A/N: Sequel to 'Once Upon A Cedric', probably want to read that fic first. This fic picks up right where 'Once Upon' leaves off, and deals with Harry and Cedric's summer immediately following the Tri-Wizard Tournament (Harry's 4th year). Contains Harry/Cedric SLASH: don't like, don't read. Also manipulative!Dumbledore, harridan!Molly, new toys, new discoveries, new Marauders, and an eccentric French wandmaker.
Disclaimer: don't own, no profits, homage to JKR, just playing in her sandbox, promise to play nice, please don't sue.
Note: (private discussions)
"I hate you."
"And I love you, which is why we're here."
Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory sat side by side in the waiting room of L'hôpital de Miracles in Paris, France. Needless to say, Harry Potter was NOT happy with his boyfriend at the moment.
Their vacation had been going well. Returning to London after Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the pair had spent a relaxing two weeks staying with Cedric's parents in London. The Headmaster had been quite reluctant to allow this, but since he actually wasn't Harry's legal guardian he had little say in the matter. Petunia Dursley had only been too happy to agree to Harry being 'anywhere else' instead of Privet Drive. Amos Diggory had also been a great help to the boys, albeit unwittingly, with his firm insistence that the wards on Diggory House were more than adequate to protect the Boy-Who-Lived. Dumbledore found himself in the position of opposing both Harry's blood relatives and a popular Ministry official, with no clear reason except his own preferences. Recognizing an untenable position, he eventually relented, but he was obviously not happy about the matter.
Harry had taken great pleasure in telling the Headmaster that, if Dumbledore couldn't sign a Hogsmeade permission form, he couldn't tell Harry where to go or what to do over the summer hols.
In short order, Harry had utterly charmed both older Diggorys, helping Mrs. Diggory in the kitchen (to the annoyance of the Diggory house elves, Fritch and Wobley). Harry had even cooked for the family a few times, prompting Amos to joke to Cedric that "you might want to keep him, son; he'll make a fine wife!"
Fortunately, Amos was so busy laughing at his own joke (and dodging a smack from his wife Anna) that neither of them saw Cedric choke on his tea and Harry blush all the way to his ears.
Anna Diggory, after smacking her husband ("you great oaf!") had immediately told Harry to pay him no mind, that Harry could cook for her any time he wished. After all, there were many great chefs in both muggle and magical worlds who were men. Later that evening, after his parents had gone to bed, Cedric had earned himself a smack when he solemnly asked Harry to be his bride. Harry had further punished Cedric for his cheek by refusing to cuddle with him…for all of nearly five minutes.
Cedric was glad that he had decided to spend some time in London before they left the country. While Dumbledore's minions from the Order of the Flaming Flamingo—Harry's name for the Order of the Phoenix—spent their time trying to dog Harry's steps, Cedric had been busily floo-ing around London on a number of errands. On their third night at Diggory House, Cedric had gotten his parents out of the house with muggle theater tickets, then announced for the benefit of any prying ears that he, Cedric, was going to drill Harry in privacy and silencing charms. Inside a multilayer bubble of the best charms he could manage, Cedric then told Harry about his trip to the future, a highly-edited version of the 'future history' that he had learned, and showed Harry their trunks and new toys.
Harry had been at times enraged, goggle-eyed, upset, giggly, tearful and then mopey, demanding to be cuddled when Cedric finished. Fortunately, Cedric had had the foresight to make late dinner reservations for his parents after the show, so that Harry had a good long cuddle to improve his mood before they returned. By the next morning, he was still a bit pensive and clingy around Cedric, but not so badly that the still-glowing Diggorys noticed.
The pair had the house to themselves for most of the next day. Mum Diggory (as Harry had started to call her, to her delight) had gone off to her Canasta club full of tales of muggle London's West End and her wonderful son and his good friend The Boy-Who-Lived who gifted she and her husband with tickets to the most marvelous play, and then dinner afterwards, oh they're such wonderful boys, especially that Harry Potter, he's so sweet and modest, not at all what you'd expect, you know….
Harry and Cedric had a good snicker at the thought of the tales Mrs. Diggory was sure to tell 'the girls'. Then, Cedric earned himself yet another good smack when he suggested that his mother and her 'girls' might form their very own chapter of the Harry Potter Fan Club.
