Chapter 1 : Forever Wasn't Long Enough
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Oh, Cedric, who was so sweet, kind, handsome. We were meant to be. Or so I thought, until he was killed at the hand of You-Know-Who. I could be crazy, but if I’m crazy, so be it. I want to see him again.
I come here and I'm surrounded on every side by trees. My white tank top billows in the summer breeze as I sit down in this spot. I let my mind wander instantly to the days we spent together. We were so happy, I remember the feeling I got when I was with him.
Since Cedric’s been gone, I can’t sleep, not like I used to. I have nightmares every night, glimpses of his death and I didn’t even see it happen. He was a part of me, a part of my soul. I loved him with a love that I don’t think I’ll feel for anyone else ever again.
And that’s when the tears begin to flow. I know when I look up I’ll see him, I always see him when I go to this spot and cry. Cedric never fails to show up.
True to that statement, when I look up, he’s there. He smiles at me, and I find myself wishing that I could actually touch him. As if he can read my mind, his formerly warm smile falters for a moment, and I let myself believe he feels the way I do.
“Cho, please don’t cry. You know I hate that more than anything,” he says sadly to me, and his brow furrows. I know he wants more than anything to be real, to be able to comfort me. But there is no real consolation to me now.
“If I stop crying, you’ll stop coming,” I accuse him childishly. Though it’s an immature remark, I find myself knowing it’s completely true.
He smirks at me then. “You know that would never happen.” He reaches out palms facing up, and I do what we always do then. I place my hands palm down and we try to make them meet, yet, as always, to no avail. It’s as if the universe is playing some sort of cruel joke on us, letting me see him, but never letting me touch him again.
I’m so wrapped up in my thoughts about how unfair this situation is that I nearly miss what he says next.
“This is the last time I’ll be coming around, Cho,” he says seriously, and I blanch. At first it’s difficult to absorb the words he has just uttered, and then suddenly, they sink in like a rock.
Before I know it, tears are once again pouring down my face. I know he sees them, and I know he wishes more than anything he could physically brush them away, but he even resists reaching out to me like he usually does.
“You—you can’t be serious, Cedric. You can’t leave me; I can’t deal with that yet!” I say, panicked, aware of the tears still pouring down my face, but I don't stop them.
“On the contrary, sweetheart, you can. That’s why I’m not coming back. You had to know that someday we would have to part—that I would have to move on to a better place. And now, now with you and Harry, I think it’s the right time to do just that,” Cedric says quietly, but I’m surprised that his tone is free from even a hint of jealousy.
“How…how did you know about Harry and me?” I ask, much sharper than I intended. I haven't told anyone about my developing feelings for Harry! And now, he’s leaving me because I’ve felt something for someone else. I feel like I have completely betrayed Cedric in this moment, and a tear escapes unwillingly, cascading down my already damp cheeks.
“Love, stop torturing yourself. I’ve been bracing myself for this day for ages; I knew the day would come when you wouldn’t need me anymore. And I’m glad it’s Harry. There is no other man that I would have been willing to give my life for. Harry is the bravest, most honorable man I know, and I’m glad you’ve found him. Don’t ever forget me, Cho, because I know, wherever it is that I end up, that I won’t ever forget you,” he says solemnly, and I know this is killing him inside. “I don’t have the right to you anymore, and I’ve been so selfish to think that I could’ve kept you for this long.”
“Cedric, I-- I can’t let you go! Every day, every single day, I think about you. Why are you doing this?” I plead with him, willing him to reconsider. I can’t believe this is happening to me now, so soon after I found him again. It’s only been a couple of months since he’s been back, and yet it seems like ages ago that he could hold me in his arms.
Suddenly, he moves his hands to intertwine with mine, if that were physically possible. He kisses me on the forehead and smiles at me once more before untangling himself and standing up.
“Be happy, Cho. No matter what happens, that’s my dearest wish for you. All I want is for you be happy. Stop crying for me, and embrace what is in front of you—except hopefully it will be real this time. I love you, Cho Chang, never forget that. I’ll always wonder what would have happened if things had been different, but I guess we’ll never know. My heart is always with yours,” he says with finality unlike any I’ve ever experience, and I want to weep again, but this time my eyes remain dry.
I watch him fade into the trees and smile to myself. Even though he’s gone, he’s given me permission to live.