The Final Task Part 1
Harry Potter picked at the grass he was sitting on, heaving a sigh. For the last half an hour he and the other three Triwizard Tournament Champions had been sitting on the Quidditch Pitch, bored stiff. They had been called down there to be told of what the third and final task would be about, and had met with a most amazing sight.
The Quidditch pitch was overgrown! It had hedges so high Harry truly wondered if they did touch the clouds. Upon seeing the hedges, Cedric Diggory had quietly muttered whether the next task was the trim the monstrous things. Cedric obviously wasn't too happy about his Quidditch pitch destroyed; and in all fairness, neither was Harry, but he was more eager to have done with the tournament than anything else was.
At present, Cedric's grey eyes were following a line of ants that were scurrying over his shoes, flicking his wand every so often, making the ants change colours, Viktor Krum was watching some of his fellow Durmstrang students consort flirt with some Beauxbatons beauties and Fleur was tapping her foot impatiently. It was dark, and the torches had been lit in the corridors. The wind whipped Harry's back, and he suddenly wished he had brought his robe, or a jacket. It was freezing!
"Can't zey 'urry up?" The French girl moaned impatiently, "Eet is so cold!"
As though Fleur's wish had been granted, Ludo Bagman appeared, dashing around the corner. His bright orange and blue Quidditch robes flared out behind him as he dashed towards the group.
Bagman cracked a large smile towards Harry before he exclaimed, "Hello, you four!"
A general murmur of greetings answered the ex-Quidditch star before he continued to speak.
"Hagrid's grown these beauties quite nicely, hasn't he?" Ludo continued, patting a hedge fondly. "Don't worry," he hastily added to Cedric and Harry, "You'll get your pitch back in no time."
Ludo winked at Harry, and the green-eyed-teenager suppressed a groan.
"Now," beamed Bagman, "Can anyone guess what we have here?"
"It's a maze," grunted Krum.
"Correct, Mr Krum, correct! This third task is quite straightforward, really; full marks will be rewarded to the Champion who touches the Triwizard cup first, which is in the middle of the maze."
"That's it?" inquired Harry. "We just walk through the maze?"
"Oh, no, Harry," clarified Bagman, "Hagrid will be providing some, ah, creatures…"
Harry suddenly pictured himself facing a Blast-Ended Screwt, and his heart fell a little.
"…and there will be jinxes and other spells and such to get passed. First, Mr Diggory and Potter will enter the maze, as they are tied with the most points, then Mr Krum and finally Miss Delacour. However, you will all have the same chance of winning, what with the obstacles being your way. If you haven't got any questions, I'd say it was time for you all to get to your rooms!"
After wishing each other good luck and goodnight, the four Champions returned to their chambers.
Harry slowly made his way back to the Gryffindor common room.
"Harry!" someone called from behind him, his or her voice echoing in the corridor. Harry spun around to see Padma Patil, slightly out of breath, standing right in front of him.
Padma put a hand on Harry's shoulder, trying to regain her breath before admitting rather abruptly, "I'm glad you're dating my sister, Harry. Just thought I'd, you know, let you know."
"So am I," replied Harry, unable to conceal his grin.
Padma then patted his shoulder before her smile grew as she threatened, "Hurt her, potter, and I will kill you."
Padma then flounced away, leaving a slightly scared Harry Potter in her wake.
Parvati dashed up the snaking staircase and past the snoozing portrait of Sir Cadogan (who was almost snoring his way out of his frame) towards the Divination classroom. Finally, she stumbled up the spiral staircase and ran straight into the classroom, bits of hair flying into her mouth and panting.
Professor Trelawney was seated at her desk, swirling a cup clockwise of what Parvati presumed to be tealeaves, her back turned to the new arrival. Professor Trelawney started to turn the cup counter clockwise as she declared, "Shut the door behind you, my dear Parvati."
Slightly surprised that her teacher knew it was she, Parvati obediently shut the trap door.
"Take a seat," ordered the teacher yet again in her mystical, dreamy voice. Parvati did so, sniffing as she became aware of the smell of cooking sherry.
Professor Trelawney turned to face her pupil. She set the cup down before taking a deep, dramatic breath and preached.
"The Inner Eye sees all, my dear. I know of what you need to ask me."
Parvati just dumbly nodded as her teacher pressed on.
"I can tell you only one thing."
The brown-haired-teenager's heart started to race as she began a silent mantra, please say we'll stay together, please say we'll stay together…
"I can tell you that there is a great aura of destiny from both you and Harry Potter, and to heed this warning; fates like to meddle."
Parvati's eyes widened. What did she mean by this?
Professor Trelawney turned back to her teacup before saying, "Do close the door on the way out. Oh! And, my dear…"
Parvati raised her head. She did not like that tone in Trelawney's voice.
