It's fourth year, and Harry's name has just come out of the Cup of Doom. He's not happy. Most definitely non-canon. The Potter universe is the property of J.K. Rowling, who has graciously allowed us to play in her sandbox, thank you, ma'am. As usual, I've derived no financial benefit from this, because, as usual, there's not a mid-fifties Vanden Plas Princess parked out front.

Hold My Butterbeer

"Harry Potter!" the headmaster announced — shouted, really — for the third time.

Harry rose from his seat at the Gryffindor table. Hermione clutched his forearm. "Harry," she pleaded, "don't do anything … rash."

"Rash?" Harry hissed at her. "Rash? That depends on Dumbledore."

He stood fully erect. "Yes?" he said in a cold tone.

"Your name came out of the Goblet, Harry," Dumbledore explained in his schmoozy 'grandfather' voice. "You must compete, it's a magical contract."

"No." Harry sat back down.

"Mister Potter," McGonagall half-shouted. "What is the meaning of this? You cannot defy the headmaster."

Harry stood again. "The meaning," he said sarcastically, "is that I did not enter this ridiculous contest. Which," he added, "is more like the Circus Maximus, blood sport for the masses."

"None the less, Harry, your name came out of the Goblet, you must compete or lose your magic," Dumbledore explained, his tone that of a parent speaking to a recalcitrant toddler. "It's a magical contract," he added again.

"Really, Dumbledore?" Harry asked, striding down the aisle toward him. "Let me see that piece of paper you're holding." He snatched the scrap from Dumbledore's hand, and looked at it closely.

"It's from a piece of homework or an essay," Harry stated. "That," he pointed at the scrap, "is not my signature."

"Of course it is, my boy," Dumbledore said patronizingly. "See? Potter, H.J. That's your name."

"Yes," Harry said. "My name, not my signature. Contracts must be signed. Most eleven-year olds know that. No signature, no witnessed mark, no contract." He tossed the scrap at Dumbledore. "Look at the other entries," he sneered. Harry snatched one of the other entries from Dumbledore's other hand. "See?" he demanded. "Miss Delacour has signed hers, and printed her school's name below her signature."

"None the less …" Dumbledore began.

"Bullshit," Harry interrupted him. "I'll give you 'none the less,' " he sneered, drawing his wand. "I swear on my magic that I, Harrison James Potter, Heir Potter, did not enter, nor cause to be entered, my name in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Further, I swear on my magic that I will not compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament."

A white glow surrounded Harry briefly. "Now, we'll see if I have magic still." His wand slashed obliquely, from left to right. "Jouer 'Le Boudin'," Harry snarled as his wand reached the end of the stroke.

A bass drum sounded in the dead-quiet of the Great Hall, followed by brass instruments.

"Still have magic, Dumbledore. So bugger off, and take your tournament with you," Harry sneered loudly. He began marching to the door, steps in time with the music.

Several of the Beauxbatons contingent began wailing, three of the girls fainted. Miles Longstreet, an American student, stood, cupped his hands around his mouth, and shouted "Vive la mort, vive le guerre, vive le sacré Légionnaire." Two more French students fainted. Longstreet brought his right hand to his eyebrow, palm down, in a parade-ground perfect American salute. Harry had stopped when Longstreet shouted in French. He turned, facing Longstreet, and returned the salute, palm out, British (and French) style, then dropped his hand, and continued toward the doors.

Longstreet held his salute until the doors closed behind Harry. The music stopped as they did so. Hermione Granger, shaking and pale with rage stood. "I hope you're satisfied, headmaster," she snarled. Dumbledore stood, still as a statue, with his mouth wide open in surprise.

"Miss Granger?"

"You've finally managed to drive him away, headmaster, with your silly, and dangerous 'tests'." Her shoulders dropped momentarily. "And you'll not see him again, unless you survive a few decades more."

"Miss Granger, you're raving," McGonagall stated. "You couldn't have any idea …"

"My God you lot are stupid," Longstreet interrupted. "You've not a damned clue, have you? And likely not sense enough to ask the Beauxbatons lot."

McGonagall sputtered wordlessly, finally getting control of herself. "Mister Longstreet, that will be twenty points from Ravenclaw," she ground out.

"Knock yourself out, ma'am," Longstreet responded agreeably. "Won't make a lick of difference." He nodded toward Hermione, who was busily putting two books into her ever-present bag. "Lady Hermione, will you accept my escort?" he asked.

"Most certainly, kind sir," she replied. They met in the central aisle, and Miles offered his arm to Hermione.

"Miss Granger, Mister Longstreet. Where do you think you're going?" snarled Snape.

Longstreet wheeled about, bringing Hermione with him. "I don't think I'm going anywhere, Potions Master," Miles bit out. "I'm escorting the Lady Hermione to her father, Major Eorl David Granger, 61st Eorl Reghed." He paused briefly. "Then I'm going to really annoy my father, the Colonel."

Dumbledore schmoozed again. "As your magical guardian, Miss Granger …"

"It's Lady Hermione," she snarled. "And you're not my magical guardian, Dumbledore. If I required one, that duty falls to my head of house per the Hogwarts Charter. As it stands, I've never needed that, either. I've always had a magical guardian, who also happens to be my," Hermione made air quotes , "muggle guardian.

"You will, in fact, be hearing from her. Were I you, Dumbledore, I'd get my affairs in order, and plan for a lengthy stay at her Palace and Fortress of London," Hermione concluded.

Dean Thomas' head hit the table. "Oh fuck, oh fuck," came from him in a muffled, but understandable, tone.

"Shall we leave to music, Lady Hermione?"

"That would be lovely, Mister Longstreet," Hermione replied.

Miles' wand slashed down. "Play Lili Marlene," he commanded.

They left in step to the SAS's slow march.

— 30 —

NOTES

Le Boudin is the marching song of the French Foreign Legion.

Vive la mort, et c.: Long live death, long live war, long live the sacred Legionnaire.