Unofficial Portkey Archive

Always and Forever by Lorelover

Always and Forever


Always and Forever


Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and all the characters associated there with belong to JK Rowling, and Scholastic. Also, any similarities to any other work is unintentional. I make no profit from this story. I wrote it, just for fun.



Chapter 5

The New Arrivals


The following day proved to be just as exciting. Settling down in the Great Hall after witnessing the arrival of both a magical ship, and a flying carriage, everyone was anxious to see the students from their sister schools.

Just before dinner started, Dumbledore approached the podium to make an announcement, "My I have your attention please," then after a pause, "most of you have witnessed the arrival of our very special guests, please treat them as such." Dumbledore looked at the closed main doors to the Great Hall and paused again. Then with impeccable timing, continued, "Now, please join me in welcoming the lovely ladies from the Beauxbaton Academy… and their headmistress, Olympe Maxime. As Dumbledore gestured towards the main doors to the Hall, they opened. In came a small group of girls, all of whom were very pretty, some quite striking. As they entered, they seem to almost float, or glide across the floor in a dance like way. The effect was almost hypnotizing.

Hermione couldn't help but think, that one of the criteria for being chosen was their looks… their beauty. As she looked more closely, she realized they were more than just pretty, they were gorgeous, every single one of them, some were exceptionally stunning. And, as if to add salt to the wound, a couple were at least part veela.

"Honestly Ron, close your mouth," Hermione chastised, "they're just girls."

Ron just ignored her, he was practically half standing by the time the small group of students had passed.

Hermione thought he might just get up and go after them. "Ron! For Merlin's sake, sit, down. You don't see Harry acting like a fool." It was true, and although Harry was watching with keen interest, he wasn't acting like some lovesick puppy. Hermione smiled at him, `He's not that shallow,' she thought.

Harry caught her eyes on him and smiled back, then glancing at Ron, his smile grew. "Oy mate, control yourself."

Ron finally sat down with a goofy smile on his face.

Hermione couldn't help it, she just had to take the mickey out of him a little, "So Ron… did you see any that you might fancy?"

Ron sobered a little, "Well yeah, weren't you watching?" Then as if to verify his comment, Ron turned back around to stare at the Beauxbaton girls, totally oblivious to the snickers from both Harry and Neville. Hermione smirked while shaking her head at his antics.

Moments later, Dumbledore announced the arrival of the Durmstrang students, "And now our friends from the north, the proud sons of Durmstrang, and their headmaster, Igor Karkaroff. Again, attention turned to the doors as they opened revealing a small group of roguish looking young wizards. They marched in, loud and bold, in stark contrast to the near waltz like entrance of the Beauxbatons. Their long staves, drumming a cadence on the stone floor, as they proceeded towards the front of the Hall. Bringing up the rear, marching slightly behind the others… one stood out. He moved with confidence, tall and proud.

"It's him," Ron stated in awe.

"Who?" Hermione asked.

Harry, also interested in the answer, split his attention between the new arrivals, and his friends.

"Viktor Krum."

Hermione felt a little heat rise to her face, as the Bulgarian in question glanced their way for a moment.

Harry raised an eyebrow, "The Quidditch player?"

Hermione looked at Harry, a little surprised that he knew of him.

"Yeah, we saw him play at the World Cup," Ron answered a tad bit coolly.

Harry took a quick glance at Hermione and noticed her look of concern. Apparently, Ron wasn't quite over their absence from last summer. Hoping to move on without conflict Harry added, "I hear he's pretty good," knowing full well he was.

"Pretty good! Are you having me on Harry? He's bloody fantastic, brilliant, probably the best seeker ever to play!" Ron returned, obviously getting excited.

Finnigan laughed, "Oy Ron, Harry was right." Seeing Ron's confused look, he went on, "You are more interested in the Durmstrangs."

Remembering Harry's comment from before, Ron turned red, and glared at Finnigan.

Finnigan only laughed harder, then looking at Harry said, "You sure he's not a poofter?"

"Stuff it Finnigan," Ron said while glaring at him.

Harry laughed, but when Ron turned his glare on him, he quickly said, "I think Ron only admires the way he handles a broom stick..." Harry regretted his choice of words immediately, "Not that broom stick."

Finnigan smirked, "Supposed you're right. After living with him for three years, we'd probably know by now, yeah?"

Hermione smiled, as she watched the byplay.

As the last of the visiting students settled in, Hermione took a moment to look around. While the girls from Beauxbaton mixed in, and sat among the different houses, the Bulgarians sat together at the end of the Slytherin table. She wondered briefly if it was because their respective headmasters had told them to act that way, or they simply did it on their own. Any further thoughts on the matter would have to wait as her own headmaster approached the podium to speak again.

"Welcome, welcome, yes it is indeed a pleasure to have such fine representatives from our neighboring schools, here with us tonight. We," Dumbledore gestured around the Hall, "invite you to enjoy all Hogwarts has to offer, and only ask that you share with us all that, what you think we would find interesting." Peering over his spectacles he continued, "While we may have been brought together here for a tournament... a competition, please do not lose sight of the fact that we are all wizards and witches... brothers and sisters in the larger sense. While competition can bring out both the best and the worst in someone, I'm confident that all of you will use this opportunity to grow, and to learn. That you will emerge a better individual for having tried... regardless, of your individual outcome at the end of the year." Dumbledore took a long breath hoping his words of wisdom would find heart.

"In a moment, as promised more about the Triwizard Tournament." Excitement in the Great Hall ratcheted up a notch. "But first I would like for all the students from our three schools who have been chosen to compete in the Knowledge and Skills Demonstrations to come forward, so that we can start to get acquainted."

Hermione glanced left, then right. Slowly, students were starting to stand. Hesitantly, she rose, suddenly aware of a great number of eyes upon her. Reaching her feet, she looked for Harry, only to find him staring back at her. Hermione's nerves settled instantly. Harry's eyes shone with pride and happiness for her. Smiling she gave him a quick nod, which he returned, then she turned and headed for the front of the Hall, confident she at least had his support. Reaching the front, Hermione turned and stood in a line shoulder to shoulder with twenty-three other students.

Dumbledore reached out wide with both hands, "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you some of our finest minds... let's show them our appreciation." Dumbledore led all three schools in a loud round of applause. As the cheering and clapping died down, "Please give them the continued support they deserve by attending their demonstrations."

While Harry was watching Hermione, Neville's eyes were fixed on Luna. "Harry, what do you know about Luna Lovegood," he asked off-handedly.

