The Power of Quidditch
a/n - This started as a question posted in the CaerAzkaban group on Yahoo. Had anyone read a fic where no one from Hogwarts had entered the TriWizard Tournament. Which started me to thinking, which is always dangerous. What was the one thing that could trump Dumbledore's plotting and the Ministry? And then Miss Granger pointed out that it was the power of Quidditch. Nothing recognizable from the Harry Potterverse is owned by myself, it's the property of JK Rowling and her various and sundry corporate partners.
a/n2 – (2 December 2013) This is a revised version, I had to remove Oliver from the story since it was pointed out in a review that Oliver had graduated the spring before and was already with Puddlemere. However, Angelina cheerfully stepped up and is an admirable leader for the team. Thanks to queseraquesara for catching my timeline error. I should have remembered that Oliver finished Hogwarts with Percy the previous spring. Also, I corrected QUAFFLE to be QUABBLE.
Chapter One – All it takes is an Idea
2115 1 September, 1994 – Gryffindor Common Room, Hogwarts School of W&W, Scotland
The 1994/95 Gryffindor House Quidditch team, or what would have been the team had Headmaster Dumbledore had not committed the ultimate blasphemy and cancelled the Quidditch season in favor of having Hogwarts host the TriWizard Tournament, was huddled in the corner of their common room trying to wrap their minds around this disaster that had just been handed them.
"They didn't even blink," Angelina Johnson groused. "No one did anything when Dumbledore brought back this ridiculous tournament. It's an outrage. There hasn't been a Quidditch season skipped in …"
"Actually, they've never skipped Quidditch here at Hogwarts," a voice broke in shocking six of the assembled members of the team. The seventh, Number Seven, just smiled as he sat back and watched "The Plan" unfold.
"Never?" Looking skeptical, Katie Bell stared at Gryffindor Tower's resident expert on everything, including apparently Quidditch, Hermione Granger as she stood beside the overstuffed chair Harry was sitting in, holding a large book in her arms.
"Never," Hermione repeated as she perched herself on the arm of the chair that Harry was ensconced in, leaning against him as she opened the book.
"Since the inaugural season in 1180, there has never been a year without a Quidditch season. Twice in the history of the school the season was shortened, and in 1269 the final game between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor never started since both teams protested the release of a Golden Snidget into the game because they stated that it would 'completely ruin a noble game'."
"Isn't that …" began George
"… what became the Snitch?" finished Fred.
"Yes, apparently all twenty-four starting members of the four house teams signed a declaration that they considered it detrimental to the game and the only reason anyone would consider it was because "they were a greedy piker with no sense of tradition or fairness" Hermione read from a footnote.
"Does any of this help us," Angelina asked eying the pair of fourth years suspiciously. While she found the younger witch a bit annoying at times, she personally had a few galleons on the two of them getting together before Hogmanay this year in Fred and George's betting pool, and she was the first to admit Hermione was very capable of keeping Harry focused.
Hermione looked entirely too smug, she was up to something and Harry knew what it was. Giving her seeker a look, a chill ran up her spine since he had that same look Gred and Forge did when they were in the process of unleashing an epic prank on some unknowing individual.
"It does, if you can get everyone in all four houses to cooperate," Hermione said in a matter of fact voice. Looking around at the team, she focused on Angelina and simply asked. "Since you'd be the one taking over for Oliver, is this important enough for you to work with the Slytherins?"
"This year and next, we were going to make our mark" Angelina said evenly. "I spoke to Oliver over the summer and he said that some of the scouts that had looked at him last year had mentioned the Foxes and he was going to make certain that he talked us up." Pausing for a second, she looked over at Alicia who nodded her assent.
"We had the whole thing planned out," she as she gave Fred and George a look. "The twins have been prepping our new keeper; McGonagall went to school with the coach of the Scottish National team and arranged to have Portree's keeper work with him over the summer."
Looking surprised since she'd not heard Ronald mention anything about working with a professional keeper, and the chances of him keeping something like that a secret were pretty much nonexistent, she gave Angelina a look and then glanced over to where the youngest Weasley wizard was standing.
