Chapter 8 : Shock
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Rowling owns Harry Potter, blah di blah di blah. We all know this.
Hermione groaned as she slowly awoke, head aching. She knew her eyes were closed, but honestly had no idea why, and although she wanted to open them, her eyelids were simply too heavy. Hermione gave another groan as she fought against the dead weight and finally opened an eye, and then the other. She blinked twice as the room slowly came into focus. She found three figures hovering over her: Ron, Madam Pomfrey, and surprisingly, Neville.
“How long was I out of it?” she mumbled, rubbing at her aching temples and removing locks of hair that had somehow plastered themselves to her face while she was unconscious.
“About an hour,” Ron replied, looking uneasily, although Hermione couldn’t figure out why.
“What on earth happened?” she asked, blinking a few times until her eyes completely adjusted to the light.
“You don’t remember?” Neville asked quietly.
“No,” Hermione replied, thoroughly confused. She sat up, supporting herself by her elbows. She looked around. “Why am I in the hospital wi…” Hermione’s eyes widened. “OH MY GOD!”
“I think this means she remembers now,” Ron quietly observed to Neville.
“OH MY GOD!” Hermione repeated. “Harry…. Triwizard Tournament…. Portkey…. Cup….” Hermione continued her unusual babbling until one coherent sentence appeared: “WHERE IS HARRY?” Hermione tried to control her breathing. Meanwhile, it took the efforts of Ron, Neville, and Madam Pomfrey to keep her on her bed. Once Hermione calmed down, Madam Pomfrey left to assist other students in the hospital wing.
“Is everyone okay?” Hermione asked finally, steadying herself for the worse.
Ron and Neville exchanged dark and saddened looks, but neither uttered any news. Hermione waited anxiously, until Ron, finally, informed her, “No.”
“What do you mean, ‘No’?” Hermione asked, feeling her heart race. “Is Harry…?”
“He means,” Neville interrupted, “that we honestly don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Hermione demanded.
Ron took a deep breath. “Harry and Cedric aren’t back yet, Hermione. Everyone’s still out there waiting for him. We just heard that you had a…well…emotional breakdown, so…”
“What are we doing here then?” Hermione cried, getting up. “We need to get out there!”
Hermione made for the door only to be stopped by, “Miss Granger!”
Hermione turned around quickly, coming face to face with Madam Pomfrey.
“Yes?” Hermione asked impatiently.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Going out there with everyone else to see if Harry is all right when he comes back!”
“Miss Granger, I will not allow you to leave this hospital wing,” Madam Pomfrey told Hermione in a fierce whisper. “It is my job to ensure the safety of the students.”
“But I’m fine!” Hermione protested. “I’ll just go insane if I don’t make sure he’s all right!”
“You will stay right here Miss Granger!”
“That’s not necessary,” a voice said. Hermione turned around to find Professor McGonagall at the entrance. “Miss Granger,” McGonagall said, turning to Hermione, “I trust the shock has worn off and, although you may be upset, you are feeling better.”
“Yes, Professor,” Hermione replied in a controlled voice.
McGonagall eyed Hermione suspiciously, as if she knew Hermione would do anything to go to the Quidditch field (which was true), but her features relaxed and she said, “You may go, Miss Granger. However,” McGonagall turned to Neville and Ron, “Weasley, Longbottom, watch over her.”
“I do not need anyone to watch over me, Professor,” Hermione exclaimed indignantly, clearly stung by what she considered an insult.
“Love can make you do crazy things, Miss Granger,” McGonagall said softly.
Hermione looked up in surprise. Although she respected her teachers, she never expected, or wanted, love advice. However, that wasn’t her main concern. “I never said I loved him…” she said quietly. “I mean, we’re going out, and I care for him deeply, but…”
McGonagall just shook her head and turned away, muttering something Hermione couldn’t hear. Hermione stared after her, confused.
“Are you in love with him?” Neville asked matter-of-factly. Ron looked away pointedly. He did still have some feelings for Hermione, but he wasn’t going to destroy the relationship the trio had over it.
“I don’t think so,” Hermione said slowly as they walked quickly to the field. “I mean, as I told McGonagall, I care for him deeply. But, I mean, I’m only 14,” Hermione continued. “We’ve only dated for about six months…I don’t think I, or we’ve, had enough experience to say we’re in love,” Hermione finished thoughtfully. She realized that she was only walking towards the pitch, and began to run.
