Quick AN before the story starts:
This story is going to depict a hopefully more realistic look on the wizarding world. As such there will be some darker and more mature themes as the story carries on. You will see Harry grow and develop as a product of the actions that get taken around him, and will slowly see him become more of a gray character rather than the typical dark and light type stories out there. At first I was actually going to say more than this about the story, but I don't want to spoil it. I will give the rest at a brief AN at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
A storm of emotions. That was the only way to describe what Harry was feeling right now as he sat silently looking over the Hogwarts lake. Harry gave out a bitter laugh momentarily breaking his gaze from the water as he tried his best to decipher what he was feeling. To him the saddest part about what he was feeling was that no one would ever know unless they asked. Simply, no one knew him that well.
Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived was not the arrogant jerk everyone had always painted him to be his entire life. He was a simple boy, just trying to get through his years at Hogwarts... alive. He had few friends that he was truly close to. In fact he could really only name two off of the top of his head. Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. Now yes, he knew he had other friends scattered around the school. Such as the other boys in Gryffindor that shared his year. Or his teammates on the Quidditch team. However Harry knew that just because you were on friendly terms with someone didn't mean they were close enough to you to understand you.
That was Harry's dilemma. What do you do when you are all alone? When everyone you know and love has turned their back on you? Betrayed you so harshly. Harry Potter was in his fourth year of Hogwarts, which was normally nothing special. Nothing exciting ever happened for a fourth year. It wasn't as if it was the year they got to join Quidditch teams. It wasn't the year they got to go to Hogsmead. It wasn't the year of taking OWLS or NEWTS. It was simply a boring year. At least that was how it was under normal circumstances. Yet nothing in Harry Potter's life was ever truly normal.
"Eternal glory! That is what awaits the student who wins the Tri-Wizard Tournament." Harry spat out the Headmaster's former words in anger as he grabbed a near by rock and tossed it violently into the lake.
'Eternal glory? More like eternal isolation.' Harry thought to himself as he grabbed another stone and ran his thumb over the edge. The moment Harry's name had flown out of that cup, it was as if it was his second year all over again. He could see through the eyes of everyone at his school, even through the eyes of everyone from the visiting schools. Any decent opinions they had of him vanished, they were utterly erased. The difference was that at least in his second year, he knew that his friends stayed by his side. However now... Ron was quick to jump at his throat. Calling him a liar, not believing him when he said he didn't put his name in the cup. It was as if he could see his friendship with Ron evaporate before his very eyes. Hermione followed shortly after, but far more quietly. Perhaps she didn't believe him either. Or perhaps she simply didn't want to get in the middle of the feud between him and Ron. The fact of the matter was that when his two friends turned their backs on him, he knew he was alone.
The two of them hadn't spoken to him since the day that they parted ways. Ron and Hermione had at one point attempted to approach him, but they ended up in an argument amongst themselves before they ever made contact with Harry. So Harry merely relocated himself to a different area of the grounds.
That was why here he currently sat, throwing stones, just a day before the first task. The unknown first task. How was he supposed to prepare for a task when he had no idea what was coming? It was that thought that lead him to his current seat next to a blonde in green and silver attire.
Harry Potter sat in silence as he brainstormed various ideas of tasks that could be thrown his way during the tournament. However he knew that guessing wasn't helping anything. You can make guesses about what lies beyond in the unknown. However with no clues to guide you, one guess is just as good as any other. For all he knew he could be up against Chimeras, Gorgons, Werewolves, Dragons, Sirens, Minotaurs, Giants, Vampires? He had no idea what he would be facing.
It was at that moment Harry nearly jumped out of his skin as he realized someone had snuck up on him. Two delicate hands came from behind him and gently rested on his shoulders and began to rub them. Before he could even turn around he caught scent of a lovely, but unrecognizable perfume, and he realized that he had no idea who the person behind him was.
