The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J.K. Rowling. I’m just borrowing the characters for a while. This is for pleasure only, no profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Bold Face Type indicates a direct quote from Chapter Nineteen, The Hungarian Horntail or Chapter Twenty, The First Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.
November started with much colder weather than Molly and Arthur had gotten used to for most of October. They were happy that they had enough firewood to warm the parts of the house they were using. The Ghoul clattered and clanked from the cold but it seemed foolish to heat Ron’s room just so he would be quiet.
The first Monday in November, a very wet school owl arrived at the Burrow with a note from Ron.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I have lots of news. The Goblet of Fire picked both Cedric and Harry to be the Hogwarts Champion. Professor Dumbledore was surprised but the Headmasters of Beauxbaton and Durmstrang were angry. They think that Harry cheated and maybe he did but I don’t know how. Here’s what happened.
The students from Beauxbaton all came in a really big carriage pulled by the biggest winged horses I have ever seen. The Beauxbaton students are not used to the weather in Scotland but are really nice looking, especially one blonde girl who has to be a Veela. But that is not the most exciting thing. Victor Krum is one of the students from Durmstrang! He’s the best Seeker in the world and he is here at Hogwarts. I think I will let him be my friend and get his autograph. It’s too bad that they’re eating at the Slytherin table. We would have been glad to have them eat with us. Maybe they will change tables at Christmas.
Did you know that Fred and George grew really long gray beards when they tried to get through the Age Line to enter the contest to be the Hogwarts Champion? I wonder if the other Headmasters would have been as mad; if both of them had been chosen as they were when Mr Crouch said that both Harry and Cedric were in the Tournament. Something about a Binding Magical Contract. I wish Harry had told me how he was going to enter under age but he says he didn’t do anything. I really don’t believe him any more. And Victor Krum and the very pretty Veela were picked, too. I bet Victor Krum wins but maybe the girl will confound everyone with her beauty.
Anyway, we still have a lot of work to do and we’d study harder with some biscuits and cakes from home.
The next day Molly and Corrine went to Ye Little Lamb Shoppe to get wool for Christmas jumpers and talked about Ceddie and Harry both being chosen. Corrine was both proud and worried that her son was the Hogwarts Champion. ‘Amos says that it is unprecedented for two students from the same school to be chosen. He keeps reminding me that Ceddie caught the Golden Snitch last year when he and Harry Potter were both Seekers, so he thinks that our boy will be the eventual Champion. But I worry about Victor Krum. He must be eighteen. That makes a big difference. Ceddie was just seventeen in September.’
Molly nodded in agreement. ‘I am so glad that Fred and George couldn’t fool the Age Line. I wish that Harry wasn’t in it at all. He’s too young. The rules were changed so that underage witches and wizards were not supposed to be able to enter. I can’t figure out why he was let in.’
The two friends busied themselves with picking out wool for the jumpers and hats and scarves they wanted to knit. They laughed and promised to exercise for a long time the next day before they went to eat something gooey and sweet from Florean Fortescue’s.
Molly started the needles knitting as soon as she got home. She planned to make matching hats and scarves for Ginny and her friend Hermione as well as the jumpers for all her children and Harry.
Charlie sent a note with a very large owl that looked exhausted.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I am on my way to Hogwarts with a whole crew of Dragon Handlers. I hope that Hagrid has prepared the area that we will keep the dragons in to our specifications. No one wants an international incident. Much less a death.
I will try to stop by to see you while I am in the British Isles. I know I will get to see everyone at Hogwarts.
Arthur told Molly not to get her hopes up that Charlie would have time for a visit. He said that the First Task would be on November 24th and that, as he understood it, the dragons would be immediately returned to Romania.
Pig arrived with a letter from Ginny the end of the week when the weather cleared.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I am really worried about Harry being in the Triwizard Tournament. I am afraid that he will get hurt. He is just a boy compared to all the other people. Victor Krum has to shave or he gets all beardy looking. Fleur Delacour is the Beauxbaton Champion and she may be nice but even boys who have girlfriends seem to be affected by her being part Veela. They can’t help looking at her. And Ron is really shirty with Harry because he is mad that he didn’t get to be chosen too. He doesn’t seem to understand that Harry could be badly hurt.