Harry turned to find Neville still staring at Luna, "Ah, well not much really; third-year Ravenclaw, I think she lives near Ron. You should ask Ginny, she knows her, they're friends.

After dismissing the students back to their seats he continued, "I feel, I must repeat myself, at least about the basics of the tournament. We will start with four champions from each school, all of them must be seventeen years of age by the time of the first task, which is scheduled for October twentieth. The first two tasks are designed to reduce the number of champions down to one per school. From that point on, each champion will stand alone... from there what awaits each student, glory, or something else... only time will tell. Each remaining champion must complete four additional tasks, four extremely dangerous tasks in order to win, but more on that later. Here now to explain the new rules in more detail is Mr. Barty Crouch, head of the department for International Magical Cooperation… the IMC.

As Mr. Crouch droned on about ministry policy, the students quietly began to talk amongst themselves.

"How do you suppose he'll enforce the age rule?" Asked Seamus.

"Probably some sort of spell or charm placed on or around the cup," Hermione answered, "I wouldn't be surprised if it were put there by Dumbledore himself."

Before the conversation could go much further, Mr. Crouch finished and Dumbledore raised his hands to silence the Hall.

A rather tall and slender looking crate covered in what looked like jewels, or gemstones, was brought in. Dumbledore moved to stand beside it, after tapping the top of it with his wand he stepped back and watch for a moment. Slowly, the crate seemed to just melt away leaving a large but plain looking goblet, which appeared to be made out of stone standing about 5 feet tall. All eyes were now on the goblet, and as the last of it was revealed, a bright blue flame erupted from the top and burned silently. "The Goblet of Fire," Dumbledore announced solemnly.

Harry looked around the table after hearing the twins say `wicked' simultaneously.

Everyone was staring at the cup, most in fascination, some in awe. One in particular though, looked concerned, maybe even a little afraid. "Hermione, you alright?"

She turned and looked at him sharply for a long moment, and slowly nodded her head yes, before turning back to the goblet. Maybe it was the blue flame, or possibly the hard cut of the dark grey stone…Hermione didn't know, but there was something about the goblet that bothered her. Maybe even scared her, but why? There was no logical reason for it, just…a feeling.

Harry wasn't completely convinced. She may have said yes, her eyes definitely said no. Dumbledore's voice stopped any further thought on the matter.

"Anyone wishing to submit themselves as a candidate for champion, only has to write their name on a piece of parchment and throw it in the flame before the last hour of Saturday, October first," he said while gesturing to the goblet next to him. Turning from the goblet back to the Hall, and leaning forward slightly, his next words he spoke slowly, and in a near whisper, "Do not do so lightly." His underlying message of grave caution, was clear to everyone. After barely a moment, he straightened back up to his full height and continued more loudly, "As of this moment... the Triwizard Tournament has begun."


Later that night, a tiny explosion from a small table in the corner suddenly disturbed the peaceful quiet of the Gryffindor common room.

Hermione looked up to find Colin staring back at another third year with a stunned expression on his face. Judging by the black soot, she was fairly sure he had just lost a round of exploding snaps to his friend. Smiling to herself, she entertained the idea of asking if she could borrow his camera, but then thought better of the idea. Taking a short break from her reading, Hermione looked around the common room. It was the twins that next caught her eye. They were sitting off by themselves, deep in conversation. Occasionally one would nod his head at something the other had said, and both would break into sinister smiles. `No doubt about it, they're up to something.' After smiling at the thought for a second, she went back to her reading confident that their prank would make itself known soon enough.


October first, just happened to be a Saturday as well as the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. Tomorrow would be one week exactly since Dumbledore declared the start of the Triwizard Tournament. However, it was tomorrow night, after dinner to be more precise, that everyone was eagerly awaiting. That's when the champions would be announced, and the tournament would begin in earnest.

Madam Rosmerta sat two butterbeers down on the table causing Harry to smile, "Thanks ma'am."

"No bother dearie," she smiled back kindly, "where's that young witch, you lot are normally with?"

"Oh... that would be Hermione. She stopped to talk with another girl from school. She'll be here shortly," Harry relayed quickly. "If you see her come in, go ahead and bring her a butterbeer, I'm sure she'll want one."

"I'll keep an eye out."

"She's nice," Harry stated, as he watched her return to the bar.

Ron shrugged, "Yeah, I suppose." Leaning forward a little, he changed the subject, "So who was that girl Hermione was talking to anyway?"

Harry thought for a second, Hermione had pointed her out to him a few days earlier, but he hadn't seen her since. "Ah, she's one of the students who will be doing a skills demo. A fourth-year from Beauxbaton named, Nicole... something."

"Nicole Lescuier," interrupted Hermione as she sat down with a pointed look to Harry for forgetting her name.

Wearing a sheepish smile he replied, "I would have remembered... eventually."

Hermione raised an eyebrow, but before she could say anything, Madam Rosmerta sat a butterbeer down in front of her. Hermione looked up in surprise.

"This young fellow thought you might want one," Rosmerta ticked her head towards Harry, "he took the liberty of ordering for ya."

Hermione smiled at Harry, completely forgetting about Nicole. "Thank you Harry," then turning back to their hostess, "yes, he was right. Thank you ma'am."

Madam Rosmerta looked back and forth between the two of them, then with a nod turned and walked away. Only then did she let a knowing smile appear on her face.

"So Hermione, how's it been going with getting ready for the demo? You've been so busy lately. Is this Nicole girl going to be your partner?" Asked Harry.

"Yeah, what's she like, is she a veela?" Ron added quickly.

"No, she's just a plain old regular witch like the rest of us Ron," Hermione answered, her tone clearly letting him know she was growing tired of his infatuation with anything veela. "In fact, she's a Muggle-born like me." Then turning to Harry, she continued, "And yes, we've decided to pair up for the first demo."

Harry smiled, "And is she also top of her class?"

Hermione smiled, then thought for a moment, "I don't know, it's never come up... but she is quite intelligent, so maybe."

"How'd you two end up together?"

"Well for this first demonstration they wanted us to work in pairs, and it had to be someone from another school," Hermione began. "Remember the next day? How I had to spend the afternoon with the others who were also giving demos? Well we pretty much just sat around and talked, trying to get to know each other." Hermione went on to explain how her and Nicole hit it off right away. Both were fourth-year Muggle-borns, and both were very bright, so they quickly decided to team up.

"Can a Muggle-born also be a veela?"

Harry laughed.

