Chapter 9 : Repercussions
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Dark Days Pass but Are Never Forgotten
The next two chapters will start to speed up slightly in pace….after that ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOSE….see if you can figure out what direction the plot is going to twist….
Read and Review, Nothing is my Own…
The cold caused shivers to rush up Draco’s spine as the rain raced down the black walls of Azkaban. The shallow cries of the prisoners and the growls of the trolls were the only sounds that could be heard.
“Draco Malfoy, do you vow on your oath as a wizard to assist the Ministry by whatever mean necessary to assist in the capture of…”
The rest faded as an exceptional loud wail erupted though the halls.
“Draco Malfoy,” called a cold grumble, “Follow me please.”
Draco slowly approached his cell door and followed the large troll out into the bitter corridor.
“TRAITOR!” a witch wailed pointing her bony finger though her bars. The troll guard hit her arm with his large club, causing it to fall limply.
Draco grimaced as she threw herself back to the floor and shrieked.
“This way please,” the troll growled opening a large steel door and motioned Draco to proceed in front of him.
Draco sneered as he eyed the troll cautiously.
Mad-Eye Moody narrowed his eyes as he caught sight of Malfoy, “Ready to sell your soul again?”
“I’ve never sold my soul, I was innocent,” Draco said in a dangerous whisper.
Moody seized Draco firmly by the arm and placed a binding incantation on his arms, “You’re in my custody Malfoy. And you though Azkaban was miserable.”
“I’m just anxious to serve my country,” Malfoy replied coldly letting his eyes linger on Moody.
Mad-Eye Moody sneered his nostrils as he struck Malfoy on his collarbone, “Watch your tongue.”
Draco crumbled to his knees, “Watched.”
Mad-Eye raised his hand again but stopped mid stride, “Bah, not worth my time,” he grumbled.
“When do I rid myself of my servitude?” Draco asked as he rose back to his feet.
Mad-Eye grinned wildly, “We’ll disclose the detail as we deem necessary.”
“What happened to your face?” Draco asked boldly as the full light glared off Moody’s scars.
Moody’s face-hardened as he narrowed his crazed eyes, “People like you.”
Harry made a reach for his scar, it was more of a habit then anything else. His head was pounding against his skull as he let out a soft moan. The memories of the previous evening were fuzzy. He recalled the Three Broom Sticks and Fire Whiskey.
Harry attempted to swallow, but his mouth was extremely dry. His head was still pounding against his skull, warning him not to make any sudden moods.
“What did I drink?” Harry asked aloud. He slowly started to shift in his bed when he suddenly felt a sensation he wasn’t familiar with first thing in the morning. It was more of a draft he sometime felt in the shower. The dark room was slowly coming into focus and he could see a disarray of cloths littering his bedroom floor. He then suddenly became painfully aware that the cloths that were littering the floor should be on his body instead of the floor.
Harry froze as the memories slowly started to filter back into his foggy mind. He held his breath as he slowly turned his head to look down on the opposite side of his bed. He could make out Cho’s dark hair and right leg peaking out from beneath the sheets.
Harry made a quick reach for his glasses, but they were not in their normal position on his night table.
“Good Merlin,” Harry muttered as he jumped out of the bed and made a haste grab at a pair of abandoned shorts that were lying on the floor. What had he done? What had they done?
Cho stirred slightly and gave a roll over to her back exposing her bare shoulder, peaking out as if teasing Harry’s eyes to wander. There had to be a completely reasonable explanation why they were both naked in his bed.
Cho’s eyes fluttered awake as she made a reach for her head, mimicking Harry’s earlier move.
“My head,” she cried as she forced her eyes close.
“Err, Cho…” Harry stumbled tripping over a pair of jeans as he made a reach for a shirt.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” she asked looking at him slightly dazed.
Harry threw his shirt on hastily, almost completely forgetting about his throbbing head, “Do you remember anything from last night?”
Cho propped up on her elbows as the sheets trickled down, almost exposing her bare breasts, “Last night…” she started before she was suddenly hit with reality.
