I am soooo sorry it has been so long but I hope that you guys will forgive my long absense!
"Why good afternoon Madame Pince." Ian grinned, leaning oh so leisurely on the desk of the infamous librarian. He aimed his extra spectacular smile at her, all pearl whites on display.
"Yes, Mr. Neilson?" Madame Pince raised her rimless specs to look at him.
"Well I have this project,"
"Already?" Madame Pince echoed because it was only the first week.
"Um, yes, you know Professor Snape. So eager to torture- I mean teach us." He corrected, grinning extra wide when the tiniest bit of a smile seemed to make an appearance on her lips. "Well I'm hopelessly..." Ian began to explain in the widest circle he could, a fake project he was making up as he went, that would thoroughly confuse the librarian, while he made a gesture with his other hand behind his back to tell his best mate to go now!
"There are these beans,"
Cedric hid a laugh with the sleeve of his robe when he strode past the front desk to find his girlfriend's favorite study spot. Between two rows of bookshelves, was a single desk and sure enough his girlfriend was sitting on the desk, her bag neatly by the leg of her chair, two large tomes opened before her while she was scribbling furiously on a parchment.
Not being able to help himself, he swooped down to hug her shoulders. He grinned when he felt her go rigid, good she had her defenses up, that was his girl.
"It's me," He whispered in her ear, before kissing the top part of said ear.
"Cedric!" Hermione practically squeaked, a blush spreading over her cheeks.
"You can't skip meals." Cedric dropped his bag beside hers, leaning on her desk.
"Is it..." Hermione looked up, not even having to finish her sentence while Cedric nodded, knowing her question. Hermione just sighed. "Sorry lost track of time."
Cedric softly took her hand. "I know, so being the wonderful caring boyfriend I am, I brought my girlfriend lunch, risking Madame Pince's wrath to do so." Cedric winked while he uncovered the mashed potatoes and chicken breast he had sneaked out of the dining hall, untensils and all.
Hermione's eyes widened as her jaw dropped. "Cedric!" She protested. "We can't eat in the library!"
"There are no such rules," Cedric flourished.
"Page 387 of Hogwarts a History-"
"Written anywhere in this library saying such, and if so, the boys and I have been breaking them since our third year. What's one more year?" Only to falter barely even a second and correct himself, adding a cheeky smile at the end.
"Uh huh," Hermione shook her head. "And I thought Ron was bad, but at least he's never eaten in the library."
Cedric just laughed lightly once more. "Just think of it as a picnic in the library." He prodded her. "I went through all this work," He pouted at her.
"Merlin," Hermione closed her eyes. "Okay fine, my stomach was rumbling a bit earlier anyway. But I want a real picnic, at the lake."
An ear to ear grin appeared on Cedric's face. "That I look forward to,"
As Hermione forked some mashed potatoes, she looked up at her much too wonderful boyfriend with a small smile. "Tell me about your day so far?" She asked softly.
"Love to, Cedric said, accioing a chair for himself, leaning on her desk to watch her eat.
For the next ten minutes, while Cedric relayed his day, including telling Hermione about how his friends tricked him, only to then be asked to explain what exactly happened back in second year. In which he explained about how he and his friends had started to use their room as a practice room to teach themselves the proper spells for defense against the dark arts, using the book and Cedric's own knowledge from what he'd learned and what his parents had taught him since he was young, always teaching him spells because so many of their family had been killed in the First Wizarding war that they just wanted him to be able to not be defenseless.
"That's brilliant." Hermione couldn't help but be impressed with Cedric and his friends, they were only second years then and still had gone so far to learn and teach themselves.
"Until Robbie's bed sheets went on fire because Ian had somehow changed one syllable in a spell." Cedric grinned.
Hermione had to cover her mouth with her hand so she didn't spit food at Cedric.
"What about you? How was your day and you already have so much homework?" Cedric tapped his index finger on Hermione's parchment.
"Anchient Runes, its due in a few weeks but I needed a distraction from my thoughts."
"What's wrong?" Cedric asked softly when Hermione began to play with her potatoes. Resting his chin on her tome to give her a look that told her he was all ears.
"It's just Harry, and I really worry. In class today, it was like he was someone else. So angry Cedric..." Hermione looked up at him, her face drawn with sorrow. "And I worry about you too. You both went through that, seeing Death. I keep trying to tell myself that you're okay, but I'm worried that you're putting up a mask for me, to not make me worried, and that makes me even more worried."
Cedric sat up this time, a small smile on his face. "Hermione Granger," He sighed. "You worry too much..." He lightly traced her face with his hand. "I do feel angry too sometimes, and hate people, but there's you, and Ian, and our friends that remind me that I'm not alone. You all are there to make me remember what's most important, to be happy and live. That I have to be strong so that I can protect you all when the time comes." Cedric cupped her face.
Hermione leant into his touch, looking up at him with her soft toffee colored eyes. "I'm very capable of taking care of myself Cedric Diggory, but I'm glad that I can make you happy and want to live."
"Yes," Cedric whispered before his lips met hers in a sweet slow kiss.
