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The Fallen Hero

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DIGGORY: THE FALLEN HERO

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.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER II

UNEXPECTED

The rain was falling heavily in the woods, the cold wind swaying the tree branches, entering through the cracks in the roof and windows of the small hut where he was.

Although tired, almost to the point of exhaustion, Cedric had failed to fall asleep the night before. Preferring to sit in the chair next to the window with the box on his lap, he watched the raindrops streaming down on the cold glass on which was pressing against his cheek, his face faintly illuminated by dim light of that morning.

“It’s ironic…” he thought as his index finger circled the glass, the corner of his lips curving in a ghost of a smile ”…how it all began because of a day like this.”

Many years ago, when Cedric was a child, his mother always put him to bed with tales in which all the magical children heard from their parents, such as the “Tale of the Three Brothers” or the “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”, tales that have always fascinated him. However, the story he always liked to hear before sleep was how his parents, Amos and Hellen met at Hogwarts, the two of them being soulmates, something immensely rare to occur.

It was a simple story, without “villains” or “plot-twists” but it was the most important one to Cedric - it was the story of how his adored parents find the true love.

Over the years, after entering at Hogwarts and slowly let his childhood behind as he grew up, Cedric secretly begun to idealize when would be the time that he would find his mate.

In his idealizations, he imagined meeting her on a quiet, sunny afternoon or perhaps a night with a star-studded sky, perhaps in his home village, Ottery St. Catchpole when he returned for the Summer break or even at Hogwarts, like happened with his parents: the two of them bumping by bad luck and meeting with pure luck, he feeling his magic connect with hers as two strands were joined as one.

But like everything else in his life, what Cedric imagined had fled — and a lot — from reality.

He was wrong about the weather conditions: he hadn’t found his soulmate on a sunny day or on the starry night sky, but was thanks to a torrential rain such as it fell at that moment, cold, freezing wind, muffled sunlight through the heavy dark clouds.

He was wrong about the person: it wasn’t a girl with a delicate beauty as Cho Chang, a former friend from Ravenclaw or any girl like that.

It was him.

A boy like him.

And it wasn't any boy...

Cedric looked down at the box, his fingers collecting his first precious relic from the ones he'd accumulated over time: a wood chunk. In the eyes of others, it was just useless garbage, but to him it was the material reminiscence of the day he found that Harry Potter was his soulmate.

.

.

.

November, 1993.

Within Quidditch, the function of a seeker was theoretically simple: to capture the Golden Snitch and secure 150 points for their team, which almost always led to a victory. The function was “theoretically” simple, because the snitch was a tiny object that flew at great speed, turning into a small golden blur in the field of view, under the good and normal weather conditions.

But the function of a seeker at that moment was almost an impossible mission: the rain was very dense, soaking him to the bones, the wind was unfavorable, making him feel even colder while the conditions of visibility were poor. The snitch could be on his side or a few feet away and he wouldn't even realize it.

It was Cedric's first match as Captain of the Hufflepuff Team and the results so far were great: they had been unbeaten in matches against Ravenclaw and Slytherin, all thanks to the determination and discipline in which he and his teammates had during training. Now they were in a match against Gryffindor, a team in which had an established reputation as the best on Quidditch at Hogwarts and that year it was undeniable that they were stronger than ever thanks to great players like the veteran Oliver Wood, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnsson, the Weasley twins and of course their seeker, Harry Potter.

Cedric had two options at that time.

The first was to let the match run the natural course, as chances were that neither he nor Potter could catch sight of the Snitch in time while the second option was to keep looking, even under those precarious conditions. It would be wise to opt for the first option, but the sense of duty towards his team spoke louder, making him decide the last one.

Flying a little higher with the broom, Cedric saw Potter following him cautiously, standing a few feet behind him as the sky reverberated with the sound of thunder and lightning. Having the gryffindor by his side was an advantage, because if Potter saw and followed the snitch, Cedric would know the direction in which to fly and vice versa. They would be partners, but at the same time opponents.

