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That Universe Over There

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November 1, 1994

“Why is it when something happens, it is always you three?”

Lucius raised a singular eyebrow ever so slightly, Sirius leaned back in his chair looking somewhat pleased with himself, and Harry just sat there in relative indifference. It wasn’t like any of this truly mattered. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

October 30, 1994

“Why am I here again?”

“Stealing the Goblet of Fire. Honestly, Sabrina, I know you married Black, but you’re not that much of an idiot.”

Sabrina sent a silent stinging hex Barty’s way which only made him yelp once before he was shushed by Harry. 

“You didn’t want Sirius going,” Harry whispered. “Isn’t that why you’re here?”

“Breaking into Hogwarts myself was not quite what I had in mind when I suggested Sirius not steal an ancient artifact.”

“We’re not breaking in,” Harry argued. 

“What do you call this then?” Barty said with a snigger. 

“Just taking a stroll…”

“Through the wards…”

“The wards love me.”

“No they don’t, you just ignore them, Harry. There’s a difference.” 

“Boys,” Sabrina hissed. “Focus.”

“I am focusing,” Barty hissed back. 

Shush.” Sabrina shot Harry a glare and Barty just rolled his eyes. 

They did, however, continue on in silence for several minutes before Harry let out a not-so-silent string of curses. 

“I don’t suppose you forgot a dinner appointment or something,” Sabrina offered. 

“Hilda.”

“What?”

“The basilisk.”

Sabrina stared at him with all the incredulousness it was possible to display on a single face. It was a lot. “What about a basilisk?”

“I, er, sort of forgot she’s there,” Harry said, somewhat sheepishly. 

“You forgot about a basilisk?”

“In my defense, it was dead the last time I went down there.”

“Down where?”

“Er, the Chamber of Secrets?”

“You didn’t mention we were going through the bloody Chamber of Secrets.”

“Well, I didn’t want to run into any students.”

“And that was the only way in otherwise?”

“We could have used the floo in my office,” Barty said, shrugging when the other two turned their stares on him. 

“Why didn’t you say that before?” Sabrina demanded. 

“Well that wouldn’t be much of a heist, now, would it? Besides, it’s so much fun watching Harry tear through wards like they don’t exist. Much more exciting than seeing him stumbling out of a floo.”

Oh yes, Harry’s eye was definitely twitching at that. “Barty, why are you even here?” 

“Fate was going to involve me somehow. This way I get a say in it.”

“That’s not how Fate works,” Harry said with a sigh, doing his utmost to prevent another twitch. 

“You don’t know that,” Barty countered. “You’re the Master of Death, not the Master of Fate.”

“Just her favorite chew toy,” Harry muttered under his breath. “Fine, look, I’ll just go introduce myself, alright? I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“You go do that,” Sabrina said, staring at him as if he was insane, which he was not, thank you very much. Or at least not anymore. A few years ago was a bit more debatable but honestly, he was doing fine. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“…And when we gather to greet the other schools we should of course show up together. It might be best if we appear to come from somewhere other than the Great Hall or the library, don’t you think?”

“Doesn’t that mean we have to time it so people see us together?”

Pansy smiled fondly. “I’m so glad you’re catching on.”

Neville huffed but grinned just the same. He had learned many things over the past two months, and over the past few weeks had even come to terms with this whole “dating” thing, deceptive acting notwithstanding. For one, he was becoming very good at understanding Pansy’s plots. 

“And of course, we need to make sure Draco and Ivy are by each other.”

Most of her plots. “Wait, why?”

“Because we need them to spend as much time together as possible.”

“They’re already together for the majority of the day. Every day, in fact. Why do they need to spend more time together?”

Pansy made some kind of face that Neville didn’t even try to decipher, and said, “Because they obviously need more time to recognize that they’re perfect for each other.”

“Draco and Ivy like each other? I mean, as in…”

“Yes, yes, I know what you mean. And of course they do. Or they will, at any rate.”

Neville frowned. “Are you sure?”

“They would be perfect for each other,” Pansy insisted, crossing her arms. 

Well, Neville thought, she might make it happen out of sheer will alone. “So your plan is to play matchmaker for them?”

“Well someone has to.”

Neville was not convinced, and the feeling must have shown on his face because Pansy dropped her arms and rolled her eyes. 

“Look,” she said, “I have known Draco since before he could control his own bowel movements. It is my Magic-given right to meddle with his life and play matchmaker.”

“Thanks for that image,” Neville said entirely insincerely. “Do you think it will work though?”

