A/N: This is a new story idea that came to my head a week ago (with the help of Sara, my trusted editor/nagger). It's an idea that helps me practice writing in a whole new style that I've never tried before, with different character traits that I've never used. It's creepy, but in a romantic way. I'm sorry it's taken so long; I just never seem to find it in myself to stop the story. It's too good. This story—though in 3rd person's point of view, is in alternating 'expanded' views. Sometimes you'll get a glimpse into Hermione's mind, but mostly Cedric's. So, onto the story…

Summary: As long as she was safe, he could find peace. His angel was his life. His first priority. No one quite understands the lengths an obsessed man will go to. AU, OOC. CedricxHermione.

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Title: Porcelain

Rating: T

Author: Breathless Tomb

One-Shot

3rd Person's POV

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Before her, Cedric never did enjoy the company of girls. He thought of them as immature, greedy, whiny children who demanded attention. While he could respect his female professors, such as Professor Sprout or Professor McGonagall, he just couldn't find it in himself to even want to associate with any woman his age. But that was before her.

He was in his third year the first time she entered Hogwarts. Usually during the Sorting, Cedric would distract himself with something else and politely applaud every time a student was accepted into Hufflepuff. But this time, as the First Years nervously scampered up to the top of the Great Hall, a small, bushy-haired brunette caught his eye.

Her eyes were the deepest shade of brown he'd ever seen, with an excited twinkle to them. She had a friendly face, though he could see the worry plainly displayed. Her cheek bones were splashed with an adorable pink blush, and Cedric couldn't fight the smile that was making its way onto his face.

His eyes followed her as she walked beside another girl, with lighter brown hair. He noted everything about her, from the subtle bounce in her step, to the way she clutched at her robes, fidgeting with nerves. He frowned to himself. Why was he paying so much attention to this little girl? She was nearly three years younger than him. That was just….sick.

But he couldn't deny the….attraction he felt to this young girl. He found himself praying that she would be in Hufflepuff. Cedric began formulating a plan in his mind. He would immediately befriend the tiny brunette, and find out everything about her. He would become her ideal friend, and earn her trust. He'd shower her in adoration, so that she'd never want nor need anyone other than him.

Why would she need anyone else, when Cedric would give her everything she asked for. He'd be whatever she wanted him to be, as long as she let him be with her. Cedric smirked to himself. She would love him. She might've been unaware at the present moment, but it was only a matter of time. They were soulmates, Cedric was certain. And nothing could come between soulmates.

He waited anxiously for her to be called up, so that he could finally put a name to his angel's face. He saw her look over the crowd quickly, and when her eyes met his, his heart literally stopped. He smiled at her and she smiled back shyly. The little angel looked away, but Cedric kept his eyes trained on her, waiting to hear her name.

"Granger, Hermione."

Her head turned at Professor McGonagall's voice and Cedric knew that it was her name that had been called. Hermione. It was so unique and suited her perfectly. Cedric and Hermione. Such compatible names. He watched her run up to the stool, and sit down as McGonagall gingerly rested the hat on her head. He drew in a long breath, his heart racing fast.

"Gryffindor,"

As cheers erupted from the Gryffindors, Cedric's heart sank in his chest. He watched in despair as she happily skipped over to the table at the far side of the Hall, taking her seat beside Percy Weasley. Rage boiled inside of him as Percy patted her shoulder. Only he was allowed to touch his angel.

A low growl escaped his lips, too soft for any of his friends to hear. The rest of the night, Cedric kept a close eye on his Hermione, watching who she interacted with and still noting many different things about her. His nostrils flared. None of these immature boys were good enough for her. They shouldn't even be allowed to look at her. But he put up with it.

For now.

***

He was secretly delighted, that through the whole feast, Hermione hardly talked to anyone. She was such an endearingly shy girl. A possessive smile stretched across his face, his grey eyes dark. Her eyes were so wide and innocent. They held so much depth to them, so many secret. There was knowledge in her chocolate orbs, more knowledge than he'd ever seen in a girl her age, or older for that matter.

Even days after the Sorting, Cedric continued to watch her. It enraged him to see the other students pick on her, and he wanted nothing more than to go over to them and beat them all to a bloody pulp. But he had to wait, and keep himself in control. He was sure his Hermione wouldn't be happy of him beating her classmate's faces into the ground.

She was so sweet, and so incredibly fragile. No one else saw it, but Cedric knew just how much the insults hurt her. His Hermione tried to be strong though. She smiled, and kept her head held high, but deep down, Cedric could see her hurting. He could practically feel it.

Cedric had become quite acquainted with Hermione's daily schedule. He had everything down to the minute, perfectly organized. He couldn't just let his Hermione go off on her own; anything could happen to her. He needed to be sure his angel was safe at all times, even if it meant changing his daily routines to accommodate hers.

He would do anything to keep Hermione safe. Whatever it took. He wouldn't settle for no as an answer. As long as she was safe, he could find peace. His angel was his life. His first priority. Everything she could ever want at a moment's notice, and all she had to do was ask.

On that particular day in late September, Cedric was anxiously running around the school grounds, searching for Hermione. Usually at this time she'd be outside on one of the benches reading and soaking up the sun, which was shining particularly bright at this time of day. But Cedric couldn't find her anywhere.

He searched through the Great Hall and through many of the corridors of the school, but he couldn't find his chocolate-eyed angel anywhere. He would check the library, but she wasn't scheduled to go there for another two hours. But, seeing as she was in no other place, he jogged off to the other end of the school, hoping distraughtly she was there.

Bursting through the double doors, he quickly scanned the shelves, looking for the familiar mane of coffee locks. He sighed in relief, seeing a sliver of brown hair and pale skin through the books. He raced to the back of the library, ignoring the curious glances from the other students. As he got closer to where Hermione was sitting, he could hear the distinct sound of sniffling.

He rested against the last bookshelf, catching his breath. A smile was quickly replaced with a frown as he realized it was his Hermione crying. His anger melted into concern as he continued to listen to Hermione's delicate sobs.

He quietly took a seat beside her. Her brown hair formed a curtain in front of her face, hiding her eyes. Cedric moved his hand to rest on hers. Hermione's head snapped up in confusion, her eyes watery and bloodshot.

