Disclaimer-I do not own anything, not even the computer I'm writing this on. It's my friends since mine has been broken for quite some time.
"Alright class, we got jus' enough Skrewts for the class ter work in pairs, so I'll be assignin yer partner who will work with yer for the next few weeks," Hagrid announced to the fourth year class when everyone had arrived.
Apparently, the Skrewts has taken to killing each other due to "cooped up energy," as Hagrid had phrased it. So they got the lovely task of trying to take a Skrewt for a walk. They were now over three feet long and were no longer shell-less. They had developed some sort of grayish armour, which made them look like a mixture of giant scorpions and crabs. Unfortunately for the class, the Skrewts had also grown quite strong and could now blast off more powerfully and further than ever. So naturally, trying to take them for a walk seemed like the perfectly logical thing to do.
"Jus' tie the leash round the middle and walk em around the field some."
"Yeah, because there's no way this could possibly end badly," Harry heard Ron whisper to Seamus and Dean, who began quietly laughing. Under normal circumstances, Harry too would have joined in on the joke, but the events of the past weekend had made that the last thing
Harry wanted to do. Ever since the announcement of the Tri-Wizard Champions during the Halloween feast, Ron had been a complete and total git. The thought of their conversation that night still made Harry's blood boil. Not having time to talk to Hagrid since before the feast, Harry could only hope that Hagrid doesn't try to pair them together, thinking he was doing them a favor. Barely had that thought crossed his mind when he heard his name.
"And Neville, why don't yeh work with Dean. Hmm, we got an odd amount," Hagrid observed, scratching at a spot in his enormous beard. "Guess there'll be a group-o-three today. Harry, why don't yeh work with Ron and Hermi…"
"I am not working with him!" Ron protested vocally, making sure to put an extra emphasis on the not.
Harry glanced around to see the reactions. Face turning red, Ron had a look of anger on his face. Standing next to him, Hermione looked completely torn while Neville just gave Harry a look saying "It's his problem, not yours." Harry quickly glanced around at his classmates, many of whom were showing signs of surprise at Ron's outburst, several of them not knowing the falling out that had happened just nights ago. Hagrid, however, put them all to shame. The look of shock he shot at Harry rivaled the one Harry had given the man when he had learned the truth on his 11th birthday. Opening his mouth to voice his utter confusion on the matter, Harry gave him a quick, but brief, shake of the head.
"Ron, yer can work with Hermione," Hagrid said, changing tactics at top speed. "Harry, why don't yeh come over an' help me with this big one?"
Hagrid, of course, had waited until everyone had set off with their Skrewt. Once his classmates were so preoccupied with attempting to take the Skrewts for a walk, or rather the Skrewts taking his classmates for a drag, Hagrid took the chance to voice what was on his mind.
"What the ruddy hell was that about?" he asked, not even trying to mask the tone of surprised laced in the question.
"It's kind of a long story," Harry let out a long sigh, looking a bit dejected. "Short version is that Ron is an enormous prat. He seems to think that I put my own name into the Goblet of Fire and that I'm lying when I say that I have no clue how it happened. You believe me Hagrid, right?"
"What?" Hagrid asked loudly. "How could he think that? And of course I believe yeh, an' Dumbledore believes yer. What does Hermione say about it?"
"She believes me, but I can tell she is torn between me and Ron. She doesn't want to take sides and I feel bad for putting her in that situation."
"So yer definitely competing then?" Hagrid grunted the question; completely ignoring the Skrewt that Harry was supposed to be helping with, which was now trying to escape its crate.
"Don't have much of a choice honestly. Apparently the Goblet is a binding magical contract," Harry explained to the Magical Creatures Teacher.
Hagrid opened his mouth to respond when a figure approached them, a slight look of worry on her face after seeing what the class was attempting.
"Sorry I'm late Professor," she said, brushing a strand of dirty blonde hair out of her face as she handed Hagrid a slip of parchment. "Professor Flitwick wanted to talk to me about one of my Charms assignments."
"That's alright Miss Greengrass, were jus' taking the Skrewts fer a walk. Why don't yeh work with Harry on this big one?" Hagrid explained after a quick once over of the note and walking away to assist Seamus, who was currently being dragged along like a rag-doll as a Skrewt blasted off and yelling something that sounded along the lines of 'Skrewt this.'
