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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Three: The Goblet, Again, pt. 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Three: The Goblet, Again, pt. 3
The goblet has been re-lit, and it is in the Great Hall, where students will enter their names for the contingent that will go to Beauxbatons for the year. Rather than put her name in right away, Celia Dean wanted to wait, first claiming it was because the crowd around it was being careless, then saying that she wanted "plausible deniability" so that she could deny entering if she wasn't chosen. As they go back downstairs after hours (with the Map), James realizes that this isn't entirely honest and she finally admits that she's worried that it will reject her publicly on the basis of her lycanthropy. They arrive in the Great Hall, which is lit by only the starry ceiling and the flames from the Goblet.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

James cursed himself for a fool--he hadn't checked the Marauder's Map since leaving Gryffindor Tower, almost five minutes ago. Anyone could be in here.

"Lumos!" a girl's voice said. The pale white wandlight formed a bubble around the Goblet, and at the center of it, Dani Villanueva looked a bit cross. "You are past your curfew, aren't you?" she asked.

"Just putting my name in," celia said, and lit her own wand. In this light, James could see that Michael and Hugo were both staring dumbly at her.

Dani looked surprised. "You are... Celia? I met at San Cipriano?"

Celia nodded, and said something in Spanish.

Dani answered it, looked at Celia's blank face, then said, "I'll speak English, then."

"Why are you here?" Lily asked.

"Guard duty," Dani said. "We were meeting, and decided to make certain there is no tampering. We heard something. Turned out just to be a third year Hufflepuff, but I was sent to watch the Goblet."

"Where are the other judges?" Celia asked.

"Still meeting. But they will have their turns this week." She raised an eyebrow. "You mean to submit your name?"

Celia nodded, then took a deep breath and went to the Goblet. She pulled out a slip of parchment. Even from several steps back, James could read her name--she written it very boldly. She put her hand out over the Goblet, but didn't drop it in.

"It has burned no one so far," Dani said, smiling. "Not even me."

"You're not trying to enter," Celia said.

Dani opened her mouth to speak again, a twinkle in her eye that James recognized as a joke waiting behind her lips, then seemed to remember that she was a judge, and said, "Go on, then."

Celia bit her lip, then decisively dropped her name into the goblet. It flared briefly, then disappeared. The Goblet didn't crack in half or start screaming about being defiled by a werewolf's carefully written name.

Celia stepped back. "Who else is having a try?" she asked.

James ducked up quickly and dropped his own name in, to exactly the same effect, and Michael followed suit. He looked at Dani, giving her the somewhat disturbing, manic smile he always saved for girls he liked. "How many so far?" he asked, his voice giving a worse crack than James had heard from it since they were twelve.

"More than twelve," Dani said. "I do not know the number."

"Oh," Michael said. "Er... nice to see you... er, meet you." He winced.

"But you haven't!" Dani said. "I am Dani Villanueva. I have met only Celia."

"Oh," Celia said. "I'm sorry. I forgot." She pointed to each member of the group, giving names. Dani politely shook hands with each of them. After this, everyone stood awkwardly, not knowing what to say. Finally, Celia said, "Well, as you noticed, it's after curfew. We should--" She stopped and frowned. Her hand had moved, and the light from her wand had shifted. She bent down and picked up a scrap from the floor. "Looks like someone missed. Dani, can I put it in the Goblet, or should you?"

"I will," Dani said, and held out her hand. She took the slip and frowned. "But there is no name on it. It's part of a picture."

"Of who?" Lily asked.

Dani shrugged and handed her the scrap. She glanced at it blankly, then handed it to Al.

Al frowned. "I think it's... well part of..." He came over to James. "Doesn't that look like a Hufflepuff Quidditch robe?"

The fragment was burned at its right edge, and all that was left was an arm, reaching madly for the edge of the photo, as if the inhabitant had been trying to escape the flame. It was a yellow sleeve over a black glove... and in the glove, a golden Snitch was struggling to fly away.

The affair of the picture was common knowledge within a day, despite the flurry of activity that went with the beginning of classes. None of James's group had talked about it, and Dani hadn't been gossiping, but of course, the Goblet had needed to be inspected to make sure no tampering had occurred, and rumors had spread that the image of Cedric Diggory was now worked into the magic of the Tournament. Some people speculated that it was a curse, to taint it with his death. Others took it as an omen for a Hogwarts victory... the blessing of one of the two previous winners. Robards, on Wednesday evening, declared it to be "a misguided gesture," or perhaps a mean-spirited prank.