"…if something does happen, do not hesitate to tell me."
Parvati shook her poor, confused head. She had come in with questions but was leaving with more. As she made her slow journey down the winding staircase, Parvati wondered.
What could possibly happen?
Shrugging it off, Parvati walked slowly back to her dorm, stalling. She had a potions essay due tomorrow; that night was the final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Parvati was certain that Professor Snape had done this on purpose, just so the Gryffindor's could not celebrate before the task.
A smile abruptly lit Parvati's face. Once she had finished her essay, maybe she and Harry could spend some time together…
Brightening up at this idea, Parvati Patil skipped the way back to Gryffindor Tower, Trelawneys' warning the furthest thing from her mind.
Parvati stared hopelessly at the blank bit of parchment before her, sighing.
Parvati hated potions.
She hated essays.
She hated Snape.
He was such a greasy haired git!
She sighed again before scribbling a fancy title for her soon-to-be-one-thousand-word-essay: THE USE OF SCARAB BEETLES IN POTIONS AND THEIR PROPERTIES
Scarab beetles play a vital roll-
"Damn it!" swore Parvati. That word did not look right- she had so much trouble with words that sounded the same but were spelt differently and meant different things. Parvati was perfectly fine with using 'intellectual' words- after all, her sister was in Ravenclaw- therefore, Parvati had brains too, although because she hung out with Lavender, who was not the brightest.
"Hermione?" she inquired hesitantly. Parvati wiggled her legs out from underneath her, making her more comfortable as she sat on her four-poster bed. Parvati's robe was strewn haphazardly on the edge of her bed, and her tie undone.
Hermione, who seemed to be on her second roll of parchment, looked up, quill poised in hand. "Yes?"
"How do you spell 'role'?"
"In what context?" Hermione questioned. "Like, a bread roll, or an actor plays the role of a character…?"
"The second one, I think."
Hermione just smiled quickly before hurrying back to scratching away at her essay, muttering something about homonyms.
Par continued to write. …a vital role in potion making. These creatures, more commonly known as the dung beetle, are…
Parvati felt like stabbing her quill through the parchment. Why did essays have to be so tedious?
Her eyebrows quirked, Parvati then scribbled on parchment, WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING?
Parvati stared at the parchment for a while, as if some answer would magically manifest itself.
Soon enough, Parvati started to find herself distracted with her thoughts of- what else?- her very hot boyfriend.
Harry + Parvati, she wrote, equals LOVE
Smiling serenely at the thought of Harry, with his eyes, and his hair…yes, well, she continued to scrawl for several minutes...
"Parvati? What are you doing?"
Hermione was frowning at her classmate. Parvati's dreamy look vanished as she blushed and dropped her quill.
"N-nothing," she answered lamely, scrambling to pick up her quill and hide her essay from view.
The busy-haired witch's frown deepened, but she did not say anything again. Parvati seized the moment and dashed down into the common room.
Harry slid into his favourite armchair by the fire, trying to rid himself of his anxiety. He strung his book bag over the armrest. It was only one more night, and then all of this would be over…
"Harry, there you are!"
Harry turned to see Hermione making her way over to him. She plopped herself into the armchair opposite him. "I've been meaning to tell you something…"
"What?" questioned Harry, concerned. Hermione's tone was serious.
"Well," answered his friend, "tomorrow is the day Parvati's dad died, the anniversary of his death."
Cheers of jubiliation interrupted the sullen moment; Ron had just beaten Seamus (yet again) at Wizard's chess.
Harry didn't really know how to reply to this, so he just nodded. Hermione sighed.
"What?" snapped Harry, irritated. "It's not like anyone cares the day my parents died. They're too busy trick or treating!"
Hermione's face fell. "Oh, Harry, I'm sorry, I just never-"
"-Realised?" Harry sighed. "Look, never mind…" He didn't want to start a fight now, not just before the last task. "…I'll talk to Parvati about it tomorrow, okay? Happy?"
A moment of silence passed between them before Hermione rushed over and hugged Harry tightly.
"I truly am sorry, Harry." she said softly, her voice full of emotion. "I've been a horrible friend by never rem-"
"It's okay, Hermione," reassured Harry, patting her back awkwardly, wishing Hermione wouldn't hug him so tight and that her hair wasn't so bushy. He could hardly see as his vision so obscured by her hair.
Hermione finally let go, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand before mumbling how she had an essay to finish. Harry frowned before rummaging through his book bag, searching.
At last, he found a rather crumpled piece of parchment; his potions essay. Luckily, Harry had finished it nights ago, (although all he had written was some rubbish about scarab beetles that he was pretty sure didn't make sense, but not that he cared), finally taking advice from Hermione so he could have more time to practice for the final Triwizard task. Harry rather reluctantly got up from the chair and made his way across the common room, only to bump into his girlfriend, Parvati Patil.
