Summary: Harry told Cho that Cedric didn't mention her when he died. That doesn't mean he wasn't thinking about her.
Rating: PG, PG-13
Length: loooooong for an LJ entry, approx. 1700 words
Author's Note: Inspired (and in similar format) by c0nvolution's "If You're Here, You're Alive", this is another take on Cedric/Cho's relationship from Cedric's POV.
A flash of green light blinds him.
He looks up to find a younger Cho Chang staring at his spot on the grass. He touches his face, slightly surprised to find tears on his fingertips.
"I'm going to die." He finds himself saying, and suddenly remembers. It was the beginning of his third year, and he just had his first class of Divination. "Professor Trelawny said I was going to have everything I ever wanted and then in the blink of an eye, it was all going to be snatched away. And she's a seer. She knows what she's talking about."
"Oh..." Cho becomes concerned. She sits beside him and places a comforting hand on his shoulder. A moment later, her eyes brighten. She starts to fish inside her pockets.
"Here." She takes out her jade bracelet and places it in his hand. "You need this more than I do."
He looks curious, so she explains. "It's supposed to protect the wearer from harm. Like a good luck charm."
It's a simple gesture, and he smiles. "I guess it can't hurt. I'll try not to damage it."
She shakes her head. "If it does its job, it's supposed to break." Then she looks thoughtful. "It might not work against really dark magic..."
"Hey, I thought you were trying to cheer me up."
"Sorry." She looks apologetic. Cedric laughs. He thinks this was the moment he started to fall in love.
Her lips feel warm and soft. Her eyes look bright and curious. Mistletoe is his excuse and he doesn't tell her until another year has passed that he wanted her to be his first kiss. After all, he doesn't know many -ok, he doesn't know any- fourteen-year-olds that wait for their first kiss to be special. She tells him that he is hers.
"Really?" It's a nervous laugh and he tries to make it seem like it doesn't matter that much. Her blush recedes and they continue just as friends.
"Cho?" They are alone for a moment, seeking refuge from the wedding gala of their parents' mutual friends. He's dying to get out of the dark suit he's wearing because it's stiff and formal. She looks pretty in her red dress, modest with a square neckline, and matching headband. Cute, not sophisticated or sexy, but she's only thirteen and it suits her.
"What happened to us?" He quietly asks. She looks surprised at his question and he knows fully well what happened and that he was the bloody idiot who caused the rift.
"We drifted apart." She says, and he knows she's trying her best to be diplomatic.
"It was me." It's a blunt statement, and though he speaks the truth, she rushes to make excuses for him.
"You have so many responsibilities. You're a prefect, a quidditch seeker, not to mention, you have your OWLs coming up." She tries to give him an understanding smile. "I wanted to be more considerate. I didn't want to annoy you."
"I never said you annoyed me." He tells her and she looks away. A light dawns. "It was Violet, wasn't it?"
She doesn't say anything and he takes her silence as an affirmative. "We broke up last month."
"Are you?" He asks and she blinks in surprise.
"I thought she made you happy." She says.
"I haven't been happy since last summer." He realizes. Yes, he was a bloody idiot. Trying to convince himself that he only had a crush on her, that by distancing himself he would be able to get over her. He only made himself miserable in the process.
"I don't know what else to say."
"Say you'll be my girlfriend." The words slip out before he catches himself. Her eyes widen, and for a moment, her mouth hangs agape. He's not sure if he should continue with a "just kidding" since he feels like an arse, but she surprises him with a hug. Her cheek is pressed to his chest and she whispers her answer to his heart. It becomes one of the happiest moments in his life.
He rushes to the Medical Wing, pushes his way past the Ravenclaw quidditch team and to her side. She lies there, bandaged up and pale, but still trying to cheer her gloomy-faced friends.
"We'll beat Slytherin next year." She grins. "Definitely."
"Can't believe Malfoy tried to knock you off with a bludger."
"I can't believe he actually hit one."
They all laugh. Roger eyes him, and nudges the team to leave. When they're alone, Cedric squeezes her hand.
"You look worse than I feel." Cho teases him.
"Gave me a bloody scare." He traces her cheek with his fingertips. "Don't ever do that again."
She laughs. "I wasn't purposely trying to fly into the wall."
