Disclaimer: All characters, places, and anything familiar from the Harry Potter books and movies belong to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.
A/N: Hi I'm currently writing a Twilight story and decided to try with a Harry Potter one. This is something of a preview. Hope everyone likes it.
Harry sat alone by the Great Lake throwing stones in the water. He was still trying to wrap his mind around the problem he now found himself in.
His name came out of the Goblet of Fire. He should have seen it coming; after all, he had the worst luck in the world. He though that after the announcement of the tournament at the welcoming feast he was finally going to have a quiet year and watch from the sidelines, unlike the last three years.
Professor Dumbledore had made it final when he told him that there wasn't a way out of competing.
"I'm terribly sorry Harry but the parchment that came out of the goblet has your name in your handwriting—"
Barty Crouch had cleared his throat, "In the Wizarding World that makes it legally binding. The boy has to compete or lose his magic."
Harry had still been shocked on his way to the Gryffindor common room. It had crossed his mind just walking away from the entire mess but the thought of leaving his friends and heading back to his relatives made him discard the idea almost instantly.
He had walked into the common room and had noticed that while some people were celebrating others were looking at him with puzzled or hostile looks.
He had spotted his two best friends near a wall talking quietly and headed their way. The first thing Ron had asked him was how he had done it. At first he had seemed exited, if not a bit jealous praising him for managing to go over Dumbledore's age line.
"Blimey Harry you should have told me, we could have entered together, imagine all the fame and glory and the prize money…"
Hermione had just stayed silent through Ron's tirade with a suspicious glint in her eyes that had Harry quite confused.
Then she had scoffed, "Really Ron, he couldn't have done it without someone's help."
"But Hermione—" Harry had tried to explain.
"If you wanted to compete that badly you should have asked me."
Harry had watched with dawning horror as he finally understood what had his friend so upset.
"But I didn't do it. Why would I want to participate when you told me that people have died during the tournament?"
"Honestly Harry, Ron and I both know you're something of a thrill seeker, it was quite logical—"
"I can't believe you!" Harry practically screeched watching as Ron nodded his head in agreement to what Hermione was saying. He hated making a scene, but still all his anger and indignation came leaking out of his mouth.
"You're supposed to be my best friends. How can you think that?"
Harry hadn't waited for them to say anything else. He had stormed up the stairs to his room, going to bed early to avoid his roommates.
The next morning during breakfast he had found himself sitting alone in the Gryffindor table sitting as far away from Ron and Hermione as humanly possible. Hermione had been openly glaring at him, while Ron had just ignored him.
Students from every table had looked at him with accusing eyes, especially the Hufflepuff table, since Harry had stolen the rightful champion's spotlight.
Harry had left the Great Hall and had decided to head over to the lake where he could escape all the accusing glares.
He still couldn't believe his best friends thought he was a liar and a thrill seeker. He knew that he often found himself in precarious situations. But they knew quite well it wasn't because he searched for trouble, trouble often found him, leaving no other option but to try and get out of the problem by any means necessary.
He probably should have expected something like this from Ron. Hermione on the other hand had been a rather shocking surprise.
Still it hurt him deeply that they thought so lowly of him. The three of them had been through so much together the previous years. He always knew that Ron was a little jealous since he often found himself trying to live up to his five brothers who each had accomplished something during their time at Hogwarts.
Jealousy aside Ron should've know by now that he loathed the spotlight, being known throughout the Wizarding World as the boy-who-lived had come with a very high price.
Both Hermione and Ron were aware of how his muggle relatives treated him during the summer. They knew he was not the pampered prince Professor Snape tried to portray him by.
He didn't need them. In a way he was glad that they had shown him what they really thought of him. It still really hurt though.
He was giving the idea of just heading home and becoming a muggle a second thought. At least there, people wouldn't treat him differently just by hearing his name or seeing the lightning-bolt scar on his forehead. Still the reaction from his horrible relatives if he went back gave him pause.
He didn't notice the shadow that fell over him until he heard someone clear their throat.
He looked up and was shocked to find Daphne Greengrass staring down at him.
"Came over here to mock me?" Harry replied, sarcasm dripping from his voice. He was tired of everything and was in no frame of mind to try and trade insults with a Slytherin.
She calmly raised an elegant eyebrow.
"You can get on with it already and leave."
"What in the world has you in such an unpleasant mood, Potter?" she replied nonchalantly.
Daphne seemed to take it as an invitation to sit beside him. Harry just gave her a curious glance as she crossed her legs and laid her delicate hands in her lap.
