The Greengrass Contract

By Nate Ronan

Adventure / Romance

Part One: Chapter Four

-△⃒⃘- The Greengrass Contract -△⃒⃘-by ncronan

Chapter 4: The Goblet

Since later that day, the foreign schools, Beauxbatons from France and Durmstrang from Norway, were getting to Hogwarts that day, classes were once again canceled for the day. For the rest of the morning, Harry, Angelina, Katie, and the Weasley twins went to the pitch to practice. Angelina insisted that the teams she had selected were fair.

"George, Katie and I, versus you and Fred! Totally fair!" But in the end, they decided to play keep-away, boys versus girls, as the boys had two non-Chasers, and would be at the disadvantage. However, Harry was careful not to exert himself. He did, after all, have his first practice with the Under 17 English National Quidditch Team after lunch.

Thus, all too soon, lunch came, and Harry nervously played with his food. Angelina scolded him, "Eat up, Potter! You'll need it; you're going to be there for more than two hours."

Harry had sighed, picked up his fork, and started eating his chicken salad. But just as he started, he was stopped when a hand tapped his shoulder. He turned, and for the second time that day, found his Head of House behind him. She held out a one inch by one inch medallion, depicting a broomstick.

"Mr. Potter, this portkey will get you to the training grounds when you say your full name. George said to wear your best Muggle clothes, and to bring nothing else."

Harry, confused, took the medallion and slipped it into his pocket. "Why the good Muggle clothes?"

The Professor had only smiled at him and said, "That's not my place to say, Mr. Potter. Nevertheless, expect a lot of pictures." Harry shrugged in response. Looking down at his watch, he asked, "When does he want me there?" For it was, at the time, exactly twelve o'clock.

"Quarter after, sharp. Good luck, Mr. Potter." She smiled one last time, and left to the Head Table. Harry glanced nervously at his grinning girlfriend, and said, "Ann, can you help me with my clothes? I know what to wear, but my hair is rubbish."

In response, Angelina laughed. "I would've come anyway."

Within five minutes, Harry and Angelina had reached the common room. Harry was surprised to see Angelina follow him, but recalled that girls were allowed in the boys' dorm, but not vice versa. He quickly changed into nice black shoes, black slacks, and a dark green button-down shirt. Harry had rolled up the sleeves, and the actual shirt was fitted perfectly for his build, hugging his chest and shoulders. Angelina clapped.

"That's decent, but now for your hair!" For the next five minutes, Harry (eyes closed) let his hair be played with. After said time, Angelina squealed and said, "Open your eyes!"

Harry did so, and found that his hair had kept its messy demeanor, but seemed more tame. It looked as though Harry had finger-combed it perfectly, and he smiled. "Thanks a bunch, Ann." Harry grinned.

Checking his watch once more, he found it was 12:13, and so he turned to Ann. "What can a couple do for two minutes alone? Any suggestions?"

In answer, Angelina pulled him in and gave a quick kiss, but pushed him away. "That's just for luck. We'll see if you deserve more when you get back."

Harry smiled nervously, fiddling with the medallion that he had slipped around his neck. Tucking it under his shirt so that it touched his chest, he gave Angelina one last smile before

"Harry James Potter."

There was a pop and then a crack as Harry felt something hook his navel and pull him forward. Everything around him swirled into a green haze, and after some tossing and turning, Harry landed on his feet in a field of grass to see Mr. Harde right in front of him.

"Ah! Harry, you're a bit early. Let's get this show on the road! First, look around."

Harry did, and gaped. This pitch was the same size as the one at Hogwart's, but massive lights beamed down from above what seemed like humungous steel stands. To describe it, Harry would've said that it looked just like a football stadium. Above him, the sun was almost directly centered, and a breeze floated its way past him. The place was totally empty, save Harry and Mr. Harde.

Said man, who was dressed in a shirt and tie, put an arm around Harry. "You're looking good! Anyway, this stadium is used for all our practices and some of the home matches. The one this weekend against the Netherlands. After the conference, you'll change and practice with the boys here."

"Conference, sir?" Harry asked uncertainly, and Mr. Harde laughed.

"It's alright, nothing too difficult. We'll be going into the conference room, and you'll sit on one of the center chairs at the front of the room. I'll sit to the outside, next to you. The reporters will ask you a few questions, but if you feel uncomfortable with answering it, just say 'No comment,' and they'll let it be. Then, you'll follow me back out here, we'll hold up your jersey and shake hands, and they'll take a couple hundred pictures for the Daily Prophet and such. Remember to smile as much as you can without being bloody creepy. Got it?"

Harry nodded nervously as Mr. Harde led him off the pitch and into the locker rooms. They passed through them, and soon came into a large room with rows of plastic chairs lined in front of an elevated platform with a long desk, microphones, and water bottles on top. Harry noticed that there were four chairs rather than two, and when he asked his scout about it, he had waved it off.

"Krum and the coach from the Vultures are here, too, to discuss if he'll be transferred to Puddlemere or not. They'll be asking him questions, too."

As they both went onto the platform and sat, Harry shivered with nerves and excitement. He was meeting Krum, whom he had heard so much about. One of the best Seekers in the world, and only 17 years old.

As he thought, the door Mr. Harde and himself had come through burst open, to reveal a tall but surprisingly slim young man with bushy eyebrows, black eyes, and large nose. He was followed by a shorter, older gentlemen. Mr. Harde stood and greeted the older, and Harry stood as the young man approached. Harry found that he was only several inches shorter than the Seeker. Harry stretched out his hand.

"Viktor Krum? Honored to meet you." Harry said, determined not to let his voice crack, or to let him seem more excited than he actually was. The man raised a large eyebrow and took Harry's hand. He then spoke in a heavily accented voice, "Likewise. Are you the new addition to the Under 17 English National Squad?"

Harry nodded and withdrew his hand. "Yes, I'm Harry. Harry Potter."

Krum let out a guffaw as he and Harry sat in their respective seats, Krum right next to him, in the center as well. "For real? Well, Harry, you will become more famous than ever before. I have overheard Damien, my coach, that the English younger squad was getting a new addition, and that he was very good. I'm surprised if several clubs haven't approached you already, as it is hard to get such high praise from Damien."

Harry grinned. "Puddlemere United are the only one who's approached me, but that's probably because I'm only 14."

Krum gaped. "Only 14? Then I'm very excited to watch you practice. I believe that you can become the best Chaser in the world by the time your my age, if you're as good as they say."

Harry shrugged modestly. "I hope I am. Anyway, this is a bit random, but what can I expect my wages to be if I get on your level by the time I'm 17?"

Krum tilted his head. "Chasers are paid a little more than Seekers, as they are more prone to injury. Right now, I'm making 75,000 galleons a month. The international Chasers of my caliber are making around 100,000."

Harry whistled. "I've heard that you're moving to Puddlemere. Hopefully, I'll see you there this summer."

Krum smiled. "I will look forward to it. How much did they offer you in wages?"

"500 galleons." Harry said, and Krum raised an eyebrow.

