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Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #90 on: February 10, 2014, 04:49:31 am »
And so the groups were segregated into schools. Brielle had no company, so she merely pulled a chair and sat, looking more closely at her goblet. She would wait for Margaret to finish with her interview, and in the mean time she would study her clue. It was definitely interesting, but nothing other than a simple concoction came to her mind. She had never seen the colors mixing like that in a potion or poison before, and the ingredients in the bottom were also beginning to completely dissolve.

‘What could it be?’

Meanwhile…

“Miss Hendry,” greeted Septima with a thrilled expression, lividly happy that the interviews were to resume. “Please, take a seat,” she motioned to a chair close to hers with her manicured hand. A floating quill would be scribbling the interview on a floating piece of scrolled parchment.


Pavel looked at August and also spoke in Swedish, though he kept his expression blank. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he admitted, risking a look to his goblet. “I noticed something that looked like algae, though none like I have seen before.” It had been gone from his goblet, but Pavel was convinced that he had not misinterpreted what he’d seen. “We should keep a close eye on the other Champions, especially the local ones. They know the castle better than the rest of us.”


Aradok noted that Iris thought Thursday would be the best day to visit the lake. “Sounds good to me,” he said, but frowned slightly when he realized that Iris really didn’t want to do the interview. He understood and wouldn’t pressure her. “That’s not necessary,” he assured with a smile, “I think my family will be waiting for me to finish the interview, and we might go back to Hogsmeade for the afternoon.”

A chance look caught Juno’s gaze, and her hands gave him a signal that he could not misrepresent.

“I know that you’ll probably want to be with your family,” he said, adding to the thought that she needed not stay if she didn’t want to, but included Juno’s silent invitation, “but if you and Zeph want, you can come with us. You’re welcomed to. Maybe get a butter beer?”

The Gryffindor knew that it had been only a short while since term started, but he didn’t want to interrupt any plans Iris might have made with her own family. He understood completely if she had other things she wanted to do instead of spending time with him and his family. Ara was never really seen speaking of his family, since there was very little to tell, but he wouldn’t mind his friends tagging along.


One by one, the interviews progressed and the Champions went and returned. The room began to empty out just as Ara approached Septima for his interview, the last of the day. An uncomfortable feeling continued to persistently nag at him, but he began to relax when he saw the supportive gazes his family was sending his way.

“Ah, the very last!” Septima seemed not to have lost her enthusiasm. “Mr. Lundstrom, welcome and please take a seat.”

Ara had heard many poor things about Septima, and had been more convinced when he saw some of the Champions’ expressions as they came out, but she seemed perfectly fine to him. She had greeted him politely, and her smile had been kind.

“Thank you, pleasure to meet you,” said the Gryffindor as he sat down.

“And you. Well, let us start, shall we?” Ara gave an approving nod. “Firstly, do you have anything to comment about on your fellow Hogwarts Champion refusing this interview? Do you not find that strange?” Ara shook his head, genuinely showing that he had nothing to say on that, and that he had not found it strange at all. Some people just didn’t like interviews.


Septima frowned, but continued. “Tell me, Aradok – may I call you Aradok? – How does it feel being a Hogwarts Champion? Everyone knows the prestige that follows this school!”

Ara smiled. “I am very excited to participate, and it is an honor to be chosen to represent my school.”

“What about your fellow Hogwarts Champions” She was insistent on speaking about Iris. “What do you think of her as a competitor?”

These questions had been designed to create tension between the champions, that much became clear to Aradok as soon as the question was asked. He merely nodded his head, warmly smiling at the thought of his friend. “Iris is an excellent witch, and I look forward to participating with her.”

“Isn’t she from Slytherin House, though? I thought you two rivals!”

“We’re friends,” said Aradok simply. Septima was insistent on learning more of Iris, but Aradok felt like it wasn’t his place to comment further. He excused himself professionally when he couldn’t provide an answer. “I’m sorry, it is not my place to say.”

Eventually Septima gave up on persuading the incorrigible Gryffindor and continued on with the Gryffindor.

“What are some interests of yours?”


“I enjoy reading,” said Aradok, avoiding some of the more important things. He would not say that he was the Quidditch Captain – some of his strengths he wanted to keep to himself. Septima moved on, realizing that she would not get any more than that. She now knew better than to push Aradok, who wouldn’t answer if he didn’t want to.

“I looked over your O.W.L scores, and I admit that I was pleasantly surprised. What are your favorite subjects?”


Ara enjoyed speaking of school. “I like Charms and Potions, though I enjoy almost every subject.”

Septima laughed. “What is your least favorite?”

“History of Magic,” he answered honestly. That had been an easy question.

The questions about the Tournament came next. Ara had been waiting for them. Septima crossed her legs and drew her chair closer, as if that would prevent the others from hearing her suddenly softer whispers. “Are you nervous about the Tournament?” She raised a brow.

“A bit,” said Aradok. “I find that nerves often help me rather than hinder me, though. I would be scared if I wasn’t nervous.”

“What do you think about having two champions per school, instead of one?”

“I think it’s interesting. I am eager to see how the Tournament will play out with twice as many Champions.”

“And you’re nervous about that?”

“Maybe,” admitted Aradok. “I am mostly nervous about the tasks.”

Septima nodded in understanding. “Do you feel pressured by your school? By your parents, maybe? The last Tournament was won by a Hogwarts student, and Harry Potter, no less. You have quite the reputation to uphold!”

Aradok shook his head. “I don’t feel pressured,” he said. “If I set my agenda to please others, I fear I will go mad,” though this was not necessarily true. Ara wanted to please his family, and he did feel pressured, but he wouldn’t admit it in an interview. He kept telling himself that he would only try to please himself.

The interview came to a close with more personal questions. Age, Color, and other things that Aradok doubted would make it into the spread in the Prophet. He rose from his chair, gave a sincere thanks to Septima, and walked back to where people were waiting for him. It was still early in the afternoon.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #91 on: February 10, 2014, 05:38:31 pm »
Margaret eventually joined Brielle again, and when she did, her mother followed and politely introduced herself as Sera to Brielle, whom Margaret introduced. A similar offer was given to Brielle as to Iris—they could go out for a little while and get away from their studies. They were being tutored on their own time while here at Hogwarts as it was, so it was no issue for them to take some time off. Margaret did not seem happy about the end of the interview.

Pavel always unnerved August, though he’d never admit it. The stoic nature of the boy was far too intense. Still, August agreed with him. He let his eyes shift to Iris as she exited the room with her brother and parents.
“We will want to watch their friends, too.” As Pavel had already identified algae as one component, August considered, “Our boat is on the lake, is it not?” He wondered if it could be so simple. “Let’s—” but he was called over by the interviewer before he could suggest they leave. He’d almost forgotten about that. “After this.” He strode forward, hoping it would go better than the Beauxbaton’s. He saw it in Margaret’s face that she had not enjoyed herself.


Iris was relieved that Aradok did not want her to wait, though she didn’t confess as much. As he mentioned Hogsmeade that afternoon, and then invited her along, she considered.
‘Charms is this afternoon.’ A good class, but one she imagined she could miss if she explained the situation with her parents being around. Had it been Potions or Herbology, she would have reconsidered. ‘Actually….’ Now that she considered potions, hadn’t Xander had a few bubbling in his office? ‘Breaking into his office would be bad.’ True. But Darius could get in easily enough without drawing suspicion.

Her hand lifted to touch the necklace. How could she refuse?
“I should be available. I can spend the rest of the morning with my parents,” she answered him. “Just find me when you all are ready. I will likely be outside.” Walking the grounds sounded pleasant. 

With that, Iris left the room with her parents, the interviewer occupied with Margaret. Once out, Rosa asked,
“Why did you not stay for the interview?”

Alan chose to answer on her behalf,
“You should know why,” a touch of snobbery, “They only want to report scandal. All pure-blood Slytherins are potential dark wizards set to destroy the world and such nonsense.”

“Yeah,”
Zephyr piped up, added, “And they have enough ammo for that, don’t they?” He gave his father a smile. It wasn’t returned.