"What's wrong?" Cedric asked tenderly, keeping his hand on top of hers. Hermione furrowed her eyebrows in the most adorable way that had Cedric simply enamoured.

"It's nothing," Hermione mumbled, pulling her hand away. She was avoiding looking at him, trying to discreetly wipe the tears from her eyes. Someone had hurt his angel, and Cedric didn't appreciate that in the least.

"I'm pretty sure it's not nothing," He teased lightly, his face and voice not showing his true emotions. There were no words to describe Cedric's anger. His Hermione was crying for a reason, and when he found out…someone would be wishing they'd never even spoke to Hermione.

Hermione glanced at him from the corner of her eye, "I don't want to bore you. Really, it's nothing."

Cedric smiled, "I assure you, nothing you could say would bore me," His smile faltered a bit, "I can tell something's wrong. Please tell me."

His deep grey eyes smouldered, so mesmerizing that Hermione couldn't speak for a few seconds. Cedric's smile grew even larger once he realized why she was incapable of speech. Only a matter of time.

"I told you, it's nothing," Hermione sighed once she was able to speak again, "It's just pressure."

Cedric pursed his lips thoughtfully, "How exactly is the pressure getting to you?"

And then the dam burst, and everything Hermione had kept bottled up came rushing out. Ron, Harry, her studies, trying so desperately to make friends. Cedric could feel his anger growing and growing as she continued speaking. How could these loathsome, disgusting excuses for boys be even allowed in his angel's presence? It was intolerable.

But he kept his face neutral as she spoke, letting her take his hand and squeeze it as a few tears ran down her face. He scooted his chair over, wrapping an arm over her shoulders.

And that was how their friendship began.

***

They spent nearly every waking minute together. They went from being comfortable acquaintances to the best of friends. Cedric's friends couldn't understand why Cedric would associate with someone like Hermione. Not that Cedric cared. From the moment his eyes touched Hermione, his life was forever intertwined with hers. He was her shadow, her protector, her advisor, her best friend, and—when the time came—her one true love.

Hermione was still too young though. She could understand the concept of what love was, but she was still too young to understand what she was feeling. Cedric was fine with waiting. He'd wait forever for his angel. He would never force her to feel something she couldn't quite comprehend yet.

He still couldn't understand why she insisted on spending time with Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter. They'd been nothing but cruel to Hermione, yet she remained friends with the two. But, for her sake, he put up with the two contemptible boys.

Halloween came and past, but the disastrous after-effects left Cedric even more over protective than usual. He made his angel swear she'd never hide from him again. Hermione was confused to say the least, but gave her word.

But even Hermione was known to break a few rules every now and then.

The year passed and Cedric once again found peace, knowing that his angel had survived her first year safe and sound. The terror Cedric had felt when he heard what had happened in the dungeons was indescribable. Hermione apologized repeatedly for breaking her promise, but Cedric still had nightmares of what could have been.

Years passed, and the relationship between Cedric and Hermione had grown only more intense as the weeks and months passed by. If Ron, Harry and Hermione were known as The Golden Trio, then Cedric and Hermione had to be known as The Inseparable Duo. People would actually do a double take if they saw Hermione without Cedric, or Cedric without Hermione.

Though Hermione and Cedric denied (albeit he denied reluctantly) that their relationship was anything more than platonic, hardly a single student or teacher believed them. In fact, Cedric couldn't believe the countless lectures he'd gotten from teachers demanding to know why he'd choose to date a girl three years younger than him.

And truthfully, Hermione never did expect their relationship to turn romantic. She was content with having Cedric as a brother, and nothing more. Cedric lied through his teeth time and time again, saying he'd never feel anything more than friendship for Hermione. But, Hermione's world was turned completely on its axis during her fourth year. The year that changed everything.

"How could you?" She exclaimed, facing Cedric as her entire body shook. She felt so betrayed and worried.

"I only entered because I thought I'd make you proud," He calmly said, resting a hand on her shoulder. Cedric could never get angry at his angel. He understood why she was aggravated, even though she needn't be. The Triwizard Tournament was an honour to be chosen for. Eternal glory. Hermione's eyes filled with tears as she launched herself at Cedric, wrapping him in a bear hug.

"Be careful if you're chosen," She mumbled, her face pressed into his chest, "I don't want to lose you. Ever."

Cedric smiled, "Relax Mya, I might not even be chosen." His face grew serious, "But I promise. I will never leave you." Not even if you asked me to, he mentally added.

Mya was his pet name for her. Only Cedric, and Cedric alone, could get away with calling her that. No one else dared. Though Hermione could not see it, Cedric's possessiveness and dark love for her was painfully obvious to anyone watching them. The way he glared at any man talking to her, the way he always kept some sort of physical contact.

But strangely enough, no one dared mention their observations to Hermione. It was almost like they couldn't, for every time they tried, the words would get caught in their throats. Almost. Like. Magic.

If Hermione noticed how rapidly Cedric's obsession with her had grown, she didn't mention it. But it was unlikely. Hermione may have been the smartest witch of her age, but Cedric was also exceptionally intelligent. He knew how to hide his feelings from her.

And Hermione may also not have been aware of how her feelings for Cedric had grown. She was fiercely protective of the Hufflepuff seeker, and—though she'd never admit it—held a burning hatred for his fan club. She was worried for his safety, especially with him entering the upcoming Tournament. She waited anxiously for a month, hoping that many other students from Hogwarts would enter.

The night of the choosing came quicker than expected, and Hermione fretted nervously all day, nearly bursting into tears every time Ron or Harry mentioned the Tournament. Finally Cedric took her off to a private, secluded corner.

"Hermione," He started, running a hand through his blonde hair, "Why are you so worried?" He knew he shouldn't be snippy to his Mya, but he'd been just so frustrated lately. He felt like she was giving out mixed signals, saying she thought of Cedric like a brother, then contradicting her words by being so intensely protective of him, almost like a girlfriend.

