Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse @ghostandmiracle42
Act II, Chapter 7

Authors Note:

While we were expecting it, we were rather put out by the flames the last chapter received, so we decided to put a little note at the beginning of this chapter. Not so much for those of you who accused us of being sexist. Thanks for that. Really made us feel good about ourselves. This is more for those of you we like – which is most of you! Ron is a kid. He might be more mature than average, but he's still a kid. And kids get jealous. If you think you don't or didn't, you're lying to yourself. Both Ginny and Ron were in the wrong, there is no doubt about that. But it was Ginny who ended up in the hospital, not Ron. Molly and Arthur's reactions were vetted by my own mother before the chapter was posted, and she agreed wholeheartedly with them. In case you're wondering, Ron will not be turning evil. He made a mistake, and it'll take a bit of time for him to come to terms with that, and the repercussions.

So, we really don't care if you didn't like what happened because you thought we were trying to be sexist or indulging in excessive violence. We'd care if it was lazy writing, or if the characters were perhaps a little too far out of character. We received neither of these comments.

Finally, a huge shout out to all the positive reviews we got! And to the haters, don't like it? Don't read it.


Act II, Chapter 7: Aftershocks


"Guys, will you relax?" Ginny exclaimed as Harry and Luna tried to help her out of the Hospital Wing bed. She slapped their arms away and gingerly dropped to the floor.

"Give us a break Gin, you have been asleep for three days," Harry said, rolling his eyes at her.

"You know he hasn't left your side," Hermione said, winking from behind Harry. "He's even been sleeping in here."

Harry blushed scarlet, and Ginny couldn't help the butterflies that rose up in her stomach.

"Really?" She asked softly.

"I didn't want you to wake up alone," he told her. Ginny beamed and blushed a scarlet of her own before pulling him into a tight hug.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"Don't mention it."

"Well, as lovely as this is, we have orders to bring you up to Sirius and Remus as soon as you were good enough to walk," Luke said, tossing Ginny a set of jeans and a t-shirt. She mouthed a thank you and ducked behind a curtain to change out of the highly unflattering hospital gown. When she finished, she bade goodbye to Madam Pomfrey and followed Harry, Hermione, Luna and Luke up to the Sixth Floor.

When they arrived, Danny was waiting for them in the bedroom hallway, and they all gasped as he showed them just what Padfoot and Moony had been up too. Wormtail's room was gone. Replaced by a spiral staircase. Danny led the way upstairs to a new common room set on the landing, with couches, a new tv and three desks. Two hallways pointed out of the landing, each with six new doors all hanging wide open with silver plaques on the front. But none of the plaques had names on them. Sirius was lounging on one of the couches, reading the Daily Prophet.

"You've been busy," Ginny remarked.

"Ah! Welcome back Miss Firefly!" Sirius exclaimed, jumping to his feet and discarding the paper.

"Firefly?"

"Yep. Firefly. I've been thinking about it for four days now. Considering what you did to Ron, I think it's appropriate. You're a passionate and powerful little personality trapped in a tiny package, you love flying, and your hair is bright red. It's perfect!" Sirius said. Then he pulled out his wand, moved to the first open door and tapped the silver plaque. The plaque changed to gold with the name Firefly etched into it. Ginny narrowed her eyes at the Marauder. Tiny package? Jack-ass.

"I like it," Harry said, nodding his head absently. Well… if Harry liked it, who was she to argue?

"Cool. I accept."

Sirius barked, "Accept!? You don't get a choice, dearie. That's how it works. Now, just let me know how you want your room decorated. It's yours now. Jessica, Matt and Danny here have already picked theirs. I think Jess asked for hers in Slytherin colours just to piss me off."

Danny rolled his eyes and pointed down the right hallway, "Matt and I are down there, first and second on the right. Jessica is the last door down the left-hand corridor."

Sirius then ran over, grabbed Harry and Ginny by their wrists, dragged them back downstairs, down the hallway, and into one of the doors off the Study Room.

It was a large circular room with runes etched across the floor. The walls were covered in cushions, and pillows were scattered on the floor. A raised platform with leather couches covered the back of the room, and a skylight served as the primary source of light. Matt and Jessica were arguing in the middle of the floor.