"Honestly Ron, is that all you think about?" Hermione huffed. "As far as I know, there are only a couple of girls from Beauxbaton that are actually veela." Knowing his next question, she went on, "And no, I don't know which ones."

"Why don't you just ask one of them Ron?" Harry suggested.

Ron paled, "Are you mental?"

Harry laughed again, "No, don't think so... Hermione?"

She seemed to study him for a few seconds, "No, I don't think so either," then joined him laughing. Her good mood suddenly changed when she noticed a student at another table reading the Prophet.

Harry noticed the change, "Hermione?"

Turning back to Harry, "Have you read what that Rita women has been saying?" she asked angrily.

"Yeah, I have. Been trying to ignore it," Harry said solemnly.


Sunday morning seemed to drag on forever. Breakfast was almost over when Parvati spotted her sister heading over to join her.

Padma sat down, "Hey."

Parvati smiled, "Hey, it's been a while, are you already bored with your fellow Claws?"

"Maybe, then again... maybe I just wanted to see how my brave twin was doing."

"Oh, I'm just fine..."

"Good, so ah, anything interesting happening in Gryffindor?" asked Padma with an innocent smile.

Both girls broke into brief giggles; it had been quite a while since their last little impromptu get-together to compare the goings-on of their respective houses. It seemed the higher up in grade they got, the less time they had for catching up with each other.

Parvati thought for a second, then with a smirk said, "Not much... but, I'm sure you heard about the Weasley twins trying to fool the goblet."

"Oh yeah, I did. I think by now, the whole school knows. Really, an aging potion. Did they really think that would actually work?"

"Who knows with those two? Hermione did try to warn them, but of course, they knew better."

"Of course!" Padma laughed.


Lunch and early afternoon passed agonizingly slow, then suddenly, it was time for dinner. The moment the school had been waiting for. Time seemed to pick up the pace, rushing forward towards some finality. Hermione thoughts became humorous, `Father Time must be having a good laugh about now.' However her smile only lasted a few moments as she again felt that odd feeling in the pit of her stomach, something was off. Try as she might though, Hermione couldn't put her finger on anything noteworthy. She would just have to wait and see, `Probably just my nerves.' Looking up, she pushed both thought aside as she watched Ron and Harry approach.

"Hey guys," she smiled, "excited?"

"Peckish!" Ron answered as he drop-down next to her.

Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head a little at his antics, but keep smiling anyway. With a slightly aspirated look, she turned to Harry and raised eyebrow in silent question.

Harry wasted no time and answering, "Well yeah, of course." He continued to stare at her, waiting to see if she had something else to say. That's when he noticed it, a fleeting look, a look of concern. It only lasted a brief moment before she schooled her features. This was the second time he'd seen that look; concern, confusion, doubt. "Hermione?"

Even though she was looking right at him, she didn't see him. She was lost in thought for a split second. It was right there, on the edge of her consciousness, a thought hidden in the shadows of her mind, close, yet so far away. What was bothering her? Something to do with the tournament? With herself, her partner... Harry? Hermione snapped out of it when she heard her name.

"Sorry, what?"

"You alright? You looked a little lost there for a moment."

"Oh yeah, ah sorry... just nerves," she said, then looked away towards the Goblet of Fire, only to get lost in thought again.

Harry studied her for a moment longer, `She'll tell me more when she's ready.' Harry was rudely broke from his thoughts by Seamus, who had thrown a dinner roll at his head.

"Oi Harry, don't stare, ain't no one ever told you it's impolite?" He said before bursting out laughing.

Harry knew what he was implying, and felt a little heat rise up the back of his neck. While Seamus laughed, Harry responded with what he would later defend as, `the most appropriate action.' He picked up a dinner roll, and returned fire, then added, "Shut it Finnigan."

Seamus stopped laughing, but the smirk never left his face. Harry smiled in satisfaction, before turning back to dinner.


Dumbledore stood and approached the podium. He waited a moment until most had noticed him, then raising his hands to calm the rest he started, "If you'll all please take your seats, the moment you've been waiting for has arrived, the selection of the Triwizard Champions." After a short pause to let the tension rise, he continued, "The order called is of no importance, but when called, please come forward and stand here." Dumbledore gestured to space next to him. Stepping forward he reached out his hand and slowly moved it a small arc around the room. As he did so, the torches on the wall when out. A rather impressive display of wandless magic, thought both Harry and Hermione, and no doubt many others.

Moving over to stand next to the Goblet of Fire, he waved his hand once more. The silent blue flame turned red and roared to life as it seemed to spew out a burnt piece of parchment. Dumbledore reached up and grabbed it as it floated down. Reading aloud, "The first champion is for Durmstrang, Mr. Vasil Demetrius.

The Durmstrang students cheered, while Vasil made his way forward.

Again the fire turned red, "From Beauxbaton, Miss Fleur Delacour." More cheers. The Goblet seemed to take the schools in turn, choosing the champions.

"From Hogwarts, Mr. Roger Davis." All of the claws were on their feet cheering for one of their own.

And so it went, from Durmstrang; Rodomir Asparukh, and Andon Aleksandar. The one student who got the most attention though, was Viktor Krum. He walked forward with an air of confidence none of the others could match.

Harry couldn't help but notice, that when he stole a glance at their table, Hermione and Ginny both turned red, while Ron did the opposite, and turned white.

The other champions from Beauxbaton were; Marie Elise Gilbert, Renee De La Rue, and Claudine Du Moulin. While the other three Hogwarts students chosen were; from Hufflepuff, Cedric Diggory, from Slytherin, Derrick Wilkes, and the last name to come out of the cup was from Gryffindor, Alicia Spinnet.

By the time Alicia had made her way to the front, the entire Hall was on its feet cheering and yelling encouragements. Harry was no different, clapping enthusiastically for all, but mostly for Alicia... she was a lion after all, one of their own. Fred seemed especially proud, and both Ginny and Hermione noticed, and laughed at his enthusiasm. Harry also noticed, that three of the Hogwarts students were sixth years. `Must all have early birthdays,' He thought, then looking over to Fred and George, knowing how hard they tried to get in, `too bad, they just missed it.'

The students quietly down and began taking their seats as Dumbledore again began to speak. "Now here before us, we have our twelve champions, but in the end, only one will go down in history... only one will hoist the Triwizard Cup." As he finished, he turned with a deliberate suddenness and pointed to a covered object now sitting on the previously empty table beside them. More wandless magic, as the final word left his mouth, the cover flew off, revealing the spectacular looking Triwizard Cup.

