The term at Hogwarts went on like normal up until Halloween. Classes happened like normal. Snape took points from anyone that moved during class, Peeves was playing tricks on every student, professor, headmaster and Filch, and Hermione was just trying to keep Harry and Ron out of trouble. Another part of the normal start to the term was the first fight with Malfoy of the year.
On the first day of classes, Harry, and Hermione had squared off against Malfoy and his goons in the courtyard of the castle. Insults had been thrown back and forth. Malfoy talking about the Weasley's finances, and then proceeding to insult Mrs. Weasley which caused Harry to retort with some choice words about Mrs. Malfoy. The whole time, Hermione had stood silent by her friends side with her wand at the ready.
After Harry had insulted Malfoy's mother, he had foolishly turned around to leave, therefore not seeing Malfoy raise his wand, but Hermione had. She struck Malfoy with a swift stinging curse, causing him to yelp and lower his wand. Hermione had glared at the blonde until he had huffed and then grabbed his goons and then stormed out of the courtyard pouting. Harry had gone to thank Hermione but she had cut him off with a quick beration of him turning his back on his opponent. Harry had looked properly chastised and had hugged Hermione quickly before promising to be more careful and dragging Hermione off to lunch with her boys.
Another unusual part of the term was the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. The first class had every student pretty convinced that Moody was as crazy as the papers said he was, what with his constant bellowing about practicing constant vigilance, and then the lesson on unforgivables.
Moody had had the fourth year Gryffindor and Slytherin class watch as he had practiced the three unforgivable curses on a spider. Hermione had been shaken following the lesson, and found comfort between Harry and Ron, but Neville was not so lucky. The boy had been so pale after the lesson, likely from witnessing the curse that had terrorized his parents. Moody had called the boy back up to his office, but Hermione could not help but be a little wary.
That same night, Harry, Hermione and Ron had sat on the couch in the Gryffindor common room long after the rest of the tower was tucked into bed. The fire in the hearth lowered before it rose again, this time with a face in it.
"Hello children," Sirius Black called joyfully with a large smile on his face. The trio fell to their knees before the fire and greeted Sirius warmly. "Ok," he cut them off with a chuckle "I know you three have missed my handsome mug, but lets get this update on what's happening at school."
"Well," Harry said slowly "the Triwizard Tournament will take place at Hogwarts this year." Sirius looked shocked at this news, meaning that Harry had not mentioned it in his letters.
"Pup, you should have mentioned this to me sooner," Sirius scolded gently. "That is very interesting though. The timing is interesting as well." Hermione nodded along with Sirius' train of thought. "No bother, Dumbledore knows what he's doing. Ok, anything else kiddos?"
Hermione thought for a moment before deciding to speak. "Sirius, did you ever know Alastor Moody?"
"Mad Eye?" Sirius questioned. At her nod he went on "Yes kitten, he was my trainer when I joined the Aurors. I worked with him a lot. Why do you ask?"
"Well," Hermione drawled "He is our new DADA professor."
"Really?" Sirius questioned in an incredulous tone. "Moody as a professor? That's an interesting choice. But I do suppose Dumbledore doesn't have many other choices these days."
"Does he strike you as the kind of wizard to, I don't know," Hermione said slowly "To practice the unforgivables on a live animal in his classes?"
"What?" Sirius practically hissed with a hard look in his eyes. "Definitely not."
"Ok," Hermione mumbled.
After a moment of silence, with Sirius, Harry and Ron looking at her, Sirius responded to her. "Kitten, trust your gut," he urged "I never knew Moody to even use unforgivables, even in combat. But that was over 12 years ago, and the times have changed."
Hermione nodded and kept quiet while Harry said a lengthy goodbye to his Godfather and set up their next time to talk. Once Sirius had left the building, the boys said goodnight and headed up to bed themselves but Hermione stayed behind for a few minutes just staring into the fire. When she finally climbed into her bed, she said a quick prayer to whoever was listening, hoping for no more danger in the coming year.
Hallows Eve at Hogwarts was like a big ole party. The ghosts were rowdier than normal, playing pranks on everyone, there was a feast, and the castle just seemed to be alive even as the weather outside seemed to get drearier and drearier. Hermione and the boys sat down at the Gryffindor table with Ginny and the twins, and as they chatted the Great Hall filled up and got even louder because of the excited voices filling it. Tonight the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students would be arriving, officially beginning the Tournament proceedings.
Hermione's stomach was staring to grumble when Dumbledore stood up from his seat at the table. "Students! It is my privilege to announce to you the arrival of our sister and brother schools in the Triwizard tournament! First, we have the wonderful ladies from Beauxbatons with their lovely Headmistress, Madame Maxime!"
The doors to the Great Hall opened to reveal a group of women dressed in delicate blue dressed and hats. The young women danced down the middle of the hall, sighing and releasing butterflies from their sleeves as they went. Hermione was unsurprised to see that almost every male specimen in the hall was staring at the ladies with fascination.
Following the girls, was the single largest person that Hermione has ever seen. The dark haired woman walked gracefully, despite her size. Dumbledore left his seat to meet the woman (he did not even reach her bosom in height), and greeted her as he bent over her extended hand and kissed the air above it. "Students! Let us welcome the ladies of Beauxbatons!" The hall erupted in claps, the boys of Hogwarts clapping much more enthusiastically than the girls. The girls from Beauxbatons headed to the Ravenclaw table while Dumbledore returned to his seat once again.