"But it's perfect!" Matt beamed, bouncing up and down like a kid on a sugar high.

"I don't care if it's perfect! You are not calling me that!" Jessica snapped, her hand hovering over her wand.

"Woah, Woah, Woah. Who's not calling who what?" Sirius asked as they walked inside.

Matt smirked, and Jessica snarled at him.

"I have discovered the perfect codename for our slippery friend here," he said cheerfully. Harry wasn't sure whether Matt's senses couldn't pick up Jessica's hand, or if he was just ignoring her.

"Don't you dare say it…" She warned, pulling her wand free and pointing it at him.

"Jessica's Defenders name should be Alias!" A beam of dark purple light shot out of Jessica's wand and hit Matt in the chest. He flew back across the room, his head inflating like a balloon. He floated up, and his head started bouncing along the skylight as Jessica scowled at him and put her wand away. Sirius fell to the floor laughing as the others stared at the ballooned Matt in shock.

"Alias it is," Harry stated.

"Do you want to be on the ceiling too, Potter?" Jessica threatened.

"Would you prefer we came up with something worse?" Ginny asked innocently.

Jessica's scowl deepened, and she stormed over to the platform and dropped into a chair, arms folded across her chest. Hermione pulled her wand and deflated Matt with a well-placed "Finite," while Luke yanked Sirius to his feet. Moony took that moment to walk up behind them.

"What did I miss?" he asked, staring at Matt, who had just landed face first on one of the pillows, and Jessica, who was still scowling at the entire world.

"Ginny is now Firefly, and Jessica is Alias," Luna chirped. Then she skipped over to the platform and sat down next to Jessica, pulling a chocolate frog from her pocket. Jessica snatched it from her hand and bit its head off, causing Ginny to break out laughing.

"So… What's the point of all this?"

Sirius, who had finally composed himself, stepped into the middle of the room and the runes on the floor began to glow several different colours.

"This is a Duelling Room. It's warded to the nth degree and contains more safety charms than a baby's bedroom. Basically, it's a room where you can shoot people with whatever you like; however many times you like, without fear of causing permanent damage." Jessica's scowl miraculously vanished at those words.

"Padfoot and I agree with Moody. He trained both Sirius and your Dad at the Auror Academy Harry, and he's got a good head on his shoulders," Moony said. "This Triwizard Tournament is a big deal, it's dangerous, and we're going to make sure that if it is a Death Eater that's got it out for you, they're going to be mighty disappointed when it's all over."

"And who knows Harry," Luke said, slapping Harry on the back, "you might just be able to win."

Harry's life at Hogwarts took a drastic shift after he became Triwizard Champion. Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor were treating him and his friends like royalty. He was escorted by a pack of students to every class, and he had dozens of people offering to do the detentions Snape gave him in rage every time a wave of people dropped him off at the Dungeons. No matter how many times he told them they didn't need to, they kept doing it anyway. Fred and George had taken his protection as a matter of personal pride, and with Ginny and Jessica, had decided to start a Pranking War against Slytherin House, the only part of the school that wasn't supportive of Harry as Champion. Well, them and Ron.

Since the events of the Champion Selection Night and the subsequent Howler that had told the entire school precisely what had happened, no one wanted anything to do with Ron. Hermione wouldn't look at him; Luna went out of her way to trip him over in every hallway she met him; and Harry and the other Defenders wouldn't let him within ten feet of Ginny. The thin, white scar above her left eye served as a constant reminder. Ginny herself was the only one not particularly mad at him. But every time she tried to approach him in the common room, his face would glow bright red, and he'd storm off before she could even get a word in. If Harry got within ten feet of him, he'd leave the room instantly, fuming the whole time. Hermione believed Ron was blaming Ginny and Harry for the school's segregation of him when in truth he only had himself to blame. He had also yet to apologise, even though on the one time Ginny had managed to corner her brother, it was the first thing she did.

Harry and Hermione had taken to sitting with Neville during class to cover Ron's absence, and, after giving him a chance, decided they didn't really mind the usually quiet boy. Working with the school Champion and the 'brightest-witch-of-her-age' did wonders for his confidence. In fact, they actually owed Hermione's Defenders nickname to Neville.