"Take this thing for a walk?" the blonde girl said, somewhat slowly, as though the idea was registering somewhat slowly.
"Yeah, suppose it could be worse I reckon. At least were not still trying to feed them," he looked at her as discreetly as he could manage, taking in the shoulder length dirty blonde hair and the crystal blue eyes. Quite possibly the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. Not that he would have ever admitted it.
"Point taken," she replied, rather nonchalantly. A few moments past of her giving him an emotionless stare before Harry's words found him.
"We've been in the same grade for three years and I don't think we've actually ever talked. I'm…"
"Potter," she replied simply, cutting him off mid-sentence. "Kind of hard not to know who the boy-who-lived is. Especially after having to share a common room with Malfoy for going on four years."
"Err, right. Suppose so," was all he could think of. He honestly didn't know what to say to the girl, she was a Slytherin after all. Not only did she probably not like him on principle, but there was that minor detail of him being forced into the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Of course, there was a good chance she wouldn't believe him about it. Her and the rest of the school. "No offense or anything, but you are..?" He let the question hang there, hoping she would answer so he didn't feel quite so stupid.
"I guess it makes sense you don't know who I am. Not very famous, am I? Not like you anyways." she answered coolly. "Daphne Greengrass."
"I would gladly trade places with you," Harry responded without even thinking.
"That's not what I hear, ya know," she said as she handed him the leash that was lying on the Skrewts crate.
Harry simply stared at her for a moment before moving his gaze to the rope leash she was holding out to him. Of course he should expect this kind of response.
"No way in hell am I about to try to tie a rope around that thing. You do it."
"You know, you shouldn't believe everything you hear." He took the leash she was offering him, his fingers grazing a part of her warm, slightly tan skin. She simply looked questioningly at him.
"I mean," he continued as he opened the crate and began making an attempt to rope him a Skrewt, which was nearly a foot longer than the others. "Everyone blamed me for that Chamber of Secrets crap that happened in second year and they were wrong weren't they? But no, guess that wasn't good enough for everyone. So obviously, when I say that I didn't enter this damned tournament, people aren't going to believe me. Oh no, Potter is just trying to boast his own fame and fortune again. He's such an attention seeking prat that Potter is. I wonder if it ever occurred to everyone that I don't want all this, that maybe I just want to be normal."
He hadn't even realized that he was ranting to a girl he had just meet about the emotions that had been bottled up and steadily building since the night of the Halloween Feast. He simply kept wrestling with the Skrewt and continued spilling out everything he had become so fed up with while the Slytherin girl just stood there, absorbing everything happening in front of her as her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline.
"No I guess it never occurred to anyone at all. Especially for the Slytherins, what with all the crap Malfoy no doubt tells all his Slytherin buddies," he kept going, as he forcefully tied a large knot, securing the leash around the Skrewt. "So I'll say it again, you really shouldn't believe everything you…"
His words were cut short as the Skrewt had apparently decided what it desired most in this world, was to launch itself as quickly as possible in a random direction. And it had done just that. An enormous blast erupted from the Skrewt, as it propelled itself forward. Harry, who in his rant had forgotten just what he had been doing and had been holding the leash in his left hand, was jerked off his feet and forcefully pulled after the Skrewt, who was still rocketing away. Daphne, who was quite unsure what to say to Harry during his spiel, dropped her jaw in surprise and took on a mixed look of severe confusion and mild horror as her partner was being drug around while the Skrewt mindlessly went on a blasting rampage.
"Professor Hagrid, my partner just exploded," Daphne called after a moment to the teacher, who had just lifted Neville up by the back of his robes, saving him as his and Dean's Skrewt launched itself at the poor Gryffindor boy.
The half-giant turned quickly and saw Harry being thoroughly run through the grass and dirt. Acting quickly, Hagrid ran over and jerked Harry away from the rampaging Skrewt.
"Well, that was loads of fun," Harry sighed verbally, a slight sarcastic ring to his words. A few seconds passed before he noticed the extreme hot and stinging sensation he was beginning to feel across his left hand and forearm. "And now my arm's on fire."
