“As you know, at the end of last semester, Dumbledore took me to Beauxbatons. He took time off to return to England with Beauxbatons’s Headmistress Madame Maxime to discuss the matter.” Evan explained, “It was also at that time that I learned that Hogwarts was about to host the Triwizard Tournament, a traditional event organized by the biggest three magic schools in Europe…”
“Hold on, I remember it!” Hermione said suddenly. “I saw it in the book An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe. The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven-hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the three largest schools of Europe the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and the Durmstrang Institute. A champion was selected to represent each school, and then the three champions competed in three magical tasks. Held every five years, the competition would be hosted by each school in turn. It was agreed to be an excellent way to build friendship among young witches and wizards from different countries.”
“Held every five years?!” Ron said in amazement. “But I never knew that Bill, Charlie, and Percy had ever seen such a game, nor had they ever been to the other two wizarding schools.”
“Because the Triwizard Tournament had been interrupted for centuries, I can’t believe they will reinstate it…” said Hermione.
Next, the four began to discuss various details about the Triwizard Tournament.
The sudden excitement and joy diluted the unhappiness that Malfoy brought, and even Ron’s mood became better.
Needless to say, both Harry and Ron wanted to be Hogwarts’s champions; Hermione was the only one who thought it might be dangerous.
The rain became heavier and heavier as the train moved farther north. The sky was so dark and the windows so steamy that the lanterns were lit by midday.
The lunch trolley came rattling along the corridor, and Evan and Harry bought a lot of cakes and snacks.
In the afternoon, people began to flood into this compartment.
Most of them came to see Evan, and everyone knew what he had done at the Quidditch World Cup.
For a while, the small compartment was crowded with people. Evan knew some of them and he didn’t know others. Almost all the young witches and wizards gathered around him.
They talked endlessly with Evan about the magic he had cast and the World Cup attacks. Hermione, growing tired of it, buried herself once more in The Standard Book of spells, Grade 4, and started trying to learn a Summoning Charm.
By the time Evan finally managed to send Colin away, the train was on the verge of Hogwarts.
As soon as they changed into their school robes, the train doors opened, and there was a rumble of thunder overhead.
The young witches and wizards left the train one after another, heads bent and eyes narrowed against the downpour. The rain was now coming down so thick and fast that it was as though buckets of ice-cold water were being emptied repeatedly over their heads.
“Hagrid!” Harry yelled, seeing a gigantic silhouette at the far end of the platform.
Behind Harry, Evan, Ron, and Hermione also hurried to say hello.
“Hello!” Hagrid bellowed back, waving. “See you at the feast if we don’t drown!”
First years traditionally reached Hogwarts Castle by sailing across the lake with Hagrid.
Evan watched Hagrid gather some very young children to his side and lead them to the dark lake.
Because in his first year, he, Harry, and Ron flew in by car, he had not experienced this tradition.
“Oooh, I wouldn’t fancy crossing the lake in this weather,” said Hermione fervently, shivering as they inched slowly along the dark platform with the rest of the crowd.
A hundred horseless carriages stood waiting for them outside the station.
Evan, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville climbed gratefully into one of them, and felt relieved.
The door shut with a snap, and a few moments later, with a great lurch, the long procession of carriages was rumbling and splashing its way up the track toward Hogwarts Castle.
Through the gates, flanked with statues of winged boars, and up the sweeping drive the carriages trundled, swaying dangerously in what was fast becoming a gale.
Ten minutes later, the huge outline of Hogwarts Castle appeared in the dark, its many lighted windows blurred and shimmering behind the thick curtain of rain.
Lightning flashed across the sky as their carriage came to a halt before the great oak front doors, which stood at the top of a flight of stone steps.
People who had occupied the carriages in front were already hurrying up the stone steps into the castle.
Evan, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville jumped down from their carriage and dashed up the steps too, looking up only when they were safely inside the cavernous, torch-lit entrance hall, with its magnificent marble staircase. Everything was so familiar and warm.
“Blimey,” said Ron, shaking his head and sending water everywhere, “if that keeps up the lake’s going to overflow. I’m soaked … ARRGH!!!”
A large, red, water-filled balloon had dropped from out of the ceiling onto Ron’s head and exploded.
Drenched and sputtering, Ron staggered sideways into Harry.
“Be careful!” Evan hurriedly said, pulling Hermione.
Hermione slipped and her whole body was on Evan, just as a second water bomb dropped, narrowly missing Hermione, it burst at their feet.
People all around them shrieked and started pushing one another in their efforts to get out of the line of fire.
Evan looked up and saw, floating twenty feet above them, Peeves the Poltergeist, a little man in a bell-covered hat and orange bow tie.
He made a rude face to Evan, aiming at him as a target, his wide, malicious face contorted with focus.
Before he could drop the balloon in his hand, Evan pulled out his wand as fast as he could.
The water-filled balloon did not fall, but floated beside Peeves.
With a bang, the balloon exploded, and the icy water was all spattered on the ghost and not a drop of it fell.
Then all the other balloons next to Peeves exploded one after another.
Water drenched Peeves. He was the only ghost in Hogwarts whose entity could be affected.
“Damned Evan brat!” Peeves screamed and disappeared into the depths of the corridor.
Behind them, the young wizards whispered and applauded Evan.
Evan was very famous at Hogwarts before, but since the Quidditch World Cup, this reputation had clearly risen to a new level.
Everyone seemed to be particularly expecting and admiring for all his performances, in recognition that Evan had become the most powerful young wizard of Hogwarts.