Hogwarts Love Story pt 32

I must apologise for the long wait between updates, but I have a particularly busy life at the moment. Thank you to all who are patient enough to stick with me!

Part thirty-two is finally out! After Christmas at Grimmauld Place, Cailey is returning to Hogwarts, where darker, crueller dangers lurk in the shadows of the place she once loved.

Created by: vulturemonem

  1. The return to Hogwarts became a rather torturous affair. Not only did we all have to be chaperoned by Remus and Tonks, but Harry was still brooding over his Occulmency lessons, and nothing Hermione did or said could pull him out of his miserable reverie. He spent the majority of the journey on the Knight Bus muttering about DA meetings with Cedric, paying no attention to anything else around him. It was actually mildly depressing. Not even Fred and George were their usual jubilant selves, and Hermione and Ginny both pulled out books the moment we sat down. I found myself unable to hold my place, no matter what I read, and I eventually threw my book down with a huff of frustration. I took to looking out of the window as we sped along, invisible to the muggles out there. My thoughts turned to Rebecca, and her strange behaviour. What had she been doing in Draco's compartment on the Hogwarts Express? I made a mental note to ask him about it when we returned to school, as I was becoming more and more on edge where Rebecca was concerned. Despite the friendship we appeared to share early on during the DA meetings, she had shown herself to be cruel where Neville was concerned, and she was behaving increasingly suspiciously.
  2. Our first couple of weeks back at Hogwarts weren't particularly exciting. Umbridge continued to reign over the school, imposing ridiculous rules daily, and the Griffendor Quidditch team was going steadily downhill without the twins and Harry. While Ginny's seeking skills in the match saved us from a spectacular loss, causing us to lose by just ten points, she was not as good as Harry. Ron let in too many goals to think about, and we all walked off of the pitch feeling utterly rubbish. Not even Hermione's strange cheeriness that evening could pick the team out of the dumps. Harry's Occlumency lessons hadn't been going well at all, and were merely causing his scar to hurt more. Ron was convinced that Snape was trying to further open Harry's mind, but I wasn't sure that I agreed with that. As we sat at the table in the Great Hall after the match, Cho walked towards Harry. Ginny and I exchanged a smirk as Cho noticed that Harry was seated between myself and Hermione, and was opposite Luna. Cho's jealous side reared it's head, and she diverted herself towards the Ravenclaw table. Harry frowned after her, and turned to me, question clear in his eyes. "You're surrounded by girls," I said. "But why–" "What?" Hermione screeched suddenly, staring down at the Daily Prophet which she had clasped tightly in both hands, causing her knuckles to turn white. "Hermione, what on Earth–" "I can't believe this!" Hermione hissed, her eyes scanning the text furiously. Several people surrounding us turned to stare at Hermione, but she appeared not to notice their curious gazes. "What's happened?" Ron asked through a mouthful of food. I wrinkled my nose in disgust, and he shot me a grin. "Boys," I muttered under my breath. "Death Eaters have escaped from Askaban," Hermione said, thrusting the paper towards us. "Including Bellatrix Lestrange." I read the article mentioning all of the break-outs the previous night, and shook my head when Fudge suggested that Black was 'rallying old friends'. Dumbledore had warned Fudge of what would happen, and now we were all paying the price for our Minister's stupidity. "That settles it," Hermione said briskly, not sounding as upset as I'd have imagined her to be. "Next Hogsmead weekend, Harry, I want you to meet me in the Three Broomsticks." "Before or after I'm going out with Cho?" he asked casually. I choked on the pumpkin juice I was drinking, and Ron thumped me on the back hard. Harry looked mildly offended by my reaction. "Harry, I'm not surprised you've got yourself a date, I'm dying of shock that you're going have to tell Cho that you want to meet Hermione," I said, still coughing. Harry paled, and we all laughed. "Just tell her you don't really want to go, but have to," Ginny suggested. "Right," Harry muttered, turning pink.
