Story: The Road Less Traveled

Chapter Title: Possession

Summary: The greatest couple Hogwarts ever saw - intelligent, witty, attractive, and unwaveringly loyal. The only problem is that they never existed at all . . . Five ways Cedric Diggory and Hermione Granger never met.

Notes: Here we are . . . the fifth way, the very end. It's been lovely writing to you guys, who were absolutely terrifically open to this couple (which can, on occasion, be a problem. Don't know why . . . as Shikamaru would say, tch, troublesome. Oops, wrong fandom. Sorry. /end ramble) Anyway, enjoy.

Disclaimer: I do not own.

The last thing Cedric Diggory (as Cedric Diggory, that is) ever saw was the slightly dirty face of Harry Potter as the skinny fourth year leapfrogged over a headstone.

He barely even saw the flash of green that reflected off of Potter's glasses, and he never felt it enter his chest. One moment he was tasting his heartbeat in his throat, and the next he was mewling rather pathetically into the sympathetic brown eyes of a teenage girl.

Cedric backtracked. Rapidly.

Where the hell am I? Only the question, fully formed in his mind, came out in a garbled whine from his throat. His tongue, when it struck the roof of his mouth, was pebbly and rough.

"Crookshanks! Oh god, I thought you were . . . You perfectly insensible cat!"

Crookshanks. He'd heard that somewhere before. Thinking, Cedric blinked up into the large brown eyes surveying him and realized that she was Hermione Granger, Potter's bushy-haired friend. It had taken him a moment to recognize her because, for some strange reason, he was looking up at her, and she was larger than he remembered. Not that Granger had suddenly packed on the pounds, but more precisely everything about her seemed to have grown in scale until she dwarfed him magnificently.

As her hand reached down and brushed across his forehead, Cedric realized that she had been addressing him when she'd said Crookshanks, and for some reason his head was muffled against her hand and why in god's name was she six times his size? She looked older than he remembered, but only by about a year, and Granger couldn't have suddenly grown (six times six feet . . .) thirty-six feet in a year.

Then she was speaking again, muttering about cats having nine lives and the idiocy of the male species, and she was lifting him off pavement and Cedric's head swam not only because she swung him into her arms, or because she needed to exert little energy to do so, but because she thought he was her cat.

He peeped out from under her elbow and saw blood smeared across the street and a car that he recognized from the fourth year Muggle Studies final parked in front of a pretty little white house and his gaze was more focused than usual, which didn't help his pounding head, and why was everything so goddamn big?


Even though Granger's upper-arm was pushing his ears into his skull, he could still hear her as if she was shrieking directly into his eardrum. He winced, and she adjusted her grip so that the edge of his chin rested into the curve of her elbow, and her breast was pressing against where his arm should have been, only it wasn't there because it was caught underneath him and everything was so bloody confusing that Cedric winced his eyes shut and pushed his head into her arm.

He could smell Granger's perfume, and it was something more flowery than he would've assigned to a girl whose two best friends were boys, and then something twitched. It wasn't his arms or his legs and it felt sinuous and boneless and bloodyfuckinghell was that a tail?

Cedric mewled.

Granger must've misinterpreted the noise, because her hand began to stroke along his back, between his shoulder blades, and while at first he was irritated that she thought she could soothe him by petting him, it turned out to be more helpful that he'd thought. She was moving, 

swaying, and it felt disconcerting and not much safer than flying. He resisted the urge to latch onto her, and instead he focused on the brush of her fingers through his hair, only it wasn't his hair, it was his fur because he had a tail, and mewled and was tiny and ohfuck he was a cat and Cedric latched his fingers into her clothing.

Only he didn't have fingers, did he?

Granger hissed, but otherwise didn't release him. "I'm awfully sorry, Crookshanks, but you were hit by that car and I have to make sure you're all right before I can put you down."

Hit by a bloody car, was he?

Granger's large brown eyes appeared rather suddenly in his field of vision. They were drawn under straight eyebrows and framed by short, no-nonsense eyelashes that probably hadn't seen a thickening spell a day in their life.

They were rather nice, actually. Soft, caring. Like her hands.

Bloody fucking hell. He was so fucking screwed.

Here we are . . . please leave me a nice thought at the end . . . I may or may not be returning to this fandom soon, because a multi-chaptered Labyrinth epic has sunk its claws into me. But I will try.