"Harry, you must get yourself an agent when you really go pro. If you make it onto Puddlemere's first team, they won't hesitate to raise it to 25,000 a month, give or take 5,000, depending on your skill level. The same goes with the U17 ENQT. If you make it onto the first team of the U17, you'll be able to ask for almost 30,000, and when you turn 17, you can ask for 100,000. That's not including any companies that want to sponsor you."

Harry nodded thoughtfully. "Are there any broom or clothes companies that you recommend?"

Krum nodded. "I'd say that the Firebolt company has the best quality and pay the most. They give me around 50,000 galleons a match. As for clothes, I prefer South American Magical Athletics, as they have the finest material, sewn from the hairs of an old dragon's whiskers."

Harry looked at him, alarmed and amazed, and Krum laughed. "I am kidding, Harry. They use cloth from the Lethifold. SAMA's has several Lethifold farms, where they study and kill the beasts by getting a dozen powerful wizards and casting Patronuses on it at the same time. The cloth is like silk, and as light as air. They also conform perfectly to the person wearing it. They are top quality, and SAMA pay me around 50,000 a match."

Harry shivered. Lethifolds were one of the darkest creatures, and closely related to dementors. They looked like black cloaks, floating along the ground, and when they find a victim, they envelope them in their beds and suffocate them, digesting them in the same spot.

They were interrupted as a massive crowd of wizards and witches (mostly witches) streamed into the room from a set of double doors behind the rows of chairs. Krum glanced sideways at Harry and asked him if he'd done this before, to which Harry answered, "No."

Krum smiled sympathetically. "Just do what I do, Harry, and you'll survive."

Once the reporters had taken their seats, they immediately took out notepads and massive old fashioned cameras. Mr. Harde stood up and said, "Welcome, everyone. We'll get this started right away. I'm George Harde, scout and assistant coach for the U17 and adult ENQT. On the end is Damien Polskoff, head coach and manager of the Vratsa Vultures,"

Damien stood and bowed, and the audience clapped respectfully.

"- and next to him is Viktor Krum, 17 year old Seeker for the Bulgarian national team and the Vratsa Vultures, here to answer your questions and to discuss any transfer updates."

More clapping, and a few cheers as Krum didn't do anything other than nod. Mr. Harde continued, "And this is the newest signing to the U17 ENQT, who will be receiving his jersey today. He is 14 year old Chaser, Harry James Potter, also here to answer questions."

Harry managed a smile and a casual one finger salute to the reporters. They clapped and cheered like mad, and quills scratched against notepads, and many photos were taken.

Mr. Harde grinned at them all. "Alright, let's get started!" As he said this, the reporters began calling out the two Quidditch players' names and waving their hands. Mr. Harde selected someone in the front row, who stood up and said, "Mr. Potter! When did you become a Chaser? And why? You were a Seeker before, were you not?"

Harry said quietly but clearly into the microphone, "I was, up until this year. Over the summer, I exercised and was able to fill out a bit. When I went back to Hogwarts to try out for the inter-house team, I found that though I was stronger, that my movements were slower. I decided to try and play as a Chaser because my father was, and because I'm a bit too – erm – large for the Seeker position."

"You mean buff?" one of the younger female reporters called out, and Harry shrugged.

"You can call it that if you wish." The crowd laughed as Mr. Harde selected another one.

"This is for both of you – sorry if this is too personal, but what are your religious views?" he asked, and Harry gestured to Krum, who answered slowly, "It is my understanding that most magical peoples are Christian, although they do not practice, or believe in the after life. I share these views."

Harry answered next, after a moment's hesitation. "I've never really given it much thought, but what I will say is that while I respect the Judeo-Christian ethic, along with the Eastern philosophies and the teachings of Muhammad, I've found that organized religion has corrupted those beliefs, to justify countless atrocities throughout history. Were I to title myself to a certain religion, I'd be a hypocrite. Thus, you can call me nonreligious, with morals. Or a handsome atheist."

The crowd whistled appreciatively as one called out, "That's deep for a young man.", and Harry smirked. "I try."

The next question was, "This is for both of you, and is for Teen Witches' Weekly. Do either of you have a special girl in your life?"

Both young men smiled. Viktor said, "I am currently beginning a relationship with a girl that I've recently met. As such, I am unavailable."

Harry answered, "I've recently gone into a relationship with a girl, but we both agree it won't be long term. Everyone needs to experiment, right?"

Someone called out, "Right!" as Harry continued, "It is also a problem that she, too, will be signing to a Quidditch club, and we don't want to compete with this relationship intact. Also, she is two years older than me, and will be leaving Hogwarts either next year or the year after that."

The crowd sighed sympathetically, and Mr. Harde selected the next reporter. "Have either of you been approached by any major clubs, other than you're own, Viktor?"

Viktor looked at his coach, who nodded, and he said to the reporter, "I will be moving to Puddlemere United in the summer, as the Vultures feel that with the transfer money they make with me, they can build a stronger team all around."

After a moment of reporters scribbling this new information down, Harry answered, "I, too, have been approached by Puddlemere, and will most likely be moving there this summer. Although I am not 15 yet, I may be an emancipated adult, and will confirm this during the winter holidays."

The next question was, "Mr. Krum, I understand that you will be visiting Hogwarts for the Tri-Wizard tournament. Will either of you enter?"

Viktor answered, "I will be entering, not for the money, but for the honor of representing Durmstrang."

Harry answered, "Absolutely not. I am not old enough, and I have too much going on right now. Besides, I need neither the money nor the fame."

After twenty minutes, the final question was, "How was both your first kisses?"

Viktor smiled and said, "I hit her in the eye with my nose."

The crowd and Harry guffawed, and after a minute, Harry answered, "It was perfect until she pushed me off the broom."

The room continued to laugh at their unfortunate kisses, and Mr. Harde finally said, "That'll be all for today. Harry, if you'd follow me -"

Harrys stepped off the platform and followed Mr. Harde back through the locker room, back out to the pitch, Viktor and the reporters following. Turning, Mr. Harde presented one side of a white jersey with, "H. J. Potter" sewn onto the back. Under that, there was a large "11". Harry smiled at the cameras as he shook Mr. Harde's hand over the outstretched jersey.

After several minutes, Mr. Harde shooed the reporters to the stands, and Harry was pushed into the locker room and to go to the cubby with his name engraved. Harry did, and changed into the presented clothes. There were tight red pants and fitted red shirt, with what looked like white armor on top of it. Slipping on the jersey, it automatically conformed with his body, and then stuck there so that they wouldn't billow around in the wind. He then slipped on some brown shoes and jogged out back onto the pitch.

Looking around the stands, he found the same reporters filling up a small portion of the stadium, with a lot more being filled with random people. When Harry asked Mr. Harde about it, he said, "People come and watch the practices for free."

Looking beyond Mr. Harde to the center of the pitch, he found that the U17 squad were all conversing with one another, and they all seemed to be the same height as Harry. As Harry approached the dozen kids, they all stopped talking and studied the newcomer, and Harry studied them in turn. The majority were boys, but there were around four girls, all of whom were short but strong. After Harry shifting nervously, one of the players tossed him a Firebolt.