Cho let out a quick gasp as she wrapped the sheets tightly around her body, “We didn’t, we couldn’t have…”
Harry squinted his eyes as he desperately tried to focus on her, “Have you seen my glasses?”
“No I have not seen your bloody glasses,” Cho shrilled before throwing her hands up to her mouth and whispering an apology.
Harry sighed, “I’m sure we didn’t do anything, surely we’d remember.”
“Do you remember anything?” Cho asked desperately.
Harry fumbled around until he finally caught sight of his glasses lying across the floor, “I remember we got pretty shitty on Fire Whiskey.”
“That doesn’t mean we did anything,” Cho replied, sounding completely unconvinced.
Harry sighed, “So can you explain why we’re both finding ourselves in compromising positions this morning?”
“This is horrible….we just gave away something very special and neither of us can remember it?” Cho said as her eyes brimmed lightly with tears.
Harry turned his back as Cho slipped out of bed and quickly wrapped her robe around herself.
“We can pretend it didn’t happen,” Harry suggested, regretting instantly.
“How can you even suggest such a thing? Did it mean nothing to you?” Cho wailed as her tears streamed down her face. “I can’t believe I did this….”
“Cho, I didn’t mean it like that,” Harry pleaded as he reached out to touch her arm.
“What exactly did you mean?” Cho demanded, “Did it mean something to you?”
“I don’t even know for sure we did anything!” Harry said raising his voice impatiently.
Cho brow furrowed, “WELL I DO KNOW!!! I GAVE MYSELF TO YOU HARRY, AND ALL YOU CAN SAY IS LETS PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN? IF THAT IS HOW YOU FEEL, YOU CAN JUST PRETEND YOU NEVER KNEW ME! YOU CAN JUST PERTEND YOU NEVER LOVED ME!”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Harry pleaded as Cho stormed out of his room with her cloths tucked firmly in her arms.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Cho shrilled.
Parvati and Dean stopped dead in the hallway as Cho came storming towards them, wearing nothing but a robe.
“Morning Cho,” Parvati offered, “Are you okay?”
Cho glared at her, “NO I AM BLOODY NOT OKAY!”
“They didn’t,” Dean whispered as Cho pushed past them and slammed the door to her bedroom. Harry slammed his door as well, leaving Parvati and Dean to imagined things on their own.
December Noel O’Riley sat nervously at the desk of one Miss Rita Skeeter. The famed reported was late for their meeting. Why had Dumbledore asked December to do this task? More importantly, why had she accepted?
December fidgeted with her wand glancing around at all the pictures on the shelves of Rita’s office. This was quite simple; she would just deliver Dumbledore’s announcement and leave. She had met with members of the Prophet on several occasions; this was no different.
“Morning Auror O’Riley. I do apologize for being late,” Rita started, “Since this Potter story broke, it has been rather chaotic around here.”
“I’m sure,” December replied flatly, reaching into her bag and pulling out Dumbledore’s sighed statement. “I’m simply a messenger so I can answer no questions at this time. As you know Auror are discouraged from havening political reservations.”
“And this message is from Albus Dumbledore?” Rita questioned pulling out her magical quill.
“It is,” December affirmed.
“So the old Headmaster misses his name in the limelight, is that it?” Rita asked lightly, her scroll scribbling furiously.
December narrowed her eyes sternly, “If you would prefer, I’ll give this statement to another media source.”
“Why would I want you to do that?” Rita asked looking slightly taken back.
December motioned to her quill, “If you want me to give it to the Prophet I suggest you put that lovely quill of your back into your bag.”
Rita frowned for a second before seizing her quill and placing it gently into her desk drawer, “So what is this lead?”
December waited until the drawer was firmly closed before handing the scroll over to Rita.
After a moment of reading through it the reporter looked up from her pointy glasses with the look of someone who had just been given the greatest gift imaginable, “Is this true? Dumbledore is running against Potter?”
“And Minister Fudge,” December added, “Albus Dumbledore wishes you to publish this as his official announcement.”
Rita considered for a moment then sat the scroll onto her desk, “What is in it for the Prophet?”
