Four Ways in which Cedric Diggory Didn't Fall in Love with Harry Potter.
(The one in which they are children.)
Muggles are wicked, young Cedric thinks as he walks, his mum's hand taking his tightly so he won't get lost, even though he's already nine years old, he's not little anymore at all, but he understands that his mum telling him that is because they're in the Muggle world which, for some people (that, his dad has told him) can be scary.
His mum stops in front of a Muggle store, full of the things dad's friend, Mr. Weasley, had over his office, and there are some kind of Muggle toys that are practically begging for him to play. After a few moments of hesitation, he and his mum walk inside the store and it's almost painful to not get free of his mum's grip to go and see the toys, but then his mum is making him look up, the serious look on her face like when he gave half of the bisquits to the owl.
"Cedric, I need to go and buy some things for your father . Stay here with the toys and don't move, okay? Try not to touch a thing?"
"Yes, mum." He answers immediately, eyes widdening into the innocent look auntie Violet says could make him commit murder and get away with it. His mum probably thinks the same thing because she shakes her head with a soft smile, putting her hand over his hair before walking away, but by then Cedric's too immersed over Muggle toys to pay much attention to it.
Cedric's busy trying to understand how a Muggle doll can talk if it's not magic when there's suddenly something crashing and then a long wail. "I! Want! It!" and there's a young boy throwing a tantrum over the floor, throwing everything that's around him while he wails, a very thin, tall woman (who kind of looks like a giraffe) who's probably his mum trying to calm him.
Cedric also notices a small boy that's drifting away from the other kid and the woman, but this boy is very tiny and has his hair as if he hadn't yet known a mum with a good hairbrush, and Cedric wondered if the boy was suffering from a curse, since he seemed to be shrinking inside his clothes.
"Hullo." he says to the kid, who kind of jumps, startled, and his eyes widen in a very funny way with the aid of his glasses. "Is he your brother?"
The boy turns to look towards the still crying boy and then towards him and, after a few moments, shakes his head.
Cedric smiles. "What's the matter? Can't talk?"
The boy turns to look towards the woman and the wailing boy, who now also have some other Muggles going near them, and then turns towards him.
"Aunt Petunia says I'm not allowed to talk to strangers." the boy whispers urgently, eyes quickly going towards the woman again, relief showing on his face when he decides he hasn't been spotted.
Cedric blinks. Well, his parents have also told him he shouldn't talk with strangers, but strangers are grown ups, not kids. Muggles, he decides again, are weird.
"Really? What about your mum and dad?"
The boy shrugs then, fiddling with the too-big-shirt, looking down, and Cedric bites his lip because he obviously said something he shouldn't, like when he mentions his dad's sister, which he should never, never do. He looks around, trying to think of something to stop the boy from crying (since he's obviously a little kid and little kids tend to cry a lot), before feeling around his pockets, bringing out a half eaten chocolate bar, the new kind that didn't melt over your clothes and only in your mouth.
"Here! You can keep this."
The boy blinks again and looks up at him as if he doesn't believe that he's giving him half a chocolate bar just because, and with a small hand takes the bar, with the same face his dad does when they're playing Exploding Snap. He laughs, pushing the bar a little towards the boy, if only to make him see that he's not going to take it away and that it's not going to harm him.
"Really, go on!" he encourages, and with a still suspicious frown, the boy unwraps a bit of the bar and, after another glance towards him (and towards the woman, who now was promising to 'Duddykins' two toys if he stopped crying) he gives the bar the tiniest of bites to the bar, eyes widening again before he gives a much larger one, chewing the chocolate fast and loud. Cedric grins. "'s good, isn't it?"
There's a nod and some words he can't really make out from the mess of chewed chocolate, but there's delight on the young Muggle's face which kind of warms his heart. He's about to ask the kid's name, and if he knows how the ball with the stripes was supposed to move when the wailing stops, only to turn to a shriek.
"Harry! Come here right now!"
The boy - Harry, Cedric assumes - pales, quickly swallowing the chocolate and thrusting what's left of it on his hands, barely giving him a quick thank you before he runs to his aunt's side, wiping his face with his shirt, and Cedric frowns when the woman scolds Harry for talking with a stranger (so not a stranger!) and thwaps his head, taking the other kid's hand but not Harry, making him walk behind them.
Next time he sees Harry, Cedric vows to himself, certain that there's going to be a next time, he's going to give him something much more better than just a chocolate bar.
(The one in which it's like several fairytales.)
He had grown hearing tales about the young prince Harry that had been kidnapped and hidden inside a deep forest, in the tallest tower of the dark fortress the evil Wizard Lord Voldemort had erected. He had heard how it had been one of King James' best friends, sir Peter, the one who had betrayed him, and how King James, Lord Sirius Black and Lord Remus Lupin had been cursed into animals, about how Queen Lily had cried for forty days and forty nights until, finally, her Godmother had made her sleep until her husband and son came back. But, sadly, there was a time set before the kingdom would be delivered to the Malfoy family, who everyone knew supported the Dark Lord.
