AN: So, I only have a couple things to say here. First is that the prologue really has nothing to do with the rest of the fic except to show how Cedric stayed alive. Everything else in the end of GoF stays the same, except that Cedric's still alive. The real changes start with chap one. Also, as of posting this, I haven't decided what the main pairing of this will be. It may end up being Harry/Draco/Cedric, 'cause I'm rather partial to that. It will be SLASH, so don't read if you don't like that.
And lastly, please enjoy it! I've always wanted to write a creature bonding fic, so I'm really excited to finally have an idea for one. Enjoy!
A Modern Myth
Prologue: The Ending
"Cedric!" Harry bellowed. "On your left!"
Cedric looked around, but Harry hadn't been fast enough in his warning: the older boy ran headlong into one of the legs of a gigantic spider and fell back onto the ground. Harry watched in horror as the spider bore down upon Cedric and lifted him up in its front legs. Cedric struggled and flung numerous spells at it, but he might as well have not been doing anything at all.
"Stupefy!" Harry yelled, trying to help, but it did about as much good as Cedric's spells. Cedric suddenly cried out in anguish; he was only kicking at the spider with one leg now; the other must have been hurt so badly he couldn't move it. Feeling desperate, Harry shouted, "Expelliarmus!"
The Disarming Spell did the trick–the spider dropped Cedric, but it was a twelve foot drop and the Hufflepuff landed on his already injured leg, which crumpled beneath him. Harry didn't pause to think; he aimed his wand again and shouted, "Stupefy!" just as Cedric did the same. He breathed a sigh of relief when the spider keeled over sideways, its legs falling everywhere, its body flattening a nearby hedge.
"Cedric!" Harry called, running forward. "Are you all right? What did it do to you?"
"Not sure," Cedric answered with a nervous laugh. He tried to stand, but his leg shook uncontrollably as soon as he tried to put weight on it. As Harry drew closer, he saw that Cedric's leg was covered in some gluey secretion, probably from the spider's pincers, and was bleeding freely.
Harry wrapped his arm around the older boy's waist to help him stand and looked around. They were standing metres from the gleaming Triwizard Cup, an easy distance for Harry to cross, but Cedric would probably be unable to make it.
"Well, looks like this is it, then," Cedric panted; his eyes had followed the same path as Harry's.
"Yeah," Harry murmured. It would be so easy to leave Cedric where he was and take the Cup for himself. Too easy.
He heard Cedric sigh longingly. "I had dreams, you know? Of walking out of the maze with that in my hands and the crowd cheering for me..."
"You could still have that," Harry answered, though he'd remembered his own dreams of Cho beaming at him as he lifted the Cup above his head in triumph.
Cedric let out a short laugh. "Yeah, right. I can't even stand on my own."
"I'd help you," Harry said, fighting back the impulse to do just the opposite. Cedric let out the longing sigh again.
"You take it."
Harry looked up at him sharply; he wasn't serious?
"You've helped me out a lot in this tournament," Cedric went on, as though that explained everything. "I never would have gotten this far without you."
Harry frowned slightly and looked back at the Cup. "I had a lot of help, too..."
"And you saved my life earlier," Cedric added. Harry shook his head.
"You would have got to it first if that spider hadn't got in the way." He took in a deep breath and said firmly, "You should take it."
Cedric laughed again and glanced down at his injured leg. "And you'd help me over there, would you?"
"Yes," Harry answered resolutely. He'd made his decision and he already felt disappointed enough; he wouldn't let Cedric ruin it for him.
Cedric looked down at him for a long while, his expression unfathomable. Then he suddenly nodded and smiled. "Both of us."
"We'll take it at the same time. We'll tie for it, and share the winnings. It's still a Hogwarts victory."
Harry stared up at him. "Are you sure?"
"Positive. We've helped each other out, and we both got here. It wouldn't be right if we didn't tie. Besides," Cedric added with a cheeky grin, "I think we're both too stubborn to do anything else."
Harry glanced between Cedric, the cup, and back again and grinned up at the Hufflepuff. "Deal. Come on, I'll help you over."
Harry tightened his grip on Cedric's waist and helped him limp over to the plinth where the cup stood. When they reached it, they both held a hand out over one of the cup's gleaming handles.
"On three, right?" said Harry and Cedric nodded. "One––two––three––"
Harry grasped a handle. Cedric pulled out of Harry's grip and did not.
Harry looked over at Cedric in confusion and horror as he felt a jerk somewhere behind his navel. The older boy realized a second too late what had happened; Harry's feet had already left the ground and he was pulled away in a howl of wind and swirling colour, completely alone.