The First Task
disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, just Arabella.
I was going to post this on Friday or Saturday, but then I kind of rushed it because it's my birthday today. So this is my present to you and all those who are born on the same day as me, including Will Smith! I didn't actually write about the First Task, because it's around one o'clock in the morning and I'm really tired, but I wanted to post this by the time I sleep. Sorry for the rant. Hope you like it!
The First Task
'There you are,' said Harry, rushing towards Arabella, Hermione and Ginny, who were having a nice, pleasant breakfast.
'What's wrong?' asked Hermione, eating her porridge.
'Nothing,' said Harry. 'Just hurry up.'
Not eating, Harry waited until Hermione had swallowed her last spoonful of porridge and Arabella ate her last bacon piece, then dragged them both out onto the grounds. Harry and Arabella told her about the dragons, everything Sirius and Remus said while taking a walk around the lake.
Alarmed by Sirius and Remus's warnings about Karkaroff, Hermione still thought that the dragons were the more pressing problem.
'Let's just try to keep you alive until Tuesday evening,' she said desperately, 'and then we can worry about Karkaroff.'
They walked around the lake three times, trying to think of a simple spell that would subdue a dragon. Nothing whatsoever occurred to them, so they retired to the library instead. Here, Arabella and Harry pulled down every book they could find that had 'dragon' written on them.
'Talon-clipping by charms…treating scale-rot…This is no good, this is for nutters like Hagrid who want to keep them healthy…'
'Dragons are extremely difficult to slay, no shit, owning to the ancient magic that imbues their think hides, which but the most powerful spell can penetrate… but Moony said that there was a simple on…'
'Let's try some simple spellbooks, then,' said Harry, throwing aside Men Who Love Dragons Too Much
He returned to the table with a pile of spellbooks, set them down, and Arabella began to flick through each on turn, with Hermione beside her whispering under her breath nonstop.
'Well, there are Switching Spells…but what's the point of Switching it? Unless you swapped its fangs for wine-gums or something that would make it less dangerous…The trouble is, like that book said, not much is going to get through a dragon's hide…I'd say Transfigure it, but something that big, you really haven't got a hope, I doubt even Professor McGonagall…unless you're supposed to put the spell on yourself? Maybe to give yourself extra powers? But they're not simple spells, I mean, we haven't done any of those in class, I only know about them because I've been doing O.W.L. practice papers…'
'Hermione,' Harry said, through gritted teeth, 'will you shut up for a bit, please? I'm trying to concentrate.'
As much as Arabella was grateful that Harry was the one to tell her to stop talking, nothing was going through her brain. She read the same sentence 12 times already and none of the words were processing into her brain.
'Oh no, they're back again, why can't they read on their stupid ship?' said Hermione irritably as Krum slouched in with Nikola walking a bit more upbeat than him. Nikola spotted Arabella and walked over to her with Krum following him. Right behind Krum was a string of girls tiptoeing behind him.
'Hello Arabella, Hermione, Harry,' said Nikola. He said Arabella and Hermione's name in a happy sort of voice, but said Harry's in a less than friendly one.
'Hello Nikola,' said Arabella, smiling. Hermione nodded at him while Harry just glared openly.
'So, what are you doing?' he asked, sitting beside her. Krum was still standing in front of them, looking surly.
'Wouldn't you like to know,' teased Arabella, closing the book and covering the title.
'Yes, I would,' said Nikola, coming closer to Arabella. He was so close that she could see the finer details of his face and upper body. He had a couple stubbles on his face and she could see a faint scar near his collarbone. He was wearing a thin fabric button up black shirt that seemed to bring out his lean built.
Harry was glaring at them so much that nobody should be surprised if Arabella or Nikola suddenly burst into flames. Nikola smirked, but any spectator would not have known if it was because he noticed Arabella looking or Harry's glare.
'See something you like?' he asked, his smirk growing when he caught a faint growl coming from Harry.
'Where did you get that scar?' asked Arabella, trying to cover her gawking up.
'All thanks to my friend Victor here,' said Nikola, turning to Krum with a bright, dazzling smile on his face. 'We were playing as Beaters once and he accidently hit me with the club on that exact spot. Sufficient to say, that's the day he found out he rather be a Seeker than a Beater.'