“Of course it will, why wouldn’t it? Draco and Ivy are absolutely perfect for each other,” she reiterated for what had to be at least the third time. “Why, I’m sure they’re half in love already.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“What do you think the other schools will be like?”

“I hope they’re not too amazing or I might just take up Dad’s offer to transfer.”

“You wouldn’t,” Draco said with a gasp. “How could you do that to me?”

Ivy rolled her eyes. “I’m not really going to,” she placated, “but if the other schools are fantastic I might be just a little bit tempted.”

“Well I, for one, am sure they are completely dreadful.”

“Oh, so is that why you wanted to go to Durmstrang when you were little?” Ivy teased. 

“Shut up,” Draco said, the blood rushing to his face chasing away any and all eloquence he possessed, which, in his humble opinion, was a lot. 

“But what do you think they will be like, really?”

Draco didn’t shrug, being determined to maintain whatever shreds of dignity he still possessed around Ivy Potter, but it was a near thing.

“Well Adélie said she will be coming, and she mentioned a few of her friends will be coming as well. I’m sure it will be lovely to meet all of them.”

“Lovely for you,” Draco grumbled. “It’s not like they’ll pay me any attention.”

“What are you talking about?”

“No seventh-year witch is going to want to talk to me. Look at me! I’m younger than them and lanky.” 

“You’re still beautiful,” Ivy said rolling her eyes, “and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“First of all, I’m offended you would believe for one second I would do such a thing, and second of all, that’s not the point. You’re going to have your choice of visiting wizards and no one is even going to look at me.”

“Why would I need to choose a wizard?”

“No, I meant… As in a wizard for you… Someone you might like…”

“Oh,” Ivy said, her voice filled with understanding, “you mean like to date.”

“You have realized men exist, right?”

“Of course. But what does that have to do with anything? It’s not like there’s that many here after all.”

“What about me?”

“Do you really count though?”

“Rude. Why are we friends?”

“Because you love me,” Ivy replied succinctly. 

“Merlin help me, but I do,” Draco sighed. “So what are the chances you’ll start dating any time soon?”

“I’m fairly certain it doesn’t work like that,” Ivy laughed. “Doesn’t someone, you know, have to ask me?”

“You could always ask them,” Draco replied. “It’s not like anyone in this school would say no to you, and if they did it just means they are an idiot, which obviously means they are not worth your time.”

Obviously,” Ivy said, still laughing. “Why do you care anyway?”

My dating life is nonexistent and its prospects bleak,” Draco responded dramatically, “thus I must live vicariously through you.”

Ivy snorted. “Good luck with that.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“They’re not standing by each other,” Pansy hissed. “Why are they not standing by each other?

Neville shrugged. 

Hermione looked at her with unconcealed curiosity. 

Ron looked on in confusion. 

And then…

“Look, they’re here!” a Gryffindor shouted. Dean. It was Dean. 

Pansy had spent far too much time around the entire Gryffindor House if she knew all their given names, let alone referred to them by such. Sweet Morgana but something had gone wrong in her life to have put her in this position. Mille was never this loud and rambunctious, and neither were Daphne or Tracey, except for sometimes, but only because they had a really good reason, or… Oh. She was starting to see the issue. 

Somehow Ivy had roped her into becoming friends with all these red-wearing fools. 

Ivy, who was not standing by Draco. 

Ivy, who was standing on her tiptoes in an attempt to give herself an extra inch that would only allow her to see over possibly four or five students if that. 

Ivy, who was climbing up on one of the twins’ backs to get a better look…

Merlin, how had Ivy not been sorted into Gryffindor, Parseltongue aside. She certainly fit right in, and no matter how much Pansy loved Ivy like a sister slash future overlord, she could have lived happily without her own involuntary assimilation into the group of Gryffindors. Really, it…

“It’s Viktor Krum,” Ron half-shouted, half-whispered in a tone of greatest awe and reverence. 

Pansy exchanged a brief glance first with Neville and then with Hermione, confident that they were groaning internally as much as she was. 

Merlin, this was going to be a long year. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“Bienvenue en Ecosse.”

Ivy’s welcome was met with a fluttering of capes and rapid French as half a dozen or so French witches all gathered around her, complimenting her on her French (as if three words were enough to tell anything) and telling her how excited they were to meet her and how adorable she was and how Adélie had told them all so much about her and how much they were looking forward to seeing her school and meeting all of her little friends…

Draco hated this with an immense, burning passion. 

