Perfection

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

Summary: Perfection was never-ending. Therfore, this wasn't possible.
Hermione has to come to terms with two imposssible ( By logic of perfection ) events. HGCD. Oneshot.


She had seen him before, of course. Everyone who had gone to Hogwarts for more than three minutes had seen him at some point. Every single student who carelessly roamed the hall had heard of the boy. He was the perfect man.

Strong. Tall. Intelligent. Kind. Loyal. Almost Impossibly Gorgeous. With all that going for him, it was almost every single day that his name flowed from Lavender's mouth to Parvati's, mostly spewing about how amazing he was today.

Since she had been forced into a bed adjacent to the two, it was also every single day that his name danced in her ears, soon followed by incessant giggles and sighs, deriving from the dreams of two girls who were quite obviously a bit mad to think that he even knew who they were.

He was the top of the top. More admired by girls than Draco or Harry. More talked about by girls than Fred or George. He was it. He was every popular guy smashed into one, minus the cocky, rude, selfish attitude. Therefore, he was essentially perfect. Therefore, the sight before her eyes could not be true.

Perfect men are not found sobbing silently to themselves in the library. In her library. At her table. This was not happening. Perfect men didn't have problems. Perfect men did not do this. This was not Cedric Diggory. Oh no.

It was too bad, she decided. She needed to help Harry with his final challenge ( Even if he was currently furious with her and didn't want her help. ), and no wailing pansy of a man would get in her way. Especially, the 'enemy', as Ron had constantly reminded her. She stepped forward, immense tome in her grasp and slammed it down on the table, causing the disturbingly skittish Cedric to fly up from his chair and make an incomprehensible noise.

"You're occupying my chair, sir. I always utilize this table, and you shan't stop me from doing so, no matter what silly sob story you have ready to spill from your mouth."

His mouth was agape, and he stared silently at her mouth, amazed at the brash, clipped words flowing from it. Hadn't Hermione Granger always been a bit of a quiet, polite girl? Oh, wait. He had also heard that she was quite bossy as well.

"I-…I."

"Well, you're very articulate, aren't you, Diggory? Now, if you please, remove yourself from my vicinity."

She knew she was being overly rude, but she did not want to have to sit across from a handsome, troubled man who looked ready to cling onto her shoulder and sob. No. She had never been very good at comforting anyone, except for Harry, but he was different.

Cedric shut his mouth and stared up in awe at the young girl, not bothering to fix his appearance, which consisted of tousled hair , raw cheeks from crying, and chapped lips. Finally, he shifted his weight and shook his head.

"You don't own the library, Miss Granger."

She narrowed her eyes at him, and he internally recoiled as she leaned over. He could have sworn her eyes flashed red fro a moment.

"No I Don't, Mr. Diggory. But I frequent at this table, and it is only common among manners that you should gracefully remove yourself from it if I wish to use it."

He was smart, he knew that. However, this girl was currently making him feel like quite the significant idiot. He quickly disguised it and shot back, sniffling up the last hint of tears.

"No, technically, It is common manner that I remove myself from your seat, not the table. There are two seats at the table, Miss Granger, and you aren't going to take them both up, I assure you."

Her lip raised in a startlingly adorable snarl, not that he would ever admit that. Ever.

" Yes, but it is only polite that if a lady asks you to give her privacy, you do so."

"Well then,. I don't feel like being polite right now."

The snarl on her lip blossomed into a sort of teeth bared, I'm-going-you-murder-you-slowly- eerie smile. Cedric grinned brightly, and patted the seat next to him. With a darkened look, Hermione shuffled over to the seat and dropped her books on the table, more specifically, on his hand.

"Ow."


Quiet laughter rang throughout the library, occasionally followed by the scolding of Madam Pince.

"…So…Why were you crying, Cedric?"

He fell silent. She cursed herself. They had actually been getting along so well, once she had finally given in to his boisterous nature. She bit her lip and glanced over at him, and she found him desperately trying not to cry again. Damn. She was not good in this sort of situation.

"...I'm not perfect, you know…I'm not some mechanical robot who hasn't a problem in the world…You wouldn't get it.."