In the surreal silence that followed this dramatic scene, the Goblet of Fire started to rumble back to life. As everyone turned curiously back towards it one more time, its fire turned red, and spit out another piece of half burnt parchment. Hermione's eyes cautiously followed the tiny still smoldering scrap, as it floated downwards, that ill feeling coming back with a vengeance. A concerned Dumbledore reached out and grabbed it, then stood in silence for what seemed an eternity after reading the name that had been written on it. Still looking down, he said in a quiet voice full of disbelief, "Harry Potter."

Harry jolted, no way, this can't be happening. All around him, he could hear people starting to murmur things. Without even looking, he knew all eyes were on him. Turning quickly, Harry looked to his friends for support, for help. He found none. Instead, in their eyes, he found contempt, and repulsion, as if he was the lowest form of scoundrel. Someone, you don't talk to, or even about, at least, not in proper company. Pausing on Ron for a moment, his first friend, Harry was surprised to see the hard look on his face, the hatred in his eyes. Finally, Harry's gaze stopped on Hermione. Her eyes told a different story, hers were full of worry, but for what? Was she worried about him, or worried that he had cheated?

Shaking his head slightly he ventured, "Hermione... I didn't... I don't know how..."

Hermione nodded quickly; she had to reassure him, "I know Harry, I know." She knew just by the look of shock on his face. She also knew he was worried that she'd not believe him.

"Harry Potter!" This time the headmaster's voice was loud and clear, and it carried a hint of anger.

Harry just sat there staring back at Hermione trying to read her. He had to be certain she believed him.

Hermione reached forward and touched his arm, never breaking eye contact.

"Harry Potter!" Dumbledore was quickly becoming impatient.

"It'll be okay Harry, go, I believe you... go!"

Harry saw the truth in her eyes and the concern on her face, and it gave him the courage he needed. After a hesitant nod, he turned back and stood. He took a quick glance around the room, only to find many angry faces looking back at him. Squaring his shoulders he raised his head high and walked forward towards Dumbledore and the others champions.

As Hermione watched Harry walk away, she knew no one would believe him. They were always ready to believe the worst. Maybe they were a little jealous, or maybe it just made them feel better thinking `The Great Harry Potter' was not so different after all. One look at Ron and she could tell, Ron was definitely upset... sure that Harry had wronged him personally somehow. She'd deal with him later, remind him, that he was Harry's best friend. For now, she was going to stay focused on Harry. She'd be damned if she was going to let him go through this alone, especially since it appeared no one else was going to support him. Hopefully they, the professors, would figure out what had happened and set things right, and then hopefully all would be back to normal in a couple of days.

As Harry disappeared into the antechamber, Hermione wondered if this was what had been bothering her since she first laid eyes on the goblet. Did her subconscious somehow foresee this coming? Was it just a strong case of intuition? She didn't know, how could she, nothing like this had ever happened to her before. After one last look at the Goblet, Hermione got up to leave, that's when she noticed, her odd feeling had never left.

Stopping just short of his headmaster, Harry said in a loud voice, "I did not enter, Sir."

Dumbledore looked at him impassively for just a second, before reaching out and gesturing for him to follow the others. All of them, silently made their way to the antechamber in the back of the Hall.

The Great Hall grew noisy again as students began to whisper about the turn of events. "He's not seventeen," someone said. "He's a cheat!" Another yelled. That was the last thing he heard before the door to the chamber closed. There was no doubt what the students thought, and it wouldn't be long before Harry discovered what the professors thought too.


An hour and a half later, Harry stepped through the portrait hole and into the Gryffindor common room. It was obvious they had been celebrating, probably on Alicia's behalf, something that he would not have begrudged her. Moving further into the room all eyes fell on him, and the room went silent. Harry looked around trying to ascertain the feelings, that the others had towards him.

"Well, look who finally decided to join us," Ron slowly stood as he continued, "wasn't enough getting your name picked, and going off with all the other champions?" Ron tone becoming more sarcastic by the second, "Couldn't come back with them... no, had to make your own special entrance."

"Ron," Hermione chastised, "you don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, but of course you do, you know everything. Well, I'll tell..."

Harry had half expected Ron to be upset, but nothing like this. He was also having a hard time understanding why Ron was being so mean to Hermione. Finally, Harry's face hardened, "Enough Ron! You got a problem with me, fine, but don't take it out on Hermione," Harry's tone clearly daring him to try.

Ron turned an ugly glare to Harry, "Right then, tell me Harry... tell us all... why did you do it?"

Harry stepped further into the room and looked around, slowly studying each face. Each had the same look; they all wanted to know. They all thought the same thing. Like Ron, they all thought he had somehow entered his name. However, the last person his gaze fell on had a completely different look. Hermione looked to be near tears. Whether it was because of what Ron had said to her a moment ago, or if it was because of his current situation, he didn't know.

"You all want answers... that right?"

Dean spoke up, "Think we deserve that much, don't you?"

"Fine. I'll tell you, what difference does it make, you're going to believe what you want anyway," Harry said simply. "But first, I... would like to know something." He waited a moment before continuing, "Do any of you lot... believe me, when I say I did not put my name in the goblet. Do any of you believe I'm not a cheat?"

Without hesitating, Hermione walked over and stood next to Harry, making it plain to everyone that she did indeed believe in him.

Harry gave her a grateful smile, then turned his attention back to the room. Silence filled the next several seconds while Harry waited for an answer. Looking around again Harry nodded his head a little, "Well at least I know where everyone stands."

Then, speaking directly to Alicia, he started, "Miss Spinnet, as I told you a while ago while we were with the others, as far as I'm concerned, you are the one and only Gryffindor champion." Harry continued by directing the rest of his comments to the rest of the room, "I'm only going to say this once; I don't want to be a champion, I didn't enter my name in the bloody tournament, and I don't know how it got there. I don't know what is going to happen, nor do I know what the professors are going to do." Harry took a deep breath before going on, "I do know this though, I'm going to try and find a way out. I don't want to compete... I don't want any of it."

"That's it, that's all you have to say, and you expect us to believe you! You're a git Harry, a bloody git." Ron stormed up the stairs, and a moment later the door to the fourth-year boy's dorm room could be heard slamming shut.

That seemed to signal the end of their little impromptu meeting, and the rest of the students quickly broke up.

Hermione took half a step forward and opened her mouth to start berating everyone. She stopped when she felt Harry's hand on her arm holding her back. One look at his face, and she knew he wanted her to just drop it. What was wrong with these people? Surely, they knew Harry would never do something like this, Merlin, they've known him as long as she had.

