Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Heart of the Warrior Book IV

Chapter 12: Countdown to the Cup

by madnesspersonified 0 Reviews

Harry Potter/Ninja Turtles 2003 crossover. Read the first three books first. Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts is marked by the return of the Triwizard Tournament. More complete summary in profile.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover,Sci-fi - Characters: Ginny,Harry,Lily,Moody,Peter,Voldemort - Warnings: [!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2006/11/14 - Updated: 2008/04/11 - 5821 words

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Chapter Twelve: Countdown to the Cup

"Okay, now how do I look," said Hailey frowning as her mother finished disguising her appearance in an attempt to fool Dumbledore and pretty much anyone else.

"Good enough, at least I was able to make your hair look like you didn't stick your finger in a light socket," said Lily. "Now, this should last you until the end of the school year. We'll go from there after that."

Hailey rose from the bed right to her feet, with brown hair that was not sticking up and brown eyes. It was the day they were going to go to the Weasleys for the Quidditch Cup. Harry had talked to Hermione as she had already arrived the night before. Hailey wondered what her brother's friends were like but she would find out all too soon.

"Now remember, you are Hailey Evans now, not Potter and you were an orphan girl who Harry found abandoned on the streets, that showed signs of magic," said Lily.

"That's your big false identity for me that required all that complex paper work that took you forever to acquire," said Hailey shaking her head. "Your own maiden name replacing my real name."

"Yes, but remember, you’re playing an eleven year old, as opposed to twelve," said Lily. "Dumbledore won't probably think twice about it, as Evans is an extremely common last name. Snape is the one I'm worried about so don't do anything that will make him suspicious."

"I understand," said Hailey.

Ginny entered the room looking at Hailey.

"Are you about ready?" asked Ginny. "Mum's expecting us in a couple minutes, I don't really want to make her worry any more than I have to."

"Yes, I'm ready," said Hailey before looking at her Quidditch World Cup ticket that her mother had procured through her sources at the American Wizarding Government Headquarters as Hailey, Ginny, and Lily walked out of the room. "Top box, not too bad."

"Yes, extremely high up," said Fred.

"High as you can get as a matter of fact," said George.

"So close you can almost touch the players," said Fred.

"But that would get you kicked out of the game if you tried," cautioned George.

"Speaking from experience, are we gentlemen?" asked Harry, who had walked into the room with the Portus-Amulet in his hand and dragging his trunk with his other hand. "You purchased a mirror like I suggested you did, right Mum?"

"Yes, I did but only contact me in extremely dire emergencies," said Lily. "It is of utmost importance that I find this spell, but even if I find it, I have a shrewd suspicion I can't use it until Voldemort returns to a physical body."

"So, damned if he does come back, damned if he doesn't come back, more or less," said Hailey.

"That's one way to put it," said Lily. "Seriously, Harry, Hailey, please, please, don't get into any trouble, if you can avoid it. I know, speaking from experience, it is sometimes unavoidable, but don't go actively seeking it. Especially in your case Harry, it seems to find its way to you on its own."

"Yep," said Harry grimly.

"And remember, do not let anyone know of my sudden status of not being dead," said Lily. "Not even your friends, at least for the time being. Unfortunately, as I found out all too well, yesterday's friend could become tomorrow’s knife in the back. I can't hide the fact I am now alive forever and if Voldemort should come back, I plan I revealing my status of being alive should it not have been leaked somehow before then."

Everyone nodded, even through Harry had a feeling Dumbledore would find out sooner or later, as the old coot had the tendency to find out about things that he shouldn't really know. It was one of the many things Harry loathed about the Headmaster of Hogwarts.

"Since everything's take care of, I suggest we leave now as there is no point in sticking around here," said Harry.

"I agree with Harry," said Ginny, nodding her head.

"Okay, crowd around, you all should know the drill by now," said Harry as Ginny, Hailey, Fred, and George joined him, dragging their stuff behind them. Without another word, Harry touched the amulet with his wand, thinking of where the Burrow was. The five were yanked by the Amulet, sending them from the lair to the Burrow.

They landed right outside of the front door of the Burrow. It seemed the Amulet was starting to regain its original luster, after being corrupted during the second year when the spirit of Tom Riddle was using it.

