Friday nights are my favorite nights of the week. It's the only night of the week that I get the house to myself. Well, almost to myself.
Every Friday night, my boyfriend and I have a special movie night together with popcorn, candy and soda. A Friday night movie was actually our first date. We've been friends since we met back when I was 11 years old and he was 13 years old. I asked him if was worried about what his friends would think about this. But, he just looked at me, smiled and said, "What friends?"
Our first night, he wasn't really in the best mood to go anywhere, and he had a tiring and hectic day from his many after-school jobs. So I suggested a movie at home and he agreed. I picked Romeo and Juliet. It was when we were both curled up on the couch, his arm around my shoulders, watching Romeo say his farewells to Juliet, which always brought me to tears because I would wish I had a love that strong, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I love you."
My tears only doubled at his words as I looked at him. He carefully raised his hand wiped my tears away and then rested his hand on my cheek; he then very slowly brushed his lips against mine.
That was the night I received my first kiss.
"So, are you ready for tonight?" my mom asked as she came down the stairs wearing a beautiful evening gown and I entered the living room carrying two bowls of popcorn and Skittles. "You know, tonight is an extra special night."
My face burned at her words. I hated it when she did that.
"Mom, it's just another Friday night for us," I said setting the bowels on the coffee table.
"Why aren't you ever happy whenever this day comes around?" Dad asked as he tried to fix his necktie. Mom smiled as she went over to help him.
"Because it's just another night," I said. "It's no big deal."
"Whatever you say, honey." Mom walked up to me and kissed me on the forehead. "Have fun tonight."
"You, too," I smiled.
Dad also kissed me on the forehead before following Mom out the door.
I was just coming down the stairs with the movie in hand when the doorbell rang. Grinning widely, I set the movie on the coffee table and hurried for the door.
There he stood, the best boyfriend any girl could ask for, still wearing his Pizza Hut jacket and baseball cap. He was holding a bouquet of roses.
"You didn't order a pizza, did you?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I ordered the delivery boy." I then threw my arms around his neck and held onto him tightly.
"I missed you," he breathed into my hair.
"I missed you, too," I said back. With us going to different schools and as I said, his after-jobs, this was the only night we could see each other, but we didn't let that effect our relationship.
I slowly released him and took the roses he offered. "They're beautiful," I said taking his hand and leading him inside.
"So, what are we watching tonight?" he asked closing the door behind us, then taking off his baseball cap and putting it on me.
"I think you know what we're watching," I smiled as I set the roses next to the bowls on the coffee table and then went to get our cherry sodas from fridge.
He sighed as he sat down on the couch and grabbed the DVD. "Romeo and Juliet."
"You know, it's our movie," I smiled, setting down the bottles and taking the movie out of his hands and putting it in the DVD player.
"I'm not complaining," he assured me.
"I have to say I'm a little surprised you were able to make it tonight," I said as I settled next to him. "I mean, don't you also have Taco Bell to worry about tonight?"
"Well," he sighed as the movie started, wrapping his arm around my shoulders, one of the bottles in his hand. "I explained to my boss how important this night was to us and why it was extra special..."
"And she agreed that I shouldn't miss tonight."
"Well, that was nice of her," I said, stretching up to pepper his jaw line with kisses and then laid my head on his chest.
It was when Romeo had slammed the church doors closed and I had my tissue ready, that Cedric suddenly paused the movie.
"Cedric, what are you doing?" I asked, trying not to whine.
"I have a gift for you," he said.
I stared at the roses on the table then back at him. "But, you already gave me the roses."
He smiled. "Those don't count." He reached into his jacket pocket and handed me a small, velvet box. "Open it."
I opened it and gasped.
"It's a promise ring," Cedric explained as I removed the ring from its box. It was exactly like the ring Romeo gave Juliet, but instead of R+J on the outside there was C+H.
"Read the inscription."
I turned the ring over so I could read the inside; I could feel my voice cracking as I read it aloud. "Love thee forever."
Cedric took the ring and placed it on the ring finger of my left hand, and then he brought it to his lips and kissed my knuckles. "That's my promise to you."
I sobbed as I settled myself on his lap and hugged him tightly.
"I love you," he whispered as he stroked my hair.
I turned my head and kissed his cheek.
Cedric carefully peeled me off of him and held me by my shoulders. "I hope you don't mind that I got mine along with yours. They were a set."
I let out a choked laugh. "I don't care." I wrapped my arms around his neck and began to kiss him passionately.
All too soon, his wristwatch started beeping. We both groaned as we broke apart. Cedric looked at his watch.
"I need to go home."
"So soon?" I whined as I slipped off his lap.
