Chapter imagine by lyzzic @ TDA. Isn't is Gorgeous?
It’s a very rare occasion when a muggle born is sorted into Slytherin. Rare, but not impossible. Five years ago Rachel walked through the majestic front doors of Hogwarts determined to leave her mark on the world. At eleven years of age the sorting hat whispered into her ears about her ambition, determination, self preservation, and cleverness. Those she had met on the train where equally shocked as the purebloods when the hat proudly announce, “SLYHERIN.”
As Rachel skipped over to the table with an emerald green banner proudly hanging above she caught a glimpse of the most gorgeous sandy haired boy in the world. Their eyes locked for a moment and she nearly tripped blushing profusely as he winked her way. Finally sitting down safely with her fellow classmates she watched the rest of the sorting waiting for that boys name to be called. Finally the boy walked forward and was sorted into Huffelpuff; he looked over to the Slytherin table one last time giving Rachel a sad smile and headed to his rightful table. Rachel looked down at her now full plate and mouthed, “Cedric Diggory” to her plate no longer hungry. That night, she had no idea just how huge of an impact that one gorgeous boy would have on her life. She had no idea that for the next 5 years, he would be the only one enough room to love.
“RACHEL, hurry Adrian has probably been waiting for at least 10 minutes now,” Jess nagged at her best friend still gathering her books from their last class.
Rachel rolled her eyes but smiled as their fellow Gryffindor friend Charlie walked into the Charms class. “Thought you two might still be in here what with Rachel and her library,” Charlie said sitting on a desk giggling.
“Hey, sorry I’m more interested in my studies then you guys are!” Rachel retoreted slinging her bag over her shoulder and still picking up a stack of books.
“Can we please go now, I don’t want to keep Adrian waiting it’s out first Valentines Day together,” Jess said heading to the door closely followed by Charlie.
“Right, because your boyfriend is your life,” she said rolling her eyes, “Be like me and Rach, we enjoy the single life of flirting.”
“OR studying,” Rachel corrected.
“Right, where are you going?” Charlie asked noticing Rachel head in the opposite direction of the Great Hall for Lunch.
“Calm down, I’m just going to drop of my books,” She said feeling the tension grow like every time after Charms.
“Rachel, stop stalking the boy! Just come this way to get to the common room, you don’t always have to pass by the Huffelpuff common room.” Jess said sympathetically hoping her best friend would get over this hopeless infatuation.
Rachel bit the bottom of her lip as her face grew very hot thinking about Cedric, “Look I’ll see you guys late,” she said turning on the spot. At first she walked slowly through the crowded halls to hear her two best friends, but then sped up after they giggled annoyingly at something, more then likely against the rules, that Jess pulled from her bag. After all she was a prefect and hated getting those two into trouble.
Now I bet your wondering what Rachel has against Love and Valentines Day, but the answer is nothing. She isn’t someone totally obsessed with school either, she just like to occupy her time with something to, distract her. Jess had had many steady boyfriends over the years and was almost never single come Valentines day each time swearing he was “The one” But this year with Adrian she looks to be truly happy. Charlie on the other hand was a flirt. End of story, there was always many admirers for her and she just led them on and flirted like crazy. There was no intentional hurt there, its just who she was, friendly. Now Rachel, she was completely different story. She spent most her time turning town guys, waiting for the right one. Her friends always asked how she is going to know the one if she never tries to find him. How could she tell him that the one she loved was 3 tables over every day 3 meals a day? That she had many classes with him and worked well with him. How could she tell them that the only guy she loved was just a friend? She just couldn’t see herself with anyone but him. . .
Rachel was so lost in her thoughts that when she rounded the corner by the Huffelpuff common room she found herself on the ground having crashed into something solid. She cursed silently looking up to see what moron wasn’t watching where they were going when she found herself face to face to the most gorgeous caramel eyes. As she got to her feet she had to remind herself to breath.
“I am so sorry Rachel I wasn’t watching where I was going,” Cedric said apologetically.
“No, no. It was my fault Cedric I wasn’t watching,” Rachel said stuttering fighting down the nerves and urge to run away from the worst moment of her life. She groaned looking around noticing her books and papers scattered the hall.