He had had the pleasure of meeting Ivy’s future sister-in-law (her words, not his) at the World Cup, but it looked like he was now going to have the misfortune of meeting all of her friends now as well. All her friends who were going to look at him and see nothing but a little boy tagging along after the oh-so-adorable Ivy Potter. 

Draco caught sight of one of the witches shivering a bit, and, noticing for the first time the apparent thinness of their cloaks, cast a quick warming charm on the lot of them. 

This had the unfortunate consequence of having the attention of each of them turned towards him. 

He preened slightly at being called such a gentleman, but he could have done without the other adjectives. He was not cute or sweet or any other such nonsense. He was a wizard, and so what if he was still growing? He knew he was going to be tall, and as for looks, he had that genesis thing (or whatever Granger had called it) on his side. He was going to be a tall, powerful, skilled wizard. 

He was not cute. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“…And a very warm welcome to our guests who will be joining us for the remainder of this year. The selection process for the tournament will begin tomorrow, and will be limited to students who are of age.”

This statement was met with murmurings and complaints (some more vocal than others) from all across the room, but Dumbledore raised a hand and got the students to quiet down once more.

“As I was saying, entry will be limited to students who are of age, so I advise each of you to think carefully before entering,” he said, peering over his glasses at the students. “Now, we would have liked to have presented the Goblet this evening, but an unfortunate incident occurred earlier today which resulted in a spontaneous combustion of the Goblet, making it necessary to procure a replacement. Have no fear, however, for a replacement will be here by morning and the selection process will begin after breakfast right here in the Great Hall.”

Ivy was torn between groaning and laughing. Seems someone had done something after all. It just… Hadn’t quite worked. A replacement Goblet? Wasn’t that supposed to be some kind of ancient artifact or something? How could you just replace something like that?

Not that it mattered, seeing as she was one step closer to possibly competing in a deadly tournament. At least if she did she’d probably be able to meet a dragon…

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

It was only two months into the school year and already Severus was mentally counting the days until it was over. 

This bloody tournament…

At least someone had managed to get the age limit back up. Not that it was likely to actually, you know, prevent disaster from occurring, but at least it limited the number of students he needed to keep from potentially dying. Like last year. Or the year before that. 

Sure, the students may not have been in much real danger, but they could have been. 

Salazar’s bloody snake in the basement, but this year was almost a holiday in comparison if he only had to worry about the of age students and Ivy Potter, he thought bitterly to himself. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Pansy rubbed her forehead a bit, trying to keep track of everyone’s voices amidst the growing rabble of mildly peeved fourth-years. 

“Why are the schools only sitting at the Ravenclaw and Slytherin tables?” Ron. 

“Yeah, why not Gryffindor?” Seamus. 

“Do you really need to ask that?” Daphne. 

“We’re trying to give them a good impression, not scare them all off.” Tracey. 

“Oh sod off.” Seamus again. Merlin, she didn’t even need to look to know who was who. 

“Well, it might give us an edge for the tournament.” Dean. 

“But what about Hufflepuff?” Megan. 

“You mean the veritable barnyard?” Daphne again. 

“The what?” Terry. 

“You have so many animals there.” Lisa. 

“It’s not that bad.” Kevin. 

“You have literal farm animals in your house and you’re telling me it’s not that bad?” Lisa again. Those two needed to go out or something. Merlin, the tension there. 

“Just miniature ones.” Wayne, jumping in with the defense. 

“Oh like that’s so much better.” Michael, joining the opposing side. A love triangle in the making? Pansy needed some form of entertainment since Ivy and Draco were not getting with the program. 

She ignored the fact that it had been all of six hours since this particular plan went into motion. Time was irrelevant in matters of the heart. 

Enough. Look, just because they sat at certain tables for the feast doesn’t mean they will always sit there, or that you can’t move as well. We move all the time, so why should this be any different? And it’s not like they’re living in our dorms anyway.” Blaise. A lovely voice of reason in this sea of cacophony. 

“Just visiting our common rooms.” Theo, who was apparently courting war, the berk.  

“Spending time with the best houses.” Blaise, adding fuel to the fire and abandoning whatever trust Pansy had placed in him but a moment ago. 

“Oh shut up, would you?” 

Everyone blinked at the unexpected outburst, Pansy included. Unexpected due more to its source than its content. If this had gone on much longer she would have probably said it herself. But no, instead they had Fay to thank for this. Well, Pansy supposed, the girl was a Gryffindor. It was bound to come out eventually. 

“So are we not going to talk about the whole missing Goblet of Fire thing then?”

Lavender was a pleasure to converse with in ordinary situations, but Pansy was not in the mood for what was sure to be another rousing round of “discussion” as everyone offered their opinions and speculations, and she felt herself becoming a little irritated that the girl had to go and bring it up. 

