The Quad-Wizard Tournament
Disclaimer: When all else fails, run like hell.
Reviewers (who are made of epic win):
Hezeljv: I'm not sure, but I felt the same about the inferi when everyone was guessing them. X) Now that you mention it, yeah… I'm going to feel so sad when this ends…
Lego825: Oh, s'alright. I didn't notice until you pointed it out. XD That'd be so epic… hmm…
Gothic Lust: Thank you. I try to update quickly. :)
ShadowsBloodPain: Harry was already suspicious… and don't you mean Sirius? :P Thanks.
SilverLunaMoon: Thanks. :D
Nineveh03: Thank you. It will be epic, trust me… or I /hope/ it will be. I'll try to keep it up.
Arandomreviewer: YOSH! xD Thanks.
Mew I is Dinosaur: Thanks. Yes, he does; if not, well, Mad-Eye would've been a goner.
Nebelkind: Aww, you ruined the surprise. JK, JK. Oh, there will be some reactions out there in… I guess the last chapter… which is coming sooner than I ever thought…
SaturnXK: Thanks. Well, some people were rooting solely for someone to be champion and I didn't want to scare anyone off if that person wasn't chosen. Very much so, in fact. :) Ah, Rita… she's a jerk face, but I've come to love writing her. Thanks, again, for all your reviews… and I'm sorry that you found The Letter first. I might eventually update that… but I'm leaning more towards letting it die.
- The Warren -
To say Remus wasn't surprised at how efficiently and quickly the ninja worked would've been an understatement. Even though classes were to let out in around seven minutes after they'd found the real Mad-Eye, he was tucked safely away in the hospital ward with Madam Pomfrey fussing over him with about three minutes to spare. They hadn't even used magic to carry Moody or get him out of the chest. However, Madam Pomfrey assured Remus he still had a job until the end of the school year as she didn't want Alastor up and about the last few weeks; he was unsure if she was trying to mother hen him or Alastor. Mad-Eye was kept in a bed next to the one Remus was strapped, chained, tied, and restrained against in the back of the hospital wing where no students were allowed to keep him from prying eyes. When they delivered Alastor's mostly unconscious body, the ex-Team Gai saw all the fetters on the bed next to the one they'd moved into the vicinity.
"You don't need all of those." TenTen said softly when she saw Remus, watching Madam Pomfrey scuttle about, looking forlorn. Neji was fiddling with one of the larger sets of chains, lost in his own memories; it confused Remus, but he said nothing.
"You're a safe person, Remus. Don't let the past fog your future and decisions." Lee said, in a moment of philosophy, smiling sympathetically. Remus shrugged, not meeting either of their eyes. It wasn't too long before the quartet was shooed out of the wing to dinner, and the Ibarubushi broke away from Remus.
"Poor sap. He thinks he's dangerous." TenTen sighed at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, feeling a bit lonely since Harry and the others weren't near by. She'd gotten used to their group of six and the Weasley twins, Lee Jordan, Neville, and other Gryffindors popping up every now and then; in fact, ever since the night where they'd almost caught the fake Moody, they'd been avoided like they had the plague from the once friendly Gryffindors they'd made friends with.
"Hn. Focus on the task, not… Lupin." Neji said lowly, thoughts much into the mission rather than one nice but confused man. He wasn't sure how he and TenTen would fare by the end of the third task, what with their chakra use, and wondered, not for the first time, how they'd pull it off. Lee couldn't use too much chakra normally, but in this universe, he was about as good as a child just figuring out what chakra was with out the whole explosion of it. The training sessions they had with McGonagall were starting to show again; even TenTen, the tannest of their trio, was noticeably pallid.
It wasn't too long before the morning of the third task dawned, sending the school into a tumult. Not only was there testing going on and the third task waiting, but a new article had been written about Harry by Rita Skeeter. She claimed him deranged and dangerous, but Harry paid no heed. He felt it was like a bad joke that had gone even sourer. Hermione rushed off after a bit of talking about the article, looking like she'd just won the lottery.