“Allow me,” Cedric chuckled and with a quick flick of wand all her things came flying to his waiting arms. She stood mentally slapping herself in the face, she didn’t even think of using her wand to clean up.
Rachel heard a group of Ravenclaw first year girls erupt into fits of giggles and waved his way. Rachel and Cedric both rolled their eyes as he handed back her books, “I swear it‘s like they have never seen magic before.” Rachel snickered as Cedric bent over to pick up a book he missed, “So reading Fairy tales now?” He said clearly amused flipping through the pages of The Tales of Beetle the Bard.
Rachel blushed slightly reaching for the book that he pulled just out of her reach, “I’ve never heard these stories I’m muggleborn remember?”
Cedric replaced the book on the top of her stack smirking slightly, “Right, the snake here on you chest often time makes me forget.” Cedric said winking and heading off towards the Great Hall. Rachel was walking on air as she half ran half skipped the rest of the way down to her dungeon common room.
Quickly she dumped her books on her bed. As she turned around to leave a small piece of parchment sticking out from the book Cedric had caught her eye. Her heart was thudding in her chest as she read through the note clutched in her hand. Overly excited and very nervous she sprang from the room and dashed through the common room all the way up to the Great Hall where she finally stopped abruptly remembering Cedric was inside and didn’t want to seem to, well stupid.
She quickly spotted Charlie from across the room surrounded by a group of guys, typically. Rachel swooped in pulling her from her seat by the arm, “Sorry boys, but I need to steal Charlie from you all.” From force of habit Rachel smiled as one of the younger boys grumbled damn Slytherin as they all dispersed. “I swear Charlie how you got sorted into Gryffindor and Not Slytherin I don’t know.”
“What ever do you mean?” Charlie said in mock innocence smirking.
Rachel couldn’t help but laugh. That was the thing about her and her two best friends, no matte how different they were they loved each other and had each others backs. “If I could smell the love potion from the moment I entered the hall what makes you think no one else will?” she hissed as Snape walked by stopping. He sniffed around for a minute then gave the two a quizzical look before moving on. Rachel hadn’t noticed she was holding her breath until she let out a long sigh pulling Charlie behind her.
“Oh come on Rach, live a little like Snape would ever punish you his little Slytherin and me, well I’m practically as perfect as you and Jess in his eyes,” Charlie said taking the Lead and skipping the rest of the way to the Slytherin table. “Hey Jess, Hey Adrian!” She said taking a seat across from the two.
“Adrian you don’t mind if I steal your girlfriend for the rest of lunch do you?” Rachel asked politely taking a seat next to Charlie. Only Jess and Charlie could tell that she was far from calm. She still had the note clutched tight in her fist shoved in her pocket. Rachel rolled her eyes impatiently as Adrian kissed Jess lightly on top of the head and swiftly left. Finally the three girls sat huddled together.
“What is so important that Adrian couldn’t here? Are you finally giving flint a chance?” Jess asked hopefully.
“Pft, she better not! Oliver is still interested and he is so much better then Flint,” Charlie whispered hoping Flint wouldn’t hear her.
“NO, this,” Rachel said pulling the note from her pocket. She sat drumming her fingers in the table as her friends took turns reading it. She blushed returning the grin both her best friends now gave her.
Jess snuck a peak at the Huffelpuff table grinning, “Well, five years later and the moron finally makes a move I see.”
They all laughed in return as Charlie eagerly said, “You are going right?”
Rachel paused fidgeting slightly, “You guys that would be breaking curfew!”
“No,” Jess growled furiously, “You have waited to long for this; you ARE going even if me and Charlie have to drag you there.”
The Sun had just gone down as Rachel made here way across the grounds to the Quidditch field. She held her wand lit in one hand and with the other fiddled with her scarf to occupy her nerves. She could feel the cold February wind nipping at her nose and tingeing her cheeks pink. She nervously paced the entrance to the pitch nervous and very excited at the same time.
