Only in Photographs
His cheeks were stained with tears again. His eyes were still red and swollen. His eye bags hadn't gone away either. He still wasn't eating properly. He hadn't come out of The Burrow since he'd arrived there with Hermione days ago. He still hadn't gone to Diagon Alley to get his things for school. Harry was still…
Looking at Cedric Diggory's photos.
Ron and Hermione were downstairs in the living room, again arguing quietly about how Ron had pushed Harry back into his depression. "I told you to clean your room, didn't I?" she said, throwing a cushion at the redhead from the couch on the other side of the room. "You, stupid, stupid, Ron!"
Ron put his arms up into an 'x' to shield his face from the soft thing that Hermione used as weapon on him to show how pissed off she was. "I already told you a billion times that I'm sorry for being too excited that you two were coming! Besides, I was just cleaning out my room! I don't think I meant to leave the newspaper lying around on my bed!"
Being the scatterbrain that he was, Ron had accidentally left a copy of the Daily Prophet on his bed. The copy was when four Tri-Wizard Champions were on the front page, smiling, proud to have been chosen by the Goblet of Fire to enter the tournament. He and Harry entered the room, Harry's green orbs scanned the room and landed on Ron's bed, where the smiling photo of a gorgeous Hufflepuff was on the front page.
"Well, at least he hasn't tried to kill himself yet." Said Ron, sitting beside her.
"Could you not say anything like that?" Hermione hit his upper arm. "Honestly, Ron! Can't you just shut up for a moment!"
"What's all this yelling about?" asked Molly, coming in the living room with two cups of tea. "Is this about that copy of the Prophet again?" she put the tea down on the coffee table.
"It's Ronald, Mrs Weasely," said Hermione, about to repeat what they'd been arguing about the past few days. "If he-"
"I know, I know. If Ronald wasn't so stupid he would have remembered that he'd laid the Prophet on the bed, Harry wouldn't be moping and sulking again right now," Ron rolled his eyes. "I know. And I really am sorry."
"Well your couple of hundred apologies isn't going to help Harry is it?" said Hermione worriedly. "He's been up there for days, staring at the bloody newspaper and his other photos of Cedric. He's even got one of those horrid pins Malfoy sponsored during the tournament. I mean, it's got Cedric's face, yes, but it's something that degrades him! 'Potter Stinks?' Really, the nerve of that pathetic blonde!" she looked like she was ready to kill.
Molly sighed. "I am worried about Harry, too, dears," she said sadly. "But right now, all we can offer him is company. There's really nothing much we can do, except distract him. However, that isn't going to help much either, since he's just going to remember it all once you've stopped doing activities." She looked at Ron. "Why don't you give him a cup of tea, then we'll go do some grocery shopping to liven up dinner time with some nice food. Go on, Ron,"
Ron nodded, "Yes, Mum," taking the cup of tea that was supposed to be his, and took it up to his room for Harry. "Hey, mate." He said, setting the tray down on Harry's bed. "Thought you'd like a cup of tea. Mum and I are going out for a bit. So I guess I'll see you later,"
Harry saw Ron come in and set the tea down. He wasn't really in the mood for anything. It'd been a while since he'd eaten something decent. Even though he wanted to eat, he couldn't. He couldn't help but just stare at the food, feeling like he'd throw up if he ate.
"Thanks, Ron," he nodded, looking at the steaming cup. He looked at Ron. "Sure, see you later." He tried to smile.
"Try to finish the tea, 'kay?" said Ron, handing Harry the cup of tea. "'Mione and I are really worried. Mum is, too."
"Yeah, I'll do that," Harry took the cup, letting his warmth transfer to his thin, pale hands.
"Good, and get some sleep, too, while you're at it." Ron nodded a bit and left.
As soon as Ron closed the door, Harry put the cup down and just sat on the bed, unable to drink. He didn't know why, but he just couldn't. He set the tray aside together with his glasses, away from his bed.
Scattered on the sheets were photographs, of him and Cedric, different places, different times, different days, wearing different expressions, and the same happy faces. To Harry, it was the closest thing to having Cedric alive.