“Iris?”


Iris shrugged,
“I don’t want to. I don’t like interviews.”

Rosa smiled,
“Well,” she chuckled, “The article should be interesting.” It would find some way to make Iris’s choice seem bad. Rosa could imagine it too easily, but after the first task, certainly opinions would change.

“So!”
Alan spoke up, “What was the clue?”

Iris laughed, but shook her head,
“Can’t say.”

Zephyr grinned. He knew that would change. Right now, she had to look like the perfect champion.
“But I do need to deposit it back in the dungeons. Zeph, do you mind going out with mom?”

“Sure,”
and without knowing, “We’ll set up a light brunch out by the lake. It’s gorgeous today!” Iris nodded, took Alan’s hand and walked him towards the dungeon. He knew the way, of course.

He sounded frustrated,
“Iris, if you want to spend time with your mother, I can leave. I will see you at the competitions.”

Iris shook her head.
“Can you pretend to get along for a little bit?” Mother would be at the competitions, too. Splitting her time was far too difficult. It was the reason she just stayed at Hogwarts during the holidays. Jealousy was evil. “I want to see you, too.”

Down into the dungeons, Iris gave the password, and Alan walked into his old common room with a contented smile on his lips. He had missed it here. It hadn’t changed much, either.
“I remember when I first came here.” The best years of his life. He had known so many people, and still kept those connections. He hadn’t been anyone, really. Never Prefect. Never Head Boy. He touched the mantle of the fire place.

Despite being no one, he did miss this school.
“I’ll be right back,” Iris imagined she could safely leave her father here. She went to the potion’s room and deposited her goblet on the shelf above her cauldron. There were now a variety of invisibility potions on that shelf, too, for Zephyr and Henri.

When she returned, something small and silver was thrown at her. She barely caught it, and recognized it before she unwrapped her fist. Two snakes formed a ring, one head pointing towards the fingernail, the other pointing towards the knuckle when worn. It was much too big for her, but still she slipped it silently on her thumb.

It was to be Zephyr’s. It was the Pyrite legacy.

White gold snakes. Emerald eyes. There should have been words besides,
“Why now?” Alan just shook his head. He didn’t have an answer except it seemed right, and he’d seen the necklace. ‘Zephyr….’ Would he be jealous? Would he be angry? Iris never knew. She always felt uncomfortable, being her father’s obvious favorite.

“I knew you’d get in,”
he spoke with the confidence only a father could know. “But I am afraid you might die, or worse.”

‘Or worse?’


“So now seemed…appropriate. Remember,”
he said, looking at her. “You are Slytherin’s Queen. It is power, and they will try to use you.” Rulers of Slytherin could be puppets or puppet masters. “Do not let them pressure you.”

Strange words from him,
“I won’t.” Not like him. She’d never be like that. “Let’s go find Zephyr.” Iris closed her hand around the ring so it wouldn’t be immediately noticed by her brother when they reunited.   

Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2014, 02:33:49 am »
“That took a while,” said Serena with welcoming arms. Aradok approached her and finished the embrace she was expecting. His whole family had remained, though almost everybody else had gone on their merry way. “I can’t believe my little brother is a Hogwarts Champion!” Serena quickly amended her comment. “Well, I can believe it, you’re great, and I’m just still not used to it – oh the fame that will follow you, brother!”

Aradok laughed. “Oh I don’t care for the fame,” he told himself. “I care for knowledge.”

“You’re such a know-it-all!”

“Serena!” Castian exclaimed, though he soon turned to Juno, who had tried to muffle a laugh at her daughter’s comment. Castian tried to look at his wife in a disapproving manner, but failed when he returned her smile. “All you do is encourage them, dear.”

Juno waved it off with a playful hand, resting it on her husband’s chest. “Oh Cas, you know they’re just messing around, love. Besides, our Ara is a bit of a know-it-all,” she turned to Ara who had taken in a sharp breath, clearly joking, “and I mean that in the best way, sweetheart.”

“I heard you were also a bit of a know-it-all, mum,” Verity spoke for the first time in what seemed like ages.

“I suppose it does run in the family,” she admitted, and they all laughed in unison. Despite his efforts to the contrary, Ara realized that he had indeed missed his family. It wasn’t often that they all got to be together. Such a sight was often a result of something bigger, in this case Ara’s participation in the tournament.

“How was the interview?” Castian asked as he placed an arm around his son’s shoulder. Ara was still growing, so he was still several inches shorter than his father and his mother. Juno was unusually tall.

“It was alright,” said Ara. The family moved on out of the room and made their way downstairs. Their destination would be Hogsmeade, the setting for their upcoming celebration. “Miss Popper was very kind, though she was pretty insistent on talking about Iris.”

Juno let out a scoff, indicating that she had suspected as much. This was immediately confirmed. “I told you,” she said to Castian, who had clearly just lost a wager. “She’s sneaky, she is.”

Ara frowned. Despite her sneaky ways, Aradok had enjoyed speaking with her. It could have been because most of the attention had been focused on him, which was nice. Still, Juno and the rest of his family, save perhaps his dad, were suspicious of the journalist.

“I didn’t tell her anything, not really,” said Ara when Verity eyed him suspiciously.

“I’m glad,” returned she, “it is not really your place to comment on someone else’s choices. If I had been chosen as Champion, I would have denied the interview too, and I would have your head if you spoke of me ill.”

Ara smiled. There was Verity’s persona.

“So,” said Juno as they reached the castle’s main entrance, “will your friends be joining us?”

Ara cocked his head slightly in thought. “Iris said that she would join us,” he said, “I’m not sure about Zephyr.”

“What about your other friends, kid?” Said Serena.

“I didn’t tell them. I haven't seen them,” said Aradok.

“That’s too bad,” said Juno.

Serena had met several of Ara’s friends, and had approved of them. Verity had been more severe on that topic. Aradok expressed how Iris was probably outside. This seemed to be well accepted by his family, since they would be walking to Hogsmeade. On they walked out of the castle, and Aradok soon began to look for his friend and fellow Hogwarts Champion.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #93 on: February 12, 2014, 06:25:42 pm »
Zephyr had not gone outside immediately. He, too, paid a visit to his house’s area, and he dug through his card collection to find one of Juno. ‘I will get you signed.’ He still couldn’t believe that Aradok had such a famous mother. He was a touch envious, but wouldn’t say so, of course. He loved his own mother well enough, and didn’t want the pressures that came with fame.

He saw it enough with Isis, not that any of them were famous. There was infamy to repent for. There was pressure from their father in general to be something more.

When Zephyr hopped out of his room, he and Rosa walked on to the Great Hall, took a bit of the food off the tables, and then walked outside. It amused him how his mother was so willing to go through these plans of actions.
“You were one of the troublemaking Gryffindors, weren’t you?”

“No, never,”
she lied. She was. Those days were long gone, though. The wildness had been part of what drew Alan to her. His darkness had intrigued her back then. They’d both been foolish.

She and Zephyr settled out by the lake, and spoke of his plans for this year, and the future. He still wanted to be on one of those dragon sanctuaries. Apparently he wouldn’t be talked into becoming a professional Quidditch player.

Alan and Iris joined them eventually, and Rosa watched her tongue to keep the peace between she and Alan. Iris was distracted by the lake, though. Her eyes sought and found the algae.
‘I’ll need a sample.’ Yes, and to figure out why algae. Was it a red herring? She wouldn’t be surprised. ‘No, potions are sensitive matters.’ It couldn’t be a red herring.

Eventually, Iris noticed Aradok and his family moving across the greens. She tapped Zephyr on the shoulder,
“Wanna come?” Her eyes darted back to the family.

“Of course!” Zephyr jumped to his feet, then looked a bit ashamed. “Oh, um, mom, dad…uh….”

“Aradok invited us to Hogsmeade,”
Iris filled in the blanks. “We will see you soon. Two weeks at most,” Iris stood.

“All right,” Rosa nodded. She rose. She wouldn’t stay with Alan, they had nothing to discuss on their own. “Do have fun.”