That the third year Hufflepuff the judges had heard in the Hall turned out to have been Scorpius Malfoy putting his own name in didn't help matters--he was a Hufflepuff, and might be thought to have loyalty to his House's champion. More to the point, he was a Malfoy, and there were dark whispers about horrible curses he might have learned from his grandfather. Rosie and Al sat with him ostentatiously in their shared classes as these rumors spread, practically never letting him be seen without one of them. James joined the display when he could do so reasonably, and when Lily realized what the game was, she was also quite enthusiastic about seeming like his best friend. Hugo refused to play along. Scops told all of them to let up with it--"Laying it on a bit thick, aren't you?"--but none of them paid the slightest heed to his protest.

Meanwhile, James's classes seemed to have more work than they had last year. There was a full essay for Transfiguration, a test in Charms to see what had been forgotten over the summer, and an immediate late night in Care of Magical Creatures, as Hagrid's assistant, Roger, had acquired a small herd of mooncalves, and fourth year students, at their first class, had been assigned to care for them under that night's full moon. James liked the mooncalves, but thought it wasn't entirely fair for them to be in the curriculum, as, had Neil or Celia been in their year, they'd have been prohibited from ever participating in the assignments. Then again, the greatest part of the assignment was collecting up their silver dung, so maybe Neil and Celia wouldn't have missed much.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was focused on curses and damage wizards did to one another in fourth year, which meant that the textbook was endlessly passed around to highlight the goriest and most revolting curses. Robards barely noticed this, as he rushed to make sure everyone knew what they were expected to master over the year, no matter who he got to teach. James asked if there was any word from the mysterious Ministry official. Robards laughed and said, "You'd most likely find out before I do."

None of this overshadowed the simple fact of the plain, unremarkable Goblet that sat in the Great Hall, pale blue flames dancing at its rim. Spots got permission from his parents to put his name in on Wednesday. During supper on Friday, James saw Edward Flourish, a prefect from Ravenclaw, enter. Marie Weasley dropped her name in, barely pausing in her chatter to her best friends. Not to be outdone, Aimee put her own in on Saturday. Neil Overby was Head Boy, and James saw him lurking near the cup on Thursday, the day after he and Celia had got back from their transformation, but Celia said he wouldn't trade being Head Boy to spend a few months in France. "The Sanctuary Village is nearly on top of Beauxbatons," she said, "so it's not like we can't see it when we want to. And being Head Boy is better for his career prospects." Horace Goyle, captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team (and some distant relation of a man who'd been murdered five years ago--Horace loved to talk about how deeply he'd been wound by anti-Slytherin violence), made a great show of entering at breakfast on Sunday morning.

James had taken to carrying Dad's dragon, feeling like it might bring him some luck, but when he saw the numbers of older students who were entering, he supposed he might be spending the year at Hogwarts after all.

After the hectic week, Sunday afternoon seemed to stretch on forever. James finished his homework handily by two. He tried to read the books in the common room, but couldn't concentrate. Hugo beat him at wizard chess twice. Al offered him a very complex crossword puzzle. Lily asked him to tell a story to the entire common room--well, she actually said, "James is so bored, we'd all best leave before he starts telling a story"--and that took up twenty minutes or so, but he couldn't remember, when he finished, which one he'd told.

The Goblet would make its decision at eight o'clock, but nearly everyone was in the Great Hall, having supper and doing whatever make-work tasks they could think of, by six.

Finally, after eating, Robards stood up and clapped his hands, then raised his wand and lowered the light coming from the candles above. There was still light on the staff table, where the other judges sat watching.

"The Goblet will make its decision soon," Robards said, Summoning over the small table where the Goblet sat. "If your name is called, move on to the chamber behind the staff table."

James bit his lip and looked around. Nearly half the school--and more than half of the older students--seemed to be leaning forward with anxious expressions.

Abruptly, the flames of the goblet turned red, and the first name came flying out of it, to be caught Robards.

James's name was the fourth one called.
19 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, sedri! :waves:

While I don't follow the trend of Al being Scops' best friend and Rosie his love interest, I do see Rosie being one of his best friends, and Al sympathizing with him a lot (being two kids who look a who lot like their dads). So, yeah, I wanted to play with that a little!
(Deleted comment)
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 29th, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

You didn't know. It's all over fandom

That or the alternative,which is that Al and scops are "going to end up together" and Al in slytherin because the slashers are still butthurt, and want a consolation for harry and draco malfoy not ending together.
So here hoping Al doesn't end inslytherin because his initial spell ASP.

