Disclaimer: Belongs to JK Rowling
Senses Working Overtime
He can't say for sure the first time he noticed her. She had just always been around. She was just one of the many faces in the crowd. He probably really saw her for the first time in his sixth year, but only then it was because of Potter. If he hadn't been watching Potter, seeing how he was coping with all the stress of the tournament he probably would not have even noticed her then.
He spotted her in the library constantly pouring over more books than she could possibly have needed, no doubt for Potters benefit. Cedric liked to watch people. It gave him a good gauge on what kind of person they were. She quickly became his most interesting subject. He could see her getting frustrated with Potter, and his attitude. It amused him to watch her interact with Potter. She seemed to forget that boys didn't develop in the same time frame as girls. This was clearly evident in her dealings with Weasley. That was what frustrated her most. He over time began to sense that she had some feelings for Weasley, but he was just too dense to notice, or if he did, he wasn't going to do anything about it. Hopefully she would have some patience with him, give him a chance to grow up, and have the strength to deal with whatever feelings he had towards her.
One would think that you would have to be friends with someone to be able to placate them with just a touch. He had never spoken to her, never actually heard her speak in front of him, the first time he touched her. It was in the entranceway when Professor Trelawney made her scene about being fired, he was standing behind her.
As soon as Umbridge starting saying her piece, he could sense Hermione tensing up in front of him. He could see her stepping forward to do something. So he stepped right up behind her, and just put his hand on her shoulder. Cedric felt her tense beneath his hand, and she turned her head slightly. He didn't look at her, just shook his head. Not now. He whispered. She nodded her head minutely, and relaxed a little, he could still feel her shaking a little. Of it's own volition his thumb starting moving gently over her shoulder, he felt the tension leave her shoulder, but she still looked like she wanted to go and throttle Umbridge. It was then that Dumbledore through open the doors to the castle, only then did he feel her relax, she obviously felt the same way as he did, with Dumbledore there, everything would be under control.
As the crowd began to disperse he went to walk away when he felt a small hand take his, he turned back and saw her give him a small smile, before she too disappeared into the crowd.
The first time he spoke to her was not on one of her finest days. He had been searching through the stacks in the library for a book he needed for the Charms test the next day, when he heard someone crying. His curiosity got the better of him, so he went to see whom it was. He was shocked to see Hermione crouched into the corner, with an open book sitting on her knees, with her head in her hands, sobbing.
He moved over then and sat down next to her, she looked up in shock. Her face was streaked with the lines the tears made as they ran down her face. She looked terrible.
It took about ten minutes of just sitting before either of them said anything, she asked him a couple of things, and before long they were chatting like they had been doing it for years. When she did tell him what was wrong, he wasn't shocked. Being best friends with Potter automatically put you in a hard place. She had to deal, and try to help him with all the things that the world threw at him. And the fact that the most dangerous wizard of all time wanted him, and everyone close to him dead, plus the ordinary teenage problems. He was amazed she managed to make it through the days without breaking down.
They ended up sitting there till the library was closing, they had talked right through dinner. And considering the fact that she was the one that had been upset, he felt remarkably happier after.
He didn't speak to her for a few months. He was leaving the greenhouses with the rest of the seventh years, when he noticed her walking towards them. It could not have been a worse possible time for them to see each other again, as some dingbat had cast a spell that went way off line. It ended up hitting a pile of manure that went all over the place, and no amount of cleaning and refreshing spells was making them smell any better.
She smiled at him as she drew nearer, but sure enough as she got within sniffing distance the nose curled up and she covered her mouth with a hand. His friends had a good chuckle at this. He could feel his face going red. Smooth Diggory. Very smooth. He thought to himself. Surprisingly she didn't stop to chat, muttering something about talking to Professor Sprout. And then she was gone, waving her hand in front of her face to get some fresh air.
His wonderful friends burst into cackles of laughter at this, which quickly came to a stop when he threatened to tell the Twins what they had said about their sister after the ball the year before.
When he heard what had happened that day, he was in a state of shock for a minute. On one hand he couldn't believe that Potter had gone off like that, but then that was the way he was. On the other hand he was mad that he had taken Hermione, and put her and the others in so much danger.
He snuck down to the hospital wing that night to see her, and reassure himself that she was all right. Cedric would have laughed to himself if he weren't in such a panic, a seventh year prefect sneaking down to the hospital wing. For reasons that weren't exactly clear to him he needed to do this.
Finding her bed was easy, and he breathed a sigh of relief when he looked at her, and saw her sleeping so peacefully. He told himself that it was natural, ignoring the potions on the bedside table.
Leaning over he pressed a kiss against her forehead, whispering goodnight he went to leave when he heard her say his name very quietly.
'Cedric, what are you doing here?' 'I just wanted to see that you were okay.'
He pulled a chair over to the side of her bed, holding one of her hands tightly in his. Cedric felt tears prickling in his eyes, to hide this fact, he rested his head on the edge of her bed. With other hand she ran it over his head, 'are you okay?'
Fine. He answered. Not at all pleased with the stuttered way it came out. Cedric?
He looked up at her, seeing the concern in her eyes, and found he couldn't control it even if he wanted to. He leaned over and kissed her quickly, pleased when she didn't freeze or move away, but she seemed to move into it in response to him. When he moved back he licked his lips, and tasted something not entirely pleasant. 'The potions that Madam Pomfrey gave me, not exactly tasty.' 'Not at all', he said quietly with a laugh.