Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/1/Harry-Crow

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90. The Tri-Wizard Champions

"Harry Crow."

The Minister's words hung provocatively in the air, no one quite knowing what to make of them. It was perhaps predictable it would be Padma's voice that broke this expectant silence, her anger though was not something people were used to experiencing from the normally pleasant witch.

"What is going on here? We all know Harry would never put his name in that stupid cup. Could somebody simply walk up and stick his name in there, and then suddenly he's the chosen one?"

The Minister was actually the first to react. "I don't know, Miss Patil. You can rest assured though, it is something that will be getting thoroughly investigated. Centurion Crow, could you come forward please?"

As Harry kissed a nervous Hermione and stepped forward, Albus made his first suggestion of the night. "Perhaps we should take this discussion somewhere a little more private?"

His suggestion was jumped all over by Augusta. "That's not the way we do things in Hogwarts anymore. This affects everyone in this hall, let them hear what happens. Harry, I already know the answer but I must ask the question. Did you put your name in the cup, or get someone else to do it for you?"

Understanding the position she was in, Harry gave Augusta a warm smile as he answered. "No, Madam Longbottom, my feelings on this tournament are well known. I want nothing to do with it."

"Of course he would say that..."

Harry was on Umbridge before she could say any more. "I would be careful there, you are getting awfully close to calling me a liar. You couldn't handle me on my twelfth birthday, and still carry the scar to prove it. What makes you think you can take me now? Call me a liar and that's your only option."

Dolores slid her scarred hand into her pocket, and also found herself on the receiving end of a glare from the minister. "No one in this castle doubts your word, Centurion. I asked you out here to determine what happens next."

As the ministerial lead organiser for the tournament, it fell to Dolores to pass on the news. "A person's name coming out of the goblet constitutes a magically binding contract. They must compete in the tournament, or lose their magic."

This resulted in gasps of horror from around the hall, Madame Maxime appeared particularly upset. "Why were we not told zis before? 'Ad I known, I would never 'ave let my students near somezzing as dangerous as zat."

Cornelius and Amos appeared to be vying for the right to throttle Dolores for dropping them in this mess but Harry cut them all off by getting in first. "A magically binding contract? Are you being serious, or just incredibly stupid?"

"That is the rules..."

Again Harry verbally slashed an aggravated Dolores to shreds. "You want to argue contracts with a goblin? You really must be stupid then. The way I see it, I have two options..."

Dumbledore's eyes were back to twinkling full force, here was the opening he'd been longing for. "Harry, perhaps I can offer you a third option. One you might not have thought about." This drew some very sceptical looks, Harry appeared ready to gut the old man for even using his name, but Albus pressed on regardless.

"That piece of parchment places Harry Crow in this tournament. If Harry Crow no longer existed, the contract would be void. Declaring yourself as Harry Potter would instantly end your participation in this tournament..."

Albus was stopped by Harry's reaction to his suggestion, being heartily laughed at was not something he'd expected.

It took a moment to regain his control before Harry could speak. "Oh, sorry everyone, but that was just too funny. Did you come all the way from Bulgaria to engineer that, old man?"

Albus appeared affronted. "I had nothing to do with your name being placed in that cup..."

Harry though was ignoring him. Instead, his concentration was focused on Hermione. "I think it's time, love. You okay with this?"

Her smile answered his question, as did those of his friends and family who knew. Turning back to the minister, Harry actually appeared a bit sheepish.

"Minister, I have a bit of a confession to make. I am currently the head of the Potter family, and have been since I was eleven. My father and godfather have been helping me keep the secret, the time just seemed right to let it out."

All could now see the Potter family ring on Harry's finger, the look of shock on Dumbledore's face was almost worth having him in the castle for.

Cornelius though had a far more important concern than some ancient wizard suffering an aneurism. "Does this mean you've made your decision, Harry?"

"We think so, Minister. Both Hermione and I are happiest in Kingussie, being made a Baron was also something I earned. Our children might one day want to take up the mantle of Lord Potter, that will be their decision. Until then, I will be the Baron of Kingussie and head the Potter family. I hope this is a decision people can accept..."

