Halloween, October 31st
Harry groaned as Luna began to slobber all over him, yanking his face away to stop her as he muttered incoherently. Sighing in resignation, Harry pouted; he'd been having a very good sleep and wasn't amused at being woken up. Unfortunately, sleep wasn't for him, not now, he knew if he wanted to he could go back to sleep, but Luna needed the toilet, he knew all her tells, so still half asleep, he slid his feet into his slippers and grabbed a warm winter cloak before shuffling out of the room, not before noticing his dad was still asleep.
A small smile appeared on his face as he closed the door, and padded to the front door of the cabin they'd be using until they returned to St. Lucia. He jumped when he heard barking, and it definitely wasn't Luna, it was a dog's bark. Glancing around, he found himself confronted with a massive - perhaps not when compared to Luna - black dog, it was a boarhound, or rather a Great Dane, he knew his animals. He'd seen one before, he liked visiting the vets. Ever since Mark had tended to Luna, he liked to visit the veterinarian at least once a month, and Mark didn't seem to mind. Mark didn't own the practice anymore, mostly just provided the potions for them, but occasionally he would go in, at least ten times a month.
"Don't yeh worry, he ain't gonna harm you none," a loud booming voice insisted, looking star struck at the sight of Luna.
"I'm not worried or afraid," Harry explained craning his neck upwards to see the giants face, and he wasn't being metaphorical when he called this man a giant, he definitely was one. This must be Hagrid, Sirius, Remus, Minerva, Filius and his dad mentioned him quite often. "Luna won't hurt him either, she's just curious!" he explained with a grin, hearing her thoughts, Luna was used to being around people and animals and had never hurt anyone unless they were trying to harm him.
"She's a beauty!" he boomed, "I'm Hagrid, keeper of keys here at Hogwarts, and the care of magical creature's professor, it's nice to meet ya, you a Grande Riviere student?"
"I am, professor," Harry said politely, giving him the respect, his station deserved. Teachers put up with a lot, and didn't get much in the way of monetary compensation at least that's what his dad says.
"None o' that now, call me Hagrid," Hagrid said, beaming in happiness. "I didn't expect anyone up so early," he was still doing his rounds.
"Luna needed out," Harry shrugged, his way of explaining. "Oh, my name is Harrison, Harrison Regis, you can call me Harry though!" remembering his manners.
Hagrid's eyes gleamed a little and he sniffed, "its nice ter meet ya Harry," thinking of another little boy taken before his time. Oh, he held a lot of regret for what happened to the little tyke.
"You too!" Harry chirped.
"Yeh be careful now, there are a lot of dangers in the forest," Hagrid warned him.
"I will be," Harry said solemnly, taking the warning to heart, his dad would kill him if he did anything stupid like that. Headmaster Addison had already warned them repeatedly until it took about the dangers in there. He wouldn't be surprised if Talin had added some wards to prevent any mischief from happening probably his dad too.
"Come on, Fang, let's go," Hagrid called out to his hound, "Yeh take care o' yer self, Harry!"
"Bye, Hagrid!" Harry called out, mentally calling out to Luna through their bond, both of them bound back into the cabin again, and into the warmth. Despite the fact Luna was used to the heat, she didn't seem even the slightest bit daunted by the cold weather that was normal in Scotland.
"Good morning, Harrison," Talin said, looking up from the newspaper in interest to see who it was.
"Good morning Headmaster," Harry replied, he no longer found it difficult to differentiate what to call Talin most of the time, at home it was always Talin, and most of the time in his head too. At school though, or even here it was definitely Headmaster, even though all his friends knew his dad and the Headmaster was close, it was about time and places as well as respect.
"The House-elves are making breakfast, it should be ready soon," Talin explained, watching as Harry prepared Luna's breakfast.
"Everyone will be disappointed," Harry sniggered in amusement, "They liked dining at Hogwarts last night."
