Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Desert Warrior

Unwillingly Chosen

by ShadeDancer 2 reviews

Chapters 15 & 16

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover - Characters: Fleur, Harry, Other - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2006-12-12 - Updated: 2006-12-12 - 4691 words

This story is set back in the timeline of The Mummy Returns, so here's a basic rundown of the Harry Potter timeline in relation to this chapter.

1922: Harry Potter is born to Lily and James Potter.
1923: Harry is a year old and his parents are murdered by Voldemort.
1927: Harry is five and goes to Egypt with his distasteful relatives and becomes Kedar.
1933: Harry turns eleven and starts Hogwarts.
1936: Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts, current year.


Disclaimer: Not even in my dreams do I own Harry Potter...believe me, I've tried, but the thought of lawsuits deters all such dreams. I also don't own anything recognizable from either the Mummy or the Mummy Returns.

The staff had really outdone itself this year, Kedar observed as he made his way into the Great Hall for the Halloween feast and he couldn't help but shake his head in disbelief. Throw a few handfuls of foreign guests into Hogwart's population and even Filch was dressing in his finest, moldiest suit in the hopes of making an impression. Kedar glanced down at his own clothes and grinned, earning himself a questioning look from Alex.

"What is so bloody funny that you're grinning like a desert jackal about to devour a helpless rabbit?"

Kedar grinned again at Alex, "almost everyone has dressed their best tonight in the hopes of impressing the Delegates even further, they've been fawning over them all day, and then there's me in a sand-weathered tunic and pants with an open robe thrown haphazardly on top. It amuses me."

"What amuses you?" Viktor looked up from where he sat at the Gryffindor table as he heard Kedar's last comment.

Kedar and Viktor had met up again at breakfast that morning and had picked up their conversation from the evening before with ease. Kedar had even shown Krum around the castle that afternoon, he was slowly coming to decide that the Durmstrang boy wasn't a threat and might just be okay to befriend after all. Easily throwing a leg over the bench so that he could sit next to Viktor, Kedar let the other Seeker in on his mirth.

"I just find it hilarious how everyone is putting their best foot forward since you all arrived. The Great Hall has never looked this good for Halloween and Filch has certainly never tried to be so pleasant before. I'm half waiting to hear that he's been possessed. Then on the opposite end of all this you have me."

Kedar's shrugged as he said the last, emphasized his meaning quite clearly.

Viktor eyed Kedar, taking in the comfortably worn clothing before glancing over his own stiffly pressed robes, "I wish I could dress like that, but Karkaroff insists we uphold the fine image of Durmstrang by showing only our best. Mistakes are not an option, especially for me since I am so well known."

Kedar studied Viktor appraisingly, "what are they going to do if you decide to act differently? As you said, you are well known so it's not likely that you will be called down in public for it. Karkaroff won't force you to go home either; it's easy to tell by the way he acts that he considers you his best contestant for the Tournament. We're supposed to be doing this to 'forge international ties', not outdo each other like rutting stallions in an attempt to prove superiority."

Viktor laughed outright, "I would like to see you say that to the officials involved in this event. To them this Tournament means nothing if they do not get to posture and show off their chosen champion."

Alex looked from Viktor to Kedar, "don't tempt him Viktor, he might just do it. Kedar can get away with some stuff most students can't, like flaunting the dress code, but I don't think even he could charm his way out of the trouble that would cause."

"What about that time in Budapest?" Kedar teased Alex with a grin, earning himself a smack on the back of his head from the younger boy.

"That was all your fault in the first place, I had nothing to do with it," Alex retorted, neither boy doing anything to clarify what they were talking about to the extremely confused Viktor, "you're just lucky my Mum doesn't believe you to be half as evil as you truly are and so therefore you had to have been innocent."

With a shrug Viktor turned to Fiers for conversation when it became apparent that the two boys were going to continue their bantering for a bit longer, but Fiers only shrugged back and passed Viktor a platter of meat as he continued to reluctantly converse with a bushy-haired girl who never seemed to run out of breath as she jumped from one subject to the next. Wisely Viktor decided to stay out of the conversation as well and studiously ignoring the red-head watching him with wide eyes full of fan worship, Viktor bent to his plate and ate despite his anticipation of the selection that would be taking place as soon as the meal was over.

