Chapter 4

"Cho you have to do something!" Amy whined. She considered herself Cho Chang's best friend and as best friend she wasn't about to allow Miserable Magdalene to have Cedric over Cho.

"Amy, I told you I'm interested in someone else now. Cedric and Magdalene can be together if they want," the girl replied stubbornly. In truth, she was disappointed that Cedric had not taken notice of her affections, but she saw the way they both smiled at each other. Though the two had not officially gone public or even become an item, it was clear to everyone that they were in awe of each other.

Amy grumbled, but dropped it. If Cho wasn't going to do anything about then she was. The rumors she had started, with the help of Micia and Christine, had done nothing to faze the pair. They were completely unreachable, in another world when they were together. So the problem was finding Magdalene alone. Cedric met her every morning for two weeks and walked her to each and every class (since they had most classes together anyway). They ate breakfast, lunch and supper together. And neither of them could ever be found after classes, other than supper. That was it then, it had to be done in the Ravenclaw Dormitory and Amy knew just when to do it too. She was going to bully Magdalene into giving Cedric up. It wasn't long until Amy had five other people in on her scheme.

Micia and Christine, fellow seventh year Ravenclaws agreed to help her corner Magdalene and intimidate her, though Micia was a little hesitant to be so mean to the quiet girl. Christine roped her boyfriend, Henry, into it who also convinced his mates James and Greg to assist in operation "Get Cho and Cedric Together". Henry, James, and Greg wanted their mate back and they believed the rumors that Magdalene was a horrible, snotty girl. They began their planning a week from that day… when the Champions would be announced so that Cedric could accept his championship with a beautiful Cho Chang on his arm.

"Cedric, you can't be serious," Maggie exclaimed as she sat up to look him in the eye. They were both strewn out on the dance floor, books and papers surrounding them as they tried to study for their numerous tests. Either of them would rather be dancing or singing, but seventh year was demanding their attention and they were both good students who strove for good grades.

"It's the only way to get my dad off my back, Mags," Cedric sighed, writing his name on yet another sheet of paper, this time for a Transfiguration essay.

"You could die!" Maggie insisted, but Cedric's nose was buried in his Transfiguration book. "Cedric!" Maggie scolded, throwing her pointe shoe at him.

"Ouch Maggie," he whined, rubbing his head. "This is an abusive relationship," he muttered teasingly. Maggie rolled her eyes and giggled in spite of herself. She sighed and scooted over to Cedric, placing her hands on his shoulders and bringing the solemn tone back to the conversation.

"Cedric, please," she whispered. "I'm scared for you," she looked down as he enveloped his arms around her.

"Magdalene Francis Walsh," he said softly, bringing her chin up to look into her large, watering eyes. "I swear to you that I will be careful. I would never put myself in danger if I wasn't absolutely confident that I could come back to you," he vowed. Maggie nodded her thanks and embraced him once more. The other schools would be arriving soon and Cedric would place his name in the Cup. Cedric had promised that as soon as he was chosen as Hogwarts Champion, he would tell his father about Magdalene. And as soon as he won the tournament, he would tell his father about his music career. It appeased Maggie, but Cedric knew it was all circumstantial. He couldn't bring himself to not be what his father wanted, not even for Maggie.

He really liked her. He cherished every moment he spent with her. Every smile and every sound emitted from her mouth was a memory that Cedric committed to memory with utter joy. They'd spent every waking moment with each other for two weeks. It didn't occur to Cedric that he was possibly moving too quickly with Magdalene. She seemed overjoyed and he was happy. He didn't regret any hug, any promise or any second. And for Maggie, well, she'd been waiting for this life, this friendship, this boy for four years. To the rest of the seventh years, Cedric was being brainwashed by the mental girl. To the rest of the school, with the exception of a few gossip-y sixth years, it was just another couple.

"We've got to get dressed," Maggie sighed, standing up and waving her wand to tidy their things. Cedric agreed and the two snuck out of their secret room and departed for their respective dormitories. Maggie noticed that the girls in her room quieted down when she entered the room, but she didn't put much weight into the thought until Cho cleared her throat and she looked up to catch Micia, Christine and Amy glaring at her ferociously. She knew why they were angry and why they were spreading horrible rumors about her, but it didn't really bother her. Cho didn't seem too displeased, so it was hardly as if she'd forced Cedric to break the girl's heart. Plus, in a few months Maggie would never have to see any of those girls again and she could spend her life with Cedric, doing what she loved. She glanced at the clock and quickly dressed in her formal robes, hat and all for the arrival of the guests.