Neville and Ron exchanged looks, but ran after her.
There was still no sign of Harry or Cedric, and Hermione paced the field for hours, fiddling with her fingers, and praying for Harry’s safe return. A tap on her shoulder interrupted her, however. Hermione swung around and came face to face with Viktor Krum.
“Yes?” she asked stiffly. She did not need to deal with an all star Quidditch stalker at the moment.
“I vas vondering if I could haf a vord?” Krum asked her.
“Look,” Hermione said, trying to go about this diplomatically, “it’s really flattering that you have such strong feelings for me, but I have a boyfriend, one who may be in great danger. I really don’t have the time for this nonsense right now.” So much for being diplomatic, she thought to herself.
“No, no, no,” Krum said, shaking his head. “I just vanted to apologize. I didn’t know you two vere going out ven I told you.”
“How could you not know?” Hermione asked in disbelief.
“I tend not to listen to gossip,” Krum said with a shrug. “I vas hoping you could forgive me.”
Hermione almost smiled at this, despite what was going on around her. The number one seeker in the world wanted her forgiveness – how ironic.
“Sure,” Hermione said.
“Vould you mind if I wrote to you?” Krum asked hesitantly. “Just as a penpal…”
“Of course not,” Hermione said, although distracted. The crowd was moving suddenly. “Having a penpal would be great.” Before she could hear Krum’s response, Hermione found herself running toward the maze. The cup had just landed in a clearing, and Hermione pushed through the crowd, desperate to find Harry.
“Let me through!” she called, and somehow she pushed herself to the front of the crowd. She breathed a sign of relief as she found that Harry was safe and sound, but then gasped. He looked a wreck – his arm was heavily bleeding, there were scratches and bruises all over him, he was covered in dirt – and he was crying over a…no…it couldn’t be.
“Cedric?” Hermione whispered, aghast. For there, lying a mere ten feet away from her, was the lifeless body of Cedric Diggory.
“I did everything I could!” she heard Harry cry. “And I…I just couldn’t leave him there. He asked me to bring his body back.” Then, in horror, she heard Harry tell Dumbledore, “He’s back! Voldemort is back!”
"Oh my God," Hermione whispered and, overtaken by Harry’s grief and not realizing, in her state of astonishment, what she was doing, Hermione ran to Harry. This time, no one was there to stop her.
She collapsed on her knees next to Harry, but he seemed unaware of her presense as he allowed Dumbledore to take Cedric from him to give to Amos Diggory, who was sobbing.
"Stay here, Harry," Dumbledore instructed him. "Whatever happens, stay here."
Hermione, not knowing what else to do, simply sat next to Harry. She wanted to comfort him, to hold him, to help him as he helped her before, but she didn't know how to do so. The tragedy had overwhelmed her, and so she remained sitting by Harry, who continued to shake.
A few minutes later, Mad-Eye Moody came down and took Harry by his arm.
"C'mon, Potter," Moody growled. "Let's get you cleaned up."
"Dumbledore said not to go," Harry said, his voice lacking any energy.
"It will be okay," Moody told him.
"But Professor!" Hermione gasped, standing up. "He said Harry was to stay here."
"Miss Granger," Moody informed Hermione, "it will be fine. I'm just going to get Potter cleaned up." Hermione watched as Moody supported Harry while the two walked in the direction of the castle.
However, Hermione immediately regretted being so passive when Dumbledore came up to her and asked, “Where’s Harry?”
“He went off with Moody,” Hermione heard her voice tell Dumbledore. Dumbledore, for the first time in Hermione's life at Hogwarts, was not at all calm.
“Minerva, Severus,” he instructed to his fellow teachers. “Follow me.”
As Hermione made to follow them as well, she was forced back by Dumbledore.
“Stay here,” he told her, and the fierceness in his eyes was all Hermione needed to stay frozen.
Hermione earlier assumed that once Harry returned from wherever he was he’d be safe. Now, she feared the worse was yet to come.
Only about one or two chapters left...I think. *Laughs*
Thanks for continuing to read this fic! It means so much to me that I've made over 5500 reads. Thank you so much! ^_^
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