[Where: Great Hall]
[When: During Supper meal]
[Why: Announcement time.]
Only a few of the students noticed when Albus Dumbledore rose to his feet and came out from around the head table to take the podium. He cleared his throat, and his magically augmented voice got the attention of a few more students over the clattering of plates and forks and knives.
Now, now. I ask only for a minute of your time. I can assure you, your meal will be there, waiting to be gobbled up, after I'm done."
Though his tone was jovial, somehow it gave the impression that he wasn't asking for attention. He was demanding it. And he got it, the students stopped their chewing and jabbering and turned to him and listened.
"I thank you all. I shant be for more than a few moments, let me assure you. Let me begin by asking you if any of you have ever heard of Gullinkambi?"
He paused and looked around. Some of the students were whispering to each other, trying to find out if anyone knew the answer, but no one raised their hands or spoke up.
"I don't blame you. The last time anyone has heard from it was about 100 years ago." Dumbledore smiled, seeming to enjoy tantalizing his students with this mystery. "Gullinkambi is the name of a rooster. A very old rooster. It sleeps for 100 years, and starts to stir only then. Then it will crow once. That signifies the beginning of what are called the Golden Comb Trials."
He paused for a moment to let the rhubarb among the students die down before continuing. "Or GCTs. They were created some time ago to imitate a sort of competition done in ancient times. Of course back then lives were at risk. Now, it's simply friendly competition. It brings young witches and wizards from everywhere to train their magic, minds and body and foster international co-operation. It is an event that will test many of the skills you've learned and will learn in the future. Just about every course you're taking will be covered: from Astronomy to Quidditch, it's a mental, physical and magical exercise, and more than that, it is a team effort."
"Hogwarts will be sending a team this year. In accordance to the rules, only 6th years will be going, and by going I mean to Germany to compete with other schools from around the world. The team will consist of 16 students, four from each House. You will be hand-picked after secret consultation with each of your Professors. That will be happening soon."
"I would like to remind you that those chosen will be representing not their House, but the entire school of Hogwarts. As the oldest school in the competition and a member of the Tri-Wizard schools, expectations will be high. But as always, this is simply sport. If you can prove to work together well and like the family you are, then the prize would have already been won."
"That's all for now. Much more to come, please trust me!" Dumbledore smiled widely and added, "For Gullinkambi will crow soon enough. Now then, as I promised, back to your meals! I'm sure they've been getting lonely without you!"