"I didn't put my name in that goblet!" said Harry, starting to feel angry.
"Yeah, okay," said Ron, in exactly the same special tone as Cedric. "Only you said this morning you'd have done it last night, and no one would've seen you…. I'm not stupid you know."
"You're doing a really good impression of it," Harry snapped.
"Yeah?" said Ron, and there was no trace of a grin, forced or otherwise, on his face now. "You want to get to bed, Harry. I expect you'll need to be up early tomorrow for a photo-call or something."
He wrenched the hangings shut around his four-poster, leaving Harry standing there by the door, staring at the dark red velvet curtains, now hiding one of the few people he had been sure would believe him.
The next day was a game of Hide and Seek for Harry. In the morning he found that Ron had already left. Harry thought that he wouldn't still be in a sour mood like he was last night but it seems that he was wrong. He dressed quickly and went downstairs to look around for Hermione hoping that at least she would be waiting for him but, she was nowhere to be seen.
He walked quickly out the portrait and towards the Great Hall. It was hard not to notice all of the other students pointing at him, and whispering behind to their hands to their friends.
"I can't believe Gryffindor actually gets to compete!"
"How do you think he did it?"
"I can't believe someone from Gryffindor is going to be in the tournament!"
"He won't even last ten seconds…."
Harry entered the Great Hall, his eyes skimming the tables in search of his friends….well Hermione, at the least. He spotted her sitting a little too close to Ron. He tried to catch her eye for a second, but it seemed that she was either ignoring him, or she was really interested in whatever Ron was saying.
Ron looked up from his conversation with Hermione and spotted him across the room. One glare from him told Harry all he needed. He wasn't welcome at the Gryffindor table at the moment. Hurt and suddenly not all that hungry anymore, Harry realized that it wasn't a good idea to be in the great hall. His pride was too big to let him eat breakfast alone.
"Hi, Harry!" The Dennis Creevey was beckoning him over to where he was sitting at the Gryffindor table.
"Err... hey, Dennis..." he shifted his feet, a little uncomfortable with their stares, along with everyone else in the room, except Ron. He had turned his back to him to ignore him completely.
"I just wanted to know if you would eat with me? It's so cool how you snuck into the tournament. That was so brave! Like a true Gryffindor!"
Quick to think up any excuse to leave the noisy room altogether, Harry replied "Um, no, that's alright. I was going to the library, so I was just going to get something to eat real quick…" He reached for an apple sitting in a basket on the table. "But, I'll see you later I guess." It wasn't that he didn't like Dennis; he just couldn't handle his energy at the moment. He dashed out of the room ignoring the Dennis' attempts to call him back.
He eventually found himself on the edge of the black lake, cold air flowing off its waters. There were only a few people outside. Usually he would be sitting in the Great Hall or the common room, chatting away with Ron about some impossible Quidditch move they wanted to try out, while Hermione tried to get them to do the homework that they have neglected. But that seemed to be no longer an option anymore. How was he supposed to deal with the tournament if he didn't have his friends beside him? He never dealt with anything major like this without at least one of them by his side.
He hadn't gotten a chance to talk to Hermione yet. He didn't even know if she believed him or not. During the party Gryffindor threw after the drawing of the names, Harry was so busy with trying to get away from everyone or to tell them that he didn't do it, that he never got a chance to really talk to Hermione. He would have gladly pushed all of the attention to Ron if that's what he wanted, but he had ran off to the boys dormitory to sulk. Of course, no one wanted to believe him when he said he didn't put his name in. All they wanted was to pat him on the back and give him their congratulations. No one wanted to hear that he could be in danger, or that someone probably wanted him dead….
He sat at the edge of the lake until his stomach started growling. Remembering the apple he took from the Great Hall, he reached into his coat pocket and pulled it out, taking a bite.
"Who needs him anyway," Harry thought. "If he can't stand by me right now then he's not even a true friend." He didn't really believe that. Ron was the first real friend he ever had. Harry didn't think he would have even been able to survive this far if Ron wasn't there with him. Maybe if he just waited until all of this blew over..."OW!"
Harry had bit down into his apple when his teeth felt like they were stabbing the inside of his mouth. He looked down at the apple and saw a few drops of blood on it. "What the hell…" he whispered. He started feeling his teeth to see what was wrong. What surprised him was that two of his teeth on the side top of his mouth had started to wiggle. One of them was almost completely out.