Harry knew little to nothing about Daphne Greengrass. She was in his year and was an extremely beautiful girl with long hair almost as dark as his with cerulean blue eyes and creamy white complexion. They had shared quite a few classes over the years and unlike Malfoy she kept to herself when it came to taunting him and his friends. Still he wasn't certain what she was doing sitting there beside him.
"So, what are you planing to do to come out of the tournament alive?"
It sounded to him like she didn't like to beat around the bush. He gave her a wide-eyed disbelieving look.
"Why would I want to compete when I didn't put my name in the goblet in the first place?"
"I didn't ask if you did it, I know what a magical binding contract is, so it actually doesn't really matter if you didn't do it, what I really want to know is what are you going to do to stay alive."
"I don't know, other than the fact that the other champions have at least two years on me."
"Really Potter, that's all you have to say?"
Harry could see that she was quite serious but not knowing Daphne at all made him unsure.
"Why should I tell you anything?"
"I'm trying to help you here," Daphne said with an indignant tone, her chicks tinged a light pink in anger.
"I didn't ask for your help," Harry fired back. The girl wasn't helping his already sour mood; didn't she understand that he just wanted to be left alone?
He thought that sitting alone by the lake gave it away pretty quickly.
"Potter, take a look around, even your friends abandoned you because they think that you tossed your name in the goblet, need I remind you what the rest of the school thinks? You're going to need all the help you can get."
"Why do you want to help me?" Harry knew what she was saying made sense but he was still wary of her reasons.
"Because you're a Slytherin," Harry replied instantly, blurting the first thing that came to his mind.
"Is that all?" Daphne let out a short laugh, while he gave a sharp nod.
"Don't you think it's strange that you hold such a biased grudge against all Slytherins considering you come from living with muggles?"
"What's wrong with that?" he had to give her some credit; at the very least she got his curiosity going.
"Everyone knows that the enmity between both houses runs as far back as the of the Founders, but you, even when you come from one of the oldest pureblood families, can very well be considered a muggleborn. So how come you loathe all of us Slytherins since you first came to Hogwarts?"
She had a point, a very good one. Harry remembered how the Sorting Hat had tried to place him in Slytherin. He knew rather well where part of the animosity stemmed from.
"When Hagrid delivered my Hogwarts letter he took me to Diagon Alley and there I met Malfoy in Madam Malkin's and he started talking about Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Later I asked Hagrid about the houses and he told me that all wizards that went dark came from Slytherin House."
"Strike one," Daphne said cheerfully. "You know that Hagrid is completely loyal to Professor Dumbledore, who in his days as a Hogwarts student was in Gryffindor and later on assumed the position of the Head of Gryffindor house before he became Headmaster. As for Hagrid he was also a Gryffindor," she finished smugly.
Harry chuckled, "Fine, you got me there."
Harry blushed when she gave him a knowing look.
"No," he admitted reluctantly. "During the train ride I met Ron and Hermione, she asked us what house she thought we were going to be sorted in, Ron told me that he was sure he was going to end in Gryffindor since all his family had been sorted there and said Voldemort had been a Slytherin."
Harry continued as if he hadn't heard her still noticing that she hadn't flinched when he mentioned Voldemort's name.
"And then there was Malfoy. Annoying git that one. The instant the hat touched his head he was sent to Slytherin and I wanted to be as far away from him as humanly possible."
"Strike three, and you're out!" Daphne chuckled. She could see why Harry wanted nothing to do with Slytherins. Harry noted the reference to the muggle sport but decided not to bring it up just yet.
"Do you know why Malfoy likes to pick a fight with you every chance he gets?"
"Because he's a prat and we hate each other?" Harry said in a teasing tone.
"You got it half right, but part of it is actually because you turned him down when he offered you his friendship."
"He called Ron a blood-traitor and insinuated that I couldn't sort the right from wrong families."
Daphne's blue eyes were sparkling, "And do you know why he called him a blood-traitor?"
"Because the Weasleys aren't Death Eaters?" Harry replied sarcastically.
Daphne stood up brushing her skirt and gave Harry a knowing look, "Come with me Potter."
"Because I have to show you something." Daphne began walking towards the castle expecting Harry to follow her. Harry got up and went after her. Again she had managed to peak his curiosity. He was sure that someday it would be the death of him.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked when he finally caught up with her.
"To the library."
Harry let out a soft groan.
"Don't," Daphne replied wearily, "I'm not like your friend Granger, I don't live in the library; I just need to show you something. If I told you I can assure you wouldn't believe me."