Smiling, Angelina nodded over to where Lee Jordan was sitting on the other side of the twins and simply said, "Meghan McCormick had Lee and the twins at the training facility on Skye once or twice a week most of the summer. McGonagall talked to the twins' father and got him to approve it; the story was that they were doing some advanced transfiguration work with their Head of House so Mrs. Weasley wouldn't complain and someone didn't want to tag along."
Smiling, Hermione thought about the chances that Ronald would want to spend time doing extra schoolwork during the summer and agreed that the plan was simple but almost foolproof.
Alicia added, "We can work with the Slytherin upper years, Ambrose Montague was the leading candidate to replace Flint." Smiling evilly, she added, "Show him a bit of skin and the boy would agree to almost anything." Hearing a noise of disgust from one of the twins, Alicia smiled and patted him on the cheek.
"There, there. It's for the good of the team. Look but don't touch. What few brains he has would melt if he actually got to do more than look."
"Talk to Chang, he was chatting up her friend Edgecombe in the library at the end of last year," Hermione said, ignoring the gobsmacked looks that everyone except Harry was giving her. "If a bit of skin is good, then the three of you should be able to have him eating out of the palms of your hands in minutes and no one except Edgecombe will have to worry about him."
Shaking her head, Hermione pulled a short sheet of parchment from the book and looked down at it.
"The Hogwarts Charter, as ratified by QUABBLE, states that as long as a team plays one game, it counts as a team and can be listed. Every year, so far, the first two games have been the first two weekends in November."
Looking up, she could see that everyone was nodding in agreement, including a small crowd that had gathered around and was shamelessly listening in. Well, all except for Ron who was glaring at her for either sitting on Harry's chair or daring to talk about Quidditch, she wasn't quite certain which. Thankfully he'd missed the byplay about there being a new keeper in town or things would be really tense.
Shooting Harry a look, which caused him to smirk and lean into her intensifying Ronald's glare, she continued.
"You need to do two things. The first is to convince the staff that you're going to go ahead and have tryouts, select teams, and then plan to play only the first two games as normal. That way the streak of continuous seasons at Hogwarts isn't broken and even if you don't finish the season, you've got it in the books."
Katie Bell smiled and nodded in agreement. "That should be fairly easy. We simply hit them with 'it's never been cancelled' followed by 'it won't interfere with the tournament'." Looking at Hermione, she asked, "Quidditch is older than this tournament, correct?"
"Correct. The TriWizard Tournament didn't come about until 1292, over a hundred years later," Hermione said as she turned to a different section in the back of Hogwarts: A History.
"And it's never cancelled a quidditch season before, even at Beauxbatons," she added. "This is really unprecedented."
"But how does this get us more than one final game," Angelina asked as hope began to dawn in her eyes.
"That's the first part, the easy part," Hermione said as she leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially. It was sheer coincidence that by leaning forward she forced Harry to lean forward also and almost have his head resting on her leg so he could be seen.
"The hard part is that all four Quidditch teams have to convince everyone else in their houses not to put their names in for the Tournament."
Seeing the shocked looks, she rolled her eyes. "The new edition of Hogwarts: A History has an appendix with the record of the TriWizard Tournament. Almost three quarters of the years the tournament was held, someone either died or was maimed for life. Beyond the ability of wizarding healers to fix." Taking a deep breath and looking down at Harry, she added, "And I don't want anyone I know to run that risk."
"But its 'Eternal Glory'," Ronald butted in from where he was standing. "How could anyone say 'no' to that?"
Without looking up, Hermione simply asked, "Name the first winner of the Tournament."
Pausing for a moment, she continued, "Name the winner in 1386?"
Looking up with anger in her eyes, so much so that Ronald took an involuntary step back, she said, "That was a trick question. 1386 is listed as one of seven years that all three contestants died before a winner could be declared."