He knew he had already lost all of his baby teeth, and even though he forgot to brush his teeth every now and again he knew this wasn't supposed to happen. Not wanting to look like a little kid waiting for the tooth fairy, he threw the now bloody apple into the lake, and headed inside for the infirmary. Students had started to crowd the halls, and not really wanting to be seen, he ducked behind corners, and went through every secret passage he knew to get there.
Reaching the infirmary, Harry opened the door and was met with the loudest screeching noise he had ever heard in his life, and that's saying something. He had Petunia for an aunt.
Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall were arguing at each other from across the room.
"Potter!" Professor McGonagall suddenly said "What are you doing here? I'm afraid if it's not an emergency I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"But Professor…." He tried.
"Mr. Potter, I have a very ill student that Madam Pomfrey needs to devote all her attention to. So, unless you are oozing your brains out through your ears, you can come back later!" And shut the door to the infirmary in his face.
It took Harry a second to get over his shock. What the hell was going on to that kid to make him thrown out of the infirmary? Madam Pomfery had never allowed any student to be thrown out of the infirmary, no matter how small they were hurt. Whatever was happening it must be big.
"But when am I supposed to come back," He grumbled to himself. Suddenly, an idea popped into his head. Hermione's parents were dentists. Maybe she knew a little about what was wrong with his teeth.
Harry went to the library first, thinking that it was the easiest place to start looking for her. What he found instead, was Crabbe and Goyle huddled around a shaded corner of the library. "Well that's something you don't see every day," he thought.
He eventually found her sitting under a tree with Ron in the Transfiguration courtyard. Harry really didn't want to talk to Ron right now. But, he couldn't walk around looking like a toothless lunatic. So, gathering up all the Gryffindor courage he could muster, Harry walked over to them. Ron spotted him first, and pointed him out to Hermione. She just looked at him and then down at her hands, trying to look at anywhere but him.
When he finally reached them, and wanting to get the awkward over with he said "Hey Hermione," she didn't look up from her hands "could you help me with something?"
"She doesn't need to help you with anything Potter so leave her alone" Ron spoke with hate and a glare to match.
"I think Hermione can answer for herself." He couldn't believe that Ron was so angry at him that he wouldn't even use his first name. Why was he acting like this? Did the last three years together mean nothing to him?
"I…. um..." Hermione still didn't look up. She was still staring at her hands as they were the most interesting book she had ever picked up. It dawned on him, the way she didn't look at him in the Great Hall, not waiting for him in the Common Room….
"You don't believe me do you" Harry said flatly.
She lifted her head as if she finally got some courage. "No it's not that…Well… you are reckless Harry, and you were talking just the other day about how you'd sneak your name in...And I just can't support you in this Harry. What if something happened to you?"
"Everyone else in the bloody school was talking about sneaking their way in! So, was RON!" This was not happening. They were not turning their backs on him. This was all a bad dream.
"Well, his name didn't come out of the goblet, did it?" Hermione answered. Ron had a superior look on his face; he finally was someone's favorite. Hermione was looking at Harry as though she were trying to make him understand with just the look in her eyes. Harry….well He just didn't want to break down and scream at them. From the corner of his eyes he could see a small crowd of students, watching the whole exchange, waiting to see what he'd do, and then promptly tell their friends about it later.
"Ron couldn't have thought of a way to do it on his own anyway," he said darkly. "He would need to have his dear mummy hold his hand and do it for him."
"You shut the hell up Potter," he shouted while getting in Harry's face. "My family has done nothing but take care of you since you got to the wizarding world and you know it."
"Is betraying me, and talking behind my back considered helping me, Ron? Last time I checked a real Weasley wouldn't do that."
"URGH!" Ron lunged at Harry and pushed them both onto the ground. Ron began punching every inch of him that he could reach. "You ungrateful bastard! We've done everything for you and this is how you repay us?"
Hermione screamed "Ron stop it!" Harry had his arms covering his face to protect himself. The crowd around them began cheering them on. Ron eventually punched him hard in the mouth and Harry tasted blood.
"What the hell is going on here?!" Professor Snape was walking quickly over to the crowd. "Get out of the way. Get out of the way! Weasley, get off of Potter this instant!" Ron scrambled off of him. "Fighting in the middle of a courtyard? That is idiotic even for you two."
"Silence, Weasley" Snape snapped.
Harry stood up and spit the blood out of this mouth, along with two of his teeth. "Well isn't this fantastic," Harry thought bitterly.
