Le Ver de Terre et sa Rose des Sables - Chapitre 0 prélude
(POV - Cedric Diggory)
Cedric was lucky, and he damn well was reminded of it every moment of his life; a blessing yet also a curse rolled into one very charismatic package. He was cunning and creative, excelling in his courses for his absolutely outlandish ideas and loopholes. He was handsome and charming, it would take a book several pages to detail this with justice. But above all, he was kind. He was humble. He was, by all intents and purposes, a perfect 6th-year Puff prefect.
And an absolutely perfect son.
Or at least that’s what Amos Diggory would exclaim with his arm wrapped tight around Cedric’s shoulders, boasting to anyone who would listen. It was as if Cedric could do no wrong, for he could count on his hands the amount of times he’d been punished over his childhood. Amos’ pride for his son knew no bounds, and Cedric, ever humbled by it all, didn’t have the heart to give his father a reason not to be proud.
For that reason, he struggled a bit to will his eyes to meet his fathers where they sat together in the otherwise empty Hufflepuff sleeping chamber. If Cedric hadn’t been quivering in his boots already, counting down the minutes before he’d be joining the other three Champions in the arena tent to choose their dragons for big task number one, Cedric probably would have put off this conversation yet again. But he knew there was a chance of himself not making it out of these tasks, so what better time than to get something big off of his chest?
Mr. Diggory and Cedric sat side-by-side on the champion’s yellow-draped bed, exchanging comforting small talk as they had been doing for the past 10 minutes. They’d both decided to take refuge in a quiet, unused room for the remaining couple of hours before Cedric’s first task as champion. As appreciable as the boy was, there was only so long that one could stand being in the spotlight. He’d been receiving questions about his stance on Potter and his fears for the upcoming task from everyone everywhere in the past few days and he wasn’t in the mood for it now.
As the conversation finally came to a comfortable end, Cedric forced himself to steel a breath.
“Uh- haha... dad? Can I tell you something, just real quick?”
Mr. Diggory gave a gentle gaze at his boy, “Of course, anything you want, son.” But Cedric didn’t return the glance. He was much too enraptured by watching his sweaty hands nervously fiddle with one another in his lap.
“Well, I- um... do you remember the Yule Tide ball? When I took that Ravenclaw girl, Cho Chang?”
Cedric could see his dad’s grin out of the corner of his eye. He clasped his hands together with glee.
“Ohhh- so this is about a girl, eh? Did you finally make a move on her! You woul- you didn’t get her pregnant or anythi-“
“What? No, dad, of course not!”
A half-snicker half-sigh came from the prefects’ side. “I know that Ced, you’d never be that careless. So then, spit it out! What is it? Don’t keep your old man waiting!”
The happiness in his dads voice made Cedric feel a bit queasy. His dad really did like Cho. Cedric could remember the two meeting back at Christmas, them clicking together and exchanging the most horrid puns whilst milling around the punch bowl, much to Cedric’s horror. He knew that his dad would have loved Cho to become a bigger part of both of their lives, that he’d be stoked to accept a Ravenclaw as his new daughter-in-law.
At this moment in time, Cedric was wishing for the very first time that he wasn’t a Hufflepuff, but instead a Gryffindor. He could have really used an extra bit or courage right about now. It took him a second but he continued.
“Dad... no, she- Cho-... Cho is just my friend actually. We only went as friends to the ball.”
He finally spared a small glance up at his father between the small beat of silence. Amos’ eyes spoke nothing but soft encouragement, a proud grin still adorning his cracked lips. It was clear that he wasn’t going to interrupt Cedric no matter how hard he hopped the man would, so he swallowed and look back down at his hands.
“But I did meet someone. And h- this person is going to be cheering me on today so... I thought I might tell you a bit about... about-”
”About him.”Amos supplied in a tone somewhat comparable to a deadpan.
Cedric’s eyes stayed glued down at his hands all the while a jagged boulder suddenly dropped down in his stomach. Welp, that was unexpected.It took a few moments for Cedric’s panic to really set in, almost like a Doppler wave of fear coursing through his nervous system. Not the most pleasant. But there was something far more important than Cedric’s emotions at the moment, and that was that of the only other person in the room’s reaction.
What was his fathers face going to hold if he looked up? Disgust? Horror? Disappointment? Maybe ever anger. Oh, how much would that hurt. Cedric wanted his dads approval like nothing else in this world. He’d spent his life chasing it after all, reviling in the laughs he’d draw from the people around him, or the blushing girls that would giggle wildly just from a wink, but simplycherishing the attention his father gave to him. Maybe now he just shouldn’t have said anything and maybe now wasn’t the time to crush his dads hope for a good future for his one and only son and-
“You got a boyfriend!? Ha! And here I thought you’d be well out of Hogwarts before you ever mustered up the courage to date someone! Boy, it’s not Krum or Potter though right? Because that might complicate things!”
As some bazar chortling filled the room, Cedric finally inhaled for the first time in the last minute and forced his eyes up to his father. His positively beaming father, chuckling to himself and slinging a heavy arm around Cedric’s shoulders merrily.
“Oh son,” he started as he hugged the prefect close to his side, a smile dripping off of his voice, “I can tell by your face that you’ve been stressing about telling me that for a while now. Heh, couldn’t stand seein’ it anymore. You haven’t kept me from meeting him before, have you!? Now that would be unforgivable!”
Cedric was all but frozen from where he was leaning against his dad. He didn’t feel 17 anymore, more like a 12 year old boy who just broke his starter wand for the first time and was on the brink of tears because he thought that it was the end of the world. The whole thing felt stupid at once, but he didn’t get the relief he was desperate for. His body was full of contradicting emotions that numbed him senseless and forced his throat to remain stubbornly paralysed.
“Boy,” Amos started again, shaking Cedric’s shoulders. When he noticed Cedric’s pinched face, he adopted a much more sad smile, “It’s love. Maybe not this first one, sure, but why should I care about the gender of the person you love? Such a horrible thing to hate; love, don’tchya think?”
And this, this was why Cedric was the luckiest wizard in the world. This is why he knew it. He was lucky because his father caught him in his arms when Cedric’s dam finally broke and a chocked sob racked his body. He was lucky because his father sat with him there, talking excitedly about meeting this mysterious boy while stroking Cedric’s hair and hugging him as hard as he could. He had snuffed out any and all fear Cedric let tumble from his mouth with a defiant and joyful patience. He had cheered Cedric up within minutes by some grace.
But the moment that really stabbed Cedric through the heart was, with a watery smile, watching as his dad swept Cedric’s boyfriend, a 7th year Gryffindor named Coppin Schwartz, into his arms with the brightest, proudest, glowing laugh when they finally met. He crushed the Brave, forcing a wheeze from his scrawny figure. It made Cedric chuckle warmly as a red-headed Coppin look at him with panicked eyes over Amos’ shoulder.
He was truly lucky. Had he mentioned that already?