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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Seven: The Curse of Cedric Diggory, pt. 3
Beauxbatons put out a very big feast and meet-and-greet for the visitors, making James feel that Hogwart might actually be as rough in comparison as Fleur has always maintained. On the other hand, Celia's presence is not entirely welcomed, and the students from both Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are gossiping about Cedric. The Marauders' portrait gathers news of the day for Remus to take back to Teddy's place (where everyone is gathered), and it also brings the news that Mira isn't going to be an only child.

After Remus leaves the portrait to report on James's day (James has to remind them that the champions having been chosen yet, and they have twenty-four hours to submit their names), James the Elder tries to cheer him up, first by seriously discussing why the sumptuousness of Beauxbatons isn't necessarily better than Hogwarts, just different, then by teasing him about girls. In a better mood, James goes in and plays Exploding Snap with Scops until one of the older boys, Horace Goyle, threatens to curse them both if they don't get to sleep.

Okay, this is a really long section...

Table of Contents So Far

There was a small bathroom at the end of the dormitory for the six boys to share, and after waiting for Simon Frobisher to finish using it--after Horace Goyle and Edward Flourish--James decided that he would make a point of getting up early in the morning. He hadn't started shaving yet (there were a few hopeful shadows on his chin, but nothing had come of them), but Mum had already given him a proper kit, just in case, and a long lecture about leaving bits of hair in the sink. "Clean it up," she'd said. "I don't care if you do it Muggle style or Vanish it or Transfigure it into little fishes that swim down the drain... just make sure it's not still in the sink when you leave."

Apparently, at least two of the others hadn't got the lecture, as there were both brown and blond hairs plastered to the enamel. There was also a heavy smell of Goyle's cologne and something slimy on the faucet. James cleaned it all up quickly, wishing Robards had asked to bring along one of the hired elves, as they did a very good job at school, then got ready for his own day--making sure to leave it clean for Harry Norris and Scops, who were both waiting outside with their towels when he finished.

He got dressed and went out into the common area, where Abby Carrow was having an animated conversation with Talitha's portrait and Electa Campbell and Darcy Lynch were comparing notes on boys they'd met yesterday. Horace, smelling like a Potions experiment gone awry, was ostentatiously examining his shave in the mirror, Cursing away hairs that he certainly meant to imply had sprouted spontaneously since he left the bathroom, in a uncontrollable display of his manliness. Celia came out of the girls' dormitory, and Horace looked up from this pursuit long enough to give her a leering smile.

Celia bared her teeth, pretending to check her brushing job, and growled.

Electa heard this and said, "I wouldn't joke like that here, Celia. I was talking to the girls from Beauxbatons--"

"Trust me, I know," Celia said. "But in here, we're at Hogwarts, and I'll joke as I like."

As soon as they were ready, Robards gathered them up, and they went up to the palace for breakfast. This time, they mostly sat together, though Electa went to sit with her new Beauxbatons friends and the younger students Scops had been sitting with came to collect him (they were apparently impressed that someone their age was here). James finished quickly, then went out to the rotunda. There were a few students milling around the Goblet, but nothing like last night's crowd.

James quickly scrawled his name on a piece of parchment, took a deep breath, and approached it. It seemed different now that it was about becoming a champion, instead of just joining the contingent.

"Aren't you going to do it?" someone asked in English beside him. He turned to see Veronika Horvat, who was smiling. "You came all this way."

"Yeah, I'm going to do it."

"Me, too. Count of three?"

He nodded, and they both raised their hands over the flames. "One," James said.

"Dva," Veronika said.


They dropped in their bits of parchment and grinned.

"That's that," James said. "I guess we wait until tonight."

"Guess so. Good luck!"

"Thanks. How do you say that in Croatian?


"Well... sretno, then."

"Thank you," Veronika said, and wandered away.

"I see you've already made a friend," Celia said, sliding up beside him and dropping her name casually into the Goblet. "How sweet. If she bats her eyelashes much harder, there'll be a wind hazard."

James waggled his eyebrows in what he hoped was more of a rakish way than a surprised one. (If Celia was right, Veronika wasn't the first girl to like him--there'd been a rather embarrassing incident last year with a first year Hufflepuff who followed him to every Quidditch game and practice--but she was certainly the first older girl from a foreign country who hadn't heard the name "Potter" before she started flirting.)

Celia rolled her eyes. "You left before the announcement. We're to meet the deputy headmistress for a tour of the school in English. I guess Madame Maxime is taking the Durmstrang crew around in German."