As he nodded at Potter, Cedric had seen a golden flash beside him, stopping in mid-air for a few seconds as he began to fly upward, forcing him to act as quickly as possible; Clutching the handle tightly, Cedric propelled the broom toward where the snitch was, flying overhead as Potter followed behind.

Cold raindrops hit him hard enough to hurt his face, but still he flying forward, having to dive with the broom almost vertically when he saw the Snitch fly down. Looking back, Cedric saw that Potter was no longer following him, making easier to him to capture the winged ball.

And so he did.

Raising his arm in enthusiasm, he heard his house and teammates celebrate the victory with applause, cheering, and shouts of euphoria, but a special sound caught his attention, a scream of dread coming from the Gryffindor bleaches. Cedric turned toward where the scream came from, seeing their terrified faces as well as some of them pointing upwards.

And looking up, Cedric saw the reason for the splurge: Harry Potter had fallen off his broom, his body, now just a red blur, descended into a free fall that would result in his death. Before he and other players could react, he had seen the sky above him infested with several hooded skeletal figures, circling as their made the air around them as icy as possible, a few raindrops freezing and turning to hail.

“Arresto Momentum!” Professor Dumbledore's voice sounded out like thunder in the clouds, causing Harry Potter's body to slow down from his fall and avoid the mortal impact.

Madame Hooch signaled the end of the match with the whistle, declaring the Hufflepuff victory, which reacted in a mixed way between the silence of the few and the joyfulness of the majority. Cedric, for his part, was silent, staring at Golden Snitch in his hand as he landed with his broom.

He had won, but felt so victorious at all.

...

Two days passed since the match.

After a conversation with his own team, his unsuccessful attempt to resign victory and doing a rematch, and his father's disconcerting compliments upon learning of his victory, Cedric was in the Hogwarts Hospital wing, holding  a package full of sweets he ordered from Honeydukes along with a card signed by all the players on his team. The idea was simple: leaving it on Potter's nightstand and going back to his common room, free from any burden of conscience.

But there he was, standing awkwardly in front of the gryffindor’s bed, while the other boy looked at him with a genuine expression of confusion. Harry blinked in a daze, turning toward his nightstand, groping for his pair of glasses.

As he put them on, he looked even more confused.

“D-Diggory?!” he asked in a groggy voice.

For a few seconds Cedric looked around as if the boy had been talking to someone else until he smiled at his own foolishness.

“Potter...” he greeted with a nod.

Harry frowned.

“Did you come to visit someone?”

“Hm... Uh, well... Yeah, you.” Cedric looked down, extending the package forward “It's for you...”

The wizard widened his eyes.

“Hm… Why?”

Cedric approached, placing the package on top of the furniture, turning toward the younger teen.

“I came here, because I would like to apologize...” he began, putting his hands in the pockets of his uniform robes.

“Sorry? For what?” Potter asked, even more surprised.

“Well... Because I and my team won the last game. I tried to have it canceled and rescheduled, but Wood insisted on keeping the result.” Cedric explained.

“Oh, I see... Fred and George told me ...” the boy muttered “There's nothing to be sorry for... You guys won fair, so...”

“Yes, but you fell off the broom because of the dementors... If you didn't, we might not have won.”

Potter shook his head.

“Or maybe you caught the snitch the same way...” he said with a shrug  “Again... The victory is yours...”

Cedric shifted.

“Well, if you say so...”

“But don’t get used to it so soon...” Potter said in a slightly competitive tone ”Gryffindor will win next time…”

The Hufflepuff seeker laughed.

“You wish...” he replied with a coy smile.

Harry smiled, looking back at his sheet-covered feet. Cedric stared at him for a moment as he remembered watching him fall.

“How was the feeling...?”

“Hm?” the younger one stared at him.

“How was the feeling when you got close from the… From the dementors?” he asked. ”I heard you fainted because of one of them on the train...”

Harry blushed.

“You know that too ...” he said dryly.

