A/N: This is just more like an introduction chapter to the story. I have it all planned out in my head and it is going to possibly be a long one. I'm not sure though if anyone will like this. Things aren't clear in this first chapter but things will slowly be explained as the story progresses. Please let me know what you think, This is my first Cedric/Hermione fic and I want to do a good job. Thank you!
AU. When Hermione is the person at the bottom of the lake for Cedric to rescue during the second task, everyone is surprised - none more than Cedric and Hermione. How can they mean something to each other when they don't even know each other? What is their connection? Why does everything between them seem as if it has happened between them before in another earlier time? They do not know what is happening between them but they do know that it is a strong magic felt never before by either of them.
Strange and Beautiful by Lemonstar
Chapter One – Every Great Love Story Has a Beginning
It seemed impossible to him now but there had indeed been a time when he didn't know her but simply knew of her. Everyone at Hogwarts at least knew of the Golden Trio as they were often referred to as amongst the students. There were always stories circulating about Harry Potter and his ever-present best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It seemed that a year couldn't go by without some sort of incident taking place that was kept hush-hush, though rumors always spread nonetheless. Stories of trolls and three headed dogs and a mysterious Stone, of fighting a Basilisk slithering around in chambers underneath the school, of using a Time-Turner, a rat turning into a man and of and battling Dementors. No one outside of the trio, and a few select professors at the school, ever knew what the truth was.
Cedric, like most, was curious about them but he had never spoken to any of them. For one, he never had a reason to. He was a Hufflepuff and a sixth year while the three were in Gryffindor and were only in their fourth year. They didn't have a reason to ever socialize. But that didn't mean he didn't notice them – especially her. She had changed the most since their first year and he had watched along with the other students as the first years were sorted. Her hair was bushy then, her teeth almost too big. But Cedric had thought she was cute – as cute as an eleven year old could be anyway. But she had slowly changed, transforming into the young woman she was now: thinner, taller, her brown hair now a bit lighter from the sun and the locks of curly waves far more under control. Her eyes were still as big and brown as ever and they seemed to completely hypnotize him the instant he finally got close enough to look into them.
The first incident, the first meeting, between them was one that neither would be able to ever forget for it was such a strange occurrence, even to those belonging to the wizarding world.
They were all going to the Quidditch World Cup together. His father, Amos Diggory, and Arthur Weasley worked at the Ministry together so it was decided that they would take a portkey together to the game grounds. Cedric wasn't at all surprised that Harry and Hermione had accompanied Ron with his family. Cedric wondered if the three ever did anything or went anywhere without one another. He looked at them and felt slight pang of envy. He had many friends at school, he being one of the most popular and well-liked students at Hogwarts, but even amongst all of his companions, he was not as close to any of them as those three were to each other. But just as the jealousy appeared, it passed just as quickly. And as they all made their way to the portkey, that was when it happened.
Cedric and Hermione looked towards one another at the same exact moment, as if their eyes had been magnetically drawn together, and neither looked away for what felt like the longest moment of eternity. But then he ungracefully tripped over a tree root sticking out of the ground and Hermione giggled behind her hand, turning her head back to Ginny Weasley as the two girls began to whisper feverishly about something. Cedric flushed with embarrassment before picking his pace up and catching up to his father and Arthur walking a bit ahead of the rest of the pack. He wasn't sure why he had stared or why he wanted to turn and stare at her again. She wasn't the most beautiful girl he had ever seen but there was something that was completely captivating about her and Cedric wanted to look and figure out what it was. She wore blue jeans and a blue shirt underneath a green zippered hooded sweater. Her hair was pulled up into a ponytail with a few stubborn locks that insisted on loosening from the rubberband and that she tucked behind her ears every few minutes it seemed. Cedric envisioned pushing the strands out of her face for her.
He wasn't sure where these thoughts were coming for he knew that they were not normal ones to be having – especially about a girl he didn't even know and had yet to still actually exchange words with. And yet… it felt natural to him to want to look at her. He after all was a male and she was a female and they were humans, it being in their very nature to want to look at one another.