Harry found his hand being grasped by the minister and shaken in congratulations. Cornelius was now thinking awarding that Barony might be one of the smartest decisions he ever made, and was sure the wizarding public would think so too. "I can certainly accept that, Harry, and, on behalf of the Ministry of Magic, hope you and your mate spend many happy years living in Kingussie. Now, you mentioned a solution to this problem?"

A relieved Harry got back down to business. "I see two options, Minister. First, other than having a magical guardian do so, only I can enter myself into a magically binding contract. Since I'm considered an adult, am head of the Potter family and certainly didn't put my name in that cup, no contract can possibly exist between it and me. The contract will be formed with whoever placed that piece of parchment in the goblet, not me. We could simply sit back and wait until the first task was over, and then discover the culprit by seeing who lost their magic."

This drew some relieved sighs around the hall, it seemed so simple now Harry had explained it.

"The trouble with that solution is, if someone was put under a spell to place my name in that cup, the contract would still be bound to them. There are people currently in this castle who I certainly believe would stoop to something like that."

Harry staring at Dumbledore as he said this was not lost on anyone. "My second option is foolproof, and therefore the one I choose."

In a flash, Harry's sword was drawn and embedded deep in the Goblet of Fire. The goblet might have been impressive when lit earlier, the resulting light-show as the goblin blade overpowered the magic of the cup was spectacular - if somewhat short-lived. The now ruined ancient magical artefact spewed out all the parchment that had been placed in it before they, and the four pieces that had been chosen, burst into flames. The four champions' parchment, and any resulting contracts, were now nothing but ash.

"There, all the contracts have been broken..."

"You just ruined the tournament, and destroyed a priceless magical object."

Harry again rounded on Dolores, now thoroughly sick of that voice. "You say it was priceless, I say it was bloody useless. Someone can stroll up, pop my name in with no school written on it and suddenly I'm a fourth champion - with a magical binding contract to boot! You are about as useful and smart as your ridiculous goblet. We goblins would never let something that can so easily be fooled decide our fates, especially when it involves binding contracts."

Switching his attention to Madame Maxine, Harry turned on the charm. "Madame, you will clearly know your students far better than any stupid magical cup. Who would you have chosen to represent Beauxbatons in this tournament, without that horrible magically binding contract coming into play."

Olympe glanced toward where the rest of her students were sitting, noticing the witch who'd been sobbing was now staring straight back at her. "Eet would 'ave been a choice between two for me, I am 'appy for our champion to be Miss Delacour."

Harry just glanced at Dumbledore and received 'Viktor Krum' as a curt answer.

"There are your three champions, and now your competition can begin..."

"Excuse me, Centurion. Why was my opinion not asked?"

"My apologies, Madam Longbottom, I just assumed you would choose Cedric."

Shaking her head at Harry's genuine modesty, Augusta proved him wrong. "Using your own logic, Centurion, there really is only one name I can choose."

Harry felt a hand rest on his shoulder as Cedric couldn't contain his chuckles. "She's got you there, Harry."

"But Cedric, you entered this tournament, I didn't..."

"...and you kick my arse in training every week. With Viktor here, it's more than likely Hogwarts won't be winning the quidditch competition. You can give us something to cheer about at the tournament."

Chanting of 'Harry, Harry' began coming from the great hall as the Hogwarts students agreed with Cedric and their High Inquisitor. They knew who they wanted to represent them, Hogwarts herself had chosen Harry as their champion when he first set foot in the castle.

The Harry in question though was still to be swayed. "But I'm a Centurion, Cedric, it wouldn't be fair to Miss Delacour or Mr Krum..."

A still chuckling Cedric couldn't believe his friend. "Do you think the fact that he's an international seeker, who just took his team to the World Cup Final, is going to stop Viktor catching the snitch against me? You're a goblin, Harry, you taught us to use whatever advantage we have..."

The constant chanting of Harry's name was getting louder and louder, practically taunting Dolores into to saying something. "Perhaps this goblin is just afraid of losing to a witch or wizard..."

Harry didn't even justify Umbridge's comment with an answer, instead he went right over her head and spoke directly to the minister. "Is she really necessary for this tournament?"

After Harry's earlier revelation, having him as Hogwart's champion in this tournament would be a massive endorsement for the ministry - and practically guarantee a Hogwarts Viktory. Compared to that, Cornelius was certainly prepared to make some much needed compromises.

