I was incredibly excited and anxious to hear about what Cedric knew of Harry. He looked about 17 so I assumed he went to Hogwarts with him. I quickly did the math and realised that Harry would only be in his fourth year this year and seventh years and fourth years didn’t really interact. I was contemplating this when the door bell rang. I moved to answer it, but James stopped me.
“I’ll get it,” he muttered, “We shouldn’t overwhelm him.”
I reluctantly agreed and waited, agitated, in the lounge room for the men to come in and sit down. James sat next to me and Cedric took a seat across from us and looked down at his hands before he said anything.
“Before I get into the story, I’m going to have to warn you that this is not necessarily a happy story, so forgive me now. Also, the story sort of ends unfinished because I…well I didn’t make it to see the end.” Cedric looked at us, with a sad sort of look and I felt pity for this boy whose life was cut so short.
He looked at his hands again and began his story. “I didn’t know Harry very well, so I can’t tell you too much about him and his life at Hogwarts. I know that he has two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger—”
“Oh, James!” I interrupted without thinking, “You remember Molly and Arthur! They were in the Ord–” I stopped, remembering that Cedric didn’t know about the Order of the Pheonix. “Well, we knew them. Ron must be their son. But I’ve never heard of the name Granger…” I trailed off, thinking.
“Yes I remember them Lily, but we should let Cedric tell us the story first.” James said quietly with a small smile.
“Oh, sorry Cedric! Do continue, I won’t interrupt again.” I apologized.
“It’s okay.” Cedric assured me, “So anyway, Ron and Hermione are his best friends they are always together. I don’t really know much about them, all I know is that Ron has lots of brothers, who are older then him and one younger sister. Hermione is a muggleborn so that would be why you’ve never heard of her family, Lily.” Cedric smiled slightly. “Harry is rather popular at school, because he is so famous, but I don’t think he really likes the attention, I think he would really tries to avoid that sort of thing.” Cedric grimaced slightly as he said this as if contradicting the statement.
I felt incredibly sad for Harry, he didn’t want all this fame, and it seems like he got my personality, which comes with an aversion to attention, but it’s clearly unavoidable. It’s lucky, I mused, that he didn’t get James’s personality. He would have thrived on all that attention and his head would be so big it wouldn’t be able to fit in the castle.
Cedric continued his tale, interrupting my reverie. “That’s all I really know about Harry and his friends, seeing as he is three years younger then me, we didn’t really talk much until the tournament.”
There was a moment of confused silence. “What tournament?” James asked.
Cedric didn’t seem to be particularly happy to get into this part of the story. “This year was the year for Hogwarts to host the wizarding tournament in which Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons competed.”
I gasped as something I had read in school came back to me, and I murmured at the same time Cedric did, “The Tri-Wizard Tournament.”
“Um, I’m sorry, should I know what that is?” James said, clearly feeling left out.
“Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it James,” I smiled slightly at his limited Hogwarts knowledge. “Our years at school didn’t fall at the time. The Tri-Wizard Tournament is held every 50 years and Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang all put one contestant from their school forward to compete. It has obviously been 50 years so Hogwarts held it this year.”
“That’s right,” Cedric agreed, “When Dumbledore announced this at the beginning of the year, every one was really excited. Eternal glory, is what you would get if you won. I had always been the adventurous type so naturally I put my name into the Goblet of Fire—it’s what chooses the champions—” Cedric added because James was looking confused again.
“I will always remember the night that the names of the contestants were drawn out. Fleur Delacour was the Beauxbatons champion that was picked and Viktor Krum was chosen for Durmstrang. I was picked for Hogwarts.” He paused.
I couldn’t help saying, “Is that how you…?”
He ignored my question, “But this year was different, three champions were not picked…there were four.” He took a deep breath, “I don’t really know what happened. My name was drawn, and so I went down to the classroom were the champions were meeting, feeling nervous and excited to be competing for eternal glory. I expected the teachers to come in right after me. They didn’t. Fleur, Viktor and I were just getting worried…when Harry came stumbling in, looking absolutely shocked and confused. His name had been picked out of the Goblet.”
“What?” James and I yelled at the same time.
“I don’t know how it happened, you couldn’t put your name in the Goblet unless your were over 17. And I knew, by looking at Harry’s face that he hadn’t put his name in. He didn’t want eternal glory, he already got enough attention as it was. But people were angry, they couldn’t understand how a 14 year old got his name into the Goblet, because Dumbledore had drawn an age line around it himself. The teachers came in yelling and demanding Harry to tell them if he put his name in. He denied it every time. After a lot of deliberation, it was decided. The rules were concrete. Because Harry’s name had been drawn out, no matter if he put it in there himself or not, he had to compete. Harry was officially a Tri-Wizard Champion.”