  3. The next Hogsmead trip happened to be on Valentine's day, and so Harry was especially uncomfortable as we waited for Hermione and Ron in the common room. Personally, I found his unease over Cho Chang (of all people!) hilarious, but Harry certainly didn't think so. "What if she starts talking about Cedric again?" he asked desperately. "What do you mean, 'again'?" I asked, catching onto his wording. "Uh- Nothing." "Don't lie to me, Harry Potter," I said sternly, slapping his hand as he reached up to fiddle with his hair. "When she kissed me at Christmas and was crying, she had been babbling about Cedric being in the graveyard and not even saying hi to her in the corridors or something," Harry said, not meeting my eye. I rolled me eyes at Harry. "Good God, Harry, I thought you were going to tell me something much worse than that. What was the embarrassment about?" "Aren't you annoyed?" he asked, just as Hermione decended the stairs, sporting an edition of the Quibbler and a glass jar. "Of course not. Cho, while one of the most irritating people I've ever met, doesn't bother me," I said. Harry didn't look convinced, but said no more on the matter. As the four or us walked down to the courtyard to get our names ticked off by Filch, Ron and I had great fun teasing Harry mercilessly about his forthcoming date with the girl that spent ninety percent of her life crying. Cedric spotted us as we began to walk into Hogsmead, Harry still a bit put out, and walked quickly away from the group of Hufflepuff friends he was with. They snickered slightly as Harry passed them, and Cedric shot them a glare. I recognised them as those that had spread the 'Potter Stinks' badges amongst the first-years. Clearly, they were still sore from the mad events of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Cho and Harry left us when they saw each other, and Ron and I laughed at exactly the same moment as they awkwardly left. "Not exactly a ladies man, is he?" Ron chortled. "And you are?" Hermione asked mildly. Ron scowled at her.
  4. We spent the majority of the morning wandering around aimlessly. The only interesting thing we learnt was that Hagrid was still on probation. But we hadn't guessed anything but anyway. Hermione, though she appeared adequately upset by the news, definitely had a spring in her step, and an impatient air about her. She glanced repeatedly at her watch, and insisted that we not stray too far from the Three Broomsticks, where we were later to meet Harry, and probably Cho. Ron would not be coming, as Angelina had organised another training session with him. I felt for Ron, honestly I did, but he just needed more confidence. What Angelina really thought this one-to-one session would accomplish I had no idea. Cedric said that he wanted to go to Honeydukes, and I was on board with that idea. We had exhausted the possibilities in Hermione's two-hundred-yard-radius of the Three Broomsticks. Ron, rather miserably, said that he had to get back, and so Hermione told us that she'd grab a table. Cedric and I wandered off, talking casually. As we walked out of the shop, Cedric having bought too many chocolate frogs, I spotted Draco on the arm of Pansy Parkinson. I snorted as I watched her chatter incessantly, and Draco looked around himself, clearly bored out of his mind. "Cedric?" "Hm?" "I need to talk to Draco about something. Can I see you in ten?" "What's so urgent?" Careful not to leave anything out, I told Cedric about the incident with Rebecca on the train, and all the other strange things she'd said and done over the last two or three weeks of term. Cedric bid me goodbye, and I strode over to Draco and Pansy. I tapped Draco's shoulder, and he turned around, surprised. He glanced around, as though to check for other Slytherins, and then shrugged Pansy off. "Walk with me?" I asked, motioning to an empty street, which was covered in a light dusting of snow due to the recent cold weather. Draco nodded, searching my face silently, and followed me. "What is it?" he asked. "Other than you looked like you needed saving from Pansy, I wanted to ask you about Rebecca Gardener," I said. "The Ravenclaw?" "Don't pretend, Malfoy," I snapped. "I'm serious. What was she doing in your compartment?" "You don't want to know," Draco muttered. "Yes, I really do." "She was asking me about you." "Helpful," I hissed. "What, exactly?" "She's not your friend, Cailey. She's jealous of you," Draco murmured. "Jealous? Why?" I asked incredulously. "Because you get all the attention, and she wants it! Why do you think she asks you all these questions about Cedric? Because she wants to make you miserable! Because she likes him, and doesn't see why someone like you should get him. She hates that