"Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin! Let me remind you how the points currently stand! Tied in first place, with eighty-five points each - Mr. Cedric Diggory and Mr. Harry Potter, both of Hogwarts School!" The cheers and applause sent birds from the Forbidden Forest fluttering into the darkening sky. "In second place, with eighty points - Mr. Viktor Krum, of Durmstrang Institute!" More applause. "And in third place - Miss Fleur Delacour, of Beauxbatons Academy!"

Harry could just make out Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Ron, and Hermione applauding Fleur politely, halfway up the stands. He waved up at them, and they waved back, beaming at him.

Harry smiled at the Weasleys, the twins were always there when he needed them and Bill and Charlie were great to talk to.

"So...on my whistle, Harry and Cedric!" said Bagman. "Three - two - one -"

He gave a short blast on his whistle, and Harry and Cedric hurried forward into the maze.

"So the task from hell starts" Kris said.

"Yes and it went to hell fast." Harry said burying his head into Adams shoulder.

The towering hedges cast black shadows across the path, and, whether because they were so tall and thick or because they had been enchanted, the sound of the surrounding crowd was silenced the moment they entered the maze. Harry felt almost as though he were underwater again. He pulled out his wand, muttered, "Lumos," and heard Cedric do the same just behind him.

After about fifty yards, they reached a fork. They looked at each other.

"See you," Harry said, and he took the left one, while Cedric took the right.

"This is when it started to get worse."

Harry heard Bagman's whistle for the second time. Krum had entered the maze. Harry sped up. His chosen path seemed completely deserted. He turned right, and hurried on, holding his wand high over his head, trying to see as far ahead as possible. Still, there was nothing in sight.

Bagman's whistle blew in the distance for the third time. All of the champions were now inside.

"And only three will make it out alive. I hate this stupid task." Harry said loudly to the hall for everyone to hear. Viktor and Fleur nodding their heads.

Harry kept looking behind him. The old feeling that he was being watched was upon him. The maze was growing darker with every passing minute as the sky overhead deepened to navy. He reached a second fork.

"Point Me," he whispered to his wand, holding it flat in his palm.

The wand spun around once and pointed toward his right, into solid hedge. That way was north, and he knew that he needed to go northwest for the center of the maze. The best he could do was to take the left fork and go right again as soon as possible.

"That is a good idea Harry." Bill said.

"Ya it helps me when we need to find the baby dragons." Charlie told them.

The path ahead was empty too, and when Harry reached a right turn and took it, he again found his way unblocked. Harry didn't know why, but the lack of obstacles was unnerving him. Surely he should have met something by now? It felt as though the maze were luring him into a false sense of security. Then he heard movement right behind him. He held out his wand, ready to attack, but its beam fell only upon Cedric, who had just hurried out of a path on the right-hand side. Cedric looked severely shaken. The sleeve of his robe was smoking.

"Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts!" he hissed. "They're enormous - I only just got away!"

"Those things suck" was heard from the Slytherin table.

He shook his head and dived out of sight, along another path. Keen to put plenty of distance between himself and the skrewts, Harry hurried off again. Then, as he turned a corner, he saw...a dementor gliding toward him. Twelve feet tall, its face hidden by its hood, its rotting, scabbed hands outstretched, it advanced, sensing its way blindly toward him. Harry could hear its rattling breath; he felt clammy coldness stealing over him, but knew what he had to do...

"What is that thing doing there?" Remus shouted.

"There was no Dementor in the maze Remus." Dumbledore said to him.

"But then… never mind." He said as he finally realized what it was.

He summoned the happiest thought he could, concentrated with all his might on the thought of getting out of the maze and celebrating with Ron and Hermione, raised his wand, and cried, "Expecto Patronum!"

"I also thought of the time when you guys took me to your concert." Harry told Adam and Kris.

"Ya that was a fun night." They both said together.

A silver stag erupted from the end of Harry's wand and galloped toward the dementor, which fell back and tripped over the hem of its robes...Harry had never seen a dementor stumble.

"Hang on!" he shouted, advancing in the wake of his silver Patronus, "You're a boggart! Riddikulus!"

"Your boggart is a Dementor?" Smith asked with a little laugh in his voice.

"No my Boggart is fear. As Lupin told me in my third year my greatest fear is fear." That shut the hall up as they took in his words.

There was a loud crack, and the shape-shifter exploded in a wisp of smoke. The silver stag faded from sight. Harry wished it could have stayed, he could have used some company...but he moved on, quickly and quietly as possible, listening hard, his wand held high once more.

