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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Three: The Goblet, Again, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Three: The Goblet, Again, pt. 2
Everyone's back at Hogwarts. Robards will be going to France with the Hogwarts contingent, so, once he leaves, Neville will be acting Head. Robards is also trying to convince the head of an unnamed Ministry department--no one has the slightest doubt that he means Harry--to take over the DADA post for the year once he leaves.

After these announcements, he tells the students that the goblet of fire will come out after the meal. They are on their honor to not submit their names without parental permission, since it's a magical contract.

Sylvia pointed out that I spelled "Denys" somewhat oddly, so I'm changing M. Laurent's name to the more standard "Denis." (And I can't believe I have the sound-alikes "Denis" and "Dani," but "Denis" will mostly be referred to as "Laurent.") Thank heaven, that wasn't one I'd pulled off a list of "most popular French names" after all. I can still trust the interwebz to give me unfailingly accurate information. ;p

Lily is nearly Sorted into Slytherin, but informs the Hat that it will do no such thing, as she has brothers in Gryffindor who obviously need to be watched. Hugo is Sorted into Gryffindor without any debate.

The feast starts.

Table of Contents and Summary So Far

While he ate a bit of everything he liked--there was a roast turkey that he nearly Summoned to his plate all at once, it looked so good--James caught up with friends he hadn't seen over the summer, pondered Lily's close call (she was over it, but he still coudn't believe it), and got into an argument with Celia about Puddlemere's chances against Holyhead. Celia was a bit short-tempered, as it was the day before the full moon. "I can't believe I have to miss my first classes," she muttered once James had won his point. "Well, the second day is the one I'll be out, I guess. But I have to spoil the taste of the feast with this," she held up her goblet of Wolfsbane Potion, which Professor Stephens, from Potions, had brought to her. The expression on her face told James about what it tasted like.

"Well, you'll just have to tell the moon to cancel," James said.

Celia smiled, then called down the table. "Hey, Lily, can you tell the moon not to come up tomorrow night? Apparently, I'm not forceful enough with it."

"Just tell it you won't change, no matter what it wants," Lily suggested.

Celia shook her head. "Every werewolf on the planet does that every month. It never listens."

"How about Time Turner?" Hugo piped up, reaching between Celia and James to get half a loaf of bread. "You could turn it forward for a day. Maybe it would all just go really fast."

"Personally, I think that would work," Celia said. "But twenty-odd years ago, some crazy bunch of kids broke into the Ministry and all of them got smashed."

This turned into a long, strange conversation about other magical ways to prevent Celia from having to turn, and by the time they got to pudding, Michael and Robert were planning a wizarding colony on Mars--on the thought that the moon wasn't seen that way from off Earth, and might not trigger a change--and Rosie (who was wild for that sort of thing) had come over from the Ravenclaw table to add in everything she knew about outer space. She was just getting into a talk about ice on the Martian polar caps when Robards stood up again, and twirled his wand to make bells sound and get everyone's attention.

When he had reasonable quiet, he said, "I hope you enjoyed the feast! Now, I'd like to introduce some distinguished visitors who have come tonight, and will be here for the next week." He turned and pointed to the Triwizard judges, and they bowed to the students. Robards pointed out each of them as he introduced them. "This is Denis Laurent, from the French Ministry's Division of Sports and Games. It was the tireless effort of his father, Didier Laurent, that brought the Tournament back this year." Laurent nodded faintly. Robards moved on to Madame Maxime, who everyone at Hogwarts was familiar with. She smiled warmly, and said it was good to visit again. Robards nodded to the small, dark-haired man in scarlet robes. "This is Vladyslav Shevchenko, Headmaster at Durmstrang"--Shevchencko smiled--"and of course, I'm sure you all know our fifth judge, winner of the first Quintamage Competition this past Februrary--"

"Dani!" someone yelled from the Hufflepuff table.

"--Daniela Villanueva," Robards finished. The older judges looked resentful at the thunderous applause she received, and she looked embarrassed. Robards gave her an apologetic glance, then said, "Monsieur Laurent, would you care to explain what will happen now?"

