Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters/plot you recognize from To Be a Snape or from the original Harry Potter series. A full list of disclaimers from To Be a Snape is on my page.
Author's Note: I'm not going to bother keeping you here for very long; I am already aware of how much you hate me. Just, promise to not hate me more at the end of this, alright?
Enjoy the much anticipated installment of Life as a Snape!
Life as a Snape Chapter 31
Someone awakes me from my sleep, much too early on my watch. 'Wha…' I mutter groggily, rubbing my eyes open. But, the room is much too darkly lit to see anything, anything well at least. 'What are you doing?' I whisper exasperatedly to whoever disturbed me from my sleep. 'It's not even five in the morning! What could you possibly want from me at this time?' I ask into the darkness.
'Malik come on, get up.' I hear my brother say inside my head.
I meet the disguised baby blue eyes of my twin brother. 'Arsenio, what, what the hell are you doing? Come on, let me sleep! I've got the third task tomorrow.' I moan, shoving my head back under my pillow.
'The third task is today.' He responds back, rolling his eyes dramatically so I could see them.
'It isn't today until I wake up.' I moan back, hoping that sounded better out loud than it did in my head. 'Besides, what's the point of me competing if I'm going to be asleep during the whole damn thing?'
'Because,' Arsenio starts back smartly. 'I overheard that Karkaroff is going to wake you and Krum up at the crack of dawn for some last minute training, so I woke you up at ten minutes till.' He says, shaking me harder. 'Now get up!' he whisper screams into my ear.
'You mean to say that you got me up at four fifty in the morning?' I say, all sorts of disbelief laced within my already groggy voice. 'I love you mate, but you come second to sleep when I'm deprived of it.' I mumble irritated, weakly back at my twin without any sort of real anger.
'Well you know I just wanted to talk to you before you were thrown into this task.' He says patiently, taking a seat on my bed. 'And look at me, I even took matters into my own hands and put a silencing charm over your bed so you don't have to move.' He says with a playful tone, elbowing me in the stomach goodheartedly.
'Glad to know you have my best interests in mind.' I respond back with a smirk that mirrored his. 'So, what did you want to talk about?' I asked him, stretching my limbs out, letting the blood flow back to them.
'I know how you get, when you're thrown into things like this…' my brother trails off, his demeanor suddenly saddened, his posture slumping over. 'I just wanted to make sure you were feeling okay.' He admits.
After his statement leaves his mouth, the silence falls again as the two of us try and find something to say. Neither one of us; in all our experience in the dark arts, have never felt this much anticipation and dread before. And this time around, it was much worse than the first two tasks. At least we were given some sort of lead. Well, sort of. Harry and Hermione found out what the first task was and well, word spread around. But this time, we got nothing. I have no idea what to expect, and that everlasting feeling of doom is making me sick to my stomach. 'Has Krum or Karkaroff told you anything?' Arsenio asks, finally coming up with something.
I look back up at him, my hopelessness radiating off in waves. 'No, Karkaroff is focusing all of his time and energy into making sure Krum wins. And you know how Krum is, too stuck up and arrogant to help out another champion.' I spit, suddenly feeling animosity against the other champion from my school. 'And Harry hasn't exactly been treating me with kindness either, ever since he found out…'
'I thought you said yesterday, in the library that you and Harry talk a lot.' Arsenio brings up, raising his eyebrow up at me.
'Yeah I know what I said…' I sigh sadly, once again looking away from my brother. 'I've tried to approach him multiple times, like when you and Mione were off training. But every time I manage to get his attention, the only talk that happens is small, like how my training is going and such.' I tell him.
'Well, you need to talk to him and get this whole thing smoothed out.' My brother wisely advises. 'It doesn't seem to be doing either one of you any good. I've seen the way he mopes around as if he's lost another family member. Talk some sense into him, and then maybe he'll understand.' He says before pausing slightly, bringing up another point. 'He probably isn't upset over this whole mess; he's probably torn in whom to support, Mione or the Weasel.' He spats in disgust at the thought of the redhead.
'Hey come on, he's probably not that bad of a guy.' I say, finding myself supporting the ginger. 'We've heard from several different people that he is a very… emotionally unstable person.' I say, stumbling over finding the right words to say.
Shaking his head, not caring less, my twin continues. 'Whatever his reasoning, just make sure this gets straightened out before the task. It isn't helping your concentration.' He says, his tone hard. 'I didn't think they would take the news so badly.' He speaks up again, this time his voice soft.
Shock washes over me as I realize that I have no clue how my sister feels about this whole situation. I mean, these are some of her closest friends, and they wouldn't speak to her, or even acknowledge her presence in a room. 'Has she told you anything?' I ask my brother, hoping that my sister didn't tell him something that I didn't know. 'You know, about them?'
But to my relief, my brother shakes his head. 'No, I haven't heard anything. But, yesterday, while you were staring out the window, contemplating your life,' he says with a laugh in his voice. 'I saw the little redheaded girl, Ginny; I think her name is, waiting for her outside the library. So, she probably made amends, but as for the other Weasley, I have no clue.'
'Yeah, that was Ginny.' My sister sudden speaks up, causing my brother and I to jump in surprise by her sudden appearance. 'She came and apologized to me.'
'So, are things, you know, ok now?' I ask hesitantly, silently praying that the whole fight has blown over.
'No,' she sighs sadly. 'Ginny said that the only reason Harry hasn't approached me is because Ron is still furious with me, thinking that I'm an undercover Death Eater or whatever…'
'Ha! I knew that filthy weasel was behind this!' Arsenio bursts out angrily. 'Oh just wait till I get my hands on his squalid ginger hair-'
'Hey, relax Ars…' I say, putting a hand on his shoulder. 'Remember, I'll talk to Harry about this later. I'll make sure he gets the message.'
'Yeah, there isn't any need for violence anyway. Violence isn't the answer.' Hermione says, using her fake but very real sounding motherly voice, wagging an imaginary finger at the both of us.
'It may not be the answer, but it is an answer…' Arsenio trails off spitefully, crossing his arms, glaring angrily at one corner of our dorm room.
I laugh out loud, but the both of can sense that Hermione isn't impressed, despite the fact we can feel her laughing as well. 'Well, violence may be an answer, but not with Ronald. He has a thick skull, so you better choose carefully which action you plan to take, ok? Because if you hit Ron, he'll hit back twice as hard.'
'Oh I'm not worried about the weasel.' Arsenio says, waving off her warning. 'I've got myself, Malik, and the whole rest of the Slytherins to help me. They don't need to be asked twice to hit a Weasley, especially Ron.' He continues, a sinister smirk spreading across his face as he fantasies about the fight. 'Let's come back into reality for a moment. I can't lose, can I?" He adds on, his lips falling back to reveal his teeth, perfectly aligned in his devious smirk.
'Umm, hey? Can we come back to me for a second here? About to lay my life on the line for strangers' entertainment here.' I speak up, rolling my eyes at my siblings.
But before I heard a response from either one of them, the thundering footsteps come storming for my dorm, getting increasingly louder as the distance decreases. And, and their closest, the heavy wooden door to my dorm room flies open, revealing my cleanly dressed headmaster, clothed in a dark maroon robe, lined with fur from some unknown animal, and his hat, also covered in animal fur. He stood tall, his staff made of finely crafted wood hitting the floor repeatedly in an impatient manner. 'Malik, get up. We have some last minute training to do.' His deep, scratchy voice tells me, his dark eyes glowering down at me.
'Told you…' My brother supplies lamely, looking over at me sheepishly.