There wasn't a single person that hadn't heard from this story, and who feared that, if prince Harry didn't come back for his sixteenth birthday, darkness would be bestowed upon everyone on the kingdom, and yet Cedric was different from all those people because he had promised himself that he was going to be the one to save young prince Harry and bring back peace and to the kingdom of Hogwarts, and luck on his side, he had made this promise when the Blue Star had been shining over him, directly over midsummer's night.
Ten years passed from the time young Cedric Diggory did this promise and he turned seventeen years old and he was tall and handsome, kind and noble with a confident smile and a good heart. He had never forgotten his promise, even if his father had thought it had been just a child's dream, so ten years after his promise, when the Blue Star was shining again over midsummer's night, young Cedric left the village of Hufflepuff, walking towards the Dark Forest that would take him to the frontier between his land and the Slytherin Country, where the Dark Lord and many families that followed the darkness inhabited.
Still, even if he didn't have any weapons, Cedric just took a deep breath and walked inside the forest with steady steps.
It was a hard and dangerous journey, but still his star kept on shining for him, bringing him luck: when he was confronting an acromantula, a wolf, a dog and a stag came to his rescue and stayed by his side, giving him the impression that they could understand him when he talked. Cedric also helped two old women and two old men (shared his water and his food, helped a man free himself from a trap and helped another one to carry stones) who had turned out to be the spirits of the four lands that formed the kingdom of Hogwarts: Salazar from the land of Slytherin had bestowed him with an invisibility cloack, so he could get inside the fortress without being seen. Rowena from the land of Ravenclaw transformed herself into a white owl to show him the path to follow, for it would be trickier than before. Godric of the land of Gryffindor had given him his sword, glistening with rubies all around. Helga of the land of Hufflepuff, from where he was, had smiled sweetly at him and granted him that, after rescuing prince Harry, there was going to come a time in which he would need to make a wish, so she conceded him this right, telling him that, no matter what, she was going to grant him this one wish but that he should think carefully about it, and don't let it go to waste.
And yet, nothing prepares him for when he sees the young prince sleeping over his bed, or the way his chest is both aching and soothing at the sight of his messy black hair. Cedric just knew that, when he brushed his lips against prince Harry's, and when the prince's green eyes fluttered open, green staring right back at him, he wondered if this was how it felt getting spelled.
"Are you the one that has come to save me?" the prince asked, green eyes wide and innocent, and Cedric felt his heart stir inside his chest.
"Yes. Because you saved me first."
(The one in which it is like The O.C.)
Right around the time that he starts getting bored of Cho blowing him off behind the gym after classes, and instead wonders if Potter might have read the last number of Batman; more or less around the time that it's a head of messy black hair belonging to a boy the one he pictures when he's wanking, it's the time that Cedric realizes that there's something Very Wrong with him, the kind that deserves random capitalization even when he's just thinking about it.
"Perhaps you're gay." says his best friend Viktor after he explains his dilemma, who quite obviously is the king of delicacy when dealing with something as dangerous and wrong as the fact that, apparently, tits don't get him horny anymore.
Cedric sulks after hearing that, instead trying to focus on Cho's cheerleading practice and the way her breasts jump with her, remembering fondly the days when that picture was enough to keep him half hard until he could drag her to somewhere secluded to make out or more.
"Sod off." Cedric mutters, giving a smile when Cho looks towards him, and it's just a bit refreshing that he still finds the idea of bouncing cheerleader breasts quite charming, really.
"I vas just vondering..."
"How did you say Granger was?" And even as the words are leaving his mouth, Cedric knows he went to far. "Viktor..."
But his friend is already standing up and dusting his trousers. Cedric starts to wonder what to say or do, but a hand of Viktor over his shoulder tells him that he's not upset, or at least not too much so Cedric leaves his friend to his own personal drama about his ex girlfriend leaving him for that Weasley boy and instead goes back to trying to sort his sexuality in forty five minutes or less, especially because he'd be kind of very happy to go back to heterosexual.
Cedric glares to the sky a moment, sending a 'Fuck you, too' to whichever being decides to send Potter his way, Potter who's all long limbs and thin, big shirts and big trousers and tousled hair that he shouldn't be thinking it's bed hair because, Cedric has decided, Potter plus bed is kind of equal to his problems.
"Am I interrupting?" The boy asks, and the previous familiarity is lost, a hint of hurt over his eyes.
Cedric doubles his 'Fuck you' and stands up, picking up his bag.
"Come with me, Potter."
And he should probably wonder why the boy follows like that, with no questions at all, and he wonders where is his Weasley friend and Granger and he wonders if there would be a chance for Cho not to notice his absence but, frankly, he can only worry about so much stuff and right now the situation over his pants has priorities.
And, 'sides, if he figures out his sexuality, the Cho part of the problem will fix itself, right? Right.
"What are we doing..." Potter starts when Cedric guides him towards one of the bathrooms that almost no one uses other than for snogging or buying some weed, but he only starts because then he's being pushed against the door, and Cedric's thrusting his tongue inside Potter's almost furiously, only changing the angle when their teeth bump together but even then he doesn't stop kissing, or touching Potter, pressing them as together as possible, hands lifting up Potter's shirt, curling tightly against his hip.