Denis Laurent stepped forward, nodding respectfully to the Headmasters of the three schools and grinning at Dani, then turned to the students. He spoke with no more of an accent than Aunt Fleur had left after living here for nearly twenty-five years. "Tonight, we shall bring the Goblet of Fire back to Hogwarts. It is traditional that it first travels to the school where the Tournament was last held. Last time, it was brought to Durmstrang, then to Beauxbatons. Now, we begin here. All students who wish to enter, simply write your name on a slip of paper when the goblet is ignited, and drop that slip in. In one week's time, the Goblet will determine which students have the potential to compete.

"You may ask, why does the Goblet not simply choose a champion and be done with it? Of course the answer is that the Triwizard Tournament is not and has never been merely about winning. It is meant to be time for students from all the schools to mingle, and simply bringing a single champion from each visiting school would not fulfill the spirit of the tournament."

James glanced over at Dani, who was looking very carefully at nothing at all. The Quintamage Competition, of course, had its champions chosen at their respective schools--she'd talked in articles about the games she'd had to play at San Cipriano to become the champion--and those champions alone had gone to the Bahamas... and then only for two weeks of intensive competition, that took place at none of their schools. This had, of course, been used repeatedly as "proof" that it was an inferior mimicry of the Triwizard, and that the Americas simply didn't understand the tradition properly.

Laurent let that hang for a moment, then said. "As the last competition involved a rather irregular practice when Durmstrang asked to even the numbers that Beauxbatons was bringing to Hogwarts, we have Charmed the goblet to choose twelve students from each visiting school. Once all of the potential champions have been chosen, the Goblet will be able to choose what it considers the most evenly matched." He looked over his shoulder. "Professor Robards?"

Robards nodded, and brought out an ornate wooden box. He set it on a small table that he Conjured.

Laurent unlatched it, but before opening it, he said, "Perhaps you think this is merely a procedural moment?" He smiled. "No... as the last host of the tournment, Hogwarts will be witness to the lighting of the Goblet, which will burn until the champions are chosen. It requires magic from each Headmaster. The other two judges--myself and Daniela--will observe. Dani, would you like to hold the cup as I direct and read the oath?"

"Yes, of course," she said.

He opened the box, and removed the old wooden goblet. It was unremarkable. He handed it to Dani, and directed her to hold it high.

"If the Headmasters would take their positions?" Laurent asked, and Robards, Maxime, and Shevchenko moved up, each taking a spot beside the Goblet.

Laurent waved his wand, and an ornate scroll appeared. He unrolled it and read, "The immortal spirit of friendship and competition is a light to the world. May the light of the Triwizard Tournament shine again, in the warmth of high regard. The light of the past shines now."

Robards stepped forward and touched his wand to the cup. "From the last home of the Triwizard Tournament, we send the flame forward with hope for the future." A thin white flame circled the cup and disappeared into its depths. Robards remained poised where he was.

"The light of the present," Laurent intoned.

Madame Maxime bent down to touch her wand to the cup. "We who are this year's home offer the flame of hospitality and warmth." A blue flame followed the same path as Robards' had.

"And the light of the future," Laurent said.

Shevchenko raised his wand to touch the cup, and said, "We who shall see the Tournament next share the flame of gratitude to those who have come before." Another trail of white flame coiled up the cup.

Laurent said, "May the light of the tournament let us see one another better, beginning now."

Suddenly, the flames that had settled in the cup rose up again, swirling around each other in the air, binding to each other, becoming a brilliant blue-white. They twisted into a shining knot of fire, then exploded out in joyful fireworks. When this ended, the flames settled into the goblet, burning low above its rim.

"The Goblet of Fire is alight," Laurent said.

"And the Feast is over," Robards said. "I thank our guests, who will remain to watch over the selection. The Goblet will be placed here in the Great Hall. Those of you who have given the matter careful consideration may enter your names from now until one week from tonight."