It was during Potions and Snape, who was being even more antagonistic towards Harry in an attempt to make up for all the positivity the school was showing him, was lingering over Harry, Hermione and Neville's Cauldron. They were attempting to brew a 'Universal Antidote', and for once Harry was trying exceptionally hard to make sure he got it right, as Snape had threatened to poison them as a means of testing their potions. And Harry knew that the first-person Snape would murder would be him.

Dice the Graphorn liver into strips and add to mixture when turquoise blue. "Add when mixture is Royal Blue – creates better texture."

Harry was now using his mother's fourth-year Potions Textbook, which had also been stored in the Marauders Library. Like her third-year book, it had many helpful hints in the margins. Using the book, which Snape rarely did, brought to light that Snape, whenever he put instructions on the board, did it purposely wrong so as to make everyone, except Malfoy – who also used his book – fail. Hermione had been highly scandalised at this.

The potion passed turquoise and settled at royal blue. Harry added the liver and watched in satisfaction as his potion began bubbling and releasing a distinctly flowery scent.

"Potter. What do you call this pathetic concoction?" Snape drawled from behind them. Neville jumped sky high and dropped his Armadillo bile on the floor. He swore under his breath and began to scrape it off the stone.

"Ten points for an untidy workspace Longbottom. Well, Potter, I'm waiting."

"It's the Universal Antidote, Professor," Harry said, being careful to keep his tone neutral. Hermione placed her ladle into the cauldron and began to stir anti-clockwise, as per Lily Potter's notes.

"Granger, it clearly states on the board that you must stir clockwise." Hermione blushed to the root of her hair, and Harry clenched his fist. Snape knew damn well that the potion was supposed to be turned anti-clockwise.

"Twenty points for thinking you're smarter than the teacher, Granger."

"Well, at least she's got the brains to figure out how to do it right…" Neville muttered.

"What was that Longbottom? Speak up if you have something to say," Snape snapped. Neville went white, and Harry had suddenly had a brilliant idea.

"Actually, Professor, it says right here in the book that it should be turned anti-clockwise," Harry said, picking up the potions book and showing it to Snape, desperately trying to keep a smirk off his face. But Snape's response was not what Harry expected. He snatched the book from Harry's hand and stared at it in disbelief.

"Where did you get this?" He whispered dangerously.

"It's my mum's copy of the textbook. She was quite good at potions you know. She got the Governor's Award for Highest N.E.W.T score in Potions," Harry said smugly. Snape, a look of righteous fury on his face, snapped the book closed and started walking to his office.

"Hey! Give that back!"

"This book has been tampered with. I'm afraid you'll have to make do with the instructions on the board," Snape sneered. The Dragon and Phoenix Rune traced its way onto Harry's arm, glowing an ominous red, and Harry thrust his hand towards Snape's retreating form.

"Accio Lily Potter's book!" He yelled. The book flew from Snape, straight into Harry's outstretched hand, and the Rune let out a low hum, before vanishing once more. Snape slowly turned back to Harry and pulled his wand. Harry dropped the book into his bag and drew his own wand, ready to cast the shield spell Moony and Padfoot had been teaching them in the Duelling Room of the Home.

Then the bell rang, and the entire class began filing out of the room as fast as possible. Harry slowly backed outside, wand still pointed at Snape, until the door slammed closed. He let out a deep breath in relief.

"That was incredible Harry!" Hermione gushed, "You did wandless magic!"

"I'm never going to forget Snape's face when you called him out. That was brilliant Harry," Neville said, looking oddly dreamy.

Hermione frowned, "What did you say under your breath Neville when Snape told you to speak up?"

Neville blushed.

"I said, "At least she's got the brains to figure out how to do it right."

Hermione blushed the same shade as Neville and muttered a thank you. Then Harry broke into a grin and placed an arm around Neville and Hermione's shoulders.

"Done. That's it. Thank you very much, Neville."

"What's done?" Hermione asked, confused.

"Your name. I hereby dub your Defenders name to be Brains." Harry exclaimed. Then he raced off to the Great Hall to avoid being hexed.