"Hi!" he said brightly.
"Hi," replied Parvati, whose cheeks seemed to be red. "Oh! Is that your potions essay?"
"Yeah," replied Harry, "I was just about to hand it in."
"Hey, so am I," lied Parvati, wanting an excuse to spend some time with her boyfriend. "Walk with you?"
"Sure," said Harry, and the two of them walked out of common room holding hands, ignoring the catcalls ( 'You're in, Harry!' from Seamus) and wolf whistles that followed them as the portrait of the Fat Lady swung closed.
The halls were empty, and it didn't take very long before Parvati had her hands in Harry's hair, finding new places to kiss and Harry's hands were on her back and his glasses askew as he placed butterfly kisses on her neck.
Parvati took a quick look at Harry's smiling face and giggled at his lopsided glasses.
"Shut up," he said gently as he smiled, his hands finding her long hair.
"Never," Parvati whispered teasingly, giggling some more until Harry's lips found hers again, his tongue slipped into her mouth, and Parvati decided that French kissing was everything Lavender said it was and more…
"Who's there, my sweet? Catch them…"
Parvati pulled herself from Harry, her eyes wide as she whispered, "Filch is coming!"
Harry groaned, trying to get Parvati closer to him again. "C'mon," he whispered in her ear, "Let him catch us..."
Parvati shivered, but firmly said, "No. Come one, Harry," she said, laughing again, grabbing his hand, "We've got to get out of here…"
Harry complied, letting Parvati lead him as they raced down the halls, their laughter echoing as they revelled in the thrill of the chase.
A sudden hiss came from below Parvati's feet and she looked down and screamed; Mrs Norris, the caretaker's cat was circling her feet.
Oh, Merlin! They were going to be caught for sure!
"…Found them, have you, my sweet?" came Filch's wheezing voice.
Harry pulled his girlfriend towards a nearby portrait of a witch playing the flute and pulled it aside, revealing a concealed cupboard-like space. Harry pushed her in and said urgently, "Stay here until he leaves!"
Parvati didn't have time to react of reply, for Filch had found Harry.
"Ah-ha!" the caretaker wheezed, "You're caught after curfew, boy…"
Harry said nothing.
"What you doin' out here after curfew, then?"
"Handing in my potions essay," Harry said easily.
"Then why are your glasses all funny?"
Parvati swore silently.
"Really bad frames," Parvati heard Harry lie weakly, "Need to get 'em fixed…"
Apparently, Filch did not believe this, because the ugly caretaker was dragging Parvati out of her hiding spot a split second later.
Parvati gulped as Harry readjusted his spectacles. "We really were just going to hand in our potions essays, sir…" she explained, showing her parchment as proof. Filch nodded a couple of times before looking at them both.
"You," he said, grabbing Harry's arm roughly, "Can come with me."
"And you," he continued, pointing towards Parvati, "Can go hand in your essay, and then go straight back to your common room."
Harry gave a brief smile before being dragged away by Filch for punishment.
A few minutes later, Parvati was walking back from Snape's office, where she had slid her essay under the door, where Professor Snape would find it in the morning.
Parvati stopped dead in her tracks, her brown tresses swinging forwards.
She had handed in her essay.
She had handed in her essay with Harry's name all over it!
The brown haired witch gave a small, audible yelped before running back down towards Professor Snape's office, her mind racing. How was she going to get her essay ba-
Suddenly, as quick and bright as lightning, Parvati observed a strange scene before her; it wavered, glowed and rippled ever so slightly, reminding Parvati strongly of a pool of water. Cloaked by moonlight, there was Harry, bounded by ropes and smeared with blood and rich earth, and a black, cloaked figure with hands like spiders and eyes that gleamed scarlet…
The vision went as quickly as it came, rippling out of Parvati's peripherals until it was completely gone; it took moments before the realisation of what had just happened really struck.
Parvati Patil had just had a vision of the future.
As quick as the vision had been, thoughts sprung to Parvati's mind. Something was going to happen to Harry! She could feel it, as if something deep inside herknew that what Parvati had just witnessed was going to happen.
The brown-eyed girl seemed to be at a crossroads; should she race to tell Harry what was destined for him, or tell Professor Trelawney about her vision, or should she tell Dumbledore, the wisest and most powerful wizard she knew? Where should she go, what should she do? Her thoughts were whirling around her head a million times faster than deemed possible, but her legs did not seem to be able to move, so frozen by shock and her voice seemed to be lost within her perplexity and astonishment. Her breathing became heavy as her thoughts became clearer
She had to tell -
She had to warn -
A gnarled hand covered Parvati's mouth, the arm coming from behind her; another well-worn hand covered over Parvati's eyes. Before Parvati could react, magical words were whispered, and she knew no more.