Chapter 8: I'm Not Going Home
Back at Hogwarts, chaos had broken out among the spectators. Dumbledore had installed a big screen so people could follow what happened in the maze. The headmaster had watched how Harry and Cedric had stayed together every single moment and had helped each other. When they took out the giant spider together, he had perhaps never felt more proud of two students before. But then he watched how Harry and Cedric took the cup together and he saw the two friends disappear. He immediately descended the stands and now he was pacing in front of the entrance of the maze. He felt helpless and useless. He knew Harry and Cedric were probably in danger and he couldn’t help but think that it had something to do with Voldemort and the fact that Harry’s name had come out of the Goblet of Fire.
Suddenly three figures appeared on the grass right in front of them. Dumbledore felt a wave of relief roll over him as he recognized Harry and Cedric, but who was the third one?
Cedric jumped to his legs quickly. “Petrificus Totalus!” and the cloaked figure fell petrified on the grass.
“Harry, Cedric!”, Dumbledore exclaimed. “What on earth happened?”
“The Cup was a Portkey!”, Harry answered.
“Of course it was a Portkey”, Dumbledore stated. “It was supposed to bring you back here in front of the maze.”
“Well it didn’t”, Cedric said. “It brought us to a graveyard and we were attacked.”
“Professor, who placed the cup in the maze?”, Harry asked.
“Professor Moody”, Dumbledore said, looking dumbfounded.
“Then he is the Death Eater, sir! The cup transported us directly to Voldemort. His Death Eater there tried to kill Cedric before I disarmed him.”
Dumbledore looked at the cloaked figure on the ground. “Incarcerous”, he muttered, binding the Death Eater. “That is impossible, Harry. Of all the people in the world, Alastor Moody is the last one who would join the Death Eaters." Realization suddenly hit him. "He must be an imposter. Severus! Please - "
“I think he is gone, headmaster”, Snape answered. “Nobody has seen him since the beginning of the third task.”
“Harry, Cedric, Severus, follow me”, Dumbledore ordered.
He levitated the petrified Death Eater, who was still wearing his cloak and his mask and led Harry and Cedric to the office of Professor Moody. There he set the Death Eater on a chair, ordered Snape to guard him and began searching the office. When he opened a wooden chest, they saw dozens of flasks. Dumbledore took one, smelled it and handed it to Snape. The Potions master also smelled it and said: “Polyjuice Potion.” Dumbledore nodded.
“Do you think he – “Harry hesitated. “Do you think he killed the real Professor Moody, sir?”
Dumbledore shook his head. “No”, he said. “No, he would have had to keep him alive to make the Polyjuice Potion. He would have had to keep him within his reach.” And his eyes glided across the room. When his eyes saw the trunk in the corner of the office, he quickly walked over and opened it. On the bottom of the trunk lay an unconscious and very weak Mad-Eye Moody. Then the door flew open and Professor McGonagall entered the office.
“Albus, what on earth is going on? What happened down there?”, she demanded to know.
“Ah, Minerva, your arrival is most opportune. Would you please escort Alastor to the hospital wing. I am sure Madam Pomfrey will be able to patch him up.”
“But – “.
“I will explain everything to you later, Minerva”, Dumbledore promised. “Now please go.”
Professor McGonagall obeyed without further comments and left, floating the still unconscious body of the real Mad-Eye Moody in front of her.
“As for you”, Dumbledore said. He looked at the Death Eater. Harry looked in awe at his headmaster. He had never seen him angry before. He knew many people considered him to be the greatest sorcerer in centuries, but to Harry he had always been more of a good-humoured grandfather. Right now, Dumbledore’s face radiated nothing but raw power. He ripped the mask of his face and lowered the hood.
“Peter Pettigrew!”, Harry shouted.
“You know him?”, Cedric asked confused.
“You could say that”, Harry answered his friend with a grim look on his face. “He betrayed my parents to Voldemort.” He had unconsciously pulled out his wand again and pointed it at his face. “Don’t wake him, Professor. He can change into a rat and escape.”