My classes are going well. I’m still a little frightened by Professor Moody. We miss having Quidditch this year but I guess it wouldn’t be fair with Victor Krum here.
It was very funny when Fred and George had long gray beards. They really wanted to win so they would get the prize money.
Molly continued her exercise routine. She tried to do most of it early in the day so she could stop and have some tea and listen to her two favorite WWN programs. The number of people on Days of Destiny who had mental problems kept increasing. She wondered if Narcissistic Personality Disorder was suddenly contagious. Things were no better on Bedside at St Brigid’s. All of the people studying to be Healers were suffering from some sort of sleep disorder and they all were prone to sleepwalking and winding up in each other’s beds. Some of them were going to the kitchen and eating food that the House Elves had made for the patients. It was very troubling. Healer O’Malley had just discovered what had been happening. Molly was sure that she would be able to cure them even if she knew more about children’s disorders than those of young adults.
Molly sent the package for Bill’s birthday off to the Ministry in time for it to arrive in Egypt well in advance. She sent some pictures that had been taken while they were all home for the Quidditch World Cup and two pounds of the Wake Up Wizard coffee that he liked from Moonsickles along with his favorite ginger biscuits.
Fred and George finally sent messages with an owl that Molly didn’t recognize.
Dear Mum and Dad,
It was not our fault that we couldn’t fool the Age Line. WE GOT THE FARTHEST AND HAD THE LONGEST BEARDS.
It is very weird that Harry was chosen. HE SAYS HE DIDN’T EVEN ENTER BUT OUR LITTLE BROTHER DOES NOT BELIEVE HIM.
People are wearing badges that say ‘Support Cedric Diggory’. AND ‘POTTER
We feel sorry for Harry. HE HATES PEOPLE PAYING ATTENTION TO HIM.
Don’t believe what Rita Skeeter writes about him. SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BIG FAT LIER.
Love, Fred and GEORGE
Molly could not wait to see what Rita Skeeter had written, but was not at all happy with what was finally published in the Daily Prophet. The reporter with the Quick-Quotes Quill quoted Harry as saying-
I suppose I get my strength from my parents. I know they’d be very proud of me if they could see me now… Yes, sometimes at night I still cry about them. I’m not ashamed to admit it… I know nothing will hurt me during the tournament because they’re watching over me…
Molly began to weep when she read how sad and brave Harry had been but her eyes hardened as she read the next paragraph.
Harry has at last found love at Hogwarts. His close friend, Colin Creevey, says that Harry is rarely seen out of the company of one Hermione Granger, a stunningly pretty Muggle-born girl who, like Harry, is one of the top students in the school.
“I didn’t know that Harry loved Hermione,’ Molly said in a low tone. ‘I thought he and Ron and Hermione were all friends. And that Ginny and Hermione were close.’ She pondered over the complications that young love would bring to them all.
The morning of the twentieth of November, Molly was startled by the sound of someone Apparating onto the back porch. She was delighted to see Charlie when she opened the door. They hugged each other while Molly asked many questions.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? Does your father know you are here? How long can you stay? Have you seen the other children at Hogwarts? Do you want something to eat?’
“I wasn’t sure if I had time to come by this morning. I’ve already seen Dad and Percy at the Ministry first thing this morning. I can’t stay long. I’ve seen Ron and the twins at Hogwarts but not Ginny yet. I wouldn’t say no to a cuppa and some breakfast.’
Charlie sat at the kitchen table and told Molly just a bit about what he was doing at Hogwarts with the other Dragon Keepers while he ate a second breakfast. He did not go into any specifics about the part dragons played in the First Task but Molly began to wring her hands and say in an anxious voice, ‘I am so worried about Harry. How could they let him enter the tournament, he’s much too young! I thought they were all safe. I thought there was going to be an age limit!’ Then she began to cry and tell Charlie what the Daily Prophet article said about Harry missing his parents. ‘He still cries about his parents! Oh bless him, I never knew!’
