Looking back at the past month, Harry thought about why he was sitting here in the champion's tent prior to the First Event of the Quin-Wizard Cup. The sith champion, Maris Kra, is leaning against the table next to him, practically oozing confidence. Harry wishes he had even a smidgeon of the zabarak's confidence.
Despite his frayed nerves, and the cheering crowd outside, the youth's mind drifted back a month prior onto his fated day of the year. Hallow's Eve.
October 31, 1994
Harry sat in the corner of the room, as the heads of the three European schools argued amongst each other about his impromptu appearance as the 2nd champion of Hogwarts. Lord Azukra simply stood there and wore a literal mask of indifference. Grandmaster Ronnelis paid no attention to the argument, but his focus remained on Harry. His lips twisted into something, it looked more like pity, or maybe even worry about Harry's future health. The boy did not know which, but it was hard to feel appreciation for either.
The champions on the other hand, were far more straightforward. Cedric Diggory, who Harry hoped would be on his side, kept his distance away from him, only to give an apologetic smile. Victor Krum had stoical grimace, more annoyed by his presence in the room than his forced participation in the tournament. Fleur Delacour gave him a look from across the room that was a cross between pity and anger, all behind the snootiest glare that had Malfoy beat. The moment it was revealed that he was in tournament she called him a little boy.
A little boy does not survive multiple near-death experiences.
A little boy does not fight a wizard with his bare hands in fear drenched inspiration.
A little boy cannot kill basilisk with a sword.
A little boy cannot drive away hundreds of dementors with an overcharged expecto patronum charm in sheer desperation.
He is not a little boy.
Harry flinched at Kerran's voice. He noticed that his fingernails had dug painfully into his own palms. He had no idea where that came from.
Kerran Ronnelis stood next to him, his mouth furrowed with concern. "Are you okay?"
"You believe me, right?" Harry pleaded.
Kerran smiled. A sense of comfort filled his mind as the jedi acolyte nodded toward him in affirmation. "Of course. I sense no deception in the force from you." He looked up and tilted his head over to the corner of the room behind Harry and away from the Professors. "I'm not the only that believes you."
The unfortunate youth looked behind him to see the sith girl, Maris Kra, she smiled at him. He found no comfort in that expression. "Why does that not assure me?"
The miralukan chuckled under his breath. "That is because you are not stupid, Harry. Maris is a dangerous adversary who could tear you apart with her bare hands but- "He lowered his tone, so his voice would not carry across the room. "You're not on the top of her list."
"Who is on the top of her list?" Harry asked, already unconsciously offered his condolences.
He grimaced. "You will probably figure it out before the end of the tournament."
Harry resisted the urge to add on to his statement, if I survive.
It looked like the school heads had finally come to a forced agreement by the hands of Mr. Crouch. As all six champions were ushered off to bed for the night, Harry was sent back to Gryffindor Tower. The teachers did not believe him and most of the champions did not want anything to do with him. The one thing he could count on was the support of the House of Lions. They backed him up when he was under suspicion as the Heir of Slytherin, and they watched his back during the Azkaban debacle last year.
He looked up at the Fat Lady as she waved politely. Harry could trust his best friends and his dormmates to support his claim of being falsely entered into the tournament.
November 13, 1994
When Colin Creevey interrupted the fourth-year double potions class, Harry thanked him for his timely entrance. The past two weeks have been mess. Ron refused to believe that he did not enter his name in the tournament. He was being a complete prat that did not want anything to do with him. Hermione was almost as bad, she believed but had squirreled herself away in the library to help him.
Harry did not want help. He wanted friends, someone to watch his back when stinging hexes were flung across the room when the teacher's back was turned. When dirty looks came in droves that made him shrink into his seat during the meal times. Then Malfoy started to pass out those blasted enchanted badges.
It had been an overall unpleasant couple of weeks.
As he entered the Harry immediately came face to face with an older witch with glasses and notepad in hand. A photographer who floated around in the background behind her. She smiled at his appearance at the door of the room.
"Harry!" A girl called out. An arm wrapped around his shoulders, the grip possessive, and Harry immediately tensed up, but was completely unable to break free, let alone move. Maris's voice hovered near his ear, "Don't talk." Her warm breath caused a chill to go down Harry's spine, it froze him in place.
Maris continued, her attention shifted toward the reporter, her golden eyes locked onto the older woman. "We've been waiting for our little champion to show up! It's about time to start the weighing of the wands- "She leveled a glare toward the reporter and her photographer, both immediately pulled away from the students, fear palpable in their expressions. Maris continued, "We don't have time for interviews, we are just about to start the ceremonies."
The sith girl guided Harry away from the press and herded him toward the other gathered champions before her vice-like grip left his shoulder. Harry turned around to face her and noticed that she has a good two feet on him, which only gave her a more intimidating stature with her face twisted into a snarl. "Paparazzi." She hissed. "Like womp rats over a bantha's corpse."
Harry chose this moment to speak up, "Why you do that?"
