The next morning the Great Hall was as crowded as yesterday night, chatter filled the air as people made their assumptions of the tournament known. Unlike yesterday everything was tame as everyone ate away at their meals peacefully with nothing of the sorts being tossed around.
After last night's crazy food fight, no one wanted to provoke their schoolmasters, so things were very tame and cordial. Even other houses tried their best to stand the other as no one tried to pick or fight and those who broke into arguments were quickly shut down as glares came at them from everyone.
Coming downstair from his private quarters, Harry made his way to the Great Hall along the way he saw a few Headmasters and Headmistresses chatting quietly to some of their students.
In his planning for their arrival, Harry made sure to provide quarters to each and every one of the schools, within the castle walls. There was plenty of space available within the castle; which had been made to house thousands upon thousands of people by the school's architect, Albriech Cadoc Ambratorix. Thus it was no issue at all to host a couple few more hundreds.
Harry was able to catch some of the conversations thanks to his enhanced earing without even trying. Like Boris Sergey, Headmaster of Koldovstoretz bowing and scaping to that same girl, that princess if he recalled correctly.
And Madame Maxime scowling at two older girls one who reminded him of the Veela girls from the World Cup and another who pricked his memory about someone very important from his first year.
"Viktor, how are you feeling? Did last night's debauchery ruin your mood? Should I prepare room and board inside the ship?" Harry saw Krum shake his head, "I am vine Professor, you could say tha' it was quite the experience. Something we veally don't get in Durmstrang," he smiled.
"Don't let them ruin you with their ways,"with that Karkaroff turned and headed toward the Great Hall. He was in such a rush, Harry stopped to let him walk through past first.
All he carelessly passed off was a, "Thank you."
Taking a few steps, Karkaroff froze in his spot. He turned his head back to Harry and stared at him as though he couldn't believe his eyes. Behind his headmaster, Krum came to a halt too. Karkaroff's eyes moved slowly up Harry's face and fixed upon his fading scar. While the professional Quidditch player stared curiously at Harry too.
"You," the man whispered as Harry saw comprehension dawn on the schoolmaster's faces.
Others in the hallway came to a pause as well, as some of the foreign students nudged each other and pointed openly at Harry's forehead.
He heard plenty of whispering going around as everyone seem to recognize who he was exactly.
"Yeah, that's Harry Potter," one voice whispered from behind them.
"It's really him!" Harry heard a Beauxbatons girl squeal.
"The one who defeated the British Dark Lord?" an Ilvermorny student asked his friend.
"Yeah, at just 1 year old!" his mate nodded his head.
"Get off your rocker!" the boy said in disbelief.
"Headmaster Karkaroff," Harry spoke up first, "Is there a problem?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"How did you do it?" the man whispered as he tried to catch Harry's eyes. Harry didn't allow him to do so, the man had been after all a Death Eater and a high ranking one at that.
"Whatever do you mean, Headmaster?" Harry asked, playing innocent. He knew what the man wanted to know, it had been after all a question that plagued all the death eaters for years now.
How could a child, one barely off his mother's tits come to defeat one of the most powerful wizards in the century?!
"You know what I mean," the man snarled as he grabbed Harry's front robes. They were of the same height; with the man being shorter than average and Harry's just experiencing a growth spurt this summer.
Staring down at his hand, Harry looked him fully in the eyes, leaking some of his magic as he uttered harshly. "I would advise you let me go this instant, Headmaster. If I have been able to defeat your wretched master at a few scant years what do you think I could do to a traitor like you. And how vast do you think my power has grown since those glory days!"
"So," Harry said as he slowly took hold of the man's finger and set them aside. "Once again, I advice not to mess with me or else..."
Harry held no pity for this despicable soul at least criminals have a tight bound together but he broke that save his own skin.
"What are you doing to one of my students," a gruff asked.
HeadmasterKarkaroff spun around. Mad-Eye Moody was standing there, leaning heavily on his staff, his magical eye glaring unblinkingly at the Durmstrang schoolmaster.
The color drained from Karkaroff's face as Harry watched. A terrible look of mingled fury and fear came over him.
"You!" he said, staring at Moody as though unsure he was really seeing him.
"Me," said Moody grimly. "And unless you've got anything to say to Potter, Karkaroff, you might want to move. You're blocking the doorway."
It was true; half the students in the Hall were now waiting behind them, looking over one another's shoulders to see what was causing the holdup.
"Is there something wrong comrade?" Headmaster Sergey asked as he walked up to them. He knew perfectly well that there was a confrontation was going on and he came to the rescue of his ally who won't survive a confrontation against the mad dog Moody as he is called in some low circles.
"No," the man said and without another word, he swept his cloak away with him and left.
Krum looked at him with an unreadable expression, but soon he followed behind his headmaster.