“Well, what about the fact that Viktor Krum is here!”

Oh… Oh, that was way worse. And from Padma of all people. 

That’s it. 

Pansy was out. 

Neville too, because she needed someone to commiserate with. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

October 31, 1994

“It didn’t work. Why didn’t it work?”

Ragnok seemed rather amused by Harry’s vexation, which of course only served to exacerbate it further. 

“The bloody thing was in ashes, and somehow they managed to procure another one? Where did they even get another one? Is someone growing ancient artifacts on trees now?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, wizard,” Ragnok said gruffly but with amusement. “Metal is forged, not grown.”

Harry huffed petulantly, and only partly because of the (rather explicitly) implied insult. He, in contrast to his companion, was not the least bit amused by the situation, and he couldn’t even think of anything else to do on such short notice beyond instructing Severus and Barty to keep an eye on the replacement Goblet in an effort to prevent its confounding. 

“Besides,” Ragnok continued, ignoring or disregarding Harry’s inner turmoil, “it’s not like this is the first Goblet of Fire in need of replacing.”

“What?”

“It’s a cup that spouts out magical fire. What did you think was going to happen to it? Of course it burns eventually. Now, if it were a Goblin-made vessel, it might have lasted, but wizards so rarely know how to properly work these sorts of things.”

Harry wasn’t even the least bit offended on behalf of the general wizarding population. “So the Goblet has burned before?”

Ragnok snorted in a way Harry wasn’t sure he could imitate. “Once a century or so when it was in frequent use. Surprised it lasted this long even in storage.”

“And the likelihood of postponing or cancelling the tournament altogether?”

“There are other avenues to achieve your ends,” Ragnok replied with a grin. 

“I’m not taking over everything,” Harry replied shortly. 

“It was worth a try,” Ragnok said before hopping down from his chair. “Now, on to other matters. What is it going to take to convince your wife to take up the Ravenclaw Lordship?”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“It’s not going to work,” Granger said, grinning at the twins’ antics. 

Draco snorted softly to himself but watched as Fred and George swallowed the potion anyway. Of course it wasn’t going to work, but it was entertaining nonetheless. 

He particularly admired the beards.

He watched with somewhat lessened interest as other students continued to put their names in. Only four Slytherins had even bothered to put their names in, so the chances of a Slytherin name coming out that evening were not looking particularly great. He wanted to be annoyed by that fact, but there was also something to be said for self-preservation instincts and a desire to actually pass their NEWTs instead of spending the entire year focused on a tournament that would only land them a thousand galleons. Eternal fame? Ha. No one had even known what the tournament was before this year, much less who had won it before its disbandment. 

After several minutes of students placing their names in the cup, Viktor Krum approached and did the same, eliciting a far stronger round of applause than any previous student had. 

Draco may or may not have deigned to clap this time as well. It was Viktor Krum. What else was he supposed to do?

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” Granger huffed from a few spots over, catching Draco’s attention. “Just because he can do that wonky-faint thing.”

He took personal offense to that statement. 

“Granger, it is a Wronski Feint. It is difficult, it is impressive, and Krum is master at it.”

“Honestly, Draco, no one cares,” Pansy cut in. 

“How can you say that? I am betrayed on all sides.”

At least a few others had the good sense to agree with him. 

His indignation was interrupted by a consoling pat on his arm, courtesy of Ivy. 

“It’s fine, Draco,” she said, “I’ll teach you how to do one later.”

“Thank you! At least someone here is reasona…” Ivy’s words caught up to his brain. “I’m sorry, did you say teach me? You can do one?”

Ivy laughed but began wandering over to where some of the Hufflepuffs were gathered. 

Ivy…”

Oh no. She was not getting out of this conversation. 

With that resolution in mind, Draco stalked after her, grabbing her hand and dragging her out of the Great Hall. 

“We need to talk right now,” he grumbled. 

Ivy just laughed, not resisting his hold in the least bit which was good for him, because if she really didn’t want to go he would probably end up in the hospital wing. She knew that, he knew that, but Quidditch held a higher priority. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“When did those two start dating?” Terry asked. 

“Did they?” Padma asked with a puzzled frown. 

“Well it sort of looks like it,” Sue offered. “We all know Malfoy doesn’t care for Zacharias.”

“Yes, but isn’t that because Ivy doesn’t care for Zach?” Mandy asked. 

“Zach and Ivy haven’t been at each other nearly as much this year,” Anthony noted. 