The tallest in the group came forward. "Here, kid. Harry Potter, was it? We're going to start practice. Just follow me around and do what the boys do while we do. If you end up being good, we'll treat you like another teammate. If you suck or cause trouble, you'll get shunned. Understand?"

"Course." Harry said, rolling his shoulders. "When do we start?"

The team grinned. "Now, Potter. Up we go!" In a second, the squad was in the air, and Harry quickly hopped on his and flew up to meet them. The tall boy studied him. "Good grip, not wavering. Nice start. Now, let's fly a few laps. And when I say fly a few laps, I mean that all contact is allowed, and you will try to push each other off their brooms as you circle around. There are cushioning charms all over the ground, so if you fall, you should sow down enough before you hit the ground. Though this isn't allowed in a real game, it will happen, and you'll have to react. Now, go!"

Harry followed the squad to the outside of the pitch, next to the stands as they began to circle. Harry flew up to the left, on the inside of the circle, so that if he was bumped, he wouldn't hit the stadium. Glancing to his left, he found that already there were several boys who had been thrown off, and lay on the ground below. Harry was jolted from his thoughts as a shoulder bashed into his. Looking over, he found a burly Beater watching him closely, and he came in for another hit.

At the last second, Harry spun upwards and over him, and then bashed him in the same direction he was going. The boy swerved off course, and swerved once again to narrowly miss the hoops, but fell as he was upside-down, and his broom couldn't support his speed towards the ground. And so as he fell, Harry had to swerve to avoid yet another bash.

Lowering himself to his previous position, he found that there were only himself and four other people were left. Harry waited until another one fell when he decided to begin his own attack. Pulling forward several feet in front of the leader, Harry waited until they had circled around the round part of the pitch, and then initiated his attack. He stopped abruptly, and the boy behind him's shoulder was hit with Harry's shoe. The boy lurched sideways and ways able to hold onto his broom with one hand until he let go, falling below.

Harry looked again to the side, and seeing no one there, began to smile, but was interrupted when something caught his shoe, and he was sent barrel-rolling at just the wrong time; they were nearing the bend, and as a result, the attacker hoped to have Harry crash against the hoops. Flattening himself to his broom, Harry used his momentum to guide his body and broom straight through the bottom right hoop, his sides barely scraping the rounded metal. Spinning back out, he found that the person who had hit him, a girl with short brown hair, was watching him with respect. Harry sat straighter in his broom as a feeling of pride filled his system.

Before he could plan out his next move, however, the tall boy blew a whistle, and the girl turned to the sound and flew over. Harry followed dutifully.

When they'd reached the throng of people, the tall boy grinned at Harry. "Nice flying, Potter. That's the first time I've seen someone spin right through a hoop and still fly." Turning and nodding to the girl, he said, "Same with you, Vang. Nice job of avoiding the others, the both of you."

Quickly moving on, he said, "Now we'll practice with the individual Chasers. All you Beaters, get over to the sides of the pitch, two on each side. Chasers, stay here, and Keepers, form a line behind the posts, with the starter in front. Seekers, fly up and watch. You'll be telling me how they did what, since I can only watch from one angle."

As the players scattered, Harry noticed that there were three Seekers, three Keepers, four Beaters, and four Chasers, including Harry. The tall boy then cast an amplifying charm on his voice and explained, "Alright, guys, this is how it's going to go down. Mr. Harde!" He called down to the ground. Mr. Harde was underneath them, with a chest full of Bludgers and a sack of Quaffles at his feet. "You'll release the Bludgers and charm them to go to the Beaters. When I blow the whistle, the Beaters will try and hit the Bludgers so that they hit the Chasers, who will be receiving a pass from me. The Keepers will swap out every time there's a shot. Alright, Chasers? Form a line behind me."

The Chasers did so as Mr. Harde charmed two bludgers to go to a Beater on each side. Harry was third in his line, with two girls in front of him, and one boy behind him. One of those girls was the one that had flipped him, and Harry told himself to watch the girl, as he felt he could pick up a few things from her.

The tall boy flew far to the side, near the stadium stands, and levitated the sack of Quaffles up to him. Tying them to the back of his broom, he took one out and prepared to throw, calling out, "On my whistle! Three, two, *tweet!*"

The first Chaser in line zoomed forward and swerved around one of the Bludgers with a jerk. Fumbling for the Quaffle that had been thrown at her, she tried to throw, but without the proper grip, the Keeper was able to kick it away. When the Quaffle hit the ground, Mr. Harde charmed them so that they flew themselves back into the tall boy's bag.

Vang zoomed forward next, spun, caught the Quaffle, and took a straight, hard shot off. The Keeper was able to punch away the ball as Vang swerved to avoid two bludgers.

Harry pushed himself forward, and checked shoulders, checking where the next Quaffle would go for him. Catching it with one hand, he tucked it under his arm as he heard a bludger race towards him. Looking over, he found it several meters away, aiming for his left thigh, so Harry lifted his leg and stamped it it, causing it to fly away and relocate to a Beater. Awkwardly avoiding the next bludger, Harry looked up and in a split second located the Keeper, who was guarding the post closest to Harry, which was the left side. Replicating what he had done in the try outs, Harry twisted his body, hooked his fingers on one side of the ball, and let it loose, twisting his hand at the last minute, aiming about a foot to the right of the far right hoop. The Keeper wasn't able to reach it, but unfortunately, the ball didn't have enough curve, and was only able to hit the rim, sending a hum through the whole stadium from the force of the impact.

Harry flew back in line, and Vang glanced at him. "Nice kick, Potter." She said amused at the way Harry had gotten rid of the bludger, and the 14 year old shrugged. "I try."

After several repetitions of this drill (which took almost an hour), the tall boy blew the whistle once more, and the Bludgers flew down towards the ground. The tall boy flew down as well, and the team followed him. Once they'd landed, the tall boy stood next to Mr. Harde and looked out at the dozen.

"Nice practice today. Potter, you've earned my respect. That was some nice defensive maneuvering and field positioning. You've earned a spot as a sub at this weekend's game against the Dutch. Nice job. Everyone else? You all smell. Hit the showers."

The squad chuckled as they left to do just that, the girls going to their designated locker rooms and the boy's theirs. Before he went in, the tall boy stopped him and held out his hand. "The name's Joe Jaffney, captain of the team, and I'd like to say that you're very good for a 14 year old. In fact, most of the guys here are 16, and you're as good as and better than most of them. Welcome to the team."

Harry smiled and shook the hand. "It's great to be here, Joe."

Joe nodded as he withdrew his hand. "And don't worry about being on the subs for long, Harry. The other boy Chaser is turning 17 next week, and'll be leaving the squad. You'll be getting first team minutes by the end of the month, I assure you. Concerning this weekend's game, we'll sub you in when one of the others gets tired. Before you ask, I'm also a Chaser, and do play for the squad as the center. What position do you prefer?"

Harry smiled. "The left. I like to curve it on my right side, and being on the left lets me let loose."