“I’m sorry” Cedric said.

“No, no... That’s okay, I guess...” Harry said in frustration. ”It's not like something like it could be a secret…”

Cedric was silent.

“You feel cold...” Harry began to say in a low voice, looking at his hands ”Not the normal kind, but the kind that makes you feel cold inside your bones or something... And when they get close to you, it's like...”

He paused for a moment and continued.

“It's as if all the good in the world had disappeared.”

Cedric looked down.

“Luck that you are the Boy-Who-Lived. Dad told me that dementors are extremely dangerous...” Cedric murmured as he recalled his conversations with Amos.

“Yeah... Lucky me!” Potter rolled his eyes bitterly, something that made the older boy pause to think about what he had said.

If Potter was the Boy-Who-Lived, it was because of what had happened to him and his family when he was still a baby: it wasn’t a matter of luck, but a matter of tragedy. Cedric felt suddenly heavy with his own words.

“I'm so sorry... I didn't mean to...”

“No, it's all right...” he sighed, turning to the side as he took the box Cedric had brought “May I?”

The older seeker nodded in agreement.

Harry opened the box, reading with a shy smile the 'good whishes' card signed by the Hufflepuff team as well as picking up a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.

“Do you accept?” he offered.

“Hm... Isn’t for me, Potter... It’s yours.” Cedric said.

“Well, if it's mine, I can share it with anyone I want, so... Take some...” he kept his hand towards the older boy.

Reluctantly, Cedric grabbed some of the beans, eating one by one while grimacing occasionally as he picked up disgusting flavors just like the younger one. Sitting on the next bed, he saw beside him a pile of what look like broken wood. Picking up a splinter with curiosity, he frowned and then widened his eyes when realized what that was.

“Oh... This is yours...”

Harry sighed, staring at the splinters of his Nimbus 2000.

“Yeah ... yeah ...” he said sadly. “I was told that when I fell, the wind carried it or the Whomping Willow and the result is that... A pile of wood chunks.”

“Can't you fix it?” Cedric asked, twirling the piece of wood between his fingers as Harry shook his head.

“Nops... Damage beyond repair.”

“I'm sorry, Potter...” the hufflepuff said, making the other laugh softly in response.

“Oh, c’mon… You're not that sorry... Now I won't be able to fly that fast in games!”

Cedric blinked in surprise at the answer and laughed.

“Yeah, maybe...” he admitted, but then added ”But as seeker myself, I understand your sadness.. We create connections with our brooms. Seeing them like this is like losing a friend...”

Harry smiled wistfully.

“Yes, it is...” he whispered.

Cedric stared at Harry for a few seconds as he remained silent.

He had unruly dark hair that looked like he had never seen a hair comb in his life; vivid green eyes hidden behind circular-framed glasses; a delicate face still with that typical childhood fat, but beginning to show more mature lines with the dawn of puberty, like his strong jawline; on his forehead the famous scar, the one that had made him a legend for the whole Wizarding World.

“How old are you, Potter?”

Harry seemed to have awakened from his reverie.

“Hm... Well, I'm 13.”                                      

“Oh... You're still a child...”

“I am not a child, thank you very much.” Harry muttered, pouting then.

Cedric raised his eyebrow skeptically.

“What? It's not like you're the most mature here...”

“I'm sixteen” Cedric replied as humbly as possible.

“No big deal being three years older…” Harry countered, smoothing the sheet that covered him “Besides, what does my age matter in the first place?”

Cedric stopped, placing his hand on the back of his neck awkwardly.

“Well, it's just... Looking at you now, I realized that I've heard of you since I was about four years old. You were kind of a legend to me and other kids. We heard about your story since childhood.” Cedric explained.

“Oh...” Harry whispered.

Silence.

“Can I ask you something?” Cedric asked hesitantly.

“Hm, yes, I think...”

“How was your childhood with all the fame? I mean, growing up being known to everyone.” He asked.

“Oh well, to be honest I didn't know I was 'famous' until I went to Hogwarts.” Harry answered. - I grew up with my uncles, who are muggles.