She wanted to tell him hat he should tell her everything. She wouldn't judge him, she'd listen. Even so, her mouth stayed firmly shut in a thin line. Her mind was much too stubborn to allow her to spew off such things like that.

"If I tell you…You promise you won't tell, or laugh at me, or anything like that?"

She nodded deftly, the small 'woosh' of movement cutting through the thick air, and Cedric sighed, before going on.

"It's everything. I know I must sound like a whiny girl, er…no offense, but…I could die. I mean, did you ever realize that? Not about me, of course, but Harry…He, We, Either of us, Any of us could die. Krum could die…Did you ever realize that? That there's a possibility that one or more of us might never see anything beyond that maze after today?"

She was silent for a while. She had known, of course, but she hadn't really let the fact sink in that Harry, Viktor, Fleur or Cedric might die tomorrow. Harry, her best friend. Viktor, the first guy that had ever seen her as an actual girl. Fleur, a girl she didn't know at all really, but still. And Cedric…Oh, how the girls would sob.

"Well…I guess I'm a bit used to it. Adapted to it. I mean, of the four - going on five - years I've known Harry, there's rarely been a time when he wasn't in mortal danger, you know. He's Harry Potter, there's always the possibility he could die, every day."

"Adapted to death?"

"Alright, well now that you've put it in that context, it sounds quite barbaric, but it's true. The moment I turned 11, death wove it's way into my life. It's just been there for the past four years, as a constant, you know…"

"I see…Well, even if I don't die tomorrow…There's Cho. This is where I feel really uncomfortable talking about, especially with you. She's broken up with me, you know. Today. She's got a thing for Harry. Which was pretty obvious, now that I think about it…"

Hermione tried to cover her indignant snort. She really, really did.

"Yes, Well…If I'm being honest, I don't really like that girl. It wasn't right the way she handled things. Stringing poor Harry along while she had a boyfriend. Stringing you along for that matter. Most girls hate her just because she had the affections of both you and Harry, which speaks for itself, but I think it's detestable the way she went about it. She should have just been honest to you and Harry…I mean, I think I'm entitled to harbor ill feeling toward the girl, for mistreating my best friend and well, you."

"I see your point. Even so, I should have noticed and stopped it."

"If you think it's your fault, You aren't as smart as they say."

"..What?"

"Well, be serious. You had feelings, and still do, for this girl. Love can stupefy the most eloquent of people. It can blemish the most perfect people in the world. It isn't sensible, and I suppose that's why it can be so grand, but so horrible."

"Well…You're quite deep, d'you know that?"

"I've been known to overanalyze things."

"I think you analyzed that just right."

They fell silent, and Hermione finally shifted in her seat, her demeanor changing. Her face was aligned in a stubborn little visage, and she looked annoyed and inquisitive.

"Why are you being so nice to me?"

Cedric opened his mouth, but nothing articulate came out. He then chuckled at her, shaking his head.

"What?"

"Well, honestly. Everyone who isn't Harry, Ron or Ginny shuns me because I'm well known as the bossy bookworm."

"Well, you are a tad bossy…."

"I-I…"

"But I like you. You're a bit blunt, but you have this unnerving quality that makes me want to spill my guts to you. And I have to respect a girl that has an I.Q. two times the magnitude of mine. Besides, it's rather amusing to see you when you're inarticulate. Endearing, really."

Hermione was spluttering with annoyance. She was inexplicably torn between blushing like a little girl or attacking him. So she made indiscernible noises that even she couldn't understand.

"Ehm…I…Eh.."

"Right. Well maybe your intelligence isn't twice the magnitude of mine…"

Attack him.

"Why you little-"

"Aw, How Endearing."

She moved to finally just turn around and leave. It was dark anyway, and the challenge was tomorrow…She should go. As she turned around, Cedric realized her intention and put a large, warm hand on her now very small appearing shoulder, causing her to stop.

"Don't leave. I was kidding, Granger."

She turned around to see his face unusually flushed, his flushed hair falling into his smiling grey eyes. Those same eyes were staring her down, and the intensity made her want to faint. She shifted uncomfortably and shrugged.

