Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Find a Way

Survivor's Guilt

by Quillian 0 reviews

Things afterwards as Cedric sees them...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry - Published: 2005-05-16 - Updated: 2005-05-16 - 2738 words


IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm back at college now, and my copy of GoF is back at home, so since I don't remember entirely how some events in this chapter went in canon, I'm going to write it as best as I can from memory. I'm also deliberately cutting corners by skipping over scenes which we all know and remember well from the climax of GoF. (However, since there's a good chance that at least most of you readers are HP fans who own all the books out to date, you'll still have the aforementioned scenes to refer to, just in case.) In short: YES, I'm cutting this short and making it into a transitional chapter. However, please show me some mercy; this was done over the course of two sleepless nights before the start of the new semester.

Also, to answer YamiPaladinofChaos' question: Harry knew those spells because his parents' shades told him about them. Sorry if I didn't write it too clearly last chapter.

Chapter 4: Survivor's Guilt

Dumbledore and Cedric were halfway to the Headmaster's office when Minister Fudge came rushing up to them. "Albus..." he panted, "Karkaroff has disappeared... lots of other trouble..."

After weighing his decision of which matter was more urgent to attend to, Dumbledore left with Fudge after telling Cedric to wait at the gargoyle.

A minute or so after the two adults had left, someone came up to Cedric. It was Mad-Eye Moody.

"Lad, I think you need to come with me," the ex-Auror said.

"But Dumbledore said..."

"Trust me, Diggory, it's urgent," he insisted.

Deciding he could trust any friend of Dumbledore's, Cedric followed Moody back to his office.

After securely locking the door, Moody asked Cedric what happened after the Portkey activated.

Moody paced back and forth, his wooden leg clunking on the floor almost rhythmically. Slowly, he turned to face Cedric. "M'boy... I think You-Know-Who has returned."

Cedric involuntarily shuddered, even though the name "Voldemort" was never said. "Are you sure?" he whispered, trying to be strong and put on his "prefect" pose.

"Yes, lad, I'm sure," Moody grumbled. "I had a sinking feeling about this ever since the night where Harry Potter's name came out of the Goblet of Fire. Someone was waiting for the final task just for this purpose. To transport him from Hogwarts straight into the Dark Lord's hands..."

"Who was it?" Cedric asked worriedly. "Was it Karkaroff? I heard from my dad that he was a Death Eater at one point..."

Moody gave a short and odd laugh that unnerved Cedric a little and said. "That coward? No, Karkaroff betrayed too many of the Dark Lord's followers to just be welcomed back into the fold. But I know who did do it..."

"You do? Who?"

"I did it."

Cedric heard it, but he didn't believe it.

Moody then continued with gloating about how he set the whole thing up from the beginning, how much he suffered for the Dark lord... and the whole time, three figures in his Foe-Glass kept getting clearer and clearer...

Moody raised his wand to finally do away with Cedric, but then the door exploded, knocking Moody across the room, rendering him unconscious.

Standing in the threshold, radiating with anger and figurative heat, was Dumbledore himself, with McGonagall and Snape right behind him. Looking over to the Foe-Glass, Cedric could see their identical images.

"Professors," he gasped, "Moody - he -"

"That," Dumbledore said slowly, "Is not Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody..."

What seemed like an eternity later, Barty Crouch Jr. finished his confession under Veritaserum. Eyes radiating with anger, Dumbledore bound him and led Cedric to the hospital wing.

"After tonight's events, Mr. Diggory, I do not think it would be wise to return to Hufflepuff Halls after tonight's events. You need rest and not to be bombarded with questions."

At that moment, Cedric remembered something. "Er, Viktor Krum... he's not in trouble, is he?"

"No, he was under the Imperius Curse, so he's off the hook," Dumbledore said, pleased with student's concern. "Likewise, Miss Fleur Delacour is also in the healing process."

"And what about Harry?" Cedric asked, worried.

Dumbledore slowed down, and looking into the Headmaster's face, Cedric could see for a moment how he looked so weary and genuinely /old/. But just as quickly as it came, it then passed, and he said quietly, "We can only hope for the best."

As they entered the hospital wing, they saw Cedric's parents, Ron with his mother and oldest brother, Hermione, and a giant black dog which looked worried (if that was even possible).
The dog trotted up to Dumbledore and whined, to which the Headmaster replied, "I'm sorry, boy, not now."

Madam Pomfrey tsked about the state Cedric was in, and gave him a dose of pain-relief potion, along with some nightclothes.

