Without another thought, you start to run toward the Cornucopia, letting the familiar tunnel-vision of being a chaser overtake you: dodge the bludgers, swerve around obstacles, knock the bloody Slytherins off their bloody brooms. No more Mr. Nice Gaius!

Luna Lovegood has a wand now, and you have to jump over the beam of glowing purple light that erupts from its tip. Moments later there's a cry of surprise and an explosion of lavender feathers behind you; apparently Luna's spell hit Padma. The wands are only a few feet away when you see Crabbe and Malfoy closing in on you.

You take a deep breath and leap. There are a few anxiety-ridden seconds as you soar toward the golden rim...

And then you're safe. Bruised but safe.

You land on your elbows in the polished shell of the Cornucopia. You spy your wand dangling from a few charred fingers and you're disgusted yet grateful for the dragon heartstrings' loyalty to you.

You snatch up the wand and manage an "Everte statum!" at Malfoy's face as you leap off the platform and start to make your way through the fray.

"Come on, Angie! Let's go!"

Katie pulls hard at your arm, yanking you away from the bloodbath and in the direction of the forest. You try to look back and see what's going on, but all you can focus on is Colin Creevey's helpless little body speared through the middle by Goyle. You can't seem to catch your breath.

"This is really happening," you whisper to yourself. You know that you're shell-shocked. It's the only reason you're letting Katie take you anywhere; not that you don't trust her, but you're not the type to be led. You need to get control back before you lose yourself to panic. The sickest thing is, future kids will say: "All of this has happened before and will happen again." And that's just sad.

"Katie! Katie, stop it!" You jerk your arm free, but you're already at the edge of the woods, out of sight of most of the immediate carnage. You can still see movement in the distance. Most arresting are the noises high-pitched screams and guttural moans that you've never heard your classmates make before. And suddenly, you can't help it your knees collapse and you slump onto the ground.

"Oh...oh, Merlin."

You feel Katie crouch down behind you. She's always been great at this being calm under fire, diffusing potentially volatile situations. It was an asset on the pitch against Flint and his cronies, or for remembering techniques to dodge bludgers, or creeps at Cloud Nine.

Even when Harry was going on about Voldemort, you had never imagined you would ever be in a situation as volatile as this one.

"Hey, we can do this. Together, right?" Her voice is quiet and reassuring, her calm helping you push back the terror eating away at you.

She smiles at you, pure and reliable, as she offers up her fist. Before you can return the bump, a big bulky form emerges from the undergrowth, crashing and tumbling, practically announcing to the world that you and Katie, like Colin, are about to meet the sharp end of a spear. You scramble to your feet, wand out and ready for a fight.

But to your surprise, it is not Goyle, but Viktor Krum who breaks through the trees. More surprisingly, you notice that he is dragging behind him a tiny, bedraggled Cho Chang, her slender fingers grasped tightly in his ham-hock fist.

You are sure he's an enemy. But something about the way that he's shielding Cho with his body even though he's clearly wounded, blood trickling from his arm and blooming over his shirt suggests that maybe you shouldn't make snap judgments. Not under these circumstances.

Cho looks as bewildered. She's clutching at Viktor like they're old friends and not two people that haven't spoken before in their lives. Viktor falls to his knees, breathing heavily, but his eyes don't leave yours.

Cho seems to snap back into action. She latches onto your hand with one of hers, pressing the other into her breastbone as she steadies her breathing.

"Thank the gods," she sighs, allowing herself to sink into the soft leaf bed.

It's clear that her head's not in the game. She doesn't seem wary of you in the least, or aware that Katie is clutching a large, broken tree branch, ready to strike.

"Thanks Viktor," Katie mutters, and you can practically hear her eyes rolling.

Cho finally seems to take notice of the boy who risked himself to drag some girl he's never met to safety. She stares at him, wide-eyed and frantic, as if she's seeing him for the first time. Krum struggles on his way up onto his feet, and she helps him, hoisting him up by his good arm.

He winces, flexing the bleeding arm, and grunts, "It's nothing."

At the moment, he seems unconcerned with Cho, who is clinging to his uninjured arm. Instead, Viktor is staring down you and Katie. You wonder briefly if she should ready that branch again.

It's clear that Viktor is assessing the situation. If he thinks you and Katie pose a threat, would you be able to overpower him before he strikes one or both of you down? Would Cho side with the man who pulled her from the bloodbath?

You wonder why he saved her to begin with. If anyone here had no need for others, it would be brutal, brooding, Quidditch loner Viktor Krum.

What he says next brings your train of thought to a crashing halt:


Should you:
A.) Join together with Katie, Krum and Cho
B.) B.) Go it alone?