'Arsenio, leave us.' Our headmaster barks, turning his glower over to my brother, who cowered under his gaze slightly.
'Yes headmaster.' Arsenio responds immediately, using the traditional military like voice that we use to address any personal in power. He bows respectfully and leaves the room, not looking back at me. 'Good luck Mate.' He says, a tone of hopelessness echoing inside the voice in my head. 'I'll tell Draco that you won't be able to make that meeting near the lake.' He says, pausing slightly before adding, 'Stay safe…' After his words resound within my head for a couple of seconds, I feel him pull out.
'Good luck Malik…' I hear my sister say, echoing the words of her brother with the same hopeless tone. 'Just remember that we'll be with you the whole time.' And with that, she pulls out as well, leaving me alone.
'Up Malik, let's go!' My headmaster barks again, harshly slamming his staff repeatedly against the wooden floor. 'Krum has been up for half an hour now. Just remember that when he beats your arse in the task today.' He snaps, turning his back on me. 'Be in the common room in ten minutes.' He says, casting a hard glance over his shoulder before striding away.
Way to pick sides Karkaroff. I think bitterly to myself as I throw the covers off my body, shivering slightly by the gust of frigid Scottish air. I throw my pajamas off, and search for my champion's robe, with my last name elegantly printed across the back of my neckline, the number five printed across the rest of the back. Once I find it, I slip it over my lean body, only taking a second to look at the flame scarring my whole back. After that, I throw on my black jumper and run out the door, not particularly excited about what was to come.
For a good reason too. Walking through the narrow felt hallway, I enter the common room; nearly deserted due to the early morning time. On the other side, standing in front of the lively fire, stood Karkaroff and Krum, thoroughly engaged in the conversation they were sharing. I knew it. I didn't even have to get out of bed, I knew neither one of them would pay attention to me, let alone offer me any advice to better my chances of living.
Huffing softly, I walk over and take a seat on the couch facing the fire, my hand balled up in a fist as I rest my head against it. I pick up bits and pieces of their conversation, but overall, I knew I wasn't going to pick up anything remotely intelligent. So, in order to make the time fly by faster, I use this time going through some of the spells I reviewed yesterday, the summoning charm, the blasting curse, the conjunctivitis curse… Wait, what does that one do again? 'Hey, Mia, can you hear me?' I reach out to my sister.
'Yeah, what do you need?' She responds back airily, sounding as if she just got up for a second time.
'Can you review the material in the Standard Book of Spells Grade Five for me? I want to make sure I'm prepared.'
'Sure… umm, I'm just going to name the spell and you can tell me what its purpose is, ok?' she says quickly, waiting for my mental nod before continuing. 'Four-Point spell.'
'Causes the casters wand to point north; acting as a compass.' I recite back.
'Protection spell, generally used for protecting large areas.'
'Opposite of the summoning charm. Banishes whatever object the spell is performed on.'
'Causes objects to erupt in flames.'
I freeze up, because this was the actually the one curse I couldn't remember the purpose for, even yesterday while aimlessly staring at the content in the spell book. 'Umm… Hermione?' I ask, with a nervous laugh in my voice.
I hear her laugh quietly before she begins talking again. 'This curse causes extreme pain in the target's eyes, temporarily blinding of both eyes.' She explains explicitly. 'This curse has been known to effectively fight of those creatures I told you about, the Yonggary.' She advises, her tone serious. 'I don't know why, but I have a gut feeling that this isn't going to be the last time you hear about those savage creatures.' She says worriedly.
I know the feeling she's talking about. I had that awful sensation in my stomach ever since I heard about them yesterday in the library. The whole concept of them just scares the living hell out of me. As a whole, they are pretty much a walking form of the Basilisk. And in all honesty, I think I'd rather face the snake. 'I know Hermione…' I say miserably. 'You'd probably have a better chance of surviving in this task than me. You've always been the brightest out of the three of us.' I sigh out, feeling ashamed of myself.
'No, don't think like that. You'll be fine.' She reassures me kindly. 'Did you want me to quiz you on some more spells?' she offers with the same timid but kind voice.
'Sure, why not.' I mumble, crossing my arms tighter, feeling even more lost and hopeless than I did a couple minutes ago. 'But how about you quiz me on the more offensive curses. For all we know we could be dueling the other champions for the cup.'
'Alright. Tell me what the-'
Jumping out of my skin, my heart nearly stops at the sound of my headmaster screaming my name. I can feel Hermione pull out; probably recuperating from the heart attack she just received as well. 'Sorry Hermione…' I apologize before turning my attention to the less than clean shaven man before me. 'Yes sir?' I ask respectfully, straightening my back.
'Come.' He orders me. 'Krum is ready to head over to the champion's tent, and I will not be making a second trip.' He says rudely, turning his back on me, with Krum at his heels, smirking smugly over at me. 'So if you want to look important to society, I suggest you come with me.'
Sighing, I bow respectfully and quickly cover part of the distance, making sure to keep a safe distance away from the both of them. I follow behind them a couple of paces behind, like a child following his parents around the market.
Silently, Karkaroff leads the way across the grounds to the champion's tent. We only pass by a couple of students in the hallway, mostly because the majority of them are still in bed, sound asleep, not having a problem in the world to care about. But those that we do pass keep their heads down, trying everything in their power to avoid eye contact with Karkaroff. But once they pass him, they look up only slightly to give a small friendly wave before continuing on their way. And finally, rounding one more corner, we reach the archway that leads to the champion's tent outside. Closing the distance between us and the tent, Karkaroff stops, standing just outside the lip of the tent, before turning to us.
'Alright my boy, this is your chance, win this for your name. Win this for me. Win this for Durmstrang!' Karkaroff exclaims, a proud smile overtaking his face. 'I have full faith in you. I'll see you at the entrance to the task in a couple of hours.' He says, putting a benevolent hand on the young seeker's broad shoulder, before taking it away and striding away back towards the castle without so much of a glance in my direction.
'Well thanks Karkaroff.' I mutter under my breath, trying my best to shove past the brute standing in my way of getting in the tent.
'What, you upset that he didn't say anything to you?' Krum sneers in his thick Bulgarian accent, a snide smirk growing across his broad face.
'No, I'm not.' I grumble, sending a glare in the Quidditch player's direction. 'Now if you don't mind, can you move your fat arse out of the way? I need to go talk to someone inside.' I say, trying to shove past him.
But he stops me with one simple gesture. He puts his hand out in front of him, stopping me by the shoulder. 'You're just mad he doesn't believe in you. He doesn't believe you'll make it out alive.' He hisses in my ear.
Tensing up, my eyes widen in horror, not believing that he just came out and blatantly stated that to my face. Out of the peripherals, the corners of Krum's mouth twitch upward even further. 'It's the hard truth. Live with it.' And with that, he steps aside and opens the lip to the tent, allowing me in. And with one shove past him, I elbow my way into the tent.
And the scene I'm met with is no more of a surprise to me. Inside the enormous tent, the other three champions are frantically getting ready for the task up ahead. And behind me, I hear Krum saunter in behind me. Looking around, I notice that everyone is extremely tense, doing their best to avoid each other.
The beautiful young blond girl from Beauxbatons, Fleur I think her name is, was sitting in front of a rather large mirror on the left side of the tent, furiously attempting to fix her luscious blond in multifarious different hairstyles. But after every single one she tries, she yanks it out of her hair and tries a different one, her facial expression becoming more and more frustrated with every failure in hairstyle. The other champion from Hogwarts, I believe his name is Cedric, is pacing nervously around the tent, tracing imaginary aimless circles, trying fruitlessly as he attempts to calm his mind.
