The Sugar Quill
Author: Elanor Gamgee (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: From the Stands  Chapter: Default
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From the Stands

Author’s Note: This story is another outtake from “Moody Slavic Man”, again from Ivan’s point of view.  This scene goes with the end of MSM Chapter 9.

Viktor Krum and his world belong to J.K. Rowling.  Edina and the Pashnik family belong to me, but they are very happy to share Viktor’s world.

Thank you to Zsenya and B Bennett for betareading.


From the Stands

By Elanor Gamgee


 “…and then the pixies flew off with his broomstick!” finished Mrs. Krum, laughing.  “Which one was that, do you remember, Nikolas?”

“The Lada,” said Mr. Krum.  “His first one,” he added, to Ivan and Edina, who were still giggling at the story.

“He actually tried to argue with them?” asked Ivan, once he could breathe again.

Mrs. Krum smiled.  “Maybe he thought the pixies would grow bored.  He can be very stubborn when he wants something.”

“I have noticed,” said Ivan, shooting a significant look at Edina.  She raised her eyebrows and smiled back.  Ivan shook his head, still amused by the image of an eight-year-old Viktor stubbornly facing down a nest of pixies. 

“I didn’t know there were pixies in Bulgaria,” said Edina pensively.  “I thought that they all lived in Cornwall.”

Mr. Krum nodded.  “That is true, yes,” he said, “but there are pockets of them in the cities now.  It was fashionable several years ago to keep pixies, but when they became…too much to handle, people let them go.  Now they run wild.  Very difficult for the Ministry to contain them, I can tell you.”

Ivan stifled another laugh.  Somehow he just couldn’t imagine pixies causing that much trouble.

He turned back toward the maze below, checking to see if anything had changed since the last time he had looked.  “Nothing but lights,” he reported.  “I still can’t see anything.”

Edina and the Krums looked toward the maze as well.  Mrs. Krum frowned.  “It is sad that we cannot see what is happening,” she said.  “I would like to see how Viktor is doing.”

Ivan would have liked that too.  But it wasn’t so bad, sitting in the stands with Edina and Viktor’s parents.  He was hearing lots of great stories about Viktor’s childhood, things that Viktor never would have told him himself.  Probably with good reason, he admitted to himself with an inward grin.  That pixie story alone would give him material to work with for the next week.

“That light in the middle seems to be moving higher,” said Edina, pointing.  “Do you think one of them is using a Levitation spell?”

Ivan strained to see, but he still couldn’t make anything out.  He shrugged. 

Mr. Krum leaned forward to address Ivan and Edina across his wife.  “After the task tonight, we are planning to take Viktor to Hogsmeade to celebrate.  Would you like to come?”

Ivan grinned.  “Of course!” he said.  “We will have to ask Professor Karkaroff…but I am certain he will say yes, especially after Viktor wins.”

Mr. Krum smiled, and started to reply, when a high-pitched scream from the maze interrupted him.

Ivan turned back toward the maze, startled.  The lights in the maze all seemed to flicker for a moment, then a shower of red sparks went up at one end.  All around them, people began talking loudly, some even standing up on their seats to see what was happening.

“It must be Fleur Delacour,” Ivan muttered to Edina.  “Didn’t I tell you she would be the first one out?”

Indeed, Hagrid came around one corner of the hedges a few minutes later, carrying a limp blonde form, with Professor Flitwick at his heels.  Madame Maxime detached herself from the judges and hurried over to them.  The crowd hushed as Hagrid placed Fleur gently on the ground and Professor Flitwick pointed his wand at her chest. Fleur stirred slightly and sat up.  A sigh of relief rippled through the crowd.

Fleur walked over to a bench and sat down, accompanied by a blonde woman who must have been her mother.  The crowd immediately went back to talking and laughing, now that the moment of tension had passed.

“One down, two to go,” said Ivan cheerfully.  Edina elbowed him in mock reproach.

Mrs. Krum was leaning forward in her seat now.  “This is worse than watching him play Quidditch,” she said.  “At least then I can see what is happening to him, even if it is bad.”

“Anna,” said Mr. Krum, sounding exasperated.  “He will be fine.  She worries,” he said to Ivan and Edina.  “You should have seen her at the World Cup.” 

Ivan grinned.  He could only imagine how she had acted then, when Viktor had taken a Bludger to the nose, and then dived for the Snitch almost immediately afterwards.  Ivan glanced at Edina.  He wondered if the two of them would be like this, years down the line, bickering in fun and carrying on.  Edina seemed to feel his eyes on her, and turned to look at him, her face slightly pink.  She reached over and squeezed his hand, and Ivan wondered if she had guessed what he was thinking.  He hoped so.

