Pyromaniac Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts.
More fire! And since Goblet was fairly long... I might, if your good little reader, do another chapter to cover another scene in the book. Only if your good little boys and girls though.
Harry yawned, extremely bored as he slowly picked at his lunch. He wasn't very hungry, the excitement of coming events making his stomach too unstable to accept food. Just if he had someone to converse with, even Weasley or Granger would do, at least they kept him mildly entertained. They weren't speaking to him though, him being an 'attention seeking-prat' among other things.
He was about to get up and leave, maybe burn a classroom or two for fun, or perhaps harass Peeves, when he saw Professor McGonagall hurrying towards him, a grim look set upon her face. The other students in the Great Hall were watching her closely as she approached him. He knew what this was about. It was time for the First Task.
"Potter, the champions have to come into the grounds now... you have to get ready for your first task." Harry slowly stood, dusting his robes slightly, his uneaten lunch forgotten.
"Okay." He answered, stepping over the bench and following the Deputy Headmistress out of the hall and out onto the vast Hogwarts grounds. Looking to the side, he noticed she looked very anxious. She suddenly stopped causing him to halt as well as she placed a hand on his shoulder. He held back the urge to shrug it off. He really disliked people touching him unless it was with someone he 'liked' and in ways he'd never dream of with the old biddy.
"Now, don't panic... just keep a cool head... we've got wizards on hand to control the situation if it gets out of hand... the main thing is just do your best, and nobody will think any worse of you... are you alright." Harry nodded and smirked at her. She blinked in surprise.
"I'm fine. This'll be fun." She stared at him in horror but continued walking; taking him towards where the dragons were, around the edge of the forest, but when they approached the clump of trees behind which the enclosure would be clearly visible, Harry saw that a tent had been erected, its entrance facing them, screening the dragons from view.
"You're to go in there with the other champions," McGonagall said in a rather shaky sort of voice, "and wait for your turn, Potter. Mister Bagman is in there... he'll be telling you the - the procedure... good luck." Harry rolled his eyes at the normally composed teacher.
"Yeah, okay, thanks." She left him then at the entrance of the tent. He turned and entered, pulling out his Zippo liter as he went.
Fleur Delacour, the sexy Veela minx herself, was sitting in a corner on a low wooden stool. She didn't look nearly as composed as usual, but rather pale and clammy, looking depressed. Regardless, Harry winked at her all the same as he'd been doing all year. He grinned as she brightened a little, probably gaining a little confidence from his own. Viktor Krum looked even surlier than usual, which Harry supposed was his way of showing nerves. Harry felt he was a younger, tamer version of Snape, without the greasy hair and hooked nose of course. Cedric was pacing up and down, fidgeting with his robes. When Harry entered, he gave him a small smile which Harry didn't return.
"Harry! Good-oh!" Bagman said happily, looking around at him. "Come in, come in, make yourself at home."
Bagman looked somehow like a slightly overblown muggle cartoon figure, standing amid all the pale-faced champions. He was wearing his old Wasp robes again. Harry felt he'd look good as a human torch.
"Well, now we're all here - time to fill you in!" Bagman crowed loudly. "When the audience has assembled, I'm going to be offering each of you this bag" - he held up a small sack of purple silk, and shook at it at them. The others looked alarmed when a puff of smoke escaped it - "from which you will each select a small model of the thing you are about to face! There are different - er - varieties, you see. And I have to tell you something else too... ah, yes... your task is to /collect the golden egg!/"
Harry glanced at the others. Cedric had nodded once, to show that he understood Bagman's words, and then started pacing around the tent again; he looked slightly green. Fleur and Krum hadn't reacted at all. Perhaps they thought they might be sick if they opened their mouths. Harry just flicked the metal lid of his liter open and closed it with a loud steely click.
In no time at all, hundreds upon hundreds of pairs of feet could be heard passing the tent, their owners talking excitedly, laughing, and joking. Harry wondered if they already knew what the tasks were going to involve.
He spied the other champions as they entered their on little words. He continued to open and close his Zippo's lid, fully aware that it was unnerving Bagman slightly. It wasn't long before the patter of feet died off. It was then that the purple sack was held out, open for anyone to reach in.