But, still no sight of the other Hogwarts tribute. Instead, my eyes meet the champion from my school. Strutting around the rest of the tributes, Krum, with his nose stuck in the air, puts out this air of arrogance; walking around like life owes him something. It must have been what Karkaroff shoved down his throat this morning. I think bitterly to myself as I walk further into the tent.
But finally, I see who I'm looking for, seeking his own private respite in one of the separate rooms of the tent. Harry, sitting with his back against the entrance, sits in silence. Without much of a game plan to go off of, I head in straight for him, and sit down next to him on the bench. 'Spit it.' I order him without so much of a sympathetic tone in my voice.
'Spit what out, Snape?' he sneers hollowly, without looking at me.
'Drop the attitude and talk.' I order again, my voice rising along with my narrowing eyes. 'First off, you have no reason to treat either me or my brother like this. But, forget about us. What about Hermione?' I nearly scream. Pausing slightly, I turn around, whip out my wand, and cast a silencing charm over this section of the room before turning my attention back to Harry, who seems frozen in time after what I said.
His whole demeanor hits the floor with a loud smack, his face falling in worry, but still without looking at me. 'Is she okay?' he whispers almost silently, silently heartbroken.
'Oh, so you do care about her huh?!' I scream, my emotions letting lose. I feel the power begin to course through my veins, and I catch a quick reflection of myself in Fleur's mirror. A pair of brilliant golden eyes flash dangerously back at me. Good. 'So, Mr. Bullocks. You think it's okay to judge people by their family name. Figures, you did the same to everyone else in the Slytherin house, Draco, Blaise, Pansy, everyone! And you figure out your best friend is from a family you happen to despise and you think it's okay to shove her away and treat her like the dirt on the bottom of your shoe and pretend you have no idea who she is? Well I got news for you Potter,' I shout, spitting his name out venomously. 'Just like your father, your arrogance shines through brilliantly, but it doesn't impress anybody here. So you can drop the ignorant stuck up attitude, swallow your enormous ego and pride and apologize, or get the hell out of her life.' I say deathly quiet. Stalking forward and wand pointed, I close the distance between us, my wand mere centimeters away from puncturing his throat. 'Your choice.' I whisper, letting the trademark Snape smirk spread across my face, my eyes narrowed into sinister slits. 'Just remember, we Snape's do not forget what we cannot forgive.'
Green eyes on gold, Harry's glare begins to deteriorate, his entire posture collapsing under the aim of my wand. Sinking to the ground, his chest meets his knees, and he lets his whole act fall, the tears streaming down his face. 'You don't think I know that?' he cries, his head in his hands. 'I know I've hurt her, but what am I supposed to do now? She already hates me…'
I let my posture relax as well. But, out of all the reactions that I imagined, I prepared myself the least for this one. I have no idea how to respond to this, so I just let him let out everything on his mind. 'I mean, I didn't mean for it to go this far…' he admits, getting his emotions back under control. 'I mean, I avoided her for a day or two, just to wrap my head around the whole thing, but the instant I tried to approach her, Ron came up behind me…'
'You were right; it's the weasel's fault.' I tell my brother mentally, trying to shield my sister from hearing this.
He doesn't respond, but I know that he heard me because of the huge wave of livid anger that I began drowning in. As it receded, I manage to hear what Harry was trying to ask me.
'I'm sorry, mate…' he says, hesitating slightly before calling me that. Standing up before me, he extends an arm out to me. 'I'm sorry for being such an arse, to you, your brother, and Hermione. Especially Hermione. As soon as I see her, I'll apologize, and hope she forgives me…' He trails off again, his face falling.
Looking at his extended arm, I take his hand and shake it, sealing the feud. 'She isn't mad Harry.' I reassure him, watching his face light up again as I say that. 'She's just hurt.' I say with a small laugh as his face falls once again. Merlin it is easy to manipulate this kid's feelings.
'So, we're cool?' Harry asks, double checking.
'Yes Harry.' I say, rolling my eyes while letting an easy going smile spread across my face. 'Seriously, relax my friend.'
He lets out a good hearted laugh as the two of us take a seat on the bench. 'I don't know, you went all possessed demon on me back there.' He laughs, cracking a joke; despite the fact that the both of us know he's being utterly serious. 'So, Hermione, a Snape…'
'You'll get used to the idea.' I say, smirking over at him. 'She has so much more power over you now, just you wait. Now you can face the wrath of four Snapes instead of one. Better watch your back Potter.' I say with a joking smirk on my face. 'You don't know what could lie ahead in this task. We could end up fighting each other.' I mutter mysteriously.
'Oh please, we all know how would kick whose arse if it were to come to that.' Harry says, playing along with an air of fake arrogance. 'Take us for instance. Everyone knows that it would take me a whole ten seconds to whop your arse.'
This brings out a malicious laugh from within. 'Oh you are so on Potter.' I challenge him, shaking on our new found bet. 'If we live through this task by the time the sun comes up again, you won't live to see the next one.' I whisper softer, making sure he caught the smirk on my face.
But before my new adversary finds some sort of clever comeback, he's interrupted by a much louder, amplified voice that resounded throughout the whole tent. 'If the champions will, please make your way to the back entrance of the tent for your briefing. That is all.'
Shit. There is always that one person in your life where you just freeze at the sound of their voice. Yeah, I feel that way about whoever the hell just announced us. I would say that about Barty Crouch, but umm, yeah Harry discovered his dead body in the woods. And the air of tomfoolery and joking that was once between Harry and I evaporated. With one look at him, I knew we shared that same feeling of impending doom. With our heads locked straight forward, we begin to clear our minds of anything that doesn't have to do with staying alive.
Outside of our private room, Diggory, Fleur, and Krum were all waiting for us at the very back of the tent, near the back flap of tent. Also waiting with them, was a very tall man, dark haired man waiting for us, his dark eyes gleaming indifferently. We manage to wedge our way into the circle, and look up to the man; who now appeared even taller, and waited.
Once he sees that he has everyone's undivided attention, he clears his through officiously and begins to talk in the same manner. 'Good day champions, my name is Mr. Phishin, I am pleased to see that you all have made it this far,' he comments without much feeling. 'But today, will test every ounce of your knowledge, wit, strength, endurance, and ability to act under fear and pressure. But, the task itself is relatively simple. You will be entering a maze, and the objective is maneuver your way through in order to find the Tri-Wizard cup, which has been hidden inside. If for some reason you feel as if you are unable to continue, cast the simple flair spell and help will come to your location, and you will therefore be eliminated from competing any further. Have I made myself clear and are there any questions?'
But the only reaction that I or anyone else could muster was either a dumbfound expression or one of solemn. But the man giving us the briefing must have taken that as a no. 'Good, now, if you will all follow me.' He says, a small smirk crossing his face.
But before he takes a step, he stops himself short, turning his head around so he could see us. 'Oh, one last rule; something that the Ministry added this year.' He says, sounding slightly irritated, as if he's irritated about the new rules and regulations for the last task of the tournament. Just as long as it's something that could save my arse, I am all for it… 'This year, the ministry forbids the use of magic on each other, which means you cannot manipulate one another to better your chances of winning. You may only use magic to defend yourself against the obstacles that lie in your path. Failure to do so will result in your immediate disqualification.' He states, rolling his eyes inside his sockets.