"After this fiasco tonight, I think it's fair to say Madam Umbridge will be changing departments - probably right after the first task."

The chanting now was really loud, and the students were stamping their feet and banging their tables in time to their chant. Such was Harry's control that, when he raised his hand for silence - he got it instantly.

"On those headings, and assuming I'm Madam Longbottom's choice, I will accept the nomination of being Hogwarts champion for this tournament - as a goblin."

This resulted in much cheering around the hall, the Tri-wizard Tournament just got interesting for the Hogwarts students.

Dolores couldn't believe what just happened. She'd effectively just lost her job because of that goblin bastard, she'd be kicked out of Hogwarts too. This was just too much. Glad that she'd written the next part down, one item that she had still to announce gave Dolores hope for a glimmer of revenge.

"The first task is designed to test the champions' daring, so we are not going to be telling you what it is. Courage in the face of the unknown is an important quality in a wizard … very important. …" Dolores' gaze was focused on Harry now.

"The first task will take place on October the thirty first, in front of the other students and a panel of judges. The champions will face the first challenge armed only with their wands. They will receive information about the second task when the first is over"

Cornelius saw the problem at once, stepping in to solve it. "Since the Centurion carries no wand, the rules will need to be changed to allow him his blades."

"Now, Cornelius, rules are rules..." Albus found himself faced with two formidable witches.

"Since when did you follow any rules? Don't you dare start quoting rules to me..." Augusta wasn't pulling any punches but Olympe went even further.

"You would force ze youngest champion to face zis task unarmed? What kind of wizard are you, Dumbly-dorr?"

The Durmstrang champion too was having trouble hiding his disgust. He had watched Harry carefully, and saw how he acted with nothing but honour. Viktor then thought it was time he did the same. "I am happy for the centurion to have his veapons, othervise I vill leave my vond behind too."

That ended any discussion on the matter, the rules would be changed to reflect they now had a goblin as an entrant. Harry bowed to Viktor in thanks before Henrica entered the proceedings. She was still sitting at the staff table but there was something that needed to be said here. The family were well aware Harry would make his own decisions, he could certainly look after himself, so they weren't too worried about this development. What worried Henrica was the nature of the tasks themselves.

"Excuse me for interrupting, Minister, but there might be something you hadn't considered. Having studied The Nation intensely while researching my book, there was one thing that stood out above all else. Never, ever mess with a goblin's family. I mention this because, when reading about this tournament, I noticed the repeated past instances of taking hostages for the champions to then rescue. I can't emphasise enough how much of a bad idea that would be in this case."

It was now Centurion Crow who was standing there, tall, proud, and incredibly angry. "The Lady Black is of course correct. A goblin would first rescue their hostage, before hunting down whoever took them in the first place. That this was done for a tournament would not be considered a valid excuse, retribution would be sought."

Sensing the potential to get this horribly wrong, Cornelius had a brilliant idea. "I thank the Lady Black for her welcome advice, and wonder if we could impose on her expertise later - as an advisor. If you could please look over what we have devised for any such unintentional pitfalls?"

"What! She'll just tell Crow everything..." Dolores was halted in her latest rant by an enraged Lord Black, on his feet to defend his wife's honour. It just wasn't her night.

"You are now very close to insulting my wife, the Lady Black. She is a professor and respected author, who are you to cast aspirations on her honesty? You had to do one thing tonight, and couldn't even manage that properly. My godson now finds himself part of this tournament, and we have people here trying to deny him his blades during the tasks. I think the sooner you're gone, the more chance this tournament has of being a success."

That this actually led to cheering meant Dolores' goose was well and truly cooked. She would drop off her latest report on Saturday, hoping she had done enough to please the dark lord.

Knowing it was time to quit while ahead, Cornelius was anxious to finish this quickly. He also knew Amos would be bitterly disappointed Cedric wouldn't now be competing and tried to fix that too.

"The judges for the competition shall be all three heads of establishments, the ministerial organiser of the tournament and the Chief Warlock. I shall see everyone for the first task on Halloween, followed by the feast." This would give them just over four weeks to have someone in place to take over from Dolores, and then organise the last two tasks.

