I was walking to the library, -holding just like usual, a pile of books in the arms. All those books were related to spells which could help Harry in his third task. Even if my best friend had survived the first two, I was still scared for him: after the dragons and a lake full of mermaids, I knew that the last task wouldn't be a piece of cake. However, now we were prepared, Harry had worked many spells that could be useful in the maze; but I prefered to be careful, that's why I was still going to the library everyday to look through some helpful books. Ron hadn't stopped to repeat that I was getting paranoid, but I wasn't: students had been killed during this tournament.
I was pulled out of my thoughts when someone bumped into me, making all my books fall down on the floor. I sighed and knelt down to pick them up, perfectly aware thatt I wouldn't receive any assistance.
"I'm sorry. Let me help you" I heard though.
The boy knelt down and I widened my eyes in surprise when I recognized his "pretty" face: it was Cedric Diggory.
I didn't know a lot about him, except that he was the first Hogwarts' champion (and in principle, the only one) and we had quickly met during the Quidditch World Cup. Although he was smiling and being quite friendly, we hadn't had the chance to talk. Never. Ron and his brothers didn't like him merely because an old resentment and maybe some jealousy: Cedric was the good-looking student of the school and any girl would be honoured to be his girlfriend. Well "any", not me though: I wasn't like the other girls. I have never read a fashion magazine or never thought of talking about boys and first kisses. Plus, Cedric was so far from my kind of boy, he was a little too popular for a bookworm girl like me.
He knelt down and picked some books. "It's fine. I kind of got used to it. All those books are too heavy, anyway" I said, frowning. "Then why do you keep carrying them around?" he naturally asked . I couldn't help myself to smirk and looked down at the floor, preparing a sarcastic response. "You don't know who I am, I guess. And that's quite logical after all, you are certainly too busy with your gang to take a look at you other schoolmates".
Even if I sounded rude, Cedric genuinely smiled at me.
"I know who you are", he stated. I glanced at him, curious to hear his answer. "You're a Gryffindor".
The satisfied look on his face, it was like he had just resolved the Sphynx enygma.
"And you found it out all by yourself, I assume", I teased as I shot a quick glance at my robes.
Cedric followed my look and saw my red lion badge. The genuine surprise on his face made it feel like he hadn't thought of taking a look at it, like I had just given him the idea.
He shook his head as we both stood up..
"Your name is Hermione Granger and you're the brightest student of your House, maybe even of the school. You like reading and astaying in the library. You have the answer to all the professors' questions, especially Snape's", he smirked when mentionning his name. "And you're also a faithful friend and a brave witch."
I kept quiet, feeling my cheeks turning red. Cedric stared at me and smiled.
"But maybe I've found out all this only by glancing at your badge" he added.
I was not scared to admit it, -okay, I was actually terrified to-, but this boy had just shut me up. I couldn't find anything to respond. I had misjudged him, quite harshly, and he had showed me wrong, with tact.
"I'm sorry", I stammered, ashamed of my behaviour, cause if there was one thing I hated, it was to misjudge people with no good reasons. And I had just done it, I had judged a book by its cover: because Cedric Diggory was the Golden boy, because he was popular, I had concluded he could be a bit shallow, or let's say I had concluded he was completely out of my world.
"I was wrong about you" I murmured avoiding any eye contact. Cedric stared at me, and I practically held my breath when my look plunged into into his grey eyes. "No problem. Maybe you were too busy with your own gang to really know what kind of guy I am", he answered with an amused smile. Unlike me, when he said this, his voice was friendly and bare of sarcasm.
Cedric held me the books he gathered. "Thank you", I simply replied. I turned my back to him, unwilling to look at him any longer. I had behaved so laughably, I thought I would never be able to face him anymore. I walked along the corridor, already thinking of a way to avoid him during the next days, and even months. I sighed a sigh of relief, when I remembered that the next year was going to be his last one.
"Hermione" he called. I reluctantly turned around. Why was he torturing with his kindness. I wanted to beat myself up and I was deeply hoping he could ignore me, treat me like a pariah. His despise would help to stop feeling guilty and stupid. "I noticed your books treat about protective spells. I need to learn some before the third task. Maybe you could help me?", he hesitantly asked.
"Sure! let's spend some time together after this awkward moment. I know I will love it".
Just the thought of facing him so soon was unbearable. And that's when I said those stupid words. "I'm not sure it's a good idea. I mean, Harry is my best friend."
Even if Cedric remained calm, his eyes didn't lie to me. He was disappointed, maybe even hurt. What was wrong with me? Why did I tell him this? I didn't even mean it. Of course, Harry was my best friend, and so what? Cedric was Harry's contestant, but he wasn't mine. The truth is that I used this dumb excuse only because I couldn't stand the idea to get acquainted with someone who had shut me up.
"It doesn't matter" Cedric quickly spoke in, wanting to put an end to this conversation."Say good luck to Harry for me". I wanted to stop him, tell him I didn't mind helping him but my mouth never obeyed my mind. I just watched him turn and leave.
This was the last time I saw Cedric Diggory alive.
Author's note: So give me your impressions. I apologize for my English. I'll try to update the first chapter soon. This prologue is kind of a flash-back, and don't forget this is a Cedric/Hermione pairing.
I don't own Harry Potter.