Talin hummed in agreement, "Yes, indeed they did," and he'd had to give out six potions to soothe stomach-ache to prevent it from actually leading to being sick. They tended to eat a lot more healthily at home, most of the food at Hogwarts was fried, almost swimming in grease, and the amount of meat they consumed…he doubted even the moon wolves would have been able to consume it.
Harry swiped his hands together, having completed his first talk.
"How are you feeling?" Talin asked, his stomach in knots just thinking about last night. He had at ten o'clock led them up to Hogwarts again, letting those who actually still wished to enter the tournament to do so. To his immense pride and anxiety none of them had stepped back, even his son had put his name in without pause. Harry was like a third son to him so sons might be a more accurate term.
Harry turned around and slid into his seat, having been taught not to lie, Harry rarely did, especially because his dad always seemed to know or find out. He hated being grounded or going to bed early, it sucked, especially when he got his mirrors taken off him. "I haven't thought about it," he answered honestly, showing how smart he was that he knew what Talin was referring to. They'd returned back to the cabin right away after submitting their names to the goblet and had an extra hot chocolate to warm up before heading to bed. He'd fallen asleep almost right away, if he didn't know any better, he would have thought there was something in the hot chocolate to help them sleep.
Talin nodded, today was going to be exceedingly long, tonight they would find out which one of his students would be competing in the tournament. Removing his wand from his holster he held it out at the corridor before using a spell to make a loud noise, like a bell for a short moment before food appeared for their breakfast.
Toast, butter, strawberry jam, an assortment of fruit, eggs done three different ways, scrambled, omelets, boiled and Benedict made the usual way with half muffins, each topped with Canadian bacon, and hollandaise sauce then there was some bacon, sausages all done the healthiest way possible.
Harry dived right in, not realizing just how hungry he was until the delicious smelling aroma penetrated his still groggy mind. He picked tow egg Benedict's, waving to Dylan as he walked in, his hair sticking up at all ends, still in his pajamas like Harry was and slouched down.
Harry made an enquiring noise through pursed lips, gesturing towards the hallway, not even needing to say anything properly for Dylan to understand.
Dylan sniggered as he scooped up two portions of omelet with pepper and onions in it. "Shower," he murmured, and that was the last of the conversation as they began to eat their breakfasts, waving or nodding to their friends as they too made appearances. Josh was last to come in, already dressed his hair still damp.
It was half an hour later before anyone spoke.
"Are we doing anything to celebrate Halloween? Headmaster Addison?" Chao questioned curiously, after the House-elves cleared the table leaving only the juice behind for them to drink. Normally they had at least a party, ones that everyone in the school attended, dressed up or otherwise, so that those at home could have fun just as much as those who stayed full board while at Grande Riviere.
"Why? It's not like we can dress up, I mean I didn't bring anything with me!" Deacon said in half panic, wondering if the others had.
"Wait, Hogwarts is bound to be having something happening tonight, other than the tournament announcements surely?" Dylan pondered.
"I wonder what they normally do?" Josh mused, as everyone tried to give their own questions.
"Hogwarts doesn't do parties or dressing up for Halloween, it's a grand feast nonetheless, but that is all they do." Severus answered their questions as he entered the room. "Do not go crazy with the sweets," he warned them, but his tone wasn't scathing, but concerned.
"That's just boring!" Josh groaned, "A feast? It's supposed to be about dressing up and having fun!" revealing their age, sure they might be what people here called 'Advanced' for their ages intellectually but the reality was, they were still just fourteen-years-old.
"Every school has their own quirks and has different ways of celebrating things," Talin said soothingly, "I think once the announcements have been made this evening you won't be bothering overly much about dressing up."
"I can't wait!" Jaden said practically shaking with excitement.
Talin just groaned at his sons' words, his son might not be able to wait but he was dreading it. Glancing at Severus he saw that his own emotions were reflecting in those black eyes, yes, he wasn't the only one.
"Did you hear the rumor about Durmstrang?" Chao exclaimed, eager to share.