Left...right...left again...Twice he found himself facing dead ends. He did the Four-Point Spell again and found that he was going too far east. He turned back, took a right turn, and saw an odd golden mist floating ahead of him.

"I hate that thing"

Harry approached it cautiously, pointing the wand's beam at it. This looked like some kind of enchantment. He wondered whether he might be able to blast it out of the way.

"Reducio!" he said.

The spell shot straight through the mist, leaving it intact. He supposed he should have known better; the Reductor Curse was for solid objects. What would happen if he walked through the mist? Was it worth chancing it, or should he double back?

He was still hesitating when a scream shattered the silence.

"Fleur?" Harry yelled.

There was silence. He stared all around him. What had happened to her? Her scream seemed to have come from somewhere ahead. He took a deep breath and ran through the enchanted mist.

"You ran into something unknown for someone you barely knew?" Madam Bones asked.

"Yes ma'am I did the same thing in my first three years here. So why not. I might have to do it for the rest of my years here." Harry turned to look at her.

"That Mr. Potter is very brave." She said.

"If you want to know I can tell you after the reading." She nodded.

The world turned upside down. Harry was hanging from the ground, with his hair on end, his glasses dangling off his nose, threatening to fall into the bottomless sky. He clutched them to the end of his nose and hung there, terrified. It felt as though his feet were glued to the grass, which had now become the ceiling. Below him the dark, star-spangled heavens stretched endlessly. He felt as though if he tried to move one of his feet, he would fall away from the earth completely.

Think, he told himself, as all the blood rushed to his head, think...

"Not a nice feeling to have" half the hall was nodding their heads.

But not one of the spells he had practiced had been designed to combat a sudden reversal of ground and sky. Did he dare move his foot? He could hear the blood pounding in his ears. He had two choices - try and move, or send up red sparks, and get rescued and disqualified from the task.

He shut his eyes, so he wouldn't be able to see the view of endless space below him, and pulled his right foot as hard as he could away from the grassy ceiling.

"That was a little hard to do"

Immediately, the world righted itself. Harry fell forward onto his knees onto the wonderfully solid ground. He felt temporarily limp with shock. He took a deep, steadying breath, then got up again and hurried forward, looking back over his shoulder as he ran away from the golden mist, which twinkled innocently at him in the moonlight.

"Again I hate that spell."

He paused at a junction of two paths and looked around for some sign of Fleur. He was sure it had been she who had screamed. What had she met? Was she all right? There was no sign of red sparks - did that mean she had got herself out of trouble, or was she in such trouble that she couldn't reach her wand? Harry took the right fork with a feeling of increasing unease...but at the same time, he couldn't help thinking. One champion down...

"Harry, that's not nice." Mrs. Weasley scolded him.

"Well sorry for hoping to get out of that maze with my life. Next time why don't you try and we can see what you think." Harry glared at her.

"Harry don't say that to my mom." Ron yelled at him

"Yea well she needs to learn that, I was fighting for my life in there so yea my thoughts are going to be like that." Harry yelled right back.

The cup was somewhere close by, and it sounded as though Fleur was no longer in the running. He'd got this far, hadn't he? What if he actually managed to win? Fleetingly, and for the first time since he'd found himself champion, he saw again that image of himself, raising the Triwizard Cup in front of the rest of the school...

"You really thought you were not going to win Potter?" Nott asked.

"Yea the whole time I was competing against people three years older than me and against my wishes."

He met nothing for ten minutes, but kept running into dead ends. Twice he took the same wrong turning. Finally, he found a new route and started to jog along it, his wandlight waving, making his shadow flicker and distort on the hedge walls. Then he rounded another corner and found himself facing a Blast-Ended Skrewt.

"Bloody things"

Cedric was right - it was enormous. Ten feet long, it looked more like a giant scorpion than anything. Its long sting was curled over its back. Its thick armor glinted in the light from Harry's wand, which he pointed at it.

"Stupefy!"

"Not going to work"

The spell hit the skrewt's armor and rebounded; Harry ducked just in time, but could smell burning hair; it had singed the top of his head. The skrewt issued a blast of fire from its end and flew forward toward him.

"Impedimenta!" Harry yelled. The spell hit the skrewt's armor again and ricocheted off; Harry staggered back a few paces and fell over. "IMPEDIMENTA!"

"That will. Because it has more power."

The skrewt was inches from him when it froze - he had managed to hit it on its fleshy, shell-less underside. Panting, Harry pushed himself away from it and ran, hard, in the opposite direction - the Impediment Curse was not permanent; the skrewt would be regaining the use of its legs at any moment.

