Finding Himself is a Harry Potter Fan Fic which is a What If? / In Spite of a Nail "parallel canon" style fic concerning what would have happened if Cedric Diggory had survived the events of Goblet of Fire and became a main player in Order of the Phoenix, written by Minisinoo.
Cedric Diggory escapes the graveyard, but not without a crippling personal tragedy. In the process of figuring out his place in the world as The-Boy-Who-Almost-Died, his duties as Head Boy, and his romance with Hermione Granger, he and Harry Potter bond through their shared trauma and continue the fight against Lord Voldemort.
It is followed by the sequel, Dulce et Decorum Est, which follows the events of Half Blood Prince, but is on hiatus.
This work contains examples of:
- Ambiguous Disorder: The curse is meant to be similar to Multiple Sclerosis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
- Animorphism: Cedric eventually becomes an animagus with a falcon form.
- Ascended Extra: Several characters, mostly canon Hufflepuff characters with little to no background: Rose Zeller and (Scott) Summers.
- Badass Native: Cedric's Canadian friend, OC Jeff Whitecalf, along with the rest of the Whitecalf family.
- Betty and Veronica: Cho is Betty to Hermione's Veronica at the beginning; later in the sequel, Cedric is Betty and Charlie Weasley is Veronica.
- Big Man on Campus: Cedric, Tri-Wizard Champion and top scholar-athlete, rounds out his Hogwarts career as Head Boy.
- Broken Ace: Cedric becomes this after becoming paraplegic when hit by a curse by Lucius Malfoy when he rescues Harry from the graveyard.
- Broken Masquerade: occurs in the sequel fic when Cedric, at the behest of Hermione's parents, sees a physician/family friend to treat his curse.
- Disabled Love Interest: Cedric for Hermione.
- Familiar: Cedric's raccoon, Esiban.
- Fictional Painting: Lucy Diggory's painting of Cernunnos is a major plot point of the fic, and turns out to unintentionally influence Cedric and Hermione's behavior to match with the Cernunnos myth.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Cedric and Hermione fall in love over the course of the summer prior to OotP as she visits Cedric at St. Mungo's.
- Handicapped Badass: Cedric may be paraplegic, but he's still just as capable a wizard as he was in the Triwizard Tournament. However, it gets deconstructed at the end of the fic when he shows at the Department of Mysteries battle and discovers he's not as helpful as he thinks he is, even as an animagus.
- I Can't Feel My Legs: What happens to Cedric after he's hit by Lucius' curse.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Cedric feels this, especially in the immediate aftermath of his ordeal in the graveyard.
- In Spite of a Nail: Although Cedric survives, the fic follows the canon of OotP, barring Cedric appearing at the fight in the Department of Mysteries.
- Insecure Love Interest: Hermione often feels that Cedric is out of her league throughout the fic, considering he's The Ace of the school.
- It's All Junk: Cedric's reaction to being given the Triwizard Cup after his ordeal.
- Love Triangle: Between Cho and Hermione for Cedric in the beginning of the fic; Hermione falls briefly into one between Cedric and Charlie Weasley in the sequel.
- Magical Native American: Cedric spent time as a youth on a summer exchange with Indigenous wizards in Canada, and later in the sequel his friend he made while on his trip comes to Great Britain to aid the Order to fight Voldemeort.
- Mama Bear: Lucy Diggory, Cedric's mom, who ably holds her own against Umbridge throughout the fic.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Cedric goes back to rescue Harry from the graveyard but not without being hit by a nerve degenerating curse on his legs by Lucius Malfoy as they escape by portkey.
- Original Character: Ed Carpenter, Peter Adamson, and Scott Summers, all of whom are Cedric's friends.
- Punny Name: Hermione's named such because her mother's name is Helen—in Greek mythology, Hermione is the daughter of Helen of Troy.
- Rewriting Reality: Lucy Diggory's Cernunnos painting unintentionally influences Cedric and Hermione's behavior to match with the Cernunnos myth.
- Ship Tease: between Tonks and Original Character Scott Summers, Cedric's best friend.
- Shout-Out: OC Scott Summers intentionally shares the name with X-Men's Cyclops; Cedric's Healers at St. Mungo's are named after the main House characters.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Cedric Diggory, obviously.
- Stations of the Canon: The fic goes through all the beats of OotP.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: as an animagus, Cedric can switch between is human and animal form.
- What If?: The premise of the fic is what would happen in the subsequent books if Cedric had survived the end of Goblet of Fire.