“A breaking news story,” December said in her sarcastic tone.
“I want an exclusive with Dumbledore, the whole story, and I want the rights to write it whatever why I deem,” Rita said sharply.
“The way you deem? Dumbledore isn’t going to let you tarnish him in the paper,” December laughed, “I’ll just take this lead to another media source, since you aren’t interested.”
“Is Dumbledore afraid to talk to me? I mean, it has been how many years exactly since he defeated…”
“That isn’t the point. The people have been asking Dumbledore to run for Minister for years. He has finally decided now is the time to do just that,” December stated firmly.
“Only because he doesn’t like having his publicity stolen by Harry Potter,” Rita retorted.
December made a disgusted face, “That is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.”
“I thought Aurors were discouraged form taking political stances?” Rita smirked, knowing December’s comments were dangerously walking a fine line. “Why are you bringing me this news? It isn’t Auror business after all.”
“Dumbledore asked me to be his campaign manger, but I decline the offer,” December confessed, “I don’t want to confuse things.”
“But you are still doing this errand for him?” Rita asked raising her eyebrow slightly.
“As a favor to an old friend, nothing more,” December warned.
Rita nodded but her lips curled into a grin, “I’ll try to have the story run in the morning edition tomorrow.”
“I we should talk to Harry,” Hermione said frankly as she set a glass of orange juice in front of Ron.
Ron frowned, “About what?”
“About Cho,” Hermione stated, “Do you act clueless just to annoy me?”
“No dear,” Ron muttered, “I just don’t think it is any of our business.”
Hermione frowned, “You heard what Parvati and Dean were saying. Cho stormed out of Harry’s bedroom barely dressed this morning, and we haven’t seen either of them all day long.”
“They had a row, what else is new,” Ron shrugged.
Hermione sighed, “Did you see the Fire Whiskey on the table last night when we got back?”
“There is always Fire Whiskey setting out on the table, half my roommates are bloody drunks,” Ron replied.
“Do all your roommates wear lipstick?” Hermione questioned, “And don’t even try to say it was Parvati, Padma or Lavender, we both know they won’t go near Seamus’s Fire Whiskey.”
“I’m still not completely following you Hermione,” Ron confessed grimacing as she rolled her eyes in annoyance.
“I think Harry and Cho got back last night and didn’t realize the strength of Seamus’s whiskey. I think they engaged in certain activities,” Hermione replied frankly.
Ron almost spit out his orange juice at Hermione’s statement, “You think they shagged?”
Hermione narrowed her eyes, “Why do you insist on being so vulgar?”
“I’m not the one who suggested it,” Ron said setting his glass on the table.
Hermione reached for Ron’s hand and gently gripped it, “I’m not Parvati, so I’m not going to assume. It just seems odd. I can’t imagine what I would do if we did something like that while under the influence.”
“So we’re suppose to go into Harry’s room and say what? ‘Did you and Chang do the naughty last night’?” Ron questioned sarcastically.
Hermione huffed loudly releasing Ron’s hand, “I honestly don’t know what I see in you sometimes. You are just as insensitive as…”
“I’m not insensitive. It’s Harry’s business, and maybe Cho’s but I don’t think we should go barging our noses where they aren’t welcome,” Ron retorted.
“Ron, we’re Harry’s best friends. If something did happen he’s going to need us,” Hermione stated.
“If he needs us he’ll come to us,” Ron replied. “I know your intentions are in the right place, but trust me on this one.”
Hermione rolled her eyes but conceded, “I knew it was a bad idea when she started sleeping in his bed.”
“They weren’t doing anything wrong,” Ron argued.
Hermione sighed again, “It leads to things Ron. Inappropriate things.”
“Is that why you won’t stay the night with me?” Ron asked.
Hermione softened her eyes momentarily before gathering a stern face, “I think I received enough scarlet women comments from you last year.”
Ron shook his head, “What did you expect me to call you. First you’re with Krum, then you’re with Corner…”
“I was never with Viktor or Michael,” Hermione corrected, “You’re the only boy I’ve ever really dated Ron.”
