The days passed with nothing particularly interesting happening. I talked with Luke, helped the first years with avoiding the trick steps (I would have gladly let them fall in, but I knew that Abby would hate me forever), tried to get up the courage to ask Abby out (that was a fail), spread rumors about Laura and Albus just to get on his nerves (I don't think that Laura really minded, though). In short, nothing out of the ordinary. Well, except for my new wand doing everything about ten times as powerfully as anybody else's. I still couldn't figure it out, though. Could just posessing this wand make you more powerful? Maybe even undefeatable?
Finally it was time to see who had been chosen as the contestants. Headmistress McGonagall (there was a rumor going around that someday she would die on the job) said right after dinner, "The contestant from Hufflepuff is Jerry McLaggen, with Bart Macmillan as his second." A round of appplause came from the Hufflepuff table, though some of it came only half-heartedly.
"The contestant from Slytherin is Laura Trelawney, with Albus Potter as her second." Some applause came from that table, and I could tell that a lot of Slytherins had entered and hoped that they would be picked even more than I had (if that was even possible).
"The contestant from Gryffiondor is..." I held my breath "James Potter II, with a second of Luke Scamander." People were applauding and clapping me on the back so hard that it made my teeth clatter. Now, there was only one house left, and I was sure that whoever it was couldn't bring even a little bit of rain into my newly found bright mood even if they tried their hardest.
"And the contestant from Ravenclaw is Abby Lezmond, with a second of Chloe Goyle." There was lots of applauding from this one. I wanted to clap, but my hands felt like fifty pound weights. I didn't want to curse her! In my fantasies, she had just been a member of the audience cheering me on. I never dreamed that I would have to compete against her.
"Congratulations on getting picked." Abby said to me after dinner.
"Yeah, you too." I said, though I wasn't sure if I really meant it. Somehow, I managed not to stutter.
She grinned. "I guess that if you're going to do as well as you've been doing all year, I'll have to practice a lot." And with that, she was off towards Ravenclaw Tower.
I had a new reputation for having the most powerful magic of any kid in the school that I don't think that I deserved. I had just been chosen to be in a dueling competition where I would have to overpower my brother's third year girlfriend and my hopefully future fifth year girlfriend if I even wanted to have a chance of winning, and then there was Jerrry MacLaggen, who was, on top of everything else, a seventh year.
Whoop de freaking doo.