"Home at last," said George fondly.

"Not that New York wasn't all that bad," added Fred.

"Yes, nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there," said George.

"I guess you'll just have to grow accustomed to it like I have over the past eight years," said Harry.

"Yes, Harry, I would have to say you would be correct," said George. "An acquired taste to be sure, but let's not delay this any longer."

Ginny raised her hand, opening the door, walking inside as Fred, George, Harry, and Hailey followed her inside the Burrow.

"Mum, we're here!" called Ginny.

Mrs. Weasley walked out of the kitchen towards Harry, Ginny, Hailey, Fred, and George.

"Good, you made it back, I was worried but I see Harry managed to see stayed out of too much trouble. Harry, it's good to see you again," said Mrs. Weasley before turning to Hailey and frowning. "I'm sorry dear, I don't think I've had the pleasure of..."

"Hailey Evans, m'am," said Hailey in a quiet slightly saddened tone of voice as if she was remembering something horrible. "The same family that took Harry in also adopted me. My parents were...well they ran afoul of the wrong crowd and they were killed, leaving me without a home. I would have given up by now if it was not for Harry's family."

Harry looked at his sister; she was a good actress if nothing else. If he didn't know that story was completely false and was just an uninformed bystander, he would have believed her story without question. The tears rolling down her cheeks when she was taking about her parents was an excellent touch.

"Oh, sorry about your parents, Hailey," said Mrs. Weasley looking a little uncomfortable.

"No, it's okay, you couldn't have known," said Hailey, as she looked up with the area underneath her eyes red and damp.

"Okay, well if you will follow me in the kitchen, that's where everyone else," said Mrs. Weasley motioning them to follow them towards the kitchen.

"Harry, Ginny!" yelled Hermione as they entered the kitchen. "Oh it's so good to see you two again."

"Hello, Hermione, how was your summer?" asked Harry.

"Pretty good, I managed to complete all my homework, so I don't have to worry about it after the Cup," said Hermione but she was interrupted by a giggling sound behind Harry.

Hermione turned around, seeing a girl she did not know with curly brown hair and brown eyes, with a slight smile on her face.

"I'm sorry, I don't believe we've met," said Hermione.

"Hailey Evans, Harry's family is taking care of me since my p-p-parents died, long story, Harry can share it with you," said Hailey, wiping her eyes.

"Okay, but why did you think I was being funny when I was talking?" said Hermione.

"Doing homework during your holidays, honestly, that's a good one," said Hailey. "The fact you worry enough to mention it in a conversation I feel is very amusing but there is more important things in life than homework."

"Well there are but just saying, I wanted to get it done so I didn't have it hanging over my head, so I can enjoy the Quidditch World Cup," said Hermione. "Even through it would not be quite as enjoyable as when Harry is playing..."

"Not enjoyable, Hermione!" said Ron Weasley incredulously who had been eavesdropping on their conversation. "Do you know who the Bulgarian Seeker is?"

"No, I haven't had the pleasure of acquiring that piece of knowledge, Ronald," said Hermione briskly. She still hadn't forgiven the youngest Weasley boy for slandering Harry's name during their first two years at Hogwarts, especially during the Heir of Slytherin debacle.

"Viktor Krum, Hermione!" said Ron. "Viktor Krum, he's one of the most brilliant Quidditch players, he's only eighteen years of age. I say he is even better than Harry right over there, so prepared to be amazed if you find watching Harry play Quidditch entertaining or rather him attempting to keep himself from get himself killed while blindly stumbling upon the Snitch."

"I beg your pardon," said Harry in a cool tone of voice.

"Harry, I'm sorry but you are not as good as Viktor Krum, despite your nearly spotless record in capturing the Snitch," said Ron, wilting slightly underneath not only Harry's gaze but also the gaze of Ginny and Hermione. "Just wait, this guy's a legend, an icon, he is a cultural figure that is a household name..."

"For Salazar's sake Ronald, he's just a Quidditch player!" said Hermione as Ginny and Harry both raised their eyebrows at Hermione's choice of wording.

"Well one of your best friends is just a Quidditch player," said Ron coolly.

