A/N: This is not a crossover fic. I'm simply borrowing good ideas and characters and I don't own any of them.
True to his word, Harry holed himself up in the Room of Requirements for the rest of the day with a ready supply of blood replenishing potions. Understanding and memorizing complex magical theory was hard enough without having to constantly drain yourself. But the fruitfulness of the evening could not be denied. Harry now had several new things he wanted to try out and no time to do it in.
Having recapped the entire duelling day, Harry came to, what seemed to him, a logical conclusion. Fighting the inimitable patronus knight had certainly impressed on him the audacious power some family spells wielded. Not knowing how his query might be received, Harry set out late at night to the owlery, letter in hand. Unbeknownst to him, the recipient of the letter was already thinking along similar lines.
Number 12, Grimmauld Place.
"Not that I don't appreciate you spending all your time here protecting my sanity, but I'd have really preferred you went yesterday. Hearing a first-hand account beats watching it on the telly, you know. That thing doesn't tell you the emotions people were feeling." Sirius Black lounged on a comfortable sofa in the spacious dining room. Despite the two weeks of hard work it had taken to get the building livable, the results showed both on the house and the man. The gaunt and haggard featured had somewhat softened with regular food, rest and the relief from a sudden Dementor attack.
"You know exactly how they felt, Padfoot. Was it not you laughing like a madman yelling, "Now use engorgio on the monkey, Harry!" at the telly last night?" Lupin asked, sipping his firewhisky.
It had been a lazy day filled with a quiet sort of elation. Remus wasn't going to lie. He was quite drunk. Watching the duels had stirred something deep inside. Something that felt a lot like what he'd felt for James when he was alive. A sense of reproach filled with a lot of admiration.
Sirius finished his drink and set down the mug with a shrug, "I do wish I can be of more help you know. And since I can't be there, I was hoping you would be."
"I don't think there's anything we can do to help him at Hogwarts. A visit won't change much. Dumbledore says he's doing all he can but that Harry doesn't seem to need much," Lupin grinned, "Just freedom to roam around as he pleases. Also said that he gave up after Harry's second year and just let's him be now, as long as he doesn't get into too much trouble."
Sirius couldn't help the proud crinkling of his eyes, "We never managed that. Actually officially getting permission to muck around. Other than your special nights, I mean. But I was thinking the same, about helping Harry." He swung his foot of the sofa and headed for the farthest corner in the room.
"Oh yeah," Lupin said, with a dawning look, "Are you sure though? It's the only copy. Don't tell me you're going to just mail it. Just wait until Christmas."
"Nah, no way. Besides, I want to give him my family's too." Sirius forestalled his friend as he moved a portrait to reveal a cast-iron safe, "I know the Black family spell is supposed to be dark and all, but so is Fyndefire. And we know for a fact Dumbledore can cast it."
Lupin replied testily, watching Sirius tap the safe systematically with his wand, "That's not what I was about to ask. I was wondering when James gave you a copy. He was so protective about the tome."
"Yeah," Sirius said ruefully, shaking a small white tome in his hand. It was actually bigger than what a normal "single-spell tome" usually was. "One of two. James gave it to me the day they named me Godfather. I wouldn't be surprised if Voldemort knew about it when he attacked their home. He was so crazed about obtaining new magic, after all."
Lupin nodded quietly, setting down his drink and realizing he should've done it a long time ago. "So... How're you planning to get it to him?"
Sirius grinned back, "You will be giving it to him three weeks from now when you go to attend the Quidditch match between Hogwarts and Durmstrang." He added, "you lucky dog."
Monday had brought more of the same for Harry from students, although his teachers seemed to have gained a degree of acknowledgement about his skills. It had been a welcome surprise to have Prof. McGonagall pass him NEWT level spells for practicing when he was done with his usual work.
The students for their part, seemed to draw their own conclusions about him rather than from the news, since they were watching it all unfold before their very eyes. Classes had at least become bearable with almost no one bothering him and if they did, it was with deference. Even the loss of hundred points hadn't dampened the spirits of his housemates. He enjoyed it all more than he should, Harry confessed to Hermione.