"What do you mean? What rumor?" Harry asked curiously, everyone looked Chao's way quite excited to know too.
"Well, they've said that only one student put his name in the goblet! So, he's like guaranteed to end up as the champion!" Chao said seriously.
"That can't be right…" Harry frowned, glancing at his dad to see what he thought.
"It isn't," Severus explained for his son, always up to sharing any shred of information with him so that he knew what was what. "There has to be at least three participants put forth, and no name can be the same, the line has a spell that absorbs magical signatures, so nobody could their names in more than once or for someone else."
"Two others could have put his name in for him," Harry pointed out.
"They could have," Severus agreed.
"How cool is that Mr. Regis!" Deacon grinned.
"Not very, it's not so much of a competition if the others are already cheating to get their own way," Severus replied, his distaste at the thought already showing on his face. It wouldn't surprise him if Igor had done exactly that, he had already shared with his son what Igor is, demanding that he keep away from him as much as possible without rousing suspicion. Only fellow Death Eaters would know of Igor's deflection, or those high up in the Ministry, if Harry avoided him for no reason, suspicion would be roused, and he wasn't risking it. He was going to have to be cautious anyway with Dumbledore around.
"Not only that but they say it's Viktor Krum who's only put his name in!" Chao ended her titbit with flare.
"KRUM!?" they called out half excited half terrified, "But he's brilliant!"
"Yeah," Harry muttered, "He has to be, in order to play Quidditch you have to keep your grades up, imagine being under immense scrutiny due to the fact he played professionally not just for a school team..."
"Oh, man!" Josh groaned, "Maybe I shouldn't have put my name in! He has the best grade for Defense in his year!"
"So, do we!" Dylan stated right back nudging Josh.
"I guess," Josh mused thoughtfully, ignoring all the chatting going on around him. "What do you think, Harry? Do you think the rumors are true?"
"I would say so," Alexis whispered, braiding her long brown hair, "I was leaving the Great Hall when I heard the Headmaster offer mulled wine to Krum, he sounded really gentle, parental even, like my mum is with my older brother, Adam when he gets home from work…Krum said no, but when another student asked…" Alexis shuddered, "It was like he became a whole different person, he was so cold, and then he embarrassed him just for having food down his clothes!" Headmaster Addison would never do such a thing to them, he was always kind.
Harry ducked down so they could hear him, before starting slowly, "I…wouldn't put it past their Headmaster to set something like this up, maybe thinking it himself…or the ICW helping him." there was no doubt Krum was absolutely the best not just at Quidditch either. It looked like the Headmaster also favored Krum too.
"You think they're trying to sabotage us?" Josh's jaw tightened in anger.
"I don't know," Harry said quietly, frowning, "If anything you'd expect them to help Hogwarts…they are biased in favor of this school…but the Headmistress is very fair, she wouldn't allow it, everyone probably knows that so they might have decided to go to someone else…honorable?"
"Bloody hell," Dylan groaned, rubbing his head.
"Well if anyone knows Karkaroff then yes, he's definitely capable of it," Alexis admitted, her blue eyes filled with fire. She believed it completely, that wizard…there was something about him she'd never trust him.
"It could be just a rumor though," Harry said unhelpfully, and it was obvious he didn't believe what he was saying.
"There's always some element of truth in rumors though," Josh pointed out pensively.
"Guess we'll find out tonight," Harry stated determinedly. "Whoever gets picked, we'll stick together, help each other through it." and he would begin searching for information to see if what he suspected was true.
"Hell yeah!" Deacon chimed in, "One for all and all for one!"
The two adults watched possessively over the students, eye gleaming with pride, this was what the competition was meant to be about. Sticking together, helping each other, becoming strong, united in face of trials and tribulations.