"I don't want you to be picked," She sniffled, lowering her head in shame. Cedric sighed, sitting down and pulling Hermione into his lap. She found nothing odd in this gesture, it was perfectly natural. With anyone else, Hermione would've felt smothered and uncomfortable, but this was Cedric. And though she couldn't explain why, she found nothing wrong with sitting in this intimate position with Cedric.

He smoothed her hair back, leaning forward until their noses touched, "Mya, it's going to be okay. I promise you. Even if I'm chosen, nothing bad will happen to me."

"But people die in these tournaments," Hermione cried in a soft voice.

"And I won't," Cedric whispered, "I swear to you."

"How can you promise something like that?"

"Do you trust me?"

"Yes," She replied without hesitation.

"Then trust me on this. I will not die. And as severe as any injuries I get may be, know, that if I'm chosen, I will survive."

Hermione finally accepted this, leaning into Cedric. He slipped his arms around her waist and closed his eyes, savouring the moment, simply inhaling her life. She smelt of vanilla and gingerbread. It was sweet, unlike anything Cedric had ever smelt before. It was simply Hermione.

Across the lake, Ginny and her good friend Luna watched the two best friends embrace. Ginny smiled, content for Hermione, who was like a sister to her. Luna also smiled dreamily, plucking a gorgeous yellow and white flower from the ground and tucking it into her hair.

"How long do you think it'll take her to realize how he feels about her?" Ginny asked Luna, who paused, thinking for a second. She shrugged.

"Maybe tomorrow, maybe never. I can never tell with Hermione," Luna frowned. "She's too unpredictable."

"And she said she only liked him as a friend," Ginny snorted, "What a load of bollocks." A smile overtook her face, "She'd better make me the maid of honour at her wedding."

The two girls laughed, still watching the couple across the lake, not knowing the somehow, someway, Cedric had heard every single word they'd said. His lips pulled into a mysterious smirk, carefully hidden in the abundance of Hermione's thick hair.

***

As fate would have it, Cedric's name was pulled from the Goblet of Fire. Hermione put on a brave face for Cedric, but he could see the true fear behind her mask. She was terrified. And that terror only strengthened as Harry's name was also pulled from the Cup.

But Hermione kept her concerns to herself, supporting both Cedric and Harry for the impending first task. Cedric and Hermione were completely sure that Harry did not put his name into the Cup, so Harry had taken to spending more time with them. Everyone else had begun to avoid Harry like the plague, even Ron.

"You excited for the first task?" Hermione asked Cedric casually, while they were taking their daily walk out near the Black Lake. Cedric glanced down at her suspiciously, trying to see what she was up to. Hermione had been pestering him a lot lately, trying to figure out what the first task was. Cedric tried to explain to her that he simply couldn't tell her (He blamed it on the Tournament secrecy, but really, he just wanted to keep her from freaking out), but she would hear nothing of it.

"Yeah," He said cautiously, "As excited as I can be."

"Hmm…" Hermione made an indifferent face, still avoiding looking Cedric in the eye. She linked her fingers together, whistling softly to herself. Cedric stopped dead in his track, pulling Hermione back with him.

"Okay, spill. What're you up to?" He cocked an eyebrow, smirking down at her. Hermione sighed in defeat.

"I just really want to know what the first task is!" Hermione whined, stomping her feet. Cedric simply laughed and shook his head. He grabbed his angel's hand, continuing on with their walk.

The day of the first task was a nerve-wracking day for Hermione. Cedric reassured her, along with Harry, that it would be just fine, and that they both had a plan for the challenge. Before Cedric left for the Champion's tent, Hermione wrapped him into a hug.

"You'd better not die," She growled menacingly, "Or else."

Cedric threw his back in laughter, but abruptly stopped when Hermione stood up on her tiptoes and pecked him on the cheek. He snapped his head down to look at her in shock, but she simply blushed, muttered something and ran off. A goofy smile spread across Cedric's face.

In the tent, Cedric paced nervously, feeling like he might throw up. He glanced over at Harry, who looked positively emotionless, but as pale as bone. Krum glared over at Cedric when their eyes met, and Cedric didn't even have to ask what the hostility was about. He wasn't an idiot. He'd seen Krum watching Hermione. Cedric simply despised him.

Ludo Bagman walked into the room, the smile on his face almost mocking. "Greetings Champions," He exclaimed happily, "Gather 'round."

Cedric, Harry, Fleur, and Krum formed a circle around Bagman, who reached into his cloak, pulling out a purple silk sack. Cedric gulped, knowing what would be in the sack. Bagman opened the neck of the bag, holding it close to Fleur.

"Ladies first?" He asked. Fleur nodded, her face still holding a green tint to it. She reached, wincing, then pulled her hand back. She drew out a tiny—but very much alive—model of a Welsh Green, with the number 'two' around its neck.

Krum took his turn, pulling out a Chinese Fireball. Cedric looked over at Harry, who had just reached into the bag, holding the Hungarian Horntail by its tail. Cedric drew in a long breath. It was his turn. He buried his hand into the dark silk of the bag, feeling around for his model. He felt something grab onto his hand. Pulling it out, he came face-to-face with a miniature Swedish Short-Snout.

"Mr Diggory, at the sound of the whistle you will begin," Bagman stated seriously, "Then Miss Delacour, Mr Krum, and Mr Potter, respectively." And with that, he swept from the room, his cloak flowing behind him.

Before he even had time to think, the whistle was blown, and Cedric found himself walking out through the tent, walking past trees, through a medium-sized gap in an enclosed fence.

The scene before him was beautiful, in a rustic sort of way. There were mounds of rocks, pilling on top of one another, the air parch and dry. In the middle of the stadium, on a steep hill, was a nest of football-sized eggs, surrounding a single golden egg. Cedric looked around. The dragon was nowhere in sight.

He looked out into the crowd, searching for one particular face. He quickly found her, smiling at the familiar mane of brown curls. The smile was quickly replaced away though, when he noticed the panic-stricken look on her face. She was gesturing up wildly. Cedric's face blanched, as he looked up slowly…

Two glittering orbs of liquid amber glared down on him. The mouth of the Swedish Short-Snout opened, baring its glistening, blood-stained fans. Looking closely, Cedric could see a swirling ball of red and orange growing at the back of the dragon's mouth. His eyes widened.

