|Synopsis||Talk between students of other wizarding schools, the Triwizard Tournament, and other possible names to call the Tournament.|
|Watch For||Silly names Alton and Ginny think of for the Triwizard Tournament.|
|Date||September 12, 1994|
Hogwarts, Great Hall
Full of aureate light and gilded gleam, the Great Hall of Hogwarts is both strange and splendid. Thousands and thousands of white taper candles float in midair, their inextinguishable flames casting dancing light down over four long tables, laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. Were one to stand at the door looking in, members of Slytherin house would be seated at the far left, followed by Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and then Ravenclaw along the right wall. At the top of the hall is another long table for the teachers, perpendicular to the House tables. Set along the wall beside the head table, an unobtrusive doorway leads to a much smaller room. The appearance of the ceiling above varies with the weather and time of day, as it has been bewitched to look like the sky outside. Most would agree that the effect is startlingly realistic, making the Great Hall seem to simple open on to the heavens.
Melissa nods. "Yes it is!" She drinks a bit more with a big smile. "So… who's on the Quidditch teams anyway? I know Cho's on ours…"
Ginny is sitting at the Gryffindor table, leaning across the gap between it and the Hufflepuff table to talk to Melissa and Alton, sitting together. There's some food spread out in front of Ginny, as well as a sketchpad, a quill, and an ink pot.
"I honestly can't keep track," Alton admits, shrugging helplessly at Melissa. "I'm a very bad Quidditch fan, I know, I'm supposed to know the rosters backwards and forwards… but with my O.W.L.s this year, it's probably not going to get any better," he says with a grimace, glancing to his books.
Ginny purses her lips thoughtfully, her brow furrowing. "I'm not sure who exactly is on all the teams.. I know most of the players on the Gryffindor team - Fred and George are beaters, Harry's the seeker, Oliver is the captain. And Cho's the seeker for Ravenclaw, Roger Davies is the captain. And I think Cedric Diggory is the Hufflepuff seeker.. Draco's the Slytherin seeker. That's all I know."
Melissa nods. "All right… good to know…" She thinks a bit, trying to commit these to memory.
The gentle clicking of black mary jane heels barely echoes in the Great Hall, her dark robes brushing across the polished stone floor as Zarina navigates around the tables. In her slender hands is an open copy of Hogwarts: A History, her bright sapphire eyes reading over a page curiously for a moment before flicking up at the tables, seeing what students where in the Hall. Her feet automatically lead her to the Gryffindor table, taking a seat on the bench, regardless if the deep emerald green and shimmering silver is more than apparent in her robes. Balancing the book in one hand, she lowers herself onto the bench, habitually crossing her lean legs, the hem of her skirt resting just above her knees as the cloak gathers on the bench around her. Frowning slightly as she listens to the current conversation, she turns, placing the book on the table as she absently reaches up to brush a long lock of snow white hair behind her ear. Even with the book in front of her, she rolls her sapphire eyes, "Slytherin seeker… not if I have a say about it…" she murmurs to herself, shrugging a shoulder, "Either way, there's not Quidditch this year."
"I don't know if there'll be a proper season this year, though," Alton murmurs thoughtfully, glancing to Ginny - just in time for the new arrival to confirm his worries. He inclines his head to Zarina and makes a there-you-go gesture with a hand, smiling apologetically. "With the Cup, and all. That'll be weird. I wonder if they'll still let people try out, for next year?"
"Oh! I totally forgot. The Cup. That's going to make things interesting.. are you going to put your name in?" Ginny asks Alton, then grins at Zarina as the girl arrives, offering her some of the snacks she had: cheese and crackers, bread and jam, and cherry juice. "I think I'll be part of house support for Gryffindor.. it's better than nothing, after all. You could do that, too," she tells Melissa.
Melissa gives Zarina a wave. "I don't think first-years can do that, can they?" she asks Ginny. "Besides, I don't know what would have to be done anyway…"
Zarina reaches over to take one of the offered pieces of crackers from Ginny as she pops it in her mouth, chewing it quietly for a moment before pointing at the copy of Hogwarts: A History in front of her. "Students sixteen and older can put there name on a piece of paper and put it in the Goblet of Fire. It chooses 'champions' to participate in the Triwizard Tournament. Though, it can't be taken lightly…" she murmurs, releasing a slow breath of a sigh. "The last Tournament was over two hundred years ago. And it was cancelled because of the rising death toll."
"I've got enough to do this year without death-defying feats of derring-do added to my schedule," Alton laughs, shaking his head and holding up his hands. "And I'm not really that interested, anyway. I'm sure whoever does go after it for Hufflepuff will be a million times more capable than I am."