The students all laughed, relaxing in their seats, they were right, they had each other, and they would do their school proud, no matter what. They had agreed to this wanting to help their Headmaster, strongly believing that their school deserved international recognition, although in hearts of hearts some of them did indeed desire eternal glory, the money that came with it. It was why Jay had wished to come, one thousand galleons were a lot of money, it would have helped his mum cover the cost of attended Grande Riviere, but she wasn't having any of it. She'd rather work around the clock than risk her son for anything, he was all she had, and Jay had been gutted.
It was a Saturday so they didn't need to worry about school or classes they just enjoyed their day.
The anxiousness didn't return until night fell.
Once the Grande Riviere students made their way to the Hufflepuff table, they began to absorb all the talk of the day. Apparently, Fred, George, Fawcett who was a Ravenclaw, Summers -who flushed at the attention - who was a Hufflepuff, had all tried to fool the Goblet of Fire into accepting them, an aging potion apparently. Only to be flung after successfully getting over the circle to grow enormous beards.
The Grande Riviere students had all laughed in amusement.
"It's curious isn't it? How the age line worked for us?" Josh said, his eyes twinkling brightly, like they usually did when there was a mystery presented between him and his three best friends. They liked to know how everything worked.
"That's easy, when we stepped into Hogwarts our magical signature was collected by the age line before it was activated, we are the exceptions," Harry breezed through the answer, the Great Hall was packed with people, pumpkins and candles floating through the air, ghosts bobbing up and down speaking to the students or doing their own thing.
"Whoa!" a few Hufflepuffs murmured in awe having heard Harry's reply.
"That must have been some intricately designed work, I wish I could have seen it!" the fourteen-year-olds breathed, "Can you imagine having to tweak the original works like that?"
"It's not easy, but once you get the hang of it…" Dylan said thoughtfully, "I suspect it was runes, they're always best when tweaking certain spells."
"I agree," Harry nodded, "Definitely runes," absently patting at Luna, ensuring her tail was tucked in so she didn't get stepped on, glancing at her bowl, she was nearly finished with her food.
The fifth through seventh year students at the Hufflepuff table, gaped at the fourteen-year-olds for a few moments. Runes was an exceptionally difficult subject, they should still only be on the basics never mind advanced work like tweaking Runes, the seventh years actually understood the implications more than any others. Just watching them, they realized the others laughing had been premature, these students were actually going to be very good contenders for winning this.
"Hey, Harry, where's your dad? I've not seen him at Hogwarts yet?" Alexis queried, they all liked and respected Mr. Regis, he may be stern sometimes but he always answered any questions they had, helped with their homework when they were at Harry's and attended all his games and his books were a major help for those like her who just didn't get Potions like the advanced class group - or she hadn't back then, but with the book…she'd understood it better and ended up in advanced group a few years ago. It was a good thing because she wanted to be a Herbologist, and that required an EE in potions. She also wanted to do well in Alchemy, which was also steeped in potions knowledge since it was half…more than half potions.
"He's back at the cabin, he's coming for the announcements though," Harry answered her immediately, he had gone off to the goblins to find out about tweaking the pendant, to make his features less prominent, but to prevent anyone who had seen him from seeing any of the changes. Like Harry himself and everyone from his school and maybe even Minerva and Filius to everyone else he will be just different enough nobody could say he was Severus Snape or related to the Princes. He wouldn't be different enough to call any attention to him and his friends though. Even the thought of trying to figure it out baffled even him. He definitely wanted to see and inspect the pendant when he returned home though.
"I really hope its Cedric!" Summers admitted, still put out her plan had failed, "A Hogwarts, Hufflepuff victory!"
"It would show them all what we can do!" agreed Bones sagely, they were looked down upon for being loyal, "That just because we're Hufflepuff's we aren't idiots or spares!"
"What do you mean by that?" Chao asked, who was sitting closest to Susan Bones, they were already friends, pen-pals really, they'd been writing then talking through the mirrors for years now. It was odd being at the school but she was looking forward to spending proper time with her when she could.