“Be careful,”
Alan advised, still not a fan of Aradok’s family despite Xander’s reassurances.

“We will be. I’ll see you soon,”
Iris waved and turned.

“Bye!” Zephyr was more enthusiastic to join the others, and walked a step ahead of Iris as they moved to join Aradok’s family. Once he was within earshot and easy sight range of the other family, however, some of his enthusiasm died away. He didn’t know them well, and he didn’t want to embarrass himself too much as one of Aradok’s friends. “Hello,” he greeted. He’d been briefly introduced to them. He hadn’t been properly introduced, “I’m Zephyr Pyrite,” he introduced.

Iris caught up. She understood she’d been recognized on sight as the other champion, but she still did not know Aradok’s family well. She felt the need to introduce herself, too,
“Iris Pyrite,” she looked to Juno first, then to Aradok, “I hope it is all right if Zeph comes along?” She did not think it would be a problem.

Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #94 on: February 23, 2014, 10:49:39 pm »
Aradok welcomed his friends with a smile and a wave; he realized a little too late that he hadn’t yet properly introduced them to his family. It was not common for his friends to frequently meet with him during the summer, so despite the years into their friendship, only Serena really knew who they were. Even then, she had met them through meeting in Diagon Alley a couple of days before leaving for school, and not at their home.

“Nice to finally meet you both!”
Said Castian offering his hand out for each of them to shake.

“My dad, Castian,” said Aradok introducing his family to his friends for the first time. He spoke of them regularly, but Ara felt like he needed to do it officially anyway. “My mum, Juno, and my sisters Serena and Verity.”

Polite greetings were given all around.

“We’re so glad you were able to join us,” said Juno as the group started making their way to Hogsmeade, “Aradok speaks wonders about both of you, it came as no surprise when we heard that you,” she turned her gaze and gave a smile to Iris, “were the second Hogwarts Champion. We were thrilled.”

The rest of the family muttered in general agreement. It had been true, and a small celebration had been thrown in their honor as soon as they had heard. It wasn’t only Aradok who had been picked, but one of his closest friends. The Tournament was deemed to be, at the very least, quite interesting. The idea that their friendship might become problematic did not even cross their minds. To them, everything was the way that it ought to be.

The Lundstroms were friendly and warm people, easy to like and converse with. Not many families had that welcoming aura about them, especially not a family that had almost unanimously attended Ravenclaw house.

“So I hear you’re a beater for the Hufflepuff team, Zephyr?” Juno inquired, which made Aradok grow slightly pink in the face. He had meant to keep the truth about his mother a secret. In the past, her career had done more harm than good to his friendships. He didn’t blame her, for it wasn’t her fault at all, but a part of him had felt happy that to his friends she seemed just like any other mom.

“You remember that, do you?” Aradok chuckled.

“Of course, I remember everything you tell me, dear,” that wasn’t entirely the truth. “Though I still secretly wish you had considered your Quidditch position more carefully – Beaters are clearly the more hardcore players.”

“My boy was made to be a Chaser, love,” said Castian, but Juno waved him off playfully.

Aradok had considered that, but he was simply a better Chaser. He was uncommonly talented at flying, just as his mother was uncommonly good at swinging a heavy bat. Similar talents, but different all the same.

The young Gryffindor turned to Iris and shrugged. Ara was happy that they had joined him on his quick trip to Hogsmeade. The two Hogwarts Champions would be largely celebrated in the Three Broomsticks – butter beers for all.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #95 on: February 26, 2014, 02:00:03 am »
They shook Castian’s hand in turn, Iris first and then Zephyr. They listened to the introductions, finally having faces for the names they heard. They returned each greeting, and Iris’s grin widened at Juno’s words of encouragement, though Zephyr noticed the subtle twitch.

The limelight always did bother her. He put a hand on her shoulder, a casual gesture, to remind her she wasn’t alone.
“Thank you, I’m honored you think so highly of me,” despite having never met. It was strange, but not uncommon. Her father’s friends were the same way. ‘Except they’re snakes.’ Telling what was false flattery and what was sincere was still difficult.

Such thoughts were easily dispelled in this group, though. There was nothing they seemed to want from her, and they easily involved Zephyr in the conversation. Quidditch. His eyes lit up.
“I am!” He nodded. She had been a beater, too.

A shift to Aradok, and he laughed a bit.
“Ara is a good chaser. Rather hard to hit with the bludgeon—though I usually aim at the other beaters first.” He had a bit of reputation. He wanted to take out the other team’s beaters to gain complete control over the bludgeon. All hell broke loose whenever that happened, and it had happened more than a few times.

“Yes, he’s definitely a hardcore player,”
Iris agreed with the sentiment Juno expressed, before looking to Ara and also shrugging, “Not that Ara doesn’t take it seriously, too. Zephyr doesn’t take it seriously.”

“It’s fun,” and he knew as soon as it became serious, he’d lose interest in Quidditch, much the same way he lost interest in his classes. It was why he didn’t humor a professional career. “What do you do nowadays, Juno?” And then to the sisters, “And how is the job market for one fresh out of Hogwarts, anyway?” They’d gotten jobs, of course, but they might know about their peers.

Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #96 on: March 09, 2014, 08:46:08 pm »
Ara smiled, having already acknowledged the differences between him and his friends. It was obvious, to him anyway, that Zeph mostly enjoyed Quidditch because he allowed himself to have fun. Henri was similar, but he took more to Ara’s way of playing – discipline and determination. Ara did suspect, however, that this was impacting Henri’s love for the game. He respected that some of his teammates only played for fun, and not competitively.

“Well the Ministry wants us to bring the World Cup to England again, so that’s what I’ve been working at mostly in the Ministry. The other English teams don’t take too much time when they play here,” Juno shook her head, “but that’s the boring part of it all. I get to travel a lot and watch games as often as I please. Working for the Ministry has its perks.”

The party walked together towards Hogsmeade, which had was seeing a lot of visiting traffic – the shops energetic and busy. Ara suspected that it was the news about the Tournament that was attracting eager eyes, as well as parents taking the opportunity to visit the castle. It wasn’t bothersome for the group, however, for Castian led the way without much trouble. Some eyes did follow the young Champions, but the Three Broomsticks was being quite proactive in allowing only customers.

Aradok waited until they found a table big enough for them, and for the sound of conversation to be loud enough, to chance a conversation with Iris on his own. He saw a near future where they would have plenty of time to speak by themselves, but there were a couple of things that the Gryffindor did not want to wait on. 

“You know, Popper was quite insistent with questions about you,” he cleared the air before the obvious question came, “I didn’t tell her anything that wasn’t my place to say, but you should be careful. You know how some of these reporters can be.” Aradok had liked Popper, but if he hadn’t warned Iris, the unsaid words would have left a horrible feeling in his stomach. It was better, after all, to be safe and not sorry.

A worker came to ask for their orders, and Ara’s family ordered butter beers all around. Aradok asked his with a little of ginger in it – it had been an acquired taste. He wanted to speak to Iris still, for there were some other things that concerned him. The other champions were another topic of conversation that Ara wanted to introduce. Pavel and August were especially unnerving.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #97 on: March 09, 2014, 09:10:24 pm »
Zephyr looked to the shops as they walked through Hogsmeade, now and then wanting to dart off and buy up some things. However, he never did. He stayed near, chatting a bit with Juno about all the games she’d gotten to see across the world. He was quite curious about Quidditch in Asia, though Asia held a special place of curiosity for Zephyr. He knew little about it, and had little opportunity to learn more of it. There was no one at Hogwarts who could teach him things, so he had to read up on it on his own. Eastern Dragons and magical creatures of Japan were an interest.

Once in Hogsmeade, they all got butter beers.
“Thank you so much!” Zephyr said, and Iris nodded.

“Thank you, indeed,”
she echoed.

Aradok drew up another topic. Iris frowned at the news about Popper’s insistence.
“We’ll have to see what she publishes,” and Zephyr gave a look around, as if suspecting she might be near. It wasn’t a human he sought, though, but an animal. Rita’s reputation hadn’t left his mind, and it opened up the revelation that a few other journalists used that very same tactic. He didn’t notice anything strange then.

