Categories > Books > Harry Potter > To Rewrite History

A Champion's Life: French Lessons and Rita

by jeansvenus 3 reviews

Harry wins over the foreign champions with his unique philosophy. Snape is a bastard again. Dumbledore gives him a priceless gift. Rita writes an interesting article.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Draco, Dumbledore, Fleur, Ginny, Harry, Other - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2007-03-05 - Updated: 2007-03-05 - 3416 words

Harry was certain that if he wasn't killed by his Housemates' enthusiasm for their fluke champion, he'd kill one of them himself, just to make a point. It was only eight in the morning, for Merlin's sake, and practically the entire House was at breakfast with him to celebrate Day One as a champion. To be sure, Ginny and Draco were doing an admirable job fending them off physically. However, their cheerful shouts and speculative whispers were doing nothing for the burgeoning headache he could feel coming on.

"Smile, Champion," Draco teased. "People will think you don't like this sort of thing, if you keep scowling like that."

Harry growled into his coffee. "Stupid...interfering...ugly...evil..." Most of the words were inaudible.

"What's that, Harry?" Ginny asked. "We didn't catch all that."

"Sodding bastard of a Dark Lord and whoever he put up to getting me in this Tournament," Harry spat, quiet-fierce.

"He told you last night?" Draco asked. He'd been informed about the strange connection between Harry and Voldemort during one of their late night conversations.

Harry nodded. "He has someone in the castle," he murmured to his two friends. "I'm guaranteed to live through it, because whoever it is, is going to help me on the sly."

"Well." Ginny straightened. "You certainly won't be dependent on only V-Voldemort's stooge. You have us, as well."

"Thanks, Gin." Harry looked gratefully at her. "I'm going to need you two a lot."

"'Allo?" a clear, friendly voice interrupted. "Please excuse me. Eet is only zhat I was told zhere were croissants 'ere."

Harry looked up. "Have a seat," he said politely. "You're welcome to what's here."

"Delacour, right?" Draco asked.

Fleur tossed her hair over her shoulder and smiled. "/Oui, c'est moi/. I am-'ow is it-familiar with 'Arry Potter, the youngest Champion. 'Oo else am I sharing breakfast with?"

"I'm Ginny Weasley," Ginny said with a bright smile. "Pleased to meet you."

"Eet is a pleasure," Fleur nodded. "Et vous?" she directed to Draco.

"/Je m'appelle Draco Malfoy/," he said with a bow of his head. "/C'est un plaisir, mademoiselle/."

Fleur looked delighted. "Parlez-vous français? Splendide!"

Draco shrugged eloquently. "Father's side of the family is from France. It was worth learning the language."

Cedric flopped down in the seat next to Draco, dark circles under his eyes. "Spare some coffee for a poor Hufflepuff?" he implored. "Everyone in Hufflepuff Cellar was up past three celebrating."

"Ahh, poor Cedric," Ginny teased. "You lead such a hard life."

He nodded gravely. "Should I die from over-happy Housemates, tell my mum I loved her dearly."

"Alas, poor Cedric, I knew him well." Harry took a bite of his buttery pain au chocolat and smiled faintly at Draco's groan.

"Francis Bacon, Harry? At this hour? I thought you weren't awake."

Harry raised an eyebrow at Draco and took a sip of coffee. "I'm not-my cousin owns a beautiful collection of Shakespeare's works, though, and it lives in my bedroom."

"'Oo is Shakespeare?" Fleur asked. "'Ee is not ze same as Francis Bacon, /non/?"

"Francis Bacon was the preeminent poet-wizard of the Elizabethan times," Harry said. "William Shakespeare was a muggle playwright of the same era." He gave Draco a lopsided smile. "It's a classic argument over who wrote the plays...and I think I just figured out the root of the debate."

Draco busied himself with spooning some fruit salad onto his plate. "What did you expect, Potter?" he said irritably. "That wizards would believe a muggle wrote such brilliant works?"