Susan took a deep breath and told Chao about everything they endured by the other students within the castle just because of where they were sorted. That there were fewer students wishing to be with them because of it or feeling embarrassed, bullied and ostracized due to their placements. She never said this when they wrote, other than the first few letters the school hadn't been mentioned again, it had just been a factor for breaking the ice between the girls.
"Do you know if the other schools work the same way?" Sophie asked, joining the conversation, shaking her head, glad Grande Riviere didn't sort its students, it sounded like blatant permission to just be a horrible person and judged because of their placements.
"Only one other school sorts the students," Josh explained, having spent weeks looking them all up after Harry told him about Hogwarts and how they had to wait until they were eleven to attend. "It's the American school, um, what it is called…"
"Ilvermorny," Harry imputed as he slowly ate his food, he wasn't in the mood for a gigantic feast. He was definitely taking some of the treats back with him though. He made a mental note to remember cauldron cakes, they were his dads favorite.
"That's right! It's mirrored after Hogwarts! Four houses, four animals, even the subjects are the same, with some alterations," Josh went right back to it. "At least when I read it, I know Hogwarts is starting to make more classes available to its student's now." none came even close to the amount of choices they had at his school though he thought with satisfaction. "It was fascinating to read about all the diff…" Josh trailed off when every golden plate in the hall reverted back to their normal spotless states. As soon as this happened the noise cut off completely, as every student in the hall including him turned to the Headmistress of Hogwarts, to hear what was going to be said.
"The Goblet is ready now to make its decision," Minerva stated calmly, as she stood up, not even the slight bit apprehensive to see so many students gazing at her impatiently, the desire to know who the champions was written across their faces. "When I call out the name of the champions, please come up to the top of the hall and walk along the staff table, and go through into the next chamber," Minerva gestured towards the chamber for those who weren't familiar with the school. "This will be where you will receive your first instructions."
Minerva removed her wand, just as Severus stepped inside giving her a nod and every candle in the Great Hall was extinguished, and darkness descended, except for the pumpkins and the glowing Goblet of fire.
Severus closed his eyes feeling quite anxious, before opening them and breathing out, whoever it was, he would help them as much as he could. They were fourteen-years-old and the others competing where seventeen, magically they were all the same level, in fact he'd say Harry and his friends were magically stronger having been using magic longer, but physically and mentally…well that was the difference. Especially when met with the students of Durmstrang, it made Harry and the others look exceedingly younger. The Beauxbaton students though, didn't have the same intense - probably intimidating to others - presence.
Severus straightened his spine when the Goblet sparks turned red, Minerva was already summoning the charred paper towards her, he could tell she wasn't completely confident about the tournament, he'd known her long enough to see her tells. Her eyes were narrowed a little more than usual, mouth slightly more tense, it gave away her anxiety.
"The champion for Durmstrang will be…." Minerva called out, "Viktor Krum!" without too much dramatics.
Harry and the others all glanced at each other, no surprise showing, but they nonetheless cheered politely for the champion. Alexis gave Harry a pointed look when even over the cheering they heard Karkaroff bellowing out his own congratulations. Harry just smirked and shrugged his shoulders, before both were once again distracted by the Goblet and more red sparks.
"The champion for Beauxbaton," Minerva called, "Is Fleur Delacour!"
Harry craned his neck to see who she was, a blonde girl rose from the table next to their temporary ones. Oh, she was a Veela, well, half-Veela, he'd definitely know if she was a full one, everyone would. Still the pull would be quite immense, especially to those who don't have strong magical cores, she was like a siren, had an allure about her. He was quite glad he'd managed this, between giants, Veela's, half goblins this was going to be so much fun. He definitely wanted to talk to her at some point, he had quite a few questions about her lineage if she'd permit him.
"This is it!" squealed Susan, her red hair shining like a beacon even in the darkness.