“She’s going to label you a Death Eater,”
he said as a jest.

‘She’ll regret it.’ Iris didn’t say that, just, “We’ll see,” that underlined the patience she would have in the matter of dealing with the journalist. “Thank you for not saying anything, Ara. I don’t intend to speak to her or any journalist in the near future.” A tip that he shouldn’t say anything about her to any of them—she would never be all right with it. “That goes for you, too, Zeph.”

“What?”


“You don’t get to speak of me to journalists who may harass you, because you’re family.”


“Aww….” Not that he was really disappointed, “But I have all these great, contradictory lies made up in my head.”

Iris just smiled and rolled her eyes. The butter beers arrived and Iris reached to take hers. It was then Zephyr noticed the ring on her finger. He felt his elaboration on what lies in particular dry up. He accepted his own drink and twisted off the metal lid, giving a smile and a word of thanks to the server.

Iris shifted the subject.
“What do you think of our competition, Ara?” An addition, “Do you know anything about them?” She knew a bit about August, but not much on the others. That wouldn’t remain true for long. 

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #98 on: March 10, 2014, 12:45:41 am »
Aradok was glad that he and Iris were on the same page regarding the Tournament, their competitors. His relief had been so great, that the young Gryffindor could not help but show his pleased smile. Truth was that he knew next to nothing about the Beauxbatons champions, despite the fact that the students from the French Academy of Magic were more social than those from Durmstrang.

“Not nearly as much as I had hoped,” he admitted, “I got to know a couple of them, students I mean, but they didn’t get selected as champions. Both of the Beauxbatons girls look quite able, though, but it is the Durmstrang students that concern me most. They look to be quite different than the others, more so than the Champions from Beauxbatons.”

He paused, as his butter beer was delivered to him. “Thank you,” he said before continuing his conversation with Iris. “August looks like he is cleverer than the others; Pavel just looks so serious, almost empty, when compared to the others.” He couldn’t describe it, but it was worrisome nonetheless.  “What do you know?”


Castian looked over to his son, in deep conversation with Iris, and absentmindedly smiled. “How is it that we got so lucky to have three great children?” He whispered to Juno, who had been drinking her butter beer happily. It had been a while since any of them had visited the Three Broomsticks. “Just look at him, so smart, just as his sisters, yet so unlike any of them.”

Juno smiled, too, entwining her fingers with those of her husband. “We’re good people, babe,” she said, resting her head gently on Castian’s shoulders. She did motion for them to avert their gaze from Ara, lest he believe them to be eavesdropping. “We raised them the best way we knew how, and they just happened to thrive on their own.”

“Is it bad that I worry for him?”

Juno shook her head slightly. “It is natural for you to worry, but Ara will be just fine. He’s a kind boy, yes, but he’s smart. He has good instincts, I’m sure he’ll do well.”


“So Zeph,” said Serena next to a silently sipping Verity, trying to make conversation. “Can you explain to me why my brother doesn’t have any friends from Ravenclaw? He never answers me. As a Ravenclaw family, it’s a little offensive.”

Her voice carried a joking tone, though she had often wondered this herself. It was strange that Ara had friends in each house except from Ravenclaw.


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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #99 on: March 23, 2014, 02:54:42 am »
Zephyr listened idly to the conversation then, trying not to feel the twinge of jealousy, but he did. It was once something that bothered him, but he’d thought he had gotten over it. ‘Ah darkness my old friend.’ He’d make his peace with it again, remind himself that he didn’t want to be in her shoes.

It didn’t mean he didn’t crave the acceptance that she had from their father. How had he messed up so bad?
‘When your grades began to slip, when you stopped caring, when you didn’t get into Slytherin.’ So many reasons, and none of them mattered to Zephyr. He was his father’s son. ‘There’s only one ring.’

Still. He opted to listen in to the parents loving ways and easy compliments, finding it foreign but nice. Cute. Distracting even if it focused on his own lack.

Butterbeers came, and Iris opened hers as she listened to Aradok finish is commentary.

Isis’s attention was on the answer to her query. It seemed they were in the same boat,
“I heard a bit on Margaret,” she answered, “It seems she knows quite a bit when it comes to spell craft in theory, which could make her dangerous later on. She does better with enchanting items and potions,” such complaints had been overheard during the dueling club meeting. “I cannot say I know anything about Brielle.”

On the matter of Durmstrang, she knew a bit more,
“I suspected August would be a champion. He’s very good at what he does know,” that much she’d seen firsthand and heard from other duelists, when he did finally get up and duel. “I’ve come to understand he’s well rounded,” she wasn’t sure if he had any specialties, but understood it would be difficult to trip him up either way. He might not have as great a knowledge as she did at spell casting, but he would manage. He seemed the sort who would do well under pressure. “Pavel is another story, though. I get the sense he might be a greater than August if only because he isn’t open.” August would likely share with her, and she with him, as things moved on. He seemed a good sport, seemed like he might want a fair challenge all around. “I think August will remain with the dueling club. I should be able to learn more that way.”

Whether or not that meant following the rules was another story, but certainly ‘fair’.

Zephyr’s attention was drawn away from the parents when one of the sisters addressed him. He turned a smile to her, laughed a bit at her query,
“He has friends in Ravenclaw. I’ve seen him with Marzia, the prefect of Ravenclaw,” he hadn’t really seen Aradok with others, but Zephyr couldn’t blame him. He didn’t call anyone in Ravenclaw friend. His disposition didn’t match any of them, for he didn’t learn things for knowledge’s sake.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #100 on: March 26, 2014, 12:35:48 am »
Iris knew a bit of Margaret, but Brielle still remained a mystery. Ara had gotten a similar impression on August, but knew too little to really make an educated guess. He was solid in his knowledge and would prove a worthy competitor in the tournament. ‘They all will.’ That much Aradok was certain of. The first clue had been given, and already the schools had divided themselves. ‘So much for international magical cooperation.’

“Yeah,” the dueling club was mentioned, and Ara couldn’t help but smile. “You don’t mind me tagging along in that, right? Without Quidditch this term I think it would be best if I picked up some dueling tips.” He still wasn’t going to willingly show just how skilled he was at spells, but he wanted to improve his reflexes as best as he could. Ara was used to exercise, but not the kind that could give him a competitive edge in a duel.

“Also, I was going to invite you to come running with me in the mornings. I have great reason to suspect that the tasks may prove to be physically challenging, too.”

Ara didn’t know whether his invitation would be accepted, for magic went a long way against ordinary obstacles, but he would feel bad if he didn’t invite her along. Besides, he wanted both of them to do well in the tournament. Even though he didn’t want to lose the competition, he would take comfort only if it was Iris who beat him.

“I wonder if Cora still has that book I lent her,” he thought to himself. It was a book about the botany around the castle. It was supposed to help her in herbology, but he had a nagging feeling that she hadn’t really read it.

‘Why did she ask for it then?’

He had no clue that all Cora had wanted was an excuse to talk to him.

“Marzia?” Serena sounded surprised. Aside from being a Ravenclaw, Aradok had made a friendship with a prefect girl. It made her smile devilishly. Verity caught the glance her sister gave her, but didn’t really respond to it. Serena knew that Ara had friends who were girls, of course, like Iris, but he had never felt like Ara would ever be more than just that.

She still had to meet Cora, the other Slytherin friend of his. Gryffindors, however, tended not to be very close with Slytherins.

‘Or Ravenclaws, for that matter.’


Serena jokingly shoved at Ara. “Who is this Marzia? A girlfriend of yours?”

“Marzia?” This was enough for Juno to join in on the conversation, suddenly jealous. “You have a girlfriend?”

Aradok turned pink. “N-No,” he said as he shook his head. “She’s just a friend from Ravenclaw. I’m allowed to have friends, mum.”