Maris turned her golden eyes upon him. "Did you not hear what I just said youngling? That woman is nothing more than insect flying around our- "
"Kra." Kerran chastised, only for her face to turn even more vicious. Krum, Diggory and Delacour all took a step back.
"Don't start with me, Ronnelis." Maris said his name with such venom. She turned her attention back onto Harry. "To repay me for saving you from that mynock's claws, you're sticking with me Potter." She really did not leave him any room to say no.
Professor Dumbledore soon entered the room followed by Mr. Ollivander, the renowned British wand maker. As he examines the wand of Delacour, Maris talked with Harry, as she tried to understand more about magicals' wands. "So, each wand is meant to be unique for each wizard yes?" She questioned.
Harry's mind stuttered for a moment, before he nodded hesitantly. "Something like that." He thought back to a tidbit of information he heard a while ago. "Wands are like…trainers."
"Trainers?" She seemed unfamiliar with the term. She gave him the look to elaborate. Since Mr. Ollivander was in the middle of making comments about a rival's wand craft while he examined Krum's wand.
Harry blushed in embarrassment. Of course, an alien would not recognize what he means. He looked down at her feet to see that she was wearing boots. "Or boots," He gathered his thoughts in a moment. "The right-sized boot fits great and its comfortable and familiar. Sure, someone else could wear your boots, but they won't have the same familiarity or comfort."
She nodded at this, her face rather blank. "Interesting." Maris commented.
Harry was soon called over for his own wand weighing, but after that came the lightsaber examination.
The sith lord stepped forward. Lord Azukra looked down toward Kerran, his helmeted visage rather intimidating when focused on a singular person. Harry always thought that his fellow was a perfect jedi, in control of his emotions, and cool under pressure. To see him sweat a bit underneath the presence of the sith order master was certainly a sight. He handed his lightsaber over to Lord Azukra, who immediately tossed it back and forth between his hands, as he examined the adept hilt. He grunted, then tossed the hilt into the air. Kerran jumped in surprise flinched as he resisted the urge to jump after it.
The lightsaber remained in the air, it floated between the two. "It's your first lightsaber, not your first child." Lord Azukra chastised the jedi. "If it cannot handle a little fall like that, then you are certainly going to break it before this tournament is done." He lifted his hands into the air and pulled the lightsaber apart with the force. All of the parts were examined; lens, emitter, and the crystal. Azukra pushed his hands together and rebuilt the lightsaber.
It floated back down and into the sith's open palm. With a flick of his thumb, the lightsaber ignited. The deep blue light lit up the room. Azukra then turned the blade off and handed it back to Kerran. "It's in working order, and as expected of young Ronnelis, it is decent work." The armoured sith stepped backward to stand with the other headmasters.
Maris stepped forward along with the jedi master. She unclipped two cylinders from her waist. One hilt was smaller than the other as she handed them off to Master Ronnelis. "Thank you, Miss Kra." He levitated both sabers into the air and like his sith counterpart, he pulled them apart, the parts examined through the force.
Master Ronnelis then stated, "If I didn't know your father as well as I do-" At this Harry could hear the mechanized growl behind Azukra's mask. "I would have said that he helped you, but we both know he'd never do that. Far too much pride."
The Grandmaster reassembled the two lightsabers, and activated them; a red blade, and the shorter purple one. He quickly turns them back off, "Good work." He complimented her before he hands the blades back to Maris. The sith girl backed away from the jedi, her eyes did not leave his covered ones, until she was next to Harry once again.
With the "Weighing of the Wands" completed, the woman that Harry learned to be Rita Skeeter, tried to take a near dozen photos of the champions and their school heads. She even tried to take Harry aside into the broom closet for an interview, only for Maris to block her every time.
In despite of an awkward conversation where he compared wands to boots, Maris stuck around Harry. After the previous weeks of forced isolation, even dangerous sith was welcome company. For the next week or so after, Maris certainly made time to keep Harry company outside of class time. She was a bit chilly, but she had a lot of questions about the British magical world, and Harry wasn't the most knowledgeable person to ask about it. Despite a slanderous article from the Daily Prophet, decrying Harry Potter and his "xeno" girlfriend.
Maris practically laughed at the paper in the middle of the Great Hall, before decreeing that as the future Mrs. Potter, the British Magical World will now serve her in her bid to conquer the planet.
This naturally sent the majority of English students into a panic, which upon asking her about later, Maris freely admitted that she "just wanted to watch them run around for a bit."
Kerran kept giving her these funny looks from across the hall, however. In despite of what Hermione may say about the jedi order and their new rules about major displays of emotion in public, Harry could swear he got a dirty look from him whenever he spent time with Maris.
Then the day of the First Task arrived.
Honestly, Harry did not know what to suspect.
He couldn't fight a dragon with spells like Krum or Cedric, and he certainly could not put a dragon to sleep with an extensive knowledge of charms like Fleur. So, he summoned his broom and outflew the Hungarian Horntail. Except for a few minor burns, he survived.
