Chapter 1 : I'll Always Love You
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The wind brushed against me as I stood there, my eyes gazing out into the dark midnight sky. My long curled brown hair was blown from my face as I gripped the railing of the balcony. The stars looked so beautiful tonight. They twinkled against the dark canvas of sky and the moon was full with not a cloud in sight to cover this masterpiece.
The chill of the night air did not bother me a bit. I was used to feeling cold. Coldness and I seemed to agree with each other. I’d felt my whole body go cold when I’d seen him lying still as stone on the grass. My breath had escaped me when the awful words had been said that he was dead. My heart’s beating had stopped when I’d touched his cold, stiff fingers. I knew he was gone. But why did my heart still ache this way? Only this morning he had been smiling and chatting with his friends. Now he was nothing more than a well thought memory. My fingers longed to touch his warm arm and my ears yearned desperately to hear his beautiful voice that was now faded in the back of my mind.
A single tear trickled down my cheek as thoughts of him came to my mind. I had tried to sleep tonight. I’d laid in the comforts of my dorm bed in the sixth year Ravenclaw’s girls’ dormitory but sleep did not meet me. My eyes had closed but his face had entered my mind. My pillow was covering my ears but his voice still spoke through. He had entered my mind and intoxicated me. I had not escaped him.
So I’m standing here on this balcony at Hogwarts feeling the wind against my face but it feels like the warmth of his breath. Why can’t I forget him? He was never mine to hold, to kiss or to even love. Cho Chang was his girlfriend. She could laugh at something he’d say or hold onto his arm as he walked down the hall. She could congratulate him on winning a Quidditch match. But me? I had to stand there and watch. My heart had been tormented as I’d see her with him almost every day for the past year. It bothered me so much, that I could scarcely enjoy a moment of peace.
A sigh escaped my mouth and I heard a faint crying coming from inside the dormitory. It was probably Cho, crying in her sleep. What’s she crying for? Did she truly love him? Did she keep his picture hidden in her pocket or under her pillow? Did she dream about him kissing her lips softly and speaking soft words in her ear?
I bit my lip wishing it were I crying over him in my sleep. But I had cried over him for endless hours earlier. Instead of laughing at my friends’ trying to cheer me up, I’d cried. But tears cannot come from my eyes any longer. Tears will not bring him back to me. I can still feel the way his hands felt on my waist when we’d danced.. It seems like it was only yesterday when it had happened. Cho had been his date but for one moment, I’d felt like he actually loved me…
It was the night of the Yule Ball. All my friends were getting ready in the dormitory and one named Alicia asked me as I sat there on my bed staring at the wall, “Aren’t you going to the dance Anna?”
Me? No. He already asked Cho to the dance. It’s not worth it for me to watch them enjoy themselves and for me to see him with her. My heart will only break further. It’s not worth the pain. I shook my head and Alicia protested, “You have to go! This is probably the only dance we’ll experience! Come on!”
“I won’t go.” I stated stubbornly.
Cho was just grabbing her bag before she looked over at me and smiled, “You should still go Anna. You’d have lots of fun.”
I knew she was only trying to be nice because I suspected she knew I liked him. She knew she was going with the guy I loved. I sighed as all the girls gathered around me and begged and pleaded. Finally I gave in but said, “I have not a dress to wear.”
A girl named Marcy smiled and handed me a long, beautiful silky, red gown. It was breathtaking. The neckline was a sweetheart shape, the length was to my ankles, there were tiny diamond studded straps and the bottom flared out a bit. I bit my lip then reluctantly put on the ballgown. All the girls gasped seeing me. I gulped, “Is it that bad looking?”
“You look like a supermodel Anna!” A girl shrieked.
Seriously? Is she lying? I typically don’t wear gowns. The last time was at my great aunt’s funeral last year. Even then, I’d hated myself in one. I still did. But then I gazed in the bathroom mirror. The reflection of a fair skinned girl, with loose curly brown hair and brown eyes gazed back at me. She looked frail in the gown and her cheeks reddened at the sight of how form fitted the gown was on her waist. She was like an angel. She was me. Me. I couldn’t believe it. I looked beautiful for once in my life. Alicia did my makeup and I put on some black heels then headed down the staircases and finally reached the grand staircase where I could see the Great Hall doors and people waiting for the doors to open. I saw him.
He was standing with his friends as I slowly made my way down the stairs. He looked like an angel in his black and white tux. I smiled shyly as I noticed everyone gaping at me like I was some angelic stranger. I never had seen anyone gape at me before. I was a shy bookworm that no one really noticed before. Then he turned around and for a second, his eyes met mine. He grinned. His smile made my heart melt. Then I noticed he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at Cho. I reached the bottom of the stairs and stood in the far corner of the room.