Mrs. Krum, in the meantime, was bristling slightly.  “He is not as careful as he should be,” she said.  “When he wants something, he does not care if he gets hurt.”

“Certainly!” boomed Mr. Krum.  “That is how he has gotten so far!”

Mrs. Krum looked dubious at this, but didn’t answer.  Ivan looked at Viktor’s parents, and thought how lucky Viktor was.  He tried to remember when he had ever seen his own parents so affectionate, and failed.  And the way Viktor’s father had spoken about him…he was so obviously proud of his son’s accomplishments.  Ivan couldn’t remember ever hearing that note of pride in his own father’s voice, not even when Ivan had been selected as one of the Durmstrang finalists for the Triwizard Tournament.

But no, he decided, he wouldn’t feel sorry for himself.  He had Ilana, and she was more than enough family for anyone, he thought with a grin.  And maybe…he glanced over at Edina again.  Maybe…soon she would be part of his family too…

A series of horrified yells ripped through the night.  They were coming from the maze.  A hush fell over the crowd as everyone stared toward the thick hedges below.  The sound seemed to magnify and echo through the stands, and Ivan could see several teachers running along the sides of the hedges.

Just as suddenly as it had started, the yelling stopped.  Ivan looked uncertainly around.  Mrs. Krum was twisting her hands in her lap.

“That didn’t sound like Viktor,” he said to her, trying to ease her fear.  “Believe me, I have heard him yell at me many times.”

Mrs. Krum gave him a distracted smile, but she looked as if she appreciated his humor about as much as her son usually did.

Red sparks went up in the middle of the maze on the far side.  “Two down,” Ivan said to himself.  “Who is it now?”

A few minutes later, Hagrid emerged from the maze, and the red robes of the figure he was carrying left no doubt as to its identity.  Mr. and Mrs. Krum bolted from their seats as the nurse bent over Viktor’s still form on the ground. 

Ivan stared at the scene in shock.  Viktor had given up?  It didn’t seem possible.

A worried sound from Edina jolted him back to his senses.  “Should we go down there?” she whispered.

“Yes,” he said, grabbing her hand.  They hurried down the steps, following Viktor’s parents.

“Where do you think you’re going?” As if out of nowhere, Professor Snape was standing in front of them, blocking their way.  He wasn’t looking at them, however; his eyes were traveling over the stands, as if he was looking for someone else.

Ivan took a step backwards.  “Viktor’s been hurt...” he began. 

Snape’s eyes snapped to Ivan’s face as he trailed off.  He sneered slightly.  “I am sure Madam Pomfrey has the matter under control.  Now, where is Professor Karkaroff?”  He rubbed his right hand up and down the inside of his left arm absently as he spoke.

Ivan hadn’t been expecting that question.  “Er…I don’t know,” he said, looking around.  He realized that he hadn’t seen Professor Karkaroff since the feast.  That was odd.

Snape eyed him beadily.  “I see,” he said.  “Now, I suggest you return to your seats, Ms. Eline, Mr…Pashnik.”  Ivan wasn’t sure if he imagined Snape’s pause before his last name or not.

A moment later, Snape had placed his hands on their shoulders, firmly turning them around.  They had no choice but to go back and sit down, especially since Snape seemed determined to follow them.

They went back to their bench, and Snape sat down on the outside, as if to block their exit.  Edina gave Ivan a bewildered look, but he was just as confused as she was. 

Ivan turned his attention back to Viktor, who was still lying on the ground far below.  His parents and the nurse were bent over him.

“I think he’s talking,” said Edina suddenly.  “He is conscious.”

A moment later, they saw him sit up.  Ivan breathed a sigh of relief and clapped.  “Of course he is,” he replied, his mood suddenly lighter. “He’s Viktor Krum!”

But as Viktor’s parents led him over to a bench, Ivan could see that Viktor was not steady on his feet.  He looked more carefully.  Viktor was walking as if he was in some kind of trance.  “What’s wrong with him?” he said.

Edina shook her head mutely.  Ivan looked over at Snape, but the professor was no longer paying attention to them.  He was looking over the stands again.  What is he doing here anyway? thought Ivan. Snape seemed to be counting something off on his fingers as he looked around intently.