Turning her attention to a couple of the Seventh Years who were listening, she added, "And there are fourteen years where the winner is named posthumously since they died as they completed whatever the Third Task was that year."
Taking a deep breath, and calming down as Harry put his hand on hers where it was resting on the back of the book, Hermione shook her head. "There isn't even a trophy up in the trophy room any longer listing all of the Hogwarts participants. They took it down and locked it away in 1898 because it was too depressing since they engraved 'died while competing' after the names of so many of them."
"Would no one entering from Hogwarts, "Angelina asked in a softer tone, "end the tournament?"
"Yes," Hermione said as she nodded in agreement. "Twice, so far, the tournament as been cancelled because no one from one of the three schools elected to compete. Once in the 1400s Durmstrang's students refused to compete because one of the potential Champions for Beauxbatons was a muggleborn and in 1703 the Beauxbatons contingent refused to participate because of changes to the rules that the Durmstrang and Ministry contingents put through limiting participation to those with 'verifiably human parents and grandparents'. The amended rules were stricken when it became evident that Beauxbatons wouldn't send any candidates until they did."
"So it's Hogwarts turn, is what you're saying," one of the Weasley twins joked. It must have been Fred since Angelina was the one who whacked him on the back of the head for it.
"Pretty much," Hermione agreed with a wry grin. "Quidditch is powerful here; you know who the potential captains and leaders in the other houses are. It should be fairly simple to setup a meeting with them. I'll have parchments written up in the morning to give to everyone outlining why people shouldn't participate and how to convince the staff to allow you to form teams for 'just a couple of games' to keep the season alive. Once the tournament's cancelled, you can have a full season and its business as usual."
Seeing the look in Alicia's eyes, Hermione grinned. "I'll have different sheets for each of the houses. I'll have the statistics and numbers of deaths in all of them, but I'll emphasize the importance of NEWTS for the Ravenclaws, the need to save people from themselves for the Hufflepuffs, and the advantages they'll gain by being in the forefront of this for the Slytherins."
"And for Gryffindor," Angelina asked with a knowing smile.
"The Quidditch Cup is ours, the House Cup is ours, you two get a shot with a professional team after a successful season, and everyone's alive to take the Hogwarts express home in July," Hermione said as she smiled down at Harry.
The meeting quickly broke up, after Hermione cautioned them that they needed to keep this quiet if they were going to have a chance at succeeding, and Angelina was waiting in the doorway at the top of the stairs going to the witches dorms for Hermione.
Trying not to smile at the painfully awkward 'good night' between the Harry and Hermione at the foot of the stairs, Angelina waited until the wistfully smiling witch joined her before heading on up.
As they trudged up the steps, nearing the landing for the fourth year witches, Angelina simply asked, "What brought about this crusade?"
Without looking up, Hermione answered as she reached her door, "Walking up from the Great Hall, Harry was worried about the timing of this tournament."
Taking a deep breath, her voice emotional, she looked up at Angelina and continued.
"It's on Halloween that they choose the Champions. If something bad is going to happen to Harry, that's when it will happen. Harry asked me if I could think of any way to make certain he wasn't entered in the tournament. The simplest way to accomplish that was to ensure the tournament doesn't happen."
Taking another deep breath, she smirked and added, "And the way to do that is to invoke the power of Quidditch and tradition, since Quidditch pretty much trumps everything around here."
"And this is all for Harry," Angelina asked as Hermione stepped through the door to her dorm.
"What Harry wants, Harry gets if I can help it," came the soft reply as the door closed.
Smiling to herself, Angelina headed on up to her dorm confident of two things. The first was that if anyone could come up with a plan to get something sanctioned by both the Headmaster and the Ministry cancelled, it was Granger. And the second was that she was going to double her bet with Gred and Forge in the morning and move her prediction up to Halloween because she was fairly certain that she knew exactly what Harry wanted.
Or rather whom.
1830 31 October, 1994 – The Great Hall, Hogwarts School of W&W, Scotland
Everything had been going so well. Durmstrang and Beauxbatons had arrived at Hogwarts with all of their assorted pomp and flair, the Goblet of Fire had been lit and the Opening Feast for the Tournament had started without a hitch.