Music played. The Great Hall was decorated and looked like something of an ice castle’s banquet hall fit for queens and kings. I stood on the sides where the punch table was. Everyone was enjoying himself or herself, everyone but me. I sighed and decided I’d go to bed. He was with Cho. He’d never think to ask me to dance. I felt a warm hand grab my wrist as I turned to go. His hand. I heard his melodious voice speak, “Leaving so soon Anna?”
I blushed and bit my lip before saying, “Well I may as well, there really isn’t much for me to do-”
“Care to dance?” He asked politely and I thought I saw a glint of hope in his eyes.
“I think your date would mind.” I stated glancing at Cho was talking with one of her friends.
He shrugged, “I doubt she’ll even notice I’m gone.”
I hesitated. My heart was screaming yes. I wanted to. But there was a slight problem. I confessed, “I am afraid I don’t really know how to dance.”
I was afraid he’d poke fun at me and say something to make me tear up. But he didn’t. He was very kind about it. “So? It’s not that hard.”
“You didn’t see me at my sister’s wedding last year. I practically killed my father’s feet.” I stated.
He grinned at my statement, “Pain is the least of my worries.”
Before I could say another word, he led me onto the dance floor just as a slow song was playing. His hands rested on my waist and I put my arms around his neck. I tried not to blush as I realized how close we were but I didn’t care if Cho was staring at me with envy. I wanted this moment and even she couldn’t take it from me. He grinned at me, “It’s not entirely bad.”
I managed a smile and he mentioned, “She asked me.”
“Cho asked me to go with her tonight. I never asked her. She’s just been saying that I asked her.” Cedric clarified.
Did he know I loved him? Did he know that every night I’d dream of him? I bit my lip and asked softly, “Why’d you say yes?”
“Because I knew you’d never ask me yourself.” He stated softly.
I looked at him and I knew he’d known. He’d known all along that I loved him. Every moment I’d stolen glances at him, every time he’d spoken a single word to me making my heart flutter, he’d known about. I asked hesitantly, “Why didn’t you ask me?”
“I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ll admit I was scared to ask you.” He grinned.
“You? Scared to ask a girl out? And yet you can battle a dragon!” I smiled.
Before he could say another word, the song was done. My magical moment was gone because Cho came over and smiled, “Hey Anna.”
I nodded and said to him, “Thanks for the dance.”
He nodded, “Anytime.”
My heart broke as I saw them chatting. I walked up the stairs as I carried my heels. I would never be his girlfriend. Cho already was. He had probably only been trying to be nice to me…..
The wind blew again. I longed to relive that dance. He’d actually admitted in his own way that he’d liked me. But after that one night, we never spoke again. He’d been busy with the tasks and school. I had lost all hope in being with him. As I felt the wind blow harder upon my bare shoulders I wished I could fly away. I wished I could be with him. I was wearing a black gown. It was strapless. I don’t even know why I’d put it on before coming out here. Maybe I wanted his ghost to see me and remember me as this beautiful girl.
I thought I heard him speak, his voice clear as the moon and sweet as honey to my ears, “Anna.”
He’d said my name. I turned, expecting him to be there but he wasn’t. My mind was playing tricks on me. I shook my head saying softly into the wind, “You’re gone. You can’t come back.”
But I heard his voice again and it rang in my ears, “Please Anna. Don’t cry.”
Was I crying again? My fingertips touched my cheek. It was wet. Tears were rolling down my cheeks upon hearing him speak. I was on a balcony, crying, and imagining his voice. Next thing I’d be imagining I could fly to the moon! Was I awake? I pinched myself to make sure. I was awake. The wind howled and his voice came again only louder, “I’m here!”
“No you’re dead!” I cried into the wind.
But something brushed my shoulder, and sent shivers up my spine. It was like a ghostly hand. I turned and instantly gasped seeing his brown eyes staring at me. His messy brown hair, brown eyes, his clothes…it was all the same and familiar. I shook my head in disbelief, “I’m imagining you again.”
But then I felt his hand touch my cheek. His fingers stroked my skin. I met his gaze once more and then his lips touched mine. I nearly collapsed at the feeling the kiss gave me. My heart felt as though it’d stopped. My mind was going everywhere. I wanted more. I wanted it again and again. But then I heard his voice in a mere whisper, “I love you.”
Where was he? He was gone. He was gone again. Had I imagined him speaking to me? Kissing me? I don’t really know but that was one dream I'd keep forever. But I softly whispered into the midnight air, “Cedric, I’ll always love you.”
Gazing out at the moon, I stood there on that 18th floor balcony at Hogwarts, thinking of only him.
a/n: I'm a hopeless romantic. Romance is about my favorite genre to write and read. I wrote this in about an hour. Hopefully it's good. Feedback is much appreciated. I love Cedric's character in the books and the movies....so I finally wrote something about him.