Chapter One: A Failure to Communicate.
Harry Potter thought some universal force conspired for him to be the center of everything. Not a year at Hogwarts passed without him being the center of something. His magnetic pull towards chaos increased.
Regardless, his name sliding out of the Goblet of Fire surprised even him. And to be honest, he shouldn't be surprised. Of course he would be going after the Philosopher's Stone, of course he would be going down into the Chamber of Secrets, and of course, he would fight a hundred dementors to save his godfather.
So, why wouldn't he go to the Triwizard Tournament? Harry made his way to the chamber with the champions. Cedric raised an eyebrow as he entered. Krum slumped, looking a bit shocked. The French Champion, Fleur Delacour, leaned towards him. Harry ignored the cleavage staring in his face, as tempting as it might be to look.
"What is it; do they wish to send us back to the hall?"
Okay, she said it with more Frenchness, but Harry translated it in his mind where it sounded like clear English.
Ludo Bagman entered looking like such a cartoon character, Harry almost thought an anvil would drop on him.
"Gentlemen, lady….may I present to you, your fourth Triwizard Champion."
Krum and Cedric blanched, and Fleur laughed.
"Oh, it's a very funny joke, Mr. Bagman, but the thought is just absurd."
Harry agreed with the snooty, but hot, French witch.
"Absurd, no, hardly, Harry's name came out of the goblet."
Harry shook his head. The teachers made their way there. Snape arriving made Harry a bit more agitated than possible.
"A fourth champion?" Karkaroff asked. "Why, Dumbledore, I had no idea the school would have a fourth champion? Unless I had mistook something in the rules. Perhaps overlooked it."
And here comes the dick waving, Harry wanted to face palm himself, but resisted.
"As remarkable as it seems, it appears Mr. Potter's name has come out of the Goblet of Fire," Snape said. "No doubt he convinced some older student to put his name in the Goblet, under the promise of an autograph."
'Yeah, fuck you too Snape.'
Harry looked him right in the eye as he thought this. He knew the bastard could read his thoughts. And Snape couldn't punish him for his thoughts, without revealing he broke school rules. So indeed, fuck you too, Snape.
"Well, we have a very grave situation," Crouch said. "It appears there's a fourth Hogwarts champion."
"Yes, a fourth Hogwarts champion, in the Triwizard Tournament," Harry said. "Am I the only one who finds the thought a bit odd?"
Everyone stopped and stared at him. He dared bring the forbidden topic of logic in a conversation about magic.
"I'm afraid I quite don't know what's happening," Maxime said.
"Madam Maxime…they're letting this little boy, compete!"
Harry stood up to his feet. Fleur backed off suddenly.
"Little, hardly," Harry said. "Maybe I should show you later how little I am."
"Mr. Potter, enough," Dumbledore said.
Harry raised his eyebrow.
"You didn't put your name in the Goblet, did you?" Dumbledore asked.
"No," Harry said. "To do so, would admit your Age line was faulty, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it would indicate so, yes," Dumbledore said. "And it's possible."
"Albus, you know as well as anyone nothing was wrong with the age line," McGonagall said.
"Very well, did you ask another student to do so?" Dumbledore asked.
"No," Harry said. "No, I didn't…and so since I didn't do it, it means I don't have to compete in this tournament."
"I'm afraid it's not simple, Mr. Potter," Crouch said. "You are bound by a magically binding contract to compete."
Harry stared Crouch. He looked fairly tired, like work finally got to him. He noticed Moody in the corner, his eye on Crouch.
"I was under the impression you had to be an adult to enter a magically binding contract," Harry said.
All of the adults on the room looked reluctant to concede Harry's point, because of the can of worms it opened.
"It's true," Cedric said.
"So, I couldn't have entered a legally binding contract, without the legal consent of my parent or guardian," Harry said. "And therefore, since the Dursleys wouldn't touch Hogwarts with a barge pole, I didn't get the consent."
