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megatron ([personal profile] megatron) wrote2006-01-28 04:40 am

Fanfiction: Countdown - HP - PG-13 - C/Ch

Title: Countdown
Author: [personal profile] whisperwords | [personal profile] megatron
Summary: A countdown from five.
Notes: Five little vignettes.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: JKR is the ultimate awesomeness, for she gave us the characters with whom we play.
For: Saffron, for being an awesome cheerleader as I wrote :)
Word count: 1066



V.

Cedric Diggory lost his courage five times when it came to Cho. The first time he’d gone for it, they had been sitting together on a bench outside on a sunny day. The second time was at Hogsmeade, the third in the corridor between classes, and the fourth in the Great Hall. The fifth time, she was sticky with sweat, in her Quidditch gear, and carrying her broom back toward the castle when he’d come seemingly out of nowhere to walk beside her.

"Nipped out for a quick bit of practice, did you?" he asked her, a crooked smile lighting his face right up. She smiled up at him.

"Just working on my feints," she replied. "The Wronski’s a tough one."

"That it is," Cedric replied. They spoke idly together until they came to the castle. Cho stopped and Cedric stopped with her, reaching up and messing with the hair on the back of his head. His tie was askew, and the first button of his shirt was undone. He nibbled at his bottom lip.

"Well, I ought to go and get cleaned up," she said, shifting her weight to her left leg. Cedric nodded and lifted his books.

"Library," he said, and they stood there looking at each other for a moment. He stepped forward and leaned down just in time for Cho to decide the silence was too awkward.

"I like the table in the back, near the restricted section," she chattered, turning abruptly to look in the direction of the library. Cedric quickly jerked back into an upright position and reached up to muss his own hair again. Cho turned back to look at him and smiled. "It’s well-lit, though you wouldn’t think it with all the shelves around. It’s perfect around sunset because it faces away from the sun."

"Ever a Ravenclaw," Cedric said, putting his hand on her shoulder quickly before heading off. Cho watched as he walked away.

IV.

"You look amazing," Cedric said, holding his elbow out in a gentlemanly fashion. It was time for the champions to dance, and Cho’s smile could do naught but show her excitement. She’d spent the entire day trying not to smile so much; her cheeks were already a bit sore and the ball had only just started.

"You as well," she replied. They stepped out onto the dance floor and Cedric put his hand on her waist, clasping the other in his hand. His palms were warm and a little sweaty. "You’re nervous!"

"Am not," Cedric replied. "Champions don’t get nervous."

"No, of course they don’t," she replied, smiling brightly. Cedric smiled in return and tilted his head a bit.

"You really look amazing."

"You already told me that," Cho said. "Twice, in fact."

"Did I? Remind me," he said, twirling her in the air. Everyone else on the dance floor did the same thing, though neither he nor Cho noticed.

"Well," Cho started, "You said it the first time when you first saw me tonight," she smiled, and Cedric dipped his head down a bit. "You’re blushing!"

"Champions don’t blush," he said, biting his lip a bit. He straightened up and gave her a very serious face, though he cracked a smile after only a moment. "Go on."

"You said it the second time just as we were getting on the dance floor," she continued. "And just now makes three."

"Well, it’s true. You look amazing."

III.

Cho kept a small box inside of her trunk in which she saved keepsakes from their relationship. There was a torn corner of parchment with a drawing on it; he’d drawn her a little sketchy heart with snitch-wings and two stick-figure seekers chasing after it, presumably meaning the one with a black blob on its head to be her and the one with abnormally long limbs to be him. Also inside the box was a well-worn book; it was a paperback copy of Quidditch Through the Ages with goofy notations, sweet nothings, and helpful hints scratched in among the famous moves. The last thing inside the box was a pin she’d never intended to wear but kept anyway: Potter Stinks – Support Cedric Diggory, Real Hogwarts Champion.

II.

"I’m positively knackered," Cho yawned, leaning into Cedric’s shoulder. They sat together at a table as the Yule Ball was winding down. On the dance floor were Dumbledore and McGonagall and a few student couples. Most had already left, though some were clinging to the last moments of the night. Cedric squeezed her shoulder and held her close, looking down at her.

"I had a very good time tonight," he said, putting his chin on her head. Cho smiled.

"I did, too," she replied. She could hear Cedric’s breathing; his chest was warm and he smelled like she imagined all boys should smell, pleasant and clean, but with just a hint of musky sweat beneath it all.

"Cho?"

"Hm?" She lifted her head from his shoulder and looked at him. He brushed some of her hair from her cheek and tucked it behind her ear, all the while leaning closer to her. He paused and bit his lip, just for a moment, before kissing her gently, nervously on the lips. Cho’s heart skipped a beat and began to race as he pulled away, looked at her with a nervous smile, and then leaned in again for a second, more courageous kiss.

I.

Cho waited nervously, staring at the wall of the hedge maze with anxiety. Fleur and Krum had already come back, leaving Harry and Cedric inside. With the return of each Champion came more anxiety; Fleur had returned badly scratched, while Krum had returned in some kind of an angry haze. She had no idea what was going on inside; she just knew that the nervousness of the crowd was palpable. Her hands were sweating so badly that the "CD" she’d drawn on her palm was beginning to bleed into her lifelines.

There was a sudden flash and the crowd leapt to its feet, cheering the Champion before they even knew which of the two it was. Cho’s vision was blocked by a tall Gryffindor student and she stood on tiptoe to see who it was. She saw red and yellow; Harry Potter was the Champion. But the yellow wasn’t his.

It took one eternal second for her heart to fall to the ground.