Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 11; Going Home

The last day of school was very emotional for everyone. Germany hugged Jane and kissed her head, holding Italy’s wheelchair in place (Madam Pomfrey said he could keep it) as Italy looked up at him from the chair he was buckled in. Italy’s leg was inching its way to recovery, and the bandage on his head was no longer needed after the wound was cleaned and stitched. “Don’t forget me.” Jane teased. “I know you have more important people to remember, but try not to forget us, mortals.”

“Nien.” he shook his head. “I’ll never forget you. Even when I’m millions of years old, I’ll still remember you as you are at this moment.”

As the two shared a long, passionate kiss, Germany accidentally let go of Italy and he rolled down hill.

“GEEEEEEEEERMAAAAAAAAAANYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!” he cried.

“Acio wheelchair!” Harry quickly caught him before he hit the water. As Italy felt the magical force pull him back, Harry grabbed the handles and pushed him back to Germany, applying the brakes.

Germany looked embarrassed as Harry eyed him. “…Must’ve forgotten his breaks…” he mumbled. Harry shook his head playfully as he returned to his friends.

Romano sat lay back on the wall as he talked with Sallin. “So,” she started. “a country, huh?”

“Yeah,” he sighed overly proud. “I’m known as Romano back at home. It was my stupid brother who got the country’s name.”

“You could be known as tomato head,” she joked as she punched his shoulder. “you’re still Vargas to me.”

“Why do you do that?” he asked, rubbing his arm.

“What?”

“Punch me!” he yelled as she punched him again. “I meant why do you punch me.”

“Because you told me to punch you.” she chuckled. When he gave her a look, she continued to chuckle, “Because that’s how I show affection. Duh.”

At this, Romano stood straight. “You want to know how I show affection?” he asked. Not giving her time to answer, he zoomed his head between her jaw and shoulder and sucked gently. When he was done, she was the one who looked like a tomato and he was the one who chuckled. “You might want to get a scarf now.”

As the train whistled, everyone loaded on board. On the way, Germany sent a letter. “England,” he wrote. “I am happy to report that Harry Potter is still alive to next year. Although, Cedric Digory, the original Hogwarts champion, was K.I.A., and Italy was wounded very badly and lost his memory. I’ve been working with him every day since he received his injury, trying to regain his memory, but his leg injury will take at least another few months, even with his country healing abilities. And just know, I would be more than happy to enroll for next year (just as long as France stays out of it). Germany.”

He sent his owl out as the train left Hogwarts, and got a reply letter halfway to London. “Germany,” the reply said. “I’m sorry to hear about Italy’s injuries, and Harry’s loss. I will be more than happy to enroll you three next year as well. I expect the train ride to be more than relaxing to you after the long year. Can’t wait to see you in London. Britain.”

“What’s going on Germany?” Italy asked.

“I…I’m not sure…” Germany honestly answered. “England said he’d meet us in London.”

“England…England…” Italy fished for the image in his head. All the German could do was laugh as he showed him a picture of England. “Oh!” he smiled. “Now I see!”

They arrived in London the next morning. Germany pushed Italy off the train as they collected their luggage, and looked around for a ride home. “Over there!” Romano called as he led the way to England.

England looked at Italy and sighed. “How’d that happen?” he asked.

“From how I understand it,” Germany started as the four of them made their way to England’s car, England and Romano carrying all the luggage except for the pets, which were in Italy’s lap. “during the third task, Italy, Harry, and Cedric grabbed the cup simultaneously, and they ended up in a graveyard of some sort. Then, a man Dumbledore said was named Lord Vol-“

“Shush!” England stopped him. “I know you don’t know much about him, but he’s known as You Know Who here. He has a very dark history in my country’s wizarding world.”

Though he looked confused, Germany continued. “You Know Who came and attempted to kill all three of them. Cedric died on the spot, and Italy suffered severe wounds and lost his memory.”

“There was a man inside the castle with a mark on his arm also.” Romano added.

“A mark?” England asked as he eased Italy from the wheelchair in the car. “What did it look like?”

Romano tried to remember. “A skull with a snake coming out of its mouth.”

At this, the Englishman looked fearful. “What was his name? How did he get there?”

“His name was…” he strained to remember. “Bryan…something…Barny…Brad…something like that…and he drank some potion to look like one of the professors.”

England froze as he closed Italy’s door. “Barty Crouch?” he asked. “Barty Crouch Junior used Polyjuice Potion?” he asked as Romano nodded.

They all loaded in the car, Germany in the back with Italy, Romano in the front passenger’s seat, and England driving. “Not that I’m not flattered that you liked my school Germany,” England started as they drove to his house. “but, why do you want to go back next year? Especially after this year. I expected you to never want to see my land again and lock yourself in your house with nothing but your beer and wurst.”

Germany wasn’t sure how to respond. “It’s about…a girl.”

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Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 10; The Dark Lord

Harry cried in pain from his scar as Italy and Cedric ignored his command. “Get back to the cup!” Harry repeated.

“But you’re hurt.” Italy insisted.

“Harry, what’s wrong?” Cedric pressed. He began to ignore the two minors when he saw a stranger walk up to them holding a skeleton of some sort. “Who are you?” he asked the stranger, holding up his wand for protection. “What do you want?”

“Kill the spares.” a voice hissed.

“Avoda Cadavera!” The man whipped his wand, and in a flash of green, Cedric flipped over and his heart stopped instantly. Then, the stranger turned to Italy. “Avoda Cadavera!” The same green light came as he summer salted, hitting his leg on the huge grave stone, and his head on the staff the statue held. Pain shot up his leg to his hip, and the blast to his head felt as though it cracked through his thick skull. The last thing he heard was a muffled “NO!” before everything was out of ear shot and vision.

When Italy’s eyes slowly came into focus, he saw Harry running up to him, pick him up, run over to Cedric, and summon the cup to transport them back to the beginning. He faintly heard cheers and happy music before everyone started to look grim. “Feli!” Germany called as he raced down from the stands to his friend’s side. “Feliciano!”

“Feli?” Romano followed Germany in a more urgent suit.

Italy looked around weakly, finding it difficult to focus his eyes and make out who was who.

“What happened?” Germany asked. “I thought-“

“MOVE POTATO BASTARD!” Romano shoved Germany out of the way and eyed his brother. “Fratello, your leg! Where’s the bastard who did that to you?!”

Germany placed his hand behind Italy’s head, but took the hand back, trembling. “Italy, you’re bleeding!” he exclaimed. Italy tried to talk, but his confused look and the bleeding location said everything. “You don’t know who we are,” Germany concluded. “do you?”

“WHAT?!” Romano yelled when Italy shook his head.

“I’ll take you to the hospital wing.” Germany offered as he lifted Italy from the wet grass. Italy groaned in pain from his leg as Romano eyed ‘Professor Moody’ taking Harry away.

He followed the ‘professor’ in the office, seeing Harry sitting by the fire. “Harry,” Romano greeted. “what happened to Italy?”

He simply averted the Italian’s gaze. “All I can say is that he’s lucky to be alive.”

The first year was about to respond when they heard groans from where the ‘professor’ was. The two boys looked over. “Do you really think that Hagrid would’ve told you about the dragons if I hadn’t told him myself?” he asked. “Or that Nevil would’ve known to offer you and that bloody Italian Gilly Weed if I hadn’t given him the book on Gilly Weed to begin with?” he continued asking as he dug through his boxes. “Imagine the reward I would receive,” he started as he turned, revealing that his face was half melted. “when the Dark Lord finds that I have done the believed impossible, silencing once and for all the great and famous Harry Potter!” he yelled. “I’m sure the Dark Lord would be over joyed when I present two bloody cocky boys to his feet.” he added, eyeing Romano.