Charlie tried to change the subject but Molly went on and on about how Harry was in danger and that Ginny was worried about him getting hurt and that Ron was mad at him for entering the Tournament without him. She asked him if he thought that Harry and Hermione were sweet on each other and Charlie assured her that he’d never heard anything like that from anyone.
After Molly measured Charlie so she could make his Christmas jumper fit his more muscular arms, he announced that he had to get back to Hogwarts because he was on duty after lunch. He told her that he needed to Apparate to the clearing outside the Hogwarts grounds where the dragons were being kept.
Molly had been glad to see Charlie but decided that she wouldn’t mention his visit to Corrine. She was worried enough about her only son being in the tournament without having to contemplate him being attacked by a dragon right on the school grounds at Hogwarts. She did give Corrine a floo call and suggested they be together all day Wednesday during the First Task. Molly said that she needed to be doing something other than worrying about Harry and that she thought Corrine needed to be doing something besides worrying about Ceddie. They decided to make boxes of treats to send to the Weasleys and Ceddie. ‘They’ll need to celebrate at both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff,’ Molly said. ‘Both of them are sure to do well.’
The morning of the First Task, Corrine was very excited. ‘Ceddie sent us an owl saying that Harry Potter had told him that there would be dragons in the First Task. He was ever so grateful to Harry for letting him know. What could they possibly be doing that would involve dragons?’
Molly tried to reassure her that it might have something to do with the twelve uses of dragon blood, but neither friend was convinced that the task would involve cleaning ovens or any of the other uses they knew for it. They listened to Days of Destiny while they made treats to send to their children. Corrine had never heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and said it must be just a fancy way of saying that people were too full of themselves. Then they began to discuss Rita Skeeter, who was so self-centered in everything she wrote.
‘She’s got a bad case of that problem, if you ask me,’ said Corrine. She couldn’t even spell the contestant’s names the right way. Isn’t Harry older than Ginny? She keeps writing that he is twelve.’’
Molly nodded. ‘He was nearly five months old when I told Lily that Healer Carroll said I was pregnant. That’s when she decided that they’d be sweethearts if I managed to have a girl. I remember Arthur telling her that they couldn’t go out on a date until they both had teeth.’
Corrine laughed at that and then said, ‘I hope that neither boy gets hurt today. I suppose Amos and Arthur will have heard what happened before they come home. I think Ludo Bagman is announcing it.’
‘Let’s get some exercise now that we’ve finished baking,’ said Molly pulling out her wand. ‘We can warm up by going up and down stairs. Then I want you to cast the strongest Protego you can and I’ll try and get through it.’
The friends gave themselves a good workout. They were evenly matched in spell casting but Molly was showing more stamina. Corrine left just before the time that Amos usually arrived home. Molly started warming the stew left over from last night and set some knives to chopping some apples for an apple tart.
Arthur arrived just as Molly put their pudding in the oven. ‘It smells wonderful,’ he said as he kissed her. ‘I love to come home when you have been baking.’
‘Do you know what happened at the First Task?’ asked Molly. ‘Corrine and I are both worried about Harry and Ceddie.’
‘Both boys did quite well. They only got scratches and Madame Pomeroy fixed them right up. They didn’t have to spend the night.’ Molly could tell that Arthur didn’t want to actually tell her what Harry and Ceddie had been doing to be scratched by a dragon.
‘Did they have to use dragon blood? Was it to clean something?’
‘No, they had to take a golden egg from a nesting mother,’ Arthur said rather quickly and softly.
‘TAKE A DRAGON’S EGG!’ yelled Molly. ‘From a nest that was being guarded by a new mother who could shoot flames!’
‘Harry Accioed his broom and tricked the Hungarian Horntail. He did it in record time!’ Arthur figured he’d better point out the good news. ‘He and Victor Krum are tied for first place.’
Molly put her hand over her heart. ‘I’m so glad he is safe. Do you know how Ceddie did?’