"Run along you coward," Moody growled watched him until he was out of sight, his magical eye fixed upon his back, a look of intense dislike upon his mutilated face.
Harry knew Moody or more accurately Barty Jr. wasn't faking his pure loathing for the man. He was after all the man who betrayed so many of his allies to the Wizengamot to go scot free. His testimonies were paramount in seeing a lot of Death Eater end up in Azkaban.
Headmaster Sergey gave them one last look and he too made his way down the hallway, the girl who he was toadying to gave them, or more specifically him, a long peering stare then closed her fan up and headed off. Plenty of people shadowed after her, all bootlickers and servants.
Turning to face the Death Eater pretending to be one of the greatest Aurors in history, Harry smiled at him, "Thank you for the rescue, Professor."
Shaking his shaggy hair as his fake eyeball rolled in his head, the man stated, "No problem, but I saw that you were already handling him well. He is nothing more than a cowards, so he will bulk at the slightest threat!"
"What matter is that you stood up for me, Professor," Harry bowed his head. "So thank you!"
Playing to his gruff mannerism, the imposter nodded his head giving no reply either because he did not know how to respond to his master's most hated enemy thanking him or because he had to stay in character. Either way, Harry had him tongue tied and all he could respond with was, "Well I best be heading on my way now. Best of luck in the tournament!"
"What?" Harry asked, unsure if he really heard his final sentence correctly.
Before he could get a proper response from the man, someone else came into their conversation.
"Are you giving our guests our guests, Moody?!"
Turning around Harry saw Dumbledore standing there with that annoying grandfatherly smile of his.
"Headmaster," the Death Eater masquerading as an Auror bowed his head. Harry could have sworn he caught the same fear and fury on his face that was on Karkaroff's face. He guessed, in the end, they were all alike, no matter what they preached.
"Now, now, there is no need for that old friend. You of all people should know better than that," Dumbledore uttered as Barty quickly got up, this was indeed the first slip up he had made and Harry could see from how sweat fell down his face he was very much anxious he might get exposed.
"Come," Dumbledore said, "we need to see to the Tournament! Much to do, much to do!"
"Of course, Headmaster!"
Watching them walk away, Harry caught the old man winking at him from the corner of his eye as he chatted with the imposter.
Shaking his head, Harry was just about to be on his way until someone asked.
"Hey are you really, THE Harry Potter!"
Turning around Harry saw that it was one of the Beauxbatons girls that Madame Maxime was speaking to, the other stood off to the side seemingly glaring at him for some reason.
Harry turned his gaze back on the older girl who raised the question to him. She was a breathtakingly beautiful witch, which explained why she caught a good deal of attention from many males passing by and the jealousy of the females.
She was tall and willowy, with an air of grace that made her seem like she was gliding when she was walking, and her very presence seemed to emanate a faint, silvery glow. Which he knew all too well.
She had long, silvery-blonde hair that fell almost to her waist, which was also shiny, large, deep blue eyes, fair skin, and very white, even teeth. Her beauty truly did dim everyone else by comparison!
And he saw she was a Veela, other schools might not allow mix breeds those of wizarding and magical being blood into their school as they are seen as nothing more than disgraces for mixing their blood with lesser races.
However, Beauxbatons of Academy of Magic was one of the few schools that allowed students of mixed blood into their hallowed halls. Which is one of the many reasons it has a tarnished reputation.
There you could find plenty of students who have a variety of parentage. Still they do hide it the best they could, but for this girl thanks to the allure she had you could figure out that she is a 'mix blooded filth!'
"Yes, in the flesh," Harry answered with a grin. Unlike his more formal wizarding brethren, he did not hold that view nor did he even see other Magical beings in a lesser light as most do. "And you are?" he asked.
Anyways he would be a fool to insult and chase away such a beauty no matter her bloodline.
And the funny thing is that it is those of his peerage that hold on tightly to such opinions that in the end, they end up in the company of magical beings especially the fairer ones. They are the ones who sire the mixed blooded children who are outcast to both of their parentals' community.
"Fleur Delacour," she answered as she allowed him to kiss the back of her hand.
"Of House of Delacour, correct, one of the last remaining French Marquess lines?"
"Yes," she smiled as her face lit up the hallway, causing a few to stop in their tracks to take in the glory of her smie smile. "Ahnd your reputation precedes you..." she added.
"I hope all good," Harry said as he finally let her hand go even though it pained him with how soft and lovely it was in his gripe.
"Yes, you are the one who destroyed my grandfather's priceless and precious alchemical stone! The first year into the wizarding world proper!" The girl who stood glaring at him, spoke up.
She was also a lovely witch with flaming red hair, a tall lithe figure, amazing looks, and a scowl that did nothing to take away from her beauty!