The thing Ginny hated the most about Harry being Champion was the posse of girls following him around. It seemed, to Harry's eternal embarrassment, that every time he would try to acknowledge them, they would all blush, start giggling and scatter. Then, a few minutes later, they would be back, and the cycle would continue. The only thing good about Harry's fame, in Ginny's mind, was that it stopped Cho from bullying Luna, as she was widely recognised as one of Harry's friends and any move against her was seen as a move against the Hogwarts Champion. Harry liked it because Ginny would rarely let him out of her sight, and that meant they could spend even more time together than they usually did. With Ron out of the picture, Ginny had easily taken his place as Harry's best friend.

The Creevey brothers had also started taking surprise photographs of him all across the school. He suspected Fred and George were selling them as autograph material.

The other exciting part of Harry's weeks were Ilvermorny and Alcheringa. The Ilvermorny Witches and Wizards could often be found sharing classes with the Hogwarts students. Harry and Hermione had Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration and Charms with the fourth-year Ilvermorny students while Ginny, Luke, Luna and Matt had History and Charms with the third-years, and Jessica and Danny had Potions, DADA, and Arithmancy with them. The Alcheringa students, on the other hand, didn't attend regular classes, but they were highly visible, particularly in the Transfiguration Courtyard and around the Forbidden Forest. The only Hogwarts classes Harry ever saw them participate in were Care of Magical Creatures and Ancient Runes. The twelve Alcheringa students in Harry's class seemed to have fallen in love with Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts. Literally, as they had taken over almost every aspect of caring for them from the Hogwarts students. And, instead of screaming when they blasted off like Lavender and Parvati did, they actually laughed at their unfortunate classmate who either had all their hair burned off or a gaping hole in one of their limbs. Hagrid was on cloud nine. Harry and Hermione had both been forced to step up their game in Ancient Runes as well. Only half the Alcheringa class took this subject, but everyone who did was exceptionally good at it. So good in fact that Harry and Hermione had slipped to third and fourth place on the score tally, which Professor Babbling kept on the blackboard as a form of motivation – and shame.

So, between ordinary classes, avoiding Ron, the extra work for Ancient Runes, Professor Moony and Padfoot's lessons on the basics of Duelling (during which Jessica took great pleasure in knocking everyone on their asses repeatedly), early morning Quidditch practices with Angelina and the Hogwarts Team, pranking the Slytherins, dealing with Harry's new-found popularity, and Harry and Ginny's late-night excursions to find the Ilvermorny and Alcheringa Common Rooms (which so far had yielded no success) all the Defenders were going to sleep very tired each night.

The day of the first Hogsmeade visit of the year, two days before the First Task, an owl delivered Hermione's copy of the Daily Prophet in the Great Hall as it usually did.

"Oh no," she whispered.

"What is it?" Neville asked, trying to look over Hermione's shoulder.

"She's done it again." Harry's mood, which had been excellent when he woke up that morning, as he and Ginny believed they might have found where the Ilvermorny Common Room was the previous night (it totally had nothing to do with them having to hide from Filch in a broom cupboard and the resulting dream), vanished.

"Give it here then. Let's see what Skeeter has to say." Hermione reluctantly handed the paper over the table to Harry, who opened it large enough for Ginny to see from her seat next to him.

Harry Potter: Champion of Hogwarts

By Rita Skeeter

Just when Harry Potter's life-story couldn't get any more thrilling, the Goblet of Fire declares him the Triwizard Champion of Hogwarts School.

In just three days, the dashing hero who defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will come face to face with the dangerous and daring First Task. Nobody knows what he will face in the arena, but is there anything young Harry can't defeat? The Slayer of Basilisks and Defeater of Dementors should have little trouble completing the task. In fact, I would go so far as to say he could win it.

