The End Of Laughter And Soft Lies (Of Our Elaborate Plans, Of Everything That Stands)
Rated: PG
Warnings: Cedric Is Dead. But we knew that.
Fandom, Pairing: Harry Potter Un. JK Rowling, Gen Fic: Cedric Centric
Spoilers: Up to Goblet of Fire.
Summary: A crazy wizard who killed people. Who you never spoke the name of. Who killed everyone he ever went against. Except one person. And that person wasn't Cedric Diggory.
Disclaimer: not mine, never was mine, never will be mine. all is jk rowling's.
Beta: the wonderful cherrychalk - :loves:
Word Count: 1304
Authors Note: I really should be writing on my term paper, which is about what the UN can do and should be able to do in Chechnya, but some how this is what I'm writing. The title comes from the song "The End" by the Doors, and you all know the song (and if you don't you should).


Eleanor Branstone cried when Cedric Diggory died. She was in the stands, just like everyone else, when Harry Potter returned with his body. No one knew exactly what was happening, knew why Harry was sobbing on Cedric's chest. Why was he lying down, not up, not celebrating? They had two winners this year, and both were from Hogwarts!

She could remember the first time she'd met Cedric. She'd fallen, in the common room, and he'd helped her up, had given her a smile, a bright smile she'd come to associate with him.

Harry Potter had run into her in the halls, and apologized, looking disorganized and confused. Nothing like the confidant Cedric. Nothing like him at all.

And there they were, together, on the lawn, the fallen trophy – which she realized must have been a Portkey – lying on the grounds, a bit away, where it had tumbled when the two had returned.

She didn't hear the first words Harry said, but the quite murmur that ran through the crowd told her all she needed to know.

He's back.

She didn't need to be told who He was, because everyone knew who He was. Just like they all knew who you-know-who and who He-who-must-not-be-named was. You just knew. Somehow, she didn't remember where or how or when, even the muggleborns were brought up to speed.

She wondered what it was like, to be told this, to hear them talk about him.

A crazy wizard who killed people. Who you never spoke the name of. Who killed everyone he ever went against.

Except one person.

And that person wasn't Cedric Diggory.

Cho Chang felt like she didn't stop crying for a year after Cedric Diggory died. She'd miss him, miss him so much, she sobbed. She'd miss his smile and his laugh and his kind words.

She wondered if he thought about her, if he'd seen his life, if she'd meant something to him. They weren't that serious, and she'd never thought this would go much farther, but…

One couldn't help but wonder.

She wondered if Harry knew, if he'd tell her. She watched as he crumpled over the body of Cedric, and wondered if they were friends.

Surely there had to be some sort of bond, a comradeship, if not a friendship, formed when you were both Champions for the same school.

Maybe if you weren't. Maybe the other two would miss him.

Maybe someone else would miss him more.

She knew he had been looking at someone, wanting to be with someone. She didn't know you.

Just that it wasn't herself.

Pomona Sprout would miss Cedric Diggory. Cedric had always been a polite boy, had always been helpful. She knew he was always getting himself lost in Ancient Runes, and could sometimes see it in his homework for her class.

Some of the other Professors said they saw it in theirs as well.

He was never overly confidant and always made a grand show of being fair – something she admired greatly. Still, though, she could see his father's ambition in him sometimes, a flare in his eyes.

She wondered if he made his father proud.

Cedric had been a shy little first year, she remembered. He hadn't actually been shy, though, just quiet and soft-spoken. It slowly changed over the years, and she saw, as he gained notoriety in Quidditch, that the Hufflepuff house slowly began to see him as their center, as their anchor.

She knew it was a good thing for now, but wondered what would happen when he was gone. Who would take his place, become his successor? Would he pick one, or would they?

In the end, he didn't have a choice.

Harry Potter couldn't believe Cedric Diggory was dead. He'd seen Cedric die, seen him crumple to the ground, seen the soul leave his eyes, seen the body suddenly stop.

He'd seen Voldemort kill the first victim of the Second War.

He'd ended the first, killed him, of sorts. He couldn't remember, but he had done it.

And for some reason, he felt guilty that he hadn't properly done the job, that he hadn't killed him completely.

Forget that he was only a baby, just 12 months old, not even able to utter more than a few words. Forget that he had only been walking a few short months, that he was more interested in his mother's curly hair than anything else.

He still felt guilty.

Cedric had died, and that should have been enough to make the day a nightmare. But then Voldemort was there, and then Pettigrew had cut him, and then Voldemort was back. He was back, alive, with a body.

And there was nothing he could do.

Except take Cedric Diggory's body back to his father.

Hannah Abbot wondered how it could come to this. How the calm world that she had been hoping for had come to this.

She hadn't really thought much of what was going on before this. It involved Harry Potter and his friends – Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Ron's little sister, Ginny. Sometimes it involved other people, like Neville Longbottom, but really, her?

She hadn't had any real contact with the loss that had struck the Wizarding World the first time, and this time she didn't even know who or what she should be looking for.

She knew she'd been wrong about Harry in third year, not that she'd admit it, and while she was very much in support of Cedric, she'd rather Harry win than anyone else (House first, School second, everyone else last).

Now though, she could see Cedric lying below Harry and she had to wonder.

How bad would this time hit her, how much would she have to make up for the lack of loss to her family?

Would Cedric be the only one she lost?

Albus Dumbledore felt an incredible sadness when he saw that Cedric Diggory was dead. Not just for the loss of the boy, but for the coming war.

Because this was the first death, but for sure, it would not be the last.

It never was.

All of those long years before, long before Voldemort was there, but instead he was still Tom Riddle, he'd though surely with the great loss of so many people, with the last few deaths, the fighting was over.

But it wasn't. He was not longer naive, like before, and with the second coming of Voldemort…

"A dark day," he told himself as he watched Amos Diggory fall to his knees beside his son.

This was it. This was the war he'd known was coming. It was time for him to fortify himself, to make sure he would be able to handle the losses he knew were coming.

For they were coming. A war was never complete with out losses of grave proportions on all sides.

A dark day it was indeed.

Viktor Krum was stunned by the death of Cedric Diggory. He'd known, like everyone else, that there was a chance that someone could die in this. But no one had thought anyone actually would.

Especially not after the dragons. If one could survive a dragon, what could hold you back?

He and Fleur had stood, disqualified, waiting for the winner to appear. It was taking long than they'd thought, but really, how did they know how long it should take?

And then the two younger boys appeared.

And then he realized Cedric Diggory was dead.

He closed his eyes. Surely it could not be worse.

"Remember Cedric."

"Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort."

"Remember Cedric Diggory."

5 December, 2005