Chapter 4 : Holding a Funeral by the Old Tree
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What had I been thinking? Flirting with Cedric was definitely not what I was supposed to be doing. Allowing Cedric to touch my hair was not what I was supposed to be doing. Practically allowing him to kiss me was so far from being what I was supposed to be doing it filled me with a terrible sense of failure.
When I got to Moody’s class it hadn’t started yet. Thankfully. I smiled at Hermione, who had saved me a seat and glanced around the room. Neville Longbottom was seating perhaps two seats away from me. He smiled the moment he noticed I was staring at him. If only he knew.
“How was divination?” said a voice behind me. Shit.
“Pardon?” I asked. I really needn’t turn around. I knew well enough whom the voice belonged to. I did anyway.
“Enjoyed making Bess cry, did you?” asked Draco Malfoy.
Oh God. I didn’t have the strength right now. I obviously hadn’t enjoyed making the girl cry, which had left me feeling wobbly. Even worse, Cedric’s touch against my skin had left me barely able to walk. A don’t you dare mess with me right now look plastered across my face.
“Yes, Malfoy,” I told him, “I very much enjoyed making Bess cry, are you happy?”
“Very,” said Malfoy. I could practically smell the lust irradiating from him. That was so not what I needed. I entertained myself for some seconds considering what exactly would Malfoy say if he found out I was actually a muggle. Elizabeth’s face when I told her that her aunt was going to die was the only thing that kept me from smiling.
“You made a girl cry?” asked Hermione, clearly regretting letting me sit with her and probably wondering whether I had already had the Dark Mark tattooed to my arm.
“Yes,” I told her miserably, “and I pretty much feel like crying now myself.”
Hermione gave me a compassionate look and it was unbelievably hard to actually keep from crying. I knew it would be even harder as the class progressed. Moody came banging the door shut behind him.
“Who can tell me the three Unbearable Curses?” he said. And so it began.
How I hated to be right sometimes. How I hated to know every single move that was going to happen to the people around me. The only one I didn’t seem to get the hang of was Cedric, and he was the one I needed to get the hang of the most.
The class had been shockingly awful. Every bit as terrible as I had expected. Hermione had answered, as I knew she would. Then Moody had picked the spider, as I knew he would. I tried not to look when Neville stood up and the Cruciatus curse was fully displayed in front of him. All that I had gotten from not looking was a parchment completely stained with tears. When I finally looked up I noticed that Neville was as pale as a piece of paper and I was reminded of the wobbly feeling I had gotten when Cedric had been playing with my hair. I felt a tear run down my cheek the second Hermione yelled at Moody to stop. Another flicker of his wand and the spider was dead.
Malfoy had been laughing behind me while Neville trembled like a leaf in front of us. The second the class was over I had gotten up and walked straight to where he was sitting.
“Neville?” I asked him. His eyes remained fixed on the spider, “Neville, are you okay?” I asked tentatively.
He hadn’t answered. Not really, anyway. When he turned to face me I saw the colour of my skin reflected on his. He nodded once without looking in my eyes and walked away, leaving me standing alone in the middle of the room. Which is where I was now, looking out the window at the grey clouds forming above us. A voice startled me suddenly and I turned around just enough to see a shadow standing by the doorframe. I knew who it was, but I really didn’t want to answer. I really should have thought that might be problematic.
“I am talking to you, young lady,” Snape’s voice came at me from the door. Lord knows what had suddenly possessed me, but I completely ignored him until he was much too close and practically breathing down my neck.
“I’m sorry professor?” I asked confusedly.
“You should be,” he said, “Detention,” he told me. My mouth fell wide open.
“And on your first day too,” he said half grinning, “how sad.”
I tried to keep myself composed.
“On account of what if I might ask,” I said. There was the faintest trace of trembling in my voice.
“On account of ignoring when a superior is calling,” he said sternly.
“I-” I stammered, “I didn’t hear you professor. I was thinking…”
I let my voice trail off. If only he knew. If only I could tell him.
“Did you make Elizabeth Gerber cry?” he asked me.
I felt the tears welling up in my eyes yet again. Would this day never end?
“I did,” I told him. My throat had begun to shut.
“What did you say to her?” he asked.
“I told her that her aunt is going to die,” I had decided to tell the truth, this being one of the rare occasions on which I would actually get to do it.
“And why would you do that?” he asked.
“We, we,” I stammered. My throat barely managed to let out few monosyllables at a time.
“We were in Divination,” I heard a voice behind Snape. Cedric had practically materialized by the door. Really, would this day never end? I could hardly feel my legs anymore; they were so wobbly.
“Pardon, Mr. Diggory?” Snape said half amused.
“We were in Divination and it was written in Elizabeth’s cup,” he said quite determined. What the hell did he think he was doing?
“And where is this cup?” asked Snape. Proof, of course.
“Really professor, I saw it myself,” Cedric continued, “It had a cross and a hat. Clear as daylight.”
Snape turned around and faced me. He probably suspected that Cedric would be covering up for me. I could practically see the Veritaserum forming itself in his brain.
“I swear it, professor,” Cedric continued.
Snape unattached his eyes from mine and made his way towards the door.
“Today at seven,” he called out to me, “think about it as a complementary Potions lesson, Miss.”
Detention was still on, then. I didn’t mind really. I wouldn’t have minded if he had told me to clean all the cauldrons. I so wanted to get out of there. Cedric looked at me questioningly, worriedly. Really, how pale could I look? I turned my back on him and walked over to Moody’s desk, where the dead spider still lay. I tripped a little on my way there and felt excessively stupid. I took the small spider into my hands and started towards the door.
I feared my legs would fail me the second I got too close to Cedric, and I was right. My knees wobbled out of control the moment I was within his reach. He quickly grabbed my arm and pulled me close to his body to keep me from smashing my face into the hard floors.
“Do you have a death wish?” he asked me.
I half smiled at him. Even though I knew that I shouldn’t smile, that I shouldn’t feel so warm close to him, that I shouldn’t like being in his arms so much, happiness engulfed me.
“Will you help me with something?” I asked him.
We chose a spot near an old tree. While I held the little spider in my cupped hands Cedric had helped me dig a hole with his wand. I finally put the spider down and with my own hands pushed the removed soil back to cover her. I stood up next to him, shoulder with shoulder, looking at the tiny grave.
“Do you want to say something?” Cedric asked me, half kidding.
“I didn’t know her that well,” I told him half kidding myself.
Cedric smiled and I smiled with him.
“Thank you,” I told him.
His arms were crossed around his chest. I knew that if I acted now he would not be able to do anything. He was much taller than me, which rather seemed like an impediment. I turned around so we were facing each other now. This would be a one-time thing. I would just do it and walk away. Hopefully he wouldn’t follow. Hopefully he would think the spider funeral too much of an eccentricity to continue to be interested. Hopefully not all days would be like this one. Hopefully he would forget about me.
I looked into his deep grey eyes and put one freezing hand on his arms, half trying to prevent him from moving them, hoping that what little strength I had left would be enough to stop his own. His skin seemed to burn mine.
“Gee,” he whispered.
I stood on tiptoe and kissed him softly on the cheek. As I parted I whispered “Thank you” once again. Before he could undo his strong arms and wrap them around me I was leaving, trying hard to stop myself from breaking into a run.
Well hello, everyone :D I am so excited that you guys are reading my story. Seriously, you guys rock! I love you just for reading. I know this one was short but I think it was the length it needed to be. I'll be posting the next one as soon as I can. Love you all! leave comments! *kisses*
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by masked tears