you've got everything going for you! But, apparently, your answers don't help her in her plotting at all. So she came to your friends. Me, for example. Loony Lovegood. Your God-awful Quidditch captain. She even asked that buffoon Longbottom. You can imagine how well that went." I stared at Draco for several long minutes, unable to comprehend anything that he'd said. Rebecca hated me? Certainly, I had worked out that she was never going to be my best friend for life, but hate me? And for such a ridiculous reason? She had said that her family was somewhat split due to her father struggling to accept her and her mother's magical status, but I had no idea that somebody that seemed so naturally nice could be so– well, so cruel. Clearly, Rebecca was far from an open book. I felt rage well up inside of me. How dare she? How dare she assume that my life was perfect, and so much better than hers? And how dare she come to such conclusions about myself and Cedric? Not only was it none of her business, but she had none of the facts. She hadn't even been at Hogwarts when we began dating. "Cailey?" Draco asked, his voice surprisingly soft as he broke me from my angry thoughts. "It's ok. I didn't tell her anything." "Did anyone else?" I asked bitterly. "Apparently it wouldn't take much to kick start her plans." "Obviously not. Else she wouldn't have come to me." I sighed, and nodded. In the first show of affection I had ever seen from the cold-hearted Draco Malfoy, he touched my shoulder gently with his fingertips. My head snapped to his, and our eyes met. "What on Earth was that?" I asked, my lips curving into a confused smile. "What?" he asked. "That. Was that you trying to comfort me?" I asked in disbelief. "Did it work?" I laughed at Draco's question. "I'm laughing, not frowning. Yes, it worked," I said. "Good. I should go now," Draco said, looking suddenly awkward. "Ok," I said gently. "Goodbye, Draco." "Bye, Cailey."
  5. Half an hour later, Cedric and I were staring at Hermione as she waved over none other than Rita Skeeter. As the woman sat down, I turned to Hermione, thinking my friend mad. "Have you gone insane, Granger?" Cedric asked, watching Rita with disgust. "No. I'm giving Harry a chance to tell the world his story. Rita will interview him, and Luna's father will publish it in the Quibbler." "I still say she's mad," Cedric muttered. "Believe me, I don't like her anymore than you do," Hermione said, talking as though Rita couldn't hear every word she was saying. "But it has to be done." Harry walked in at that moment, looking thoroughly miserable. I kicked out a chair for him, and raised an eyebrow. "Where's Cho?" I asked. "Later," Harry muttered, shooting Cedric a not-so-subtle glare. Cedric glanced across at me, but I just shrugged. I had no more idea that he did. Hermione quickly told Harry what she wanted to happen, and Harry's jaw promptly dropped open. "You're joking, right?" he asked. "Who's going to believe anything from the Quibbler?" "There were multiple holes in that Askaban break-out story. People will want to read an alternative," Hermione said firmly. Rita Skeeter then spoke suddenly. "You want me to report what he says about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?" Rita asked Hermione in a hushed voice. "Yes, I do. The true story. All the facts. Exactly as Harry reports them. He'll give you all the details, he'll tell you the names of the undiscovered Death Eaters he saw there, he'll tell you what Voldemort looks like now– oh, get a grip on yourself," she added contemptuously, throwing a napkin across the table, for at the sound of Voldemort's nam,, Rita had jumped so badly she had slopped half her glass of Firewhisky down herself. Rita blotted the front of her grubby raincoat, still staring at Hermione. Then she said baldly, "The Prophet wouldn't print it. In case you haven't noticed, nobody believes his coc k-and-bull story. Everyone thinks he's delusional. Now, if you let me write the story from that angle –" "We don't need another story about how Harry's lost his marbles!" Hermione said angrily. "We've had plenty of those already, thank you! I want him given the opportunity to tell the truth!" After much discussion, Rita eventually agreed to interview Harry, after Hermione threatened to inform the Ministry that she was an unregistered animagus. We listened to the interview for a while, pretending not to hang onto every word Harry said. I was amazed to note that Harry left out the fact that myself, Hermione and Ron had also been in that graveyard. "What I don't get," Rita murmured at the end of the interview. "Is why you were both there," she pointed at Harry and Cedric. "But only you get the publicity." "Tell me about it," Harry muttered.
