Champion's Champion is named
"It was my fault, Madam Pomfrey," Hermione started. "We were practicing banishing charms to help Harry with the tournament and I accidentally hit him with a book and broke his arm."
"Very well. Have a seat on that bed," She nodded toward the bed that Harry always seemed to end up in whenever he came to the Hospital wing, "and I will have you fixed up in a jiffy."
"Uh, Madam Pomfrey," Harry started, and then he continued with the sentence Hermione had drilled into his head. "Per the annex to the Hogwarts medical charter concerning non-magically raised students, I request that my injury be healed in a non-magical manner."
Madam Pomfrey was no fool. She had been a Ravenclaw followed by tops in her medical training. Though she was at first taken back by the request since she had magically healed more bones for Harry Potter than the rest of the student body put together, it only took her a couple of seconds to put the pieces together and realize what was happening. "Very well, Mister Potter. May I perform a magical diagnosis to determine the extent of the damage?"
Harry looked at his girlfriend who thought for a couple of seconds to make sure this would not lead to any complications and, after she gave him a little nod, he said, "That will be fine."
Madam Pomfrey ran her wand over Harry's arm and then she touched the tip of it to a piece of parchment where words appeared. After reading the diagnosis, she said, "A clean break, but you are probably in a lot of pain, I presume. Can I offer you a pain potion or would you prefer a non-magical pain medication?"
Again Harry looked over at Hermione who shook her head slightly. "Non-magical please, Madam Pomfrey."
"Give me a few minutes to prepare your treatment, Mister Potter. As this is an unusual request, I do not have the required supplies readily available and must secure them." And with those words, Madam Pomfrey disappeared into her office. In this case, she had told a little white lie to Harry Potter. The non-magical supplies were available, but she wanted a little time to research something. She opened the door to the library connected to her office.
If anyone were to look at Madam Pomfrey's personal library, they would swear she was the darkest witch to ever walk the face of the earth. She had tomes describing curses that even the thought of their effects would make most witches or wizards lose any stomach content they may possess at the time. Madam Pomfrey knew she had to understand all of these hexes and curses so she could identify, counter and treat them as she encountered them in her profession. In this particular case though, she was looking for a book that wasn't particularly dark, but wasn't something found in the Hogwarts general library either. After a couple of minutes, she found the book in question and verified the spell and the required treatment of the spell being performed incorrectly. 'This should work,' she thought to herself and taking the book, and the non-magical healing supplies, she returned to Harry and Hermione.
It was only twenty minutes later that Harry had been administered the non-magical pain medication; the bone had been set and a cast had been applied to his arm.
"Now that is all done, may I suggest a different explanation to you two?" Madam Pomfrey asked with a smile.
"Wha..what do you mean different explanation?" Hermione stammered.
"You don't think I don't know exactly what is going on here, do you?" Madam Pomfrey asked. "Personally, I am whole heartily in favor of it. There is no way Mister Potter should be in the tournament."
It took a minute for her words to sink in and Hermione let out a sigh. "So you're not going to say anything to Professor Dumbledore?"
"Oh if he requests, I am required to provide the explanation behind any medical treatment, which is why I am suggesting a different explanation," Madam Pomfrey said. She then turning to a page in the book she had brought from her library, she pointed out a particular spell. "Now this particular spell is something that Miss Granger could have come across in her endless education pursuits. And no one would ever doubt that you, Mister Potter, would attempt it if she suggested it." Madam Pomfrey smiled at them. "Now if you will notice the ramifications of the spell going awry and what the healing procedures entailed, you will see that it will more readily explain the non-magical remedy to the broken arm."
Hermione looked over the spell and other information and saw that it was indeed a much better solution. "Were you by any chance a Slytherin, Madam Pomfrey?" She asked.
"Oh goodness no! I was a Ravenclaw, my dear. But," She continued with a twinkle in her eyes. "I might have dated a Slytherin at one time or another."
It took several minutes for the three of them to get the entire explanation down. Since Harry was a horrible liar and was out of his depth in explaining the spell anyway, it was agreed he would just cite the injury happened because of "complications from tournament preparation". Hermione would explain if anything further was required. Madam Pomfrey told them she would notify the Headmaster the next morning of the injury and to expect a summons to his office.
"Do you know who you're going to ask to be your replacement champion, Harry?" Madam Pomfrey asked.
"I am going to offer it to Ron," Harry replied.