~~ ~~ ~*~

At long last the golden plates were magically cleared, Ron groaning in disappointment as his last bite of treacle tart vanished before his very eyes, and the noise in the Great Hall swelled with anticipation only to die down sharply as Dumbledore got to his feet. On either side of him, Professor Karkaroff and Madame Maxime looked as tense and expectant as anyone while shooting anxious glances at their chosen champions as if focusing on them would make sure they won the draw.

"Well, the goblet is almost ready to make its decision," Dumbledore announced, "I estimate that it requires one more minute. Now, when the champions' names are called, I would ask them please to come up to the top of the Hall, walk along the staff table, and go through into the next chamber"-he indicated the door behind the staff table-"where they will be receiving their first instructions."

As he finished talking, Dumbledore took out his wand and gave a great sweeping wave with it; at once, all the candles except those inside the carved pumpkins were extinguished, plunging them into a state of semidarkness. The Goblet of Fire now shone more brightly than anything in the whole Hall, the sparkling bright, bluey-whiteness of the flames almost painful to the eyes. A few people kept checking their watches as the anticipation was allowed to build and Kedar wondered if Dumbledore had somehow managed to plan this, the Headmaster had certainly aided the tension by extinguishing the candles to set a different atmosphere than the one that had emerged over dinner.

"Any second now," Lee Jordan whispered from a few seats down; even the twins seemed effected by the atmosphere and were unusually silent as they waited.

The flames inside the goblet suddenly turned red and flashing sparks began to fly from it. In the next moment a tongue of flame shot into the air and Dumbledore easily snatched up the charred piece of parchment it spit out amidst gasps of surprise from around the Hall. Holding the parchment at arms length, Dumbledore seemed ready to draw out the anticipation further as he read the name written upon it by the blue-white light emanating from the goblet.

"The champion for Durmstrang," he read in a clear, strong voice, "will be Viktor Krum."

Kedar turned just enough to give Viktor a congratulatory nod and a smirk that seemed to imply 'I told you so'. Giving a small smile back, the Durmstrang champion suddenly schooled his features into impassiveness and began to slouch up toward Dumbledore where he turned right and walked along the staff table to disappear through the indicated door.

"Bravo, Viktor!" Karkaroff boomed as Viktor walked past, yelling loudly enough that everyone could hear him even over the applause, "knew you had it in you. Bravo!"

Kedar rolled his eyes even as the applause died down and everyone's attention turned back to the Goblet of Fire; he wondered if it was possible for Karkaroff to be any more obvious that he was playing favorites and cared little about any of the students with him except for Viktor. The flames turned red again, spewing forth a second parchment.

"The champion for Beauxbatons," said Dumbledore, "is Fleur Delacour!"

Fleur had obviously been Madame Maxine's chosen candidate and Kedar watched as the graceful girl practically glided along the same path Viktor had just slouched across and shook his head as if to clear it as most of the male population of the Hall began to drool. Yes the girl was pretty in an ethereal way, but the attraction she was exuding was akin to a magical compulsion and Kedar found himself focusing hard so as not to fall under Fleur's charm. He was probably one of the few males that were glad when she slipped through the door way and out of the Hall, though it did look as if quite a few of the females wanted to wring Fleur's neck with her own long hair and at least two of the Beauxbaton girls had started to cry when Fleur had been chosen over them.

Then the hall went dead silent in hushed anticipation, everyone knew what was coming next as the goblet flamed and the third scrap of charred parchment came flying out for Dumbledore to snatch up.

"The Hogwarts champion," he called, "is Cedric Diggory!"

A wild uproar filled the hall, the loudest coming from the Hufflepuff table as they began screaming and stamping in triumph that one of their own was in the spotlight for once. It took forever for Dumbledore to calm them down, but finally the Headmaster was able to make himself heard.

"Excellent!" Dumbledore called happily as at last the tumult died down. "Well, we now have out three champions. I am sure I can count upon all of you, including the remaining students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, to give your champions every ounce of support you can muster. By cheering your champion on, you will contribute in a very real-"

What happened next was unexpected and caused the kernel of dread that had been building inside of him ever since Ardeth had sent him that letter and he had experienced that life-like dream to rear into full life and Kedar knew even before anything was said that his name was on that paper. He didn't need his special abilities to tell him that either, by now it was just a given. Kedar had done his fair share of reading on the tournament, he knew there were never more than three competitors, and he also knew that whenever anything strange happened it tended to include him in some way.

Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore's wizened hand reached out and his long fingers seemed to tremble as they seized upon the parchment. Silently the Headmaster held it out and stared at the name written upon it as if he too were wishing it was all a dream. All eyes were fixed on Dumbledore, no one paying much attention to the fact that the Goblet of Fire had finally extinguished itself. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat and Kedar wished he had been wrong as Dumbledore read out the name on the parchment.