As Amos and Arthur discussed work, ribbing coworkers and one another, and Amos slapped a hand on Cedric's back, Cedric glanced over his shoulder back at Hermione. He smiled slightly when he saw that she was doing some of her own staring in his direction but the instant their eyes met for the second time, she blushed fiercely and looked down at her feet as she walked. They were nearing the portkey and Cedric knew that when they arrived at the game, they would be separated. He and his father had their own accommodations while the Weasley family had their own. Cedric stopped walking and waited for her to walk past him. He found his palms to be sweating, another odd reaction for him to be having. He had experience with the opposite sex, having been in an on again/off again relationship with Cho Chang for some time now but he had never approached Cho – just like he had never approached any girl before. They all came to him. Very little work was involved on his part and now, with Hermione, he wanted to talk to her, to walk with her, and he didn't even know how to.
Hermione and Ginny walked past him, Hermione lifting her head and their eyes meeting once again, her hand brushing against his as she moved past him. Cedric looked down at his hand, a strange buzzing sensation now shocking through his nerves, shooting up his arm and throughout his body in a jolt. He heard Hermione gasp and he wondered if she felt the same stirring that he did.
"Cedric!" Amos exclaimed jovially, beckoning for his son to come to him.
Cedric didn't hear though. He had turned to look at the sun and for a brief moment, no more than a second, he saw a flash of skin. It seemed to belong to a girl's stomach – pale and flat. His hand, he recognized his own was resting on it and he heard soft laughter – the sound echoing in his head, haunting him, teasing him.
"Cedric?" Amos asked, now frowning as he saw his son standing completely motionless, staring off into seemingly nothingness.
Cedric smelled something he did not recognize and yet fell as if he had smelled it before. The air hanging in front of his nose smelled something exotic. A fruit or a flower. It was the scent of something that was definitely a bit difficult to find in a place like England. He didn't know what it was and yet, staring into the sun, with another flash of the mysterious stomach, something that felt so real, Cedric could swear that he could feel the flesh on his fingertips, that particular scent seemed to be very familiar, and a source of comfort, to him.
A hand, his father's, grabbing his arm and shaking him jolted him back to the present and he found several pairs of curious eyes looking at him, watching him closely. His father's eyes were of concern while Fred and George Weasley, as well as Ron and Harry's eyes were watching him as if he was the strangest creature he had ever seen. Hermione wasn't looking at him but instead, now stood away from him and he knew that she had put as much distance between them as she could and he knew that she had done so deliberately. Her arms were crossed over her stomach and she seemed to be trembling, frightened. Ginny was standing in front of her, trying to talk to her but whatever she was saying, Hermione didn't seem to be hearing her friend.
"What?" Cedric asked innocently as if he had no idea as to why they were staring at him in such manners.
Amos's mouth formed a frown and his brows furrowed with deep concern. "Are you alright, son?" He asked, her hand immediately seeking his forehead in the typical fatherly fashion of concern.
Cedric nodded his head, swallowing the cotton that had mysteriously appeared in his mouth to make it so unbearably dry. "Yes," he said slowly, turning back towards the sun. "Just a little tired I guess."
He wanted to go to Hermione, he wanted to touch her again and see if something like that would happen again. Of course, Cedric had no idea what had just happened. He felt as if he was having déjà vu. He could feel the flesh of that stomach still tickling his fingertips and the hand in which Hermione brushed again was still tingling as if it had fallen asleep and the blood was pumping through his veins again, giving it that pins and needles sensation. It had shocked his entire being but it was something he desperately wanted to feel again.
They all continued on their walk but before she could follow, she gasped upon feeling Cedric grabbing her hand and tugging her back away from the others. She spun around to face him but she instantly lowered her eyes and looked at the ground, not able to stand the intensity within his grey eyes. His hand kept holding hers, grasping onto her, their fingers slowly interlocking. It was as if it was the most natural thing for them to do and Hermione slowly lifted her head once more. Cedric stared at her and she blushed but she kept her eyes locked with his.
"What was that?" He asked softly, keeping his voice low even though everyone was already far ahead of them. "What just happened?"
Hermione shook her head, opening her mouth to speak but then closing it again. She didn't know what to say. She didn't even know him. She knew of him but she didn't know anything about him – just the stories she heard girls giggling over about the cute, handsome and above all things, sexy Cedric Diggory. Hermione took a step back away from him, removing her hand from his. None of this made sense to her and the faster she got away from it all, and him, the better she would feel. Without looking at him, she turned and began to run back towards Harry, Ron and Ginny.
Cedric didn't move for a moment but watched her. Something was happening, something in the air was shifting. And he knew that things between him and Hermione Granger, of all people, were about to become quite interesting. At least he hoped so. It was already confusing.