With the announcement now over, there was a shift in momentum as people surged forward to congratulate the champions. Of course, Hermione got to Harry first.

After their kiss, she couldn't help but pull him up on his tournament participation. "So much for our quiet year."

"It's only three tasks, love. That shouldn't disrupt our training and studies too much..."

Dolores couldn't resist spoiling their moment. "There are actually some other engagements, and a ball being arranged too..."

"No." Harry was now in this obnoxious witch's face. "I will compete in three tasks, nothing more than that. There are no contracts to hold over our heads so we would have to be asked to do more, my answer is no."

Augusta physically pushed Dolores away from Harry before she could cause any more damage, knowing there would be no shifting the Centurion once he dug his heels in. "Harry, there will be a meet the press session, and we were thinking of a Yule Ball. After the success of last night, it now seems a great idea."

He had to look to Hermione, not understanding what Augusta meant. "Yule means Christmas, Harry."

His head whipped around to face the old lady he thought of as family. "Augusta, I'm counting the days until I can see Jamie again. There is no chance of me spending the holidays here. I know very little about Christmas, what I do know is that it's for family. We will be spending ours with our family, I hope the Longbottoms will be there too."

This saw interference from an even more unpleasant quarter. "Jamie? I don't think I've heard that name before..."

Hermione's arm around Harry was the only thing stopping him attacking Dumbledore. There was a line though that even Hermione's influence wouldn't be able to stop Harry, just mentioning their brother's name put Dumbledore close to crossing that line. "Jamie is my baby brother, someone you will never get near old man. I don't want you near any of my family..."

Augusta once more was in Dumbledore's face. "You just can't let things go, can you Albus? You admitted in front of everyone you knew Sirius wasn't the Potter secret keeper. Then, mere minutes ago, you tried to have Harry face the first task unarmed. Do we even have to ask how his name ended up in the goblet in the first place? Your kindly godfather persona doesn't work here, we all know you're a despicable old ..." Augusta needed a deep, calming breath before she could continue. "You nearly had me swearing in front of my students, keep your crooked nose out of our business. You are not welcome anywhere near our families."

Taking a deep breath himself, Hermione's arm still around his waist helping immensely, Harry regained full control and ignored Dumbledore. Choosing instead to speak with the Durmstrang champion.

"Viktor, Hermione and I, along with our two best friends, train every morning in facilities Hogwarts provides for us. You and Fleur are welcome to join us. I wouldn't like people thinking the Hogwarts champion had advantages not available to the other two."

They all saw Krum's eyes light up at that. "I vould love to accept. I vos vorried how to keep fitness up living on ship. Thank you, Centurion."

Offering his hand, he also offered something more. "My friends call me Harry, Viktor."

They shook hands as Fleur approached. "I 'ave never done zis training before, what is eet?"

That was Padma's cue. "Oh, you'll love it. We get up in the middle of the night, run for miles and then either fire spells at each other or clash swords."

Harry introduced Padma and Neville to his fellow champions, before confirming she was basically correct in her description of how they trained. Fleur paled, before confirming she would still give it a try. With the other two champions doing so, she would be letting Beauxbatons down if she didn't at least attempt this.

Harry was being congratulated by the rest of his family when Henrica found herself with the Beauxbatons champion standing beside her. "Miss Delacour, what do you think of Hogwarts?"

"I do not zink I 'ave been more confused in my life!"

Henrica couldn't help but chuckle at the amount of feelings the young witch put into that statement. "Let me guess, your parents warned you about how Britain was such a backward country. Then you get here, and it's not what you were expecting..."

"...'ow could you know zat?"

"Because, three year ago, that was me. My parents were very worried about a veela teaching in Hogwarts, only my connections with the goblins eased their minds. I arrived here and found things changing right in front of my eyes. Now, I'm married to a Lord, have a wonderful baby and my parents are frequent visitors who love our extended family. My daughter's godfather, who is also technically my employer, is the Hogwarts Champion - and responsible for starting a lot of these changes."

"We 'ave 'eard a lot of storees about 'Arry..."

"...and they are probably all true. Drop by our quarters anytime I'm not teaching and we can have a chat."

"I would like zat, very much."

"You are welcome. I vividly remember what it's like to be seventeen, and veela."

