Chapter Two: Platform 9 ¾:

The next morning I woke up early. I put on a pair of my work out shorts and a top and went for my usual run. It was slightly foggy but that didn't bother me, the fresh morning chill woke me up, besides if I wanted to be the best then I had to be used to all sorts of weather conditions. By the time I got back home I was wet from both fog and sweat. I filled a glass of orange juice and gulped it down before going back upstairs to take a warm shower. I got dressed, dried my hair with a flick of my wand, packed the very last things in my trunk and dragged it downstairs, where I left it at the bottom of the stairs. As I entered the kitchen I was greeted by the smell of freshly baked pancakes. I took a sniff of the delicious air and let out a sigh in longing. At least our usual ritual hadn't changed. At the start of every school year we would get up early and have a family breakfast of pancakes. The last meal we'd have together with the entire family until the Christmas holidays. I'm glad this hadn't changed, much. I glanced at the empty chair across the table and looked down at my plate sadly. No, it hadn't changed, except for the fact that my brother would no longer share these moments with us. I looked up as I felt two hands softly squeezing my shoulders and another take hold of my hand. I looked to the side and saw my parents. My dad looking down at me with a small encouraging smile, though a shadow of sadness hovered in his eyes. My mum was like me, looking sad with a few silent tears running down her cheeks. I reached over to wipe my mum's tears.

"Don't cry Mum, Ced's not gone forever. He's watching over us, waiting for us, until it's time for us to join him." I tried a smile, but it broke as more tears starting pouring from my eyes.

"He would want us to be strong and move on. Crack a joke and remember him with a smile." My voice cracked towards the end. I stood up and took both of them in a tight embrace while I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat. "For Cedric."

I gave both of them a kiss on the cheek and sat back down, piled my plate with a stack of pancakes.

"Let's eat!" At that my parents let out a small chuckled and sat down on either side of me. After that breakfast was a quiet affair, each of us away in our own thoughts, mine being on the fields outside where Ced and I used to raced in our own little competition on who could catch the snitch the fastest while doing the most amazing stunts.

By the time breakfast was finished and the dishes were cleaned away it was 10.30 and time to get going. Dad had left earlier to go to work and mum would drop me off at the train station. We arrived at the platform at a quarter to 11. I gave her a long hug and a kiss with the promise I would write her as soon as I got sorted and as often as possible after that. I gave her a final hug and stepped aboard the Hogwarts Express, dragging my trunk behind me. I looked around curiously as I walked down the train in search for an empty compartment. Now and then I would glance into a compartment to see friends greet each other while enjoying a variety of sweets and snacks, some already in their school robes and other, like me in muggle clothing. I looked down at myself, I was wearing my favorite light blue faded jeans and Ced's favorite sweater, which still smelled like him and from now on always would, because I had charmed it like that, as I had done with all of his things that carried his scent. His scent made me feel safe, like he was still here, while I knew he wasn't. The thought of Ced made me smile, he would always make me feel safe, no matter what.

I wasn't watching where I was going, lost in thought, so I didn't see the path in front of me was blocked, causing me to run headfirst into the person in question. Two strong hands kept me from falling backwards as I looked up to be met with a pair of sparkling blue eyes.

"Cyd!" I was pulled into a bone crushing hug. "How are you, love?"

I was released and looked up into the happy but serious face of Alec McEwen. As I looked over his shoulder I saw the matching pair of eyes from his cousin Christopher Rickett. They were cousins, but they looked like identical twins. Both of them had pitch black short messy hair, that was always up in some kind of spiky fashion and a pair of striking blue eyes, sporting impressive muscles from playing beater on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, all in all they were pretty handsome. They were my brother's best friends and over the years I had become real close with them as well. We made a group the four of us, that is they were a group and I joined them during the holidays when we weren't at school. I smiled at the two of them.

"I miss him." Was all I answered as I went to hug Chris.

"I missed you two." I pulled both of them close to me once more before stepping back.

"You're sitting with us." Alec said as he pulled me into the compartment, which's entrance we were blocking at the moment, as Chris picked up my trunk and lifted it into the baggage rack over our heads. I sat down between the two of them and got introduced to the other people who were in the compartment with us.

"Guys, meet the lovely Cydney." Christopher said he draped his arm over my shoulders. "Ced's sister."

One of the others was a girl with long soft brown hair named Sasha Woodcroft. A look of sadness and compassion crossed her faced as Chris mentioned my brother. She leaned forward and grasped my hand, squeezing it softly.

"He was a great guy, we all miss him." She then surprised me by pulling me into a warm hug. "We are all here for you when you need someone." I smiled as she let me go.

"Thanks you guys." The other person sitting with us was Jonah Summerby a quiet boy with brown hair and grey eyes, whom I knew to be one of the reserve chasers of the team.

"So, you all going in for your seventh year then?" All of them nodded but Jonah. "I wish," he said with a chuckle, "sixth for me."

