It was the first task, and the Otaku were excited because Sakura had offered to do the announcing with Luna as her assistant. Lee offered to do it, but he was too close to give an unbiased review.
Besides, they were more quirky and entertaining than he was.
"Welcome ladies and gents to the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, hosted by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! This announcers group is brought to you by the recently renovated Music and News club...If you haven't heard the rumors, then you aren't tuned into the Daily Grapevine!" said Sakura cheerfully.
The Daily Grapevine was the two hour-long broadcast of all the weeks rumors and stories. It was run, unsurprisingly enough, by Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, and Daphne Greengrass. Pansy Parkinson used to be on it, but she was kicked off after one too many snide comments.
"That's right Sakura. And to keep everyone warm, we have one of the competitor's own brother selling butterbeer and snacks for five sickles a box! Fred has assured us that he has not pranked any of the food sold, and is under threat of dealing with Ms. Sakura in a foul mood if he breaks his word," said Luna dreamily.
Fred and George all but worshiped the insane woman.
"And here come the mascots for the teams! For Durmstrang, we have a very nice picture of Krum flying on the field! Beauxbatons is using very creative maneuvers with their pegasi! And as for Hogwarts...what in Merlin is that?" said Sakura.
"I believe it is a very amusing rendition of Saint George slaying a dragon..." said Luna highly amused.
Sure enough, up in the sky the Gryffindors had a banner depicting George Weasly in armor slaying a dragon with flashing colors.
"Well, it's certainly very creative. In any event, let's begin the first task! Today the champions must brave an angry mother protecting her children...a dragon mother that is! Just to spice things up, the selection of which champion faces which dragon is completely random, and to insure impartiality, we are going to have one of our guards select the order in which the champions come out! Mr. Potter, you're up!" said Sakura.
Since the Otaku club was handling security, Jamie had been selected to head the entire club task force. This was to insure that no death eaters sent a spell that would cause the dragons to rampage out of control.
Moody fully approved of his security measures. Dumbledore honestly expected the teachers to handle the crowds.
Jamie reached into the bag and pulled out a ping-pong ball with the Hogwarts crest. He did it twice more, pulling out the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons crests out.
"The order will be: Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Now for the dragons! Madam Bones, if you would be so kind?" asked Sakura. Amelia had come in the event another death eater was captured by the club. She wasn't going to be caught off guard like that twice. She reached into the bag and pulled out three dragons: a Norwegian Ridgeback, Swedish Short Snout and a Chinese Fireball.
"Thank you Madam Bones, for your help and your continued service in protecting our magical community. Let's have a round of applause for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement!" said Sakura.
To Madam Bones' surprise, the entire crowd gave her and the Aurors on standby a round of applause. It was rare that they got any real appreciation for their work.
"Will George Weasly please come out to claim his egg?" said Sakura loudly.
A few moments later George came out, understandably nervous.
Madam Bones set off the starting shot, and he jumped out of the way of the dragon's flames.
Sakura and Luna cheerfully narrated his stunts for everyone to hear, since they were also broadcasting through the wizarding wireless.
"And there goes Weasly, dodging yet another flame! He seems to be using an overpowered light charm to great effect. The dragon seems to be honing in on his location through sound alone!"
"It appears he is stalling until he can light a firework. One wonders what he plans to do with it," said Luna.
There was a woosh, and a dragon made of flames appeared from George's hand. The real dragon ducked out of instinct, as the other 'dragon' was much bigger than it was and George took the chance he had to dive into the nest to retrieve the fake egg. By the time the firework dragon vanished and the real dragon realized that a human had been in it's nest, George had safely made it to an outcropping of rock and was hidden behind it. He took out a second firework, this time one that made the most piercing scream and once it was lit he used a conjured beater's bat to hit it far away from where he was.
At the first whine, the dragon turned to face this new intruder, only to miss George bolting for the tent. The stands went nuts as he had successfully retrieved the egg without getting killed. A few scrapes here and there, but otherwise unharmed.
Sakura waited for the judges to come to a decision before she announced the results. At her suggestion, they had waited for all three competitors to go through the dragon's nest before announcing the winner.
Points were all well and good, but not very exciting.
"And the winner of the first round is...George Weasly for his creative use of fireworks! The runner-up is Fleur Delacour! The last place goes to Viktor Krum, for the destruction of the eggs. Better luck next time!"
Gryffindor was going nuts with George's successful retrieval of the egg using magical fireworks.
At least until George opened his egg and it made the most horrifying shriek. Everyone winced.
Jamie was invited too, as it had been his idea that helped George to get the egg.
"So Jamie, what's the plan for tomorrow?" asked George.
"Sakura said she had something she wanted to discuss with me," said Jamie.
Jamie found Sakura, Charlie and Nick all waiting for him at the Three Broomsticks in a private room.
"So what's up?" he asked.
"We've got some news. And you won't particularly like it," said Charlie grimly.
"Death Eaters are becoming more active of late. And we've been hearing reports that Voldemort, whatever is left of him, is starting to move again. We think he's found a ritual to return to a semblance of life," said Sakura.
"What do you need me to do, sir?" asked Jamie to Charlie, his expression serious.
"We know about your club and how you've managed to get them interconnected. We want you to train any children who want in to fight, or at least enough to defend themselves for later. The Vets have all agreed to be the front line runners and do the damage...but we need young bloods like you to keep the fight going after the war is over," said Charlie.
"You want me to build an army and stop this nonsense at it's source, correct?" asked Jamie.
