Name: The Fifth Champion
Author: HP Fan four
Chapter 1 to 1
The Fifth Champion.
The Great Hall of Hogwarts sat with bated breath awaiting the name the Goblet of Fire would give, having turned its flame blue and crackling for the fifth time that night. Albus Dumbledore pulled the piece of parchment out of the Goblet and read the name. The expression that crossed his face looked like a mixture of utmost confusion, amazement and the look one gets while forcing every ounce of strength into fighting a losing battle with a laugh. Dumbledore certainly looked as though he could explode into fits of unstoppable giggles in front of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, not to mention the staff and the visitors.
It was a while before Dumbledore took a deep breath and, while still trying to hide his silent giggles behind his silvery mustache, said in a shaky voice that was still trying to push the amusement out of it "Neville Longbottom!".
The Slytherins exploded with laughter, as well as Snape and McGonagall. The Ravenclaws and the Hufflepuffs, looked as Dumbledore had - torn between amazement and amusement and Gryffindors were congratulating Neville. Neville meanwhile had fainted, his face bright scarlet and slid off his chair and onto the floor.
If Fluer, Krum, Cedric and Harry were shocked when Harry's name was pulled out of the Goblet, it was nothing next to their reactions when Dumbledore (still trying to hide a smile) muttering 'Mobilicorpus', brought Neville still unconscious floating in the air into the room. Fluer was robbed of her French-accented English as she watched Dumbledore settling Neville into an armchair. Krum raised an eyebrow by the slightest fraction of a millimeter, obviously feeling he'll believe anything in this weird school, and Cedric mouthed "How?" to Harry, who knew Neville better than anyone in the room and looked like he was about to faint, too. Madame Maxime however roared "What is ze meaning of zis, Dumbly-Dorr? Three Hogwarts champions?".
Dumbledore had finally gained control and said "If the Goblet said..." the rest was drowned out by Snape's laughter who walked into the room with McGonagall who was hiding her face behind a huge handkerchief, her whole body shaking with chuckles. Harry, who was surprised Snape could laugh, thought Snape must have taken lessons to do so, and obviously hadn't picked up the basics - he looked like he was in severe pain.
Eventually he said "Headmaster, now what do we do?".
A gruff voice from the shadows replied " Face him with the tasks, like the others."
"Quite right, Alastor," Dumbledore said to Moody, who was hobbling into the firelight, his scars showing in the shadows.
On the morning of the 24th of November, the five Champions gathered in the tent only half listening to Bagman's talk. As they stared at the model dragons they had pulled out of the bag, Neville trembled as he looked at the vicious-looking Norwegian Ridgeback with a red number 5 on it.
Harry glanced at it and thought it looked strangely familiar, and would have wondered how but thought of the Hungarian Horntail that awaited him. It had suddenly occurred to Harry that Neville was the only Champion who didn't know about the dragons being the first task, and had no time to prepare. He felt it would be pretty stupid to tell him now, as Neville was already having trouble with the miniature dragon, who was currently on the floor scaring him into a corner.
A while afterwards, Neville, who had been alone in the tent since Harry had left, jumped as the whistle blew and Bagman's voice encouraged him onto the stands. Neville was shaking so much, he could hardly stand up. He stared up at the dragon. He raised his wand arm and squeaked
"Riddikulus!", which might -just might- have worked had he been holding his wand, but it lay forgotten in the tent. Neville squealed with fear as a huge shadow fell over him from behind.
"Here, Neville, yeh fergot yer wand..."
Hagrid stopped in the middle of his sentence as he gazed up at the Norwegian Ridgeback, rushed at and threw his huge arms around it screaming "Norbert! Yeh came back! Yeh remembered yer Mummy!"
The Ridgeback was startled for a moment, then breathed down on Hagrid, setting his beard on fire.
Hagrid didn't notice - he was half weeping, half singing Norbert the same tuneless lullaby he had sung him three years ago.
Neville, trembled, tripped and fell over, throwing out a hand grasping for something to break his fall and found something round and golden, with hinges on it's side. The golden egg!
Ludo Bagman's voice roared Neville's success, and the judges gave him their marks. Still trembling, Neville walked over to the castle, carrying what he failed to realise was one of Hagrid's pumpkins, leaving the egg in the vegetable patch.
Harry raced downstairs holding the Gillyweed in his hand heading towards the lake. It was the 24th of Febuary, and the second task was about to start. He had just reached the Entrance Hall, when he came across Neville, who was also running.