"Ron Weasley?" Poppy asked and, when Harry nodded, she became ashen-faced as she said, "Well, I better go double check my medical supplies." And as she walked away, they heard her muttering, "Got to double my supply of burn ointment and better get a reverse drowning potion brewing…"
It was late by the time they made it to the common room. Harry and Hermione were happy to see that Ron wasn't there since they wanted to wait until after the meeting with Dumbledore before bringing up the issue with him. Several Gryffindors were still in the common room and questioned Harry about his injury. Colin Creevy recognized the cast for what it was, but several of the others wanted to know what the hard thing around his arm was and why Madam Pomfrey hadn't just fixed his arm right away. Harry cited his "complications from tournament preparations prevented it" excuse and they left it at that. After a while, he finally got away and headed up to his dorm.
Ron was sitting on his bed when Harry entered the room. He glanced up when he saw Harry and was about to look away when he saw the cast and sling around Harry's arm. "What's wrong with your arm?" He sneered.
"Uh, I broke it. I…I was preparing for the..well you know, and it got broken," Harry replied. "This is a non-magical way to heal it."
"And why didn't Madam Pomfrey fix it?" Ron continued to sneer.
Harry felt his anger rising, but forced it back down. Now wasn't the time. He just needed to wait until tomorrow. "She couldn't. Complications due to something else prevented it."
"Yeah right. You're just trying to get more sympathy from everyone." And with that, Ron pulled his curtains closed.
'Fine,' Harry thought.
The summons to the Headmaster's office happened shortly after breakfast. When Professor McGonagall made the request for Harry to go to Professor Dumbledore's office, he insisted that Hermione be allowed to go as well. Fifteen minutes later, the two of them were standing in front of the Headmaster's desk.
"Good morning Harry, Miss Granger," Dumbledore started.
"Good morning sir," Harry and Hermione responded together.
"Would either of you care for a lemon drop?" The Headmaster asked as he indicated the small bowl on his desk with the muggle treats.
"No thank you," Harry replied while Hermione shook her head.
"I understand you had an interesting night. Care to explain?" The Headmaster asked.
"Well sir…" Harry started.
"It was all my fault, sir," Hermione jumped in. "I insisted that we try that spell. I thought it was the only way he would have a chance in the tournament. I mean, really! He's only a fourth year and he's going against seventh years!"
Harry looked at his girlfriend, thinking back three years and heard another lie in his mind, 'I went looking for the troll because…" He smiled at how easily she could maneuver through a story without a hesitation.
"But the Amplio Magus spell is a very dangerous magical undertaking. You could have suffered far worse damage than you did, Harry," Dumbledore said, reading the scroll Madam Pomfrey had brought to him at first light this morning. "Where did you learn about that spell, Miss Granger?"
They were, of course, expecting that question and Hermione quoted the excuse that Madam Pomfrey had given when she showed it to them. "It was in a book that I picked up used in Flourish and Blotts over the summer," Hermione continued the falsehood.
"Well fortunately, Madam Pomfrey was able to stabilize Harry and there will be no permanent damage, but it looks like you aren't going to be able to continue in the Tournament."
"I'm sorry, sir. As I said when it happened, I didn't put my name in the goblet, but I was actually starting to enjoy the idea of competing," Harry replied as he fought to keep the grin off his face.
"Now according to the rules, you will need to name a replacement champion," The headmaster explained.
"I will, sir?" Harry asked, trying to sound surprised.
"Yes Harry. I suggest you start thinking about who you might ask," Dumbledore said. "I will make an announcement concerning your status this evening at dinner. The sooner you name your replacement, the sooner they can start preparing for the first event. It is less than three weeks away, after all."
"Uh, yes sir. I will start thinking about it right now."
"Very well. Are you sure you won't have a lemon drop? No? Then I bid you a good day."
When Harry and Hermione left the Headmaster's office, they couldn't help but look at each other and grin.
"Hermione, you are the most brilliant, most beautiful and most scary witch I know. In other words, you are perfect," Harry said bringing a blush to Hermione's cheeks along with a huge smile.
The rest of the morning was horrible for Harry. He was questioned repeatedly about his arm and he started sounding like a broken record in his "issue with preparing for the Tournament" response. After lunch, they finally cornered Ron in the Gryffindor Common room. When they came in from the corridor, he had tried to get up and leave, but Hermione hit him with a leg-locking hex, causing him to fall flat on his face.
"Okay Ron," Harry started. "I have something I want to ask you. I think you will like it. Now either you can listen while lying there, or we can sit on the much more comfortable chairs. Which would you prefer?"
Ron had a look of either fear or hunger in his eyes; Harry had never been able to tell the two looks apart, but finally agreed to listen. Harry nodded at Hermione who performed the counter curse and Ron's legs came free.
