In the book, Cedric's death is a shock and a horror, but it never struck me so hard as a tragedy until I saw it done in the film. Amos Diggory's screams when he breaks through the crowd are so haunting, so much that he gives me chills when, during subsequent viewings, he beams over Cedric and gushes "That's my boy!" For me, his is the most heartbreaking portrayal in the movie and probably in the franchise so far.

This vignette is movieverse, not only because the movie inspired it, but because Cedric has no mother. I'm ascribing this not to her being uninvolved, but to an early death which made Amos throw his entire being behind his son.

They had such a good name for Hufflepuffs. Dig-dig-diggory, that's what Amos used to say to his boy Cedric when he tickled him. All his life, he never gave it up, all his short years.

Of course, Cedric was a curious Hufflepuff. He had a badger stuffed toy when he was little, but he loved to fly. When he was made Seeker of his House Quidditch team, he wrote to his father within five minutes of hearing the news. Amos kept all his letters. He went through them again, when he could bear to do it. He organized them, reading them again one by one in order: Dear Dad, I got sorted into Hufflepuff! Dear Dad, I transfigured a vase into a waffle iron today. Dear Dad, I wanted you to know before the papers told you--

Amos can't decide what to do now. He has an empty nest on his hands. He spends hours wandering the house, all cleaned up and waiting for his son to come home from school. He sleeps on the floor next to Cedric's bed one night, reading through all his old comic books. In the morning he puts those in order too, because Cedric wasn't always a neat boy and he needed a clean start to encourage him to keep his room straight.

They buried him in the ground. Amos watched as they dug it. Dig-dig-diggory, into the hole and out of the air. Triwizard Champion of Hogwarts School, 1994-95, the headstone said. Amos insisted they put it there himself. Eternal glory, carved in stone. Cedric Diggory, hero and Hufflepuff.

Amos receives many letters, all of which he reads. Viktor Krum's is full of admiration and regret; unspoken shame because the last thing he did to Cedric was attack him. Cedric knocked him out, of course. He was always a marvelous, marvelous wizard. Fleur Delacour is not very coherent: she says how grief-stricken she is at what happened. Harry Potter does not write at all. Amos does not want a letter from Harry Potter, though.

They tell him what he knew all along: what a lovely boy he was. They all say it, in one fashion or another. Cedric's last girl, the little Ravenclaw, Cho Chang, came to the funeral. She wept the entire time, and had to be helped to her feet. Cedric was her first real boyfriend, she told Amos; what a gift he was, she also said.

Amos Diggory has no wife and no other children. He has a job, which he starts attending again six weeks after the Third Task. He barely speaks to anyone now, and cannot concentrate on his paperwork. Someone higher up in Magical Creatures decides that Amos needs a change of pace, and offers him a field positionÑjust temporary, until he can pick himself up againÑvisiting crup breeders and making sure their pedigrees are in order. Amos has a suspicion that the puppies are meant to cheer him up or comfort him. But Cedric always wanted a dog, and had had a normal one as a child. Amos goes back into paperwork within a month.

On the first day of September, he goes to King's Cross Station and through the barrier between Platforms 9 and 10. He doesn't know what to do with his arms: no luggage to carry, no son to hug. He lets them dangle limply by his side as he wanders through the swarm of people, jostling to get to the train to Hogwarts. No one believes the stories Potter and Dumbledore have spread; everyone thinks Cedric died because of some tragic accident in the maze, that he failed somehow during the competition. Amos knows better. Dumbledore met with him during the summer Ð came to his house, even, and sat with Amos in Cedric's room. He was defending Harry. He put himself between the Boy Who Lived and Lord Voldemort. He died with his wand in front of him. Good boy; what a good boy.

Soon the parents are separated from their children. All the young faces are pressed to the glass windows, waving good-bye for another few months. Amos stands at the far end of the platform, just near the rail that keeps you from throwing yourself in front of the train. The Hogwarts Express pulls away; he thinks he recognizes some of the people in the cars, but if they know who he is, he doesn't have time to see. This was to be his last year doing this: after that, Ced would have gone on to do great things. He was on his way to becoming Head Boy, that was obvious. With Triwizard Champion to his name as well, the Ministry should have been clamoring for such talent. Instead, Amos received an interdepartmental memo warning Ministry employees not to let certain fear-mongering individuals in the wizarding community interfere with the business of running a country.

He leaves with the last straggler parents, the new ones sending their sons and daughters off for the first time. He hugs his elbows and doesn't look where he's going. It would have been a hole in him anyway, letting his child leave home for another year in Scotland. But this one digs deeper, dig-dig-digs until Amos returns to Ottery-St.-Catchpole and his empty nest. He leaves the lights off, and goes upstairs without taking off his coat. He lies awake in a darkened bedroom, the only living soul in the house.

Amos Diggory dreams and will never speak of them to anyone. He wonders more than once if this is his punishment for being a proud father. But no son ever had more cause to make him so. Amos Diggory is a riddled man. For all his holes, no man ever felt heavier.