On the way to the library they received surprised looks from several students but neither of them paid them any mind. Shorty after they arrived Daphne came out from one of the obscure rows carrying a thick leather bound book.
They sat in one of the tables located far away from the entrance doors. Daphne wanted to be sure nobody tried interrupting them while they talked. She opened the book revealing its title to Harry.
Wizards Nobility, Genealogy and Famous Conflicts.
It gave Harry a bad feeling, but Daphne decided to ignore his look of impeding doom.
She searched the index and after finding what she was looking for she started flipping pages until she came to the chapter she wanted to show Harry.
"Ah, here we are," she said pushing the book towards Harry. He shifted in his seat so he could get a better look.
Former Prominent Wizarding Families: The Weasley Family
The Weasley family was once considered one of the most renowned and influential Wizarding families in Great Britain. Their lineage can be traced back to the thirteenth century. They amassed their wealth through several family members who became famous alchemists, researchers and healers amongst other fields. They received the title of Noble and Most Ancient House sometime during the late seventeenth century. They fell out of favour* at the turn of the eighteenth century.
*For further references see page 554.
After he finished reading the short passage Harry gave Daphne a puzzled look. He was a bit surprised that the Weasleys were once rich and powerful but he still didn't understand what this had anything to do with Malfoy referring to the Weasleys as blood-traitors. Daphne just rolled her eyes taking the book from him and turned several pages before she pushed the book back to Harry.
Most Notorious Blood Feuds of the Eighteenth Century: The Weasley Family
During the early eighteenth century, The Weasley family lost favour after Reinald Weasley murdered his son Julius Weasley and daughter-in-law Octavia Weasley nee Potter. It is believed the crime was caused by the tension rising at the time between the two families.
When Reinald Weasley took the title of Head of Family he went into a blood feud with Augustus Malfoy Head of the Malfoy Family* with Cassius Potter Head of the Potter family siding with the Malfoys through the dispute.
Augustus Malfoy terminated a long-standing trade partnership once Reinald Weasley became Head of House. Although it is unknown what caused Augustus to do so in the first place.
Reinald Weasley was furious and attempted to sabotage Augustus Malfoy's business. After the attempt failed Augustus Malfoy declared a blood feud between the two families.
By the time that Julius was born the Weasley family and the Potter family were in the brink of a blood feud themselves caused by Reinald's persistence that the Potters sided with the Malfoys when they should have aided the Weasleys over the previously mentioned conflict.
Reinald arranged a betrothal for his heir Julius with the daughter of another prominent family, the Longbottoms* thus becoming future allies against the growing struggle between the Weasleys and several other well-known families.
When Julius and Octavia finished their Hogwarts education they ran away and married in secret.
When Reinald found out he hunted them down and murdered them in cold blood, when it was made public that Octavia was with child, the Potter family swore a blood feud against the Weasley family.
The newly founded Wizards' Council* ruled in favour of stripping the Weasleys of their titles and compensate the Longbottom family for breach of contract and the Potter family for the unfounded murder of a family member.
The ministry took over all properties, gold and possessions to pay the wronged families. This ruling left the Weasley family broke.
To date the Weasley family still lives in poverty and shame as the blood feuds between the Malfoy and Potter families still stand, with both families holding positions of power that bar the Weasley family from achieving any type of social or political standing.
*For the history Potter family see page 340.
*For the history Malfoy family see page 273.
*For the history Longbottom family see page 227.
*For the founding of the Ministry of Magic see page 706.
Harry was speechless. Part of him was furious that none of the Weasleys deemed it necessary to enlighten him about the situation between their families. The other part tried to reason that it was all in the past and he had no reason to treat the Weasleys any different for what happened a very long time ago when they had treated him like a part of their family.
"I get why you wanted to show me this, but what does it matter now anyways?"
Daphne gave Harry an exasperated look, "I'm not asking you to denounce the Weasleys; I just wanted you to know and to understand where Malfoy was coming from."
"It still doesn't change the fact that his a git," he chuckled darkly.
"No it doesn't, but he grew up hearing this over and over, as did every child that was born into a Wizarding family."
"Still not going to befriend Malfoy over this."
"No one said you had to, I showed you so you knew the reason of his behaviour and that you have to be careful who you befriend unless you want to be in unnecessary danger more so now that you're competing in the tournament."
Harry paled and gave Daphne a weak nod. He was still trying to come up with a valid reason to stop speaking to the Weasleys. They had received him in their house and treated him like one of their own. He was still trying to understand why they hadn't said anything.
"Potter, do you know how to end a blood feud?" Daphne brought him out of his thoughts.
