Author's Note: Damn got a fair few reviews for last chapter! I absolutely love it when you guys review - lets me know my story is liked and read. So thank you to: Jaely, Black Rose Blue, DarkDragonPaleWolf, Rain Addict CM, MaddiMastermind, Spanish girl, both anonymous reviews called "Guest", Meg, beelotus, Avarenda, RainBlueWater and finally Rioshix. More thanks to everyone who has added this story to alerts - be it author, favourite story/author or story alerts.
Shameless Advertising: Okay its going to take me a while to get the next chapter on site, so here's a few other stories on site you guys and gals should check out. "Don't Set Me Free" by jlwilli3 - a Twilight Leah/Bella fiction that is really well written and paced, yet lacks appreciation (has had very few reviews). "Challenge of a Young Heart" by Narthal - another Fleur/Hermione story that I adore. "Entwined" and its sequel "Entangled" by Metal Dragon Kiryu - again, Fleur/Hermione. "Skinny Love" by Archristol - a Dragon Age (Origins) fiction featuring a turbulent romance between a female Cousland Warden and Morrigan. There are more I could mention, but I would be here forever haha.
Warning: Very short chapter. It was what was going to be tacked onto the end of Chapter Four but I felt it was too wordy so cut it into this one. Chapters in future will be a lot longer than this. Promise!
Hermione sighed as she slumped into her place beside Harry. The feast that premeditated the choosing of the three school champions was already underway so she quickly began to fill her plate before it would disappear. The brunette was exhausted, having spent most of the day (apart from time in lessons) being dragged around by her newest friend, Gabrielle. Even then, Hermione suspected that the blonde French girl would have quite happily followed her into class and would have more than likely charmed her way out of trouble. The only other relief Hermione had got was midway through the day when Gabrielle had been summoned away to help her headmistress. Upon the girl's return, Hermione hadn't enquired as to what the girl had helped the head of Beauxbatons Academy with - it wasn't her business - and had instead asked about Gabrielle's life.
The young French witch had seemed genuinely thrilled to be asked and had chattered quite happily about her friends, her school and her family whilst clutching onto Hermione's arm. Remembering how she had enjoyed the girl's closeness, Hermione blushed. 'I'm supposed to still be getting over Ginny.' Hermione mused briefly. It seemed though that Gabrielle's presence had a knack for keeping thoughts of Hermione's ex (she could think of no other label) away. Even when they had passed the redhead in the corridors, Hermione had barely spared the girl more than a passing glance. Ginny's eyes had narrowed dangerously at seeing the company Hermione was in, but the redhead had not said anything. In turn, Gabrielle had pestered Hermione for information on her own life and Hermione found herself unable to resist giving an exaggerated rendition of her life and the events of the last few school years. Gabrielle had seemed to be hanging onto her every word and had gasped and cheered in al the right places. Hermione didn't let the reactions go to her head as she retained enough sense of mind not to mention certain subjects like how she had freed a supposedly mass murderer.
"And where have you been all day?" Harry asked suddenly, bringing Hermione back to the present moment. The bespectacled boy was watching Hermione intently, a slight grin on his face. He already knew the answer. Hermione had been forced to introduce Gabrielle to Ron and Harry at lunchtime when the young blonde had launched herself at Hermione in a tight hug that was fast becoming her customary greeting. Harry had been startled by the girl's beauty and had paused for a moment before he collected himself to mumble a shy 'Hello'. Ron had been another matter entirely. The redheaded boy had stared at the French girl as if he'd never seen a girl before, a crimson flush staining his cheeks as he had been unable to properly articulate a greeting.
"With Gabrielle." Hermione replied with a small smile. On the other side of Harry, Ron dropped his fork.
"That French girl?" He asked, a wistful smile crossing his face.
"If you're on about the girl you met earlier, and couldn't even say 'Hello' to I may add, then yes." Hermione replied a tad scathingly. She couldn't in good heart admonish Ron for mooning over the girl when she had spent near enough the enitre day doing the same thing. Harry snorted at Hermione's tone and she glared at the boy. Seeing this, Harry soon turned his attention back to the feast before him.