"Any idea what this task is about, Harry?, he asked as they ran through the oak doors.
Harry stopped dead. "You-you mean you don't know what you're DOING?"
Neville shook his head, innocently. Harry slapped his forehead and started running again. "We've got to get to the bottom of the lake and release the things or people we'll miss most!"
Neville quivered so violently Harry added, "look, there's nothing in the lake to worry about except the merpeople and the Grindylows. Do you remember how to tackle them? Professor Lupin taught us last year..."
Neville thought for a moment then said "Drown it?"
Harry raised his eyes to the heavens, thinking 'hopeless!'
Five minutes later, four of the five Champions had disappeared under the glassy surface of the lake. Neville stood alone staring at the water. When he finally appeared to gain his senses, he opened his mouth, raised his wand and - dropped it in the lake. There was a moment's silence then a colossal explosion and a tidal wave rose from the lake. Among other things that had risen with the blast, was a merperson with a rope in his hands, trying to tie a sleeping elderly woman down. The merman fell into the lake and Neville's grandmother landed on her grandson, almost knocking him out.
An hour later, the other four Champions returned, and got their marks. Neville however, had fainted.
The five Champions stood at the entrance to the maze on the night of the 24th of June, awaiting their signal. Ten minutes later, they raced in their various directions across the maze. Harry kept shouting instruction to Neville, who had so far set fire to a few of the hedges while trying to stun a ladybird that had settled in the middle of his path.
Not long afterwards, Neville heard something that froze him to the spot and made him shake like a pneumatic drill at work. A cold, sneering voice came from his left...
"Detention, Longbottom! And you're expelled! And Suspended!" He turned to see Snape sneering at him, and to make matters worse "AND I'm confiscating this!" Snape held up Neville's Rememberall.
Neville squeaked, just as Harry crossed the parallel path shouting, "It's a Boggart, Neville! You know what to do. Professor Lupin..."
Neville had a faint recollection of what to do. He raised his wand, trying to picture his grandmother's clothes and shouted "Expelliarmus!". He didn't need Harry's faint yell "Wrong spell, Nev!" to tell him he'd done it wrong. A vulture topped hat which had momentarily appeared on Snape's head flew straight off it and landed on Neville's brown hair.
"This is Ridiculous!" Neville muttered to himself, as the Boggart Snape disappeared.
Amazed he did something right, and still trying to tug the vulture-topped hat off his head, he ran on only to find a gigantic Blast-Ended Skrewt blocking his path. Neville, trembling, raised his wand and let out what sounded like a cross between an excellent impersonation of Ron's old rat, Scabbers and a Body-binding Spell. This, of course, bounced off the Skrewt's shell and zipped over Neville's shoulder, hitting Krum in the stomach and knocking him to the ground, arms and legs by his side. Neville then thought of a Switching Spell, having no clear idea of what good it would do, but it just came out as "Accio!"
This spell, too rebounded off the Skrewt's shell and flew in a different direction. Something golden whooshed through the air and hit Neville hard on the back of the head, making stars appear in front of his eyes. Too dazed to realise it was the Triwizard Cup, Neville ran in the opposite direction, tripping over Krum, who was still on the floor, stiff as a board. He heard a loud crunching noise from behind and turned around in time to see the Cup disappearing into an invisible mouth under the Skrewt's shell. The Skrewt started spinning and vanished. Neville was too stunned to realise it was a Portkey. Shrugging, he turned in the opposite direction...
Three hours later, Neville found his way to the centre of the maze, where he spotted Harry, Fluer and Cedric (Krum apparently still body-bound) shaking their heads in disbelief. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Madame Maxime, Karkaroff and the real Snape came rushing through the hedges.
"What is ze meaning of zis?" bellowed Madame Maxime.
"Where's the Cup, Dumbledore?" asked Karkaroff.
"It vanished!" cried Cedric. "Harry and I were deciding on which one of us should take it, and it rose into the air and flew in the direction of the spot where Hagrid's Skrewt...?"
"Then we heard this crunch of metal," Harry added.
"The Skrewt must have eaten it!"
Madame Maxime roared "Ze TOURNAMENT EES RUINED!"
McGonagall took a steadying breath and asked slowly " Which- which Champion summoned the Cup?"
Neville didn't reply. He had fainted.
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