Title: A Hint of Lavender
Summary: A love potion brings out a side of Cedric that Cho has never seen before.
Length: another looong one, a little less than 1800 words
Author's Note: is this considered fluffy? :) or would the prompt be "seduction" instead? ;) It is a(nother) story about how Cedric and Cho got together. Not related to any of my other stories.
"Cedric!" It is a warm afternoon, sunny and bright, unlike the grays of yesterday's storm. Cedric and his quidditch team have just finished their practice when a bubbly voice catches his attention. He turns to find Lavender Brown waving at him and his friends. She looks incredibly happy bouncing in her steps as she approaches with what appears to be... a plate of brownies.
"That was a great game yesterday!" She exclaims. "Even if Griffindor did lose, I just wanted to say there's no hard feelings."
She lifts the plate up and gives a beaming smile. "Take one. I made them myself."
"Thanks, Lavender." Cedric picks off the top piece as the rest of the guys reach for the remaining. "You really didn't have to go through the trouble."
"It was no trouble at all, Cedric." She coos and bats her eyelashes. Cedric blinks at her obvious flirtation but a figure behind her catches his eye.
"Cho!" He calls out, stopping her from walking into the courtyard. Her friends giggle and she motions to them that she'll catch up with them later.
"Hey, Cedric!" Her smile grows as Lavender's falters. "How was practice?"
"Great as usual. Slytherin will be tough to beat." He says. "Lavender just made brownies. Why don't you try one?"
"Uh..." Lavender quickly recovers. "There aren't any more."
That was true. The guys had crammed all of them into their mouths. Cedric smiles and breaks his piece in half. He offers one to Cho. "Here. We'll split it."
"But..." Lavender tries to protest. "Cho, you really shouldn't eat any. You know, us girls - we have to watch our figures."
"One bite isn't going to hurt." Cedric says good-naturedly. He nudges Cho, and she takes a bite.
"This is really good, Lavender." Cho smiles.
"Thanks." Lavender waves her compliment off with the back of her hand. She stares at Cedric but he seems unfazed.
"Lavender, you look really beautiful today." Zacharias Smith wipes the crumbs from his mouth and steps towards her, knocking Cedric across the arm.
"She looks beautiful everyday." Another boy edges his way past Cedric.
"Hey, would you like to go to Hogsmede with me next weekend?" A third boy pushes to the front.
"Cedric-" Lavender starts, but he unintentionally cuts her off.
"Cho, I need to show you something." Cedric says. He gives Lavender a friendly smile. "Thanks for the brownies, but we've got to go... er - quidditch stuff."
He grabs Cho's hand, pulling her away. Lavender sighs, but makes the most of it, enjoying the attention of the rest of the Hufflepuff team.
Cedric leads her at a quick pace, throwing grins over his shoulder, darting from one hall to another. Cho plays along, growing ever more curious as to why they need to be away from everyone. When he finally finds a quiet alcove, she feels a bit breathless.
"Cedric, what-" Cho's question is muffled when he draws her to him and kisses her. She's stunned, feeling his lips on hers, him tracing his tongue over her bottom lip, coaxing...
She immediately pulls away, a crease on her brow. "Cedric! What's gotten into you?"
He pouts. "Don't you like the way that I kiss?"
"Yes! I mean, no! I mean..." Her cheeks burn. Does he have to look that adorable? For goodness sake, it's just Cedric! He places his hands on her hips, and brings himself closer. She can feel the heat in the air.
"Then, we should practice." He smiles seductively. "Kissing until you do like it."
Something's wrong. Cedric has never acted this way before. Cho tries to think logically, but finds it hard when he starts leaving soft kisses across her brow and down her cheek. She tries to separate them by at least two feet, but his grip is firm and she can only manage several inches of space. She puts her hand on his forehead. "You're hot."
"So are you." He takes her hand and kisses the inside of her wrist. She pulls her hand down.
"No, I mean you have a fever." She takes his hand and pulls him out of the alcove. "I'm taking you to the Hospital Wing."
"Good idea." He whispers into her hair. "We can have more privacy there."
She shakes her head in disbelief. When Madam Pomfrey finishes examining him, she doesn't feel much better.
"He's 'in love'." Pomfrey says. "As much 'love' as a love potion can create, anyways."
"Oh?" Cho leans on the edge of the hospital bed. Cedric looks bored behind her.
"You know every love potion is different in its own way. Many different ingredients. Some are more potent than others. And adding chocolate, a natural aphrodisiac, and energy -in the form of heat, while baking- just makes it more unpredictable."