Care of Magical Creatures had actually not been so bad due to the presence of the two visiting faculty. Hagrid's Blast-ended-Skrewts were handled with distaste by both the bald headed Durmstrang professor and the much younger, shorter witch from Beauxbatons.
They had finally announced that the class would start focusing more on how creatures lived in their original habitat from now on, much to Hagrid's chagrin. It seemed he had really thought the students enjoyed his project.
Harry spent his two periods with the girls like he always did. Jasmin had been especially shy with him, but it had been nice to have her cling to his arm the entire class. It seemed the stares she was getting from the new Durmstrang professor had creeped her out. Harry was silently thankful to the man.
Daphne had given him a nod upon first seeing him and another while they were leaving. He had returned both, acknowledging the fact she was at least trying to be nice. Convincing Fleur that he had very little time to duel with her in between classes and Quidditch practice had been a nightmare. She had been especially insistent about having the first duel as soon as possible and he had relented to do it the next morning, sacrificing his precious "free time".
Quidditch practice would turn out to be a mixed bag again. Although he was getting better rapidly, Harry had been devastated to learn how large the distance he had left to cover, truly was. George coming back from spying on Durmstrang practice earlier hadn't helped either. "He's considered the best for a reason, Harry," was all the intel he got on Krum.
The Hogwarts Quidditch team wasn't as bad as Mac had stated, when all was said and done. Especially if their training so far was taken into account. Davies, Pucey and Angelina had worked seamlessly from the get-go, to everybody's surprise. Fred and Geroge, of course, were the epitome of teamwork. The keeper, Doyle, used his hefty bulk to his advantage very well. All they lacked in was experience.
The problem was Harry. As Coach Mac had said, a lot hinged on his performance and he wasn't sure if his current level was enough. He was seriously starting to consider weight training to reduce the gap between him and Krum, knowing full well three weeks wouldn't make that much of a difference. It was a rather tired and dejected Harry that walked out of the dressing rooms to meet Fleur and Jasmin again.
"We're going to get creamed in our first match," he said as soon they were close.
Jasmin looked at him wide-eyed, "What're you talking about? You were so good in the air. Fleur said you were as good as the people who played professionally."
"That's definitely a stretch," Harry replied, smiling at the silver-haired veela, "I'd say second string maybe."
"Oui, professional second string players," Fleur stated with finality.
Harry nodded ruefully. "What now? Walk before dinner?"
"Oh, I wanted to prepare a little for my healer training that starts tomorrow, but I can always do it later."
Harry tried not to let his pride show as he gazed into Jasmin's attractive dark eyes. "No way. Far be it for me to stop the rise of the youngest healer from Beauxbatons. Go on, then. Get some rest for tomorrow. I'll head back and get some work done."
Jasmin had gone pink at his praise. She nodded, hesitated a little before pecking Harry on the lips, and hurried off without a backwards glance.
In his defense, Harry had the sense to look a little flustered when Fleur narrowed her eyes at him accusingly. "Duel. Tomorrow morning," she ordered, before adding sultrily, "The only way to win will be by forcing the other to yield." She turned and stalked off too. One would have thought she was the winner of their last bout. Harry couldn't help but blow a kiss at her swinging hips.
The next morning saw them both staring into each other's eyes, wands drawn, early at sunrise. They were at the far end of the lake, one of the few places that rarely entertained students, even in the middle of the day. Jasmin sat comfortably on a log, legs crossed and her lips pursed in silent expectation, a coat wrapped around her to act as insulation from the morning cold.
There was no illusion about what this was. No way was Harry planning to hit Fleur with anything more serious than a disarmer. He had spent the entire night thinking about Fleur's intention and could only conclude that she wanted what he did.
Harry threw a leaf from his hand into the air. It fluttered down, lightly blown sideways by the breeze. As it hit the ground, Harry leapt to his side and continued moving, but holding back from attacking. He wanted to see what Fleur did.
Fleur let fly. Not her spells though. Her allure came out in full force, as if angry at having been resisted the first time. Then she attacked. Her first tickling charm and subsequent disarmer were parried effortlessly, leaving her yelling in frustration, "Oh, at least let down your guard a little, will you?"