"Problems in isolation Potter?" a soft female voice commented a bit tauntingly.
'Yep, I definitely don't know her.' Harry confirmed.
Harry quickly reached behind him and grabbed both of the hands on his shoulders before leaning his head back quickly to catch a look at the girl behind him.
"Potter, if you are trying to look up my skirt, I'm flattered, but we haven't even been dating yet." was the first comment Harry could finally match to a face. A beautiful Slytherin girl that had long blonde hair and striking blue eyes met his green. The warm smile on her face however utterly disarmed him. Any violent maneuver, or attempt to remove the girl from him was thwarted. All he could do was remain there and hold her hands as he curiously looked up to her.
"Excuse me?" was his reply still trying to figure out what the girl was doing there.
"You're excused." she quipped back as she came around and took a seat next to Harry, a mischievous smile on her face as she knew that was not what he was commenting on.
Harry groaned to himself as the girl took a seat beside him. He recognized her from his continuous years at Hogwarts and shared potions classes. "What do you want Greengrass? I'm busy."
"Call me Daphne." she said with a predatory smile as she turned to Harry. "And I know you aren't busy Harry. You are doing the exact same thing you have been doing the past week. Sitting here, throwing stones into the water, hoping to succeed in the upcoming tournament that you are surely going to die in if you don't develop a plan." Daphne finished quickly, idly noting with her eyes that Harry still hadn't let go of one of her hands when she sat down.
Harry's lips contorted into a sneer before he turned away from the girl, but not before realizing that his hand was still in hers, an action he quickly remedied with a violent tug. "If you intended to just come here and taunt me, feel free to tell Malfoy you did your job, but I'm not in the mood right now."
A charming laugh was not the response he had been expecting. "Now who says that I came here because Malfoy told me to? Hmmm?" the girl beside him questioned in a teasing tone.
Harry flushed for a moment as he realized he jumped the gun. However he wasn't going to let the girl see his embarrassment and continued on, "Oh, fine. Humor me Greengrass, why are you here?" Harry stated putting emphasis on her last name. And he knew it set something off in her as he saw her visible tense at the name.
Although just as she came under tension, she dismissed it. "Well Boy-Who-Lived." She drawled on as she watched Harry narrow his eyes at one of his titles. "I was coming here to offer you my help."
"Your help?" Harry repeated, not completely sure he heard that right the first time.
"Yes Harry, my help. I was wondering if you would wish to become partners- friends... maybe more." she listed off in quick succession.
"And the catch?" Harry ground out as the girl beside him seemed to scoot a bit closer to him during her last statement.
"No catch Harry. It will be for our mutual benefit. I help you, you help me. A partnership Harry, no tricks." she said softly as she ran a finger on his shoulder. "So what will it be then Harry?"
"Fine." Harry said out loud as he sat beside Daphne near the lake.
"Oh?" Daphne commented as she turned her head to the green eyed boy beside her with a raised eyebrow. "After three days, Harry Potter finally chooses his only option?"
Harry scoffed at that and looked at her through the corner of his eye in amusement, "I didn't know there was a deadline?" Harry questioned with a raised eyebrow.
"There isn't." The blonde confirmed with a smirk before she stood up and ran her hand playfully down Harry's cheek, "And I wont disappoint."
Harry growled and bat her hand away, the girl was far far too touchy for his tastes. Not that it wasn't unwelcome, it was just an uncommon touch for him. "Yeah whatever," he said dismissively, trying his best to avoid the Blonde's smirking gaze. However he knew why she was smirking.
She knew that she was his only option.
Time Skip: Day of the First Task, Champions Tent.
Harry sat in silence with his chin rested in his hands as he pondered on what he would be facing. The other three champions in the room all looked equally nervous, but who could really blame them? There aren't many things scarier than the unknown.
"Don't look so down Harry." was the voice of the only person he had really talked to since he parted ways with his friends. Before him was Daphne Greengrass, dressed in warm muggle clothing giving him a smile.