"Oh. Where do we meet?"

"Her office. I'm not sure how to get there. I guess Robards knows."

"I have a map!" James remembered, pulling it out of his book bag.

He opened it up, restrained himself from assuring it that he was up to know good, then scanned it until he found the office of the Deputy Headmistress--Sandrine Laurent. It was up one floor and a bit to the right.

He and Celia made their way through small groups of milling students and into the upper corridor. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the entrance, but it still had ornate walls and a bright blue carpet. No one else had come yet. Celia checked her watch and sheepishly told him that they were twenty minutes early.

"I suppose we could look around a bit," James said. "The Defensive Magic classroom is supposed to be on the floor. We could--"

But he was interrupted by a door slamming open. An old man pushed out of it, cursing under his breath, and Denis Laurent followed, yelling, "How dare you speak to her that way?"

"Wasn't that--?" Celia asked.

"Amos Diggory," James agreed. "What's he doing here?"

A soft, feminine voice spoke in French. "Denis, please, I invited him. Don't yell. I should've known it wasn't a good idea, but I just thought if I could talk to him one more time, if he could see how well the children are all getting along... he'd know it wasn't an insult to his son."

"He's insane, Maman," Denis Laurent said, going back into the office. The door was still open, and James could hear what they were saying. "I've been dealing with him every step of the way, and we've tried every approach we can think of. He thinks we're spitting on the grave of his only son. Giving him a few Beauxbatons trinkets isn't going to change that."

"I know." Madame Laurent sighed, and said, "Please see him to the gates, Denis, and be kind to him. I need to meet the Hogwarts students."

Denis Laurent emerged from the room a second time, muttering to himself about crazy mothers, crazy fathers, high-handed headmistresses, the bloody British, and Mexican tantrums. He noticed Celia and James, but only acknowledged them with a brief politician's smile before going downstairs. A moment later, Madame Laurent came out. She saw them and smiled in a more friendly way and said, in English, "'Ello, dears. I 'ope you were not disturbed? You are a bit early."

James and Celia both assured her that they hadn't been disturbed at all, and accepted her invitation to her office, where they nibbled nervously on croissants while they waited for the others.

The tour of Beauxbatons didn't do much to allay James's nagging fear that it really was more richly appointed than Hogwarts. There was a well-appointed courtyard between the ells of the palace, closed off by a sort of walkway with high stone arches. At the center was the High Tower, a freestanding blue and white turret where Beauxbatons students studied Astronomy. The Quidditch pitch, nestled against the mountains, was surrounded by stands full of comfortable, impeccably clean chairs. Madame Laurent explained that, because Beauxbatons had nothing like the Hogwarts houses, teams were formed voluntarily, and at present, they had seven, though they would not, of course, be competing this year. Beyond the pitch, she showed them a wondrous cave with ancient art on the ceiling.

"This is the opening of the Whispering Caves," she told them. "They were once an oracular site, and our Divination classes still use them sometimes. But you must not go in alone--the cave system goes far under the mountains, and it is easy to get lost."

"What else is down there?" Lydia Whiting asked.

"Nothing at all."

"Maybe we'll find something. I read that in the Triwizard of 1843, one of the champions found a whole burial ground at Hogwarts that even the Headmaster didn't know was there."

"There's nothing unknown at Beauxbatons," Madame Laurent said. "The grounds are fully explored. There is nothing to find, I'm afraid--it is not as exciting here as it is at Hogwarts. We're quite well settled. You'll learn something of this in the history class I'll be teaching for our visitors." She smiled encouragingly, though Lydia looked quite disappointed. (For his own part, James was happy--it was the first point on which he considered Hogwarts eminently superior.)

After the caves, they wound their way through the Magizoological gardens, which were set up around a large set of barns. A walled paddock had been built behind the barns, but when Madame Laurent was asked about that, she just winked and said, "Oh, but that would spoil the surprise."

This made the walled paddock much more interesting than any of the fabulous creatures they were passing--a manticore paced in its magically enlarged cage; a sphinx looked down haughtily at them from a perch--because it was obviously something about the tournment.

The tour ended with the gardens, which were set up as a person, with the five sections named for the five parts of the body--the Garden of the Mind, the Gardens of the Left and Right hands, and the Gardens of the left and right feet. Because the hypothetical person would have been lying on his back and looking up, that put the left on the right and the right on the left, as far as the map was concerned, which seemed more than a little odd, though James supposed that if you were looking at it from the palace steps, where the Garden of the Mind opened up, everything would be in the right place. The gardens each had greenhouses at their centers, as they were the site for Herbology classes.