“Oh, I see. But you must have enjoyed your muggle childhood a lot.” Cedric said softly.

Harry paused, glaring at him as his face grew increasingly pensive, almost bordering on the melancholy.

“If only...” he whispered, turning his head the other way.

Cedric understood that he would not talk about it.

“Whom will you play against in the next match?” The Gryffindor boy asked after long silent seconds.

“I think it's Slytherin.”

Potter frowned immediately.

“Then I'll cheer you up a lot.” he smiled as he spoke.

“Will you?” the older one asked in surprise.

“Of course I’ll! And I know you guys will win. I’ve heard that honey-badgers eat snakes as breakfast, so… It will be easy for you!” Harry encouraged.

“I don't know... They all fly high-end brooms...” Cedric said as he remembered the gleaming Nimbus 2001 of the green and silver team.

“Nah... Just kick Malfoy off the broomstick that will be all right...” Harry said with a smile.

Cedric laughed, shaking his head with the provocation.

The rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin was as old as Hogwarts itself - as the lions and snakes dueled during the centuries, the ravens and badgers just watched in amusement.

“Thank you Potter…”

“You can call me Harry, you know ...” the boy muttered “My friends call me that... The only people who call me 'Potter' are Snape and Malfoy, so you can guess why I’m not fan of being called only by my surname...”

“Okay then... Harry...” Cedric said with a soft smile, looking at the boy who still looked a little groggy by his medicaments.

“Mr. Diggory, your visiting hours are up to five minutes!” Madam Pomfrey said as she emerged from white screens beside Harry's bed, causing Cedric to immediately rise from the bed he was sitting on “Mr. Potter needs to rest.”

“Oh, of course ma’am... I just came to exchange some words with him” he apologized.

“Two minutes and nothing more!” She said with a stern look withdrawing.

In that place there was no one with more authority than Madame Pomfrey, managing it like a Queen... or a dictator.

“Well, it seems that I have to go…” Cedric murmured.

“Okay...” Harry said “Thanks for... You know, visit me and all.”

“There is nothing to be thanking for.... Get well Potter…“ He held out his hand. “I mean, Harry... Get well Harry!”

“Thank you” he replied calmly, holding out his hand to say goodbye. “It was nice talking to you.”

Cedric holds Harry's hand in a friendly, cordial grip.

And then it had happened.

It began slowly as a small tingling under the skin, something akin to a lightning strike that was light enough to indulge and feathered into laughter. From his hands, the sensation rose and spread throughout the rest of his body, making him feel dizzy, slightly confused, but most of all happy.

Very happy.

Joining eyebrows suspiciously, Cedric looked down, faced with something somewhat bizarre but above all shocking: several glowing and luminous wires came from his hand and intertwined with the wires of Harry's hand as strings being attached and twisted.

Harry stared at it wide-eyed, visibly surprised and enchanted by that show of magic that was beautiful and for which he had no name, but surely Hermione would know.

But Cedric knew.

He felt his magic recognize Harry's one, creating a connection that was growing stronger and deeper. Every second he saw, no, felt, reverberating inside him something luminous, warm as a star in which emanated an aura of bravery, kindness, sweetness, fidelity and goodness.

Cedric felt Harry's soul - a pure and beautiful soul. He could feel, because Harry's soul was the ideal complement of his own and Harry could probably feel his as well.

They were soulmates.

When all the magical wires connected, they changed to a bright, golden color, magically sealing their encounter. Madam Pomfrey, who went to warn the older teenager, had watched the scene quiet, livid and astonished.

The two boy's remained in silence, just looking at each other - Harry with his big green eyes and locked lips; Cedric with his jaw clenched and brows drawn.

The Hufflepuff lowered his grey eyes to their hands, blinking as if waking from a reverie, and was livid when he realized what just finished to happen: he had found his soulmate, the person who was meant to be his, and under normal circumstances this would have made him explode with happiness, but all he had done was taking a step back, ignoring what Madam Pomfrey was saying or Harry's look of supplication as he saw him going away.

