Hogwarts Love Story pt 42

Oh my word, shocking, I have managed to get this one out just a few days after the last one! I think this is a record for me! I was in the mood, though :)

Last part, Ron was still being a moron, you won a Quidditch match, had an argument with Harry, and Rebecca asked to meet you after dark. Then Draco claimed he'd seen Cedric in the Hogwarts grounds. (*gasp* Drama!)

Created by: vulturemonem

  1. I fell into bed that night with my mind whirring at my heart pounding after what Draco had said to me. Cedric? He thought he'd seen Cedric inside the Hogwarts grounds? It was impossible and ridiculous and utterly insane, on so many levels. He was missing. He'd disappeared. And even if he'd been found, he couldn't have been at Hogwarts. It was warded fiercely by Dumbledore himself. Not just anyone could waltz in, in the dead of night. Besides, wouldn't he have made some effort to contact me, if he was able to? This was Cedric"”intelligent, dare-devil, personable Cedric, whom I was completely, head-over-heels in love with. The thought made my heart ache. I was sixteen years old. I was young, in the grand scheme of things. And yet here I was, my boyfriend missing, caught in the middle of a worldwide war, one of my best friends prophesied to be the only one who could end it.
  2. When I went to breakfast the following morning, I was unsurprised to see that Ron and Hermione were sitting far apart. Harry was sitting uncomfortably behind Ron, eating his breakfast in silence. I shot him a smile, but took a seat next to Hermione. I had a sneaky suspicion that she was responsible to the scratches all over Ron's arms. Ron had a habit of being a little unkind to Hermione, and after last night... "Good morning," I said to her. "You were up early." She shrugged. "I couldn't sleep." I glanced down at Ron as I took a piece of toast and poured myself some water. "What happened last night?" Hermione let out a bitter little laugh. "Oh, Ron decided to walk in and kiss Lavender where Harry and I were talking. It was vomit-inducing." Hermione was avoiding my gaze. "Hermione"”" "He's at perfect liberty to kiss whomever he likes. I really couldn't care less." I pursed my lips doubtfully, but didn't say anything. Instead, I pointed my wand at my cup to transfigure it into tea. I spoke the enchantment silently, and smiled in satisfaction when it worked. Perhaps Harry didn't like Snape teaching us Defence Against the Dark Arts, but he wasn't a bad teacher. Well. Only on the manner of discipline. "Who are you taking to Slughorn's party?" she asked me. I winced a little at the question. I'd received an official invitation a couple of weeks ago, even though I'd never been to one of his meetings, and I had yet to think about who I'd ask. "No idea," I told her, honestly. "You?" She glanced down the table at Ron, and the glint in her eyes made me feel nervous on his behalf. "I think I have an idea or two."
  3. It wasn't until after a transfiguration lesson - during which Ron managed to give himself a hilarious moutasche, Hermione laughed at him, and Ron proceeded to mock Hermione for the rest of the lesson, reducing her to tears - that I found out who Hermione's plus one was to be. I dashed out of the room after her, ignoring Ron's muttering, and followed her to the girls bathrooms, where she was leaning over a sink, crying. I dropped my bag and hers on the floor, and walked towards her, placing my hand gently on her back. "Why was that necessary?" she asked, wiping at her eyes. "It wasn't," I told her. "His moutasche was ridiculous. Everyone laughed." She smiled faintly at me, and let out a heavy sigh. "Well, I'm taking Cormac to Slughorn's Christmas party." My mouth dropped open, and I stared at her in utter shock. "Cormac?" I asked, utterly gobsmacked. "Cormac McLaggen? Whom you hate?" Hermione smiled again, sweetly vindictive. "That's the one." I shook my head at her. "Jesus, Hermione. Good luck with that one." "I considered Zacharias Smith, but that was a step too far." I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing, shoulders shaking. "Oh, Ron's going to have a field day with this." She grinned. "Exactly." She scrutinised me for a moment, then said, "Know who you're taking yet?" I shook my head. "I think Harry and I are both putting off the inevitable." She shrugged. "There you go. Go together. Easy."
  4. Which was how I found myself standing in the middle of Slughorn's party, slightly overwhelmed by the alarming green decorations and the sheer mass of people"”many of who were, I knew, more than a little famous in the wizarding world. I'd decided to wear a simple red dress that ended at my knees, and I'd left my heels firmly at the back of my wardrobe. Harry, thankfully, was wearing plain black dress robes, his hair just as disobedient as it always was. I stared over at Harry, who grimaced a little. "This is..." I searched for the right word, then went with, "interesting." "It's certainly lavish," Harry agreed. He held out his arm, and I laughed as I hooked my arm through his and we walked over to where I could see Hermione standing on her own. Her eyes were darting around nervously, and she seemed to be hiding from someone. Her face brightened a little when she saw us. "Where's Cormac?" I asked her, teasing just a bit. She cringed. "Over there somewhere. I managed to escape. Honestly, he's revolting. He makes Grawp look like a gentleman." Harry snic kered beside me, and the three of us headed further back into the crowd, away from where Cormac was conversing with one of Slughorn's acquaintances.