"Easier said when you aren't the one partaking in the tournament." Harry snapped back at the girl.
"Don't be touchy." She said as she went over and sat down beside Harry, wrapping an arm around his shoulders ignoring the looks from the other champions in the room. She knew it wasn't common practice for someone other than the champions to be in the champion tent. However... that was what security was for, something the tournament lacked. It wasn't her fault if she intended to abuse that.
"Same could be said for you." Harry muttered dryly as he looked at the arm wrapped around him. A feeling he had gotten slightly more useful after spending the entire day with the girl yesterday. However she was still arguably a stranger to him, just a helpful one.
"Anyways Harry, just remember what we practiced and you will do fine." she said giving Harry a knowing look.
Harry grit his teeth at the thought of all of yesterday's practice flooding back to him. "No Greengrass, I told you yesterday that I wouldn't use those spells. The cost is too high!" He put emphasis on the last sentence, pausing at every word for effect.
Daphne face turned stony, "And I told you yesterday to call me Daphne, but the fact of the matter is Harry that we can't always get to have or do the things we want." she said with conviction as she stared him right in the eye.
Harry scowled, "That is hardly a comparison between what your asking of me, and what you are wanting me to do."
Daphne gave a taunting laugh, and quickly pushed Harry's chest back by her hand, "Oh I know Harry. I fear our partnership will end prematurely if you don't man up and realize that you! Will! Die! If you don't use those spells today. We already went over the fact that the spells are perfectly fine, and they can't get you through nearly anything."
Harry roughly pushed her hand back and repeated, "And I told you the cost of those spells is too high, I'm not doing it."
Daphne narrowed her eyes at that, "I don't want you to die Harry." She said slowly. Yet before Harry could respond a group of headmasters and teachers alike made their way into the tent, prompting all of the champions to gather around.
Barty Crouch and Dumbledore both had all of the champions gather around in the circle of a bag while they spoke. However Harry paid minimal attention as Dumbledore told Daphne that she should leave back to the stands, but not before sending Harry a wary glance. However what truly distracted Harry was what Daphne whispered in his ear before she left.
"Of honor within, and fear without. Remember these spells, when in hope you doubt." She whispered softly in his ear.
Harry clenched his fists as he replayed the line she had spoken over and over in his head until a small bag was brought before the champions, at which point he knew he had to put his attention there and not elsewhere.
"Now miss Delacour if you will." Barty Crouch stated as he opened up the bag before him, revealing a small bit of smoke and a hissing noise. It was at that point she reached in with her hand and pulled out, much to Harry's surprise a small miniature green dragon. "Ahhh the Welsh Green." Barty stated as he moved on.
Harry however continued to scan Fleur's face in his own surprise. She didn't appear the least bit surprised by the task. In fact, she looked almost relieved, if that brief flash of recognition going across her face had anything to do with it.
Harry turned from Fleur just in time to see Krum and his headmaster smirk ever slightly as they drew their dragon. "The Chinese Fireball..." Crouch commented as he continued his rounds. Harry however was once again left in surprise, Krum didn't seem the least bit phased or surprised by what he had picked.
At this point Harry stopped caring what dragons were being drawn. The look of recognition and determination that appeared on Cedric's face the moment he drew his dragon was enough to make him clench his fists to the point of them bleeding.
Harry no longer cared as he roughly reached into the bag and grabbed his dragon in a vice, ignoring the quills on it's body poking into his hand. They weren't big or sharp enough to do any real damage.
"The Hungarian Horntail..." Crouch stated before he caught sight of Harry's rough grip on the miniature dragon. "Is there a problem mister Potter?"
There was a boiling rage inside of Harry. He had a huge fucking problem and he knew it. However he would never say all of that out loud. "Yes, I have a damn problem." he stated with a scowl. "You all knew!" Harry began as he pointed at the three older champions around him. "You all knew that this task was dragons! It was written all over your faces the moment you drew them."