"Oh Harry, I'm so sorry," Hermione said softly.

Harry turned so that he was facing her, "It's not your fault Hermione."

"I know, it's just... well I feel bad for you. I know you didn't want any of this. These are our friends, your friends... why can't they see it too?"

Harry smiled, "I guess, some friends are just better than others."

Hermione smiled back, she knew what he meant, and was glad he thought so. "Harry, what about the professors, what did they say?"

Harry's smile faded as he replied, "Well at first it was hard to tell, everyone was yelling at once. Dumbledore seemed worried, and must have asked me three or four times if I had put my name in the goblet. They all argued for quite a while. Then it was just Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape." Harry took a moment to consider his thoughts before going on, "I'm pretty sure neither Maxime, nor Karkaroff believed me, and of course, you know Snape would never believe me. Professor McGonagall... I don't know, she only seemed worried that I was too young to compete."

"Well that's true, you are. It puts you at an unfair disadvantage. What about Dumbledore?"

"Well again at first, he seemed pretty sure I could get out of the tournament, but a little later, he seemed... almost in favor of it. Said I had no choice, I was bound by a magical contract." Harry shook his head, "I don't know, it was weird, it all happened so fast." After a moment of silence, Harry looked down and sighed, "Honestly... I don't think any of them really believed me."

Both stood quietly lost in thought. Hermione looked around, there were only a few students left in the common room as it was getting late. "Harry... were both tired, it's been a very long day, let's call it a night." Taking his hand, she gave it a gentle squeeze. "Give me a chance to sleep on it Harry. Don't worry, we'll think of something."

Harry squeezed her hand back and nodded, "Thanks," he said with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. It may have been one of the worst nights of his life, but Harry was thankful for one thing; having a friend like Hermione. "You're right, it's late, we should turn in. See you tomorrow?"

"Of course," Hermione acknowledged softly. "Oh and Harry, you should write Sirius," she quickly added, "you know he'd want to hear about this." Harry just nodded his head slowly in understanding.

Just before Hermione reached the stairs, she stopped and looked back. Harry was still standing there in the same spot, he hadn't moved an inch, "Harry?"

He looked up, it was just a glance, but he knew what she was thinking, "I'm okay Hermione... was just thinking I really don't feel like facing Ron again tonight."

It was Hermione's turn to nod in understanding. A moment later she watched as he finally started towards his dorm. "Goodnight Harry," she said, before hurrying up to her own room.

"Night Hermione." As Harry reluctantly climbed the stairs, he thought, `Maybe I'll catch a break, and everyone will already be in bed.'


Over the course of the next few days not much changed. The students all seemed to be in a good mood, laughing and joking about class, or what might be happening in the tournament. Their mood changed however, as soon as they spotted Harry. Nasty comments and hard glares seemed to zero in on him everywhere he went. Even his own common room was hostile territory. Nobody actually said anything directly to him, but as the old Muggle saying goes `if looks could kill.' In a way, the silent treatment was worse. Several times Harry had said hi, or something similar in passing, just out of habit, only to have the person ignore him. The one individual who hurt him the most though, was Ron.

"You don't want to admit you put your name in the cup... fine, at least tell me how you did it."

"Ron, if I didn't do it... how am I supposed to tell you how I did it?"

"I thought we were best mates Harry, I can't believe you won't even tell me."

That was the last time Ron had talked to Harry.

Harry wasn't the only one Ron was fighting with. Just outside the Great Hall, Ron stopped Hermione as she was about to leave. He was going to give her a piece of his mind. He was going to get her to see reason.

"Honestly Ron! Harry is your best friend, how can you say such things about him? You've known him as long as I have." A furious Hermione all but yelled.

Neville had stopped Luna a moment before, to ask her what she was doing for her demo. He was hoping to find a reason to spend a little time with her, so he thought he'd offer to help. A few minutes later, a shy Neville smiled as Luna accepted his offer. Their warm moment ended quickly when Ron started to yell.

"He's a cheat Hermione!"

"No he's not. How come you don't seem to mind, that your brothers tried to enter? Why aren't you mad at them? And we both know, you would have tried if you thought you could have gotten past the age line."

"That's different!"

"Really, how so?"

"They never actually entered."

"They tried."

"So what..." Ron sighed, "What is it with you Hermione? I know you're smarter than that, I know you don't believe him either. So why... why are you taking his side? Why are you acting this way?" Ron's voice was hard and angry. There was no doubt he believed everything he said. He was convinced that not only was Harry lying, but that she was too.

Hermione stepped forward, and now only inches from Ron's face, she answered him in a low dangerous voice, "You're right Ron, I am smart... smart enough to know that Harry is telling the truth, and that's why I'm taking his side." Ron just glared back, but before he could reply Hermione continued, "And, as to how I'm acting? It's called friendship. Something you seem to have forgotten." Hermione stepped back and turned, and started to walk away. After a couple of steps, she stopped and looking over her shoulder, she added, "Apparently you don't know either one of us as well as you think."

Neville and Luna stood off to the side quietly watching the fight. A moment after it ended Neville turned to look at Luna, "I think she's right Luna. And I think... just maybe... that I've made a terrible mistake." Neville said in a guilty voice.

Luna gave him a sad smile, and said, "It'll be alright Neville, but we both need to talk to him."

That had been over four days ago.

The professors of course would talk to him, whether or not they believed him, he still didn't know. Harry Potter currently only had one friend in the castle.

After a lousy day, just thinking of her brought a smile to Harry's face. Then as if she knew, Hermione entered the common room and went straight to him.

"Hello Harry," Hermione glanced around, "still getting the cold shoulder from everyone?"

"Well, not everyone," Harry also glanced around, "but yeah mostly. Hey, at least I have more time to study... what with no idle chitchat and all."

Hermione chuckled, "I suppose there is that. Have you heard anything about the first task yet?"

"No, Dumbledore told us there'd be an announcement tomorrow night."

"And nothing about you, still no help getting out of the tournament?"

"No, none," Harry sighed, "I'm pretty sure he wants me to compete."

Hermione worried her lower lip, she couldn't help but think the same thing. "And what of Sirius, any word?" She whispered.

Harry leaned forward and answered her just as softly, "He's worried too, `very suspicious' he said." Harry sighed before continuing, "All he could say was to be careful, and keep my friends close."

Hermione reached out and took his hand in hers and gave it a gentle squeeze. She couldn't help but notice the irony in the way Sirius used the word friends.


