Author's Note: This story is written after the year the Triwizard's Tournament went on. This is during Harry Potter's 5th year and Cho Chang's 6th year. I am writing this in the perspective of Cho Chang because she interests me so much. As soon as I read about her in the HP books, I immediately found myself sharing in her triumph, love, and pain. And she is the only one who Harry Potter is interested in, so there HAS to be more to her than just looks, popularity, and Quidditch. I am very "by-the-book" so I researched a lot and read the books plenty of times to get the feel of how JKR writes. I have done my best to write as she would have, so I hope you all like it. And for the record, I think Hogwarts students are innocent and are at Hogwarts to have "good, clean fun", since they are still young. So there won't be any things going on that shouldn't be.. KINDA.*wink*
Thanks to: Jessie for persuading me to start writing again, all my friends for putting up with me when I talk about Harry Potter, and YOU GUYS for reading this! I really hope you like it! And of course, thanks to JK Rowling- you inspire us!
The Year After: Cho's Story
Chapter 1- Memories
Cho Chang stepped off the Hogwarts Express, looking up at the enormous castle not too far away from where the train stopped. She sighed. Usually she was enthusiastic to come back to Hogwarts after the summer. But another glance at the castle and old memories flooded back to her. Her eyes automatically filled up with tears.
"Oh Cho." Kiersten Jolie, one of her best friends, said softly, giving Cho a hug, as their other best friend, Adelyn Roberts, joined them.
"I. I thought I could handle this," Cho started. She looked up at her friends, blurry-eyed. "I thought I could be strong. But just one look at the castle again and." Cho's words trailed off as she started crying again.
Adelyn and Kiersten looked at each other, tears forming in their eyes too. "C'mon Cho- I'm sure Cedric would've wanted you to at least get on the carriage," Kiersten tried to joke weakly.
It didn't work- actually, it made it worse. Just the name "Cedric" started Cho into a river of tears. But she did walk to the carriages waiting for the Hogwarts students, with Adelyn and Kiersten by her side.
Only three months ago, during the last task of the popular Triwizard's Tournament, Cedric Diggory had been trying to reach the trophy. As he and the famous Harry Potter reached together for the trophy, they were transported to the evilest of wizards, the dark Lord Voldemort. Cedric was instantly killed off and Harry managed to escape by wand-dueling with the Dark Lord. Cho adored Harry, like most wizards usually did. Harry was always so nice to her and she felt for him even since she heard his famous story of how he was the only wizard to survive before Voldemort, especially since Voldemort killed his parents, leaving Harry an orphan. Cho thought he was exceptionally brave, considering all the things he went through in his young 15 years. When word got to her after the third task that he was fine, she felt relieved. But then the headmaster, Professor Dumbledore called her into his office. He told her that Cedric was indeed dead, like people were saying, and he tried to explain it to her the best he could, even though she knew he kept some facts from her. As happy as she was that Harry survived, Harry wasn't Cedric. Cedric was her first love, her only love- and he also seemed to be her last one.
During the whole carriage ride to Hogwarts, Cho was silent. Tears flew down her face as she looked out the window. Occasionally, Adelyn and Kiersten would give her a pat on the lat and tried to get her to talk. But Cho couldn't speak. It was too painful.
Soon, the carriage stopped and Adelyn pushed the door open. The pathway up to Hogwarts was lit with candles, as it became dark outside. The three friends joined the rest of the school walking up to the school, with the exception of the first years, because it was a tradition that first years would sail across the lake with the Care of Magical Creatures professor and the Gameskeeper of Hogwarts, Hagrid. Cho's head remained down the whole time, her eyes not daring to look into another's.
"Miss Chang?" a voice spoke. Cho looked up to see Professor Sprout, the Herbology professor and head of Cedric's house, Hufflepuff. She looked extremely tired.
"Hello Professor," she replied.
Professor Sprout looked at Adelyn and Kiersten. "Do you mind if I talk to you for a second, Miss Chang?"
Adelyn and Kiersten looked at her protectively, but Cho felt relieved. She didn't want to quite go into the Great Hall yet, with hundreds of pairs of eyes watching to see if she would break down. Besides, the sorting of the first years would just remind her of the first time she met Cedric.
Cho tried hard to blink back her tears. "Sure Professor," she said in a shaky voice.
With a glance back at her friend, Cho follow Professor Sprout through the crowd. Even with her head bent, she could hear people whispering after her. She didn't care what the rest of the school said. Of course she was still in mourning.
Professor Sprout led Cho up into the old castle, to her office away from the greenhouses outside of the castle. She opened the door and Cho stepped in her office, full of different house plants and even some Cho couldn't recognize. Cho nodded politely as Professor Sprout motioned for her to sit in an empty chair in front of the desk.
"Miss Chang, I do realize that this summer has been extremely hard on you because of, well- the Tournament and all."
Extremely hard? That was an understatement. She cried herself to sleep practically every night and couldn't eat for days. It wasn't fair that she was still alive and well, when Cedric, who had all the wonderful dreams in the world that he now couldn't achieve.
Cho couldn't look straight at Professor Sprout. She fiddled with her fingers while Professor Sprout talked. "I know that Cedric meant more to you than anyone else at Hogwarts. When he died, he took a little of all of our hearts. He was loved by so many." Cho had heard all of this before, at Cedric's funeral over the summer. As head of Cedric's house, Professor Sprout was asked to make a speech.
".but that wasn't what I wanted to talk to you about, because, of course, you knew Cedric was loved. What I wanted to see you for was to give you this." Professor Sprout opened up a drawer in her desk and took out a fat, golden yellow fabric covered book. Cho gulped as she saw the words Cedric on the bottom left hand corner of the book.
"Mrs. Diggory gave this to me to hand over to you at the funeral. She tried to find you to give this to you yourself, but you had already left." Cho did leave the funeral early. Right after they flung roses on Cedric's casket, Cho couldn't take it anymore. She didn't want to believe he was REALLY gone. No more holding hands around the corridors, no more quiet walks along the lake, no more talking excitedly about their future together. Cho felt as if she saw Cedric buried, she would be buried with him.
Professor Sprout handed Cho the book. Cho felt her heart leap down to her stomach as she opened the first page. On the right corner was neatly written in Cedric's handwriting, "September 2". It was Cedric's journal!
"But Professor, why did Mrs. Diggory give this to me? This is Cedric's journal! It has all his memories in it since his third year!" Cho stammered, staring at the journal.
Professor Sprout smiled. "Mrs. Diggory has a lifetime full of Cedric's memories here," she pointed to her heart. "Besides, she told me most of his thoughts in this journal are about you. She wants you to remember him always and realized that he really did love you."
Cho's jaw dropped open, speechless was the only thing that could describe her. "Prof. Prof." she stuttered, all the thank yous in the world escaping from her brain.
Professor Sprout waved her hand, smiling appreciatively. "You're welcome, Miss Cho. But all I did was pass on the journal to you. It is Mrs. Diggory in which you must thank. Now," she cleared her throat and stood up. "I think it is time that we head down to the Great Hall. I think we missed the Sorting. Hopefully you don't mind?"
Cho shook her head in reply. She hugged the journal tightly to her chest, her eyes shining.
"Very well then; I'm glad. Now let's be off." She stood up and Cho did the same. But before Professor Sprout started to walk, she told Cho one more thing. "Remember Cho, Cedric's secrets and memories are now between you, Cedric, and Mrs. Diggory."
***Chapter 2 Short Synopsis: When Harry asks for a word with Cho, more than one thing is revealed to her.***