A/N: This was written for the Hogwarts Games, women's football - round 1.2. It was also written for Hedwig Black's Minor Character Diversity Boot Camp, with the prompt 'dress robes'.
Nope, I'm still not JK Rowling. Alas.
Viktor Krum looked around the Great Hall with disinterest. Sure, the enchanted ceiling was nice. But other than that, it was just another Hall in just another school, with just another crowd holding their breath when they saw him.
Sometimes, he just wanted to scream: "I'm not just a Quidditch player! I am Viktor as well!" but he never did. He just smiled and waved at everyone and pretended to love all the attention thrown his way.
He noticed that one girl wasn't clapping enthusiastically with the rest. She had bushy brown hair and was talking to a redhead, who himself joined the cheering. He didn't have time to think it over though, because at that moment a man with an eye that swirled around in his head stepped from the shadows, taking up all the attention.
He saw the girl again a couple of days later when he put his name into the Goblet of Fire, the artefact that would decide who would participate in the Triwizard Tournament. It would probably be Tomá Hadjiev who would represent Durmstrang, because he was top of the class in almost everything. Still, it couldn't hurt to try. He had come because Karkaroff thought he could be a champion and since Karkaroff had also been the one to introduce him to the trainer of the Bulgarian National Quidditch team,he had reasons to put his faith in the Headmister of Durmstrang. As he put his name into the Goblet, cheered on by a never-ending crowd of giggling schoolgirls, the bushy haired brunette sighed irritated and returned to her book. He did not understand it. He had never met a girl that didn't faint upon seeing him and it was actually quite refreshing.
To his surprise, his name was being called as representative for Durmstrang and he went into the champions' room. He was soon joined by a blond girl from Beauxbatons, who looked like she was part Veela, and a sandy haired boy from Hogwarts. There was a short silence, then the Hogwarts boy extended a hand.
"Cedric," he said.
Viktor took it and shook it. "Viktor," he replied. "But you vould have known that already." He turned to the blonde Veela-like girl and introduced himself as well. He learnt that her name was Fleur. They both seemed like nice people and a bit awkwardly, they started asking each other questions about their respective schools. Then the door opened once more and all three of them frowned. There was already a champion from all three schools, so how could there possible be a fourth champion? A dark haired boy entered. Viktor remembered seeing him hang around with the bushy haired girl. He was not yet seventeen, he could tell. There was a lot of commotion because the boy apparently didn't want to be a champion, but in the end that Ministry Official decided he had to, because once chosen, there was no way back.
The dark haired boy's name was Harry and through him, Viktor found out that the bushy haired girl's name was Chermy-own-ninny. He knew he was pronouncing it wrong, but it was such a difficult name! Why couldn't she just have been called Anna or something else that could at least pronounce? He wanted to talk to her, but found it incredibly difficult, not only because he couldn't pronounce her name, but also because she almost always looked annoyed or irritated when she saw him.
She spent a lot of her time in the library, so he spent a lot of time there as well. He loved to see her study or just read a book, because somehow, that calmed him down. She would sigh, irritated, and just turn her back on him. He didn't dare approach her, but he knew that someday he would. He only needed to find out just how to do that.
After completing the first task in the Triwizard Tournament it seemed Hermy-own-ninny was a little more forthcoming. He had Harry to thank for that, or at least that's what he presumed. She even occasionally said hi and if he was really lucky, she'd make small talk. However, it was frustrating that no matter how hard he tried, the only girl he wanted to impress was the only girl that wasn't impressed at all.
"Tomá, vy is it so hard can to ask a girl out?" he complained one day to his friend.
Tomá laughed. "There are alvays girls around you, surely it can't be that hard?"
"They are stupid," Viktor snorted. "They only vant to be vith me because I play Quidditch. But this one girl is different." He started to describe Hermy-own-ninny but Tomá interrupted him.
"There is only one solution. Gubyat fenovete. Lose your fans."
Viktor raised an eyebrow. "Vy vould that help?"
"Girls vant to be special," Tomá nodded solemnly. "They vant to be the only one."
Viktor nodded. He thought he knew what Tomá meant. And seeing as Tomá had already been on several dates with either Hogwarts or Beauxbatons students, it appeared he knew what he was doing.
