Just Harry Title:Just Harry Characters:Harry Potter, Hermione Granger Rating:PG-13 Disclaimer:I own nothing. Word Count:1445 A/N:a challenge fic with the prompt dragons. au fourth year piece from after Harry finds out about them. Summery:Harry didn't survive Voldemort to get fried by a dragon in a tournament he didn't enter and so sets about trying to get out of the whole thing.
Harry’s heart races as he runs back towards the castle, head swirling with thoughts he can’t quite grasp. Dragons. How was he ever supposed to defeat a Dragon? It just didn’t seem possible. No amount of research in the world could get him out of the hole he was in. Deciding not to head straight back to his Common Room, Harry makes his way to one of the unused classrooms and throws himself into a chair to mope and wallow. He just wants some peace and quiet to think about what he had seen. In a way he was glad Hagrid had let him know what he was going to face and yet he hated that he knew. The sickness of anxiety was already starting to turn his stomach and he could feel dread settling in his bones.
Harry didn’t ask for this, not for any of this. Mindless chatter about how cool the tournament sounded had not meant he actually wanted to enter and yet here was about to face a fully grown dragon at fourteen years old. It was just too much to handle.
Turnings things over in his mind, for the first time Harry starts to focus on events since the tournament had been announced and all the information that he had. Someone had put his name into the Goblet of Fire and it could very well get him killed. He didn’t know how Cedric, Fleur or Victor were meant to stand up to the damn beasts and they were fully trained with nearly seven years of training behind them. Harry just didn’t have anything he could think of that would get him out alive, never mind accomplishing whatever task had been sent before him. There was being brave, and courageous, and there was being reckless and possibly throwing his life away.
Dumbledore insisted the tasks were as safe as they could be but the tournament had been band for years for a reason. Dragons were unpredictable and the scars and burns on the trainers that had brought them over from Romania said all Harry needed to know about how dangerous they could be. Harry didn’t survive Voldemort three times and then dementors trying to suck out his soul only to get fried for by a dragon and it is that thought that has him on his feet and sprinting back to the Gryffindor common room to find Hermione.
No amount of research on dragons would him help him, he realises as he thunders down the corridor. Lavender and Parvati giggle when he storms into the room, others glower, and he hears a few jeers but Harry is only paying attention to finding Hermione who looks up confused as he bustles towards her,
“Hermione, can you come with me? I need to talk. Privately,” Harry whispers quietly, glad that no one overhears because he can imagine what someone like Lavender would think of his statement. Putting her book to the side, she follows him without question and doesn’t stop to ask questions and he leads her down the corridor to an alcove away from the common room entrance.
“What is it, Harry?” she demands breathlessly when Harry stops, glancing around to double check that they are alone, “It is after curfew! We can’t get caught!”
Though she is saying it and ringing her hands anxiously, she had still followed him out there and that means a lot to Harry who tries and fails to grin reassuringly, “The first task is dragons,” he blurts out, “I don’t know what we’ve to do but that is why Hagrid wanted to see me. He showed me them so I knew what was coming and oh Merlin, I can’t do this Hermione, I can’t!”
“But that is breaking the rules!” Hermione splutters after a few silent, tense moments, and Harry finds it such a Hermione reaction that he laughs, and laughs more until he has to hold his sides and focus on staying upright. Hermione watches him with a look of concern on her face, pulling her want out and looking like she is ready to cast something when Harry holds up a hand and stops laughing.
“Didn’t you hear what I said? Dragons!” Harry states once he has calmed down, “There is no way I can do this.”
“Oh Harry, I am sure that we can find a way! There must be something in the library that can help! I know I’m not really meant to help you but then again you’re not technically meant to be in the tournament,” Hermione rambles, shifting all her weight to one foot and tapping her other one on the stone floor.
Harry shakes her head and vocalises what he had realised before, “No Hermione. I don’t want to do this. I have fought Voldemort twice in a school that was meant to be safe and now it just happens to be my name that comes out the goblet? I don’t want to research Dragons. I want to research how I can get out of the tournament,” he states adamantly, only for Hermione to look at him disbelieving and with wide eyes.
“But it is a binding contract. It is tied to your magic,” Hermione reminds him, sounding distressed and worried and yet thoughtful at the same time and Harry would bet his vault at Gringotts that she is thinking of everything she has ever read about on the subject.
Taking her elbow, Harry pulls her over to the stone ledge by the window in the alcove and sits her down, “But I didn’t enter myself! I wasn’t willing and surely if magic can do so many amazing things then there has to be a way to prove that.”
“Dumbledore....I’m not sure I trust Dumbledore, Hermione,” Harry states slowly, reaching up to run a hand through his hair as he thinks about how to put together the thoughts that had been niggling at the back of his mind since his name came out of the goblet, “I came to Hogwarts to be safe from my relatives and not...well it was meant to be better here. Instead, Voldemort got into the school, in a teacher in first year and then possessed Ginny in second year. Dumbledore had a three headed dog in the school and was protecting the stone but Hermione, we were first years and we got through its defensives. Surely Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of our age could keep out first years! Then Sirius happened and I don’t believe Dumbledore didn’t have enough power to let him be heard this time.”
“Harry, I don’t understand what you are trying to say,” Hermione says quietly, keeping her gaze fixed firmly on the floor giving Harry the impression that she does in fact understand and just doesn’t want to.
“I think there is a way to get me out of this tournament and I don’t think Professor Dumbledore wants us to find it.”
“But Harry that is absurd!”
“So is fighting a dragon at fourteen, alone, when it takes a whole team of trained fully grown wizards to do it normally!” Harry replies exasperated.
“I will do all I can,” Hermione says sadly, “But I don’t know what good it will do.”
“That is all I’m asking,” Harry replies, feeling he has won the battle so might win the war in the end, as he slowly gets to his feet and holds out a hand to Hermione.
“I don’t think you will be able to do it but...you’ve got another plan haven’t you?” she asks curiously as they start making their way back.
Harry nods, “I’m not confident about it but... they say we’ve to do our best right? Well I’m going to do my best to not get involved and stay alive so technically...I’ve done something so I plan on not getting fried and still fulfilling the requirements of the contract if we can’t break it.”
“And if we can’t?” Hermione responds dubiously.
Harry just shrugs, “Then I fire a stunner at it and hope it doesn’t toast me before I say I have tried and am done?”
“So you don’t want to win the tournament then?”
They reach the entrance to the common room and Harry gives the Fat Lady the password before turning to Hermione and smiling sadly, “I just want to be Harry, no tournament, no glory, no fans, no interviews, just Harry.”
It probably won’t work, Harry knows that even as he watches Ron scowl and get into bed next to him, but it has to be worth a shot. Anything that prevents him taking on one of those beasts is worth a shot.