Chapter 13 / Alastor Moody
Waiting for news was like waiting for rain in a drought – useless and disappointing. Once in a while, one of us would gasp, get up slightly and then sink back into our chairs. I felt like I was waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen. During the wait, Barry had told Dumbledore – who understood snake language but could not speak it himself – what he had heard throughout the year. After that, all we could do was wait. Ginny, Luna and I sat huddled together. Dumbledore had sent some teachers to find the other champions, but only two had come back out: Fleur and Viktor. Professor Moody had travelled to the place where the trophy stood, but he had returned empty-handed, with no more information than we already had.
When a bright blue light threw a mass on the grass, I sprang up and ran. I saw Harry, his face pressed into the grass. He didn’t move. He had one hand around the handle of the Tri-wizard Cup and his other arm was wrapped around another body – Cedric’s body. Voices sounded everywhere as I ran forward, pushing through the crowd again, not caring that I messed up my new dress.
‘Harry!’ I yelled. I kneeled beside him, feeling his heartbeat, ‘he’s alive, professor!’
‘Harry! Harry!’ Dumbledore seized him and turned him over. Harry opened his eyes. His eyes flashed from one side to another. He let go of the cup, but clutched Cedric to him more tightly. I didn’t need to feel Cedric’s heartbeat to know he was dead. His body was cold and white and his eyes were staring up at the starry sky. I felt the tears in my eyes, even though I never knew Cedric that well. Dead was never pretty. Harry raised his free hand and seized Dumbledore’s wrist.
‘He’s back,’ Harry whispered, ‘he’s back. Voldemort.’
‘What’s going on? What’s happened?’ The face of Cornelius Fudge appeared in the crowd; it looked white, appalled, ‘My God – Diggory! Dumbledore- he’s dead!’
The words were repeated, the crowd pressing in on us gasped it to those around them . . . and then others shouted it — screeched it — into the night — ‘He’s dead!’ ‘He’s dead!’ ‘Cedric Diggory! Dead!’
‘Harry, let go of him,’ I heard Fudge’s voice say, and he started to pry Harry’s fingers from Cedric’s limp body, but Harry wouldn’t let him go. I slapped his hand away.
‘Don’t touch him!’
‘Harry, you can’t help him now. It’s over. Let go,’ Dumbledore stroked his hair, ‘it’s over.’
‘He wanted me to bring him back,’ Harry muttered. I frowned. ‘He wanted me to bring him back to his parents…’
‘That’s right, Harry… just let go now…’ Dumbledore bent down, and with extraordinary strength for a man so old and thin, raised Harry from the ground and set him on his feet. Harry swayed. He looked like he was going to faint. I saw his leg was injured.
The crowd around us jostled, fighting to get closer, pressing darkly in on us — ‘What’s happened?’ ‘What’s wrong with him?’ ‘Diggory’s dead!’
‘He’ll need to go to the hospital wing!’ Fudge was saying loudly. ‘He’s ill, he’s injured — Dumbledore, Diggory’s parents, they’re here, they’re in the stands. . . .’
‘I’ll take Harry, Dumbledore, I’ll take him —’
A man whose face looked as though it was roughly carved from wood had appeared from the crowd and grabbed Harry by the shoulder. He was covered in scars and a chunk of his nose was missing. He had dark grey, grizzled hair. His eyes, however, were his most shocking feature: one was small and dark while the other was a vivid, electric blue magical eye that moved around independently from his normal eye. Let’s say I wouldn’t let Carrie or Christian near this guy.
‘No, Alastor, I would prefer —’ Dumbledore began.
‘Dumbledore, Amos Diggory’s running . . . he’s coming over. . . . Don’t you think you should tell him — before he sees — ?’
‘Harry, stay here. Katherine…’
Girls were screaming, sobbing hysterically. I felt Ginny and Luna behind me as I grabbed hold of Harry.
‘It’s all right, son, I’ve got you . . . come on . . . hospital wing,’ Alastor tried to pull him away, but Harry resisted.
‘Dumbledore said stay,’ I said, holding on tighter, ‘Harry needs to stay.’
‘He needs to lie down. . . . Come on now,’ Alastor, who was larger and stronger than I was, pulled him through the frightened crowd. I pushed through, trying to keep up, but I soon lost track of them. By the time I reached the end of the crowd, I couldn’t even see them anymore. I lost Ginny and Luna about halfway through, but I didn’t want to go back and look for them.
I rushed forward, back to the castle. Across the lawn, past the lake and the Durmstrang ship, I heard nothing but the sound of the crown fading away. Once I reached the castle, I wanted to run right up to the hospital wing, but something made me stop in my tracks. A silent clunking noise sounded from the far hall, away from the hospital wing. I decided that Alastor looked like the kind of guy to have a wooden leg, so I turned around and ran up the stairs.