-alex wells
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 28th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ominous note with the photo of Maybe! Cedric--looks like this Tournament may be haunted, or at least that's the impression someone's trying to give.

And yay, James is going to France! Which may have been a foregone conclusion, but it's good to have confirmation.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
-looks like this Tournament may be haunted, or at least that's the impression someone's trying to give.

The nice thing about the Potterverse is that either of these is a possibility. If things go wrong, suspects don't have to be limited to the living!
malinbe From: malinbe Date: August 28th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great chapter! I loved meeting Dani. She must feel so lonely, surrounded by adults and away from her own family and friends all the time. What about her education? Will this work as a sort of exchange at Beauxbatons for her or will she be Apparated/Portkeyed for the tasks and events?

I loved the bit about Scorpius. I wonder if Draco was more scared about the kind of rumors and insults htat might be thrown in Scorpius' face should he be champion or the potential glory and cleansing of the family name if he is chosen.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
She is quite lonely. As to her education... there's definitely something there. I think she has a tutor traveling with her, too, though we've only seen him translate during the press conference. Still, she might have to do some coming and going. After all, the ministry judges didn't stay at Hogwarts the whole time!

I'm not sure that Scorpius actually obeyed Neville's instructions to ask permission.
From: severely_lupine Date: August 28th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how the Potter kids are trying to give Scorpius their support, whether he wants it or not. Seems quite Pottery of them.

Curious what the significant of that photo scrap is, though.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking it was Weasley of them (adopting random people right and left), but same diff, at this point.

There are definitely other people curious about the photo scrap.
From: severely_lupine Date: August 29th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)

I think it mostly reminded me of James Sr. in the friend loyalty and support department but yeah, quite Weasley as well.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Which could explain why Harry felt so perfectly at home at the Burrow!
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Starnightmuse ¶cant log in properly¶ so it's done then....

James jr is in the tournament. It was expected, still i held my breath about it.
Nice that dani had a moment to talk to someone more naturally, althought it seems michael.'s idealization of her probably deflated a little.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Starnightmuse ¶cant log in properly¶ so it's done then....

I imagine it's a little hard for famous kids. That's where James and Al and Lily hav a bit of an advantage, having grown up as Harry's kids, Ron and Hermione's niece and nephews, etc--they may participate in the fun part of being a fan, but they know completely that running into the real person is different from putting up a poster.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Starnightmuse- also nice touch....

Of james keeping the horntail miniature to give him luck, that was touching,
One thing i forgot.... James is a forth year and al... Al is a third or second year?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 28th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Starnightmuse- also nice touch....

Al's a third year--in the epilogue, James seemed to have started the previous year ("Last year, we wrote to James...")
daksian From: daksian Date: August 29th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I meant to mention this in the last segment, but it's interesting to see oh-so-confident Celia still hampered by 'werewolf rejection anxiety' like Remus, Vivian and others.

I enjoyed the conversation with Dani, especially the sense that she wanted to be 'just a kid' with the rest of them, but had to restrain herself. And Michael's mad smile was fun to imagine. :P

I find it the height of irony that with the exception of Hugo, the Potter and Weasley kids come to defend the son of Draco Malfoy.

And surprise surprise, James is one of the potential champions. I do hope you'll provide us with others who will be joining him (such as Celia). I'm very intrigued at how you'll handle Beauxbatons as a school setting!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 29th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really looking forward to getting to Beauxbatons. I've made myself a map, and figured out what the Hogwarts contingent will live in, and so on. But, there are about two months at Hogwarts before the tournament, presuming it's the same kind of schedule as GoF.

I sort of think that the Potter and Weasley kids, while they know that Draco was on the other side of the war, tend to think of themselves as having a kinship with Scorpius because, after all, his dad was famous in the war, too.
daksian From: daksian Date: August 29th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)

I love maps. When appropriate (knowing it might be a while to avoid spoilers) could you post the map?

*snorts with laughter* That bit about Scops' dad being famous in the war too brought to mind a line..."Famous Harry Potter, can't even go to a book shop..." Seems like Draco's jealousy about Harry's fame is a case of 'be careful what you wish for'. :P
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