Cedric interrupted before they could start bickering. "So, my favorite fourth champion," he said playfully, "You've been consorting with the competition."

"You're the Hogwarts Champion, Ced," Harry told him. "Not me. I didn't even enter myself. If I have to do this, I'm going to enjoy it. And I'll be making friends with whoever I please." He raised his voice loud enough for eavesdroppers to hear his answer and pass it around.

"That's not a bad idea," Cedric said. "Do your best, have fun. Win or lose, it's still a better choice than going about it as if it's a war."

"No, we save that attitude for Quidditch," Ginny replied.

"I 'eard zhere is a Quidditch group for all students," Fleur remarked. "Eef I 'ave 'eard true, I would like to play-" she broke off and turned to Draco. "/Comment dit-on 'poursuivant' en anglais?/?"

"Chaser," he supplied.

"I would like to play Chaser for zhis group," she finished.

"Sounds fantastic," Harry said.

Draco shook his head in bemusement. "One Keeper, two Beaters, a Chaser, and four Seekers. It'll be interesting."

"I'm playing Chaser as well," Ginny interrupted.

"Two Chasers, then. Still an interesting game."


Harry looked up and smiled slightly at Ted and Millie. "Good morning, you two. What are you up to?"

They exchanged sly grins.

"We stayed up late making some badges," Ted told them.

Millie added, "And we've spent the morning passing them out." She dropped a large bag on the table triumphantly.

Ginny fished a badge out of the rather empty bag and admired it. Harry looked over her shoulder. The big, round badges were a shiny black with bright white letters that declared:

We Support Our Hogwarts Champions!

"Press the center," Millie encouraged.

The letters immediately changed to a shocking yellow that said: Diggory! and a vibrant scarlet reading: Potter!

"Oh, I like this," Draco said admiringly. "May I have one?"

"They're for whoever wants one," Ted said. "Go on. You too, Ginny."

"This is impressive spellwork," Cedric marveled. "You did this just for fun?"

Millie frowned slightly. "No, actually. We heard some of your Housemates talking about making badges that insulted Harry. This was an attempt to head it off."

Cedric and Harry looked around the Great Hall. Most of the students were wearing the badges-even some of the teachers were, as well. Harry felt his face heat.

"That's good of you," Cedric said. "I'll be having words with some of my friends, don't doubt it."

"You 'ave good friends, 'Arry," said Fleur. "I look forward to knowing you better."

Harry agreed...he truly did have good friends. The knowledge put the first real smile on his face that day.


By dinner the next day, Harry was scowling again. The slow progress he and Snape had been making toward a truce was apparently over. The Potions Master had spent the entire lesson making snide comments about attention seekers and hovering over Harry until he couldn't concentrate on his potion.

"An 'arrogant, good for nothing showoff,' am I?" he growled, stalking toward the Headmaster's office. "Well, fuck you too, /salaud/." His vocabulary had increased quite a bit thanks to some of the Beauxbatons boys Fleur had introduced him to.

"Sherbet lemon," he snapped at the gargoyle. "Blood pop. Fizzing Whizbee. Ice Mice. Cockroach cluster." The statue's base swung aside slowly.

Harry closed his eyes as the stairs shifted and groaned beneath his feet. He clenched his fists tight by his sides, and let them go with a long breath when the steps came to a stop at the Headmaster's door.

"Come in, Harry," the familiar old voice called out.

Harry stepped inside and collapsed into the armchair across from Dumbledore's desk, face in hands. "I really don't like my luck, sir," he said through his fingers.

"You certainly have an interesting variety," Dumbledore agreed. "What can I do for you, my boy?"

"I didn't enter myself," Harry said. He looked up at the Headmaster. "Voldemort told me one of his servants did."

Dumbledore looked astonished. "Heavens. Why on Earth would Tom do that?"

"I've no idea, sir." Harry sighed. "He did say that the servant would help me get through my tasks, whatever slight consolation that is."

"Did he tell you who this servant was, Harry?" Dumbledore asked.