  6. That evening in the common room, Harry told Hermione and I of what had occurred on he and Cho's date. "So you walked into that horrible cafe," I prompted him, grinning. Oh, how I wished I had Ron next to me to laugh with. Hermione, however, shook her head at me. She was no fun sometimes. I too, however, sobered up when Harry began to speak. Clearly he was a bit distressed about whatever had occurred. "Yeah. We sat down, and it was a bit awkward. Roger Davies and his girlfriend were glued at the lips." Harry flushed a bit, then continued, "Then Cho suddenly mentioned that he'd asked her out a few weeks ago, but that she'd turned him down." "Of course she did," I laughed. "She fancies you." "Maybe. I wasn't sure what to say to that. So I told her that Hermione asked me to meet her in the Three Broomsticks, and asked her to come. She didn't seem very happy. Then she mentioned that she saw you and Cedric in there once." Ah, I thought. Cho had started to talk about Cedric. That explained why he'd been glaring at him in the Three Broomsticks earlier. "We hated it," I said. Hermione shot me a pointed look. It was a look that told me to shut up. "Then she kind of started crying at bit." I rolled my eyes. "She started asking me questions about Cedric. I asked not tot talk about it. Then she started going on about how she needed to talk about it, didn't I? I asked her what she was talking about, and she brought up the, er, incident between you and Cedric last year." It was my turn to blush. "I said I'd already talked about it. Then she started saying all this stuff about Hermione, and then said, 'I'll see you around, Harry' and flounced out! Women! What did she want to talk about Cedric for, anyway? Why does she always want to drag up a subject that makes her act like a human hosepipe?" I burst out laughing, much to Harry's dismay. Hermione threw me another glare, but I was too cracked up to lay any attention to it. I controlled myself, and shook my head at the boy sitting in front of me. Who'd have guessed he hopeless Harry was when it came to women? "You weren't very tactful," I said. "Sorry, but it's true." "What?" he asked, looking bemused. "You should have said how you didn't want to see me, but that I'd made you promise and you thought you should," Hermione said. "Yeah. He you'd much rather spend the day with her, but would she please come and perhaps escape quickly?" I added. "That was all her asking how much you liked her," Hermione said wisely. Harry stared from Hermione to myself and back again. "Seriously? Why didn't she just ask?" "Girls don't ask things like that," I whispered, winking. Harry made a disgusted noise. "They should! Then I'd have said I fancied her and she could stop talking about you and Cedric in there!" "You're hopeless," I said, still grinning. "You should write a book on all the stupid things women say, and what the hell they mean."