After all that was said, everything happened too fast. Some professors came in, Moody pointed his wand at Harry and Romano, Snape disarmed him, Dumbledore pushed him in a chair, and Romano shielded Harry from all the commotion. “Snape!” Dumbledore called as the potions master poured a potion in the melting face of Professor Moody. “Do you know who I am?”

“Albus Dumbledore.” he growled.

“Are you Alistair Moody?”

“No.”

“Is he in this room?” The imposter looked at the chest Harry and Romano used to hide behind. “Boys! Get away from there!”

Professor McGonagall guided them out from behind the chest as the head master whipped his wand at the lock. Seven locks later, it revealed a deep hole. At the bottom was the true Alistair Moody covered in sweat and striped to his under garments. “Wait,” Romano stopped everyone. “if that’s the real Moody,” everyone looked at the imposter. “then who’s that?!”

The face continued to melt and change its features. Dumbledore glared at the man. “Barty Crouch Junior.” he hissed.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Barty promised as he pulled up his sleeve to reveal his skull and snake tattoo. Romano looked confused as Dumbledore forced Harry’s arm forward to show the cut. “You know what this means, right?” he asked. “He’s back. The Dark Lord has returned.”

The head master pushed Harry from Barty’s view and barked commands to the other professors. “How’s Italy?” Harry asked when they left the room.

“Germany took him to the hospital.” Romano answered as the two walked to the wing.

They walked all the way to the end where Italy laid and Germany refused to leave. Italy’s head was bandaged and his leg was in a large cast consuming from his toes to the base of his abdomen. A wheel chair was parked next to the bed. “It’s my fault.” he claimed, not even bothering to see who came in. “I shouldn’t have even urged England to bring him here in the first place.”

“How bad is his leg?” Romano asked.

“How bad is his head?” Harry added.

“Madam Pomfrey said that he has a major concussion,” he stated. “he must relearn everything. How to walk, talk, and feed himself, etc. as if he was a new born babe. As for his leg, everything split up to the joint in his hip. It would take months of recovery.”

“If he was human, right?” Romano asked nervously. “Because he’s a country, his memory and leg will get better in a few days, right?”

Germany shook his head. “If he was human, he would possibly be crippled for the rest of his life.”

“You three never had to do anything for me this year.” Harry stated. “You never had to come, I could’ve taken care of myself, and Italy wouldn’t have been thrown across a grave yard, hit by grave stones, just because he was with me.”

“I want to know who did this to him,” Germany growled. “I want to know who I should kill with my bear hands.”

“With the wave of his wand, you’d be an empty shell!” Harry exclaimed. “He’s killed children as young as new borns and not blink an eye.”

“I don’t care!” he yelled in pain. “I just want to kill him! I want to tear him apart limb from limb and watch him bleed slowly, dying in agony!”

“It would be my pleasure to join you, potato.” Romano growled in agreement. Germany smiled at the boy until they heard a groan from Italy’s pail lips. “Fratello!” the elder brother exclaimed. “Remember me? I’m your fratello, your big brother.”

“F-fra-te-llo?” he asked. “Bro-ther?”

Germany took a plate of spaghetti and placed it in front of him. “You must be hungry,” he stated. “surely you remember pasta.” Italy watched as Germany took a fork full of the carbs and gently placed it in the crippled Italian’s mouth. “Pasta.” he recited.

“Pasta!” Italy repeated gleefully.

Germany urged Harry more and more each day to tell him who crippled Italy, and Harry refused to answer each time. Italy slowly learned from Germany, Romano, and Madam Pomfrey about how to talk, and feed himself. His leg slowly got better, but he still couldn’t walk by the time Cedric’s funeral came.

Germany helped him in his wheel chair and pushed him through the halls to the Great Hall. “Where are we going?” Italy asked.

“To a funeral.” Germany answered.

“What’s a funeral?”

The German tried to find a good way to explain. “It’s an event where you honor someone who’s died recently.” he answered.

Italy looked confused. “But, I don’t know anyone who’s died?”

“Yes, you do,” he stated. “you just don’t remember.” As they entered the Great Hall, Germany pushed Italy next to a bench and put on the chair’s breaks before sitting down. “In a funeral, you don’t speak,” he stated to Italy. “just listen.” Soon, Jane came up and sat with him while Romano sat across the aisle with Sallin.

Dumbledore sat in the front, making a move to stand. “Today, we acknowledge a very terrible loss.” he stated. “Cedric Digory, as you all know, was extremely hard working, and a fierce, fierce friend. Which is why I believe you all have a right to know exactly how he died. The Ministry of Magic doesn’t wish for me to tell you this, but in doing so, I believe, would be an insult to his memory.” he paused. “You see, Cedric Digory was murdered by Lord Voldemort. The pain we all feel shows that, even though we are from different places, our hearts beet as one. May Cedric rest in peace, and hopefully, one day, we would be able to sleep at night, knowing his death wasn’t in vain.”

As silence fell, every face held sadness, some with open tears, and others with bowed heads. Germany looked down, not in sadness, but in vengeance. Lord Voldemort. he repeated in his mind. That’s who crippled Italy in attempt to kill him.

Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 9; The Third Task

Germany hadn’t talked to Italy since the second task, nor had he even seen Jane without finding her bright, beautiful green eyes in a cold glare of pure hate since she found out the truth weeks ago. Who could blame her? He might be able to hold his own against any attack, but he can’t even protect the ones he loves from pain he inflicts. He knew what he had to do, but not the slightest clue how.

First thing was first, he was going to chew out England’s ass for giving them away and humiliating him the way he did. “Arthur Kirkland,” he wrote. “or should I say England! You idiot ass hole! Your howlers gave away everything! Everything I strived for, now gone because you were too stupid to use our proper names! You didn’t help anyone at all! You humiliated me in front of a girl, used mine and Italy’s country names more than once, and now, she thinks I’m a liar, cheat, and an abomination! You said that you were going to be careful if you ever had to use howlers, but the way you wrote them seemed careless and reckless to me. Secrets out thanks to you, and you call us children. Take your own advice and stop acting like a half-century-old colony! Germany.”

As Gilbert flew off with the letter, Germany was ready to confront his friends and do the one thing he was never good at, apologize. Apologize to Jane for never being straight forward with her and explain himself to her, and apologize to Italy for being a jerk to him, for hitting him, for saying things he never meant, for just being a rotten friend.

He searched the halls for Jane first, because she had to understand everything. When he finally found her, she gave him the same glare she’s been giving him since she found out the truth. “Jane,” he called as he approached her. She simply ignored him with a straight face. “Jane, please.” he begged. “Let me explain.”

“What’s there to explain?” she asked. “You lied to me from the day we met. How do I know if all you did was lie or not? How do I know if you’re capable of telling the truth?”

“Because the only thing I had to lie about was my identity.” he answered. “My human name really is Ludwig, but I have no last name, and I’m more commonly known as Germany.”

“Why did you lie?” she asked, not even looking at him.

Germany sighed. “My friends and I have to keep it secret from humans, otherwise, we would be overthrown easier. Also, no one would believe us anyway.” he continued. “If England hadn’t reminded us of that, then I would have given you the complete truth from the start.” He took a deep breath. “Nothing else was a lie.” he stated. “The truth is…I…Ich Liebe Dich!”