"Nuh-uh. Make me," Harry taunted grinning. He had come fully prepared with his occlumency barriers in place. Ones that could even stand a chance against the likes of the Sorting Hat. And yet, there he was, doing his best not to trip or look stupid in the presence of this ravishing beauty. Oh, what he wouldn't give to be touching her right now!
A barrage of disarmers came Fleur's way, letting her know at least something she had done had worked. She shielded confidently, knowing full well Harry was limited to spells that couldn't hurt her. He wanted to capture her and she wanted to let him, but that didn't mean she had to make it easy. "I thought you could be more imaginative than this, Harry."
She could've said anything. But Fleur knew exactly which button to push with Harry. Because she knew him. Harry was grinning like a madman. This was going to make the conquest all the sweeter. "Princess, here I come."
A fumos spell covered Fleur with thick smoke. She immediately countered with a wind spell to blow it away. It cleared almost as quickly as it had formed. Harry was still standing where she had last seen him. Something was up. Fleur could tell from the way he was grinning. He had won the duel and he was just waiting to push the button. Oh well, if she was going down...
Fleur took a page from Jasmin's book. She let out a full blast of her allure again, bit her lower lip sensually and said in a provoking voice, "Come and get it, then."
She could see the dam break on his face, desire apparent as day. Harry disappeared twenty feet away from Fleur, and had his hand around her wrist in the blink of an eye. They were behind her back in a familiar position in the next second, being pulled close to him. Even if she wanted to resist, she couldn't have.
Harry traced his wand on her lips, more brazenly this time than at the previous duel. He watched the delicious pink flesh roll a little under his wand. "Yield."
Fleur dropped her wand behind her back in reply, and proceeded to push Harry's wand away from her face. She stepped as close to his face as possible, looking up at him with heavy-lidded eyes, "Make me." Her voice did the trick.
As Harry's hands went around her head and waist, she smiled and closed her eyes, heart thumping in expectation. He pulled her to him and she went with it willingly, making sure to press tightly against his body when they met. The first brush against Fleur's lips were unexpectedly gentle. It took her a moment to realize he was still asking for permission. She brought both of her hands up to his face in reply and pressed her lips against his. And that broke the dam in earnest.
Lips collided in a frenzied kiss, filled with licks, bites and moans, weeks of pent up frustration finally giving in. The cold morning air only made the warmth of their bodies that much more enticing. Fleur wasn't sure when Harry's hands had found her behind, but he had used it to leverage her up into his arms. She quickly wrapped her legs around his midriff, deepening the kiss and embrace to make sure Harry didn't break it.
They didn't stop for what seemed like hours but were only minutes. Both came up gasping for air, breathing hard like winded beasts. Harry noticed how swollen Fleur's lips were and felt something stir below his stomach. He would've dived right back in, had he not noticed Jasmin. Fleur followed his gaze too and got down of off of him, her face sobering.
Jasmin was biting her lip, drawing blood. Her face and hair were drenched in sweat, the former colored. Hands clutched the log, nails digging in and there were tears in her eyes. But nothing, nothing, could've prepared Harry for what he saw behind the tears and the sweat. There was an undeniably hungry look on her face as Jasmin gazed at her boyfriend and sister. His knees went weak.
"See?" Was all Fleur said.
Jasmin nodded, her expression remaining the same.
Fleur turned to explain in a matter-of-fact voice, trying desperately not to flush from their kiss or what she was saying, "Our inner veelas are clashing. A bit differently than we expected. It's not something you can do anything to help with. Just give us time to figure it out, okay?" She matched Jasmin's color, but her expression firm.
Harry blinked his eyes. And then again. That sounded absolutely awful. On top of something incredible that he had just witnessed that he couldn't process properly. On top of something wonderful that he and Fleur had just done that he could process properly and was driving him insane from a need to repeat. He wanted to stay, but go. Comfort, but run. There were too many conflicting emotions and thoughts in his head for it all to make sense.
Wordlessly, Harry picked himself up, ignored the concerned looks, turned around, covered the few feet to the lake in seconds and promptly threw himself in.
