Author's Note: I know I don't really post author's notes often on this site, which is odd because I often do them on other platforms. But I wanted to post one now, on this chapter specifically because this chapter marks a big point for me in this story. It feels like just yesterday that I posted the chapter about the first task, and I remember it being a really big deal for me because that meant I was about a third into the story. But when I posted that chapter I never would have imagined that the support and love I would receive for this story would grow to the point it has. It warms my heart every time I think about it and I just want to thank all of the people who bothered to click on this story, it truly means a lot! Also, remember that if you like this story please comment and favorite it because it helps draw more potential readers! If you REALLY like this story, please feel free to go read some of my other fanfics, especially the newest one I posted called "Her Story" which is a super personal sexual harassment account. Thank you guys again for everything!
"You have no reason to be nervous Evelyn. Remember, I have a plan and know exactly what my strategy is. Everything is going to be okay." Cedric insisted with a reassuring smile on his face the morning of the second task.
"I just… am so worried about you. I know you can take care of yourself and all, but I just couldn't bare to loose you." I said in a small voice, my body visibly shaking from fear. I could see Cedric grab my hand from across the table and clutch it tightly in his own, rubbing his thumb back in forth on my palm to try and calm me down. I gave him a small smile of thankfulness before my face went sour again.
The Hufflepuff chuckled at my twisted up expression, and just squeezed my hand tighter. "Don't worry so much Evelyn, it's not good for the babies." He said in a knowing tone before letting his gaze drift down to my ever-growing bump that just became visible under my robes.
I nodded, a smile gracing my lips. "And," Cedric added, "not eating isn't good for you or them either. Remember, you're eating for three Evelyn."
I sighed reluctantly, knowing he was telling the truth. "You're right." I mumbled.
"What's that? Can you repeat that for me please." Cedric said with a knowing smirk, causing me to let go of his hand and hit his arm playfully, giggling the whole time. Cedric joined me in my laughter for a couple minutes, both of us savoring the moment without fear. But then a worried look crossed his face. "Evelyn, have you seen Cho today? She should be at breakfast by now." He said as his voice grew anxious, both of our smile's fading.
I gave him a concerned look, "You mean you haven't seen her yet? I thought you had spoken earlier?"
Cedric shook his head, a frown now on his face. "Last I heard she had to go to the Headmasters' Office last night for something about the Task, but she promised me she would see me at breakfast. You know, to wish me luck."
I shuttered at the thought of another trip to Albus' Office, remembering the one I had a couple of weeks ago with Severus. "I'm sure she just got caught up with her friends or slept in late." I said with an encouraging smile, unsuccessfully trying to make him seem happier.
Cedric just proceeded to run his hand through his hair, obviously quite nervous. I realized, in that moment, that I needed to do what Cedric just did me. "Hey." I said in a soft voice, breaking our silence. "It's okay, she's okay, I'm okay, and most importantly you're okay." I grabbed his hand as I spoke, just as he did to me. He gave me a smile, and I beamed back. We were both okay.
We held hands as we walked down to the Black Lake from the Castle, both of us trying to find comfort and safety in each other. We did get some stares, all wondering the same question of whether my children were his. But they weren't, and we could care less what anyone else thought.
We didn't speak on that journey down, neither of us knowing what to say. The only words coming right as Cedric was about to leave me. "I have to go now." He said hesitantly, remembering how much of a mess I was in the First Task with the Champion's Tent.
I nodded slowly, not wanting to let go of his hand. A small part of me always thinks that when I say goodbye to him to go Compete, it will be the last time I speak to him at all.
He seemed to note the sad expression on my face because he quickly pulled me into a tight hug, kissing my cheek while he was at it. "Don't leave me." I muttered softly into Cedric's shoulder.
"Never." He replied as he pulled away, going and standing with the other Champions. Leaving me alone, and trying not to cry.
"Miss Owen!" I heard a familiar voice yell from a nearby section of seats, causing me to spin around.
"Headmaster." I said in acknowledgement to the bearded man now coming towards me. "What can I help you with?"
Albus gave me a small smile as he stopped in front of me. His knowing eyes accessing my expression and my constant glances at Cedric. "I was just wondering," he began, "if you would like to sit next to me in the staff section during the Challenge?"
I looked at him in shock, "I would love to, but can I? I mean, I am only a seventh year." I replied hesitantly, not wanting to break any rules.
Dumbledore smiled and said, "Of course you can, because I allow it."
I let out a small giggle, "In that case, I would love to."
"Good, now follow me Miss Owen." He said with a knowing smile, and I only looked back once at the Hufflepuff Champion before walking away.
"I think this would be a wonderful place for you to sit Miss Owen, it would give you a great view to watch your friend…" The Headmaster began while gesturing to the seat in-between him and Severus. I shot him an alarmed look, eyes wide in shock. Why was he placing me next to Severus when half the staff was already suspicious of our relationship? His eyes twinkled at my reaction, giving me a slight nod before I slowly sat down. I could faintly hear the Headmaster chuckle under his breath.
I didn't dare look at the Potions Professor, and he didn't dare look at me. Neither of us wanting to draw any more attention to our relationship, especially after our incident with the Caretaker and Defense Professor in the hallway a couple of weeks ago. I instead just focused on my twiddling thumbs when waiting for the buzzer to commence the task.
