He watched her small form as she lay asleep in his bed, her chest rising and falling with every breath. He lightly caressed her cheek, pushing aside a stray hair that had fallen across her face. She looked so beautiful and peaceful.
Everyday he thanked Merlin for giving him Hermione. She was beautiful, intelligent, everything he could ever want in a woman.
As he continued to watch her sleep, his mind thought back to the first time he had met Hermione Granger.
He had first seen her in the field while he was on his way to the Quidditch world cup with his father. Hermione had come as a guest with the Weasley family, along with Harry Potter. He had never actually gotten a good look at Potters smart friend, mostly due to the fact that she spent a large amount of her time behind the scenes and studying, usually helping to get Harry out of whatever trouble he had gotten himself into.
He had first noticed her when he went into the great hall to put his name in the goblet of fire. She was sitting between Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, of course, and appeared to be engrossed in some large book. She gave him a quick glance when he entered the room, mostly just to see what all the ruckus was about. He remembers being very jealous by the fact that moments after he had put his name in the goblet, Viktor Krum came in and made eye contact with Hermione, and the glance she gave him was much, much more then just a quick passing glance.
He had first attempted to talk to her in the moments leading up to the first Triwizard task. She had thrust herself into the tent and into Harry's arms, and he could remember feeling extremely jealous at their closeness. It was all strange to him, considering they had never actually spoken. He was quite nervous, actually, and couldn't bring himself to speak to her. It was Krum who had stood up for her when that horrid reporter had come into the tent, and therefore Krum who got the grateful look from Hermione. He could not remember a time he was more nervous around a girl then that.
He had first talked her the night of the Yule Ball. While doing his post-ball rounds, he had found Hermione sitting on the steps leading up to the Gryffindor tower. She looked quite sad, and had what looked to him like streaks running down her cheeks from tears. He had seen her laughing and dancing with Krum earlier (who, much to Cedric's dismay, had accompanied Hermione to the ball). The first thing he said to her was 'are you okay?' She mumbled a 'fine' to him before running up the stairs and into her common room.
He had an actual conversation with her two days before the second task. He was in the library, researching ways to hold his breath underwater for an hour, when he bumped into her while walking around the corner of a bookcase. Before he could mutter a 'sorry', she burst into a bout of twenty questions, asking him all about the black lake, and how to hold your breath under water for long periods of time. He couldn't help but smile at her obvious disregard for the rules, especially where it concerned Harry. He also couldn't help but feel that same twinge of jealousy when he though about how much she cared about Harry.
He fell in love with her after he managed to survive the third task. He learned a few things while staring death in the face. A main one is that you need to take chances.
As he watches Hermione while she's asleep, he's grateful that he took a chance. Shortly after the school year ended, Cedric found the courage to ask Hermione out on a date. Two years later, he got up the nerve to ask her to marry him. A year after that they got married in a small gathering surrounded by their closest friends.
Cedric normally spent at least ten minutes a night watching Hermione while she was asleep. It was the only time he could really look at her without her blushing and him telling her to stop. And every night he watched her, he fell in love with her even more.