The masked man couldn't help the feeling if unease that crept up on him as he entered the darkness of the room. But for the solitary lamp in the middle of a large round table, the chairs were the only objects in the room, its occupants shrouded in the dark.
Even Klien's familiarity with the setting did nothing to change his apprehensions. This was it. He had finally taken a leap of faith and now, his life was not his own. The silence in the room stretched on, settling heavily on his shoulders. He was expected to make the first move.
Quietly, he headed for the spot on the table where he knew an empty seat would await him. It did. He took it. There were a couple of outtakes of breaths. Ah, so they had been ready for everything.
"Christopher Fletcher. Fred Klien. The Masked man. Number 3 of the League. Or as you have recently been called, Bane," the voice was quiet and cultured, almost like it belonged to a sweet, charming young man. He continued, "Which one of your many aliases should I address you with?"
"Anything that pleases your fancy, Doctor," Klien replied, letting his distorted voice do his intimidating for him, "And how should I address you? Dr. Fell? Lloyd Wyman? The Chesapeake Ripper? Or your new favourite, perhaps? Hannibal the Cannibal?"
"Dr. Lecter, I think," the voice returned lightly. "I see you have continued to keep your ears to the ground, Bane."
Klien didn't miss the lack of honorifics, but he had larger things to worry about. He was here for help after all. These were not people whose time you wasted, or lied to easily. He got to the point. "I need Jadis and her knowledge of the Hogwarts wards."
A haughty voice shot out from his right, cold as ice, "And why would I do that? Or why should the league for that matter? You've been nothing more than an empty seat, a worthless burden for the last ten years."
She would've never spoken to him that way ten years ago. Alas, this was not the time for a power play. All in good time. "Well, perhaps I've had better things to do than keep my seat warm." As expected, she was the only one who seemed perturbed by his words. He continued, "Besides, everyone knows why I wasn't here." The tension was back to simmering again.
The Doctor spoke up, "As one of the newer members, I'm afraid not all of us are familiar with your… history. We are here for business, after all. So do share with us why the League should interfere. As a member, you must know how we work."
Klien took a deep breath. Time to lay the cards on the table. They were going to find out anyway. He told them everything. Almost. He told them about Highborne veelas. What they were capable of themselves. What they were capable of providing to those chosen. He told them about the invulnerability of Hogwarts wards and how well the students seem to be protected. And finally, he told them what he wanted. "I want my daughter. The League gets the other."
Jadis, the White Witch's haughty voice rang out again, tinged with apprehension this time, "Don't think for a second I'm going back to that accursed castle, especially not now. No matter how valuable this jewel is. I thought we stayed in the shadows?"
Maniacal laughter, filled with uncontrollable mirth, broke out from one of the seats, echoing on the walls around them. It put almost everyone on edge whether they had to be or not. After all, with him, no one knew. "Go, Jadis. And Bane, if your plan doesn't work, we'll just burn the whole forest and take all the jewels." As heartening as those words were, the laughter that followed was anything but.
The next few days would turn out to be torturous for Harry. Between classes, quidditch training and his personal training, Harry was lucky to catch the girls even at mealtimes. Jasmin had busied herself quickly as Madam Pomfrey's apprentice and spent most of her free time in the infirmary. Fleur had finally decided to trust Jasmin alone by herself and spent her free time mastering the spells Harry told her were imperative for both duelling and survival.
It wasn't that they were any less affectionate towards him. But it was obvious they were hesitant about kissing him again. Even though he had caught Jasmin staring at him during meals several times, she always just smiled shyly and avoided answering him. Fleur had been even more infuriating by only saying that they couldn't duel each other for a while.
It wasn't that he didn't have an idea. Jasmin's look when she had seen them kissing had spoken volumes. But, it was as Fleur said. This was something they had to figure out on their own and he had his hands full with training anyway.
After almost two weeks of absence, Snape had finally shown himself at class. And just like McGonagall, he had made it abundantly clear that his teaching methods were not to be interfered with. But either because of his recent absence or the presence of new students and professors, Snape kept his bullying to a bare minimal.
The last working day of the week had Harry hurrying to Dumbledores office after receiving message he was urgently needed. It was extremely rare to be summoned by the headmaster so early, even before breakfast. He entered the office to find Dumbledore, Barty Crouch and aurors Tonks and Shacklebolt.