"Oh...I- I know. It's just.. It's getting rather late is all, and you need your sleep…So…"

"With or without you, I doubt I'll be getting any sleep."

"Yes…Well, even so…You should try."

"I already did."

"I see….But…What if-"

"Stop making excuses to get out of here Granger. If you're really that uncomfortable, just tell me."

"Oh, it's not that. I just…"

"You're just uncomfortable."

"No I'm not. I just really think you should get your rest."

"If you leave me, I'm going to end up having a panic attack and then I'll be dead before the tournament. Do you want to be held responsible for my death?"

"What's to stop you from having a panic attack if I stay?"

"You relax me. I don't quite know why, considering you're a bit intimidating and bossy, as well as stubborn, but the moment you started talking I just wasn't nervous anymore. And I figure that's the most relaxed I'll be until this is over, So technically, you'd be helping me relax by staying."

Hermione was a bright pink now, but her face was downcast, her wild hair shielding her face from his view. Other than Viktor's horribly pronounced compliments, it was probably the nicest thing she had ever been told.

"Besides, you're nice to look at."

Damn it. She knew it. He was toying with her.

"Really funny, Diggory."

"Um…I suppose if that's your sort of humor, but not to me…"

Her eyes were tearing up now, and if he listened close enough, he could probably hear her sniffling, trying not to cry in front of him.

"Look, enough with the joking. It's just silly now. I'm going to go.."

"Granger, what are you talking about?"

"I'm not stupid, you know. I've overheard Harry and Ron speaking to each other before. I know I'm not pretty. I know I'm too bossy. I'm not feminine enough. My hair is something out of a horror film. I've heard it all, from Harry, from Ron, from everyone. I don't need it from you."

She turned her face to him and he found that she had failed holding in her tears, which were silently streaming down her face, leaving little red lines. He hadn't been kidding when he had said that, and in a sick way, he thought she was beautiful even now. With her wild, curly hair that was much to tightly curled to be determined as wavy and her petite features that gave no justice to the daring girl within.

He leaned toward her, his rough fingers trailing from the bottom of her jaw up to her eye, following the trail of a fallen tear. Before he knew what he was doing, he had pulled her gently closer to him, so that she was more leaning onto him than sitting on the table and he was wiping her tears with one hand, his other wrapped around her back.

"I wasn't making fun…I like the way you look. Even if your 'friends' can't see it."

She sniffled into his chest, still too puzzled to make any reaction. How had she gone from angry with him crying in his arms? This man was strange. She looked up and found him looking down at her, unbearably close to her. She could see the light freckling on his face, the gorgeous pink flush on his cheeks from being so close, and each strand of hair in his eyes.

One of his hands was still touching her face, the pad of his thumb absentmindedly brushing against her cheek. The other hand was clasping hers as he began to guide it toward his shoulder so she could get a grip on him.

"It's getting late, Diggory."

"Please don't leave me."

"You need your rest."

"No, I need you to stay with me."

"No you don't."

"Listen…I could die tomorrow. Dead. Gone. And even though I never really knew you before today, I want to spend some time with you. You make me feel comfortable. For the past hours, I've been the most happy I've been in weeks. All I'm asking is that you humor me, just for tonight, and stay with me. Please."

"What is wrong with you, Diggory? It's one in the morning. Eleven hours you'll be competing in your final event. You just broke up with your girlfriend. I am nothing but the brainy, book-wormy fourth year Gryffindor.. You don't want me here."

"Yes I do. It's one in the morning, and for the next ten hours, there's only one thing I want. I want you to stay. And yeah, I just broke up with my girlfriend. But that doesn't stop what I'm feeling right now, Granger. It doesn't change the fact that even though you're resisting me right now, and you were crying five seconds ago, I'm deliriously happy, because you are on my lap and I want to kiss you."

"You don't know me."

"Not as well as I should. But I could die in eleven hours. Wouldn't you at least want to know if there's something there?"

"You're not going to die."

"I might. And if I do, I'll never be able to do this."

