Megan looks petrified... Anybody who knows her, turns to stare in shock and some actually sigh. Of course they are grateful it wasn't them, but also a eleven year old could never stand any chance in the Tournament,, Harry had scraped through in his fourth year... That was only because the dark side wanted him to survive so they could kill him personally though...
Why was it unfair? At least the old system had made sure there was more of a chance of survival... Because no matter what anybody said, the Tournament was life threatening. Kayleigh knew this, yet she could not do anything...
WAIT! She could, Kayleigh could volunteer!
" I volunteer!" Kayleigh shouted, standing up quickly. Everybody turned to look at her in shock now. Megan was staring horrified at her, as though Kayleigh had done something stupid. Really she had, Kayleigh had volunteered for somebody who currently hated her.
Megan may not have liked it but, there was nothing she could do about it. A volunteer held the power in their hands.
Kayleigh stood up to make her way into the small chamber that the Champions waited in, suddenly a hug came form behind her. Turning around slightly she saw it was Megan.
" You should not have done that!" Meg whispered, though they both saw that there was relief in both the younger girls voice and eyes. If Kayleigh had not volunteered Megan would probably be in Hospital wing right now, begging for a deep sleep potion and nerve soother. Gently Kayleigh moved herself away and replied that of course she had to, then walked into the room.
Silence in her wake...
Being a champion was scary, everybody stared at you in corridors and whispered about you. Kayleigh had known she had done the right thing though, from the moment Meg had hugged her that night. They were friends again now.
It had been two weeks since the selection had been made, she had already had one interview on the night after the selections were made. Rita Skeeter, finally allowed to write again once her time was up, had grilled all three Champions for information on their past, present and hopes for the future. Rumor had it that Annabelle had been rather shirty with Rita, and that was the reason Annabelle's interview had been so scathing. It had a large picture of her in a way that suggested it had been one of the worst photos on offer. It had caught Annabelle mid-scowl and the interview was worse in print.
To hear Rita tell it, Annabelle was a snooty, ugly and dumb French girl. Hermione, Meg and Kayleigh had instantly gone to congratulate Annabelle. Anybody who was deemed bad by Rita was an instant friend in their eyes!
Damon's interview had presented him as a handsome yet brooding male, with attractive skills that could hone in on any girl within a five mile radius. Ever since he had been followed by a gaggle of girls hoping he would ask them out. According to Ginny that had happened to Harry when he was a Champion as well. Stalked by half crazy girls thinking that if they flipped their hair back, and pushed up their bra then they were date worthy.
As for Kayleigh's interview... Rita had taken a liking to her story and had placed a major " Tragic" Spin on it. Details on her parents deaths, and her abusive Uncle.... (Neither of which Kayleigh had told her anything about. Skeeter obviously took her work home with her.) Then she had moved onto her volunteering for Meg, that was not too bad.
"One of the highlights of the interview!" Rita had squealed in her owl when she sent a copy to Kayleigh at breakfast one morning.
As Megan, Ginny and Hermione had pointed out... It could have been a LOT worse! For Skeeter, this was a truthful and amazing interview. Which didn't really lay much at store for her "gifts" as a journalist.
The actual tasks were drawing ever closer and everybody was now starting to get excited about watching it. Everybody apart from Megan, she felt terrible... That she was the reason Kayleigh was now in the Tournament. Nothing Kayleigh said could convince her otherwise. Kayleigh knew that Megan was actually still glad though that she was not competing!
Three weeks before the first task, saw Kayleigh and the others researching in the library. They had no idea what was approaching her in the task, but Harry had told them that defensive spells were a big part of it. So they had started with that, she was already quite good thanks to the D.A. lessons from her fifth year in Hogwarts. There had been a few more discoveries of spells since then though, and they could all benefit from learning them they decided. Megan had some difficulty with them, she was after all doing spells that you were lucky to be able to do in seventh year if that!
It felt good to be preparing for the upcoming tasks, it stopped your fear from taking hold. She had grown closer to Harry in this time as well, he understood how she felt. Kayleigh was lucky though, when Harry had been competed practically everyone was against him. She still had her friends, and they had her back.
Ginny had already told her, along with the others, that if she lost or got hurt... Then the entire world would know who her friends were!