By Harry's legs, was a photo of them both the first time they met that day at the Quidditch world cup. Everybody had a photo with Cedric. This photo, however, was a special one, since Cedric asked Harry to take it with him alone.
"Arthur! About time, son!" said Amos cheerfully, seeing Arthur Weasley and his sons and friends approach him under a tree.
"Sorry, Amos! Some of us had a sleepy start," said Arthur, looking back at Ron, who was walking groggily beside Harry; the two were not far behind. "This is Amos Diggory, everyone. He works with me, at the ministry,"
Harry stood on his toes to look at who Arthur was greeting. He saw the middle aged wizard, then someone jumped down from the tree. He stepped back a bit, startled.
"And this strapping young man must be Cedric," Arthur offered his hand. "Am I right?"
Cedric took it. "Yes, sir," he said, eyeing Harry who was in the far back. Harry met his eyes, and didn't break eye contact, until it was time for them to get a move on. "This way," Cedric led the others through the trees, glancing back a few times to look at the boy.
"Merlin's beard!" Amos exclaimed. "You must be Harry Potter!" he, too, offered a hand to Harry.
Harry nodded awkwardly with a smile. "Yes, sir," he took the hand.
"Great, great pleasure!" the elder Diggory smiled back, patting Harry on his back.
"Please to meet you, too, sir,"
The Portkey travel wasn't a cup of tea, really. As soon as Arthur told them to let go, Harry found himself hurdling towards the ground in God knew what speed, and slammed onto green grass with the others. He leaned up, and saw Arthur, Amos and Cedric coming down more gracefully.
"I bet that cleared your sinuses, eh?" said Arthur, amused at the children's landing.
Cedric smiled, went to Harry and helped him up.
"Thanks," said Harry, dusting himself off, watching Cedric walk away, looking back at him every few seconds to see if he was keeping up.
A tear rolled down Harry's cheek, his eyes fixed on that photo as he recollected the first time he and Cedric touched a part of the other, the first time their eyes met. Cedric had such beautiful grey eyes. "If only you did what I said," he wept. "You didn't have to be all heroic, d'you know that? You're already more courageous and noble than all the knights of Britain combined." Harry put the photo to his chest as he closed his eyes, and looked at the photo again in a few moments.
"Have you settled in?" Cedric asked, seeing Harry leave the Weasley's tent.
"Yes," Harry smiled excitedly. "I haven't seen anything like this before. So I'm kind of excited, seeing a wizarding event like this,"
Without knowing it, Harry had gone on a walk with Cedric around the camping grounds, looking around in amazement.
"You haven't gone inside a tent?" Cedric was kind of confused.
Harry nodded, chuckling. "Well, of course I have. Not exactly a magic tent, though. I am Muggle-born, you know. So yeah,"
Cedric laughed. "Interesting, aren't you? You haven't seen the full extent of magic, have you?"
"No," he shook his head. "So I'm always in awe every time I see something new. I didn't even know what portkey was until now." Harry chuckled again, looking back at Cedric who was looking pleasantly amused at him.
On his far left, was a photo of him and Cedric, with the Hufflepuff's arms wrapped around Harry, kissing the boy's cheek over and over again as they smiled. Beside it, was the pin everybody wore before the first task, the 'Potter Stinks' badge.
"I thought I asked you to throw these things away!" Cedric grabbed his friends' pins and threw them to the ground. "Confringo!" he cast the spell angrily, and the pins exploded into flames, destroying them. "I told you I don't want any of this!"
"Cedric, come on, I told you it's fine, you don't have to," Harry grabbed his arm and tried to pull him away.
"No, I do!" Cedric pulled back his arm, away from Harry.
His Hufflepuff classmates stepped back, pissed off at Cedric. "Jeez, Ced. We were just having a bit of fun," one of them said, eyeing Harry, who was standing behind him. "Hanging out with puny little Harry again?" they laughed. "Not like he has any chance of winning. Why waste your time teaching a thick little mind like-"
Cedric aimed his wand at his classmate's mouth. "Shut. Up." In his anger, that boy's mouth disappeared, rendering him unable to speak, and sent him panicking to his friends. "Come on," he grabbed Harry's wrist and pulled him out of the garden.