We all nod silently, not really having much of an opinion for the new rules. I can clearly say that for at least four of us, we just planned on finishing the task while managing to escape in one recognizable piece. Smirking, he then pushes the tent flap open, and walks through, the five of us, walking in tribute order with me in the back, following right behind me. And once we were all outside the long forgotten comfort of the tent, we face the stadium for the last time. On the far side of the stadium, stood five separate entrances, each one guarded by either a headmaster or a mentor. That is, all except for one. The entrance furthest to the right, narrow and dark, had no one standing by it. Just. Bloody. Perfect.
In front of me, Fleur is the first one to leave the line. She strides over to her headmaster, Madam Maxine, and stands in front of the first maze entrance, her hands clasped behind her back nervously as her, as her extremely tall headmaster tries to comfort her. Diggory, the other Hogwarts champion, leaves next. Walking over to the second entrance, he meets Professor Dumbledore, giving him a polite handshake before turning his attention to the shrubby maze.
Krum leaves next. With the slightly obnoxious band instruments blaring loudly, he confidently strides over to Karkaroff, who greets him just as arrogantly. He gives him a hearty slap over the back, and then returns to his pose; both hands resting on top of his cruel wooden staff, and his feet just slightly more than shoulder width apart. Oh how I let my glower shine in his direction.
Right before my own departure, Harry's came first. Stepping out nervously into the bright fluorescent lights of the stadium, Harry timidly walks over to his personal mentor, Alastor Moody I believe his name was; the rather creepy looking retired auror with the glass eye and scarred face. I think Harry and his friends referred to him as "Mad Eye Moody."
Once Harry had made his way over to the fourth entrance of the maze, the dark haired man turned to me, his hands on his own cane. 'Hey, good luck out there kid.' He says to me, putting a light hand on my shoulder, showing genuine pity and understanding before giving me a small push outside the tent and into the limelight.
Instantly I could feel the burn of shame and humiliation penetrate deep into my mind as I walked out further and further towards my entrance. Everyone else had someone to stand by them, someone to give them last minute tips and words of encouragement, I didn't have anybody. Not a single damn person to stand by me. Keeping my head low, I didn't want anybody seeing the brimming tears as I closed the distance between me and my pathetic excuse for an entrance. And closing my eyes, I stopped walking, taking a deep breath as I began to count down the seconds till I had to walk in there, trying everything in my willpower to calm myself down.
I knew someone would eventually come to my rescue, for I must have been sending out wave after wave of negative emotions. 'Mione? Ars? Are you both here?'
'We're right here Mate.' Arsenio responds comfortingly, reassuring me. 'So, how you doing?' he asks carefully.
I sigh deeply, not really wanting to think or talk about it. 'Fine, I suppose.' I mutter, opening my eyes. Casting a look to my left, I notice that all the other mentors are quietly talking to their champions, pointing in the direction they should head in, giving them pointers. 'It just bothers me that no one is here giving me pointers.' I admit, feeling the tears approaching again.
'Hey hey come on…' Hermione murmurs quietly. 'You have us, and we'll be giving you pointers throughout the whole task. You're better off than everyone else, even Harry.' She tells me, trying to comfort me. 'You just need to remain calm and focus on the task at hand.' She advises me. 'You can do this Malik.'
'She's right mate.' Arsenio echoes. 'But umm, I don't want to bother you during this task. I just want you concentrate on staying alive and getting to the cup. Hermione and I agreed, that you should only talk to us if you need help figuring something out, okay?'
Nodding in agreement, I respond quietly, 'Alright, you're right. But, stay with me, alright?' I plea, my voice echoing inside my head sounding like a scared, desperate child. 'Please…'
'Of course.' My siblings chorus together, soothing my frayed nerves.
But the second they say these words, I feel them pull out of my mind, I suppose to try and calm their own nerves and worries. That's fine, I guess I should try and begin to hone in my focus.
To my left, I saw Harry, who was through talking to Mad Eye, turned his attention to me. Our eyes met, and he looked down towards his hand, and pointed towards the right. He then pointed towards the maze, then back towards the right. Got the memo, go right.
But right at the very thought, the band let out an ear blasting horn blow, signaling it was time to begin. "Champions!" A familiar voice booms out. "It is time to begin the third and final task of the Tri-Wizard tournament!" he exclaims, causing an uproar within the by standing crowd. "Now if I can just get a thumbs up from the headmasters?"
Down the line, the headmasters each raise a hand up, signaling that their champion is ready; of course leaving me awkwardly raising my own hand. "Alright, without further ado, let the final task of the tournament begin!" he screeches.
And with one final blow of the brass horns that quickly follows the man's voice, the signal is given and my fate is sealed. Adrenaline kicking in, my feet push me forward into the dark, ominous maze, not letting me stop. Darting left and right, my fight or flight instinct begins to wear off, letting my senses flood back in. Think, what's the best way to get out of here alive? I ask myself.
Find somebody else.
Acting on the answer I just gave myself, I immediately begin running again, not knowing how in Merlin's name I was going to find anyone in this bloody maze. Another left, another right, the walls of this maze are starting to morph together… as if, I'm just running in circles. Halting to a stop, the visible puffs of air float in front of me, dancing like wisps of smoke in front of my face. How the hell am I supposed get out of here?! Odds are I'm going to die in here, so, what's the point in even trying? I think bitterly to myself. Switching my glances around, I glare at everything my eyes make contact with. Damn everything, I am never going to get out of here.
I stop in the middle of my mental rant, suddenly struck confused by something. I continue to breath hard, watching my breaths of air get more and more opaque. It's… its mid-April… I'm not supposed to be able to see my breath… And, since when have all of these negative thoughts been flowing into my head like that?
The answer finally came to me, as my eyes turn ever so cautiously to my right, knowing and fearing what would was waiting for me. Greeting my terrified eyes, the soulless, faceless creature floating ever so slightly above the ground faced me, unwavering. Dementor. It's slow, somber movements gravitate closer and closer to me. I watch, horrified as everything around me freezes over, all the plants bending downward due to the weight. Closer and closer it creeps forward. Think! Think of a happy memory! I command myself, whipping my wand out of my sleeve.
Closing my eyes, I give myself some time to calm down, and think of a memory that is strong enough to fight the devilish creature off. Time ticks on slower and slower, and I can feel it running out. Think Malik! When's the time where you've been at your happiest?! Growing more and more frustrated with my inability to conjure up anything, I resort to cowering, turning on heel and running in the opposite direction to buy myself some time before it catches me. Maybe the time I first rode a broom?
No matter how much I strain and wrack my brain for a memory worth fighting with, nothing comes up, and I can feel time nearly running out. With the dementor closing in on me, cornering me against the walls of the maze, I lift my wand up, with all hope lost, and concentrate.
'Expecto patronum,' I whisper, my wand wavering. Nothing more than a wisp of silver smoke puffs out of my wand before disappearing, not providing much protection from anything. The dementor is now at least ten meters away, and the surrounding air temperature begins to rapidly decline, my breaths becoming much more visible.
'Expecto… patronum,' I say again, slightly louder this time, focusing on a different memory this time, trying to remember the exact details of my mother. But to no avail, despite that the silver smoke was obviously a tad bit stronger, nothing more than a couple of trickles fell from the tip of my wand, creating a small puddle on the ground before disappearing.
This is utterly hopeless… I tell myself, letting my wand lower ever so slightly, letting me get a better look at the over looming creature closing in on me. Taking a better look, it's tattered, torn up robes seem to glide behind it, making it appear as if the creature is moving in slow motion. Closer and closer, it's no more than a couple meters away now. It's face… I can see its face. No eyes, no nose, just a hole, right where a mouth would appear on a normal looking human being.