Harry shook his head. "Voldemort told me to figure it out on my own." He laughed softly. "As if I didn't have enough to do."

Dumbledore paused, and reached into a drawer in his desk. "Harry, I made these for you after we last spoke. They're password-protected portkeys to Professor McGonagall's office, and to Godric's Hollow Cemetery." He looked at Harry somberly. "I felt you might like the connection to your parents in the coming days. It was going to be a Christmas gift, but I think you will find it useful earlier."

Harry looked speechlessly at the two small glass baubles hanging from the thin chain Dumbledore was holding out to him. His throat worked violently. "Thanks," he whispered. "Thank you, sir."

"You are most welcome, my dear boy," Dumbledore told him kindly. He gave Harry a moment to compose himself. "You will need to set the passwords yourself. The purple bauble will take you back to Hogwarts, and the blue one will take you to Godric's Hollow. Just touch them with your wand and say the words."

"Right." Harry thought a moment. "Er, Fleur told me the French for heart-coer? Cour?-Oh," he snapped his fingers and tapped the blue pendant, "Mon coeur."

"An excellent password, Harry," Dumbledore said. "And for your return portkey?"

"Do you know Russian, sir?" Harry asked.

"I'm acquainted with the language," Dumbledore told him. "What did you want translated?"

"My soul," he said quietly.

Dumbledore looked at him for a long minute in silence. "You are an admirable young man, Harry Potter," he said finally. "I am sure your parents would be proud of you." He smiled and said, "/Moya dusha/."

Harry set the password, eyes suspiciously bright. "Thank you very much, Headmaster," he said softly. "This means a lot to me."

Dumbledore smiled. "When you use them, please take a professor with you," he told Harry. "I know Professor McGonagall would be pleased to show you around Godric's Hollow." His eyes twinkled as he added, "Of course, Professor Snape could use some time away from the school as well."

Harry was about to protest when Dumbledore's underlying meaning hit him. He smiled and stood. "As always, sir, you have excellent ideas."

"Glad to help, Harry," Dumbledore said, standing as well. "Do stop in again, won't you?"

Harry nodded, walking out of the office in considerably better spirits than he'd entered it.

"'Arry!" Fleur's melodic voice rang out as he stepped into the hall. "'Arry, /mon ami/, wait!"

Harry stopped and turned, watching the striking French girl weave through the crowds of students leaving the Hall for their common rooms. Heads turned to follow her as she slipped easily by everyone in her way.

"Zhere you are, 'Arry," she exclaimed. "I was looking for you."

He smiled at his new friend. "I had to speak to the Headmaster about something. I'm sorry I missed you."

"/Pas de problème/," she said cheerfully. "I 'ave found you now."

"What did you need me for?" he asked.

"Madame 'as eenformed me of when ze weighing of ze /baguettes/-pardon, ze wands, is 'appening," she said. "You 'ave not been told, non?" When he shook his head she sighed. "Zhat is what I thought. Mon ami, it is on ze-'ow is it-ze thirteenth. Wear something /élégant/," she added with a wink. "Zhere will be a /journaliste, avec un photographe/!"

"Thanks a million, Fleur," Harry said gratefully. "You're a lifesaver."

She laughed and ruffled his messy hair. "'Arry, you are like /un petit frère/," she said fondly. "My favorite competition."

Harry smiled at her. With the exception of a few holdouts like Ron, the foreign school Heads, and Snape, most everyone seemed to be enjoying the novelty of their fourth champion. Even the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students were friendly to him, after they learned of his plan to simply have fun and make friends.

"Sometimes I think being an accidental champion is the best thing that could've happened to me," he told Fleur. "I'm getting to know so many wonderful people." He grinned. "Does this make you my sister, then?"

"/Mais oui/," she declared. "I am your /soeur/." She giggled.

"Ma soeur," he said firmly, giving her a one-armed hug. "La belle Fleur Delacour."

"Off with you," she laughed. "I shall see you in ze morning." She gave him a light shove toward the staircase.