It was a very happy Fleur who headed back to the Beauxbatons carriage with Madame Maxine. She wouldn't be so happy getting up at five thirty in the morning.

-oOoOo-

The Lady Ravenclaw was waiting on Viktor and Fleur at the entrance hall the next morning. The ghost led them up to the room where the ball had been held, only for the door to open on something completely different. If anything, the room was bigger - with a running track around its edges. The four already there were doing stretches to warm up, both witches headed straight for Fleur as Viktor took off his robe and joined the boys.

"We didn't think you would have the proper clothes for this, I know I didn't have a clue when Neville and I started training. We were running around a tropical island though, nothing can compare to that." Padma was pulling stuff out her ever present bag that she and Hermione had put together. "You will probably have to resize these, but they will do until you can get some of your own."

The Beauxbatons champion was staring at what these witches were wearing, and wondering if she was being pranked here. "I would not know where even to look for clozzes like zese..."

"Oh, we can help you with that too. Hogwarts, could we have a changing room, please?" Watching Fleur's face as the room obliged was priceless. Hermione was so used to the special magic of the castle, she forgot it could shock even people who'd known magic all their lives.

Thirty six minutes later, Fleur was sure she was going to die. Both witches helped her over to a seat and handed her a bottle containing iced water.

"Don't worry about it, you need to build this up. Hermione has been doing this with Harry every day since she was eleven, Neville and I only started last summer. Try and relax, take deep breaths and try also to remember this will do you good - eventually."

She sat there watching as they continued running, Fleur felt slightly better when a winded Viktor eventually joined her. She handed him a bottle of water from Padma's wonderful bag. The two champions sat and looked on in disbelief as the four now increased their pace.

"I thought I vas fit, those vitches easily beat me."

"Padma says 'Ermione 'as been doing zis every day with 'Arry since zey were eleven, no wonder zey are so fit - and so very close."

"You noticed that too?"

"All four are very close, I zzink both couples are bonded..."

They had stopped running but were not for resting, their blades came off their backs and training continued. Harry was clearly the teacher but, to untrained eyes, the other three looked very competent with their blades too. To finish, the three attacked Harry and Hermione's shriek of triumph when her blade nicked his upper arm told both watchers this was an unusual occurrence.

Strolling over, Harry casually took a towel out his bag and wiped the trickle of blood away, Hermione then applied some dittany and the cut was healed.

"Zat was...magnifique!"

"What, no. That was Harry holding back, way back." Both champions looked at Padma as if she was mad. "Guys, we can spare five minutes, why don't you give Fleur and Viktor a glimpse of what they're really up against?"

Hermione's armour activated as she drew her sword.

"Oh, feisty this morning. Don't let that lucky strike fool you, Granger."

"Scared, Crow? You should be..."

The two then went at each other at full speed, a golden Harry moving like lightning. Viktor was on his feet but Neville was right at his side. "Easy there, Viktor, everything is okay. It looks brutal but she is in no danger whatsoever. If she was, neither Padma nor I would be standing here. Harry is a goblin and would kill any man who laid a hand on Hermione, he certainly won't cause her any harm. Your compatriot was very lucky, no one touches Hermione."

"It looks so..."

"Yeah, I know. Hermione is now an expert with her blade, but Harry is a master..."

A 'yelp' from Hermione ended the match, Harry was kissing her before lovingly tending her small cut.

"Now that vas magnificent..."

Harry's eyes never left Hermione as he answered Viktor. "My people call her their Warrior Princess. Young or old, they have taken my Hermione to their hearts. Smart, beautiful, brave and deadly with a sword or a wand, how could they not." He then gently kissed his mate before turning his attention to their guests.

"We do this every morning, though don't do blade or wand work on our extra training days. You are welcome to join us for those too..."

Neville interrupted immediately. "Harry, it's Moody this week."

"Oh, then we'll give that a miss..."

"Vhat is this Moody?"

It was Padma who replied, all joking now put aside. "Moody is a who, Viktor. Master Auror Alastor Moody, a very dangerous wizard who trains us once a month. He would probably use the imperius on you two, and then have you both attack us. His justification would be that this was standard death eater practice, something we need to be prepared for."