Joe grinned. "I hear you. We'll be meeting here on Sunday at 9:30, and the game'll be played here, since it's home. See you there."

With that, Mr. Harde approached him. "Nice practice, kid. It's almost six already, so you don't have time to change here. Here are your clothes, and you can use the portkey now. You can change at Hogwarts, as the other schools are getting there in half an hour. I'll see you at the game." He handed Harry a pile of his dress clothes, with something else on top. It was white and looked silky. When he asked, Mr. Harde explained, "It's a jacket you get for getting on the team. It's made of Lethifold skin, and very rare. Don't screw it up."

Harry nodded and said his full name. His navel was hooked by nothing, and everything around him swirled in color.

OooOooO

Harry's vision stopped spinning, and he found himself landing on the main street of Hogsmeade. As he stood up and brushed himself off, he glanced around into the mid afternoon, reasoning that Hogwarts probably didn't let people port key in, and most likely relocated him to the next safest spot. Noticing the Three Broomsticks to his right, he stepped in and was greeted by the pretty Madam Rosmerta.

"Harry Potter! Drafted by England, eh? Congrats!" She said, polishing a glass. Harry now understood why Ron would fancy her, as she was still pretty as ever; large assets, curly dirty blonde hair, and a fair face. Despite her appearance, Harry felt no other feelings other than gratitude towards her.

"Thanks, Rosmerta. Can I borrow a room for a moment? I'd just like to change from these clothes." Harry explained, plucking at his Quidditch robes. Rosmerta beamed and nodded, ushering him to the back and into an empty room, similar to his own at the Leaky Cauldron, and left him to change. After a moment's hesitation, Harry called out experimentally, "Dobby?"

There was a pop, and a small wrinkled grey creature with large eyes and thin bat-like ears appeared in front of him. With a squeak, it leapt forward and latched itself onto Harry's calf.

"Oh, Dobby was being wondered about when the great Mr. Harry Potter sir would call! What can Dobby do for the noble and brave Boy-Who-Keeps-Living?"

Harry smirked at his newly given title. "Hi, Dobby. I was just wondering if you could grab some of my Muggle clothes from my dorm. It's next to my storage chest, if you need to know. And while you're there, can you drop these off, too?" Harry held out the portion of his pile of clothes that he'd worn for his interview.

Dobby took them and cried, "Dobby bes back in a second!" And, sure enough, several seconds later after he had popped out, Dobby returned with a different set of clothes: the jeans and t-shirt and hoodie he'd worn earlier that day.

Harry then ordered Dobby to leave for a moment as he changed. Dobby left and Harry changed, although refrained from putting on his hoodie, and instead studied the gift from Mr. Harde. It was a thin, silky athletic half-zip jacket, and Harry figured that the jacket must've been charmed white, for Harry had understood that Lethifolds were black and could withstand almost any form of attack other than Patronuses. Harry hoped that those traits would carry on to its clothing. After a quick charm-detection charm, Harry learned that the jacket was also charmed with a warm-cool charm, where it would become warm when you're cold, or cold when your warm. Studying the design, Harry smiled at the initial white, and then the large red cross that stretched from its right shoulder to its right hip, and the horizontal stripe around the stomach area. On its left breast was a small badge in the shape of a shield, depicting a red broomstick with 'ENQT' in red underneath it.

Upon slipping it on, Harry marveled at how cool it felt on his arms, and how he could barely feel any weight on his shoulders. Harry then decided to conduct further research on its spell-resistance, and to also ask Viktor about it. He most likely had one, too.

When he called Dobby back in, he said, "Dobby, can you pop me into the castle?"

Dobby shook his head, ears flapping. "No, Mr. Harry Potter sir. The wards doesn't allows wizards or witches to get in. Only elveses."

Harry frowned, and then asked, "This is for my friend. Why is it that house-elves don't want to be master-less? Other than it's imbedded into your brains."

Dobby froze, but after smacking his own head a few times, he gestured for Harry to lean forward. When he'd done so, Dobby whispered conspiratorially, "The free elveses bes losing their magics, sir."

Harry blinked and stepped back. "Really? Why?"

Dobby looked up at him with his large eyes. "House elveses be made from Erklings many centuries ago. The only way we is staying like this is because wes is using magic from master's core. When an elf is bonded to a master, their magics is linked. If we become master-less, we bes turning into Erklings, sir."

Harry knit his eyebrows. "Erklings? I've heard of those, but what are they, really?"

Dobby shivered. "They is as tall as us, but they look like birds, with really long beaks. They cackle, and that draws children to them, and then they eats them. House-elveses don't tell our masters why we don't want to be freed because they might be scared."

Harry whistled. "Thanks a lot for telling, Dobby. Here, you can take my Quidditch robes back and put it on my bed, and then do what you were doing before. Thanks loads for everything else."

After Dobby had gushed and thanked him profusely, he popped out. Harry then left the room and, after exchanging flirtatious compliments with Rosmerta, made his way up the trail towards his school.

OooOooO

Thirty minutes later, Harry (who had jogged the entire way to test out his jacket's effects), had reached the large double doors of Hogwarts. Once he'd slipped inside, he found Angelina (clothed in school robes) waiting for him.

"Harry! How was it? Wait! Never mind, you're late! The schools have already gotten here. Also, there's VIKTOR BLOODY KRUM at the Gryffindor table asking which house Harry Potter was in. He's sitting there right now, waiting for you! Wait! You're not changed! Oh, never mind that, let's go! Come on! Your late!"

Harry smiled at her rapid speech and pulled her in for a hug and a quick kiss before they linked hands and made their way into the Great Hall.

When they were in, Harry found the whole school sitting at their tables, with a dozen beautiful light-blue clad girls sitting at the Ravenclaw table, and a dozen fur-clad guys sitting at the Gryffindor table. Seeing Viktor talking with Katie Bell and the Weasley twins, Harry grinned and made his way over.

Upon seeing him, Viktor grinned and stood up, taking Harry's hand and then embracing him.

"Harry, you're here! I had to leave halfway through your practice, but the rumors are true. You are very good." Viktor said deeply, and Harry smirked in return.

"Thanks man. Now, sit! I've got to ask you several questions." Harry ordered, and they both sat, Hermione next to Krum and Angelina next to Harry, who was oblivious to the stares of all those in the Hall at his friendly greeting with the professional Seeker.

"Let me introduce all these guys, even though you've already met them. These two are Fred and George Weasley, don't ask me which is which, because no one cares, their basically the same. That's Katie Bell, a very good Chaser, who was sadly injured during the inter-house tryouts and can't play Chaser. But somehow, she miraculously survived the fall off her broom."

Katie rolled her eyes and said playfully, "Don't be so modest, you idiot. You bloody caught me. Some miracle."

Harry quickly moved on as they laughed, "That over there is Hermione Granger, smartest female Gryffindor,"

"Why female?" Hermione said smirking. "For the past four years, I've seen no decently clever guys."

Harry clutches his heart. "I am wounded, 'Mione. A word of warning: I plan to match you in the exams this year. I studied like bloody mad last summer."

