Chapter 2 : Present, presents and more presents
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“What are you guys doing here?” Cho asked, looking between the two couple.
“Well, we wanted to stop by and wish Harry a happy birthday.”
“And also give him this gift Ron and I made for him.” The short brown haired lady said.
“Well, sorry, but Harry’s in the shower.”
“That’s okay. We couldn’t stay long anyway. We’ll just drop off the present. Can you please let Harry know that we stopped by?”
“And tell him we said, ‘happy birthday’.”
Cho grabbed the wrapped up box from the short lady and shut the door.
She walked over to the living room table and set down the box, curious of what was inside.
She ripped the wrapper a bit from the corner and tried to have a peek, but Harry came into the room, his hair dripping wet.
“Who was it?” He asked.
“Oh, your friends. Um…what are their names again? One was a guy and had red hair and the other one was a lady with short brown hair.”
Harry smiled. “Ron and Luna.”
“Yeah, them.” Cho said, not paying attention. “They dropped off this present for you.”
Harry walked over to the table and ripped off a card taped on top of the box.
Cho was so curious about what was in the box that she didn’t even see the card on the top of it.
Harry opened up the card and read it.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You’re finally old enough to drink in the wizard world! Don’t stay up too long at parties now. I still want you to come to my wedding sober and well.
After all these years, you’re still my best buddy. People change and things go wrong, but I can always count on my mate, Harry Potter to be there for me at my worst moments. Thanks Harry. Besides being the ‘chosen one’ and the ‘boy who lived’, you’re still Harry Potter; loyal, friendly and true. Have a great birthday mate! You only turn 23 once! Make it last forever.
Aww…Ron’s so cute sometimes, don’t you think Harry? Well, I agree with him. You’re a great friend, and I wish you the best birthday ever. Spend it well. Have a wonderful time Harry.
Harry smiled again.
“Well?” Cho asked, looking up at Harry. “Aren’t you going to open it?”
“Huh?” Harry asked blank faced. “Oh, yeah. Sure.”
He put down the card and ripped open the box.
Cho was absolutely anxious next to him. ‘What did they get him? It couldn’t be better than my present? Or is it?’
Harry pulled off the lid from the box and gasped.
He pulled out a book on greatest Quidditch players in the world. He knew this one had to be from Ron.
Underneath the book, he found a box full of forever lasting chocolates.
‘It had to be Luna’s idea.’ Harry thought.
And underneath that, Harry pulled out a scrapbook. It was decorated with pictures of everyone Harry knew from Hogwarts. It included pictures of Ron and Luna when they first started dating, and pictures of Hermione when she fell into a puddle of strawberry jelly jam and accidentally pulled Harry in with her.
Cho was furious when she saw pictures of Harry and Hermione together; laughing, smiling or crying from laughing so hard.
Harry pointed out a picture to Cho where he and Hermione were dancing at the Burrow during Bill and Fleur’s wedding. There was another picture where Harry and Hermione were sliding down a waterslide and Hermione fell on top of Harry. They were laughing so much.
Cho got up.
“Something wrong?” Harry asked, noticing her get up, but still looking at the pictures in the book.
“Shouldn’t we be leaving for the store by now? I mean, breakfast’s ruined, but let’s go window shopping. Maybe we could catch lunch afterwards or something.”
“Lunch!” Harry exclaimed, getting up. He looked up at his clock in the kitchen. It read 15 minutes till 11. “I promised Hermione to meet her for lunch at Su Sethia at 11.”
Cho frowned. ‘I thought he forgot!’
“Well, then.” Cho said. “I guess we don’t want to be late.”
“Let me go change into something appropriate and I’ll meet you in the car.”
“Appropriate?” Cho asked, but Harry was already gone.
Hermione checked her watch again. She was worried that Harry might not show up. Or that he probably forgot.
‘No! Harry’s not like that! He’ll come. Maybe she was standing him up, as usual.’
Hermione was glad to see Harry again, especially on his birthday, but she was not thrilled to see Cho Chang. Every time Hermione chatted with Harry or sat next to him, Cho would glare at her. Even though Cho hated Hermione, she still didn’t stop from being friends with Harry.
“Hey Hermione,” a guy’s voice interrupted Hermione’s thoughts. “Sorry we’re late. Ron and Luna stopped by to give me a present and I accidentally passed by the time by rummaging through it.”
“Oh, that’s okay.” Hermione said, smiling.
“Of course it’s okay for you.” Cho whispered angrily.
“So are you guys ready to order?”
“Yeah, sure. I’m starving.”
“Excuse me, waiter?”
A guy in black pants and white shirt came up to their table.
“Are you ready to order?”
“Yes, we are.” Hermione said, graciously. “Harry, you can go first.”
Cho clenched her hands into fists.
“Well,” Harry said, checking through his menu, “I’ll have the chicken masala with the potato salad. And to drink…I’ll have the greatest wine your restaurant serves.”
“Would you like to start your meal with our special, tomato soup?”