“WHAT?” James yelled again, so loud that I had to cover my ears. I didn’t say anything, but the room went blurry from the moisture forming in my eyes. He didn’t want this. I thought, it’s so dangerous, he could be killed. Who would put his name in?
“This is UNBELIEVABLE!” James was shouting, “At FOURTEEN? No way! That’s not fair! He didn’t want it! Dumbledore should have stopped it! Those rat bag—” my tears had bubbled over and James stopped shouting abruptly when he noticed. He sat back down next to me and put his arm around me, pulling me closer.
“I’m sorry,” Cedric said quietly, “I know it’s not fair, but the rules are final. If the name is drawn, they have to compete. Dumbledore had no choice.”
James was shaking his head slowly with anger, but my tears were slowing. I could see the room clearly again. I looked at Cedric. “Keep telling the story.” I said, “Even if it’s not happy, I want to know. And you should get it off your chest.”
He nodded solemnly and spoke, “So Harry was officially competing. It was the first time in history two students from the same school were competing against each other. But we had no choice. We had no idea what the first task was going to be and I was worried that I would not be prepared. About two days before the task, Harry came rushing up to me. ‘Dragons’ he said, ‘that’s the first task’. He had somehow found out what it would be and had warned me so I would know what to do. I really appreciated that. He’s a good guy.” Cedric added sincerely and I felt a swelling of pride.
“The task itself wasn’t too bad.” Cedric continued, “We were each given a dragon, and we had to collect the golden egg that was place under the dragons guard. We were told the egg contained a clue for the second task. I managed to get the egg and I was pretty proud of myself, but Harry did it better.” He smiled at James, “I’ve heard you were Quidditch Captain in your time at Hogwarts and I reckon Harry will be too. He is amazing on a broom.” James grinned proudly and I refrained from rolling my eyes because Harry could be hopeless at school and fail all his subjects, but as long as he could play Quidditch, James would be happy.
“That’s how he got the egg.” Cedric went on, “He summoned his broom and flew around the stadium, trying to avoid the dragon and get the egg.” Cedric laughed, “I didn’t see it, but apparently it was great to watch, the dragon managed to break away from the chain that kept it in the stadium and chased after Harry.”
“They both flew off, and they were gone for ages, apparently. Then Harry flew back without the dragon and collected the egg. He had somehow managed to lose the dragon so he could easily pick up the egg.” Cedric laughed again and this time James joined in loudly. I could see it in his face, his hazel eye glowing with happiness. He was so proud that Harry had inherited his skills on a broomstick. It was something that James was very passionate about and it made him so happy to discover that Harry was just as passionate and talented as his father.
“Sounds like he could really give you a run for you money, dear.” I said with a smile, knowing it would provoke him.
“No way!” James protested loudly, “He may be a chip off the old block, but he still has many more years of experience to even come close to competing with me.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes at my husband’s maturity.
Cedric was smiling at us still. “He was even better in the second task.” He said, “The golden egg that was meant to be a clue, would make this horrible, high screeching noise when you opened it. But I discovered that if you opened it underwater, it would sing this song about mermaids. It said that we had an hour to recover what was taken from us in the black lake. I knew that I owed Harry a favour, and I knew he was having trouble with his egg. So I told him to open it underwater, I figured I should repay him for telling me about the dragons.”
“That was very nice of you,” I said. James nodded in agreement.
Cedric chuckled, “Thanks. Anyway the second task began and we dove into the lake, each of us having figured out a way to breath underwater for an our. Harry ate some gillyweed.” Cedric added for my benefit because he could see I was about to interrupt. “We swam and discovered that we had to collect one of our friends who had been tied underwater. Oh don’t worry, they were fine!” he hastily said, seeing our horrified faces, “They were charmed so they could breath, they were just sort of asleep.” We both relaxed, “Anyway, I got my person at the same time as Harry was collecting Ron, but he was hesitating because Hermione was there too. She was dating Viktor Krum, so she was there for him to collect, but he hadn’t arrived yet. I had to remind Harry that we only had an hour. I got to the surface first and waited for him to arrive, but he didn’t come up. I discovered that Fleur had been forced to back out because she was attacked by water gremlins so her sister, who she was meant to collect was still down there.