He took a left path and hit a dead end, a right, and hit another; forcing himself to stop, heart hammering, he performed the Four-Point Spell again, backtracked, and chose a path that would take him northwest.

He had been hurrying along the new path for a few minutes, when he heard something in the path running parallel to his own that made him stop dead.

"What are you doing?" yelled Cedric's voice. "What the hell d'you think you're doing?"

Krum paled when he heard this.

And then Harry heard Krum's voice.

"Madam Bones, he was under the Imperius Curse. He could not fight it." Harry said to her as he looked at Krum across the hall.

"Thanks you for telling me Mr. Potter."

"Crucio!"

Harry started shaking like mad. He remembered the pain since it was still fresh in his mind the hall looked at him. Adam pulled Harry into his lap and just hugged him tightly.

"Mr. Potter?" Unspeakable Andrews asked.

"I will be fine." He told them in a small voice, his head under Adams chin.

The air was suddenly full of Cedric's yells. Horrified, Harry began sprinting up his path, trying to find a way into Cedric's. When none appeared, he tried the Reductor Curse again. It wasn't very effective, but it burned a small hole in the hedge through which Harry forced his leg, kicking at the thick brambles and branches until they broke and made an opening; he struggled through it, tearing his robes, and looking to his right, saw Cedric jerking and twitching on the ground, Krum standing over him.

Harry pulled himself up and pointed his wand at Krum just as Krum looked up. Krum turned and began to run.

"Stupefy!" Harry yelled.

"Thanks for that Potter." Krum said. Harry just waved him off.

The spell hit Krum in the back; he stopped dead in his tracks, fell forward, and lay motionless, facedown in the grass. Harry-dashed over to Cedric, who had stopped twitching and was lying there panting, his hands over his face.

"Did I look like that?" Harry mumbled too low for anyone to hear.

"Are you all right?" Harry said roughly, grabbing Cedric's arm.

"Yeah," panted Cedric. "Yeah...I don't believe it...he crept up behind me...I heard him, I turned around, and he had his wand on me..."

Cedric got up. He was still shaking. He and Harry looked down at Krum.

"I did not find out till later he had the curse on him" Harry said looking a little pale.

"I can't believe this...I thought he was all right," Harry said, staring at Krum.

"So did I," said Cedric.

"Did you hear Fleur scream earlier?" said Harry.

"Yeah," said Cedric. "You don't think Krum got her too?"

"I don't know," said Harry slowly.

"Should we leave him here?" Cedric muttered.

"No," said Harry. "I reckon we should send up red sparks. Someone'll come and collect him...otherwise he'll probably be eaten by a skrewt."

"He'd deserve it," Cedric muttered, but all the same, he raised his wand and shot a shower of red sparks into the air, which hovered high above Krum, marking the spot where he lay.

"For what I did to him, I would have deserved it." Krum said.

Harry and Cedric stood there in the darkness for a moment, looking around them. Then Cedric said, "Well...I s'pose we'd better go on..."

"What?" said Harry. "Oh...yeah...right..."

It was an odd moment. He and Cedric had been briefly united against Krum - now the fact that they were opponents came back to Harry. The two of them proceeded up the dark path without speaking, then Harry turned left, and Cedric right. Cedric's footsteps soon died away.

Harry shook a little more at that.

Harry moved on, continuing to use the Four-Point Spell, making sure he was moving in the right direction. It was between him and Cedric now. His desire to reach the cup first was now burning stronger than ever, but he could hardly believe what he'd just seen Krum do. The use of an Unforgivable Curse on a fellow human being meant a life term in Azkaban, that was what Moody had told them. Krum surely couldn't have wanted the Triwizard Cup that badly...Harry sped up.

"No I did not. I would die before I use one of them again." He told the people who turned to look at him.

Every so often he hit more dead ends, but the increasing darkness made him feel sure he was getting near the heart of the maze. Then, as he strode down a long, straight path, he saw movement once again, and his beam of wandlight hit an extraordinary creature, one which he had only seen in picture form, in his Monster Book of Monsters.

"Is it something bad Harry?" Kris asked taking his hand again.

"No it's not bad Kris." Harry told him with a small smile.

It was a sphinx. It had the body of an over-large lion: great clawed paws and a long yellowish tail ending in a brown tuft. Its head, however, was that of a woman. She turned her long, almond-shaped eyes upon Harry as he approached. He raised his wand, hesitating. She was not crouching as if to spring, but pacing from side to side of the path, blocking his progress. Then she spoke, in a deep, hoarse voice.