Gradually the plates of food began to clear as students ate their fill. As the last dish disappeared back to the kitchens, an expectant hush washed over the Hall as the students waited for Dumbledore to finish. After a few long moments Dumbledore placed down his cutlery and rose to his feet. The floating candles around the hall seemed to dim, leaving the teachers table bathed in a small pool of light. Hermione's eyes flickered from the door just off from the teacher's table as Filch entered carrying the Goblet of Fire. As Dumbledore removed the fiery chalice from its container, the lights at the teachers table also dimmed till the goblet was the only source of light in the hall. Shadows danced eriely across the headmaster's face as he stared into the goblet's depths. Hermione glanced around into a sea of faces. Though it was still dark, she could see the expressions on everyone save for the ones at the back of the hall. Each student was wearing the same look of intent focus. "I believe the Goblet is ready to make it's decision." Dumbledore's voice carried softly over the silent hall. "When the champion's name is read out, I must ask that he or she make their way to the top of the hall, walk along the staff table-" He raised an arm, pointing at a small doorway behind the line of teachers. "-and enter the next chamber whereupon they will receive further instructions once all three champions have been picked."
The whole hall seemed to collectively hold it's breath as the flames surrounding the Goblet grew higher, twisting and turning as the flames morphed from gold to blue. The inferno now engulfed the rim of the chalice and towered halfway towards the enchanted ceiling. There was sudden, almost blinding flash of blue light and a smouldering piece of parchment was launched from the depths of the Goblet. Dumbledore snatched the parchment from the air, its edges slightly smouldering.
"The champion for Durmstrang is..." Dumbledore intoned into the absolute silence. "Viktor Krum!" The Slytherin side of the hall where the Durmstrang delegation sat erupted into cheers as Krum rose to his feet and slouched out of the Hall. Hermione clapped politely with her friends as the newly named champion disappeared out of sight. Turning it's attention back to the Goblet, the hall once again fell silent.
There was another blinding flash and once more a piece of parchment floated into Dumbledore's waiting hands. "The champion for Beauxbatons Academy is Fleur Delacour!" The Ravenclaw side of the hall burst into frantic applause, though there where a few cries of disppair. Hermione frowned as she watched Gabrielle's sister rose to her feet and made her way to where the champions had been instructed to go. Though Gabrielle had reassured her that it wasn't so, Hermione suspected that the older Delacour had a serious dislike for her or at least felt Hermione wasn't good enough for her sister to be friends with. When they had met earlier Fleur had been flawlessly polite and formal, though there had been a dangerous look in her eyes everytime she had glanced at Hermione. 'Some girls are just bitches.' Hermione snorted in disgust. 'It's just a shame since she's so... well hot!'
"They don't look too happy do they?" Ron interrupted Hermione's thoughts, pointing at the Ravenclaw table. More than a few of the Beauxbaton girls were sobbing at not being picked. Looking down the table, Hermione caught sight of Gabrielle watching her. The French witch grinned at Hermione, obviously pleased at her sister's success, and Hermione blushed though replied in kind with a shy smile. Though her sister may be a complete ice queen, Gabrielle was the opposite and someone Hermione knew she could develop a small crush on. Tearing her eyes off the blonde witch, Hermione looked round to Dumbledore. There was a final flash of blue light and the flames shrank back as another small piece of parchment floated into the air to be expertly caught by Dumbledore. "And finally the champion for Hogwarts is..." Dumbledore intoned, pausing for effect. "Cedric Diggory!" The whole Hall errupted into cheers and applause as a grinning Cedric made his way to the teacher's table. The candles flickered back to life and Hermione let out a breath she hadn't realised she had been holding in as she joined in with her fellow students.
"Excellent!" Shouted Dumbledore over the dim the Hufflepuff table was making, his voice magically enhanced. "Most excellent!" Gradually the students began to quieten down, the last of the applause peetering off into silence. "Now for those of you who were unsuccessful," Dumbledore continued, his voice back to it's normal volume, "do not despair. For undoubtably this year you-" They never heard what else he had to say, for Dumbledore had stopped speaking at an odd spluttering noise.
