A/n: Alright. I have finally managed to update this. And instead of giving you my ocean of excuses, lol, I will merely sum up: My beta and I have been working on the chapter toegther (specifically Fudge's address) and one thing after another (plays, job changes, exams, etc) made it very difficult for us to work on. Finally we were able to sit down and plunk the last bit out, and now here is the chapter. Fudge's address is what gave us all the grief, b/c we worked very ahrd ot make it sound political and all that jazz. So I hope it sounds good. :) Secondly, I know this is a very short chapter compared to more recent ones, but the other day I spent a couple hours working out this real long conclusion chapter. After reading it over, I really, really hated pretty well every part of it, so I started over and I am quite happy with this chapter 14, v.2, lol. Thirdly, I will save the rest of what I have to say to the end, as I don't want to make you wait any longer to read the Conclusion of If Diggory Hadn't Died.
At ten to eleven, the students filed into the Great Hall. The House tables were gone and had been replaced by a mass of chairs, making the room look exactly like a Muggle high school assembly.
Cedric followed Ewan who chose a seat on the left side of the Hall, in the middle of the approximate middle row. David followed Cedric, and they were seated.
At the front of the Hall, about two or three feet in front of the Staff Table was an old radio with dials and everything. It was playing very quiet, boring elevator music which could not be heard over the noise in the Hall except by those in the front row.
When eleven o'clock came, Dumbledore held up his hand, calling for silence. The room quieted immediately. Suddnely, the radio began crackling as though someone was tuning it. Then on came a low, theatrical voice that spoke in a near whisper as though he were commentating on a golf tournament.
"Good morning everyone and welcome to this history making broadcast, on WWW network. Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic is here is will now commence with his address to the nation."
Cedric exchanged concerned and skeptical glances with Ewan. On the radio, there was noise of chairs being moved around, someone speaking quietly in the background, someone shifting noisily, followed by a loud throat-clearing. About three seconds of silence came next, and then Fudge began his address to the nation.
I come to you under the gravest of circumstances. A terrible event has come to pass. I regret to inform you that the Bones family has been ruthlessly murdered. This tragic loss is a serious blow to many of us; the Bones were good-natured people, and kind to all.
Their family was vitally important to the Light side during the peak of You Know Who's power over a decade ago. They fought bravely with the resistance to free our people from His oppression, and their loss brings great sadness and grief to us all. Now, we shall pause in a moment of silence to remember them."
Fudge paused for a moment, and Cedric imagined the Minister at his desk with hands folded and eyes downcast. People were silent, digesting this unsettling news and thinking of the Bones family. Some people could be heard quietly crying throughout the Hall.
Fudge began again about half a minute later. "To this cruel murder, there was a witness. From this unfortunate person's first-hand account, the Ministry of Magic has reason to believe that this dreadful act may have been committed by none other than He Who Must Not Be Named and his followers, the Death Eaters.
This grim piece of news is quite shocking, I understand, but I implore you to remain calm and not to panic. This account is the first credible piece of evidence of You Know Who's return thus far, and I understand it will bring much unrest.
Furthermore, this witness did not remain alive by mere fortune. You Know Who must have intended for this person to publicize what he saw, to strike terror in the hearts of all. If we panic, this situation could become out of hand, and that is precisely what He wants.
However that is not what I want. I want to protect this world. Our world, the world we have worked so hard to build. To do this, the Ministry needs you, the entire wizarding population, to come together as a team. Only then, will we be strong enough to unite in the face of great evil. Because of our strength as one, we will become a greater threat, and we will be able to end He Who Must Not Be Named's quest for power before he can do the most damage.
Again, I beg of you, put side your differences, and work side by side, Pureblood working with Muggleborn, to put forth a truly united nation to resist You Know Who and his forces. I trust you will all think about what I have said. I understand all this information might be quite overwhelming, but it is necessary that such grave matters are given serious thought."
Fudge paused solemnly before finishing, "Thank you and good day."
There was another shuffling of chairs before the strange, theatrical announcer came back on and said dramatically, "And there you have it. That was the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge in his address to the nation. Please watch local newspapers and news hours for more information of what the Minister has just been speaking of. We will be returning to our regular broadcasting tomorrow."
The radio made the crackling, fuzzy noises again before the stuffy elevator music began filtering back out. Dumbledore waved his wand and the radio turned off. He stood gracefully.
"That is all for the day." He said, just to let the students know they were dismissed.
The Hall was silent for several seconds before activity and conversation was restored. Some students left immediately, while others walked around to talk to friends sitting in other places. Most people looked nervous, sad, shell-shocked, grim or a mix of all. Cedric knew how they felt, though his feelings were accompanied by an odd sense of relief.
Relief that some part of this was finally over, and relief that it was finally out there in such a way people could to refuse to believe it.
Cedric glanced around the Hall and saw Harry several rows away, and he had the odd look of relief on his face too. He looked up and met Cedric's eyes and smiled smally. Cedric half-smiled back.
In that moment, Cedric felt calm and peaceful, despite everything that had happened. And even though he knew things were going to get worse from there, Cedric knew he had an ally who knew exactly what he'd been through. And as Ewan patted Cedric on the back, he was more thankful than he'd ever been in his life for his friends.
"You alright?" said David.
Cedric nodded, swallowing a sudden lump of emotion in his throat. "Yeah." He said huskily. "Yeah, I think I'm going to be alright."
A/n: So, how was it? I know it was short, but please believe me when I tell you the longer version really, really sucks and does NOTHING for the story. Anyways, please review me, and I will love you forever. I already love everyone who has reviewed me ever, and I want to thank you most honestly and seriously from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to review me! I really, really appreciate it, and especially for sticking with me through all my overdue updates. You guys all rock and have been the reason why I write. So thank you. This story was alot of fun, but I am kind of glad it's ending.
Ok, secondly, I say "for now" b/c I am CONSIDERING making a sequel. But don't get too excited yet, as it will likely be a long ways away. A long ways away. Let me know if you'd like em to inform you when I put it up, though.
And thirdly, no, Cedric doesn't end up with a girl in this one. Sorry! Maybe next time, lol. And I think that's it. Red Bess Rackham, over and out.