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The Fallen Hero

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by M. Carneirus, 'Daily Prophet' columnist

“It's hard for me to believe…” says Filius Flitwick, a retired professor of Charms and ex-Head of Ravenclaw House in Hogwarts “…that of all my students, Cedric Diggory would become what he is today. During all the years I taught him, I never saw any trace of malice, cruelty and evilness... If existed, perhaps it was so well guarded that even he wasn’t aware of it himself. Or maybe he knew and hid it. ”

Pomona Sprout, at the time professor of Herbology and ex-Head of Hufflepuff House said years later that "...Cedric was a perfect student and an example to his fellow Hufflepuffs. He had never given me a drop of work, just immense pride, always gifted us with his kindness, sweetness, honesty and hard work. What he has become has broken my heart and is something I’ll never understand.”

Cedric Phillip Diggory had a promising start: he was described as the handsomest boy in Hogwarts with chiseled features, bright gray eyes and athletic body. Very intelligent, he was a monitor, captain of his Quidditch team playing as a seeker, he had perfect grades and exemplary behavior. On his sixth year, he was sorted as a Hogwarts champion in the Triwizard Tournament, position in which would share to Harry Potter, to 15 years ago.

But over the years the Hufflepuff golden boy with a promising future had turned out to be a cruel cold-blooded, ruthless, violent killer, not sparing those who crossed his path, killing muggles and wizards without hesitation. Today, he poses to the magical world a threat just as He-Who-Must Not-Be-Named at the beginning of his reign of terror. His once loving and caring family is now in self-imposed exile because of the shame that the surname Diggory had come to be transformed...”

The flame from the single candle in which illuminated the inhospitable accommodation had been extinguished by the cold wind coming from the half-open window, making him to reignite it with his wand while his eyes to wander to nothing as the candle light made everything seen like a blur.

It was late, probably 2 a.m. and once again he was rereading that headline from the 'Daily Prophet' published three months ago, the paper beginning to crumble from being folded and unfolded, just as the ink in the letters began to fade. With a sigh, he set the publication aside, rising from the small makeshift bed that made a metallic crack every time he moved.

He didn't care. In recent years his sleep habits have been reduced to almost nothing, sleeping only when his exhausted body begged for some rest.

At times like this, he would open a bottle of firewhiskey mixed with a generous dose of dreamless sleep potion and drinking it until his stomach began to burn and he loose his consciences... This prevented him from being tormented by the demons that dwelt in his unconscious and waited for any chance to torment him, as if being awake weren't enough. Or being alive...

Taking a deep breath, he glanced sideways until his attention caught the image of his reflection contained in the small broken mirror on the wall.

He didn't even remember the last time he had looked to himself in the mirror… Could be the last week or months ago as well. What he saw now was the image of a thirty-two-year-old man staring back at him with tired gray eyes and purplish dark circles, pale, waxy-looking skin, greasy hair and beard.

He looked old, too old for the age he had.

He looked - and felt - drained.

Drained of any desire, any emotion. In general, he felt consumed, broken... Empty. That image pissed him off as if he were staring at some kind of cruel joke made by someone, causing him to pick up his wand and point at the mirror that exploded in a thousand shards.

He screamed in anger, knowing that no one would hear him.

He cried in anguish, knowing that no one would comfort him.

His life was not supposed to be like this... He was supposed to be, at that moment in a small, comfortable house, next to his beloved one and their family living a simple but complete happiness. He wasn’t supposed to be in that dreadful place in the middle of nowhere, under those circumstances.

Sobbing like a child, he turned toward the bed, pulling underneath it the only thing that belonged to him in that room, a small wooden box of simple finish, devoid of ornament, but containing his memories, precious treasures in which no one could take from him.

Opening carefully, his fingers gently touched the small random objects he had collected over the years, from photographs, clipping, a pair of broken glasses, Quidditch game tickets, a sliver of wood, a badge, an enchanted white rose, a tiny slipper and some letters.

People called him a monster, a criminal, a murderer, offered rewards for his capture, and wished every day for him to be captured and sent to Azkaban... Maybe they were right, maybe the things he had done weren't worthy of forgiveness. At times he would even consider surrendering, perhaps making the suffering come to an end.

At times he felt twinges of regret.

But looking at the box, he soon recoiled, making those feelings to be suppressed. There was no more regret. There was no more guilt.

People said Cedric had become a monster and he agreed without remorse.

But people didn't ask how, they didn't ask why.

And that was the story of how he, who was once considered the Hufflepuff golden boy, a champion and "hero" who later become the “villain”.

Of how he loved and adored someone and how he had lost him.

Of how people betrayed him...

…and how he took revenge on everyone.