A/N: You know it, I know it; JKR is too rich to care. I don't own it!

One Wizard Too Many Ch 9

Horntail Down

Harry left the Dragon enclosure to complete silence. Well, almost complete silence; Hagrid's sobs and sniffles were audible in the distance. The formerly roaring crowd had been stilled (and the creature loving groundskeeper devastated) by the violent decapitation of one Hungarian Horntail. Harry appeared mostly unconcerned.

"Sorry Hagrid, that thing was trying to kill me. I just got to it first."

His first stop was the medical tent, where all the other champions had retired to have their various injuries healed. As Harry was not hurt (beyond the pain of boredom), his visit was brief. Madam Pomfrey fussed over him for a moment, muttering in her usual fashion. To her surprise, Harry was completely unharmed.

"Amazing! Every other champion was at least slightly injured."

Harry attributed his health to a combination of 'luck, good looks, and the engineering skills of the proletariat'.

Madam Pomfrey was unamused, but relieved.

He nodded to Cedric, who was lying on a cot and seemingly slathered with burn ointment. His transfigured dogs had only distracted the Short Snout for so long. It seemed it was just long enough. The singed Hufflepuff nodded back with an awed look on his face.

The other champions seemed less enamored, however.

Krum had gotten cut up trying to get out of the way of a rampaging Chinese Fireball. He managed to get his egg, but the smashing of the real eggs would drastically reduce his score. Somehow, his expression was even nastier than usual when he gave Harry the customary glare.

"Cheer up Vicky! It's not like you killed a whole dragon or anything!"

The French champion Delacoeur also secured the golden egg from her Welsh Green. She was less than pleased at being set on fire and having to hurriedly remove most of her clothing during the securing. It would also appear that many Beauxbatons girls preferred to go 'sans brazier' under their robes. It was rumored that all the first year boys who witnessed the task all experienced a full octave drop in their voices.

"Oh sure, topless flaming veela on display and all I get to see is the inside of a stupid tent!"

He did get a full on view of Fleur's arrogant sneer. Wasn't nearly as edifying, though.

With a snicker and a small chuckle, Harry began to ignore the other competitors in favor of giving the Matron his best 'puppy dog' eyes to try and cajole an escape from this medical purgatory.

"Please just let me go! Please!"

"Oh, just go then, Mister Potter! You've no need to look at me like you're about to cry!"

Apparently, his best wasn't all that good, but good enough.

Stepping out of the tent, he noticed the largish crowd that had formed between him and the castle. Based on their quizzical expressions and glimmers of interest that appeared when he did, Harry knew many of them wanted to talk to him.

"Shit. Wish I could lob a few RPG's at 'em."

Unfortunately for Harry, Remus had requested that Dobby secure the launcher and spare ammunition, and return them to the werewolf's abode. This, however, left Harry without an easy way to scatter the crowd and proceed about his business.

His immediate business consisted of:

1. Finding Hermione

2. Escaping this crowd

3. Go to dinner

4. Not have to kill or maim anyone to do it (Optional)

But of course, fate decided that was too easy. He sighed and ploughed into the crowd.

First on the receiving line was a somewhat contrite looking Ron Weasley.

"Harry! That was wicked mate! Reckon maybe you didn't cheat to get in after all!"

Harry did not stop, but did deign to reply.

"Just figured that out? Smart man."

"Yeah, that dragon looked scary! When Charlie told me about them, I never thought they'd be that frightening!"

Harry shot him a look. "Bastard knew and didn't tell me. Nice of him, the prick!"

He could only grunt in response. He did try to drown the ginger irritant, after all.

Ron continued. "So I guess I forgive you, and we can be mates…"

Harry interrupted. "No."

"…again, just like old times." Ron, as ever, was oblivious.

"Ron, go away."

"But Harry, we're mates again!"

"No Ron, we're not."

"But I forgave you!"

Harry stopped and turned to the taller redhead.

"Good. I don't care. Go away." He continued to carve a path through the throng.

Ron was left gaping in his wake. Harry just sighed in irritation.

"Where in the world could Hermione be?"

Next in his path were the ever irrepressible Weasley twins.

"Harry mate, that was awesome!"

"Yeah! Where did you get something like that?"

Harry replied. "The former Soviet Union." He continued to scan the crowd for a familiar bushy hairstyle.

Fred (or George, but it really didn't matter.) continued.

"Do you think you might have any left over for us?"

Harry stopped and recalled some words of warning given by Remus.

"Harry, whatever you do, do not; repeat, do not ever let the Weasley Twins get their hands on the RPG! Ever! The bloody fools are likely to lay waste to half of Hogsmeade if you do. Hundreds could die and worse, I'd have to listen to that fat harpy Molly screech about some shite. I do not want to listen to fat harpies screech about some shite, clear?"

"Eh, I don't think so guys. But you can ask Lupin if he knows where any more might be hiding."

The twins looked a little down, but were too wound up from the spectacle to stay quiet for long.

Harry next encountered Hagrid and Charlie on his perambulations. Both were teary eyed, and Charlie looked a little angry. Hagrid just looked like someone killed his puppy; which was, in a way, what happened.

"Arry! 'ow could yeh? 'Twas just a harmless little dragon!"

"Harmless? Hagrid, the thing tried to fry me up the minute it saw me!"

Just for a lark, Harry thought one day he'd try logic and common sense on the large and dense man.