He smiled, even though tears were still rushing down his face. "You were so angry then, that your emotions and not your wand did the damage." He chuckled, both sounding sad and amused. "Truly, you could turn a watch into a whistle, like Professor Moody had said. But it wasn't a watch that you turned into a whistle,"
"Dragons!" Cedric exclaimed, unable to believe that this was a tournament for students.
It was far too dangerous. He realized that when Harry found out what their first task was. It was a good thing they were far from the castle; nobody would be able to hear them talk.
"What the bloody hell are we going to do with dragons?" he said, pacing in front of Harry who was sitting on the grass, watching him go back and forth, throwing his arms in the air in annoyance. "How could have they let you in this? Couldn't have they discussed this with Mr Crouch? To not let you compete? You're barely halfway through your fourth year, and they're going to let you face a bloody dragon?"
"C-could you at least calm down a bit?" asked Harry worriedly. He was more concerned about Cedric going mad than facing that dragon.
"Calm down!" Cedric repeated. "How'd you expect me to calm down when you're in danger!"
Harry raised his brows, dumbfounded. Cedric was unbelievable sometimes. "I thought we were talking the dragons and not me?"
"What?" Cedric looked at him, his face contorting into a face of confusion. "Why would I be worried about facing a bloody dragon? I'm more worried about you!"
After a moment of staring at him, Harry chuckled.
"How can you find this funny?"
"I'm finding you funny," Harry yanked him down to him and pecked his cheek. "Calm down, we'll figure it out, okay?" he smiled.
Harry looked over to his trunk, and moved to it to open it. He lifted the cover, and saw Cedric's Hufflepuff jersey, the same one he wore that day at the maze. Amos had given it to him after Cedric was buried. He ran a hand over the cloth, over the Hufflepuff badge, and over Cedric's name patch. Yellow looked so well on Cedric. He was as every Hufflepuff should be. He was kind and just. He played fair. He loved with all his heart.
Harry put the shirt to his face, inhaling Cedric's sweet scent. Cedric always had that distinct perfume on. He kept it close to his face as he went back on his bed, crying over the shirt.
Molly was outside the room, listening. It broke her heart, hearing Harry talk to photos and cry over the material things Cedric used to own and left behind. She wrote to Amos a few days ago, and this morning she got a reply.
She had told Amos how Harry had been crying again and wasn't eating. He, too, was worried about Harry, his sanity and well being. It wasn't everyday someone lost someone special; Cedric, in Harry's case. Amos cared for a Harry a lot, too. He didn't mind it that he and Cedric got together. He was happy, actually, that Cedric had found a source of inspiration and happiness.
Molly went in after a knock. "Hi, Harry,"
Harry hastily wiped his tears away and set the shirt aside when Molly came in holding a brown book.
"Good afternoon, Mrs Weasley," said Harry, folding the shirt neatly. "Ron said the both of you left."
She smiled. "We haven't left yet. And I thought you'd like this," she opened the book. It was empty, blank. With a run of her wand over Cedric's photos, they stuck themselves on the pages, creating an album. "There," she closed it, and with another wave of her wand, Cedric and Harry's names were engraved in gold at the bottom of the back cover. She handed it over to him, and put her hand on Harry's cheek. "I'm sure he's watching over you all the time." She smiled at him a bit. "Get some rest, and build up your appetite. We're going to have a nice dinner later, okay?"
The boy smiled back. "Thank you, Mrs Weasley," said Harry, moving over to hug her. She was the closest thing to a mother he had. "Thank you,"
"No problem at all, dear," Molly stood up and left.
Green eyes stared at the book. "I can bring you everywhere now." Said Harry. "Disguised as a book, no one will know it's you," he opened it, and browsed through the pictures, as if he hadn't been staring at them most of the day. He opened it to a random page, and saw a photo of them both with the eggs they took from the dragon.
