Chapter 2 1/2: The Untold Truth Behind the Triwizard Tournament
*****I would like to thank my beta-reader NightZepher for all her help on this story, which I hope is only the first of many more*****
Wormtail reached for the dead body of the old short man, grimacing as he struggled to pick up the heavy body.
“Leave him be, there is planning to be done,” Lord Voldemort said while gazing into the fire before him.
“As you wish, my lord,” Wormtail replied, letting out a heavy breath as he lay down the heavy and now stiff body. He could tell that rigor mortis was beginning to set in the body.
Lord Voldemort’s brow became furrowed in thought. The fire crackled as Wormtail added more and more wood. Wormtail crept to the woodpile in the corner and gathered more fuel to keep the fire alive.
“I have some old friends at Durmstrang that might be able to make a loophole…”
“A loophole? In what, Lord?”
“I have been told that Dumbledore will put an age limit on those who may enter the Triwizard Tournament. I happen to be well acquainted with the head of Durmstrang, Professor Karkaroff. He was once one of my followers and still is to my knowledge.”
Suddenly a frail-looking woman came into the room calling “Frank” repeatedly. Then she looked over to see the figure in the armchair.
“Fine-sir, have you seen my husband Frank? It is dinner time and he gets very restless when he doesn’t get his din….Oh my god, what has happened!”
“Wormtail, move away now!”
The same green light that had put down the old short man named Frank, put down his wife Mildred with one quick blow.
“The old coot wasn’t lying after all, and by god his wife came,” Voldemort said with a hint of disbelief in his voice. “Wormtail, go dig them graves in the garden. I have letters to write.”
“As you wish.”
The headmaster of Durmstrang sat working at his desk in his cabin deep within the hull of the Durmstrang ship bound for Hogwarts. A paper lay on the desk with the title of Rules and Regulations When On Visit at Hogwarts School. A knock came upon the door of the cabin.
“Headmaster! We have a letter for you. It just came in,” Professor Lackendoffer said while huffing and puffing for air.
“Where is it?” Professor Karkaroff questioned.
“Right here, sir.”
The headmaster snatched the letter from the hand of the messenger and opened it.
The professor left the room, and Professor Karkaroff slipped the letter under a large pile of papers. He then continued working on the rule sheet.
After nearly an hour, the headmaster was not yet done with the review of the stack. A knock came upon the door.
“Yes, who is it?” Professor Karkaroff said, eyes focused on the bill before him.
“ ’Tis me sir, Professor Lackendoffer,” the professor replied.
“Yes, yes, come in.”
Professor Lackendoffer opened the hard oak door and casually walked in with yet another paper to go on top of the pile.
“This is the bill for the crate of Chocolate Frogs that were purchased to give to the students for the Christmas holiday, sir.”
The professor then spotted the letter that he had given the headmaster an hour ago.
“I see that you haven’t yet gotten around to reading that letter. Shall I read it aloud to you while you work?”
“Sure, sure I must catch up on this paperwork.”
Professor Karkaroff grabbed the letter and opened it to hand to Professor Lackendoffer. He took a glance at who it was from and quickly snapped, “Leave the room, this letter is very….well…private.”
“It must be important business or something of that sort, mustn’t tamper with that now,” says Professor Lackendoffer with a hint of sarcasm.
The professor left the room, and Karkaroff nervously ripped open the letter and began to read:
Dear Professor Karkaroff,
I have not seen you for such a long, long time and have heard not much news of you, yet I believe you have heard much news of me. Well I am now asking a favor of you that may be considered by some to be illegal, but I see it as letting fate decide fate. I know that there has been an age requirement imposed on the Triwizard Tournament. All I ask of you is that a Mr. Harry Potter be entered in this contest and be selected to co-represent Hogwarts. No one should be informed of this for fear that our little plan shall be discovered. I have my trust invested in you.
Professor Karkaroff’s expression grew pale and millions of thoughts rushed through his mind.
What if I was to be discovered by the Ministry or Dumbledore I would be sentenced to life in Azkaban or worse! What if the plan failed, but I was not discovered? Lord Voldemort would soon have me killed!
“Dinner time, sir,” a professor said while knocking at the door twice.
“Yes! I will think it over during dinner.”
The headmaster made his way down a corridor in the great ship. He arrived at the grand dinning room to see all eyes looking upon him, waiting for him to sit down so they could begin the feast. Professor Karkaroff strolled down between the tables and sat down at the head of the center table.
Throughout the dinner, he seemed more nervous than he had been in all his life. He knew on one hand he would most likely be killed if he did not go along with Lord Voldemort. Yet on the other hand, if the plan failed and he was caught, his career would be over forever. Who did he fear more, the Ministry or He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named? His mind was made. Betraying the world it would have to be. After dinner, he quickly went to his cabin and retired to his bed for the night. In the morning he would write the letter that would seal his fate.
The morning came too soon, and Karkaroff had a stiff pain in his neck, along with slight fatigue. During the night he pondered what to write in the letter to Lord Voldemort in his dreams. He picked himself up out of bed and then began his letter:
I shall do thy bidding. In the mean time I will work on how to enter Potter’s name into the contest. He will be entered into the contest no matter what I assure you, my lord. As I know Dumbledore, he will use a spell to impose the age restriction, therefore I will use a counter spell to make it open how about when we need it so. In order to keep my position as headmaster, I will not be doing the deed. I will instead send a certain fellow who owes me a favor.
The professor then packaged his letter in an envelope and sent it on its way. He knew that with each flap of his owl’s wings, his fate was sealed more and more, until the message reached the /receiver. Then the duties, which were once optional, became permanent for fear of death.
He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named was gazing into the fire, pondering thoughts of rising again and taking revenge on those who had in his mind “wronged” him in the past. Just the thought of Harry dead was intoxicating. Maybe a certain few Ministry officials dead and lying at his feet would please him. He dreamt of his followers carrying out murders and taking his orders; no matter what, they pleased him greatly. Then an owl holding a message in its beak came to the windowsill.
“Ah, the reply has come quickly,” Lord Voldemort thought aloud, while the owl carrying the reply from Karkaroff came into sight.
The owl dropped the message on the windowsill and flapped hard on its return voyage to the ship of Durmstrang. Lord Voldemort grabbed the message from the sill and ripped open the envelope.
“The plan is in place, and Potter will fall soon.”
Someone at the door began to knock. The knocking became more and more frequent and persistent. Light from flashlights filled the room, along with yelling. Subtle thuds started to happen. With a crash, the old oak door came down, reveling ten Muggle policemen with pistols drawn.
“Come out with your hands up! We know someone is in here!” one of the policemen yelled while stomping on the beaten-down door. Suddenly, in a flash of blue light, Lord Voldemort was gone, leaving the policemen perplexed. One of the policemen went up the armchair and spun it around to reveal nothing but the imprint of a person on the chair cushion that now was fading away.