“I know, Harry”, Dumbledore reassured him. He muttered something under his breath. “But not anymore now.”
Harry realized Dumbledore had used some spell that would prevent Pettigrew from changing into his animal form and escape.
“Severus, please take this man to the dungeons and lock him up. Guard him until I come and get you. I will go and get the Minister so we can get him out of here and he can be taken to Azkaban”, Dumbledore ordered. When Snape had left, he turned to Harry and said: “Well, this part did turn out for the better didn’t it.”
Harry was puzzled for a moment before he realized what Dumbledore meant. With Pettigrew captured, the Ministry would be able to question him and Sirius’ name could be cleared. He smiled at his headmaster.
“So Harry, Cedric”, Dumbledore said. “Could you tell me exactly what happened from the moment you touched the Triwizard Cup in the maze?”
Harry and Cedric filled Dumbledore in on the events of that night. The headmaster was drained in his thoughts for a while. Dumbledore realized that Cedric just as easily could have been killed and was happy his students were far more difficult to overpower than Voldemort apparently had thought.
“Do you know what the meaning of this was, Professor?”, Harry suddenly asked.
“I believe I do, Harry”, Dumbledore answered. “But I do not know if I should tell you.”
“We have the right to know”, Cedric said. “If that was really You-Know-Who out there, he transported us to that graveyard for a reason. We want to know what it is.”
Dumbledore nodded. “Very well. It is my belief that Voldemort was planning on recreating his body tonight.”
“How?”, Harry asked. He wasn’t really surprised.
Cedric on the contrary was looking at his headmaster with his mouth wide open. “Why did he need us?”
“Not as much you, Cedric”, Dumbledore answered. “I think he only intended to transport Harry to that graveyard tonight, but seeing as you so admirably worked together until the very end, you were transported there too.”
“But why did he want me?”, Harry asked.
“There is an old dark ritual. I have heard from it before, but how it really works, I do not know. It’s been known to help dark wizards who have in one way or another been banished from their corporeal form to recreate their bodies. It requires three main substances. Bone of the father, flesh of the servant and blood of the enemy.”
“He needed my blood”, Harry realized. “And I saw a tombstone on that graveyard with Voldemort’s name on it. Was that his father?”
“Indeed”, Dumbledore said. “And I believe Peter Pettigrew was in charge of the last substance, flesh of the servant. He would probably have needed to cut off a body part.”
Cedric shuddered. “But his plan didn’t work then”, he said. “He won’t come back?”
Harry looked at Dumbledore. “This time his plan failed indeed. But he will not give up after one failed attempt, I am afraid. He has gained a lot of strength the way I hear it and you can be sure that the man or woman who posed so successfully as Alastor Moody for the entire year will have joined his master by now, along with a lot of other old Death Eaters.”
Harry and Cedric looked at each other uncomfortably. Dumbledore smiled at them. “I do not think it is wise to worry too much about it right now. We have been gotten on quite a side track, but I believe congratulations are in order. You both have won the Triwizard Tournament! You could have brought no higher honour to Hogwarts. I am extremely proud of you, especially of the unity you have showed throughout the Tournament. Now let us go down for the ceremony. Your friends and class mates will be waiting impatiently.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the winners of the Triwizard Tournament, both from Hogwarts: Harry James Potter and Cedric Jasper Diggory!”, the magically enforced voice of Ludo Bagman shouted.
Harry and Cedric were met by a standing ovation by the Hogwarts staff and students. They both grinned at each other before they walked forward and raised the Triwizard Cup above their heads. After a dull speech from Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, Harry and Cedric both got a bag of money pushed into their hands and were pulled of the podium again.
Harry was making his way through the crowd looking for his friends, which wasn’t easy to do. Everyone wanted to congratulate him and shake his hand.