Hermione rolled her eyes as Harry continued, "Right next to Katie is Patricia Stimpson, who is the girls' friend, and that's all I know. Sorry, Patricia. Next to Hermione is Ginny Weasley, who will hex your balls off if you mention anything about how her hundreds of recent boyfriends, and across from her is Neville, who is brilliant at Herbology but is too shy to do anything else. Sorry, Nev, but it's true. Down there next to Gin is her brother, Ronald, who's been a bit of a twat recently. And this is Angelina, star Chaser and the prettiest student at this table other than me."

Everyone laughed as Angelina grinned and socked Harry on the shoulder. "I think you're the star Chaser now, Harry."

Viktor grinned and addressed her, "Is Harry your boyfriend?"

As Angelina nodded, Harry muttered loudly, "More like slave."

They laughed again before Harry said, "And this is Viktor Krum, who will most likely punch you in the face if you call him Vikky."

Viktor blinked. "Vikky? Are you ready to kiss my fist?"

Everyone laughed once again before Dumbledore stood up and tapped his goblet. He then began his speech:

"Welcome to Hogwarts, students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. And will you also welcome Ms. Olympe Maxine and Igor Karkaroff, Headmistress and Headmaster of these schools?"

Everyone politely applauded as Dumbledore continued, "Now. I'm sure most of you have heard of the TriWizard Tournament. For those who haven't, the Tournament is a set of three tasks that three students (one from each school) will compete in each. Due to numerous deaths and/or injuries, the age limit of entry has been raised to 16 years of age. To enter, a student must right their name on a slip of parchment and place it into the Goblet of Fire."

Upon saying this, a large goblet of about three feet tall materialized in front of the Head table. It lit itself, causing blue and green flames to explode forth from its depths.

"Although I must warn you; the stakes are high. Death is extremely possible, as are mortal injuries, and I'd advise you to think through it wisely before entering."

Dumbledore then continued to talk about the restrictions and the Forbidden Forest and whatnot. When he'd finished, he announced, "Enough of that! Let the Feast commence!"

Food appeared in front of them, and they all dug in.

When Harry had piled on a mountain of salad onto his plate, the Weasley twins shook their heads at him.

"Poor ickle Harry -"

"- limiting himself -"

"- to only the green side of food."

Harry smirked before beginning to eat. Viktor smiled at him.

"I admire your healthy choice, although I must say that you're missing out on a nice steak." Upon saying this, Viktor popped a piece of meat into his mouth.

Harry grinned, and the next ten minutes were spent talking and laughing and eating. Harry suddenly remembered what he wanted to ask his friend.

"Hey Viktor, when you got onto the national team, did they give you a jacket made of Lethifold skin?"

Viktor grinned and nodded, plucking at Harry's jacket. "Yes. It has helped me on many occasions, although yours is much nicer. The Bulgarian flag is an ugly clash of green and red and white."

Harry smiled and continued, "What is it resistant to?"

Viktor tapped his chin. "So far, I've found that it is resistant to most direct offensive spells, like the stupefy and expelliarmus, but it won't help against many physical things, like ropes or flying objects. It is water proof, but I don't know about fire."

Harry grinned. "Brilliant. It feels amazing."

Viktor nodded before asking, "Are there any fitness clubs here? Back at the Institute, we run every morning and have free time to swim in the lake. It is cold, but exhilarating."

Harry shook his head. "There aren't any official clubs, but I get up every morning at around seven and then do a lap or two around the lake. You can tag along if you want."

Viktor nodded. "I will. Does anyone else come?"

Harry nodded. "A pair of twins, the Patils, and Katie and Ann."

Viktor grinned. "Starting a harem, Harry?"

Harry shivered. "No way. Handling one temperamental female is enough for me."

Angelina swatted him with a smile, and Harry continued, "Where are you guys going to sleep? The guys from Durmstrang, I mean."

"We have been told to find the Fat Lady, and then turn right. They told us the password to get through the door."

Harry nodded. "The Fat Lady is the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. Tomorrow morning, you can ask the Fat Lady to tell whoever is inside that you're there, and they should let you in. One of the twins isn't in Gryffindor, so you can meet with her there."

Viktor nodded, and the group continued to laugh and eat. After several minutes, Harry heard a girl clear her throat behind them. Turning with Viktor, Harry was met with a beautiful Beauxbatons girl, with magnificent curves and amazing long hair framing a fair face. Viktor's mouth opened slightly as he gazed at her, and Harry saw that the Weasley twins were gaping as well.

The girl tossed her hair and asked in a heavily accented voice, "Vill you be 'aving the boullabaise?"

No one answered, and Harry said, "No, would you like some?"

For a moment, the girl watched him, and Harry stared into her eyes. After a few moment, Harry raised an eyebrow, and she answered with a massive smile, "I vould."

Harry turned and picked up the small bowl, and then placed it into the soft hands of the girl. She beamed and said, "Thank you . . . ?"

Harry stood and smiled. "Harry. Harry Potter."

The girl grinned and put out one of her hands to shake his, but Harry smirked and took it, lifted it to his mouth, and bent over and kissed it lightly. She then said, "Thank you very much, 'Arry. I am Fleur Delacour."

Harry smiled and said, "Well, you're very much welcome, Miss Delacour."

With that, Harry turned and sat. Not knowing it, Fleur stood watching him with a broad smile still on her face before turning and walking back to the Ravenclaw table, her hips swaying with a graceful beauty.

Harry resumed his meal, oblivious to the stares around him. He looked up, and said, "What are you guys looking at?"

Angelina punched him in the arm, and Harry flinched and grumbled, "What's that for?"

His girlfriend mock-glared at him. "That's for flirting with a pretty French witch."

Harry shrugged helplessly. "I wasn't flirting -"

He was cut off when Angelina leaned in and pressed her lips against his. "And that's for not giving in to her allure."

Harry looked around at the boys, who's eyes were slightly glazed over. "What do you mean?"

One of the twins shook his head in amazement. "Blimey, Harry, do you know who that was?"

Harry shook his head and glanced at Viktor. He, too, was staring at him with a slightly dumfounded expression. Down the line, Ronald was still staring at the girl, his mouth hanging open.

Without waiting for his answer, the other twin continued, "That was a Veela, Harry."

Harry raised his eyebrows. "Oh! That explains the pull. When I talked to her, I felt like I should hug her, but it wasn't anything major. It felt like there was a breeze on my face. I just ignored it."

Viktor whistled. "Harry, that's not what we felt. I felt like I should tell her that I was a superstar, and I wanted to do something amazing to win her approval."

The Weasley twins agreed. Harry shrugged and started eating again. "Whatever. It probably has something to do with what Madam Pomfrey told me in Second year, when I'd broken my arm and the idiot, Lockhart, tried to fix it. The douche bag ended up vanishing all of the bones in my arm, and I had to drink Skele-grow in order to get them back. Madam Pomfrey said that it should feel like my arm was exploding, but all I felt was a sharp pain in my arm."

