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Black hunted Peter Pettigrew who stayed in his animagus for; a rat, and stayed low for decade as Weasley's rat pet. Yet again, I didn't really care about that. I was too focused in my exploration of fairer specimen of opposite sex and destroying the Ravenclaw's Diadem Horcrux. Then, the year finished. There was also me, a displaced soul inside Harry Potter's body who didn't have enough motivation to save the Hippogriff.

From the forensic team, it said they were kissed by the Dementor. For once, I saw Albus Dumbledore truly livid after he caught the news. Then, the Dementors were pulled back to Azkaban quickly. The Weasley mourned for their youngest son. Meanwhile, Snape acted like Christmas arrived early after the death of Sirius Black. With that, the strategist of canon Golden Trio was taken down, without my meddling. I wonder if it was because my very high luck in play, who knows? The holiday after my third year was quite dull.

I could only train my spell-works. Because of my high Parameters , I couldn't easily increase them like in my early years. Though there was the hype about Quidditch world cup, I didn't give a damn since I didn't have interest for Quidditch, thank you very much. Unbeknownst to me, I would feel regret because I didn't witness my first Veela in the world cup.

The holiday ended and first of September came. Knowing what would happen in my fourth year I couldn't help but feel small excitement when I boarded the Hogwarts' train. Just like my previous experience in boarding Hogwarts' train, I kept myself alone and warded my compartment's door heavily, though this time I didn't use Fidelius Charm. Of course, it wasn't the all events which happened in my stay in Hogwarts.

Suddenly, a voice echoed through the train, snapping me out of my reverie: Please leave your luggage on the train. It will be taken to the school separately. I blinked my eyes and tore my attention away from the outside scenery. Through the wet glass window of my compartment, I could see the outside was raining hard and I felt lethargy from the coldness. Forcing my body to move from the comfortable seat of the empty compartment, I dispelled all wards and protections from my compartment.

I waited until the bustling sound from outside of my compartment stopped, then stepped out silently. I casted a notice-me-not charm to myself, then joined young faces in the unfamiliar crowd without announcing my presence. I then climbed down the train, casting rain-repellent charm that would keep me dry and climbed up to the last carriage pulled by the winged, bony horse; Thestral.

I found out the carriage had been filled by some second years whose name I didn't really care of already inside. From the Yellow shield with black badger coat of arm, they were Hufflepuff's student. They gaped from seeing me climbing up into the compartment. Ignoring their reaction, I made myself comfortable, took my shrunken copy of my Potion Guide: To tell the truth, I liked Potion making.

I was glad my Gamer's Physiology helping me focus on my book since the younger student talked about me in hushed whisper, which I could still hear clearly and watched me like I was rare animal they never saw before. It was kind of grating my nerves and they did it the whole time of the travel with carriage.

When the carriage finally passed through the gates, flanked with statues of winged boars, I snapped my book shut, shrank it and put it back in my robe's pocket. I checked the younger students and saw them still watching me and talking with each other in hushed whisper. I knew I was kind of magical celebrity, but wasn't their reaction a bit too much? I ignored them, reminding myself that they were nothing but NPC.

I changed my attention from them to Hogwarts' castle which was coming nearer, 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. I climbed down first with the tongue-ted younger students followed behind silently. I casted a rain-repellent charm on them to keep them dry, out of whim.

Ignoring their gratitude, I walked up the steps, looking up only when they were safely inside the cavernous, torch-lit entrance hall, with its magnificent marble staircase. I found almost everyone, from seventh years to second years, already in the entrance hall, making it a tad cramped. Where have you been? I couldn't find you in the train before!

I turned my eyes, facing the speaker. I saw exotic oriental beautiful face of Cho Chang, the upper year student of my House. She and her clique were ones of many volunteer last year. I smiled at her politely, saying, "I need my silence when I read my book, Ms. Chang and thankfully, I had the compartment for myself today, giving me my needed privacy. She blinked, bewildered by my straight-faced answer.

You and your books! I never saw any Ravenclaw as zealous as you," she said, then huffed playfully. She then faced me with a playful smile on her exotic oriental face. Her black eyes twinkled in amusement. I think you need to have fun a little. Isn't it dreadfully dull to be alone with your book every time?

