The Goblet of Fire
All Btvs and HP characters belong to their respective owners and as always I'm not making any profit from this fic.A/N:
Thank you so much to everyone reading and reviewing, I really can't believe I've had so many reviews already :D.
Chapter 5: The Goblet of Fire
The Great Hall was buzzing with excitement as everyone gathered for the beginning of the tournament. The Durmstrang and Beauxbatons' students had arrived earlier that day, on a giant ship and flying horse-drawn carriage no less, and had now taken their seats among the Hogwarts students.
Three officials from the Ministry had been placed on a table just adjacent to the teacher's one. They were going to help judge the competition as well as mentor the chosen champions.
Buffy, who was sitting at her usual seat in between Severus and Minerva, was happily taking in the atmosphere. It had been a long time since the school had seen so much excitement.
As Dumbledore rose from his seat and stepped forward, the noise slowly faded until every eye was fixed on him.
With a great grin, he held his arms open, “Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, ghosts and most particularly, guests. I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to Hogwarts! I hope that your stay will be both comfortable and enjoyable. The tournament will be officially opened at the end of this feast, but first I would like to introduce our guests.”
He stepped to the end of the teachers table where the guest Headmaster and Headmistress had seated themselves. “This is Igor Karkaroff, the headmaster of the Durmstrang Institute.” He shook hands with the other man before turning to the woman sitting at his side. “And this is Madame Maxime, head of the Beuxabatons Academy.”
The students all politely clapped for the guests, although the biggest noise came from the students of their own schools.
Finally Dumbledore made his way over to the Ministry's table. “And from the Ministry of Magic, we have our fellow judges and the organisers of the Tri-wizard Tournament: Mr. Bartemius Crouch, Head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation, and Mr Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.”
Dumbledore then came to the final guest. “And this is Mr. Ray Silverthorn, also a member of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, who will act as a mentor to the three chosen champions.” Again the students clapped out of respect, even if they didn't really know much about the men.
“Now then, let the feast begin!”
Like normal the empty tables suddenly erupted with piles of food, plates of every kind of dish the students could imagine. Everyone eagerly tucked in, both hungry for the food and anxious to get the tournament started.
Buffy ate her fill of food before she glanced around the room. Most of the students were still eating, but some had risen from their seats to speak to the Durmstrang or Beuxbaton's students. Even some of the teachers had stepped up to their guests for a friendly chat.
Madame Maxime was laughing with Hagrid while Igor Karkaroff, Dumbledore and Ludo Bagman were talking quietly. Mr Crouch was conversing with Minerva and Pomona. Buffy quickly noticed how the third Ministry worker sat, looking glum as he glared at Mr Crouch who seemed so at ease talking to the other teachers.
She chuckled as she walked over to him, “You look like you could use some company.”
His gaze drew up to her in surprise as she sat down next to him and held out her hand. “I'm Buffy Summers, the Defence against the Dark Arts teacher.”
She saw the interest in his gaze, “Oh, really? That's... great, and for someone so young too.”
She hid back her laugh, she might only look like a twenty two year old thanks to her years in Sunnydale, but she was actually in her thirties. “Hmm. So you're from the Department of Magical Games and Sports, huh? What's that like?”
“Oh, it's pretty boring actually. But Mr. Bagman is a good guy, I'm happy to be working under him.” Buffy nodded as she noticed he was glaring across the room again, “Unlike Mr. Crouch. I've heard all sorts of rumours about the things he does...”
“Oh... Umm... So that's why you're sending him daggers from across the room.”
“Huh? Oh you mean... It's nothing.” He replied quickly, almost too quickly. He noticed her expression and laughed, “It's just... I'm not very good at talking to strangers and of the two people I know here they have both abandoned me. I can't really blame Mr. Bagman, he is my boss after all... But there's just something about Mr. Crouch that bugs me.”
Buffy frowned at the strange man before something clicked in her mind. She knew from the moment Dumbledore had introduced him that she had heard his name from somewhere before. “You're Ray Silverthorn, right? You went missing a couple of weeks ago, I read it in the Daily Prophet.”
He nodded, “Well, missing is a strong word. I took a holiday. It was a bit of a last minute decision, you know? I just needed to get away for a bit.”
“Did you just come back to mentor the tournament?”
“Oh I already knew about the tournament and my role here before I went away. I think that was part of the problem actually, I needed to be away from everyone so that I wouldn't spill the proverbial beans.”
“Oh, well that makes sense.” She nodded along with him.
“Ah, Buffy.” She turned her head up to Professor Dumbledore who was motioning for her to get back to her seat, “We are just about ready to begin, now.”
“Right, see you later, Ray.” She said with a smile as she made her way to the teacher's table. Once everyone was seated and the students all looking his way, Dumbledore continued on with his speech.
“The time is almost here!” The cheer that rang out through the hall had almost everyone grinning in excitement. “The casket, please, Mr Filch.”
Everyone waited and watched with bated breath as the school caretaker wheeled out a wooden chest.
“As you know, three champions will be chosen for the tournament, one from each school. They will be marked on how well they perform in each individual task and the champion with the highest total mark will win the coveted Tri-Wizard Cup. The champions will be chosen by an impartial selector, the Goblet of Fire!”
He tugged open the casket and pulled from within a large wooden goblet that was filled with dancing, silver blue flames.
“Anyone wishing to submit themselves as champion must write their name and school on a slip of parchment and drop it into the goblet. You have twenty-four hours to place your names inside, and tomorrow night at the Halloween Feast the Goblet will return the names of the three champions. I must stress how important it is that no one under the age of seventeen enter the tournament, this is a new rule that we have all agreed upon for your own safety. The tournament is not to be entered lightly, and once a champion has been chosen, they cannot leave the tournament until it is finished.”
The excitement of the hall suddenly turned to cold silence as the students took in Dumbledore's words. “That is all, I think it is now time for bed for us all.”