"She wa' just funnin wit ya! Didn't mean nuthin by it!"

"I think she was trying very hard to kill me. You know how much I hate that!"

Hagrid looked a little contrite.

"Okay, mehbe she was. But did ya hafta blow it up?"

Charlie decided to weigh in.

"Yeah, do you know how much a dragon costs? Did you have to kill it?"

"Gentlemen. It. Tried. To. Kill. Me. First. Maybe if it hadn't been a deadly creature out after my blood or if I hadn't been entered into this massive fuckup of a tournament against my will in an effort to end me; then maybe I'd have come up with something else. As it stands, my policy is to do to others first what they are attempting to do to me. And no, Charlie, I have no earthly clue how much a fire breathing monster costs on the open market."

Charlie glowered a bit. "Six thousand Galleons! I helped raise that Horntail from an egg, and it would cost Six K to replace her!"

"Send the bill to Barty boy over there. He thought up this stupid shit."

Charlie wasn't done. "Don't you even care, Potter? Or are you so dark that you don't care about killing innocent creatures any more?"

This was a very unwise thing for any Weasley to say to Harry.

He spun around and glared at the bulky man. "Oh, kill without a care, do I? Just slaughter animals for fun, do I? Didn't hear any of you ginger fucktards complaining two years ago when I 'murdered' a thousand year old basilisk to save your fucking sister, did I? No, it was all 'hero Harry' then! You all make me sick!"

Harry turned to leave, but had a parting shot.

"By the way, I'm not dark. Nor am I light. I'm grey, not some stupid fucking cartoon character! I do what I must to survive. You'll do well to remember that."

He left the pair behind as he continued to search out Hermione.

"Please just appear and get me away from these idiots!"

Unfortunately, his bushy haired angel was still unseen when he was approached by the judges and Ministry representatives.

"Motherfucker!"

Harry was not best pleased.

Dumbledore, Karkaroff, Maxine, Crouch, his lapdog Percy, and a few other faculty seemed to wish a word with the young man.

Barty Crouch seemed almost beyond words. Unfortunately he was only almost.

"Potter! What the hell did you do?"

"Survived." Harry continued on his way.

"Don't you walk away from me! I want an explanation!"

Harry was seriously annoyed now. "They want a spat? Fine with me!"

"You see Barty, I was just an innocent fourth year trying to get through school, maybe have a little fun, maybe ask a girl out or something; when some stupid murderous bastard tries to get me killed. Now, as if that wasn't bad enough, some other bastards; these ones are both stupid and fucking incompetent, decide to help the first bastard try and kill me by making me compete in this fucking mess. Another bastard, this one is really old and smells like lemon drops and goat jizz; he doesn't say anything to help me out, even though it's his fucking job. As a result of the old bastard, now ninety nine percent of the so called 'students' of this fucking so called 'institution' consider me to be a cheat and a fraud. Good thing I don't give a flying fuck what those sheep think. No, good for me that I can tell them to all go and fuck themselves with the fucking whomping willow right in their wizarding arses and feel pretty happy about it. So anyway, here I am trying not to get my stupid arse killed, and one of the stupid and fucking incompetent bastards has the fucking gall to ask me why one of their 'flying and fire spewing death beasts' just happened to have its fucking head removed by a fucking rocket propelled fucking grenade, what am I supposed to say? Hmm? Sorry I accidentally decapitated your dragon?"

Dumbledore and the Ministry members were somewhat taken aback by the tirade. Madam Maxine seemed a bit affronted by the tone and language, but Karkaroff looked hugely amused. The rest of the watching throng was just stunned by the waves of magic pouring off of the young man. Harry upset was quite the sight.

Harry just looked at Crouch and was dismayed to see a lack of any real understanding there. He sighed and continued in a quieter tone.

"Look, bottom line; I don't want to be here. If you are stupid enough to put something deadly in my path; as it seems you are; I will do my best to utterly devastate that something. I don't want to die. Period. Missus Horntail Dragon was violently reduced to potions ingredients and goblin delicacies because you put her there. Anyone who tries to interfere with myself or Miss Granger are going to be hurt; badly. I will not apologize. I will not yield. And if I find any of you had anything to do with getting my name in this motherfucking Goblet, I will kill you and piss on your smoldering corpse."

He turned away, not wanting to hear whatever any of them had to say in rebuttal. Fortunately, Hermione was waiting nearby. She looked equal parts amused and concerned.

"You know, I have to decide if I should scold you for your language, for killing the dragon, for scaring me half to death in the task, or being rude to the faculty!" She softened the remark with a small smile.

"Hermione, you have no idea how glad I am to see you!" He gave her a big hug and led her towards the castle.

"Not half as glad as I am to see you. Alive and in one piece!"

"Yeah."

"Did you see your score?" Hermione did have a thing with grading, after all.

"Nope."

"Silly question, but do you care?"

"Nope."

"Would you care if they gave you a zero?"

"Nope."

"Ok, just checking. 'Cause they did, you know."

"Cool."

"Do you care about anything that happened today?"

He stopped and looked at her. Deep down, he could see that she had been terrified for him.

He spoke softly.

"I care that I'm here, now, with you. Everything and everyone else can go hang for the time being. Nothing matters but us."

She hugged him hard and sighed into his shoulder.

"Oh Harry."


A/N: Has anyone noticed that Hagrid seems to be the mortal enemy of spellcheckers everywhere. Mine did not like his dialogue at all!