That's not to say he doesn't have competition. Oh no. The two contenders: Cleo O'Neill of Alcheringa Academy and Peter Packer of Ilvermorny School will not go down easy. Miss O'Neill is the younger sister of world-renowned Druid William 'Will' O'Neill – famous for single-handedly stopping a Meteor Strike and resulting Volcanic Eruption that would have destroyed the Island of Hawaii three years ago. If Miss O'Neill is half as powerful, or half as good-looking, as her brother, she will be a tough competitor to beat. Mr Packer, on the other hand, is relatively unknown. A Muggleborn from a poor family, Mr Packer is, according to his long-time best friend Gwen Stacy, "a noble soul," and an "expert at Transfiguration and Arithmancy." Is Mr Packer a wildcard contender? Or is he getting in over his head as fellow Ilvermorny student Flash Thompson says? "Peter is a nerd who can't play Quidditch to save his life. He's a coward, and he'll probably come last in every task."

Despite the anxieties the upcoming task must be causing, Harry seems to be coping well enough. The students are hailing him as a hero. Susan Bones, daughter of DMLE head Amelia Bones says, "If anyone can win the Tournament it's Harry." Harry has taken to seeking comfort in his friends, Hermione Granger and Jenny Wesley, and, if rumours are to be believed, his new girlfriend, Cho Chang.

However, not all is easy in Harry Potter's world, as a recent falling out with his best friend Don Weasley, has several people across the Castle talking. Draco Malfoy says, "Weasley has always been jealous of Potter's fame. Seems like it finally got to him." The rumours I've heard are that, in a midnight fight in Gryffindor Tower, Jenny was seriously injured, and the two boys have not spoken a word to each other since.

Another rumour I have discovered through my investigations is that Harry has begun forming a group of like-minded allies within the student body. Though what the point of this group is and its current membership remains unknown, it does have a name: The Defenders. Is Harry training a number of students in his knowledge of advanced magic? We already know he has mastered the Patronus, and this reporter can exclusively reveal that he possesses the ability to Apparate – despite being underage! We shall have to wait and see…

Good luck on the First Task, Harry!

"So, Brains, Firefly. What do you think? Do you want to be part of my secret group?" Harry asked, trying desperately to keep the smirk off his face.

"I'll have to check my schedule," Hermione said, rolling her eyes, "I'm getting ready to launch my House Elf Liberation Campaign you know." Ginny just laughed.

"I want to know when you've been seeing this new girlfriend of yours Harry." She said slyly. Harry groaned and slammed his head on the table.

"Should I confess my undying love before or after I gag at the thought of going out with Cho Chang of all people?" Hermione, Ginny and Luke all burst out laughing, drawing the attention of many of the people who had apparently been reading Skeeter's article.

"Why does she keep praising me though?" Harry asked, flicking back through the article, "You'd think I'm the next Sorcerer Supreme the way she writes."

"Hey don't knock it. You could be. What with your, "Basilisk Slaying and Dementor Defeating" Ginny chided.

"She's doing it to create a hero figure. The only thing people love more than a hero is to watch a hero fall. The first mistake you make, she is going to eat you for breakfast," Hermione said casually as she continued to eat her omelette.

"Gee thanks, Brains. That makes me feel loads better."

Harry was practically escorted down to Hogsmeade by the school, much to Harry's total embarrassment, and Ginny and Hermione's amusement. As this was the first Hogsmeade weekend all year, Ginny was the only third year who had ever been to the village before. As a result, she was forced to look around at everything as if she was seeing it for the first time, which had Hermione in stitches. Harry was focussing on trying not to seem too rude to the dozens of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw third, fourth and fifth years trying to talk to him at once. Jessica, in her Lily Evans disguise, didn't think much of the village itself it seemed, as she had much more fun stealing Colin Creevey's camera and taking several choice shots of a very disgruntled Harry, which she planned to give to Ginny for Christmas. Luke and Danny spent almost an hour in Honeydukes arguing over which type of chocolate was the best, while Ginny dragged Jessica, Matt and Luna into Zonko's to stock up on prank items. Matt's powers came in particularly handy at this point, as he could detect faulty items and had several suggestions on the devices that could be combined for more interesting effects, which had Ginny holding back an evil cackle at the thought of a naked Malfoy hanging upside down from the roof of the Great Hall. Luna wasn't much help, as she was more interested in a nest of Wrackspurts she insisted could be found in the Honeydukes cellar. Ginny had to pull her away when she realised her friend had inadvertently discovered the secret tunnel.

