Cho stepped through the great front door of the castle
and jogged down the steps. She couldnt help but speed up when
she saw him sitting by the edge of the lake. She fought a sudden childlike
urge to start skipping and giggled at herself. Is this what it feels
like to be in love? she wondered.
She finally slowed down a few meters from him. Cedric
was staring into the sparkling black water and didnt seem to notice
Hi, she said sitting down in the grass.
His face lit up when he saw her, Oh, hi! I didnt
even hear you come up.
You looked deep in thought, she said.
Yeah, he smiled weakly. How are you?
You finished your paper then?
Cedric grinned, Yes, you know - that thing you
have to write for Transfiguration thats worth about half your
Oh - that! Yes, well... Cho gave him a sheepish
Cho! You havent finished it yet?
She shrugged, Not exactly.
I thought you werent going to take a break
until youd finished it? Thats not like you.
Cho silently agreed. She certainly hadnt felt like
herself the last few weeks. I know. Its not that its
really difficult or boring. Its actually really interesting theory
but... she felt a sudden pang of shyness, I just dont
want to think about anything else right now ... but you. She leaned
over and did the thing she had been dreaming about all day in the library
over blank pages of parchment and unopened books. As their lips met,
Cedric wrapped his arms around her in an affectionate embrace. The warmth
of his body felt good in the chilly spring air.
When he finally pulled away, he shook his head reprovingly.
Do you want me to go to the library with you?
No - then I really wont be able to concentrate,
He laughed and looked back out toward the lake.
So what were you so lost in thought about?
she asked. Thinking about the second task?
Cedric nodded. Just thinking about... His
smile faded. Its just...
Cho couldnt help but get concerned at his expression,
What wrong, Cedric?
Oh, nothing. Its probably nothing.
He definitely had something on his mind. She instinctively
reached over to put her hand in his and waited until he was ready to
He stared pensively at the lake, Ive just
been thinking about... about Harry.
This was the last thing Cho expected him to say. Harry...
Potter? she said, knowing perfectly well thats who he meant.
I was just trying to make sense of it all.
She frowned, Do you mean - how he got his name
into the Goblet of Fire?
Yes, thats part of it. He began picking
shamrocks absentmindedly out of the grass, Do you remember how
I told you that he wouldnt tell me how he got his name in?
Well, that wasnt exactly true.
Cho tried to hide her surprise. She had come to believe
that Cedric was the most honest person she had ever known. Was he saying
that he lied to her?
Oh? she tried to sound casual.
He actually said that he didnt put
his name in and he didnt know how it happened.
Really? she said. It was more of a statement
than a question.
Of course, I didnt believe him at the time.
But now... I dont know anymore. Hes... He searched
for the right words to accurately describe his co-champion.
Cho was very curious to hear what Cedric thought of Harry.
He had always seemed like a very nice person. He was certainly an amazing
Hes... he said slowly, a really
So... you believe him?
Cedric wrinkled his forehead. I think I do,
he said thoughtfully. You said so yourself, theres no way
he could have gotten over the age line. Its impossible.
No way that I know of. That doesnt mean its
Cho, he raised his eyebrows, Youre
the smartest person in this school. If you dont know of a spell,
Im sure it doesnt exist.
She tried to suppress a smile, A bit biased, arent
Maybe... Cedric leaned forward and peered
into the black water, You should have seen him at the bottom of
the lake. He was just floating there, waiting for the rest of us. He
had his hostage free. He couldve won - easily. I could tell he
was really worried about everyone. I mean - I was too. But... he refused
to leave until everyone was safe.
Well, that was really noble of him but he shouldve
known that no one was in any real danger, said Cho. Dumbledore
would never let that happen.
I know. Hes pretty young and he grew up with
Muggles. He probably didnt know any better. But... I dont
know. Maybe its something else. Maybe he knows something we dont.
Cho suddenly got a queasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
What do you mean? she couldnt stop herself from asking.
Well, theres more, said Cedric apprehensively.
I dont know if I should tell you or not. People could get
Cho took a nervous breath, You dont have
to tell me anything you dont want to, Cedric.
Thanks. Actually, I want to tell you. Its
just... its bad.
Well, we werent supposed to know about the
dragons. It was supposed to test our ability to keep our heads when
facing the unknown.
Cho thought about what he had said. Are you saying...
that you knew about them ahead of time?
Yes, Cedric sighed. We knew. We all
knew. Well - everyone except me. Do you know how I found out?