  7. The following Friday, Harry was bombarded with post, all from readers of the recent edition of the Quibbler. "This one says you've turned them!" Ron said excitedly as he opened a letter. "And this one recommends a course of shock treatment at St. Mungo's," I said gloomily. "What has got into you this morning, Cailey?" Ron asked, throwing another letter at me. "Why are you so miserable?" I shrugged, and muttered an incoherent reply as I tore open the letter Ron had thrown me. In actual fact, however, I knew exactly why I was so miserable. The Rebecca news certainly hadn't helped my mood, but it was meeting Cho Chang in the corridor after a successful Charms lesson that had really set me off. She'd always irritated me, ever since I'd realised that she was just a big crybaby, but never had I had any reason to waste my time disliking her. I'd just been minding my own business, heading to the girls bathroom before I went to lunch, when somebody bashed into me. I had looked up to see Cho, and she'd glared fiercely at me, before walking off. I grabbed her arm and dragged her into the bathroom. There, out of earshot of Umbridge, I asked her what her problem was. "My problem?" she had asked. "My problem is you, Cailey Rivers. Perhaps Rebecca was right about you." But Chi had refused to say anything more than that. Hell, I'd wanted to hit her. That wouldn't have helped me. Instead, I used the ladies and headed back to the Great Hall. Since then, I'd been in a bad mood. "Why do you have all this mail?" asked a sickly sweet voice, snapping me from my thoughts. I let out a silent groan as I heard Umbridge's voice. "Is that a crime? Getting mail?" Fred asked loudly. "Careful, Mr Weasley, or I'll put you in detention." Fred looked like he was about to snarl at Umbridge, but decided against it. "I've got mail because I did an interview for the Quibbler about last year," Harry said wearily. But the end of the hour, Educational Decree number twenty-seven was up. 'All students found in possession of the Quibbler magazine will me expelled'.
  8. It was four days later, during one of Harry's Occulmency lessons, that Umbridge made her first great move. We all heard the horrified, shrill shriek, no matter where in the castle we were. It seemed to echo around the walls for many seconds, and we all fell into silence. The blood-curdling scream sounded a moment later, and it sounded like it was coming from the entrance hall. Everybody in the Great Hall eating stood up as one and rushed out of the door. I grabbed Hermione and Ron's robes so that we didn't lose each other, and hurried after the other students. The screams were indeed coming from the Entrance Hall. When we reached the top we found the Entrance Hall already packed. Some had even crammed themselves on to the marble staircase. We pushed forwards through a knot of tall Slytherins and saw that the onlookers had formed a great ring, some of them looking shocked, others even frightened. Professor McGonagall was directly opposite us on the other side of the Hall; she looked as though what she was watching made her feel faintly sick. Professor Trelawney was standing in the middle of the Entrance Hall with her wand in one hand and an empty sherry bottle in the other, looking utterly mad. Her hair was sticking up on end, her glasses were lopsided so that one eye was magnified more than the other; her innumerable shawls and scarves were trailing haphazardly from her shoulders, giving the impression that she was falling apart at the seams. Two large trunks lay on the floor beside her, one of them upsidedown; it looked very much as though it had been thrown down the stairs after her. Professor Trelawney was staring, apparently terrified, at something I could not see but which seemed to be standing at the foot of the stairs. Then it hit me. Umbridge was getting rid of Trelawney. "This cannot be happening!" Trelawney shrieked. "Oh, but it is," Umbridge said. "Incapable though you are of predicting even tomorrow's weather, you must surely have realized that your pitiful performance during my inspections, and lack of any improvement, would make it inevitable that you would be sacked? Kindly remove yourself from this hall. You are embarrassing us." But Trelawney didn't move, and instead sobbed uncontrollably, rocking backwards and forwards. "Hogwarts is my home," she moaned. "Was," Umbridge corrected tersely. McGonnagle strode suddenly through the throng of students and patted Trelawney's back. "It'll be ok," she said. "You won't be leaving Hogwarts." Umbridge laughed sweetly. "And you can deliver that statement under what power?" "That would be mine," said the booming voice of Dumbledore as he threw open the oak doors. Umbridge opened her mouth to speak, but Dumbledore cut her off promptly. "You have the right to dismiss my teachers, but you do not have the authority to banish them from the grounds. That lays with the headmaster. Escort Sybill back inside please, Minerva," Dumbledore added. "And what will you do when the next divination teacher I find needs her lodgings?" Umbridge hissed. "I've already found a suitable teacher," Dumbledore said pleasantly. "Under educational decree number twenty-two, I have the right–" "Yes, but if, and only if, I cannot find a replacement. I have. May I present Firenze." Dumbledore gestured to the centaur that was walking through the courtyard with a flamboyant flourish. Umbridge gaped at the half-breed she so hated, who merely tossed his head. Dumbledore smiled serenely around. "That'll be all," he said, before walking back inside, leaving us all thunderstruck in the process. After a moment, Ron spoke. "That," he said. "Was bloody awesome." "Language," Hermione said, though she too seemed shocked. I couldn't agree more.
