Peace and quiet was rare for Cedric to find in the past days after being announced as one of the Triwizard champions. If it wasn't hearing the many voices of people hounding after him in the halls, class, or even the Hufflepuff common room, then it was listening to people talk about one of the other three champions. Either way, Cedric was tired of it all. Tired of the talking, the speculation, the taunts and harassment from all sides.
At least out here, on the far edge of the Black Lake, it was only him and the Giant Squid. He'd brought some bread with him when he'd slipped out from breakfast before anyone could stop him. Cedric had been fairly popular before all this, but nowhere to these levels. Now everyone in the entire castle knew who he was.
He sighed loudly and tossed another chunk of bread into the water when he heard footsteps approaching from behind him. He supposed he'd been lucky to have gone this long without being hunted down by someone.
Cedric sighed and turned slightly, ready to give a tired smile to whatever new fan had found him—
He hadn't been expecting to see Viktor Krum nodding back at him casually, hands shoved in his pockets as his gaze drifted over the lake.
"You squid, it is friendly?"
The sound of water lapping gently against the pebbles at their feet filled the silence as Cedric fought over his initial surprise. "Generally, yes," he confirmed. "It has known to get testy when students get a little excitable with testing more… explosive spells while swimming when it's warmer."
Krum huffed lightly, which Cedric belatedly realized was a laugh when he glanced over to see the Bulgarian grinning. "I, too, would be unhappy with children casting spells in my home." One hand left his pocket to gesture at the bread currently grasped within one of the squid's tentacles. "But it likes you. And the bread?"
"It only likes me because I have the bread," Cedric corrected with an eye roll towards the squid's antics as he tore off another piece. Instead of throwing it, however, Cedric held it out towards his fellow competitor. "Would you like to try?"
Krum observed his hand speculatively for a moment, knowing it was held out to offer more than just bread. "Thank you. You are Diggory, yes?"
"Just Cedric is alright. Make sure to throw it further than the shallows," Cedric advised, giving Krum a thumbs up when the other boy threw it near one of the squid's resting tentacles.
"Then I am just Viktor."
"I try to come down here every morning, if you'd like to join me," Cedric blurted without thinking, but he didn't regret what he'd said once it'd passed his lips.
Viktor nodded sagely. "You are tired of the gossip, no?"
"Dreadfully so," Cedric agreed with a sigh.
Viktor remained quiet for a moment before a smirk slipped onto his face. "A good thing this squid cannot talk then."
Cedric felt a weight leave his shoulders as he burst out laughing, his new friend joining in only a heartbeat later.
Maybe silence wasn't what he'd needed after all.