The gardens of the feet were Muggle plants--"Do not think it an insult!" Madame Laurent said. "Our feet join us to the same world, the same earth... so the gardens of the feet are the plants we share." The right foot included roses, daffodils, and many kinds of healing herbs. The left had more dangerous plants--poisonous ones, intoxicants, meat-eating plants. The gardens of the hands were magical plants. Again, the right side had healing, beautiful plants, and the left side contained plants that were used in dark magic. "But don't think this is their only use!" Madame Laurent said. "Just as some cures arise from poison"--she looked at Celia, who had to drink Wolfsbane potion every month--"so are some wonderful things grown from the darkness."

The Garden of the Mind, closest to the palace, was a statue garden, with peaceful nooks set aside for studying and relaxing. At the center of the gardens was a huge, round fountain, called the Fountain of the Heart. It looked like a man-made pond with a low stone edge, and water shot up from many points, reaching toward the center, where a giant marble statue of a witch and wizard issued jets of clear, sparkling water high into the sky. After the gardens, they went to the river and followed it north along the new train tracks, back to the visitors' camp, where the Durmstrang students were also just returning.

The rest of the day was filled with more events designed to encourage meetings. Robards and Shevchenko had collaborated to quickly create one in the visitors' garden, which mainly consisted of impromptu storytelling around the fountain. James found himself telling the story of Dad and the basilisk (one of his favorites), and Kristjian Kralj told a story about Durmstrang's resistance against Grindelwald, who had laid siege to the castle, trapping everyone inside the walls for months.

"We also had Resistance!" a Beauxbatons girl offered. "Ask Madame Laurent. 'Er grandfazzer led ze Resistance 'ere!"

This led into a spirited conversation about who had accomplished more for the war effort, which the Hogwarts students stayed out of--Grindelwald's home school and a school in the country he'd helped the Nazis run over would certainly have had more of their personal history tied up in it, though James knew very well that quite a lot of British witches and wizards had risked their lives to come over and try to help.

At long last, the afternoon sun began to turn golden, and everyone went back to the palace, to the dining chamber, where the Goblet of Fire now stood again in front of the high table. The judges sat behind it, Madame Maxime a high point in the middle. Robards and Shevchenko were obviously continuing a discussion from the party. Denis Laurent was having a conversation with his mother. Beside Madame Maxime, Dani Villanueva looked as mutinous as any student ever had by a teacher, and Madame Maxime kept turning to her during the meal, making conciliatory gestures. James wondered what was happening there.

The feast was as large as last night's, but no one was paying attention to the food. James was imagining himself being called, a chance to prove that it hadn't just been an engineered fluke for a Potter to win it. He could see others around the room hurriedly eating, their eyes misty with their own dreams of glory.

Finally, the tables were clear, and Madame Maxime stood up, flanked by her translators. James heard the boy speaking English.

"The Goblet is ready to make its choices," she said through him. "If your name is called, please go to the entrance hall, and we will proceed from there."

She waved her wand, and all the light went out except for a few shimmering candles, and the Goblet of Fire.

James bit his lip. Any second. Beside him, Celia had dropped any pretense of disinterest, and was leaning forward eagerly.

The flames went red. A bit of parchment flew up out of it, and Madame Maxime caught it. "The champion from Hogwarts," she said, "will be Horace Goyle."

James just barely stopped himself from standing up and yelling "WHAT?" He could see Celia itching to do the same. Electa pressed her lips together tightly. Scops, on the other hand, just sighed and shrugged. "I suppose I was long shot," he said.

"I bloody well wasn't," Celia muttered, looking down as the cheers rose for Goyle, who left the room, waving imperiously to all and sundry.

The flames went red again, and James barely noticed Madame Maxime saying, "The champion from Durmstrang will be Veronika Horvat!"

Veronika stood up, smiling broadly. The other Durmstrang students seemed to like her, as they all cheered. (James felt a little petty when he saw this, and tried to muster up some admiration for Horace, horrible cologne and all.)

The flames went red. "And the champion from Beauxbatons will be," Madame Maxime said, not suppressing a smile, "Titouan Boulanger!" The handsome boy James had seen yesterday stood up to deafening cheers from his classmates, and headed for the entrance hall. To James's surprise, Elodie Lejeune also stood up and headed out.

"Elodie?" Madame Maxime called after her.

Elodie shrugged. "It's over. I'm going to bed."

"You'll sit down," Madame Maxime said.