Cedric jumped out of the way just as a jet of fire nearly ignited him. He scrambled up the side of the hill. The dragon spread its wings, taking off into the air towards Cedric. He tucked him legs in just when the dragon snapped its jaw shut. Cedric continued running, sliding down a crevice behind a monstrous boulder.

He panted heavily, hearing a roar escape the dragon. Closing his eyes, he thought for a minute. His plan came back to him, having been abandoned in his panic. Cedric climbed up the hill, peeking over the rock. The dragon was facing away from him, just like he had hoped.

Cedric pulled out his wand, aiming it at a small rock a few feet from the Short-Snout. He flicked his wand, muttering the spell under his breath. Cedric watched as the rock slowly transfiguring into a small dog.

From the stands, Hermione watched Cedric with a raging horror. The dragon was now occupying its time with the small dog, so Cedric started climbing to the very top of the hill. He rushed up to the egg, picking it up in shaking hands. Hermione cheered at the top of her lungs, until the dragon turned its evil eyes back to Cedric, who had his back to it.

Apparently it had gotten bored with the dog. Its furious eyes locked on Cedric and narrowed, its mouth opening to unleash a second snarl of untamed ferocity. Its stomach expanded and Hermione knew what was going to happen before it did.

The tongues of flames barely missed Cedric, grazing his arm. He fell to his knees, clutching his shoulder. A low groan of agony escaped his lips as the tamers began to sedate the dragon. Cedric was helped and led out of the stadium by a few of the workers, escorting him to the hospital wing.

Madame Pomfrey gasped as Cedric was aided into the wing, and dropped onto one of the beds. She rushed to her office, coming out with a bottle of lotion in her hand. The bottle was red and yellow, with a symbol of a flame on the paper.

"Good gracious, sending kids out to face dragons," Madame Pomfrey muttered to herself, "Well that's the most insane thing ever." She looked up at Cedric, "You're not even an adult yet! You're still a boy; seventeen!"

Suddenly, the hospital wing doors were thrown open and a frantic Hermione ran in, scanning the cots. Once she spotted Cedric, a beaming smile found its way onto her face and she ran towards him.

"Thank goodness," She mumbled, "I thought you were going to die. Oh Go, Cedric, I thought you were going to die!" She was openly sobbing now, as Cedric cradled her to him. He hated seeing his angel in pain, but it filled him with immense joy to see how much she cared about him.

"It's okay Mya," He cooed softly in her ear, "I'm fine. You don't have to worry anymore. The dragon is gone. I got the egg." He gestured to the golden egg on the table beside the cot. Hermione smiled up at him with watery eyes, before laughing humourlessly.

"I'd ask you to drop out of the Tournament, but we both know you can't do that." Her voice was venom-filled, and held a hint of melancholy.

Madame Pomfrey stood awkwardly off to the side, having made room for Hermione. Like nearly everyone else, she couldn't understand the connection between Cedric and Hermione. It was simply much too complicated for any of them to understand.

"I'm sorry Mya," He whispered, noticing Madame Pomfrey watching them intently, "I wish I could change this, but I can't. Please don't be scared though."

After getting the ointment rubbed onto his shoulder, Cedric and Hermione ran off hand in hand for the edge of the enclosure. The judges were seated at the far end, in raised seats draped in gold.

Madame Maxine raised her wand into the air, and a long, thin silver ribbon shot out, twisting itself into a number seven. The stadium erupted into applause and Hermione squeezed Cedric's hand in encouragement.

Next was Mr Crouch. A silver ribbon formed into an eight, which caused the applause to grow. Dumbledore too shot up an eight. Cedric was feeling slightly more confident, though still incredibly anxious.

What surprised him the most were Bagman and Karkaroff. Complete and utter opposites. While Bagman rewarded Cedric with a nine, Karkaroff saw it fit to give Cedric a five. Hermione's grip in his hand tightened. When Cedric looked down, he saw just how drastically her mood had changed.

"That dirty cheat. He only wants Krum to win. That's why he gave you a low mark," Hermione all but growled.

But Cedric could hardly care. He'd passed the first task with flying colours. After receiving his scores, he sat with Hermione in the audience and rooted for Fleur and Harry, though vehemently refusing to make so much as an encouraging smile for Krum. Hermione simply laughed at this.

A few weeks passed by, and the teachers were beginning to look more antsy. It was early December, the snow barely dusting the castle and grounds. It was hardly even cold enough to wear a scarf. Cedric began to notice the teachers giving him and Hermione cross looks, or sharing secret glances amongst themselves when he and his angel walked by together, which was nearly always.

It was beginning to infuriate Cedric. He hated how no one saw that he would never leave his Mya. They were all convinced it was just a passing puppy love, or just best friends. No one could possibly understand. One day, Cedric voiced his confusion and irritation to Harry while walking with him.

"Alright, why do they keep giving me dirty looks every time I walk by?" said Cedric in frustration. Harry laughed, shaking his head.

"They're convinced you're going to take Hermione to the Yule Ball," He chuckled, "They all disapprove."

Cedric snapped his head to Harry in confusion, "Yule Ball?"

"You haven't heard? McGonagall told us this morning. All the teachers think you'll be taking Hermione though."

And sure enough, during Herbology that afternoon, instead of regular class, Professor Sprout announced the purpose of the Yule Ball, and began teaching the students to waltz. Cedric could hardly keep the smile off his face.

He'd waited four years. Four agonizing, restrained years. Four years he'd kept himself from claiming Hermione as his own. Technically, she'd always been his, but she'd never known. But now, Cedric finally had a way of telling her.

She was old enough and he was tired of waiting. No longer would he wait on the sidelines, watching her grow up into a beautiful woman. He was sick of having to hold himself back, and hide in the wings. It wasn't fair. And now that he had an opportunity to have his Hermione…

He wasn't planning on waiting another minute.

***

Cedric stood outside Flitwick's class, waiting for Hermione to finish up and leave. Every girl that walked out of the class gave Cedric a strange look, almost considering. Cedric tried to avoid their probing eyes, looking everywhere but at the overeager fourth years. The last thing he wanted was for someone to ask him to the Ball. He already had someone in mind anyway.