"Kedar Potter."

Not a word was said, everyone was too stunned to really comprehend what had just happened, but as Dumbledore repeated his name Kedar stood from his seat. As he stood though, Alex reached out and grabbed his wrist and Kedar saw that the younger boy's face was pale; Alex knew he hadn't put his name in the Goblet of Fire and realized that something was going on. With a gentle twist of his wrist, Kedar freed it from Alex's grasp and gave what he hoped to be a reassuring look to his friend before following the same path Viktor had walked mere moments ago.

This time the hall was wreathed in complete silence instead of ringing full of the cheers and applause that had carried along the other tournament champions. Kedar didn't blame them; he wouldn't have cheered in their place either. Then the small and unobtrusive door through which the other champions had passed seemed to loom up in front of him and Kedar steeled himself for the inevitable confrontation that was to come. Without pausing Kedar settled his face into a mask as he drew upon the years of discipline that had been instilled in him by Ardeth. His hand fit easily upon the latch and within the space of a breath Kedar passed out of the sight of those in the hall and found himself the object of new stares. Of course the people in this room had no idea what he was doing there or that anything was amiss-yet.

The other three champions had grouped themselves around a fire in the room though they kept and aloof distance from each other. Fleur stood there with poise and grace as if there could have been no other choice but for her to be the champion for Beauxbatons; Kedar didn't know her well enough to tell if she was showing any signs of nerves. Viktor was using this time to size up his opponents, and Cedric was nervous despite his outward appearance of calm. Kedar had played in enough Quidditch matches against the Hufflepuff to read Cedric's body language easily; Cedric saw this tournament as a chance to bring glory to Hufflepuff house and he was determined not to let anyone down.

"What is it?" Fleur spoke a moment after he had appeared and they realized he was there. "Do zey want us back in ze Hall?"

Kedar wondered if he should be offended that she thought he was a messenger boy, but chose not to be. If she underestimated him now it would be all the better when they competed against each other in the tournament. Kedar knew that there would be no getting out of the tournament for him, not after his name had come out of the Goblet and bound him into a magical contract, but he wasn't about to lose just because he hadn't submitted his name and he was willing to use every edge he was given over his fellow competitors.

"No, it isn't time to go back into the Hall yet." Kedar answered the French girl.

"Then what-" Cedric started to say, trailing off with a puzzled look on his face that quickly turned to disbelief as Ludo Bagman swept into the room to make the shocking announcement.

"Extaordinary!" Bagman was too jovial by far, "Gentlemen...lady, may I introduce-incredible though it may seem-the fourth Triwizard champion."

Kedar felt a flash of irritation as the man dared lay an arm over his shoulder and he smoothly moved away before Bagman could try and be any friendlier with him. That hadn't been how Kedar wanted to broach the subject at all, the man obviously had no tact at all and his unexpected announcement set the other three champions off. The loud commotion only got worse when each respective Headmaster or Headmistress entered the room and they added their voices to the protests of their champions. Only Dumbledore didn't initially speak as he watched the turmoil grow.

"Madame Maxine!" Fleur imperiously called for her headmistress. "Zey are saying zat zis little boy is to compete also!"

"What is ze meaning of zis, Dumbly-dorr?"

Madame Maxine had rounded on Dumbledore as if he had all the answers and Karkaroff stopped his own rant in order to demand answers as well. Cedric had also fallen silent, ceasing his disbelieving questions on how two Hogwarts champions could have been selected. Only Viktor had remained silent after Bagman had made his announcement, taking the chance to study Kedar once more in light of these new circumstances.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Viktor only half-listened as Madame Maxine and his own headmaster complained to Headmaster Dumbledore about the unjustness of Hogwarts having two champions, the rest of his attention was on Kedar. The younger boy stood still and ignored for the moment, listening closely to the argument ebbing and flowing around him as he sized up the situation. Viktor had not thought the Gryffindor capable of pulling off something like this, not that he didn't think Kedar was clever and capable, but scheming to get his name into the tournament just did not seem to be Kedar's style. Of course, Viktor mused, he didn't really know the boy all that well besides what he had observed from their few conversations. And yet he didn't think he had judged Kedar wrong, and it wasn't like he looked pleased to have found himself as one of the champions. In fact Kedar almost looked worried; the fingers of his right hand curling slightly, almost unnoticed as if he wished to have something held in it. With something akin to shock Viktor realized that Kedar was worried, making the same gesture he himself did when he wished for the security of a knife in his hand but didn't dare to bring it out. Suddenly all attention turned to Kedar and Viktor inwardly cursed at himself for having lost the thread of the conversation somewhere during his observation of Kedar.

"Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Kedar?" The Headmaster had silenced the objections and turned his focus to the youngest champion.

"I did not," Kedar's voice was firm and ringing with truth, but Viktor doubted that most of the people in the room could hear it for the simple fact that they didn't want to.

"Did you ask and older student to put it into the Goblet of Fire?" One of Hogwart's professors, a pale, thin man will dark hair spoke up.

"No," Kedar responded evenly, "there would be no honor in that."

Karkaroff snorted and Fleur Delacour made a small sound of disbelief that set Madame Maxine off. "Ah, but of course 'e is lying!"

Watching closely Viktor could see Kedar tense and something in his eyes blaze as his honor was called into question before it was quickly banked. Along the opposite wall he saw that the Hogwart's professor was also studying Kedar. Viktor wouldn't have even noticed the professor if he hadn't spoken to ask his question; the man was nearly hidden within the shadowy corner he had taken up residence in. Yet it was another Hogwarts professor that spoke up in Kedar's defense, or perhaps it was in defense of their Headmaster since he had been the one to set up the Age Line around the Goblet of Fire.

"He could not have crossed the Age Line," the strict-looking woman said sharply. "I am sure we are all agreed on that-"

"Dumbly-dorr must 'ave made a mistake wiz ze line," said Madame Maxine, shrugging as if it was an easy mistake despite her earlier harping about their being a fourth champion.

"It is possible, of course," said Dumbledore politely.

"Dumbledore, you know perfectly well you did not make a mistake!" the woman professor said angrily at slight accusation. "Really, what nonsense! Kedar could not have crossed the line himself, and as Professor Dumbledore believes that he did not persuade and older student to do it for him, I'm sure that should be good enough for everybody else!"

Viktor was sure the angry glare she shot at her male colleague in the shadows would have been able to curdle milk-she obviously hadn't liked that he had questioned beyond what the Headmaster had and thus implied a slight oversight on the Headmaster's part.

"Mr. Crouch...Mr. Bagman," said Karkaroff, his voice unctuous now that he had found his opening into the melee, "you are our-er-objective judges. Surely you will agree that this is most irregular."

Bagman wiped his round, boyish face with his handkerchief and looked at Mr. Crouch, who was standing outside the circle of the firelight, his face half hidden in shadow. He looked slightly eerie, the half darkness making him look much older, giving him and almost skull-like appearance. When he spoke, however, it was in the same curt voice Viktor had always heard him use.

"We must follow the rules, and the rules state clearly that those people whose names come out of the Goblet of Fire are bound to compete in the tournament."

"And shouldn't there be some rule to protect unwilling participants?" It was the first time Kedar had actually spoken without being addressed first since the whole fiasco started, "I did not put my name in the Goblet of Fire and I have no desire to participate in this tournament."

"Of course you would zey zat!" Fleur gave a regal toss of her long, shimmering hair, "you 'ave been told you will be allowed to compete."

Kedar fixed the enticing girl with a hard stare before turning back to Mr. Crouch and Mr. Bagman.

"Well," Bagman beamed at Kedar and the rest of them as if everything was suddenly settled and there was no more problem, "Barty knows the rule book back to front so if he says you are bound to compete then you must compete."

"I insist upon resubmitting the names of the rest of my students," said Karkaroff, suddenly looking like a very lean and displeased wolf. "You will set up the Goblet of Fire once more, and we will continue adding names until each school has two champions. It's only fair, Dumbledore."

"But Karkaroff, it doesn't work that way," the jovial Bagman was starting to look a little stressed around the edges. "The Goblet of Fire's just gone out-it won't reignite until the start of the next tournament-"

"-in which Durmstrang will most certainly not be competing!" Viktor cringed at his Headmaster's explosion; the man had a volatile temper that was easily set off. "After all our meetings and negotiations and compromises, I little expected something of this nature to occur! I have half a mind to leave now!"

"Empty threat, Karkaroff," growled a voice from near the door. "You can't leave your champion now. He's got to compete. They've all got to compete. Binding magical contract, like Dumbledore said. Convenient, eh?"