"Your name entered the Goblet of Fire, you must compete, Mr. Potter," Dumbledore said.
"But, if you concede I signed the magically binding contract," Harry said. "It must mean, I'm an adult, right, sir?"
"Harry, you're still a minor, until you turn seventeen," Dumbledore said.
"But, if I'm still a minor, it means I can't sign a magically binding contract, therefore I must not be allowed to compete in the tournament," Harry said. "You know the fourth champion in the Triwizard contract….speaking of which, I'm sure one of your guards outside of the Goblet must have seen someone."
All of the Professors at Hogwarts looked at him like Harry committed a mortal sin. Must be the logic thing again.
"Oh, you must have had guards outside of the Goblet, right?" Harry asked.
"Mr. Potter, we believed the Age Line would be sufficient to deter any underage from passing," Dumbledore said. "And in the case of what happened with Mr. Weasley and Mr. Weasley, I think you can see the proof is in the pudding."
"And yet, I'm in the tournament, because someone entered my name," Harry said.
"Likely because they wanted to kill you, Mr. Potter," Moody said.
"As the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, wouldn't you have to say it took powerful magic to trick the Goblet into accepting a fourth champion?" Harry asked.
"The person who put your name inside the Goblet confounded it into thinking it was a fourth school and entered a slip of paper with your name on it," Moody said. "If it had your handwriting on it, it would have been sufficient enough."
"So, they could have copied my hand writing from an old school paper?" Harry asked. "Which meant it's forgery….shouldn't there be some kind of anti-forgery ward in the Goblet of Fire?"
For the third time, Harry received a look he should have been used to by now.
"And in the real world, signing a person's name to a contract is forgery, and thus makes the contract null and void," Harry said. "Which means, I'm not to be the fourth champion in the Triwizard Tournament."
"I'm afraid you must compete, Mr. Potter," Crouch said. "The rules state once your name has come out of the Goblet of Fire, you have to compete."
"So, if I wanted to put Snape…."
"Professor Snape, Harry."
"Professor Snape in a magically binding contract where he is forced to teach his Potion classes for the next year in a pink tutu, he'll have no choice but to comply," Harry said. "Even though I copied his signature and he didn't technically sign a contract"
"Must you give us such unholy images, Mr. Potter," McGonagall said.
About as bad as Lily with the wrongness, she swore.
"You do it, Potter, and I swear….."
"And this shouldn't even be a question," Harry said. "Fourth champion, in a Triwizard Tournament."
"So, you're scared of the tournament, and you want to back out," Karkaroff said.
"No, it sounds like the kind of think a dark wizard would do," Harry said. "Which, you'd know all about, Professor, wouldn't you?"
"Harry, you're not helping," Dumbledore said.
"Well, maybe, if Mr. Potter didn't enter, then perhaps this is some kind of conspiracy by Hogwarts's staff to give it some kind of edge in the tournament," Maxime said. "It has slipped down the ranks, a tournament victory would allow Hogwarts to maintain stability."
"Madam, I don't think the Hogwarts teachers would be capable of such a grand conspiracy," Bagman said.
"Well, we were assured the process would have one champion from each school," Maxime said.
"Yes, the very best," Fleur said. "Many of us have trained for half of our lives for this moment, for a moment of fame."
"Which, I have," Harry said. "Thank you."
"Well, we do have a fourth champion….."
"No we don't," Harry said. "I'm not sure if you're keeping up with current events, but I'm not competing in the Triwizard Tournament."
"To fail to do so would dishonor Hogwarts," Bagman said. He coughed. "Not, I'm allowed to show favoritism towards the school I attended as a student."
Crouch's warning glare prompted Bagman to fade.
"But, to allow Hogwarts to have a second champion would dishonor it even more," Harry said. "I'm not competing in the tournament."
"Mr. Potter, you have no choice, you've entered a contract."
Harry cleared his throat and spoke slowly one more time.