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I know several new tricks I picked from holiday. I raised my eyebrows at that. She pulled her face back, giving me an alluring smile. Because our low voices, our position which was separated from the main crowd, and her position with her back facing others, others couldn't see her suggestive, sultry face toward me. It was quite sneaky move she pulled there.

Maybe, we can make appointment for the later date? The corners of my lips tugged upward into a charming smile. The very same smile I had trained in front mirror, wasting many times. I remembered Cho Chang was supposedly in relationship with Cedric Diggory. Yet here she was, blatantly cheating her boyfriend with yours truly. Not like this was her first time doing this, but I was curious of her reason. However, before I could voice out my curiosity, I heard McGonagall's voice.

I slipped into the crowd, ignoring some impolite greetings from Gryffindor and answering some polite greetings from the rest of Houses in my year with small nod, and slid across the entrance hall and through the double doors on the right. The Great Hall looked its usual splendid self, decorated for the start-of-term feast. Golden plates and goblets gleamed by the light of hundreds and hundreds of candles, floating over the tables in midair.

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  6. The four long House tables were packed with chattering students; at the top of the Hall, the staff sat along one side of a fifth table, facing their pupils. I sat down with the rest of the Ravenclaw at the middle of the Hall. I greeted the Gray Lady, the Ravenclaw ghost. Nobody knew she was actually Helena Ravenclaw, the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw.

    Pearly white and semitransparent, Gray Lady was dressed tonight in her usual mourning black dress. Then, I looked up at the staff table. There seemed to be rather more empty seats there than usual. Hagrid, of course, was still fighting his way across the lake with the first years; Professor McGonagall was presumably supervising the drying of the entrance hall floor, but there was another empty chair too, and I knew who else was missing.

    I glanced at the Indian girl, sitting across the table in front of me. She was one of many witches in my year that I had the honor to turn into woman last year. Why I told you this, you ask? Well, telling you certainly gave me a smug satisfaction and stroked my vain manly ego. So, please let me relish this small vanity of me. She was another volunteer from my year who helped me controlling my urge last year.

    She had her own exotic charm like Padma and Cho. Sue had oriental face. One of her parents was supposedly a Chinese. Unfortunately, it wasn't me who had the honor to turn her into woman. Such shame because female's first time would be engraved in their mind forever.

    I would like to leave a trace of me or I wouldn't call myself as the connoisseur of fair ladies. I ignored them, keeping my attention toward the staff's table. I knew there would be Defense against the Dark Arts professor this year. I wanted to know if this year would follow the plot of the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie. If this year followed the script, then Crouch Jr. I scanned the table more carefully. Tiny little Filius Flitwick, the Charms teacher, was sitting on a large pile of cushions beside Pomona Sprout, the Herbology teacher, whose hat was askew over her flyaway gray hair.

    She was talking to hot and young Aurora Sinistra of the Astronomy department. On Sinistra's other side was the Potions master, Severus Snape. On Snape's other side was an empty seat, which I guessed was McGonagall's. Next to it, and in the very center of the table, sat Dumbledore, the headmaster, his sweeping silver hair and beard shining in the candlelight, his magnificent deep green robes embroidered with many stars and moons.

    The tips of Dumbledore's long, thin fingers were together and he was resting his chin upon them, staring up at the ceiling through his half-moon spectacles as though lost in thought. I'd tried my best in grinding just to catch Voldemort's and Dumbledore's level that reached the limit of the level's cap. This world's level cap for wizards and witches is fifty. Speaking of my high level; since I entered wizarding world, I'd tried many ways to increase my power. It could be said I was quite power hungry. However, with threat from Voldemort, I thought it was acceptable for me to be power hungry.

    I did grinding to raise my level and my character's parameter like nobody business by massacring the Acromantula in the Forbidden Forest every night until they were terrified of me, for EXP. I'd also done some rituals, mostly grey-aligned or something borderline dark to increase my power. However, I was still far from Dumbledore's and Voldemort's capability. Dumbledore had seniority over Tom Riddle and more experienced between the two while Tom had done many questionable rituals from the memory I got from the soul shard.