Elodie sat on the floor where she was.

"Now that we--" Madame Maxime stopped, and James looked up eagerly, wondering if the Goblet would pick a fourth champion again despite the precautions. The flames did seem to be reddish, not the red that they had been, but...

Madame Maxime gave a short, disgusted scream, and threw the goblet away from herself. It clattered on the floor, and James heard someone else scream, loud and long.

He stood up on his chair.

From the lip of the Goblet of Fire, a river of blood flowed out over the marble floor.
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(Deleted comment)
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 25th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, my personal theory is that at first Beauxbatons did cater to those students, but by the time the Catholic King and Queen re-conquered the entirety of Spain the local wizards took hold of a sarracen magic school and have been using it ever since.

I don't think Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are the only schools in Europe- just the biggest and oldest.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
malinbe From: malinbe Date: September 25th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, well, I spoiled myself when I read the other story, so I knew it was Goyle. Now I remember that in GoF there were girls crying their hearts out when they didn't get chosen, so James and Celia's reactions are rather restrained!

I expect poor Amos will be blamed for tampering with the Goblet. The blood coming out of it is a very good, icky image!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 25th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)


I must have missed that section.

I was throughly convince it was going to be Celia. and I will admit to share James sentiment of "WHAT?!!!" and be miffed the goblet didn't picked Celia.

yes, yes it probably will be a chance for the Goyle line to get some good luck after the really long list of bad luck... but Still Horace GOYLE the hogwart's champion...
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 25th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hehe... Aw, teenager....

it was very amusing to see the oh so typically teenager-ly "look look I got Chin hairs now! Yes they're THERE" from the boys and the "list of cute guys section A-B-C,etc" from the girls.

it made me nostalgic, and kind of wish there had been a little bit more of that in the HP books among all the "voldemort is trying to kill me- politics, prophecy,War,DE,etc" from the later books.

and speaking of that- Do I smell a deeply Jealous Celia here? it surely looks like it with her rather dissing of Veronika *seriously what's with Some hogwarts girls and their green eye monster when it comes to foreign girls?"

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hehe... Aw, teenager....

I suspect Celia doesn't like girly-girl types much, no matter what their nationality, and while she doesn't thin of James "that way," she does sort of see him as a pack member, and doesn't like outsiders hovering around him all that much.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 25th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

I really dont like you sir....

Denis Laurent is throughly on my dislike list now.

Yes, Amos Diggory is being stubborn as Hell, he is being unreasonable and unfair....

Bu that's no reason to be insulting of him, when he still needs help- no matter how bloody obstinate he is being.

plus, all his negative behavior non-included- he lost his only son- i'm sure that's not something that one gets over easily- and ruddy Laurent should try to be a bit more understanding.
(then again he probably is not a father of any sorts since he is dissing parents as well)

also throughly disliking for generalizing about the British and picking on Daniela.

you sir, i hope you get kicked out soon.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I really dont like you sir....

Denis is probably on his last nerve at this point, but yes, he does have an unpleasant tendency to exacerbate the problem this way.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: September 25th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Amos Diggory in France? I fear no good can come of this. And there's definitely a suggestion that more than one not-so-pretty thing is going on beneath Beauxbatons' pretty surface.

Have to admit I'm as disappointed as the rest of the Hogwarts contingent at the Goblet's choice. But then, the appearance of the blood raises the spectre of something much more sinister. And we know from canon, that the Goblet of Fire was tampered with before . . .
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are definitely a few things lurking. Nothing that old can be as tame as Madame Laurent seems to believe.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: September 25th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

more WOW and oooh, and Eugh this doesn't look good

I admit it's becoming very, very hard to mentally defend Hogwarts vs Beauxbaton when you keep showing how gorgeous, and interesting and the variety it has.....

at least Hogwarts "ancient" aspect does has something on his favor- which is more mystery and unexplored and older/more natural kind of magic air to it.

(speaking of hogwarts i was/am confused- the map james is talking about is the one given to him by Fleur- not the Marauders map right? i assume so since it definitely wouldn't work here)

But Beauxbaton is surely making an impressive impression.

(also a sphinx? are they going to make that a tradition now? or is this to inply the sphynx from the previous tournament came from here?)

the history lesson was throughly interesting- although it did kind of sent a chill down my spine about grindewald possible involvement with hitler *as if hitler wasn't bad enough- but it got me thinking why would grindewald help a muggle in his genocide?)

also you keep pulling this mysterious hints all over Daniela and Elodie and it's making me Really, Really intrigued and curious to know just what is going on with those two....

also urgh blood... and i wont deny it's really not looking good for Amos that these coincidences keep popping up-
I'm sure it's not him, as you never go for the obvious choice, but definitely not looking good for him now....