Ron looked toward the portrait hole and then at the stairs, measuring the distance to each and wondering if he a chance to run for it. Then, realizing he didn't, he sat down in the chair. "What do you want, Potter?" He spat in a near perfect Draco-like imitation.
"Simple. I want to know if you would like to be a Triwizard Champion." Harry said. "Because of my injury, I am no longer fit to compete. Per the rules, I have to name my replacement champion. Now if you would stop being an arse long enough, I might consider you for it."
Ron's face looked like Christmas, two birthdays and the end of the school year feast were all happening at the same time. "Champion? Me?" Then a look of suspicion crossed his face and he started looking around. "Did Fred and George put you up to this? Where are they?"
"This isn't a joke, Ron," Harry said. "I'm injured. Professor Dumbledore will make an announcement this evening at dinner."
"But why me?" Ron asked.
"You're my best friend, or least you were. I told you I didn't want to do it and now that I am injured and can't, I thought I would let you have a crack at it," Harry said. "So are you interested?"
Ron's eyes glassed over as he already imagined the Triwizard cup and the thousand galleons in his hand. "Yeah."
"Well there is one thing I ask in return, Ron. It's actually pretty simple," Harry said.
Ron continued with his glassy-eyed look and did not respond.
"Ron…RON!" Harry finally yelled.
"I have one thing I ask in return if I name you champion," Harry repeated himself.
"Anything, and I mean anything, Harry!" Ron replied.
Harry had a thought of having Ron ask Millicent Bulstrode to a Hogsmeade trip, but decided Hermione was too important. "Well, Hermione and I," Harry glanced over at his girlfriend who was looking nervous, "are seeing each other now and all I ask is for you not to be jealous of us."
"That's it? That's all I have to do?" Ron exclaimed. "Why would I care about that? I mean, as a champion, I can date any girl I want! I bet even that Veela girl will go out with me."
Hermione just rolled her eyes, and then she reached into her bag and brought out a sheet of parchment. "In that case, Ron," she said. "Will you sign this? It just says you will not be jealous of Harry and I and you promise to participate in the tournament if Harry names you champion," Harry looked questioning at Hermione. She hadn't mentioned anything about a contract.
Ron turned to Harry and snorted. "Only Hermione would make a non-jealousy contract," He grabbed the quill and signed his name with a great flourish.
"I'm going to be a champion; I'm going to be a champion…" Ron was singing to himself, something Harry and Hermione was glad he didn't do very often since the sound reminded them of the music played at Sir Nicholas' Deathday party.
"Ron, you can't tell anyone until Harry names you this evening, okay?" Hermione explained to Ron.
"What? But...but..." Ron sputtered. "Why not?"
"Wait for it to be official, that way you get all the attention of the Great Hall. Everyone will see Ron Weasley announced champion," Harry explained.
"Oh yeah…" And the glassy eye look reappeared on Ron's face.
Once they had left the common room, Harry turned to Hermione. "What was with the thing you had Ron sign?"
"Well, I just wanted something that we can use to remind him and, well…" Hermione's voice trailed off.
"Why do I have a feeling it was more than that?" Harry asked.
"Well, I wanted a way to know if he was jealous Harry," Hermione said.
"And how does him signing that contract let you know that?" Harry asked, confused.
"I...well I jinxed the parchment so if he does get jealous, he..." Hermione sighed. "He will produce flatulence."
It took a couple of seconds for Harry to register what exactly she had just said. "So he will...fart every time he gets jealous of us?"
"Well yeah. I still had some anger issues with him when I made it with the way he was ignoring you," Hermione explained. "But you heard him; he's going to be dating every girl he wants now. He won't be jealous of us."
Harry was still getting his mind around what Hermione had done. He felt a tremor in his stomach, which turned into a chuckle, and then the chuckle turned into a full, side splitting, rolling on the floor, tears to the eyes laughter. When he finally got back a hold of himself, Harry turned to Hermione. "Hermione, I promise you I will never, ever, ever break up with you."
Hermione looked at Harry. "Why do you say that?"
"Do you think I would ever want you mad at me?" Harry grinned at her and she could see the mirth in his eyes. "Now you wouldn't happen to have a kiss for your boyfriend, would you?"
"Well I just might at that, Mister Potter," she said and then gave him what he had requested.
Later that day when the evening meal was about to begin, Professor Dumbledore rose from his chair and asked for silence.
