Harry stared at the wooden ceiling in his supine position. The ceiling which belonged to the roof of his sleeping quarters, which was inside the school ship of Durmstrang Institute. Calling it a school ship would be strange as it was not normal for a school to use a ship but that's what it was. It was now the 30th of October, meaning the tournament was already revealed to the entirety of the Wizarding World and that it would be held in a month.
The ship he and 11 other students of Durmstrang were on, was currently on its way to Hogwarts. Harry's posing as another student of the school was an easy task. The other students didn't seem to mind or question him. In the one month he was in the school, he had talked or interacted with no one there. And the headmaster was also a Death Eater and as such he had made arrangements for him on the Dark Lord's orders. That was the most likely reason no one was bothering him.
Outside his tiny cabin, he could suddenly hear footsteps and people talking. He couldn't understand them, however, as he did not speak Bulgarian. So he rose from his bed and tried to open his door to investigate when suddenly he lost his balance and was forced to hang on to the wall to stand. The ship was rising out of water, signaling they had reached their destination. Realizing this, he quickly put on his red robes, fur cloak and finally his fur hat.
Which was a little difficult considering the state of the ground he was standing on. By the time he was finished the ship's movement had returned to normal.
Opening his door, this time successfully, he exited the cabin and joined the other boys walking in formation towards the stairs leading to the deck. His vision of the front was partially blocked by everyone as he was the last in the group, but he was able to see some of them taking out their wand, possibly to clear the residual water left by the, well, water.
After which he was able to climb and was greeted by the smell of fresh air and the sight of the towering building in front of him. Hogwarts. The stories he had heard and the books he had read were not doing the description of it justice. To describe it in a word, it was simply… big. But also beautiful. That's two words and there probably was a better word for it that Harry's mind was not able to think of right now, as it was almost mesmerized by the school.
Lifting his eyes off of it, he took a look at the giant lake surrounding the entire school grounds from one side, the gardens and patches of flowers, the grass covered green ground, and finally, and what made his eyes really widen, was the absolutely massive quidditch field. The field they had in the manor could even be called small when compared to the one he was staring at.
Changing his view towards the ground once again, he noticed a large amount of students had gathered to look at their approaching visitors. As the vessel got closer to land, he saw on the other side, a giant carriage, pulled by magical beasts that closely resembled horses. That would be the Beauxbatons Academy's method of transportation, as they had also arrived on the same day.
Once they were finally able to dock, a magical platform made of wood, extended over the grassy ground for them and one by one they made their way towards their destination, led by their headmaster, known by the name of Igor Karkaroff. He was dressed in robes similar to their own but without the cloak. He had long hair and a goatee beard.
The sky looked grey, indicating the time was around 5 or 6 in the evening. Which would mean they were to be introduced during the dinner feast, as they were told to be prepared for that. After a short walk towards the crowd, which he could now see was being led by a man in funky wizard robes and as if to emphasize the clothes, had white hair and beard, beard that almost reached his torso.
"Dumbledore!" the Durmstrang headmaster called out to the man and Harry almost stopped in his tracks. He was prepared to meet the wizard he had heard so much about but seeing him up close was unexpected at the moment. You couldn't really tell this was the most powerful wizard in the world by looking at him, the man was heartily laughing and chatting with Karkaroff and he wore glasses for Merlin's sake! Harry didn't notice his breathing had gone out of control until Karkaroff turned back to look at his students and beckon them to come forward.
After regaining his composure, he took a look around the scene that surrounded him. Behind Dumbledore, he could now get a closer look at the Hogwarts students who were speaking with each other loudly and excitedly, pointing toward their group. Starting to move once again, they were now joined by a few unknown faces, a tall, almost giant lady leading a dozen boys and girls dressed in silk clothes and appearing to be shivering. The Beauxbatons Academy students. They walked together towards the huge entrance and entered the even huger hall. With no time to take in the beauty of the architecture, they turned left and entered a, if you would even believe it, a room bigger than the last one.
The ceiling was decorated with an enchantment that made it resemble the night sky, adorned with hundreds and hundreds of candles hovering above. Banners of silver, gold, red and blue representing what Harry knew were the 4 houses, were hung over the walls. And on the ground there were 4 extremely long tables, belonging to each of them.
A moment passed and the two foreign groups stood in awkwardness, abandoned by their headmasters who were nowhere to be seen, as students began sitting in their respective tables. A few Durmstrang boys took the lead and chose to sit at the table on the far side, Harry and the rest followed.
In their trek, he heard cries and shouts from the Hogwarts students, "Krum! Over here!"
"You can sit with us Krum!"
"Krum, I saved you a seat!"