When Harry finally managed to get away from all his admirers and well-wishers, with the inadvertent help of Cedric and Angelina, who had been caught snogging on the other side of the village, he snuck into the Three-Broomsticks and ordered a round of Butterbeers as the others slowly made their way inside.

"Did you see Cedric and Angelina!" Ginny exclaimed as she rushed over with Luna and sat down beside Harry. She grabbed his Butterbeer and took a long sip, before sighing as the warm liquid slid down her throat. "Merlin, I missed this stuff over the summer," she muttered as Harry rolled his eyes and bought another drink.

"You better believe we did!" Hermione exclaimed.

"Fred and George are going to be sooooo pissed," Ginny said, a massive smirk on her face, "I am going to lord this over them forever!"

"Have fun with that," Harry said.

"Oh, you bet I will."

"Hey guys," Jessica said, sitting down with her own Butterbeer.

"Jess, I've been thinking about this Rita Skeeter problem," Hermione said, playing with her red wrist band.

"What about her?"

"Well, I think it would a good thing to have something we can hold over her, you know, for when she decides to turn on us."

Jessica frowned, "You might be onto something there."

"Onto what, Alias?" Matt said, taking the seat opposite her as Luke and Danny sat down.

"Don't worry about it," Hermione said, staring into her Butterbeer.

"What do you…" Danny began.

"Quiet!" Ginny snapped, following Jessica's eyes. Rita Skeeter herself had just entered the pub and was clearly scanning the booths for something; or someone. Ginny pursed her lips and did the first thing she could think off. She jumped into Harry's lap and flicked her head, so her hair was fanned out behind her, obscuring Harry's face from view. Harry, who had also seen Skeeter, blushed redder than he ever had in his entire life and started taking deep breaths. Ginny was blushing herself, butterflies swirling in her stomach once more. A blush that got even worse when she realised just what her close proximity was doing to him.

"Hey, love birds. She's gone. You can stop trying to get into each other's pants now," Jessica said, not at all trying to hide the amusement in her voice. Ginny, slightly reluctantly, slid down from Harry and resumed drinking her Butterbeer in an attempt to protect her incredibly flushed face. Harry, who was just now recovering the ability to breathe, muttered a strangled thank you, and the rest of the table burst out laughing.

A welcome distraction came in the form of Hagrid, who sat himself down next to Ginny and Harry quite suddenly, resulting in the two accidentally sliding into each other, renewing both their blushes and the laughter at the table.

"Sorry, Hagrid."

"Not to worry. Now, Harry, meet me at midnight tonight outside me cabin. Bring your cloak," he said quietly. Then he stood up, dusted off his jacket and walked away.

"Well that was odd," Danny said at length.

"I wonder what he needs to meet you for," Matt said, frowning and tapping his cane on the ground a few times.

"Ooooh! Maybe he's found some Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and wants to show you!" Luna exclaimed, looking very excited.

"Don't know. But the last time I went into the Forbidden Forest on Hagrid's advice, I almost got eaten by Acromantula, so forgive me if I'm cautious."

At a quarter to twelve, Hermione, Ginny and Luke bade farewell to an invisible Harry, who made his way down to Hagrid's Cabin through the dark and deserted castle. Raising his hand, he knocked on Hagrid's door. It opened promptly, and Hagrid's giant form stepped out.

"You there, Harry?"

"Yeah I'm here," Harry said, lowering the hood so Hagrid could see his head, "what's going on."

"Come on," Hagrid said, stepping outside the hut and walking purposefully into the forest. Harry sighed. He loved Hagrid, he really did. He had already decided to name one of his kids after him one day. But the man did love dangerous creatures, and the visitors from Alcheringa, who seemed to agree with his opinion that they were, "simply misunderstood," had only made it worse.

He flipped the hood back up and followed Hagrid deep within the forest. They walked in silence, Harry tripping over several tree branches, for over fifteen minutes when he started to smell smoke and ash on the air.

