Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

The Brave at Heart
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Cedric Diggory was in a state of shock. To say anything less would have been a complete and utter lie. No one else seemed to have noticed though, as the other occupants of Hufflepuff House were too busy celebrating his glory to consider Cedric's own thoughts on his being made a Triwizard Champion.

"Three hundred years!" Cedric's friend and fellow seventh year, Alexander Macmillan, was shouting. He was grinning so widely that his face seemed to have been slashed in two, which was the exact opposite of how Cedric himself felt. "Three hundred bloody years! Finally we'll get some recognition. That'll teach Gordon Bullstrode; I heard him and his stupid Slytherin mates going on about how Hufflepuff were all a bunch of losers earlier, hah! Shows him! A Slytherin didn't get picked as champion – good job too; they're all a bunch of slimy, cowardly bastards. No, our champion's you, Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff!"

Alexander clapped Cedric on the back, but Cedric shrugged him off. "Harry Potter's our champion too. There are two Hogwarts champions now, remember?"

Alexander snorted, "Like he counts. He's not even seventeen; he's not supposed to be competing anyway. Dunno how he tricked the Goblet though; he's only a fourth year, and Fred and George Weasley couldn't trick it. Bet he used Dark Magic. Should have been in Slytherin, the conniving git, stealing our…"

"Leave off, Al," Cedric sighed. "Harry Potter's done nothing wrong. Someone else probably put it in for him."

"Who would?" Alexander looked completely unimpressed.

"Who wouldn't?" Cedric retorted. "He's the Boy Who Lived."

"Well he must have hidden dark powers. How else could he have…"

"Stop being stupid, Al," their fellow seventh year, Daniel Jones, laughed at the very suggestion. "Potter doesn't have dark magic. Someone else just put it in for him, and he got picked because he's really brave. It's all about bravery, isn't it? Which is why Ced here got in."

Cedric looked away. He certainly didn't feel at all brave at that moment in time; in fact the only thing he felt was the desire to get away from all the attention he was getting, which he certainly wasn't used to, even though he was Quidditch Captain. Hufflepuff hadn't won the Quidditch Cup for decades after all.

"It makes me wonder though, you know," Alexander muttered. "Why a Hufflepuff? Why not a Gryffindor? They'll all sucidal and always hunting for glory."

"Well maybe Ced should have been in Gryffindor really," Daniel laughed.

Cedric smiled slightly, words from so many years ago coming back into his head.

"You could do well in Gryffindor… You will get recognition for your bravery there, no doubt about that… You don't want that? Well if you're sure, better be… HUFFLEPUFF."

"What are you smiling about?" Daniel asked, and Cedric shrugged.

"Just looking forward to the Tournament. It's going to be really interesting."

Daniel and Alexander started threorising about what sort of tasks might be involved, and Cedric smiled to himself, silently thinking that Daniel was right, that the Sorting Hat was right. He would have done well in Gryffindor.