"Not a clue," Harry said distractedly while pushing the book away and leaning back against the library chair while folding his arms over his chest.
"Well there are several ways. The easiest one is for you to become the Head of House and formally acknowledge the end of the feud."
"What are the other ways?" He looked at her fidgeting nervously in his seat.
"There's a less pleasant way where you owe a life-debt to the offending family and they collect that debt by making you acknowledge the end of the feud and if they are smart, they'll take everything from you."
"How does someone manage to owe a life-debt?"
"If for instance you are in mortal danger and a member of the Weasleys saves you, a life-debt is formed. It's in a way a magical contract for a favour, any kind of favour."
Harry gulped loudly trying to recall if at any given time Ron or any of the Weasleys had saved him from any kind of mortal danger. His mind only came up with the time in first year where Ron 'sacrificed' himself when they were after the stone but they weren't really in mortal danger at that moment.
"Any other ways besides that one?" he really didn't want to ask but now that he knew about the blood feud he found himself needing to now everything.
"Through a betrothal contract between the Head of House — you in the near future — and a member of the affected family, say little Ginny Weasley."
Harry gave Daphne a horrified look while she tried not to laugh out loud, not wanting to attract the attention of Madam Pince and get thrown out of the library.
"See why it's very important for you to know if you have a standing blood feud with a certain family, by associating with them you make yourself available for all kinds of trouble. That's why they call them blood-traitors by the offended family."
Harry nodded dumbly. He tried to see himself married to Ron's sister and it wasn't a very pleasant picture.
"I don't want to marry her," Harry said weakly.
"I wouldn't like to see you married to her either," Daphne said between snickers, "After all she founded the Harry Potter fan club last year."
Harry lost all colour after Daphne mentioned a fan club, he would bet anything that Colin Creevey and his little brother were also part of the blasted club. Then it hit him; he had risked his life to save Ginny last year over the Chamber of Secrets incident.
"And what happens if one of the Weasleys owes me a life-debt?"
"There are basically two ways that could pan out. First if you owe them a life-debt and a member of the Weasleys owes you one in return, you wait for them to collect and then you turn it around and call forth the one they owe you, making theirs obsolete."
Harry nodded motioning for her to continue.
"Other than that if you don't owe them a life-debt, you can collect in any way you want. For instance you can ask for the hand of Ginny Weasley and for the feud to remain intact."
"Even if you say you didn't. Do you secretly want to see me married to Ginny?" Harry squeaked.
"If only to see your horrified face on your wedding day," Daphne threw Harry a slight smirk.
"Cowardly Gryffindor," Daphne fired back. He just shook his head trying to clear his mind from all the information that was just recently dumped on him.
"So, apart from all this blood feuds and blood-traitor business, what to you get out of helping me with the tournament?"
"Honestly?" Daphne said after a brief pause, "Recognition."
"For helping the-boy-who-lived?" he said in a defensive tone.
"Not at all. It's more of a political alliance, actually. The Potters are one of the oldest pureblood families and unlike the Weasleys who are firmly a light family, yours is more on the gray side, depending on the conflict at the time."
"What does this have to do with you?" Harry asked.
"The Greengrass, although not as old as your family has always been firmly on the gray side, but after the war with the Dark Lord and all the mayhem going on at the Ministry at the time, they decided to declare us dark."
"And why was your family deemed dark?"
Daphne looked at Harry her eyes shinning with shame, "Because some members were sympathetic to some of the propaganda that the Dark Lord was preaching and didn't hide that fact but still refused to side with anyone when the time came to fight."
Harry just raised a curious eyebrow, making Daphne avert her eyes and fidget slightly in her chair.
"You have to understand that at the time there was chaos everywhere, and suddenly this powerful wizard comes out of nowhere giving the pureblood families an excuse to cast out the muggleborns from the wizarding world."
Daphne sighed softly, pushing a strand of black hair away from her face.
"The muggleborns were taking over important ministry positions while were trying to lift the statute of secrecy and pushing bills to change old standing traditions."
Harry nodded slightly. He didn't want to imagine what people like the Dursleys would do if they found out that magic existed.
Daphne continued speaking, "The statute of secrecy is there for a reason. There was a time long before Hogwarts was even founded where wizards and muggles worked together. But the muggles are prejudiced and fearful by nature, hence the witch burnings and the statute."
"I get that," Harry said with a slight nod, "What I don't understand is the fear that wizards have of change. You have to agree that some traditions are extremely outdated, yet they stubbornly refuse to update them."