  9. The only thing that really kept us all from falling right down into the pits of despair was the regular DA meetings which Harry and Cedric still coordinated. We had started work on Patronuses, which we had all been eager to start on. There was nothing more satisfying, in my opinion, to think of something happy - my preferred memory was that of the Yule Ball - to chant a spell, and to have a beautiful wisp of silver morph itself into a slender wolf that leapt around. The first time I cast the patronus charm, my wolf went straight around Neville, scaring the wits out of him. That, of course, made Rebecca laugh ridiculously hard, despite the foul looks I sent her way. It wasn't until about halfway through the lesson that Rebecca approached me. "You're pretty good at this, Cailey," she said. "I can't do it properly." She demonstrated the fox that sprung from her wand, before dissolving instantly. "And this isn't even with a dementor," I muttered. "What is your problem?" she asked, turning to me a d dropping her wand to her side. "Nothing," I snapped. "Really? I don't think so." "Perhaps if you were honest and not just some girl with an ulterior motive then I'd be a bit nicer," I snarled. "'An ulterior motive'? Are you kidding me? Has Neville been spouting cr–" "Do not even go there," I hissed vehemently, getting right in Rebecca's face. "I don't know why I bother taking an interest in your life when you start this," she said in disgust. She turned away, and pulled out her wand, pointing it in the air. "Rebecca!" I called angrily. "Don't turn your back on me!" Rebecca turned around and smirked at me. I barely contained my anger, and my hand twitched, desperate to jinx the living daylights out of her. I'd had enough of Rebecca Gardener. I didn't understand why she was so insistent on behaving like an idiot, but clearly she was. I'd had an inkling that something was going on before I saw her in Draco's compartment, but what Draco had said sealed the deal. "You're just insecure," she whispered, too quietly for anybody else to hear what she was saying. "You know that you can't hold Cedric for long. You need somebody to blame it on. You've chosen me. Clearly, you're not as confident as you make yourself out to be, Rivers. Obviously, you've worked out that any other girl in this room, with the possible exception of that ridiculous Granger girl, could hold your boyfriend better than you." Rebecca continued to taunt me softly, breathing her words into my ear. "Perhaps if you'd gained yourself some decent friends, rather than the imbeciles you spend your time with, they'd have undone the damage your muggle parents caused. Perhaps Cedric wouldn't be looking at other girls all the time then." I let out a quiet growl at her words, and had my wand out in a flash. "Impedimenta!" I shouted, freezing Rebecca where she stood for a moment. As she began to regain movement, people began to turn to us, hearing the sound of a jinx that we were not practising being yelled across the room with far more venom that was usual when practising on each other. "Petrificus totalus!" Rebecca again froze, this time snapping down, totally immobile. Just as I chanted the hurling hex, causing Rebecca to jerk and shake as she lay, a firm hand grabbed my right wrist, preventing me from cursing Rebecca into oblivion. "Let me go!" I hissed to whoever was holding me back, aware that I was attracting the attention of my fellow DA members. "Calm down, Cailey," murmured a familiar voice. Cedric. "You didn't hear what she said," I spat. "It doesn't matter," Cedric said, not releasing his hold on both my arms this time as I struggled pointlessly against him. Cedric was holding me back easily. "Whatever she said, doesn't matter. The only things her words will hurt is your pride." Cedric's words sunk in, and I saw Harry, Hermione and Ron standing side by side, watching me with varying expressions of concern and sympathy. I stopped struggling against Cedric's strong grasp, and allowed myself to go still. Harry told the others to get back to what they were doing, and, after glancing over their