"Jeez… off her rocker, that one. You reading in Binns' class again? Or passing notes with TenTen?" Ron asked, sneering at the last question. He and Hermione still weren't convinced about the Ibarubushi's innocence, the reason behind Harry not sitting near them, and didn't quite approve of him passing notes to TenTen during the exams they were exempt from.
"Yeah, guess so." Harry shrugged, ignoring the look of disdain on Ron's face. He was sure, with out a doubt, the ex-Team Gai weren't the ones out to get him, even if their behavior was slapdash at best that one night. Lee was overly friendly, TenTen was cautious, and Neji never seemed to portray any emotions other than negative ones. How the trio was even friends was beside Harry; to him, their personalities clashed way too much. Then, he looked at his own group of friends and realized they weren't so different.
"Potter, the champions are to report in the chamber hall after breakfast." McGonagall said, coming up out of nowhere, before shuffling down the table to where the Ibarubushi had just shown up.
"Hm. Wonder why." Ron mused, only getting a shrug out of Harry. He left before too long, not wanting to be late for History of Magic, letting Harry finish his breakfast alone as the hall emptied. After he was alone, Harry was about to leave the hall to go to the library when he heard a scream. TenTen, he knew, had just entered the chamber. Making sure he had a firm grip on his wand, Harry ran to the chamber, throwing the door open, about to draw said wand when he saw the reason for TenTen's scream. She was thrown, literally, around a man who looked like an older, carbon copy of Lee wearing suspicious amounts of green.
"Gai-sensei!" Harry, and the rest of the room, was able to make out TenTen's muffled voice. Harry released his grip on his wand, about to leave the happy sight, when a hand stopped him.
"Where are you going, Harry dear?" Mrs. Weasley asked, smiling broadly at Harry. It was then he noticed her and Bill.
"I… I, um, wasn't expecting company. I thought…" Harry trailed off, clumsily looking for words. Mrs. Weasley just shook her head, pulling him into a tight hug; Bill clapped him on the shoulder. After a few minutes of getting to know why they were there, TenTen came over with the older carbon copy Lee.
"Hey, Harry, this is Gai-sensei… erm, Gai Maito. He's my adoptive father." She introduced the man. Harry shook Gai's hand, surprised at how large and strong his hands were, looking up at the man in something close to awe. Though he looked ridiculous in his tight green shirt, green shorts, and green trainers, Harry knew this man was to be respected and never doubted… and it wasn't just because of the bulging muscles adorning his body and the great height advantage he had over Harry.
"Nice to meet you, Harry." Gai said, shocking the boy with his voice. Harry detected a boyish charm behind the baritone of it… almost like it was a preview of Lee's voice after puberty had been done with.
"Um, nice to meet you, too, sir." Harry said, nervously reeling his hand back from Gai's once the larger man was done shaking his hand.
"Call me Gai, Harry." Harry nodded at the concealed order as Mrs. Weasley started to talk to Gai.
"Wait, he's your adoptive father? Um, where's your mother…? And, your last name, why isn't it Maito?" Harry asked after a few minutes, whirling on TenTen. For a second, pain flashed across her hazel eyes before she composed herself.
"Yes, adoptive father… I never knew my parents. Well, I take it back; I don't remember them. My father left me when I was six and my mother… died when I was a toddler. My last name isn't Maito because it doesn't work that way where we come from, Harry. And, before you ask sometime today, he and Lee are not at all related by blood; though, he did adopt Lee, too." TenTen said, voice sounding a bit guarded. Harry knew not to delve deeper into the subject, feeling the same pain, instead letting them fall into an awkward silence until Mrs. Weasley, Bill, and Gai requested the be shown around the Hogwarts campus. It was during the tour Harry found out Gai was more like Lee than even their appearances; he was even more 'youthful', boisterous, and curious than his mini me. Lunch became a commotion when it came. The Weasleys all became loud when they saw their mother and elder brother, but it was nothing compared to Lee and Gai.
"GA—owww, TenTen, that hurt!"
Harry wasn't sure whether to laugh at the sight or be embarrassed. Everyone was staring at Lee and his adoptive father, both crying and attempting to hug each other (Harry also wondered why the Great Hall's ceiling suddenly portrayed a sunset) but being held apart by Neji. TenTen had whacked Lee upside the head, efficiently distracting both Gai and Lee (and the ceiling – it turned back to normal) from their endeavored hug-fest.