A tense silence fell over the group at that point. Fleur looked away in shame. Krum didn't show much emotion, but you could see the faintest frown tug at his lips. Cedric on the other hand had his face full of regret, but he wasn't speaking up as to why.
"What a joke." Harry said disgusted with the people around him. He turned to Dumbledore with a scowl and repeated his words the moment the tournament began. "Make no mistake, in this tournament, you stand alone."Harry scoffed when he was done. "Fine..." he stated roughly. He roughly flipped the tiny dragon in his hand, sending it sprawling to the floor, unable to right itself. Harry the proceeded to step on the dragon, thoroughly crushing it in a wailing cry and whatever magic formerly held it together.
He stormed off back to his corner of the tent leaving the remainders of the ground thoroughly flustered and full of shame.
Crouch turned to the remaining champions with narrowed eyes before coughing into his hand. "Right well, perhaps it seems after today we may need to go back over the rules about helping participants in the tournament." he stated calmly. However there was a tone in his voice that spoke business.
Soon enough a cannon was fired. Cedric looked as if he wished to speak to Harry, but given the fact that he was the first champion up. He didn't get the opportunity to say what heeded to.
The first champion has completed his task!
The second champion has completed their task!
Three of our champions have now faced their dragons! Each one of them will proceed to their next task, but now for our fourth and final contestant!
Those were the reverberating cries that soared through the stadium as time continued to dragon on for Harry.
So there he found himself walking down a dark tunnel out into a giant rocky pit of death. It was as if the phrase of walking into the lions den met steriods. Harry wished he could say he was fearless, but he certainly wasn't. However he knew that at least for now, he could drown out that fear with the overwhelming anger he felt at how ridiculous this tournament of cheaters was.
The rocky arena he stood before appeared void of any danger. However he knew that there had to be more to it than that. Nothing in the wizarding world was ever what it appeared to be. He gazed up into the crowd and could see everyone from the school gathered around. He spotted Hermione and Ron both up in the stands wearing equally worried expressions. Perhaps Hermione more so than Ron. It was nice to know that despite their feud, they cared for his well being. He gave a slight smile at that. Elsewhere up in the stands he easily spotted a smiling blonde haired blue eyed Slytherin, standing out easily amongst the cold Slytherins that surrounded her. Even the girl beside her whom he could only assume was her friend had a tad cold expression on her face, even if she looked like she was trying to hold it back.
Although even though he was across the distance of Daphne, he could see as clear as day what she mouthed to him.
"Remember... what I told you."
Harry took a deep breath and momentarily closed his eyes calming himself before opening them and taking his first step into the arena. He drew his wand carefully in anticipation for the dangers around him.
And just like that a giant tail slammed down beside him, nearly crushing him the moment the battle began if it weren't for his quidditch reflexes. Harry spun backwards and looked up towards the dragon that had been perched on a rock right above the entrance, fully intent on taking its prey the moment it entered the stadium. However Harry had no intent on being eaten.
Harry backpedaled away from the dragon, keeping his eyes on it at all times, prepared to avoid it at a moments notice. He thought it was a good plan in theory. However theory and practice can often be much different.
The dragon flew at Harry rapidly letting out a stream of fire, which he in turned dodged. However he didn't account for just how agile the dragon truly was. After the breath of flame it dived in head first, jaws wide ready to take a bite out of Harry. It was merely through sheer luck that it's face grazed his arm, and didn't take it off entirely. Harry however didn't have time to react to the dragon turning and swinging it's head at him like a giant mace. Harry slammed flat into a high wall near the stands, and much to his amusement, near Daphne.
"Harry damnit! Do what I told you. You're going to die! Harry Please!" she yelled down, leaning slightly over the railing to do so. She didn't know if the grin that came across his face meant if it worked or not.