I nodded and smiled at him. "I might see you in class then, I'll be entering my sixth year as well."

We were just going to start exchanging stories of our summer, when a tall boy with curly dark hair and piercing green eyes burst into the compartment, followed by a blonde with brown eyes who burst out in laughter when he saw the boy in front of him trip over a couple of legs and crash head first into the floor.

"Oi! What are you laughing at you big buffoon help me up!" The guy with the curly hair yelled at the other which send the blonde doubling over with even more laughter. I shook my head at their antics and held out my hand to help the guy from the floor. He grabbed my hand and I pulled him up.

"Hi, I'm Cydney. Are you ok?" He stood up and as his eyes met mine a grin spread across his face.

"Darling, I am absolutely fine." He said as he kissed my hand. My eyes widened as I looked at the guy in front of me. Next to me Alec and Chris burst out in laughter as Sasha rolled her eyes and elbowed the guy next to her in the ribs.

As she turned to me she shook her head and said, "Cydney, meet Kevin Cadwallader. Hufflepuff's own womanizer and house idiot." A smile broke out on her face and she started laughing. One look at Kevin's face was enough for me to join her. He had crossed his arms and was pouting.

I shook my head and looked at the blonde who was still standing in the doorway. He was already wearing his uniform and a familiar shiny yellow badge was pinned to his robes. I tore my eyes away from his badge as he held out his hand to me.

"Zacharias Smith, at your service." He introduced himself with a charming smile. I shook his hand and returned his smile.

"Cydney Diggory, nice to meet you." I felt him freeze and from behind me I heard someone whisper 'Merlin!' I think it was Kevin. I sat back down and continued to gaze at the Captain badge on his robes.

After a while I sighed and shook my head. "So this must be the entire Hufflepuff Quidditch team then?" I said in attempt to break the awkward silence that hung in the air.

"Yes, well with a missing Seeker that is. Summerby here, was reserve chaser, he'll be joining the big boys this year. Won't you J?" Zacharias said as he punched Jonah in the arm, who in turn grimaced and hit the other boy over the head with the book he was reading.

"That's right, someone has to keep those two idiot chasers in line." He said pointing to Zacharias and Kevin, the latter still looking at me like he had seen a ghost. I ignored him and turned to look at Sasha. "You're the keeper then?"

She nodded, "Yep, will you be trying out?" I winked at her and stood up on the bench, reaching for my trunk.

I opened the lid and stuck my arm in after rummaging around for a few seconds I found what I was looking for and pulled out a pair of black and yellow Quidditch robes. I tossed them to her and shrugged, an innocent grin creeping up my face.

"That's the plan. Been training all summer." As she held up the robes Alec barked out a laugh as Chistopher nudged me in the side with his elbow.

Across from me Zacharias snorted. "So that's where his robes went." I shrugged again before tracing the number one on the back.

"He took them home last summer, and forgot them. When the tournament was announced he knew he wouldn't need them that year, figured he would bring them back this year. Of course, no one knew what would happen." The compartment grew quiet again and Sasha handed me back the robes, which I refolded and held them to my face, taking in the lingering scent before putting them back in my trunk.

"I brought them back, figuring I could use them if I made the team. Only seemed right doesn't it?" They all nodded and Zach looked up at me a gleam in his eyes. "Are you any good?" I snorted and let out a laugh.

"One of the reasons I didn't come to Hogwarts when I turned eleven. With Ced playing seeker on the team I had no chance. There can't be two seekers. So I went to Drumstrang instead. Our uncle teaches there. I joined one of their house teams, there has yet to be a game where Victor beats me to the snitch." I grinned as their jaws dropped.

"Viktor? As in Viktor Krum? The Bulgarian seeker?" I nodded my head.

"The one and only. All the training we did together and never once has he been able to beat me. I tease him about it a lot too. The almighty Bulgarian seeker can't beat a little British girl to the snitch. He hates it." Kevin tilted his head slightly to the side and observed me.

"You two sound pretty close."

"We're good friends." There were a few whistles from the guys as the rest of us laughed.

We spend the rest of the train ride talking about our summers, messing around, stuffing our faces with candy and discussing Quidditch. There were a few moment where we also remembered Cedric. It was good to be around people who knew him like I did. I looked to my right as I felt an arm make its way around my waist and pulled me near. Looking up at Alec who leaned in and asked in a whisper, "You ok with all this? I saw you looking at the badge." I glanced over at the shiny piece of metal pinned to Zach's robes and let out a breath I didn't know I was holding in. "It's just strange you know. He didn't graduate or put down captain ship. He lost it through death, somehow it doesn't seem fair." He rubbed my side in a comforting manner and kissed my temple. "I know, he didn't deserve the end he got. No one deserves something like that." I nodded and leaned my head against his shoulder. Sasha looked at the two of us and gave me a question look. I shook my head at her and mouthed 'later'. She nodded and went back to her conversation with Jonah who glanced at me from the corner of his eye.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Please review.

~ Lor