"You are very near your goal. The quickest way is past me."

"So...so will you move, please?" said Harry, knowing what the answer was going to be.

"No," she said, continuing to pace. "Not unless you can answer my riddle. Answer on your first guess - I let you pass. Answer wrongly - I attack. Remain silent - I will let you walk away from me unscathed."

"Like you could know the riddle" Smith sneered; they all ignored him

Harry's stomach slipped several notches. It was Hermione who was good at this sort of thing, not him. He weighed his chances. If the riddle was too hard, he could keep silent, get away from the sphinx unharmed, and try and find an alternative route to the center.

"Okay," he said. "Can I hear the riddle?"

"He won't be able to get past her." Hermione whispered to Ron and Ginny with a smile that they both shared. Fred and George who heard her look at the three of them in shock. They doubted their friend. The twins shared a look; they would talk with Bill and Charlie when they have a chance.

The sphinx sat down upon her hind legs, in the very middle of the path, and recited:

"First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"

"Hermione, do you know the answer?" Ginny asked.

"No. So Harry will not know what it is either." She said with a smile.

"I would not like to kiss a spider." Ron paled at the thought.

This time a couple more people heard them talking and just stared at them. Harry will be devastated that his friends did not even believe him.

Harry gaped at her.

"Could I have it again...more slowly?" he asked tentatively. She blinked at him, smiled, and repeated the poem. "All the clues add up to a creature I wouldn't want to kiss?" Harry asked.

She merely smiled her mysterious smile. Harry took that for a "yes." Harry cast his mind around. There were plenty of animals he wouldn't want to kiss; his immediate thought was a Blast-Ended Skrewt, but something told him that wasn't the answer. He'd have to try and work out the clues...

"Just talk it out. Remember before you left for this school year?" Adam whispered in his ear. Harry shuddered.

"Ya I was thinking about that." He whispered back, turning his head so he could smile at him.

"A person in disguise," Harry muttered, staring at her, "who lies...er...that'd be a - an impostor. No, that's not my guess! A - a spy? I'll come back to that...could you give me the next clue again, please?"

She repeated the next lines of the poem.

"'The last thing to mend,'" Harry repeated. "Er...no idea...'middle of middle'...could I have the last bit again?"

She gave him the last four lines.

"'The sound often heard during the search for a hard-to-find word,'" said Harry. "Er...that'd be...er...hang on - 'er'! Er's a sound!"

"You are almost there." Kris said.

The sphinx smiled at him.

"Spy...er...spy...er..." said Harry, pacing up and down. "A creature I wouldn't want to kiss...a spider!"

"I would rather kiss a snake than a spider." Adam joked to the hall. There were a few people that laugh, Harry being one of them. With he was aiming for.

"We should give Tommy Joe that riddle and see how long he will take to solve it." Harry said with a smile.

"That is a good idea. We can get it after the book is done." Kris said as the other two laughed.

The sphinx smiled more broadly. She got up, stretched her front legs, and then moved aside for him to pass.

"Thanks!" said Harry, and, amazed at his own brilliance, he dashed forward.

"Only you would thank a creature for not killing you." Draco said with a smile and shaking his head.

"That's just Harry." The Twins said.

He had to be close now, he had to be...His wand was telling him he was bang on course; as long as he didn't meet anything too horrible, he might have a chance...

Harry broke into a run. He had a choice of paths up ahead. "Point Me!" he whispered again to his wand, and it spun around and pointed him to the right-hand one. He dashed up this one and saw light ahead.

"Now, it all goes to hell, on a silver platter." Harry said quietly but the whole hall heard him. They turned to see him with his head buried in Adams chest and shaking a little. The smile he had on a minute ago is gone.

"Harry, it's ok. You're not there right now." Kris said rubbing his back. Adam just shook his head and pulled Harry closer to him.

The Triwizard Cup was gleaming on a plinth a hundred yards away. Suddenly a dark figure hurtled out onto the path in front of him.

Cedric was going to get there first. Cedric was sprinting as fast as he could toward the cup, and Harry knew he would never catch up, Cedric was much taller, had much longer legs -

Then Harry saw something immense over a hedge to his left, moving quickly along a path that intersected with his own; it was moving so fast Cedric was about to run into it, and Cedric, his eyes on the cup, had not seen it -

"Cedric!" Harry bellowed. "On your left!"

"Even at the risk of losing you will help anyone in need." Dumbledore said with a small smile.