    Both of them had reached Lv: Yet, I was sure I would lose if I face them without preparation. I had watched the fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort from the soul shard's memory of first war. When they fought without holding back anything, I was sure Dumbledore could win. However, the old man's aversion for using dark spells was his crippling handicap. Voldemort wouldn't mind to hurl gory and vicious curses if it'd give him an edge in a fight.

    His favorite was the Killing Curse because it was quick in dealing with his enemy. Tom was pragmatic like that. Well, before his sanity chipped away by creating multiple Horcruxes , I quite respected him for his cunning and use of guile. The Great Hall opened and silence fell. McGonagall was leading a long line of first years up to the top of the Hall. They appeared to have swum across the lake rather than sailed. All of them were shivering with a combination of cold and nerves as they filed along the staff table and came to a halt in a line facing the rest of the school — all of them except the smallest of the lot, a boy with mousy hair, who was wrapped in what I recognized as Hagrid's moleskin overcoat.

    The coat was so big for him that it looked as though he were draped in a furry black circus tent. His small face protruded from over the collar, looking almost painfully excited. I quickly lost interest and waited for the Shorting to finish with bored face. McGonagall now placed a three-legged stool on the ground before the first years and, on top of it, an extremely old, dirty, patched wizard's hat. The first years stared at it.

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    So did everyone else. For a moment, there was silence. Then a long tear near the brim opened wide like a mouth, and the hat broke into song:. The Great Hall rang with applause as the Sorting Hat finished. I politely clapped my hands. I knew every year the Hat would sing different song.

    When McGonagall unrolled a large scroll of parchment, my attention focused on her, or more importantly the letters and numbers above her head. A boy walked forward, visibly trembling from head to foot, picked up the Sorting Hat, put it on, and sat down on the stool. The table on the other side of the hall erupted with cheers; I could see Malfoy clapping as Baddock joined the Slytherins. The albino prick looked fine for somebody mauled by Hippogriff last year.

    The Sorting continued and I felt impatient. I forced myself to bear with this farce and continued to watch the proceeding with a bored face. And finally, with "Whitby, Kevin! Professor McGonagall picked up the hat and the stool and carried them away. Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was smiling around at the students, his arms opened wide in welcome. The empty dishes filled magically before my eyes. It was House-elves doing. Another clap of thunder shook the windows, and the stormy ceiling flashed, illuminating the golden plates as the remains of the first course vanished and were replaced, instantly, with puddings.

    After the desserts were finished, Albus Dumbledore got to his feet again. The buzz of chatter filling the Hall ceased almost at once, so that only the howling wind and pounding rain could be heard. I must once more ask for your attention, while I give out a few notices. Filch, the caretaker, has asked me to tell you that the list of objects forbidden inside the castle has this year been extended to include Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs.

    The full list comprises some four hundred and thirty-seven items, I believe, and can be viewed in Mr. Filch's office, if anybody would like to check it. The corners of Dumbledore's mouth twitched. He continued, "As ever, I would like to remind you all that the forest on the grounds is out-of-bounds to students, as is the village of Hogsmeade to all below third year.

    She looked around at Ravenclaw's Quidditch team. They were mouthing soundlessly at Dumbledore, apparently too appalled to speak. Her reaction was understandable since she was Ravenclaw's seeker and she liked Quidditch for some reason I couldn't fathom. I couldn't even fathom how these people like Quidditch in the first place!


    Then Dumbledore went on, "This is due to an event that will be starting in October, and continuing throughout the school year, taking up much of the teachers' time and energy — but I am sure you will all enjoy it immensely. I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts —".

    But at that moment, there was a deafening rumble of thunder and the doors of the Great Hall banged open. A man stood in the doorway, leaning upon a long staff, shrouded in a black traveling cloak. Every head in the Great Hall swiveled toward the stranger, suddenly brightly illuminated by a fork of lightning that flashed across the ceiling. He lowered his hood, shook out a long mane of grizzled, dark gray hair, then began to walk up toward the teachers' table.