Leaving the infirmary, he marched in stride through the corridors without knowing exactly where to go, bending randomly to the left or right until he found a bench next to a column, sitting there before he totally freaked out.

His heart galloped in his chest, his hands and legs trembled, his head spinning in endless loops as if he had been hung upside down on a broomstick in mid-flight. Placing his head close to his knees, Cedric inhaled deeply, letting out his breath, hoping that this would prevent him from beginning to hyperventilate.

“My soulmate... Harry Potter is my soulmate!!!” he thought, repeating the words as increasingly took knowledge of this reality.

That implied so many things, first from the fact that his soulmate was a boy, but not just a common boy, but Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, the savior of the Wizarding World, the youngest seeker of the century, the golden boy of Gryffindor.

Never in a million years could he have dreamed of such a bizarre situation.

His left hand had begun to ache from the grip on which he had applied force while holding an object, making him look down: in the palm of his hand was the chunk of Harry's broom, with the words 'Nimbus 2000' engraved in gold letters, reminding him of the circumstances under which all that happened .

Harry had almost died.

Cedric might have lost his other half and wouldn't have known it, being condemned to expect to find him unsuccessful for the rest of his life - a life in half, stagnant for what “could be” and the thought made him feel a similar cold in which Harry had described the sensation of having a dementor around: a cold that consumed him from the inside out, as if it were in his bones, injected into his muscles.

He was confused, afraid, not knowing what to do, say, or think, sitting on the bench as he stared at the chunk of wood in his hands. Little by little, Cedric realized that if he felt that way, Harry was probably feeling the same or even worse, since being raised by Muggles, he might not know about the whole soulmate thing and the eternal connection that would exist between them when they meet.

Putting the small chunk inside his pocket, Cedric rubbed his face with his hand, pulling his hair back to take a deep breath to regain courage. While he began to walk back to the infirmary, he felt a new feeling within him that pushed him toward the boy's direction, like being guided by a compass. That was a feeling that he should get used to for the rest of his life, a feeling that somehow pleased him, for now he had a right path, a direction to follow.

From that moment, Harry Potter would be his direction.

Opening the door to the ward, he was overheard by Madam Pomfrey with her stern, reproachful look, but all he had done was apologize for the abrupt departure and ask to speak to Harry, for it was a necessity. Visibly upset she gave in, giving him five minutes and nothing more.

Cedric walked a few steps until he was facing Harry's bed; the younger boy pursed his lips in a thin line at the sight of the older one, his eyes watching him warily.

They were silent, watching each other as if waiting for some first reaction. Cedric opened his mouth, but closed immediately, found that he was speechless. Harry bit his lower lip, looking down at his clasped hands on his lap.

“Hi...” the younger one said in a whisper.

Cedric moistened his lips, shifting his weight on his feet as he felt embarrassed. Though younger, Harry was braver than he was in this situation.

“Hi...” he whispered back, finding his own voice.

Harry looked at him apprehensively. Cedric closed his eyes, sighing deeply as he approached the Gryffindor side.

“Harry...?” he said the boy's name carefully.

“Yes?”

“Do you... Do you know what happened to us a little while ago?” Cedric asked softly, feeling inside him traces of the nervousness Harry was experiencing.

The younger shook his head in denial.

“No, I don’t…”

Cedric put his hand on the back of his neck, sighing deeply as he gathered the courage to get on with it.

“Allow me?” he asked, looking down at an unoccupied piece beside the Gryffindor, who nodded.

The Diggory heir sat on the edge, facing Harry. The green-eyed wizard tilted his chin, encouraging Cedric to start to speak.

And so he did.

Carefully pausing at times to let the other boy assimilate what he was saying, Cedric told him the story he knew: that in the magical world, witches and wizards were able to find their ideal match the moment their inner magic connected together on the first physical touch. For obvious reasons, this was rare, but it still happened at one time or another. It had been that way with his parents, and it had been that way with him and Harry.

