A week into term, Cedric found himself visiting the Room of Requirement daily, which was more often then he'd ever visited. Part of him was simply drawn there, as if he was about to discover some secret he'd never known. A greater majority of him simply went to the room to escape the growing annoyances his 'mates' posed. They were urging and urging him about the tournament. They badgered him every second they could, no matter how many times he told them he hadn't decided. And if that wasn't bad enough, his father had heard of it somehow and was writing him letters about how excited he would be when Cedric was selected as Hogwarts' Champion.
With each word about the tournament, Cedric wanted only to shout at everyone and profess his love for music to the entire world. He wanted to make it clear that he had no interest in being Hogwarts' Champion. All he wanted was to share his talent with his father, and to find friends that would accept that part of him. And he knew exactly who that was. Magdalene Walsh. Every chance he could, he sat with her in comfortable silence and complimented her nicely or tried to get her to speak. But his efforts were in vain because if even one other person was in sight, the redhead's lips stayed locked. If he caught up with her in a deserted hallway or waited at the base of the Ravenclaw tower (no, he wasn't stalking) she would utter a few nice words until others appeared.
To pound out his frustration and contemplate his growing feelings for Maggie, Cedric chose an incredibly challenging piano piece and decided to work on it daily. But he couldn't focus on the demanding piece he'd chosen to conquer. Each time he entered the room, he noticed that it expanded in size. Professor Dumbledore had said it became what it needed to be. Was the room expanding for someone's entrance? The room was returning to its original state as a dance studio. Dance…the first time he realized the connection was on the second Tuesday of term. A little over a week since he'd met Maggie on the train and noticed her book. The dance room couldn't be for Maggie, could it? But then, where else would she dance at Hogwarts? Cedric knew that just as musicians had to practice daily, dancers must keep their technique by dancing every day.
And as soon as his mind drifted towards Maggie, all thoughts of playing Beethoven were out of his head. Almost instantly, his fingers began to press keys gently in a melody he had never heard before. Confused, Cedric looked down at his hands, which seemed to be moving on their own accord. It took him a few minutes to realize that he was composing.
"Blimey!" he murmured, joyfully conjuring some blank music paper and quickly enchanting the notes he played to appear on the page. The piece was sweet and pure, and when he played it, he played it with suspense and longing.
As Cedric composed his song for Magdalene, the young redhead sat on the couch in her room behind the painting. She knew her room had been growing smaller and she hadn't been able to properly practice dancing since term had resumed. She was frustrated with the room, which seemed to be pushing her into revealing herself to Cedric. She was angrily writing a Potions Essay for that horrid professor Snape when the music reached her ears. It was perfect dancing music! Unlike anything she'd ever heard before, it was lovely and full of emotion. She looked up with curiosity as the notes poured onto Cedric's blank paper. So it was a Cedric Diggory original.
She was unable to stop herself as her feet tapped along and the words of her essay flitted out of her mind. She smiled to herself, standing and carefully marking some ballet movements that would fit the music. There was no room to dance, though and her body and her heart were urging her to do so. She bit her lip, unable to decide what was right. But as Cedric became so obsessed in his music that he looked only at the keys of the piano, she made a daring decision—something very rare for Magdalene Walsh. She slipped through the portrait, already dressed in her traditional dancing clothes and began to dance the movements she had marked fully. Cedric didn't look up as Maggie leapt and twirled lightly, her feet almost making no sound because she landed with such grace and air.
It wasn't until the song was finished that his brown eyes looked up to meet a pair of terrified emerald eyes. But he smiled warmly, afraid of scaring her away since she looked absolutely mortified.
"I'm so sorry," she finally broke the silence with a terrified cry before turning to run back to the portrait on the wall. Cedric had always wondered why that portrait was there.
"No, Maggie! Please don't go," he stood, placing a hand gently on her shoulder and pleading with his eyes as much as he possibly could.
"Cedric, I'm sorry," she whispered, turning to the boy who had unknowingly taken her heart. "I should have said something. I shouldn't have been just watching you…"
"It's not a problem. We're friends right?" he gave her another warm smile and her eyes lit up, though her face was still twisted with concern.
"You think of me as a friend?" she finally smiled.
