Author's Notes: Apparently I've become addicted to one-sided Cedric/Harry. (And not one-sided, come to think about it.)

This is rubbish, but it's pretty rubbish so I've decided to post it.

Many thanks to bee-oo-tee-fool Kris, aka Angel's Touch, who beta'd this because she's superbulous.

Two Ticks of a Second

"Kill the spare."

There was nothing left but two ticks of second.

Cedric thought of home, of the little garden and his father's wireless. He remembered cool summer breezes and his mother's flowered window curtains fluttering in the wind as her gentle voice swirled and melted into the trees.

He tried to feel his patched quilt secured around his shoulders as he pretended to fight off Voldemort, his father applauding him and making impressed faces while his mother smiled affectionately from the kitchenette.

And in two ticks of second he would be gone, lost tumbling and disappearing into the cold, cold ground.

He pictured Cho, her beautiful round eyes and soft pink lips. He wanted to tell her he was sorry, sorry that he couldn't love her the way she deserved, sorry he hadn't spent the night with her even though she'd wanted him to.

He thought of hours they'd spent together by the lake, holding hands as the distant laughter of students in the courtyard settled comfortably in their ears. He remembered her eyes – bright, teary – as she'd whispered, "Why are you telling me this?"

He wished now that he could have had an answer.

Two ticks of a second before he lost it all.

And Harry was crying his name, screaming it so loudly that his throat was bobbing, trembling in the pitch-black night that was the last Cedric would ever see. He tried to say, 'I love you,' and 'Don't forget me', or even just 'You're beautiful', but somehow his lips failed him.

It seemed so stupid, now, that he'd kept his mouth shut so tight whenever anyone asked him about Harry. It seemed like he should have said it all day, every day, told the world that he loved the Boy-Who-Lived and maybe always would.

He watched two ticks of a second, blazing their emerald green, sink deep into his belly and settle there, cooing with delight as he sank to the floor and stared sightlessly into the sky.