Hermione left the class looking rather flustered, and when she saw Cedric, her face went bright red. Cedric raised a sole eyebrow in question, but Hermione simply ignored him, smiling shyly.

"Good afternoon," Cedric said in a low voice, holding his hand out for Hermione. She slipped her small hand into his, entwining their fingers together.

"Good afternoon," She replied back in a polite voice. Cedric almost felt like Hermione was hiding something. Her voice was too professional, too distant. Suspicion lingered in his thoughts.

They made their way outside, seeing as how classes were over for the day. It was a daily thing for them, their personal ritual. Cedric fell back against an old pine tree, pulling Hermione back with him. She laughed carelessly, her brown curls forming a corona around her head. Cedric breath hitched as he watched his angel glow. Hermione blushed scarlet when she saw how intensely he was staring her.

"Mya, I want to ask you something," Cedric said nervously, running a hand through his unruly hair. He had no idea why he was so worried; he was nearly certain that Hermione would say yes. Doubt fluttered in his stomach. Oh, why did he have to pick today to be self-conscious?

Hermione eyed him apprehensively, "Sure Cedric. What is it?" Cedric might've imagined it, but he could've sworn he saw a bit of hope flicker in her brownie eyes. He took a deep breath.

"I wanted to know if you'd do me the honour of accompanying me to the Ball,"

There was a few tense seconds of silence where Cedric's mind went on overdrive, thinking of a million and one reasons why Hermione would reject him. Did she not feel the same way about him? Did she not want to ruin the special bond they harboured? Had someone already asked her? The latter made Cedric fume internally. It would be simply unacceptable if she went to the Ball with someone else.

But suddenly Hermione's face broke into a radiant smile and she flung herself at him, laughing merrily, "Of course I'll go with you Cedric. I'd love to."

His heart clenched, and then was filled with the brightest kind of love, making him feel like he was light-headed and floating. He wasn't even sure how to respond as Hermione tackled him to the ground; all he could do was smile like an idiot.

The next few weeks passed by in a blur. Cedric could see and feel his bond with Hermione changing and strengthening. It was almost as if the bond had changed from an intimate friendship to something more. He wasn't sure if Hermione noticed it, but he found himself wishing she could.

The night of the Yule Ball was a stressful night. Cedric paced his dormitory, fixing and re-fixing his dress robes, muttering to himself. None of his Hufflepuff friends had any idea why he was so nervous, but that was only because they didn't comprehend just how long Cedric had been waiting for this night.

"Dude, I don't know why you're so edgy," Scott, one of his closest Hufflepuff friends finally sighed exasperatedly, "She's just a girl. And not even a gorgeous girl at that. I still can't understand why you didn't ask Cho. She's been pinning after you for months."

Cedric growled, punching Scott swiftly on the arm, "Mya is the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Just because you can't see that doesn't mean I can't." His eyes tightened. "And Cho is nothing. I'm not interested, I've never been interested, and I most certainly never will be."

And with that, Cedric stormed out of the Hufflepuff tower, determined to find Hermione and make the best of this night. He walked up several flights of stairs until he was standing right outside the Gryffindor common room. He gulped, watching random girls and boys leave through the door. What if Hermione had already left and was waiting for him downstairs? What if she got tired of waiting and went to dance with someone else?

But his worries were squashed when the passage opened up, to reveal the most gorgeous angel he'd ever seen. There was no doubt in his mind that this was his angel, but she looked so different. She looked even more beautiful than she did every day—if that was even possible.

"You look dazzling Mya," Cedric whispered in an awe struck voice. Hermione giggled shyly, a faint blush colouring her cheeks. Her hair was sleek and shiny, twisted up in an elegant bun. Cedric could clearly see the honey-gold natural streaks in her hair, which were rare to see except in sunlight. She wore a stunning dress of periwinkle-blue material. The colour was lovely against her skin.

Cedric looped his arm with Hermione's, leading her towards the entrance hall. There were hundreds of other couples crowding the entrance the outside grounds. The girls all wore the prettiest silk and satin robes of many different colors, but Cedric couldn't keep his off his angel.

The Great Hall had been transformed into what could only be called an ice cavern. Garlands of mistletoe hung from the black starry ceiling, and enchanted icicles decorated the walls. The four giant House tables had been replaced by around a hundred circle tables, covered by silver table cloths.

Hermione and Cedric lined up together outside the Great Hall, as did the other champions, before McGonagall led them through the grand doors. Looking back for a split second, Cedric was surprised at the partners the other champions had chosen. Harry had come with Parvati Patil, Fleur with Roger Davies, and Krum had come with…Cho? Cedric blinked at the last one. He wasn't aware that Krum had known Cho.

But his attention was soon diverted by the goddess beside him. Her eyes were illuminated by the bright shine of the lights, captivating and deep. Her eyelids had been dusted with a fine coating of golden eye shadow, matching perfectly with her dress and contrasting well against the Great Hall decorations.

Professor McGonagall led the champions and their partners to a table at the top of the Great Hall, where the judges were seated at. Cedric pulled a chair out for Hermione before sitting beside her. He watched in amusement as Hermione looked around the room in astonishment. She met his gaze and beamed happily.

The rest of the night went by smoothly. Hermione and Cedric danced nearly the whole night, until—possibly at two in the morning—Cedric pulled Hermione away from the dance floor and outside. He led her to their usual tree, shadowing over the Black Lake.

The moon was shinning bright that night, casting a silver glow over the lake. Cedric looked down at Hermione as they neared the lake. Her eyes were confused, but excited. Arriving at the dark, crystal lake, Cedric turned Hermione towards him, placing his hands on her waist. Hermione instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck, moving fluidly with him.

Cedric leaned his head down slightly, staring into her eyes. Hermione blushed pink, knowing what he was hinting at. She stood up on her toes, brushing her lips against his. Cedric gently pushed forward, fusing their lips together.

Adrenaline and pride rushed through Cedric's veins as his lips moved with his angel's. He could feel four years worth of control begin to slip away. His hand tangled in Hermione's hair, titling her head at a different angle. When she broke away to breath, he began to pepper her neck with kisses.

