Cedric Diggory was dead and the crowd wept. Many Hufflepuffs turned to each other in tears, or in the case of one girl stood perfectly still and comforted her friend. Rose Hunter was a sixth year Hufflepuff, she loved Quiddich and singing in the Chior. Her main love and first love had been him. She didn't let on but Cedric and Cho had been on the rocks, before his death. He had told her as much as his Captain and friend, however the friendship got deeper and he had promised to end it before the holidays. Now he couldn't. Unlike Cho, Rose had been close to the Diggory family as a whole. Professor Sprout led her out of the common room as Cedric's parents wanted to see her, to let her say goodbye with them,
"Mr and Mrs Diggory..." began Rose.
"Oh Rose dear...no need for such formalities now. He told me about you. He had...had such plans for you this summer," said Caroline Diggory.
Rose looked confused,
"Caroline?" she asked.
Amos reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box. He held it in his hand for a few moments as he spoke,
"He was going to give you this. My mother's ring. He was convinced you'd accept. Was he right?" he asked.
Rose took a deep breath,
"With all due respect Amos, does it matter? He can't ask me now and you can keep your..." she began.
"I'm not judging you Rose. As he wanted you to have it, I want you to have it. We have pictures and other things to remind us of our son. You have nothing," said Amos.
Rose accepted the box and slowly opened it. It was a simple thing, gold with one single diamond in the middle but with the surname 'Diggory' engraved on the inside,
"Thank you. I'm sorry for how I..." she began.
"Not to worry dear. You weren't to know any of this," he said.
Rose put the ring on and finally as she left the Diggory family began to cry. She made not for Hufflepuff common room but for the charms office. What she didn't count upon was a night guard on the corridor,
"Wrong way Miss...Hunter? What are you doing here?" asked Snape.
"I've come to see Professor Flitwick. I will not be singing at the feast sir. I can't do it. Not without him. We were a duet as you know. So there's no point in carrying on," she replied.
Snape shook his head and seemed to have a softer expression when he spoke to her. Rose didn't understand, he was usually so cruel,
"I heard of someone not too long ago, who gave up singing when their partner died. It was then they became even unhappier and regretted the decision every day. Think. Would Diggory have wanted you to stop?" he asked.
Rose uncharacteristically became very blunt to a point of rudeness when she replied to the potion's master,
"I don't know sir, because I can't ask him! Plus we never spoke of it so...I wouldn't know what he would have wanted in the situation," she replied.
"I saw you with the Diggory family Hunter. He loved you and wouldn't want you to be unhappy. Your friends will be wanting to see you," said Snape.
Rose shook her head,
"They'll have to wait. I need some time to myself," she said.
"Miss Hunter I can't allow that," said Snape.
Rose sniggered in spite of herself,
"I knew it was too good to be true. I was counting down the seconds before you went back to normal," she said.
"Normal Hunter? You have no idea," he said.
"Really sir? Professor Snape, the teacher who will go to any lengths to make sure his house have both cups and all the glory. Anyone else is just irrelevent. Like you know we're here, but at the same time we are not. Am I wrong?" asked Rose.
"Yes Miss Hunter. You are. You can't see what's in the forest for the trees and the darkness. I tried to understand you and you threw it back at me," he replied.
"Forgive me. A man who wanted to marry me is dead. I don't quite know how to react. Goodnight sir. Happy singing...what am I saying? You wouldn't sing for all the money in Gringotts would you?" she asked.
Snape glared at her,
"Get to your dorm...now," he ordered.
"Yes sir," she said.
It was the last day of the school year. Rose joined in with the main choir and then stepped forward, wand to her throat in order to make her talk louder so that she would be heard by the whole school. She was nervous but knew that Snape had been right about singing,
"A friend of mine is dead. I was told that a song in his memory should be sung. I went through a list of appropriate songs, but I found most of them were a bit tearful. So I thought I'd use one that he actually liked, no matter how much I teased him because it was so old," she said.
Rose began to sing 'let it be'. Snape was interested in the choice because it sounded so familair to him. The room seemed to go black and white and where Rose stood alone, was a younger version of himself and a girl with red hair singing that same song. Finally the applause turned into colour and there stood Rose on her own. Without her partner but still able to sing, she had actually taken his advice which made it easier to applaud a little longer than normal for him.
Rose and her friend Jasmine walked out of the great hall to get their cases, when someone Rose really didn't want to see stopped them. It was Cho, whose eyes were scarlet with tears,
"That was great. I had no idea..." she began.
"You didn't know him long enough," said Rose.
"Rose!" snapped Jasmine.
"What? You know I'm right. It's nothing personal," said Rose.
"I thought you'd understand," said Cho.
"Oh I do. More than you ever will. But. I won't tell you what you don't want to hear. Regardless what you think of me now Cho, it's kinder," said Rose.
"If you have something to say Hunter, say it," ordered Cho.
Rose shrugged and took off her ring and passed it to her. She knew Cho would jump to the wrong conclusion,
"He was cheating on me?" she asked.
"No. He was going to dump you and ask me to marry him. The Diggory family gave me this after his death. Sorry Cho but...he's not yours to cry over," replied Rose.
Rose got her ring back and Cho left crying. Jasmine shook her head at her friend and Rose rolled her eyes,
"What? I tried to protect her and she didn't want it. So she got the truth. I mean it could have been worse. She could have been right," she said.
"I'll give you the holidays. I'll know by then," said Jasmine.
"Know what?" asked Rose.
"If when Cedric died the good part of you went with him," replied Jasmine.
"I've done nothing wrong Jasmine. Just put her straight. Why cry over someone who was going to dump you for their quiddich captain?" asked Rose.
"Tell me, did you love him or is attacking Cho making you feel better?" asked Jasmine.
"Yes I did love him. Like I said telling Cho the truth was to stop her wasting her tears. If the boot was on the other foot, I'd want to know," she replied.
"That's a lie Rose. If you found out a few years ago Cedric didn't love you, dead or not you'd have gone ape, with him and the other person," said Jasmine.
"Exactly, a few years ago. I'm not that person anymore Jaz. I'm different. I can't explain it I'm sorry but with all due respect if you don't like it, tough pumkin pasties," she said.
Jasmine couldn't help but laugh,
"And they're not nice. Like I said, I'll give the new you a chance Rose. I might like it," she said.