"Ladies first." Bagman said, offering it to Fleur.
She reached out a shaking hand, obviously nervous and jumped violently as his liter lid snapped closed. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before plunging her hand inside, drawing out a tiny, perfect model of a dragon - a Welsh Green. It had the number 'two' around its neck. She didn't look surprised but Harry already knew why; Madam Maxime had told her what was coming.
The same held true for Krum. He pulled out the scarlet Chinese Fireball. It had a number 'three' around its neck. He didn't even blink, just stared at the ground. His head jerked up in surprise though when Harry once again snapped the lid closed on his Zippo.
Cedric put his hand into the bag, and out came the blueish-grey Swedish Short-Snout, the number 'one' tied around its neck. Knowing what was left and feeling oddly giddy about it; Harry reached in and pulled out the Hungarian Horntail, and the number 'four'. It stretched its wings as he looked down at it with a strange gleam in his eyes, it baring its minuscule fangs in a snarl.
"Well, there you are!" The annoying cartoon looking wasp said. "You have each pulled out the dragon you will face, and the numbers refer to the other in which you are to take on the dragons, do you see? Now, I'm going to leave you in a moment, because I'm commentating. Mister Diggory, you're first, just go out into the enclosure when you hear the whistle, all right? Now... Harry... could I have a quick work? Outside?"
He wasn't paying attention, his eyes still locked on the tiny dragon. They were glassy as he muttered about cocktails or something, which confused Bagman greatly. What was the boy doing thinking about a muggle drink? He'd have had a heart attack if he really knew what he was thinking.
"Harry? Come on Harry, are you in there?"
"What?" Harry snapped, his eyes coming back into focus as he pocketed the small model.
"Could I have a quick word?"
"No." Harry answered dryly, playing with his liter again. He noticed the other champions were starting to get annoyed at its noise. Cedric's eye twitched a few times and Fleur trembled with each click.
"Ah, well, okay." Bagman mumbled before leaving the champions alone. It was long before the whistle sounded and Cedric left. Harry was nearly bursting with built up excitement. He would have bounced on the spot if he didn't have a reputation to uphold. Seconds later they heard a roar from the crowd, which meant Cedric had entered the enclosure, and was now face to face with the living counter part of his model.
"So, who's looking forward to the task?" He asked brightly. He got two incredulous stares back. "What?"
"How can you be so calm!?" Fleur exploded, her eyes filled with fear. Harry shrugged.
"It'll be fun. I've always wanted to meet a dragon... well, I did in first year but it was only a baby so..." He trailed off as they continued to stare at him. "What?"
The crowd suddenly screamed, cutting off whatever Fleur was about to say. They yelled and gasped as if they were one, as Cedric did whatever he was doing to get past the Short-Snout. Krum had returned to staring at the ground and Fleur had taken to retracing Cedric's steps, around and around the tent. Harry went back to playing with his Zippo.
Fifteen minutes later the air was filled with a deafening roar, the crowd going crazy. Cedric had obviously pasted the test and got the golden egg. Bagman was screaming something but Harry didn't bother to listen. The whistle sounded soon after and Fleur slowly left the tent, shaking but head held high. Harry gave her a wink as she walked by, earning him a small smile in return.
The same process started again with the crowd screaming, yelling and gasping as one. Bagman was adding his comments every now and then, spicing it up. Krum had taken to twiddling his thumbs, an act that Harry found most amusing as it was such an unlikely thing to see him do. Ten minutes later the crowd erupted once more, Fleur having been successful. The whistle blew again after the scores were shown and Krum left the tent, being introduced by the over enthusiastic commentator.
Alone, Harry pocketed his Zippo and clapped his hands together, a ball of flames coming into existence. He cupped his hands around it, getting a feel for the flames and the magic that weaved it. He needed to be completely focused. He was excited, yes, but he knew this would be anything but a walk in the park. Dragon's were not to be taken lightly.
"Come on Harry, this is it, a worthy adversary."
When he opened his eyes he realized it was because the whistle had sounded; it was his turn already. Marching out of the tent, he walked past the trees and though a gap in the enclosure fence.