"I can't enter a contract being a minor. Unless you're willing to admit I'm now considered an adult. And there can't be a fourth champion in a Triwizard Tournament. Tri means three, not four, three, three champions, from three schools. Not four champions, from three real schools and some phantom school."
For a brief second, Harry almost experienced thoughts which were not his own, telling him to just give up and compete, Dumbledore, Crouch, and the others were right. Harry stubbornly refused to give into the nagging voice in the back of his head.
"I'm not going to be in the tournament," Harry said. "What will the magically binding contract do if I refuse to compete?"
"I'm afraid I can't divulge the information, Mr. Potter," Crouch said.
Now the other three champions looked nervous. It was almost like they regretted entering into a contact which they didn't know the full terms of. The only element they knew was they were bound to compete in the tournament.
"I should be fully aware of my rights," Fleur said.
"I agree," Cedric said.
Krum nodded and folded his arms.
Snape scowled, Potter, no matter where he went, caused trouble. He just couldn't leave well enough alone.
"Well, good night," Harry said. He walked over to Fleur and bent towards where she could hear him. "If you want to meet me tomorrow for breakfast, I'll be happy to educate on the fact I'm not a little boy."
Fleur shook her head, watching him leave. Feeling a blast of his power up close, her curiosity bubbled.
"So, he can't be made to compete in the tournament," Fleur said. "If he is, it's most unjust. This is not what I signed up for."
She wanted to write to her family legal representative, and see what her rights were regarding this magically binding contract. Providing a magically binding contract existed in the first place, as to which, Fleur began to have her doubts.
Cedric frowned, he looked like he might need to see what he needed to do to back out of the contract in the Triwizard Tournament.
"It's not what any of us signed up for," Cedric said.
They signed up for the glitz and the glamor of the tournament, not realizing there would be drawbacks.
The other three champions turned around and walked out leaving the teachers and Ministry representatives gobsmacked.
"Well, I daresay if you wanted International Magical cooperation, Mr. Potter achieved it in spades," McGonagall said.
"More like an international incident," Snape said.
Minerva's eyes snapped towards him.
"Severus, if Mr. Potter saved you from a burning building, you'd find fault with it."
Dumbledore turned his attention to Alastor. The two men walked out of ear shot from the rest of the group.
"Alastor, do you think you can investigate the Goblet of Fire and see if there was any tampering?" Dumbledore asked.
"Yes, Headmaster, I'll see if the intruder left a trail behind," Moody said.
Dumbledore smiled, and watched one of the few people he knew he could trust to make sure everything turned out right in the end.
Mr. Potter's streak of rebellion hit an unfortunate high. He had his mother's eyes and her attitude towards authority, which resulted in her questioning everything.
Things worked out for the better when people allowed them to progress as they should. The Headmaster couldn't force the boy's hand, but he hoped he would consider fighting for the honor of his home, at Hogwarts.
Harry needed to get some fresh air after having his name drawn from the Goblet of Fire. Standing up to those people satisfied him greatly. Even though Harry thought running his head into a brick wall to be a more successful endeavor.
He made his way past the tunnel underneath Honeydukes, into Hogmeade village. The furthest he could get away from the Gryffindors who cheered his being entered in the tournament.
Only the house of the brave would be all for the murder of a minor in a tournament with a high mortality rate. Why did he go into Gryffindor again? Oh yes, so he could avoid being in the same house as Draco Malfoy.
'Half of the Slytherins end up twirling their mustaches, which no doubt upsets the really cunning ones.'
Harry checked his watch. He really hoped the Gryffindors didn't wait up for him like he was the Great Pumpkin.
So, what about this tournament? Harry braced himself for the media circus which was bound to follow.
Harry braced himself for pleading, prodding, and threats to get him to enter the tournament. Now he walked out into the middle of Hogsmeade, he remembered the brief thought which entered his mind to tell him to drop all protests.