And only around then did he notice that Potter was kissing back just as enthusiastic on the whole process like he was, that Potter's hands were tangled over his hair, and that Potter was as hard against his thigh as he was against Potter's.
"You're not complaining." Cedric states when he breaks apart (oxygen, sadly, is still a necessity). Potter's lenses are fogged up and sit a little twisted on his face, and the other teen blinks, breath heavy, as he shakes his head no.
"Eh... no. Not really."
"I fancy you." Potter says as if it's the easiest, most bloody normal thing in the world. "Quite a bit, actually."
Cedric just gapes. There are a thousand of questions running through his mind, but meanwhile his blood is running towards southwards, and that makes it a bit difficult to concentrate on how to talk and question Potter.
"We can talk later." Potter says, and he notices a hint of nervousness in the boy's eyes before Potter's pressing his hips against his and Cedric hisses because just that tad of friction is so fucking unbelievable that he barely stops his eyes from crossing. "Right?"
He doesn't answer, but only because his tongue is kind of busy in Potter's mouth, and there are some answers that are best explained with practical examples.
(The one in which Cedric survived)
His head is killing him.
Bad wording. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had ordered someone to kill him with the Unforgivable, Aveda Kedavra. That someone had actually said the spell, pointing his wand at him. And then Potter had screamed the Shield Charm and even though the Killing Curse had hit him, even though Cedric had been sure in that split second he was dead... well, he hadn't been.
Cedric is fairly certain that he was going to spend the next few weeks (or months. Or years, because, really.) trying to understand just how that had happened, or what had happened next, or the fact that, when they had come back, Potter had been thrown over him, sobbing in relief, repeating over and over "You're alive, you're alive..." or the fact he had wanted to hug Potter tight against him until he calmed down, until both calmed down, but his body had felt (still feels) heavier and kind of useless, and then his parents were pulling him to his embrace and Potter had been taken away with professor Moody who in the end apparently wasn't professor Moody and...
Perhaps his headache had a bit to do with too much thinking and not so much about becoming the Second Wizard To Survive The Aveda Kedavra.
He heard the bed besides him shuffling and, slowly (his body still felt kind of disjointed, and he really didn't want to risk and see if it was just a feeling) turned his head to the right, watching Potter without his glasses, eyes wider and greener without the lenses.
"Hey." Cedric mutters, and his voice is quiet, not really because it's late and all, but feels as if he should be quiet. He can't really explain it. "Can't sleep?"
"Not really." Potter says, only then reaching to put his glasses back. Cedric has a half fleeting moment of wishing he hadn't, but he ignores it. "Are you..."
"If you ask 'okay', Potter, I might have to hex you. Or ask someone to do it for me." Cedric says with a grin even though he means it: for the last four hours all that he answered was that he was fine, fine, yes, alive, breathing, nope, no light at the end of the tunnel, no nothing. He understands that it's incredible that he survived, he knows he, himself, is probably going to be amazed once the headache and weariness go away, but for now, he really and truly just wants people to stop asking if he is okay.
Potter smiles a bit then, moves to sit over his bed and then over the chair where his mother had been until a while ago, when he begged his folks to go and rest for a bit, looking incredibly thinner than he thought he could be with his oversized pyjamas.
"Okay. Um... Cedric, I'm..." and the boy avoids his eyes, hands clenching over the covers. Cedric understands that he wants to apologize, as if the fact that there's an evil megalomaniac that almost killed them both is somehow Potter's fault, so he wills his hand to actually move, and even though it aches and he wonders if it's possible for his whole body to be broken, he drops it over one of Potter's hand, enough to startle the fourthy.
"Not your fault, right, Potter?" Cedric says warmly, and then his smile widens a bit. Normally he'd wink, but he's got the feeling that doing that would increase the headache. "What are you going to do with your part of the prize?"
"I've... I've not really thought about it." Potter shrugs, a sheepish smile stealing a bit of the fear and doubts he had seen over the boy's face. "And you?"
"Get a new broom, of course." Cedric says immediately, wondering if there's something wrong with him that, instead of wanting to discuss why and how he's alive, he'd much rather talk with Potter about Quidditch because, in the end, the one thing that matters is that both he and Potter are alive, able to discuss about brooms and teams until he yawns, his hand still over Potter's.
"I'm exhausted." Cedric excuses himself softly, eyes closing on their own even if he meant to just blink, but suddenly each eyelid is heavier than handling a bludger.
"Know what you mean." Potter mutters and Cedric opens his eyes, but there's a quirk over his lips that it's almost a smile which he returns. His hand is warm over Potter's and Cedric manages a soft squeeze that turns Potter's quirk into a real smile. "You should rest."
He probably should (the splitting headache he has is begging either for death or sleep, so sleep is probably a very good idea) but he kind of doesn't want to let go of Potter's hand.
"You're probably right." he agrees finally, letting go of Potter's hand, closing his eyes so he won't see the other boy staggering to his own bed. His breathing slows and soon pain and exhaustion are lulling him to a deep slumber.
Still, even when he's slowly going into unconsciousness, a long time goes by before he hears the scrap of Potter's chair against the floor.