Stiles is under no impression that being a wizard would ever make him popular. Or border under the assumption that he'd ever be cool. He isn't even on the starting line for his house's Quiddich team. And Ravenclaw isn't known for their athletic prowess. They're ranked last. He really doesn't think him playing would lessen their odds.
He sometimes fantasizes on what his life could have been like if on his eleventh birthday he'd come down to breakfast to find an XBOX 360 rather than his dad fiddling with a thick envelope with a sad smile on his face.
"You're a wizard," his dad had declared in a serious tone.
Stiles briefly thought his dad was attempting to be funny.
"Your mother would have been so proud."
Between his dad hugging him and talking about getting an owl, all Stiles could muster out was "huh, well I guess some mysteries do solve themselves," because he knew it wasn't normal to sneeze and change the wallpaper, and how much Hogwarts was going to suck. It was a boarding school. He was already being scarlet-nerded at a public school. He highly doubted that would change at a wizard school. Even if he was getting an owl. Which sounded pretty awesome in itself.
His gut instinct wasn't wrong.
It only took thirty minutes on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters to have the misfortune to register on Derek Hale's radar. Stiles thinks in that moment his life went from being craptastic to up shit creek.
Stiles can't decide if being in Ravenclaw is a good thing. On one hand, it's his mother's house. His dad was practically beaming with pride at the news. They spent the entire winter break of his First Year going through his mom's old school trunk.
Though Stiles is constantly reminded by Professor Harris that he needs to improve his focus. Stiles has plenty of focus. Just not in class. Or with essays. Or respecting curfews.
Stiles can blame Derek for the last one.
Derek Hale is an asshole. Albeit a hot one. But still an asshole. A jerk of epic proportions. But ruggedly handsome. And has made it his mission to ruin Stiles' life since he stepped onto Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
Well, when Stiles had the misfortune of running into him. How was he supposed to know Derek Hale had personal space issues? Didn't seem to stop him now from throwing him against available castle walls when Stiles ran his mouth after being caught breaking curfew.
How did Derek even become a prefect in the first place? But then the Headmaster is Derek's uncle. So really, Stiles shouldn't question it.
Stiles seriously thought Derek would have gotten over being annoyed at Stiles. They barely saw each other during school hours. What with Derek being a prefect and in Gryffindor. Stiles only saw Derek when he'd catch him and Scott wandering around the castle after-hours, which was a lot, or when Derek took over half of Stiles' study space in the library to finish off his essays.
Though it always baffled Stiles, since he wasn't the ideal study buddy, he'd already been kicked out of the unofficial Ravenclaw one, what with his fidgeting and his occasional humming of Muggle indie rock music. Stiles chalked it up to the fact that his study table had better lighting than most and that Derek, despite being two years above Stiles, sucked at Potions. But it didn't explain why Stiles would catch him staring at him. Stiles' questioning eyebrow was usually met with a dark scowl and demands to explain a complex potion.
Stiles couldn't even say they were friends. Because Scott was Stiles' friend. And Scott never threatened to rip out his throat if he caught him in the Forbidden Forrest again. Though to be fair, Stiles was looking for Scott that time. But still. Friends don't threaten friends with bodily harm.
And Derek has friends. Legions of Gryffindors adore him. As does most of the school, well except Slytherins. But that's normal. Stiles doubts Slytherins like each other.
Well, except Danny.
Everyone loves Danny.
Stiles doesn't have a lot of time to contemplate Derek's friendship status, what with essays to attempt to write, late night Quiddich practices with Scott and avoiding most of his house whenever he loses house points. It's an inkling that itches his brain whenever he looks up from his homework, worrying his quill between his lips, to find Derek eying him.
But Derek has been too busy to loom over Stiles since he was selected as champion of Hogwarts in the Triwizard Tournament. A tournament that his uncle, Peter Hale, thought was just the thing to bring the wizarding community together. Scott was already fostering togetherness with a Beauxbatons' student at the top of the Astronomy Tower. It was one of the reasons Stiles was breaking curfew, he could only hope that Scott would be his look-out if their situation was reversed.
He was twirling his wand idly when someone cleared their throat behind him. Stiles just sighed. He would have thought Derek would have just thrown him against a wall.
"So manhandling curfew breakers is below the school champ-" he snarks turning around only to find Headmaster Hale instead of Derek. "Oh, shit."
Stiles is already trying to scout viable escape routes. He doesn't feel that jumping off the Astronomy Tower would work, also it would totally kill the mood Scott is trying to get with Allison. Stiles licks his lips and debates if it would be manly to run screaming down the hall.
"If I may have a word with you."