Hagrid made his way forward and pushed a rather large bush out of the way, in time for an ear-shattering roar to echo through the woods. Three massive metal cages were sitting in a large clearing, each of them carrying a creature with four legs, giant wings, a snake-like tail and a scaly head with spines running along its back. Dragons. That was the First Task. Harry's stomach retreated so deep within his gut he didn't think anyone would ever find it.

"Magnificent aren't they," a voice said to Hagrid's right. Harry and Hagrid both turned to see Will O'Neill sitting cross-legged, floating in mid-air, drinking a beer with the word Bundaberg on the side, staring at the beasts in the same awe as they were.

"That they are," Hagrid whispered.

One of the Dragon's, jet black with giant fangs and spines, reared on its legs and shot a funnel of flame into the air.

"That Horntail looks one nasty piece of work," Hagrid said. Harry gulped.

"All right there, Hagrid? O'Neill?" A wizard was walking towards them from the Dragon cages. A wizard wearing smoking robes with bright red hair.

"Just peachy, Charlie. Just peachy," O'Neill muttered.

"Good to see yeh again Charlie. Been 'ow many years now?" Hagrid asked, shaking the man's hand. And Harry realised who it was: it was Charlie Weasley. Ginny and Ron's older brother who worked in Romania. With Dragons.

"I'm not sure. It'd have to be a few."

"That Antipodal Opaleye," O'Neill said, pointing to a rainbow coloured Dragon that appeared to be sleeping, "that ones for my sister isn't it?"

"Apparently it's a random draw. One Dragon for each Champion. But I would imagine that was the intention," Charlie said.

O'Neill actually looked worried, an expression Harry couldn't believe he was seeing on the face of a man who could fall out of the sky without even a bruise.

"Well shit," he said darkly.

"What've they gotta do – fight 'em?" Hagrid asked.

"I don't think so. They wanted nesting mothers, so I'd wager they have to get past them," Charlie said, running a hand through his hair.

"If Claire gets the Opaleye, there's no way she gets past without injuring it, you know that, don't you Charlie?" Will said solemnly.

Charlie dropped his eyes to the ground, "You're telling me. My boss practically had kittens when Crouch and Bagman came knocking."

"What's so bad about Claire getting the Opaleye?" Hagrid asked, "I would've thought the Horntail or the Hebridean Black would be worse?"

"Normally you'd be right. But the thing is. Claire is Half-Mer, and Opaleyes absolutely hate the Mer. If she got the Horntail, she'd take it down in ten seconds flat, twenty if she gets chatty," Will said with a sigh. Harry bit his lip and started walking back into the forest. Once he was far enough away from the adults and the smell of ash, he dropped to his knees, pulled the hood of his cloak down and took a long gasp of fresh air.

"Scare's ya shitless, hey?" a voice said from above him. Harry looked up to see Claire O'Neill, wearing a red singlet and boxers, sitting on the tree-branch above him. She dropped down to the ground and sat on a log. In the moonlight, Harry could see that her face, usually rather dark in complexion, was ashen white.

"They certainly do," Harry admitted.

"Almost makes you regret entering. Almost." Suddenly, from behind a tree a few meters away, Peter Parker stepped out, looking much the same way Claire looked, and Harry felt.

"Believe it or not, I didn't actually enter," Harry said, pulling the cloak off and sitting down on the grassy earth.

"You didn't?"

"Nope. Someone's trying to kill me." Harry laughed, "Isn't the first time. Won't be the last." Then he looked at Claire.

"Did you hear what your brother said? About the Opaleye?" If possible, Claire grew even paler.

"Yeah. I really don't want to hurt it. It's not its fault some wizard tied it up and decided it would be fun to use as sport," Claire said. She waved her hand, and a clump of dirt rose up into the air, before forming itself into a tiny replica of the Dragon in the enclosure behind him.

Peter sighed.

"Look, guys. You both seem to be decent people. I like to think I'm a decent person as well. But this competition… it has the potential to turn us all into bitter enemies. Why don't we, for each other's sake, agree not to deliberately harm the others. I know it's a contest and everything. But shouldn't we be able to get to the end without having to put holes in the others? I'd rather be friends than enemies." Harry looked at Peter, then to Claire. Then, surprising even himself, he stood up, brushed the dirt off his jeans, walked over to Peter and extended his hand.