"Not here. Please, anywhere but here." TenTen said, flushed horribly; she couldn't stop grinning, though. From what Harry could see, Neji was wearing an awkward, half-smile, half-smirk, too; he was sure, had he been older, he would've had a heart attack at the sight.
"They're…" Ron trailed off from Harry's left, eyeing the quartet of Asians.
"Insane." Harry said, though his face held a bright grin on it. He could feel the happiness radiating off the group, and he wondered if this was what a true family felt like after not seeing each other for so long. True, the Weasleys were there, but they sent letters weekly to their parents and brothers and, for the most part, were on the same slab of land.
"Not a bad sight, though." Hermione said, smiling softly at the quartet sat down to eat. Harry shook his head, joining the Weasleys for lunch, wishing that the Ibarubushi and Gai had joined them. Even with Neji and TenTen trying to keep the liveliness down from Lee and Gai, they only somewhat succeeded in doing so. It looked like extreme fun to Harry.
After lunch, Harry and TenTen finished showing Bill, Mrs. Weasley, and Gai around Hogwarts just before dinner started. Though Gai and Lee's second reunion wasn't as loud, it still was filled with the same amount of happiness. This time, Harry sat himself across from TenTen, forcing his friends, Bill, and Mrs. Weasley to join him with the foreigners. He found dinner much more amusing than lunch as Gai and Lee teamed up on teasing the crap out of TenTen and Neji, getting even the usually stoic boy somewhat into the cajoling, then the whole quartet rounding on the golden trio. Bill, Fred, and George hopped in the teasing then, efficiently making Ron blush so hard TenTen laughed and pointed, commenting on a girl named Hinata could be given a run for her money.
As the sunset died down (the real sunset, mind you), Dumbledore stood up, silencing the chattering hall within minutes. Lee and Gai were the last to notice, heckling TenTen over something.
"Ladies and gentlemen, in five minutes, I'll ask if you could please go down to the Quidditch field to witness the third task. Champions, if you'd please head down there now with Mr. Bagman." Dumbledore said, smiling gently. His eyes held a mischievous twinkle to them, and Harry followed his line of sight. Gai was grinning his literally pinging smile up at the headmaster and Minister of Magic, whom now Harry saw had a dumbstruck look upon his face, as TenTen stood up with him. All of her boys gave TenTen a pat on the back, but one lingered, giving her a meaningful stare.
"I'll be careful. No need to worry." TenTen said softly before going up to where Ludo Bagman was waiting, Krum already slouching by his side. As soon as Harry, the last to arrive, came up, Ludo led them away, making small talk with Harry. No one seemed to notice two other kids melting away to go to the Quidditch field but Gai. He was sad that he couldn't help his old students, but he was also extremely proud of them and didn't want to help at the same time. He understood that this was their mission, the first one after being named Chunin they were doing together, and didn't want to intrude on it. Five minutes later, Gai descended with the Weasleys to the Quidditch pitch (whatever that was), feeling a sense of dread fill his body as he did so. He had a sudden feeling something would go wrong, terribly wrong… and Gai's feelings were generally never wrong.
"Ladies and gents, the third and final task of the Quad-Wizard Tournament is about to begin! Let me tell you how the points currently are, starting from the highest to lowest. In first place is Mr. Cedric Diggory of Hogwarts!" Ludo paused to let the crowd scream themselves hoarse before continuing. "In second place is Miss TenTen, of Ibarubushi!" Though her applause came hesitant and polite, Gai made up for the lack of enthusiasm all by himself. "In third is Mr. Viktor Krum, from Durmstrang!" Krum's applause was much louder than even Cedric's as everyone seemed to support him because of his fame from Quidditch. "In fourth is Mr. Harry Potter, our second champion from Hogwarts!" Within Harry's applause there was a few sets of well placed boos from the Slytherins. "And, last but not least, is Miss Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons!" The applause and cheers form the male population seemed deafening.