"I never did destroy your grandfather's...." Harry begin. This was the first he had ever laid eyes on this girl, what priceless artifact of her grandfather did he destroy?!
Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. Alchemical stone... First year!
"Your Nicolas Flamel granddaughter," he nearly shouted. Now Harry understood why the pointed stares like he just killed her cat or more like her grandparents.
"I am sorry about," Harry hung his head. He truly was, at that time so long ago he had no idea he was sending a couple to their graves.
He tried to keep it off his mind, the indirect killing of innocence at his hand.
He could understand having to get his hands dirty and killing criminals and traitors, it was be killed or kill in this coming war, but a pair of old couples. Even for him, that weighed heavily.
Snorting, she turned around and walked away, leaving him standing there alone with the beautiful mix blood.
"Don't be angry weeth her, Jeanne Flamel ees dealing with a lot."
"No, it is me who should angry at myself," Harry said with a deep long sigh. "Sorry I got to go," he shook his head, this was so not him as he would have tried charming her along the way so as to get close to her, but he just wanted to be left alone.
"Ahlright take care," the french witch shouted from behind him as he walked off on her.
Coming to the Great Hall, he saw that Dumbledore was already at it.
"The moment has come," said Dumbledore, smiling around at the sea of upturned faces. "The Triwizard Tournament is about to start. I would like to say a few words of explanation before we bring in the casket..."
"— just to clarify the procedure that we will be following this year. But first, let me introduce, for those who do not know them, Mr. Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports."
Mr. Bartemius Crouch, was all suppose to be here too but... he is indisposed indefinitely."
There were a few awkward coughs at the mention of the old minister contender, but nothing else.
"To take his place is Dolores Umbridge! The Minster has been kind enough to dispose of her services during this tournament."
There was a round of applause for Bagman as he came inside most likely because of his fame as a Beater, or simply because he looked so much more likable. He acknowledged it with a jovial wave of his hand.
Dolores Umbridge gave only a small smile when she came in, but other than that made no other showmanship.
"Mr. Bagman and Ms. Umbridge have worked tirelessly over the last few months on the arrangements for the Triwizard Tournament," Dumbledore continued, "and they will be joining myself, and all the schoolmasters on the panel that will judge the champions'."
At the mention of the word "champions," the attentiveness of the listening students seemed to sharpen. Perhaps Dumbledore had noticed their sudden stillness, for he smiled as he said, "The casket, then, if you please, Mr. Filch."
Filch, who had been lurking unnoticed in a far corner of the Hall, now approached Dumbledore carrying a great wooden chest encrusted with jewels. It looked extremely old. A murmur of excited interest rose from the watching students; Dennis Creevey actually stood on his chair to see it properly, but, being so tiny, his head hardly rose above anyone else's.
"The instructions for the tasks the champions will face this year have already been examined by Mr. Crouch and Ms. Umbridge," said Dumbledore as Filch placed the chest carefully on the table before him, "and they have made the necessary arrangements for each challenge. There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways... their magical prowess — their daring — their powers of deduction — and, of course, their ability to cope with danger." At this last word, the Hall was filled with a silence so absolute that nobody seemed to be breathing.
"As you know, three champions compete in the tournament," Dumbledore went on calmly, "one from each of the participating schools. They will be marked on how well they perform each of the Tournament tasks and the champion with the highest total after task three will win the Triwizard Cup. The champions will be chosen by an impartial selector: the Goblet of Fire."
Dumbledore now took out his wand and tapped three times upon the top of the casket. The lid creaked slowly open. Dumbledore reached inside it and pulled out a large, roughly hewn wooden cup. It would have been entirely unremarkable had it not been full to the brim with dancing blue-white flames. Dumbledore closed the casket and placed the goblet carefully on top of it, where it would be clearly visible to everyone in the Hall.
"Anybody wishing to submit themselves as champion must write their name and school clearly upon a slip of parchment and drop it into the goblet," said Dumbledore. "Aspiring champions have twenty-four hours in which to put their names forward. On Halloween night, the goblet will return the names of the Champions it has judged most worthy to represent their schools. The goblet will be placed in the great hall, where it will be freely accessible to all those wishing to compete.
"To ensure that no underage student yields to temptation," said Dumbledore, "I will be drawing an Age Line around the Goblet of Fire once it has been placed in the entrance hall. Nobody under the age of seventeen will be able to cross this line.
"Finally, I wish to impress upon any of you wishing to compete that this tournament is not to be entered into lightly. Once a champion has been selected by the Goblet of Fire, he or she is obliged to see the tournament through to the end. The placing of your name in the goblet constitutes a binding, magical contract. There can be no change of heart once you have become a champion. Please be very sure, therefore, that you are wholeheartedly prepared to play before you drop your name into the goblet.
Now, with that, the Triwizard Tournament has officially begun!"
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