'Too bad he didn't hit you in the face,' mumbled Harry. Nobody heard him.
Krum cleared his throat very loudly and signaled towards the other side of the library. Nikola didn't bother to hide his disappointment.
'Very well,' he said to Krum. 'I shall see you later Arabella. Good day Hermione. Harry.'
He gave Arabella a kiss on her hand and walked to the other side of the library with Krum right beside him.
'Let's just get out of here,' said Harry. Without waiting of either of them, Harry slammed the book on the table and walked out of the library.
'I'll see you guys at the greenhouse,' said Harry, watching Cedric leaving the Hall. 'Go on, I'll catch up.'
'Harry, you'll be late, the bell's about to ring –'
'I'll catch up later, okay?'
Before Hermione could retort, Harry dashed out of the Hall, trying to catch up with Cedric.
'What was that about?' Hermione asked.
'I think he was trying to catch up with Cedric,' said Arabella, finished her toast.
'What makes you say that?'
'He's been looking at Cedric the whole time we were eating,' said Arabella. 'He's most likely going to say something about the dragons to him. It's just like Harry, trying to do the noble and honourable thing. Let's get going.'
Arabella and Hermione walked to Herbology together. They found out that they would be pruning Flutterby Bushes today.
Arabella and Hermione looked at each other with slight anxiety in their eyes.
'I hold down, you cut?' asked Hermione.
'Okay,' said Arabella.
It was a hopeless mission. The bushes kept fighting and trying to get out of Hermione's grasp. Professor Sprout forbid Arabella from stabbing it just as she picked up the knife, held it above her head and almost jammed it through the beastly little thing.
'How the bloody hell do we tame this wretched thing?' said Arabella, gritting her teeth.
'Look at Neville,' said Hermione, watching him from across the table.
Neville was in his element when it came to Herbology. While everybody else was struggling, he seemed to be stroking the monster near its middle and… humming?
'You're going to hum to the vile bush?' said Arabella incredulity written all over her face while looking at Hermione.
'Well…' said Hermione, looking hesitant, 'I don't have a very good singing voice… so… you're…'
'No,' said Arabella firmly. 'That's where I draw the line. I'll rub it, cuddle it, baby it, anything, but I will not sing to a plant.'
'Come on,' said Hermione, rolling her eyes at Arabella. 'It won't be that bad. Just hum a tone or something.'
Arabella didn't know why, but for some reason 'Come Fly with Me' was the first thing that came to mind.
'No singing,' said Hermione. 'Just hum something. It's getting feisty.'
'Merlin's sake,' cursed Arabella, before humming the song. The bush seemed to calm down considerable and Arabella took the opportunity to finally trim its skin off. Just as she finished her first slice, Harry came bursting through the greenhouse door and mumbled an apology to Professor Sprout.
'Where the bloody hell have you been?' snarled Arabella, pissed off beyond anybody's comprehension. 'I had to hum to this stupid thing!'
'I need you both to help me' whispered Harry.
'Gee, I wonder what we've been trying to do this entire time,' said Arabella.
'I need to learn how to do a Summoning Charm properly by tomorrow afternoon,' said Harry.
'What?' said Hermione and Arabella as the bush seized the knife and proceeded to stab Arabella with the handle part of it.
And so they practiced. They didn't have lunch, but headed for a free classroom, where Harry tried with all his might to make various objects fly across toward him. He was still having problems. The book and quills kept losing heart halfway across the room and dropped to the floor like dead flies.
'Concentrate, Harry,' said Hermione, 'concentrate…'
'What d'you think I'm trying to do?' said Harry angrily. 'A great big dragon keeps popping up in my head for some reason… Okay, try again…'
'Maybe we should skip Divination and keep practicing,' said Arabella. 'She's just going to predict your death, you already know that.'
'Absolutely not,' said Hermione sternly that reminded Harry of Mrs Weasley. 'You are not skipping that class and I am not skipping Arithmancy.'
Harry and Arabella had to endure over an hour of Professor Trelawney saying that the position of Mars with relation to Saturn at the moment meant that people born in July were in great danger of sudden violent deaths.
'Well, that's good,' said Harry loudly, his temper getting the better of him, 'just as long as it's not drawn-out. I don't want to suffer.'