“Viktor came up then with Hermione, and Harry only had about 5 minutes left to come up. We waited but he didn’t come up. About 10 seconds before the end of the hour, Ron and Gabrielle—Fleur’s sister—emerged, but without Harry. He seemed to have sent them up with out him. Then, the moment the clock struck an hour, Harry came flying out of the water and landed on the deck.” I let out the breath I had been holding, I was very worried for Harry, and from the plain relief on James’s face as well, I could see I was not the only one.
“So then what happened?” James asked, “If Harry saved not only Ron, but also Fleur’s sister as well, shouldn’t he get more points or something?”
“Well, that’s what Dumbledore thought,” Cedric agreed, “and Harry was awarded second place, for ‘outstanding moral fibre’.” Cedric grinned. I laughed, I could picture Dumbledore saying that and apparently James could too, because he chuckled with me.
“Moral fibre!” he laughed, “our son has ‘outstanding moral fibre’! But of course he does! I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Potter!”
“I’m assuming Krum wasn’t too happy about being beaten.” I said
“No he wasn’t.” Cedric agreed, “And you should have seen Karkaroff! He was so angry, he grumbled about it for the entire day.”
“Hang on,” James said, “did you say Karkaroff?”
“Yeah, he’s the Durmstrang Heamaster.” Cedric said “Why?”
“He used to be a Death Eater.” James grumbled.
“Oh! That’s right. He was in Azkaban for years! I can’t believe they made him Headmaster!” I said.
“Wow, I didn’t know he used to be a Death Eater.” Cedric admitted, “That would explain why he is so competitive.”
There was a moment of silence as everybody contemplated that.
“He could have put Harry’s name in the Goblet!” I realised, “he would have been able to get past the age line and he has a reason to get rid of Harry if he was a Death Eater.”
“You’re right Lily.” James said at the same time as Cedric said, “But if he was Headmaster and out of Azkaban, he wouldn’t be working for You-Know-Who anymore would he?”
I opened my mouth to answer, but James got there first. “Once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater.” He muttered darkly.
“James is right, Cedric” I said. “Those people can’t just switch it off like that. Plus, the Dark Mark is forever burnt into their skin.” I shuddered just thinking about it.
“That would explain who turned the cup into the portkey then.” Cedric muttered.
“Sorry?” James said.
Cedric shook his head, “Don’t worry, I’m getting to that bit.” He took a deep breath. “This part is hardest for me to explain and I’m sorry but it kind of ends suddenly and I don’t know anything else because I… well you’ll see.” He paused and looked down. “The third task was a giant maze. It went for miles and we were told that Professor Moody—the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher—” Cedric clarified, “had placed the Tri-Wizard Cup in the centre. The first person who got to the cup won. But it wasn’t that easy. There were all sorts of magical beings roaming the maze. Telling riddles or testing us, and we weren’t allowed through unless we got the answers right. Also, the hedges closed in randomly, blocking paths or trying to squash us. Roots would fly up and try to trip you. It was incredibly dangerous and difficult.
“You couldn’t hear anybody, it was dark and eerily still for most of the maze. I had managed to pass a sphinx and a nymph just on good guesses and I knew that my luck would eventually run out, so I was hurrying to get to the cup before it did. I was running along a path when I ran into Harry. We were about to go when Krum came round, but it wasn’t really him. I think he was under the Imperius Curse.” He paused at our shocked faces.
James recovered faster then I did. “Go on.” He said.
Cedric nodded, I could see that he was beginning to look uncomfortable, nervous almost. “He shot a curse at us, but we ducked in time. I managed to disarm him at the same time that Harry stunned him. We shot red sparks up to signal he had been injured and we ran on. We turned a corner and, there was the cup, just at the end of the path.” He paused for a moment, as if he was arranging his thoughts. “We both ran for it as fast as we could, then the roots started trying to grab our ankles. We tripped and stumbled but we kept going. Then I fell.” He looked up at us.
“You’re son is a very selfless person. He saw me fall and for a moment I thought he would leave me there. But he didn’t. He didn’t go on without me, even though it was a competition and he had a clear shot at the prize. He got down and freed me. When I could get up, we both stood there for a while, completely out of breath. I thanked him for saving me but he brushed it off. As we stood there, the hedges began closing in on us. Harry yelled, ‘RUN!’, and we both took off toward the cup.” Cedric took a deep breath and I could see his hands were shaking slightly, but at that moment I was so caught up in the story, I didn’t think about why that may be. My heart was thumping so loud I was surprised no one else could hear it.