“Yes, but…” Padma hesitated. “I really don’t think Ivy and Draco are dating.” 

“It certainly looked like they’re headed to a broom closet to me,” Terry responded with a grin. 

He got a roll of the eyes and two swats to the arm for his troubles, which only made him and the other boys laugh. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“I can’t believe they’re dating,” Ernie said. “I mean, we all know it was inevitable, really, but I thought for sure it would take longer.”

“Michael will be devastated,” Susan said with a snort. 

“He’ll live,” Hannah grumbled. “He probably won’t even need to adjust his plans any either. He’ll just go to one of his contingencies.”

“Your brother is really invested in this,” Wayne said with a bit of concern. “Is this, you know, healthy?”

“Probably not,” Hannah admitted. 

“Wait, hold on,” Justin interjected. “What do mean ‘it was inevitable?’”

“Well Draco is pretty much best friends with Ivy and Pansy, right? Except Pansy is dating Neville now, so that leaves Ivy, and they’ve been inseparable since first year. So, inevitable, right?”

“No, no, not right,” Justin said with a bit of conviction. “Their dating is not inevitable. And I for one am not convinced they are dating.” 

Most of the other Hufflepuffs just shrugged, obviously not nearly as invested in this as he was. 

But Justin knew. Or, well, he hoped, at least. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“Just look at them all, drooling over him like a bunch of fangirls,” Hermione said, rant not even close to being over. 

“Er, what’s that mean?” Ron asked. 

“It means they are obsessed with him and are really big fans of his,” Dean explained. 

“But, I’m a boy,” Ron replied, slightly confused by the strange terms Hermione was using. 

Hermione’s eye twitched. 

Ron wasn’t sure what her problem was with Krum. Couldn’t she see how brilliant he was?

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“So,” Barty began conversationally, “how are you holding up?”

Ivy shrugged. “Fine, I guess. I mean, we won’t really know until tonight.”

“I suppose not. What do you think will happen?”

“Honestly? I think I’d better start working on my swim strokes.”

Barty snorted. “Not the dragon research?”

Ivy gave him a look. “That I’ve been doing since I was nine, thank you very much.”

Barty raised his hands in surrender. “Right, right. Still, though…”

“I think it will be fine,” Ivy said. “I knew it was a possibility, and all of you helped out as best you can, but short of preventing the entire tournament I think there wasn’t anything more that could have been done.”

“I think your dad is probably thinking up ways he can get the tournament cancelled in the next four hours or so.”

“Probably,” Ivy agreed with a laugh. “But it will be fine, really.”

“I guess we’ll find out, won’t we,” Barty said, grinning back at Ivy. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Despite her gut feeling that everything would be fine in the end, Ivy still felt her stomach clench in nervousness. She hadn’t wanted anyone to take too drastic of measures to prevent her entry into the tournament, though she suspected a certain relation of hers had been involved in the “accident” befalling the first Goblet. And the reason for Henry’s entry into the tournament was no longer a factor, so it was possible she had absolutely nothing to worry about. Still, as her Dad had pointed out several times, the lines of Fate connecting his life and hers were eerily similar even when original causes were no longer an option. 

In short, there shouldn’t be reason to suspect her name would come out tonight, but for whatever reason, she was fairly certain it would. 

She was in no way the only one to feel so, as evidenced by the efforts made on her behalf. 

She felt grateful for the concerned looks Barty and Professor Snape shot her during the feast, and she did her best to give them reassuring looks in return, but she felt she would not truly be able to relax until this night was over, regardless of the result. 

Not knowing was somehow far worse than simply being able to prepare for an unfortunate situation. 

“Viktor Krum…”

Cheers all around. He would be a good champion, she thought. Skilled on the broom, to be sure, but equally skilled with his wand if what she had heard was to be believed. 

“Fleur Delacour…”

She thought she might really like Fleur. Adélie had talked about her friend a bit, and Henry had mentioned her as well. She would have to pry a little bit and find out what exactly was the connection between Fleur and her Dad in his previous world. 

“Cedric Diggory…”

A fine choice. Convenient too, that he was not in his final year. He would be able to focus on the tournament without worrying about intensive exams at the end of the year. She liked Cedric and hoped he did as well as he had in Henry’s world. Aside from the dying part, of course, but Henry had promised…

“…congratulate our champions and…”

A pause. 

Her stomach clenched even further which she hadn’t thought possible. 

The pause seemed to last an eternity. 

“Ivy Potter…”

It took her a moment to regain her composure, but once she did she held her head up high, making sure to give off an air of confusion and alarm. It was perhaps easier than it should have been. 

