I felt in need of some magic, so I decided to turn to a book that has served me well for many years. Every time I felt stuck in this normal life I turned to the magic between these pages. When I was young I always hoped to be part of the wizard community, but as I passed the age of eleven I knew this wasn’t going to happen. I was off course thinking about Harry Potter. The seven books had probably done the same thing for many other young people. Although I had visited quite a lot of books already, this one had always been waiting for me on my bookshelf. I didn’t want to go in too early because I felt it would waste the experience. But today felt right. Life was normal as ever. Magic needed to happen and I knew where to find it!
While closing my eyes I felt excited and kind of scared. I hadn’t read any of the books in a long time, so it could always be a disappointment.
I appeared in front of the library, which was good. I wouldn’t run into anyone here except Hermione. Luckily no one saw me and I started walking around a bit. Hogwarts looked as magical as I had imagined it. All I needed to do now was find Harry. I had entered the fourth book, the Goblet of Fire, and was hoping to catch him before the Second Task started. I looked around, but the halls were pretty calm. There were almost no students walking around and I definitely didn’t see Harry, Ron or Hermione anywhere. I was looking for them everywhere when the ceiling caught my attention. It showed the weather outside and what I saw didn’t match the description in the book. It was way too sunny for the time of year it should be…
‘Excuse me. But how did you get in here?’ I turned around to the voice and saw a very handsome boy looking at me. He kept on smiling at me without saying a word. I had to come up with a lie and fast.
‘Aren’t you Cedric Diggory? The Triwizard champion?’
‘Yes I am.’ Without saying anything else he kept smiling at me.
‘Could you tell me what day it is? I think I messed something up.’
‘It’s the day of the Third task. You’re not a student here at Hogwarts are you?’
‘Yes I am. Why would you say that?’ I was obviously lying, but the fact that I had arrived here a task too late didn’t feel right. I knew how this day was going to end and I didn’t like it one bit.
‘You’re a terrible liar.’ Cedric laughed at me and I started blushing. ‘So tell me, are you here to watch the final task?’
‘I guess I am now. Although I wasn’t planning on it. Aren’t you supposed to be with your family now?’
‘How do you know that?’ He had me on that one. I really needed to learn to think before I exposed myself as a stranger who knew way too much.
‘I… I just do… I overheard someone saying it…’ Cedric laughed at me again.
‘You’re a mysterious girl. But don’t worry. You don’t have to tell me your secrets.’ He smiled at me again and I noticed he really did have a great smile. I knew he was very attractive, because this had been a big issue in the book. But I had never given it very much attention. He smiled and I couldn’t ignore it. His grey eyes looked inviting and all I did was stare.
‘So, you know who I am, although I wonder how… But who are you?’
‘I’m Polly.’ He put out his hand and I shook it.
‘Nice to meet you Polly.’ Again he flashed a pretty smile at me.
‘Nice to meet you to.’ He held my hand a bit too long before letting go, this time I was the one flashing a smile.
‘You were wrong about my parents. They were here this morning, but had to go to lunch with a teacher of mine. They won’t be back until it’s time for the evening feast, so I was wondering around a bit.’
‘Are you nervous about tonight?’ He just nodded at me. I felt really bad talking about this with him.
‘I think I’ll do pretty good. That’s all that matters anyways.’
‘You’ll do just fine. You’ve finished the other two tasks, you can do this one as well.’ I hated lying, but I had to.
‘You know what, I could really use some company. Would you want to hang out in the library? I still need to look for some spells.’ I was in doubt, because I had actually gotten here to see Harry, but Cedric looked at me, hopeful and nervous and I couldn’t refuse.
‘I would love to.’
So we walked back to the library. Cedric was talking about the spells he still needed to look up and I just nodded. I knew the books pretty well, but this was advanced magic I didn’t know much about. Entering the library, Madam Pince looked at me with suspicion.
‘Are you sure you want to go here? I don’t think she will allow us to talk.’
‘She won’t hear us in the back, I hope…’
We walked towards the back of the library, Madam Pince following us with her eyes like a vulture. I looked at all the books with amazement. I always loved libraries, but this one was the best I’d ever seen. The Well of Lost Plost might top this one in books, but the Hogwarts library had this magical old feeling. Cedric grabbed a book of one of the many shelves and started flipping through the pages. I also grabbed a book. It contained all kinds of spells and potion recipes. But another book had already caught my eye so I had to put it back. There were all kinds of magical books all around me. I touched the back of all the books while walking an entire aisle, just enjoying the view.
‘Polly?’, Cedric called for me and I finally noticed how big the library was. I had walked an entire aisle and could barely make out Cedric in the distance. I hurried back.
‘Sorry, I just really like books.’
‘I noticed. You looked so sweet, like you’re so unknown to magic.’ I looked away, not really knowing how to react. ‘You don’t know magic? But you can’t be a muggle. If you were a muggle, you wouldn’t know Hogwarts. You certainly wouldn’t be able to find it.’
‘You could say I have my own kind of magic. Not like wizards or witches. But different.’ He looked confused. I wanted to tell him, but I wasn’t sure how he would take it. ‘It is a book thing, not very interesting. So tell me, how are those spells going?’ My lame tactic worked and he was distracted again.
