Nearly two months had passed. On October the twenty-ninth, a notice appeared on the bulletin board in each of the house common rooms, it said:
All students wishing to enter themselves in the tournament,
please come to the Entrace Hall as seven o'clock this evening
fully packed. (You may come in pajamas if you wish.)
Thank you, Professor Ainsley
Kaylie, Marcie, Travis and I were waiting (in pajamas) in the common room with six other students: a third year, two fourth years, one second year, William Epstein and Abbey the Prefect. I kept checking my watch. Fifteen minutes to seven... ten... five... I got up and beckoned to the students around me.
"We should go now," I said, finally turning away from my watch and heading to the portrait hole, dragging my trunk after me. The students around me followed. The silence that enveloped us was thick, and uncomfortable. If there were this many students from each house, we'd have about forty students, and only one student could be chosen to compete. My chances of becoming champion suddenly seemed very slim.
"Trevor?" Kaylie asked. "Are you okay?" I could feel her hand on my shoulder, and realized that I had stopped walking.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I said, giving my self a shake. I continued to forward after my friends.
We slowly descended the marble staircase to the Entrance Hall to find six Hufflepuffs, eight Ravenclaws, and eleven Slytherins.
"Here they are now," Professor Ainsley was saying, gesturing toward us. "I'm surprised more of you didn't show up. Last time we had at least ten from each house." I could remember that clearly. It had taken eleven carriages to get everyone to Durmstrang. We followed Professor Ainsley out the door, to a rapidly darkening sky. A line of thesral-drawn carriages stood waiting for us. "Up to four to a carriage," Ainsley told us. Kaylie, Marcie, Travis and I choose a carriage together. We opened the door to find a hallway with five more doors, the door directly in front of us looked like the normal interior of the carriages, but bigger, and a table had been added in the middle. The doors on either end of the main room were bedrooms, each of them had a bed dresser, mirror, and desk, and one had a large window each. We all chose a bedroom and dumped our trunks there, then gathered back in the main room.
Kaylie brought a book, and Travis had brought a pack of Exploding Snap cards. The four of us played exploding snap for the next few hours. By ten-thirty however, Kaylie picked up her book, and started to read. An hour later, she had fallen asleep, the book dropped into her lap, the pages were bending. Marcie was yawning too, and Travis finally decided to put away the Exploding Snap. I leaned over the table and gently shook her.
“Kay, you’ve got to go to bed,” I said softly, as she stirred.
“M’kay,” She muttered, but she didn’t get up.
“Alright,” I said. “You leave me no choice.” I picked her up in my arms. Kaylie just snuggled into my chest.
“Do you want me to carry you?” Travis asked Marcie, grinning, as Marcie tried and failed to stifle another yawn. Marcie dropped the hand covering her mouth. The look Marcie gave him was pure annoyance. Travis grinned again, but then retreated into the hall, as Marcie raised a threatening fist. I followed him. All the rooms now had bronze plaques on them with our names. I found Kaylie’s room. It was as far away from mine as it could be. I pushed the door, (thankfully slightly ajar) open with my foot. Kaylie’s room had adjusted to her personality. The walls were a light blue. The comforter on the bed was white, with violet, blue, and teal polka dots. The blinds were made of purple wood, and the mirror’s frame was white with diagonal teal stripes. I shifted her in my arms so that I could fold back the blanket, revealing violet sheets that matched the four pillows. I set her down gently, and pulled the covers over her shoulder.
I looked around the room one more time. Most of Kaylie's clothes littered the floor. Her books had been set in a pile next to the desk, along with several half-finished essays and homework assignments that had been given to us by our teachers, to finish by the end of the year, when we got back. The thing that caught me eye--and the only thing that seemed to be in the right place-- was a small, moving painting of a girl, no older then eleven smiling broadly in her Hogwarts robes. It was sitting on the window sill. The picture had a white frame. I had only seen this picture once, soon after it had been painted, in my second year, Kaylie had shown it to me. It was her younger sister, Amalie, who had died that year during the tournament when a champions spell had backfired into the crowd, and fatally injured her. I had felt horrible writing the letter back to Hogwarts.
The carriage landed hard on the ground. I looked out the window to see Kaylie standing with her mother in front of the school. With out bothering to get my trunk, I opened the door, and stepped out. Kaylie, let go of her mother's hand and launched herself into my arms, where she started sobbing into my shoulder. I didn't say anything to comfort her, I just squeezed her gently in my arms
Two wizards carrying a stretcher emerged from three carriages down. The little girl laying there looked so small, and frail. And so still you could only just tell that there was life somewhere in her dark, half-open eyes.