The distance between them was closed, and she fell into blissful shock as Cedric's lips gently brushed against hers. The hand holding hers squeezed gently, and the one on her face went down to cradle her neck as she finally gave in kissing him back.

She had only had one kiss before that, from Viktor. She thought that one had been amazing, but it couldn't compare to this. She had never thought of Cedric in such a way until tonight, but now she was wondering why she hadn't. She supposed his feelings were similar, which made it silly that they were interacting in such a way.

Even so, she couldn't logically deny the way she had felt, and if it was remotely like what he had felt for the past hours, then she saw the reckless logic in his words. If he never came back, she would regret walking away from him.


"I could die tomorrow. Dead. Gone."

His serious tone rang throughout her ears, blaring over the deafening wails and screams of the stadium She barely registered the screams of the Hufflepuff girls, as well as all the other females, but she couldn't move. People pushed past her, down to the dew stained grass, and she fell onto the bench, knocked over by a larger girl.

She couldn't breathe. Her hands were numb and even though she wanted to run, she couldn't move. She couldn't see the stadium anymore, or the mad rush of students. His face, closing in on hers, clouded her vision as she remembered his words.

"I might. And if I do, I'll never be able to do this."

It hadn't been the last kiss she had shared with him. Their last kiss had happened a little over two hours ago. Such a short time that she cold swear she felt the ghost of a kiss still lingering against his lips.

"Adapted to death?"

"Alright, well now that you've put it in that context, it sounds quite barbaric, but it's true. The moment I turned 11, death wove it's way into my life. It's just been there for the past four years, as a constant, you know…"

She thought she had adapted to death. She had, in fact. But not to his. Even though it was constant, she couldn't say she had adapted to the excruciating, caged in, crushed feeling coursing through her heart. She was dying too. That had to be it. She couldn't be mourning. Death wasn't new to her.

"I know I must sound like a whiny girl, er…no offense, but…I could die. I mean, did you ever realize that? Not about me, of course, but Harry…He, We, Either of us, Any of us could die. Krum could die…Did you ever realize that? That there's a possibility that one or more of us might never see anything beyond that maze after today?"

Now she finally realize it. Now that it had happened, reality sunk in. He'd never see anything beyond the maze anymore. She vaguely felt Ron shaking her, telling her that Harry needed them. She registered the salty ears running a river down her cheeks, she could taste them, but she did nothing.

"You're not going to die."

Why couldn't she have been right? Why couldn't he have been wrong? She was always right, why couldn't she have been with that, like always? Ron was still shaking her, Now Hagrid was watching her, concerned. The stadium was cleared of students, save for a few.

All she could do was sob. Her body gave out and she fell to the ground in a heap, the silence breaking as she heard her own swallowed breath. She was screaming, her throat hoarse as she cried out. Madam Pince was there too, and she was looking at the two of them knowingly. She had seen.

Hermione kept on sobbing as she heard the librarian explain everything. She kept sobbing as Hagrid carried her away. She sobbed as she passed by his body, reaching out for his hands. She heard Hagrid insist that she'd be able to see him later at the funeral, that she could say everything she wanted to say there, but it didn't stop the sobbing.

This wasn't happening.

Perfect men didn't die. Perfection was never-ending. So he wasn't dead. He was perfect, therefore he wasn't dead. It was a stupid trick. This was not happening. It couldn't. By all rules of logic, it wasn't possible.

"...I'm not perfect, you know"

After many days, she found herself out of tears, kneeling in front of his freshly dug grave. His name was engraved in beautiful calligraphy. His tombstone was grand, mystical. She was still just grasping it. He was gone. Every so often, she would tell herself he wasn't. Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

Perfect men didn't die.

"...I'm not perfect, you know"

It was then she realized it. Perfect men didn't die. But Cedric had even said it himself. He wasn't perfect…He was Cedric…The closest to perfect a man could get…But he wasn't perfect. It explained why she had found him crying. Perfect men didn't cry, Cedric cried. Cedric wasn't perfect.

Perfect men didn't die.

Cedric wasn't perfect.

But in a way, he wasn't dead either.


Finite. Read and Review, please. Flames welcomed with a marshmallow on a stick.