At the headmaster’s direction she stood up and walked towards the door the other champions had disappeared through. 

It was fine. She was fine. Everything was fine. 

She could do this.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

As Ivy made her way to the door, Neville looked around at the room trying to figure out what was going on. Most everyone seemed confused, many seemed upset, and a few appeared… well, concerned didn’t quite cover it. Still, as the headmaster instructed everyone to retake their seats and settle down, Neville thought of one person who could sort this out. 

Bringing one particularly happy memory to mind, he whispered to the silvery bear and watched as it took off through the window. Most everyone seemed preoccupied with the other events taking place, but he did catch Professor McGonagall’s eye and saw her give him a slight nod. 

He couldn’t quite help but sit a little taller now as he waited for news of Ivy. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Despite whatever harebrained scheme Barty had gone through with regarding the Goblet, Severus had known something was going to happen tonight. He had felt it and had long since learned to give credence to those sorts of feelings. Seeing his student make her way into the gathering room for the champions, he followed closely behind so as to give what support he could, giving Barty a significant glance on his way out of the Great Hall. 

Something was clearly afoot, and Severus couldn’t help but speculate as to why Ivy’s name had come out of the Goblet as it had for her adoptive father in his own experience. The Dark Lord was no more, Alastor Moody was the real one here in their version of events (Severus has checked multiple times to be sure), and Barty Crouch Jr. was Barty Parry, Professor of History at Hogwarts and loyal follower of Lord Peverell-Slytherin, who was most certainly not the party responsible for his younger self… daughter… It was all a bit much to think too closely on at times. 

The point was, no one from Peverell’s history could be held as reasonable suspects this go around, and in Severus’s mind, that really only left one option. 

Albus Dumbledore. 

Oh, Severus knew exactly why the headmaster would have done it, despite being one of the proponents of the age line. 

In fact, that might just serve his purpose more nicely if he could get some space between Ivy and the rest of the students by making it seem like she cheated her way in. 

Severus recollected Peverell saying something of that sort had happened to him. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on whose plans you were supporting, Severus did not think that would be likely here. Or at least not among Ivy’s own year, the majority of whom he thought would show themselves to be quite loyal to her. A few of the older students, perhaps, might cause a fuss, although among the sixth-years there was some kind of overly-protective hovering over Ivy that he had thought would have left with Harrington and Weasley and the rest of that lot. The younger students looked up to Potter, for the most part, so he didn’t foresee any issues there. 

Whether or not the headmaster was aware of this was the real question though. 

Dumbledore was an incredibly powerful wizard and only a fool would write him off as incompetent, but in recent years he did seem to have a bit of a problem allowing for changes to what he viewed as fact. His repeated denial of the Dark Lord’s end came to Severus’s mind. 

So it was entirely possible that Dumbledore sincerely thought he could get some of Ivy’s friends to distance themselves from her, opening up the way to push his own agenda on the girl in the guise of caring help. 

Severus hoped, for the sake of everyone here, that Dumbledore was not that delusional, but then again, Dark Lord, no Dark Lord, repeated denial of fact. 

Severus had never been an overly optimistic person, and he wasn’t about to start giving into such foolishness now. 

Could the headmaster have other motives?

Apart from the obvious, which was the testing of Ivy’s magical prowess (as if her report cards were not enough. Honestly…),  there was the matter of the purported return of the Dark Lord. Could Dumbledore really be so deeply entrenched in his delusions that he believed he could somehow draw out the Dark Lord or force his return?

Sadly, for Severus’s sanity and overall well-being, the answer was yes. It was entirely possible. 

“Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Ivy?”

Dumbledore’s question drew Severus out of his musings. 

“No,” Ivy answered calmly. 

“Did you ask an older student to put it into the Goblet of Fire for you?”

“No,” Ivy replied again, calmness never wavering. 

She maintained eye contact with Dumbledore for a moment, and Severus could just barely catch a moment of annoyance on the man’s face. Well, at least her shields were holding up then by the looks of it. 

Severus tuned out the following squabbling in favor of locking eyes with Ivy. He silently asked if she was alright, and she responded in the affirmative by the same nonverbal signs. 

“…all got to compete. Binding magical contract, like Dumbledore said. Convenient, eh?”

Severus was once again drawn from his thoughts, this time by Moody who had come limping in, making a ruckus with that leg of his. Severus got the distinct impression that the former Auror was doing it quite on purpose. 

“Convenient?” said Karkaroff. “I’m afraid I don’t understand you, Moody.”