"Good night," he called out as he walked off.

"/Bonne nuit/, 'Arry," she replied cheerily.


Harry tended his cauldron diligently, glancing occasionally at the doorway. It was the afternoon of the thirteenth, and he'd yet to hear from anyone about the Weighing of the Wands ceremony. As he tipped the crumbled feverfew blossoms into the simmering liquid, a tentative knock was heard.

Professor Snape yanked the door open. "Yes?" he snapped at a hesitant Colin Creevey.

"Please, Professor, I'm supposed to take Harry Potter to the Weighing of the Wands ceremony now, and-"

"It can wait until Potter has finished his potion," Snape said with a sneer in Harry's direction.

"Sir, it's happening right now, and they sent me to get him immediately, and I-"

Snape cut him off with an upraised hand. "Fine. Potter!" he snapped. "Take a zero for the day. Write me a makeup essay on the potion and its properties."

"Yes, Professor," Harry said evenly. He picked up his bag and walked quickly out the door, ignoring Ron's glare.

"It's so brilliant that you're Champion, Harry," Colin said breathlessly as they strode up the stairs and down the hallway. Rather, Harry strode. Colin scurried to stay abreast.

"It's certainly different," Harry commented.

"You're the school hero and everything, Harry, and everyone in Gryffindor is so impressed..."

Harry interrupted him when they stopped at a door. "Colin, I don't know how many times I have to say it. Cedric Diggory is the Hogwarts Champion. I'm just doing it by accident. I'm flattered, but really, if anyone's the school hero, it's Cedric."

He nodded a friendly goodbye at Colin and walked into the room.

"Harry! How perfectly lovely to see you again." A woman with hair set in stiff curls smiled predatorily at him. Her eyes gleamed through jeweled spectacles. "That was an interesting comment you made outside the room. Might I quote you on that?"

"Ms. Skeeter," Harry said warily, recognizing the woman who'd interviewed him and Ginny about their engagement. "It's a pleasure. I take it you're interviewing all the Champions?"

Over her shoulder, Cedric grinned and shook his head.

"Absolutely," she lied glibly. "I thought I'd start with the youngest, of course."

"Please, Ms. Skeeter," Harry started.

"Oh, call me Rita, Harry."

"Rita, then," he said agreeably. "I'd feel much better if the other Champions were interviewed first. After all, they're representing their schools. I'm an accidental champion."

Rita smiled at him. "You're such a generous young man. Very well. Diggory first, shall we?" She pulled an acid-green quill out of her large handbag.

"Oh, Rita," Harry interrupted. "Could we trade quills?"

She pouted. "You're ruining all my fun, Harry," she teased.

"It still dictates," he reassured her. "I simply remember how fascinating the article was that you wrote last time, and I was wondering if I could have that quill for my History of Magic notes. It might make the goblin rebellions look more interesting on paper."

She laughed delightedly. "My dear, you have a deal." They traded quills and shook hands.

Harry watched for a moment while Cedric and Rita settled in a corner for an interview, and then turned to greet Fleur and Viktor.

"Zhat was /incroyable/," Fleur exclaimed. "She was eempossible before you came."

"I've met her before," Harry confided, pulling off his work robe. He'd followed Fleur's advice and worn something "élégant" to the little ceremony. He had on dark gray wool trousers and a long sleeved, button-up silk shirt in a mossy green.

"/Mon petit frère/, eef you were not like a brozher I would fall in love," Fleur told him.

Harry bowed at the waist. "I live to please," he said soulfully. He looked at the French girl and said sincerely, "You look fantastic, as well." She did, too, in a calf-length silk dress in light blue.

"You haff made a family of each other?" Viktor asked.

Fleur smiled. "'Ee is very much my brozher," she said. "Eef 'Arry 'as no /famille/, zhen I shall be a part of 'is."

Harry blushed.

Viktor nodded. "Harry is a good man," he said. "It is good that you made a family for him to haff."

"Will you be 'is brozher, zhen?" she asked.