Harry, as it turns out, had not quite paid attention when he was leashing the Skrewt, tying the rather hort rope around the blasting end of the beast, not the middle like Hagrid had instructed. So naturally when the Skrewt decided to go blasting off in an unknown direction, all the fire had been shot directly onto his arm.
"Looks like it got yeh with the blasting end. That can sometimes happen with this guy. Quite the powerhouse in't he? Miss. Greengrass, would yeh mind walking with Harry here up ter the Hospital Wing? Madam Pomfrey can get yeh some o that burn paste," Hagrid told the pair, after he examined Harry's red and blistering forearm.
The pair set off together, rather reluctantly, back towards the castle, an awkward silence settling itself comfortably between the two students.
"So…" Daphne broke the silence after several minutes of nothing but the sound of their classmates battling the Skrewts growing fainter with each step.
"So.." Harry added, somewhat lamely.
"How's the uh, the arm?" she asked, taking a stab at politeness. It wasn't exactly her strong point.
"Kinda burns," he replied simply. 'What am I supposed to say to this girl?' he thought as an aftermath.
"You know, something tells me tying the rope around the end that blasts off might not have been the brightest thing in world." Her sarcasm was not lost on Harry.
"Yeah well, I didn't see you jumping to help out or anything."
"And interrupt you during your melt down? I may not be in Ravenclaw, but I'm not that stupid," she replied, brushing some of her dirty blonde hair out of her face.
"Err, sorry about that. Didn't mean to freak out on you or anything," he gave a half grin, somewhat sheepishly. "You probably think I'm crazy or something now."
"Well, you definitely don't give the best first impression Potter," she said as the doors opened, leading them into the Entrance Hall. "I suppose it could have been worse though."
"I seriously doubt that."
"I don't know, the part where you blasted off was a nice touch."
"Gee, thanks," was really all he could say.
"What can I say? I'm a Slytherin and you're a Gryffindor,"
"You don't seem that bad for a Slytherin," Harry pointed out. "You're probably the most civil one I've talked to."
"Guess I'm doing a bad job then Potter."
"So how about it?" he asked simply.
"How about what?" She bit back.
"A second first impression."
"And what makes you think I want that Potter?"
Something about her rubbed him the wrong way. Or perhaps he as rubbing her the wrong way, which seemed plausible given the way the practically freaked out earlier.
"Sorry, forget I said anything." This girl really made it hard to be friendly with. Of course, that made him wonder just why he was trying to be nice to her in the first place. Sure she was one of the prettier girls in his year, but she was a Slytherin. They were supposed to hate each other on principle and, he thought suddenly, she probably is one of the many who hang out with Malfoy and believe that he entered himself into the tournament. That and about everything else that blonde git had said about him since first year. So this girl was supposed to be his enemy right…right?
"Well, here we are. Later Potter," she turned on the spot and began heading in the direction of the Entrance Hall.
Harry sighed heavily before throwing a punch at the stone wall. He gave a loud grunt, realizing a second late he had used his burnt hand. Re-positioning the bag slung over his back with his good arm, he turned to face the Hospital Wing doors.
"No one believes me about the tournament, I pretty much just confirmed to the Slytherins that I'm a nutter, and bloody hell does my arm hurt. This is going to be a long year," he said to himself while glancing at his throbbing left arm. He gave a second loud sigh, and with an afterthought, he added, "Madame Pomfrey is going to kill me."
A/N: Well, there is the first chapter. To be honest, I never really thought I'd ever write anything with Harry/Daphne in it. This story came about a few ways. First off, a few friends of mine challenged me to write something I would usually not write about, out of my comfort zone so to speak. I was actually toying with another idea when I happened across a few Harry/Daphne fics that were simply incredibly written and they sort of inspired me to write my own.
I'm not 100% pleased with this first chapter, but considering how Daphne is mentioned on the books maybe all of 4 times, I'm still working on her character some.
Also, up until this point in Harry's 4th year is canon. Some events will stay canon, some will not. I do appreciate reviews, as I like to know what people think and it helps me grow as a writer. However, I do not like asking for reviews really, so feel free to review or not. It's really up to you. Also, feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them the best I can.