"Of course I do," Cedric nodded and conjured a chair for her to sit on, opposite his piano bench. She giggled as she transfigured his chair into an odd looking, black blob on the floor. He was about to question her before she plopped down on it with a small, content sigh.
"It's a beanbag chair. They're popular in American muggle culture. My father had one in his apartment and I fell in love with it. It's so incredibly comfortable," she gushed in her high-pitched, girlish voice. Cedric looked at the object with interest before attempting to conjure himself one as well. It worked, though his came out in an odd mix of colors since he couldn't quite decide what color he'd like it. He sat and chuckled along with Maggie.
"Comfortable indeed," he agreed.
"Cedric," Maggie bit her lip, serious once more, "I've not been honest with you," she confessed in a voice barely above a whisper.
"Magdalene," Cedric took up the same tone as the shy girl sitting opposite him, "I've not been honest with any of my friends since third year, when I started coming here and playing music," he told her. He was trying to assure her that he was not offended, but she seemed frazzled still.
"You don't understand," she shook her head, eyebrows knitted in frustration. "I've been using this room every day since the first day of term during first year. The first day you came here, I slipped behind the portrait and discovered a separate room. I was terrified of people. I am terrified of people. But I recognized you and I was interested in your music. Then when I realized that you were hiding that part of you, I just… I wanted so bad to tell you, Cedric, that your music is the most wonderful part of you!" she prattled hopelessly as the handsome boys face remained calm, but shocked.
"I should have said something to you the very first day. But I couldn't find the words. I can never find words when I need them," she sighed sadly. "And when the room began expanding, well I used your music to dance to whenever you came. I felt as though I knew a part of you that nobody else knew. So many times I tried to speak to you. I began to approach you dozens of times, but I always lost my nerve. You didn't see me and you could never know me the way I knew you. Because I could never work up the courage to even say hello," she bit her lip nervously, praying he would take her words the correct way. She had no clue if she was using them right, as this was the most she'd ever said to anyone besides Poppy.
"I wish you would have told me," Cedric admitted quietly, watching as Maggie's face fell with disappointment. "But not for the reasons you think I wish. I wish you would have told me sooner so that I could have seen your beautiful dancing and so that I could have known you longer," he smiled to the young girl whose face projected a mixture of confusion and pure elation.
"I'm so sorry for that too! But I promise, I will make it up every second I can. Cedric, I want you to know me the way I know you," she professed passionately before turning bright red and hiding behind her hands. What had led her to say that?
"Then I suppose we'll simply have to spend every possible second together that we can," he grinned, standing and helping Maggie up after him. With an elaborate wave of his wand, he made both beanbag chairs disappear as he sat down at the piano. Maggie understood what he wanted immediately.
And then she danced. She danced like she had never danced before. Her leaps were higher, her moves more fluent. Her turns had power and grace. Her releve was full of ease. And the emotion poured through her dancing in a way it never had. She had always prided herself on her passionate dancing, but suddenly it was like everything she had ever felt had always been hidden behind a gate and now it was released.
And he played. He played elaborately, his hands traveling up and down the ivory keys. He never missed a note or a beat. He watched as this girl who had stumbled into his life danced her heart out for him. The music he played described every little thing he felt toward her: the girl who had always been there, waiting for him. How had he been so stupid? How had he wasted these years insisting no one was there? She was right in front of him. She was his inspiration. She was his friend.
When they realized what time it was, they both hurried to gather their things without too many words shared between each other. Cedric could not be caught out after curfew, he was a Prefect! And Maggie couldn't bear the thought of breaking a rule. She was, after all, a studious Ravenclaw. They exchanged a smile outside the disappearing door to the Room of Requirement before going their separate ways and scurrying down the halls to reach their respective common rooms before curfew.
As Cedric climbed into the 'den' in the Hufflepuff Dormitories he smiled, all thoughts of the Tournament were out of his mind. When he was with Magdalene, he felt free to be himself. He felt confident in his music and he was free to dream of the future he wanted. He didn't have to pretend that he was Mr. All-Around-Perfect. He wasn't Amos Diggory's trophy and he wasn't Hogwarts number one candidate for the tournament. He was Cedric: pianist and musician extraordinaire. When Cedric finally fell asleep, a million possible futures flashed through his head and each of them had something in common: music and Magdalene.
