|Taking His Life Away
Author: MollyBear PM
Hermione Granger is having horrible dreams about the death of a certain student. After finding an unlikely mentor she learns the terrible truth. These are not dreams. They are visions of the future. A future, no matter how terrible, she can never change.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Cedric D. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 43,801 - Reviews: 136 - Favs: 64 - Follows: 106 - Updated: 02-21-09 - Published: 08-08-08 - id: 4459395
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Do I really need to keep saying that it's not mine?
AN: A million apologies oh great readers! I'm so bloody sorry that it has yet again taken me so long to update. But my cousin just had a little baby boy and I've been over at her place helping as much as I can. (Her husband in a paramedic and is finding it hard to get time off because they're severely short staffed) But I don't mind because little Benn is so so so so so cute. So cute that I'm dedicating this chapter to him. Another reason it's been a while is because this chapter took me FOREVER to write. I don't know why and I'm still not 100 percent happy with it, but I had to update. I hope it's all to your liking. I've had to speed things up because I want third year out of the way so I can get into summer, the world cup and the most dreaded fourth year. Dun dun duuuuh. Will Cedric survive? I don't know. Well, I do know actually, lol. I knew even before I started to really write this story what his fate would be. But you do you guys think? Do you want him to live or die? Let me know! (Though I think I all ready know the answer) Thanks for all your reviews! Sorry about the long note!
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months as the rest of Hermione's third year flew by. It was hard to believe that today had been the last day of exams and soon they'd all be departing their beloved school.
Hermione was currently waiting outside the Great Hall for Cedric to finish writing his last O.W.L, before the two of them would go collect Harry and Ron from their last exam in Divination. As she waited she reminisced over the past months. From Gryffindor finally winning the Quidditch Cup, to making amends with Harry and then Ron after the debacle with Scabbers, Buckbeak's on going trial and another attempt at getting to Harry by Sirius Black, the last months of her third year had been anything but quiet. Thankfully, her nightmare no longer troubled her thanks to the potion prescribed by Madame Pomfrey, so her sleep was no longer fitful. Between that and the help from Lupin, Hermione seemed to have lulled herself into a somewhat peaceful state of mind, sincerely believing that Cedric would never die in that graveyard.
During one of her talks with Lupin she described the rat-like man in great detail and for some reason, Lupin became extremely interested in him. The professor hid his concern for the identity of the man fairly well, but Hermione could tell that Lupin was worried about him. She on the other hand wanted to know more about the creature in the ratman's arms. When she told Lupin about the deformed baby he appeared alarmed before he masked it with a calm curious face, claiming he had no idea what it could be. Hermione hadn't pressed him for his opinions, but she decided that she would tonight.
She was pulled from her thoughts when the doors to the Great Hall opened and the exuberant fifth and seventh years filed out cheering and shouting to each other causing her head to pound from the noise. After much difficulty she saw Cedric extract himself from the crowd and make his way over to her.
"How did it-" She started to ask before Cedric planted a huge, enthusiastic kiss on her lips.
"Done!" He shouted when he pulled away from a breathless Hermione.
"I take it you're happy then." Hermione said while she noticed an extremely irate Cho Chang glare at her.
"Beyond happy, love." Cedric said wrapping an arm around her waist as they began their journey to the 7th floor. "I think this calls for celebration."
"And how exactly are we going to celebrate?" She asked, trying to ignore Cho's angry stare and her annoying headache.
"Oh I can think of a few things." He whispered suggestively in her ear, sending shivers down her spine.
"Really, Cedric." Hermione said. "You need to learn how to behave yourself."
Cedric laughed. "Says the girl who stormed out of her Divination class and slapped a Slytherin."
Hermione scowled at him. "That was a long time coming and Malfoy deserved that smack." She informed him. "Why does Cho Chang keep on mentally decapitating me?" She asked suddenly.
Cedric stopped walking to stare down at her. "What?"
"Cho Chang? Fourth year Ravenclaw? Seeker? Surely you've heard of her?"
Cedric rolled his eyes. "I know who she is, Granger, but what do you mean by mentally decapitating you?" He asked, resuming their pace.