"I've got work in the morning," he said as he removed his keys from his back pocket and grabbed my hand.
It was nearly pitch-black outside, aside from lit street lamps at each corner. Cedric and I now stood in the center of my driveway our arms around each other.
"Where's your car?" I asked, looking around for his forest-green Toyota.
Cedric pointed to other side of the road.
"All the way over there?"
"Love, it's just across the street. I've crossed it so many times."
"I just wish you would park closer."
Cedric chuckled, raised my chin, and melted his lips to mine.
"Happy birthday," he whispered.
I chuckled. "Thanks."
Cedric kissed my cheek. "I love you. See you later."
I smiled as I headed back to the house. I had just reached the porch when I heard it.
A dull thud.
I turned in time to see Cedric being thrown in the air by a speeding car. I watched in horror as he hit the roof, trunk and then rolled onto the pavement.
"Cedric!" I shrieked as hurried toward him.
I fell to my knees as I reached toward him. I watched the red Honda zoom away, the brake lights revealed its license plate. I knew who the car belonged to.
I looked down at Cedric, he was lying on his stomach, his arms and legs at odd angles, like he was broken doll, his blood pooling from under him. I started to sob as I removed my cell phone from my pocket and dialed.
"Hermione, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"Why is she crying?" I heard Mom ask in the background.
"It's Cedric," I sobbed. "He - he -"
"He what, sweetie?" Dad asked kindly.
"Richard, what's going on?" Mom asked.
"Cedric was hit by a car!" I sobbed as I looked over his mangled body. "They didn't stop! Daddy, there's blood everywhere!"
"All right, sweetie, try to calm down," said Dad. I could hear chairs scrapping on the other end and Dad telling Mom what had happened and then Mom gasped. "Hermione, is he conscious?"
I bent over Cedric. "No!" I cried when I saw that his eyes were closed.
"Okay, listen to me," said Dad, I could hear him and Mom hurrying out to their car. "I want you to go inside, find a blanket and cover him with it, keep him warm. If he regains consciousness, don't let him move. I'll call for an ambulance and your mother and I will meet you at home."
We hung up. I left my phone next to Cedric as I hurried back inside the house, up the stairs to my room. I ripped the comforter off of my Queen-sized bed and hurried back outside. The temperature dropped drastically as I returned to Cedric's side. He still hadn't moved and the amount of blood loss had increased.
"It's okay, Cedric," I assured him as I draped the blanket over him. "Everything's gong to be okay. Daddy's called for help."
He didn't respond, he didn't move.
My panic and sobs increased. This couldn't be happening, not on our night!
A few hours or at least what felt like hours went by and a pair of headlights nearly blinded me. The car passed by and then parked. Dad's car.
"Hermione!" he called as he hurried towards us, his medical bag in hand and Mom at his heels.
I sobbed as he knelt down on Cedric's other side and Mom moved me away.
"How's he doing?" Dad asked as he rummaged through his bag.
"He's lost a lot of blood and he hasn't woken up!"
"Cedric?" Dad asked as he gently lifted Cedric's eyelids and shined a small light in his eyes. "Son, can you hear me?"
Again, he didn't respond, he didn't move.
I watched as Dad removed the comforter.
"Oh, God," I heard him whisper.
"Daddy?" I tried again.
"Where is that damn ambulance?" Dad swore, taking out his cell phone. "Yes, this is Dr. Granger from Jameson Med. I have a 17 year old boy involved in a hit and run. I called for ambulance nearly half an hour ago and it hasn't shown up."
There was a pause.
"Well, one better get here in five minutes or he's not going to make it."
I sobbed loudly at Dad's words as he snapped his phone shut and put it back in his pocket.
Thankfully, five minutes went by and I could hear sirens and headlights appeared at the end of the road.
"Everything will be fine now," Mom whispered in my ear as she supportably rubbed my shoulders.
I watched with bleary eyes as the paramedics placed Cedric on a gurney, then placed an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose and then boarded him into the back of the ambulance.
Dad stepped up to me and placed his hands on my face.
"Help him, Daddy!" I whimpered. "Please!"
"I'll do my best," he whispered, leaning forward and kissing my forehead. "I promise." He then joined the paramedics in the ambulance, slamming the door while telling the driver to hurry.
I started shaking, whether it was from the cold or the fear of not knowing what is going to happen, I couldn't tell.
"Come on," Mom whispered. "We'll follow in the car."
I went over to where I left my phone and picked it up and then followed Mom to the car.
The car ride to the hospital was quiet. I spent it shaking and chewing on my thumbnail. I looked down at my phone as tears flooded down my cheeks. I knew what I had to do. The question is can I do it without breaking down?