As the first rays of sunshine broke through Harry's dorm room window, he couldn't help but think as he rolled over and moaned into his pillow that Friday had come way too fast. He didn't know what was going to be worse; potions, with Snape, or Dumbledore's announcement, later after dinner.

Hermione was already up, and was just coming back from her shower, when a small posse met her. They started in on her as she started to dress for the day.

"Hermione, why in Merlin's name are you being so nice to Potter?"

"Why are you even talking to him?" Added Parvati. Lavender nodded her head in agreement.

Hermione took a small breath and pinched the bridge of her nose; it was way too early for this. She had been taking a little heat for standing up for Harry. Of course, it was nothing in comparison to what Harry was going through. Besides, it didn't matter she thought, she believed Harry, and he was her friend; of course she would stick up for him. Turning to answer Lavender first, she started, "Because I believe him. Honestly, anybody who knows him would." Shifting to look at Parvati, "He's my friend, and even if I doubted him - Which. I. Don't. - I would still talk to him."

Lavender really didn't care why, she was only hoping to get a little gossip material. Parvati on the other hand, noticed the fire in Hermione's eyes as she spoke. Everyone knew Hermione was smart, very smart, Parvati also knew she was honest, plus Hermione knew Harry better than probably anyone. If Hermione Granger believed him... maybe, just maybe, he was telling the truth. Parvati pulled Lavender away before things could get ugly. Later, she would definitely have to think about this some more.


Making his way to the Great Hall for dinner, Harry chuckled to himself. After being harassed by Snape for the last two hours in potions, he doubted anything Dumbledore had to say after dinner could make his day any worse. Alone with his thoughts, Harry sat down at the Gryffindor table and looked around, there was nobody within ten feet of him, and he was pretty sure it was going to stay that way. `Hell, Draco stands a better chance at having a friendly conversation at this table than I do.' No sooner had Harry finished that thought, when Hermione plopped down across from him.

"Evening Harry."

"Hello Hermione, how was your day?"

Hermione let out a long breath, "Good, but let's just say I'm glad it's Friday."

Nodding his head in understanding, "Yeah, I only hope I'll be able to enjoy, at least part of the weekend."

Seeing Harry lost in thought, Hermione started fixing a plate of food for him, before making one for herself. "Well, we should know soon enough."

Harry noticed her making his plate and smiled. Reaching for the pumpkin juice, he poured two glasses. "Yeah."


Forty-five minutes later, Dumbledore stood and approached the podium, "I see most of you have finished your dessert, so... it must be time to tell you about the first task." Dumbledore paused, and peered over his spectacles, as if to make sure everyone was listening. "Again, as you know, the first task is designed to reduce the number of champions from twelve... thirteen, to six… or maybe seven."

Half the student body turned and looked at Harry, Dumbledore's slip had only highlighted his involvement.

"Dueling will be the first task. Champions will only duel other champions from their own school. Each duel will be timed, and scored, allowing each champion to be ranked from first through fourth. Third and fourth places will obviously be eliminated, thus leaving six, two from each school... plus of course Mr. Potter." Pausing for a moment to look at Harry before he continued, "Mr. Potter will then duel one champions from each school, whether it be the first or second ranked champion, will be determined by random draw. This way, each champion, including Mr. Potter, will compete in three duels to determine their final score. Therefore, the last three with Mr. Potter, will be to determine his final score only, as his three opponents will have already had been ranked. If Mr. Potter manages to score higher than any one of the six champions, he will continue on with them." Dumbledore paused to let this information sink in.

Hermione was grateful for the break as she had been very busy taking notes, and was making a list of questions. If Dumbledore didn't answer them tonight, she'd have Harry ask about them tomorrow.

A moment later, Dumbledore continued, his voice even as if he'd given this lecture many times before. "The first task will last two days, and will begin on Thursday, October twentieth. There will be four separate duels from each school, for a total of twelve, beginning immediately after breakfast, and concluding just before dinner. The task will continue the following day with six more duels in the morning. During lunch, the first twelve champions will be ranked, and then from the final six, three will be chosen to duel Mr. Potter. Those final three duels will occur shortly after lunch." Dumbledore again paused, this time to take a drink before his voice dried up from his unusually long announcement.

As the details of the first task were being given out, the noise level in the Great Hall had risen steadily. At the head table, the professors all seemed to be in quiet conference. Looking around the Hall, Harry noticed, most all the students were whispering amongst themselves, some pointing towards their champions, and occasionally someone would point at him.

The headmaster ready to resume, raised his hands to quiet the Hall, "All of the duels will be performed here in the Great Hall. Each will be judged by a panel consisting of a member from each school, as well as three members from the ministry, two from the department of International Magical Cooperation, and one the department of Magical Games and Sports. If there are no unforeseen complications, we should have the final results ready to be announced immediately after dinner."

Professor Dumbledore stopped and smiled for a moment before going on, "Finally the part that I'm sure you're most interested in... champions will only be able to use spells from an approved list. That list will be posted here in the Hall tomorrow morning during breakfast." Dumbledore started to turn away, but stopped as if remembering something. "If anyone has any questions, please ask your Head of House. Now I feel I have talked for far too long once again. Thank you for your indulgence."

By the time the headmaster reached his seat, the peaceful calm that it existed during his explanation of the first task, quickly turned energetic. Students speculated on such things as, which spells might possibly be allowed, and of course, who they thought might win. The volume level of their conversations gradually rose to level where Harry had trouble hearing his own thoughts.

`Dueling... against sixth and seventh years. Not only that, but the two best, from each school no less.' It was hopeless, what chance did he have. His, would be the last duels of the task, the one's people would remember. He would go from scorn to ridicule overnight, how utterly embarrassing. However, before Harry's thoughts got any darker, something else occurred to him. If he placed last, which he was quite sure he would... then it would be over, at least for him anyway.

Hermione finished her notes and looked up, `He looks so lost,' she thought. "Harry? Harry! Are you all right?" She asked, waving her hand in front of his face.


"Harry, you alright? For a moment, you looked…well…"

"Oh, sorry... just thinking."

"Yeah... I'm sure." Hermione was thinking too; she'd need to get that list of spells as soon as possible. She had no doubt, that there would be a few that, Harry would be unfamiliar with, or maybe never even heard of. They'd have their work cut out for them.


Harry was up bright and early the following morning. It was only a little after five o'clock in the morning as Harry made his way down to the common room. At least three, sometimes, four times a week, Harry would get up extra early and go out for a run. Over the course of the summer, he did manage to get in a little better shape. Now it seemed more important than ever to stay in shape. Reaching the bottom step, he was slightly surprised to see Hermione sitting there in her running clothes waiting for him.