“Harry!”, he heard a familiar voice shout. He turned and around and was suddenly surrounded by Weasleys. They were all hugging him and in the sea of red hair, he also spotted a bushy brown-haired witch.
When they released him, he grinned broadly and said: “So you were rooting for me!”
They all laughed and headed back to the castle. The evening passed in a blur. Harry was overwhelmed by all the congratulations he got and all the hands he had to shake. Finally he got some rest and he sat in the Gryffindor common room with Ginny, Hermione and Ron. He finally told them everything that happened after he and Cedric disappeared from Hogwarts and they were looking positively shocked.
“And Dumbledore thinks he will be successful next time?”, Hermione asked looking dead worried.
“Well, some time. He does think he won’t try to get to me again, because I’m too well protected apparently”, Harry answered. “He needs the blood of an enemy, but I guess he could use pretty much any witch or wizard for that. I mean, who doesn’t hate Voldemort?”
Shortly after that Ron and Hermione went to bed and Harry and Ginny stayed behind. Ginny was looking rather pale and hadn’t said much since Harry told them everything.
“You okay?”, he asked.
“Yeah sure”, she answered. “It’s just, you could have been killed! What would I have done?”
Harry chuckled. “Come here, Ginny.” She snuggled into his arms and he pulled her close to him. “I’m not planning on going anywhere”, he whispered. “You’re going to have to put up with me for a very long time.”
Ginny giggled and gave him a soft kiss on his lips. “You’d better”, she whispered back and she fell slowly asleep in his arms.
“Another year at Hogwarts has passed and a very eventful year at that”, Dumbledore spoke to the assembled Great Hall. The Hall was decorated in the scarlet and gold colours of Gryffindor and the yellow-black from Hufflepuff. For the first time in 250 years two houses shared the first position for the House Cup, thanks to the spectacular performances in the Triwizard Tournament. “First of all, I would like to congratulate our two school champions once more, who have won the Triwizard Cup for Hogwarts. Can I please have an applause for Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory!”
All of the students got to their feet and gave Harry and Cedric a standing ovation. They were both watching a bit shyly. After awarding the House Cup to Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, Dumbledore opened the feast.
Harry grew more silent as he thought about the next day and the weeks that would follow. He would be returning to the Dursleys and that seemed to be even harder than the other years. Harry hoped that he would be able to live with Sirius now that Wormtail had been caught, but that wouldn’t happen soon. Dumbledore had convinced Cornelius Fudge to hold a full trial against Peter Pettigrew, but that wasn’t planned until July 24th. Almost a month from now. But Ron already assured him that he would be able to stay at The Burrow again for at least part of the summer. Harry already looked forward to that time, not in the least because of Ginny. Her parents still didn’t know that they were a couple, Ginny was afraid they might think she was too young to date, but at least he would be able to spend time with her then.
When he got off the Hogwarts Express the next day he was more gloomy than ever.
“Oh, come on, Harry”, Hermione said, looking at him worriedly. “It’s not that long. We’ll see you sooner than you think.”
“Yeah mate”, Ron agreed. “We’ll get you out of that Muggle hole as fast as we can.”
“I just don’t understand why I have to go back every year”, Harry mumbled. Ginny smiled at him and gave his hand a squeeze.
“Dunno, mate”, Ron shrugged. “I overheard mom asking Dumbledore if you could come straight to The Burrow after the third task, but he said it was important you returned.”
They passed the passage of Platform Nine and Three Quarters and appeared in King’s Cross Station.
“Well”, Harry said. “I’ll see you guys later then.”
Ginny and Hermione both kissed him on the cheek and hugged him tightly. Even Ron gave him a brief manly hug. “Take care, mate.
“Write us, Harry”, Hermione said.
“We’ll see you soon”, Ginny whispered somberly.
Harry managed a smile, waved and headed over to the Dursleys who were waiting impatiently. He certainly didn’t look forward to the following weeks, but he knew he would eventually go back home.
"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up" - Nelson Mandela
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