I opened my phone scrolled through my contacts, found the one I was looking for and hit send. I heard only two rings before my eardrum was greeted with laughter and loud music.
I took a shaky breath. "Harry?"
"Hermione? Ron, turn the music down!" The music died down. "Hermione, what's wrong? You sound upset."
"Yeah, um, I need you to meet me at the hospital. Cedric was hit by a car."
"What?" Harry nearly yelled. "Oh, my God! Is he okay?"
"No," I sobbed. "He's not."
Mom tapped my shoulder and held out her hand for the phone. I gave her the phone and let my sobs take over me. I wasn't paying attention to what she was saying to him, aside from her end lines of "All right, Harry. We'll see you at the hospital."
Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the waiting area outside the OR, still chewing on my thumbnail. It took every ounce of willpower I had not get up from my seat and peer into one of the door windows to see what was going on. It's not that I didn't trust my father, it's just I've never been this scared in my whole life, and not knowing was making it worse. It was killing me.
"Hermione, do you know where the Diggorys' are?" Mom asked as she rubbed my back.
I looked up. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Cho and Luna had just entered, all looking pale and scared. I rose to my feet, hurrying over to them, threw my arms around Harry's neck and sobbed into his shoulder. Harry had his arms tightly around me.
"He's going to be fine, Mione," he said as he stroked my hair. "I mean, he's Cedric, he has to be, right?"
I nodded, still buried in his shoulder. I soon felt the rest of my friends wrapping their arms around Harry and I, putting us all in one big group hug. Ron kissed my hair. Once my sobs had calmed down, I released Harry.
"Have you told the Diggorys'?" he asked, still holding me by my shoulders.
I shook my head. "I can't, they're still on a cruise for their anniversary."
A police officer had just entered the corridor.
"I understand there was hit and run outside your home?" he asked.
"Yes, officer," Mom answered.
The officer looked over at me. "And you witnessed it?"
"And you know the victim?" the officer asked.
I nodded again. "He's my boyfriend."
"Did you recognize the car that hit him?"
Before I could answer, the doors to the OR opened and Dad stepped out, removing his surgical mask.
"Daddy, how is he?"
Dad sighed and then looked at me with sorrowful eyes.
I felt my heart stop.
"No. Daddy, no!" My tears started to flood as I shook my head.
"I'm sorry, honey, I lost him."
"NO!" I could feel my knees give way before Harry pulled me into him and held me tighter than before. I could feel him shaking as he sobbed.
"I'm sorry for your loss," said the officer. "But, if we're going to find the person responsible, I need to know if you saw them."
"I did," I said, my tone quickly changing from sorrow to anger. "I know who hit him."
"You do?" Harry asked.
"Are you sure, miss?" the officer asked, he sounded unsure if he should believe me.
"Of course I'm sure!" I shouted, my grief taking over. "It was a red Honda; the back lights showed the license plate as the car drove away!" I told the officer what the license plate said and he wrote it down on the small notepad in his hand.
"Can you give me a name?" the officer asked, pen ready.
"I can take you to him," I stated.
I glanced over at Harry without saying a word before returning my attention back to officer and his partner, who had just stepped into our conversation.
"Harry, would you mind giving me a ride?" I asked.
I grabbed Harry by the arm, promised Cho she would see him again and then pulled him out into the parking lot.
"Okay," said Harry, closing the driver's side door of his blue Mercedes then putting on his seatbelt as I did the same on the passenger's side. "Where are we going? Why couldn't you have just told the police who did it and then let them handle it?"
"Because I want to find out why he did it, though I have a pretty good idea," I explained.
"Again, I ask, where are we going?" Harry asked as we pulled out the parking lot.
I gave him the address and I could see from the look on his face that his was fighting the urge not to slam on the brakes, but thankfully he stayed quiet, unfortunately it didn't last.
We pulled up to the house, the police cruiser not far behind.
Harry sighed heavily after shutting off the engine.
"Are you out of your mind?" he asked.
I said nothing as I opened the car door and stepped out.
"Hermione!" Harry shouted as he joined me, holding me by my shoulders. "I can't let you go in there."
"Is this the place?" asked the officer.
"Yes, sir," I said.
"Who lives here?" asked the partner.
I sighed heavily after glancing at Harry. "Viktor Krum."
"And how do you know him?"
I took a deep breath as my eyes began to burn. "He has had an unhealthy attraction towards me for the last couple of months," I explained.
Harry scoffed. "More like obsession."
"Did you date him at all?" the partner asked as he took notes.
I shook my head vigorously. "No, never."