"Detention for the both of you, and an essay with twelve reasons why what you two buffoons did here today was completely idiotic." Snape looked down at Harry and saw the teeth missing from his mouth. "You'll have to wait at least until tomorrow to go to the infirmary," Snape told him. "You'll just have to suck it up and put some ice on it until then I'm afraid."
Snape walked away from the still excited crowd barking, "Don't you all have studying to do?"
Harry ran in the opposite direction of where Snape walked off. Calls of "Scared Potter," chased after him until he was out of their sight. He didn't know where he was going; all he knew was that he had to get away. It felt like he was doing a lot of running and hiding today. He ducked into an abandoned classroom, and doing his best to find a good place to sit away from the door so no one would see him if they looked directly in.
He felt like he was just doing a big repeat of his life before Hogwarts. Running and hiding from everyone that hated him, from the teachers that didn't believe him. Asking him questions he couldn't answer. Like "Why didn't you do your homework?", "Where did you get that bruise?," "Why do keep forgetting your lunch Harry?" Of course if he ever answered those questions in a way that put suspicion on his relatives… Harry shuttered.
He never forgot his lunch; it was kind of hard to forget about food when you are hungry all the time… his cousin took it from him every day. When he complained about it to his aunt she called him an "ungrateful little liar," and locked him in his cupboard. Without his dinner of course. He hated how skinny he was. To many forgotten lunched would do that to a kid.
He sat in the abandoned classroom practicing spells, ignoring the still present pain in his teeth, or drawing on the dusty floor until dinner. The only reason he even left was because his stomach started growling obnoxiously loud he was so hungry. He figured that he could just go into the kitchen to avoid the stares from the other students.
Of course it never really is that easy for him. Harry thought there must be someone somewhere, just trying to screw with his life for a good laugh. Just as he turned a corner, there walked Draco in the opposite direction he was heading in.
"Heard that Weasley gave you a beating Potter. Is it true? Oh my mistake you still have blood running down your chin. Guess that answers my question," Draco laughed.
"Sod off Malfoy," Harry said as he walked past him on his way to the kitchens.
"You know you might want to get that cleaned up before the rest of the school sees the evidence of Weasley beating the shit out of you."
After getting food from the kitchens and chatting with a very worried Dobby, Harry quickly made his way back to the Boy's Dormitory before anyone else could spot him.
Harry stepped inside the bathroom attached to the 4th year boys' dorm room and locked the door. He went to the Mirror and looked at the damage that Ron did to his face. His eye was starring to swell at the bottom and his mouth looked like it was done bleeding. He lifted up his top lip and his eyes widened at what he saw.
He was missing two of his teeth. He was going to have to go to classes tomorrow alone, and toothless. As if he didn't get taunted enough already! Not wanting to look at his troubles anymore. Harry quickly showered and crawled into bed, and pulled the curtains hanging from the sides.
About an hour later, Harry could hear Seamus and Dean talking as they walked into the dorm "I can't believe he actually ate the WHOLE thing."
"Shhh, Seamus, be quiet. Harry is sleeping."
"I don't give a flying fuck if he can hear me. The cheating bastards done enough damage for anyone not to care, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess. Do you think it's true though? Do you think he really did it?"
"Of course he did. He was probably mad that he wasn't getting all the attention now that the other schools are here. Ever since he came to this school there is always something going on that revolves around him."
"Yeah, poor Ron though right? I mean he's been his friend all this time. How could you just lie to your friend like that? I mean everyone knows he did it. But to just lie to his face like that?"
He heard Seamus laughing "Yeah, but the tournament is supposed to be really deadly. I mean, did you see Ron beat the tar out of him? He didn't even fight back! He is probably going to go to the first task with a white flag attached to his back."
"I guess so. What about the other Champions? What do you think about Cedric?"
Harry stopped listening after that.
It was hard to think that the very people who he considered his friends not too long ago had so quickly changed their opinion of him seemingly overnight. He couldn't tell who had been his friend for his fame or who had been his friend for him. The line was almost nonexistent to him at the moment. The only person who didn't seem to change his attitude toward him today was Malfoy. Even Snape could have been harsher towards him when he found him and Ron fighting. No, Ron just beating the shit out of him.
Harry didn't understand what made Ron hate him so much all of a sudden. And Hermione just standing there and not actively doing anything to stop him. That wasn't like her at all. Harry didn't want to think about his messed up problems right at the moment. He turned over on his mattress, and tried as best he could to fall asleep, hoping for better things tomorrow.