"I do apologize for the earliness of the hour, Harry," Dumbledore spoke up immediately, "I know you asked for some time in advance and Barty has asked the relevant officials and heads of school to be ready anytime next week. It is possible they might be joined by a few... erm... shall we say, onlookers? I know centaurs in general do not like human interaction, but for most of the wizarding world, the chance to see and speak to one is something of a collector's item."
Harry nodded, figuring why not. They were only supposed to meet at Half-Peak and the centaurs expected a large group of humans. But that still didn't explain the problem of logistics. "How exactly are all of these people getting there, professor? Brooms and portkeys are out because of the forest's defenses and apparating this man-"
Dumbledore just chuckled, "We are well aware, Harry. It is one of the reasons the spot is so heavily coveted for usage in the tournament. They will be following you, of course. On foot. Plenty of aurors as guards as well."
Harry had a brief vision of what a procession of people trooping through the forest would look like. "It's just asking for trouble, sir."
Sighing, the Headmaster replied, "I know, my boy. Alternative arrangements will be made for transportation during the event for the huge volume of people. But for all that, this meeting needs to happen so that we may enter the land and begin work."
It didn't seem like there was any way around it. After all, if was going to be a group, a bigger one would have lesser chance of being set upon.
Crouch stepped forward with his hand held out and shook Harry's with vigor. "Many thanks, Mr. Potter. If we can actually secure that location for the duration of the tournament, it would solve more than one of our problems. We will make sure to compensate you for all your efforts once this is done with."
Harry noted the tiredness underneath the crisp tone and the bags under Crouch's eyes as he replied, "Um... Yeah, no problem."
"Is there any possible way you could give me an exact date today? As well as location, terms for presenting ourselves and so on."
Dumbledore added, "Loathe as I am to have you miss classes Harry, it shouldn't be a problem for you. I'll send the relevant messages. Best you get moving during the day, yes?"
Harry grinned cheekily, "I'll try not to get lost because of all the light, Professor." Then it hit him that if he was going to go, he would need to go to the Chamber. And that meant...
His grin widened, "Actually sir, I'm going to... um... need transport down some unsavory and unreachable places. Is it alright if I borrow Fawkes for the day? It would make everything much smoother."
Fawkes crooned from her perch in approval. Dumbledore just fixed Harry and his phoenix with a knowing look. "Very well then. Until the end of the day. Avoid showing her off to the general public, Harry."
Unable to believe his luck and not wanting to miss the chance, Harry leapt up. "Well then. I'll have the details in a few hours." Even if he had wanted to say anything else, it slipped his mind. He had been waiting to do this for so long.
Harry stretched his arms above his head and without missing a beat, Fawkes spread her wide wings and made it to him in seconds. A bright flash of fire and all that was left of them was a single golden feather.
Tonks just looked at Dumbledore dazed, "I thought only owners could do that?"
Dumbledore shrugged, chuckling lightly at Harry's exit, "As loyal as phoenixes are, you have to keep in mind that they have survived for millenia and have probably had more than one owner. Still, it's rare for one to scout her new familiar when their old owner is still alive," he finished rather sadly.
"Yeah, that's what's rare," Tonks muttered under her breath.
"I still can't believe how many cool things you get to do," Fleur huffed as she watched Fawkes fly in circles over Harry's head. "I've always wanted to see a centaur too. You never take me anywhere interesting," she sniffed.
They were standing at the edge of the forest. Harry's trip into the Chamber of Secrets had been a short and gory one. He held the bulging rucksack, containing the prize, in his hands.
"Soon, I promise. Let this whole business with the tournament die down. I'll introduce you to Firenze. You'll never want to hear another planetary name again. Now get going or you two will be late for class."
"Are you sure I can't pet her just once?" Jasmin whined, her eyes following Fawkes. She had almost been beside herself with joy when she had shown up to find Harry with the phoenix perched neatly on his shoulder.
Harry just shrugged. "I don't know how it is with her honestly. I've actually never seen Fawkes let someone else touch her. How about I get you a plump orange pillow instead?" Jasmin just stamped her feet, looking pouty.