"She's always glaring at me like she hates me or something." Hermione said thoughtfully. "I don't know why-" She stopped at Cedric's uncomfortable look. "Oooh…" She said, understanding. "She likes you, doesn't she?"
Cedric cleared his throat awkwardly. "Erm…maybe…?"
Hermione couldn't help but to laugh at discomfort. "Oh really? Should I be worried?"
Cedric's eyes widened. "Merlin's Beard no! You know you're the only girl for me, Granger." He told her ducking down to kiss her cheek.
She smiled up at him. "Well, just as long as Cho doesn't really try to decapitate me…" Hermione said with amusement.
Cedric snorted. "As if she could get within two feet of you before you hexed her into next week. You're rather terrifying when you're angry."
Hermione smirked. "Hmm…well there is a new toenail hex I've been wanting to try out…Maybe she should try something…what do you think Cho would look like with 6 foot toenails?"
Cedric grimaced. "Not a very pretty picture you're painting here, Hermione." He said as they neared the Gryffindor portrait hole.
She laughed. "I'll just try it out on Malfoy sometime. He'd deserve it."
He grinned at her. "Too true, he would." Cedric chuckled before he twirled her and began to waltz with her right in the middle of the hallway.
"Er…Cedric?" Hermione asked, uncertainly. "What are you doing?"
"It's called dancing, dearest." He told her with another twirl.
"Well, yes, I'm aware of that. But why are we dancing in the middle of the corridor…with everyone staring at us?" She asked, as Percy Weasley looked at them questioningly.
"Because I feel like celebrating and what, logically, better way to do just that then to dance?"
"Have you been watching Star Trek a lot lately? You sound like a Vulcan."
He grinned down at her. "Thanks again for adding that show to the pensive you got me. It's brilliant."
"My Cedric. The trekkie. I'm so proud." Hermione teased, before she shrieked as he dipped her low to the ground. "Don't do that!" She said when Cedric brought them back up. Her head gave another throb and she bit back a groan.
He only laughed as twirled her again as Lavender and Parvarti passed them giggling before they entered the portrait hole.
"Do I even want to know?" Came Ron's sullen voice from behind them.
They stopped dancing to turn around and see Ron's gloomy face.
"We're just celebrating." Cedric said happily. "Though that dark cloud over your head is kind of putting a damper in things." He told Ron. "Divination exam not go well?"
Ron shook his head. "Complete bullocks." He muttered. "Didn't see a thing. Had make something up about my brother Charlie getting eaten by a dragon."
"Ron! That's terrible!" Hermione chastised while Cedric snorted with amusement.
"It's tragic, Hermione. Trelawney eats rubbish like that up. Don't think she believed me though." Ron admitted. "And on my way down I got this." He said holding up a letter. "It's from Hagrid." He told them passing it to Hermione.
She took the badly labelled envelope from Ron. "It doesn't look good." Cedric mumbled.
"Come on. We can open it in the common room." Hermione said.
"Do you think it's safe for me in there?" Cedric asked with a smirk as the Fat Lady let them in with a glowing smile.
"It's the last day of exams. No one will notice." Hermione said as they sat in an unoccupied corner of the room.
"Are you going to open it?" Ron asked as Hermione continued to stare at the envelope.
"I can't." She said. "I'm too afraid of what it will say."
"Here." Cedric said, gently prising it from her shaking hands. "I'll open it."
"Thanks." Hermione said softly, unconsciously rubbing her temples. Her headache seemed to be getting worse with every passing minute. She was only half aware of Cedric reading the letter out loud and of Ron's outrage at loosing the appeal. Her vision was clouding and she felt herself being pulled into a dark corner of her mind. She barely registered Cedric and Ron asking her what was wrong before she was lost to the darkness…
This was un-bloody-believable. Thought Ron Weasley as he listened to Diggory read Hagrid's letter out loud. How could they have lost the appeal? After all the work they had done looking up dates and writing every fact about Hippogriffs known to Wizard kind, how could the Ministry just ignore it all?!
