A/N - I wrote this back in 2005 for the MNFF October Challenge, where it won in it's category :D I've already posted this once on but for some reason it only posted half of it O.o so hopefully all of the fic's here this time! Enjoy!
Everything Was Gone
We walk in. It's like a funeral procession. No one's laughing, no one's smiling. Slowly we take our seats, but I barely feel mine. I feel hollow; empty like Cedric's seat opposite me. Another horrible prang of grief scrapes in my stomach. My mouth tastes of tears and my eyes sting from all the crying I did this morning. I clench my fists and my breath shudders. I'm not crying now. I'm beyond that.
Dumbledore stands up. With a lot of effort I turn my head around and I catch a glimpse of Cho's sobbing figure.
How dare she.
She never loved him like I did! She never knew true love. Hatred jolts through my limp body. She cries pityingly but she's ignorant. She doesn't know true pain.
"The end," Dumbledore is speaking, "of another year."
He looks down at our table. I cannot meet his gaze.
"There is much that I would like to say to you all tonight," Dumbledore continues, "but I must first acknowledge the loss of a very fine person, who should be sitting here enjoying our feast with us…"
I sighed loudly. It was my first day of lessons and I was lost. I'd been wandering around the third floor corridor for the past five minutes and I still couldn't find my Charms lesson. I was starting to get worried. What if I never find it? What if they take off house points because I'm late?
"Are you lost?"
I turned around and came face-to-face with a tall, blond boy a few years older than me. He smiled kindly.
"Um… yes I am," I said, nervously.
The boy nodded, "Where are you heading?"
"Oh, erm, Charms."
"Don't worry," he said, "just follow me."
As we walked, he asked me: "What's your name?"
"Susan Bones," I smiled timidly.
"My name's Cedric," he said, "Cedric Diggory."
"I would like you all, please, to stand, and raise your glasses, to Cedric Diggory…"
"Damn homework," I whispered, turning on the light sleepily. It was two in the morning and I was tired. Very tired. But I had forgotten about my Potions essay and I needed to finish it. I would've preferred losing five hours sleep to feeling Snape's wrath. Groaning, I opened my bag and pulled out some parchment, fighting my need for sleep.
"D'you need some help?" a familiar voice asked.
It was Cedric. Why he was up at this time I don't know, and I probably never will. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to me.
"We're meant to write up the history, brewing and uses of the Shrinking Solution," I explained, "but I lost my potion's…"
Before I could finish, Cedric whipped open his bag and pulled out a battered textbook.
"Here," he said, "use this."
He flipped it to the correct page, and laid it on the table. I beamed at him. He returned with a handsome smile, before pulling out another textbook to read.
As I wrote my essay, I couldn't help but glance at him every now and then. He was very good looking with his grey eyes and perfect jaw line. I felt a gentle tickle of emotion inside me. Was it possible to be both handsome and kind? I guessed if anybody could pull that off, Cedric could.
"Try this passage," he suggested, pointing to a paragraph. A warm bubbly feeling began to grow inside my stomach.
After about an hour I finished my essay, bid Cedric good night and went to bed feeling not a bit tired.
"Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities which distinguish Hufflepuff house…"
It was perfect. The snow was even on the ground, unmarked like fresh icing on a cake. The trees were jet black and the night sky was hidden by snow-clouds. The air was sharp in my lungs and stream raced out my mouth, swirling briefly before fading away.
Snowflakes fluttered against my face, stinging my skin with their icy claws. A single tear rolled down my cheek, as though desperate to get away from me. Tears choked my throat and my numb nose ran. I breathed noisily, trying to quell my tears but to no avail. I tucked in my toes and wrapped my cloak around me. It was so cold.
"Terry…" I wailed, my voice quivering. "Terry… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. Please… don't finish it! I… I love…"
I couldn't finish it. My heart stung as much as the heartless snowflakes. My speech was submerged by my sadness.