"Just leave," said Hermione with a look as if Ron had offended her. "You may have stopped painting Harry as complete evil, but you still don't have the measure of who he truly is."

Ron did not move and seemed to not move but Ginny did not seem too pleased at all that Ron classified Harry as just a Quidditch player.

"Ron, please get out of my sight before I do something you'll regret," said Ginny in a low deadly voice.

Ron decided that it would be in his best interests to walk off. Harry was a bit disturbed at Ron's words, especially the "just a Quidditch player" opinion. That really stung Harry, he nearly died too many times to count, he had tried hard to live outside the fame given to him by the scar on his forehead, most at great sacrifice, and sometimes out of his control but he hoped he was seen as more than "just a Quidditch player".

Ginny saw the uncertain look on Harry's face and decided she better say something before Harry beat himself up over something he had no control over.

"Don't listen to anything my brother says, he doesn't know, he couldn't possibly know what you go through," said Ginny in a calm voice. "I know who you truly are, I know you're Harry, and that's all that matters to me, so why should it bother you if someone doesn't get the real measure of who you are."

Harry sighed but he did in fact feel a bit better. Leave it to Ginny to ease all of his doubts.

"You're right, but I thought he would improve after I saved you in the Chamber," said Harry darkly.

"He did, he no longer hates you but now he’s jealous of you," inputted Hermione quietly so only her, Ginny, and Harry could hear. Hailey attempted to listen in but Hermione blocked her out.

"Why?" asked Harry.

"Well you’re universally adored by all the younger students, you are one of the top students in the year, you have loyal friends that would follow me anywhere, do I need to go on or do you get the point?" asked Hermione.

"Yes, I get it," replied Harry. "Unfortunately he doesn't see the other side to my life, the darker side to my life. The fact I live in fear that some day that Voldemort could come back to finish what he started thirteen years ago."

"Yes, but some people don't look at the big picture but they only see what they want but don't have and they are upset they don't have it," said Hermione.

"Well, at least it's refreshing to see he at least doesn't think of me as the second coming of Voldemort," said Harry.

"You actually put a positive spin on something?" asked Ginny unable to keep a straight face as she was talking. "Who are you and what have you done with Harry Potter?"

"Very funny, Ginny," said Harry, as Hermione and Ginny could not help themselves, before they started laughing. Harry sighed before turning Hailey. "This is what I have to put up with all year at Hogwarts."

"Fascinating," said Hailey in a bored voice, the interacting between Harry and his friends not really interesting her at the moment.

The rest of the night at the Burrow went without much incident. Harry met Ginny's two oldest brothers Bill and Charlie for the first time. They seemed all right, as from what Ginny told him; they took her placement of being in Slytherin a bit better than Ron initially did back when it happened.

Percy on the other hand, had apparently gotten a job at the Department of International Magical Cooperation and as Percy was talking, Harry could have sworn he heard the words, "Mr. Crouch" used fifty three times, give or take a couple Harry may have missed. It seemed as if Percy put a little too much stock in his boss's opinion, a little too much to be healthy in fact.

Very early next morning, Harry, Ginny, Hailey, Fred, George, Ron, Hermione, and Mr. Weasley were setting out bright and early to attempt to look for the Portkey to take them to the campsite for the Quidditch World Cup. Bill, Charlie, and Percy were having a lie in and they were going to apparate to the campsite around midday. The walk to the Portkey would have been long and grueling for some had Harry not been through a lot worse in his life.

"About how much further is this Portkey, anyway, Mr. Weasley," said Harry. "And what exactly are we looking for?"

"Just a couple of more miles, Harry and to answer your other question, something that looks like common rubbish, an item that most Muggles will not pick up and play with," said Mr. Wesley. "It should be around here, we just need to keep..."

"Arthur, Arthur, over here, we have it right here," said the voice of a scruffy bearded man who was holding a moldy looking old boot in the air, right next to the hill who was joined by the Hufflepuff house seeker, Cedric Diggory, also the person responsible for the only blemish on Harry Potter's near flawless Quidditch snitch catching record.

"Amos, I see you found it," said Arthur. "We were getting worried that we would not be able to make it in time."

Mr. Weasley walked up to the man named Amos with the children following in tow.