“I don’t know German you bloody idiot!” she yelled as she crossed her arms and closed her eyes to guarantee that she won’t have to look at his untrustworthy face.

“It means…” Germany hesitated as the words caught in his throat. Once she hears those words, he told himself. you can never go back. “It means…I love you!”

Jane turned to him, her eyes now bright with excitement and curiosity. “…But, you said you were thousands of years old.”

“Age is but a number,” he chuckled. “also, I’m physically frozen, so I’ll remain the age I appear forever.”

She couldn’t help but laugh. “So, you’ve been eleven for thousands of years?” she asked.

“Well…no…” He blushed wildly. “this is just England’s age spell. After the year is done, he’ll turn me back to my original form, a twenty-three-year-old man.” He sighed as he sat with her. “Jane, I’m sorry for lying to you. At least now you know why I had to.” he stated as he made a move to leave before she stopped him.

They looked into each other’s eyes for a while. “I forgive you.” she smiled. “Can you forgive me for not understanding?”

“Nothing to forgive.” He shook his head. “It’s hard to understand what’s not explained.”

After a few more minutes, Germany left to find Italy, but instead, could only find Harry, Ron, and Hermione. (Are those three ever separated?) He came up to them in a rush. “Have you three seen Feliciano?” he asked.

“You mean Italy?” Harry asked.

“Yeah,” Ron huffed. “we know about your little secret identity, Germany.”

“Don’t worry,” Hermione added. “your secret’s safe with us.”

He smiled. “Thanks,” he stated. “now, could you help me find him? I have to say something to him.”

“I saw him in the Transfiguration courtyard.” Ron stated.

Germany nodded in thanks and rushed to the courtyard. As he approached the lush yard, he looked past the stone frames, searching for Italy until he found him slipping in Professor McGonagall’s class and shutting the door. “Damn it.” he muttered as he walked away.

He didn’t see any sign of Italy again until the day of the third task as Germany sat in the crowd and Italy stood with the other champions. “It’s okay,” Jane stated in an attempt to calm him down. “he can’t die…can he?”

“Normally not,” he answered. “but I don’t know what this age spell did to us in full.” He watched tensely as Italy stood there, about to enter a maze constructed of bushes, and filled to the brim with fog.

Italy entered the maze at the third entrance color coated in the Ravenclaw colors. Next to him was Harry, and on the far side was Cedric. Once the cannon sounded, they crossed the thresh hold of the maze and the bushes closed them in. All he caught was McGonagall’s concerned look at the entrance, Germany worriedly nodding at him to continue, and Romano’s blank look before the bushes closed and it got silent on his side.

He ran around the twists and turns of the maze, sometimes, the branches would randomly close in quickly, nearly enclosing him in the leaves before he’d narrowly escape. Soon, he literally ran into Harry while he was running. “Harry!” he called. “I can’t do this! I don’t know the spell to get me out of here! Help me! Please!”

“It’s alright Italy,” Harry soothed as Italy pressed his back against the bush wall where he sat and sobbed. “the way I understand it, you can’t die.”

“But, what if England’s age spell took my immortality?” he cried. “Please Harry, I’m so scared!”

With a determined look, he nodded. “I promised Germany I’d keep you safe.”

“My group promised England we’d do the same for you.”

“We’ll stay together then.” Harry offered his hand and smiled when Italy took it and pulled himself up. “It’s decided.”

They wandered through the maze a while longer before running into Cedric. All the way down the aisle was the cup. The Hufflepuff gave them a crazed look before racing past the bushes. Harry and Italy did the same, though it was for a different reason.

About half way down, Cedric fell and got dragged away from the roots. “Harry!” he cried. “Harry!”

“I don’t know what spell to use to help him!” Italy stated.

“…I do.” Harry whispered as Cedric continued his pleading chant.

“Harry, do the spell! Please!” Italy cried.

After listening to Cedric’s cry for help, and Italy’s plead to do something, Harry pointed his wand at the root, chanted, “Reducto!” and watched as the roots retreated down into the soil.

The young man stood, panting heavily. “For a moment there,” he started. “I thought you were going to let it get me.” Out of nowhere, a storm started and the three started running again to the cup. “Take it!” Cedric insisted. “You saved me, take it!”

“We’ll do it together.” Harry informed. “All three of us. One, two,” The three of them lunged forward and took the cup, landing in a dark field.

“Harry,” Italy called in the sudden silence. “…what happened?”

“The cup,” Cedric smiled. “it’s a port key!”

“I’ve been here before,” Harry stated in fear. “in a dream. We have to get back!” he commanded.

Suddenly, he collapsed and clutched his head. “Harry,” Italy hurried to his side with Cedric. “What’s wrong?”

“Are you two deaf?!” the Gryffindor shouted. “Get back to the cup!”

Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 8; Secret’s Out

Lovino watched as Ludwig and Feliciano stayed clear of each other. They never made eye contact, talked, or even acknowledged each other’s existence. “…So, Ludwig…” the elder Italian started. “what’s going on between you and Feli?”

“Who?” the German asked coldly.

The Italian was stumped. “Feliciano, my little fratello, your BEST FRIEND! (For reasons I’ve yet to figure out.)”

“Never heard of him.” Ludwig answered.

Lovino gave up on Ludwig and went to his brother. “Hey, Feli,” he called. “what’s going on between you and Ludwig?”

“Who’s he?” the younger brother asked blankly.

At this point, Lovino was way past surprised, bypassed stumped, and downright worried. If Italy was ignoring Germany, something was wrong. “The potato loving bastard, the German you won’t shut up about, your BEST FRIEND!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about fratello.” Feli answered. “I think you need to see a doctor or something, you must be seeing things like Arthur.”

“I’M NOT THAT CRAZY!”

Seeing no other option, Lovino wrote a letter to Arthur. “Arthur,” he wrote. “I have no idea what to do. Harry’s doing just fine (if you don’t count the potions exam), but it’s Feliciano and Ludwig I’m worrying about. They haven’t talked, looked at each other, or even notice each other for the past month! It’s like you talking to Alfred about flying candy rabbit or whatever when I talk to those two. I know they were annoying when they were friends, but it’s really freaking me out! DO SOMETHING!! Or at least tell me what to do so this can be fixed! Lovino.”

When England got the letter, he was furious. “Damn it! My age spell must’ve worked too well, they’re acting like immature children!” he yelled as he dug through his desk. “Where are my bloody howlers?!”

Ludwig walked to the Great Hall for lunch, the only meal where students can eat at whichever table they want, and looked around for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. “Ludwig!” Ron called. “Over here!”

He walked over happily until a red hair curl came in his view. “Hey, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lovino, what’s up?”

Lovino gave Harry a stern look. “I see what you mean.” he whispered as he turned to the German. “So, it’s true, you’re not friends with Feliciano anymore.”

The blond crossed his arms, sending a glare at the red headed Italian before answering, “I don’t have any friends by that name.”

Lovino couldn’t take it anymore. “What about the name Veniciano?” he yelled as he shot up from his seat. “You have a friend by that name? Or Ita-” He growled as he marched around the table, pushing Ludwig’s shoulder with so much force, it put a crick in his neck. “Or, how about Italy?” he continued in a whisper, but more intense. “You and Italy have been friends for nearly half a century, since WW2 even, one little fight over a job shouldn’t tear that apart!” Ludwig jerked his shoulder free from Lovi’s grip, sent another glare to Feli, and stormed away.

