The Death Eaters were firing spells at her. She scrambled to throw disarming spells over her shoulder. She had been separated from the others. She burst through the door and found herself in the circular room of doors. Piper ran at the closest one with no burning red 'X' marked upon it. She forcibly opened the door and threw it closed behind her once she entered the room. Hearing the approaching steps, she gazed about the room, looking for an exit, but she found none.
The room was dark—the only source of light came from a giant bubbling cauldron in the center of the room.
There was no exit. The only way out was the way she came in. As the footsteps approached, her heart thudded in her chest. They were going to find her and kill her.
Merlin, what was she even doing here?
She was not brave. She was not a fighter.
Why was she fooling herself?
In the depths of her heart, in the place she locked away, she knew why she was here.
They were at the door now. And her heart jumped in shock at the sound of a body hitting the surface.
The Death Eaters couldn't get in.
It occurred to her suddenly that she was in the locked room; the room that had melted Sirius' knife. The room they couldn't get into. She had gotten in.
She took a moment to calm her furiously beating heart. She inhaled and exhaled deeply and then froze.
The room was filled with his scent. The scent that had long since faded from the few t-shirts she had of his—the scent that brought her trembling to her knees in the dark room.
Piper looked to the cauldron in the middle of the room; it was emitting pink smoke clouds. Amortentia.
"I need you." she whispered, her voice trembling. "Merlin, I need you." she squeezed her eyes together tightly as she felt fresh tears spring to her eyes.
"I can't do this without you." she began to sob—heart-wrenching cries spilled from the broken girl. "I miss you."
"Its not fair." she said. "You shouldn't have died. You didn't do anything. You were innocent! How could you be taken from me?"
"I can't do this." she said again. "Not without you. I'm not brave like you."
Her cries quieted for a moment because she swore she heard his voice but the tears did not stop falling. Her vision blurred but through her tears, she swore she could see him.
Furiously, she wiped her eyes out of some hysterical need to see him again.
But a horrible sob was wrenched from her throat as she discovered that he was not in front of her.
"Piper, get a hold of yourself." she hissed into the darkness. "You're alone."
"Piper." she jumped again, at the sound of his voice. Piper looked to her left and where there was once nothingness, there was the boy.
Her throat seemed to close upon itself and she found no words.
"Piper," he said again.
The sound of her name off his lips only crushed her heart further.
"Cedric!" she cried as she threw her arms around him. "Cedric. Cedric. Cedric!"
He laughed; the sound was a forgotten but beloved melody to her ears. "Piper—"
"I miss you." she cried into his chest.
"I know." he whispered into her hair.
"It's not fair."
"I know." he whispered again.
"I never got to say goodbye." she said hysterically as she pulled away from him to hold his face in her hands. "I never got to kiss you goodbye or tell you good luck. I-I-I—" she was choking on her tears. "I just sat there…in the stands, waiting for you to come out and I just…merlin I never expected you to—"
"I know, I know." he whispered soothingly.
"No, you don't. You don't know what it's like. No one even knew anything was wrong at first. They were all cheering and then…then someone screamed and then more people screamed. And I fought so hard to get through the crowd that surrounded you but no one would let me through."
She broke down again as she had many times before.
Piper held his face tightly in her hands. She was lucidly aware of how soon he may disappear.
"Piper, you have to listen to me—"
"I can't do this, Cedric. I'm not brave like you. I don't even know why I'm—"
"We both know why you're here."
"It's stupid of me!" she insisted as she traced every feature of his face delicately. "I must be trying to get myself killed—"
"That's not why you're here."
"You know why you're here." he insisted.
"Because I'm trying to make sense of this. I'm trying to be brave like you. I'm trying to avenge your death. And it's stupid because I can't!"
"No. I'm going to leave this room and you're going to be gone and I'm going to be alone again. And I'm going to go back to Hogwarts where your stuff doesn't smell like you anymore and where I'm alone and without you. I'm going to be there and you're not. And nothing will be right."
"Piper, you can do this."
"No, I can't. I still in love with you and I can't let you go. I can't move on."
"Please, just tell me what to do. I don't want to forget you but I don't want to be this miserable for the rest of my life. I don't want to miss you so painfully anymore!"
"I promise, as time passes, you'll forget about me. You'll love me less and less—"
"No!" she yelled, horrified at the thought. "I don't want to forget you. I don't want to fall out of love with you. I just don't want to hurt anymore."
"Make it stop hurting, Cedric."
"Then tell me what to do."
Cedric stood and took her by the hands. "You know what you have to do." he replied, looking to the door.
Piper bit her lip. "I can't."
"Because if I leave this room, you'll be gone again."
"I'll never be gone, Piper. I'm always with you."
"That's a lie. I'm always alone."
"Never. I'm always with you." he repeated.
"I love you." she said, desperately clinging to her last moments with him. "I love you more than I will ever love anyone else in my life." To prove it, she pressed her lips to his—giving him the goodbye she was never able to.
Pulling away because the moment could not last forever—they could not grow old together—she grasped his hands tightly once more before letting go completely.
Cedric stayed in the dark room full of love while Piper advanced toward the door with her wand at the ready. She was ready to be brave like Cedric because by being brave like him, she could keep his memory alive. She would be brave for him.
And so she left the room and began to move on from the boy who would always hold her heart. She began to move on but would never forget him.