The taciturn student smiled. "Harry Potter, Viktor Krum, and Fleur Delacour. Vat a family." He grinned briefly at Harry. "Little brother, eh?"

Harry blushed harder, but grinned back.

"Sorry to keep you all waiting." Dumbledore's voice interrupted everyone's conversations. "Mister Ollivanders is here, and is ready to test your wands."

The ageless man with the shiny eyes from the wand shop trailed into the room after Dumbledore.

"You first, then, I suppose," he said to Viktor. He took the proffered wand and examined it closely. "A Gregorovich's creation, hmm? Hornbeam, ten and a quarter inches, quite rigid, heartstring from a Ukrainian Ironbelly."

Viktor nodded.

"/Avis/," Ollivanders cried. A flock of starlings shot out of the end of the wand. "Seems to be in order, young man. Next! Young lady!"

Fleur stepped forward and presented her wand.

"Rosewood, inflexible, and the core...oh my..."

"An 'air from ze 'ead of a Veela," Fleur interrupted. "One of my Grandmozzer's."

"What a temperamental wand," Ollivanders said. "Apparently, it suits you perfectly, however. Orchideus!" A bouquet of light purple orchids flew into the air. "Excellent."

Cedric stepped forward. "Ah!" Ollivanders said, cheering up. "One of mine! Twelve and one quarter inches, pleasantly springy, containing a single hair from a particularly fine male unicorn."

"Yes, sir," Cedric said, grinning.

"Let's see.../Lumos!/" They all squinted against the bright beam of light. "/Nox/. Last wand, then."

Harry reluctantly walked over.

"Ah, yes," Ollivanders said reverently. "I remember this wand. Holly, eleven inches, phoenix feather. Supple." He looked the wand over with a sharp eye. "It's good to see you taking such fine care of this wand, young Potter." The eccentric wandmaker conjured a jet of red wine and declared Harry's wand fit.

"Photos, if you please," Rita said chirpily. "Right over here, thank you." She had stepped forward the minute the ceremony was over, and spent a minute bullying the Champions into place.

After several group shots, and photographs of them alone, Rita dragged Fleur into the corner.

Dumbledore looked around at the Champions as he prepared to leave and said, "Stay as long as it takes for Ms. Skeeter to get her interviews done. A house elf will meet you when you're through to show you to the kitchens."

The three boys grinned. Cedric conjured up a few comfortable armchairs, and they lounged about talking Seeking strategy. Harry couldn't help but feel relaxed and...and /wanted/, even, as they took turns talking to the canny reporter and chatting idly.


The Four Champions
The unlikely friendship between the competitors and the glue that holds them together: Harry Potter
by Rita Skeeter

Traditionally, the Triwizard Tournament is a contest of fierce will and competition. Friendships are broken, not forged, in this intense setting.

Yet today this reporter spent a pleasant hour speaking with the quartet of young Champions-all of whom are fast becoming close friends! The root of this unlikely turn of events was traced to the morning after the Goblet of Fire selected its Champions.

Fleur Delacour, a gorgeous young woman from L'Ecole Beauxbatons, said, "Harry was very friendly and kind to me when I came to speak to him. He is the youngest of us, and he doesn't want to be in the Tournament. He is not letting competition stop him from having new friends."

Potter said of Delacour, "She's sort of adopted me as her younger brother. It's nice. I like the feeling of having a family." Potter added, smiling, "Viktor's decided that he's my older brother, as well. As he said, 'What a family!'"

The four Champions were observed talking about Quidditch together in three different languages, and speculating over the First Task. They can often be seen breakfasting together at the Gryffindor table, according to Hogwarts Champion Cedric Diggory.

Is this the start of a new era? Will the Triwizard Tournament finally be a spirited contest that fosters inter-scholastic friendships? We shall see. This reporter has high hopes!


a/n: ficwad doesn't support Cyrillic characters, so please bear with me with my semi-phonetic Romanized translation. Headache and a half, honestly.
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