Harry was silent, eyes wide with fright as he stared at the older teenager for long seconds after he told her what had happened.

“So t-this is like ‘love at first si-sight’?” Harry stammered.

“Well, I...” Cedric scratched his head in confusion.

“But I don't love you...” The Gryffindor frowned, quickly speaking what came to his head. “I just turned 13! I was almost getting kicked out of Hogwarts for turning my uncle's sister into a balloon and... I... I don't know if I like girls and for cry out loud, I never thought in look at boys, and... I don't know you! I... I do not love you!”

“Harry, with all respect, I don't love you either” Cedric explained truthfully, stopping to think and going on “And yes, you're right, we don't know each other, but ... I'd love to know you if you let me...”

Harry stood staring at him suspiciously.

“Why?” he asked “Why do you want to get involved with someone like me?”

“Someone like you?” Cedric asked confused.

“Yeah… I'm nothing. Why do you want to know me?” Harry whispered looking down.

The older teenager blinked in confusion that Harry thought that about himself.

“You aren’t a nothing... This is one of the few things that I already know about you.”

“But...”

“No... Listen... I want to know you, because I know there must be some reason why this all happened...” Cedric said, staring at him.

Harry was silent, breathing fast as his heart pounded, and Cedric felt the other's stirring reverberate within him.

“I want you to know that I'm confused too... Very much indeed... This was as unexpected to me as it was to you.” Cedric confessed “But I think we can at least try to get to know each other... To be friends... Can we be friends Harry?”

The younger one held his breath as he looked into the other boy eyes and saw a gentle kindness and patience in them, something that said he was trustworthy.

“Yeah… I suppose we can...” Harry whispered shyly “We can be friends…”

Cedric smiled equally shyly, looking down for a few seconds.

“Can I...”

“Hm?”

“Can I hold your hand Harry?” The Hufflepuff seeker asked shyly.

Harry bit his lower lip and nodded, feeling his hand slowly be enveloped by the big, soft hand of the older teenager. They closed their eyes, just enjoying the warmth and softness of that chaste, innocent touch as they let their inner magic rejoice that they were united again.

Cedric had been the first to open his eyes, seeing a soft smile forming on Harry's pink lips, which seemed peaceful and peaceful in that moment of silence between them.

It was still too early for feelings like love, because after all they barely knew each other.

Love required friendship, mutual trust, physical and emotional attraction, among other things that needed to be developed and built over time. They were both soulmates, but that didn't mean they already had love for each other.

No...

What they had was a possibility, a sign that they could be happy together, for both would complete each other in the most perfect and magical way of all.

Cedric grinned as he looked down at the smaller hand on his, not feeling uncomfortable as minutes ago: somehow, his future was beginning to look good, wonderful and bright, just like the glimpse of his mate's soul.

He would be friends with Harry, and one day, he didn't know when, he could love him... They were young, would have a whole future ahead and would work to have a future together.

And that sounded good to Cedric.

.

.

.

Current Days

Cedric glanced once more at Harry's Nimbus 2000 wood chunk, seeing the golden letters now faded with time as a brief melancholy smile spread across his lips. With care, he enveloped the wood chunk in a white handkerchief, returning it to his precious box.

The two naturally became good friends over the months in which they talked and exchanged letters. Little by little, Cedric got to know the bravery, sweetness, kindness and sassiness of the young Gryffindor, little by little forgetting the fame and the epithet that accompanied him as the Boy-Who-Lived or “hero” of the Wizarding world.

No, Harry was a lot more complex and intricate than that, but he could still be a simple, honest and truthful person. Harry was what he was.

It was easy for Cedric to fall in love with him.

It was easy for Harry to fall in love with him back.

All very easy and very inevitable.

But to his despair and unimaginable pain, it was just as easy and inevitable that Harry had been taken from his life.

And that was something Cedric had never been able to forgive, leading him into the place and circumstance he was in at the moment.