He walked over to the Hufflepuff table to see if Jane would be there. When he saw that she actually was, he hurried to her side. “Hey, Jane,” he sighed. “mind if I sit with you?”

She immediately looked concerned. “Luddy, what’s wrong?” she asked.

He looked over at her and smiled. “It’s nothing,” he sighed. “just some problems with my neighbors.” Though she looked confused, she didn’t want to push him. She just hugged him and they snuggled for a while in silence, not touching their food.

“What was that all about?” Ron asked Lovino as Harry and Hermione looked at one another seriously. “Why’d you explode like that? And what did you whisper to him after you went all the way around the table?”

“Feliciano is my little fratello.” he answered. “I don’t like people intending to hurt my family just because we don’t look like we can fight for ourselves.”

“But, what did you whisper to him?” Harry asked, truly curious.

“I told him things that should remind him how much friendship used to mean to him,” he snapped. “and that’s all you’re getting out of me!”

As Lovino stormed off once again, Feliciano was the center of attention in the group. “Do you know what that was about?” Hermione asked sweetly. “I mean, he is your brother, did he say something to you?”

“Well…I…uh…” he was at a loss for words as an owl came in holding two letters in its beak. One dropped at the Hufflepuff table in front of Ludwig, the other in front of Feli. “What’s this?” he asked, eyeing the envelope.

“Let me see that,” Ron stated as he reached over. The Italian gave him the letter as the ginger turned pale. “I know what this is,” he stated. “…it’s a howler.”

“A howler?” he asked.

“Go on Feli,” Hermione urged. “it won’t end well if you ignore it.”

“I didn’t know the mail came until tomorrow.” Ludwig thought aloud as he eyed the closed letter.

Jane got scared and scooted away. “Ludwig, that’s a howler.” she stated. “Do you want to open it alone?”

The German shook his head as he carelessly opened the envelope. “YOU BLOODY IDIOTS!!!” the letter screamed with an echo from the Gryffindor table where he left Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the Italy brothers. “I WARNED YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU TWO F*CKED THIS UP! I TOLD YOU I’D SEND A HOWLER! HERE IT IS YOU BLOODY GITS!”

At this point, the echo stopped, and the two letters were saying two completely different things. “GERMANY, DON’T THINK I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF, SCOLDING ITALY FOR DOING YOUR JOB! STRIKING HIM ACROSS THE FACE EVEN! I’ve worked with idiots, and I’ve worked with power hungry men, but this is the BLOODY FIRST TIME I’VE HAD TO WORK WITH A POWER HUNGRY IDIOT!” Ludwig’s howler screamed.

“ITALY, YOU REALLY ARE AS STUPID AS YOU LOOK! YOU JUMPED BACK IN THE WATER AFTER YOUR TIME WAS UP AND YOUR GILLY WEED WAS BEGINNING TO FAIL, ARE YOU F*CKING RETARDED?! YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO GERMANY WHEN HE SAID DON’T GO BACK! Thank you for saving Harry from the creatures in that lake, but WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!” Feliciano’s howler scolded.

“Now that you know how it feels to receive a howler, you BLOODY HELL SHOULDN’T DO THAT AGAIN! You two are COUNTRIES! Not CHILDREN! If you two act this childish again, I’ll BRING ALL THREE OF YOU BLOODY GITS BACK HOME, AND LEAVE YOU TO THE MERCY OF RUSSIA!” the howlers warned before they tore themselves up.

Jane looked at Ludwig fearfully. When he tried to touch her, she backed away. “You’re…not a wizard?” she asked.

He hung his head shamefully as he muttered, “no.”

“A muggle?”

“…no.”

“What are you?” she asked. “How old are you?”

He avoided her gaze as he answered, “I’m the country of Germany, and I am several thousand years old, as old as the land itself.”

She shook her head, not wanting to believe him. “You lied to me?”

“No, I-“

“I thought you at least liked me!” she cried as she ran away.

Germany clutched his head. “I really am a dumcoff when it comes to relationships.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione stared at the ripped up parchment, then at the Italian. “Either whoever wrote that howler is out of his bloody mind, or,” Ron leaned in, eyeing Feli. “our friend here has something he’d like to share.”

“Ve~” Feli answered. “A little of both.”

“Didn’t you hear how that howler was worded?” Harry asked.

“It sounded like the writer referred to countries as actual people.” Hermione observed.

“Well, go on,” Ron crossed his arms at Feli. “you said it was a little of both, so go on, spit it out.”

Feliciano took a deep breath. The sooner I start this, he thought. the sooner it’s finished. “I’mnotreallyknownasFelicianobackathome! Well, Iam, butit’sonlyonveryrareoccations. I’musuallyknownasItalyVeniciano, theNorthernhalfofItaly.” he blurred out.

“What?” the three Gryffindors asked.

“My common name is Italy Veniciano back at home.” he stated, slightly slower.

All three of them looked serious and thoughtful. “When I was talking with Lovino, he said that he has family members named after countries.” Ron stated.

“During the first task, Ludwig cried Italy instead of Feliciano.” Hermione added.

“Just Ludwig’s last name should be a giveaway…right?” Harry supplied.

“Of course!” Hermione cheered. “If you translate his last name from Japanese to English, it’s just Germany.”

“But what about Feliciano and Lovino?” Harry asked.

“Well, Lovino, trying to cover up his tracks, already said that his “nickname” was Romano.” Ron supplied. “I wonder which country wrote that howler…”

“England.” Italy sighed. “England sent Germany here to protect Harry this year.” he explained the whole story. How Germany got the job, what his terms were, how they were able to afford their supplies, everything the Gryffindors didn’t already know about Italy’s journey, they did now.

Hermione was the only one who still had her thinking face on. “…If you’re right, and you really are the country of Italy,”

“I’m known as Italy, but I’m not the whole country,” he corrected. “my territory is just Northern Italy.”

“Northern Italy,” she repeated. “then, you and your brother have been allied with Germany for decades. Would your argument lead to something bad?”

The country took a deep breath. “You know history, right?” he asked as she nodded. “What do you think started the Hundred Years War between England and Big Brother France?” When she looked confused, he answered for her. “A week before that war started, they had a little disagreement. I was too young to remember what it was about, but that’s what really started the war. They strongly disagreed on something, and they still fight about it now.

“What led America to strive for his freedom? He disagreed with England on how he should be governed, and they fought for a decade at least.

“Why did Germany start WW1? How did WW2 start? Or even the Civil War that had America abandon by his sanity? All started with the two little words, “you’re wrong”…the words I might as well have told Germany after I landed on that deck.” It was silent until Italy looked over to the three-fourth years. “Now, tell me, does that sound bad? ‘Cause it doesn’t sound good to me.”

Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 7; The Second Task

As days passed, Lili was sent back home, and Feli got more and more anxious about the next task without a clue on how to crack to egg’s code. “Have you even attempted to figure out that egg?!” Ludwig scolded Feliciano.

“How?” he asked. “If I open the egg, everyone looks at me like I’m a crazy person!”

He really was completely stumped. He had no idea, and apparently, neither did Harry. Ludwig and Hermione kept on urging them to figure it out as the days morphed into weeks. It wasn’t until February when Harry went up to Feli with somewhere to start. “Hey, Feliciano,” he called as the Italian froze and looked at the Gryffindor. “I just finished talking with Cedric.” he stated. “He told me he already figured out the egg!”

“What is it?!” he asked anxiously.

“He didn’t tell me that part,” Harry let down. “but, he did tell me how he got it.” They leaned in close to whisper lowly. “Take a bath with it.”