"Try to vind her alone and talk to her," Tomá advised.
He thought about it all day and eventually he decided that there was probably only way to get closer to Hermy-own-ninny. He went to the library the next day, but this time he came prepared. He got in early, even before breakfast. He had taken a book with him and he sat down on the table she usually sat at. He assumed she would be in the library before breakfast and he was right.
She looked annoyed – again – at the sight of him sitting at her regular table, though she did also seem a bit relieved that it was just him this time.
"So, you're here early,' she commented.
"So are you."
"Of course I am. I always am. But I just hadn't expected to see you here with a book."
"It is a library. Vy vould it be unexpected to have a book ven in a library?" he raised an eyebrow questioningly.
"Yes of course it is. It's just uhm…" She turned scarlet and suddenly he understood.
"You didn't think I liked reading," he concluded. "Perhaps you even thought I couldn't read?" he was mocking her in trying to look offended.
"I… I'm sorry. You must think I'm this terrible person."
"You are not." He turned his attention back to his book. He wasn't really reading, just pretending to.
She went to sit at the other end of the table with her own book. He could sense her casting glances his way, but he feigned not to notice. Finally, she couldn't restrain herself any longer. "What is it you're reading?"
He held up the book. It was called Hogwarts: a History. He had just randomly picked one from one of the shelves, so he didn't actually know what it was all about. It sounded like it was a book about the school, which probably wasn't the best book to impress he girl with, coming to think about it. But it was too late to change it. It must have been his lucky day though, because her eyes lit up. "It's wonderful, don't you think? I love reading it, I have already it a zillion times and I keep discovering new things about the school every time I read it. What is your favourite part so far?"
Ai. Had she noticed he hadn't really been reading?
"I'm not that var yet," he admitted reluctantly.
"That's okay. You'll get there," she smiled and hesitantly, he smiled back.
She went back to her own book and after a short while, so did he. He had to admit there were some interesting things in the first chapter. He would occasionally look up and then he'd found her looking at him. When their eyes met, she smiled and blushed a little.
When the gong went to announce breakfast, Viktor thought it hadn't been a totally wasted morning so far.
He returned to the library the day after and again he found her there. It turned out increasingly easy to talk to her. Who would have thought that she'd warm up to him the way she did, and all because of a book? When the announcement of a Yule Ball was made, he knew that he wanted to ask her to be his date. It took him another week though before he finally picked up the courage to do so.
"Hermy-own-ninny," he said, when they had been reading for almost half an hour. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," she smiled and looked up at him. He noticed how she carefully marked the page she was at with her finger and smiled too. He loved finding out little details like that about her.
"Vill you be my date vor the Yule Ball?"
"Wouldn't… wouldn't you rather ask one of the other girls?" she questioned, a little embarrassed.
"Vould you vant me to ask one them?" he retorted.
"No of course not, it's just, I'm usually not the type of girl that gets asked to a ball," she replied and blushed.
He thought the little red spots on her cheeks looked cute. "I vant it to be you," he said firmly. "If you vant that too."
"I'd love too."
So, when the Yule Ball came, he was actually rather looking forward to it. Tomá teased him with it. But Viktor could play that game too. Tomá had recently taken a liking to Marianne, one of the Beauxbatons girls and he encouraged him to ask her out.
Viktor was nervous the evening of the actual ball. He stood at the bottom of the chairs, in his dress robes, awaiting his date. When she came down the stairs, dressed in a beautiful gown and with her hair smoothed down, his jaw dropped open. She looked absolutely stunning. He quickly closed it again, as to not look like an idiot, but he hadn't been the only one gasping.
"Why is everyone staring at me?" she whispered nervously in his ear.
"Because you are beautiful," he whispered back and placed a chaste kiss on her hand.
She blushed and he was once again reminded how cute that looked on her. As he guided her to the dance floor for the first dance, he could only think of one thing: how lucky he was to have this wonderful girl at his side. This amazing girl, who appreciated him for being Viktor, not because he was a famous Quidditch player. Dancing had been part of his education, so he swirled her over the dance floor like a professional dancer and she laughed. Her laughter gave him a warm feeling inside. It suddenly hit him: he definitely was in love with this girl.