"Everything's going to change now, isn't it?" Hermione sighed. Cedric removed his lips from her neck, many different emotions in his grey eyes. He chucked lowly.

"We will never change. You're still Mya, and I'm still Ced. While this—our relationship—has changed, we're still the same two people that we always have been," Cedric said, tucking one of Hermione's loose curls behind her ear. She smiled, appeased.

"You promise that nothing will change?" She asked, suddenly anxious, "What if this doesn't work out? I know I sound so clichéd right now, but I don't want to lose you."

Cedric took a thoughtful pause for a moment. His brows furrowed and his lips pursed. "Honestly, I think everything will be fine. If anything goes wrong though—and you have my word—I promise, no, I swear to you, that I'll personally make sure that our friendship stays the same as before."

Cedric hated saying those words. They sounded like filth coming from his mouth. Now that he had Hermione, he had no intention of letting anyone come between them. There was no turning back now; Cedric's natural possessiveness only grew with every tick of the clock. If he let her go, then she would be free to choose someone else.

And that would never do.

***

There was a definite change in Cedric's and Hermione's relationship. Even though everyone had been expecting it, it still came as a surprise for most. But for Cedric, it was simply a joyous time. He could finally treat his Mya the way he wanted to. Like a princess, a goddess. He spoiled her and loved her as no one had ever loved anyone before. But, this all said, he still showed an excessive amount of possessiveness towards his girlfriend.

And strangely, Hermione didn't appear to mind. In fact, she looked like she absolutely adored the way Cedric treated her, even his protectiveness. She never complained, nor even made a face about it. She was simply delighted.

The Second task passed by quickly, with Hermione being—unsurprisingly—the thing Cedric would miss the most. Cedric had won the challenge, thought only barely beating Krum and Harry. Months passed by, and Cedric found himself preparing for the Third task.

The day of the Third task was gruelling, with many tears being shed by everyone, out of joy and worry. Hermione though, spent most of the day in a sort of catatonic state. Something about the day felt...off. Something wicked was stirring in the air and she could feel it.

She turned out to be right. Hours after the champions had gone into the maze, a bright flash went off, and Harry and Cedric were suddenly thrown onto the ground from what seemed like nowhere. But something was wrong. Cedric's body was too limp, his eyes closed, but in a peaceful fashion.

Hermione's world came to a screeching halt. It was like everyone had just stopped talking, and all she could hear was the blood pounding in her ears. Everything just stopped. Her cheeks felt flush as every emotion rushed through her, roaring through her veins. Her eyes were clouded over by a mist. All she could see was Cedric.

She moved in slow motion, or so it seemed. Her limbs didn't want to move fast enough, she felt as if she were being weighed down by cement. Collapsing next to Cedric, she grabbed his face in her hands. Hermione could barely hear a distinct piercing noise in the background; a screaming voice.

Her screaming voice.

Witches and wizards rushed by, trying to pry Hermione away from Cedric, but she held onto him for dear life. They were both then transported to the Hospital Wing, where Madame Pomfrey and several other fully qualified Medi-Witches were waiting.

The days passed, and all Hermione could do was wait by Cedric's cot, holding and squeezing his hand. He's just in a coma, they had said, he should wake up eventually. But Hermione refused to move from his side, only allowing Harry or Ron to bring her food and water.

She felt like her chest was imploding, and every day she spent awake without him was just…wrong. She didn't deserve to feel fine—physically—when he didn't. It was like everything she ever knew had been flipped inside out, and Hermione realized with a jolt just how dependent upon Cedric she had become.

She needed him to breathe properly. She needed him to see the world in colors, instead of shades of grey. She needed him to find light where only darkness lurked. Without him, she could feel, hear, taste and see nothing. But she was perfectly fine with that. Her dependence was nothing more than a figment in the minds of others.

To find your other half—to truly become complete—is a marvellous thing. But imagine having half of your soul suddenly ripped away, with no warning. Physically, Hermione was fine, but mentally, she was bleeding. Emotionally, she was dying. Slowly. Quietly.

Cedric did not wake up for a few weeks after the last task. Many had begun to believe that he would never wake, though Hermione refused to believe. She could feel him, trapped within the confinements of himself, fighting to break free. And she would be waiting for him when he escaped.

But days turned into weeks, which turned into months. Two solid months had passed since the Tournament, and it was now June, the Third task having taken place in late April. Hermione could feel her hope slipped away. Maybe they were right. She was losing sight of herself.

"I'm such an idiot," Hermione whispered softly to herself, closing her eyes tightly, "I'm waiting for something that's never going to happen." She could feel a rough pulsation at the back of her head.

"Don't say that Mya. You aren't an idiot," said a rough, low voice beside her, rough from lack of use. Hermione froze, her eyes still shut. "If anything, I'm the idiot for entering that ridiculous Tournament."

Hermione's eyes shot open. A very much awake Cedric grinned up at her, his eyes half-lidded. A shriek left Hermione's mouth and she leaned forward, crushing her lips to his.

Cedric was in heaven. The last past two months had been hell for him. He could clearly hear his angel's soft, delicate sobs, and feel her tears fall upon his cheeks and lips, but he'd been stuck in a chaotic black hole inside of himself. Like a great blanket draped over him, Cedric spent every hour of every day trying to lift the invisible mass that kept him from waking up.

And so, the last days of school ended. It had been a hectic year for everyone, but now it was over. Cedric and Hermione spent nearly every day of the summer together, and on the occasional days where they couldn't see each other, they wrote back and forth every waking minute. Cedric's obsessive side was appeased, to say the very least.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly. Their relationship had finally started, and their problems were thrown into the past. No one could've ever anticipated something—anything—happening that could ever shake the very foundation of what made Cedric and Hermione, Ced and Mya.

But then along came Hermione's fifth year and Cedric's seventh.

***

The first few weeks of Cedric's seventh year in Hogwarts started out normally. Sure there was Umbridge, but she was only minor. No matter how much he hated her, or how much she hated him, Cedric never gave a second thought to the ugly pink toad. He didn't consider her to be worth it. His mind revolved around one thing and one thing only.

Hermione.