Then had come the moment for the unveiling of the Champions and it had 'all gone to Hell in a handbasket' as Albus' mother was wont to say.
Slips of parchment containing the names of Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum had been launched forth by the Goblet, proclaiming them the representatives of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, to much applause and congratulations. While the other witches of the Beauxbatons contingent seemed to take it hard that they weren't selected, no one faulted the blonde who was the Champion for their school.
And then, as Albus Dumbledore was waiting for the slip with the name of the Hogwarts Champion to be launched from the cup, the most peculiar thing happened. Dreadful, terrible, and peculiar.
The Goblet simply shut down. No glow. No fire. No sparks. Not even a puff of smoke. After about twenty seconds of everyone staring at it, the Goblet made a sound as if it … Well, if it were a fourth year Gryffindor wizard then one would say the Goblet belched, but the Goblet made a noise and launched a scroll of parchment, with a seal attached, high into the air and it arced unerringly to land at Dumbledore's feet.
Leaning over and picking up the scroll, Headmaster Dumbledore could see that it was sealed with the official seal of the TriWizard Tournament. Passing his wand over the scroll, he could see that it was genuine.
Looking over at the head table, where the Ministry officials were gathered, he shrugged, broke the seal and began to read.
"In accordance with the establishing Charter of the TriWizard Tournament, the 1994 edition of the Tournament is hereby cancelled under Paragraph C of Section Twenty. Since no members of one of the three chartering schools, namely Hogwarts submitted their names for consideration as Champion, the Tournament is hereby cancelled and the next Tournament will begin on or after 31 October, 1998."
As he turned to see what, if any, suggestions that the Ministry representatives had, a chant broke out in the Great Hall, starting at the Gryffindor table.
"Quidditch, quidditch, quidditch," began to be chanted by the Lions and it quickly spread to the other house tables.
Holding out her hand, Hermione simply smiled at Harry and said, "Pay up?"
Grinning, Harry stood, took her hand, slightly bowed at the waist and said, "Miss Granger, instead of pudding, would you care for a stroll around the castle before curfew?"
"I'd love to, kind sir," she replied with a haughty tone, but a twinkle in her eye.
As the pair left the pandemonium in the Great Hall behind them, Angelina elbowed Fred in the ribs and drew his attention to the pair getting ready to exit the Great Hall, hand in hand, and simply said, "Pay up."
Rolling his eyes, Fred reached into his pocket to find the ledger that he and George had recorded all of the wagers in the long running 'Harry and Hermione' pool. Flipping through to the summary page, he read down the page until he found what he was looking for.
"It's a three way tie; you, Professor Sprout, and Professor McGonagall split the initial pot for choosing that they'd go public on Halloween fourth year," he said as his eyes widened as he saw the totals. "First kiss, first time being found in a broom closet or deserted classroom, announcement of engagement, and wedding date are still good though."
Shaking her head, Angelina simply chuckled. "I think I'll wait until I see how things settle out for them, though I might be tempted put a galleon on tonight if you're taking bets on your youngest blowing up at them," she said as she nodded towards the spot at the table where the youngest Weasley wizard was staring at the door his friends had just disappeared through, his complexion almost rivaling his hair color.
Seeing the signs of an impending meltdown, Fred nudged George to get his attention. Waiting until the other twin noticed Ron, and the fact that neither Harry nor Hermione were there to celebrate the restoration of Quidditch, he looked at Angelina, who simply said,
"Never underestimate the power of a Gryffindor witch to get what she wants."
"I didn't realize Hermione was such a big Quidditch fan to do all this so we could play Quidditch," George said in an amused voice.
"Quidditch was the means to her end, though now that she's got her seeker, I'd imagine we'll certainly see her at all the games," Angelina replied as she held out her hand.
Noticing the book Fred was holding, George chuckled and said, "Is tonight still open on the 'first broom closet' pool?"