"Now, Cedric, on my whistle…" A short blast from Ludo's whistle later, Cedric was off speeding into the maze. TenTen, with her heightened vision, could see a boy with long hair garbed in all black and dark green follow him after the first intersection passed.
"Now, Miss TenTen…" The jitters TenTen had felt while practicing long nights in McGonagall's office finally came full-force as Ludo blew his whistle again, signaling her to enter the maze. TenTen sped off into it with one last glance over her shoulder at Gai, who gave her a thumbs up, before she was engulfed in the magical silence that seemed to suffocate her. It was eerily quiet between the tall hedges, and TenTen came to wonder what on earth had been set loose into the maze for the first time. McGonagall was in no position to tell her outright (Lee and Neji were told after giving her their word to not tell TenTen), but, from what she could give her, it seemed horrible. It wasn't too long before TenTen came to her second intersection and took a right. A large creature came into her sight form the closest new fork, and, upon sensing her (or smelling), it turned its' ugly head and gave an excited clatter of its' pinschers. TenTen gave it a second to admire the beast the baby skrewt had become before high-tailing it the other way. She knew they had fire on their side (whether it was controlled or not, she didn't know), pincers, and a stinger or sucker, depending on the gender. The one she had attracted the attention of was one with a stinger curled highly over its' back, something like a scorpion's.
Deciding using kunais and other weapons this early on would spell out disaster (Krum had been let in, and Harry's whistle had only just sounded), TenTen needed time to collect her jumbled thoughts and think of a few curses. Once she had a few in her head, TenTen glanced over her shoulder at the beast giving chase, eyeing its' body with a critical eye; armor seemed to cover the whole ten foot long form except for on its' belly. Stopping, TenTen waited until the beast blasted itself forward again, running forward just before it stopped moving, sliding up beneath it; hoping it wasn't smart enough to try to sit down, TenTen pulled out her wand from her pocket, pointing upwards at the shield-less stomach.
"Stupefy!" With a dull sense of irony, TenTen realized it was she who was the stupid one as the skrewt's body suddenly started to descend on her, closer to the ground. Not wanting to be totally crushed, TenTen started scrambling out of the way towards the front in case the stunning spell didn't work on its' fire farts, her legs getting caught from her knee down.
"Damn, it's heavy… gah, Neji and Lee would laugh at me if they saw this." She sighed, heaving her lower legs from under the skrewt's fallen form, meticulously avoiding the pincers, before standing up and continuing her journey. It was barely a minute before a female scream split the silent air, sending waves of fear to crush TenTen. She immediately thought of Neji's clone and wondered, even if was only a tenth of the boy's strength, how it could have been defeated. It was just like Neji, only not as strong, and that boy was the most cautious, observant kid she knew. A strangled, frightened masculine cry followed a few minutes later as TenTen raced toward where she hoped Fleur was, making her stop. It was the much deeper, alarmed shout that sent TenTen back on her way to Fleur; she was sure Neji's clone was there with Krum, as the second cry sounded like neither boy.
"N-Neji!" The cry came from TenTen's throat before she remembered she wasn't supposed to scream his name. She saw Neji's clone, a bit battered, with an unconscious Fleur on his back piggyback style.
"Shh! I just scared her. She's fine, but I'm taking her to the teachers. Someone tried to get to her, and, from what I can guess, he just moved onto Krum. Harry's fine, I believe." The clone informed her, giving TenTen a reprimanding look. Shrugging, TenTen stood still as she watched the clone carry Fleur away until she couldn't see them anymore before moving to where she knew the center of the maze was. Se didn't get too far before she turned a corner and ran into a large, hairy pole. An excited clip of pincers later, TenTen realized it was not a pale she'd run into but the leg of a very large, very hairy spider.