"But he's in love with me?" Cho nearly squeaks on the last word. Cedric wraps his arms around her waist, and starts nuzzling her neck. She pats his cheek with her hand, and with a stern voice, tells him to "Behave!"
He grins and plays with a lock of her hair instead.
"How close are the two of you?"
"He's my best friend." Cho says.
"And I'm in love with her." He pipes in. Cho sighs and rubs the bridge of her nose.
"Headache?" Pomfrey asks.
"That explains it." Pomfrey says. "Usual potions contain pheromones of the maker, in this case - of the girl who wanted his affections. She probably didn't use enough, or the heat degraded and lessened the potency of her concoction. Instead of making him fall head over heels in love with her, the potion basically loosened his inhibitions. And since you are closer to him than she is, he feels more strongly towards you."
"In a sense." Pomfrey nods. "But his reflexes and other thought processes shouldn't be affected."
"I can tell." Cho stops Cedric's hands from drifting further, and re-centers them on her waist.
"Your headache is caused by your own pheromones fighting off those in the potion." Pomfrey continues. "Given the amount you ingested and your metabolism, it should dissipate within several hours. Same goes for Mr. Diggory."
"So you won't make him an anti-love potion?" Cho's hopes sink.
"By the time I finished making one, it would already be out of his system. I'm sorry, Miss Chang." Pomfrey shakes her head. Cedric's grin grows knowing that they get to leave. He hops off the bed and tugs at Cho's arm.
"Thanks anyways, Madam Pomfrey." Cho calls over her shoulder as he pulls her out of the wing.
"That was boring." Cedric says. "And not at all, private."
Cho sighs. "Maybe I should just take you back to Hufflepuff tower. So you can go to bed and..."
"Oh, bed." Cedric grins wickedly. His breath is hot along her temple and he slides his lips along her ear.
"Um-- on second thought, let's play a game!" Cho nervously quickens her step, making her way to the broom closet.
"Quidditch?" Cedric cocks an eyebrow. "I don't think so..."
He makes a play for Cho, but she quickly thrusts a broom at him. "No.. um..." Come on, come on, think, think! "How about... you chase me.. and if you catch me, I'll give you a big kiss?"
Damn! You're a Ravenclaw and this is the best you can come up with? Other than tying him up and... Damn! Don't think like that! But Cho knows he likes the idea when his eyes brighten.
"How about a kiss for good luck?" He winks and licks his lips.
"Uh-- nope, only if you catch me." She grins and runs off. She hears him behind her, kicks off on her broom, and makes sure he follows.
Gotta keep him away from Lavender and from me for a few hours... She reminds herself. Then, everything will get back to normal.
His broom crosses hers and he reaches for her. She grins. "I don't think so."
She pulls her broom away and speeds off. Flying this way feels -dear Merlin, help her- exhilarating. But she's not after the snitch, and they aren't just practicing quidditch moves or unwinding after a long day of studying. He's inebriated, and acting crazy, and she just has to... keep sane. It would, of course, be easier if she just let him kiss her. And he was a good kisser. Damn. She tries to shake the memory away. It's not like you don't care about him.
"No no no." She murmurs and the wind pushes her words into her face. Don't think like that. He doesn't know what he's doing, what he's saying. Sure, you love him too but...
She blinks. No! You're just friends! You just -think- you love him because of the stupid potion... Cho tries to argue but groans inwardly instead. The headache is gone. The potion is gone. Damn!
She sees him out of the corner of her eye and dips her broom further into the glen. Unfortunately, she grazes too close to the ground, and her broom snags and lurches against a twisted root. She lands ungracefully on her back; the wind knocked out of her. She coughs, tries to silence a moan, and looks around. Thank goodness. Cedric's not here!
She picks herself off the ground and makes her way to a large tree, shielding herself with its trunk. She stares in the direction she came from. Cedric is no where to be found. Maybe she did lose him.
"I caught you." She turns abruptly to see Cedric walking towards her from the opposite direction. His cheeks are flushed from the chase and he stares intently at her. She takes a step backwards, brushing close to the rough bark, feeling a blush spread. His eyes burn with desire, love and lust, and -Dear Merlin - his gaze never falters.
Run! She feels blind panic. If only... "Accio broom!"
The broom responds, but he's already two steps in front of her and he grabs it and tosses it aside.
"Cho." His voice is deep and serious. He cups her face in his hands and starts to lower his lips to hers.
"I thought the potion would have disappeared by now." She murmurs. Her hands are on his shoulders but she can't bring herself to push him away.
He smiles and captures her mouth. "Who said it hasn't?"