Author's Note: Written at the suggestion of a guest's review on One-Trick Champion: "Why use a Patronus when a lazy author can off a Dark Lord using his Disarming Charm of Death?"
And yes, I know I should use Latin for incantations, but English is funnier.
An alternate summary would be 'The Triwizard Tournament, if Harry had his Deathly Hallows level of competence'.
Warning for minor cruelty to the common Weasley and a Fantastic Beasts cameo.
As the fourth Champion entered the arena, Ludo Bagman wiped his sweating hands off on his robe. The boy looked totally gormless, even to his eyes... Images of goblin torture implements danced through his mind. No! He had to have faith! He had to! Harry Potter had defeated Voldemort! Surely he would display some awesome feat of magic -
The boy raised his wand. "Watch carefully, everyone!" Ludo boomed. "Young Mr. Potter may be about to demonstrate powerful magic, beyond any we have ever-"
The golden egg shot out of the nest, and the dumbfounded dragon and audience turned to follow its trajectory as it zoomed through the air and banged off the arena wall. Amid dead silence, Potter trotted over, scooped up the egg, and left with it cradled under one arm.
Ludo turned around to find Karkaroff attempting to strangle Dumbledore with his own beard.
A frigid morning found the audience gathered around the Hogwarts Lake, watching the Champions as they approached. The youngest sauntered up, giving off the simultaneously-carefree-and-guilty air of someone who had only bothered cramming the night before the test.
"On the count of three," Ludo Bagman announced, holding his whistle at the ready. "One... two... three!"
As the whistle blew and the other three Champions dived into the lake, the fourth shook himself, grinned sheepishly, and pointed his wand at the Lake. "Expellihostageus!" When no hostage was forthcoming, he gave his wand a good shake and pointed it at the water again. "EXPELLIHOSTAGEUS!"
"No chance this time, Potter," Karkaroff sneered as Madame Maxime harrumphed. "We engineered this Task to prevent your simplistic solution to the last o-"
"You're right, too specific," Potter said absently as he polished his wand. "ExpellihosTAGESus!"
For several seconds, there was nothing - then came an explosion of water as an enormous mass burst forth like a breaching whale from the surface of the lake. The attentive eye soon spotted that it was a rock with four bodies bound to it, at least one of whom was screaming as the boulder shot into the sky. Then, of course, gravity took over.
The other Champions surfaced, gasping as they stared upwards. "Arresto Momentum!" Fleur Delacour shrieked as the rock approached the lake at terminal velocity. "Arresto Momentum!"
As Cedric Diggory joined in with his own yells, the boulder decelerated, and produced only a gentle splash when it landed. Once it stopped, half-in and half-out of the water, the Champions began swimming toward it; Hermione Granger, by now wide awake, screamed bloody murder as she saw the man-shark approaching her position. Viktor Krum wasted a precious few seconds de-Transfiguring himself and trying to reassure her.
"No, Hermy-own-ninny, is me, is me-"
Ronald Weasley gave a great yell as he shot out of his chains like a cannonball and went sailing through the air - straight toward the judges' table. As the judges scattered, the screaming boy smashed through the wood, hit the earth with a distinct ka-boing, and bounced into the Slytherin stands. Potter himself crossed his arms and stared after his wayward hostage, shaking his head.
"I'm definitely going to get points off for that."
"So should we duel for second place?"
"I preferred ze obstacle course," Fleur Delacour volunteered. "Less room for chance."
Viktor Krum grunted.
"The contest is far from decided," Dumbledore said serenely, hands folded together... and giant flaming shield covering the judges' table in a half-sphere of protection. "There is still ample time for any Champion to make up-"
The three Champions turned as one to glower at him.
"Headmaster, we all know Potter will make a farce of this Task, as he did the last two," Diggory said. Ludo Bagman couldn't quite disguise his beaming grin. Neither, oddly enough, could Mad-Eye Moody. "We're just figuring out some way to decide the real winner of the Tournament."
"Oui," Delacour said, eyes narrowed, "and I weesh to have a talk weeth whoever put 'a wet T-shirt contest' eento our suggestions box."
Incongruously, somewhere in the stands, a dog woofed.
Despite his own obvious cheerful agreement with the Champions' opinion, Bagman went through the motions, and the Task officially began. Harry Potter, standing some ways away from the other Champions, raised his wand and pointed it at the maze. "Expellicupus!"
As a bright gleam came sailing forth from the center of the hedge maze, two of the Champions began jogging toward the estimated end-point of its arc; Krum caught them by the sleeve and held them back. Diggory opened his mouth to object, and then shook his head. "You're right, Viktor," he said. "Potter would just use, I don't know, Expellipantus on us if we got anywhere close."
Delacour was scrutinizing Krum's face. "Are you feeleeng all right? Zere's ze strangest look een your eyes..."
Meanwhile, Potter shamelessly ran for the Cup, following its arc with his eyes, and threw his body over it as it slammed into the ground. A moment later, there was a blue flash, and boy and Cup were gone. A moment after that, the judges began to look concerned.
"It was probably more of ze 'Triweezard Omelette' after zat landeeng," Madame Maxime said sourly as neither reappeared. "Perhaps zat ruined ze Portkey enchantment?"
