Disclaimer: If this was mine then this story would have been canon. Cries
AN: Okay so I have no idea where this came from. Plot bunnies are devious little things are they not? It's just a random thing that I might continue. I'm not sure yet. There are some things that I don't explain very throuoghly that I may try to later on. Let me know if any of you are interested in this story becoming multi-chaptered and I'll try my best. This is one of my all time favorite pairings and there are just not enough stories about them! So, I'd love to continue this. Hope you all enjoy it!
"The end of another year..." Thought Hermione Granger, as she made her way through the swaying corridors of the Hogwarts Express, searching for an empty compartment. "And what a horrible year it was." She grumbled to herself.
The Tri-Wizard Tournament had forced her to grow up very fast. In fact since coming to Hogwarts it seemed like she had left the carefree days of childhood behind and was now making decisions that not even adults should be contemplating.
When Harry's name came out of the sodding goblet at the first of the year, Hermione knew they were all in for a rough time. But nothing could have prepared her for what happened during the third and final task.
She finally came across a blissfully empty compartment and quickly slid inside. She had left Harry and Ron to play exploding snap, claiming she needed to stretch her legs. In reality she needed to find some place quiet and secluded so she could be alone.
"Voldemort is back." Was the first thought that came crashing down on her. And Harry had seen some truly horrific things in that graveyard. And not to mention what happened to Cedric Diggory...
Hermione sighed. It seemed that everyone was going to have to grow up very fast from now on. They were in a War now. No matter what anyone thought, that was their reality. And since Voldemort hadn't had the chance to kill Harry in the graveyard he would stop at nothing to ensure the poor boy's death.
Tears came to her eyes at the thought of Voldemort killing Harry. How could anyone want to kill someone so young? Granted the evil git had tried multiple times to kill Harry in the past, but thankfully had yet to succeed.
"That must really piss him off." Hermione thought with a smirk.
Suddenly her compartment door slid open and grey eyes peered in.
"Hi." The boy said. "Do you mind if I join you? I need a quiet place...to just get away."
She smiled at him. "Of course. Please, make yourself at home."
"Thanks." He said sitting across from her.
"I'm-" Hermione started to say.
"I know who you are." Cedric Diggory said smiling at her. "Hermione Granger. The reason Harry Potter and myself are still alive."
She blushed. "Hardly, Cedric . From what Harry has told me it should be me thanking you for what you did in the graveyard."
Cedric grimaced slightly and looked away.
Horrified, Hermione began to apologize. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought that up. It's just...Harry told me everything about that night, there are some things that even Ron couldn't listen to...so I know what you did. Thank-you for saving Harry." She finished, tears shining in her eyes.
"He saved me too, Hermione. Using the spells that you taught him. You need to give yourself more credit."
"So do you." She whispered. "You almost took the Killing Curse for Harry. He said you pushed him out of the way. If you hadn't fallen behind that tomb stone..." Hermione shuddered at the thought. "He also said you took the...the Cruciatus Curse for him."
Cedric looked a little uncomfortable. "He still got hit with it though. And...You-Know...Voldemort still came back."
They were silent for a moment.
"Hell of a year, wasn't it?" He asked breaking the quiet.
Hermione nodded. "That's one way to put it."
Cedric looked around the compartment hoping to find a new topic to discuss.
"Spew?" He asked seeing the badge on her shirt.
She glared at him. "S.P.E.W" Hermione said through gritted teeth.
"Oh right. Your save the house elves movement. Ever think they don't want to be saved, Granger?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Some of them do. Dobby certainly enjoys his freedom."
"He was the Malfoy's house elf until Harry tricked Lucious Malfoy into freeing him. Dobby was horribly mistreated." She went on hotly. "They treated him like dirt. Made him punish himself for the most ridiculous things. They even made him hurt himself when he hadn't done a thing at all! It's disgusting how some Wizard's treat house elves. Even last summer at the World Cup, Amos Diggory was a complete Neanderthal to-" Hermione stopped, horrified, as she remembered who she was talking to.
Cedric only looked amused. "A Neanderthal was he, Granger?"
"Oh...Merlin, I'm sorry Cedric, it's just...well...he treated Winky like she was less than he was and I...I suppose I sympathise with that. I'm treated like I'm less than others because my parents are Muggles. I know how it feels and I know how much it can hurt and while I can say, slap Draco Malfoy into the next century, House Elves don't realize that they should be able to stand up to these injustices and defend themselves."
Cedric gave her a strange smile that made her feel all warm inside. "You're something else, you know that Hermione?"
She blushed yet again. "I'm sorry I called your father a Neanderthal. It was rude."
"No problem. It made me smile. I think I've smiled more here with you than I have anywhere else since I got out of that graveyard. Thanks, Hermione."
"That's me, Hermione Granger, comedian extraordinaire. I'm thinking of taking my act on the road. What do you think?"
"Oh yes, I think you should. People would queue up for hours to see that. The Weasley Twins wouldn't know what hit them."
Hermione giggled slightly at the image. "I'd probably take pity on the poor boys and let them be part of my act."
"How very gracious of you, Hermione. Never let it be said that you don't think of others."
"It would certainly ruin my good girl image if people thought that I only put myself first. And I've worked very hard for my image."
Hermione grinned evilly and Cedric looked at her warily. "So that when I do, do things against the rules no one would ever suspect that it was little old me."
"You've done things against the rules?" She nodded. "I have a hard time believing that."
"Exactly." She said simply.
"Thank Merlin we have you on our side then. If you pulled a Darth Vader and went to the Dark Side we'd have no hope."