"I wouldn't worry about the featherball too much, melon-goddess," the Hat decided to voice its opinion. "The term "bird-brain" exists for a reason. Now why don't you pet someone who can truly appreciate it's worth?"
Two hugs and tentative pecks on the cheeks later, Harry had vanished with a "swoosh" and a bright fireball that had the two Highborne veelas staring at each other in utter astonishment.
Centaurs were the great seers and shamans of the wizarding world. Although their predictions were rarely specific or important, the work done by their shamans was unmatched. The Chief's enchanted Schmitar was an excellent example of that. The only problem was, their unwillingness to work with others meant centaurs seldom got any good items to work with.
Today was a different story at the only centaur settlement in Europe though. Despite the pupil suffering some damage, both the eyes of the Basilisk had been in excellent condition. They were about to be reforged.
Harry stood at the edge of the village, next to the towering figures of Chief Zatarra and Zico. The shaman hut was a lot larger than the normal huts and held a variety of items Harry had only read about. Even though she was their wife and mother respectively, the two male centaurs seemed uncomfortable in the presence of the shaman.
"Three weeks to a month at least," she muttered more to herself than the others, "Not an easy process and hasn't been tried for centuries. Expect some chance of failure. Quite lucky we have two actually." She turned to look directly at the chief, "Are you really sure about using both though? There are several other uses for a Basilisk eye, you know."
There was a firm nod by the Zatarra. "Agreements aside, if this works, the entire herd would be in debt to the boy. Not a position I like to be in. This will at least make the agreement more equal. Besides, someone who spends their time roaming this forest could use one."
Harry couldn't believe the first sign of the Chief tolerating his presence in the forest would be in the form of repayment, but he didn't care. As bad as they were at accepting gifts, once accepted, centaurs felt the need to maintain their pride by giving away better gifts. That, and the presence of Fawkes had changed something. Phoenixes were noble birds that only ever accompanied the good of heart. Walking into the centaur village with Fawkes had been like obtaining the final stamp of approval.
The centaur shaman nodded her head. "Well, can't say I want to complain too much. Like I said then, a month. The finished object should not only be able to drive away other monsters or weaken the stronger ones, but may also possess abilities depending on the ritual we use. As the only centaur forged artifacts of their kind, I do believe you can expect them to last centuries at least."
Zico looked at the two fearsome eyeballs sitting in their respective bowls of green liquid with a queasy look on his face. "Doesn't look like much. I always assumed magical artifacts looked fancy, mother. Or at least less repulsive."
She replied with a smile, "When finished, artifacts generally do. And so will the "Eye of Vecna". Now shoo, your work of bringing me the materials is done. Leave me to it."
That day marked the first inter-school academic competition. By late noon, classes had come to an end and the Great Hall filled up with people to witness the quiz. It was one of those leisurely school activities that had most of the students chatting and laughing in their seats while the contestants dealt with their nerves. The long tables had been replaced with smaller tables for every team, of which there were nine- three from each school.
Jasmin sat wedged between her teammates Celestine and Aimee. Both the older girls respected her enough to have chosen Jasmin over their own classmates and she was determined not to let them down.
The chatter reduced as the diminutive Prof. Flitwick began asking the questions for the first round in his squeaky voice. Each team had to answer five questions worth two points each. Jasmin couldn't help but feel a bit of relief as she noticed none of the other teams seemed to get more than two or three questions right. She knew most of the answers and was confident her team could take an early lead. But Hermione's team still remained.
There was no denying the creeping anxiety as Hermione managed to answer the first two questions back-to-back without even passing to consult her teammates. The third question was one even Jasmin didn't know. But Hermione answered it, again without a pause. When the same process repeated itself for a fourth time, Celestine whispered, "You two are friends, right? Did you know she was that good?"
"She's both smart and hard-working," Jasmin replied, guiltily admitting to herself she was only one of the two. "But her teammates don't seem all that impressive. We still have a chance to get the lead."