"He still ought to be somewhere around here," Dumbledore murmured as he stood. "If you'll pardon me, I have some instruments in my office that might give some insight into young Mr. Potter's location."
"A red mist evenly dispersed through a seven-foot sphere about a half a mile from here?" Karkaroff volunteered, looking unrepentant when Bagman gave him a horrified look. "Bad things happen when you damage powerful enchantments, Mr. Bagman. I'm just recounting the case studies -"
Now the dog was growling loudly from the middle of the stands - loudly enough to be heard over the whispers breaking out all through the audience. Karkaroff turned to Dumbledore and raised an eyebrow. "Tell me, don't you Englishmen discipline your mutts?"
Harry looked around at the graveyard. It was dead silent. In fact, it was bone-chilling. This was a grave situation.
Terrible puns aside, he had no idea what to do. As such, he did what he did at the end of every year and waited around for a miraculous intervention to save him.
It showed up in the form of a hooded figure carrying a bundle as it shambled toward him. "Hello?" Harry called. "Do you know-"
Searing pain answered him. His mind blasted free of thought, Harry obeyed his instincts and screamed, "EXPELLIBUNDLEUS!"
A high scream of rage split the night, followed by a thunk. As the pain subsided, Harry looked up and shouted "Expelliarmus!"; the figure's wand ripped free of its upraised hand. The figure looked at Harry, Harry looked at the figure, and suddenly there was just a scampering rat. Harry aimed a stomp at it and only hit its tail; the rat halted, squeaking frantically in pain, and looked up into Harry's sparking wand. It seemed to consider making a run for it for a moment more, then whimpered and curled up in a ball.
"I will not stand for this... I will not... GET POTTER!"
Huh, who was that voice talking to? Certainly not the ra-
Harry turned to see a giant snake rearing up behind him.
The snake recoiled, and then he was looking at an Asian woman who seemed as shocked as he was. She stared at her hands, then babbled something in a foreign language and hugged herself. As she burst into tears, Harry shook his head and shot an "Expelliratus!" at the fleeing rat, who just went sailing into the air.
Magic was weird. He pondered that for a moment, then went chasing after Pettigrew before he could make a merciful landing in some bush or tree. No use letting him get away.
Then he'd have to figure out how to get back to Hogwar-
As he dove for Pettigrew, seizing him out of the air like a fat and furry Snitch, the answer came to him. He stood and thrust his wand hand into the air, the other gripping the squealing and flailing Animagus, and -
There came a deafening BANG, and he jumped back. A violently purple door slid open, and the conductor peered curiously at Harry. "Cor, 'Arry, what's a nice boy like you doing in a graveyard at this time of night?"
"Wouldn't believe me if I told you," Harry said cheerfully as he started climbing into the Knight Bus.
"Aren't you s'posed to be in that, wossname, Tournament?"
Stan squinted around Harry. "And is she single?"
Harry looked back at the Asian woman, who was staring at the Bus with wide eyes. "Dunno." He felt obligated to add, "She might be an evil snake, though. Not sure."
"Boy, when you get a bit older, you'll know 'Ouse is no reason to be rude to a pretty girl," Stan said fervently. "'Twas a badger, meself. Climb in, climb in, lass!"
She seemed to have enough English to understand Stan - an accomplishment that even Harry found difficult at times - and accepted the invitation. "I mean, seriously, she's a snake," Harry said to Stan as he stood aside to let her through.
"Aaaah, loved you an' left you? That's rough, it is," Stan said, clapping Harry on the back. "Still, your loss's my gain, innit?"
Never mind. At least she looked too bewildered to do anything other than cower at the back of the bus. Harry looked down at the miserable rat in his hand and decided that, while this could be worse, it was going to be a long, long ride back to Hogwarts.
Author's Note: Yes, I know he's neglecting the matter of Voldemort. On the bright side, it's not as though Voldemort's going anywhere quickly. Most likely, he'll be picked up by Obliviators after some poor Muggle goes to visit a grave and gets freaked out after stumbling across the talking flayed baby. (The power the Dark Lord knew not: being Memory-Charmed into drooling idiocy by a panicking Obliviator?) Or perhaps the Knight Bus will run over him on its way out...
Hope readers enjoyed.
The audience gasped as the dragon went shooting into the atmosphere, and Potter made a mad dash for the nest. Ducking down and seizing the golden egg, he executed a flawless 180-degree turn and ran for dear life. "So long, suckers!" he yelled over his shoulder as he exited the arena; a loud roar made the audience look up again, and they beheld the maddened dragon, having regained control of its flight, performing the classical aerial maneuvers preceding a fiery 'strafing run'...
As a distressed Giant Squid shot out of the Lake, the eruption showering the audience with water, Potter shouted, "Now listen here and listen well, you're grabbing my hostage or I'm doing this again!"
"Can eet understand heem?" Madame Maxime asked Dumbledore.
"For its sake and ours, I hope so," Dumbledore said, pulling a still-flopping fish out of his beard.
As a screaming Dolores Umbridge smashed through the Defense classroom's window, Harry turned to the rest of the class and shrugged. "If the magic fits, you must acquit, right?"