Stiles usually reserves a healthy dose of fear and respect for Headmaster Hale. If rumors are true, he's a werewolf who prowls the Forbidden Forest and eats students breaking curfew.
But Headmaster Hale seems to take that as a yes. And that's how Stiles finds himself seated in Headmaster Hale's office.
"If this is about breaking curfew-"
"I believe you are aware of the fact that my nephew is Hogwarts Champion in the Triwizard Tournament," Headmaster Hale says, his voice cutting off Stiles before he can really start explaining how Stiles' code of bros before house points is a justifiable reason to be out of his dorm. Derek usually humours him a bit before threatening him.
Stiles just fidgets awkwardly at that declaration because of course Stiles knows about Derek being Hogwarts Champion. He was there when Derek decided to get shitfaced with Firewhiskey to celebrate. Though it seemed that Derek couldn't get drunk. Stiles doesn't remember much from that night.
And it was Stiles that forced Scott to use his friendship with Professor Deaton to find out that the First Task involved fighting a dragon. Yet Derek was more pissed at Stiles for breaking curfew again than actually discovering that he had to fight a dragon. Stiles seriously debated helping him again. He really couldn't afford the house points.
Headmaster Hale clears his throat causing Stiles to snap back to the conversation.
"Ah, yes, sir," Stiles finally remembers to say. Headmaster Hale pinches the bridge of his nose with a sigh.
"Has Derek figured out the clue from the First Task?" he asks.
Stiles shrugs awkwardly. He really wasn't supposed to help Derek anymore. What with him being an ass and all. Non-appreciative of all of Stiles' hard work and not even a Ravenclaw as Lydia has never failed to remind him.
But after watching Derek almost get eaten by a Hungarian Horntail, Stiles broke into the Restricted Section on Derek's behalf. What with his abhorrence for rule breaking. Though it didn't help much.
Stiles had to get Danny to flirt with the Durmstrang Champion to get the clue. Mainly because Derek had the uncanny ability to appear when Stiles tried to flirt with anyone. Even that one time when he tried to flirt with Moaning Myrtle.
Headmaster Hale merely arches his left eyebrow. Stiles can see the family resemblance. Derek has the same nonplussed expression. Stiles really doesn't want to elaborate to Derek's uncle the evening spent with Derek in the Prefects' bathroom which was beyond awkward. The mermaid flirting with him was no help especially when Derek tossed him into the water.
"Mermaids," Stiles says finally.
Headmaster Hale looks relieved and Stiles will almost say impressed. But he tries not to get into the awkward relationship that exists between Derek and his uncle. Apparently the only reason Derek's even at Hogwarts is because of his older sister.
Stiles eyes the door with a hopeful look but Headmaster Hale is still looking at him with a keen gaze that has him wishing Scott knew he's no longer being the best wing man in all history and has hatched a plan to rescue him from this conversation.
"Does he know what they will take?" Headmaster Hale asks.
"Take?" Stiles manages to ask. As far as he knows, Derek doesn't really like anything. Except rules. And he doubts mermaids have any use for the Hogwarts' Prefect Handbook. "Maybe?"
Stiles hasn't seen Derek in a couple of days, well not since the whole bathroom incident. He's even tempted to use air quotes but he's doubtful that the Headmaster is on the up and up with Muggle slang. However dated it may be.
Headmaster Hale merely steeples his fingers in a patronizing way and Stiles has the overwhelming feeling he's missing something extremely important.
"Interesting," Headmaster Hale says. "Very interesting."
Stiles seriously debates if he can jump into a painting. Maybe Dumbledore's. It looks safer there. Headmaster Hale seems to be at a loss for words. And that's coming from a man who can speak to snakes.
"Your name has come out of the Goblet of Fire," Headmaster Hale finally says. Stiles just stares at him blankly.
Headmaster Hale sighs as if the act of elaborating further pains him greatly. "As a hostage."
At those words it all seems to click into place. Stiles thinks he's having a panic attack. Because it sounds like he's Derek's. Which doesn't make any sense.
"Along with two others. You already know Danny, who will be there for the Durmstrang Champion and young Miss Argent for the Beauxbatons Champion," Headmaster Hale continues as if Stiles freaking out is normal behaviour.
"What?" Stiles releases a hollow laugh. He thinks Headmaster Hale has picked a pretty shitty time to develop a sense of humour.
"It appears that you are who my nephew would miss the most."
Stiles thinks it's excusable for him to pass out. Manly, even.
Stiles wakes up to Derek looming over him, his green eyes alight with relief and dripping water all over Stiles' face. Stiles thinks it's a good time as any to kiss him. He's too distracted by Derek's tongue to notice the crowd cheering behind him.
Some mysteries really do solve themselves.