Cho shook her head but somehow she knew what he was going
Harry told me.
Yes. He said everyone knew but me. And he was right.
They all knew ahead of time. I could tell by the looks on their faces.
When did he tell you?
The day before the first task. He said it was fair.
He thought we should all be even.
Wow, she said. That was really good
Yeah. But it doesnt make any sense. If he
really wanted to win, he wouldnt have told me about the dragons.
And he wouldnt have waited at the bottom of the lake for everyone
to get there.
Do you think he doesnt want to win?
No. No, I dont think that. Im sure
he wouldnt mind winning. Look at how he plays Quidditch - hes
very competitive. His voice became quiet, I think its
What? said Cho still fighting the churning
in her stomach.
I dont know. Its like he wants to make
sure nothing bad happens to anyone. I think... I think hes afraid.
Could be. Theres nothing wrong with being
I know. Then he let out a laugh, You
should have seen us all before we faced the dragons. Even Fleur was
Fleur Delacour? Chos eyes went wide
with exaggerated surprise, Break a sweat? I dont believe
Cedric laughed, Yeah, we were all pretty terrified.
Theres no denying it.
She beamed at him, I cant imagine how it
must have been for you.
Viktor was just standing there scowling and clenching
his fists. Fleur was wringing her hands and biting those long fingernails
of hers. Harry was just standing there staring at the wall. I thought
he might pass out.
Suddenly, Cho knew that she didnt want to talk
about the tournament any more. She was ready to go back to her Transfiguration
paper. Just as she was about to get up, Cedric started talking again.
It just really makes me wonder if there really
is something going on.
Resigned to indulging him but fighting a sudden irrational
fear, she thought the best thing to do was to think logically.
Cedric, what makes you think somethings going
on? Just because hes scared? Just because its Harry Potter,
doesnt mean that something horrible is going to happen. Yes -
him being a fourth champion is very strange but unexplained things
happen here all the time. What makes you think this is so different?
Confident she had put his (and her) concerns to rest,
she once again started to get up to go back to the library.
Actually, said Cedric, It was something
that Professor Moody said.
She stopped. The queasiness had now turned into a rock
in the pit of her stomach.
Cedric continued, He seemed to think that someone
put Harrys name into the Goblet because they wanted to hurt him.
She stared at him, Professor Moody said that?
Yes. He said that after Harry got named Champion.
Harry didnt even respond. He was just standing there with a blank
look on his face. It was weird - it was the same look he had before
we met the dragons. Almost like he was afr- Cedric finally noticed
the expression on Chos face and stopped, Are you all right?
Im sorry - I didnt mean to upset you.
Im not upset, Cho insisted, though
her voice quavered.
Listen - Im sure youre right. Its
nothing. Moodys completely paranoid. And Harry... who could blame
him for being a little paranoid, too.
Cho desperately tried to swallow the lump in her throat,
You really think so? Most of her classmates thought that
Mad Eye Moody was one step shy of the loony bin but she
had always been very impressed by him. She had studied his life history.
Alastor Mad Eye Moody was the greatest Auror to exist in
their lifetime. He had almost 100 years in service fighting the Dark
Arts. Somebody with that kind of experience - you dont just shrug
off their comments as witless noodling. She had gotten quite angry with
more than a few people who had made light of him. She felt he deserved
respect. If Professor Moody thought there was something sinister going
on with the tournament, she wasnt about to question it. But that
would mean that Cedric could be in danger as well. She shivered.
Cho, Moody didnt know for sure. He was just
trying to come up with an explanation. Hes always thinking of
the worst case scenario, right?
Cho tried to force a grin, Yeah.
You know him, Cedric opened one eye wide
and wrinkled up the rest of his face and said in a gruff voice, CONSTANT
Cho couldnt help but let out a laugh. Dont
make fun of him, she said gently.
Cedric gazed at her affectionately, I respect him
as much as you do. Hes just thinking of the worst scenario. Im
sure everyone will be all right. Think about it - weve got Moody
and Dumbledore looking out for us. Nothing is going to happen.
Cho was grateful for his words. She was even starting
to believe them. Promise?
I promise. Im sorry I scared you.
Cho tried to appear nonchalant, I wasnt scared.
Really. See? She pointed to her forehead, Didnt even
break a sweat.
Thats my girl, he leaned over and kissed
her. By the way, were you going somewhere?
Cho smiled as she put her arms around him. No.