Feli jumped embarrassed. “What?”

As crazy as it sounded, he took Harry’s advice and took a bath with the egg on the rim. He looked at the egg, opened it for a split second, and then closed to in a haste, getting the exact same result as he got the night he bested the dragon, a painful scratch. Then, he thought for a moment. The phrase Harry used reminded Feliciano of his elder brother. “What would Big Brother France do?”

It clicked as he thought of the answer, France would literally take a bath with the egg. He put the egg physically in the water and opened it. Instead of a scratch, he heard the most seductive music he ever heard. He took a deep breath, and dunked his head under the water, listening to the words.

“Come seek us where our voices sound,

We cannot sing above the ground,

An hour long you’ll have to look,

To recover what we took.”

He coughed for air as the words replayed in his head and he gathered his clothes, redressing himself.

“Ludwig! Ludwig!” he called, running around the school. He found him with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Lovino in the library. Seeing the other champion, he directed his attention to him instead. “Is the next task under water?”

“Wait!” Ludwig stopped as he walked over to Feli, put on one of his leather gloves, and had a death grip on his hand so hard, they heard his joints popping. “Go ahead.”

Harry simply nodded as Feli started to cry and run away, but popped his shoulder and stretched his arm painfully instead. “We’re trying to find some way for us to breath under water for an hour.” he stated exhaustedly.

A few hours later, they found nothing to help as Professor Moody came in the library. “Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasaly, Mr. Doitsu, please come with me.”

“Please professor,” Hermione urged. “the next task is only hours away and-“

“And Mr. Potter and Mr. Vargas need their rest.” he shot back.

“What’s going on?” Ludwig asked. “Why do you need us?”

Moody sighed. “I don’t need all of you, Professor McGonagall is gathering a handful of selected students for something.”

“Why am I not on this special list?” Lovino asked.

“Trust me, Mr. Vargas,” the professor growled. “take envy that you are not your brother nor friends.” He turned grumpily. “Now, Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasaly, Mr. Doitsu, this way please.” Feliciano, Harry, and Lovino didn’t see those three again that night.

As the three remaining students started shoving books back where they think they go, Nevil started to try and help them, talking about plants. “Get it through your head!” Lovino shouted in annoyance. “No one likes herbology at all, much less like you!”

“Is there something in that book that will help us breathe underwater for an hour?” Harry asked.

The herbal geek thought for a moment. “Well, there is Gilly Weed.”

Nevil went over everything they needed to know about Gilly Weed before the champions got ready for their next task on an artificial island in the middle of the Black Lake. “Welcome to the Second Task!” Dumbledore announced. “Last night, something was stolen from our champions! Now they must bring back their treasure with only one hour to do so, one hour only!”

“Where’s Ludwig?” Feli asked himself as Harry swallowed the Gilly Weed. Since the upperclassmen saw that as how to use it, Feliciano did the same thing and nearly choked. Lovino stood right behind him, sighing at his younger brother’s late reaction to the cannon and pushing him into the freezing water.

The splash itself sent Feli into shock as his fingers webbed, his feet turned into flippers, and gills appeared on his neck. Harry, who had the same changes, swam up to the first year, gesturing to the direction music came from. The Italian nodded as they both swam in the direction.

The two weaved past the seaweed as the voices sang. When they saw a shark tail, Feli was gone before Harry knew what happened. Even under water, he can disappear in the dust, or in this case, bubbles.

He had no idea where he was going but ended up at some underwater city full of people with fangs and shark tails. He had a feeling that this was where he was supposed to be as he cautiously approached the city. “You have found us,” the voices sang.

“That’s not sour,

But what’s almost over,

Is the hour.”

He ran into Harry, Cedric, and Victor in the city while searching for something of any value. Confused by the maze of a city, he simply followed Harry. He searched through the city to find a treasure of any kind until, to his horror, he found him.

In a straight line were five people, Flure’s little sister, Cedric’s date from the ball, Hermione, Ron…and Ludwig, all of which were unconscious and their ankles tied to the sea floor. It all clicked in Feli’s head as Victor’s magical shark head cut through Hermione’s bonds, Cedric whipped his wand and cast a spell to slice through his date’s bond, and Harry untied Ron’s ankle. This challenge was meant to put the closest friends in danger to motivate the champions to go through with it. The British called this entertainment? he asked himself. Just give me a plate of pasta, and a TV and I’ll be fine!

Feli sliced through Ludwig’s bond and started to swim to the surface, holding onto Ludwig’s arm, until he looked back at Harry. “Let’s go!” he yelled, his voice muffled from the water.

“Where’s Flure?” Harry asked as Feliciano looked around. The said champion was nowhere in sight, the hour was almost up, and her sister was still tied there. Harry sliced through the girl’s bonds and took her and Ron with him. “Let’s go.”

They were so close to the surface until Harry got dragged down. He pushed Ron and the girl to Feli and yelled, “Go! Get them out of here! I’ll be fine!”

The Italian took the two other victims and started to swim away. Looking back and seeing Harry get dragged, bitten, and cut, he knew he had to make a choice. He could either abandon Ludwig, Ron, and the girl to help Harry or leave him in the dust to get the others to safety. “I’ll be back!” he called as he pulled the others up.

The moment the clock chimed to tell everyone the hour was up, Ludwig, Ron, Feli, and the girl broke the surface and were brought to safety. “Feliciano, no!” was all Feli heard from Ludwig before he dived back in the water, trying his hardest to find Harry. When he did, he kicked all the little octopus things away from him until Harry cast a stunning spell, accidentally hitting Feli with the creatures. Seeing his mistake, he held onto him tightly and he pointed his wand up, cast a spell, and they flew through the water, diving on the deck. They coughed up water, and a little blood before their friends came with blankets and towels.

Ludwig walked over to help Feli off the ground, only to punch his jaw. Feliciano rubbed the spot painfully and saw the blood on his fingers. “Feli, you idiot!” Ludwig scolded. “Why would you dive back in the water?! You could’ve been killed!”

“Harry needed help!” he shot back. “Don’t you remember the whole reason we’re here?! Eng-Arthur sent us here to protect Harry, and that’s what I’m doing!”

“Dumcoff!” he snapped. “He sent ME here to do that! He only had you come because you’re just a useless Italian! You can’t hold your own against anyone, or anything!”

“Yet, who was the one who went back in the water to help him?” the Italian asked coldly. “I didn’t see you dive in to protect him! How is it you claim to have a job, but you refuse to do it?”

“I do NOT refuse to do it, there was just never any chance for me to!” he talked back. “It’s not like I can jump in the ring and help him defeat the dragon, or whatever was down there!”

Feli laughed at that. “Just admit it!”

“Admit what?”

“You would be nothing without me!” the Italian claimed. “The way I remember it, before I became your friend, you carried around a stick and called that branch a friend! If it weren’t for me, you’d still be wandering around the woods, crossing borders, and sharing sausage with Hestick!”

“Hestick was a more useful friend since the day I picked him up than you have been your whole life!”

“In fact, if it weren’t for me, you’d still be at the bottom of the lake, tied in that underwater city!”

“Correction, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have been down there in the first place!” Feli just stared at him for a moment as Ludwig continued his harsh words. “You think that you saved me?! HA! If it weren’t for you, I’d simply be at my home, reading a good book, with no cares in the world! You’re not a savior like I said, you’re useless!”

“…Useless…” he repeated quietly.