A voice, a very powerful, female voice pierces through my thoughts. She, she sounds in pain…
The girl screams again, and this time, my eyes widen in recognition. Recognition from the dream I had yesterday, the voice belonged to Hermione…
Of course! Hermione! Hermione, she's the answer! I scream at myself, reminding myself to give myself a swift kick in the arse for not thinking of this earlier. Shutting my eyes as tightly as I can, I mentally reverse time in my head, going back to the day that Father first brought her back home, back home to us. The fear, the doubt… All the feelings my brother and I shared the moment we first laid eyes on her. She was finally back home; she was finally back with the people that loved her, that missed her with all of their heart.
Every day I thought about what it would be like if she was never taken from us, what our childhood would have been like and how our lives would have been impacted. And the more I thought about her absence, the more I began to hate the man that took her away from us. Voldemort. That, that bastard… Shutting my eyes even tighter, the tears began to form at the lids of my eyes. Hermione, I am doing this for you!
Shooting my eyes open, with a new found strength and will, I jab my wand upwards again, jutting above parallel. 'EXPECTO PATRONUM!' I bellow out, letting all my pint up emotions finally flood outward, focusing the energy into the tip of my wand. And, much to my surprise, my wand spits out an enormous, blinding white shield that stops the dementor in its tracks. They took her away from you, they took Mother, and they took Hermione… I remind myself, angering myself even further. When the thought leaves my mind, the shield expelling itself from my wand suddenly began to shape shift, morphing into some sort of animal…
Letting my focus slip only a little bit, I take my eyes off the sinister creature in front of me and place them on the tip of my wand, where the silver mist was taking form of some sort of animal. All of a sudden, taking explicit form, delicate feathers begin to appear out of the fog, connected together on large, majestic wings. The talons of the creature were the last to leave the fog, each toe equipped with large, sharp talons, ready for attack. Bending its head out its feathers, a sharp beak appears, being followed by a large bird's head, its beady eyes opening slowly as the rest of its body becomes more focused in details. A Phoenix….
Letting off a mighty screech, the bird spreads its wings out, and takes flight, leaving a trail of silver mist behind it as it soars straight for the dementor. Beating its wings, the mighty bird flies circles around the dementor, creating a shield around me as it pushes the dementor back further.
Finally, with one last circle, the dementor turns around, and gently glides away.Flying full circle back to me, the phoenix flaps its noble wings on last time, thrusting it back into my wand, only leaving a small trail of the silver mist behind, allowing me once again to breath. I did it… I managed to conjure a Patrouns…. I think to myself, exhausted. And with the same, tired smile, I retreat my wand back into the sleeve of my shirt, and turn on heel; and jog away from the scene.
Ok, now, I need to find someone. I command myself, turning my ears on, listening for the faintest of noises. Hearing nothing, I shrug it off and continue to randomly take paths as they appear, somehow managing to avoid dead ends. It's here that I notice that the sun is no longer in view from the ten foot hedges, making the space inside the maze that much darker. Oh fantastic.
A snap to my right catches my attention, causing me to skid to a halt. Footsteps! I think happily to myself, turning in the direction of the sounds. A couple more paces forward, and I begin to hear indistinct voices, male voices, which eliminates the chances of me being closer to Fleur. With a couple more steps forward, I now notice that the voice or voices lack that thick Bulgarian accent that Krum has, so that only leaves the Hogwarts champions, much to my pleasure. Using my ears, I travel in the general direction that the voices are coming from, hoping they aren't moving too fast.
But, with one more sharp right, I smack directly into another person, causing me to back step backwards, clutching my head.
'Whoa mate, are you ok?' A voice says.
I look up to meet a pair of bright green eyes and flashing gold ones. Harry and Diggory, ah, finally. 'Yeah, I'm fine, sorry about running into you Harry.' I apologize, standing up straighter. 'I'm glad I finally found you two.'
The taller, blond champion standing next to Harry shoots him a look, a look of distrust towards me. Harry mutters something I can't make out to him, and then turns back to me. 'I am too, but the two of us together haven't found anything, nothing besides a rather nasty troll.' He informs me, as he takes the lead, leading us another foggy path.
I decided against the telling him that I ran into a dementor. I've heard the stories about how he faces thousands of them last year and lived to tell the tale, so my small victory doesn't measure up to his. Besides, Diggory is here, and I can get the sense that he'd rather me keep my mouth shut. It's understandable, after all, who wants to talk to the descendent of the most hated professor anyway? I think bitterly to myself as I follow Harry. It's disgusting, how people are judged for the heritage. If we were to look at what's the same instead of what's different or strange, there would be a lot of saved lives out there.
'Wait guys, hold up,' Harry says suddenly, holding his arms out, stopping Diggory and I in our tracks. Harry's head bolts from side to side, his ears keenly in tune to his surroundings. 'Did you all hear that?' he asks us quietly.
'Hear what?' Diggory asks, forgetting that I was there with them all together.
'Footsteps,' Harry answers, turning to face us. 'They were sluggish and heavy sounding and I heard them just over this hedge.' He says, pointing to the towering bush to his right. 'It sounded like they were coming towards us.'
And before either one of us had a chance to respond, a bright flash came flying towards us, Diggory and I only having a mere second to react and jump out of the way before the spell made contact with our skin. The spell, I concluded to be the blasting spell, flew in between our group and rammed directly into the hedge behind it, setting it ablaze. We only stood, mesmerized by the flames before turning back to each other.
'What the hell…' Diggory mutters quietly in astonishment, whipping back around to face Harry. 'What the hell was that?!' he screams, this time enraged. 'That was a spell! Mr. Phishin explicitly told us that we were not to us spells against one another! We are only to use spells in a defensive manner!' he says angrily. 'Who in their right mind would willing give up and put everyone in danger like that?!'
One single name comes to mind. Krum. I think bitterly to myself, spitting his name in my head. This is probably what Karkaroff was talking about this morning, being so proud of him and all. After all, both of their mottos were, "If you can't win by playing by the rules, win by your own rules."
Another spell, by the looks of it the same hex that was previously thrown, came hurtling towards us once again, this time barely missing Harry's arm. 'Mate, we gotta move.' I say, grabbing his arm, letting Diggory decide if he wants to follow or not. My main goal is to get Harry and I out of this alive. After all, it's Karkaroff's fault we're in here in the first place; Diggory willingly put himself in this bloody mess.
Little did we know, the attacker was following not too far behind. 'Harry, we have to strike back.' I whisper to him, loud enough so his comrade could hear as well.
'Are you barking?' Cedric hisses, his eyes narrowing. 'Do you want us all to get eliminated? I don't know about you, but I actually had a chance of winning this thing.' He sneers, a characteristic not trademark to his name.
'Mind you, Diggory,' I snap back, using the same venomous sneer he used against me. 'But Mr. Phishin said that we could only use magic to defend ourselves against anything that lies in our path. Defense Diggory.' I sneer, spelling out the obvious to him, finding a brilliant loophole in the rules. 'If you want to go face that monster without magic be my guest, but don't include me in your funeral service.' I say, sneering once again, letting my rare corrosive demeanor overtake my calm.
'I don't care whatever damn loophole you find Snape! I am not-'
'Hey shut it!' Harry snaps, intervening. 'Cedric, I'm with Malik on this one.' Cedric's face contorts at the sound of my name. 'I want to get out of this maze in one piece, and he's right, this is for self-defense. Now are you coming with us or not? This shouldn't take very long, especially if it's three against one.'