"Can I have your autograph, Krum?!"
Harry knew about Viktor Krum's popularity among the wizarding world. He was the seeker for his country's national Quidditch team, the greatest honor a seeker could receive. Harry hadn't really approached Krum and didn't plan to do so, as he didn't see the point. In his mind the only thing worthwhile would be to watch him play or play with him.
Finding a spot with enough empty space to fit all of them, they sat down and the celebrity seeker was immediately bombarded with autograph requests from fans, both girls and boys who were swooning over him. Thankfully, they were sent back to their seats and order was restored by Dumbledore standing over at the end of the room, behind his podium. He was standing in front of another table, one that seated all the teachers and the delegations of the foreign schools.
The tables the students sat on had seats on either side. Harry was lucky enough to sit on the side from which he didn't have to turn to look at everything. Now that he was able to perceive his surroundings a bit better, he could see that the students at their table were wearing Slytherin robes. Understanding the implication, his eyes scanned to find a familiar face and he didn't have to search for long because sitting right next to Krum was Draco, seemingly excited at the prospect of sitting next to a famous celebrity.
He found some of his other friends before a loud voice interrupted him. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts and - most particularly - guests," Looking towards the source, he saw Dumbledore was making a speech for the students of the three schools. "I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to Hogwarts. I hope and trust that your stay here will be both comfortable and enjoyable. The tournament will be officially opened at the end of the feast" He clapped his hands together in a theatrical fashion "I now invite you all to eat, drink, and make yourselves at home!"
At that moment, the table was filled from top to bottom with so many different kinds of food, you couldn't even see all your options. Deciding to not be picky and just eat whatever was in front of him, Harry poured himself what appeared to be some kind of shellfish soup. It was good. But he didn't focus too long on the food. He looked around again, searching for nothing in particular. The students seemed to be chatting away loudly, eating and laughing. Harry had been nervous the entire time but he had good control over his emotions and didn't let it distract him or make him look suspicious. But now he had a moment to relax and confront his feelings. It wasn't easy for him being there, since this was the first time he was in such a big crowd but they were surprisingly easy to ignore. None of them had tried approaching him or talking to him, which he was thankful for.
Some twenty to thirty minutes later, Dumbledore started talking about the tournament again, this time introducing two new people. Harry didn't really listen as it didn't concern him but what he understood about the rules were no one under the age of 17 were allowed to enter, you had to write your name on a piece of paper, the tournament is a very dangerous task, among other things. With that he concluded his speech with some other warnings. After that they were told to return to their dormitories.
Almost everyone slowly got up and started walking towards the exit, led by some older students. Harry stayed behind with the other Durmstrang boys.
"Ummm, excuse me…" He heard a small voice behind him and turned around to look at the source. It was a girl with Slytherin robes, looking timidly towards him, her hands behind her back. She had a petite figure and bushy brown hair. Harry's eyes widened as he recognized her as the girl from the bookstore in Diagon Alley. With all that went on tonight he completely forgot about one of the reasons he was looking forward to this school.
"Hermione Granger!" Harry called out in surprise, fully turning around and standing up. "Uhhh, fancy... seeing you here." At that moment Harry almost punched himself in the head before he was brought back by her response.
"I'm… glad you remember me." She smiled at him, making his stomach tie up in a knot. "I couldn't believe it when I saw you from across the table. What are the odds of you being one of the few people who were to come to Hogwarts?"
"Yeah, looks like we're going to be classmates this year." Harry scratched the back of his head and looked at the ground, as he couldn't help being the most awkward person ever. It wasn't his fault, she was the one making him act this way. He could speak perfectly fine with his other friends.
"I'm looking forward to that." Hermione half blurted out and almost ran away, not even waiting for a response.
Harry looked up and turned around to look at her retreating figure, which was rapidly getting farther away, "Me too." He said to no one but himself.
The Great Hall was almost empty now, only some students who were on their way to the exit and the foreigners remained. Harry paid no mind to them however, as his mind was racing thinking and trying to make sense of what just happened. He didn't realize how long he just stood there, until he was brought back to the real world by a tap on his shoulder.
He looked up to see Viktor Krum indicating the fact the Durmstrang boys and their headmaster were making their way towards the exit. Harry quickly followed behind. Exiting the main building, they walked the same path they took earlier this evening towards the ship. Once inside, they were told to return to their cabins and rest. Tomorrow they would be studying alongside the Hogwarts students. Going to their classes. Reading their books.
Harry's mind lingered on the girl that made him feel so many confusing emotions. Tomorrow he would make sure to see her again.
A.N.: Sorry for the late upload but you should be used to it by now :D jk jk I'll try to keep up a regular schedule from now on