Chapter 5: The Quidditch World Cup
Sirius Black arrived at his family manor and was surprised he ever bothered to set foot there. "Sirius!" Harry exclaimed.
"Prongslet, are you alright?" Sirius asked out of worry. "Did anything here hurt you?"
"I'm okay, Sirius." Harry replied.
"Mistress is hopeful your experience in Azkaban taught you children of Dark families will never be welcome to the Light." Kreacher commented.
"It sure did." Sirius replied, making Harry worried he'd support Voldemort as revenge.
"I'm glad to hear this, son." Sirius heard his mother's painting. "Will you promote pureblood supremacy as a true Heir of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black is expected to?"
"No, Mother." Sirius answered. "I'll just keep my godchild away from Dumbledore's influence."
"What do you mean, Sirius?" Harry asked.
"You told me your Uncle Vernon suggested attending another wizarding school." Sirius answered. "I know I can't force you now you're emancipated but I believe you should consider your options. Which foreign languages do you know?"
"Then Beauxbatons is off." Sirius muttered.
"It's France's best school of magic and one of the three best in Europe, with the other two being Durmstrang and Hogwarts." Sirius explained. "Durmstrang is also out since you don't speak German but you'd be better off not going there anyway. They teach the Dark Arts rather than just how to defend against them and their Headmaster is Igor Karkaroff, a Death Eater who made a deal with the Ministry to be released from Azkaban earlier than he should in exchange for revealing the names of other Death Eaters. Out of all Death Eaters who pledged loyalty to Voldemort, he's most likely the one who least wants his return."
"Why should I leave Hogwarts just because of Dumbledore?" Harry asked. "All my friends are there."
"Harry, while I was trying to find Pettigrew, I heard some stuff about trolls, Philosopher's Stone, a basilisk and even Voldemort being at Hogwarts." Sirius replied. "Care to explain?"
Not feeling like lying to Sirius, Harry told them about his first year and Voldemort possessing Quirrell, who died near the end of the year. Later, Harry told about the Chamber of Secrets. Sirius was horrified at the idea of the Monster of Slytherin being real and a basilisk albeit he agreed the last part shouldn't have surprised him, given how Salazar Slytherin was known as a Parselmouth and the main reason that ability was considered dark.
"And what about that rumor about you being a Parselmouth?"
"I didn't even know it was a rare thing among wizards until my second year." Harry explained.
"And everyone thought you were the Heir of Slytherin because of that?" Sirius asked and Harry nodded. "Did Dumbledore do anything to stop the rumors or the monster?"
"Well, he told me he believed in me."
"Did he do it in private or in public?"
"Hagrid barged in Headmaster Dumbledore's office to vouch for me but other than that it was in private." Harry answered.
"He should have done something in public." Sirius snapped. "And what did he do to stop the Monster?"
"He couldn't do anything because Lucius Malfoy persuaded the other Governors into suspending Dumbledore."
"Well, I suppose it excuses Dumbledore on that regard but, did he ever tell you why Voldemort wanted to kill you?"
"No, I never had any idea until Uncle Vernon told me and he only told me to explain how he could believe Headmaster Dumbledore wouldn't help you." Harry answered.
"Professor Dumbledore should have told you at the end of your first year." Sirius replied and then gave Harry a pamphlet of Salem's Wizard School. "It's an all-boys school but the students occasionally interact with the girls from Salem's Witches School. I can't force you to attend since you're emancipated but I think you should consider it. Now, unless you decide to be a home-schooled kid for the rest of your education, you'll need a proxy to represent the Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter during Wizengamot meetings. You may pick anyone you want but, as your godfather and magical next of kin, I'll be the proxy by default if you make no choice."
"It's okay, Sirius, you may be my proxy."
"Harry, you hardly know me!" Sirius exclaimed. "Don't you know any wizarding adult you'd trust more than you'd trust me?"
"No." Harry simply stated.
"In that case, let's go to the Ministry to make it known I'll act as your proxy for now on." Sirius replied. "Oh, and I've heard this year's Quidditch World Cup will take place in England. Let's talk to the Minister about a skybox. I'm sure he'd do anything to make up for the miscarriage of justice I suffered for all those years."
At the Ministry, Cornelius Fudge made a point to greet Harry Potter in person. "What could I do for the Boy-Who-Lived?"
"Minister, my godson and I would like the best places available to watch the Quidditch World Cup." Sirius Black stated. Being such a suck-up, Fudge quickly agreed. "Also, we'd like to have it known I'll act as proxy for the Head of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter while the current Lord Potter is attending school."
Fudge had trouble accepting the idea of a Black representing the Potters but had no choice but to accept it.
Days later, Sirius Black was showing Harry his family's camping tent. "Prongslet, this tent hasn't seen sunlight ever since the last time England hosted the Quidditch World Cup. I was just a small kid and it was one of the few quality times with my family where I could forget how dark they are."
"Off to the Apparition point, Sirius?"
"Well, Harry, while I don't mind you being that informal with me in private, I think you should call me Godfather or Lord Black while in public." Sirius suggested and then they left. Arriving at the pitch, Sirius and Harry met Bartemius Crouch, the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. "Hey, Crouch, what's like having a job where you can't send innocent people to Azkaban?"
"Black, you might have tricked Harry Potter into talking your way out of Azkaban, but it's just a matter of time until you're caught at some other wrongdoing." Crouch threatened.
"If you do, please send me back to my old cell." Sirius mockingly replied. "It has a nice view of your son's burial place."