As Cedric got changed, he kept dwelling about what was going on with Harry. His mind was still reeling from Crouch's confession of his highly deceptive performances the whole year. The rational side of Cedric's mind told him that it was all Crouch's fault, and his more emotional side kept calling him the guilty one.

'I just wish I could have done something,' Cedric mentally lamented.

As he stepped out, his parents, sensing his grief, hugged him, which he weakly returned.

Looking off to a side, he saw Hermione, the Weasleys and their dog watching him, with something a little like envy in their eyes.

He couldn't break eye contact, because he just had to say something to them...

"Cedric?" the Headmaster said softly, which somehow caused him to jump a little.


Trying to look supportive, he said, "I don't want you holding any sort of false blame or responsibility for what happened. None of this is your fault. The sheer scope of Crouch's plot was something which fooled us all, even me. We don't even know whether or not anything serious has happened to Harry. He has escaped Voldemort one more than one previous occasion, and for all we know, he just may have done so again."

Trying to suppress a lump in his throat, Cedric nodded and said, "I understand, sir."

After getting into bed, he accepted some Dreamless Sleep Potion and nodded off almost immediately.

Cedric was awakened by arguing voices, accompanied by more arguing voices just coming into hearing range.

The door to the ward burst open to reveal and red-faced Fudge arguing with an uncharacteristically furious McGonagall. From the sounds of things, a dementor which had accompanied Fudge for his own protection had given the dreaded Kiss to Crouch, which now rendered him unable to give his testimony. Fudge kept arguing things to defend himself, but the final bombshell was dropped when Dumbledore said a simple phrase.

"Voldemort has returned."

In a pitiful transformation, Fudge went from a strong politician to a weak fool.

As Fudge tried to deny it, Dumbledore told him to take the proper steps to defend himself with, including getting rid of the dementors and offering peace and friendship to the giants.

Fudge literally shrieked about this, claiming it would hurt his reputation and eventually make him lose his position. Dumbledore calmly countered against this, saying in the long run, if Fudge did as he was advised, he would be known as one of the greatest Ministers of all time; otherwise, he would go down in history as one of the worst.

When Fudge tried to use Rita Skeeter's articles about "that Potter boy" being dangerous and such, Cedric came to his Harry's defense, asking the Minister of Magic (as respectfully as he could, of course) how he could possibly believe that wretched woman who made his own Minsitry look bad. This resulted in the portly man turning a rather interesting shade of red and saying no more on the subject.

Finally, Snape stepped forward and revealed a blackened Dark Mark on his arm, which warranted shocked looks from everyone else in the room, save Dumbledore.

Fudge tried to recover the best he could, then made to depart. Before he did that, however, he gave Cedric the thousand Galleon prize, which Cedric accepted but then pushed aside after the Minister left.

Just then, there was a bang from the windowsill, where everyone turned to see Hermione. "Sorry," she muttered.

Cedric then accepted the rest of his Dreamless Sleep Potion, and he knew no more.

No sooner than Sirius had bounded back out as a dog (after coming to a truce with Snape), then did Arthur Weasley burst in.

Clutching the stitch in his chest, he gasped, "Bodies - found - /graveyard/..."

"Slow down, Arthur," Dumbledore advised. "What happened?"

"This graveyard outside Little Hangleton... there were the bodies of people suspected of being Death Eaters... Crabbe, Goyle. Nott, Avery, Macnair..."

Then it all came together in Dumbledore's mind.

"But what could all this accomplish, Arthur?" Mrs. Weasley asked her husband.

"Voldemort, born Tom Marvolo Riddle, was born to a Tom Riddle Sr., who lived there," Dumbledore said, subdued as light continued to dawn on him. "Although it could never be proven, I have always and rightly suspected young Riddle murdered his father and paternal grandparents. Riddle was made an orphan because his father abandoned his mother before he was born, and she died shortly after giving birth to him, so he wanted revenge on his father.

"As for tonight's events... there is ancient Dark Magic, used to recreate one's own body. It requires the bones of the person's father, the flesh of the person's servant, and blood of the person's enemy. Voldemort's father was buried in that graveyard, he had a man known as Wormtail serving him (I'll explain about who he is later), and Harry as his foe. It all fits."

There were gasps and Mrs. Weasley started to have tears in their eyes. "But what happened to Harry?"

"We detected some huge magical surge from the area, and now there's neither trace of them. It also looks like some sort of process went on, like Priori Incantatem or something..."

"Harry's and Voldemort's wands are brothers. Both share cores; their cores each contain a feather coming from the same phoenix. From my companion Fawkes, in fact. When two brother wands are forced to fight against each other, they will not function properly. If their owners force them to work against each other, one of the wands will force the other to show which spells it has performed in reverse order, starting with the most recent."

