This is the penultimate chapter guys! Hope you like it. And yeah, I'm kind of rushing. And I've looked back to through the chapters to try and guess how long she's been petrified. Cedric was allowed to see her for a week then no visitors were allowed. Then I wrote a few weeks later. So I've put a month down. That alright?
Thanks to: Leedle-leedle-lee, hansbmd, aranona, yellow 14 and Readerforlife, for reviewing. Means the world to me. Keep them up for the this chapter and the next one ; )
Chapter 29: Re-united
Next morning dawned, with blue skies across the horizon. Cedric shot up, suddenly full of energy. Today Hermione would wake up. She'll be mine. He quickly got dressed and woke Tom up, asking he if wanted to go. Tom mumbled a reply and then began to gently snore once more. Cedric shrugged and proceeded out of the common room and to the Great Hall for breakfast.
He sat by Daniel, who was an early riser, and they chatted for a few minutes while Cedric gulped down his pancakes. Once he saw Harry and Ron enter the Great Hall, he swiftly moved across the hall.
"Hi," he smiled.
"Hey," Harry said. "Let us grab some toast and then we'll go up to the Hospital Wing together."
Cedric, quite impatient by this point, nodded and tried to speed the Gryffindor boys up.
"Come on guys! She might already be awake and you'll have missed it!" Cedric said edgily.
"Merlin Cedric. You really can't wait a few minutes before seeing her? You're not the only ones who've missed her. Just give us a few minutes and we'll catch you up, alright?" Ron snapped back. He was not a morning person.
Cedric sighed, "Fine. I'll see you up there."
While walking up the stairs, he was actually glad that the other two weren't with him. It would give him some precious moments with Hermione before everyone else came barging in. He'd be able to tell her what she meant to him, how sorry he was that he wasted what could have been the best days of his life, and ignored her instead. He loved her, he saw that now. And he couldn't wait to tell her.
The big oak doors which separated the Hospital Wing from the corridor were closed. Taking a deep breath, he pushed them open and took in his surroundings. All the curtains were open, so he knew that he wasn't the first to arrive. There were other close friends of the victims all standing around their friends beds. There were many students crying with joy that they could be re-united with their friend, and also others were laughing, keen to make up for lost time. He walked along the centre of the room, waiting until he saw the last bed on his right hand side. There she was. Her eyes were closed, probably resting. He was glad that she couldn't see him right now. Although it had only been over a day since he had last seen her, he looked at her with new eyes. Like this was the first time he had ever seen her.
Her skin was pale, but flawlessly clear. Her wavy hair was arranged on her pillow, delicately framing her angelic face. She was an angel. A perfect angel. His.
He reached down to touch her hand, which rested on the edge of the bed. It was warm now, she had been revived. At the touch, he felt sparks shoot up his arm, straight to his chest. As if she felt them to, Hermione shivered, and opened her eyes.
"Cedric," she breathed, her pale red lips parting and arranging into a huge grin.
"Hermione. You're back. I've missed you so much!" Cedric replied, taking in every inch of her, desperate to remember this scene forever.
"How long have I been asleep? Madam Pomfrey wouldn't tell me. Where's Harry and Ron?" Hermione asked, her voice sounding hoarse. But that was because she hadn't used it for a while.
"Just over a month...which isn't long if you think about it," he said quickly, seeing her expression change into panic, "Imagine how Colin feels, being out of it for basically the entire school year. But, wow Hermione, so much has happened! I can't wait to tell you all about it," Cedric said happily. He wanted to tell her. He needed to tell her, he felt like he could burst.
"Hermioneiloveyou," he blurted.
But before he could reply, loud footsteps were coming closer. Cedric looked up and saw Harry and Ron run towards them. He felt a pang of disappointment, but knew that he couldn't deny them of seeing her again.
"Hermione!" Ron roared, beaming.
"It's good to have you back," Harry said, smiling.
"It's good to be back. Cedric told me that a lot has happened. Does that mean you found what I found? Did you find the chamber?" Hermione asked enthusiastically.
She gestured to Cedric to help pull her up. She meant business.
"Where to start?" Ron pondered, grinning at Cedric and Harry.
"When we came to see you, we found the page you ripped out from the book in your hand. It took a lot of effort to get it out of there, believe me," Ron laughed.
"But before that, Ron and I went into the forest to follow some advice that Hagrid gave us. This was a few days after you were petrified. The result of this was that we should go see Moaning Myrtle. She was the student that was killed 50 years ago. You're clue about the pipes helped us link those two together. The entrance was in her bathroom," Harry continued.
"Before they went to see her though, they met with me and decided to share what they knew so far. They thought that when you woke up," Cedric paused, "they thought that I'd be a big part of your life. So we decided to wipe the slate clean and become friends. For you."
"Anyway. We were about to go to see her but then we found out that Ginny had been taken by the monster. Turns out she was writing in Tom Riddle's diary and he was controlling her. Tom Riddle left a piece of himself in the diary; he was the Heir of Slytherin and wanted to open it again when he had left school. And guess who he is now?"
"Who?" Hermione whispered.
"Voldemort," Harry grimaced.
"No!" Hermione cried.
"It's ok, Ginny is fine. Harry destroyed the diary, and the basilisk. Me and Cedric were in the chamber as well, but there was a wall collapse thanks to Lockhart and we were separated from Harry," Ron reassured her.
Hermione blinked a couple of times.
"I really don't think I'm up for this right now. Explain it to me later, while I've got some strength back. Is it ok to have a few more minutes alone with Cedric?" Hermione said.
Cedric couldn't stop a smile from forming on his face.
Harry sighed, "Sure. We'll go talk to Madam Pomfrey and ask her how long you have to stay here. Breakfast should still be down there. Do you want us to get you a blueberry muffin?"
Hermione giggled, "I could kill for one of those! The food up here is alright, but she never served us muffins before! Thanks Harry."
The two boys left.
"So. What was it you were saying before they came?" Hermione asked, still giggling.
"Hmm?" Cedric asked, absentmindedly rubbing her hand. He hadn't let it go yet, and he knew Ron and Harry had noticed, even if they didn't say anything.
"Don't get all coy on me Mr Diggory, tell me," Hermione laughed, her eyes twinkling.
He took a deep breath, and looked into her eyes.
"I love you."
The laughing stopped.