"It would not have been far. I saw it, and he didn't." Harry told him.

Cedric looked around just in time to hurl himself past the thing and avoid colliding with it, but in his haste, he tripped. Harry saw Cedric's wand fly out of his hand as a gigantic spider stepped into the path and began to bear down upon Cedric.

"A giant what?" The hall screamed.

"Spider or more like an Acromantula. There is a colony in the forest." Harry said looking up.

"How did you get a colony of Acromantulas?" Madam Bones asked.

"That I am not saying and if everyone knows what is good for them they will not ask again or say if they do know." Harry glared at Ron and Hermione who he saw was opening their mouths to tell on Hagrid.

"Stupefy!" Harry yelled; the spell hit the spider's gigantic, hairy black body, but for all the good it did, he might as well have thrown a stone at it; the spider jerked, scuttled around, and ran at Harry instead.

"Stupefy! Impedimenta! Stupefy!"

But it was no use - the spider was either so large, or so magical, that the spells were doing no more than aggravating it. Harry had one horrifying glimpse of eight shining black eyes and razor-sharp pincers before it was upon him.

"That would not be a pretty sight." Charlie said.

He was lifted into the air in its front legs; struggling madly, he tried to kick it; his leg connected with the pincers and next moment he was in excruciating pain. He could hear Cedric yelling "Stupefy!" too, but his spell had no more effect than Harry's - Harry raised his wand as the spider opened its pincers once more and shouted "Expelliarmus!"

"That is your favorite spell. I mean you use it a lot in the mock duel in the tower." George started to say

"And you still beat some of us sixth and seventh years." Fred finished. They saw Harry was blushing like crazy. The rest of the hall was in shock.

"There can not be duels in the tower. It is against the rules." Hermione said.

"Plus Harry would have told us." Ron added.

"Yes there is and McGonagall knows about them. And I don't have to tell you two anything about what I do." Harry looked at them like they were crazy.

"The only reason that Mr. Potter is allowed to duel the older students is because he asked if there was other ways to learn more spells, and showed me he would be able to handle it." McGonagall told the rest of her house. Ron, Ginny, and Hermione were looking at Harry with hatred in their eyes.

It worked - the Disarming Spell made the spider drop him, but that meant that Harry fell twelve feet onto his already injured leg, which crumpled beneath him. Without pausing to think, he aimed high at the spider's underbelly, as he had done with the skrewt, and shouted "Stupefy!''Just as Cedric yelled the same thing.

"That will work, two spells are better than one." Susan Bones said.

"Yes it is. I hope this is over soon." Hannah Abbott told her friend.

The two spells combined did what one alone had not: The spider keeled over sideways, flattening a nearby hedge, and strewing the path with a tangle of hairy legs.

"Harry!" he heard Cedric shouting. "You all right? Did it fall on you?"

"No," Harry called back, panting. He looked down at his leg. It was bleeding freely. He could see some sort of thick, gluey secretion from the spider's pincers on his torn robes. He tried to get up, but his leg was shaking badly and did not want to support his weight. He leaned against the hedge, gasping for breath, and looked around.

"That is really bad." Kris said looking a little green.

"Harry, was that why your leg had a wrap around it?" Adam asked the teen.

"Yes, Madam Pomfrey was going to check and see how it was healing yesterday before this all started." Harry told him. All he got was a nod in return. Kris grabbed his legs and put them in his lap so he lean more on Adam and try and relax.

Cedric was standing feet from the Triwizard Cup, which was gleaming behind him.

"Take it, then," Harry panted to Cedric. "Go on, take it. You're there."

"He should have won. Not me."

But Cedric didn't move. He merely stood there, looking at Harry. Then he turned to stare at the cup. Harry saw the longing expression on his face in its golden light. Cedric looked around at Harry again, who was now holding onto the hedge to support himself. Cedric took a deep breath.

"You take it. You should win. That's twice you've saved my neck in here."

"That's not how it's supposed to work," Harry said. He felt angry; his leg was very painful, he was aching all over from trying to throw off the spider, and after all his efforts, Cedric had beaten him to it, just as he'd beaten Harry to ask Cho to the ball. "The one who reaches the cup first gets the points. That's you. I'm telling you, I'm not going to win any races on this leg."

"Why did you want to ask her to the ball?" A blond Ravenclaw asked Harry from where she was sitting at the fifth table.

"I don't know really. I don't even like Cho like that, ya she is pretty but she was dating Cedric and I thought of him as a brother. So Cho became like a sister in my mind." Harry said looking confused.

