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Chapter Two

 

Hermione had just left the Shop of Magical Stationery making a disappointed face. The owner of the shop didn’t remember to whom he had sold the other diary book. In fact, the old magician didn’t even remember Hermione, either. She sighed and shrugged her shoulders. ’Maybe it is better not to know who my secret penfriend is,’ she thought wisely and entered Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop to buy some gold ink.

 

OOOOO

 

’Drakie, does my bottom look big in this?’ Pansy Parkinson was standing in front of a mirror in Gladrags Wizardwear examining a skirt she had just tried on.

 

Shopping was not Malfoy’s idea how to spend a Hogsmeade Saturday but Pansy was stubborn and insisted on buying something new. What’s more, he hated this question and knew no good answer existed. Hesitation made it even worse. He rolled his eyes and wondered why on earth he was going out with this silly girl whose mind was always on clothes and shoes.

 

Pansy pulled the skirt up a bit showing off her long thighs and smiled at Malfoy seductively. It helped him find the answer to his question at once.

 

OOOOO

 

In the evening Hermione saw a new entry in her diary.

 

You made me really happy you fancied my poem. I had never shown that to anyone before. You know, my friends would think I’m crazy… Have you been to Lisbon? I spent an autumn weekend there, some years ago. I was enchanted by the colourful centennial trees that lined Avenida da Liberdade, the narrow winding streets and the tiled facades in the old quarters, the yellow trams and the smell of roasted chestnuts…

 

During dinner Harry and the Weasley boys found Hermione’s behaviour a bit strange.

 

’I just love autumn…’ She said daydreaming while playing with a small chestnut. ’Chestnuts are so cute, aren’t they?’ She smiled to herself and even Luna Lovegood raised her eyebrows.

 

’She’s gone mental,’ Ron whispered to the blond girl. ’Too much homework made her go nuts.’

 

’Not nuts. Chestnuts.’ Fred was grinning.

 

Ginny sighed and turned to Colin, sitting next to her.

 

’Colin, do you keep a diary?’

 

The short boy frowned.

 

’What for?’

 

’Never mind,’ said Ginny and drank her pumpkin juice.

 

OOOOO

 

October 30 arrived with winds and dark clouds. The students had just finished their dinner in the Great Hall when Dumbledore stood up and addressed the school.

 

’As you know, the Wizard Olympiad is a contest between the schools of Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. Each school is to be represented by one champion and the three champions will compete with each other next summer in Paris as Beauxbatons will be hosting the contest. Though this competition is not as dangerous as the Triwizard Tournament, the standards of the exams are extremely high. The victory of the Olympiad guarantees access for the winner to the Wizard Academy of either Oxford or Harvard. To become the champion of Hogwarts, you are to do your best in the following subjects: Potions, Charms, Occlumency, Care of Magical Creatures, Defence Against the Dark Arts…’

 

Harry and Ron looked at Hermione enthusiastically.

 

’You will be the champion, Hermione, no doubt.’ Ron said.

 

’…and, to test the champion’s physical abilities and skills, too,’ the Headmaster added, ’Quidditch.’

 

Harry and Ron’s faces clouded over at once.

 

’I have some doubts,’ Hermione whispered frowning.

 

Dumbledore continued his speech.

 

’Anyone who wishes to enter the contest must write their name on a slip of parchment and drop it into the Goblet of Fire. Tomorrow night, Halloween, the goblet will select the names of the contestants one of whom will be the most worthy to represent Hogwarts at the Olympiad.’

 

OOOOO

 

Draco Malfoy was sitting alone on a  green couch in the dungeon-like Slytherin common room. He was watching the dancing flames in the fireplace and didn’t even notice Blaise entering and sitting down next to him.

 

’Are you in love, man?’ Blaise asked after some silence.

 

Malfoy glanced at Blaise surprised.

 

’What?’

 

’Are you in love?’ Blaise repeated. ’With Pansy?’

 

’With Pansy?! Are you out of your mind?’

 

’Why? You’re head over heels in love with her, aren’t you?’

 

’I’m not. She’s just… Good in bed. That’s all.’

 

’Then why are you so absent-minded?’

 

’I was just thinking of… the Olympiad.’ He lied.

 

’I hope you’ll drop your name in the goblet.’

 

’I will. Though I’m not the best at Potions.’

 

’Snape will definitely help you,’ Blaise reassured Malfoy.

 

The blond haired Slytherin nodded, pulling himself together.

 

’I must win. I will,’ He said finally and stood up full of confidence to head for the entrance room to put his name in the goblet.

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