"The champion for Hogwarts is…"
"Cedric Diggory!" Minerva called out, and there was an immediate roar of triumph and happiness from the Hufflepuff table, as they cheered and hollered out support for the newly elected Hogwarts champion. It drowned out the groans, the boos from a few of the more disrespectful students. Harry and his classmates remained seated as the Hufflepuffs stood, applauding as Cedric Diggory stood up, looking bashful and a little overwhelmed with the support shown to him.
"Yes! Now we have a chance to prove ourselves!" Susan exclaimed; her face twisted in victory. She was very passionate about her house, all her family had been Hufflepuff's, and she hated the rampant bullying they received because of their penchant for being loyal. A lot of the Ravenclaws were decent though, but the Gryffindors and Slytherins were unbearable.
Once Cedric Diggory disappeared through the antechamber, silence once again reigned over those within Hogwarts walls. Talin and 'Septimius' became tense once more, Minerva hadn't un-tensed since she begun reciting the names from the slips of paper.
"Here we go," Harry and Alexis muttered quietly, each student from Grande Riviere glancing at each other, hearts pounding as they waited.
"Last but no means least, the champion for Grande Riviere is…" Minerva snatched the last slip of paper from the goblet, noticing both Severus and Talin's tense states, but since they were the only two with actual children here and potential champion candidates there was nothing suspicious about it. "Harrison Regis!" oh, boy, poor Severus, he was in for a rough year, but she suspected he would have been regardless, Severus cared a lot about children, especially those he considered under his care, even if his attitude conveyed the complete opposite.
"You've got this," Dylan said, squeezing Harry's shoulder in support.
"We're with you," Josh added, patting him on the back, as they all stood up cheering for Harry, giving him their unequivocal support.
Harry gave them all a wry grin, his stomach was twisted in knots, he felt undeniably nervous. This was all on him now, he wanted so badly to help his Headmaster get his biggest wish, and he too wanted Grande Riviere to be given international status, it deserved it - that and more - in his book. He would give it his all and hope it was enough, he felt anxious and worried but the cheering and strength of his friends made him feel like an immovable force to be reckoned with.
With their strength giving him courage, Harry was finally able to get his limbs to move after what felt like forever. Fortunately for him it wasn't any longer than any other student who had just been called forth, so no odd looks or laughing thinking him weak. Fur brushed his fingers; Luna was following him. He didn't even think to force her to remain behind, the noise had startled her, it had her on edge.
The polite cheering seemed to fade into the background as Harry searched the crowd for his dad. His brow was furrowed, a sure sign on worry, but when his dad noticed him watching, it smoothed out, a comforting nod was then given, causing Harry to grin more genuinely, he suddenly realized he could do this, maybe not win but he could compete.
"Congratulations, Mr. Regis, go and join the other champions, we will be through momentarily," Minerva informed Harry as soon as he stepped in front of her.
Harry gave a nod of understanding, sound finally coming back to him, hearing the buzzing of over a hundred students all talking about the results of the goblets decisions. The cheering and applaud had died down, and they were all seated again, Harry observed before he lost view as he turned into the antechamber, feeling utterly dwarfed by the two male champions, who were standing arms crossed, leaning on the wall waiting impatiently to learn what happens next.
Harry didn't dwell on his fellow competitors, he turned to look around the room in a curious manner. He hadn't been in this part of the school - obviously - like the majority of the school it seemed to house a lot of portraits. Was there anywhere in this school you could actually get any privacy? Only a few rooms at Grande Riviere had portraits, and it was only one or two, he'd never seen a building so burdened with a great many portraits before.
It was cold in the antechamber, even with a fire roaring in the large fireplace. Then again, the three other champions were already huddled around it, claiming all the heat for themselves. He rather hoped they weren't going to be here for too long. The only warmth he felt was where Luna was leaning against his leg keeping close to him. Showing her teeth to Krum - slummed and brooding as he was - was eyeing the wolf as though he wanted nothing more than to kill and eat it.