"I can't believe it!" Ron finally shouted. "This is bullocks!"
Diggory sighed. "I know, mate. But the execution is going ahead. Tonight at sunset."
"There has to be something we can do!" He said. "We can go see Hagrid and-"
"Hagrid said he doesn't want us down there." Diggory told him distractedly. "You okay, Hermione?" He asked turning to her.
Ron saw Hermione nod vaguely before Diggory looked back at him. "Besides, it's happening after hours. How are we supposed to get down there?"
Ron was about to answer when Hermione's voice interrupted him.
"It will happen tonight…"
"What was that, love?" Diggory asked averting his attention to her.
Ron also looked over at his female friend to notice her chin was resting on her chest. He was about to ask her if she as okay when her head snapped up and her eyes flew open to reveal them to be clouded over. Her once golden brown eyes were not completely white and before he or Diggory could say a word, Hermione began to recite in a deep scratchy voice:
"It will happen tonight. The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight, the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever before. Tonight... before midnight... the servant... will set out... to rejoin... his master..."
Hermione's eyes suddenly rolled up inside her head and she sagged lifeless into her chair.
"Bloody hell." Was the only thing he could think of saying as Diggory rushed forward and caught Hermione before she slipped out of her seat...
Hermione watched as images flashed through her mind at an alarming rate. She saw a cold cave in a dark forest with a pair of glowing red eyes hidden, alone in its depth. Another flash, she felt years of imprisonment in a small body and fear and frustration from being tapped for so long. Another flash, she saw a rat turning it a man. Another flash of the moon and the Whomping Willow and a brief glimpse of a rat tail escaping into the night. Another flash, she was back in the dark cave and the red eyes were smiling evilly at her and a terrified was voice saying, "M-my master…I h-have found you a-at last!" The last thing she heard was a high cold laugh before darkness swarmed her vision again…
Hermione gasped and her eyes flew open to see Ron gaping at her and Cedric kneeling in front of her frantically asking her if she was all right.
"Wh-what happened?" She asked trying to ignore Ron's astonished look.
"You…you…just…and Merlin's Beard." Ron stammered, unable to speak.
Hermione looked down at Cedric who appeared much more calm than the red head.
"Hermione…you just made a prediction." Cedric told her.
"What?!" Hermione gasped. "A-a prediction? How? What was it about?"
"You said that the Dark Lord was going to rise again. And something about a chained servant setting out tonight to return to him." Cedric said in a stunned voice. "Hermione… has this ever happened before?"
"No…"She said. "No, never." It wasn't even a lie. Not really. Yes, she had, had made a prediction before but that's because she's a Death Seer. This vision was something else entirely. This vision was something a normal Seer would predict. Hermione had no idea how she could have seen something like this. Just when life was getting back to normal. She thought bitterly.
Hermione noticed Ron about to say something when Harry suddenly burst into the Common Room out of breath.
"Trelawney!" He gasped when he reached them. "She…she just predicted Voldemort's return!" He told the worried trio. "Why…why don't you guys look shocked?" He asked them when they didn't react to his news.
"Because we've all ready heard something similar." Ron said turning towards Hermione.
"What are you on about?" Harry asked.
"I…"Hermione said. "I said the same thing." She confessed to a confused Harry.
"You made a prediction?" He asked, completely floored.
"Yes." She answered simply. "And before you ask no, I don't know how it's possible but we have other things to worry about at the moment. We lost Buckbeak's appeal. The execution is happening at sun set. We've got to go se Hagrid." She said as the common room began to clear as the students made their way down to dinner.
"How?" Cedric said. "You three can't be out after hours. I'm patrolling tonight so I might be able to get away with it, but you lot could get caught."
"Harry." Hermione said, desperately trying to find a solution. "Where did you say the Invisibility Cloak was?"
"It's behind that statue of the One-eyed Witch but Snape said-"
But Hermione didn't wait for him to finish. Snape may have threatened Harry with detention if he was caught there but not her. She didn't know why but something was telling her that she had to get down to see Hagrid tonight. Her instincts were screaming at her to find a way. She was also starting to remember what she saw in her prediction. The rat that had turned into a man…she was sure it looked like Scabbers. And the man himself was the same one from her graveyard vision.
