Title: A Lack of Color, Prologue & Chapter 01
Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership to these characters or the series they're from.
Summary: Harry never liked gray until he met Cedric Diggory.
The Love So Green Collection
a lack of color
Harry had never liked gray.
His whole life before attending Hogwarts had been a big gray blur, full of abuse and cramped spaces. Gray was the color of Uncle Vernon's mustache, the sky over Privet Drive , and the uniform he would have been forced to wear had he gone to Stonewall High as planned. It was a symbol of the life Harry always hated, never wanted. The life he couldn't escape until an owl flew out of the cold gray sky with a letter that changed everything.
The moment Harry saw the letter he knew it heralded something fantastic. It wasn't the peculiar way it was addressed that got him, though this certainly was strange. The thing that struck Harry was the brilliant green ink the address was written in, and the purple wax of the Hogwarts seal. Even the yellow tint of the parchment was fascinating to him. This was the most beautiful thing that had ever been meant for him.
Which only made him more desperate to discover what was inside after his aunt and uncle had confiscated it.
From that moment on Harry learned that practically everything about the wizarding world was colorful. From the many different hues of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans to the bright red of the Hogwarts Express. It was probably the reason he had been attracted to the Weasley family on his first journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. The six heads of screaming orange hair were so radically different from the gray and pale blond he was used to.
Even the castle itself vibrated with hundreds of different colors. There were stones in every shade, gleaming silver suits of armor, drapes around the Great Hall with each House's colors. It was a feast for the eyes and Harry might have found it all overwhelming if he hadn't been so pleased.
Colors, colors everywhere, and not an end in sight.
Then he met Cedric.
"In His Eyes"
Harry first met Cedric in his third year.
Well, not so much met as caught a glimpse of him from a distance. Oliver Wood pointed him out when the Gryffindors were set to play Hufflepuff at Quidditch. Harry immediately saw why the female players on his team giggled whenever Wood mentioned the Hufflepuff Seeker. He was tall, muscular, and extremely good looking.
The thing Harry found himself most drawn to was the fifth year boy's eyes. They were an intense shade of gray, somehow cool and warm at the same time. It took all of his resolve for Harry to turn away from them.
When game day finally arrived, Harry was actually grateful for the torrential rain. Had it been bright and sunny he might have been able to catch another glimpse of those eyes, and then he would definitely not have been able to catch the Snitch.
Not that he did anyway.
Harry woke up in the hospital wing surrounded by pinched smiles, each one spouting reassurance that they didn't blame him for their loss. Not that he was listening to a single word of it; they wouldn't have lost if he'd stayed on his goddamned broom. Every time those dementors came near him the screaming started again and a cold, gray feeling spread through his body that made him curse the color once more. When his closest friends presented him with the shattered pieces of his Nimbus 2000 it was just too much. Harry insisted that he was too tired for visitors and endured an incredibly tight hug from Hermione before everyone shuffled out.
It was dark when Harry woke up again, long enough after his friends had left that his pillow was now dry of the tears he'd sobbed into it. The first thing he noticed was that the remains of his broomstick were still on his bedside table. He mentally thanked Madam Pomfrey for being more understanding than she appeared. The second thing he noticed was the figure sitting next to his bed.
"Who's there?" Harry slurred, voice still hoarse from muffled sobs.
"Uh, Cedric Diggory," the figure said, leaning into a beam of moonlight coming through the hospital wing's large windows. His face looked tired and care-worn. "I didn't wake you, did I?"
"No, the nightmares woke me," Harry said before he could stop himself.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Er, no, that's okay." Harry stared. "What time is it? Shouldn't you be in bed?"
"I wanted to make sure you were okay," Cedric explained. "Which I've done, so I should probably go." He stood, causing the chair to scrape loudly across the floor.
"I heard what you did," the younger boy said suddenly. "Trying to call off the match. I appreciate it."
"Well, it's only fair, isn't it?" Cedric asked, turning back to face Harry. "It was an accident, what happened." He chewed on his lower lip, like he was having some kind of internal debate. He took a deep breath before meeting Harry's eyes with his deep gray ones through the darkness. "When the dementors come near you, what is it that makes you..."
"What? Freak out?" Harry offered, a slight hint of anger in his voice.
"Basically," the Hufflepuff said unabashedly. "You don't have to tell me."
"No, it's all right," Harry told him. "No one's ever actually asked me that before. Not even Hermione." Harry thought about that for a second before asking, "Do you really wanna know?"
Cedric sat back down and folded his hands in his lap patiently.
Taking a deep breath, and keeping his eyes locked on Cedric's, Harry began to describe the thing he'd never told anyone before.
"I hear my parents," he said slowly. "The night Voldemort murdered them. I can hear my father trying to protect me and my mum, and my mother pleading for him to spare me."
The older boy held his gaze for another moment before leaning back in his chair so his face was once again in shadow. Harry wished he hadn't. Cedric's eyes had given him the strength to tell his story. Now that they were gone, he felt cold again.
"Wow," Cedric finally mustered in response. "It's amazing you held on as long as you did."
"Thanks." Harry played with his bed sheets for a few minutes before mustering up the courage to ask Cedric, "Why did you want to know what the dementors make me think of? In fact, what made you come up here in the first place?"
Cedric was silent for a moment before muttering awkwardly, "I should probably head back to bed." His hand wrapped around Harry's and squeezed. "I'm glad you're all right."
"Thanks for coming," Harry said, at a complete loss for words.
"My pleasure," Cedric told him. "Get some rest."
It was so dark and he moved so quietly that Harry wasn't sure how long it took Cedric to exit the hospital wing. He didn't wait before smiling at the memory of Cedric's eyes and his hand around Harry's.
Maybe gray wasn't so bad after all.
End Notes: This is my first Harry/Cedric fanfic, though my second attempt. It was going to be a superlong, one-part fic, but ideas kept coming so I decided to make it chaptered instead. More to come. -kevo