Verity took a sip of her butter beer. “Ara would have told us if he had a girlfriend,” she said softly. “He tells us everything.” She knew it wasn’t true, but she never liked seeing Aradok being put on the spot. The young Gryffindor gave an appreciative nod towards his older sister Verity, silently thanking her for putting the subject to rest.

It took a while for Aradok to lose the rosy colored that tinted his cheeks.

‘I have suddenly had enough of my family.’
 

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #101 on: March 27, 2014, 07:06:42 pm »
Iris shook her head, “Not at all. Anyone joining is always good for me and the livelihood of the club,” she did hope it would continue after she left Hogwarts. She needed to consider who to appoint as ‘heir’ for that. Obviously, it wouldn’t be Aradok, but one of the younger students. He offered an invite of his own and Iris considered it. She knew her physical health could be better. “All right,” it would be useful. From other tournaments, physical health was quite important. “What time do you usually do this? I could meet you outside the Great Hall.”

Iris knew she’d never get the motivation up to run on her own. This would be the best way to go about it. Aradok could keep her honest.

He mentioned a book Cora borrowed, and Iris shrugged—she didn’t know.

They were interrupted by a sibling. Iris glanced to Zephyr and he smiled, shrugged, as if he had nothing to do with this interruption. He didn’t know how Serena would react, of course. The thought of Aradok having a girlfriend was interesting enough to all the others.
‘Should I?’ Zephyr mouthed.

‘No.’ Iris wouldn’t let poor Cora be dragged into this, either. The subject was put to rest quickly enough by Verity, and Iris took another drink from her butter beer. ‘Poor Ara.’ She could see his embarrassment clearly, but she thought his family nice.

Zephyr drifted back into conversation with the sisters, turning it on to them,
“Do either of you have boyfriends yet, or husbands? Ara doesn’t say.” He wasn’t trying to suggest he was interested in either, for that certainly wouldn’t look right given his age and position in life, “Is Ara gonna be an uncle?”

Iris rolled her eyes,
“So, does that running route go along the lake?” Iris asked, hoping he caught her true meaning. 

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #102 on: March 29, 2014, 05:27:38 am »
Even though Ara had not appreciated the little scene that had happened with his family, he beamed when Iris agreed to go running with him. He was happy that he was welcomed in the Dueling Club, but it was in the running that he felt truly happy. It would benefit them both in the long run, and he was suddenly excited to share that experience with his friend. “I usually do it around 6 AM,” he smile wavered a little bit, “but we can do it a little later, if you want.” Truth was that Ara ran at 5 AM, but he felt like that might have been a bit much for Iris.

After all, none of his friends were willing to run with him. Iris would benefit from it, however, and so he would change his usual schedule if it meant that she would join him.

Aradok smiled at what Iris asked him. He caught her hidden meaning easily. “It runs around the shore of all the lake, and crosses through the grounds by the Forbidden Forest, too.” That way they could monitor changes that happened anywhere in the castle overnight, and they would likely be the first ones to find them.

The lake, of course, was first on their list. Something was hidden in it concerning the first task, that much Ara was certain of.

At Zeph’s query, Verity shook her head, sipping from her cup silently. No man had been interesting enough to warrant a first look, not to mention a second one. It was Serena that was more popular in that area of their life, and even she was conservative with her privacy. Serena and Verity both were quite careful in the relationships they adopted, despite their different demeanors.

“There had better not,” said Castian with a playful disapproving look.

Serena laughed, but also shook her head. “Not right now,” said she, though she didn’t look sad about it. Neither of them did, actually. “I assure you that if Ara were to be an uncle, he’d know. Besides, I think it more likely for me and Verity to become aunts before he becomes an uncle, from what we’ve heard. Right, Ara?”

“Serena,” said Juno with a frown though she looked like she might smile, “must you…?”

“It was a joke,” said she with a smile.

Ara rolled his eyes, but smiled at Serena when she gave him a playful wink. The second round of butter beers came and it was enjoyed with the same enthusiasm as the first. In time, Ara saw the sky outside start to turn a shade of orange.

“We should probably go back to the castle,” said he before turning to his parents. “Will you stay here in Hogsmeade?”

“Probably not,” said Castian, “we can apparate back home easily enough. Or did you want to do something here tomorrow?”

“No, sweetheart, I think we’ve done what we needed.” She had delivered the necklaces after all.

“And we work,” said Verity.

“Well I’ll see you. Bye.” said Ara as his family rose and bid him farewell. They had gotten the hint that he would like to walk back to the castle with only his friends. Hugs were given, and well wishes were delivered to all. 


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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #103 on: March 29, 2014, 08:43:13 pm »
Iris shook her head at the suggestion of later. It would be hard to wake up in time for the run at 6 am, but, “If we do it any later, I’ll risk running late to my early classes,” she answered. 6 am would have to do, even if she was much more of a night owl than an early bird. She’d get used to it, eventually.

She did smile at the information shared about the course. The Forbidden Forest would be good to watch, as well. The entire school needed to be watched, and this would be one excellent way to do just that.

Conversation came to involve Aradok again, and he was teased about being a father before his sisters ever had children. More butterbeers came, and they continued to pass the day until the sky turned orange. Aradok dismissed his family, and the twins also gave their farewells, Iris passing on a word of gratitude again to Juno.

Zephyr said the obvious when they had left,
“Your family is really nice, Ara,” Iris shifted out of the booth, expecting they would make their way back to the castle now. “Thanks for letting me tag along,” he knew they didn’t have to. This had been more for the champions than Ara’s friends, and he felt like he was imposing just a bit.

“Yes, it was nice to get away from Hogwarts so early in the year,”
Iris concurred. “I guess I’ll have to sleep early tonight,” if she was to wake up before 6am, she’d have to be in bed long before two am came around. Preferably before midnight.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #104 on: April 02, 2014, 11:37:24 pm »
Aradok smiled as he led the way out of the Three Broomsticks. “They’re great,” he said regarding his family, “and it is no trouble. I feel a little bad that I didn’t ask the others to come along, too.” Now that he thought about it, it might have been nice for his family to finally meet the others. He was sure that they wouldn’t really like Geoff at first, but he had no doubt that the others, like Charlotte, Henri, and Cora, would have been approved of all around.

Still, Ara felt like he had enough of them for that day. He’d miss them, of course, but not enough to want to see them. Now that he was a champion, he would see them a lot more often than in years past. Perhaps this year he wouldn’t grow to miss them at all.

They made their way outside where the sunset was charmingly beautiful. By the time they would reach the castle, however, it would be dark. “You know curfew is pretty early these days anyway, Iris,” teased Ara playfully. He knew that curfew meant very little for Iris, and admittedly for himself. He didn’t like breaking the rules, but he would if he needed to – and getting caught had never been a concern of his.

“I’m especially glad that you got to meet my mum, Zeph,”
he knew that Zeph had been a fan, but hadn’t mentioned anything before. Keeping his family to himself had always been one of Ara’s priorities. Now that the secret was out, however, he might as well talk about it. “Even if you do play for another team.” Despite this fact, Ara had never really had a problem with Zephyr, not even during a match. Ara’s team always played fair.

They made their way down towards the castle, and when they came close to the grounds, Ara heard something. “Did you guys…?” He couldn’t finish his question. The sky was quickly darkening, and it was already hard to see in the darker places. His mind immediately suspected whether preparations could be taking place already, but was doubtful. They were close to the lake, but more so to the forest. Ara didn’t suspect anything dangerous, but he still fetched his wand from the folds of his robes.

“Lumos,” Ara’s wand lit up.

As if the light had been enough reason to come out, Pavel ushered out of the outskirts of the forest, wand in hand. Aradok smiled, though he did not return it. Instead, the Durmstrang student only waved. He looked even creepier in the dark, but Ara was not going to say that.

“Are you alright, Pavel?”


The student nodded his head, as if contemplating whether or not he should verbally answer. Ara lowered his wand slightly, wondering if Pavel was alone.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2014, 07:42:47 pm »
Iris smirked at Aradok’s note on curfew. While it might be an issue for her while Darius remained upset, it had never been a problem. She had many ways around curfew. Shame she didn’t bring one of her potions with her, she could have easily snuck into the Slytherin common room that way. “I think I’ll be just fine,” she answered him.