"I need to make an announcement concerning the Triwizard Tournament," he began. "Last night, Mister Potter attempted the use of a highly dangerous spell to aid in preparations for the tournament and in doing so, suffered a most serious injury." Murmurs started throughout the hall and eyes everywhere turned in Harry's direction. He just stared directly at Professor Dumbledore while trying to not to grin at Madam Pomfrey. "I will not mention the spell was the 'Amplio Magus' spell, since I would prefer other student not end up in the Hospital wing as well."
Madam Pomfrey rolled her eyes at the headmaster.
Not noticing or not caring he had stated the spell's name anyway, the headmaster continued. "The spell was miscast, causing his magical core to become unstable. I know many of you have noticed Mister Potter is currently being treated in a non-magical fashion for a broken arm which he sustained in a different tournament preparation action. This was required since, with Mister Potter's core now being unstable, Madam Pomfrey felt it unsafe to treat his injury magically," Dumbledore turned and smiled at the school nurse. "She has assured me that Mister Potter will make a full recovery. At this time let's congratulate Mister Potter on his determination to excel against overwhelming odds in the Triwizard Tournament." Not many people rose to accompany Dumbledore in the congratulations since they still thought Harry had cheated to get into the tournament.
"Unfortunately, due to Mister Potter's injuries, he will no longer be able to compete as a champion," At that news, the murmuring broke out into louder chatter as all the eyes once again became glued to Harry. "By the rules of the Tournament, Mister Potter must select his replacement." Several people who had put their names in the Goblet the first time started trying to catch Harry's eyes.
Harry stood up and addressed the headmaster. "Sir, I have already made my decision on my replacement."
"Very well," Professor Dumbledore replied. He raised his wand and gave it a wave. A second later, the Goblet of Fire appeared in front of him. He turned to the school nurse. "Poppy, since the Goblet of Fire can only be re-ignited for a medical reason, you must do it."
"Of course, Headmaster," Madam Pomfrey replied as she pulled out her wand and spoke the required incantations. A second passed, and then another. Finally, a spark flew out of the cup as the dancing white blue flames re-appeared in it.
"Harry, I will need you to write your name on a piece of parchment, cross it out with a single line, and then write the name of your replacement champion underneath it," Professor Dumbledore instructed.
"Yes sir," Harry said. He glanced over at Ron who looked like he was going to wet his pants in glee and smiled at him. Hermione handed him the parchment and he quickly wrote his name, crossed it out, and then wrote Ronald Weasley on the parchment.
"Now bring it up here and drop it in the Goblet," Professor Dumbledore said.
"Come with me," Harry said to Hermione.
"Just come with me, please."
Hermione looked into his emerald green eyes and couldn't refuse him. "Okay."
Professor Moody was staring at Harry Potter. His magical eye was examining the arm of the young wizard. He could definitely see the break in the arm through the cast. The only thought that came to his mind was 'Oh shit! How do I tell my master that his brilliant plan lies in ruins because of Harry Potter?'
Harry and Hermione walked to the raised table where Harry dropped the parchment into the Goblet. The goblet's fire turned red, and second later, a tongue of flame flew out of it. Every eye in the Hall followed the charred piece of parchment that came floating down. Dumbledore deftly caught it out of the air and examined it. He glanced at Harry and then, turning back to the Great Hall, he spoke. "The Champion's Champion of the Triwizard tournament is Ronald Weasley."
Ron shot out of his chair to accept the acclamations he knew was coming to him. This was his time; the time he stepped out of Harry Potter's shadow; the time the world could see how great he, Ron Weasley, could and would be. A couple of people started to clap. Ron wanted to make sure everyone could see him, so he hopped onto the bench and closed his eyes and stretched out his hands as he waited for the rest of the acknowledgment to follow. And it came.
The applause started slowly, and grew and grew. Whistles and shouts were now ringing throughout the Great Hall and it kept going and going. Finally, Ron opened his eyes, ready to take his bow, to thank his admirers for their show of support. But when he looked up, he noticed something was very wrong. Nobody was looking at him. All the people applauding and whistling were looking toward the front table. He also noticed a lot of the witches were glaring in the same direction. Ron turned his head in the same direction and there he saw what everyone was applauding. Harry had chosen that moment to fulfill the promise that he would kiss Hermione in front of everyone in the Great Hall. The two of them were locked into a kiss for all eternity. Their eyes were closed and they were lost to the world, not hearing anyone, not feeling anyone, just lost in each other's lips.
"PPPPPPWWWWWTTTTTTTPPPPP PPPPPWWWWTTTTPPPP TTTPPPPPPWWWWTTTTPPPPPP!"
Echoed around the hall eclipsing the sound of the applause and whistling. The noise generated brought everyone's attention fully back to Ron Weasley, Triwizard Champion.