"Harry, did you think about her like that before this year?" Dumbledore asked sitting higher in his seat looking at him.

"No, last year I thought of her as a good seeker nothing else. I mean I'm gay so why would I think that." Harry looked at the hall in confusion, no one really cared that he was gay by the looks of it most thought that someone dosed him with love potions.

"Harry, I think someone gave you a love potion directed at me. And for the record I think of you like a brother too, so did Cedric." Cho told the teen on the couch.

"That is right Miss. Chang. Harry, after this book let Madam Pomfrey check you over please and Mr. Lambert and Mr. Allen can go with you." Dumbledore said.

Cedric took a few paces nearer to the Stunned spider, away from the cup, shaking his head.

"No," he said.

"Stop being noble," said Harry irritably. "Just take it, then we can get out of here."

The twins snorted at that. People looked at them all they did was shake their heads.

Cedric watched Harry steadying himself, holding tight to the hedge.

"You told me about the dragons," Cedric said. "I would've gone down in the first task if you hadn't told me what was coming."

"I had help on that too," Harry snapped, trying to mop up his bloody leg with his robes. "You helped me with the egg - we're square."

"I had help on the egg in the first place," said Cedric.

"We're still square," said Harry, testing his leg gingerly; it shook violently as he put weight on it; he had sprained his ankle when the spider had dropped him.

"Mr. Potter what do you mean you guys had help?" Madam Bones asked

"The Imposter" was all he said.

"You should've got more points on the second task," said Cedric mulishly. "You stayed behind to get all the hostages. I should've done that."

"I was the only one who was thick enough to take that song seriously!" said Harry bitterly. "Just take the cup!"

"No Harry, I thought I would lose my sister if you had not saved her." Fleur spoke up for the first time.

"No," said Cedric.

He stepped over the spider's tangled legs to join Harry, who stared at him. Cedric was serious. He was walking away from the sort of glory Hufflepuff House hadn't had in centuries.

"Harry, we don't need that glory." Susan and Hannah said together. Most of their house agreed with them, but a couple people Smith one of them.

"Go on," Cedric said. He looked as though this was costing him every ounce of resolution he had, but his face was set, his arms were folded, he seemed decided.

"Damn it I should have taken the cup." Harry yelled shocking the hall. They turned and saw he was trying not to cry.

"So you could have all the glory to yourself. I knew you would do anything to win." Smith sneered at the teen. Hannah and Susan both slapped him on the back of his head and walked over to the fifth table and sat down closer to Harry.

"No, if I did Cedric would still be alive." Harry said in a dead voice, scaring more than one person.

Harry looked from Cedric to the cup. For one shining moment, he saw himself emerging from the maze, holding it. He saw himself holding the Triwizard Cup aloft, heard the roar of the crowd, saw Cho's face shining with admiration, more clearly than he had ever seen it before...and then the picture faded, and he found himself staring at Cedric's shadowy, stubborn face.

Harry whimpered. Adam made him put his head on his shoulder and started rubbing his back.

"Both of us," Harry said.

"What?"

"We'll take it at the same time. It's still a Hogwarts victory. We'll tie for it."

Cedric stared at Harry. He unfolded his arms.

"You - you sure?"

"Yeah," said Harry. "Yeah...we've helped each other out, haven't we? We both got here. Let's just take it together."

"If only it was not a trap."

For a moment, Cedric looked as though he couldn't believe his ears; then his face split in a grin.

"You're on," he said. "Come here."

He grabbed Harry's arm below the shoulder and helped Harry limp toward the plinth where the cup stood. When they had reached it, they both held a hand out over one of the cup's gleaming handles.

"On three, right?" said Harry. "One - two - three -"

He and Cedric both grasped a handle.

Harry started to let tears leave his eyes which Adam brushed away.

Instantly, Harry felt a jerk somewhere behind his navel. His feet had left the ground. He could not unclench the hand holding the Triwizard Cup; it was pulling him onward in a howl of wind and swirling color, Cedric at his side.

Harry knew what was coming, he buried his face in Adam's neck and just let the tears fall. The hall looked at him then Smith and planned to get him back for making Harry relive this.

"Madam Bones, I think I should read the next chapter." Unspeakable Lambert said.

"You touch that book and I will kill you Neil." Adam yelled at his little brother. The glare Neil was getting was enough he put his head back down.

"I will." Andrews said and grabbed the book.

"Ok here we go, Oh merlin not that… Chapter 32 Flesh, Blood, and Bone."