Someone tried to bewitch him, just like they bewitched the Goblet. The person who put his name and tried to force him to compete in the tournament was in the room. It narrowed the list of suspects down a little bit, maybe. Unless the person hid in the room underneath an Invisibility Cloak.
Since the events of his second year, Harry decided to step up his game, become more aware of his surroundings. His adventures in Diagon Alley caused him to make a few valuable contracts, and expanded his circle a great amount.
He knew the magically binding contract reeked of dragon dung, but why not consult an expert for her opinion?
Logic, the most dangerous weapon Harry used against the people in this world. His cutting words destroyed their baseless arguments like a pipe bomb. His words were a pipe bomb.
Harry looked up in the sky. Perfect night for trouble, which only made it fitting his name spat from the Goblet.
As for the enchanting young woman Harry met, Harry's intrigue increased. His girlfriend encouraged him to expand their little circle, and Harry thought a part-Veela would be the best way to stop. Few men could resist, and a fair few women couldn't resist either.
She might be fun, at least Harry figured as much.
'Even if she needs to be punished for the little boy crack.'
Fleur couldn't sleep, and she blamed Harry Potter for her sudden insomnia. She tossed and turned on the bed, trying to count Hippogriffs as she slept , but nothing worked. The Veela princess clutched her fists against the bedsheet.
She knew, as with any other girl her age, who Harry Potter was. Granted, the French magical people didn't celebrate him as much, but she was well aware. Fleur found herself star struck at his appearance, even though she expected him to be taller.
Her haughtiness masked the fact she lost control of her senses. And her haughtiness caused her to lose control of her senses even more when he turned his considerable power against her. Causing her mask to melt like butter, no wizard should have an effect over her, Fleur Delacour!
Harry turned all expectations upside down. Most in his country would not stand up to Dumbledore, or anything he said.
'He does go against expectations,' Fleur said. 'Wonder if he was serious about the breakfast thing, or just riling me up.'
Fleur hated being on this end, she riled boys up, they didn't rile her up. She closed her eyes. They weren't worthy of her. Being a Veela Princess, her standards reached the level of unattainable for most men.
Someone of Harry Potter's power gave Fleur something to reach for. Outward appearances deceived many, and Fleur was no exception. She looked at him from the outside, and didn't see what rest underneath the skin.
The vixen realized she started to touch herself at the thought of peeling back Harry's clothes to take a closer look. Fleur cursed her plight with every single foul word the vixen could think of in all eight languages she knew.
Fleur tried to dry her panties, but they were a lost cause.
Albus Dumbledore leaned in his office, looking over the prophecy which tied Harry and Tom together. After the events of this past summer, Dumbledore studied all he knew from every angle. If there was another way, he hoped to find it.
Otherwise, Dumbledore set himself to be history's greatest monster to sacrificing an under-age pawn in his game.
Everything went back to the prophecy, the domino effect kicked off by paranoia.
'Wouldn't be valid unless you attacked him Tom. You hoisted yourself on your own petard.'
Dumbledore slumped over the stone basin. Sweat dripped down his face. A lack of color presented. He slumped back in the chair. Tonight had been the longest night. Harry decided to ask questions, which could complicate an already delicate situation.
What's more, the entire Triwizard Tournament hung by a thread, as Harry's words caused the other three champions to question the contract they entered. Dumbledore knew the entire contract ended up being a fallacy. Magically binding contracts worked only if you believed you entered into one. If they started questioning the fact they entered one, well nothing propped it up.
Dumbledore ignored the numbness in his arm. He pushed on through, out of necessity. Fawkes eyed Dumbledore with a sad look in his eyes. The Phoenix's dread increased.
Seconds later, the old man fell backwards. He resembled a puppet having his strings cut. Dumbledore slammed into the stone basin he set out, cracking his head.
Fawkes flashed out of Dumbledore's office the moment he fell to the floor.
To Be Continued.