Harry patted Luna's back, soothing her from her earlier fright, if it had been loud to him, he could only imagine how loud it had been for her. That and he was stealing some of her warmth his hands were cold. Her attention was diverted to the door, Harry glancing with her, just a few moments before the door opened again, and a large group of people began to trickle in, including his Headmaster and his dad, the noise of all the students was heard until Headmistress McGonagall, the last to enter, closed the door once more.
"How are you feeling?" Talin asked quietly, leaning down to whisper into his students' ear.
"I'm fine," Harry replied, "I'd like to know what the first task is though," perhaps that would completely settle his nerves.
"I'm sure you're all eager to get back to your friends and classmates, so let's crack on, shall we?" Ludo Bagman said with a cheerful smile on his face, looking thoroughly happy with the outcome of the tournament's announcements. "Barty? Would you like to do the honors of giving the instructions to the champions?" he called out as he was joined by everyone, including Dumbledore.
Mr Crouch, who none of the champions had noticed due to their attention being focused on their Headmaster/Mistresses. They did notice the extremely tall wizard who stepped forth, the light of the fire splashing across his face. His eyes were cold and his face was lined harshly, a deep contrast from Ludo Bagman that was for sure.
"The first task is designed to test your deductive reasoning," Crouch informed them, his voice sounded so old but just as cold as the rest of him. "It involves a hunt, a total of ten puzzles will be placed in and around Hogwarts, each puzzle will hold a clue leading to the next, in the end you'll find the last puzzle holds a clue to the second task."
Harry's eyes lit up, buzzing with excitement, he loved the sound of that, he just knew that this was Talin's design. They did these logic puzzles each Easter; in the end you got a chocolate egg if you succeeded in finishing it.
Talin cleared his throat, "I think something vital has been forgotten, don't you?" his tone smooth with a subtle rumble in his chest that wasn't discernable to everyone.
"Ah, yes, of course, my fault!" Ludo said apologetically, face going red, "I volunteered to give the information to our champions,"
"What information is this?" Fleur demanded, her accent making it difficult to understand her words fully. What could be gleaned from her though was that she was perplexed, maybe a little worried at the way they were being squirrelly about revealing the information.
"During a meeting after tying up the remaining loose ends for the tournament, one of the Headmasters decided that there should be more tasks during the tournament, protesting the unfairness of only three of the head teachers getting to set up a task." Ludo explained patiently, nobody missed his gaze going very briefly to Karkaroff when he said 'one of the Headmasters' not that Harry would have had difficulty figuring it out due to the fact the logic puzzle was definitely something Talin would design.
Karkaroff not perturbed at being called out, merely straightened defiantly, refusing to be cowed by the looks thrown his way. That was until he met 'Septimius Regis' gaze and it waved very briefly, as he observed the death spit firing from those eyes, it gave a whole new meaning to 'if looks could kill'.
"So, four tasks, one by each of your Head teachers," Crouch explained, "Depending on how you do in these tasks, you will be judged by the tournament panel at the end of these tasks."
"This is unacceptable!" Fleur argued, "We entered the competition with only three tasks, it should remain that way!" they had no right changing it at the last minute.
"Legally you can just compete in the three tasks, just because they alerted it at the last minute…doesn't mean that the rules of the contract were changed. which means you're legally only obligated to see through the three tasks, albeit with the only exception being gravely injured." Harry pointed out, "If the contract was changed, you can challenge it, you were not informed of its changes so it was misleading and mis-advertised."