"Oh, come on! What's with these gigantic animals – er, things?" TenTen cried, making a mad dash down a pathway she hadn't seen before, the spider following her. As it wasn't moving just from fire farts but with eight legs propelling it forward in long strides, it wasn't too long before the spider was nearly tripping over TenTen in its' haste to catch her. Lip curling, she threw her right hand over her shoulder, wand aimed, and shouted, "Impedimenta!" Using her speed after slowing the spider down, TenTen rocketed down a passageway to her right, taking as many twists and turns as she could until she couldn't hear the thundering of eight spider feet a few hedges away. A pulsation of pain shot up TenTen's legs, making her pause for a second until is passed, letting her continue down the path she'd taken at random. After a minute of meandering, she held her wand flat in her hand, scrutinizing the bit of wood until she remembered the correct incantation.
"Point me." TenTen whispered, sending the wand into a flurry of spinning until it decided to point back the way she'd come and a bit to the left. Chewing crossly on her lower lip, she started moving back the way she'd come, taking the nearest left turn. At the end of the passage stood a sphinx. The regal looking cat man smiled charmingly at TenTen when she came within ten feet of it.
"Greetings, child. To get past me, you must solve my riddle correctly. If you answer falsely, I'll attack, but if you don't make an attempt, I'll do nothing. What shall it be?" He asked, reclining back on his muscular haunches, smile still in place. TenTen admired his form for a second, taking in the bunched muscles under the wonderful golden fur, the large, wild mane of dark brown hair, and finally the human face that sat where a lion's should be. He had an adorable dimple.
"I can hear the riddle first before choosing, can't I?" TenTen asked, eyeing the large claws adorning his front paws carefully. At this close range of five feet, maximum, she wouldn't have much time to think of a spell and might have to resort to using her ninja weapons if she answered wrong. TenTen wished Lee was there for a second, since he was, surprisingly, the fastest at solving riddles on their teams; she and Neji both tried to over think the problem but eventually got it, just like what had happened when they'd been looking for the real Moody.
"Certainly. My riddle is this: A muggle lives in a twenty-story building, and his quarters are on the eighteenth floor. He rides an electrical box muggles call an elevator down to the first floor in the mornings to head out to his boring muggle job every day. On his way home from this job, he goes to the seventh floor in the elevator and walks the rest of the way up unless there is another muggle with him or it was raining. Why is this?" At the end of his riddle, the sphinx's smile widened, showing off his pearly, razor sharp set of teeth. TenTen's eyes narrowed at the set, eyebrows coming together.
"Such a last guy – and, no, that's stating an opinion and not an answer. I mean, there are stairs… anyways, um…" She trailed off, looking down at the grassy ground. There was a white line running from one side of the passage to the other, signifying she was in the middle and had to follow the line. TenTen hissed sharply, looking up at the sphinx again; she was so close! Shaking her head to clear her thoughts of being close, TenTen thought back to the riddle, trying not to over think the problem. She knew when it was raining, people carried umbrellas… and she knew elevators from her world had buttons going up the wall by number…
"Is that, um, muggle really short? Or, just, y'know, short? Because, going down, floor number one would be at the bottom and perfectly reachable. When it was raining, he'd have an umbrella, hopefully, and if someone else was in the elevator, well, if he asked politely…" TenTen trailed off, tensing her body just in case she was wrong. The sphinx's grin faltered slightly, eyes glittering with disappointment, before he calmly stood and moved to the side to allow her by.
"Correct: the muggle is, in fact, short. Good day – or should I say night? – to you, miss." Both nodded at each other as TenTen passed, the girl quickly moving to the next intersection and heading to the right. A skrewt was waiting for her in a clearing, surrounded by a silver haze, looking completely befuddle. Though it was trying to go to her, the fire fart sent it in the completely wrong way. Seeing as she had no other choice, TenTen entered the maze, wand raised.
"Relashio!" The jet of heat burned through her robes, severely singing her undershirt. TenTen looked down at her stinging chest, puzzled, before looking back up at the skrewt. If it was going the opposite direction of her, though she knew it probably wanted to chase her, and if her spell had been fired at her, the opposite way she wanted it to…
"Relashio!" This time, TenTen pointed the wand at herself. The spurt of heat rushed to her target, the skrewt, making a sickening sizzling sound when it came in contact with the skrewt's shell. It squealed in pain, clicking its' pincers madly, before trying to round on TenTen. Having already figured out the haze's affect, TenTen started walking backwards and to her left, quickly bypassing the completely befuddled skrewt and the silver haze. She almost felt sorry for the beast when she left it still trying to figure out what in the world it had wandered into, the key word being almost. Smiling happily to herself, TenTen started walking towards the intersection she knew must be the last one before she hit the homestretch when she heard voices. Her legs were starting to throb from when the first skrewt had fallen on them, but TenTen started running towards the voices anyways, recognizing them off the bat. Harry and Cedric were nearby, and that meant Lee and a Neji clone weren't too far off, either, along with the real Neji.