"Did he ever come onto you?" the officer asked.
I gulped and nodded, tears started to flow. "I was walking home one night when he all of the sudden pulled me into a dark alley and forced himself on me. I screamed and that's when Cedric showed up."
"How did Mr. Krum handle that?"
"He threatened that if he ever saw me with Cedric or any other guy, that he would kill him. He was drunk at the time as well."
"All right," said the officer. "We're going to go in and question him."
"No, you can't," I said.
"Why not?" asked the partner.
"Because he'll deny it, I'm the only one he'll tell the truth to."
The officers looked at each other.
"You can't let her do this!" Harry insisted.
The officer sighed. "All right," he agreed. "We'll let you go, but we'll be outside, the second we hear trouble, we're storming the place."
I nodded before I headed for the front door. I knocked and not even ten seconds passed before the door opened.
There he stood, Viktor Krum in all his drunken glory. His hair was disheveled, his eyes half closed, not really taking anything in around him. A bottle of beer was tilting his left hand.
"Well, you're the last person I expected to see," he slurred.
"Could I talk to you?" I asked, trying to keep my tears and anger in check.
"Sure," he hiccupped, stepping aside to let me pass.
The room smelled so strongly of beer and whiskey that I had to result to breathing through my mouth.
"Would you mind leaving the door open?" I asked.
"Whatever you want," he chuckled before sitting down in his lounge chair. "What can I do for you?" he asked, taking another swig of beer.
"It's Cedric," I said. "He..." I cleared my throat. "He was killed tonight. Hit and run."
Viktor took another swig. "That's too bad. They catch the guy who did it?"
"Nope," I said. "Not yet."
"Well, I'm sure they will," said Viktor.
"Suddenly, you care?" I asked.
Viktor scoffed. "Hell, no! That..." He called Cedric something so foul that my blood started to boil. "...got what he deserved."
I started to laugh.
"What's so funny?"
"I don't need the police to tell me who did it because I was there." I eyed the bottle in Viktor's hand. "I watched the red car hit Cedric, like he was a street cone, I saw it speed away and I even saw the license plate!" I ripped the bottle out of Viktor's hand and threatened to hit him with it. "And all I want to know is why. Why would you take him from me? What do you get out of this? He didn't do anything to you."
Viktor smirked. "This. It gave me you, back were rightfully belong." He then went on to explain that he wasn't drunk when he hit Cedric, he spent most of the night watching Cedric and I spending our night together. He knew every detail from the movie to the ring Cedric gave me. He then waited for Cedric to leave and then accelerated his car to as fast as it would go and hit Cedric full on. "And you're here," he concluded. "Where you belong."
"I was never yours!" I screamed, throwing the bottle into the mantel where it shattered. "I never will be yours. I hate you with every fiber of my being and that will never change."
I heard the officers storm into the room. As they were reading Viktor his rights, I left without a word.
When Harry dropped me off at home, I noticed the living room was still the way Cedric and I left it. Our popcorn and Skittles bowls were barely touched. One full and one half filled bottles of our cherry sodas. The DVD case where I left it.
I went over to the couch and sat down running fingers over where Cedric sat. I then lay down and breathed in his scent of pizza and cherry soda.
* 1 week later *
I was still lying on the couch, only this time I was wearing a black dress, pantyhose and my hair was up in a French braid style that Cedric liked so much.
"Hermione, it's time to go," Mom said sadly.
I sighed as I got up and headed for the door. Dad helped me with my coat and then we all headed for the car to get the church.
Today was Cedric's funeral.
When I entered the church, I saw Cedric's parents and hurried towards them. Mr. and Mrs. Diggory were like a second Mom and Dad to me. I loved them both so much. Mrs. Diggory and I spent most of time crying and holding each other. She kept telling me how much Cedric loved me and I told her I loved him more than he loved me. I then asked them if I could have some time alone with Cedric and they agreed.
I walked in and the first thing I saw was Cedric's open casket.
He looked so perfect. Like he was sleeping. A sleep he would never wake up from.
I shakily removed his ring from my pocket; Dad had given it to me the night before.
"Love thee forever."
With shaky hands, I tried to put it on the ring finger of his cold left hand. Someone placed their hand over mine. I looked up and saw Harry standing next to me. He didn't looked like himself, he was pale, his green eyes had lost their shine and he wasn't smiling. With his help I slipped the ring onto Cedric's finger.
"I promise," I whispered.
At that time, everyone started filing in and taking their seats.
I was the first one to speak, so I went up to podium, cleared my throat and said, "It was on September 19, 2008 that Friday night became my least favorite night of the week."