    A dull clunk echoed through the Hall on his every other step. He reached the end of the top table, turned right, and limped heavily toward Dumbledore. Another flash of lightning crossed the ceiling. The lightning had thrown the man's face into sharp relief. It looked as though it had been carved out of weathered wood by someone who had only the vaguest idea of what human faces are supposed to look like, and was none too skilled with a chisel. Every inch of skin seemed to be scarred.

    The mouth looked like a diagonal gash, and a large chunk of the nose was missing. But it was the man's eyes that made him frightening. One of them was small, dark, and beady. The other was large, round as a coin, and a vivid, electric blue. The blue eye was moving ceaselessly, without blinking, and was rolling up, down, and from side to side, quite independently of the normal eye — and then it rolled right over, pointing into the back of the man's head, so that all they could see was whiteness. The stranger reached Dumbledore. He stretched out a hand that was as badly scarred as his face, and Dumbledore shook it, muttering words I couldn't hear.

    He seemed to be making some inquiry of the stranger, who shook his head unsmilingly and replied in an undertone. Dumbledore nodded and gestured the man to the empty seat on his right-hand side. The stranger sat down, shook his mane of dark gray hair out of his face, pulled a plate of sausages toward him, raised it to what was left of his nose, and sniffed it.

    He then took a small knife out of his pocket, speared a sausage on the end of it, and began to eat. His normal eye was fixed upon the sausages, but the blue eye was still darting restlessly around in its socket, taking in the Hall and the students. It was usual for new staff members to be greeted with applause, but none of the staff or students clapped except Dumbledore and Hagrid, who both put their hands together and applauded, but the sound echoed dismally into the silence, and they stopped fairly quickly.

    Everyone else seemed too transfixed by Moody's bizarre appearance to do more than stare at him. My eyes flickered to letters and number above his head and saw:. I returned my eyes to his face, trying to look disinterested. Around me, the students of House of the wits and learnings were whispering about Moody. Ignoring the jug of pumpkin juice in front of him, he reached again into his traveling cloak, pulled out a hip flask, and took a long draught from it.

    As he lifted his arm to drink, his cloak was pulled a few inches from the ground — and I saw, below the table, several inches of carved wooden leg, ending in a clawed foot. Dumbledore cleared his throat. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year.

    The tension that had filled the Hall ever since Moody's arrival suddenly broke. Nearly everyone laughed, and Dumbledore chuckled appreciatively. Weasley," he said, "though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar Ah yes, the Triwizard Tournament He paused, taking a deep breathe, and continued, "The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang.

    A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities — until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued. However, our own departments of International Magical Cooperation and Magical Games and Sports have decided the time is ripe for another attempt. We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger.

    He paused for another deep breath. An impartial judge will decide which students most are worthy to compete for the Triwizard Cup, the glory of their school, and a thousand Galleons personal prize money. He was not the only person who seemed to be visualizing himself as the Hogwarts champion. For someone who lost his younger brother several months ago, he was sure fast in bouncing from his grieve. In fact, the young Ginevra Weasley seems like she'd yet to finish her grieving if her silence was indication.

    At every House table, I could see people either gazing raptly at Dumbledore, or else whispering fervently to their neighbors. But then Dumbledore spoke again, and the Hall quieted once more. Only students who are of age — that is to say, seventeen years or older — will be allowed to put forward their names for consideration. Dumbledore raised his voice slightly, for several people had made noises of outrage at these words, and the Weasley twins were suddenly looking furious.

    I will personally be ensuring that no underage student hoodwinks our impartial judge into making them Hogwarts champion. He paused again and continued, "The delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving in October and remaining with us for the greater part of this year. I know that you will all extend every courtesy to our foreign guests while they are with us, and will give your whole-hearted support to the Hogwarts champion when he or she is selected.

    And now, it is late, and I know how important it is to you all to be alert and rested as you enter your lessons tomorrow morning. Dumbledore sat down again and turned to talk to Mad-Eye Moody. There was a great scraping and banging as all the students got to their feet and swarmed toward the double doors into the entrance hall. And a thousand Galleons prize money! I ignored the useless chatter around me and joined the students with bronze and blue robe, herded to Ravenclaw's common room by our House's perfect. I was focused on the popup window which appeared in front of me.