She was now at the one-eyed witch. She tapped it and muttered the password that Harry had told hermonths before. Hermione slid inside and found the Cloak instantly. She grabbed it and dashed back to the common room as fast as she could.
Harry, Ron and Cedric had barely moved from their stunned positions since she left.
"Stop gaping like a bunch of fish and come on!" She demanded. "Hagrid is going to need us."
The three boys shook themselves and Harry and Ron joined her under the Cloak as Cedric opened the portrait hole for them.
"Walk faster, Cedric!" Hermione hissed from under the Cloak as they made their way down the many staircases.
Cedric rolled his eyes as he quickened his pace. "Bloody demanding." He muttered, jokingly. "You know, its really quite awkward being the only one visible." He told them.
"You realize it looks like you're talking to yourself?" Ron said smugly as Harry snickered.
Hermione sighed. She had a feeling this was going to be a long night.
Ten minutes later Cedric was knocking on Hagrid's door and they could hear Fang's booming barks from inside.
Hagrid opened the door and seemed surprised to see Cedric there.
"Cedric? What are yeh doin 'ere?" He asked as he stepped back to let him in.
"Oh I'm just escorting some trouble makers." Cedric said as Harry pulled the Cloak off himself, Ron and Hermione.
"I told yeh lot not ter come down!" Hagrid said.
"We had to, Hagrid." Hermione said. "We can't let you do this alone." She said sadly as she took in Hagrid's desperate appearance. Even though he was no longer crying it was easy to tell how upset Hagrid was. He was shaking and he was looking anxiously around his cabin as if he was hoping all the worlds questions could be answered there. He looked lost and broken and Hermione almost wished he would cry.
"Er…how about some tea?" Ron asked in a shout.
The other four occupants looked at him as if he had lost his mind.
"That's what Mum does when people are upset." Ron shrugged. "She makes tea."
Hagrid nodded absently and picked up a teapot. But he was shaking so much that he dropped it and it smashed to the floor.
"I've got it, Hagrid." Hermione said. "You just sit there." She told him leading him over to his kitchen table.
"There must be something we can do." Harry said, as Hermione put water in the new teapot she found.
"Yeah, maybe Dumbledore-" Ron started.
Hagrid interrupted him saying that Dumbledore had done enough. He was even coming down to be with him while it happened. "Great man, Dumbledore." Hagrid said.
"Where is Buckbeak?" Cedric asked softly.
"Out-outside. I wan' him ter enjoy the fresh air. 'E deserves tha' much." Hagrid said in a throaty voice.
Hermione sniffed trying to hold back her tears as she looked around for a milk jug. As if sensing her distress Cedric got up and went over to her where she was searching through the cupboards.
"Are you going to be okay?" He asked, placing a hand on her back.
Hermione nodded. "Yes…but it's so unfair!" She said angrily. "He hasn't done anything wrong." She said, tears leaking out if her eyes.
"I know, love." Cedric said, hugging her close. "I wish there was something that could be done, but I can't think of anything. If we just set him free, Hagrid will get in trouble. Sometimes…sometimes things happen for a reason and there's nothing we can do but accept it. I know that's hard to do, but that's life, right?" He asked, pulling away so he could cup one of her cheeks. "All we can do is support Hagrid through this. He's going to need his friends now." He said softly, brushing away her tears. "And you know I'll always be here for you." He promised, gently kissing her forehead.
"I know." She whispered. "Thank-you." Hermione said giving him a quick kiss before resuming her search for the milk jug.
"Looking for this?" Cedric asked, reaching for a top shelf and handing it to her.
"Finally." She said. "I knew having a tall bloke around would come in handy."
"Oh, so is that the only reason you keep me around?" Cedric demanded as they made their way back to where Harry, Ron and Hagrid were sitting.
"That, and you're cute." She said, smiling.
"Honestly." Cedric teased. "She only likes me for my looks." He said as he plopped himself next to an amused Hagrid.