The topic shifted then to the Quidditch player, and Zephyr’s eyes again lit up as he recalled who’s presence he’d been in. He’d nearly forgotten as the situation turned casual.
“Yeah! Thank you for letting me tag along,” Zephyr said as Aradok mentioned his mother. “I might have to root for you now in this tournament.” Iris punched his shoulder, though it was light and harmless. He laughed.

It was near the castle that something strange arose. At the question, the twins nodded. Zephyr was the first to come to a halt, evidently bothered by something he couldn’t quite see. The three reached for their wands, and Ara illuminated the area. They were near the forest, after all.

It wasn’t a wild animal that left the forest, though, but Pavel. Zephyr’s grip on his wand tightened. He recognized the boy as one of the champions, but he knew little else. He looked creepy, eerie, out here in this dim lighting. The way the shadows played on his flesh made Zephyr wary.


“The forest is off-limits to students, Pavel, August.”
She hadn’t seen August.

She was right, though. August shifted out of his own hiding place and into the light when his name was called.
“What are you two doing out here?” She inquired of them, not with accusation but curiosity.

August did not usually defer to another’s judgment, but in this case he spoke to Pavel for his opinion. He did not speak in English.
“Shall we tell them?” Though they were three, and not two. He didn't want to leave his investigations just because it was against Hogwarts rules. The one that August did not know looked quite a bit like Iris, save for his height, though. He rightly suspected them of being related.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #106 on: April 20, 2014, 10:36:16 pm »
Iris was more direct than Ara, but he appreciated the support. Ara’s Slytherin friend had also been right to suspect that August had been with Pavel, for the second Durmstrang champion emerged from the shadows as his name was called. August spoke to Pavel in Swedish. The other was wary of not only the Hogwarts students but of the sounds of the forest behind them. They were in the outskirts, but that didn’t stop the fact that the forest was forbidden for a reason.

“If you want,”
responded Pavel seriously in Swedish, “though I think we should let them guess what they will. He is not a champion.”

Pavel did not want to speak about the tournament in front of a person who wasn’t a champion – in this case the boy that looked similar to the girl champion.

Aradok did not find it appropriate for them to speak in a language he couldn’t understand. He didn’t say anything on that note, but still looked at them curiously. He was certain that they were lurking in the forest to see if they could get familiar with the grounds, whether that be for the current task or otherwise.

“The forbidden forest is dangerous,” said Ara.

“We were just looking,”
responded Pavel, though neither sounded affronted. It seemed like things would be peaceable between the Durmstrang and Hogwarts champions. In truth, Pavel had seen the Hogwarts champions leave the castle, and he had half a mind to follow them. The forest was close enough to the path, and he had wanted to see them return.

“You should do so with care, then,” Ara did not feel obligated to enforce the rules on foreign students, and he imagined that even if he did, they would not listen to him. He even had half a mind to break the rules of the school to try and see what the task would encompass, and he would not vouch for the other champions either.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #107 on: April 21, 2014, 01:36:56 am »
None understood Swedish, which was the advantage of the Durmstrang students. August opted not to inform them, for he had wondered at the presence of the other. Zephyr eyed them both, not hiding his displeasure at being unable to understand.

Iris was calm, patient. She waited for them to speak English, but it was clear she would not accept no answer. The answer came only after Aradok prodded.
“Looking for anything in particular?” Iris inquired.

August shook his head. It hadn’t been anything in particular.
“A forest called forbidden is interesting. It was curiosity. We still barely know your castle, let alone the grounds outside it.” They did not have the advantage here. They needed to rectify that by learning the grounds better.

“There are books on it,”
Iris noted, for one reason only. August smiled. Though they had not chatted much, in their conversations they’d learned that Iris was more inclined to go to books first, and attempt later, whereas August was more inclined to try first, and go to books afterwards. “Probably a map in the library. Perhaps you will be able to check them out without much fuss.”

He inclined his head,
“Thank you,” he might look in to it, but probably not. “You are out this way, too, I notice.”

“We are returning from Hogsmeade.”
Zephyr answered.

Iris nodded, turned,
“Shame you aren’t looking for anything in particular, though. I know there are a few areas of the grounds that need to be turned over.” Zephyr turned with her to follow back to the castle, to leave the Durmstrang students to their own searches. 

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #108 on: May 15, 2014, 11:49:36 pm »
Ara wanted to believe the pair of Durmstrang students, but all the secrecy was not encouraging him. The fact that they hadn’t immediately answered, and when they did doing so in a different language, was also making it hard to believe that nothing was really going on. He looked at them both without the present suspicion, but instead gave them a smile when Iris and Zeph turned around to head back into the castle.

“You two be careful around these parts of the school grounds. Have a good night,” said Ara once more time before turning around himself and catching up with his friends.

Once Ara felt like enough distance had been placed between them and the Durmstrang champions, he turned to his two friends. “That was suspicious, wasn’t it?” Ara seemed to frown. “Is it weird that I wasn’t expecting such a thing so soon?” though he didn’t know why not. He and Iris would do the same thing the next morning during their jog. Was he being silly in being a little surprised by this? “Whatever the case, I think it is about time I catch up on my Swedish.”

Back in the outskirts of the forbidden forest, Pavel turned to August.

“He is so friendly,” admitted the champion, but he still had a bad feeling about the Gryffindor student. Pavel couldn’t figure out why, but he knew what he felt. “We need to be careful with him, with them both.”


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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #109 on: May 16, 2014, 04:40:05 am »
There was a moment where August wanted to speak, to ask what Iris meant, but the moment slipped by when Aradok spoke. He saw her smile, and he imagined she was willing to plot—willing to be open. There was a cost, of course. He would have to play fair, or risk a poisonous bite. ‘Serpents indeed.’ Durmstrang did not divide itself into houses the way Hogwarts then. August had considered that a weakness of Hogwarts that might be exploitable, but now that he saw the champions were a Gryffindor and Slytherin who were friends, he was reconsidering.

He was too focused on what he perceived as a missed opportunity, and a risk, that he didn’t feel the same suspicion towards Aradok that Pavel did. He looked when he heard Pavel talk, and it took a moment for the words to sink in, his mind translating back into Swedish.
“Friendly?” He repeated. He hadn’t gotten that vibe, oddly enough. From Iris, yes, but not Aradok. “Risks pay off, Pavel,” he reminded. He had always been more action oriented. “They know there is something out here. We should follow them, when we can.”

Opportunity was lost for the moment, but there would be others.


~***~

Iris only smirked as she turned away, and Zephyr walked in step with her. Aradok was quick to catch up after leaving them behind with a few choice words, but there was a short conversation before Aradok was noticed.


“So, they’re the threats, aren’t they?”


“In my mind,” she agreed. “August and Aradok are the only ones I am worried about.”

“Not Beauxbaton?”


“The one who showed up for dueling needs a lot more practice. They are too theoretical. Too careful.”


Zephyr laughed at that. He was always hearing that advice from her—that he needed to study more before acting. It amused him to hear it now as something of an insult. Aradok joined them then. Zephyr’s grin only widened, “Yes, you should have expected it, but I suppose you can be pardoned. You’re a Gryffindor.”

Iris rolled her eyes, though unlike Aradok she wasn’t surprised,
“Is it really suspicious?” She asked, “Were I new here, and made champion, I would be exploring every inch of the grounds. We have the home field advantage, and they know it.” It was quite the advantage, too. They already knew one place to begin investigating the clue they were given.

“Do you even know any Swedish?”
Zephyr asked. He didn’t. He was pretty sure Iris didn’t, either. He would be right.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #110 on: June 06, 2014, 01:29:37 am »
Aradok smiled, really enjoying the friendships he had outside of his own house. It definitely kept things interesting. Especially when his friends included twins, where one was from Slytherin while the other was from Hufflepuff. Somehow, Ara believed that this diversity would prove useful in the tournament, and that it would give them an edge against the other champions.