Cedric had taken his innocence that day, when they found out how to solve the dragon egg. Harry hadn't had the faintest idea how Cedric got Myrtle to keep it a secret. Myrtle was kind, too, asking Harry how he and Cedric were going, if they'd kissed yet, for example, or when they'd go back to the prefects' bathroom.
"At least Myrtle understood, right?" he smiled slightly. "I wonder how she's doing. I'll visit her when I arrive at Hogwarts. I'll tell her what happened. Maybe I won't go to the great hall for dinner. Then maybe we could talk all about you, so that she doesn't feel alone in the bathroom."
Harry flipped the page, and stuck together on the current page were photos of them in the school grounds, from where no one would find them, feeding each other heart shaped chocolates, exchanging sweet nothings, and just wrapping their arms around each other. He smiled, running a finger over Cedric's cheek. He remembered getting jealous over Cho the previous year. He couldn't believe he had gotten green-eyed over a single rose. Harry laughed at himself, tearing up at the same time.
"Harry, come on, we're going to be late for dinner." Ron threw his books on his bed and loosened his tie. "Hermione's already at the hall. Seamus' already went down with Dean and Neville,"
"I'm not hungry," said Harry, sitting on his bed. "Tell Hermione I need her help with Ancient Runes. We've got something to translate." He laid down, not even bothering to change from his robes. "And oh, don't bother bring food up, please?"
Ron went over to him. "You alright, Harry? You haven't been eating the past few days," he frowned. "Something wrong?"
Harry shook his head. "No," he answered, forcing a smile. "I'm just tired. Go on, Hermione's waiting for you. She'd throw a fit if you didn't show up."
"Well she'd throw a fit, too, if you didn't show up," said Ron worriedly. He just knew there was something wrong, and he knew that it was about Cedric. If only he'd gotten to Harry first. He wouldn't do anything like this.
"No, she won't. Just tell her I'm not hungry, and I'm tired, okay?" Harry sat up and pushed him gently away from the bed. "I'm fine, trust me."
"Alright," Ron nodded obediently, "I'll leave you to your thoughts then," he said, and left.
Harry took off his robe, and set it aside with his glasses. He sighed, and laid back down. He was at breakfast the next day though, but he wasn't touching his food. He just stared at his toast, and poked at his eggs.
"Harry, for goodness sake! You've got to eat something!" said Hermione. "You haven't eaten lunch yesterday, you didn't come to dinner and now you're just staring at your breakfast. To add to that, you've been doing this for a week now. This isn't healthy!"
"I'm not hungry, okay?" Harry told her. "I'm just not hungry."
That morning, Harry had seen Cedric with Cho exit the great hall for their first class. Yesterday, he saw Cedric sitting with Cho on a bench in one of the gardens being sweet, and the day before that, a single blue rose arrived for Cho by owl from Cedric. He wanted to give up. They hadn't had any time spent together for a while now. Harry had been trying to get Cedric to at least have a picnic with him somewhere within the grounds, but whenever he did, Cedric was busy showing off Cho.
"Harry, it's Hedwig." Said Dean, "But it's a bit early for mail,"
"What?" Harry saw Hedwig fly in, and drop him a package with a note. "But I never get mail, ever," Hedwig flew out of the Great Hall, leaving Harry with his package.
"Open it. The last package you got was the Firebolt. It's amazing how you get your packages, Harry! They're all a surprise!" said Ron, moving over to see Harry's note.
'Ron told me you weren't feeling well. I thought that a box of chocolates might make you feel better. They're not much, I know. I love you, and I hope to see you tonight. Don't forget your Cloak.-CD.'
"Open the box, Harry!" said Ron impatiently. Hermione rolled her eyes.
Harry didn't mind that Ron told Cedric, and opened the box. "Richart?" Harry looked at the elegantly wrapped box. Everybody else around him looked at the box in awe. "What?" he glanced at his seatmates.
"Harry, don't you know what Richart is?" said Hermione, staring at the box.