  5. It was all going quite well, until Flich burst in, Draco with him, snapping about students wandering the corridors after hours. Slughorn, of course, jovially invited Draco to join the party. I narrowed my eyes as I watched the scene unfold. I didn't believe the story about wanting to gate-crash at all. Draco looked infuriated as he scowled at the world. He didn't look like he wanted to be there at all. But then Snape ordered him out, and, suddenly, someone was yanking on my hand and I felt thick material fall over me. I turned to stare at Harry, angrily. "What are you doing?" I demanded. "We," he emphasised, "are following Snape and Draco." I was seething as Harry wound through the people and out into the corridor. I didn't want to be roped into this ridiculous plan of his, I didn't want to spy on my friend, regardless of how curious I was, and, more importantly, I didn't want any of Harry's outlandish theories to be proven correct. I didn't want to learn that Draco was doing something untoward, or, God forbid, that he was indeed a Death Eater. We eventually heard Draco and Snape conversing in a classroom, and pressed our ears against the door, listening intently. My eyes widened at what I was hearing. Draco's master? Who did Snape mean? Lucius? And what on earth was Draco doing, that seemed to be so simultaneously important and dangerous? But then Snape mentioned an Unbreakable Vow, and my lips parted in shock. I stared across at Harry, astounded, but he didn't seem to have realised the significance of what Snape had said.
  6. Harry and I barely had any warning when the door flew open and Draco stormed out, looking the very picture of fury. We pressed ourselves against the wall, hardly daring to breathe as Snape walked out slowly. He paused for a moment, before heading down the corridor, and turning in the opposite direction to Draco. Harry turned to me, eyes gleaming with satisfaction. "You cannot," he said, "tell me that nothing is going on." I swallowed, and shook my head. "He's up to something. But that doesn't mean it's some murderous mission from Voldermort." Harry rolled his eyes. "Who else could 'your master' be?" "His father?" "So why didn't Snape say that? Come on, Cailey, it's so clear! He's up to something, and whatever it is it isn't good! Snape thought he was behind that necklace. That means that whatever he's doing"”" "Shh!" I waved my hands, gesturing for him to lower his voice urgently. "Not so loud. Someone's going to hear us." Harry let out a breath, and nodded once. When he spoke again, his voice was quieter. "He's working for Voldermort. He is. I know it. He's doing something bad." "Alright," I conceeded, for the moment. "Let's say you're right. What are you going to do about it?" Harry chewed on his lower lip. "I'm going to tell Dumbledore. Snape's helping Malfoy with whatever this is. He's a traitor, he"”" "Has it occurred to you that perhaps Dumbledore asked Snape to ask Draco all those questions, precisely so he could find out what's going on?" I asked patiently. "And what if he didnt?" Harry asked eagerly. "What if he's"”" "Let someone else decide what to do. I think you're getting ahead of yourself. Talk to Dumbledore about it. Or Remus. He'll be at the Burrow at Christmas." Harry shrugged. "He might be. He hasn't written to me for months." "Me neither," I admitted. "He's probably doing something for Dumbledore or the Order." "Probably," Harry agreed. And then, all at once, he looked immeasurably sad, and I realised that thinking about Remus had made him think about Sirius.
  7. Our minor argument about Snape and Draco forgotten, I put my hand on his shoulder. I wondered whether he found any comfort in anything, when he thought about Sirius. Sirius had been the only family Harry had really had"”the only true family. It was cruel, I thought, that they'd had such little time together. It was cruel that Harry's parents had been killed, and then his godfather too. "I keep thinking about sending him an owl," Harry muttered, voice low under the weight of the invisibility cloak still around us, "and then I remember that he's gone." I squeezed his arm. "I understand." Harry swallowed, and looked up at me. "Do you?" "I lost my brother," I reminded him. "I know how it feels to lose someone you love." "Who was it that killed him?" Harry asked, and, all at once, I remembered the first time I'd told Harry about my long-dead brother, back when we were thirteen and we'd been an item. Now, the idea was laughable. Harry was my best friend, and far more like my pseudo brother than my lover. "Nobody knows. My parents and I weren't at home. A death eater who'd evaded the Ministry's questioning is what I've always been told. But I was too young to really understand what was happening." I'd been five. I'd grown up knowing about magic and about Hogwarts, even though I was a muggle-born, thanks to my brother coming before me. "I'm sorry," Harry said, sincerely. I shook my head. "It happened a long time ago. But Sirius...that is something to be sorry for, Harry." Harry looked past me, his eyes glazing over, and I realised that he was seeing something in his mind. Sirius laughing at Christmas, perhaps, or the first time they'd met, or when Sirius had appeared in Dumbledore's office after the Tri-Wizard Tournament and stuck around in the hospital wing in the guise of a shaggy black dog... "I miss him," Harry said, so quietly I almost didn't hear him. My heart ached at that, so I leant forwards and hugged him, tightly, Cedric's face flashing through my mind. "I know," I murmured. "I know."