Amos Diggory took time out from his busy schedule to drop by Arthur Weasley's office 'just to chat' about his evening out with the missus…courtesy of 'my son, and Harry Potter—they're best mates, you know'. He was the talk of the water cooler all that week, to his poorly-concealed glee.
The extra time alone let Harry ask most of the questions he had thought up during the night, most of which he asked from inside the crook of Cedric's arm as they sprawled on the divan. By the time Mum Diggory returned Harry was almost back to his old self…and he and Cedric had begun making plans….
Incidentally, Cedric redeemed himself for his earlier comment when he whispered in Harry's ear that he, Cedric Diggory, was Harry's Number One Fan, now and forevermore. That earned him a contented 'mmmm' and a happy wriggle, with which Cedric was well satisfied.
One of their biggest problems continued to be Dumbledore, and his insistence that Harry's safety wouldn't allow him to go…well, anywhere, much less to other countries. Harry's first suggestion—that Bumbles be told to go get stuffed—eventually was presented to the Headmaster in terms of Cedric Diggory serving as Harry's chaperone and guardian during the summer months. This was not well received by anyone except Harry, Cedric and the parents Diggory.
("Oh, Mr. Chaperone, sir…I'm sure my virtue will be in no danger at all, I feel soooooo safe!
*smack* "Shut it, prat."
"Ow! You're a prat, that hurt."
"Oh, poor baby… let me kiss it better."
"Oooo, Mr. Chaperone, sir…you kiss it better sooooo good…"
"Shut it, prat.")
The Headmaster's counter proposal—that Harry be restricted to Grimmauld Place for the entire summer 'for his own safety'—resulted in the spontaneous destruction of several objects in his office and Harry threatening to run away to the Americas and let Voldemort have the whole sodding country. This was not well received by Dumbledore or any of the OFF squad.
("I swear, Cedric…as far as I'm concerned, Moldy Shorts can AK the lot of them, starting with Bumbles…and Fudge-for-brains, too!"
"Harry! You don't mean that, and you know it! Now, calm down, let's try to think of something else…preferably something not stupid, alright?"
*sigh* "I know…but Ced, it's been like this my whole life! Why can't he see that I'm not just a weapon for him to hide away until it's time to use me?"
"I know, love, it makes me angry, too…but we've still got to work something out for the summer, and we're not ready to cut loose from Dumbledore or the Ministry just yet."
"I know…I just wish…."
"Me, too…but we can't, not yet. Now, let's see if we can come up with something we can live with, shall we?")
At the next meeting Dumbledore tried playing dirty. He brought in Molly Weasley to cry, rant, scream, threaten, sob, wail, shriek, berate, bemoan and otherwise be unhelpful in every way possible to guilt Harry into compliance with the Headmaster's wishes. Harry listened to every word stoically, then stood quietly. "I'm sorry…I guess I really have no family after all," he said as he walked out, Molly's hysterics following him out the door.
("Cedric, how could she say some of those things?"
"I don't know, love…I just don't know."
"For Merlin's sake, you'd think I had asked for permission to spend the summer in a Turkish prison! Or maybe smuggling opium out of Afghanistan…or running a Hong Kong brothel. Do they really think I'm so awful?"
"No, Harry…but I do think they've lost sight of Harry the person, instead of Harry Potter, Savior of Wizardkind."
"Ced…I just get so tired…."
"I know, love. Just remember, you've got me here now. You don't have to do it alone."
"Oh, Ced…is it any wonder I went Dark without you?"
"Hush…you weren't Dark, I've told you that. You were just misunderstood, that's all."
"Huh. It's a good thing we haven't told the Flaming Flamingo crowd about…what might happen. Otherwise, I'd be in Azkaban already for sure."
"Well, stop worrying about it, I won't let that happen, ever."
"I know…I'm counting on it."
"Good. Now, just rest. We'll have to go back tomorrow…and next time, I'll hex Molly Weasley myself, if I have to."
"Oh, Ced…how could she say some of those things?"
"Shuuuuuuush. Just rest, now.")