Hermione couldn't help but laugh at Cedric's expression, but it soon turned into a gasp as she saw what was all ready in the milk jug. "Oh my God, I don't believe it! Ron! It's Scabbers!"
"What?" Ron exclaimed.
Hermione tipped the jug over onto the table and Scabbers came skittering out.
"Scabbers!" Ron said happily as he picked up the struggling rat.
"He doesn't look too good." Harry commented.
Indeed, Scabbers did look much worse for wear. He was extremely skinny and he had numerous bald patches all over his body.
"There comin'" Hagrid said suddenly, looking out his window. "Yeh've got ter go now!" He said shooing them out the back door.
Even as Hermione threw the invisibility cloak around herself, Harry and Ron her two friends were desperately saying,
"We can't, Hagrid!"
"There had to be a way-"
"Go!" Hagrid yelled. "I won' have yeh gettin into trouble!"
So with no other option they snuck out the back and sullenly made their way back to the castle.
"Stop squirming, Scabbers!" Ron hissed as he tried to hold the terrified rat.
"Shh!" Hermione said. "Be quiet!"
"Tell. That. To. Scabbers." Ron grunted.
Behind them they could hear the mumbling for voice as Buckbeak's execution drew nearer.
"Please, Ron" Hermione begged. "I can't stand it."
"Would you lot keep it down?" Cedric demanded.
It was at that moment they heard the unmistakable swish and thud of an axe.
Hermione stopped dead. "I can't believe it." She whispered as they heard Hagrid's distinct howl.
Harry began to unconsciously turn around.
"No, Harry!" Hermione said, snapping herself out of it. "We'll just get Hagrid in trouble too!"
"Ouch!" Ron cried, suddenly. "Scabbers just bloody bit me. Hey! Get out of here you damn cat!" He spat. For Crookshanks had appeared out of nowhere and was advancing on them causing Scabbers to wiggle even more. "Scabbers, no!" Ron yelled as Scabbers finally freed himself. "Come back here you stupid rat!" Ron said as he flung the Cloak off himself.
"Weasley!" Cedric said, frustrated. "Get back under the Cloak!"
But Ron ignored him and took off after Scabbers into the dark.
Yanking the Cloak off Harry started after his friend with Hermione and Cedric in hot pursuit.
When they came up on the Whomping Willow they watched Ron dive for Scabbers with a triumphant cry. "Got ya! Get away you bloody cat!" He said kicking at Crookshanks.
"Ron! Get back under the Cloak! Dumbledore, the Minister. They'll be here any minute!" Hermione hissed.
But Ron wasn't paying attention to them. Instead he pointed over their shoulder, wirth a terrified expression, at great black dog pounding towards them. Before they could get their wands out the beast had leaped over them and was baring down on Ron.
"Ron! No!" Harry yelled as the brute grabbed Ron by the pant leg and began dragging him towards the Whomping Willow.
Harry managed to dash forward and grab the dog by its fur and attempt to pull it away from Ron but he was it out of nowhere and flung onto his back.
For a minute Harry was surrounded by angry lashing branches unable to find a way out. In the confusion, Cedric managed to grab Harry and pull him away from the trees flailing branches over to where Hermione was nursing a bloody shoulder.
"What are we going to do?" Harry demanded.
"We've got to go for help!" Hermione said.
"There's no time! We can't just leave Ron with that thing." Harry yelled.
"We can't go near that tree." Cedric said inspecting his own cut which was bleeding quite profusely from his abdomen. He pressed down on it with a wince. "That thing'll kill us if we go near it."
"Then what-" But before Harry could finish, Crookshanks dashed forward through the manic branches and touched a knot at the base of the tree. It stopped instantly.
"How in the name of Merlin?" Hermione asked.
"I've seen him with that dog." Harry said. "Come on." He told them ducking down into the tunnel.
Cedric and Hermione exchanged a look. "We have to help Ron." Hermione said.
The Hufflepuff sighed. "I know. But why do I feel we're going to regret this someday?" He asked as they followed Harry into the gloom.