‘I think I know all of them. I can’t really focus on them anyway.’ He sat down on the ground with his back to a bookcase, I did the same across from him. We started talking about our lives and just laughed all afternoon. Madam Pince came over a couple of times to tell us to be quiet, so we talked in whispers most of the time. After we had jumped up one time because Madam Pince paid a surprise visit, he sat down next to me instead of across from me. He said he did it so we didn’t have to talk so loud, but I knew he had the same feeling I had. It was the greatest afternoon I had spent in years and I really didn’t want to ruin it, but something was off.
‘I’m very sorry to have to ask you this, but aren’t you dating Cho?’
‘I am. I don’t know. She’s a very sweet girl.’ He seemed confused and I hated myself for bringing it up.
‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to…’
‘It’s ok. What about you Polly? A nice looking girl like you must have a boyfriend.’
‘Not really. I’m a free woman for now.’
‘You’re 18 years old and already calling yourself a woman. I saw you looking at those books with your big eyes, all amazed. You’re still a girl at heart, it’s very sweet.’ He looked at me very intently and suddenly started blushing himself. ‘I’m sorry. I really don’t know why I said that. It just came out.’ It was my turn to laugh at him.
‘It’s ok. I’m not insulted or anything. I guess you’re kind of right. This whole world is just so new and shiny. At home I’m less like this.’
‘That’s too bad. I like you like this.’ We smiled again. It felt like that was all we did. We just looked at each other and couldn’t help but smile.
‘Ok, I’m getting kind of curious now. Where is your home? How did you get here?’
I sighed. I was having fun and I felt that the truth might ruin it. I decided to go for it anyways.
‘You’ll won’t believe me and if you do, you won’t like it. But I’m from the real world. You live in a book. I can go into books and just walk around and talk to the people in it.’
‘You’re joking right?’ I shook my head. ‘But how would you do that?’
‘I don’t really know. I just do it. You can do magic. Don’t you think that’s kind of weird?’
‘How do you mean? Magic exists.’
‘Not for muggles. Think of me as a muggle, but then in a world where magic doesn’t exist at all.’
‘But it does exist. I’m here, I do magic. You’re saying I’m not real?’
‘No, I’m not. I think you might be real. Or I might be fake or… I don’t know. This is a part I haven’t figured out yet. All I know is I read about you and Harry in a book. I entered the book and here I am, talking to you. That’s how I knew about you parents and the Triwizard Tournament.’
‘I’m not sure if I get you. You’re saying there’s a real world besides this one. One that is more real than the one we are in now. How do you know that? Prove it to me.’
‘I can’t prove it. You’ll just have to believe me on this one.’
‘How? You just told me I’m not real. How do you expect me just to believe you?’
‘I don’t expect that of you at all. I’m sorry.’ Cedric got up and put his books back on the shelves.
‘I think I should go. I need to meet my parents at the evening feast.’
‘Wait Cedric! I’m really very sorry about all of this. But you asked and I just wanted to be honest. I like you…’ I saw something in his face when I said this. ‘I can show you, but you won’t be able to return anymore. I can take you into the real world, I mean…’
‘I really have to go. I’m sorry Polly.’
‘Please! Something will happen to you in the maze tonight.’ I sighed, I broke the rules. Nothing good ever came from that.
‘What will happen?’
‘I can’t tell you exactly. I shouldn’t have said that. I…’
‘How do I know you’re telling me the truth?’
‘Just trust me on this.’ We stared at each other. Our eyes locked, hoping he would believe me.
‘I’m sorry, Polly. It was nice to meet you.’ He turned around and walked away, leaving me alone in the library. I wanted to run after him, but I had done enough damage already.
It didn’t take long for the Third Task to start. I decided to go to the maze. Maybe I could still convince Cedric or just see him one more time. But I was too late. Everyone was already walking out of the Great Hall. I ran in, looking for him. He was already gone. I bumped into a girl and noticed it was Hermione. She looked at me and excused herself. It was too late. I followed the crowd to the maze and just watched in the back. I saw Cedric entering the maze. It’s probably better this way. I knew he was going to die when I met him. But it still felt really bad. There was something between us. He had noticed it too.
The moment arrived and Harry and Cedric had disappeared. I didn’t want to see what happened next and decided to leave. I walked into the quiet castle, it was time to go home.
‘Polly!’ I quickly turned around recognizing the voice.
‘How did you get here? You were supposed to be in the maze!’
Cedric was standing across from me, smiling knowingly.
‘I decided to trust you. I found a spell in the library to make a second version of myself out of a rock. It’s a diversion spell; I thought it might be helpful in the maze. But then you came along and we had so much fun. You and your crazy stories about the real world and books! It all seems so unbelievable, but I kept on thinking; What if it’s real. I just needed to know.’
‘But what about your parents? And what about Cho?’
‘I wrote a note to my parents. I told them I had to go, but that I’m fine. And Cho… I don’t know. Maybe they don’t even exist. I might not even exist. And I think Cho’s more into Harry anyways.’
‘So what now?’ I felt really happy but I didn’t know what this would do to the book. Cedric still had a body out there that was going to die. So the story remained untouched. But I wasn’t sure about the rules on this.
‘I was going to die tonight right?’ Cedric looked at me and I didn’t even have to answer. He put his arms around me and kissed me for the first time. All my worries about rules and family and girlfriends just faded away. The kiss ended but we were still holding each other. Cedric leaned in and whispered in my ear.
‘Take me to real world.’