Fandom: Harry Potter
Character/Pairing: Igor Karkaroff, Viktor Krum
Challenge/Prompt: A to Z Challenge: H
Word Count: 929
Summary: Igor prepares.
Igor wrinkled his nose as if smelled something extremely unpleasant. And a grimace graced his face as the mangy cat scurried in front of him, presumably looking for his owner.
He rolled his eyes at what he willingly surrounded himself with day in and day out.
He glanced at the magical clock and smirked. Soon, his favorite student would arrive, the gem of Durmstrang. All of the unpleasantness was worth it if he was able to provide a hand in Viktor Krum's tutelage. The prestige of it alone was enough to almost make Igor joyfully grin. Almost. Igor Karkaroff did not do something as common as grin obviously.
While he was young, Igor had never even considered the profession of teaching or working in a school in any capacity. He had always hated kids. He didn't even have a desire to be a father.
When he sold out his former comrades for freedom, though, he knew he had to go somewhere he would be safe from retribution. Not everyone went to Azkaban as some had pled they had been imperioed, and Igor needed sanctuary from those (and it would be most of the free Death Eaters) that desired revenge.
He knew it was best that he got out of the UK and when he heard that Durmstrang was in need of a Headmaster, he hurried over there as fast as possible. It didn't hurt that it was rumored that they delved into the Dark Arts and Igor thought it was a fitting placement for him.
Of course, he didn't take into account that he would have to work with kids, but one couldn't have everything they wanted, and refuge was more important that joy in one's profession.
So, in order to survive, he made his peace with being surrounded by children. And things began looking up when Viktor Krum came to the school. He was smart and talented, and not just on the Quidditch field, but with magic as well.
He could make a name for himself by associating with the younger wizard, and he had no problem using Viktor to get what he wanted.
Viktor knew that and ignored it, preferring to just deal with whatever Igor decided to do. Viktor might not be malleable, but at least he didn't argue with a superior as his parents made sure to instill respect into him.
Tomorrow would be a big day and Viktor was meeting with Igor to prepare for it. He rubbed his hands as he looked forward to his school finally getting some public recognition at the Triwizard Tournament when they would find out that Durmstrang really was the best. He knew Viktor would do his school proud.
A throat clearing brought Igor out of his thoughts.
"Headmaster Karkaroff, you wanted to see me?" Viktor inquired, nothing in his voice or face giving away the thoughts of the 17-year old.
Igor nodded seriously, his pride in his pupil unseen on his face. "Tomorrow is the day we leave for Hogwarts, and you will be the representative for our school," he announced with a calculating gleam in his eyes.
Viktor furrowed his eyebrows, the only hint of his confusion. "If I understand the rules of the Triwizard tournament, than the Goblet of Fire will pick who represents each school. The only way you can know for sure that it will be me is if no other Durmstrang student puts their name into it."
Igor knew the tournament was supposed to be a secret, but he was never one to play by the rules so he had wasted no time in preparing Viktor for the inevitable. He clapped a hand onto Viktor's shoulders with a bit more force than strictly necessary. "Viktor, my boy, I know my students, and even if every one of them puts their name in, you will be picked. I know it. No one can be the school's champion like you, and I know you'll do us proud."
"Are you sure? I actually think Sven might be a better champion."
Igor narrowed his eyes at Viktor's show of humbleness. Sven was a 17-year old upstart. He was the only student who had been able to beat Viktor in dueling. He was powerful for sure, but he was an unknown and would never be any use to Igor. "Sven might have traditionally been a worthy choice, but unfortunately, he has had a bit of an accident, and won't be coming with us to Hogwarts."
"What kind of accident? Is he okay?"
Igor waved Viktor's concerns away. "Don't worry about it. He'll be just fine. He'll just have to stay in Bulgaria for a while. He's not of any concern to you. You need to focus on the tournament. Nothing will stand in your way of defeating your competitors. Do I make myself clear?" he growled. His eyes bore into Viktor's to make sure the point got across and there was no mistaking Igor's seriousness.
Viktor nodded. "Yes, sir. I vow that Durmstrang will know victory."
"Good. Leave and train for a while. And then go to bed. You need to be well rested and ready for anything. Who knows what sneaky tricks Hogwarts and Beauxbatons will have ready for you."
Viktor stood there for a minute more, waiting.
Igor turned his back on the student, pleased at the display of respect. "You're dismissed."
Igor heard Viktor's steps as he retreated and allowed his lips to stretch into a wide smirk. Soon, no one would be able to say anything untoward about the strength of his students.