The arrival of the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton students was a spectacular sight to behold and each group of students entered the Great Hall in a display of wonderful talent. Hogwarts students were astounded. The boys drooled over the beautiful French girls and the girls swooned for Victor Krum. The Ravenclaws were joined by Durmstrang while the Hufflepuffs were joined by Beauxbaton. Maggie happened to be sitting at the end of table and soon a dozen gruff boys crowded around her personal space. Amy and her friends smiled and overly flirted with the boys while Maggie clapped politely and tried not to be offended at their close proximity. She listened as Professor Dumbledore thanked the Headmasters for bringing their students and introduced Mr. Barty Crouch, a Ministry official, to list the rules of the game. Barty Crouch was a very timid, stuttering man, but at last he made it through his explanation and the assembly was allowed to eat.

"Excuse me?" a rough, heavily-accented voice traveled to Maggie's ear. She turned and smiled politely at the Durmstrang boy who had addressed her.

"Could you pass that?" he asked, pointing to a plate of some type of food with a smile.

"She doesn't speak," Amy interrupted rudely, passing the plate of meat and batting her eyes at the boy who shrugged in return.

"I'm Viktor," he stuck his hand out and Maggie shook it with another timid smile. Across the room, Cedric watched the exchange. He carefully watched her lips, but they did not open. It wasn't that Cedric didn't want her to speak, but he wanted to be there when she finally opened to someone else. And quite frankly, he was jealous of Viktor who got to eat lunch with his Maggie.

"Ced, you're joining, right?" Greg elbowed Cedric, trying to distract him as he stared off toward the Ravenclaw table.

"Yeah," Cedric nodded and Henry clapped his back. Greg exchanged glanced with James who nodded inconspicuously.

"I bet Cho will find that attractive," James raised his eyebrows suggestively. Cedric frowned in return.

"I don't really care. Maggie doesn't like it much," he shrugged, keeping a careful eye on Maggie through his peripheral vision. The boy in the fur coat was still talking to her.

"So it's Maggie now, is it?" Henry chimed in, scoffing.

"Yeah it is," Cedric challenged hotly.

"Calm down, mate, he didn't mean any harm. We want to be Maggie's friend too, right boys?" Greg brought the conversation back to a calm level and James nodded quickly, not liking the angry tone that Cedric had taken on. He wasn't very defensive as a general rule. He wasn't really all that passionate about anything either. In the seven years they'd known him, he'd always been an incredibly good-natured, passive and fun guy to be around. This bloody girl was changing it.

"She's not just my friend," Cedric informed them with a somewhat distant air about him.

"Oh?" James sighed.

"Yeah, that's right. I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend tonight," Cedric sent a hard stare at Henry, who was definitely the biggest hot head of the group. He didn't usually start fights with his mates, since they all went and told their fathers who in turn told Amos, but he was looking for a reason to get them off his back. He hadn't planned on asking Maggie so early, but really, what was he waiting for?

"Are you sure you wanna do that, I mean, you just met the girl," Greg tried to convince Cedric, sending an honestly concerned look, but the murderous glare he got back from his friend was enough to send him running. "But you know, Christine says she's a really sweet girl," he rebounded as Cedric's face softened.

"She's more than that," Cedric agreed and the other three boys sighed inwardly, resigning to try another time.

Across the Hall, Viktor Krum took notice of two lovely young ladies sharing his table. Or rather, whose table he was sharing. One was the small redhead who smiled but didn't speak seated next to him. The other was a light-voiced girl with raven hair and an adorable smile. The latter was definitely a more mature type and a social butterfly, since she seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to know her. The former spoke to no one, but seemed very kind and sweet in her own way. Of course either was a pretty piece of work and either would be a lovely girl to pursue. Viktor was good natured by birth, and he treated all girls with respect, but he was still a seventeen year old boy with…desires. The kiss of a young lady was a prize to be worked for and won in his mind and he intended to win at least one prize to tell his Mama about.

"May I trouble you again?" he asked and the little redhead looked at him expectantly.

