Harry walked into the tent, immediately realizing that he is the last to arrive once again. Oh well. Cedric shared a secret smile with him which made Harry blush. The rest looked expectant and nervous and excited like anyone would if they were to face an unknown challenge with a huge prize and an even larger store of glory.
Ludo finally told them all what they already knew. The challenge was dragons. The contestants were to steal a golden egg from the dragons nest. Lovely game for children dontcha think? Anyways, Ludo came around with a bag and asked the four contestants to pick.
Fleur picked first, pulling out a moving miniature dragon! It looked like the baby dragon that Hagrid had shown Harry and the rest of the trio their first year, except fully formed, even with it being so miniscule. It didn't have any of the babyhood clumsiness.
"Ah, Fleur, the Welch Green. You'll go second." Fleur looked determined, but a little grossed out by the miraculous living figurine she held in her palm.
Krum chose second. He pulled out a fierce looking fellow that shot a big puff of fire and smoke as soon as it was out of the bag. Krum, as usual, didn't seem to have any discernible emotions.
"The Chinese Fireball. Fairly self explanatory name. You'll be going third." Krum nodded.
Cedric smiled grimly as he thrust his hand into the bag, and Harry couldn't help but wish Cedric wouldn't get the big scary looking dragon Harry had seen in the forest, which took so many people to knock unconscious. Even if that meant he had to face it himself. Harry got his wish.
"Swedish Short Snout, and you'll be facing your dragon first!" Ludo said, excited. Harry found himself wanting to punch him. Perhaps Ludo had forgotten, but people could die here. They were facing dragons after all.
Harry's turn. Harry felt himself go numb as he realized that he had the mean looking one. The one who had just hatched. Overprotective nest mother. Overprotective DRAGON nest mother. Lovely. Harry picked out his figurine and jerked his hand back when the miniature dragon bit him, quite hard.
"Ah, Harry Potter. Fourth and last to face their dragon. And you'll be facing the Hungarian Horntail." Cedric was looking Harry's way. Harry was blanching. Cedric could tell what that meant. Cedric opened his mouth, and Harry fixed him with a glare so harsh that Cedric closed it with an audible snap. Harry was not going to let Cedric stand up for him and get himself in trouble. Harry wasn't totally sure of what he did, but Ludo took it as a nod and continued to chat until it was time for Cedric to face his dragon.
Harry had never really known he could be this scared. He had faced incredible evil and had seen things that no person should ever have to see, but right then, as he waited to see if Cedric, a boy Harry hadn't even known for very long, would be okay. After a bit of intent listening, Harry realized that it was over, and Cedric had lived. The gathered audience was going mad, and Harry assumed Cedric had done well. Of course he had done well. Harry started to relax, but only long enough to realize that soon he would be having to face his dragon. Fleur went out next, and Harry listened nervously to the crowd. Then Krum. Finally, it was Harry's turn.
It didn't matter that Harry had a plan A, suggested by Moody. Yes, Harry knew what spell to use and what to do next. The question was, how was he going to do it and survive? The next moments seemed to pass in the blink of an eye for Harry. He remembered them like photographs. Flash! Stepping out and seeing the dragon. Flash! Summoning his broom. Flash! Flying around the castle. Flash! Capturing the egg. By the time it was over, Harry was in a dazed fog.
Harry walked, in that fog, around until a excited and sheepish Ron caught him. Ron apologized for being the git he was and told Harry that he was the fastest of all of them, and got the least damage too! Ron walked back to the Castle with Harry and Harry felt that everything was finally back to normal. Sort of.