Staring blankly in thought, Cedric absentmindedly nods his head, whipping his wand out. 'Fine, but I have the right to say that you guys charmed me into doing this.' He says quietly, his words full of menace, all directed towards me.
With our newly convinced comrade, Harry and I march back towards the oppressor. With cautious footsteps, we approach the last corner. Since I was leading the charge, I poked my head around the stiff bush, looking to see if my suspicions were correct. And, looming in the shadows of the entrance opposite from ours, they were. His stiff, rippling muscles stuck out, but his face was lowered, hidden in the shadows. But, his wand was drawn, pointed at the ready, a glinting white smirk glowing in the darkness.
Turning back to my comrades, I begin to speak to them. 'You two stay here.' I commend them, holding my hand out as a gesture. 'I want to battle him out on my own. I have some unfinished business to take care of with him.'
Harry nods understandingly, taking a step back into the darkness, but Diggory glowers at me slightly, before giving, following Harry back into the shadows. Appreciation showing in my brief smile, I turn back around, and creep around the corner, wand at the ready. I use the shadows as my cover, keeping my back pressed against the hedges. I notice that Krum is looking around, glowering at the space around him. I take this time, since he seems to not notice me, to evaluate the situation at hand.
I could always stun the guy and shoot a flare up, signaling that he needs help, but, I notice something a little off with the adversary standing before me. As his eyes whip around in search for someone to battle with, there is an unusual glint in his normally arrogant brown eyes, but, whatever it was; I can't put my finger on it. So I wait patiently for his eyes to come back in my direction. Even further left and slowing back right, and then, once we nearly make eye contact it hits me.
His eyes are solid black. There is no cornea, no retina, no pupil, nothing. His eyes are solid black.
I have to swallow my gasp before it reveals my position. Holy shit… what's wrong with him?! His eyes are solid black! Think Malik, what could possibly be wrong with him? I think to myself, wracking my brain for a possible solution. While I'm thinking of a possible reason, I scan over the situation once more.
I begin to pick up the minute details of his every action. His posture, normally straight up with his nose stuck in the air, is all hunched over in a very defensive posture. Even the way he holds his wand, in a relaxed but powerful position in the palm of his hand, was arched forward, tightly gripped in a tight fist. I recognize that wand position… I say to myself, taking a closer examination of Krum's wand. Wait a minute! That's the death eater's style of wand dueling! He has never used that style before. Squinting to get a better look at Krum, I conclude to one thing, all of the signs point to one thing. Krum is possessed…He's being possessed by something in the maze. I concluded.
After drawing that same conclusion, I had to draw up a plan of action. Alright, the best way I have of making it out of this situation without a scratch is to stun him the best I can with a surprise before he can get an upper hand on me. I remember Hermione telling me that people under possession hold a lot more power than normal. So, I have to sneak behind him. Nodding to myself, I let the shadows swallow me again as I make my way around the maze to the other entrance, the one just behind where Krum is currently standing. Good thing for me, he doesn't think to look behind him.
Alright, so all I have to do, is stun him… I think to myself, trying to dumb down the situation at hand so it doesn't stress me out as much.
'Repello!' A bright yellow flash whizzes past my head, smacking its target square in the back, emitting a slight fizzing noise. Wheeling around, Diggory stood with his wand extended from his body and a proud smirk on his face.
'What the hell mate?' I yell running back towards them.
'You were taking too bloody long!' he retaliates, defending himself. 'In case you've forgotten, we're all in a race to find that goblet, and this brute was in my way. I did what I needed to remove the obstacle.' He pauses for only a moment, satisfied that the possessed man wasn't moving. 'Come on, let's get moving.'
He shoulders away from me, with Harry not much further behind. Taking my first steps behind them, I only spare one more moment to look towards Krum, until my heart froze, my body freezing with it. 'Harry,' I whisper, unable to look behind me, my eyes glued to the surrounding area where I could see. 'Harry!' I whisper more harshly, my voice coming out like a hiss.
'What?' he asks back in a normal voice, walking back towards me. One pair of footsteps, Diggory must've stayed put.
Waiting until he's reached my back, I remain still, my wand in hand. 'He's gone.'
Harry's entire body stiffens behind me, letting me know he knows exactly who I'm talking about. The swish of his wand cuts through the air, but not fast enough to protect us. Out of nowhere, we're knocked onto our backs, the attacker out of sight. 'It's Krum!'
'Thanks Diggory…' I whisper under my voice, silently cursing his name. 'He's possessed you bloody prat!' I scream at him, making sure my eyes were locked onto his. 'People under the influence of possession acquire powers much stronger than their original strength! One curse designed to repel him isn't going to eliminate the threat!'
Another spell comes flying out of nowhere, just nearly missing the top of Harry's head. It came from back there… I think to myself, tracing the path of the spell. Bringing my wand up, I shakily aim my wand straight towards the bush. 'Reducto!' The jagged streak of maroon lightning flies towards the bush, setting it ablaze. Immediately I push myself off the ground and bring Harry up with me. 'You go.'
He doesn't need a second command. Within a second he is on his feet, bolting towards Diggory. Following close behind him, I turn to the left, so I could see behind the bush. Lying flat on his back was Krum. Cautiously, I walk over to him, and nudge him with my foot, a little harder than necessary, to see if he remained conscious. He did not stir.
Breathing out a sigh of relief, I kneel before him and aim my wand upward. 'Incendio.' Tiny sparks of red shot upward, fanning out to create fireworks, flares. 'Petrificus Totalus' I whisper, pointing my wand down to Krum. Watching, Krum's entire body stiffens at the sound of the curse.
'What did you do that for?' Harry asks, making sure it was safe before approaching me. 'He's already down.'
'I want to make sure he doesn't follow us.' I answer back, striding forward to meet Diggory, who still remained still, like a frozen statue. 'I sent the flares up so they can retrieve him, like a distress signal.' Nodding, Harry seems satisfied with the reasoning, but Diggory still hasn't moved since he laid eyes on Krum. 'What's got your tongue in a knot?' I ask, already knowing the answer.
'I thought I knocked him out…' He whispers in disbelief, his eyes not leaving Krum's body. 'And you…' he says airily, his eyes suddenly darting towards me, his finger pointing in an accusing manner. 'Your eyes…'
Shit… 'Yeah, they're black, I got it.' I say, waving his comment of dismissively. Nudging Harry, I begin moving forward again.
'No!' Diggory shouts, jogging to cover the distance Harry and I made. 'Your eyes were golden… as if they were glowing or something.'
'It was probably just a trick of the light.' I say, pointing towards the sun, which has begun its slow descent downward. 'Come on Diggory, we don't have time for your mind games. We have to get moving. We still have no idea where Fleur is. She could be close to finding it.'
Without another word, the three of us move in silence, making countless left and right turns, seemingly making no progress once so ever. And with the setting sun making it harder and harder to see, I eventually use my wand as a compass. I just want to get out of this stupid maze… Once I'm out, I can forget this whole bloody thing ever happened… Focusing on my breathing, I turn right, hoping we haven't been this way before. All of these paths are beginning to look the same…
'Do you have any idea where we are?'
I sigh loudly, wishing he would pick a different time to open up his fat mouth. 'No, Diggory, that's the point of a maze. You get lost and find your way out.'
'Or die trying.'
'Ok, fine. I have been going on gut instinct as to which path to take. Maybe next time I'll just flip a coin.' I say calmly back at him, not stopping to take part in his nonsense.