Ginny pauses a moment to search her memory, and she makes a face. "Actually, no, Melissa, you're right. Third years and up. I'm a bit off today, I fear." She laughs self-deprecatingly, shaking her head. "You'll be plenty busy with schoolwork and all, anyway," she tells Melissa with a smile. "Are you liking Hogwarts so far?"
Melissa smiles wide at Ginny. "Oh, yes… well, maybe not some of the teachers. But it's mostly fun."
Zarina reaches over to take another chip from in front of Ginny, popping into her mouth as she silently chews. "It really depends on the person I think." she answers as her sapphire eyes scan over the book, "I one is wanting to participate in the Tournament enough, they should be able to balance schoolwork and that I think. Besides it is only three separate days of the year." Her expression softens with a smile as she looks dreamily up, "Well, that and the Yule Ball that is Christmas night…"
"You'll get the hang of them," Alton assures Melissa, smiling at the first year. "Every professor has stuff that they like and don't like to see out of their students, and once you figure it out, it gets a lot easier to handle everything." Mention of the upcoming Ball doesn't earn so much as a batted eyelash from Alton - but, well, he /is/ a boy.
Julian steps into the Great Hall, hoping to get a good look at it while it's empty. But, lo and behold, it's not. So, it's a good thing he brought his bag along. He frowns, and moves over toward the Gryffindor table, where the other Slytherin sits. Just in case. "May I sit down?" Deferential. Respectful.
Ginny nods agreement at Alton. "Yes, you'll get into the swing of things after a bit of time. You'll learn a lot here." The redhead turns to the newest arrival, and she smiles warmly at him. "Sure, if you want to," she says, "We were just discussing the Tri-Wizard Tournament." Apparently Ginny sees nothing odd about not one, but two Slytherins at the Gryffindor table.
Melissa grins. "Well, it's not really a *Tri*-wizard Tournament anymore… It's more like Quad-Student."
Zarina lifts a brow at Julian as he approaches, a moment passing before she makes an idle gesture towards the table. "Go ahead. We're all just talking here, cutie." her full lips grow with a playful smirk, giving him a wink as she chuckles and reaches for another cracker. A free hand reaches up to brush back her long, snow white hair from her face as her sapphire eyes glance back to the others, nodding in agreement with Melissa. "That's true. The other schools aren't participating, so its more between houses than schools."
"Sort of a shame. Would have been neat if we could have met some foreign witches and wizards," Alton muses, offering Julian a polite nod in greeting. "See if they do things any different. Oh well." He regains his grin quickly enough, adding, "Just have to travel after I graduate, I guess, to sate that particular curiosity."
"Well," Melissa says, "maybe if this goes well they'll reconsider and do the real thing soon." She smiles. "I think I'd like to see that, even though it's dangerous…"
Julian sits down quickly, scowling at Zarina's endearment. "Other schools?" He remembers the names of the other wizarding schools from the feast, but he wants to hear more about each one, so he plays dumb. He reaches to grab a snack, always willing to eat a little. "Thank you."
Ginny grins at Melissa and nods. "You're right, but Tri-Wizard has a ring to it that Quad-Student doesn't," she teases. "I suppose we'll have to think of something catchy /and/ accurate. Any ideas?"
Zarina glances to Alton with a slight smirk, "I bet you just wanted to see how beautiful the Beauxbaton girls are rumored to be. Their uniforms are supposed to be really different, though just like Hogwarts, no one knows where the school is." she just shrugs a shoulder nonchalantly, only to frown as she glances back to Melissa. "The real thing? I don't know… it may be dangerous enough as it is without using all of the traditions." She just shakes her snow white head, looking back to Julian without the faintest acknowledgement to his scowl. "There are two other schools besides Hogwarts. There is also Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic."
"Clearly they'll be competing for the Dumblecup," Alton solemnly informs Ginny, paying the Slytherin girl no mind. With a grin, he scoops up his books and shifts to stand, inclining his head politely to the gaggle of students. "I need to scoot and get ready for my next class. Nice chattin'. I hope they let you try out," he adds with a grin for Ginny, offering a wave before he turns to head off.
"Beauxbatons sounds French. I bet it's in France somewhere." Julian says quietly. "D'Allemagne said something about it…" That's Rene. When Alton mentions the 'Dumblecup', Bean starts laughing. "Dumblecup…" He chortles to himself. "Or, maybe the Big Pig challenge…" Since it's Hogwarts, after all. He continues to hold on to his snack while he laughs.
Ginny giggles at Alton's suggestion, a grin lighting up her face. "Dumblecup. I might have to start calling it that," she gives between giggles. Then she nods at Julian, "Beauxbatons does sound French. It might not be in France, though, if it's supposed to be a secret location."
