his delicate male ego.
"Don't worry Miss Clearwater, you'll get some training on how to deal with those vultures knows as reporters as well as the slime called politicians" Rowena said.
Penny relaxed a bit. She was glad she wasn't just going to he thrown in.
The interview lasted a while longer, but Rowena knew she was making the right choice here. As for Penny she was pleased at the salary and the benefits. She was going to paid more in this job than at the Ministry. At least three times more to begin with. Plus she would have a great boss that wouldn't leer at her like a fresh piece of meat or something. So it was a win-win situation.
Back at Hogwarts Harry and his friends were working hard. They ignored the tournament pretty much though with the buzz around the castle it was hard to ignore. Fred and George debated about entering, but decided not to. But that didn't mean they wouldn't have a little fun. They already knew their little brother was salivating at the chance so they anonymously owled Ron a dose of aging potion. They then told the others so they'd have front row seats.
Ron came sauntering in full Lockhart swagger. He knew every eye was on him and he wanted that. He was going to show them all that he could beat Dumbledore's ward line that kept students under 17 out. He had drank the aging potion and had his name and the name of his school on a slip of parchment. He crossed the ward line and was feeling his confidence rise. But that confidence was shattered as he was blasted back and a long white beard sprouted from his chin as well his red hair turned white. Ron tried to flee, but tripping on his long beard.
Everyone in the hall was laughing at Ron's attempt. The twins gave each high fives for a successful prank. And the great thing was they couldn't be tied to it. Ron could only say he was given a letter with no signature with a potion and it would be his own fault. There was no trail that would lead back to the twins. They took Salazar's lesson to heart of covering their tracks.
"Though a bit juvenile I applaud it" Daphne said.
"Ah come on Daph, it was funny. I just wished Malfoy was dumb enough" Susan said.
"We could always try" Fred said.
"Yes, we love a challenge" George said.
"No guys, you'd better be careful. The teachers are being more on guard since we got two other schools here" Harry said.
The twins pouted, but knew Harry was right on this. They only got it away with this because of their careful planning and plus they knew how idiotic their brother is.
Soon it was Halloween night, the night the names will be drawn. Everyone was anxious to see who will be picked. Dinner had the added tension and everyone at the staff table including the representatives from the Ministry were eating at their leisure as well as chatting, just to delay everything and annoy the students.
Finally the last bit of the dessert disappeared. Luna pouted since tonight's dessert was pudding and she hadn't had her fill yet. Though with Luna you never know if she will ever have her fill of pudding.
Dumbledore rose from his seat. Every eye on him.
"I believe the goblet needs just a few more minutes to deliberate" he said.
This caused a wave of groans.
"Now when the Champion is called they will come forward and be led by their head to the antechamber over there" Dumbledore said as he gestured to the door at the corner of the Great Hall.
Soon the goblet's fire turned a roaring red and a piece of charred parchment came floating out. Dumbledore caught and read it.
"The Durmstrang Champion is Viktor Krum" he said.
There was cheers and pounding of the table as Krum got up from his seat and met Karkaroff and they entered the antechamber. Soon the fire of the goblet roared again and another piece of charred parchment came out. Dumbledore caught it and read it.
"The Beauxbatons Champion is Fleur Delacour" Dumbledore said.
The group cheered with the Beauxbatons contingent as Fleur gracefully got up and almost floated to her head teacher. Every guys' eyes were on Fleur. She soon entered the antechamber with her Head teacher. You could hear a soft groan from the guys when Fleur was out of sight.
Again the goblet's roared and a third charred piece of parchment came floating out. Dumbledore again caught it and read it.
"The third and final Champion is Hogwarts very own Cedric Diggory" he said.
Hufflepuff exploded with applause.
"This is happening exactly it seems" Hermione said.
Harry just nodded.
Daphne, Neville, Susan, Luna and the twins were nervous of what to come next. Cedric had left with McGonagall.
"Yes, now that we have our three Champions the tourn-"
The goblet roared for a fourth time. Hermione gripped Harry's arm tightly knowing what was most likely to come.
"HARRY POTTER!" Dumbledore called.
All eyes turned to Harry. Harry stood up shaking Hermione's python grip off. Luna moved over to cuddle Hermione. Harry walked forward til he was at the front of the hall.
"Harry, please go to the antechamber" Dumbledore said.
"No sir" Harry said.
"Harry my boy" Dumbledore said with an eye twinkle.
"Sir, I never entered my name nor did I ask anyone to do it for me. I will not participate" Harry said firmly.