But then, out of the blue one day, his Mya—his reason for breathing—started to avoid him. She would make constant excuses to not be in his presence, but Cedric saw through them. His Hermione was purposely evading him. His heart was filled with a myriad of emotions, some extremely different from others.

Why would his Mya avoid him? Didn't she understand how much Cedric needed her? Didn't she understand that Cedric couldn't function properly without her by his side? Even other people noticed Hermione's absence around Cedric, and made it their dutiful right to inquire upon it, which just further increased his sorrow and anger.

But for the longest time, Cedric couldn't confront Hermione. Not that he didn't want to, because by God did he ever, but because he could never find Hermione on her own. He personally would not mind making a scene in front of people, but Cedric had a hunch Hermione would mind, and he really didn't feel like irritating her right now.

Cedric had no idea what to do. He'd never imagined anything like this could happen—his love not wanting to be with him. It was painful. Excruciatingly painful. It wouldn't have been the least bit melodramatic to say that he'd rather die than endure this pain any longer.

But, Cedric knew one thing. His angel would shun him no longer. He didn't know how he was going to get his point across, but when he figured it out, Hermione was going to wish she never started avoiding him…

Hermione strolled through the empty hallways, wary, but cautious. Since she'd started eluding Cedric, he'd made it his mission to be her shadow—though Hermione was a bit too quick for him. But lately, it seemed like Cedric had just…stopped. Stopped looking for her, and maybe even started avoiding her in return.

Hermione felt her heart plummet at the thought. She didn't want Cedric to stop following her. She couldn't tell him why she was steering clear of him, bit him trying to track her gave her confidence and hope that maybe he might still want to be with her.

It was just all so twisted.

Hermione walked swiftly through the corridors, careful to make sure she didn't make a sound. The halls were so eerie late at night, with the dead pin silence and dim candle lights. Being a prefect, Hermione was allowed to roam the halls at night, but sometimes…she wished she couldn't.

Far down on the right side of the hallway, Hermione spotted a door to a classroom—which was supposedly never used anymore—slightly ajar. This confused Hermione, but—curiously—without thinking, she went to go close the door.

Reaching forward to grab the door handle, a slim piece of paper caught Hermione's attention. Hermione could tell by the faint, yet distinctive smell that it was fresh parchment, which was peculiar, considering this classroom hadn't been used in over five years. It was across the classroom, folded and pinned to the wall. Hermione could see the writing through the thin paper, but the words were too blurred to read.

She took a few chary steps forward, keeping her eyes trained on the parchment. To anyone else, this would've seemed completely out of character for someone with Hermione's vast intelligence, but she couldn't think properly. The past months had left her drained, mentally and physically.

Once she was close enough, Hermione snatched the paper, not caring if it ripped slightly. She unfolded the paper with shaking hands. Three words were printed in elegant cursive, a familiar style of writing that sent tingles through Hermione's stomach.

'Turn around Mya'

She heard the door click shut and a few quick mutterings of a locking charm. She gradually turned around, her eyes wide and fearful. Cedric stood at the other end of the room, leaning against the wall, with one leg propped up against a chair. She had underestimated him. Hermione inwardly cursed herself. How could she have been so stupid? This was Cedric. This wasn't some naïve, bumbling fourth year.

No one quite understands the lengths an obsessed man will go to.

"Hello Mya," He said, his voice low and dark. His eyes bored into hers, a maniacal glint in them. A small, dangerous smile was painted on his lips. Hermione had never seen Cedric like this. She'd seen glimpses of this—his possessed side—but never fully.

"You know," Cedric drawled lazily, "I didn't think my plan would actually work. It was a long shot. You might've not walked down this hallway, or perhaps you could've missed the note, or simply ignored it." He paused, before a wide, voracious smirk stretched across his face, "But you always do surprise me."

"Cedric," Hermione said quickly in shock, "What are you doing here?" Her face was stunned, bewildered at how he had managed to outwit her, and also a bit disappointed. It had all been going so well.

The glint in Cedric's eyes shone brighter as she spoke. "Why, I'm here to claim what's rightfully mine," He said simply, as if it were obvious.

"Claim what?" Her voice was shaky as she took a step back.

Cedric's face darkened and he growled, "You."

He took his foot off the chair, kicking it to the side, and began to stalk forward. Every time he took a step forward, Hermione took one back. It was like a game of cat and mouse, and Cedric was merely toying with her before he finished this.

"Do you know how anguishing it was for the love of my life to start avoiding me?" He said, his voice threatening and velvety, "Do you know how much I've missed you? How much I've been through, knowing you were so close, yet so far away from me?"

"Cedric, please stop," Hermione begged, her eyes filling with tears. This was all just too much for her. She might've been exceptionally bright, but she was only human. Something flickered in Cedric' eyes, but was quickly replaced by the same predatory gaze that haunted his cloudy eyes earlier.

"No," He said playfully, "I don't think I will. You see, this is fun. I finally get to take what's mine, and no one can stop me." He now stood an arm's length away from her, so close that there was no possible way Hermione could run without him catching her.

"I don't understand," Hermione whimpered, tears cascading down her porcelain cheeks. Though he did feel some remorse, Cedric could only appreciate just how lovely she looked at that moment, so vulnerable and helpless to him.

"Oh my angel," Cedric cooed lovingly, placing a hand on her waist and pulling her to him, "You've been mine since you first stepped foot into the Great Hall. Why do you think I started talking to you in the first place?" His face was thoughtfully insane, gazing down upon her as if she were the most important being on the planet—which to him, she was.

"Didn't it ever confuse you?" He asked gently, "Why a third year could suddenly start paying so much attention to a first year? Didn't you ever wonder if there was a reason behind it?"

"I just thought you were a nice guy," She cried softly, still not fully comprehending, "I didn't think about it. You were my first real friend. I wasn't about to let you go because I couldn't understand why you wanted to be around me."

"Well now you know love," He whispered. There were no words to describe how Hermione was feeling. She was finally beginning to understand just how much Cedric loved her, how much he obsessed over her, and how much he needed her.

They stood in silence for a few seconds, with only the sounds of Cedric's heavy breathing and Hermione's fragile sniffles. Leisurely, Cedric brought his hand under Hermione's and lightly forced her to look up.