Thankfully, the fifth question proved her right. It was about the history of spell reversal and for the first time, Jasmin saw a horrified look appear on Hermione's face. A brief discussion with the two next to her seemed to yield nothing. They finished with eight points. A rousing round of applause was given to the Hogwarts team for taking the lead with just three teams left, one from each school.
The Durmstrang team struggled quite visibly and ended up with a measly two points. It was Beauxbatons next and Jasmin tried not to let her nerves get the better of her. This wasn't a duel or a quidditch match. Sure there were people watching her, but this was different. She could do this.
The very first question threw her for a loop. If Aimee hadn't known the right answer, they would have been down one already. The second question was simple enough and Jasmin was sure half the people watching knew the answer. Celestine gave the right one without too much trouble.
Prof. Flitwick read the third question, "Why are Bicorns and Unicorns incapable of coexisting despite having similar origins?"
That question seemed to stump almost everybody. Celestine and Aimee looked at each other, then at Jasmin. The young veela didn't know either, but these were the moments you made your best educated guess. "Because... one evolved into a carnivore while the other remained a herbivore."
It was such an obvious answer, she wouldn't have been surprised if people burst out laughing at her for thinking that's the reason. Prof. Flitwick nodded his head cheerfully, "Quite right. Next question."
Jasmin let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding. It felt good to be right. The smiles she was getting from her teammates were encouraging. Yes, it was worth taking chances. Even if you end up making a mistake, it's worth it. She was beginning to figure that out.
"Which wizard or witch is said to have been the first to perfect wandless magic?"
In her eagerness, Jasmin almost blurted out 'Merlin'. Seconds later, she had to stop Celestine from doing the same. Jasmin couldn't help but try and remember the exact name. She knew this story. She had read it in detail.
Yes, Merlin was the most glorious user of magic the world had ever seen. But he was not the one who perfected wandless magic. No, that was someone else. Someone who had apprenticed under him so she could get revenge on her half-brother, Arthur Pendragon. Someone who had fallen in love with her master and had chosen to spend her life with him instead. Someone who had been skilled enough to teach Merlin, the wizard famed as the greatest, wandless magic.
"Morgana La Fey."
There was laughter in the room as most thought she'd gotten it wrong. Flitwick, however, just nodded again. "Right answer. That's eight points for Team H. Last question."
There was no denying the excitement now. Jasmin could almost sense it. The lead was just there, ready to be taken. And beating Hermione to do it would be all the sense of accomplishment one could ask for.
"What is the first known spell?"
Her jaw dropped. It was such a simple question. And Jasmin had no idea. Nor did anyone else it seemed. It could have been anything and the only way she was going to get it right was with a blind guess. Jasmin took her best shot. "Um... conjuring sparks?"
It would make sense since it was one of the most rudimentary spells and since it could be used for creating fire, telling location, etc.,
"Wrong answer. It was actually the base spell that we have now developed and use as the summoning charm. That's four questions answered by Team H correctly."
Although the cheer of the Beauxbatons students didn't match their Hogwarts compatriots, Jasmin couldn't help but feel a profound sense of pride as she watched Fleur clapping her hardest from the front row. At least they had been able to tie with Hermione.
The questioning of the last Hogwarts team had started. Jasmin noted that it was led by Cedric's girlfriend. She had forgotten her name, but remembered the asian girl often gave Harry looks that made Jasmin want to tear her eyes out. She had teamed up with Roger Davies and a younger girl.
The first question itself had the two older students looking at each other with blank expressions. Thankfully, their junior came to their aid. The process repeated itself for the second question. It was only after a third time, Jasmin realised that the younger girl was doing exactly what Hermione did. So confident was she in her knowledge, that her teammates seemed not to exist for her. In fact, it looked like the whole room didn't exist for her.
Only when the fourth question was answered correctly without so much as a change in voice or pace, did the audience seem to realize they were on the verge of a clean sweep. The final question came.
"Which is the creature that secretes natural antidote to most venoms, survives on nothing but the nutrients in the air and is considered one of the most elusive species in existence?"
Every breath held in the room. Every eye turned to look at the young girl with her waist-length dirty blonde hair and a perpetually dazed expression. Jasmin did not miss the hint of mischief in the dreamy voice when she replied, "Why, the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, of course."