"Children, this is Amos Diggory, he works at the Ministry, in the Department of the Control and Regulation of Magical Creatures," said Mr. Weasley. "And I believe you know his son, Cedric from Hogwarts."

Harry knew him all too well, nearly unblemished record at catching the snitch ruined at the hands, but Harry just had to get his face cracked by a bludger and land himself in the hospital wing. No, Harry wasn't bitter, no he was not, after all, he had proven with a level playing field, he defeat Diggory, as he did during their third year, evening the score to one a piece.

"All yours, Arthur?" asked Amos Diggory.

"No, no, only the red heads," said Arthur. "Let's see, we have Hermione Granger, friend of Ginny's, then we have Hailey Evans, who will be beginning Hogwarts in the fall, she was adopted by the same Muggle family that adopted our third guest, Harry Potter."

"By Merlin's beard, surely not that Harry Potter," said Mr. Diggory. "Ced's told me about you, seems you two have a bit of a rivalry going on in Quidditch, seeing he is the only one that caused you to not capture the snitch, back during his fourth year last match in the year."

"Indeed," said Harry coolly.

"Yes, I remember that quite well, only after Harry got cracked in the face with a bludger and taken out of the game," said Hermione briskly. "Plus he was a bit more inexperienced at Quidditch than he is now and he beat Cedric the last time they competed against each other, with an even playing field if I may say so myself."

"Oh yes but of course," said Mr. Diggory, unable to decide how exactly to respond to that. "Still, should be a talking point to his children, the fact he had the only defeat..."

"Amos, is there any more coming?" asked Mr. Weasley quickly seeing this subject was a rather sore spot for Harry.

"No, the Fawcetts arrived the previous week and the Lovegoods didn't acquire tickets," said Mr. Diggory.

"Now does everyone know how to use a Portkey?" asked Mr. Weasley, as everyone nodded in confirmation. "Good, good, everyone grab onto the boot."

They did and not a second too soon as the boot promptly pulled them straight towards the campsite of the Quidditch World Cup. Harry looked around; it appeared the Cup was being held just outside a misty moor of some kind by two tired looking middle aged wizards. They were dressed as Muggles but they somehow appeared to have gotten their information on how Muggles dress completely botched up. One of them was clad in a tweed suit and galoshes. The other was wearing a kilt and poncho.

"Ah, Arthur, good day to you," said a wizard in a kilt and poncho. "Trust the journey was alright."

"As good as could be expected, Basil," said Mr. Weasley as he handed the boot to the kilted wizard. "Been keeping busy."

"Aye," said Basil. "Organizing Portkey across six continents, checking the identities of everyone coming in and out, it's been a right mess, lately. Working plenty of overtime but let me find your campsite so we can get this show on the road."

Basil thumbed through the papers in his hand before giving Mr. Weasley a response.

"Weasley, second campsite on the right, ask for Mr. Roberts," said Basil. "Diggory, you'd be looking for Mr. Payne as your campsite manager. Good day to you both."

Everyone walked for a short distance, until they met a Muggle standing right in front of the gate leading into the campsite.

"Morning!" said the Muggle brightly.

"Good morning!" said Mr. Weasley. "Would you be Mr. Roberts by any chance?"

"That'd be me," said Mr. Roberts. "And your name is..."

"Weasley," said Mr. Weasley. "Booked a campsite a couple of weeks ago, large enough for a pair of tents."

"Weasley, Weasley, Weasley," said Mr. Roberts before remembering. "Ah yes, I remember now."

Mr. Roberts went to hand Mr. Weasley the bill but Harry saw what it cost and took his money from his own pocket, handing it to the campsite director.

"Harry, you really didn't have to do that," said Mr. Weasley.

"Mr. Weasley, you got the tickets, the least I can do is pay the campsite fee," said Harry.

"Now Harry maybe I should..." said Mr. Weasley.

"No, and don't try and pay me back, it didn't really cost that much," said Harry.

"Yes, of course famous Harry Potter in his castle with his loads of wealth, strutting around, flaunting all of his wealth around, making all of us people look..." started Ron in a low voice before Hermione smacked him across the back of the head. "Oww!!"