Ron looked for a moment as though he was going to laugh; he certainly caught Harry's eye for the first time in days, but Harry was still feeling too resentful toward Ron to care. He spent the rest of the lesson trying to attract small objects toward him under the table with his wand. He managed to make a fly zoom straight into his hand, though he wasn't entirely sure that was his prowess at Summoning Charms - perhaps the fly was just stupid.
He and Arabella forced down some dinner after Divination, then returned to the empty classroom with Hermione, using the Invisibility Cloak to avoid teachers.
'This is hopeless!' said Harry, unable to get the dictionary out of Arabella's hands.
'You're just not –'said Hermione.
'I'm concentrating,' snapped Harry, his irritation overcoming him at the moment.
'What do you want most in the world?' asked Arabella suddenly.
'What?' asked Harry, taken back. Even Hermione didn't know where Arabella was going with this.
'What is the thing you want most in the world?' repeated Arabella, smiling.
'I dunno,' lied Harry. They were so many things he wanted in life. His parents, Sirius being a free man, a normal life, Voldemort never existing, Nikola gone from Hogwarts and far, far, far away in Bulgaria, and something else…
'Nice try,' said Arabella, smiling. 'Just imagine whatever that is and just pretty much summoning it.'
'So, if I want a homemade apple pie with caramel glazing on it, I should just image it being there and summon it?' questioned Hermione, looking really skeptical.
'Pretty much, yeah,' said Arabella, nodding her head.
'Why not,' said Hermione, shrugging her shoulders. 'What have we got to lose?'
'Just try it,' said Arabella, feeling slightly irritated and sleepy.
Harry closed his eyes and imaged it standing right in front of him, in the form of a dictionary. It didn't take that long. He just pictured it in his head and whispered 'Accio!'
The dictionary flew out of Arabella's hand and straight into Harry's stomach.
'It worked!' said Harry, happily. 'I've got it!'
'It worked,' whispered Hermione, caught between delight and amazement.
'Told ya,' said Arabella to Hermione, smiling.
'Thank you,' said Harry to Arabella sincerely.
'No problem,' said Arabella warmly.
There was a slight pause as Harry and Arabella gazed at each other for what seemed like hours, but was really a few short seconds. Hermione was getting uncomfortable and cleared her throat.
'We should try again a few more times before we go to bed,' said Hermione, awkwardly.
'Yeah,' said Harry, snapping out of it and summoning things that were far away from Arabella.
At two o'clock in the morning, Harry, Arabella and Hermione finally returned back to the common room where the retreated to their beds, eagerly waiting for tomorrow.
The atmosphere the following morning was filled with great tension and excitement. Arabella was excited to see what the other champions had in store for the crowd, but she wanted Harry to be there watching instead of participating. The whole day went by in a blur until lunch time.
'Potter,' said Professor McGonagall, snapping Harry out of his trance, 'the champions have to come down onto the grounds now… You have to get ready for your first task.'
'Okay,' said Harry, getting up very quickly as his fork fell onto his plate with a rattle.
'Good luck, Harry,' Hermione whispered. 'You'll be fine!'
'We'll be cheering you the whole time,' said Arabella.
'Yeah,' said Harry, but he wasn't really paying attention.
He left the hall with Professor McGonagall, who didn't look like herself either.
'I think I'm going to puke,' said Arabella, her stomach felling queasy as she watched Harry walk out of the Hall.
'We should get going,' said Hermione, looking slightly green, but made no efforts to get up.
Getting up would mean seeing Harry as a champion. All this time it was just a saying, but now it's finally happening. Harry Potter is one of the Hogwarts champions and he's going to face a dragon. Arabella had never felt this sick before in a long time.
As soon as they could, Arabella, Hermione and Ron ran towards the champion's tent to go see Harry after his spectacular performance. Arabella and Hermione darted inside as fast as they could with Ron following closely behind.
'Harry, you were brilliant!' Hermione said squeakily. 'You were amazing! You really were!'
'It was amazing!' said Arabella ecstatically. 'You were wonderful!'
But Harry was only looking at Ron, who was very white and looked at Harry like he was a ghost.
'Harry,' he said, very seriously, 'whoever put your name in that goblet - I – I reckon they're trying to do you in!'
'Caught on, have you?' said Harry coldly. 'Took you long enough!'