Harry looked around at the hundreds of faces staring at him unflinchingly before striding towards the Horntail that was in the middle, crouched low over her eggs, her wings half furled, her evil, yellow eyes upon him, a monstrous, scaly black lizard, thrashing her spiked tail, leaving yard-long gouge marks in the hard, rocky ground. The crowd was making a great deal of noise but whether friendly or not he didn't know as he was too busy focusing on the dragon, not caring about the people.
"Holy shit..." He muttered, "She's a lot bigger than I thought."
The Horntail roared loudly, nearly blowing out his eardrums at the sound. Its tail lashed out at him, coming a mere meter from hitting him. When it impacted against the ground a volley of debris sprayed towards him. He lazily covered his head with his arm as the dirt covered his black robes.
"Okay, let's do this." He said, bracing his feet and clapping his hand together, a habit he'd gotten from who knows where. The dragon roared again but then time a long, red hot glowing jet of fire lanced towards him at incredible speeds. Focusing, his hands burst into flames, the air around him distorting as waves of heat rolled off his body. He didn't register the gasps of surprise from the crowd.
Just before the dragons attack got him, his hands shot forward, palms out. The stream of fire impacted on his hands and seemed to be absorbed, straight into his body. No mater how much kept coming at him, it continued to vanish within him. He was sweating profoundly from the heat and strain of using his magic like this. Eventually, the attack lessened before it stopped completely. Harry gave the dragon a smug look as it looked at him, slightly shocked. The ground between him and the lizard was charred black.
The crowd was completely still, completely silent. The clichÃ© of a pin dropping occurred before the noise returned, the people going absolutely bonkers over what they'd just seen. The Horntail was far from finished, however, and far from impressed. If possible, she seemed more pissed off than before, tail bashing the ground wildly with so much force it was cracking under the pressure. Harry felt like gaping at it as in continued to pound the ground as if throwing some sort of hissy fit.
"That'd be right," Harry muttered sarcastically, recovering slightly. "Give me the dragon that's having its rags, he'll be able to handle himself no problem, he's the great Boy-Who-Lived after all."
Baring its teeth, it charged, its tail lifting up high above its body before shooting towards him like an arrow. He dived to the right just in time, rolling back to his feet in one swift movement. That's when the second stream of fire came at him, so quickly that he had no time to focus enough to pull off the same technique as before. Instead, he gathered his magic and fire, lashing out violently, his own stream of burning hell colliding head on with the dragons, causing a minor explosion as they hit. The battle of power was on.
He stumbled back a few steps before leveling himself, leaning forward and bent his knees slightly. His arms were vibrating from the strain, his muscles rock hard, veins pulsing as he tried to repel the attack with his own.
In the centre where the fire met, strings of flame were lashing out in every direction, looking similar to that of the solar flares on the sun. It looked like a vortex of fire, swirling and compressing, wanting to erupt, explode, destroy everything in its path. He was sweating even more now, the heat becoming unbearable, even for him. The heat waves were so great that even the crowd was starting to stand up and back away, fearing what was happening before them.
The Horntail suddenly took a step forward, albeit a small one, seemingly struggling itself, its claws digging into the rock hard floor. This put even more strain on the pair of them, the centre compressing even more, becoming more unstable. He grunted in pain, his arms felt like they were going to fall off but he focused and pushed more power, the fire leaving his body faster, harder, pushing against that of the dragon. If he could keep this up he knew he would win, like this the dragon couldn't breathe, it was a matter of time before it had to stop.
The scent of burnt material filling his heated nostrils, he looked down to see his robes disintegrating in front of his eyes. Looking towards the vortex, he had to look away immediately, it was too bright. Clenching them shut, he screamed as he forced everything he could into his fire as he felt the dragon do the same, giving everything they had.
All of a sudden it exploded outwards, the blast so powerful it ripped apart the stands like they were toothpicks despite the magic that was supposed to prevent such a thing with force alone. The people in the stands were flung from the enclosure and over the trees, landing on the smoothly cut lawns of the grounds, debris falling all around them. The fire scorched everything within a hundred meters, turning everything into charcoal, the trees just outside the flames radius were uprooted, many ending up in the great lake, the others littering the grounds.
All that remained of the enclosure was a smoldering crater, Harry and the Horntail no where to be found.