"Now, I'm going to ask you a simple question," He said, his voice slightly saner, "Why did you start avoiding me?"

Hermione gulped down a huge lungful of air. She couldn't tell. She could see now just how wrong she had been. How naïve. She'd always thought of herself as mature. Someone who got her facts straight. Someone who took everything she heard with a grain of salt.

But she—in the end—was wrong.

"Nothing," She mumbled, "It was a stupid reason. I'm sorry." She tried to look everywhere but into his eyes. They pierced through her, suspicious and dark. Cedric wouldn't give up so easily. He would know.

"Hmm…I don't think that's the answer I wanted to hear," He mused, his lips pulling into a small smirk. This was all just so amusing to him. She constantly underestimated him. He was almost insulted, but he knew Hermione. Insecure, yet arrogant as all hell.

"I told you it was nothing," She insisted, trying to push Cedric away. Not like it worked.

"Are we going to have this argument again?" The amusement in his eyes grew, remembering a time many years ago. Stubborn Mya. She would never change. But Cedric loved that about her. A small smile found its way onto her face. Hermione sighed in defeat.

"Back in September, I was outside on the grounds while you were inside taking a test when Cho came up to me with her band of cronies," Hermione reencountered. Cedric felt himself tense at her name. "She started telling me…thing about you and me. She said that you'd eventually lose interest in me, and other things. I didn't believe her at first, but over time, I noticed how you began to flirt with other girls." She sighed again, "I got jealous. I figured if I separated myself from you, I'd be easier for me."

Cedric stared at her in disbelief, "What?"

"Do I have to repeat the whole story?" She asked. Hermione's eyes flashed with annoyance and hurt. Cedric gave a relaxed grin.

"That's what this was all about?" He chuckled, eyes twinkling with mirth, "Why didn't you just come tell me what Chang had said?" His eyes suddenly turned stern.

Hermione blushed, "At the time…I don't know why. It's so silly now. I was being childish. I know Cho was being petty. I know I was overanalyzing everything. I…I just don't know."

Cedric ruffled her hair affectionately. "Sweetheart, I would never get tired of you. I've told you this." He abruptly frowned, "And I've never flirted with another you, besides you. I hardly even associate with others. That was just me being polite. I couldn't very well tell them to bugger off."

Hermione giggle, "I was wrong, I admit it." She grimaced, "Eww…I hate being wrong. I am sorry though."

"It's alright now Mya. But promise me you won't pull a stunt like that again." His face grew darker, "You are mine. That will never change. Don't ever think I'll let you go so easy." He chuckled, "Don't take me lightly."

And so ended that particular chapter in Cedric's and Hermione's life together. Years passed, but still, Hermione still managed to misjudge Cedric at every opportunity possible. Cedric never lost his patience with her though, and—even after all the time he'd spent with her—his obsession continued to grow. He would still do anything for his angel, and perhaps even more.

But really, no one knows the lengths an obsessed man will go to.

***

Nine Years Later

The Weasley's and other close family guest gathered around the small coffee table in the middle of the Burrow. The room was cramped, but no one really cared. Everyone here was family, or so close that it didn't matter that they weren't blood related.

"Oh stop keeping us in suspense 'Mione," Ginny finally sighed in frustrated, "What's the important news you keep raving on about?"

Hermione smiled up at Cedric, her eyes bright with excitement. Hermione briefly touched her stomach, running a bit in a soothing circle. Everyone in the room simultaneously let out shocked gasps.

"You…got…her…pregnant?!" bellowed a red faced Ron. The tips of his ears turned purple from fury. Molly Weasley's gasp was the loudest, her hand flying to rest over her heart. A few of the man in the room looked amused and impressed.

"Not yet," Cedric smirked and Hermione whacked him on the back of the head. Everyone laughed, except Ron, who still looked wary, and like he might throw up.

"That's not the news," Hermione snapped, but a smile was playing on her lips, "My stomach was just hurting. Sheesh people."

"Then what's the news?" Luna asked in her dreamy, pensive voice from Neville's side. Her milky moss green eyes were curious and alive, so vivid and inexplicable.

Hermione stretched out her left hand, and there, glittering on her middle finger, was a silver ring with a sparkling emerald in the center, surrounded by tiny diamonds. Jaws dropped and Cedric wrapped an arm around his angel's—and fiancée's—waist, immensely proud of himself. He'd been the first out of everyone to propose.

"When was it?" Ginny whispered, her eyes wide. Hermione giggled.

"Two days ago. We're planning a winter wedding, and since its early fall, that should be no problem."

"A winter wedding?" Harry raised an eyebrow, before shaking his head, "You two always were a couple of odd ones. But I can understand why you'd want to get married in December, since it's quicker."

"No," Cedric shook his head in disagreement, "We both just love winter. We would've planned a winter wedding even if it were summer right now." A round of chuckles passed before something flickered in Cedric's expression, and he looked down at Hermione with a sinful grin.

"Oh yeah, that's right, we had another announcement." Cedric suddenly turned to Ginny. "Ginny, before you ask for a second time, yes, we would like to ask you to be Hermione's maid of honour."

Confusion was spelt out on Ginny's face. "A second time? Wha--?" Her head snapped to Luna and the memory shot through them. Cedric grinned brighter. The two girls erupted into laughter, clutching at their stomachs. The rest of the guests looked down at the two hysterical girls in shocked bafflement.

This was only the beginning of their life together. The first step. It was a sick life, and had a twisted start, but neither of them would have it any other way.

--

A/N: There. Finally. Done. That took forever. This is the first time I've ever done something so tied into my personal life. Nothing like this, but I mean, my friend [blank name] had a few experiences with obsessive people. It's not as romantic as I made it out to be. Really, if you had someone like Cedric wanting to treat you like a goddess, would you object?

No. Didn't think so.

To just clear up a few things, I know I made Hermione's character slightly…more naïve than she really is. But you have to understand, Hermione grew up a whole different way than in the Harry Potter books. She was always dependant on Cedric, and though she was independent, nowhere near as in the books. So, she's just different here…

Well, that's all. :)

--Breathless Tomb--