Pulling back, Hermione was still smiling and reveling in the kiss. "Do you want to be a member of S.P.E.W. ?" She had to ask, it was the last thing she had to ask him. She hadn't dared mention it to him earlier because of how badly Harry and Ron had reacted to it last year and even still now, but she had to ask now. It meant so much to her though...
"Sorry what? Spew, like-" Cedric asked confused.
"No! S, Society, P, for the Promotion, E of Elvish, W, Welfare!"
It took a moment of Cedric to comprehend it all but at his girlfriend's eager expression, almost needing approval, he simply smiled and said yes. Cedric was smiling even larger when she squealed, his girlfriend the infamous Hermione Granger, actually squealing, before she threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his.
"I guess lunch was a hit?" Ian asked, coming around the corner, having spent the last few minutes trying to find them, having thoroughly confused Madame Pince enough that she told him to just wander up and down the shelves till he found what he needed.
Hermione and Cedric looked up at him, the former blushing briefly but then her face lit up. "Ian would you like to join S.P.E.W. ?"
"Stew? Food?!" Ian asked excitedly only for Cedric to laugh while Hermione detached from him.
"P," Hermione sighed. "S.P.E.W."
"Erm," Ian made a face at the less than attractive name.
The rest of the week for Cedric was rather dull, however the same couldn't be said for his girlfriend that he rarely saw her, only a few times could he manage to corner her and steal a kiss. She was fluttering here and there constantly. He would only catch glimpses of her for a moment, but she always seemed to be flying off again, to somewhere. He knew exactly why though. Harry had tried to act like he was fine when they had met to just sit down on together on the bench, both of them trying to do homework, but would normally end up talking about everything and nothing, he knew all was not fine with the Boy who Lived.
"My scar," Harry whispered once when Cedric had been attempting Transfiguration homework, only to nearly get whiplash at Harry's admission from looking up so fast. Those words alone brought back that night to him, clear as day. How Harry had practically keeled over in pain in that graveyard, before telling him to hide.
Cedric had let his quill drop as he faced Harry. "That must mean he's active..." Cedric whispered.
"I reckon," Harry nodded somberly. "I'm sorry, its probably half my fault why Hermione's never around anymore . She's been trying to research the First War and something about binding curses, because she's trying to see if there's any way to ease my pain, and even though I tell her no, the pain reminds me that he's out there, she doesn't listen, just says that we need to find a way to control it so that I can at least have a shot at being happy and human again." Harry sighed. "I thought she was about to break down, but instead it was almost worse. I think I made her cry and hide from us all by using her knitting as an excuse." Harry sighed.
"It's okay..." Cedric trailed. "But Harry how do we?"
"I don't know, more than half the school hates me the other half are afraid of me, and we can't afford to let lose your Head position, you're basically the only thing saving the younger students from Umbridge and her intrusion on our lives."
"Well I started to feel guilty that even as the head boy, I didn't know nearly as many rules as my girlfriend. It was only time I read her favorite book of all time, cover to cover." Cedric sighed.
Despite himself, Harry grinned as he recalled Cedric coming up to Umbridge on one of her brigades with the large Hogwarts a History in his arms, showing her the exact page, with the written rule, and telling her that she was forbidden from punishing a student for saying or remarking about the Ministry. Hogwarts was a place to foster learning and thought, and no punishment shalt punish a student for his free thoughts when not in a classroom sphere, that did not put any lives in danger. "Hermione's happy though, she's just busy, but you should have seen her when she learned from everyone that you had apparently read the whole book and had your parents send you your own copy to carry around. She was practically floating in joy."
Cedric ran a hand through his hair, rather abashed by Harry's sentence, but he was glad that there was something he could do to stop Umbridge's rampage and it was all truly thanks to his girlfriend for telling him about the no eating in the library rule in Hogwarts a History.
"Can you help me corner her after dinner tonight?" Cedric asked.
"Sure, but first can you help me on this Charms sheet? I can't concentrate on it to save my life and I'm afraid Hermione is quite mad at me for mocking Spew in my anger." Harry sighed.
"Yes, she is rather sensitive about Spew." Cedric winced as he had also been on the other end of the anger once too. He had the unfortunate lack of sensitivity to laugh at her sewing, asking her if he wanted her to ask his friends to help her learn to sew because her hats often became scarves.
Only for her to yell that he should then date them then! He would of course chase her, because he'd seen everyone's reactions about Spew, including the house elves themselves. And it was a lot of Hermione against everyone, and he knew that she was getting pressure to quit, but she was stubborn, a trait that frustrated him but he also loved at the same time. So it was only a given that she was very sensitive and he was supposed to be on her side always, which he was... but he had grown up with an elf too, until she died of old age, in which his mother hadn't the heart to ever replace Ella. Ella was irreplaceable. And they had never mistreated her, they had loved her because she was family.
So he knew that a lot of people out there also treasured their house elves but Hermione hadn't ever seen the good side of the sacred house elf and family relationship, she'd only seen the Crouch's and Malfoys and Merlin knows they weren't the finest examples.
"I'll ask Ginny to lure her out of the girl's tower and get her to dinner, does that work?" Harry asked while Cedric began to take his Charms sheet and actually rewrite the questions into clearer more concise questions that actually made sense rather than Flitwick's more discombobulated ones.
Hope this makes up a little for my abscense!