'You know Snape, I'm getting real tired of your-'
'Shh,' I hiss, cutting him off.
'Hey just because you're the professor's long lost bastard son doesn't mean you can boss me around-'
'I said shut up' I spat louder this time, wheeling around to make sure he got the message. 'I heard something.' Turning back around, I light the top of my wand to aid my sight. Somewhere up ahead, the sound of crackling leaves reaches my ears. But, they weren't to the beat of a walking person; the sound was consistent, nonstop. It almost sounded as if someone was eating.
Taking tentative steps, I peak my head around the corner of the bush that was separating us from the sound. But, what I saw puzzled me. There was not some huge creature in my path, nor was there, anyone really. All I saw was a shoe. I make my way around the corner to investigate. On the ground, a baby blue shoe no bigger than the palm of my hand laid on its side. 'Looks like Fleur lost a-'
'Fleur!' Diggory comes bolting out from the other side of the shrubbery. I watch as he scrambled passed me, collapsing onto his knees. 'Fleur!'
Harry and I hustle to his side, and immediately, we are appalled by what we see. Already halfway in the bush, an unconscious Fleur was slowly being sucked up into the bush, which seemed to be eating her alive. 'Come on we have to save her!' Diggory yells at us. 'Here, grab a limb and we'll pull on three.'
Harry kneels down to help, but I grab his shoulder, shaking my head. 'Diggory, she's gone.' I state, taking note of how over half of her body is engulfed in the bush. 'Incendio,' I command, pointing my wand upward, shooting more familiar red flames towards the sky. 'There, they'll come and retrieve her, and she'll be safe.' I tell him, putting my wand away. 'Come on, we're that much closer to the cup; it's just the three of us now.'
'How could you say something like that?!' Diggory bellows, his eyes shooting lasers at me as he jerks his head around his shoulders. 'She needs our help! We can't just leave her behind because you want to be crowned the victory of this tournament!'
'Hey, don't turn this around on me!' I shout back, defending myself. ' You were the one that wanted me gone so you could win this thing! What does the difference of a gender have to do with this?' I ask him, suddenly catching on. 'Oh I get it now…' I trail off, my eyes narrowing in evil triumph. 'Someone's got a little crush on the Veela, don't they?' I say, purposefully taunting him. 'Well, you better do something quick, she's getting' away.' I say, gesturing to body, now nearly engulfed in leaves. 'Shrubbery of doom, duh duh duh,' I sneer, imitating the dramatic music found in movies.
'You son of a-' He lunges forward, allowing me to easily dodge his attack.
A malicious smirk works its way onto my face as I dodge each one of his poorly executed punches. 'Come on, is that the best you've got?'
'Hey, HEY!' Harry shouts, inserting himself, his hands separating us. 'I don't know about you, but I have got better things to do than play mediator between your little cat fight. How about we focus on getting out of here first, and then you can continue this confrontation on the safety of the Hogwarts grounds.'
Throwing my hands up in defeat, I throw a look of innocence at Harry. 'Sorry Papa,' I tell him, sending a puppy dog look at him. I hear Diggory spat in agitation, but he doesn't pursue the feud any longer.
'Good,' Harry says, dropping his arms down. 'Now, come on, the sun nearly set, and we still haven't found the cup yet.' He promptly turns on his heel and strides off followed closely by Diggory and me.
We must be wandering around for another hour, and still not a sign of any goblet. There wasn't a sign of a threat or any possible danger either; just a whole ton of shrubbery. Come on, we have to be getting closer by now. I thought I saw that bloke with the creepy eye point Harry in the right direction! Why haven't we found anything? Assuming of course that this goblet has a glow, I've been keeping my eye out for anything relating to that; my ears peeled for any sign of a threat as they were before.
But, suddenly, I began hearing faint footsteps, as I have before in this maze. But, they were so quiet and far off it was hard to tell if I was really hearing things, so I just shrugged it off and continued following Harry down yet another pathway. But, the further and further along we travelled, the more the footsteps became louder. 'Harry…' I speak up, stopping.
He stops as well. 'Yeah?'
Lighting up the end of my wand again, I turn my back towards Harry and face the direction we just came from, my shadow blocking out most of the light shining from the wand. 'Do you not hear that?' I ask them, tuning my ears into the surrounding area.
The sound of footsteps is definitely clear now and whatever was making those noises, wasn't alone. It was travelling in a pack. 'Something is following us.' I take wary footsteps, tracing the path we took before. Peering around the corner, I am met with nothing but the sight of death's cloak.
'Come on mate, you're just being paranoid.' Harry says, tugging at my shoulder. 'We're getting close, I can feel it.' He tells me. 'There isn't anything over there anyway.
But, just as those very words leave Harry's lips, my eyes meet with another pair, a dark, soulless pair. Another, then another, and another; a separate pair of eyes begins to appear in the dim light of my wand. And with each pair of eyes, a pair of aciculate k-nine teeth jarred out from their powerful jaws. 'H-harry,' I manage to squeak out, tripping over my own feet. 'We need to get out of here.'
'Why?' he asks, squinting, trying to catch of glimpse of what I saw.
A cacophonous thunder suddenly blared from the feral cats,; as the alpha stalks towards Harry and I; who quivered in fear. 'Harry,' I whisper, tugging at Harry's sleeve. 'Can we go now?'
Yanking me upward, Harry and I vamoose, hightailing it straight passed Diggory, who gave us a baffled look. 'What are you two running from?' He shouts, picking up his own pace, probably sensing that something was wrong.
It takes him no longer than a second or two to catch up to us. 'What the bloody hell is that thing?!' He screams, trying to take a look over his shoulder without tripping.
'It's, it's a yonggary!' I pant in between harsh breaths.
'Again, what the bloody hell is that thing?!' He screams again.
I don't bother answering; and neither does Harry. We just focus on losing these beasts; which proved nearly impossible due to their immaculate sense of smell. Turn after turn, we keep running until the three of us find ourselves face to face with a towering wall of leaves; a dead end.
'Shit, what are we going to do now?!' Harry asks in a panicked manner, his voice shaking.
Think Malik, think! 'I, I don't know! I can't remember any of the weaknesses that Hermione told me!' I respond back, just as frustrated.
Diggory stops mid hysteria to give me a weird, distracted look. 'You know Hermione?' He asks, actually sounding curious.
'We're about to get our faces ripped off and that's what caught your attention?!' I ask, stunned that out of everything he could have heard, that's what his ears decided to pick up. That statement slapped him back into reality, back into what was about to happen to us.
Come on, think! What were those spells that Hermione drilled you on this morning? I think to myself, cursing silently because I couldn't remember.
'Protection spell, generally used for protecting large areas.'
'Opposite of the summoning charm. Banishes whatever object the spell is performed on.'
'Causes objects to erupt in flames.'
That's it! 'Guys, I got it!' I exclaim, the memory suddenly coming back to me. 'Diggory, you're in the upper level spell classes right; you're a fifth year?' He only nods in response, not paying full attention as his eyes dart back and forth between me and the path where we just came from. 'Well, have you heard of the conjunctivitis curse, right?'
He turns to me, his attention fully on me. 'Yeah, conjunctive right?'
But, as the command leaves his lips, his wand responds, sending a jet stream of green light flies from the tip, striking Harry. He doubles over, his hands darting straight to the aid of his eyes, his screams piercing the night.