Finally, a compromise was reached. Harry wouldn't leave Diggory House without an escort while in London, and Bill Weasley would meet the pair in Paris to accompany them to Egypt. There, Remus Lupin would take over chaperone duties until they returned to Diggory House. Mr. and Mrs. Diggory would join the boys in Greece (Amos hadn't been able to arrange his vacation any earlier), and follow them to Egypt, where Bill Weasley was going to be their guide.
Unfortunately, the family Diggory would only be together for those few days, as Amos had to return to the Ministry and Anna didn't want to vacation without her husband. As she said, "You two boys go and enjoy the rest of your vacation without the old crowd to slow you down…just be careful, mind you." This had the advantage (from Dumbledore's point of view) of allowing Lupin to accompany the boys without having to discuss with Cedric's parents just why he felt it necessary to send a dangerous creature with them on holiday.
("Oh, I'm sure that'd go over well with your Mum, Ced…the boys can't take care of themselves, so I'll just send a WEREWOLF with them…for their protection, you understand…."
"Wait, Harry, you forgot…it's also for the GREATER GOOD!"
"Oh, of course, how could I forget that?"
"Well, of course, the Boy-Who-Lived just doesn't have the same concern, the same compassion for the wizarding world as World's Greatest Bumblebee…."
"*snicker* You bloody well got that one right. Barmy old coot…."
"Oh, I did check the lunar calendar, just to be on the safe side…the full moon will be four days before Remus is scheduled to meet us, and we'll be back well before the next one."
"Thanks, Ced…as nice as Remus is, I've met his…other side. It's not something I'd recommend."
"I understand completely, Harry.")
Cedric would then accompany Harry to Grimmauld Place for the remainder of the summer, where Mad-Eye, Lupin and Sirius Black would be training the boys until they returned to Hogwarts. This had many advantages—except that Dumbledore was still insisting that Harry would be safer at Privet Drive, something everyone else had realized was NOT going to happen—with the only 'drawback' being that Cedric would have to be inducted into the Order of the Phoenix. Since refusing membership to a Tri-Wizard champion and known supporter of the Light would have been…difficult at best (especially since the Boy-Who-Lived and his Godfather, who just happened to own the house where the Order held their meetings, were both actively pushing his membership), that was regarded as a 'done deal'.
("Sirius, if they think they're going to keep Cedric out, they can bloody well get themselves another Dark Moron killer!"
"Mr. Black, what Harry is trying to say is….
"…is that he supports his friends, Cedric. Something which I, as his Godfather, happen to be in agreement with. Don't worry…between the two of us, Harry and I will handle the Flamingos."
"Yeah. See, Ced, I told you Sirius would be on our side."
"Absolutely. There's just one thing, Mr. Diggory. I understand that you and my godson are…more than just friends."
"Mr. Black, I want you to know that Harry and I have never…."
"Never given in to the little perv, have you? Yes, he's told me…at great length, I might add."
"I just want to say, Harry, I can appreciate the urges and desires of youth. However, as your Godfather, I really appreciate Mr. Diggory's desire to do the right thing…otherwise I'd have to hex his bits off."
"Mr. Black, I assure you…."
"Cedric…call me Sirius. I'm not going to give you the obligatory 'hurt my Godson and die horribly' speech, alright? Let's just take it as read, understand?"
"Yes, sir…I mean, yes, Sirius. I really do care for Harry…enough to know we need to wait."
"I hate you both.")
After their time in London, the pair had traveled by International Floo to Paris, where they had been met by the Delacour family. Prior to leaving Hogwarts, they had arranged to spend time with Fleur and her family, seeing the sites of Paris in the company of the natives. Fleur and Gabrielle had promised the boys 'ze Grande Tour', and they had been true to their word.
If they 'accidentally' gave Dumbledore and the Order the wrong date for their departure for Paris, well…accidents happen. At any rate, the emergency portkey Sirius gave each of them should have been ample protection in and of itself—for anybody except manipulative, "greater good" obsessed old coots.
All in all, it promised to be an...interesting…summer.
A/N: Why are Harry and Cedric in a Paris hospital? Guess you'll just have to wait to find out....
I could say more, but where would be the fun in THAT? Besides, maybe this way I'll get indignant reviews (hint, hint).