"Exactly. The adults in the magical communities have made things worse, and I for one am sick and tired of seeing werewolves and the like kept down just because of circumstances they can't control. At this rate things will only get worse before they get better," said Sakura.
"We want to bring the magical community back into the real world. We need them to remember that they serve Queen and Country, not whoever is currently the Minister and powerful," said Charlie.
"You mean Dumbledore, correct?" said Jamie.
"Dumbledore is an extreme pacifist, and a hypocrite to boot. He has systematically ruined the muggleborns without caring about the consequences. Most of our recruits came from Muggleborns unable to get any real work from the magicals," said Charlie.
When offered the chance to do unto the purebloods that had been done to them, well they had jumped at the chance.
"You want me to equalize the balance of power, and have the veterans clear the way for the new bloods," summarized Jamie.
"Pretty much. They can keep most of their traditions, but this place is overdue for a massive overhaul," acknowledged Charlie.
"What did the Queen have to say about all this?"
"When we told her exactly what was going on with the magicals and how corrupt they had become, even bringing court records from the Wizangamot after the war abruptly ended, well she was pissed to say the least. She's given us full clearance to clean out the bad eggs, as she called them, before she steps in and reminds them who's supposed to be in charge," smirked Sakura.
Nick chuckled evilly.
"She was not happy one bit that murders and rapists got off just because they claimed they were brainwashed without any proof to show for it, and that said criminals were pretty much running the place with gold that could be put into much better use," said Nick evilly.
"What of the goblins and other established races?"
"Those able to prove sentience and an established line of rule will be given the same rights as humans. Those like werewolves will be given safe harbors and the like. Dragons, for example, will be left in their reserves," said Charlie.
They were willing to work with goblins and centaurs and hopefully bridge several problems the wizards caused with their arrogance.
Jamie talked strategy with them, and even decided to send Sir Nicholas out to get more ghost to teach them combat.
If he was going to revamp the magical world, he wasn't going out half-cocked.
Jamie addressed his fellow Otaku.
"Everyone I have news. And unfortunately it isn't the kind you'll enjoy," he said.
Everyone had been given chairs to sit down, and there was a board normally used to host debates with. It was filled with reports given to him via Charlie.
"I was recently informed that Voldemort and his group of idiots have been seen moving in certain circles more frequently of late. I'm sure you remember all the chaos spread by those idiots, and the death toll had been catastrophic because Dumbledore was too slow in authorizing lethal force," said Jamie.
Seeing them straighten up, they were now very much focused on Jamie. Even Flitwick was paying close attention.
"I am not calling you to arms, or asking you to fight them directly once he makes his move. Rumor has it that Voldemort may or may not have found a ritual to restore his physical body. We all know that he isn't stupid enough to simply restart where he left off right off the bat. So we have some room to maneuver. I am not asking you to become assassins and take out the Death Eaters as a preemptive strike. We are still students, and thus we do not need to dirty our hands this early."
Flitwick seemed to relax at that.
"I have been asked by my grandfather to train you so that you can defend yourself. We Otaku are primarily spell researchers. We find ways to combine magic and technology, out of fun but also out of a desire to improve. That is what he wants us to do. He wants us to help create ways to give those bastards hell and once we graduate remind these wizards who it is they are supposed to serve. The Ministry of Magic is a body of people who are meant to govern much as the American government does. It is for the magically inclined, by the magically inclined. It is not the end all government. We are citizens who answer to Queen and Country, and her Majesty is very unhappy with how the Ministry has been operating lately."
Flitwick spoke up.
"What is it that her Majesty intends to do?" he asked.
"She wants us to clear out the Ministry and bring it back to proper standards. For example, goblins, centaurs and any magical race that can self govern are being given equal rights as wizards and witches. She has no intention of allowing another goblin war to start, and we are about due for one," said Jamie.
"She's going to make them wake up and smell the twentieth century, isn't she?" asked Patrick.
"Yes, she is. She was furious to hear about people like Lucius Malfoy getting off with a slap to the wrist with such a weak defense and some gold."
"Who is going to fight for us?" asked Emma.
"I'm sure you're all aware of my Grandfather and his group of old guys. Well when they learned that the dark idiot was making a comeback they decided to do something about it. Once he comes out in the open, the Queen has given them permission to end them with extreme prejudice. Like I said, students aren't the ones who are going to be called to war. The soldiers who have been left behind and forgotten are going to be the ones doing the fighting. We just have to make their job easier," said Jamie.
"So...we don't have to do any of the killing," said Emma slowly.
"Not unless they come after you personally, no," confirmed Jamie.
"Count me in!" said Patrick.
Flitwick spoke to Jamie personally.
"You aren't seriously calling them to war are you?"
"The only time they will be directly involved is if Voldemort is ever idiotic enough to attack the school. Then we just need to hold out until reinforcements arrive. Grandfather has no intention of having a bunch of child soldiers running around when it's the adults job to do this sort of thing," said Jamie.
"Good. In that case you have my full support. Should we bring the rest in?"
"Not until the war officially starts," said Jamie.
Flitwick nodded in agreement. While he didn't like the fact that Jamie had called them to arms, as it were, he acknowledged that being over-prepared for a war that might not happen was better than being caught with their pants down. And the fact Jamie was only asking them to create things to defeat the enemy and not making them fight themselves was another factor.
Albus would have had the children fighting with bare minimum of training, or had kept them entirely in the dark.
At least Jamie was giving them the tools they needed and the promise of keeping them as informed as he was.