First Task: Dragon Fight

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Harry's POV

I barely slept at all that night, after talking strategy with Cedric and Cassia. When I awoke on Monday morning, I seriously considered for the first time ever just running away from Hogwarts. But as I looked around the Great Hall at breakfast time, and thought about what leaving the castle would mean, I knew I couldn't do it. It was the only place I had ever been happy...well, I supposed I must have been happy with my sister and our parents, but I couldn't remember that. And neither could she.

Which brings me to right now. Fleur, Viktor, Cedric, and I were all in a tent, waiting for everyone else to take their seats in the stands. The first task was about to begin. I could hear some people taking bets on which one of us was going to receive the best time and score. I had no doubt that Fred and George would be among those students taking bets, probably trying to get some funds to build the joke shop they've always wanted.

"Psst! Psst!" I heard someone hiss from one of the walls of the tent. I snuck over to the wall and pressed my ear against the canvas.

"Harry? Is that you?" Hermione whispered.

"Yeah," I answered.

"How are you feeling? Okay?" she asked.

Difficult to say, I said in my mind. How did I feel? Scared? Anxious? Jittery? Worried? Sick to my stomach? I would say it was everything all rolled into one.

She seemed to understand almost immediately. "The key is to concentrate. After that, you just have to-"

"-battle a dragon," I finished her sentence. I was completely taken by surprise when she burst into the tent and threw her arms around me, hugging me tightly as if I were a lifeline.

Cassia's POV

I decided to go check up on Harry and Cedric, see how they were doing. Right when I walked into the tent, a camera flashed, making me blink.

To my chagrin, Rita Skeeter came into the room. "Young love! How...stirring," she said, before throwing a glance at her Quick-Quotes Quill, causing it to begin to write furiously. She looked at my brother and Hermione. "If everything goes unfortunately today, you two might even make the front page."

"Who said you could come in here?" I asked, giving her a cold glare.

Viktor came forward. "You have no business here. This tent is for champions. And friends," he snapped.

Rita pursed her lips. "No matter. We've got what we wanted." She marched out of the tent, with her photographer in tow.

Dumbledore then entered the tent, followed by Karkaroff, Madame Maxime, and Professor Moody. "Good day, champions. Gather round," he said. All six of us gathered around him. "Now, you've waited, you've wondered, and at last, the moment has arrived. A moment only four of you can fully appreciate," he declared. Upon noticing Hermione was still in the tent, he looked at her in surprise. "What are you doing here, Miss Granger?"

"Oh, sorry," Hermione apologized, embarrassed. "I'll just...go." She left the tent, going to find a vacant spot in the stands.

"Barty, the bag," Dumbledore urged.

Mr. Crouch moved to stand in the center of our group. "Champions, in a circle around me," he instructed, "Miss Delacour, over here." He moved Fleur to his right. "Mr. Krum." Viktor was moved to stand right next to Fleur. "Potter..." It took Mr. Crouch a couple of seconds to realize Harry was right behind him. When he did, he moved Cedric next to Viktor, and Harry next to Cedric. "Miss Delacour..." He held the bag out to Fleur.

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