shoulders again, most people obeyed him. Rebecca shot me a triumphant leer, and it was only by focusing on Cedric behind that I was able to stay where I was and not hit her. Repeatedly. I was still breathing heavily when Cedric dropped his hands from my arms completely, and, silently, he pulled me gently to the more secluded area of the Room of Requirement where the pictures of the Order of the Phoenix hung proud. Cedric stopped suddenly, and turned to face me, just searching my eyes for a minute or two. I felt distinctly like a naughty school-girl being told off for something. "Why did you do it?" Cedric asked, his voice horribly calm and quiet. I didn't look at him while I told him of everything that Rebecca had said, and also of the conversation I'd had with Draco in Hogsmead. When I'd finished, Cedric said nothing for a moment. Feeling much trepidation, I looked up at him, fearful of what I would see in his grey eyes. Unexpectedly, Cedric merely pulled me into a hug. I rested my head of his shoulder and let out a sigh. "I'm sorry," I said, my voice slightly muffled by his t-shirt. "What on Earth for?" "That." "While there were better ways to deal with it, you don't need to apologise for it. Least of all to me," Cedric replied. "Aren't you ashamed of me?" I asked, my face heating up as I spoke from embarrassment. "Cailey Rivers," Cedric said, pulling away from me. "Don't ever let me hear that again." I looked down, feeling even more ashamed of myself. Perhaps Rebecca had been right, no matter what I told myself. Perhaps I really wasn't good enough for somebody like Cedric. "I could never be ashamed of you," Cedric said, shaking his head at me. "In actual fact, I'm very proud of you." "What?" I asked, frowning. Cedric's serious face broke into a warm smile, and I felt self-conscious at his pointed attention. "Those were three very good curses. Well, jinx, hex and curse." I laughed slightly at his precision, and opened my mouth to speak when I heard the unmistakable sounds of Dobby saying, "Yes, Harry Potter, yes!" This was followed by Harry's own yell. "What are you all waiting for? Run!"
  10. Cedric took my hand suddenly and sprinted through the room, causing me to stumble at the speed. My legs weren't long enough to keep up with him, and if it weren't for his hand around mine I'd have fallen over. "Come on, Harry!" I cried upon seeing him standing in the middle of the room, immobile. At my words, Harry's brain seemed to kick into gear, and he began to run towards us. We sprinted down the corridors, and I practically tumbled down the stairs. "We have to wait for Harry," I said to Cedric urgently. "No, we need to move," he replied heavily. "Cedric–" "I don't want him to get caught any more than you do, but getting ourselves caught won't do any good." Though it pained me, the sense in his words got through to me, so I kept running... for about three seconds, before I heard an 'oof!' from behind me. I turned my head around slightly to see Harry sprawled across the floor, with Draco standing behind him. "I've got one Professor!" he called, obviously talking to that vile witch. "Draco–" I began to say, but he cut me off with one word. "Go." As Cedric pulled us both behind a statue, out of sight of Draco and Umbridge, I heard Umbridge's delight at having Harry caught. The only thing that sickened me more over the following weeks was the news of Dumbledore's disappearance. Both Cedric and I listened carefully as Umbridge took Harry off to the headmaster's office, and then we both ran straight to the Griffendor common room. The moment I crossed the threshold, Hermione wrapped me into a tight hug. "We thought you'd been caught," she whispered. "Harry has," Cedric said. Hermione looked at him, horrified and shocked. "No," she murmured, covering her mouth. "No, no, no." "Yes," Cedric and I said together.
  11. *vulturemonem* Phew! That edition felt like a good own to write once I got into it. I hope that you enjoyed it, and we'll be seeing more of Rebecca Gardener (thanks to @hp4evr) in the future! xX

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