Arabella and Hermione stood nervously between them, looking between the both of them like it was a tennis match. Ron opened his mouth uncertainly, but Harry interrupted him.
'It's okay,' he said, before Ron could get the words out. 'Forget it.'
'No,' said Ron, 'I shouldn't've -'
'Forget it, 'Harry said.
Ron grinned nervously at him, and Harry grinned back
Hermione burst into tears.
'There's nothing to cry about!' Harry told her, bewildered.
'You two are so stupid!' she shouted, stamping her foot on the ground, tears splashing down her front. Then, before any of them could stop her, she had given all three of them a hug and dashed away, now positively howling.
'Barking mad,' said Ron, shaking his head. 'Harry, c'mon, they'll be putting up your scores…'
Picking up the golden egg and his Firebolt, Harry ducked out of the tent with Arabella and Ron, who was talking fast.
'You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did this weird thing where he Transfigured a rock on the ground…turned it into a dog…he was trying to make the dragon go for the dog instead of him. Well, it was a pretty cool bit of Transfiguration, and it sort of worked, because he did get the egg, but he got burned as well - the dragon changed its mind halfway through and decided it would rather have him than the Labrador; he only just got away. And that Fleur girl tried this sort of charm, I think she was trying to put it into a trance - well, that kind of worked too, it went all sleepy, but then it snored, and this great jet of flame shot out, and her skirt caught fire - she put it out with a bit of water out of her wand. And Krum - you won't believe this, but he didn't even think of flying! He was probably the best after you, though. Hit it with some sort of spell right in the eye. Only thing is, it went trampling around in agony and squashed half the real eggs - they took marks off for that, he wasn't supposed to do any damage to them.'
Ron drew breath as they reached the edge of the field. The judges were sitting right at the other end of the arena.
'It's marked out of ten,' Arabella said.
The first judge, Madame Maxime, raised her wand in the air. A long silver ribbon shot out if it, forming an eight.
'Not bad!' said Ron as the crowd applauded. 'I suppose she took marks off for your shoulder…'
Mr. Crouch came next. He shot a number nine into the air.
'Looking good!' Ron yelled, thumping Harry on the back.
Next, Dumbledore. He too put up a nine. The crowd was cheering harder than ever.
Ludo Bagman - ten.
'Ten?' said Harry in disbelief. 'But…I got hurt…What's he playing at?'
'Don't complain,' scolded Arabella.
And now Karkaroff raised his wand. He paused for a moment, and then a number shot out of his wand too - four.
'What?' Ron bellowed furiously. 'Four? You lousy, biased scumbag, you gave Krum ten!'
Arabella felt so much better when she left the arena than she did entering it. Harry was safe and was friends again with Ron. Most of the school was cheering Harry on just as much as they did with Cedric.
'You're tied in first place, Harry! You and Krum!' said Charlie Weasley, hurrying to meet then as they set off back toward the school. 'Listen, I've got to run, I've got to go and send Mum an owl, I swore I'd tell her what happened - but that was unbelievable! Oh yeah - and they told me to tell you you've got to hang around for a few more minutes…Bagman wants a word, back in the champions' tent.'
Arabella and Ron said that they would wait for him as Harry re-entered the tent. As soon as Harry did, Arabella practically tackled Ron was a fierce hug. He was so caught off guard.
'You stupid, idiot boy,' said Arabella, burying her head in his shoulder. 'Never do that again.' She then moved away from him and started to hit every single spot she could reach.
'Ow! Okay – okay – stop! I won't – Promise!' said Ron, trying to block her hands but was failing.
'Good,' said Arabella, hugging him again. 'I miss you.'
'I miss you too,' said Ron, awkwardly patting her back.
Arabella let go of Ron just as Harry rejoined them.
'Ready?' asked Ron.
'Ready,' said Harry, smiling at him.
Just as they were half way through the castle, a witch snuck up behind them, nearly scaring the crap out of Arabella. It was Rita Skeeter.
'Congratulations, Harry!' she said, beaming at him. 'I wonder if you could give me a quick word? How you felt facing that dragon? How you feel now, about the fairness of the scoring?'
'Yeah, you can have a word,' said Harry savagely. 'Good-bye.'
And they set off back to the castle.
Thank you for reading!