“I’ve never really dated anyone either,” Ron offered.
Hermione shook her head, “Have you forgotten about Parvati and Megan…”
“I did not date Megan Jones,” Ron said quickly.
“This is silly,” Hermione said quickly as she rose from her seat, “If I can’t talk to Harry, I’ll simply talk to Cho.”
“Hermione,” Ron attempted, but she was already gone.
The cemetery was quite as the graying tomb’s glitter stone danced in the blazing sun. Noel O’Riley stood beside the solitary grave with her robe pulled firmly over her head.
“I did it father, I’m going to be an Auror, just like you wanted,” she whispered.
The wind howled past her ear as if to answer her. She slowly dropped to he knees glancing at the grassy mound and massive crypt before her.
“I also met someone father and I feel…..something I should not,” she sighed, “I don’t know what is wrong with me? I’m so afraid I’m going to turned out ruined, just like Aunt December.”
Noel laughed lightly as her hand stroked the grave site, “At least the one who’s tempted my heart isn’t a werewolf, or a murderer. He is a murderer, but his killing was justified.”
A tear slid down her face as she sighed again, “What is a justified murder? The creature that took you away was freed, they said it wasn’t even his fault….How could it not be his fault? Mother told about your maimed body, it drove her mad. The creature tore you limb from limb, and still you supported them in your dying breath, begging Sharlott not to condemn him.”
“My entire life was ruined because of Dark Arts, and now I’m going to destroy everything Dark in the world, I swear it. Nobody will ever lose their father to a creature hiding in the dark,” Noel promised the wind with a dark look, “You’d love Berlin father, the days are so beautiful now. Mother planted pansies on your tomb site, do you like them?”
“Madame Seitz said it helps her deal with the loss, but I don’t think it is helping her keep her mind,” Noel continued, “Her mind is already dead.”
Without muttering another word Noel O’Riley rose back to her feet and walked back down towards the little wizarding village of Visculiata. She never loved Germany, but it was her home. Her mother was once a beautiful women, but after her father’s accident, she had died physically.
Her mother was radiating blue eyes now shone gray and her golden lock were all but faded. She’d sit out on the porch of their little home with a vacant expression muttering her long lost husband’s name. Nobody knew what had happened, and nobody ever would.
This was Noel’s life, and she had embraced it. As she grew older and listened more carefully to her mother’s mindless rants she had figured out what had happened to her once happy family. She had vowed she would never allow anything to hurt her again.
The day was half gone, and still Harry remained in his bed. So many things were dancing around his mind. The effects of the whiskey still caused his head to throb and his eyes to burn.
“Harry,” called a soft voice followed by a light knock at the door.
Harry frowned slightly, “Yea.”
Hermione slowly cracked the door open and peeked her head inside, “Can I come in?”
Harry looked at her for a moment then nodded, unsure if he wanted company or not.
“You’ve been up here all morning, are you alright?” Hermione began walking across the room with a small package in her hand.
Harry sighed, “I’m fine.”
“Dean was talking this morning,” Hermione began.
Harry rolled his eyes, “It isn’t anybodies business what happened between me and Cho last night.”
Hermione eyes widened, “Oh no, I’m not trying to pry. I just was worried and I decided I would go see if Cho was okay since they said you two had a row this morning. I know how upset she gets at times.”
“She’s always upset,” Harry muttered, “Is she crying?”
Hermione frowned, “I don’t know, she wasn’t in her room.”
Harry looked as if he were concerned for a moment then he shook a the expression off his face, “She’ll be back. She probably is just walking around somewhere mopping.”
“Perhaps,” Hermione said lightly taking a seat at the edge of Harry’s bed. She glanced at the small package in her hand.
“My birthday isn’t until tomorrow,” Harry said as he followed her eyes.
Hermione sighed, “I found this on her dresser.”
“You should have left it there,” Harry began.
Hermione eyes looked at Harry’s nervously, “I normally would have, but it was the only thing left in the room. She left you a note as well.”
Harry face fell for a second as Hermione handed him the small package a note.
“If you want to talk, you know where I am,” Hermione offered.