“Of course I don’t know Swedish,” he said with a soft laugh, “but I might be able to find a spell or something that can readily fix that. We have the home field advantage, but they currently have a way to communicate with each other that we do not understand.” There had to be something that could help them with that, but he had never heard of such a thing.

This led him to another thought. Spell creation. He would have to take to Iris about that, for she was the one person who Ara thought might want to join him in his research. After all, there was nothing on the rules that mentioned spell creation.

They reached the entrance to the castle, which was where they would typically separate. The dungeons were on the grounds, and Ara would have to go all the way to the seventh floor.

“Thanks for coming to Hogsmeade with me and my family. They’re…something else. I’m going to turn in,”
he said to his friends, “I’ll meet you outside the dungeons in the morning?” He asked Iris before giving them both a wave, wishing them goodnight, and making his way to the Gryffindor common room.

***

The next morning came quickly, and (as always) Ara was the first one to wake up. He went into the prefect’s bathroom, showered, and changed into his running clothes – strapped across his chest was a belt that held both bottles and his wand. Despite the activities that kept him occupied in the morning, Ara’s mind was constantly thinking about the tournament, and possibly what they would find by the black lake.

The previous night, Ara had a hard time going to sleep. It might have been concern about the tournament, but his mind was racing most of the time. These thoughts were remembered in the morning, and they check marked several of the things that he wanted to check out. The forbidden forest was another destination he was eagerly looking forward to.

The young Gryffindor was half tempted to bring his broom, though he knew he wouldn’t use it.

In time, Aradok found himself waiting for Iris just outside of the dungeon. Some professors were already awake, but most of the chatter came from the portraits that were hung all around the castle’s walls. It was still dark out, but Ara found it relaxing. Most of the portraits enjoyed the morning, too. 

“What are you doing by the dungeons, aren’t you a Gryffindor?”
A man on a portrait spoke to him, genuinely curious.

Aradok smiled.

“I’m waiting for a friend,” explained he.

“From Slytherin?”

“Yes, my friend Iris.”

“Oh,” spoke the man, then with a smile, “so you are waiting for a girl.”

“She’s just a friend,” clarified the young Gryffindor.

“Are you Aradok?”

“That’s right.”

The man nodded still, suspicious, but was beginning to understand. “Congratulations on becoming a champion, boy.” The man in the portrait suspected that the two Hogwarts champions would become affiliated, but he had never expected them to have been friends beforehand.

“Thank you.”

It was already looking like it was going to be a good day. He hoped that more would follow it, but from hearing about the endeavors of previous champions, that was unlikely.

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #111 on: June 06, 2014, 01:46:48 am »
The morning came, earlier than Iris was used to. She made sure to fall asleep at a semi-decent hour. First she had to check a couple of potions she had sitting. Soon enough, she’d have invisibility potions to give over to Zephyr and Henri so that they wouldn’t get caught roaming about the castle at night. She was pleased with the progress, and that no one seemed to be mucking with them.

In the morning, she also checked them, and took the clue for the tournament out of the potion room. She intended to bring it along, and tested it again to find out if it would spill. Not a drop touched the floor when she tilted it.
‘Enchanted cup indeed.’ She needed to get some of these. It was quite useful.

It was inadvisable to take too much with her, but she did remember to grab a water bottle and her wand. She changed into clothing she thought appropriate. She didn’t own athletic attire, so she allowed sweatpants and a tank top to suffice—usually clothing for when she was feeling lazy. The irony of its new purpose didn’t escape her.

She tied her hair back and tried to wake herself by splashing cold water on her face. It helped, a little.

In the common room, Darius was already awake.
“Where are you going, Pyrite?”

“Exercise. I’ll see you later.”
She didn’t desire a long conversation with him, so she left immediately, not a glance back.

Aradok wasn’t far. He’d come down to the dungeons, even.
“Good morning,” she greeted him, an attempt at being chipper. Best to fake being in a good mood, then it might actually happen. “Are you ready to head out?” She made mental notes of his attire, and how much water he had with him, in consideration for their next run.

He looked quite awake.
‘Well, of course.’ This was common for him. He was used to these hours.

Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #112 on: July 29, 2014, 06:30:14 pm »
Iris emerged from the dungeons, and Aradok greeted her with the smile. He could tell that she wasn’t a morning person, so he appreciated her attempt to be cheerful greatly. She was willing to get up early to scout the grounds while getting some exercise with him, and the sacrifice went a long way with him. Aradok could see that Iris was still sleepy, but that was not as bad a sign as it might have looked. He could still remember the days when he first started working out in the mornings. Quidditch had come as no joke back then, but he had quickly gotten used to it.

“Good morning,” he had told her, nodding as he led the way back to main hall, from where they would go on outside. “Don’t worry,” he spoke playfully, “you’ll get used to the mornings at some point, I think. Besides, running will really help us out in the tournament.”

He’d asked Cora for company before, but she had not been such a big fan of running. For some reason, he hadn’t extended the invitation to anyone else after that. Henri took the initiative to follow him from time to time, but it wasn’t by Ara’s wishes. He enjoyed the company, but didn’t require it. This time around, of course, the situation was different. He needed to make sure that both he and Iris excelled in the team tasks.

Through the doors they went, and the sky was still dark throughout the horizon. Across the lake hints of orange could be seen, but sunrise was still some time away.  Across most of the grounds, the Forbidden Forest was looking as gloomy as it ever did. At first glance, there were no signs of any preparation for the tournament. Ara suspected that some spells were safeguarding the secrets kept from them.

‘What are you doing, Ara?’

The young Gryffindor rationalized that the other champions would do the same – snoop around for clues. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that, was there?

“Let’s get started,” he told her and began with a comfortable jog around the edges of the grounds that would take them to the lake and to the forest. Ara was always mindful of Iris, slowing and keeping up with her pace. If running had ever shown him anything it was that every day they could run farther and faster. The body was an amazing thing.

Upon reaching the lake, Aradok slowed his pace, his glance to the lake lingering there for a second too long. If someone had seen that, he would be suspected of snooping and not having just a morning run. He caught himself in the act, though, and made it a point to be more casual than that. As he came to a stop he let out a breath. His chest was moving quickly, but it was nothing compared to what he was used to.

“How are you doing?”

Aradok didn’t want to tire Iris out, since the other purpose of this joint jog was conversation alone between the two. There were still topics that he wanted to speak with Iris about, and he couldn’t do it if Iris couldn’t speak.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #113 on: July 29, 2014, 11:19:23 pm »
Iris couldn’t really hide her own tiredness, but Aradok seemed accepting of it. “You’re right,” about the running part helping with the tournament. She had no idea if he was right about her getting used to it, and she wouldn’t hold out hope. It would be a chore, and as such, a necessity. That was the attitude she could convince herself to take to get it done.

She walked alongside him out of the castle, and they both took a moment to assess their surroundings. Nothing seemed out of the norm.
‘Perhaps it is too early for them to be setting up larger tasks.’ The final task was always something on a large scale. Then again, the first task of the latest tournament had been dragons.

Ah, if only. Zephyr would be ecstatic.

She gave Aradok a nod when he said to begin. Fortunately, he didn’t just sprint off. He jogged, and Iris was able to keep pace for a little while. As her body wasn’t accustomed to this at all, though, she did find herself slowing down. Every time she noticed it, she did regain her original speed, but it always faltered again. It was a frustrating struggle, more so internally. She could rationalize all she liked about how this was what she should have expected, but she was ever competitive.

Finding out she couldn’t keep pace with Aradok was a poor way to start out. Plus, it was clear he was being generous.
‘We’ll get better. Practice.’ Her competitive streak alone might make this chore more endurable. ‘We got better at dueling.’ She didn’t do so hot her first year. She was shown up by another Slytherin, but then taken under his wing.

Slytherin’s stuck together in the end.
‘Something Darius doesn’t realize.’ Or perhaps it was her. One of them was being stubborn. Both of them.