Likewise as Maggie ascended the stairs in the Ravenclaw tower up to the seventh floor dormitories she couldn't stop smiling. Thoughts were whizzing through her head an alarming speed and they all seemed to revolve around Cedric. Her dreams were full of his laugh, his smile and his music. His lovely brown eyes and his lush hair stirred feelings of love in Maggie that she wasn't sure she should feel for a boy who would surely never be interested in her that way. Sure, he was her friend… he'd admitted that, but that didn't mean that he wouldn't choose someone like Cho Chang over her any day. Still, Maggie was on Cloud Nine and she couldn't stop the dreams from living out in her sleep all night.
Maggie awoke before any of the other girls in her dormitory and hurried to use the bathroom before anyone woke up and began fighting her for it. With a lazy flick of her wand, she was dressed and ready to leave. She grabbed her books and made her way quietly out to the common room. She glanced at the grandfather clock and noticed that breakfast had started so she left the common room and was utterly shocked to find Cedric Diggory waiting for her.
"Morning Maggie," he chimed happily as they fell into step toward the Great Hall.
"Hello Cedric," she smiled quietly since nobody else was awake and about this early.
"I was curious to know if you would like to join me for breakfast at the Hufflepuff table," he offered her an elbow and she took it with a nod, blushing violently. They walked in comfortable silence for a few minutes before Cedric sighed pointedly.
"What is it?" Maggie asked, expectant but smiling.
"Do you like silence?" he asked teasingly.
"I don't mind it," she shrugged and he shook his head slightly. "Well, what do you prefer?" she demanded, putting her hands on her hips. Cedric couldn't stop himself from admiring how adorable she looked when she was annoyed.
"We should talk! Come on Maggie," he took her hands off her hips and put one arm back around his. "Tell me things," he pleaded lightly. Maggie rolled her eyes and glanced out the window.
"It's raining," she stated blandly.
"Are we really talking about the weather?" Cedric groaned.
"Well what do people usually talk about?" she sighed, her cheeks turning pink from embarrassment. Cedric smirked slightly at the sight of her rosy blush before squeezing her arm in his comfortingly.
"They talk about common interests. Did you do well on Professor Snape's last essay?"
"Does anyone ever do well on Potion's essays? And plus, Cedric, I don't think that Professor Snape is a common interest," Maggie giggled and Cedric practically burst with pride. He had made her laugh.
"Then perhaps, Quidditch?" he suggested with raised eyebrows. A rosy blush appeared on the girl's face as she looked down at her shoes before answering.
"I only ever watch you play. If Hufflepuff isn't playing, I don't watch," she admitted to him. He seemed surprised, but delighted and she sighed with relief. He didn't think she was peculiar for watching him play.
"I'm glad someone enjoys my playing. Lately, my father only cares if I win," Cedric confessed with a sad, far-off look in his eyes. Maggie paused in her step, just outside the Great Hall.
"Cedric, don't let your father's opinion rule your life. Show him that you are truly happy when you play music. You can't use words to communicate that passion," she placed a small hand on his cheek and looked him firmly in the eyes. He gazed at her for a few moments before nodding quietly.
"You would know best," he chuckled and she stuck her tongue out at him in a moment of rare immaturity. But they had entered the presence of others and Maggie's lips were sealed for the rest of the day until the two stepped foot into their room.
Over the next few days, the halls were filled with whispers and rumours and pointed fingers. Had Cedric chosen that little, mute redhead over the beautiful and popular Cho Chang? How did the two get on so well when one never spoke a word? Cedric seemed awfully distant from his friends ever since he started walking around with that Ravenclaw. What was her name again? Oh yes, Magdalene. Little Magdalene, the ever-silent Ravenclaw. Many of the girls in her house stopped speaking to her. She had stolen the boy Cho wanted. Funny enough, Cho herself still acted kindly toward Maggie. Her friends, fake and vain as they were, were not as kind. They glared and started evil rumours about how Maggie did not speak because she felt she was better than everyone else. And when these rumours started to spread, Cedric's friends made a plan. They would stage an intervention. They couldn't lose their best mate to a snooty, puny little Ravenclaw.