Over and over again worst case scenarios played in her mind. With every pace she took her imagination thought up even worse forms of rejection. Finally she checked her watch, 15 minutes she stood trying to gain up the courage to go inside. Hoping she hadn’t kept him waiting to long she forced herself onto the pitch.
Rachel’s surroundings sank in long before her company did. Walking onto the pitch a sudden wave of heat rushed over her that must have been from the charm they learned last week. Looking around Rachel noticed a small table in the middle of the field set for two. The sun had sunk so low now that the only light came from small enchanted floating orbs slightly resembling fireflies. Walking closer she finally noticed Cedric standing next to the table looking more handsome than ever.
“I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show,” He said smiling and pulling her chair out for her.
Rachel quickly took a seat growing weak in the knees from his smile, “Cedric this is beautiful, I have never seen the pitch so. . . not sportsy,” she giggled. Cedric knew very well that Rachel only ever went to watch Quiddich because her two friends drug her to the games.
“I know you’re not a huge Quidditch person, but I have so many great memories on her, I thought you might like some too,” he said awkwardly from across the table.
Rachel was blushing furiously and looked down at her plate. Suddenly she noticed that a heart shaped piece of chocolate cake sat on both plates intricately decorated. Rachel remembered how much she loved sweets as Cedric spoke again, “I got a little favor with the house elves in the kitchens.”
Rachel was so nervous she didn’t know what to say, but she knew she had to say something. “It’s great Cedric, all of it. I love it. Wow it’s so warm in here. Is this the Charm that Flitwick just taught us? I’m still. . . having. . . troubles. . .” Rachel slowly trailed off and shoved a large bite of cake in her mouth to stop her rambling.
“Still haven’t outgrown that rambling thing have you?” Cedric said chuckling.
Rachel blushed even more if that was even possible. She silently shook her head to embarrassed to say another word. There was a short silence, not a bad silence, more like on e where the just enjoyed each others presence. Rachel finally chanced a glance up and her eyes met his. There was a lingering sense of warmth as a million hippogriffs to flight around her stomach. Rachel set her fork down knowing that no matter how amazing the cake tasted she would not be able to take another bite.
“Are you done?” Cedric asked noticing she has barely touched it.
“Yeah, I’m still really full from dinner is all,” Rachel said convincingly enough.
Cedric seemed convinced enough and leapt from his seat with a remarkable grace. Rachel had to catch her breath as she was reminded of one of the many reasons she loved this man so dearly. She intently watched him walk around the table quickly looking away to not look like she was creepy and staring. When looking back her eyes grew wide seeing his smiling face standing next to her offering his hand.
“I have a surprise for you, take my hand and close your eyes,” he said answering her quizzical look.
Rachel reached up and as her smooth hands met rough a shot of electricity made its way up her arm and through her body. A grin from ear to ear was on her face mirrored on Cedric's.
“No peaking now,” Cedric said playfully as Rachel closed her eyes.
Rachel’s word was black as Cedric took both hands in his and they slowly began to walk. Rachel couldn’t recall a time ever seeing so much dark but feeling so bright. Rachel felt Cedric trip over something and mutter a curse word under his breath, a few seconds later his hands slipped from hers. As she made to open her eyes a very nervous yet excited voice said, “No, not yet.”
Rachel giggled noticing how giddy he was. She loved him even more for the fact that he could get perfect marks and be a prefect yet love to joke and play silly little kid games.
“Okay open,” he said softly. Rachel opened her eyes slightly disappointed when he was holding a broom. Rachel couldn’t believe after all that excitement he was holding a racing cleaning tool.
Obviously her disappointment showed on her face because Cedric said shyly, “I know you don’t like flying or Quidditch, but I thought you might make an exception just this once for a moon lit flight over the grounds.”
“Awe, that sounds great,” Rachel said causing him to smile. However Cedric’s smile vanished with the ever dreaded but. “But, I have never been on a broom my entire life.”
Cedric laughed, “All the more reasons to try it now, come on Rachel, and you won’t be steering anyways. Just holding on.”
Rachel took a step backwards, “No, no. That cannot be safe. Brooms are made for-“
“Are you scared serpent?” Cedric teased in mock shock smirking at her.