"That's low even for you, Black!" Crouch exclaimed.
"Next time you'd better hold a trial!"
Fudge then appeared. "Crouch, Sirius, this is not a moment to fight. We're here to watch Ireland kick some Bulgarian's asses. Talking about Bulgarians, the Bulgarian Minister of Magic is trying to tell me something but I don't understand his language."
"I thought people who were in high places always knew English regardless of nationality." Sirius interrupted. "I bet the Bulgarian Minister was just pretending."
"Did I hear anything about a bet?" A new voice asked.
"Ludovic Bagman of the Wimbourne Wasps?" Sirius asked in surprise.
"I'm Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports now but it's always good to find a fan." Bagman replied. "But what was that about a bet?"
"Bagman, you should act with the decency one expects from the Ministry's high positions." Crouch scolded Bagman.
"Look who's talking." Sirius snorted.
Meanwhile, the Weasleys and Hermione Granger met them. "Hi, Harry!" Ron exclaimed.
"Hi, Ron. Hi, everyone."
"Harry, is that true?" Hermione hopefully asked. "You'll never have to return to the Dursleys ever again?"
"True. And perhaps I won't return to Hogwarts either." Harry replied, to everyone's shock.
"Black, you can't do this!" Fudge exclaimed in outrage.
"I know I can't." Sirius calmly replied. "Harry is an emancipated minor and can attend any wizarding school he chooses. He could even be home-schooled if he so desired. And it's Lord Black to you."
"But why wouldn't you return to Hogwarts, Lord Potter?" Fudge asked in desperation. "Hogwarts is the safest school on Earth."
"How can you believe that after the last three years?" Harry asked in surprise. "Trolls, Voldemort, Basilisk, Voldemort, Dementors."
"Don't say the name!" Fudge shouted. "And some isolated incidents aren't reason not to return to Hogwarts."
"This is not all, Minister." Harry explained. "I'm not sure if I can trust Dumbledore after he said he couldn't help Sirius. I find it hard to believe that there wasn't anything he could do."
"Harry, if you leave Hogwarts, you'll miss the Triwizard Tournament." Fudge argued, surprising everyone.
"Triwizard Tournament?" Harry asked in confusion.
"I've heard of a Triwizard Tournament that used to be held among Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons but it was discontinued a few centuries ago because of the high mortality rate." Sirius intervened. "Wasn't it?"
"Well, it'd be a surprise but, we're reinstating it this year." Fudge replied.
"Well, that explains the requirement for ball robes this year." Sirius muttered.
"Thank you, Minister, but I don't want to risk my life again." Harry replied.
"There's no need to worry, Lord Potter." Fudge replied. "We added an age limit. Nobody under seventeen will be allowed entry in the tournament."
"With my luck, something might happen either way and I had enough." Harry stated.
Before anybody had a chance to reply, the Bulgarian Minister of Magic appeared. "Crouch, help me!" Fudge pleaded. "You speak his language."
Crouch then said something in Bulgarian and the Bulgarian Minister replied with something that meant 'I don't want anything to do with cretins who send people to prison without a trial'. "Minister, I don't know what you said but it seems you put him in his place." Sirius commented. "Good work."
"Thank you, Lord Black." The Minister replied, much to Sirius Black's pleasure and the others' shock.
"You're welcome, Minister. And I'd like to introduce you my godson Lord Harry James Potter." Sirius replied.
"It's nice to meet the both of you, Lord Potter." The Minister said. "Now, I've heard you're considering transference to another school. Regretting not accepting to join a school from my country?"
"What're you talking about, Sir?" A confused Harry asked. "Hogwarts was the only wizarding school I ever got an acceptance letter from. I just recently learned there were others."
"Really?" The Bulgarian Minister asked in reply. "Did you know about that, Lord Black?"
"I just thought Harry's parents had made arrangements with Hogwarts and the other schools wouldn't bother trying."
"Just another thing Dumbledore will have to answer, I suppose. I'll talk to the other Ministers." The Bulgarian Minister of Magic said and then left.
"Ludo, you owe me twenty Galleons." Sirius stated.
"Please, let's make a double or nothing." Ludo Bagman pleaded. "You still made no bets regarding the upcoming game."
"Fine, here's the deal: if Ireland wins, you'll owe me forty Galleons; if Bulgaria wins, you'll owe me nothing." Sirius proposed. "Accept it or pay me twenty Galleons from the previous bet."
"I accept your bet, Lord Black." Bagman replied.
After that, they went to their seats and noticed an elf. "That elf must belong to Crouch." Sirius commented. "It's his seat."
"You is right." The elf said. "Winky is the Crouch family's house elf. Master told Winky to keep Master's place."
"Stay away from that elf, Harry." Sirius warned. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"And I have a bad feeling about you, Black." They heard an African-British man reply.
"Hi, Kingsley." Sirius replied with joy.
Not heeding to Sirius Black's warnings, Hermione Granger approached the elf. Later on, they watched the game. The game ended with the Bulgarian Seeker Viktor Krum caught the Krum but Ireland won, much to the pleasure of the Weasley twins, who specifically waged for that result. Regardless of the result, Ireland won and Sirius Black quickly collected the forty Galleons Bagman owed him because of this. Gred and Forge, however, weren't so lucky as Bagman insisted on talking his way out of the bet. Bagman tried to argue that minors shouldn't bet but he wouldn't even return the money they originally waged. Then a group of Death Eaters attacked.