Harry Potter DOESN’T stinks!
Cedric Diggory took a deep breath as he enjoyed one of the rare moments of peace and silence since he had been selected by the Goblet of Fire to attend the Triwizard Tournament.
Moments like this were usually interrupted by a classmate who congratulated him on his hands with good wishes and patted on the shoulders. Cedric obviously felt extremely flattered by the attention received, but the truth was that he was too exhausted by the last two tasks, in which was : the first was to steal the golden egg from a dragon who had left him on the school hospital wing for an entire day and the second was to have to swim for an hour in the Black Lake amid the merpeople, save his friend's life with little visibility AND freezing water.
Looking at his feet, he could notice an object partially hidden by the grass, near the bench where he was sitting, in which probably some student left drop.
As he picked it up, the young man frowned, knowing exactly what it was.
One of the infamous badges in which was his face with the words "Support Cedric Diggory" that turned into the photo of his competitor of the fourth year, Harry Potter with the words "Potter Stinks".
He frowned as his fingers smoothed the object that had been distributed by the Slytherin students (rumor had it been Draco Malfoy who had made it) and used by most students. He never supported the initiative; on the contrary, he insisted on making his disapproval clear, asking his closest friends to avoid using it, as it was a disrespect to the younger competitor who was walking the Hogwarts corridors with the greatest dignity possible, something in which Cedric admired in depth, for he wondered whether he had the same moral fiber to keep his head held high when others called him a liar or insulted him on the corridors.
As he walked reluctantly to his Potions class, Cedric looked once more for the badge, which changed again to Harry’s face, making him shake his head to the words written on it.
That was wrong.
Harry Potter doesn’t stinks, on the contrary, he smelled good.
In fact, really good for a 14-year-old boy, who in general usually smelled, at best, like a sweaty Quidditch uniform. No... Harry didn’t smells like that, and Cedric knew it well, for he himself has had plenty of opportunities to feel and memorize Harry' scent over the past few months.
The first time Cedric felt the Harry’ scent, was when he and his father, Amos Diggory met with the Weasleys to travel through a portkey to watch the opening of Quidditch World Cup. When he saw the red-haired family, he was surprise to see that besides Arthur, his children and Hermione Granger, Harry Potter would also accompany them as well.
As he looked at Harry, Cedric remembered the first time he had seen him when he was in his third year and Harry would begin his first year at Hogwarts.
Cedric grew up listening the history of the Boy-Who-Lived, how he, a baby, was able to reduce to almost nothing the terrible You-Know-Who, turning his name to a legend among the Witch Community. Cedric, like many of his age had in his mind an idealized image in which Harry was a strong, sturdy, heroic boy.
When the Sorting Hat called Harry's name and the Great Hall was in silence, Cedric could see that the mental image he had built didn’t come close to reality: At 11 years old, Harry Potter was a twig in form of boy, with messy dark hair, wearing round glasses and tiny for the age he had. Was that tiny human that defeated the Dark Lord? He blinked in surprise. Anyway, the boy was sorted to Gryffindor and soon made his name, again, in History by becoming the youngest seeker since a long time, something in which Cedric would, some time later, see the talent of the boy by flying on a broom.
Harry Potter was now a 14-year-old boy, his body obviously more developed than when he was a kid, but he still thin and small in stature. Cedric was comfortably a head taller than he.
His father, Amos Diggory, obviously made him embarrassed when he’d made a comment about Cedric having won Harry in last year's Quidditch. Harry limited himself to smile cordially in response.
Walking side by side, the two talked about what they expected to see in the game of the day, after all, both were fans of Quidditch. Cedric apologized for his father's words, but Harry just smiled, thanking him for his attitude at the time, for asked for a new game between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff due to the incident with the Dementors that made Harry fall off his broom. There was nothing to be thankful for, Cedric had told him, because that was right and fair to do.
Harry just smiled.
After traveling through the portkey, something he was accustomed to, Cedric had helped Harry to get up off the ground after being hurled away by his lack of experience with this method of travel. Harry laughed sheepishly and thanked the taller boy as he helped pull grass off the boy's shoulders.
It was at this moment that Cedric had smelled the Harry’ scent for the first time: he smelled like Lavender. A soft and calming smell.
The second time Cedric felt Harry’ scent was when he came to him to talk about the first task of the Triwizard Tournament.
Cedric was lying in a bench surrounded by his friends - who still wore the badges, even after he protested - who had joked about something he had already forgotten, but which at the time he found funny. The Hufflepuff champion almost fell on the grass when he saw Harry standing in front of him, visibly embarrassed by the words of his friends, who called him a cheater but he still was determined to talk to Cedric.
The older boy followed him to a more distant place, near an old apple tree and saw that Harry was visibly nervous. Before Cedric could say anything, Harry had told him that dragons was the first task of the Tournament, one for each champion, as well as the fact that Fleur and Viktor already knew what they’re up against and were already weaving strategies to succeed.