Harry closed his eyes, “I don’t know what happened last night Hermione.”
“You don’t know?” Hermione asked lightly.
Harry rolled his eyes, “I mean things haven’t exactly been easy since that Prophet article. Cho and I had a row while we were at Lupin’s. She thinks I had something to do with the whole marriage thing, like I was playing some sort of joke on her.”
“It’s only natural Harry, I mean Mr. Chang probably went pretty harsh on her. He seemed rather mad yesterday when he was trying to hex down the front door.”
“I was all set on calling it quits for a while, just until this whole Minister of Magic stuff blew over. I figured it would be easier on both of us. We came back to the house last night early to talk. I don’t know what happened, one second I was telling her I thought it would be better for her if we separated then the next we were up here in my bedroom,” Harry continued, feeling compelled to get it out.
Hermione’s face widened in shock then she forced her eyes down, “Did you two?”
Harry laughed nervously, “I don’t really remember, well I do, but not all the details….”
Hermione blushed slightly, “I don’t want to hear all the details.”
Harry took a deep breath, “This morning I woke up with a pounding headache and all my cloths on the floor.”
“You woke up naked?” Hermione pushed in a slow tone.
Harry nodded, “Well, apparently Cho didn’t remember everything from last night evening either, and as you can imagine was pretty upset about it. I told her we could just forget it ever happened.”
“Oh Harry, you didn’t,” Hermione pleaded.
Harry looked at her puzzled, “What was I suppose to say? She was all upset that we well, you know. I was trying to comfort her about it.”
“You made it seem like it wasn’t important to you. You should have told her that you were upset to, and next time it would be perfect because you love her,” Hermione sighed.
“Why?” Harry asked feeling confused.
“Harry, sometime I think you are a clueless as Ron,” Hermione continued shaking her head, “Well, you have to apologize to her.”
“Apologize? She the one who jumped down my throat and stormed out this morning,” Harry argued, “She’s done nothing but yell at me for the past two days.”
“Harry, you had sex with Cho and then told her to forget it happened…. Surely you don’t need to explain why she was upset,” Hermione said slowly.
Harry rolled his eyes, “I tried to apologize but she told me to leave her alone and to forget I even loved her, or something along those lines.”
Hermione patted Harry gingerly on the leg, “It’s up to you Harry. I’d hate to see you and Cho break up over something as idiotic as this, you’ve been through too much together.”
Harry glared at Hermione as she left his room, leaving him alone to brood again. The small package rested in Harry’s hand as he flipped it over and unattached the note.
I just wanted to wish you happy birthday since I probably won’t be seeing you for a while. I’m sorry about what happened last night, and if you want to forget it ever happened that’s fine with me. Maybe it didn’t happen.
I won’t be staying at Grimmauld Place anymore since I feel it may be awkward.
Don’t worry about me, I’ll find someplace to stay since I can’t exactly go home. Not that you would worry about me anyway. You can freely give my room to someone else, and don’t worry I won’t use the password to drop in unannounced, but you can still change it if you want.
I know you wanted to break-up with me last night before things got out of hand. I do remember at least some parts of our conversations. I think you are exactly right; I would be better off without you. Sorry I caused you so much grief over the past couple years. Sorry if I bothered your already complicated life.
I hope we can remain on a cordial bases since we will have to work together at the Ministry.
Harry re-read through the letter a second time, noticing that not a single tear drop stained the page. He shook his head as a heavy weight pressed down on his chest. A voice in his mind was telling him that she was just upset and the letter wasn’t serious. Cho would be back tonight with a wet face asking Harry why he had been so mean to her.
Harry rattled the small box as he opened the lid. Inside were two small tickets that were made of some type of reflecting paper that kept changing from blue to gold. Harry pulled one out and saw two embossed quidditch players passing a quaffle back and forth to one another.
The Cannons vs The Tornadoes
The date on the ticket was for tomorrow night. Even more amazing was the seating location was in the prime box, one of the most desired seats at a game. Harry felt guilt swimming through him. Cho had gotten him ticket to a Quidditch game, both his and her favorite teams, for his birthday. The first lines of her letter ran back through his head, I just wanted to wish you happy birthday since I probably won’t be seeing you for a while.