A horrified Fleur looked to the other three to dispute this, instead she got nods of agreement. "Why would you put yourselves through zis?"

Harry was standing with his arms around Hermione and answered at once. "Because of me. Voldemort wants me dead, these three are determined to stand beside me if he tries to make that happen."

He gave his mate a reassuring squeeze before telling these two just what was going on. "We're currently trying to work out whether Voldemort was involved in any way with my name being in this tournament. We don't think so though, because he has so little resources - and Dumbledore is currently in the castle. The Merlin Ball is now an occasion that the castle's ghosts look forward to as well, they love to see the students enjoying themselves. We think Dumbledore sneaked in then and placed my name in the cup. Whether his aim was to force me to renounce my heritage, or just so he could have some influence over my life, we don't yet know."

Hermione was in front of Harry, facing away but leaning into him as his arms were around her waist. "If either one of them wants a piece of you, they're going to have to go through me first.."

Padma instantly corrected her best friend. "Us, Hermione, us."

The two champions were making their way out the castle when Fleur felt she just had to comment on what they'd seen this morning. "Do you get ze feeling zis tournament is nozzing more zan a leetle side issue for 'Arry?"

"I think I better catch the snitch in these quidditch matches, Durmstrang's chances of vinning the tournament just got a lot vorse."

-oOoOo-

Discovering that Fleur wasn't on the Beauxbatons quidditch team, the unanimous decision was that any game involving Viktor would be played first. The Hufflepuff - Durmstrang match was arranged for the fifteenth, with the Slytherin - Beauxbatons game the following week, allowing Viktor two weeks recovery time before facing the first task.

The French champion was getting used to her morning exercises, she didn't think the word 'like' would ever enter the equation. She had spent her free time studying the enigma that Harry was to her. He was every inch a warrior, yet having his goddaughter in his arms showed a completely different side to his character. She also couldn't miss how devoted some of the students were to him, especially those wearing silver crow badges and those on Potter Scholarships. Fleur was struggling to understand how this incredibly busy person always made time to catch up with these younger students, he even danced with each of the scholarship girls at the ball. She had no trouble understanding how they loved him for that.

It was time to see if she could get some answers to these questions, it was time to visit Lady Black.

Henrica had been expecting this visit from Fleur ever since she made her offer, she also wasn't surprised at the main subject of their discussion.

"You are making the classic mistake we have all made at one point or another, assigning wizarding values to a goblin. Make no mistake, that's what Harry is - a centurion too."

Seeing the blank expression this generated brought the teacher in Henrica to the fore. "Harry's been raised as a goblin, his morals, values and the code by which he lives his life by are pure goblin. Harry being a centurion is probably his proudest achievement. To understand that however, you need to know more of what that position entails."

Henrica was a born teacher, she loved that moment when you gave a student enough information that would allow them to connect the dots for themselves. "It's not something awarded purely on his skill with a blade, there is so much more to being a centurion than that. Centurions are leaders, but again not just by issuing commands, they are leaders by example. How they live their lives is as important as how they handle a blade. The goblin society is an ancient one, and Merlin was a friend to The Nation. I personally think the Arthurian Knights were based on Centurions."

Having Fleur look at her as if she were mad saw Henrica chuckle. "I always tell my students not to believe everything I say, but to research from different sources and form their own opinions. Unfortunately, in this case, there are no other sources."

She rose and returned with a book in her hand. "This is the only known work on the goblins, it's written by me. That was why Minister Fudge asked for my help in checking the tasks. Had they even attempted to take Hermione as a hostage, there would have been a riot. She is a very capable witch in her own right but together, those four are an awesome force. I'm just glad it wasn't her name that came out of that goblet, there would have been blood on the floor - and hordes of goblin warriors at the castle gates."

"I 'av been training wiz zem every morning, tomorrow we are sharing zair lesson too."

"Oh, you'll like Bill Weasley. Former Hogwarts Head Boy before becoming a curse breaker for Gringotts. Three years ago, he was brought back from Egypt to train Harry and his friends. He taught their entire yeargroup too, up until Remus started. He's now Assistant Ambassador to Harry's father, Barchoke."

Fleur's pout would have seen most of the wizards in Hogwarts falling over themselves to put right whatever had caused it. "Zis is not fair. Ze more I learn about 'Arry, ze more confused I get."