"That's one of the most expensive chocolates in the world, mate," Ron smiled. He'd love to get to taste one of them. "A pound costs nearly, or more than 13 galleons."
"Thirteen?" Harry's eyes widened. "That's more expensive than one of our books!"
"Exactly." Said Hermione.
Harry undid the ribbon and opened the box. Inside were heart shaped chocolates, all with different colours and with different designs. For the first time in days, Harry smiled.
"You're lucky," Hermione whispered, then left for her first class.
"Mind if I taste one, Harry?" Ron asked.
This time, Harry laughed, feeling a bit better, and ate one with Ron.
Harry still had the chocolate box with him, hidden in his trunk. He didn't bother to get it, and turned the page, where a photo of him and Cedric ate the chocolates together. Hermione took that picture.
-Only in Photographs-
Wind started to blow, and the walls of the maze moved closer together, closing off their way back. It howled louder; the two of them almost had second thoughts about running. Cedric put a gentle hand on Harry's back, pushing him gently towards the end of the maze. "Go." he said. "Go!"
Harry ran, just as fast as Cedric. Finally, the tournament was over as soon as one of them took the cup. Both of them stood before the cup, and Harry didn't know whether to take the trophy or not.
"Go on! Take it! You saved me! Take it!" said Cedric, giving Harry the prize.
Harry didn't want to. He wanted to win with Cedric, the both of them. "Together, on three!" with that, Cedric nodded. "One, two, three!" they grabbed it together.
With a loud thud, both students dropped onto solid ground somewhere else. This was definitely not within the grounds of Hogwarts. It was dark, and foggy, with a lot of creepy statues around. There was the sound of flapping wings as crows came and went, cawing.
Cedric quickly got up on his feet. "You okay?" he helped Harry up.
"Yeah, you?" Harry watched Cedric look around.
"Where are we?" Cedric asked, looking at the grave markers closely.
"I've been here before," said Harry, realizing that it was not a good thing that they were in the graveyard he's been in one of his dreams.
"It's a portkey." Cedric moved over to the trophy, smiling in awe. "Harry, the cup is a portkey."
"I've been here before," said Harry, approaching the gravemarker that had an angel of death statue. "In a dream," his ran his hand over the name inscribed on the gravemarker. Tom Riddle. "Cedric, we have to get back to the cup! Now!" The Hufflepuff wasn't listening to him.
"What are you talking about?" Cedric didn't know why Harry was insistently pulling on his arm, until Harry held his head and started screaming. "Harry! What is it!" Cedric put his arms around him, understanding absolutely nothing about what was happening.
"Get back to the cup!" Harry told him. He saw Pettigrew come out from some kind of door nearby, holding something wrapped in a black blanket. Fire lit up under the cauldron that was present.
Cedric had his wand at the ready. "Who are you? What do you want?" he demanded, standing in front of Harry.
"Kill the spare." A snake like voice said.
"NO!" Harry cried.
Pettigrew drew a wand and cast the Killing Curse. "Avada Kedavra!"
"Cedric!" Harry shrieked, seeing a jet of green light from the wand hit Cedric, and sent him flying into the air, hitting the ground as a cold corpse. "CEDRIC!"
"CEDRIC!" Harry woke up yelling, drenched in sweat and panting.
It was that nightmare, over and over again. The day Wormtail was ordered to kill Cedric. If only Cedric had listened. If only Cedric didn't try to protect him. His eyes started to water.
"Cedric…" he pulled his legs to his chest and hugged them, starting to cry. "Cedric…" he said, over and over again as his tears streamed down his pale cheeks. "Stupid, stupid Cedric!" he punched his pillow continuously. "Should've listened to me! You bloody idiot! Thick, half-witted, idiot! You should've listened to me!" he sobbed, unable to hit the pillow anymore.
"Hey, you okay?" a voice said, and hands cupped his face, wiping away his tears and his cold sweat with his handkerchief. "I'm here, I'm here,"
Even though Harry had terrible eyesight, he would whose brown hair and face was in front of him. "Cedric?" he choked out, reaching up to touch his face. "Cedric, it's you…"