    Enter your name for Triwizard Tournament as Hogwarts' Presentative. Entered into the tournament outside of your consent; have your image slandered; Boy-Who-Lived title will lose its high charisma; effect potential mayhem; potential death. I mulled over my choices. I weighed the pros and cons in accepting the mission. I knew from my meta-knowledge Crouch Jr. Being entered without my consent would leave bad taste in my mouth and I would be singled out because I was registered as fourth champion in Triwizard tournament.

    However, I could lower the potential harm at my fame. I wasn't glory hound or fame hoarder I'm too lazy for that , but I would be very stupid if I don't see the usefulness of my fame. I scrutinized the popup window for a while. I blinked my eyes when I heard Cho's voice, whispering at me with reproaching eyes. I gazed her exotic Oriental face for a while. You have this despicable look, worse than any Slytherin I know.

    I laughed merrily at that. Cho pouted and dropped the subject. Accepting the Mission by thinking, "YES" , the window disappeared. We continued our walk to our common room in seventh floor. Ravenclaw's common room was in one of Hogwarts' magnificent spires, just like Gryffindor's common room. After the perfects told us how to open the door to common room, they answered the riddle from the eagle doorknob and entered first, we quickly followed them with the first years at the further back. I quickly walked to my room, ignoring the usual orientation for first years.

    I didn't see Flitwick, which was very unusual since the half-goblin was very serious with his responsibility and job; for instance, giving new students their first orientation was considered his responsibility as Head of House. Entering my room, I quickly checked for any bugs. I felt less tense after I found there was none. For once the stereotype in fanfiction was correct about Claw's room.

    Each student got their own room, albeit smaller than other's dorm where a room was shared by four students. After setting privacy charm and warding my door with a locking charm , anti-unlocking charm and other protections I could think of without alarming the staff, I quickly opened my trunk. I quickly moved my books and clothes into the wardrobe and bookshelf. When the room was clear, "Inventory! Opening the trunk, I then climbed down into the trunk with magically enlarged compartment. Stepping into the 10x10 meter square room, I began my nightly exercise. I trained my spell-works, sorted my memory bank, searched for something useful from Tom Riddle's memory, and trained something from Tom Riddle's memory.

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    Two hours later, I stopped and checked the digital clock in upper right corner of my HUD. It was almost midnight, curfews had passed hours ago. Knowing it was my clue to start my nightly farming session in Forbidden Forest, I soon took my Invisibility Cloak and my Marauder's Map, then went out to Forbidden Forest silently. I was glad Marauder's Map helped me with my illegal excursion like this. Since I didn't need sleep for hours, I used my spare time for something productive, like farming Monsters for EXP and materials or inventing new spell.

    I killed dozens of Acromantula brutally, ranging from dog-sized to horse-sized. I used some lethal curses to kill them. I didn't fear for their extinction because I knew they bred damn fast. I stopped at three in the morning and wasted two hours to harvest their silks and poison shacks.

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    I returned to my room via secret shortcut and used my Invisibility Cloak to snuck back into Ravenclaw's common room. Then, I prepared myself for the first day in my fourth year with other none the wiser. Superhuman — Low Boost for your physical strength and chance to manually increase your Strength Parameter. Speedster — Low Boost for your agility and chance to manually increase your Agility Parameter. Stamina Freak — Low Boost for your endurance and chance to manually increase your Endurance Parameter.

    Manwhore — High Boost for your skill in pleasuring your sex-partner and wooing your target. Has she plunged down the rabbit hole or is this her destiny calling her home? To say I loved this book is a huge understatement. First, I read it in two sittings. I was sucked into the story from the beginning and found Ashling to be a lot like me when I was a teenage girl.

    An absolutely charming character and one who I identified with most. Second, the backdrop of Ireland and the mystical elements drew me further into the story. Judith Sterling has developed a fascinating world and totally believable. Third, the relationship between Ashling and Aengus was slow building sweet romance which I adored. The mystery surrounding Aengus piqued my interest and when he revealed his secrets to Ashling, I swooned. No really, I did. Write faster, Judith Sterling! The Wild Rose Press https: Judith Sterling's love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes.

    Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.