Hermione heard him coming down and looked up as he approached. She smiled at the confused look on his face. "You didn't honestly think I was going to waste all that hard work from last summer, did you Harry?"

"How long have you known?"

Hermione stood and slowly started walking with Harry towards the portrait hole. "Well... only just recently. I think it's great. Also…I'd like to start running again, and if you let me, I'd like to join you on a more regular basis."

Harry stopped walking for a moment and turned to look at Hermione, "You would, would you?" He smirked.

Hermione reddened just a little, but before her courage faded she answered, "Yes, as a matter of fact, I would."

As they made their way out to the grounds, to start their warm-up routine, Hermione asked, "Harry, do you think we should practice our Karate?"

Harry thought for a moment, then stopped in the middle of a deep stretch, and said, "Well, I doubt we'll learn anything new, but I suppose it would be a good idea to keep practicing what we already know.

Hermione nodded, "Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines." Then after a second, she added, "Maybe once a week, we could shorten our run to make time for it."

Finished with the warm-up, and ready to start running, Harry just nodded, "Yeah, sounds good."


Later that day, after lunch, Harry and Hermione sat on the couch in the common room quietly discussing the various spells on the dueling list.

"Hermione, even if I do learn even half of these, where am I going to practice them?"

"I don't know yet Harry, but I'm sure we'll find a place. Maybe Professor McGonagall can help."

"Maybe," he acknowledged skeptically.

Neville, who had been sitting in the armchair only a few feet away reading, couldn't help but overhear. Every day since the fight between Hermione and Ron, Neville had been thinking about Harry Potter. If he was honest with himself, he knew he didn't know him as well as he thought, but that didn't mean he agreed with Ron, in fact, just the opposite. He may not have had the same convictions as Hermione, but he was willing to give Harry the benefit of the doubt. "Guys, um sor-r-ry I wasn't eavesdropping, really, but I might know a place where you can practice."

Harry and Hermione looked at each other for a moment, then both turned to Neville, and Harry asked, "No offense Neville, but why are you telling us this? I thought you didn't believe me."

Neville looked conflicted as he started, "I don't know what to believe Harry. I'll admit, it doesn't seem like something you'd do, but then again, you're always getting mixed up in… something. Although it's usually not your fault," He said the last part with a small smile. "Anyway, we're in the same house and... and well housemates should give each other a chance, you know... like friends would."

Harry turned to Hermione, "I suppose it wouldn't hurt to take a look."

Hermione nodded in agreement, then turned to Neville, "So, you think you know a place we could use?"

Yeah... well maybe... actually, I'm not really sure, I'll show you... if you want." Suddenly, Neville wasn't quite as sure of himself as he was only a few minutes ago.

Hermione shrugged, "Why not? We've got nothing to lose."

Harry nodded, "Okay," then turning back to Neville, "lead the way."

Neville's face brightened as he hopped up, "It's up on the seventh floor. Found it by accident last week." He began as he led them out of the portrait hole.

Harry and Hermione followed close behind, as they listened to Neville tells them, how he came across this weird room.

"I thought maybe I had found a shortcut from Divinations, back to the main hall. I was in a fairly deserted part of the castle, when I heard Draco and his goons coming the other way." Harry and Hermione shared a glance.

"Well it quickly dawned on me how alone I was, and I thought, `I need a place to hide,' so..." Neville looked at Harry sheepishly, "I turned around and started back the way I came. Only seconds later I heard Zabini coming from up ahead. I was caught in the middle. I turned around again desperately looking for any place to hide. Then out of nowhere, this door appears in the wall practically right next to me." Neville slowed a little as if to remember something about the event. "Anyway... I thought anything was better than staying out in the hall trapped between those guys. So I opened the door and when in."

Hermione's curiosity aroused, "What did you find?"

"Nothing really, it was just an ordinary room... but there were lots of hiding places!"

Hermione looked at Harry with one eyebrow raised. "Just what he needed," She said softly.

Again, Harry nodded, "Yeah... but why?"

Hermione slowly shook her head, then looked at Neville. He just raised his hands palms up. "Don't know."


"Are you sure this is the right place Neville?" Hermione asked, as the three of them stared at a rather unremarkable piece of blank wall.

"Yeah, I'm positive."

Harry could see that Neville was getting a little frustrated with himself. "Neville, calm down a second, and close your eyes. Now try to remember everything you saw."

Neville took a deep breath, and closed his eyes for a few seconds. He sighed, "I don't get it. I know it was right here. I just don't know how to make the door show itself." Neville gave Harry and Hermione apologetic look, "I'm sorry guys, I'm just wasting your time."

Hermione wasn't ready to give up just yet. "Neville, it must have been something you said, or did. Let's reenact it, okay."

Neville gave a weak smile and nodded okay. "I was walking this way..." after walking a few steps he stopped, then turned around. "Then I came back, then turned around again." After repeating his actions, nothing happened.

"You didn't say anything?" Harry asked.

"No." Then more softly added, "I was too busy thinking of a place to hide."

Hermione chewed her bottom lip for a minute, before a slow smile appeared on her face. Turning, she walked a short ways down the hall, then turned around and walked back. Then once more turned and walked away a couple of steps. No sooner had she stopped than a door started to appear on the wall, right where Neville said, it should have been.

Harry raised a brow at her smirk, "Care to explain?"

Still smiling, "Sure, but inside," Hermione said, as she ushered Harry and a very relieved looking Neville through the door. Once inside, all she could do was stare. "Wow!" Then glancing at Neville, who also looked shocked, asked, "Is this how it was before?"

Not trusting his voice, Neville just shook his head no.

"Brilliant," Harry said. Then turning to the others went on, "This room is perfect for training in. It has everything!" Harry was ecstatic, as he went off to examine the room more carefully.

Hermione smiled at his enthusiasm, then at a more casual pace started walking around, taking in the room.

The room was quite large, about fifteen by thirty meters at least. The most prominent item in the room was a dueling stage in the center. Off to the sides were various training aids, like target dummies, and small moving targets to practice accuracy. All in all, Hermione had to agree, the room was exactly what they needed.

Neville spoke up for the first time since entering the room, "I don't get it. Why is the room different this time?"

Harry walked back shaking his head, "I don't know Neville... it's almost like..." he paused, unsure of his thoughts.

