Another month had come and gone.
During this month, nothing particularly unusual occurred, but Jerry couldn’t help but notice that Hermione had become somewhat more assertive than before.
For instance, in situations where Jerry needed to dispel the Muggle shielding charm if a girl approached him, Hermione would swiftly walk up to him and link her arm with his, almost as if staking a claim.
There were moments when they were alone together when Jerry felt like Hermione might have something in mind, but because of his own shyness, he never acted on those impulses.
Perhaps Lavender’s words left its mark on her heart as she finally took a deep thought about it and let herself to take the lead these times around.
He was aware of these changes, but he didn’t make any significant alterations in response.
Hermione was only fifteen years old, and even though her early development made her look more mature, Jerry saw her as a young girl who was not yet an adult.
He was content to take things slow.
Jerry had plenty of time to get to know the intricacies of this world and continue expanding the Ring World, so he didn’t feel a sense of urgency.
“What’s going on over there? Why are there so many people?” Hermione asked while observing the other students crowding a place.
At noon on a Saturday, Jerry and Hermione had just exited the library and were on their way to the Great Hall for lunch when they noticed that the three floors outside the entrance hall were swarming with young witches and wizards.
“Perhaps there’s an important announcement,” Jerry answered with a gentle pat on Hermione’s back.
Jerry, who had a good vantage point due to his height, peered past the crowd and spotted a large sign at the far end.
Harry and Ron had just managed to navigate their way through the crowd and, upon seeing Hermione and Jerry, hurried over with excitement.
“The latest announcement for the Triwizard Tournament: Representatives from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will arrive on Friday, October 30th at 6 pm. Lessons will end half an hour early that afternoon—”
“They’re coming. Why are you both so excited?” Hermione inquired, looking puzzled at the enthusiasm of her friends.
Harry explained eagerly, “You’ve forgotten, we have a Potions class on Friday afternoon. If it ends half an hour early, Snape won’t have enough time to poison us!”
“Yeah, I don’t want to be poisoned before graduation.” Ron chimed in with similar sentiments.
Jerry smiled and shook his head. “Professor Snape is just trying to intimidate you; it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll poison you. Even if he did, he’d have prepared an antidote.”
During their recent potions class, Professor Snape had been teaching students how to brew antidotes, all the while issuing stern warnings that everyone needed to take antidote preparation seriously.
He stated that by the end of their next class, he would poison a random student and require them to take the antidote they had brewed themselves.
While some students took Snape’s warnings very seriously, Harry and Ron clearly had their doubts, especially regarding the efficacy of the antidotes they were brewing.
Hearing the words from Professor Snape’s mouth, the students couldn’t help but be certain that he truly meant it that way…
There is no way the rigid Professor Snape would joke about such things, which made the students shudder upon just remembering their Potions Class…
“That’s not for certain. I have a feeling he really wants to poison me, and he’ll probably do it on that day.” Harry asserted with a serious expression.
He was acutely aware of Snape’s disdain for him and felt that he had a 100% chance of being the random victim.
The key issue was that he had little confidence in the antidote he’d prepared himself.
“Take care, Harry.” Jerry gave Harry a friendly pat on the shoulder and led Hermione away for lunch.
He couldn’t help but consider the impact of this announcement on Harry.
It was indeed disheartening that Harry would have to endure Snape’s antagonistic attitude on the same day that Snape was set to become the Headmaster.
Over the next week, the entire school was abuzz with conversations about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament and the imminent arrival of the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang delegations.
Students speculated about what the visiting students would be like, who the Hogwarts champions would be, and revisited stories of past Triwizard Tournaments, discussing which challenges were the most challenging.
Students who hadn’t reached the age requirement sought various methods to age themselves, including the Weasley twins, who were gathering materials for age-enhancing potions to take before the selection of champions.
The entire castle also underwent some changes, with several neglected portraits being cleaned, much to the dissatisfaction of the figures within them.
The suits of armor gleamed, and the loud creaking sounds they used to make when moving were silenced.
Even the caretaker, Argus Filch, was visibly irate after a student forgot to wipe their shoes, leading to a fit of hysterics from two first-year girls.
The staff members seemed particularly tense.
According to Hermione, Professor McGonagall gave Neville a stern talking-to after he accidentally transplanted his ear onto a cactus.
She emphasized that he shouldn’t showcase his subpar Transfiguration skills when representatives from the other two schools arrived.
It was evident that the entire Hogwarts community was taking the Triwizard Tournament and the upcoming arrival of students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang very seriously.
Dumbledore’s decision to appoint Jerry as a champion and aim to secure a victory for Hogwarts likely stemmed from a concern that the school’s reputation would suffer if they were to lose the tournament immediately after Snape’s appointment as Headmaster.
On October 30th, the morning of the announcement for the two visiting schools, Jerry and Hermione were having breakfast when they noticed that the Great Hall had undergone some changes.
It appeared that Professor Flitwick, the Ravenclaw head, had cast some enchantments the previous night.
Four large silk banners now adorned the walls, each representing one of the Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor with a golden lion on a red background, Ravenclaw with a bronze eagle on a blue background, Hufflepuff with a black badger on a yellow background, and Slytherin with a silver serpent on a green background.
The staff table had also been decorated with a large banner featuring the Hogwarts crest, with symbols of a lion, eagle, badger, and serpent surrounding a large ‘H.’
Not only the students but even the Professors were on the edge waiting for the arrival of the students from other wizarding school.
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