"Deal." Peter nodded and shook his hand.

"Agreed. We get nowhere by fighting each other," Claire said, giving them both a slight smile.

The sound of someone clearing their throat behind them caused all three champions to turn around, wands pointed at the origin of the sound. Which happened to be Stephen Strange, standing next to Will O'Neill.

"An admirable pact, and a solemn vow. You have proved your worth as Champions more tonight in these words, then you will as warriors in the arena in the coming trial. In my opinion at least. Remember that the right words hold just as much power as great deeds, sometimes even more," Strange said, bowing his head to the trio. Then he disapparated with a soft pop. O'Neill rolled his eyes.

"Get to bed you lot. I imagine you'll have a lot to think about in the morning." He winked at them and burst into golden dust, which then scattered on the wind.

"He's right. Goodnight Harry. Goodnight Peter." Claire turned on the spot and vanished into golden dust just like her brother.

"Show offs," Peter muttered. Then he and Harry made their way back to the castle in silence.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Act I, Chapter 1 2577 0 0 2. Act I, Chapter 2 3857 0 0 3. Act I, Chapter 3 6839 0 0 4. Act I, Chapter 4 3517 0 0 5. Act I, Chapter 5 2759 0 0 6. Act I, Chapter 6 3646 0 0 7. Act I, Chapter 7 3123 0 0 8. Act I, Chapter 8 3749 0 0 9. Act I, Chapter 9 3592 0 0 10. Act I, Chapter 10 4635 0 0 11. Act II, Chapter 1 4795 0 0 12. Act II, Chapter 2 4912 0 0 13. Act II, Chapter 3 4596 0 0 14. Act II, Chapter 4 4033 0 0 15. Act II, Chapter 5 4695 0 0 16. Act II, Chapter 6 4878 0 0 17. Act II, Chapter 7 5376 0 0 18. Act II, Chapter 8 4393 0 0 19. Act II, Chapter 9 3716 0 0 20. Act II, Chapter 10 7982 0 0 21. Act III, Chapter 1 8563 0 0 22. Act III, Chapter 2 3926 0 0 23. Act III, Chapter 3 4739 0 0 24. Act III, Chapter 4 2324 0 0 25. Act III, Chapter 5 5812 0 0 26. Act III, Chapter 6 6900 0 0 27. Act III, Chapter 7 3211 0 0 28. Act III, Chapter 8 6466 0 0 29. Act III, Chapter 9 2888 0 0 30. Act III, Chapter 10 7371 0 0 31. Act IV, Chapter 1 6177 0 0 32. Act IV, Chapter 2 6862 0 0 33. Act IV, Chapter 3 6360 0 0 34. Act IV, Chapter 4 7018 0 0 35. Act IV, Chapter 5 9640 0 0 36. Act IV, Chapter 6 4531 0 0 37. Act IV, Chapter 7 2345 0 0 38. Act IV, Chapter 8 7242 0 0 39. Act IV, Chapter 9 6161 0 0 40. Act IV, Chapter 10 11288 0 0 41. Act V, Chapter 1 12170 0 0 42. Act V, Chapter 2 3204 0 0 43. Act V, Chapter 3 7727 0 0 44. Act V, Chapter 4 3213 0 0 45. Act V, Chapter 5 7099 0 0 46. Act V, Chapter 6 8061 0 0 47. Act V, Chapter 7 5544 0 0 48. Act V, Chapter 8 5414 0 0 49. Act V, Chapter 9 6046 0 0 50. Act V, Chapter 10 7849 0 0 51. Act VI, Chapter 1 6040 0 0 52. Act VI, Chapter 2 3614 0 0 53. Act VI, Chapter 3 4633 0 0 54. Act VI, Chapter 4 4638 0 0 55. Act VI, Chapter 5 2781 0 0 56. Act VI, Chapter 6 6382 0 0 57. Act VI, Chapter 7 4027 0 0 58. Act VI, Chapter 8 7169 0 0 59. Act VI, Chapter 9 4260 0 0 60. Act VI, Chapter 10 5574 0 0 61. Glossary and Appendices 10011 0 0 62. Update: A potential podfic 265 0 0