The moments that lead up to his task were definitely filled with fear and terror. The audience thrummed with shock and awe only escalated his nerves before he set foot out of the tent, but it was now over and done with. He sat with the rest of the champions below the judges' table to view the remaining competitors fight their own dragons.
A near two dozen wizards and witches usher in a massive dragon, the largest breed in the tournament. The dragon was a hulking mass, a third bigger than the Horntail, and talons the size of classroom doors. With the metallic grey of its scales and its sheer size, the Ukrainian Ironbelly is a dauting obstacle.
The audience for the Quin-Wizard Cup was practically whipped into a frenzy with Bagman's commentary. "The largest dragon breed known on Earth, the Ukrainian Ironbelly is more than just a challenge for our contender. I don't know about you folks, but I don't think these sith are up to snuff compared to us magical folk. I hope this young lady knows when to throw in the towel!"
Harry thought back to his time in the contender's tent an hour before. Maris smiled when she heard the description of the dragon, let alone the animated figurine that fit her palm. Her smile did not give reassure Harry. In fact, knowing what he does considering the Star Wars movies and the short display during the weighing of the wands, Harry was practically giddy with excitement. He had to remind himself that Maris was still an alcolyte, so she probably couldn't pull off some of the things in the movies.
To charge full-tilt at a dragon with a war-cry in her throat was something Harry watched in disbelief.
The dragon was unconcerned, and with a quick breath in its lungs, fire shot from its mouth in what could only be a fireball directly in Maris's path. The ball of flame met her charge, and bent around her as she ran through it, manic-like glee on her unburnt face. The dragon reared onto its back legs, its neck stretched upward as an orange glow travelled from its chest to its throat. It prepared to fire again, only for Maris to leap 15 feet into the air and latch on to its muzzle.
Her thighs rode the dragon's snout as her lightsaber's came to life in her hands, red and purple, before they melded into blurs. Maris slashed repeatedly at the dragon's face, roars of pain escaped its mouth alongside licks of fire that was already built up in its throat.
The dragon bucked its side to side, up and down to dislodge the sith on its face and succeeded. Maris was tossed through the air, boneless like a devastated corpse, only to right herself into a flip before she hit the ground. Her lightsabers were crossed in front of her body in a defensive crouch. The sith was silent her war cry no longer in her throat. Her eyes trained on the dragon while her face was bathed in the luminance of her weapons.
The dragon had deep furrows in its scales from the lightsabers, and Harry realized just how strong a dragon's scales really were. The Ironbelly dug its forelegs into the ground, furrows from its claws in the dirt, while its nest sat below its torso. The golden egg shined with brilliance among its greyish counterparts.
Maris stood up from her crouch. The dragon snarled in response but did not react. A bellow emerged from her throat, the force of the yell itself buffeted the dragon's head aside, only for Maris to leap to the forward and land beside the torso of the dragon.
She charged forward and shoved the largest breed of dragon in the world aside like an American Football quarterback.
The Ironbelly landed on its right flank, and Maris swept into the nest and snatched the golden egg. With speed that she did not show before, it was a full sprint back to the competitor's entrance with the dragon on her heels. The handlers descended upon the arena and wrangled the injured beast back to the cages.
The audience was in complete awe, while Lord Azukra simply said, "Good enough."
The sith order clapped politely, which was then joined by the overwhelming praise by the arena. Harry sat back in his seat and absorbed just what happened. He attempted to rationalize it, and completely missed the arrived of Kerran and his own draconic obstacle.
While the Ukrainian Ironbelly was a massive beast, Kerran's obstacle was the much smaller, but far more hostile, Peruvian Vipertooth. Fifteen feet tall, and twenty feet long, copper-coloured dragon was a venomous predator that favoured the taste for human flesh. Harry had no idea how the Miralukan would get past the dragon let alone fight-
It purred while Kerran ran his hand along it's snout.
With complete nonchalance, the young jedi plucked the golden egg from the nest, like grabbing a sickle off the ground.
For the second time within a half hour, the crowd was stunned into silence again.
I thought about keeping Harry meek during the initial champion selection, but I rationalized with the sith being an actual thing-
Get angry Harry.
Initially, I wanted Maris to comfort Harry during the selection, but Kerran has been too nice to Harry and friends. So, he now has skeletons in his closet now, because even good-two-shoes jedi can make terrible decisions. What secrets do you hide, Kerran?
I kept fooling around with the idea of having Harry or the other champions fight a Rancor, acklay or a terentakek, but I couldn't make it rational. "Hey magical people, wanna fight an alien creature you know nothing about and probably won't see again for the rest of your life?" I couldn't make it fit, so…dragons.
I ended up getting most of this done a couple weks back, but then I started to run out of steam near the dragon fights and weighing of the wands, which defeated the entire purpose of this shorter, story. Hopefully, I want to get the next chapter done before next Sunday, I just need to streamline myself and not get too caught up in the little things like in here.