"Cedric!" A voice shrills angrily, echoing off the walls of the St. Agnes school. "Cedric Pattinson! You come back here immediately!"
He laughs and hurdles over the stone wall, and crashes into a bewildered but cute girl. "Ss.. sorry."
Scratch that. She's not cute, she's beautiful. Especially when she ducks her head, embarrassed by his display. Sister Margarita coughs from beside the girl and stares pointedly at him.
"Cedric, have you been hiding Sister Abigail's ruler? Again?" Sister Margarita asks seriously, and the girl tries not to smile.
"Yes, ma'am." He says.
The nun raises her arm and points in Sister Abigail's direction. "Go! You know what you need to do."
Cedric sighs and sulks off. "Yes, ma'am."
"Now, Cho." Sister Margarita turns to the young girl. "It would do you good, dear, if you steer clear away from Mr. Pattinson. He would be a bad influence on a proper young lady as yourself."
"Yes, ma'am." She nods.
"You are smart; your entrance exam results were exemplary." Sister Margarita continues. "If you continue in the same manner, you will no doubt excel in your studies here and pave a better future for yourself."
"Good child." Sister Margarita smiles and ushers her inside.
"What's your name?" Cedric catches her in the courtyard, reading quietly on a bench. His words come out sputtered as he munches on an apple, and he quickly wipes his mouth with his sleeve.
She looks at him, then murmurs her reply. "Cho."
"That's pretty." He says and sits besides her. "You're new here, aren't you?"
She nods. "I was at St. Mary's, but..."
"Right." He says. "The fire."
"They said that they had to split the students between four schools..."
"And you ended up here."
"Right." She gives him a half-smile and returns to her book.
"Do you like butterbeer?" He lowers his voice. "Cuz some of us kids are going out later tonight..."
She blinks in surprise. "Is that allowed?"
"What they don't know won't hurt them." He winks. "So what do you say?"
"I.. I'm sorry. I can't."
He shrugs. "I kinda figured you were a goody two-shoes..."
"Am I?" She watches him walk away. "I don't remember..."
They are running, laughing, flying. Flying?! Cho wakes up with a start. Her mind is spinning and she catches her breath.
"Cedric?" she whispers and covers her face with her hands.
It only takes a few placed questions in the girls' dormitory and Cho learns everything she needs to know about Cedric Pattinson. Last year at St. Agnes, with many friends and is considered to be the 'king' of the school. Like all of the students there, his parents died when he was young and he has no other relatives. Hands off, ladies. He has been claimed by Rebecca Parker, the self-proclaimed 'queen' of the school (who will be thankfully graduating next year as well), and most of the girls have learned never to cross her. Funny thing is he has never acknowledged any relationship between the two of them, the girls snigger. Oh, and he is a big flirt and a good kisser (a few willingly admit after making sure Rebecca is no where around to eavesdrop).
Summer classes at St. Agnes are short, and Cho finds herself busy studying and taking exams to place her in the appropriate level of classes she can take next term. It doesn't help when she has partial amnesia (she remembers Calculus and English, but doesn't remember when her birthday is and what her favorite food is); and it doesn't help that she overheard the doctors saying it was all psychological (due to the trauma of losing her parents at a young age and then the trauma of the fire). She wants to remember and gets frustrated at only remembering bits.
And the bits she does remember make no sense. Like chasing after a golden ball with wings. Or writing with a quill (honestly, how many people write with quills anymore?). Or trying to eat a chocolate covered frog and having it hop out of her hand (that had to be gross, right?). And the strangest had to be Cedric catching her when she fell out of the sky. What trauma could have been so bad that it made her imagine all these fantastical things? She sighs.
Maybe if she avoids Cedric, she won't dream about him. She knows it's absolutely normal to do so (all the girls say them dream about him) but she doesn't want to. She doesn't want to dream about him dressed up in a tuxedo and taking her to a ball (like that would ever happen!) or about him giving her butterfly hair-clips for her birthday. After all, he's just a boy. And he's going to leave at the end of the summer.
Still, the orphanage is small and Cedric's schedule is erratic. One morning, when she is 99.9% sure he wouldn't be there until later (Sophie told her that he was tutoring her in the afternoon), she quietly studies in the library. Derivatives are easy; integration, though, is a bit harder, and she loses herself re-reading her Calculus notes.
"Good morning, Cho." His voice startles her and she jumps.
"He--hello, Cedric." She turns back to her notes. "What brings you here so early in the morning?"
"Early?" He repeats and gives her a lopsided grin. "It's almost ten o'clock."
"Oh?" The surprise on her face is evident. She confirms his statement with a glance at her watch, and then starts gathering her belongings. "I didn't realize."
"You don't have to leave on my account." His grin grows. "You do know that the library is big enough for the both of us."
"Apparently, not big enough for your ego though." She doesn't know where the words come from, but she figures it would be easier for her if he didn't like her.
But his grin never falls. "You wound me, Ms. Leung."
"You'll survive, Mr. Pattinson." She pushes her chair in and swings her bag onto her shoulder.
"I suppose this means you don't need help on your Calculus homework."
She raises her eyebrow. "At least, you're smart enough to figure that out."
"Are you smart enough to take me up on it?" He counters.
She shakes her head. "I can do fine on my own, thank you."
He keeps his grin and never misses a beat. "Then how about going to the movies with me on Friday? You know, movies are more fun in shared company."
"No thanks." She makes her way to the exit.
"Why not? It's not against school rules to go to the movies."
She throws a grin over her shoulder. "No, but hasn't it occurred to you? Maybe I just don't like you."
"Nah. Everyone likes me." He says and she chuckles on her way out.
to Part 3