After taking a tricky left turn, TenTen saw both boys limping past a fallen giant spider towards a shining cup… the Quad-Wizard Cup. She could see Lee and the Neji clone slipping silently around the tangled limbs, glancing over at her after a second. The Neji clone poofed silently then, causing both Harry and Cedric to turn around as soon as the smoke passed them; TenTen cringed, speeding up to stand by Lee's side.
"Lee? TenTen?" Harry asked, confused and in pain, from over Cedric's arm. Lee looked at them again, wide-eyed, and soon both he and TenTen caught up with both limping boys, offering a shoulder to each.
"What the hell are you doing here? You're not even a champion!" Cedric asked, face screwed up in abhorrence. Lee made a face, opened his mouth to reply, but a third voice came from beside the Quad-Wizard Cup.
"Watching over you, Diggory." The quartet turned to face the real Neji, clad in the same clothes his clones had. His arms were crossed defiantly over his chest, and Harry, for a moment, felt a trill of fear.
"W-watching over…? Then what about Fleur! And Krum! I heard both of them scream!" Harry snarled venomously, seething. Maybe he had been wrong, maybe the Ibarubushi were out to get him… or cheat. Either way, it was a vile thing to do indeed. He needed anything to get the fear coursing through his blood to go away, and anger seemed to be the only fast emotion to fill him up. Besides, Harry wanted answers and was already vexed, and a limping boy with a bloodied, swollen ankle being supported by a boy with a slash across his abdomen looked a far cry less intimidating than one lit up eerily blue by a shining cup.
"I delivered Fleur and Krum to your teachers as soon as I dealt with whomever was attacking them." Neji said impassively, nodding once at TenTen and Lee. They immediately took a hold of Cedric and Harry, keeping both boys upright but almost immobile. TenTen took Cedric, though he was roughly a head taller than her, and he started to struggle almost at once but to no avail. Lee got Harry, who was more or less a bit cooperative thanks to his twisted ankle.
"What the bloody hell? You stupid, fu—"
"Avada kedavra!" A shout cut off Cedric's voice, causing all three ninja to jerk back and away form the spell. Harry's eyes widened in shock as the spell barely missed Cedric, whom had been pulled back by TenTen like Lee had yanked Harry back, and looked to where it had come from. His blood ran cold as he remembered the face of Barty Crouch junior.
"Let Potter go, you bastards, the Dark Lord needs him. Avada—!" Before Harry knew what was happening, Lee's vice grip lessened and suddenly he felt the peculiar feeling of a fishing line catching his navel and wrenching, hard. The group of five fell harshly to the ground a few moments later, Harry being smothered beneath Lee. The grass felt a bit oily to his face and smelled somewhat familiar.
"I'm so youthfully sorry, Harry, but it had to be done." Lee whispered, hastily getting off Harry and pulling him to his feet. When Harry teetered on his swollen ankle, Lee let the shorter boy lean heavily on him for support.
"What had to be done?" Harry asked, anger being replaced with panic as he looked around. He recognized the graveyard. It was the one that haunted his dreams in the summer. They had to get out, away, something… just be anywhere but in the loathsome cemetery.
"It was too cramped to fight in the maze, especially with you and Diggory around." Neji replied for Lee, assessing their new environment as TenTen hauled Cedric to his feet. Cedric came over and roughly took Harry from Lee, glaring suspiciously at the foreigner trio. He had always thought them to be amiable people, but now he wasn't so sure of them.
"You knew this would happen, didn't you?" Cedric asked, only getting a nod from Neji. Huffing angrily, Cedric started glaring at him to be more specific.