Apparently, "careful consideration" didn't take long, because students were already scribbling their names on bits of paper and parchment.

"I thought you were going to try!" Michael said to Celia.

"I am," she said. "But we have a week. I'm not going to rush up there with those idiots. They're going to knock it over and set the castle on fire if Robards doesn't control them."

James, who had been looking for a scrap of paper, closed his bag quickly and pretended that he'd meant to wait as well.

They went upstairs together--Celia, James, Michael, Bear, Spots, Robert, Hugo, Lily, and even Rosie, though when they reached the seventh floor, she went the other way, toward Ravenclaw. Since most of the press on the Goblet had been Gryffindors, the Common Room was still fairly empty when they got in (luckily, Spots had had the presence of mind to ask a prefect for the password before coming up), and they took a table by the fire together. There would be time later to go to the dormitories. The older students showed Lily and Hugo everything they'd need to know. Lily marveled at the Lionbloom plant that grew wildly around the fireplace (a discovery of Professor Longbottom's that she'd only heard about before), and Hugo failed miserably at pretending he wasn't interested in a tall bookshelf full of thick books about the deeds of various Gryffindors in history. That had been a gift from his mother to the Common Room after the war, when it had first been repaired enough for Gryffindors to move back in.

The prefects came along after a bit--probably after they'd got through the line to put their names in the Goblet, James guessed--and shooed everyone off to bed. As they gathered the things they had out, Celia whispered to James, "I'm going down tonight. Can we use..." She mimed opening and closing the Marauder's Map.

James nodded and whispered, "I'll be down in half an hour. Probably with the whole of my dormitory."

As it turned out, only Michael had already decided to put his name in. Robert said he'd rather watch. Spots was going to write to his parents for permission. Bear's dad had already flatly told him no; after Bear had been kidnapped two years ago, his father had got a little overprotective. Al had apparently overheard the conversation, because he was waiting on the next landing down with the the Invisibility Cloak poking out of his bag just enough for James to see it.

They met Celia in the main room. Lily had come down with her, and apparently, Hugo had sneaked back down to look at the books, as he was looking sheepish in the middle of pile of them.

"Er, Lily," Al started. "You're, er..."

"I'm not putting my name in," she said. "I'm a first year. What do I know? But if they hold it again in five years, I'll still be here. Can I come for luck?"

"Me, too," Hugo said.

James sighed and looked at his sister and his cousin, then said, "Will you solemnly swear that you're up to no good?"

Lily immediately held up her hand and said, "I swear." Hugo seemed confused by it, but shrugged and muttered that he also swore.

James took out the Marauder's Map. It showed many people still up, but most were in their dormitories. The crowd around the Goblet had apparently been dispersed, and the way was clear.

They climbed through the portrait hole one at a time, then walked back downstairs without talking. Celia was hanging back. James took the hint and slowed down, letting the other four go on ahead.

"Why the middle of the night?" he asked.

"Plausible deniability," she said. "If I don't get picked, I can just tell people I didn't enter."

"Right. Why the middle of the night, really?"

Celia looked ahead, then lowered her voice. "I don't know what it'll do with me, all right? Maybe it'll chuck my name out and say I ought to be an obstacle, not a champion. It's pretty old-fashioned, and we are going to Beauxbatons, and thanks to that crazy girl that started following Greyback, it's going to be a long time before they think about letting werewolves in."

"Is Hogwarts really the only school that does?"

"Not anymore," Celia said. "That's one of the things Mum Viv and Père Alderman are working on when they travel. But we're still the only mainstream school in Europe that does."

They got to the bottom of the stairs, and they could see the faint, flickering light from the door of the Great Hall. The others were waiting. They went in together.

The goblet was the only light other than the starry ceiling and the high windows, and the room was cast in fabulous shadows.