Ludwig nodded as he continued his list of Italy flaws. “All you’re good for is making white flags, cooking, and running! All the decades we’ve been friends, you’ve yet to show me that you have any more of a use than that because you HAVE no other use! You’re not a battle strategist, a fighter, nor a survivor! All you do is just sit around all day waving white flags, and eating pasta! So, the way I see it, you would be nothing without me! Just a feminine boy who cowers to anyone with any type of weapon!”

The tension between them built as they stood in silence until the Italian turned away. “If I’m so useless,” he whispered. “then why did you even sign our alliance?” Ludwig didn’t get a chance to answer as Feliciano walked away. The pitter-patter of his wet feet fading in the distance.

Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 6; The Yule Ball

Feliciano eyed himself in the mirror, critiquing his long black and white dress robes that Arthur sent with the green bow tie and belt. Seeing nothing wrong with his outfit, he fussed with his hair, making sure his bangs were completely out of his eyes, and that his curl was in a perfect circle. Unable to fix every strand of hair, he sprinted down the steps to the common room to wait for his date.

Lili came down not long after. Her long pink dress was simple. The shoulders puffed out and morphed into tighter long sleeves. A green jewel rested on her neck and really brought out her eyes. A simple pink ribbon was tied in her hair to match her dress.

Attempting to be a gentleman, Feli smiled and offered his arm. “Are you ready to go?” he asked.

Lili giggled as she took the arm. “I hope Big Brother isn’t worrying too much.” she giggled as he escorted her to the ballroom.

Ludwig couldn’t stop fidgeting with his black dress robes. When he wasn’t messing with the cuffs or waving it in the mirror, he was brushing his hair into several different options, slick back, parted, straight down, ruffled, etc. until he finally just had it in his usual style. “Shop fidgeting potato! You’re making ME nervous!” Lovino called at him.

The Italian’s hair was in its usual part with the high hair curl. His robes were black with a red bow tie and belt. His arms were crossed in the doorway as he eyed the blond. Ludwig sighed. “I just don’t know, I’m not all that good with romance like you and your brother, even Francis is better at this than me!”

Lovino shrugged. “Guess it’s just an Italian and French thing,” he stated. “but it’s not like you’re going to marry this girl, it’s just a dance.”

“Are you saying you don’t like your date?” the German shot.

“I’m saying that all that love and romance mushy stuff is just a distraction.” he answered. “Yeah, I like the date I got, but I don’t care what she thinks of me.”

“But I care about how Jane thinks of me.” Ludwig sighed.

Lovino gave him one last shrug before looking lazily to the side. “Whatever, it’s your date.”

They soon parted ways to get their dates. Ludwig waited in front of the Hufflepuff common room. He watched as a Hufflepuff seventh year came out, and nearly tripped on the German. “Sorry,” he apologized. “You waiting for someone?”

“Yeah,” Ludwig answered. “Jane Scott.”

The elder student smiled as he walked back in the common room, and came out with Jane. “Sorry Ludwig,” she bustled. “I completely lost track of time.”

The blond completely spaced out when he saw how beautiful she looked. Her single strapped dress was layered, from the inside out, it faded from purple to blue and the dress itself brought out an athletic figure that the school uniforms hide. Each layer was slit in the front, the cut starting a bit lower each layer until the slit was just above her ankle. Her long hair was in an updo, her bangs behind her right ear, and lose strands wrapped around her bare left shoulder. Around the hems were light ruffles that glided as she walked. There was just the perfect amount of make-up, he had to really look at her to notice that she even had any makeup on. Her green eyes just danced in the flickering firelight with excitement.

He couldn’t help but smile as he offered his arm. “Are you ready?” he asked as she took his arm gently and nodded.

Lovino was in front of the Slytherin’s portrait no later than five fifty, happily waiting for his girl to come out. At six o’clock on the dot, Sallin came out with her lime green eyes revealing the happiness that her face attempted to hide.

Her dress was simple and black. It only went down to her mid-thigh and was sleeveless. She had black leggings and flats on underneath. Her black hair shined blue in her ponytail. “Glad you’re not late Gryffindor.”

He blushed. “I’d prefer if you’d call me by my actual name.” he stated as he offered his arm. “Ready to go?”

She rejected his arm but held his hand instead. “I’m ready as I’ll ever be tomato face.”

“Close enough.” he shrugged.

Feliciano, Harry, Cedric, Flure, and Victor, along with their dates, formed a star on the dance floor and started to dance uniformed. It took a few songs, but Jane pulled Ludwig on the dance floor, and they joined the dance along with almost half of the other couples in the ballroom. It took another few songs before Lovino and Sallin joined.

They then started to dance as a group when it was freestyle. Ludwig looked around, worried. “Where’s Harry?” he asked Feli.

“I don’t know,” he answered. “but I do see Hermione and Victor.” Seeing no reason why not, Feli maneuvered the group over to them. “Hey, Hermione!” he called. “You want to join the group?” She looked over at her champion, who shrugged and they both joined the group of first years.

After a while of random fun, they met up with Harry, Ron, and Padma (though, they couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t with her twin sister like she always is). None of them, not even Lovino and Sallin, could stop laughing as they crowded the table. Victor turned to Hermione, whispered something in her ear, and then kissed her hand before leaving. The fourth year clutched her head and sat with the big group. “Victor’s going to get some drinks,” she informed. “do you want to join us?”

“Sounds like fun!” Feli stated.

“Do you want a drink, Jane?” Ludwig asked as his date nodded and he left to follow Victor.

“You thirsty, Sallin?” Lovi asked as his date shook her head.

“I’m good, Vargas, I’m just a little hot.” With that, she left to go outside.

Suddenly, Hermione’s expression changed completely from overwhelming happiness to pure anger. “I like this song.” Feli stated to Lili, not wanting to deal with an angry witch. “let’s go back and dance some more.” He pulled Lili back on the dance floor as Lovi’s hair curl wrinkled from the new tension at the table.

After all the tension fizzled out, Sallin came back, and Ludwig got a drink for himself and Jane, they all went back to the dance floor before calling it a night. Lili rested her head tiredly on Feli’s chest. “I’m really happy England sent me here,” she whispered. “even though Big Brother wasn’t so happy about it.”

“Why did you come?” Feli asked. “If you knew your big brother wouldn’t be happy about it, why?”

“I wanted to be here to help you in any way I can.” she answered.

He was happy with her answer as he lightly kissed her head. “You already helped me more than you know.”

Ludwig and Jane swayed from side to side not far from Feli, her head on his shoulder as they held each other close. “So, how’d I do?” he asked. She looked at him in confusion. “I’m not a big romantic, so I’m going blind here.”

She smiled brightly as she hung herself on his neck and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. “You could’ve fooled me.” she stated as she let her head sink back to his shoulder. “You’re sweet, shy, strong, and perfect.”

“You’re the most amazing girl I’ve ever met,” he came back. “you’re smart, fun, beautiful, I could go on forever.”

Lovino and Sallin danced slowly in each other’s embrace. The British girl looked up at the Italian and smiled. “You ever kiss on the first date?” she asked.

He pondered her question. “Sometimes, depends on the girl I’m on a date with.”

A light blush shaded her features as she asked, “What about for me?”

He looked at her and smiled, slowly getting closer to her face. Their lips grazed each other as they softly kissed. He half expected her to push him away, but she never did. At that moment, nothing else mattered.

Ludwig and Jane sat at the table, waiting for Feliciano and Lovino with their dates. “If you want, I can take you back to your common room,” he offered.

“No,” she yawned. “I’m fine.” It was obvious that she was running low on energy, but waited with him.

