Jake Morent

The Tower of DEATH!!!

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The Tournament of Champions was approaching really quickly, though they still had no idea what it was going to be. Though Jake hadn't wanted to enter it in the first place, a trip to the trophy room with Grace had helped him realize that he COULDN'T quit. That was what everybody thought he was going to do...he had to prove them wrong. Jake really wished he could have been on the same team as Grace, but at least he'd gotten to be on the same team as Silas. Besides him though, Jake didn't really know most of his team-mates, and he hadn't even ever spoken to two of them at all. 

 

Grace said that HER team had already met, and talked all about what they could do and couldn't. Their different skills and things like that. It sounded like they were taking it a lot more serious than JAKE'S team was. Didn't they want to make it out of this alive...? Jake didn't know what Professor Gawkrodger was going to throw at them, but it could be absolutely anything (fighting a dragon? Fighting a CROCODILE? Dancing?). What Jake wanted most was to SURVIVE the tournament, and he knew one thing: to do that he was going to need his team-mates.

 

The number one most important part of being on a team was being in sync with your team-mates. It was probably the team that worked best together that was going to win. Even Jake knew that, and he'd never been ON a team before. Teamwork was the name of the game. There was no 'I' in team. What's gonna work? Teamwork! So...they had to meet. And with nobody in the group having stepped forward, Jake had taken it upon himself to call a meeting. 

 

Calling a meeting wasn't something that Jake had ever done before, or something he had ever WANTED to do. But he sent Snowball with notes (complete with death-tower illustrations) to summon his team-mates to an empty classroom one Saturday afternoon. Would they even show up...? Part of Jake hoped that they wouldn't, now that he was here, but one by one they did. And as the last of them took their seat, Jake stood up.   

 

Jake felt his heart beat quickly, as he felt the eyes beginning to fall upon him. But Jake had watched Grace lead so many meetings for her defense club that surely he must have picked up SOME skills. He was scared, but this was part of growing, so he just had to stand up there and talk like she had used to, and it would all be ok. Probably.

 

"Um...h-hi." Jake started, the small fifth-year giving a meek wave to his new team-mates.

 

Silence.

 

"Um...Team Death Tower!" Jake exclaimed, making a half-hearted fist, though the words somehow sounded less than intimidating with his still-high-pitched voice. He kind of wished he had his lion suit from when he was the Quidditch mascot...then he could have roared instead. That had always gotten everybody hyped up and excited.

 

"I'm Jake..." the boy explained, to those who didn't know. Silence again.

 

This was going well. 

 

Jake looked at his team-mates who seemed to be looking at him expectantly. Really he had done the hard part already of getting them all in the same place, hadn't he? So why did he have to keep talking? What was he going to say again...?

 

"R-right..." the boy continued. "So um...so I called this meeting because um...'cause we're a team so...So that means we have to work together. A-And we should probably talk about team stuff, and um...you know, we should go around and figure out what we're good at, and maybe play some um...getting-to-know-you games or something....and work on like....teamwork and strategies and stuff." Right. Yeah.

 

Jake was realizing quickly that this was even harder than he'd imagined it being. Jake wasn't very good at talking to people, and though he knew one of the people he was talking to (Silas), and sort of knew another one (Juan), it wasn't helping very much. He looked to Silas silently willing him to come forth with some input because he was really floundering here. 

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Silas smiled to himself when he received Jake's note, which also had a very detailed mini-illustration of a scary looking tower. (Silas took a moment to appreciate the cross hatching that the Gryffinsor had used for shading, and then discarded the note with a pile of stuff on his bedside table.)

 

Whatever Grace had been doing the past five years with the meek boy was starting to pay off-- here he was, inviting a bunch of strangers to come together and share their strengths. He kept it in the back of his mind all day and once the meeting time came around, Silas headed to the designated classroom a few minutes early. Anyone who didn't show up was going to have points taken from their house, he thought threateningly to himself.

 

He took a seat with an encouraging smile and a "hey" at Jake, then leaned back as other people trickled in. He had mostly forgotten whose names had been written with his own on the team assignments; otherwise he would have mentally been taking attendance and thinking of ways to punish those who hadn't shown up. 

 

Silas continued giving Jake a reassuring smile though his eyes were vacant throughout most of the boy's speech because he was ignoring him and thinking about the Foucauldian theory of the Panopticon and being thrilled that this was surely his team's namesake. At some point his eyes slid back into focus and he realized Jake was looking at him pleadingly like a rabbit cornered by a cat. The ravenclaw dragged himself out of his seat and sidled over to Jake, patting him on the shoulder.

 

"Hey all. Thanks again for joining us. I'm Silas. I'll get this started-- I can fly, strategize, and run. Let's see what our assets are--Do we have any solid duelists here?"

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Oh thank god.

 

As Silas stood up and began to address the team, Jake breathed an all-too-audible sigh of relief, his shoulders slumping and relaxing as Silas patted them.

 

What Jake REALLY wanted to do now was to go sit down with the others, having done at least an ok job so far. But he couldn't...he was the meeting-caller after all. And the meeting-caller wasn't supposed to sit down, even if he wanted to. That was his job, to stand up there, and help run the meeting. And so the Gryffindor boy stood next to Silas, hands at his sides, standing up straight and nodding emphatically with Silas's statements to show his approval, because he wasn't quite sure what else he should do. 