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: more WOW and oooh, and Eugh this doesn't look good

Yes, James's map is the one Fleur gave him--Lily has the Marauder's Map.

It's not the same sphinx. They have a vast zoo at Beauxbatons, with a lot of unusual creatures. In cages, of course, unlike Hagrid's pets... make of it what you will.
xtineebee From: xtineebee Date: September 25th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Ginny, you *awesome* woman - her advice to James, well her strict instructions to him, regarding cleaning the sink of hair is *awesome*. My personal pet peeve right there! Transfigure them into fishes to swim down the drain indeed!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a feeling that, having grown up with Aunt Petunia, Harry is not an offender on this crime himself, but Ginny grew up with five older brothers--I imagine she heard Molly give that speech at least five times (maybe Percy didn't need it).
sueatducksfoot From: sueatducksfoot Date: September 25th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy to see this this morning, I was afraid I'd missed it. I re-listened to the first two parts this morning before I found it, so I'm ready to listen some more.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to try to discipline myself into an every-other-day schedule for this.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 25th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't help feeling that someone needed to take Amos in hand earlier and find him some constructive outlets. My layman's guess is that grief gave way to depression which still exists but with other problems that have spun off from it. Not exactly delusional but, given a choice between his world view and and any amount of evidence that contradicts it, he'll hold onto his world view.

For starters, I think it would have been good to establish something in Cedric's name - some kind of aid or scholarship thing for helping young wizards and witches, something promoting the things Cedric stood for in his own life (hard work, a strong sense of fairness, and helping others, etc) and being kept going by people who were influenced by that and want to pass it on in Cedric's name - creating a concrete sense of Cedric's legacy.

And, if Mr. Diggory could have been persauded to take part in it (maybe just starting him out with helping to select the beneficiaries of the program, ideally getting him involved enough eventually that he can start seeing said young wizards and witches in a sort of parental way), that would have really helped.

Now, the question is whether he's too far gone for that.

As for Beauxbatons, given the class warfare thing Geoff is pushing for, I wonder if it would be all right to tell James (whether or not it's true) that all this stuff was built during the worst of the excesses just before the French Revolution and no doubt had something to do with starving peasants.

Or maybe go with, "Sure, it looks pretty, but how long do you think these gardens would hold out an army of Death Eaters?"

As for schools -

I bet Italy has one tracing back to the ancient Romans (or that's what they tell the tourists). Greece, likewise (only there's has roots going back to ancient Athens and so on). No way are they sending their kids to an upstart French school.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 25th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope that Amos will be able to make something of Cedric's life other than the ghoulish horror show he's building in his head at the moment, which Cedric would hate.

And yes--not only is Beauxbatons not nearly as fortified as Hogwarts, it's also on the low ground, with high mountains coming up all around it... strategic nightmare, if the mountain dwellers ever decided they'd had enough of being metaphorically looked down on.
Diggory's Trauma - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Diggory's Trauma - (Anonymous) - Expand
oliversgal07 From: oliversgal07 Date: September 26th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I believe the entire Weasly/Potter clan breathed a sigh of relief that James was not chosen. I have to say I still expect him to get into the action somehow :).

The moment with the Laurent's was interesting, something is lurking a Beaubaton's and I can't wait to find out what it is.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to say I still expect him to get into the action somehow

James? Nah. Can't imagine why you'd suspect anything like that. He'll totally just sit on the sidelines and watch. This is really more of a character story, of how he comes to understand himself and other....

Yeah. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like Veronika. and the beaubaton students.

not elodie.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll see how they work out. I had no idea how Veronika would turn out when I named the Durmstrang champion!
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
the history of beauxbaton is awesome! when are we meeting the new teachers?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
As classes start, we'll meet them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2011 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
o scorpius is a, third year?

and veronika is 16 or 17?

celia is how old? 14 or 16?


Betthany Anne

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Scorpius is a third year. Veronika is sixteen. Celia is sixteen.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
madam laurent seems nice, but poor her.

Denis is a jerk

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Denis is frustrated and angry, that's for sure.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 26th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Celia keeps being feisty! i like that!

sad that people dont want to be friends with her from beauxbaton. :(

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beauxbatons is now at about the point Hogwarts was when Remus went there, as far as werewolves go.
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