"The cup radiated with chakra like a portkey. It was the only way out to keep you two unharmed." Neji explained after a minute of Cedric and Harry watching him closely.
"Why do you keep implying we'd get in the way? What is chakra? How could you tell – the creepy blue light?" Harry asked, looking at all of the Ibarubushi. He was so confused, so panicked… and all of this new information and implications weren't doing his scattered brains any better.
"You would, Harry. We're… not what you think we are. Chakra is… well… it's complicated… and Neji, he's special that way. But, come on, we need to get back to the—" TenTen stopped, turning around and stiffening. Everyone else who had been facing the same way TenTen had also turned around, too see what she was looking at, different levels of confusion appearing in each kid's brain. A man was approaching, heavily clothed in black, carrying what seemed to be a baby or something that was wrapped solidly in cobalt robes. It took Harry a second to recognize the stout man as Peter Pettigrew, otherwise known as Wormtail, one of Voldemort's loyal servants. Dread soon froze Harry in a way it never had before.
"Kill the spares." A high, cold voice split the silence from the cradle of robes within Wormtail's arms. In a whirl of movement, Lee had successfully pulled Cedric and Harry out of the way of an oncoming avada kedavra sent by Wormtail. The quintet, once separated into a trio and a duo, were now one body with Harry and Cedric shoved roughly to the back; although, Cedric's good four inches over even Lee and Neji didn't seem to register in the ninja's minds. The green light that was the avada kedavra hit a gravestone, which had once been behind Cedric before Lee had moved him bodily, shattering it upon impact. In a moment, Harry's head seemed to split with pain, the crux of it being his scar, and he fell writhing to the greasy grass once more, screaming in agony. In his twisting and turning, Harry could see the blurry feet and legs of the ninja before him on one side, and the other he saw the grave marker behind them and could barely make out who it'd been named for.
It took Harry a minute, but he finally discerned the name written upon the slab of stone. Tom Riddle… now more commonly know as Voldemort (but it didn't say that).
"My-My Lord, they…" Wormtail sputtered, looking aghast. He'd heard from Crouch junior that the Asian kids weren't normal, but to move two boys, resulting in a weight probably close to three hundred and fifty pounds, that quickly… it was appalling.
"He is on my grave, Wormtail." The cold voice emitted from the bundle ordered, making Wormtail realize Harry potter was indeed where they wanted him. Quickly, Wormtail pulled his wand out, but as soon as he did, he was gaping in horrified awe. Lee had Wormtail's wand in his had, twirling it about his fingers almost arrogantly, looking quite innocent.
"TenTen, get Potter and Diggory—"
"Hell no, I'm fighting, I'm—"
"Concentrate, Wormtail." The disembodied voice ordered frostily, interrupting Neji and TenTen's little debate, bringing the quintet's attention back to Wormtail and the bundle. Wormtail flushed slightly, eyes screwed up in concentration, before Harry felt ropes leap from the ground and tie him up against Voldemort's grave. In seconds, TenTen was hacking away at the ropes with a weird black knife and Lee was trying to rip the bundle out of Wormtail's arms, having a difficult time as ropes and vines kept on sprouting from the ground.
"Run, Harry – take Cedric with you." TenTen whispered as the last rope gave way, Harry tumbling into her open arms. He immediately tried to stand, not wanting to burden the skinny girl with his weight.
"No, we can't—" Harry started, wincing in pain, barely feeling Cedric grab his shoulder and let him lean into his taller form. He could see TenTen shaking her head, lips moving to form words; but something despicable was blocking his senses… and then, a pain unlike any before it throbbed horribly from Harry's scar, blinding the boy momentarily. TenTen and Cedric leapt back from him in shock as Harry started crowing in agony, clutching his scar, tears leaking from his tightly closed eyes. TenTen, under Harry's yells, heard Lee yelp in surprise and pain, causing her to whirl around. There was a loathsome, black, scaly child-like thing thrown onto the ground, crimson eyes flashing in anger.