He leans into her, and gently leaves kisses from her forehead to the tip of her nose. His words are warm on her lips. "I don't know what I would do without you."
She smiles under his kiss. "I love you too."
He takes a deep breath. "I'm thinking about entering the tournament."
She fingers his earlobe and rests her head in the crook of his neck. "I didn't think you'd be interested in eternal glory."
"The eternal glory is for my dad, and for Hufflepuff, of course."
"Not exactly." He smiles. "I could use the prize money."
"Thinking of buying a Firebolt?"
"No, I'm pretty happy with my own broom." He pushes the stray bangs off her forehead. "I'm hoping to put a down payment on a flat or maybe a cottage, or maybe it could help pay for the wedding..."
"Wedding?" She lifts her head and stares at him in shock.
"Not until after you graduate at least, and after I've worked for a few years..."
Her kiss interrupts him. "I didn't think I could fall harder for you than I already have."
"Madam Chang? There's someone here to see you."
He watches her, her nose still stuck in a patient's chart, walk toward the sound of the volunteer. It still amazes him how beautiful she grows with each year, and in her eighteenth, she looks incredibly lovely even in St. Mungo's hospital uniform.
She gives the chart to the unit's secretary and looks around. Her eyes brighten when they find him and she runs into his arms.
"Cedric!" A short kiss welcomes him. He would've made it longer and deeper but knows they have an audience so quickly pulls her aside.
"Let's go for a ride." He whispers in her ear and she nods.
The wind feel nice, and he smiles as she wraps her arms tighter around his waist. She tries to yell but her voice is muffled behind him. "Where are we going?"
"You'll see." He whips the broom around and they speed off toward the horizon.
He takes her to a quaint cottage in the country away from the noise of London.
"What do you think?" He asks as they explore.
"It's lovely." She smiles. "Not at all like your flat in the city."
"I think it's missing something."
"A family." He says. "Maybe a couple of kids..."
She stares at him as he pulls a ring out of his coat and drops to bended knee. Her eyes start brimming with unshed tears. "I don't know what to say..."
"Say you'll be my wife." He takes her hand, and her smile lights the entire room. He slips the ring on her finger and she lowers her lips to his.
The rest of the words become a blur under the elation he feels at that moment. "Mrs. Diggory" takes on a different meaning, and his laughter is heartfelt when she calls him "Mr. Chang."
Another wedding. This time between Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. He had seen the way she looked at him at Hogwarts. It reminded him of the way he looked at Cho. So, the invitation came as no surprise.
The bride and groom are wrapped in conversation with other guests, but he doesn't mind. He'd rather focus on his wife instead. It might be the lights, but she seems to be glowing.
"Have I told you how beautiful you look?"
"I bet you say that to all the girls." She teases.
"Only you." He says seriously.
"Ah." She smiles and caresses his cheek. "But not for long."
His questioning gaze is answered when she draws his hand to her belly. Her smile broadens. "You see, Mr. Diggory. Our baby will be quite jealous if you never call her 'beautiful'."
He pulls her to him and hugs her tightly. "I love you, Mrs. Diggory."
"I love you, too."
"Congratulations." The nurse smiles. "You have a beautiful healthy baby girl."
"What shall we name her?" He asks, wrapping his arms around his wife as she cradles their daughter.
"Katie." She smiles. "I've always liked that name."
"Katie Diggory." He kisses his wife on the forehead. "I like that."
He knots his tie and stares into the mirror. The years have treated him well. A good job, a loving wife, wonderful children and grandchildren. He can't believe that more than sixty years have flown by, and he looks forward to another sixty years.
It's a family gathering. He doesn't remember the specifics (a birthday, a graduation, a promotion?) but he is happy nevertheless. Hugs and kisses go around and the mood is light.
Until he feels a pain in his heart and swears he saw a flash of green before his world darkens.
"Ced--Cedric?" The same concern that laced her voice those years ago echoes in her voice now.
"I don't want to leave you, Cho." He holds her hand in his.
"You'll never leave me." Tears quietly trickle down her face. She brings his hand to her heart. "Not while I keep you here."
"I love you." He wishes he could erase her pain but he knows he can't.
"I love you, too." Her words float around him, and he lingers in the moment...
Quietly, he lets go.
And the jade bracelet falls beside him, unscathed.