"And next," the Headmaster called "We welcome the students of Durmstrang! And their Headmaster, Igor Karkaroff!" The doors to the hall banged open, revealing a group of men and women(because there was no way they could be just boys and girls) dressed in furs and thick coats. The group walked down the aisle, banging great wooden staffs on the stone floor in time with their footsteps. One man broke from the group, and took a knee while he blew a great fire bird from his staff.
At the back of the group were the two most eye drawing figures. Both men were tall and intimidating, but Hermione recognized the slightly taller one as Viktor Krum, meaning the other was the Headmaster of Durmstrang. As the men joined their fellows at the front of the hall, Krum glanced toward the Gryffindor table and caught Hermione's eye and seemed surprised to recognize her before offering her a smirk and turning back towards the approaching Dumbledore.
"Ah Igor!" the headmaster called as he shook the man's hand. "Such a pleasure! You can lead your young men over to the Slytherin table." Fitting, Hermione thought. Considering she had read that Durmstrang specialized in Dark Magic and refused muggle borns admittance. They would be comfortable with the snakes.
"Now that we are all here!" Dumbledore called, once more at his seat "We can eat. But before the plates are brought out, a toast!" Everyone raised their glasses with the Headmaster. "To new friends, and international cooperation!" Hermione laughed as she took a sip of her pumpkin juice, being very aware that the tagline of the Triwizard tournament would be 'International Cooperation.'
The day after the arrival of the other schools passed like any other, the only difference being the larger volume of students in the hall. Hermione had retreated to the library after dinner, and shared a smile with Madam Pince before claiming what many had come to know as 'Hermione's Table'. She settled in to do her essay for Herbology. She was about five inches in when she heard the sound of many feet and high pitched giggles enter the library. She ignored the noise until she could see out of the corner of her eye, a figure stop by the empty chair at her table.
At the sound of a clearing throat, Hermione looked up from her essay and was surprised to see Viktor Krum smiling at her. "May I?" He asked while gesturing to the seat at her table. Hermione hesitated for a moment, just to see him lose his confidence, before nodding with a small smile. She was surprised to see him pull a book from his bag before sitting down, and he opened it to begin reading, rather than try to start a conversation with her.
Hermione turned back to her essay, but was unable to get far with the constant giggling and sighs occuring in the aisle next to her. She huffed and threw her quill down, causing Viktor to look at her with a raised eyebrow which she glared at while standing and stalking over to the aisle that was apparently the Viktor Fan Club HQ.
"Listen," She hissed, enjoying the way the girls all looked scared at the sight of the Gryffindor Princess with a face that spelled trouble for whoever crossed her. "This is a library, leave the poor boy alone while he's in here." A few of the girls looked ready to protest, so Hermione brought out her 'listen-to-me-or-else-you' face and spoke again "Do you ladies really want to try me?" She asked sweetly. The girls shook their heads quickly before scampering to the exit of the library. Satisfied, Hermione headed back to her essay, and saw Viktor looking at her in awe.
"What," She snapped self consciously.
"You," he began. "No one can ever get rid of them, believe me, family and I have tried."
"Well," Hermione said smugly while sitting down. "I'm-"
"Marry me?" he said loudly, cutting her off. She giggled in surprise before responding.
"You at least need to take me out on a date," she teased gently, knowing the boy hadn't meant it.
"Ok," he said "This weekend? Hogsmeade?"
Hermione stared at him for a moment, opening and closing her mouth like a fish. "Viktor, I was kidding! You don't need to-"
He chuckled at her "Of course I don't need to. But I have a pretty and smart young lady in front of me, who gets rid of those pesky fangirls. Why would I not want to take her on a date?"
"Viktor you really don't-" She tried once again.
"No!" He exclaimed, before falling to his knees and grabbing both of her hands. Hermione laughed nervously, looking around to see if people were noticing the best seeker in the world on his knees in front of a plain Gryffindor. "Please, allow me to take you on a date," he begged.
"Ok," Hermione agreed, just to get him off of the floor.
He kissed her hands before yelling in his mother tongue "ya byl blagoslovlen!" (I have been blessed)
Hermione rolled her eyes before responding "ne dramaticheskiy," (don't be dramatic).
Viktor froze and looked at Hermione in shock before replying "ty govorish' po-russki?" (You speak Russian?)
"Da," Hermione responded with a smile "moi babushki i dedushki zhivut tam, i eto moy rodnoy yazyk, poetomu ona nauchila menya," (my grandparents live there and it is my mothers first language, so she taught me).
Viktor stared at her in awe for another minute before shaking out of his stupor and switching back to English "The more you know," he said while looking at her with heavy eyes "Well, you will meet me in the entrance hall at, say 10? On Saturday? We can go to village together?"
Hermione smiled and said sweetly "Yes, that would be lovely."
Viktor beamed at her before grabbing his bag and book, and leaned over to kiss Hermione's cheek. As he stood, and saw her look of shock, he departed saying "do subboty printsessa." (Until Saturday Princess).
Hermione was still in shock a few minutes after Viktor had left, and slowly gathered up her books, heading back to the tower. Harry and Ron tried to get her to stay in the common room with them, but she brushed her boys off and headed to her room. She got undressed and climbed into bed. That night she dreamt of the Russian countryside where she had grown up, and a tall man with a cheeky smile.