"Next time I'll hit you harder," hissed Hermione dangerously. "Harry didn't have an ulterior motive, other than to show he was grateful that your father managed to get the tickets so he can attend his first professional Quidditch match. Of course, you wouldn't know the concept of being grateful if it beat you over the head."

"Yes, well Harry, I'm not quite sure you should have paid for that but I'll thank you at any rate," said Mr. Weasley. "And Ron, you really shouldn't say things like that about people, it isn't exactly very appreciative. I’m extremely disappointed in your attitude."

Ron crossed his arms, not saying much the rest of the morning. Harry, Hermione, and Ginny decided it would be best to get away from Ron for a while, as they offered to procure water as the others set up camp.

"Ron's not too happy about being told off," said Harry lightly.

"I could really care what he thinks to be honest," said Hermione crossly. "All he cares about is chess and Quidditch, he barely scrapes through his classes during the year, he makes judgments on people without noticing the full facts, he wouldn't last two minutes encountering what Harry has at Hogwarts over the past three years. He may not hate Harry just because he is Slytherin anymore but he still can't wrap his finger around the fact that Harry may be just a little more than this mythical figure that is famous. I'm afraid he may still see the world as completely black and white."

"That about sums it up," said Ginny, unable to find any points to disagree with. "We are looking for water, right?"

"Yes, it is marked on the map that Muggle gave us," said Hermione. "It should be just a little be further."

They walked, before Harry stopped, seeing one of his other friends from Hogwarts, Theodore Nott.

"Hey, Theodore," said Harry waving over Theodore.

"Oh, hello, Harry, Hermione, Ginny," said Theodore in absent-minded tone of voice. "Look, this might not be the best time, you see I am with my father at the cup and..."

"Well, Theodore aren't you going to introduce me to your friends," said the voice of Mr. Steven Nott, Theodore's father. He was a well-educated, severe looking man in his late forties.

"Well this is Hermione Granger, and uh Ginny Weasley, and Harry Potter," said Theodore.

Mr. Nott remained silent for a minute before responding.

"Harry Potter, I must say it is a pleasure to finally be meeting you in person," said Mr. Nott. "I must say I was a bit surprised when you were sorted in the noble house of Slytherin, but I can assure you it was a pleasant surprise. But I am not speaking to you to flatter you, I am offering you a warning and I would suggest you listen. The company you keep will be your downfall."

Maybe it was Harry's imagination, but he could see Mr. Nott's face briefly looking at Hermione and Ginny as he said this last bit.

"I'm not quite following what you are trying to say, Mr. Nott," said Harry.

"Quite simple, Mr. Potter," said Mr. Nott silkily. "Aligning yourself with certain elements that many feel...pollute the landscape of the Wizarding world may make you more of a target then you were due to your history with the Dark Lord. Certain people may see your ability to connect with these elements as more of a reason to take you out of Wizarding society. Mark my words, Mr. Potter, your undoing may be your ability not to discriminate with your choices of alliance."

"I thank you for the advice sir but I think I'll keep going about my usual methods, even if they may conflict with the beliefs of some," said Harry.

"So be it, Mr. Potter," said Mr. Nott. "You may have just dug your own grave, I just hope for the sake of my son, that you don't have to lay in it as it would be quite unfortunate if one of his associates in the Slytherin house befell some strange...accident."

Harry just nodded swiftly. Theodore was very uncomfortable in discussing his father, almost to the point of being ashamed, and Harry could understand why, as it appeared that Mr. Nott was apparently one of Voldemort's Death Eaters in the past.

"Come Theodore, we are due to meet with the Malfoys right now," said Mr. Nott. "A fine upstanding wizard family, definitely keeping true to the ideals that have been ruling Wizarding Britain for centuries."

"Fine upstanding Wizarding family, surely he wasn't talking about the Malfoys," said Ginny looking a little ill at the thought someone would think that. "I'm sure I must have misheard something."

They continued on, managing to pick up their water and on the way, Harry met his other fourth year Slytherin friend Daphne Greengrass. Thankfully, this meeting went a little more smoothly than their little encounter with Mr. Nott, as Daphne's parents didn't attempt to persuade Harry to take a more "acceptable by pureblood society" view on the Wizarding world. After they caught up on what happened so far during the summer, with Harry given a slightly fabricated version of his summer, Ginny, Hermione, and Harry headed back towards the campsite.

