Warnings: Character death, series spoilers, Murphy's Law, and fallen toast.
Disclaimers: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling and Associates, of which I am not one. Toast is a collaborative idea, but an individually written challenge.
Cedric Diggory was a firm disbeliever in the concept known commonly as "fate"... but apparently his toast had other ideas. He frowned at the offending piece of bread as though it had slighted him in some way – which is might have considering it fell butter-side down on his black robes and would leave a pale yellow smear – before his attention was drawn away by well-wishers. He smiled brightly at those who crowded around him and picked up the toast.
Really, if he had taken a useful subject like Divination rather than Ancient Runes or Care of Magical Creatures, he would have realized something was wrong. But, alas, he was completely oblivious to the omen presented by his toast even as he waved his wand and murmured "Evanesco" to vanish the mess. Cedric Diggory had never put much stock in Divination, and therefore wouldn't have cared even if he had known the truth.
If he did, however, it was likely he wouldn't have gotten out of bed that morning.
"Break a leg, Diggory!" A rather snarky Slytherin in Cedric's year called out. Cedric was only offended for a minute or so before Justin Finch-Fletchley, a fourth year in his house, informed him that it was actually a muggle wish for good luck common given to performers since saying "good luck" was bad luck.
The Slytherin, of course, had meant this literally, but Cedric didn't think that way. He was an optimistic sort of person, and one Slytherin wasn't about to change that. Neither was his toast.
Soon after, which was before he could grab a new slice of toast, Cedric was greeting his family, but he couldn't think of much beyond toast and his girlfriend, Cho Chang. Even as he spent the day with his parents (and not taking end-of-the-year exams like his classmates), his thoughts wandered constantly to his toast that morning.
This was probably because he hadn't eaten breakfast.
At the third task, Cedric ran beside Harry Potter, and as they separated he thought once more of his toast. He shook this off and focused on getting to the center of the maze before the other three competitors and earning some glory for Hufflepuff. Unfortunately, things are never as simple as one wishes them to be.
Each challenge Cedric came across – from the Blast Ended Skrewts that Hagrid raised to the Devil's Snare – made him think he'd picked an unlucky path to follow. Especially when Viktor Krum – Viktor Krum of all people! – used the Cruciatus Curse on him.
However, Cedric felt it was all worth it when he caught sight of the Triwizard Cup sitting in the center of the clearing and, with Harry Potter at his side with a broken leg, grasped the crystal handles to seal a Hogwarts victory.
Then the world fell from under his feet, and though he landed without much by way of complications, he was once again reminded of his toast from that morning.
A hoarse whisper of "Kill the spare!", a brilliant green light, and a sort of "whoosh" sound heralded his doom, just as the vicious harbinger of buttered toast had earlier in the day, leaving a butter stain on Cedric's robes to prove its existence.
When Cedric fell, he landed face-up, unlike his toast.
Author's Note: This was inspired when Corselli dropped her midnight snack - a piece of buttered toast - on the ground. And it happened to land butter side down. I made the comment that became the summary of Toast. Due to the fact that we were exploring plot bunnies (yay bunnies!), we immediately decided that my words would make an interesting summary. So from there we came up with this and other related series of one-shots.
Toast is a collaborative project between, currently, Corselli and Stalker of Stories. It is a series of one-shots that follows the bad days and the very bad days of different characters in various fandoms. As you can see, I am writing in the Harry Potter fandom, and Corselli is writing in the Naruto fandom.
If you are interested on getting in on this challenge/project with us, please send me or Corselli a PM. Please see the rules/guidelines posted on both of our profile pages.