"The Goblet!" Ron hissed, pointing, "Look at it!" Hermione turned and jumped in shock. The Goblet of Fire was hissing erratic showers of red sparks which seemed to grow in size and frequency. Students began to scramble out of the way as the sparks began to reach the table edges and Dumbledore himself had drawn his wand. Before anyone could react, there was single defeaning bang and something was fired from the depths of the goblet which at once seized its display. Hermione watched, stunned, as a single scrap of flaming parchment floated down towards Dumbledore. Dumbledore seized the parchment, seemingly oblivious the flames that lapped at his hands as he stared down at the parchment before him. Professor McGonagall rushed to his side, extinguishing the flames with a sweep of her wand. Hermione watched with mounting worry as the older witch's face paled as she looked at the parchment.
"Harry-" Dumbledore's voice was barely louder than a whisper at first but grew louder, "Harry Potter!"
Hermione, Ron and everyone in the Great Hall could only turn to stare at the stunned boy that sat amongst them. Her friend seemed too stunned to move, so Hermione gave him a little shove even as her mind tried to make sense of what was happening. "Go Harry!" She whispered. Jerkily the boy rose to his feet as an angry muttering began to fill the air. The voices grow louder and stronger as the boy passed down the Gryffindor table to where Dumbledore stood. Soon enough the whole hall was buzzing with anger and Hermione could barely make out a few shouted words.
"What the hell!"
"How did that kid get in-?"
"He's entered himself!"
"I thought you had to be seventeen?"
Hermione turned to look at Ron. The redheaded boy hadn't moved an inch since Harry had got up. He was sat staring at the table in front of him, his lips moving slightly. It took Hermione a moment to realise he was muttering to himself. "-thought we were friends? He would have told me how if we were? Why didn't-?"
"Don't you dare!" Hermione snarled, hearing his words. Ron jumped and looked at the witch guiltily. "Don't you dare blame Harry. He obviously didn't want to enter, he was too stunned to move! Something isn't right here and you know it." Ron's expression hardened, though the calmness in the boy's voice scared Hermione for some reason.
"Well we'll have to see what he says then won't we?" With that said, Hermione watched as Ron rose to his feet and forced his way through the crowds of students that were forcing their way out of the Great Hall.
Fleur leaned against the fireplace, watching the dancing flames. To say she was annoyed was an understatement, Fleur had not wanted to become Champion of her school. Fate, and the Goblet of Fire, it seemed had other ideas. Sighing, Fleur raised a hand and massaged her forehead as the beginnings of headache began to make itself known. The throbbing in her temple had started not long after she had entered her name into the Goblet of Fire earlier in the day. 'Maybe it was a warning?' The part-Veela thought irritably. 'Some warning if it comes after I entered my name.'
There was thunder of noise from the direction of the Great Hall and Fleur glanced at the door as it opened. A young man in Hogwarts robes entered the room, a large grin plastered on his face. Fleur glanced around at the Durmstrang champion who was studying a bookshelf, a grim expression on his face. 'Looks as happy to be here as I am.' Fleur thought briefly. 'Or maybe he's just naturally grumpy.' Turning to look at the flames once more, Fleur lost herself in their enchanting depths.
Suddenly there was a muffled bang, making the part-Veela jump. Focussing, Fleur's heightened hearing could make out a growing buzz of angry voices that seemed to get louder and louder. Just as the noise began to get uncomfortably loud, the door opened once more and a young boy walked in - his face deathly white behind a pair of glasses. Fleur stood up and walked forwards.
"What iz it?" She asked gently, making the boy jump. "Do zey want us back in ze Hall?" Before the boy could answer, the door burst open once more and Fleur watched as a crowd of teachers walked in - Madame Maxine amongst them. One glance at her Maxine's expression was enough to tell Fleur that something was very wrong.
Author's Note: Don't shoot me for this being a short chapter! Anyway, as always reviews appreciated, constructive criticism more so.
Coming in Chapter Five - Ginny's reaction to Hermione and Gabrielle, Gabrielle's reaction to that reaction, and Hermione and Fleur clash over Harry entering the tournament!