One of which was moving.
16 comments or Leave a comment
From: severely_lupine Date: August 26th, 2011 06:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the time turners. I still can't believe every last one of them got destroyed. That's a plot hole, IMO, especially after JKR established how the old wizaring families have a tendency to hoard magical artifacts, especially powerful ones of dubious legality. And then no one for the next several years had any knowledge of how to make new ones? It's like, dude, Jo, you can't just introduce time travel and then conveniently toss it aside once you're done with it. (Have you see How Harry Potter Should Have Ended? Brilliant little web cartoon that makes several very good, and even quite obvious, points. And it's hilarious.)

Ooh, I like the description of the Gryffindor bookshelf. Makes me want to know what some of the books on it are.

Aw, Celia. I do hope she gets picked. (Is Celia in James's year? I can't remember.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 26th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Celia's actually two years older. She has friends in her year, but James ignores them entirely. And she, honestly, likes James's little adventures. They're on the Quidditch team together.

Yeah, the time turners. I haven't seen HISHE on HP; I liked their 2012, so I'll definitely check it out.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 26th, 2011 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Can I just reiterate how much I love Celia :D

I love how she rarely lets the werewolf thing get in the way of what she wants to do.

"As the last competition involved a rather irregular practice when Durmstrang asked to even the numbers that Beauxbatons was bringing to Hogwarts, we have Charmed the hat to choose twelve students from each visiting school.

I assume that it is the goblet and not the hat that has been charmed to pick the champions?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 26th, 2011 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)

I knew I called the goblet a hat at some point, but I couldn't find it when I scanned.

From: (Anonymous) Date: August 26th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I'm enjoyning this. No specific comments outside of that yet. Just had to share some no doubt not-very-useful thoughts about werewolves in SF (I'm also tired and a bit loopier than usual from antibiotics and some pain medicine, there's a voice in the back of my mind saying I may mortally regret prattling on life this when normal mental conditions are back).

Heh, I'm remembering an SF novel where a woman accidentally teleported to Mars by Mysterious Forces discovers that lunar cycles really DO control menstrual cycles and you do not want to be on a planet with two moons with a longer cycle than ours. It's a whole new level of PMS.

Its made me wonder what would happen to a werewolf on Mars ever since (someone else wrote a story where they get to Mars and discover it's inhabited by wolf descended Martians who seem genetically designed to sneer at monkeys and monkey descended life forms. All seems lost till Mars' were-apes make contact with Earth's werewolves and they find common ground and brotherhood [also loved the passing reference to an Australian Tasmanian werewolf], but it didn't address the very different lunar cycle).

So, I've done a whole lot of thinkiing on the subject of Werewolves In Space (time well spent, I'm sure) with the ending conclusion that I have no idea but I'm sure it can't be that easy to get away from a curse.

Oh, and Venus has no moon, days that last about a year (half of which would be nights), and an atmosphere that would grill you if the killer winds and corrosive atmosphere left anything left to bake. I can't help thinking a werewolf on Venus story has a lot of different ways to go if you can get past the dead-on-arrival living conditions (killer night cycle for a werewolf. But no moon. But is it that easy to get away from a curse?).

From: severely_lupine Date: August 26th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, this reminds me. I actually wrote a Star Wars crossover fic once (DS9) in which a werewolf (had to be an OC, that far in the future) joined Starfleet purely in order to get away from the moon and its effects.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I decided to get around that "But that's so easy to get away from... don't look at the moon!" by having the transformation be worse when it ultimately does come if they don't see the moon... but it's a huge hole in werewolf mythos in general. The old "stay inside" solution ought to work with most of the versions out there!
willowbough From: willowbough Date: August 26th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Liked the Goblet lighting ceremony, though I now have the Olympic theme running through my head. And I'm definitely looking forward to seeing who'll be going to Beauxbatons and who'll be chosen as a Champion.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I had it playing over my computer while I wrote it. ;p

I'm also looking forward to going to Beauxbatons--I made a map already--but it will be couple of chapters at least.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 26th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha, I love the discussion on how to escape the full moon - sounds just like the rather ridiculous discussions my friends and I sometimes have, and the way my little brother used to say, "What? It would work!" when we laughed at some particularly silly thing he'd come up with.
And it also reminds me of one such silly conversation about whether you could go into the future with timeturners - we never came to a conclusion, since that was in the middle of creating what can only be called a crackfic (not that we knew such terms then, ten years ago)... but since we already had three Peter Pettigrews in the story, such details didn't bother us too much!