They slowed, and then stopped at the lake. Iris took a drink of her water before answering,
“I’m all right,” it wasn’t a lie. She was fine, just needed water and a breath. Breath, mostly. She wasn’t used to breathing in a way to keep the oxygen flowing while she was jogging.

They were by the lake now, and she took a glance out at it. This couldn’t be coincidence, but she didn’t yet grab her own cup. She took another drink. The break was wonderful and not to be squandered if she was wrong and Aradok just stopped here for no purpose.


Bleu

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #114 on: September 06, 2014, 08:55:55 pm »
Aradok smiled warmly to his friend. “Good,” he told her before taking a sip from his own bottle. Water would help in these morning runs, and it felt good as it trickled down his throat – cool and quenching.

The young Gryffindor’s eyes glanced around the grounds as he drank, and thankfully there was nobody out this early. At least, Ara didn’t think so. If they continued like this, they would be able to scope out most of the grounds before the rest of the competition. After all, that was the other reason why he had invited Iris running with him in the mornings. They had an edge over the others, and it was Ara’s intention to keep it that way throughout.

“It doesn’t look like anybody is out,” Ara fetched his wand from his belt and pointed it quickly behind them. In these situations, it was always better to be safe than sorry. “Homenum Revelio.”

A whoosh escaped Ara’s hazel wand, and the incantation revealed that they were indeed alone. Ara put his wand away quickly after that and turned back to Iris. This time would be gold in catching her breath, but if they could also sneak in a little time to further inspect the lake, well…that would be good for both of them. After all, Iris and he were (for the most part) in it together.

“Since we’re here,” there was no denying the fact that this had been Ara’s intention from the start, “why don’t we take a small sample from the lake?” From one of the small pocket in Ara’s shorts, he fetched a flask that seemed much too big to carry. Thankfully, Ara had perfected the Undetectable Extension Charm. It did mean, however, that he often found himself looking for strange things in the pockets of his clothes. “If we could just find out...” Aradok did not finish his thought as he squatted down and collected some of the flora of the lake.

So much could be researched with just some samples.

When Ara turned to Iris again, his face grew slightly red – even if it was just a little embarrassment. Most of his friends had never seen the truly academic side of Ara, for he generally liked to study on his own. Paying attention in class, reading books in the library - those were different instances. Researching, and actually indulging in shady actions, that was something else. “The earlier we get started, the better,” he rationalized. “What do you think, should we linger here a bit more?” Aradok casually slipped the flask back into his pocket. The boy was still curious as to what Iris wanted to see in the lake. They would only have a while more before other people began to emerge, and there were still other parts of the grounds that they could see.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2014, 01:58:59 am »
That Aradok looked for other people caused Iris to stifle a laugh. ‘Honestly.’ She didn’t speak her thought then, but the more she observed his paranoid behavior, the more she wondered. Were champions not meant to explore and try to unravel the task? That was why they were given clues, after all.

‘Yes, why don’t we?’
Iris hadn’t brought anything to take a sample of the lake with her. So, she drank what she could of her own water, and then spilled the rest of it out onto the grass. Her water bottle would have to suffice. She would have to remember not to drink of it while it held the lake water, though.

She knelt down besides Aradok as his cheeks flushed, and hummed a little as she dipped it into the water and let it fill.
“…just find out what is in the lake, then we might be able to separate out what was added to it in the potion, among other things. We may also single out the key ingredient in the lake water which would explain why they are using it. I suspect it comes from one of the creatures that lives within it,” she continued from where he left off, not sure if such was his train of thought, but such was hers.

She closed the water bottle and smirked at him as he seemed hesitant.
“What’s the rush?” She inquired, “We were given the cups to serve as clues. Are we not meant to investigate them more thoroughly?” The wand slipped into her hand, and she waved it in the air without speaking, a conductor’s touch to it.

‘Sonitus Chorda.’


Quietly, the sounds of stringed instruments played around them, rippling the water. Iris did not cease moving the wand. This spell required constant work with the wand to continue the music, but she was aware that merpeople lived in the lake, and merpeople tended to be attracted to music.

There had to be a few who knew English by now. They were intelligent, after all, and would have been considered ‘beings’ if they, as a race, hadn’t rejected that classification. 

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #116 on: November 08, 2014, 02:15:55 am »
Just as Ara had squatted to get a sample of the water, Iris made her own feelings known. They much resembled thoughts like his, and he let a smile reveal just that information. There was much to discover from the water, and if they could somehow compare it to the potion that was given to them, well they would keep the upper hand on this task. The thought of the task didn’t make him nervous, but it made him more serious – silent.

It was only until after Iris’s question that Ara decided to speak. “There is no rush,” he agreed, turning to take another look around them and the lake before meeting Iris’s gaze again, “but we should still be careful what we decide to investigate so publically. We don’t want to give the other champions a place for them to investigate, too,” not that they hadn’t figured that out for themselves with the potion. Ara wouldn’t count on their ignorance, however, but he was not about to risk it, either. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them decided to get up as early as we did.”

It was a unlikely, but entirely possible.

Aradok looked to Iris as she cast her silent spell, cleverly calling for the merpeople that lived in the lake. He wouldn’t have thought of that, and so Ara was pleased that Iris was his co-champion. In that moment, it didn’t quite register to him that she was also the competition. “You’ve gotten really good at that,” he commented on silent casting, an area he could still improve on himself. He’d have to work on that in the evenings – perhaps Henri would be okay with sacrificing a couple of hours of sleep in order to learn with him.
 
‘Never too early to learn, Henri,’ he smiled.

As the music chimed, Ara could see the subtle changes in the water. He wasn’t so sure it was the merpeople reacting, but there was definitely something that had been affected by the music. The Hogwarts Professors had always warned the students about disturbing the lake, but this was necessary for the tournament. Besides, Ara was willing to humor the idea of Iris and himself being capable of handling a difficult situation.

Then there the merpeople were, graceful and equally eerie, several lingering by the shallow waters, with only a couple emerging to the surface. Their skin was gray, eyes yellow and a mop of green hair that fell to their sides. Ara thought them ugly, but he found them fascinating. The two merpeople looked curiously to the two students, and one of them even looked a little hostile. Above all, however, they looked confused.

‘If they’re this confused, then perhaps we’re looking at the wrong place…’

“Good morning,” he said to the merpeople with a smile, though they didn’t look too happy to hear it.

“What is the music?” The accent was choppy, but the intention behind the strange question was clear. They wanted an explanation. 


Krystal Itzume

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Re: A Tournament’s Revival [Closed]
« Reply #117 on: November 08, 2014, 07:00:21 am »
Aradok’s worries were about the other champions. That caused Iris to nod, now understanding his paranoia about being out here. She hadn’t considered it much. There were many places to check, after all.

The silently casted spell wove its magic around them, and fortunately it received a response. Iris hadn’t been sure what greeting to expect of the merpeople. Her posture adjusted so she was sitting more on her knees as she looked out at them, and then lowered her wand. She set it down at her side, and removed her fingers from it, not touching it. There were wizards and witches who could cast touching their wands, and it was a goal of hers, but it was difficult.

She wanted them to see she meant no threat, no harm, to them, since one looked particularly hostile.

She inclined her head in something of a bow,
“Thank you for rising from your homes,” she greeted. “The music was because I had a questions who’s answers could only be found under the water, and I did not wish to trespass.” If she was granted permission to seek the answers, she’d take it. She left it as an option, but did not explicitly ask to go down.

Not yet, anyway,
“Aradok and I have been chosen as the Triwizard Tournament representatives of Hogwarts, and we were given these,” she took the goblet out and set it near the edge of the lake, “We recognized it contained content from the lake, so I am here to seek answers,” she clasped her hands in her lap, “I would owe you a favor if you could elaborate on the particular content from this lake within the goblet, or if you have allowed any strange activity to go on in your lake.” For certain McGonagall would ask them before disturbing their homes, the way Iris did not wish to trespass into their homes.

The idea of the favor was hopefully enticing, too. There had to be times when the merpeople needed or wanted things that were difficult to acquire, being underwater as they were.