“…nine, ten, eleven, and Krum is twelve,” Ivan heard him mutter.  “And no sign of Karkaroff…”

Snape was keeping watch on the Durmstrang students, Ivan realized.  He glanced quickly around the stands.  Poliakoff was three rows behind them, sitting with Riasonovski and Baryluk.  The rest of the students were clustered around Dorek Landau further up.  Landau, as always, seemed to be right in the thick of things, laughing along with Victoria Pronina at something.  Whatever it was, Ivan was glad he couldn’t hear it. 

Where is the Headmaster?” said Edina, her voice tight with worry.  “He should be here!”

Ivan looked back to where Viktor was sitting.  He hadn’t moved.  He was staring straight ahead.  Why didn’t anyone seem to notice that something was wrong with him?

“What happened to him in that maze?” said Ivan, and only when Snape threw him a look did Ivan realize he had said it out loud. 

“Surely Professor Karkaroff taught you all well enough to deal with anything in there,” said Snape, and Ivan was surprised to hear the bitterness in the man’s voice.    “I’m sure you would have found it easy, Mr. Pashnik.”  Ivan definitely wasn’t imagining the way Snape spat out his last name this time, as if it was a dirty word.

He stared at Snape for a moment, trying to understand, and so was watching when Snape suddenly clutched his left arm as if he had been burned. 

…as if he had been burned.

A low cry escaped Snape’s lips, and Ivan’s eyes widened as he watched.  Ivan remembered his father, at the dinner table that night three years ago, and suddenly clutching his arm in the same way Snape was doing now.  He had a clear image of his father, sitting in that big armchair by the fire, going on about how Ivan needed to prepare for his future, cradling his left arm in his right as he spoke.

So that was it then.  Snape was…like his father.  One of them.  Ivan’s stomach lurched.  They were everywhere, even at Hogwarts.  He wondered if Dumbledore knew.  He wondered if he should tell someone.  But who would believe him?  He was a Durmstrang, after all.  And a Pashnik, at that.

Snape looked up and saw Ivan staring at him.  He narrowed his eyes and quickly put his hand down.  “Is there a problem?” he said coldly.

Ivan didn’t respond.  Snape stared at him for a moment, as if daring him to speak.  Then his eyes flicked past Ivan, to Edina, and Ivan’s stomach constricted.  Edina didn’t know about his father.  She knew that they didn’t get along, but she didn’t know why.  He knew it was silly, or at least hoped it was, but he was afraid of what she would think of him if she knew.

“No, sir,” said Ivan finally.  Snape’s lips curled into a satisfied smile.  Bastard, thought Ivan.

“Ivan,” said Edina in a low voice, “I’m worried.  He hasn’t moved at all.”

Ivan looked back toward Viktor, feeling guilty for being distracted by his own worries.  Edina was right; Viktor was still sitting in the same position, looking like he was in shock.  His parents sat a few feet away, their heads bent together, throwing worried looks over at him from time to time.

Ivan shook his head, feeling helpless.  He couldn’t make sense of things at all.  Something had happened in that maze that was bad enough to make Viktor give up, and then put him into this state.  What was it?

It could have been him, Ivan realized.  He himself could have been the one in the maze.  Or, he thought, his blood going cold, it could have been Edina.

He looked over at her, feeling a rush of gratitude that she was sitting beside him instead of fighting monsters in that maze, or worse, staring into space like Viktor was at the moment. 

But everyone had known it would be Viktor anyway.  It was always Viktor; that was just how it was.  There had been no sobbing or disappointed sighs from the Durmstrang students when Viktor Krum’s name had come out of the Goblet of Fire.  It had practically been a foregone conclusion.

There was a sudden flash of light, and two dark shapes appeared at the entrance to the maze.  The crowd immediately erupted into shouts and screams, and people began standing up and craning their necks to see.  Snape leapt to his feet, muttering under his breath, and practically ran down the steps.

Ivan clutched Edina’s hand and stood up.  “Come on,” he said.  “Now we can go.”

They pushed their way down the stairs, but others seemed to have the same idea.  Screams rang out.  “Dead!  He’s dead!  Cedric Diggory!”

Ivan stopped and looked at Edina.  Her eyes were round with fear.  “What is happening?” she whispered.

Ivan shook his head.  “Viktor,” was all he could say.  Edina nodded.  They pushed their way through the crowd, but it seemed to grow more difficult every second, as more and more people left the stands.  Ivan was no longer even sure he was heading in the right direction.  He couldn’t see Viktor over the crowd, and the confusion and babble around him was overwhelming. 

“Ivan!” Edina shrieked as her hand was torn from his, and the crowd surged between them.

“Edina!” he shouted.  “Edina!”  But it was no use.  He couldn’t hear her, or see her, and everything was confusion.

The End


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