  8. I slept fitfully that night, tossing and turning, images of my family - my parents and Ariella - flashing through my mind as lifeless corpses. Then my brother appeared, wearing long black robes, a hood partially obscuring his face until he lifted it back to reveal Cedric's tousled auburn hair and gentle grey eyes gone hard.
  9. By the time I got down to breakfast, it was almost ten o'clock. I was grateful that lessons had ended for the term, and that I would be going home soon. I'd been invited to The Burrow, but I'd declined, choosing to spend Christmas with my family. I didn't see them enough. Even though I was at school with my sister, I didn't see Ariella often, either. Hermione, too, was going back to her parents. We sat together at breakfast with Neville, who seemed to have acquired a badly-behaved pot plant that kept trying to attack his cereal as a companion. I raised my eyebrows when he pinched a little nub below a flower head for the third time, causing the plant to shudder and then still. "Do I even want to know what that is?" I asked doubtfully. "Probably not," Neville told me, grinning ruefully. "Well, as long as it doesn't eat my toast, it can be our breakfast buddy," I replied, shooting him a smile. The collective screech of a couple of hundred owls alerted us to the fact that the Daily Prophet was about to be delivered. I scanned the sea of owls above me for my own soft brown owl, and saw her swoop down in front of me with my paper attached to her leg. I untied it, stroking Sepia's feathers absent-mindedly. I dug around in my bag for something to feed her, and she flew off after she lost interest in me"”which was once I found that I had nothing to give her. She fixed me with an indignant look with her beady eyes, and squawked as she disappeared. One hand still holding my half-eaten toast, I unrolled and then shook out the paper. The first page informed me that the Ministry was still interrogating Stan Shunpike, as well as two other poor souls who were, quite clearly, about as likely to be muderous Death Eaters as Luna. "Anything good?" Hermione asked me, peering over my shoulder. I swatted at her hand in mock irritation as she went to turn the page. "Get your own paper," I said. She rolled her eyes at me, a smile playing on her lips, but went back to her breakfast. I got about halfway through the paper, before a picture in the bottom right hand corner of the page caught my eye. My heartrate picked up as I saw the slightly-moving face of Cedric Diggory looking back at me, and, palms sweating, I read the headline: TRI-WIZARD CHAMPION CEDRIC DIGGORY CONFIRMED DEAD
  10. I stared at the page for a long, heavy moment, my fingers trembling so hard I dropped my toast back onto my plate. Tears stung at my eyes, blurring the printed words on the page in front of me until I couldn't read them. I saw Neville shoot me a concerned look, but I didn't hear what he said. I couldn't stop staring at Cedric's face, I couldn't stop thinking about that headline, that word, the absolute, definite confirmation. Dead. He was dead. Not missing, anymore. Not possibly alive. Dead. "Cailey!" Hermione slapped a hand down on the paper. "What is– Oh, my goodness," she whispered, gaze fixing on the article I'd just been looking at. "Cailey..." "What is it?" Neville asked, eyes wide. Hermione pulled the paper out from under my numb fingers, and pushed it wordlessly across the table to Neville. She looked at a loss for words. And I was thinking about the conversation I'd had with Draco, not all that many days ago. He'd told me he'd thought he'd seen Cedric, inside the Hogwarts grounds. I hadn't really believed him. But maybe it had made me hope. Because now...now I felt like someone had set up a safety net underneath me while I was free-falling, and had just ripped it away to reveal jagged rocks beneath. And, God, it hurt. It hurt so much. Right before Christmas, and... Two years ago, almost exactly, Cedric and I had been at the Yule Ball together without a care in the world. How could so much have changed in such little time?
  11. I felt eyes on my back. Neville and Hermione were both talking, but I wasn't listening to them. I turned in my seat, and saw Rebecca Gardener staring at me from the Ravenclaw table, and, all of a sudden, I remembered that she'd asked me to meet her, days ago now, in the middle of the night. She'd had something shed needed to tell me, and, whatever it was, it had sounded important. I'd never turned up. I'd forgotten we'd even spoken, my mind full of Draco and Harry and Cedric and Dumbledore. So, ignoring Hermione's questioning, I stood up from the Gryffindor table and stride towards where my cousin sat, looking at me with a cool expression. I leant down, placing both palms flat on the surface of the Ravenclaw table, and said, "Whatever it is you need to tell me, Rebecca, it had better be enough to distract me." Rebecca smiled at me just slightly. "Oh, trust me, you can count on it." I gritted my teeth. "Don't play games with me today. Say it." Rebecca set down her cup, and, with deliberate slowness, said, "Don't believe anything. From anyone. Because–" she leant forwards, eyes shining, and lowered her voice "–people are liars."
  12. *vulturemonem* I honestly don't have much to say about this edition. I think it speaks for itself. In one word: DRAMA!! Let me know what you're thinking after that! ;) xXx

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