"How on Earth do you know about Star Wars?" Hermione demanded.
Cedric laughed at her shock. "I took Muggle Studies."
She scoffed. "They don't teach about movies in Muggle Studies."
"No but I did a report on them. We had to choose to do a summer research paper on popular culture in the Muggle world. I choose movies and ended up watching the first Star Wars movie. I didn't get a chance to see the others, but one of my mates gave me the...what did he call it...? The 411 on Vader. Though I suppose Anakin Skywalker is the one who went to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader." He added as an afterthought.
Hermione stared at him lost for words.
"What?" He asked.
"You've only seen the first Star Wars movie?"
"Bloody hell! You have to see the other two, you idiot! Don't you want to know how it ends?"
He laughed again. "I all ready know, Granger. 'Luke I am your father.'" Cedric said doing a horrible impersonation of Darth Vader.
Hermione had to laugh. "That was awful." She giggled.
He pretended to look very insulted. "Geez, Granger, I've only ever seen the thing once. And that part isn't even in the first movie. You're a very harsh critic."
"And you're just a little too touchy about things, Cedric." She retorted.
"Ouch. Do you enjoy putting me down all the time?"
Hermione laughed again. "Sorry, Cedric. But you really do have to see the other two movies. In fact to get the full experience you should watch all three in a row."
"I don't really know anyone with a TV and VCR, Granger. How am I supposed to do that?"
"Well how did you see the first one?"
"They were showing it at a cinema."
"Oh I love going to the cinema! What did you think of it?"
"I thought it was quite brilliant actually. The floors were a little sticky though. And popcorn kept getting lodged in my throat. But it was a lot of fun."
"Well...er...I might know a way you can see the movies." Hermione said slowly.
"Really? 'Cause now you've got my interest peaked. I want to see how it ends with my own eyes."
"Erm...well...you could...I mean I own them..." She mumbled shyly.
He grinned at her. "Come on spit it out, Hermione."
"Youcouldcomeovertomyhousethissummerandwatchthem." She said in a rush.
Cedric translated her rambling into, "you could come over to my house this summer and watch them."
"I'd love to, Hermione."
"Seriously?" She said, stunned that he would agree.
He nodded. "This shouldn't shock you but I...I really like spending time with you. Somehow you make this whole thing with Voldemort seem...less terrifying. I can't really describe it but...and I don't know how you feel about it..."
"Being around you makes me feel safe." Hermione suddenly blurted.
His stormy grey eyes locked with her liquid, chocolate brown ones. "What?"
Hermione shrugged, embarrassed. "I can't explain it either. I just...feel safe with you. Ever since the end of the Third Task I've felt so scared. But now...from the moment you came in this compartment...I just...don't feel so afraid anymore..."
Cedric grinned at her. "And being around you makes me happy and makes the world less terrifying. I guess we'll just have to be stuck with each other."
"I'm sure it's not as bad as you make it seem." She teased.
"Oh, it's going to be bloody awful I'm afraid."
"Prat" She said, throwing an S.P.E.W badge at him.
He caught it easily. "You carry these things around with you?"
"Yes." She said primly. "I'll have it back now, or you can give me two sickles for it."
Giving her a smirk, Cedric dug around in his pockets and pulled out a couple of sickles and handed them to her.
Hermione took them, mouth open, agape.
"What do you think?" He asked as he pinned it on the front of his robes.
"It suits you." Hermione said coming out of her shock.
The compartment door slid open again and the Weasley twins appeared.
"There you are, Granger. Harry and Ron are going off their rockers looking for you." Fred told her.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "I told them I was going for a walk, Fred."
"He's not Fred, I am." Said the other twin.
"That joke can fool your mother but not me George." Hermione snapped.
The twins looked slightly shocked.
"You should try to fool this one, you know." Cedric put in. "She's so clever even I'm afraid of her."
Fred and George grinned. "Too true." They said together.
Suddenly George became serious. "All right, Diggory?" He asked.
Cedric nodded. "As good as can be expected. Hermione's been entertaining me with her wit and humour." He grinned at her.
Fred and George chuckled. "We'll be at the station in 10 minutes. You've been gone for the whole train ride Granger. That's why Harry and Ron are in a snit." Fred informed her.
She jumped up. " In ten minutes!" Hermione shrieked. "I've been here all this time?!"
Fred looked amused. "Apparently. We'll tell your guard dogs to call off the search. See you on the platform." And with identical knowing winks, the twins shut the door.
Hermione turned to Cedric who had also gotten to his feet. "I have to go." She said.
"I know." He told her.
Hermione whipped a piece of parchment and a quill out of her pocket and scribbled something down.
"What else do you have in those never ending pockets, Granger?" He asked with a smirk.
"Stop being so cheeky." Hermione said trying not to smile. "Here." She gave him the paper. "This is my address. I don't have an owl, so you'll have to write to me, okay? We have to have our Star Wars marathon sometime."
Their hands brushed as he took it from her and he held her hand before she could pull away.
Looking at their entwined fingers, Hermione smiled. "You promise you'll write?" She asked shyly.
Cedric brought her hand up to his mouth and lightly kissed her knuckles.
"Where the bloody hell is she?!" They heard Ron's loud voice demand from the corridor.
Hermione sighed as Cedric let go of her hand.
"I'll see you soon, Granger." He said.
She gave him a beatific smile and before her courage deserted her she threw her arms around his neck and gave him one of her infamous, bone crushing hugs.
"Soon." She said, finally content.