“NO!” Rachel insisted back refusing to be seen as a coward, “I just think that maybe-“
“I think that you are scared and are just making up excuses,” he said mounting the broom.
“I’m not scared,” Rachel huffed not even convincing herself.
“Then prove it,” Cedric said smiling and patting the seat behind him.
Rachel swung her leg over the broom and before even getting the chance to reconsider Cedric kicked hard off the ground. The wind rushed on Rachel’s face as she quickly wrapped her arms loosely around Cedric’s stomach to nervous to get close. She clamped her eyes shut tightly as the broom soared upward. There was a loud high pitched screaming coming from nearby and once she realized it was her she stopped.
“What made you stop screaming?” Cedric chuckled sneaking a peak over his shoulder while straightening out, “Open your eyes Rachel.”
She slowly opened one eye at a time. They were soaring through the now star filled night sky surrounding Hogwarts. She caught sight of Cedric’s pale face illuminated by the moonlight and had to catch her breath. Looking down in embarrassment she soon realized was a huge mistake. The second she saw her feet dangling hundreds of feet above ground she held on as tight as she could to Cedric pressing her body up against his back and burying her face in his robes.
“What’s going on? Why are we slowing down? Why is the ground coming closer? Cedric are we going to crash?” Rachel said in hysterics as the height and speed of the broom decreased.
“Calm down Rachel, I just thought you might feel more comfortable if I slowed down and brought us lower,” he answered in a soothing voice.
“Oh,” Rachel said clearly feeling stupid for over reacting. Rachel couldn’t help but be reminded of how perfect the man in her arms truly was as he adjusted the broom to her liking. She could tell from the way he was talking to her that he was far from being annoyed and really just wanted to make this great for her. Rachel silently thanked the heavens that it was dark and Cedric wasn’t facing her as she blushed worse then she had her entire life. She snuggled up really close resting her head on his shoulders and they enjoyed the rest of the nights ride in a comfortable silence.
Rachel woke up slightly later then usually thee Saturday of her birthday. She was therefore not at all surprised to find one of her best friends, Jess, along with the rest of her roommates already gone to breakfast. She then showered taking her time and advantage of the empty dorm and bathroom. After wasting a good forty five minutes on a normally twenty minute routine she headed off towards the great hall in high spirits.
She quickly scanned the Huffelpuff table like every morning, thoughts of Wednesday still lingering in her mind. Suddenly her attention was brought to a small cluster at the Slytherin table talking in hushed tones. Today was not the day she wanted to act upon her prefect duties or to deal with idiotic first years. As she grew closer two familiar body shapes could be made out closest to her. One Slytherin with short pink hair and one Gryffindor with long brown hair kept checking over their shoulder suspiciously. Suddenly both Charlie and Jess turned around so fast they would have apparated if they knew how. They both stood giving her equally dopey excited grins.
“Don’t make me ask,” Rachel said crossing her arms. Every year it was the same as her two best friends made her wish she had never told them her birthday.
“It wasn’t us,” Charlie said giggling.
“Must have been some date,” Jess continued winking. Both girls were trying to stay civil while fighting back fits of giggles as Rachel pushed past them.
On top of the Slytherin table was a huge rectangular cake. The art made on the top from colored frosting was a beautifully executed portrait of her. Rachel stood shaking and blinking over and over trying to prove this was real. She stood rooted to the ground waiting to wake up from a dream she wasn’t dreaming. Rachel looked to her two friends silently asking who did this. Adrian had now joined up with them and pulled Jess in close leaving Charlie to point mouth hanging open back at the cake. Rachel whipped her head back around and too let her mouth drop open. Above the cake suspended in mid air hung sparkling green words that spelled out Happy Birthday Rachel with a little heart underneath.
Looking around from the shocked faces around the hall she spotted him. Cedric sat grinning from ear to ear at his work. She could help but return his grin as her insides flip flopped around. She felt her legs turn to mush as he silently made his way over to the Slytherin table giving her a tender hug. Very soft and sweetly he whispered in her ear, “Happy Birthday my little Slytherin.”
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