Cedric looked confused at the younger boy, wondering why Harry had told him that, after all, it would give him a greater advantage and chance of success. Harry cut his thoughs as he told him that it would be unfair to him to be the only one to be disadvantaged by the lack of that information and that in the end they both were Hogwarts students and that on his opinion, he, Cedric, was the true champion from school.
Cedric could only staring at the boy, feeling humble and momentarily losing himself into Harry's eyes, noticing the incredible nuances that made his iris. Approaching him a step closer, Cedric thanked and apologized to Harry about the horrible badges in which his friends were wearing, but received only a half-smile from Harry, who had told him that it didn’t affect him that much.
Lowering his head slightly, getting a little closer to the boy, Cedric could felt the scent of Harry’s dark and rebellious hair: Vanilla. Sweet, cream and warm vanilla scent.
Harry raised his head, saying goodbye to Cedric, who still there while was into deep thoughts.
The third time Cedric felt the Harry’s scent was at the Yule Ball.
Cedric stood at the foot of the grand staircase greeting Fleur and Krum, with Cho Chang - a longtime friend whom he met through Quidditch and whom many believed to be his girlfriend - as his companion. Glancing down the steps, he saw Harry descending into his dress robes, visibly nervous beside Parvati Patil, who was glowing with a Hogwarts champion as her company.
Harry glanced towards Cedric and Cho, giving an embarrassed smile and lowering his face while his cheeks flushed. Cedric momentarily didn’t understand why, but as he looked at Cho he remembered the reason: Harry had invited the girl to the Ball, but she had already accepted an invitation. His invitation.
The Hufflepuff champion felt... Uneased.
"Look at Harry… Isn’t he beautiful tonight?" Cho had whispered to him.
"Yes, he..." Cedric stopped abruptly from speaking and blushed violently. "What do you mean..."
"Oh Ced ..." Cho chuckled, her head tilting back "Boys are SO oblivious... You'll understand by yourself one day..."
Before he could respond, the doors of the Great Hall opened with a huge wave of applauses from those inside.
The ball had begun.
Cedric guided Cho to the dance floor and together they began the Yule waltz, the two spinning elegantly, just like Fleur with Roger Davis and Krum, who was accompanied by Hermione Granger. Cedric thanked heavens that he was quite tall, cause that allowed he to follow with his eyes the clumsy and without rhythms steps that Harry was doing, trying in vain not to step on the feet of Parvati, causing him to laugh on see the scene. Harry looked at him and nodded with a small smile while Parvati had made a sound of pain when the boy stepped again on her feet.
After two waltzes, dinner and dessert, Cedric leaned against the wall, moving away from the maddening crowd to the sound of the Weird Sisters 'rock n' roll notes. Although he was enjoying himself, he was rather tired of the over-attention he was receiving, both from the students and from his father, Amos Diggory, who was on the moon to have his son as a champion - and criticizing whenever he could other competitors.
Cedric almost choked to see Rita Skeeter scour the Great Hall in search of any of the champions so that she could later distort their words on her column in The Daily Prophet. The boy swallowed the dry, quickly hiding behind the silver curtain that decorated the window, but was frightened to see that there was someone else there.
Cedric blinked his eyes in embarrassment as the space between them was relatively small making him close to Harry in an almost intimate way. The older boy tried to speak, but was interrupted by Harry's low voice.
"Fleeing from Rita too?"
"Yes ... Sorry, this was the closest place I had..." Cedric replied with an embarrassed smile.
"No need, that woman is bloody awful..." Harry chuckled, covering his mouth.
In minutes the two began to talk about the ball, about the food, about what they were going to do for Christmas, but never about the Tournament. They were both tired of it. In a moment of silence, the Hufflepuff champion murmured:
"Harry, I'm sorry... You know... About Cho."
Harry blinked and shrugged at the end.
"Alright... No problem..." Harry whispered "You two make a nice couple... At least I couldn’t step on her feet!"
They both laughed quietly so they wouldn’t be discovered.
Without realizing it, Cedric lowered his face toward Harry's head and felt the smell that emanated from him: Roses. That night, Harry smelled of roses. Roses freshly bloomed, with dew still among the petals.
A small unconscious part of Cedric thanked Rita Skeeter for indirectly putting him there.
The fourth time Cedric felt Harry’s scent was on the wooden bridge that led to the small square of the Clock Tower.
Cedric was looking for the boy all day to warn him about the hint of the golden egg, something he had discovered thanks to the help of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody (something strange to a teacher to do, not Cedric was complaining, after all he had no idea what to do with that egg) and now he felt he should return the immense favor that Harry had done to him.
As he was on his way to the Clock Tower, Cedric caught sight of Harry talking to Hermione on the wooden bridge, both laughing and giggling. Hermione spotted him first, quickly saying goodbye to Harry, causing him to turn back and widen his green eyes at the older boy. Harry grabbed his pack and hurried along, causing Cedric to run as he called, reaching him within seconds.
Cedric can only hear Harry complaining about his short legs that did nothing for his escape, causing him to chuckle.
"How… How are you?"
Harry blinked at him.
"Look, I realized I never really thanked you properly for tip me off about those dragons..." Cedric murmured.