"So, we're back, met a couple of people on the way," said Ginny. "How's Dad doing with the matches?"

"He's having a little problem," said George.

"Actually a big problem, as he wasted half of the box of matches and still hadn't figured them out," said Fred.

"It looked like Hailey would have showed him by now," said George.

"Of course, that was before she became doubled over, laughing madly and unable to formulate complete sentences due to our father's amusing antics," said Fred.

"Whoops, almost got it," said Mr. Weasley, inadvertently staring a match, before dropping it in surprise.

"Mr. Weasley, I'll show you," said Hermione kindly, taking the matches and starting the fire.

"I still don't get why we can't use magic," grumbled Ron.

"Because my dear brother, there are Muggles all around, there are laws against it, don't you know anything. If you knew anything, Muggles normally eat outside after cooking on fires." said Ginny irritably. "Do you need me to draw you a detailed diagram or not?"

Ron rolled his eyes, but his brain slowly assimilated the fact that his comments about Harry Potter earlier were a huge mistake.

"Okay, okay, I get the message," said Ron in a defeated tone of voice. A few moments later three pops were heard, signaling the arrival of the three oldest Weasley brothers.

"Just apparated in father," said Percy.

"Thank you Captain Obvious," said Hailey in a low voice, that Harry wasn't quite sure Percy heard but he ignored it.

"Excellent, lunch," said Percy, sitting down, conveniently after all the hard work was done.

"Thank you Hailey, for helping prepare this lovely meal that I am now feeding my face with," muttered Hailey in an agitated voice. "Oh, you're welcome, it's nice to be appreciated, after all, I've worked so hard."

"Harry, is she feeling all right?" asked Bill in a tentative voice.

"Yes, that's normal for her believe it or not," said Harry. "She tends to be a bit testy when her contributions to anything is not appreciated."

"I see," said Bill.

"Well personally I feel sorry for whatever sucker err I mean man who ends up marrying her," said Charlie in a low voice. "I think they may be kept on a very short leash."

"Yes, they would," said Harry but thinking that if any guy ever hurt with his sister when she started dating, he would break both of their legs and maybe their arms, depending on what mood he was in.

For the next hour or so, many Ministry officials raced by the campsite area frantically. Harry noticed that some of their attempts to dress like Muggles were highly amusing, as he wondered if they even so much have seen a picture of a Muggle in their life.

"Arthur, good day to you," said the voice of a man dressed in Quidditch robes with wasps on it.

"Ludo, I must say its excellent to see you, after getting us such those excellent tickets," said Mr. Weasley before turning to Hailey, Hermione, and Harry who had confused looks on their faces. "This is Ludo Bagman, Head of Magical Games and Sports, he is the reason why we got such great tickets."

"No, not a problem...well if it isn't Harry Potter," said Bagman, his eyes noticing the ever present scar on Harry's forehead. "I must say a pleasure to meet you."

"A pleasure," said Harry, who found it rather taxing when people gushed over him due to his fame.

"Such a nightmare these past few weeks, getting everything ready for the Quidditch World Cup, than this nasty business with Bertha Jorkins disappearing," said Bagman. "Although I wouldn't quite worry about it, she's always been a bit...light headed. I suspect she will be walking into the office sometime in October, thinking its still August."

"Have you heard any leads on where she might have went?" asked Mr. Weasley, frowning.

"No, not a word, but she went on vacation in Albania, that is all we know for sure," said Bagman. "But, let's forget this horrible business. Preparing for the Quidditch World Cup may be taxing but we will reap the rewards soon enough, as it will be one of the most memorable events in quite some time if I may say so myself. Still, I do wonder what the Bulgarians want, there accent makes it a little difficult for me to understand them and I need Barty Crouch's opinion, he speaks over a hundred and fifty languages..."

"Actually, Mr. Crouch speaks over two hundred," said Percy in a voice that indicated that he was proud in recalling that fact.

"Good for him," said Hailey. "Why don't you tell us how good he is in bed, since you seem to be so obsessed with him?"

"Hailey, Mr. Crouch is a well respected, long standing member of the Ministry of Magic who deserves your complete and utter respect," said Percy pompously.