~~ ~~ ~*~

Kedar almost groaned aloud when Moody came thumping into the room and stirring up more trouble, though he did have to agree with the grizzled ex-auror when he mentioned the convenience of his name coming out of the Goblet of Fire. As the complaints that had finally been toned down roared back into full life, Kedar moved over to where Viktor slouched and wondered if the Durmstrang student would even talk to him.

"And do you throw your lot in with them?" Kedar asked quietly, bluntly, "I don't think you do, you've been quiet throughout all this, but I would like to know now whether it's still worth the time to get to know you as a possible friend."

"I don't think you entered your name into the Goblet," Viktor didn't mince his words either, "but now we will have to compete against each other. Do you think it wise to become friends then?"

Kedar flashed Viktor a humorless grin, "I won't lie-even though I do not want to compete, I will compete to win since I have no choice. I see no reason why our becoming friends would change that."

Viktor nodded sharply, "I wouldn't mind practicing with you on occasion then, but do not think I will share my strategies for the Tournament."

"I wouldn't dream of it," Kedar turned back to watch as Fleur stamped her foot sharply on the ground.

"Why should 'e complain? 'E 'as ze chance to compete, 'asn't 'e? We 'ave all been 'oping to be chosen for weeks and weeks? Ze honor for our schools! A thousand Galleons in prize money-zis is a chance many would die for!"

"Maybe someone's hoping Potter is going to die for it," said Moody, with the merest trace of a growl.

Kedar decided to head things off and addressed Fleurs rant himself before anyone else could comment on Moody's conspiracy theory.

"I have no need for the prize money, Miss Delacour," said Kedar, "nor do I wish for any fame or glory. Cedric here would have no problem gaining honor for Hogwarts and I want to apologize to him that this happened and has diminished some of the glory he has already earned for himself and Hufflepuff house. I did not want this and Cedric, if there is anything I can help you with please let me know."

Cedric nodded in understanding, "you have nothing to apologize for if you did not put your name into the Goblet, Kedar, but I would have no problem with working together at times if our goals shall cross."

Bagman took this for the opening that it was, ignoring the fact that at least half the room was still not happy with the way things were going, "well then, now that everything is settled, shall we crack on? Got to give our champions their instructions, haven't we? Barty, want to do the honors?"

"Yes," he said, "instructions. Yes...the first task..."

He moved forward into the firelight. Close up, Kedar thought he looked ill, as if the life was being drained out of him. There were dark shadows beneath his eyes and a thin papery look about his wrinkled skin as if he had been left out in the sand for too long under the hot sun. He seemed disjointed, as if he didn't know what he was saying, but then he seemed to recover and went on stronger than before.

"The first task is designed to test your daring," he told Kedar, Cedric, Fleur, and Viktor, "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..."

Kedar almost felt like telling the man that courage in the face of the unknown was an important quality in anyone, but refrained from bringing more attention to himself as Crouch continued.

"The first task will take place on November the twenty-fourth, in front of the other students and a panel of judges. The champions are not permitted to ask for or accept help of any kind from their teachers to complete the tasks in the tournament. 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. Owing to the demanding and time-consuming nature of the tournament, the champions are exempted from end-of-year tests."

Mr. Crouch turned to look at Dumbledore.

"I think that's all, is it, Albus?"

"I think so," said Dumbledore, who was looking at Mr. Crouch with mild concern. "I will walk out with you, but are you sure you wouldn't like to stay at Hogwarts tonight, Barty?"

"No, Dumbledore, I must get back to the Ministry-"

Mr. Crouch's voice trailed off into inaudibility as he, Dumbledore, Moody, and Bagman left the room with Fleur, Madame Maxine, and Karkaroff not far behind. Karkaroff was so wrapped up in his anger on Kedar's participation in the tournament that he didn't realize Viktor wasn't following him like he had beckoned for him to do. Only Professor Snape remained in the room with the remaining three champions, but he had faded back into the shadows so that they didn't notice him.

"Well that's a shame," Kedar remarked as he headed for the door.

"What's a shame?" Cedric couldn't resist snatching at the comment, wanting to know what Kedar meant by it.

"That the tournament had to be this year," Kedar clarified, "if I had to get bound into competing why couldn't it have been next year so I could have been exempt from my OWLs instead of just mere end of year tests."

Viktor gave a short snort of mild amusement and Cedric cracked a grin as the three made their way back into the Great Hall, each quietly splitting off in a different direction as they headed for their beds and pondered over what the first task might be.
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