A figure stood on the horizon, but I barely noticed it. It wasn't until I heard the cracking sound of snow and strong arms embrace me that I realised who it was.
"It's all right," Cedric whispered, "let it all out."
I cried harder, wrapping my arms around his warm body. We stood there for five minutes, feeling the snow cover our backs and the cold nip our fingers.
Finally, I stopped crying. Cedric smiled his warm smile at me and whispered: "What's the matter?"
I told him everything. About how Terry Boot and I had been going out until I insulted his favourite Quidditch team at the game that day. He'd gone berserk. Terrified and upset, I ran to the far corner of the grounds and had sat here for the last half hour.
Cedric looked at me seriously and said: "If he scares you, then you shouldn't go out with him. You can't love someone if you're just terrified of them."
I nodded, wiping my eyes and shivering.
"Is Terry a Hufflepuff?" asked Cedric. I shook my head.
"No, he's a Ravenclaw."
"Then we should go back to the common room," he smiled and offered his hand. I took it, feeling the glowing warmth in my hand and in my soul. My injured heart leapt. I smiled. If this had been anyone, then I wouldn't have listened. But this just wasn't anyone; this was Cedric Diggory.
"He was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play…"
"The Yule Ball?"
I stared at the poster in disbelief. Only last night had I dreamt of dancing with Cedric at a ball, now I could make it happen?
"Any ideas who you'll be going with?" I asked Hannah, who was also staring at the poster.
"Oh, erm… probably Ernie," she muttered, going red. "You?"
"Oh I don't know," I said, thinking of Cedric.
"Oh, there he is!" cried Hannah, spotting Ernie and Justin sitting beside the fire. "I'll be back in a minute!"
I sat down by the table and pondered. Should I ask Cedric? When should I ask Cedric?
Eventually, I decided to ask him as soon as he came in to the common room.Lots of other girls with ask him, said a voice in my head.
But you're different, replied the other one, you're special.
What if he says no?
He won't say no.
But what if he does? You'll never be able to look him in the face again!
As the night drew to a close, people began walking up to the dormitories and the fire began to fade. I looked at my watch. It was half eleven! Where was he?
A first year, Eleanor Branstone, ran into the room, looking very excited.
"You won't believe this!" she cried, excitedly.
"Believe what?" I asked, yawning.
"Cedric Diggory's taking Cho Chang to the ball!"
She raced towards the girl's dormitories and skipped up the stairs, as the colours around me faded into nothing.
"His death has affected you all, whether you knew him well or not…"
"C'mon Susan!" yelled Justin, "We'll be late for the ball!"
I sighed, checking my reflection on last time. I didn't want to go to the ball. I didn't want to see Cedric dance with her. I felt miserable just thinking about it but I put on a smile. After all, I couldn't let Justin down.
"Finally!" A smile spread across his face. Nearby, Hannah and Ernie were ready to go.
We began heading towards the ball. With every step my heart sank more and more. What was the point?
Finally, we arrived at the Entrance Hall. The doors to the Great Hall were already open, and music wafted in through the doors. I could hear people laughing and chatting. As Justin and I walked in arm-in-arm, I did not notice the decorations. I did not notice the music. I forgot about Justin. The one thing that filled my vision was Cedric and Cho dancing romantically, just like I was in my dream. Every nerve inside me wept as I watched them sway side to side, before Cedric bent his head to kiss her.
No! I snatched my arm away from Justin and ran out of the Hall, tears flooding down my face and my soul cold.
"I think you have the right, therefore, to know exactly how it came about."
One or two people near me gasp. I raise my head slowly. I've been waiting for this.
"Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort."
Every word; every syllable stabs me. Lord Voldemort! The same Lord Voldemort who'd killed my uncle, my aunt and my cousins has now killed the one I love. Tears leak down my cheek. My heart filled with grief and rage, I stand up, smash the plates to the ground screaming, and run out the hall, wailing melancholy. Everything was gone.