Viktor shivered. "I had to use Skele-grow once, when I'd fallen off my broom on my first match with the Vultures. I got hit by a bludger in the foot, and it broke." Everyone shivered, bu then he continued, "It twisted me off my broom, and the referee had been too enamored by our Veela cheerleaders that he'd forgotten to freshen the cushioning charms. When I landed on the ground, the same ankle hit first, and snap!" Viktor clapped his hands, and everyone winced. "My skin broke, and a piece of bone was sticking out of my foot."

Neville looked like he was about to throw up. Viktor shivered. "They had to vanish the bone, since they couldn't push it in or pull it out. When I took the Skele-grow, it hurt more than the actual breaking."

Harry nodded. "It sucked, but in the morning when I said that it just felt like splinters, she told me that I have a high pain threshold."

Viktor looked at him. "What do you think you got it from?"

Harry's eyes darkened, and he remembered his time at the Dursleys, and how many times his arms had been broken, and how many ribs he had cracked. After a time, the pain became bearable. "I don't really wish to talk about that."

Viktor looked at Angelina, who gave him a look that said, "I'll tell you later."

After Harry stopped glaring at his plate, they continued eating, and soon finished. The food vanished, and Dumbledore announced that they had that night and the following morning to enter themselves into the Goblet.

"Are you entering, Viktor?" Harry asked, and Viktor nodded. Harry turned to Angelina as everyone began standing and leaving to their common rooms. "Are you?"

Angelina grinned and nodded. "I think that it'll be great. I probably won't get picked, but whatever. Gotta take risks and things."

Harry agreed, and soon the group of Gryffindors and Durmstrang students had made their way to the Fat Lady. When they'd said their goodbyes and 'see you in the mornings', they all went to bed to sleep in excitement for the drawing the next day.

OooOooO

When he woke up the next morning, Harry found that the curtains around his bed were open, and a must, warm orange light was streaking in from the window. Harry smiled, sitting up, as he watched the rising sun low in the sky, which was (very gradually) meandering its way towards the great big blanket of dark grey clouds that spanned the entire sky.

Harry hopped out of his bed and unlatched the window, letting the cool, moist air burst forth into his dormitory. Although he knew his comrades would soon get up and protest, Harry breathed it in, tingling as goosebumps appeared on his arms. The atmosphere smelled wet, and Harry loved it. His famous time of year was spring, as the rain that came in the gallons would bring along with it its moist, pleasant smelling air.

Shutting the window, Harry proceeded to go about his morning routine. When his body was clean, he slipped on his jogging pants, t-shirt, and new jacket. With the sleek apparel snug on his body, he left his dorm and descended down the stairs and into the common room, his shoes in his hand, as he was a little late for his run with his little group.

Angelina, Katie, and Parvarti were already there, and they greeted each other. As they did, they heard the Fat Lady's voice: "Gryffs on the inside, there's a young man and lady seeking entrance."

Harry replied, "We'll be right out. Thanks."

Slipping on his sneaker, Harry, followed by the three girls, opened the door and exited past the swung-open portrait. They were met by Padma and Viktor, the former wearing her usual running clothes, and the latter wearing jogging pants and a jacket very similar to Harry's, although with diagonal stripes of red, green, and white. The small emblem also depicted to broomsticks that crossed, although underneath it was 'БHкг', which translated to the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team. In addition, said jacket sported a thin hood. Gesturing for them to follow, Harry set out at a jog down the hall.

"Why does your jacket have a hood?" Harry asked his male friend after greeting him.

Viktor answered, "It is a simple modification charm. I'll show you when we get outside."

When the six reached the outdoor stone walkway that stopped at two dirt (actually, more like mud) paths, one heading towards Hagrid's Hut the other winding its way towards Black Lake, Harry stopped them. Viktor pulled out his wand from a pocket sewn into the back of his calf. Tapping it on Harry's shoulder, he intoned, "Cucullus,"

A white hood materialized at the base of Harry's neck, and he said his thanks. Glancing out at the moderate downpour, Harry said, "Viktor, let's get some warming charms on these ladies."

And the two young men did, and Angelina smirked and said, "That felt like Harry was giving me a nice rub."

Harry blushed as the others laughed. "Let's get going, you ungrateful lot." he grumbled, and soon the six were at a steady jog towards the lake, throughout which Harry marveled at his jacket's ability to keep him dry, as well as pleasantly warm.

-ooOoOoOoo-

When they'd finished half an hour later, they all headed to the Great Hall for the morning breakfast. Piling the usual on their plates, they all began conversing as the other students began to trickle in.

Harry shook his head. "Wow. Three days in a row without having to wear those terrible school robes. It's a miracle, I say."

They all agreed as they began to finish their food. Glancing up at the still flaming Goblet, Harry noticed a pale white line snaking around the piece of metal, giving it around a three foot girth. "Are you two entering soon? You'll have to before tonight."

Angelina conjured a parchment and took out her quill and scribbled her name down. Ripping off a piece and handing it to Viktor, who accepted her quill and did the same with his name. Grabbing his hand, Angelina then got up and trotted forward to the Goblet, Viktor trailing behind. Detaching herself from Harry, his girlfriend stepped over the line, and let go of a breath she'd been holding. Looking up at the fire, Angelina reached up and flicked her paper into the fire.

As applause and cheers erupted from the Gryffindor table, Harry heard a set of voices weaving their way towards the Goblet.

"Exqueeze me -"

"coming through -"

"Gred and Forge, on the way -"

The Weasley twins walked their way to the Goblet, and took side next to Harry.

"Gred? What d'you reckon?"

"I don't know, Forge. I reckon we drink up."

Harry quickly backed away as the twins faced each other. Taking out identical flasks of a potion, they said in unison, "Bottoms up, lovely brother."

Linking their arms, they took a long swig from their respective flasks. After a moment, the two hopped sideways into the ring. After a moment's hesitation, they cheered and fist-pumped as the Gryffindor table erupted in laughs and cheers. As they both reached up, however, the line along the ground snaked their way to both boy's heels, and threw them away from the Goblet and into Harry with an "Ooof!"

Pushing them off, Harry found that the twins were now sporting identical grey beards, and they noticed too. Looking at each other, they said,

"Gred?"

"Yeah, Forge?"

"I do believe that the puberty bunny has finally whacked us with it harry bump of a tail."

"I do believe you're right, Forge. But the question is, where else have we been affected?"

The two boys froze as the Great Hall howled with laughter, and the twins made a show of checking inside their pants before rushing out of the Hall.

After several minutes, Viktor also entered his name, to the polite applause of the Durmstrang students at the Gryffindor table.

When they'd finished conversing about the events to come, the group of friends broke off to go to their own activities for the rest of the day. For Padma and Parvarti, that meant joining Lavender Brown and the other girls of the year to roam the halls and gossip about the boy of the year (mainly Harry). For Hermione, that meant finding a nice place to hunker down and read comfortably. For the four Quidditch players, that meant – well – doing all things Quidditch. Deciding to go the pitch to practice (Hermione tagging along to find a nice place in the stands to read), the rest of the group went off to grab their brooms and have a nice, cool, moist day, filled with flying.