"Forget it, I'm sure you would do the same for me ..." Harry blushed, turning to get out of there.
Cedric gently held the younger boy's forearm.
"Exactly! Do you ... Do you know the perfects' bathroom on the fifth floor? "
Harry shook his head confusedly. Cedric approached Harry's ear and whispered.
"It’s not a bad place for a bath... "
Cedric's voice died as his lungs filled with a new scent from Harry: violets. Sweet scent of violets, which reminded him of the sweet scent of sugar. Cedric blushed, pulling away from Harry quickly, trying to regain his composure.
Harry stared wide-eyed at him, his expression hurt.
"Do I stink so much?" He said in a low voice. "Or are you making a cruel joke just like everyone else with those badges?"
Harry stepped away from Cedric, pulling his arm from the older boy's hands. Cedric was horrified that Harry misunderstood his words, and took the boy's hand, firmly but not intending to hurt him.
"No Harry, no... I never... I would never joke with you! Believe me…" The Hufflepuff student said feeling a strange breathlessness. "What I'm trying to say is that you should take your egg to the bath... It’s a clue... For the second task of the Tournament."
"Oh..." Harry replied with his head down, looking at the hands of the two still together. "I understand...”
"And you don’t stink ..." Cedric whispered, feeling his face warm as he slowly let go of Harry's hand. "I have to go ... Good luck."
Cedric ran in the opposite direction, leaving the boy completely astonished.
Already in the Potions class, Cedric had begun to write down the complex table of ingredient conversion that Snape had set for them to decorate for the final exams. Cedric always had excellent grades on Potions, but his heart was captivated by Transfiguration and Herbology – a proof of his Hufflepuff spirit.
After finishing his notes, Cedric had noticed that there was a small cauldron on Professor Snape's des, where spiraling smoke was coming out of the vessel that was being heated slowly by the low heat. Raising his hand - something he always did, especially in Snape's class - he asked.
"Professor, what's in that cauldron?"
"That, Mr. Diggory, is the potion we’re going to study today, in which many of you have probably heard.... Would any of you have the mental capacity to guess what it is?"
Silence reigned in the room, making Snape frown. Cedric timidly raised his hand again.
"May I try to identify, sir?"
Snape raised his eyebrows and nodded.
Cedric completely removed the lid of the cauldron, stirring the contents with the shell. The liquid was soft pink with a pearly glow that looked like mother-of-pearl. The smoke rose in spirals and the scent... Cedric swallowed the dry.
"It's Amortentia, sir. The Love’s Potion." Cedric replied nervously.
"Right, Mr Diggory. Five points for Hufflepuff. At least someone in this room isn’t a total disappointment..." Snape said. "Amortentia is a simple, but effective portion in which makes the person who ingests feel an uncontrollable infatuation and obsession for the one who prepared it. It is characterized by its pearly color, spiraling smoke and the smell that varies from person to person. It’s the smell of what attracts you or... A person who you love."
Snape’s mouth trembled a bit, but soon he recomposed himself.
"Mr. Diggory, describe the smell you feel."
Snape looked at Cedric, who swallowed the dry. His female classmates, who always sighed for him, approached towards him to hear what attracted him.
"I can smell..." Cedric took a deep breath. "The smell of apple and cinnamon pie that my mom makes at Christmas... The smell of a new broom... And the smell of..."
"The smell of Lavender... Vanilla... Roses and... And violets..." Cedric said, amazed and horrified, turning to where he had left.
He felt Harry's scent.
He could clearly felt the boy's scent, the scent who he captured at various times when he was with him over the last few months... That scent was so present in that room, so vivid, as if Harry was present in that room with him, by his side...
And as a true epiphany, Cedric saw that he was nurturing feelings for his competitor and Triwizard Tournament partner: this explained the strange feeling of butterflies on his stomach when he see Harry, his nervousness when they talked, his willingness to hug him and to sink his nose into that dark hair, his jealousy at the Yule Ball, Cho's own words to him...
He was in love with Harry Potter.
When exactly it began, he didn’t know, he only knew what he felt.
For a long time this feeling grew while was asleep, but once awake, he no longer knew how to suppress. Reviewing his memories, Cedric wondered if there was a remote possibility that Harry might like him as well... If there was any sign the boy had given him. He remembered the warm smiles that Harry had given him, how he blushed as he approached, how noticeably he was in shock when Cedric took his hand...
Yes... It could be a sign. It wasn’t much, but it might be a sign that Harry could feel something for him too... Obviously Harry was really young and Cedric was already 17, but if Harry said yes to him, he could wait the time what was necessary.
He could and would wait for Harry, and one day he would be his Harry.
Cedric began to write down the potion's instructions, smiling in a passionate way, making the most important decision of his life: The next day, when he and Harry complete the third task of the Triwizard Tournament and after all that was over, he would take Harry to walk through Hogwarts’ rare-flowered greenhouses, a quiet and beautiful place where he would confess his feelings for him.
Just one more day and everything would be fine.
Just one day more.
He and Harry survived two tasks with success.
What else could go wrong with the third?