Chapter Thirty-Two

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Cedric hoped that Milo would take his advice after they left the clearing of the gods and goddesses, but he couldn't force the boy to do anything unless he tickled Milo senseless. The meeting did not get a chance to finish as Indra's quick exit had left the situation to be a little more than awkward due to no fault of her own. He could remember when he was informed that Milo was his soulmate, of course, at the time they had been dating so it didn't exactly come across as such a shock as it could have. But he couldn't imagine how Indra had felt in that moment when it came to the announcement. As far as Cedric knew, the Ravenclaw girl seemed to have grown closer to the Weasley twins from what he had observed, but there wasn't an indicator that she and Fred were dating. 

He felt sorry for the two of them because he had seen how elated Fred's facial expression had been to learn that his soulmate stood close to him, but it was clear that Indra hadn't been ready for such an announcement. How defeated Fred looked when he saw the girl shake her head before she turned and ran away. As bad as he felt for the two of them, Cedric couldn't focus his attention on them, mainly because he still had to worry about his own soulmate. He hoped that his words finally got through Milo's head. But one thing he learned very early on after meeting Milo was the boy was incredibly stubborn. 

Fumbling with his prefect badge that was practically hanging off his robes by a thread, Cedric was walking through the corridors in search of Milo, Heidi, or Max. He had gone the majority of the morning without seeing any of his closest friends and companions, curious as to where they had all ventured off to. 

"It is called the Forbidden Forest! Not the Casual Stroll Forest!" The stern voice belonging to McGonagall seemed to slice through the air when Cedric went to pass the door. "Just what do you think you were doing in there, Milo? Have you not found yourself in enough trouble this term?"

Cedric paused at the mention of Milo's name and rather than venturing into the office, he leaned against the wall outside to listen. 

"I'm sorry, Mum! But I needed to let Paden stretch his limbs," Milo's voice rang out in his defence. "It's been one of the nicer days outside and I can't expect him to get his exercise in the castle, it's unnatural."

Almost giving himself away, Cedric had to place his hand over his mouth to stop himself from laughing out loud as he could just picture the look on McGonagall's face as she stared at her son. 

"Paden couldn't get his exercise outside of the forest? There is plenty of land and trees on the ground without venturing into the forest."

"Well, of course, he could, but then he wouldn't be able to catch up on the latest bowtruckle gossip."

A chirp sounded from inside as well, making Cedric well aware that Paden was also in their company, backing his owner up. A heavy sigh escaped from McGonagall as she seemed unable to keep arguing with her son.

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