Daphne let out an exasperated sigh looking around to see if anyone was within hearing distance. Once she was sure they were alone she continued. "I actually agree with you. But some of these families are fairly old and have passed their knowledge from generation to generation. In the wizarding world family and traditions are very important, so you see why they would side with a wizard that gave them an excuse to remove muggleborns from high positions of power?"
Seeing she still had Harry's attention she continued, "And add to that that some purebloods want to keep their lines pure and snub muggleborns because they don't come with a magical background that has the same rules and traditions as our society and you get wiling followers for the Dark Lord."
"I understand, but I don't agree with it," Harry said firmly. He understood that some people were afraid of any form of change, muggle or magical. And he knew that when he came to Hogwarts he had no idea of the rules or any kind of knowledge about politics and society. Outside the basics he still didn't. "But that's no excuse to go around killing people because they were muggleborns or were against Voldemort's ideals."
Daphne gave him a slight smile. "No it isn't, but tell me Potter, when has there ever been a peaceful war?"
Harry shrugged but returned her smile. Even though he knew little to nothing about this girl, she was extremely clever, and not in a Hermione clever sort of way. For starters she didn't talk to him as if he was stupid for not knowing something. And she made him think. Even if he didn't see eye to eye with everything she said. "Alright then, with what did your family agree with Voldemort?"
Daphne just blushed prettily speaking barely above a whisper, "They agreed that lifting the statute of secrecy wasn't ideal."
Harry let out a soft chuckle. "I imagined it was something like that."
She gave him a questioning look.
"By the way you talked about it I figured it was something around that issue."
"It's good to know you pay attention Potter," she said chuckling herself.
"Thanks," he said rubbing the back of his neck and blushing slightly.
"Alright then, back to the original topic," Daphne replied in a business like tone sitting straight in her chair. "My family's standing at the moment is not quite accurate and I'd like to change that."
"In exchange for helping you during the tournament, we would make a sort of political alliance. It would help change how the public views my family by associating with you."
He could tell that Daphne wasn't telling him everything but decided to let it slide for the moment.
"Doesn't sound like it would take much effort from my part," he said nodding in agreement.
"But what about the way that everyone sees me now?" he thought that it wouldn't help her standing at all with the way everyone was treating him at the moment.
"I did give it some thought. And it is very likely that once you go through the first task people will realize that you didn't actually put your name in the goblet."
"How do you know the way they'll react?" he was astounded, this girl had a knack to bring out his curious side.
"Because," she paused briefly, "People are a bit daft sometimes. Once they see how extremely dangerous the tournament is, they'll change their minds on the spot."
Harry gulped loudly. For a while Daphne accomplished the impossible. She made him forget that he was in a tight position, with no friends whatsoever to support him. She distracted him by teaching him, a fit not even Hermione had achieved.
"I forgot about that last bit," he replied nervously.
She gave him a brilliant smile.
"That's why I'm here for. In a way I have to protect my investment," Daphne said mockingly.
"Alright, how are we going to manage this?"
"You leave everything to me," she said, "I'll find us a nice abandoned classroom where we can come up with a plan to help you get through this."
Harry nodded and watched as Daphne stood from her chair and smoothed down her skirt.
"Meet me tomorrow after classes outside the Great Hall."
"And don't be late," she reminded him.
"I'll see you then," Harry replied watching as she walked out of the library.
Today was going to be a really long day and he had a lot to think about. He was actually quite astonished that Daphne hadn't jumped at the opportunity to start planning a way for him to get through the tournament at that very instant. Knowing Hermione she would have hounded him until he complied.
He berated himself. Why was he so intent on comparing Hermione with Daphne, and when in the world did she become Daphne and not Greengrass in his head? He knew she was at the top of the class in their year, right there with Hermione.
He recalled Hermione telling him that Daphne was rather clever. At the time he hadn't noticed that Hermione hadn't liked the idea of someone else competing with her for the best marks, but now was not the time to think about his traitorous friends.
He sighed and looked around. The library was almost completely deserted. Today was Sunday and the other students were probably outside enjoying a rare sunny day for that time of year.
He was surprised that Hermione wasn't in the library herself and knowing Hermione he wondered if she knew about the blood feuds but quickly banished the thought from his mind.
It didn't matter if she knew. He didn't need them. It appeared that he was doing fine without them. And maybe he could get Daphne to teach him all there was to know about the wizarding world. He had to hand it to her; she had a way of intriguing him. If she was like this with every subject, everything was going to be a piece of cake.
He stood up and decided to take a walk around the grounds. He still had a lot to think about and some fresh air would probably do him good.