Henrica wanted to be sure there were no misunderstandings about the most important thing. "You do know he and Hermione will be together - for life?"

"Oui...I mean yes. 'Ermione 'as 'Arry's 'eart and soul. I do not need to be veela to see zat. I 'ave a leetle sister starting school next year, watching 'Arry wiz ze younger students..."

"Ah, I see. Harry counts the Potter Scholars as family, and will look after them the way an older brother would..." This had Henrica chuckling for a moment before she explained what was funny to the younger veela. "When Sirius and I started dating, an eleven year old Harry asked him what his intentions were toward me - since I'm employed by the Lily Potter Foundation. Sirius said it felt like being questioned by my brother."

"At eleven, 'e asked 'is own godfather zat question?"

"That's who Harry is. When he regards you as a friend, you have a friend for life. When he counts you as family, then Harry would do anything for you. You can easily tell the people Harry counts as family, they would all do anything for him too."

Fleur left with a lot more knowledge, but was still every bit as confused. Were she to write home recommending Hogwarts as a better option for Gabrielle, her parents would drag her home - thinking she was ill or mad. She would be reading the Lady Black's book from cover to cover, the couple of copies of the Dumbledore book would soon make the rounds inside the carriage.

-oOoOo-

Fleur and Viktor practically being carried into the great hall caused a fair bit of alarm, though not from the Hogwarts contingent. Those long legs of Madam Maxime's getting her there ahead of anyone else.

"What is ze meaning of zis? What 'av you done to my student?"

The four friends let Bill deal with that one, he was supposed to be a diplomat.

"Absolutely nothing, Madame. Fleur is merely exhausted. We tried to warn her this was something you needed to build up to but she threw herself right in there, she is a credit to your school."

Bill's charm was wasted on Olympe, she turned her gaze onto Harry. "Are you trying to kill off ze ozzer champions before ze tournament begins? Is zis 'ow you plan to win?"

"Exactly the opposite, Madame Maxime. I offered the other champions access to my training to make the competition more equal. They will just take time to get used to it, and I have already suggested they take whatever break they feel necessary before the first task."

Though clearly exhausted, Fleur still tried to defend Harry. "Eet is true, Madame. 'Arry warned us not to try and keep up. I tried to do so and am now very tired. Viktor will agree, wizzout zis extra training - we 'ave no chance. 'Arry is very, very good."

Viktor wasn't going to agree with anything, he had fallen asleep where Harry and Neville had left him sitting. A few Durmstang students then carried him out the hall, thankfully Dumbledore was nowhere to be seen.

Olympe then apologised for jumping to the wrong conclusion, before escorting an exhausted Fleur back to their carriage. Both champions would spend the rest of their Saturday taking it very easy.

-oOoOo-

Knowing that Crow would be busy training, Dolores chose this time for her trip to Hogsmede. Her heart was pounding, and with good reason. After placing her report below the same rock she'd chosen weeks ago, Dolores found another letter waiting on her. That this letter would contain more instructions was a safe bet. Dolores was trying to act normal while the note was burning a hole in her pocket. She didn't dare open it until safely back in her Hogwarts room, and rushing straight back to the castle might arouse suspicion. She was going to have to waste some time in Hogsmeade, and anticipating her instructions would make that difficult to do.

"Dolores, what brings you to the village?"

This shocked Dolores out of her daydreaming. "Albus, should we really be seen together?"

"Nonsense, Dolores, we just happened to meet and are having a polite chat. There is also something I wanted to ask you. Why did you put Harry's name in the goblet?"

Albus' question had Dolores looking all around to see if anyone had possibly overheard. "What, don't talk rubbish, why would you think I did that?"

"Well, it's really quite a simple deduction, my dear Dolores. It certainly wasn't me - or anyone from Durmstang. Maxime would never do it, and everyone in Hogwarts simply loves the boy. Who does that leave as a suspect?"

Dolores thought she was being so clever, knowing everyone would instantly blame Dumbledore. She forgot there would be one person who would know Dumbledore definitely didn't put that name in the goblet, the same Albus Dumbledore who was now staring right into her eyes.

"I just want to know why, Dolores. Why did you put Harry's name in that goblet?"

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