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And Moments to Remember

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When Harry thinks back, sitting tight in the corner of the small bedroom on Privet Drive, he thinks that perhaps he loved Cedric just a little bit and that he hated him too, at the end.

It's the love and friendship he tries to focus on when he touches himself; small, coaxing caresses by fingers he can almost believe aren't his own. At times like this Cedric's face is blurred, almost too bright to look at, the only kind thing in a maze of frigid mist and breathtaking fear. The walls of the maze run as far as the eye can see, an optical illusion of green and black, and the sky is too far away to focus on. Instead there is only Cedric - Cedric with hands that are callused like Harry's. Cedric, whose jaunty grin assures you of his loyalty. Cedric, who, in a memory twenty minutes away, will be dead and cold.

Sometimes the image of that face - the deathmask Harry can vaguely remember crying over - superimposes over everything else. It's then that Harry hates Cedric; he can't stop himself.

But that doesn't keep him from remembering everything else as well. The first kiss, hasty, wet and hard, up against tree limbs that Harry could feel trying to wrap around him and pull him in. Teeth as sharp as the needles against his back and a hastily murmured something that Harry hadn't understood then and never would. The second kiss, with Harry's hands running along Cedric's uniform, searching for warmth because everything else was cold, cold, cold. The third kiss, Cedric's hands slipping beneath his trousers, lips twisted in a grin Harry'd seen over and over again since fourth year had begun.

"Krum was the one who attacked Fleur."

"You saw it?"

Cedric's nod pressed them cheek to cheek.

"Merlin, we must be mad to have wanted all this."

And Harry had had to agree, because being up against the wall of the maze of the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, groping another Champion and wondering how tall you could make yourself if you stood on the tips of your toes, was crazy.

But that hadn't kept Harry from pushing up as high as possible, meeting Cedric half way.

On Privet Drive, Harry tries to hide in the present, in the smell of burnt sausages and the sounds of the telly screeching below, but he can't.

The next five minutes, past and present, fly by in a haze of feeling. Then, it had been new. Now it's an oft' played memory gone horribly wrong.

Cedric, pulling Harry down to the floor of the maze. Harry, grinning, terrified of everything but willing because damned if it didn't seem like the greatest thing in the world. Harry's hands, shaking, and Harry laughed, and then they were touching each other and Cedric was telling him "like this, no, here" and it went from wonderful to bloody spectacular.

Harry had felt Cedric's hand grip his and he'd thought he'd done something wrong. And then the grip had gotten tighter, too tight, and Harry had realised that Cedric was trying to hold on to him.

He was trying to hold on.

And then the chill of the fog was back, the maze was real, and the roots and vines were pulling Cedric under. The cries changed from "please" to "Please!". Harry stood up, and there was the Cup flickering. And Cedric.

He can remember himself grabbing Cedric's hand and pulling him up. They’d looked at each other, all nerves and laughter and drive to win, and then they had run.

Harry can still see Cedric's smile as they took the Cup together. It'd promised that the moment wouldn't be forgotten, and it had given Harry something to look forward to beyond the Cup, beyond the Press and the Tournament.

Tucked into the corner of his room, Harry realises he's come, but he can't remember it. It's probably for the best, because as much as he hates Cedric, he hates himself as well for taking the pleasure he does from this.

But sometimes the Dursley's house gets cold and Harry's fingers get numb, and the only way to keep himself from remembering Cedric's death is to remember something else.