Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Beta'd by Nlr287bells and Alice's White Rabbit of the Project Team Beta.
Although generally a modest person, Hermione Granger had always known that she was a powerful witch, but even so, what she had done was beyond all of her expectations. Yes, she was a little insufferable know-it-all, as Snape had always called her, but that only served to remind her that all the knowledge she gathered from reading one book after another was put to good use. Her personal academic achievements were proof enough of that. But, again, this was beyond everything she thought possible. Even magic must have its own limits!
She didn't believe in fate, destiny, karma or all of the associated rubbish. Her particular dislike for Divination was proof enough of that. Sure, she didn't see, feel, or predict anything. She always told herself that it wasn't her own failing but instead this rather rubbish subject in general. Her father had always told her that it was not the Fates that chose her destiny—it would only be herself and her own hard work—that when someone made a poor choice in his or her life, he or she would always blame it on the Fates, but not on him- or herself. Yes, only she would be able to choose who she wished to become, not some silly superstitious concept for the weak-minded. She would never base what she would do, wear, eat or whatever for the day, week, month or year on the horoscope, for example. Her father would always tell her to never let any drivel like that decide what her life should be. He also told her to never give up on what she wanted her life to be. But what had happened, the events that led to how it happened, and what she had done to achieve that formidable feat of magic might seriously get her to rethink her position on that front alone. After all, she had indeed appealed to them. The Fates.
And to think that this morning had begun so well with her personal little victory over that sneaky, snarky little beetle, Rita Skeeter. True, the night of the third task was supposed to be that big, happy, and mighty event with the Triwizard Tournament. The Triwizard champion would be claiming the cup for eternal glory and have his or her name recorded in the history books. To see that person appear before all, triumphant and brandishing his or her prize would certainly be memorable. But why had everything gone so wrong that night?
With the rest of the spectators, she had been cheering when the champion had appeared in the middle of the field with the cup, but as silence quickly fell upon them, she realised that something was wrong ... terribly wrong. She was not exactly what people would call a pessimist and surely not an optimist; she was, and would always be, just a down-to-earth realist. A pragmatist. She preferred it that way, as she was never overly disappointed nor was she surprised. She didn't like surprises; she'd never liked being surprised at all. When she heard Fleur Delacour's scream, she realised that she was right; though at that moment in time, she desperately wanted to be proved wrong. She so disliked being wrong, but something horrible, really horrible, had happened, and if she were wrong, perhaps it wasn't as horrible as it seemed.
She was so frantic that she didn't realise she had started moving; she actually forced her way through the crowds, down the stands and onto the field. After all, her best friend was one of the last two contenders; he was either still in the maze or he had just appeared on the field, but then why had this pandemonium begun? She so hoped that he was okay and she was so wrapped up in her own frenetic thoughts that she didn't hear the cries, wails, and screams of those around her. She certainly didn't hear the whispers, the murmurs that were floating in the air. Had she actually stopped to catch her breath, she would have been able to listen. She would have known what had happened before she witnessed it herself. She would have understood then, but there was only one thing on her mind at the moment: making sure that Harry was all right. She prayed to all deities above that her best friend had gotten out of this damn tournament alive, and thus by doing so, she completely forgot about the last contender that had still been in the maze with Harry after Victor Krum and Fleur Delacour had come out.
When she was finally on the field and drawing nearer to where Harry was, she finally understood the cause of the chaos. Harry was crouched low clutching not the Cup, which was lying a few feet from her, but he was clutching Cedric Diggory's black and yellow Quidditch shirt. She, at first, didn't understand what had happened, but as she paused to process the scene before her, all the noise surrounding her again reached her ears, and she froze in shock.
He was dead.
Cedric Diggory, the beloved son, the cherished student, the formidable friend, the sweet, modest, honest, and good young man was ... dead.
She was instantly overwhelmed by sadness. Before today, she had seen, only briefly, one dead person this close and that was when she had gone to her grandfather's funeral when she was ten years old. She had loved her grandfather; he was always there for the holidays, family reunions and other things like that. True, she had been immensely sad when she understood that Granddad would not be there to see her further her education or congratulate her on any new outstanding academic achievements, but she didn't remember feeling so much sadness at his funeral like what she felt just now. Maybe, it was because that event was too far back in time for her to recall properly how she felt. Perhaps she understood death better now than she did at ten. Whatever the reason, she felt herself drowning in a flood of emotions in which sadness, pity, and compassion were the most prominent. Tears were already streaming down her cheeks when she recognised why she felt so overwhelmed.
She thought of what could have—should have—been for Cedric. He was a talented, smart, and promising young man who would have had myriad opportunities to prove what a fantastic wizard he was in a wide array of disciplines. She imagined everything that this brilliant young man would never be able to do or achieve. Like any normal young student, he would have gone on to pass his N.E.W.T.s—with high marks assuredly. He was, after all, a hard worker like every other Hufflepuff, though he really stood out in his house. But one thing she would at least give him: he was the model Hufflepuff. He would never have a career. In her opinion, it would be the recruiters who would have been incredibly lucky if he accepted their offers.
He was an excellent athlete who could have made a wonderful career in Quidditch. Though Hermione didn't give much of a tosh for Quidditch, she had to admit that watching him fly was absolutely mind-blowing. Though Harry was a brilliantly fast seeker for Gryffindor, Hermione had to say that Cedric surpassed Harry in grace, fluidity, and charisma in the air. But she would never say that to Harry's face. Yes, Cedric had that incredible aura about him, and when she looked up, her eyes would always be drawn to him. It really was a pity that she had gone to very few Hufflepuff matches other than when they were opposing Gryffindor.