Dumbledore and the others stared at the fourteen-year-old surprised and impressed, it wasn't often that children knew the rules that governed their world. Usually when they picked a career in the Ministry, they had to read everything in order to pass the tests to get into their chosen profession. Dumbledore thought it was extremely worrisome and foolish to allow fourteen-year-olds to compete alongside seventeen-year-olds in a tournament that is known for its violence and danger. Now he pondered on this school and what it was teaching its students, why teach them about law at such a young age? They had no need for it, another foolish waste of time, and he was fighting Minerva tooth and nail over the changes to Hogwarts, he didn't like it. For the most part, he was failing spectacularly, it seemed even the purebloods were happy with the changes, especially the school Governors backed by Lucius Malfoy. A wizard who seemed to take great delight in deliberately goading him by agreeing to anything he disagreed with, not that he had a say in anything on those matters anymore. He was staying here on Minerva's say so at the moment, and when and if it changed…he had no idea what he would do. Hogwarts was the safest place, and his base for all things - especially war related - and he knew sooner or later that Tom would return. Without Harry the prophecy had been nullified, and the world would be in grave danger.
"Quite right, quite right," Ludo agreed, "Do you wish to challenge the contest Miss. Delacour?"
Everyone in the room glanced over at Fleur who flushed red at the attention, it most certainly hadn't been her intention when she spoke. All of them looked quite worried, if they postponed the tournament…it was quite possible it may take longer than the school year to see it through. It would screw everything up, but the adults there all knew she was perfectly within her rights; they had changed the rules of the game - without altering the contract too - without informing them, it was their bad.
Karkaroff looked ticked off, both annoyed that someone was contesting the changes he'd fought for and the prospect of it being drawn out. They would need to leave at the end of the year for the exams, his students wouldn't be able to take them here, then they would need to return when they were no longer students, it was messed up.
Fleur looked up at her Headmistress, looking to her for guidance, all she got in turn was a small smile and a pat on the shoulder. It was obvious that Maxime was going to support whichever step she took. "No, I will compete," Fleur decided, deflating utterly, her earlier anger was gone. She did feel a small margin of embarrassment that she was the one picking a fuss when a fourteen-year-old remained unperturbed by the turn of events.
"Mr. Crouch?" Minerva prompted the wizard to continue explaining what was going on.
"The first task will take place on November the tenth, in front of the other students and the panel of judges. The champions are not permitted to ask for or accept help of any kind from their teachers to complete the tasks in the tournament. The champions will face the first challenge armed only with their wand. Owing to the demanding and time-consuming nature of the tournament it has been decided that the champions are exempt from the end-of-the-year tests."
"I think that's all, isn't it, Minerva?" Crouch turned to the Hogwarts Headmistress.
"I believe so," Minerva agreed. "Go on, I'm sure your friends are all waiting eagerly to celebrate with you," she informed the student with an amused lilt to her voice, it was going to be a long and loud night tonight.
"I have no doubt," Talin said sounding just as amused at Minerva, gripping Harry's shoulders he began to lead his student out of the antechamber, Septimius following very closely along with of course, their four legged sentry, the others doing the same, speaking in their own languages, Fleur and Maxime conversing in rapid French, but Krum and Karkaroff were silent but excited, Cedric and Minerva were talking also, mostly just Minerva making sure Cedric was truly alright and not worried about the upcoming task.
Septimius and Talin didn't glance back, they knew they would see Minerva and probably Filius for a nightcap once Minerva's duties were seen to. Not only did she have her own champion to deal with but the panel of judges to tend to while they visited the castle.
"Students, please line up in an orderly fashion, we are returning to the cabin for tonight," Talin called out to his students, who immediately obeyed him, positively vibrating with excitement, and true to Talin's thoughts and words, they didn't seem to care about the lack of party this Halloween. He knew they were going to be up well past their bedtime discussing this, and quite honestly, he was against ordering them to go to bed at their curfew due to the unique circumstances, they wanted to help Harry, the school, and who was he to prevent that?
They were thankfully able to get out of there before the older students from Durmstrang began to pull themselves away from the Slytherin table to make their way back to the boat. Karkaroff and Krum led the way, all of them quite smug and pleased with themselves.
The Beauxbaton were the same but doing so with considerable more grace than the Durmstrang students.
Everyone was quite glad to leave behind the utter cacophony of noise coming from the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
There we go edited :) I hope i've not overlooked anything anyway lol