“Stupid,” Harry muttered to himself as he set the tickets back on his nightstand. It seemed the idea he had last night when he had first wanted to talk to Cho, was perhaps the dumbest idea he’d ever had. Suddenly he found himself feeling very alone.
Cho Chang stood in front of Eros Raymer’s flat in London. She couldn’t think of anywhere to go, and Eros had told her she could come to him if she ever needed anything. Well, she definitely needed someone to talk to right now.
She felt weak and her chest ached. She found herself wondering if Harry would even care that she had left. Would he even care that she had just broken-up with him. Tears surfaced on Cho’s face again as she let her knuckled brush against the dark wood of the door.
She desperately tried to stop crying, realizing what Eros might think of her. The door slowly started to open and Cho saw the concerned face of Eros staring at her from the other side.
“Cho, what’s wrong?” he asked quickly opening the door.
Cho gave him a forced watery smile, “I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.”
Eros stepped aside to usher her in, “You look awful, what happened?”
Cho shook her head, “Harry and I broke-up.”
Eros face seemed soften slightly as he fought back a grin, “But the Prophet said the two of you were getting married. You’re father had been looking for you and Harry all night.”
Cho gasped and looked nervously around the flat, “He isn’t here is he?”
Eros shook his head gentle settling her down on his sofa, “No, he returned to China this morning.”
Cho let out a sigh of relief, “I’m not ready face him.”
In was the truth, how could Cho face her father knowing he was right about Harry the entire time. He had broken her heart.
“Would you like anything to eat, anything to drink,” Eros asked with a warm smile.
Cho shook her head nervously as the word drink escaped his lips, then her face slipped into her hands as she began to sob.
“What’s wrong?” Eros asked urgently placing an arm around her so she could cry into his shoulder.
Cho shook her head, unable to vocalize anything.
“Cho, did he do something to you?” Eros demanded.
Cho took a deep breath, “No, Harry didn’t do anything.”
“Cho, you’re lying,” Eros said softly rubbing her back gently.
She attempted to wipe the tears off her face, “It wasn’t his fault entirely. It was my fault; I should never have let it go that far. I knew he wanted to break-up, I just thought maybe….” She flushed, “If I had thought we’d have gone that far I would have never….”
Eros face hardened as Cho noticed him holding his breath, “He took advantage of you?”
Cho shook her head furiously, “No, it wasn’t like that. We both just had too much to drink…” She broke back into an uncontrolled sob.
Eros tried to comfort her again, but his anger was rising, “If Ran was still alive…”
“Eros, please. It wasn’t Harry’s fault, it’s nobodies fault,” Cho cried.
“You were drunk Cho, he should have never let you into that situation. So he told you he wanted to break-up, got you drunk and then took advantage of you?”
Cho sobbed even louder, unable to answer.
“The miserable little prat,” Eros said coldly “How dare he.”
Cho shook her head, “Please…just leave him alone.”
“How could he be so stupid? There are a million guys who would treat you like the breeze from the ocean. Precious and rare, he should worshipped you. I would never hurt you like this,” Eros said softly placing his hand under Cho’s chin and tilting her head up towards his. “Please don’t cry, you are too beautiful to shed a tear.”
“Eros,” Cho started, but he placed a finger her to her trembling lips and gently wiped a tear off her cheek. Cho felt her heart stop in her chest as he lowered his head and brushed his lips against hers.
“I won’t do anything you don’t want me to,” Eros said in a whisper.
Cho quivered, “I just need a friend right now.”
“I’m here for you Cho, and I always will be,” Eros said softly before kissing the top of her head, “I’ll take you to the guest bedroom, you need some rest.”
Bad place to stop I know. Now, there should be two reactions. One being the Cho hater who is celebrating in jubilation and the other being the Cho fan that is staring at the screen cursing my pen name. (Just bare with me….it is all part of my evil plan. I can’t reveal anything else just yet…..)
NEXT UPDATE: 04-25-04
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