The dragon made a leap at him like a cat trying to catch a mouse with it's paws. However it only served for the dragon to crash into a wall as Harry had taken a twenty foot fall to the ground rather than a several ton dragon to his chest.
Harry didn't know what he was thinking, it was becoming more and more apparent to him as he dragged the fight on. He had been scraping away alright thus far, mainly due to luck from the dragon missing him. However it was at that time that he realized no one could remain lucky forever. A giant slammed into him, and at first Harry expected to be sent flying. However he suddenly realized one of the many uses for that horn at the end of it's tail.
The horn pierced into his leg as the Horntail wrapped it's tail around Harry's lower body and lifting him into the air so he had nowhere to run. He knew he was on his last legs at this point. Time seemed to slow down all around him as he took in all the screaming from the crowd. Some in horror, some egging the dragon on. The terrified looks on some people's faces. However of all the faces that Harry had caught sight of, the one that brought him back to reality was Daphne's. No terror. No joy. No tears. No grins. It was just the simple look of disappointment, the look someone gives another when they were let down.
I can't do that, I'm not that type of person
There has to be another way
These spells are too dark, I can't believe you would even consider it
This partnership was a mistake
How can you expect this of me?
These spells cost... And the cost is too high...
Harry squeezed his eyes shut as his own words flashed through his head of the day before with his preparation with Daphne.
"Of honor within, and fear without. Remember these spells, when in hope you doubt."
The dragon turned to him in hunger as he was lifted off of the ground. It's mouth opened wide, the faintest look of fire dwelling in it's throat ready to be let out.
"I will deal with the price." he told himself with conviction. He raised his wand arm, and without the need for wand motions, he simply pointed at the great beast.
Green light and silence filled the stadium.
Just going to run this down in a bullet point like fashion to get it out of the way.
-XX-Harry's strength will grow stronger as this story goes on as he comes into his own and starts taking the dangers in his life a bit more serious. However I don't intend for him to be overpowered or anything like that. If that is what you are looking for, I'm sorry to disappoint. Simply put Harry's strength will be believable for the amount of effort he puts into it. As anyone who puts forth that amount of effort would be able to achieve that level of strength.
-XX- In regards to above, yes Harry will appear to be somewhat super powerful in comparison to other students in his year. However the gap between students and teachers is vast, and is one that will be pointed out in this story.
-XX- This wont be a story that involves the following:
Discovering forced marriage contracts(in the form of: "You must marry X person now and fall happily in love and lead to a generally bad story" upon going to Gringotts
Being heir to any of the founders
Unlocking super powers upon magical maturation
No crazy Phoenix/Basilisk/Dragon familiars or Animagus forms
No power boosting immortality rituals
Probably more belong on this list, but I am knocking off the hard points right off the bat. Moving on.
-XX- Harry will be a relatively gray hero. Or should I say an anti-hero? People may grow to think he is jerk or a mean person. However Harry grows to stop caring about public opinion and he begins to do things his own way, and what he feels is right and needs to be done.
-XX- This story will feature a Harry Daphne pairing in the long run. It will be a rough road on the way there perhaps before they are officially "Together" but that is my intentions for the long run. If you don't like that, you are free to hit the back button.
-XX- Finally, a good portion of this story is going to take place out of Hogwarts as well as in it. I wont specify now at which times the story will drift from Hogwarts, but it will happen. That being said, it will still be following Harry. You don't have to fear about 5 chapters of following or Lucious Malfoy doing their daily routines.
Anyways now that you have a general idea as to how this story is going to feel. You can hit the back button in a fit of rage at this story not being what you were hoping for. Or you can continue on reading. It is up to you.
Now a final note to anyone who saw this story on my profile without an update to Consequences of an Honest Enemy(Naruto) or Freedom Has A Price(Naruto). Don't worry, I am getting around to them. A friend has "Borrowed" my USB so I need to get that back from him before I can post those chapters.