A Shock

The skinny black-haired boy quickened his pace to match that of the man whom he was following. In fact, the man seemed to be walking very fast for someone his age. He was so old he could have passed as the boy's great-grandfather, with his long white hair and beard, sharp blue eyes twinkling behind half-moon spectacles, and long blue robes that matched the color of his eyes. The elderly man and teenage boy appeared to be heading nowhere in particular, though with a purpose. The boy opened his mouth as though to ask a question, but suddenly seemed to think better of it. They walked on in silence for many minutes through a dense forest around the edge of a lake. The boy was now unable to control himself. He blurted out, "Professor, where are we going?"

The old man acted as though deaf to him, but then suddenly stopped, wheeled around, gazed upon the boy with his piercing blue eyes, and spoke. "Harry, what I have to tell you is something that must not be repeated at all costs."

The boy seemed unconcerned and replied in earnest, "I promise, Professor, I won't tell anyone."

The man pondered this for a minute and replied slowly, "Yes, I know you wouldn't, but I wouldn't want to cause you any more trauma."

The boy wasn't concerned with this either. "Is something wrong, Professor?"

The man sighed. He suddenly looked much older somehow. "Yes, something is wrong. I'm afraid there's no easy way to tell you this, I'm warning you this may come as a shock, but you have the right to know…" He took a deep breath, "Cedric Diggory is not dead. He's been transported to America and turned into a vampire under a new alias of Edward Cullen."