"No, he doesn't," said Hailey in shortly.

Before Percy could respond, Bagman's eyes widened as an older man, dressed in a business suit with parted hair and a neatly trimmed mustache, both slightly gray walked onto the scene.

"Barty, we were just speaking about you," said Bagman. "Do pull up a piece of grass and sit down for a few minutes?"

"No thank you, Ludo," said Crouch. "There is still a lot of work to be done, we can't remain ideal for a second. The Bulgarians want an extra row of seats added to the top box."

"Do they?" asked Bagman. "I was wondering what they wanted, their accent was a bit thick you see..."

"Mr. Crouch, would you like a cup of tea?" asked Percy in a sycophant way that caused Hailey, Fred, and George to pretend to retch behind Percy's back.

"Oh yes, thank you Weatherby," said Mr. Crouch in an absent minded tone of voice as Fred and George started snickering.

Percy's ears went red but he waved his wand, making a cup of tea for his boss. Crouch took it, but did not drink from it as of yet.

"Arthur, I've been meaning to talk to you, so I suppose I can spare a few seconds from my duties today to inform you that Ali Bashir is talking about importing flying carpets here," said Crouch.

"Did you tell him they were considered Muggle artifacts?" asked Mr. Weasley, frowning.

"Why, yes but he seems to think they have a niche to be used as a family vehicle," said Mr. Crouch. "Of course my grandfather owned one, before they were banned mind you."

Harry found it very strange that Crouch went out of his way to make sure they all knew that no one in his family had ever done anything illegal. His Slytherin paranoid sense was starting to come to life, as he wondered what skeletons Crouch was trying to hide in his closet.

"Come, Ludo, we need to speak with the Bulgarians about adding the extra seats to the top box," said Crouch, setting down the cup of tea.

"Indeed," said Bagman. "But this is only the beginning of the fun, remember the event at Hogwarts this..."

"Bagman, that is Ministry restricted information, we shouldn't really talk about it around them," said Crouch in a cold voice.

"Everything's all ready, they signed already, I mean what’s the big deal, after all it is at Hogwarts," said Bagman. "What's the harm in telling them anyway, I don't see why it should be..."

"Come, Ludo," said Crouch swiftly as he led Bagman off.

Harry and Hailey knew what Bagman and Crouch was talking about, due to their information source at the American Wizarding Government but they were the only two Hogwarts students out of the group that knew the Triwizard Tournament was returning.

"I wonder what that was all about," said George. "Pity we didn't find out."

"Mr. Crouch was right to keep Bagman from telling that information, it is top secret Ministry information that should not be found out by people outside of the Ministry until the Ministry sees fit that it should be released," said Percy.

"Whatever you say, Weatherby," said Fred shortly.

Later, everyone was heading towards the Quidditch stadium for the game, looking at the souvenirs for the game. Ron seemed to be staying clear away from Hailey, Harry, Ginny, and Hermione. Fred and George slipped off for some unknown reason that Harry was not going to even speculate about, even through with his overactive way of thinking, he could come up with some pretty interesting ones.

After purchasing souvenirs, they all met outside of the stadium. Fred and George arrived at the last minute, looking rather smug.

"Okay, I know I am going to regret asking this but what exactly were you two doing?" asked Harry.

"Well, Bagman's running a book on the match so we decided to place a bet with him," said George.

"We plan on opening a joke shop after Hogwarts but we need money to get it off the ground, for materials and premises, we have been saving for a couple of years now you see," said Fred.

"So we figured we'd pool what we have saved so far and attempt to double it by placing this bet," said George.

"We reckon that Ireland is going to win but Krum will still catch the snitch," said Fred.

"If you say so," said Ginny, believing that her brothers may lose all of their money, because the chance of something like that would happen is very high.

"Yeah, it is your money," said Hailey, personally believing that she would not invest one Knut with Bagman, as there appeared to be something about him that she didn't trust for some reason.

"Everyone ready!" called Mr. Weasley.

They all nodded, as his children, Harry, Hailey, and Hermione followed Mr. Weasley up into the stadium. In a few moments it was time for the Quidditch World Cup to begin and Harry personally could hardly wait.
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