Cedric came down the stairs of the Hufflepuff boy's dorms in the middle of the night to find a lone figure sitting in the dark next to the tower window, staring out into the rain. She was a 5th year, that was all he really knew about her. She had an odd name. Well not necessarily odd, but uncommon to Hogwarts.
Emma. Emma Brice. Everyone steered clear of her in class. People rarely worked with her, unless they were forced to. Often times she simply worked by herself. Before her fourth year she jumped at the oppurtunity to work with others. She had friends in every house.
Then something happened. No one is sure what.
She sat on the ledge, her legs hanging out of the window, just sitting there. The water was hitting her, but it didn't phase her. Her black hair was damp, and her makeup was running.
She hadn't been crying, just the rain hitting her face.
He shivered when he felt the wind from the open window hit him. Cedric grabbed the blanket off of the back of the couch. The rustle of fabric made her turn and look to him.
"Good morning." She smiled.
"Good morning yourself." He paused, moving closer to her. "If you don't mind me asking, but why are you perched here on the window ledge as though you're about to fly off?"
"I'm listening to the rain." Emma said as though it was as common as brushing your teeth or tying your shoes. "Don't you ever listen to it?"
"To what?" Cedric sat on the edge with her, but keeping his legs inside the building.
"The rain, silly." She giggled.
"No. Not really." He looked out into the dark rain, it looked as though it was raining tadpoles.
"Really? You should. Wow, you've never listened to the way the rain patters off rocks, yet slides off wood? How it trickles along the side of glass, yet sticks to your skin and makes it's own path?" She stared wide-eyed at him, and for a moment she reminded him of a baby deer. "How the rain makes it's own music whenever it wants? It'll simply move in whenever it wants as though saying 'Even if you dont want to hear me, you're gonna listen anyways.' It's magnificient."
"Music? The rain makes music?" Cedric laughed.
"Yes! It does!" Emma took his hand within her two tiny ones and held it outside the window, letting the cold rain hit his warm hand, a few hitting hers, but she kept her sight on his face. Searching his features for a look of realization, or a look of anything.
"Can you hear it?" She whispered. "The way it just moves with the wind and the air, and moves around the things in it's way, like our hands? Its like a masterpiece being composed by the clouds."
Cedric stared at his hand which was enclosed in hers, getting soaked to the bone, sending goose-bumps up his arm, and to his neck. He looked over at Emma, and when his gaze locked with hers, she did something he didn't expect her to do.
"You can't hear it can you? You don't hear the music. You hear the rain." Emma was disappointed and he could tell.
"I'm sorry, but I really don't hear anything. I only hear the rain." Cedric saw tears glisten in her eyes and guilt struck him like a knife.
"It's okay. Some people aren't meant to hear it. But you should try." She whispered. Emma let go of his hands and brought her legs back inside the castle. Cedric let his hand stay out in the cold, wet air for a few moments before he brought it back inside.
"Emma, why are you so interested in the rain?" He asked.
"Because, it's the only thing that ever truly listened and sang me into comfort."
"It eases pain like nothing else." She sighed, shifting in her spot. "Rain can ease pain, but it never goes away."
They sat there for a few moments.
Just sitting there.
Both listening to the rain.
Both hearing different things.
Emma heard the comfort that she yearned for her whole life.
Cedric was desperatly trying to hear the music of the water, so that he might understand what this girl was going through.
"Have you tried... letting someone comfort you?" He whispered.
Emma looked up at him with the wide-eyed deer look again. "What do you mean? Letting someone? "
"I mean like letting someone get close to you. To get to know you... to Love you?"
"Oh, yea, that works. I've tried that, Cedric. No offense, it's a great idea and everything, but it doesn't work out as easily as you make it sound. It never works out that way. I just decided it's better to hide myself and get out of peoples' ways. Build a wall, and whoever wants to go through the trouble can climb over it if they want to."
He took her hands in both of his. "You're an amazing girl, but so many people don't know you because of how you hide yourself. Let yourself open up. Let your soul show itself like the rain does, like you don't care. I myself love to climb things. So your wall was no problem."
Emma looked so small, looking down at the joined hands that rested on his leg.
"What if... I don't know how?" She asked, looking up at him.
"Then let me show you." Cedric leaned in and lightly kissed the girl. A gentle kiss, but he felt her gasp against his lip so he pulled away.
Her eyes were closed, and she was frowning slightly.
"Are you okay?" He asked. Cedric was afraid that he may have done something wrong, maybe offended her in some way.
Emma's eyes shot open and she just stared at him. She brought her hand up to touch her lips and she smiled.
Looking up at him, she whispered;
"I'm right as rain."
She leaned in and kissed him back, and smiled against his mouth as the rain crescendoed outside. The rain pattered on the windows, and the stone of the castle. The sound of the wind rustling the leaves sounded like bells, the thunder was the drums shaking the sky. The drops were the airy melody of the flutes and the water on the glass and stone was the strings.
A perfect melody created by the earth, to entertain and nourish the earth. Emma had heard this all her life. But she'd listened for it all her life.