"What is your name?" he asked, smiling in the way he knew swept girls off their feet. The girl blushed, but bit her lip, looking troubled.

"Her name's Magdalene, but she's awfully shy. She doesn't mean to be rude. Oh and I'm Cho," the raven hair girl chimed in and Viktor switched his attention to her. He liked her instantly, since she was one of the few girls who did not throw themselves at him, but instead introduced herself politely. While the two chatted, Maggie and Cedric's eyes met across the room and they both chose to leave dinner early. As soon as the door was shut behind them they released a breath.

"Pretending to be Golden boy must be such hard work," Maggie teased as they walked in the direction of the Ravenclaw tower.

"No harder than playing host to a famous professional Quidditch player," Cedric teased equally. Though he was jealous, he did not want to upset Maggie by showing he was distrustful of her affections toward him.

"Who?" Maggie asked, completely astonished at his remark.

"Viktor. His name is Viktor Krum, he's a Quidditch player for Bulgaria," Cedric laughed. It was so like Maggie to not know she'd just had dinner with a celebrity.

"Oh, I suppose he was nice," Maggie shrugged. "Honestly, I was much too busy listening," she gnawed on her lip once more. "Are you sure you have to do the Tournament?"

"Come on Mags, you have to see the advantages to this," Cedric insisted as they leaned on the wall in one of the deserted outdoor hallways that was occupied by Rowena Ravenclaw's daughter.

"Really Cedric, I don't see many," Maggie frowned. "You'll be in danger and much too busy to spend every moment in the Room of Requirement with me. I'll be lonesome and you'll have every female in Hogwarts drooling over you. What is so fantastic about that?" she pouted, glaring at the night sky and cursing any gods who gave her something amazing just to take it away in a few weeks.

"Well the girlfriend of a Champion you'll have a fantastic seat at all the tasks," he shrugged offhandedly and Maggie paused, turning slowly to face him. Her green eyes blinked slowly, twice and Cedric grinned, waiting for the reaction. A smile crept slowly onto her face.

"Are you asking me to be your girlfriend, Cedric?" she clarified.

"If you'll have me," he nodded excitedly as her eyes lit up. He loved watching her when her eyes lit up. It made her whole form glow.

"Of course!" she squealed and threw herself into his open, waiting arms for a much needed hug. "There is almost nothing in the world that could make me happier," she breathed into his neck as he twirled her around.

"Almost?" he joked, knowing exactly what might be more important.

"Come on Cedric, you know as well as I do that if man walked up to you and asked you to play in the New York Philharmonic Symphony you would jump for joy like a little girl," she laughed as he set her down and they stared into each other's eyes once more.

"Why is everything in America for you?" Cedric asked honestly, not a hint of teasing or anger in his voice.

"I think it's fascinating. That's where you go if you want to pursue art. Plus, it's easier for us to get a career there. Most of the dancers and musicians in their famous companies are foreigners. Europe has the best teachers and America has the best directors," she shrugged.

"That is simply opinion, my dear," Cedric tapped her nose gently and Maggie rolled her eyes.

"Well if you shall not follow me across the pond after we graduate then I suppose I will have to find a job in drab old England," she giggled, intertwining her hand with his.

"Or travel back to your homeland of Ireland," Cedric offered. Maggie shrugged.

"With you, I'd go anywhere," she placed her head on his shoulder and he walked her to her dormitory, as curfew was drawing near.

"That's incredibly cheesy Maggie," Cedric pointed out as the rounded the corner and paused, not wanting to leave each other's presence.

"I like cheese," Maggie grinned, not giving up on her happy spirit. She couldn't stop smiling.

"So do I, but you know they don't have real cheese in America, right?"

"Give it up Cedric," Maggie groaned, smiling still. Cedric wasn't sure what to do next. He wanted to lean down and place a kiss on her lips, but she seemed hesitant to do that… scared of kissing him. It was a ridiculous thought, really, but he wanted to wait until he was absolutely sure she was ready so instead he kissed her forehead and squeezed her tiny frame in his arms. She seemed content with that and he was overjoyed that she'd accepted him. That was all he needed.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow," Cedric winked as he turned to leave.

"That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow," Maggie smiled softly.

"I didn't know the end of that quote," Cedric admitted and all he heard was Maggie's laughter as she entered her common room.

'To love' he thought, 'is definitely the world's greatest treasure'.

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