"The room knows what you need, or want, and... it just provides it for you," Hermione finished for him. Walking back towards the door, she stopped and closed her eyes. Moments later, a small couch and chair appeared out of nowhere, right in front of a warm crackling fire. Turning back to the boys, "You're right Harry... it's perfect."

Sitting on the couch, she beckoned them over, "Come on, sit. We need to work out a plan."

Harry sat next to Hermione on the couch, something Neville noticed right away. After taking the other seat, he asked the very question Harry had been thinking. "Hermione, how did you do this?" gesturing around the room with his hand.

"This time, I just closed my eyes and imagined what I wanted. Earlier out in the hall, as I paced back and forth, I kept thinking, `I need a room to train in,' and here it is. Not only did this room provide what I asked for, it knew exactly what kind of training room I needed." Looking around again she added, "It's really amazing."

The three of them sat in silence for a moment contemplating the significance of their discovery before Harry wondered aloud, "I wonder if this room has a name?"

No sooner had he finished, then a plaque appeared above the mantle of the fireplace proclaiming, "Welcome to, the `Room of Requirement.'"

Hermione beamed, while Harry chuckled and said, "Well that answers that." Then, looking at Neville, he smiled, "You did good Neville. You did good."

Still a little shocked he could only reply softly, "Bloody hell."

Hermione considered chastising him for his language, but considering the accuracy of the statement, she quickly decided to let it slide, and just smiled.

Harry noticed her restraint, and just laughed. Things were starting to look better.


Sunday mornings in the Great Hall were normally very quiet, few students were up before eight, most preferring a bit of a lie-in. Knowing this, was why Padma was surprised to see her sister waiting for her at the Ravenclaw table deep in thought. "Hey, what earth shattering news has got you up so early?"

"Morning. No news, just got a busy day and I wanted to talk to you before either of us got going."


"What do you think about Harry Potter, and how he got into the tournament?"

Padma raised her brows, whatever she was expecting, this wasn't it. "Why the sudden concern for Potter... oh you're not..."

"No, no, nothing like that," Parvati gasped. "Look, he's in my house, you know. So I've been thinking about the whole situation a bit lately. I saw him when his name was called, he looked... scared. Then there's Hermione, she believes him without a doubt." Parvati stared at her sister, "I don't know anymore. I guess I'm having second thoughts. What if he's telling the truth?"

"Well, he's not exactly the brightest boy at Hogwarts, but he'd have to be foolish, stupid even, to enter as a fourth year." Padma smiled at her sister, "I guess I'm not so sure either." Taking both of Parvati's hands she said, "Look, talk to Hermione, see what she has to say, it might help."

Parvati pulled her sister into a hug, "Thanks sis, that's a good idea," then after letting go she added, "well I'd better get going. See you later?"

"Sure, let me know how it goes."

Later that day, while on her way to dinner, Parvati spotted the one person she wanted to talk to, "Hermione, you got a moment?"


Over the course of the next week and a half, Harry spent practically every free moment he had in the Room of Requirement practicing for the first task. Ron was still mad at him, and most of Gryffindor was still giving him the cold shoulder, Neville and Hermione being the only exceptions.

Neville finally decided he needed to talk to someone about Harry. He needed to figure out where he stood with regards to him. The only person Neville could think of, that might actually consider talking about Harry's situation rationally, was Luna. He felt that even though she was only a third-year, she seemed to have a certain wisdom about her that made her seem older. Of course, the fact that he thought she was cute, only seemed to help him make up his mind.

The day after he had shown Harry the room, Neville and Luna sat down, specifically to talk about Harry. Neville related to her about how worried Harry had been about the task. He explained to her how he was becoming more and more convinced of Harry's innocence. Luna then told him, how she had been fairly certain from the beginning. Neville asked her why she hadn't said anything sooner.

"Why would anyone care what Loony had to say?" came Luna's no nonsense reply.

Neville knew how nicknames could hurt, and if used long enough, they had a tendency to stick, he was going to nip this here and now. "Luna, please don't call yourself that. I may not always understand you, but I promise I'll always try. And I for one, care what you have to say," Neville reassured her. Neither said a word for several seconds as she stared back at him.

Finally, she seemed to reach a conclusion. Luna's blank expression turned into a simple smile as she said, "Thank you Neville."

After a while, both decided that Harry would have been smart enough to know about some of these problems beforehand, and as Luna pointed out, cheating did go against his character. It didn't take long to finally agree, that Harry was telling the truth. Later that night, both had approached Harry and apologized, and offered to help. Neville even accompanied him a few times to help with practice. Hermione on the other hand, as busy as she was, went with him whenever she could, which was most of the time. She even insisted that he duel against her to make it more realistic. It was because of her efforts to help him that Harry found himself in his current situation with his least favorite teacher.

"Mr. Potter, to what do I owe this most unexpected visit? Snape growled.

"Thank you for seeing me Professor," Harry started, trying to be as respectful as possible. "I need...err I would appreciate your help with a potion sir."

Snape sat up and leered at Harry, "I see. Came here hoping I would help you brew a potion to help you through your first task." Before Harry could interrupt he went on, "I'm afraid not. I can't do that... even if I were so inclined. However, I'll be sure Madam Pomfrey is well supplied with Skele-Gro and Blood-Replenishing potions."

"Err thanks…I think. But this is not about the first task. In fact, it's not for me at all sir."

Snape's brow rose a tiny amount, his interest only slightly piqued, "Is that so, well then, what are you on about, Potter?"

Harry reached into his school bag and pulled out a piece of parchment, and handed it to Snape. It was a summation of the potion that Hermione was working on for her demonstration. She was stumped on how to prepare one of the ingredients, and after several hours, neither she, Nicole, nor Harry had been able to find an answer. Harry had suggested, that she go to see Snape herself. However, Hermione was absolutely sure he wouldn't help, and she wasn't going to beg, or waste her time. That wouldn't stop Harry from begging though, if that's what it took. He was bound and determined to help her at least a little.



AN: Although Cedric, Alicia, and Roger are all sixth-years, we'll assume they all had birthdays in September, or October. For Cedric, JKR mentioned he was born in ether September, or October, However there is no mention of any birthdates for Alicia, or Roger, at least, none that I can find.

According to JKR, both Beauxbaton and Durmstrang are co-ed. However, in the movie `Goblet of Fire', we are lead to believe they are not. I kind of like that idea, so for this story, we will assume that's the case.

Hopefully, I have not confused you to much with all the changes. I'm trying to explain my version as best I can without getting too bogged down in details. If you have a question, or just want to know more, let me know, and I'll try to respond with a satisfying answer.




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