Title: Love Story
Author: She's a Star
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Cho/Cedric, Cho/Harry
Challenge: #12: write a HP fic inspired by the lyric "Say you were split, you were split in fragments/and not all the pieces would talk to you" from Humpty Dumpty by Aimee Mann
Setting: During a certain chapter in OotP that caused many a H/G shipper to throw their books down, fall to their knees, and shout "NOOOOooooooo. . . ." for quite sometime.
A/N: Because I kinda even feel sorry for the girl sometimes. Did not proofread at all - I hope it's not horribly obvious. :)
Say you were split, you were split in fragments
And not all the pieces would talk to you.
I mean, he is, really. And sweet, too, in an awkward sort of way. I remember very well him asking me to the ball last year, tripping over the syllables, looking like he might faint dead away. I would have gone, maybe, if it weren’t for Cedric.
But as it was - with Cedric there - I couldn’t even consider it, really.
Now things are different, and he still gets that goofy, awed sort of look on his face when I’m around, like he’s trying so desperately to be cool and it’s not quite working. I do like him. It’s funny, I suppose, because I grew up hearing his name on everyone’s lips - Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, a baby defeating You-Know-Who when no one else could. I remember feeling so very sorry for him, this poor child growing up away from everything, his parents, his home, his life blasted to bits before he could even talk.
It’s funny, isn’t it?
I remember the first time Cedric talked to me. It was on the Hogwarts express, my first year. I’d bought a pumpkin pasty, but was three knuts short, and I remember wishing the earth would just swallow me whole right then and there. In retrospect, it was a silly thing to get so upset about, but I’ve always been like that, a little. And he came over to me, his eyes so warm, this lovely sparkle in them that I’d never seen in anyone else’s gaze before, and dropped the coins into my hand.
Maybe just a small bit of me fell in love with him right then. But I don’t know, really. We were sorted into different houses, of course, and were never incredibly close. Yes, we would talk sometimes - we both played Quidditch, you know, and that gave us some common ground - but I suppose I never really thought . . . you know. I fancied Roger Davies for quite awhile, and still did a bit in fourth year, when Cedric asked me to the ball.
It was peculiar how he asked me, and so lovely. We were out walking on the grounds together during lunch break - I’d wanted Marietta to go with me, but she doesn’t like the cold much, and arguing with her can be so useless sometimes. Cedric was passing us in the corridor then, and he said he would like a bit of air as well. So we went - he carried my books for me; he was just like that, always so charming - and it was a bit cold, and we talked about stupid little things. Snape, I think, and how terrible he was. He had taken a few points from me that lesson, and I was still a bit upset about it. And then - it was the most peculiar thing - there was a daisy, just one, standing alone and feeble under the shade of an increasingly skeletal-looking tree. It had started snowing around a week before, and all of the other flowers had disappeared ages ago. I remember pointing it out, how strange it was that that one was still there.
Cedric looked at it for a moment, like he was thinking, and then went over and picked it - very carefully, almost as though if he were gentle enough he wouldn’t kill it. Silly, I know, but . . .
And he handed it to me - our fingers brushed a little - and asked if I might go to the Yule Ball with him.
At that moment, you know, I didn’t even think it was possible. I really couldn’t even begin to comprehend that maybe he might be dead by the end of the year. Because who would think it, really? Not ever, at that time, of course, but especially not then, with the air crisp and cold and his eyes so warm and the very last traces of summer in my hand.
No one close to me had ever died before. It’s so sudden, I think, something that creeps up on you. The most terrible surprise in the world, and I still remember very well that very afternoon, before he left. He smiled at me and squeezed my hand, and I told him to be careful.
“Don’t worry,” he said, and kissed me.
I can remember him so well sometimes; others, he’s almost faded.
And maybe it’s wrong, a little, for me to have feelings for Harry now. I don’t even want to think about what Draco Malfoy might say about it, horrible little prat. But . . . I don’t know how to explain it, and I don’t know why I like him, exactly. What I do know is that he was there. He saw it happen. He came back with Cedric’s corpse - it doesn’t register right away, you know, and the first thing I thought when I saw them was “Why is he sleeping?”
I was far away, you know, and couldn’t see that his eyes were still open.
It’s like I’m split in pieces some days. Lots of them, little shards that cut and sting. Sometimes - and it’s funny, because it’s on the bright days with the crystal blue sky - I just want to curl up and cry until it kills me, if that’s possible. I’m not sure that it is, really, and I kind of reckon that if it was, I’d have died already. The sunny days creep up, and even the rainy ones, sometimes, or the ones that are just grey, and I can’t do anything but cry.
And then other times it seems like Harry is . . . like he’s the answer, if that makes any sense. Like a problem in Arithmancy that’s senseless, but I know somehow there’s a way to put it all together, to arrange the puzzle pieces just right and understand. He’s the thing that’s missing, the only person who could possibly understand. Maybe with him, somehow, I’ll stop crying. It would be nice. Not as nice as some things, but I’m not sure that miracles exist anymore.
We’re alone here, now, and he looks a little uncomfortable and I can’t blame him. I’m a bit disappointed, somewhere, because I thought that maybe when I cried he’d know instantly how to stop it. And we’re only inches apart all of a sudden, and his eyes are so green that it hurts, almost. Save me, a whisper in my head requests, because he’s done it for so many others before. Piece me back together.
And so I kiss him, because it seems like maybe there’s nothing else to do.
I still have the daisy, you know. It’s at the bottom of my trunk, pressed between the pages of Love Story. And that’s another thing that’s funny - I’ve read that book twenty times, at least, and still I can’t stop crying even though I know what’s coming, and it’s happened, and there’s no way to change something that was written years and years ago. It’s set in stone, but part of me hopes every time that somehow that just doesn’t matter.
It is funny, don’t you think?