Cedric continued, “We both got to the end and I could see the cup so clearly. It was within arms reach. But neither of us took it and the hedges were still closing in. ‘Take it!’ Harry shouted to me and I told him to take it because he had saved me, but he said, ‘Together’. Then we counted together, ‘one, two, three’, and on three we both grabbed the handles.” He swallowed loudly and took a deep breath. I was beginning to worry. What could happen now?
“I felt a strong pull and the next thing I knew, Harry and I had thumped hard onto the ground, dropping the cup. It was darker, and eerily quiet. We both got up and walked around slowly. I went over to the cup on the ground. I looked at it and I knew what I was instantly. I told Harry what it was, I said, ‘Harry, the cup was a portkey’. I remember thinking, ‘who would turn the cup into a portkey and bring us wherever we were?’ I looked around then and realised we were standing in a graveyard. Harry seemed to realise this too, because he said, very quietly, more to himself then to me, ‘I’ve been here before’. Then he looked at me and I was shocked by the fear and panic in his eyes. Louder this time, he said, ‘Cedric, we have to get out of here…I’ve been here before…in a nightmare.’”
Cedric took a deep breath and paused with his story. It gave me time to think. Graveyard, why is that familiar? For some reason I could picture the place exactly, but before I could pinpoint why, Cedric continued, evidently wanting to get it over with.
“Almost as soon as Harry finished speaking, something moved in the darkness. Then Harry dropped to his knees and screamed. His eyes were closed and he was clutching his forehead at what I could only guess was intense pain. He managed to mutter through his teeth, ‘Cedric…get back to the cup’. Before I could even ask why, I heard something again, and when I looked up, I saw a man in a long, black cloak. All I could register in my mind was that he was short and roundish, and he was holding a bundle of robes in his hands, though I think there was something in them. I raised my wand.” He stopped suddenly and took another deep breath, though it sounded uneven. I noticed again that his hands were still shaking. I waited anxiously for him to keep going.
When he did, it was in just a whisper. “I raised my wand and said loudly, trying not to show my sudden fear, ‘Who are you? What do you want?’ Then a v-voice came from the…bundle…it said, ‘Kill the spare.’” He swallowed thickly and I gasped as I realised. “The last things I remember are Harry’s voice still screaming in pain, my wand shaking in my hands, and the cloaked figure raising his. Then there were some snarled words, a flash of green light, and the next thing I knew, I was on top of a hill.”
There was complete silence as James and I absorbed this. It took me a while to realise I was crying and I hastily wiped the tears away. I wanted to ask when this all happened, but James obviously had a different idea.
“This…voice, the one that ordered you to…die,” James asked hesitantly, “did it sound very…cold and quite, err, high?”
Cedric frowned at James, but then after a moment he said, “I guess…yeah it did. It was definitely male, but it sounded sort of like a…” he trailed off trying to find a comparison and suddenly a realised what James was getting at.
“A snake?” I helped.
“Yes!” Cedric said, “it was very….hissy.”
“It was Voldemort.” James said bluntly.
“The bundle, in the cloaked man’s arms.” James clarified, “It was Voldemort. But, if he was in a bundle of cloaks, he wouldn’t really be human…” he trailed off, thinking.
Cedric was nodding slowly, “That would make sense. A little while after I…arrived here there was a flash of white, and then I was back in the graveyard, though I wasn’t really human.” He frowned, “And Harry was there, duelling Voldemort. But they weren’t really duelling…”
“Their wands were connected!” I yelled, remembering. That was why I could picture the graveyard perfectly. Because I had been there. That night I saw my son again. “And there was that web-thing around them.”
“That’s right!” James said, “We were there! And you were there two!” he pointed to Cedric.
“Yes I was.” Said Cedric, but he didn’t go on because he didn’t need to explain that part. There was a long moment of silence before he sighed and stretched, “I should probably go, my nan will be worried about me.”
James and I stood at the same time he did. “Thank you so much for telling us your story Cedric.” I said, really meaning it. “I know it must have been hard for you, but we really appreciate it.”
“Yes,” James agreed, “and you are welcome to come back anytime.” He opened the front door for Cedric. “You’re a good man, Cedric. Talented and noble. It’s a real shame that you were cheated out of life by Voldemort this way.”
“Thank you,” Cedric said, “I really appreciate that. I would just like to say that you two should never have gone the way you did. Harry really is a great guy, very talented and incredibly selfless. You should be very proud of him.”
I smiled, tears in my eyes again. “Cedric, thank you. We are incredibly proud of him and we miss him everyday. We can’t thank you enough for telling us what you know about him. We love to learn as much as possible. And you’re very welcome back anytime you want.”
Cedric nodded and walked out the door, leaving only his story behind.