A/N: Here's a Hogwarts Era One-Shot! Something I've never so much as attempted before. It's different, and a bit more challenging to write, but I enjoyed it! I hope you all like it as much as I do! All reviews are welcome!
Oh, and this is written for Slytherinchica08's Real Life Problems Challenge!
His eyes swam in her mind, his smile radiating as the sun. His laugh echoed through the room, where he sat next to her. His warm, strong hands held hers as he spoke of the inexhaustible topics they went on about for hours, both of their minds eager to learn.
But then his eyes went dark. His limbs slack, his smile fading. No longer did she feel warm; she felt dark and alone, insecure in the most frightening ways imaginable. A scream resounded through the room, one of the upmost horror; she didn’t realize it was hers. Tears flooded her eyes as she screamed his name, a hysteria overwhelming her. A laugh, one of familiarity, though it was not hers, sounded from behind her. She didn’t have to turn around; she knew who it was.
Harry Potter, his emerald eyes glowing with amusement, sent another curse into Cedric’s chest. Cho simply sat there, unable to move, though her mind screamed at her, begged her, to move. To do something.
To save Cedric.
She started to shake in the most unnatural way. She moved back and forth as though someone had hold of her, violently shaking her. She cried out in horror of her inability to stop herself. She heard Marietta’s voice yelling her name, in a way that was almost as if she were begging Cho to get away from there, to not save Cedric.
Why would Marietta want her to abandon Cedric? She would never do that.
Yet, Cho felt herself slipping away…
Cho woke from her nightmare gasping for breath, as always. Sometimes, she felt as if she were subconsciously choking herself in attempts to take the pain away. She woke from her nightmares tangled in soaked sheets, filled with salty tears and perspiration; so much she went dizzy with dehydration. Her body always shook, goosebumps covering her entire body as she shook violently with shivers, even when the room was warm. She woke with the taste of screaming on her tongue, her throat sore and hoarse.
Frantically scoping her surroundings, she found herself in her torn hammock within the Room of Requirement. To her right, Seamus Finnegan slept with his brows furrowed, head shaking back and forth slightly.
Every night, when Cho woke from her nightmares, she often found Seamus having nightmares as well; she was sure they were about Dean. The two were the best of friends, who wouldn’t be scared?
To her left was Marietta Edgecombe, her best friend. Marietta often slept peacefully, free of the fear of her friends and family being killed in the moment.
After all, being a pureblood comes and go with its advantages. On top of that, her best friends were right there next to her. Why should she be nervous about them when they’re just there on her right?
Cho, being the clever Ravenclaw she was, had a silencing charm set around her, to guarantee no one heard her screaming in the night. She didn’t want Marietta worrying, and she most certainly didn’t need people thinking she was weak.
Ginny Weasley already thought enough weakness of her as it is.
Cho brushed the hair that was slicked down on her sweaty face out of the way, forcing composure upon herself. Her body, still trembling with fear, betrayed her conscious, which was saying everything was fine… everything was fine… everything was fine…
Everything was fine.
Cho pulled at her hair with both hands, screaming at the top of her lungs. Tears poured down her cheeks, which were deeply wounded with slashes from the Carrows, causing her face to sting with the tears.
Sometimes, that reminded her she was still alive; the pain. That she wasn’t numb, that she was still a living human being with real meaning.
Yet, she still felt empty without Cedric.
Everyone thought she’d get over it; after all, it’s been three years. No one felt the need to be overly concerned by the way Cho carried herself; she was fine.
Everything was fine.
No one besides Marietta seemed to notice her extreme fatigue; no one noticed the way the deeply set bags under her eyes made her look dead.
After all, everyone at Hogwarts either looked or wanted to be dead.
Which made it seem as if everything was fine; she was nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing different, nothing special.
Cho breathed in deep, shaky breaths, attempting to compose herself. No one could hear her, but if someone were to wake, they would most definitely see her. She didn’t want anyone to concern over her; there was more important things to worry about.
Unable to fall asleep, Cho let her mind wander. She allowed herself, for the thousandth time, to think of Harry, and where he could be. She didn’t know if he was in trouble, if he needed someone’s help. She felt worthless, as if that even if she were there, she would cower away with fear.
After all, she was no Gryffindor. The hat hadn’t even considered it. Only Slytherin and Ravenclaw, and she was thankful, to this day, that she was a Ravenclaw.
Sometimes, Cho wondered how she fell for the both of them. Cedric hated Harry, after all, and they were, by far, complete opposites.
Cedric was a lighthearted Hufflepuff. He was always smiling and was confident. Harry was surrounded by mayhem at its best; he was always up to trouble with those friends of his. Cedric was a straight O student who never stepped out of line; Harry was lucky not to get a T in divination, and should have been suspended multiple times.
Cho didn’t understand why both men held a special place in her heart; and how both men only caused her sadness.
No. Sadness was an understatement.
Cho Chang was deeply depressed, and there were some nights where she asked herself why she was still there.
But there she was. On a hammock, surrounded by witches and wizards between the ages of eleven and eighteen. Every single one of them were either beaten or bruised; bleeding or scabbed. Many of them cried out to their parents in their sleep, begged for the pain to stop. Cho begged for the pain to stop; she couldn’t take it anymore. The aching in her chest, the loneliness within her. She couldn’t take the feeling of being alone to fight on her own; she knew she wouldn’t survive.
Cho Chang kept these thoughts with her throughout the night. The daytime came with reluctance, slowly peeking through the windows of the castle, and she suffered through her classes with the same depressing thoughts. She carried them in her head, not letting herself forget. She would never let herself forget.
Marietta tried to get Cho to speak. She would mumble reassurances, but honestly paid no mind to her friend’s attempts. What was the point in it, really? Speaking did no good. It only caused more pain, more suffering; Cho wasn’t sure how much more she could take of it all.
Luna came to Cho with questions on nargles and whatnot, and though Cho knew precisely what Luna was attempting, she didn’t fall for it. She wouldn’t answer with words.
As the night came upon them, Cho noticed Neville disappear into the portrait that led to Aberforth, and became characteristically curious; something she hadn’t been in a while. She watched Ariana disappear down the path, looking back one last time of the children with a sad smile.
Cho was struck dumb; why would Ariana smile? She had never seen Ariana smile, only when Seamus spoke to her. It was quite sweet, really. Though, no one else paid enough mind.
Cho sat in her hammock, her left foot limply dangling through a torn hole, watching the portrait, anticipating what would come through.
Cho had a strange feeling it wouldn’t be Aberforth; why would Ariana smile?
No, it was something bigger, something better.
Could it be…?
Cho saw Neville appearing with figures behind him. She couldn’t quite make out how many there were, let alone who they were. Neville spoke words she couldn’t hear; she was too far back in the room. Though, she heard Seamus complain about Aberforth.
Cho, however, could see Neville quite clearly. She saw the sly grin curl on his face, giving her heart a beat of hope. He cocked a single eyebrow before moving and revealing a disheveled looking group of three. They were a beacon of hope; they lit up the room. Smiles flashed from everywhere; very missed, unfamiliar smiles.
Cho’s cry for Harry was drowned by the applause that erupted through the room. Cho smiled brightly, something she hadn’t done in a long time, and clapped as she rushed over.
And as she hugged Harry, tears of hope flooded her sight.
Maybe it’ll be alright.
A/N: Did you like it? Please, Review! I will love you to the moon and back! Please oh please! Oh, and just so you know, I don't own much of this. A lot of it is the queen's, JK Rowling!