"Miss Owen, have you figured out what all of the Champions will be receiving yet?" I heard the Headmaster say, distracting my attention from my hands.
"Oh, no sir." I said politely, shocked that he was trying to carry on a conversation with me.
"The person they love the most." Albus said softly, turning his attention back to the lake before us.
"Oh." I breathed out, realizing in that moment it was Cho who was in the water for Cedric. That meant she was who he loved most.
Clearly the Headmaster saw my face fall at the thought, because he followed up his earlier statement by saying "If you weren't pregnant you would be in the water for Mr Diggory. It's clear to me that he loves you the most."
A big smile and a blush came over my face, as my eyes drifted to my feet from embarrassment. The old man chuckled at my reaction, and I even let out a small giggle before I heard a completely different sound on the other side of me. It was Severus, he had let out what sounded like a growl at the comment the Headmaster made.
At first I was taken back, worried that something was wrong with the Potions Professor. But after a minute I realized that the sound wasn't of pain, but of jealousy. Severus was jealous of the fact that Cedric loved me that most.
I could feel his arm stiffen as I purposely brushed our elbows together. I believe my attempt to show him that I understood his feelings was lost in the silence and the stone wall we put up between us. My face fell softly at the thought, hoping he wasn't angry at me for my reaction to the comment that the Headmaster made. After all, I had told Severus numerous times that Cedric was like a brother to me. But my worries were still present, even as the task started.
Almost immediately after the Cedric dove into water I started shaking and hyperventilating, causing me to draw some stares from the adults around me. This group included Severus, who's look of worry caused my heart flutter with butterflies. Then, all of a sudden, I felt something touch my hand that had fallen between Severus and I's seats. I looked down in alarm, and a smile flooded to my face at the sight. It was Severus, and he had grabbed my hand in his.
I'd never experienced much concerned intimacy from Severus, the only contact we really had was an occasional hug or our one experience with sex. But this was different, this contact was full of love and support. But most importantly, this was his idea, and that was what made it special. I squeezed his hand tight as I watched the unmoving water, my nerves flying away.
The second I realized Cedric was safe and that he'd won was probably the happiest I had been in weeks, all of the worry that I had about the task just went away. I just remember jumping up from my seat in excitement, screaming at the top of my lungs for the Hufflepuff and his girlfriend that had just surfaced in the water.
Then I recall a blur of colors as I ran down to where Cedric would be getting hoisted up. I just remember watching him swim to the ladder as I hopped up and down from excitement. I couldn't wait for the moment when I could throw my arms around his wet ones.
But the second Cedric and Cho got up on the platform, they immediately hugged and kissed each other. My smile turned into a small frown as shock and jealousy took over my emotions. But just as soon as they embraced each other, Cedric was breaking away to hug me.
I pulled his wet body tight as a single tear of happiness dripped out of my eye. "You found her, you found Cho." I whispered, still holding on to Cedric.
"Yes," the boy began, "but more importantly I got back to you." I began sobbing at his words, and Cedric pulled back slightly from the hug in concern. "Why are you crying Evelyn, I'm okay." He said while wiping away my tears.
"Hormones." I choked out, causing Cedric to start chuckling. I even laughed a little as we pulled each other back into a hug.
"Miss Owen." A voice said from behind me, a voice that shouldn't be there. A voice I hadn't heard in a while.
As far as I was concerned for the last 10 minutes, I was alone in the hallway. It was late at night and I wasn't even supposed to be out due to curfew in the Castle. But I had been hanging out with Cedric in celebration for the past couple of hours, and had just bothered to head back to my Common Room.
But this voice wasn't a teacher patrolling the halls, or even another student sneaking around. It was Karkaroff, and I was almost positive he had followed me from the Hufflepuff common room. "Headmaster Karkaroff." I replied swiftly as my steps quickened, determined to not be found alone in an empty corridor with the man. Because something told me that Severus wouldn't be there to rescue me this time.
"Now now Miss Owen, you wouldn't be running away from me now would you?" He said with an evil smirk as he grabbed my hand, spinning me around and towards him.
I gulped in fear as I forced out a small sentence. "No sir," I began, "I was just trying to back to my dormitory before I teacher caught me… sir."
He grinned as he took my figure and pushed it up against the nearby stone wall. I merely gasped in pain at the action, causing the foreign man to chuckle in delight. "You think I forgot about you, huh." He whispered into my ear as he held me against the wall, "You think that just because your knocked up with some stud's babies that I wouldn't want you?"
I nodded in agreement as he grabbed my hair and thrust my head back against the wall. This time I let out a whimper of pain, and it only made him happier. "Well you're wrong baby. Something about you still does something to me. And who knows, maybe when your bastards come out I can have some of them too." His hand dripped towards the bottom of my belly, and that was when something snapped.
My knee immediately went up to kick him in the groin, causing him to stumble back a few steps. Then, while he was withering in pain, I elbowed him in the head, causing him to fall down. I stood there for a minute as I watched him roll around on the floor, kicking him once for good measure. "All my life I have been pushed around by men like you, disgusting pigs who think they can take what the want. And all my life I have tolerated it, enabling them to abuse and rape me how they wish. But there is no way in hell that I would let them, or you, do the same to may children!" I finished before spitting at the figure at me feet and running off.
One thing was for certain, my children would never be hurt in the ways I've been hurt.