“Don’t you? It’s very simple, Karkaroff. Someone put Potter’s name in that goblet knowing she’d have to compete if it came out.”

Severus paid very close attention to the conversation now, knowing that Peverell would want to review this memory as soon as possible. He also made note of the way Moody’s eye narrowed slightly as the wizard looked at Dumbledore, and the way Dumbledore’s face showed one more, yet equally brief, moment of annoyance. 

It seems he was not alone in his conclusions of tonight’s culprit. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Barty sat nervously in the Great Hall, doing his best to not show his current state. He had no reason to be in the Champion’s room, and even being a known friend of Lord Peverell-Slytherin, well… At least Severus was in there with Ivy. Still, he couldn’t help but feel that he ought to be doing something

BOOM!

The loud thunder-like clap visibly shook the windows, startling everyone (himself included) from their whisperings and mutterings. 

Only a brief moment later the main doors to the Great Hall flew open, revealing an exceptionally irate Master of Death, for that was the only way to describe what Harry looked like right at that moment. Barty wasn’t sure what everyone else saw when they looked at him, but he for one saw a wizard that might just send Death shuffling back for daring to oppose him. It was not an image he would be forgetting. Ever. 

Ignoring the startled exclamations and general tension in the air, Lord Henry Peverell-Slytherin walked forward, calm pace belying the powerful magic that practically oozed out of him. 

Approaching the head table Barty watched as Harry made a slight bow to McGonagall. 

“Excuse me, Deputy Headmistress,” he began formally, “if you would be so kind as to tell me where my daughter is?” His tone matched his previous pace in its calmness. If it weren’t for the palpable feeling of Harry’s magic, Barty might almost be convinced that the man was here for some light conversation. 

Circumstances being what they were, however…

“Right this way, Lord Peverell-Slytherin,” McGonagall replied, voice loud enough to carry throughout the room. 

Harry quirked an eyebrow but made no response to the response, though Barty knew she had done it on purpose, for sure enough students began whispering and gaping and overall not being subtle in their least at their interest in the scene before them. Barty couldn’t exactly blame them either. 

Before exiting the Great Hall, Harry turned towards the Gryffindor table and nodded towards Neville, saying, “Thank you, Mr. Longbottom, for your timely correspondence.”

Neville visibly blushed, even from that distance, and gave a short nod in return. 

Clever boy. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The various non-students in the room were just discussing (loudly and with great emotion) why someone would want Ivy dead when they all heard a loud boom and felt the castle shake. Severus desperately hoped that meant what he thought it meant, and a quick glance at Ivy showed her relaxing ever so slightly giving his theory greater weight. 

Sure enough, a moment or two later Minerva came into the room following closely by Lord Peverell-Slytherin, who looked every inch the powerful Lord everyone knew he was and the destroyer of the Dark Lord that most were ignorant he was. 

“Good evening,” Harry said politely, before going around the room and addressing everyone by name, even (or perhaps especially) those he would not have been expected to know. 

That tactic was deliberate, Severus thought. Harry knew what was going on. 

“What a timely arrival,” Dumbledore began. “Why, we were just discussing the evening’s most interesting turn of events.”

“Indeed,” Harry replied stoically. 

“Yes, well, Ivy here has been entered into the Triwizard Tournament under what appear to be rather mysterious circumstances.”

“Is that so.”

“Yes. And as I was saying…”

“Well, I’m certain a full investigation will be conducted then?” Harry interrupted with a question that was much more a demand or statement of fact than polite enquiry. “To show exactly how my underage daughter’s name came out of a powerful magical artifact that was supposedly warded against tampering?”

“Yes, of course. I…”

“And as to her removal from the tournament…” Harry said, not giving the headmaster any time to continue. 

“Can’t,” Moody replied. “Binding magical contract.”

“Is that so,” Harry said again, eyes never leaving those of Dumbledore. 

Severus glanced at Moody now, but the man seemed rather amused if anything. It was all a bit intriguing, to be honest. 

The two players of this battle of wills remained locked in silent combat for a moment, before Harry broke eye contact, conceding absolutely nothing by doing so. 

“Ivy,” he said, “did you put your name into the Goblet?”

“No,” she replied, much more relaxed now that her adoptive parent was here and clearly in charge of the situation. 

Harry nodded at her response and turned towards Bagman and Wragge, the two Ministry officials involved in this debacle. 

“Gentlemen?” Harry said, managing to look taller despite being rather well-matched in height. “Care to expound on how my daughter is magically bound to a contract she did not put her name to?”