Zarina nods, ""Beauxbatons" is French for "beautiful batons.". Batons as in wands." she just shrugs a shoulder, clearly not all that impressed with Beauxbatons or their name. With a light exhale, she closes her book, pushing it on the table lightly before reaching over and taking a handful of grapes in her slender fingers.
Melissa claps. "I like 'Dumblecup' too. Sounds good!"
Julian's laughter settles down. See, this is the kind of thing he wants to hear. "Do you know what it's like?" These other schools. He munches on his snack, and then pulls out a book to work on the homework he's gotten. "I'm Bean, by the way." Just so people know.
Ginny smiles at Julian. "Ginny," she says, offering him a slender hand. "Nice to meet you." She uses a knife to cut off a slice of bread, smearing strawberry jam on the piece.
Zarina arches a brow at Julian's question, tilting her head lightly as she recollects what she read about the other school. "Beauxbtons Academy of Magic is a school of wizardry in most likely France, though not even wizards know exactly where it is. Beauxbatons's current Headmistress is Madame Olympe Maxime. The school Coat of Arms is two golden wands crossed over one another, each shooting three stars. "Beaux btons" is French for "beautiful batons." The "btons" part is presumably a reference to wands. Beauxbatons is similar to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is not an all girl school as most people think. The Academy has existed for over seven hundred years." She releases a slow breath, "The Durmstrang Institute is a wizarding school located somewhere in northern Europe, possibly in Russia, Scandinavia, or perhaps Hungary. It is an old school, having existed since at least 1294. The students at the school wear fur cloaks and blood-red robes. Durmstrang, like Hogwarts and Beauxbatons, is located inside a castle, and also Unplottable, like Hogwarts and Beauxbatons as well."
Julian gapes at Zarina. "Thank you." He takes a moment to think about the information, and then, grabbing a grape and popping it into his mouth, he nods. "I think I would like Hogwarts best anyway." It's probably the most friendly for folks like him. He pulls out a book, and cracks it open, looking up at the other students. "Are you having a good year so far?" Julian has nothing to judge that by, so he asks about their years first.
Ginny looks quite impressed at Zarina. The Slytherin girl would give Hermione a run for her money! She grins widely at her friend, "You're quite a fount of knowledge, Zarina. Did you get that all from books?" Turning to smile at Julian, she says, "It's been going well for me. I'm glad to be back at Hogwarts."
Zarina shrugs a shoulder lightly, "I read a lot, anything I can get my hands on, really…" she murmurs, the smile from earlier gone. "I memorize everything I can, just in case it is useful one day. I don't want to be ill prepared for anything. Especially if I am going to be an Auror." she glances between Ginny and 'Bean', listening to their conversation as they start talking about how the beginning of school has been so far.
"That's good." Bean is being polite. "I really like it here." He glances up at the ceiling. "I like this room. It's like being outside without having to deal with the wind and rain." That's almost a complete non-sequester, but it's what he's thinking about. "I'm the same way. I love to read." Case in point, he looks downs to his transfiguration textbook.
Ginny pops the piece of bread in her mouth, chewing and then swallowing. "I bet it's quite useful, Zarina. I think you'll make an excellent Auror." She nods firmly, as if that was that. And it was, to her.
Zarina just shrugs a shoulder. "The future is still a mystery. Who know how N.E.W.T.s will be this year. And since I put my name in the Goblet of Fire, I might be busier if I am chosen to be the champion of Slytherin house. But that's still slim odds." She tries to smile lightly, shrugging a shoulder again though as she glances to Julian's book, the corner of her full lips tugs some.
"Siobhan did too." Put her name in the Goblet of Fire. "I was wandering around, and saw her do it." He glances up from his book. "I don't know if any other Slytherins did, though." So, fifty-fifty chance as far as he knows. "It flared up when she threw it in." Now he knows why they call it the 'Goblet of Fire.' "When do they choose? Halloween?" That's a long ways away.
Melissa sips some juice. "Who do you think the champions are going to be?"
Zarina frowns slightly at the mention of Siobhan, leaning her head into her slender fingers with her elbow into the table, remaining in thought for several quiet moments before shrugging a shoulder. "At least the Goblet is impartial. I wonder what it will choose then…" she murmurs, her finger idly twirling around a lock of snow white hair. With a breath, she nod her head once, "October thirty first. I have researched about the customs and traditions and everything. It's very dangerous…"
"I think it'll pick the ones who seem to be able to survive it the most easily." Julian shrugs. "I don't know enough upper form students to make an educated guess. Either lady would be equally good." He munches on another grape, slowly. "No offense, ma'am." He's still a little unsure around the 'bigger kids.' "But knowing the traditions and history will help a lot, I'm sure." May not give her an edge in the choice, but it won't hurt. "It sounds dangerous. I'm glad I'm too young."