“Hmm…that does sound good. I’ll have it. Thank you. How about you Hermione? What would you like?”
Cho glared across the table at Hermione, but said nothing.
“I’ll have the chicken masala as well, along with the salad.”
“And to drink, ma’am?”
“Wine, is fine. Thank you.”
“What would you like to order ma’am?” The waiter asked Cho, but she was too busy thinking, that she didn’t hear.
Harry nudged her softly on her arm. “Cho? Are you ready to order?”
“Hmm?” Cho said, finally realizing that all three of them were looking at her. “Oh…I don’t know. What’s your special?”
“Ew…I don’t think I want that. What else do you have?”
“Cho!” Harry said, slightly blushing.
“Um…” Hermione said, looking up at the waiter, “We’ll let you know when she’s ready to order. Thank you.”
Cho smiled innocently at Harry.
Harry looked as if he was about to burst from anger, but Hermione quickly spoke out first.
“Harry, I have a present for you.”
She leaned underneath the table and snatched her purse where she pulled out a heart shaped locket.
“Here. This is for you.”
Cho quickly grabbed it before Harry could make a grab for it.
‘How dare she give my boyfriend a heart shaped necklace? Who does she think she is?’
Hermione gulped, avoiding Cho’s eyes; knowing what she was probably thinking, but tried to act relaxed.
“Well,” Harry asked, smiling, “Open it Cho. I want to see what’s in it.”
Cho opened it, still glaring at Hermione, but when she looked down at the pictures in there, she gasped.
One side of the inside of the heart was a picture of Harry’s mother, and the opposite side was a picture of Harry’s father.
“Oh Hermione.” Harry said, grabbing the locket out of Cho’s hands. “How did you---where did----but—I thought-how---?”
Hermione finally smiled. “I know you’re surprised, but I knew it meant so much to you that I went back and got it.”
“And where did you get it from?” Cho asked, finally shocked, instead of angry.
“Well, in our seventh year at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and I went on trips to find Voldermort’s horcruxes. One place we had to go was to the River of the Dead. There were dead people in there, so we had to be careful not to touch the water nor let it grab us. Well, while we were crossing it, Harry tripped and fell over, his necklace barely touched the tip of the river when dead people’s hands floated up from the water and tried to make a grab for Harry. But as Ron and I grabbed on to Harry, a dead soul had managed to grab a hold of Harry’s necklace. It meant the world to Harry, so I decided to go back and get it for him. It was the only memory that Harry had of his parents. Of course, it took me a few years and few bruises here and there, but I managed to still retrieve it for my best friend. Afterwards, I took it to a shop to get it polished and make it good as new. Happy birthday Harry.”
“Wow. Hermione…Thank you so much. I don’t know how to repay you for this.”
“It’s okay Harry.” Hermione said, blushing. “You deserve it.”
There was an awkward pause, and Cho didn’t seem to say anything at this point. Her face was expressionless.
“Well, here you folks are.” The waiter said, placing down their plates on the table, along with the wine and glasses.
“Oh…thank you.” Hermione said, smiling. “Cho? Are you ready to order now?”
“Hmm? Um…no, actually, I don’t feel that hungry.”
Cho was quiet and still while Harry and Hermione ate their lunches. No one seemed to say anything.
After Harry was finally finished with his lunch, Cho smiled and said, “Now, Harry-pie, would you like to see my present? I was planning on giving it to you later when we were alone, but I guess…now’s not a bad time either.”
“Sure.” Harry said, wiping his mouth with a napkin.
Hermione set her fork down, preparing for what surprise Cho had for Harry.
“Well, first of all,” Cho said, “close your eyes.” Then she looked over at Hermione pathetically, and said, “You, too.”
Harry and Hermione both closed their eyes, and when they heard Cho say ‘look’, they opened their eyes to a new place.
It was a large forest. And it was absolutely beautiful. There was a cabin in the middle of the scenery, covered with wild flowers and trees surrounding the area, with a large waterfall in the background and a hill just on the other side of the waterfall. Beside the waterfall, there was a flight of stairs made out of grass which was rising up behind the waterfall, leading into another world.
Hermione gasped and pulled out her hand to touch anything; to feel the scenery, but it was gone in a flash of light.
Hermione shielded her eyes, but when she moved her hands away, she was in the restaurant again; with Harry and Cho across from her.
Harry seemed confused just as much as Hermione.
“Cho…” Hermione asked, still lost in the sight of the beautiful forest in her mind, “What was that place? Where was it?”
“Well, that place is something my great grandmother left for me when I was a little girl. She told me to use it well; use for it love…and that’s exactly why I showed it to you.” She said, looking at Harry this time. “I want you to know how much I love you. I want to take you here on our one year dating anniversary this April.”
“Wow Cho. It’s beautiful. I love it. And I love you!”
Harry leaned forward and gave Cho a hug. Cho smiled mischievously.
‘He loved my present more than yours Granger. And what’s more is that he loves me and…only me.’
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