‘All I know is that Harry and Victor Krum did very well and that Ced wasn’t hurt much, just a bit of a burn.’
‘Corrine and I tried to keep busy today but our minds were at Hogwarts,’ Molly said with a sigh. ‘Do you know if Percy will be home in time for dinner?’
‘I think he had something to do at Hogwarts. He said he’d be late.’ Arthur sat at the kitchen table and started to read the Daily Prophet. ‘Idiot Skeeter woman!’ he huffed.
‘Arthur, Corrine and I made treats for Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Will you take them into the Ministry to send to Hogwarts?’
Late the next afternoon, Hedwig arrived with a letter tied to her leg. ‘Hello Hedwig,’ said Molly as she took the letter from her outstretched leg. ‘I hope this means that Ron has made it right with Harry.’ Hedwig nodded and took the owl treat that Molly held out.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Harry was brilliant. Hermione said that they practiced doing the Summoning Charm until he could do it every time. His dragon was a Hungarian Horntail. She could have crisped him from the front and hit him with her tail to finish him off. Harry was so brave. He raised his wand. ‘Accio Firebolt!’ he shouted. He stood there all by himself for what seemed like a long time and then his Firebolt stopped right next to him and he climbed on it and started flying closer and closer to the Horntail. She got him with her spike once but he tricked her into getting off the nest and he grabbed the Golden Egg and flew off with it.
After it was over and Madame Pomfrey had patched him up, I told him that I thought that whoever put his name in the Goblet of Fire was trying to kill him. Harry forgave me for not believing him straight off. That made Hermione cry. I will never understand girls. She wanted us to be friends again and when we were, she started bawling.
Anyway, Harry loaned Hedwig to me to send this and I loaned Pig to him to send a letter to his godfather. The treats that you sent came at lunch and we are going to have a party. Fred and George and Lee are getting more food from the kitchen. We have something to celebrate. Harry and Victor Krum are both in first place.
Molly smiled at the thought of Ron and Harry being best mates again as she put the letter at Arthur’s place so he could read it before dinner.
Two days letter, a school owl came with notes tied to both feet. Molly gave the strange owl a treat and settled at the kitchen table to read the letters.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Harry is our hero. HE IS JUST ABOUT THE BRAVEST SCRAWNY BOY WE KNOW.
We’re glad that we rescued him from his wicked Aunt and Uncle. THEY WERE STARVING HIM AND WE KNEW YOU’D FEED HIM.
The Triwizard Tournament is only one third over. HARRY SAYS THERE IS A CLUE IN THE GOLDEN EGG ABOUT THE SECOND TASK.
When he opened it, it made a screechy noise. SEAMUS SAYS IT SOUNDED LIKE A BANSHEE.
We hope he figures it out. WITHOUT OPENING IT AGAIN AROUND US.
Thanks for the food. WE ALWAYS LIKE YOUR BISCUITS AND TARTS BEST.
Love, Fred and GEORGE
‘Those boys know I love to have my biscuits praised. This one must be from Ginny.’
Dear Mum and Dad and Percy,
I was so scared that Harry would get burned and mauled by the Hungarian Horntail. Charlie said it was the worst tempered of all four of the dragons. I was glad to see Charlie and get to talk to him about how much he likes being a Dragon Handler. I wish he could have stayed longer but they wanted to get the mother dragons and their eggs back to Romania.
Harry was so brave and he looked so little next to the dragon. He is a very good flier. He flew circles around that Horntail. Ron is back to being Harry’s friend. It was hard for me to keep from bashing him over the head when he was being so stupid. Of course, Harry didn’t enter the contest. Ron would have liked the glory and money but that is not what is important to Harry. He just wants to be a regular boy that no one makes a fuss over. Ceddie was brave too even after he was burned.
I am looking forward to being home at Christmas.
‘I wonder when they are going to tell the students about the Yule Ball?’ muttered Molly to herself. ‘Surely it should be soon so families can make plans for the holidays. Arthur and I will be all alone this year if Ginny gets invited to the ball.’ She sighed, thinking about such a different Christmas.