"Yes, well," Arthur said, "Something happened which caused both Harry and You-Know-Who to be transported from the graveyard to... well, know one has any idea where! For all we know, they could have ended up in Antarctica!"

"A search must be done," Dumbledore said. "I already sent a loyal friend to join an old crowd I've run with before..."

The next week showed much turmoil for the wizarding world, both at and outside of Hogwarts. Even though Rita Skeeter had gone noticeably missing, her fellow journalists were picking up the slack by speculating the whereabouts of the Boy Who Lived, with just about each and every theory downright absurd. There was a mad dash the next day to get to Hogwarts to interview Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum about their version of events in the graveyard, Dumbledore effectively stopped any and all attempts for the media to get at the Tournament champions.

The day after that, something surprising and most unexpected happened. A questionable magazine called The Quibbler ran off a special edition about what happened that night during the third task, according to Cedric, Fleur and Krum. Furthermore, it also told about Harry's past accomplishments at Hogwarts, including a warning about Voldemort's return. (Secretly, Dumbledore called upon a Ravenclaw known as Luna Lovegood, who was also a friend of Ginny Weasley's, to interview the champions and Harry's friends, although certain details were omitted to avoid problems with certain people.)

Needless to say, it caused an uproar in more than one way. People didn't want to acknowledge that Voldemort had returned, especially since Fudge was denying it. The fact that these students and their professors had chosen The Quibbler to spread the word had also acted as a real kick in the teeth to the other wizarding media outlets, who preferred sensationalism over truth. Furthermore, the bodies of Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Avery and Macnair caused even more unrest, especially within Slytherin House. The disappearance of Lucius Malfoy certainly didn't help matters for them either.

The day after that, Malfoy had made some comment out on the grounds about his father being back soon and Harry Potter finally getting what was coming to him, which resulted in Ron Weasley getting into a brawl with him. It quickly escalated into a full-scale battle of unthinkable fury between the Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses, which took the teachers quite a while to break up before they could send countless students to the hospital wing. That evening at dinner, Dumbledore explicitly warned all Houses not to get into a fight of any kind over recent events.

Gryffindor was gloomy over the absence of their hero, and even Hufflepuff, which would have otherwise been ecstatic over their champion's glory, had the good grace not to try to stir any problems over the matter. Ron got all of Harry's things together and seemed to guard it with his life, while Hermione had some help into tending to Hedwig, who looked forlorn over her master.

Finally, at the Leaving Feast (which was devoid of any House colors, due to the recent events), Dumbledore gave words of wisdom to people about working together with unity, and not to succumb to Voldemort. He also wisely said that everything possible was being done to locate Harry Potter. Everyone (excluding some members of Slytherin, of course), drank to those hopes.

On the train back, things were subdued in the compartment which Ron and Hermione had to themselves. Eventually, Hermione remembered something she wanted to show Ron: Rita Skeeter the beetle.

As Ron could only stare dumbstruck at her cunning and ingenuity, Malfoy came in with Crabbe and Goyle, gloating about the return of the Dark Lord, but they were cut short as a barrage of curses, jinxes and hexes knocked them all unconscious.

Now joined by Fred and George, they played Exploding Snap for a while until the topic of blackmail came up. The twins launched into how Ludo Bagman couldn't pay up, how he tried to pay off his debts by helping Harry and then failed, and how he was now on the run.

Finally, the train came to its stop in London. Before the twins could get off, however, Cedric Diggory approached them.

"I heard about what happened," he said quietly. "You know, what you said in there..."

Both twins looked alarmed.

"Oh no, I'm not going to tell anyone," Cedric said hurriedly. "Both our fathers work for the Ministry, after all... anyway, you should have the money you deserve... unlike me..."

Before either Fred or George could question Cedric as to what he meant, the prefect pulled out his bag of a thousand Galleons...

As Cedric finally walked out beyond the barrier, he thought to himself about everything that had happened within the past week.

Oh, how he wished he could have done /something/...

He felt so unworthy to be alive at the moment when Harry could be dead. Cedric knew he wasn't a Gryffindor, and yet a small part of him felt that it was he who should have taken that curse instead...

Gazing out into the evening sun, the Hufflepuff wished it would all just end soon.

Little did he know that within a few hours, just that would happen.


A/N: Does this count as a cliffhanger?

Also, like I said before the start of this chapter, this was done over the course of two sleepless nights, so please bear with me, and I hope this didn't get any of you down.

Next chapter is the final thing between Harry and Voldemort... plus a surprise or two... -Quillian
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