Honor a Hufflepuff

An alternate ending to the Goblet of Fire

I'd Like to Give Him Honor

"... it's yours, you keep it."

The words from the Diggory's echoed in Harry's mind. Everyone seemed to be pushing aside the fact that Cedric had won, and lost his life to Voldermort. The Daily Prophet had put the announcement of the results on the back page. Harry was not going to let Cedric be forgotten.

"Mr. Diggory, you haven't taken Cedric's body home to bury yet?" Harry asked. Mr. Diggory shook his head. "Then there is this muggle tradition, called laying in state, to honor the fallen. Would it be okay if I asked Professor Dumbledore if we can honor Cedric by having him lay in state in the Entry Hall? Everyone seems to be pushing his death aside, and I think he deserves the honor. His death shouldn't be swept under the rug because Minister Fudge doesn't want to believe Voldermort killed him."

"Harry ...," Mr. Diggory began, tears welling up in his eyes. The man who had lost his only son, only child, to Voldermort's return, had to pause to collect his voice, which cracked as he continued. "Honor him. Don't let them forget."

"Mr. Diggory, if I have anything to say about it, no one will forget Cedric Diggory." And with that, Harry began to plan exactly how he was going to honor his fellow Triwizard Champion and Seeker.

The Vigil of the Weasleys

In the Entry Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a marble bier had been placed. Laying on top of it, was the body Cedric Diggory, dressed in his Quidditch robes, with his prefect's badge. Encased in crystal with his eyes closed, it was almost as if the young man had just fallen asleep, instead of being killed by Voldermort.

Tall candles were placed at each corner, and around the bier were flowers, laid there by his classmates and family. Lingering off to the right was the tear stained Cho Chang, Ravenclaw Seeker and Cedric's girlfriend. She had refused to leave the hall since Cedric had been placed on the bier. Her face was one of devastation, as if her entire world had been torn from her grasp. Several of her friends had tried to comfort her, but she would not be comforted. Her grief wrapped around her, a cloak of sorrow blacker than the clothes of morning she wore.

Harry had stood guard over Cedric, taking two shifts. His first shift had been the first, and he'd stood guard with Neville, Seamus, and Dean. Then he'd given way to the Chasers and Keeper from Hufflepuff. An hour later, he'd returned, drawing Cho in to stand with him. Draco Malfoy had joined them, with Victor Krum, filling in the remaining Seeker spot. He still wasn't sure how he'd managed to convince Malfoy to stand there for an hour, hands on the hilt of a long sword. Krum had stayed on for the hour following, with three of his fellow Drumstang students standing with him. Fleur and three girls from Beauxbaton's had taken the shift right before midnight.

At midnight, though, the Weasley's took the vigil. It was when they were standing guard that the Daily Prophet finally realized that they should be covering the vigil.

Percy had obviously done some research on standing guard at vigils. Harry had later found out that he'd taken his brothers to Hogsmead and purchased custom, rush order robes for himself and his brothers. He had gone to Professor McGonagal to obtain the swords, which she had transfigured to match.

The Weasley boys entered, marching in unison, dressed in black jackets with golden laces and buttons. They each wore a scarlet edged black sash, and had their Gryffindor badges on their left breasts. Each step they made was practiced until it was precise, and the sounds of their black polished boots hitting the stone floor were in perfect beat.

Dean had gotten word of their plan, so he was there, his sketch pad ready, his canvas waiting. Colin had been taking pictures of the vigil all day, as well. The flashes of his camera were joined by that of the photographer from the Daily Prophet as the Weasley's relieved the guard from Beauxbaton's.

Percy took the spot facing the entry, his expression solemn. He'd seen Minister Fudge's denial of You-Know-Who's return, and generally, he was believing of the Minister, but this was for the Honor of Cedric. Cedric who had been his first real friend in Ottery St Catchpole ... he could not believe yet that it had been just a tragic accident. So when his brother Ron had come to him, he'd latched on to honoring Cedric as if it was a life line. If Harry believe that Cedric was deserving of this honor, Percy Weasley was going to make sure Cedric got the honor. He'd called the Prophet just to make sure everyone knew.

Fred Weasley took the side facing the left wall, which had the entry to the passage that went down to the Hufflepuff dorms. Professor Spout had given permission for any of her badgers to go to the vigil during the night, and Fred had seen several of his friends in that house emerge from the passage to see their fallen housemate. Normally Fred would have greeted them, but not tonight, not when he stood guard over the friend who had taught him how to fly and how to play Quidditch. Tonight, standing with the sword balanced on it's point in front of him, Fred's face was solemn, serious, and solid. It was an expression that no one had ever seen on his face.

George Weasley took the side facing the right wall, which had the entry to the passage that went down to the Slytherin dorms on it. The snakes had not, in the main, visited Cedric as he lay in state. There were exceptions, of course. George had personally made sure of one of those. He'd come across Draco Malfoy and informed him of exactly what would happen if the Slytherin Seaker didn't respond positively when Harry came to ask for him to stand guard with the other Seekers of Hogwarts. George kept his face expressionless as Professor Snape emerged from the dudgeons. The Potions Master stood there for several minutes, looking at the fallen Champion. George would never tell of the tear he'd seen slide down Snape's cheek before the head of Slytherin turned away.

Ron took the side facing the main staircase. This was the first time Ron had really known someone who had died. It hadn't quite sunk into the Gryffindor yet, that the neighbor that he'd grown up playing Quidditch with was dead. When he'd approached Cedric laying there, Ron had almost expected Cedric to sit up, as if it had been some joke played on the school. He knew it wasn't. He'd seen how it had effected Mr. Diggory and Harry. He'd seen the grim determination on Harry's face as he'd described to Gryffindor how he was going to honor Cedric. Ron intended to do his part, and stand here, until relieved, in solemn tribute to his brother's friend, his best friend's rival seeker, and the boy who'd taught him to keep.

The Weasleys stood guard until dawn.