"Don't let him touch you, Wormtail!" The creature hissed, forked tongue flicking between its' hard lips. TenTen looked up from the creature, whatever it was, to Lee and Neji. Lee's hands were smoldering even through his bandages, and Neji had cornered Wormtail and was in the Hakkeshou stance. Scowling deeply (they started the fun with out her!), TenTen pulled out three senbon that had poisonous tips, chucking all three at the creature Wormtail had been taking care of. Like always, they hit their target; the being let out a wretched cry, wriggling just like Harry was now. Just as it started screaming, Wormtail received an assault from Neji and his bawl joined in the fray of howls. TenTen waved Lee over, pulling a burn poultice from her bare-minimum medic bag strapped to her hip, frowning in worry. Lee, who was no stranger to pain, was hissing through his teeth, hands trembling. The burn presented on his palms from touching Wormtail's beast was unusual in itself; it was oozing a green substance from the edges, all black and scaly just like the creature's skin, and was starting to swell. The bandages that had once covered his palms were turning to dust instead of charred material around the edges of the burns.
"What did you do, Lee?" TenTen asked, applying the cataplasm, shocked when Lee gave a whimper and bit his lip. Lee shook his head, not wanting to answer TenTen until she was done applying the medicine and wrapped his hands in new bandages. It scared her to think Lee was actually showing outward signs of pains from just a simple, if not disgusting-looking and odd, burn.
"I touched… that." Lee whispered, nodding at the black thing that had grown still and quieted. TenTen's eyebrows knitted together and she started walking towards it, but a hand gripping her ankle stopped any future movements.
"Don't! That's…. don't touch it… a… don't… it's V—"Harry said, panting with effort, eyes glazed over from pain.
"Stop trying to talk, Harry!" Cedric said, mostly forgotten, grabbing Harry's shoulders from his kneeling position next to the younger lad.
"No! It's still alive!" Harry gnarred, glaring at the still organism with contempt.
"That's impossible, Harry, I poisoned those senbon myself… it should be dead since it's so small and the dose was for a full-grown man…" TenTen said softly, confused. None of their quartet was paying attention to their surroundings, thinking Neji had finished off Wormtail and the creature was dead, and that their ticket home was safe just a few yards away. They were dead wrong.
A haggard looking Neji blew Wormtail back, unknowingly delivering him just where Voldemort wanted him. Smirking and sucking in a breath, Neji, now with out a victim in his sights, noticed right where he'd blown Wormtail… right next to the black disfigured being with an extensive chakra system.
"Shit!" Lee and TenTen turned in alarm when they heard Neji curse, but it was too late. The barely conscious Wormtail presented his arm to the now twitching creature, the one where the Dark Mark had been made, and the thing reached out an arm skinnier than a baby's arm, a barely-there finger pressing onto the tattoo. Wormtail's face contorted in pain as the tattoo seemed to come alive, darker black ink shooting forth from the organism's pixie-stick finger and outlining the skull and snake image before the other colors, like green, darkened and angered from their once placid state.
"Now they come… and these children shall be dealt with properly." If the creature could sneer, it would've; the voice, still cold, held a small amount of pain and abhorrence in it, though. It was a minute, maybe, before Neji got a startled look, head tilting back to face the sky.
"They're here…" And they were. Fifteen or so black, hooded wizards or witches appeared in a wide circle around the group, wands drawn.
All hell broke loose after that.
A/N: So, some of y'all might not get the title of this chapter. It's a joke… the fourth def. of warren in my dictionary is a place for game animals. Get it? xD –shot'd-
I'm sorry for being late. It's spring break, see, and I actually had things to attend. - le gasp - Also, I had three distractions on top of Spring Break and all its glory: Pokemon White version, Pride and Prejudice, and discovering Gazetto (The GazettE). I want a Mr. Darcy. xD
Sorry for the rant. Oh, and the silver haze is something I made up (from the second skrewt battle?)… and, yes, wizards can do wandless magic… and I just made Wormtail a bit more powerful than usual, so sue – errr, bite me. And, before anyone harps, I know Volde-muffin couldn't call the Death Eaters in the book in whatever form he's in before he gets his body back (and didn't press on the mark to call them), but, come on, Wormtail isn't enough for Team Gai.