Both men flushed a bit. This disaster of an evening was turning out to have some amusements after all. 

“Well, you see…”

“The rules clearly state…”

“Her name did come out…”

“It was recognized by the Goblet…”

Harry raised an eyebrow and stopped them both with a hand. “Perhaps one of you could be so kind as to procure a copy of the tournament rules for me? Wouldn’t want to miss anything.” Harry said it cheerfully enough but the demand was clear. 

“Yes sir,” Wragge said with a sharp nod, Bagman giving a similar nod immediately following. 

“Good. Now,” Harry said, turning towards Dumbledore, “if that will be all, I would like a word with my daughter if you please.”

And, without waiting for a response, Harry turned towards the door gesturing for Ivy to exit and following her close behind. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“So, what do you think?” Harry asked when they were firmly out of hearing range of any living or sentient thing capable of spying on them. 

“Oh, I’m fine.”

Harry laughed at that and pulled Ivy in for a hug. “Sorry I couldn’t stop it, Ives,” he said softly. 

“It’s alright,” she said. “No, really,” she continued at his disbelieving look, “I will be fine. Really.”

Harry looked at her for a moment before huffing and pulling her back in for another hug. “I know you will be,” he said. “But it’s still my job to look after you, and this feels like a rather big failure in that regard.”

“Well, we can blow up that bridge now?”

Harry chuckled. “Fred and George would probably help you there. Seamus too, if he’s anything like the one I knew.”

Ivy nodded. “Ginny and Cali too. They’re quite proficient. I think there is still glitter in the Gryffindor common room.”

“I don’t think I want to know,” Harry said lightly. “But at least the explosion will look nice. Get Colin to take pictures, will you?”

They laughed together for a minute, taking the moment to forget about what awaited them back in reality. 

“So how’d you find out so fast anyway?” Ivy asked. 

“Oh, Neville sent a patronus to me. Quick thinking on his part.”

Ivy beamed. “Oh, that’s fantastic. Did he really?”

“Great big bear lumbering through my window and everything. Can’t say the voice matches the image just yet though,” Harry said with a grin. 

“He’ll grow into it?” Ivy offered. 

“I’m sure he will,” Harry replied. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“Did you put your name into the Goblet?” was the first thing Ivy was met with as she entered the Slytherin common room. 

She looked up to see an agitated Draco looking down at her, forehead furrowed and fingers twitching against his leg. 

“No,” she said. She really hoped he believed her…

“Alright,” he said, relaxing. “Do you know who did?”

She relaxed in turn at the show of trust from one of her best friends. “No, but Dad is taking care of it.”

“Good,” Draco replied with a sharp nod. “So you don’t have to compete?”

“Well…”

“Ivy…”

“It’s a magical contract. I didn’t put my name in but I’m still bound by it. Dad is looking into it, he said, but I think… Well, there’s a good chance I will still have to compete.”

Draco groaned. “But that’s ridiculous. If you didn’t put your name in you shouldn’t be able to be bound to the contract.”

Ivy shrugged. “There’s nothing I can do about it right now, at least.”

“Just… Promise me you’ll be careful?”

Ivy forwent an answer in favor of hugging Draco tightly. 

She wasn’t sure how well she could truly promise that. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

November 1, 1994

“Why is it when something happens, it is always you three?” Madam Bones asked wearily. 

Lucius raised a singular eyebrow ever so slightly, Sirius leaned back in his chair looking somewhat pleased with himself, and Harry just sat there in relative indifference. It wasn’t like any of this truly mattered. 

His efforts had been in vain and Ivy was still being forced to compete, though this time it looked to be Dumbledore’s doing rather the Voldemort’s, and if that wasn’t a bitter irony…

Still, just because Ivy was stuck doing the bloody tournament didn’t mean Harry couldn’t raise a fuss. And oh, what a fuss he would raise. Lucius and Sirius were, of course, happy to aid in that endeavor. 

And, despite the circumstances, Harry couldn’t help but be amused by their efforts. 

Lucius sat there with that aggressively neutral expression that can be universally understood to mean he had something to do with it, but good luck to the poor fool who is searching for proof. 

Sirius, on the other hand, despite having not been directly involved in any part of this until this exact meeting, wore his apparent sin like a badge of honor on his face. 

Bones, meanwhile, looked like she’d do anything to just wash her hands of the entire matter, but she was to her core a professional and greatly admired by all three wizards present for that quality. And it was possible that Harry felt a little guilty for making her be the one to deal with Dumbledore and the investigation and the general mess this was turning out to be. 

Still, he was glad he wasn’t in her position.