He had a brilliant mind and would have done wonders in the fields of research or analysis. He was talented and had that knack and affinity for magic that made it seem like watching what people would call poetry in motion when he'd cast a spell. She had watched him, mesmerised by his control of magic in the first task: the fluidity, the ease with which he had transfigured that boulder into a live dog and sent it as a decoy for his dragon. She had been impressed by him that day.
He would never ever bring a girl home to present to his parents, and he would also never get introduced as the handsome boyfriend to the girl's parents. If she had ever had Cedric at her side at her parents' house, her mother would be overcome by joy, and she was sure that her father would have accepted him instantly, even though he would have been the man that would take his baby girl away from him. She had no idea if the relationship between him and Cho Chang was anything that serious or if it was just a school fling. He would never be able to marry the girl, have a naughty honeymoon, or have early-morning cuddling that would degenerate into more naughty moments.
He would never get to hear his lovely wife announce that she was pregnant. No special Valentine's Days or birthdays. He would never get to see his children grow up. His children would never have the opportunity to exist. Yes, she thought that a man like Cedric Diggory was the kind of man who, if he had had the chance to have a family, would not be content with only one child. He would see them to platform nine and three-quarters, meet their friends, watch, as they grew older and in turn find someone to love. He would not be able to grow old, to become a caring grandfather who would spoil his grandchildren to excess with his wife. No, he would not be able to die of old age. All this was now not possible for him—he wouldn't be able to walk down that path—because a sick megalomaniac bastard just happened upon his path and decided to put an end to his journey.
Hermione sadly watched as Mr. Diggory rushed to his son, clutched him by his shoulder, looked at Cedric's lifeless body, and cried for all to see that his son, his beautiful boy, his pride and joy, was gone. A short, blonde woman, whose normally kind features were twisted to show pure, undiluted grief, walked up to Amos Diggory, crouched there and took one look at Cedric while caressing his face before she snuggled into her husband's chest. Her body was shaking violently, and Hermione didn't have to be Sybil Trelawney to guess that the woman was crying.
She started again to walk towards them, towards Harry, who was still crying near Cedric's body. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, crying over Cedric Diggory, the Boy Who Died. She rushed to Harry, who had let himself be pulled away by Professor Moody, but then she stopped when she was directly in front of Cedric. She looked at him. His handsome face was slowly draining of colour, and his body was losing all signs that it had been one healthy, living being only mere minutes ago.
She knelt down and stared at him. In front of her, Cedric was half lying in his parents' laps while Dumbledore stood behind them with one hand resting on Mr. Diggory's shoulder conveying all the pain he himself felt at losing one amongst all his prized students. Tears were still streaming down her cheeks, but she didn't bother to wipe them as more cascaded down. She grabbed his hand; it was already so cold, so lax. Just one cold body. Just an empty shell. But she didn't drop it; she just squeezed it, willing it to squeeze back. It was just like when she had barrelled down the stands to the field to get to Harry, she prayed to all deities, be they Wizarding or Muggle ones, the Fates or any higher spirits. She implored them, pleaded with them, to give this young man, as he couldn't really still be considered a boy, regardless of his father's lament, a second chance. A second chance at life so that Cedric Diggory could live all these experiences, and achieve all the promises that his talents and aptitudes hinted at.
Still squeezing his hand while sending her prayers to whomever may make them come true, she felt a strong burst of magic inside her and focussed on it, willing it to summon Cedric Diggory's soul back to his body. Her logical mind knew that this would never work, but for the first time in her life, she believed. She felt in tune with her magic; it did not feel the same as when she had her wand in hand and where she had to focus to will her magic to work. She felt like her whole body swelled with magic; that it seeped through every pore of her skin and engulfed everything around her, though it seemed no one else noticed this.
She did not know how long she had stayed that way, praying while tears flowed freely down her cheeks, but she felt someone's hand touch her shoulder gently. She turned around to see her Head of House looking at her sadly. She knew what Professor McGonagall was silently asking of her, and she slowly nodded. It was time for her to go and see how Harry was doing. She was reluctant to leave Cedric Diggory's side, but she had to make sure that Harry was not blaming himself for what had happened to Cedric, as he would surely do.
However, just as she started getting up, she felt the hand she was still holding twitch. She stopped and stared at it. Did that just happen or did she only imagine it? That was surely her imagination playing tricks on her, but as she started to get up again, she felt it twitch again. She continued to stare at the hand, and then at his face, but nothing had changed. Hadn't his left foot been twisted the other way? Again, Hermione cursed her imagination, and she looked up to see Dumbledore looking at her and Cedric's clasped hands, a deep frown on his face. She turned again to her Head of House, but that was when it happened. Cedric Diggory's hand squeezed hers tightly and she gasped. She watched, mesmerized, as Cedric's body arched upwards, like some gigantic invisible hook had gripped him and was pulling him towards the sky. He then collapsed entirely. And then a second time, just as suddenly, his body jerked upwards. And that was when Cedric Diggory screamed, a long heart-breaking scream.
Bloody freaking Merlin! What the hell just happened?
To say that she was shocked was most certainly the biggest understatement of the century or maybe even of the millennium; she was paralysed as before her eyes a breathing, albeit still screaming, Cedric Diggory was shaking. He appeared to be in great pain as if he had been cursed with a never-ending Cruciatus curse. However, Hermione Granger was actually hypnotised by the rapid rise and fall of Cedric Diggory's chest. He was actually breathing!
HE WAS ALIVE!
It's very curious but the initial inspiration for the story happened after I actually watched a rerun of "Frankenstein". I told myself that I could write a story where someone would bring another back to life.
As I've always liked Hermione's character, she was my first choice. And there was no better second choice than Cedric. So, that's just it.
This is a story that I have been working on for a long time now. I've finally got it beta'd. I don't know if you'll like it but please I'd just want to know what you think of it. Constructive criticism is of course most welcome.