 

Do we have any solid duelists here?"

 

Jake's hand twitched at his side, as he looked up at Silas. Did he count...? It kind of depended what Silas meant by 'solid'...solid meant 'pretty good', didn't it? Jake wasn't as good as Silas, or Grace, or Addison, but... he DID have a trophy. Was Silas counting himself? If Silas didn't count, then Jake didn't. And there was a chance Jake would raise his hand only to get told that Silas meant somebody better than THAT, and then he'd get embarrassed in front of everybody... 

 

But Jake resisted the urge to ask Silas exactly what he meant, because the meeting-caller didn't ask questions, right? They just ANSWERED them. Maybe Silas just didn't say himself because he was asking the question. The safer choice was to stay quiet, but Jake tentatively raised his hand. "Um...I'm pretty solid. I mean, not more solid than you are, but...I did win the beginner's tournament last year." he said, now looking out towards the others who might not know that. Juan did, since they had faced each other, and Jake hoped that he wouldn't feel bad about it, especially because when Jake was his age he hadn't even been able to duel at all.  

 

"And um...I'm pretty good at charms, but I'm really good at transfiguration. And drawing." Jake added. It always felt weird to say the things he was good at for some reason. "I can maybe make us a banner if ya want me to...or a flag." That was a pretty important job, since it was part of the whole feeling like a team thing.  "I made the invitations," he pointed out. 

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For the past week or so, Juan had been parading around Hogwarts, chest out, head held high. He was a Hogwarts Champion, whatever that really meant, and he had to give off the amazing aura that came with such an exclusive title. Out of his squad, he was the only one, and he assumed Sofie and Sera had tried to enter, but had just been told they weren't awesome enough. 


Well, whoever made that call was dead wrong, but at least he had been hand-selected as someone that could totally stand up to the trials and tribulations of whatever this Tournament of Champions held for him. And his team...


Right, he was a part of a team. Suddenly reminded of that particular fact when he received a drawing of a tower one morning via owl, Juan nodded absent-mindedly before heading towards the empty classroom that had been mentioned in the note. 


He'd seen the names of his teammates, but he hadn't really connected with any of them before except for maybe Jake. He knew Trish from the Quidditch team, but having been silenced for most practices and games, they hadn't really interacted much. Margie he knew from classes and Silas... He'd seen Silas around the dueling chamber.


Juan stepped into the classroom and was met with the tiniest fifth year ever, "Hi Jake!" and Silas, to whom Juan offered a 'suh dude' head nod.


"You're really on the ball, huh?" Juan laughed, taking a seat on a table. Not a chair. Chairs were for not-Champions. "Oh dude I know all about icebreaker games. My sisters worked at a summer camp once and they practiced all their games on me," he started off, only to realise Silas had already started without games. "Games?" Juan whimpered. He liked games QQ


Silas could do a bit more than Juan had anticipated. But he hadn't even listed dueling as an asset... Did that mean Juan didn't count, even when the question was posed? "Um... I'm pretty good, I'd say. I've kicked more butt than others my age. Plus, I went toe-to-toe with a Death Eater and lived. You should've seen his... mask... eyes... when I sent a super scary hex at him," Juan gloated.


Charms and Transfiguration were Jake's skills. Juan shrugged, "I'm pretty good at getting myself into trouble. And out. I know a lot of secret passageways. I'm like, ridiculously cute. All the girls say so. I'm amazing at Quidditch, okay. Aaaaaaaaaaand I speak three languages, if that's even a thing that matters here. No magical ones though. English, Spanish, and Bengali."


Looking at Jake, "I, for one, would love a flag. We could wave it around when we win."


Edited by Juan Garcia

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If she were being perfectly honest, Trish was having regrets about signing up for this whole school tournament thing. It had seemed a reasonable thing to do at the time, especially since she had nothing on her plate with Quidditch canceled for the year. Care of Magical creatures was her main focus this term, since Defense and Charms wouldn't be held until after the holidays. Her schedule was light, so when news of the tournament came to light, Trish added her name to the list. She never actually expected to be accepted.

 

But she had been.

 

There'd been a bit of panic when she'd seen her name at the top of the list for her group, worry that the professors or whomever made the groups expected her to lead everyone to victory. But then she'd realized that they had just been listing by the ages of the participants and the panic had subsided. Somewhat. And there were others that were more than willing to take the initiative on things, as she soon discovered when she received an owl invite to a meeting in one of the unused classrooms. 

 

After listening to the others speak up, she figured she might as well say something as well. "I'm rather handy with charms. Decent on a broom." Probably more so than Silas, but there was no need to hold a contest over the point. "And I have a pretty solid understanding of magical creatures."

 

Which made her think it was a good thing their skills were somewhat diverse. Trish had the feeling that they were going to be called upon for a variety of different tasks. "I wouldn't mind a banner or a flag," she told Jake, smiling slightly at his offer to make them something. "Why don't you sketch out a few ideas when you've got free time and we can decide as a group which one we like?"

 

Addressing the group as a whole, "Is there any skill that someone wants to improve? 'Cause I think we've got a decent range in talents, but it wouldn't hurt to do better. We can't guarantee that we'd be called upon for what we're already good at."

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