-ooOoOoOoo-

The morning flew by, as did lunch. When lunch ended, Angelina posted in the Great Hall the official teams for the inter-school Quidditch tournament.

Inter-School Quidditch Tournament

(positions on field in written order)

1st Team

Chasers: Harry Potter (A) | Angelina Johnson (C) | Marcus Flint

Beaters: Fred Weasley | George Weasley

Keeper: Grant Page

Seeker: Cedric Diggory

Reserves/Substitutes

Chasers: Heidi Macavoy | Roger Davies (C) | Ginny Weasley

Beaters: Lucian Boyle | Peregrine Derek

Keeper: Herbert Fleet (A)

Seeker: Cho Chang

Harry had grinned and asked, "Didn't Ginny try out for Seeker? And what does the (C) and (A) mean?"

To which Angelina had answered, "The (C) means the first captain, and the (A) means the alternate captain, in case the first gets injured. I made Ginny a Chaser because while you were engrossed in our excellent snog, Ginny was helping some of the younger Chasers like a champ. She was very good."

And so that was that. Draco once again complained about not making onto even the reserve team ("Stupid mudblood-lover favoritism!"), as did others, but as it was looked over and approved by Madam Hooch, there was nothing they could do.

And for the rest of the day, up until six o'clock, several Quidditch players joined the previous group and the payed several scrimmages. Afterwards, they all freshened up to get ready for the Drawing.

-ooOoOoOoo-

The Goblet, flaming as always, shone dramatically at the center of the Great Hall. Harry and his Durmstrang and Gryffindor friends looked up at it apprehensively. Everyone was slowly trickling into the Hall, but their apprehension was interrupted when a swarm of owls swooped in and dropped their cargo onto the students.

Harry's bundle contained three letters and a bundle of newspaper. Harry set down the the letters and glanced at the newspaper and its main headline.

International Quidditch News

Two Young Stars At Puddlemere?

Two days ago, the monthly conference was held at Young Trafford Quidditch stadium. Although previous meetings were rather bleak, this one was filled with excitement. Held before the Under 17 English National Team, those attending were Viktor Krum (17), arguably the best Seeker in the world and playing for the Vratsa Vultures, and none other than Harry Potter (14), the Boy-Who-Lived. To answer the questions that undeniably popped into your heads, here are the questions asked during the meeting.

Q: (Potter): When did you become Chaser? Were you not playing as Seeker at Hogwarts?

A: I was, up until this year. Over the summer, I exercised and was able to fill out a bit. When I went back to Hogwarts to try out for the inter-house team, I found that though I was stronger, my movements were slower. I decided to try and play as a Chaser because my father was, and I'm a bit too – erm – large for the Seeker position now.

Q: (both): Have either of you been approached by other major clubs, or in Potter's case, your first?

A: (Krum): I will be moving to Puddlemere United in the summer, as the Vultures feel that with the Transfer money they make with me, they can build a stronger team all around.

A: (Potter): I, too, have been approached by Puddlemere, and will most likely be moving there this summer. Although I am not 15 yet, I may be an emancipated adult, and I will check during the winter holidays.

Q (both): What are your religious views?

A: (Krum): It is my understanding that most magical peoples are Christian, although they do not practice. I share these views.

A: (Potter): I've never really given it much though, but what I will say is that though I respect the Judeo-Christian ethic, along with the Eastern pihlosophies and, of course, the teachings of Muhammad, I've found that organized religion has corrupted those beliefs, to justify countless atrocities through history. Were I to title myself to a certain religion, I'd be a hypocrite. Thus, you can call me a nonreligious with morals. Or a handsome atheist.

Further questions can be found on the paper Teen Witches Weekly.

Mr. Potter also received the U17 ENQT jersey today, and Mr. Krum will receive his in the summer. Afterwards, our crew was able to stay and watch Mr. Potter practice with his first national team, and were amazed at his skill. Here is a short interview on Harry with Joe Jaffney, captain of the team.

"What do I think of Potter? He's brilliant. He's the youngest in the squad, but probably one of the best; he could easily be picked up by any of the clubs. With even more practice, he could even rival Porskoff." Jaffney stated.

For our readers that aren't aware, Petrova Porskoff is, by far, the best Chaser to have ever lived, and is credited with inventing the popular Quidditch tactic the Porskoff Ploy. She and Josef Wronski (Seeker), who is credited with using the Wronksi Feint, dominated the league fifty years ago when they were with the Grodzisk Goblins. Porskoff and Wronksi now own one of the largest broom companies in the world.

For more information on top Quidditch players of the early 1900s, read page 3.

Harry grinned at the article, thankful that they didn't include some of the more personal questions. Glancing over at Angelina's paper, he found that the same article was published in the Daily Prophet, too. However, he spotted something peeking out from under the paper, and he craned his neck.

"Er – Angelina – what's that?" Harry asked. Angelina looked over the Prophet at the poking corner, and she quickly pushed some excess paper over it.

"Nothing." She said quickly. "Nothing at all."

Katie glanced over at it. "Oh, that's Teen Witches Weekly, that is. Don't worry, every girl has it."

And as she said this, Harry shifted in his seat, aware of at least a quarter of the female population looking at him with a hungry eye. They'd probably read the question that explained how Harry would break up with Angelina soon . . .

Harry glared down at his other letters, furiously trying not to blush under the eyes. Picking up the first letter and cutting it open, he read,

Dear Mr. Potter,

We, at Firebolt CO, offer you a payment 15,000 galleons a game in exchange that you play with our newest models. If you are able to score at least 150 points against the Netherlands, we'll raise the offer to 30,000.

Please send us a confirmation letter, and we'll reply with the contract. Enclosed now is a packet detailing our products.

Please answer swiftly,

P. Porskoff and J. Wronski, CEOs of the Firebolt Franchise.

Harry's grin returned as he looked over the paper once more, and Viktor looked over his shoulder.

"I'd take it, Harry. Those CEOs were the best in the world, and their brooms are, too."

"What's their newest model?" Harry asked, setting the letter down and picking up the other.

"It's the Aquilam. Far faster than the Firebolt, but roughly the same control." Viktor answered as Harry read the next letter.

Dear Mr. Potter,

We hope that this letter has made it to you faster than the others. We offer you a payment of 20,000 galleons a match to wear our apparel under you Quidditch robes and on your feet, and we will raise it to 27,500 if you score at least 100 points against Holland this weekend.

Enclosed is a brochure, detailing our products, and a free beanie.

Please answer swiftly,

R. Plumpton Jr., CEO of SAMA.

Harry glanced into the envelope again and sure enough, there was a neatly folded up white hat, of an even lighter material than his jacket. He studied it before slipping into his pocket.

Cutting open the last letter, he first noticed the crest that locked the flap to the envelope. It was sealed with a small wax picture depicting to wands crossing with a small stalk of what Harry had learned to be barley. Harry took out the parchment and read,

Dear Harry Potter,

On behalf of House Greengrass, I formally invite you to our Yuletide feast on the 10th of December, to discuss present events, among other things. We hope you send us a swift reply.

