A.N: Hello there, people! Okay, so this is my first multi-chapter story (I think my other ones could have been too, but whatever), and I'll try to update once a week. This story follows cannon until the champions are chosen, then it turns into a sort of AU. Well, that's it really. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: No, I do not own Harry Potter, or its characters. Only in my dreams.
Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tournament
The Gryffindor's Fourth Year dormitory, on the boys' side, was quiet, but for the murmuring and snores from its sleeping occupants. Sunlight peaked out from the red curtains decorating the dorm, brightening the otherwise dark room. Red and gold lined the walls and beds, yet the vibrant colors had a soft, relaxing feel to them. Poster beds were displayed in a circle around the room, each with a bedside table and a trunk to the side. And in one of these beds lay a boy with a famous, lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
Harry Potter slowly opened his emerald eyes. He blindly reached for his glasses in his bedside table as he stretched, letting out a yawn. He sat up, and rubbed his eyes underneath his glasses. He dropped his hands and swung his feet off the bed, getting up and grabbing some of his clothes, heading towards the bathroom. He sighed as his thoughts once again drifted to the day before.
It had been Halloween. Harry had never been partial to the holiday. Before, because when with the Dursleys he was not allowed to celebrate it, and after his First Year because he discovered it was the day his parents had been murdered. And it seemed the holiday didn't like him either, as strange things always happened to him in Halloween. Like one happened the night before.
The delegations of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, magic schools from Bulgaria and France respectively, had arrived days earlier for a special event that Professor Dumbledore announced would be held in Hogwarts. The Triwizard Tournament, a millenia old competition between the three schools that had been reinstated after several decades. After the Halloween feast, there'd be the selection of the three champions who would represent their schools. Harry remembered that well.
He had been excited, as underage students weren't allowed to compete and he had thought himself safe from any kind of misadventure that could happen to him. And of course, because it was bound to be interesting. Three daring, challenging tasks that would decide the better wizard, or witch. But his bad luck had acted once again. For reasons and methods unknown, after the champions had been selected, Harry's name had come out of the Goblet of Fire. He remembered the confusion, the fear, and the sheer panic that had gripped him after the Headmaster had called out for him. The Great Hall had suddenly gone quiet. It couldn't be, he had thought, it's impossible. But as Dumbledore called to him louder, a hint of anger in his voice, Harry had shakily risen to his feet. He had walked, his face chalk white, around the Head table, completely oblivious to the stares and glares directed at him.
He hadn't wanted to compete, and he tried to tell everyone else that. He hadn't put his name in that bloody Goblet. But he had been accused of lying, of cheating. Nobody had believed him. Not even his best mate Ron, Harry thought bitterly.
How can there even be a fourth champion in a competition for three wizards? He remembered trying to argue his way out, but his efforts were in vain, much to the chagrin of everyone. His name coming out forced him into a binding magical contract, and he had to compete. How brilliant.
He looked up at his reflexion in the bathroom mirror. He had dark bags under his eyes. He hadn't been able to get much sleep, as he had pondered his situation for hours on end. He sighed, and already dressed, he walked down the stairs to the common room. He found Hermione there.
She was reading a book, perched on the couch facing the fireplace. She was already dressed in her uniform and had her book bag next to her. She looked up when he came into the room. He froze.
- Harry! – She started, getting up and walking towards him – How are you?
- Just fine. Aren't you going to ask me how I put my name in the Goblet? – He bit at her.
He felt bad as soon as the words came out of his mouth. Hermione looked as if she'd just been slapped. Then her face turned angry.
- What?! No! You said you didn't do it and I believe you! Merlin, we've been friends for how long and that's how you think of me?!
- No! Look, Hermione, I'm sorry, it's just... Nobody believes me, not even Ron, and I just... I'm sorry. – He looked down ashamed.
- Oh, Harry... It's okay... – She sighed – Ron will come around, you'll see.
She layed a hand on his shoulder, her face full of sympathy. He looked up at her.
- Thanks, Hermione. – She squeezed his shoulder and smiled reassuringly.
- Come down to breakfast with me? – He nodded.
They left the Gryffindor Tower together. The red and gold was replaced by the dull gray of the castle's walls. They occasionally returned the greetings from some of the talking portraits lining the walls. They waited for the staircase to come to them and they chatted their way to the Great Hall. They passed some students on the way. The other residents of the castle glanced at Harry now and then, some with anger in their eyes, and whispered not so quietly to each other.
- Do you know how he did it?
- It doesn't matter. He cheated!
- Cedric is the rightful champion!
- He just couldn't stay away from the spotlight, now could he?
Harry dropped his gaze to the floor and clenched his fists. He didn't do it! Why did no one believe him?! He turned his head when he felt something touching his hand. Hermione had reached out and grabbed it. She gave him a small sad smile as she tugged his hand until he unclenched his fists. She laced their fingers.
- Just ignore them, Harry.
They walked through the doors of the Great Hall and every head turned to look at them. Hermione squeezed his hand reassuringly. They took their usual seat at the Gryffindor table. There were few people there, as in the other House tables. Harry helped himself to a plate and ate in silence.
- Harry. – He looked up at her as she spoke – I was thinking...
- About what?
- Well, the Triwizard Tournament is a very dangerous competition, and you're against more experienced champions...
- Gee, thanks Hermione. – She glared.
- Harry. They're seventh years. Of course they're more experienced. They know more spells. They're better.
- And your point is?
- You should train. Prepare. You need to survive this, Harry.
- I know. – He sighed – Will you help me?
- Of course. Do you need to ask? – She rolled her eyes, exasperated.
- I'm gonna have to do some research in the library... – Hermione started.
- When aren't you researching in the library?
She glared playfully.