"We can discuss this in the antechamber" Dumbledore said.
"No sir since I know that if we do then the Hogwarts gossip line will be run-a-muck with rumors. I prefer we get this clear right here so that would squash some of the rumors" Harry said.
Dumbledore wasn't happy with this and turned to the two Ministry workers and they hadn't a clue what to do.
"First thing to do is declare my innocence the only way I know how" Harry said.
He then turned to the masses who were still watching him. Harry pulled out his wand.
"I Lord Harry James Potter, head of the Ancient and Noble house of Potter swear on my life and magic that did not put my name into the goblet of fire nor did I ask anyone to place my name in for me. So mote it be."
A flash of magic sealed it and Harry was still standing. The purebloods there knew doing those kinds of things had to be taken seriously. If someone swears on their life and magic and they are guilty they drop dead. If they are innocent then, well, they're alive. Harry then used a simple lumos spell to show he still had his magic.
Hermione saw this and groaned. Harry just had to pull a Gryffindor move. She knew he had to something drastic, but this. She was going to have a talk with him.
Harry's other friends sighed, but knew Harry only had a few options open to him.
"Now since that is done. We can figure out the rest. Since Cedric was named Hogwarts Champion than that means I am a no-name fourth school, thus Cedric Diggory is the real Hogwarts Champion and I am not" Harry said.
Harry did this so not to get any heat from Hufflepuff though he knew Susan would try and quell anything there. He just wanted to nip that in the bud.
"Next as Lord Potter I want that cup seized and taken in and thoroughly examined by the best experts for any hoodwinking that has been done" Harry said.
"We shall get a full investigation going right away" Dumbledore said.
"I want the Minister and the head of the DMLE right here to tell me that. Not you headmaster since this isn't just a school prank, but it is putting the life of the last of the Potter line. I want the head of the DMLE here now" Harry commanded.
The magical aura coming off Harry was intense those close by could feel it and inched away since it was quite powerful.
The Great Hall door burst open and Amelia Bones came in with the new head of the DMLE Kingsley Shacklebolt along with a couple aurors. Unknown to Harry, the founders, well, Rowena had an inkling of what would happen and contacted Amelia so she'd be on standby. So Minister Bones came walking in with the head of the DMLE along with a couple aurors with them.
To the students it was like Harry had summoned her, which wasn't the case at all.
"Minister Bones, what brings you here?" Dumbledore asked as politely as he could though he was displeased with the events going on.
"I just got word of a foul plan in ending the Potter line with this tournament. And the Ministry will not stand to lose the Potter name because some ancient tournament that was ended because of the many deaths it had in its last outing" Amelia said.
"As head of the DMLE I will confiscating the cup to be examined" Shacklebolt said.
"That won't be necessary since I will have Alastor Moody investigate this personally" Dumbledore said.
"That would be good and fine headmaster, but I asked for the DMLE to investigate this matter" Harry said.
Shacklebolt nodded and the aurors moved and took the cup and placed it in an evidence bag.
Dumbledore was displeased with this since he wanted to keep this in house and not let it get out.
"I thank you Mr. Shacklebolt and want to let you know that if you need it you'll have the Potter's full support with whatever you need" Harry said bowing to Shacklebolt.
Shacklebolt, who was shocked when his old boss Amelia named him as the new head was shocked again. He'd have the Potters behind in this investigation. That was big and he knew that where the Potters were the Blacks, Longbottom would be there along with the Bones and Greengrass families too. He just hoped he could provide the results with the pressure he was getting. He needed to put his top people on this.
"Have no fear Lord Potter the DMLE will do everything in their power to get to the bottom of this" Shacklebolt said.
"That's all I ask for" Harry said.
The aftermath of that night was spread all over the papers. Many claiming of how an ancient artifact had been hoodwinked and placing Harry In the tournament. Harry sighed as he sat back.
"Harry, I know you hate the media so I have brought someone to help you" Rowena said.
"Who?" Harry asked.
From seemed to be out of nowhere, but actually by a specially made portkey to go through Hogwarts wards Penny appeared.
"Penny, what are you doing here?" Harry asked.
"Hi Harry. I am your new press agent" Penny said with a smile.
"Press agent?" Harry asked as he looked to Rowena for an explanation.
"I figured you'd somehow get tugged into this tournament Harry. I just knew it would happen even after all of our careful planning sometimes you can't fight things. So I planned on a way to give you help this time around. You were vilified in the papers before, but now you have help. I've personally picked and interviewed Miss Clearwater myself and she is fit to be your press agent" Rowena said.