Kaylie brought her head up from my shoulder, now wet with the tears she had no doubt been holding in for a long time. She looked at her sister with a mixture of fear, and sadness, and hugged me even tighter, while her mother rushed to Amalie’s side.
The wizards with the stretcher continued to carry Amalie inside, quickly waving away Mrs. Call, although she was screaming, trying as hard as she could to get close to Amalie. I watched the three of them struggle up the stairs. Professor Ainsley followed behind them, her face grave, and her hands clasped carefully behind her back.
Professor Burnsworth opened the door, letting the group of four inside, quickly waving away Mrs. Call, although she was screaming, trying as hard as she could to get close to Amalie. I watched the three of them struggle up the stairs. Professor Ainsley followed behind them, her face grave, and her hands clasped carefully behind her back.
Professor Burnsworth opened the door, letting the group of four inside. I caught a glimpse of the students inside, staring without shame at the strange procession. I looked at Kaylie, who was still staring at the stretcher.
“Come on,” I said gently, guiding her with me up the steps, into the school. The people were looking at her, then up at me. I grasped her hand tightly, and led her carefully into the hospital wing. Amalie was on the bad nearest to us. Mrs. Call knelt at her side. She was not crying like Kaylie. She was talking to Amalie in a strong confident voice. Only if you listened closely, could you hear the shakiness there. As she talked, I looked at Amalie. I could only barely see her chest moving up and down, her breaths becoming less frequent and more irregular with every second, until finally, Mrs. Call stood up, tears finally leaking from her eyes.
A crash shook me out of the memory. I had dropped the picture, which had shattered when it had hit the ground. I quickly tapped the pieces and muttered, “repairo.” All the shards of glass flew back into the frame. I set the picture back in the window, looking at Kaylie to see if the crash had woken her. She was fast asleep, snoring in a gently, slightly attractive way.
I backed out of the door, closing it gently behind me, the went to the other end of the hall to my room. It had changed too while I was in the main room with my friends. The walls were covered inquidditch posters and Gryffindor banners. The paint was a cheery golden yellow, and the the bed was covered in red. The window had gotten bigger, so that it filled up almost the entire wall. The bed had moved so that it was in the corner opposite the door. The room looked just like my bedroom at home. I walked to the window, and looked down to see the ground far below me, sprinkled with lights. They flew beneath me so fast, they were almost a blur, entering my line of vision, and then dissapearing the next second.
I turned away from the window, to the small clock on the dresser. It read eleven forty-five. I yawned and pulled the blankets back from my bed, then climbed in. In minutes I was fast asleep, and dreaming.
I was woken up to the sound of Professor Ainsley's voice. It blared through the carriage from some unidentifiable source, "We will be at Beauxbatons by five o'clock this evening." I dressed quickly, and with nothing better to do, I made my way to the main room.
Either Travis, Marcie, and Kaylie weren't awake yet, or they didn't want to come to the main room, because I was the only one there. A bunch of food sat on the table. There was a bottle of pumpkin juice, and a jug of orange juice, along with a bowl full of pairs, apples, bananas, and a whole assortment of other fruits. How the sausages got cooked while we were thousands of feet in the air, I had no idea, but there they were on a large plate next to a loaf of bread.
I settled myself by the window, and began to eat. I was soon joined by Marcie, and after several minutes, Kaylie. Travis was known for sleeping late when he could. Marcie and Kaylie had sat together on one side of the room, and Marcie was now eating an apple, while Kaylie was attacking the nearest plate of sausages. I looked at them, and took the moment to enjoy myself.
That was when Travis came stumbling sleepily in.
"Wha'd I miss?" he asked. "Oooh! Breakfast! He plopped himself next to me, to start on his own meal. I rolled my eyes. The first few minutes, all we focused on was our food, but then Kaylie inturupted.
"What does the Beauxbatons palace look like?" she asked. Travis raised his eyebrows slightly and his eyes widened.
"I don't know..." he said in surprise. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Well, what did Durmstrang look like?" Kaylie asked. Marcie began explaining Durmstrang castle in surprising detail, considering it had been five years since we had been there, even if we had stayed there for almost the whole year.
"What do you guys want to do? I asked, after we had all finished., and the food and dishes had vanished.
"We could start on all that homework we got," Kaylie suggested. Our teachers had given us a load of homework to work on while we were at Beauxbatons, and it was so like Kaylie to want to get started on it imediatly.
"What about the stuff we haven't learned yet?" Marcie asked her.
"We'll just have to wait until we get to Beauxbatons," she replied. Professor Ainsley had explained to us that each house would have a teacher to teach them while we were away from school. Then Kaylie got up and left the room. When she returned, she had all our homework.