Um, yeah - lovely chapter, anyway, and can't wait for more!

~Hermione Stranger~
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I do love ridiculous discussions of the practicalities of the fantastical. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 26th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since we're discussing time-turners a bit -

I see two main possibilities. It used to be fairly common in Ye Olde Muggle World for masters of various crafts to have certain secrets that they would only pass on to a few of their apprentices - usually close relatives or especially favored ones - as opposed to the general skills regular apprentices could expect to be taught. There are certain techniques and formulae that have simply been lost. Usually not stuff that we're crying over, but still.

In the same way, the time turners might have been based on a craft secret that no one's been able to recreate (or no one in the UK in the Voldemort war who was talking about it).

In a related way, it might have been based on unique skills. The best examples for this might be in the arts. We know plenty about HOW the Mona Lisa was painted - the technical skills and kinds of paints used are not a mystery - but you don't see many people equalling it based on knowledge alone.

Now, if part of the magic involved in making time turners involved actually being able to visualize what the time turner would be doing to time, you might have to be the equal of Einstein and maybe a little insane to boot to make one.

Then, you have to assume the person with this skill set who figured out how to do it would be both interested in passing the skill along and able to find students who could learn it. I can easily see a few apprentices getting blown up trying to follow in his footsteps.

The other possibility is that it might be require materials not readily available. The sand seems to be the key ingredient (I'm guessing that the bizarre effects we saw when they were broken came from the sand's magic no longer being focused by the time turners they were stored in). If this is so and if no one knows where the sand come from (or, possibly, how it was made) - or if it just wasn't readily available (it's at the bottom of a volcano guarded by really big monsters in a foreign country that didn't want UK wizards having access to it), you again have no time turners.

I'd bet on a combination of these, difficult to acquire materials and a better chance of blowing yourself into the next dimension than getting a working time turner even if you did manage to come across a decent set of instructions.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing it's the second; that the craft was lost, and the Ministry hoarded all the existing ones because they feared misuse. (There's a fic: The maker of the Time Turners uses them for evil, and the Ministry has to go after her and ends up fixing whatever she did, and sending her to Azkaban for a kiss from a Dementor--and then, despite their misgivings, decides to keep them, in case they come in handy some day...)
daksian From: daksian Date: August 26th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like the ceremony of the goblet; it gives it a real ritualistic feel, like it's something ancient.

I'm really intrigued how Dani will figure in all of this (besides a love interest for James, I'm presuming), but I like the tidbits we're seeing, such as the tension among the judges and the unfavourable comparison between the methods of the contest she won and the Triwizard Tournament.

And yay for a Marauder excursion rather than just putting names in the goblet. And who does that moving shadow belong to? Can't wait for the next installment. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: August 27th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I intrigued as to what Dani's goign to do there, too.

I just figure there would be a lot of sneering from the Triwizard folk at the classless imitator across the pond. ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: August 27th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

it feels good to be back at Hogwarts....

reading about the next generation, their interaction and all the positive changes makes me feel like it hasn't changed at all (not true really- everything changed)

feel quite bad for the old judges that they're overshadowed by Daniella, but at the same time i feel really bad for Dani too not only because people in europe look with an upturn nose (not all but some) at her home tournament, but also the resentment people feel because everyone looks at her the "shiny celebrity"

it gave me both a deja vu of harry must have felt when he got picked for triwizard champion And how Fleur must have felt when so many of the girls at hogwarts eyed her with envy and anger because she was the gorgeous part veela foreign girl....

love the little sneaking out in the middle of the night of the gryffindor troupe... some things never change. ;p

also I bet the shadow is Dani. i might be wrong but i feel it...
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