"I got lessons from Salazar on how to deal with all media types as well as the politicians that I might be dealing with and I have excellent Occlumency shields and learned how to fight off the Imperius curse" Penny said.
"Okay" Harry sighed.
"Great, now lets get started with this business that's going with this issue of the paper" Rowena said.
That night Penny along with Rowena worked on a press release for the newspaper as well as making sure that Harry's name won't be slandered. Luna sent word to Narcissa who had decided to handle running the Quibbler for Luna. Luna wanted the small magazine to keep running in memory of her father. Narcissa was asked to run it by Luna since she couldn't do it while in school. Narcissa jumped on this since she wanted to do something and she was enjoying herself in this new challenge.
Over the next couple weeks Harry was annoyed. He was hearing whispers. Some quiet and others loud about him being in the tournament. It seemed that there were some who didn't believe the oath he took in the Great Hall.
"Ignore them Harry. They're a bunch of idiots" Daphne said.
"It's hard to do that when they aren't very quiet when they whisper" Harry grumbled.
"What's wrong Potter, I thought you'd be strutting about since you've become a Champion" Malfoy said with a sneer.
Harry sighed as he massaged his temples.
"Leave me alone Malfoy" he said.
"Oh what's wrong Potter. Shy of your public?" Malfoy taunted.
Harry again ignored Malfoy.
"Or are you just a chicken" Malfoy sneered.
Harry turned to Malfoy with his green eyes blazing.
"Want to say that again Malfoy?" he asked.
Malfoy tried to stay strong, but he cracked and ran away.
"Nicely done Harry, you almost got him to soil himself" Daphne said.
"Yeah, I guess" Harry said.
Goblet Bewitched; Ministry Officials Perplexed; Headmaster Uncooperative in Investigation
This was the headline on the Quibbler. It outlined what happened when Harry's name was pulled out and how Dumbledore insisted on a close door kind of talk while Harry wanted to have it out in the open to dispel any rumors. How Dumbledore tried to do an in-house investigation even though Harry had wanted the DMLE to handle it and had to use his power as Lord Potter to get it done. This all painted Dumbledore in a black brush and made many wonder why Dumbledore tried to keep everything in-house.
The Prophet wasn't happy at being swept so they did their own article with they claimed interview with Harry Potter.
"Okay that's it. Looks Penny has her first real crack at these piranhas" Harry said. "I don't mean you of course when I say that Luna" he added quickly.
"Of course not Harry" Luna said.
Penny walked into the building of the Daily Prophet. She was ready for her first battle. Salazar and Rowena had trained her the best they could. She knew she could do it since Harry was counting on her and she wasn't about to let him down. And if they tried anything against her she had the power of the Potters behind her. So she walked in quite confident.
"Yes, how may I help you?" a secretary asked in a snooty tone.
"My name is Penelope Clearwater and I am here on behalf of my client Lord Harry James Potter" Penny said.
"Pleas have a seat" the secretary said.
"I will not have a seat. I will see the editor now or I will pull all the business the Potters has in this paper and you'll be out a lot of business" Penny said firmly.
The secretary looked wide eyed and nodded. She knew how much the Potters had with advertisements in the paper. It was almost fifty percent of their business. She pressed a button to call her boss. After some hasty back and forth Penny was let in.
"Ah Miss Clearwater, how are you?" the editor asked in smarmy tone.
"Cut the pleasantries. I have become aware that you've run and article claiming you had talked to my client Lord Potter, which you had not. I want that article retracted this instant before Potters take serious action" Penny said.
"But the readers have a right to know" the editor said.
"Yes, the readers do, but they have a right to know the truth and not the manure you feed them" Penny said.
Editor got red-faced.
"Now see here" he began.
"No, you see here. I represent Lord Potter and his interests when it comes to his public image. You've played for far too long with it and now it's time that sandbox is closed. From now on you must talk to me before you can even talk, even quote Lord Potter about anything. If you don't then I'll assure you that the Potters will make sure your measly paper gets used to only wipe your butt. I don't have to mention that where the Potters follow so does the Longbottoms too" Penny said.
The editor gulped. He knew that he didn't want two Ancient and Noble families against him. It was plain suicide to be against one Ancient and Noble family, but two. You'd have to be plain crazy.
"Do we have an agreement?" Penny asked.
"We do" the editor gritted out.
"Excellent" Penny said then left.
End of Chapter
A/N: that's the end of this chap. I know not a whole lot going on, but just doing some build up stuff and that. Thanks for reading and please review.