"Did you go through our things?" Marcie asked; the slightest bit of annoyance laced her voice.
"Relax," Kaylie said, rolling her eyes. "I used a summoning charm. She dumped or homework on the table. I sighed.
"Kaylie, you know we have the entire year to do this, right?"
"Of course, but it's better to finish it now isn't it?"
"I guess you're right," I replied. But I didn't really agree. We spent rest of the morning going through all the assignments (lunch appeared at noon), finding things we could do, and starting them, and then putting them away, half finished, to start on something else, only to get distracted by something out the window. Kaylie kept jumping up and running back to her room to get a book.
"Have you got the whole library in your suitcase?" I asked in annoyance after she did this for about the sixth time. It was almost two in the afternoon.
"We have got to do something else," Travis said, looking up from a charms essay. "We've been doing homework for nearly five hours." After some pestering, Kaylie agreed to put away her homework and join us in another game of Exploding Snap.
A couple of hours later, I looked outside, and saw in the distance, a white palace, with gleaming towers so high the tops were lost in the clouds. I couldn't see any detail, but the four of us gathered around the window, to look at it. We watched if for several minutes, coming closer, and were all surprised when Professors Ainsley's disembodied voice sounded around the carriage again.
"We will be landing on the grounds of the palace of Beaxubatons in a few minutes. Please be ready." She said. We helped Travis pick up the smoldering remains of his Exploding Snap pack, searched through the room to find the last of the squashed quills, put everything away, and sat back down on the seats to talk until the carriage landed. We didn't have much time. Only minutes after we had sat down, the carriages came to a loud and bumpy landing. We all exited the main room, into the hallway. But before I could open the door, it popped open to reveal a boy about a year or two younger then us, bowing slightly. I stepped out, and Travis followed. As Marcie and Kaylie stepped out, the boy raised himself slightly, and held out a hand to help them down. He closed the door behind us.
The Beauxbatons palace was enormous, made of glimmering white stone, carved out of the surrounding cliffs, towering so high above our heads, it made me dizzy. Light reflected off the many windows that appeared at precise intervals along the walls, and the large double doors were made of gold, and flanked by two statues of silver unicorns. The palace was surrounded by beautiful gardens, enclosed by fences. Large fountains were scattered through them, spraying glittering, clear water into the air.
We lined up with the other Hogwarts students. The Beauxbatons headmaster was standing in front of his students. He bowed shortly to Professor Ainsley, and held out a hand for her to shake.
"Professeur Delpierre, comment allez-vous?"
"What did she say?" I asked Travis, who was standing behind me.
"No idea," he whispered back. Professor Delpierre led us inside the castle, which was even for magnificent on the inside. More stone statues lined the walls, glistening in the light of the setting sun coming through the window. He led us through another set of doors, where the Durmstrang students were already waiting. They were a slightly larger group than us, and I recognized some of them from when I had been at the last tournament. Professor Delpierre went back outside to fetch his own students. Meanwhile, we all took a seat at a table in the large room we had been left in. It resembled the Great Hall, only larger, and there was a few more tables, that were farther apart. And there was no staff table. Just a cluster of small, round tables at the back of the hall. Professor Ainsley, and the Durmstrang headmistress went to take a seat at one that was slightly larger then the rest.
We settled in just as the students and staff of Beauxbatons entered the room. They all stood around the tables, not sitting down until Professor Delpierre had taken his seat at the larger table, in a magnificent ruby encrusted chair that stood out against the white walls, and wood tables. Wood nymphs came through the doors, delivering silver platters of food, and singing in soft voices.
Eventually, the platters were whisked away. Candles that emitted a sweet, pleasant sent were lit to replace the sunlight that had filled the hall until the sun had set. Professor Delpierre rose to his feet to speak.
"Je voudrais souhaiter la bienvenue à nos invités de Beauxbâtons.
Je tiens à donner à nos clients un peu plus d'explications. Le cercueil s'il vous plaît. C'est la Coupe de Feu. Tous les étudiants souhaitant participer, doivent mettre leur nom et de l'école sur un morceau de papier, un jet dans les flammes. Le Tournoi des Trois Sorciers a officiellement commencé." I had no idea what Professor Delpierre was saying,but as he spoke, he pulled out a wooden goblet that I recognized as the Goblet of Fire.
Professor Delpierre set the goblet on a small table beside him.
"Champions ont jusqu'à huit heures pour inscrire leur nom dans la coupe." He said. I looked at Kaylie; she just shrugged at me.
Chapter 4 -- The Goblet of Fire coming soon