'What the hell Diggory?!' I scream, knowing my eyes close if not already golden. 'I knew you were a brainless prat but seriously? Do you not know how to control your own magic?' I kneel down, trying to help Harry best I could. 'Hey, hey, I know this is a dumb question but are you ok?'
'Do you think I'm ok?' He retorts back. 'It feels like someone lit the insides of my eyes on fire.'
'They're getting closer.' Diggory states quietly, ashamed of what he's done. He then positions himself in front of Harry and I, his wand drawn. 'I'll try and fend them off, if you can try and heal him.' He offers.
'Mate, I'm blind right now, and even I can see how useless that proposition is.' Harry spats sarcastically, clearly in no mood for him.
'Well what should I do then?' He shouts, trying to defend himself.
'Try not to look appetizing.' I sneer, my eyes not leaving Harry. 'Ok, don't freak out,' I whisper so only he can hear me. Before he has a chance to say anything, I close my eyes, and touch Harry's face with both of my hands, letting my mind explore his skin, every damaged cell. Inhaling deeply, I find the location where the spell hit Harry, and release the energy, therefore releasing the curse. 'There, feel better?' I ask, helping him stand up.
Blinking a couple of times, he brushes the dust off of himself, smiling. 'Yeah, thanks mate,' He says, smiling at me. 'Now, about them…'
In front of us, the creatures of hell finally found us, surrounding us, their low pitched growls filling the air. Diggory, with his wand at the ready, begins firing spells only designed to hold them back from ripping us limb from limb. 'So, do these things have any weaknesses?' he asks.
"They are silent nocturnal hunters, but hate the cold because it kills their internal power and strength source…"
Hermione you're a genius! 'The cold!' I exclaim, momentarily forgetting that they can't hear my inner voice. 'Yonggarys hate the cold! It weakens their internal power!'
'Ok, cool, so, we'll just sit here and wait till January.' Diggory says, flinging another protection spell towards an advancing cat. 'Oh screw it,' he exclaims. He winds his arm up, and throws a spell, causing one of the four legged beasts to erupt in flames. Quickly, that one cat flees the scene, leaving the others in a red fury. One by one, the eyes that once blended in with the night transformed into a brilliant shade of violet.
'Look down and don't make eye contact!' I scream, emitting a gasp while covering my own eyes, shielding them from the view of the demon.
'Don't question me just do it!' I scream back to whoever questioned me. I feel Harry cower back, but, at the same time, I feel a dense thud shake the earth next to me. Hoping the sinking feeling in my stomach was nothing more than nerves, I speak, trying to keep it as calm as possible. 'Diggory?'
'Diggory don't look into their eyes; they're in defense mode,' I inform him, hoping he can still hear me. 'Diggory?'
Still no response.
Taking another deep breath, I rack up the guts to squint my eyes open, searching for any sign of the annoying prat. My eyes travel down to where I heard the noise, and, frozen and inert, laid Diggory. Stifling another gulp, I turn to Harry.
'We need to think of something, now.' He tells me, sensing the creatures closing in.
'Ok, umm, you know the curses that blind right?' he nods in response. 'Ok, you cast those, and I'll cast the freezing spell. That should give us enough time to make a clear circumvention with Diggory's body.' I hate the guy, but come on, I'm not the heartless one. I wouldn't want my body to be devoured by demon spawn either…
I hear Harry's stunned gasp, but he doesn't add anything onto it. 'Ok, on three. One… two… Three!' Springing up, Harry's spells fly first, sending each of the cats into blinding pain, disabling their ability to kill us on spot.
My wand flies up seconds after his. 'Frysa!' A dark blue powder soars out of my wand, sending the temperature plummeting. The cats movements suddenly slow tenfold; but I don't take another moment to take it in. 'Grab Diggory; we have to move.'
Harry nods, and grabs the body by one of his arms. I help the body onto Harry's back, and together, we abscond, trying to put as much distance between us and those creatures as possible. 'What, happened to him?' Harry asks me as we slow our pace back down to a brisk walk.
'When a yonggary feels threatened, it's eyes turns purple, and it then possesses powers like a basilisk; it has the power to kill you on sight.' I say, reciting exactly what Hermione told me. 'In fact, now that I think about it; I think that's what happened to Krum too.' I already feel his question coming before he says it. 'When a yonggary is in need of a quick escape when surrounded by a bunch of predators such as humans, its eyes will turn red; and it will temporarily possess you, control you into being dark.' So, that's what it feels like to be Hermione…
Travelling in silence, Harry and I alternate carrying Diggory. We could just put him down, but, come on. He died in this so called honor of a tournament. The least we could do is bring his body back with us. And, after what seemed like endless turn after turn, something catches my eye that wasn't present in the other pathways; an eerie bluish glow.
Floating before us, was the Tri-Wizard Cup.
'Harry…' I mutter, placing Diggory's body right next to the cup. 'We… we found it!' I exclaim, wanting nothing more than to reach out and grab it. 'But, what now?' I ask, turning to him.
'You take it,' he tells me immediately. 'I'll take Cedric's body back, to make sure his body gets there alright…' he trails off, casting a look at his fallen classmate. 'His dad was here you know, took a leave on work to support his son…'
Feeling a twinge of guilt, I too look down at his body, his eyes still open but unseeing, glassed over. Kneeling down, I place my fingers over his eyes, and close his eyelids. 'You should take it Harry, add on the legacy that is Harry James Potter.' I say, slightly joking.
'Nah, my name's got enough fame to it.' He says, laughing.
I stand back up, and for the final time, I send the vibrant red flames into the air. 'At least they'll know that he made it.' I say. 'We grab it together.' I tell him. 'On three.'
'Are we even allowed to do that?' he asks, ignoring me.
'One,' I continue, ignoring him. 'Two,' I say, reaching out towards the glowing cup. 'Three.'
Appearing out of nowhere, Harry and Malik, cup in hand, land abruptly and ungracefully, obtaining a mouthful of dirt. After coughing it up, the two of them stand up, and brush themselves off. 'Where are we?' Malik asks, confused. He then turns to look at the cup, which he left on the ground by his feet. 'Wait a minute, this is a portkey!' he exclaims, bending down to get a better look at it.
Harry, on the other hand, was not so easily distracted. Leaving Malik's side, he begins roaming the grounds in which he was transported to. 'I know this place…' he whispers to himself as he walks up to an old tombstone with a stone grim reaper standing upon it. 'Malik, this is the graveyard outside the school grounds…'
'Why here though?' Malik asks, taking the cup and walking over to Harry. 'I mean, there is an astounding lack of confetti, screaming, and streamers.' He jokes, hitting Harry over the shoulder. 'Come on, that's the castle over there, isn't it? Let's just make our way over there.'
With one look at his friend, Harry nods, and together the two of them begin to make their way out of the abandoned graveyard. Malik looks up as they pass the tombstone with the Grim Reaper standing on top; the hooded figure looming above them. But, as soon the stone figure was behind them, a translucent fog began creeping in on them, slowing surrounding them.
'What the hell…?' Malik says to himself, his mind throwing him back into the memory of his training.
The air was now riddled with the dense mist. Both Harry and Malik turn their heads in different directions, trying to detect the source of the mysterious fog. The full moon reflected off the mist, causing the entire graveyard to glow in the eerie light.
Then, emerging out of the fog, a man whose traits resembled that of a diseased rat appeared, holding shaking arms what looked like a dying child; the entire skeletal system poking out through the pale skin of the small body. The childlike figure then raised a bony finger, pointing the gnarled digit straight towards the two boys. A ghastly voice; weak and crackling, then spoke…
"Kill the spare."