By the time the Italians and their dates came, Jane fell asleep on Ludwig’s shoulder. “You guys go ahead, I’ll just take her back to her common room.” Feli and Lovi nodded and escorted their dates as Ludwig slid his arm under Jane’s knees, and wrapped his other arm around her shoulders, carrying her back to the castle.

He found another Hufflepuff, asking them to get the door for him and explaining the circumstances. Once the door was opened, he followed the Hufflepuff to the girls’ dormitory, and to Jane’s bed. The German smiled as he laid her in the bed, cleaned off her face, removed her jewelry and shoes, and let her long hair down. He watched as the golden brown locks curled around the pillow, and draped on the mattress. “I think…I might be falling in love with you…” he stated as he kissed her head and pulled her blankets up to her chin. All he wanted to do was watch her sleep.

Lovino simply walked Sallin back to the dungeons. “I had loads of fun tonight Vargas.”

“I didn’t think I could laugh so hard!” he chuckled.

Sallin smiled before she said the password and morphed into the darkness, her green eyes the last thing Lovino saw before the portrait closed. He could’ve sworn he heard her say, “See you ’round Lovino.”

Feliciano walked Lili back to the Ravenclaw common room. “I had a great time Feli.” Lili whispered shyly.

“I did too Lili,” Feli stated. “you seem a little tired though,”

“I wanted to stay up.” she protested. “If this was all I could do to help you with this dangerous tournament, then I wanted this night to last forever.” Her green eyes started to droop.

The Italian wasn’t very tired while Lili swayed exhaustedly by the time she had her night clothes on. Feli had to catch her when she let herself get so tired, she fell asleep standing in the middle of the room. He helped her to the couch step by step, took the ribbon out of her hair, and tucked the blanket around her sleeping form.

He looked around to see that the room was empty before he smiled and sighed, “Good night Lichtenstein.”

“Good night Italy.”

Posted in Feliciano and the Goblet of Fire, Stories

Chapter 5; The Challenge of a Date

The German ran to his bed as Lovino walked in after him, watching him scribble a note. “What are you doing potato head?”

“I’m writing to Arthur.” Ludwig answered flatly. “Don’t distract me, or I’ll kill you in your sleep.”

“Arthur,” he wrote. “They’re slowly figuring us out. Hermione caught me using Feliciano’s country name. I told her that it was just a nickname, but I don’t think she believed me. What should I do now? By the way, Feliciano did great with his dragon. He used spells I’ve never heard of (probably shouldn’t be falling asleep in class), and got his egg without hardly a scratch. I’m so proud to call him MY friend. I would say the same about Harry, but he spent most of his battle miles away from the field, so I have no idea what all happened, but he’s very much alive and well. Ludwig.”

He sent Gilbert out the window with the letter, then looked at the Italian behind him, his mouth clamped shut. Ludwig laughed fully. “You can talk now.”

“I just finished talking with Feliciano,” Lovino started. “and, he said that McGonagall said that he needs to get close to a girl before Christmas.”

“Why?” Ludwig asked.

The Italian shrugged. “How should I know?”

England was meeting with Switzerland when Gilbert the owl came in and made himself comfortable on the desk. He read the letter and smiled. “Italy, I knew you could do it.” he stated to no one in particular, then another owl came in with another note. “Arthur,” it said. “I know this is going to sound strange, but Professor McGonagall told me that I need to get close to a girl, and all the girls at this school are scary. I don’t even know why I need a girl so badly. Since this is your school, maybe you can tell me why I need to know a girl. Feliciano.”

“England,” Switzerland attempted to get his attention. “England…” Still no reply. “BRIT!” the Swiss yelled, smacking his hand on the desk.

“I’m sorry Switzerland…” Britain apologized halfheartedly, then smiled devilishly. “Say…can I borrow your sister?”

Feliciano was happy to get a response letter back from Arthur. “Dear Feliciano, I believe that Professor McGonagall was referring to the traditional dance that goes with the Triwizard Tournament. Though first years aren’t usually permitted, I have reason to think that because you are a champion, you will be required to make an appearance, despite your age and grade level. I understand that you don’t know many girls within your age group that will accept your invitation, but I will help you with that. Just give me some time to explain to the professors. I think you’ll like the choice I made for you. Arthur. P.S. Give these extra tickets to Ludwig and Lovino, I believe they would be more than happy to join you.”

Though he didn’t understand his reply, he was happy he even got a reply to something that had barely anything to do with the tournament and nothing to do with Harry Potter.

“Now, remember Liechtenstein,” Britain explained. “I’m going to make you look like an eleven-year-old girl, and send you to a magic school just until Christmas Eve, then you can come home in your natural form, and forget it ever happened.”

“I’m a little excited to see Italy again.” Liechtenstein admitted.

“Oh! One more thing,” the Brit stopped her. “while you’re there, go by your human name, Lili Zwingli.” He waited for her nod of understanding before he continued. “Also, you’ll see Italy, Germany, and Romano there, but call them Feliciano, Ludwig, and Lovino instead.”

She nodded. “Ok.”

Feli wandered the halls, sighing in exasperation that he’s the only champion without a date for the Yule Ball (except Harry of course), when suddenly, he heard a familiar voice. “Feliciano!” it called. He turned around to see Switzerland’s little sister, Liechtenstein, wave at him.

He rushed over the girl and exclaimed hushed, “Liechtenstein! Why are you here?”

“Britain sent me.” she answered just as softly. “He said that you needed my help for something about a dance, and also that I need to go by Lili here.”

Feli smiled. “Well, are you going to be sorted like a student too?” he asked.

Lili shook her head. “Britain said that he told the professors that I’m just a visitor from Liechtenstein, only here to be your…” She gulped loudly. “…date.” she finished quietly.

The Italian’s cheeks flared. “Well…” he started, desperate to change the subject. “…where will you sleep until the ball?” She shrugged as he thought for a second. “You can stay in my tower.” he offered.

Lili smiled and started to giggle, hugging him. “This is going to be so much fun!”

The Yule Ball is the only task associated with the Triwizard Tournament that challenges all male students in the school. Ludwig had all the courage in the world when it came to war and survival, but when it came to girls…he might as well borrow a white flag from Feliciano.

There was one girl in Hufflepuff, a first year, that he would freeze when they were partnered together for class. Her long dirty blond hair usually was tied back while her bangs were always needed to be pushed out of her eyes…those beautiful, vibrant green eyes. She reminded him of Hungary, but freckles sprinkled across her nose and cheeks. When he had a chance to talk to her, his heart leaped into his throat, and his voice cut off. He never even heard her voice directly to him, since she never had reason to talk to him, but when Ludwig had the privilege to have her voice grace his ears when she talked to someone else close by, his brain would hit replay again and again.

Every day, he, Ron, Harry, and Lovino would promise each other that they’d have dates by that night, but they always came back in vain. He’d always check the schedule to see which house he’d have the class with, hoping it’s Hufflepuff, but normally, the only class he’d have Hufflepuff with was in potions, assuming he’d have a class with her that day at all.

The Yule Ball was only a few months away and Ludwig still never even asked that girl her name. “Hey, Ron,” He leaned over. “do you know her name? The green eyed dirty blond?”

“Her?” he asked as the German nodded a little too noticeably. “That’s Jane, Jane Scott.” he introduced.

“Jane…” Ludwig repeated in a lovesick voice. “I want her to go to the ball with me.”