- Damien Greengrass, Head of House Greengrass, Ambassador to France, occupant of the Greengrass seat in the Wizengamot, etc., etc.

Harry shivered. This man was obviously Daphne's father, and meant business. Of course he would attend: after all, he was not only the father to his betrothed, but also an esteemed member of society, if all of his titles meant anything.

He tucked all of his letters into an inner pocket of his jacket and focused his attention back up to the Goblet, where Dumbledore now stood, raising his hands to signal silence.

"Dear students, tonight is the night on which we will select who will be participating in the TriWizard tournament!" He announced loudly, and then was met by the cheers of the assembled students.

"I once again warn you all – the Tasks are not simply challenges. They are tests of strengths and weaknesses, and will stretch your resources to the max. And although the prize is bountiful, it is nothing compared to the cost of a human life."

This statement was met with silence, a grim understanding coming over the students. After several moments, Dumbledore raises his hands and puts out all the fires and lights in the Hall, leaving a grey light to wash over them all, and the Goblet emitting its blue and green glow over all of the like water.

Dumbledore touched his hands to the Goblet, and after a moment, let go. The flame burst forth, a small piece of parchment shooting out of its depths. Dumbledore (with surprising reflexes and coordination) snapped his hand out and snatched it from the air. He unfolded it and announced, "The Beauxbatons champion . . . is Fleur Delacour!"

The air was filled with the cheers and whoops of the delegation from the French school, and the Veela rose out of her seat and walked up to Dumbledore, her hips swaying. Dumbledore patted her shoulder and gestured towards the Head table, and she went down the stairs behind it.

Dumbledore repeated the process, and when he'd grabbed the paper, he read out, "The Durmstrang champion . . . is Viktor Krum!"

Harry whooped and slapped Viktor's back as the Bulgarian got up from his seat next to him. After a nod to Dumbledore, he was off down the stairs.

Dumbledore once again touched the Goblet, and now Harry felt a grim apprehension. Something was going to happen, but it wouldn't work in Harry's favour.

Dumbledore read off the still smoking paper, "The Hogwarts champion is . . . Angelina Johnson."

She jumped up onto her feet, clapping and cheering as most of Hogwarts clapped and whooped. After bending over to kiss Harry's cheek, she practically skipped over to Dumbledore and then down the stairs.

Dumbledore turned and addressed them all. "Now, the three champions will be rated by the judges, which includes myself, Professor Karkaroff, Professor Maxine, Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch, on a scale of one to ten. There will be 5 Tasks -"

Suddenly, Dumbledore stumbled forward as the Goblet's flames rose three feet higher. Everyone turned, wide-eyed, as the Goblet emitted a faint screech and the fire turned green. A slip of something shot out, but instead of parchment, this what looked like a green leather strip, and Harry could barely see that something was etched onto its softer inside. Dumbledore, stunned, let it fall to the floor as the Hall watched in apprehension.

He recovered quickly and stood and took it, and stared at it for some time. After almost a full minute, Dumbledore said quietly, "Harry Potter."

Harry looked up, stunned, as Dumbledore said louder, "Harry Potter."

Harry looked to his friends for support, but they were just as surprised as he was. Slowly, Harry stood up and walked towards the Goblet, but instead of heading towards the stairs, Harry snatched the slip away from an astounded Dumbledore and studied the material. It was green, hard, and smooth.

It was remarkably similar to a certain Basilisk hide.

-ooOoOoOoo-

Rage formed in splotches in Harry's mind as he stormed his way into the trophy room. The other three champions looked up from where they were sitting, and Angelina rushed to Harry, and the other three began talking at once.

"What's happening? I heard a scream -"

"What's going on, Harry?"

"What eez happening? Are we needed in ze Great Hall?"

Harry just shrugged helplessly as several adults came in. Dumbledore was first, and the old man caught Harry by the collar and pushed him up against a glass case.

"Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire?" Dumbledore hissed as Karkaroff, Maxine, McGonagall, Snape, Moody, Bagman, and Barty Crouch came in.

Harry's eyes narrowed and he spat, "Get off me, old man." and he gave his Headmaster a hefty shove away from him. "I was with my friends the whole time we were to enter our names!"

Dumbledore glared back at him. "Did you have an older student put it in for you?"

Harry growled. "Fucking no!"

McGonagall stared at him. "Language, Mr. Potter."

Harry rounded on her. "Shut up! I should be able to swear right now. After all, I'm pretty much set up to die!"

Maxine stepped in. "Vat are you talking about? Of course you entered in, you want the wealth and the glory!"

Harry glared at her. "I already have enough shit going on right now to enter into this stupid competition. I'm already too fucking rich, and my fame is on the rise! Not that I give two shits about it!"

The trophies shook as Harry's magical aura expanded. Dumbledore immediately attempted to reprimand him. "All the evidence points to you, my boy. Who else is to blame? This hide is from the basilisk you killed in second year-"

At this, all the others looked shocked, but Harry was in the zone now. "Old man, you've studied me for more than three years, and you know that I don't want more on my fucking plate."

"Watch your mouth, Potter!" Snape spat. "Ever since you've come to this school, you stick your large, egotistical head in places it doesn't belong! Every class, you make some disruption to seek attention -"

"You know nothing about me!" Harry roared, stepping forward, causing Dumbledore to back away. "You're too caught up in your stupid grudge against my father! But here's a news flash, you greasy haired git! I'm not my father!"

Dumbledore quietly used his magic to enhance his strength a little and stepped forward to grab Harry, but the boy slapped his arm away.

"Don't fucking touch me, old man! All I wanted this year was a normal school year! Where I could focus on my grades, Quidditch, and maybe a few girls, too! But no, every year some fucking shit comes up, and I have to deal with it! First, it was a three-headed dog and Professor Quirrel who I had to kill. Then it was a fucking basilisk that I had to stab, and I was already under speculation of being a Dark Wizard! And then there was last year, where I was told that a serial killer was seeking my death, but was actually my godfather who was wrongly accused who you sent off to Azkaban without a trial! But one of your biggest fuck-ups was this year. You just happened to forget to mention that there was a marriage contract hanging over my head that YOU were responsible for! But the biggest mistake you've made was forcing me to stay with my relatives for ten years, who beat me every day! Fuck you!" Harry screamed, storming forward and grabbing Dumbledore's collar.

"Listen, Dumb-as-a-bloody-door. If one more preventable thing happens to me that puts me or my friends in danger, I will be transferring to Durmstrang next year. Have a good fucking night."

Harry wrenched his hands away from Dumbledore's throat, pushed past the others, and when he reached Snape, he shoved him out of the way. With that, he slammed the door behind him, and was gone.

The room was met with silence. After a minute, Moody barked out a harsh laugh, and Maxine looked at Dumbledore. "Eez eet true, Dumbly-dore? What he said?"

Dumbledore covered his face in his hands and breathed out slowly through his nose, knowing that transparency was required at this stage. "Every word."

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.