Harry pulled him back. He didn’t even realize he was slowly moving towards the girl. “Hold it there lover boy,”

As he returned from his la-la-land Ludwig could just hear his brother teasing him with something like, “West wants a girlfriend! West wants a girlfriend!” along with that annoying laugh he has with his stupid bird flying circles around his head.

“Does she even know you?” Harry asked.

“We’ve been partners before…and…we see each other from time to time.” he stated.

“Come on Harry,” Ron encouraged. “If he thinks he has the guts to ask her out, then let him try.”

After class, Ludwig went straight to the girl. “H-hello.” He forced himself to talk. “You’re Jane Scott, right?”

As she nodded, she looked closely at him, then smiled. “I know you!” she exclaimed. Ludwig never thought he’d see the day when he’d use the words “British accent” and “voice of an angel” in the same sentence, but that’s the only way he’d describe her voice, like a kind British angel (nothing like Britannia Angel, he’s not sweet enough to even come close). “You’re the kid who always falls asleep in class, and drools on paperwork!”

His cheeks burned red. He now knows what it feels like when Lovino looks like a tomato. He laughed nervously and scratched the back of his head. “Yeah…that’s me…” It was silent for a while before he stated, “I’m Ludwig, Ludwig Doitsu.”

“Pleasure.” she smiled and held out her hand to shake his.

Twenty seconds of embarrassing courage. he remembered France say when he was talking about romance to him as he eyed the hand. Instead of shaking it, he held it up, bowed slightly with his other hand behind his back, and kissed her hand lightly. “Jane Scott, will you do me the honor of joining me at the Yule Ball?”

She leaned in close so she wouldn’t be heard. “I didn’t know first years were allowed there?” He looked up at her. Pink cheeks is a good thing, right? he asked himself.

He stood up straight and smiled. It’s not a rejection! he thought to himself. “Normally, not,” he stated. “but, my best friend is a Triwizard Champion, and gave me, and his brother two tickets each.” Her face slowly turned a darker shade of red. “What do you say?” he asked.

She looked around, bit her lower lip, and then looked back at Ludwig nodding. “That night, come to my portrait on the second floor and meet me outside the common room.” she instructed with a smile as she zipped through the halls.

He stood there for a second, then  gave a derpy smile . “See you then, Jane.” he slurred as he dragged himself to his common room. If he were a cartoon, then multiple hearts would be popping around his head and a loopy love song would be playing.

Lovino watched as Ludwig came in the common room in a freaky fashion. “What’s with you potato?” he asked.

“She said yes.” he simply stated.

Confused, Lovi looked to Harry and Ron for enlightenment. “There’s a Hufflepuff girl who he’s been wanting to ask to the ball for a while now, and today, he finally had the courage.” Harry explained.

“And judging from your derpy look, you got lucky.” Ron observed.

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!” Lovino tensed, even his hair curl straightened with a cross loop in the middle, then he was back to normal seconds later with his brows furrowed. “The potato loving bastard got a date BEFORE me?!”

“Gilbert would’ve been so jealous,” Ludwig continued absentmindedly. “she looks almost exactly like Elizabeta.”

“Who?” Harry and Ron asked.

“His brother, Gilbert, has a sort of crush on Elizabeta.” Lovi explained. “But before ME?!” He went straight back to the subject of his most concern. “I mean, really! Arthur sent a girl here from home to be Feliciano’s date, you have a date from potions class, and I’m the only one without a date!”

As if his week couldn’t get any worse, Lovino got in trouble and was punished with detention. It wasn’t his fault that he laughed really hard when Professor Snape happened to find a can of exploding candies instead of his bug toes, and he got detention for something anyone with a sense of humor would do in reaction, simply because no one else in that class had a sense of humor.

Maybe they were his candies and he did put them in the professor’s drawer, but whether or not Snape actually opened the drawer was completely by chance. Maybe he did search for the ingredients Snape would pull out that specific day, but the professor should really keep his files and schedules more secret. So, in the end…yeah…he was guilty.

He sat in the room, a few other kids with him, as the professor went over what his detention is like. “No talking, no communication, no moving. The only moving permitted is breathing. You will be in here for an hour, so don’t even try to look at the clock. Ten points will be taken every time you move, and yes, I will keep track from my office.” He then whipped around and disappeared behind the oak door.

Sitting next to Lovino was a Slytherin girl, seemingly another first year, somewhere between nine and eleven. Her hair was straight up black with a blue shine, and straight as a ruler down her shoulders. Her bangs were straight across at the brows, and her skin was fairly pale. Lovi saw a note slowly slide on the desk from the girl. He looked at it and read it silently. “My name’s Sallin Bones, what’s yours?”

He wrote on the paper as slowly and unnoticeably as he could, “Lovino Vargas”

“You’re Feliciano’s brother?” she wrote back as he slumped and nodded.

“Ten points from Gryffindor!” Snape called from his office.

“What’re you in for Vargas?”

“Exploding candy in Snape’s desk. You?”

“Spray paint on the Slytherin’s curtains.”

“This might seem odd, but how old are you?”

“Ten, first year. Duh.”

An idea struck in Lovi’s mind as he wrote, “Because my brother is a champion, I get two tickets to the Yule Ball, even though I’m a first year. You want the other ticket?”

“Are you asking me to the dance?”

Lovino learned his lesson and wrote, “Yes.” instead of nodding.

“I don’t know. That seems really fancy.”

“If you don’t want to, then I understand.”

“Let’s do it. Christmas Eve, outside the dungeons, six o’ clock. Don’t be late.”

“Is that a yes?”

“You really are like your brother, duh it is!”

They both looked at each other. Sallin’s eyes were a bright green. If he didn’t know better, he’d say that she was really a bad luck black cat in human form…but that was just nonsense.

After detention, Lovino and Sallin walked to her common room because it was closer to Snape’s office, talking the whole way. “So, do you think your brother would win the tournament?”

“Feli?” Lovi asked as he chuckled. “All my brother’s good at is surrendering!”

They laughed as they came up to the portrait. “Well Vargas, this is my stop.” she looked back and punched him in the shoulder. “See you ’round Gryffindor.”

Lovino rubbed his arm where her fist made contact as he watched her whisper her password, and the painting open. While she was half way in the darkness, her lime green eyes looked back at Lovi, and a kind smile graced her thin lips.

Ludwig stayed up, waiting for Lovino until he heard footsteps in the entrance. “Where have you been?”

“Getting a date, that’s where potato!” he answered smugly. “So unlucky, but such a jackpot at the same time,” he described. “like a black cat under a golden rainbow.”

“What’s her name? What’s her house? What does she look like? Tell me everything.”

Under normal circumstances, Lovino would refuse and command he’d mind his own bee’s wax, but if he did that, he wouldn’t be bragging properly. “Her name is Sallin, she’s Slytherin, and she has straight black hair and bright green eyes, like a black cat that was turned human.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea…” Ludwig started. Lovino eyed him sourly. “She sounds like bad news. Harry and Ron tell me that Slytherins shouldn’t be trusted. I think that if it’s important enough for them to tell me that, then you should listen too.”

“You’re just jealous that my date is cuter looking than yours!” Lovi defended. “She is perfect for me! She has a fantastic sense of humor, she can take care of herself, and she agrees with me that Feli won’t win the tournament!”

“Everyone knows that!” Ludwig shouted. “It’s not about winning! It’s about survival!”

“What if the only way to survive is to win?”

The German slumped, remembering the reason they’re there in the first place. What if Lovino was right and the final task would be a five-way duel where only one champion can make it out alive? “Let’s just hope that there can be more than one survivor when this is all over.”