Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Kill the Spare
It has been said before that sometimes, knowing nothing is better than knowing it all. In other words, ignorance is bliss. It's better to endlessly wonder about something than it is to know the facts.
Sixteen-year-old Cho Chang had, for the longest time, thought that adage was extremely stupid. What, after all, could possibly be blissful about knowing nothing? The statement also completely went against her Ravenclaw standards. Ravenclaws built their lives on learning new things; knowledge was fascinating to them.
But now, as she sat on top of the Astronomy Tower clutching the Quibbler in a white-knuckled grip, she realized that this line of thinking wasn't stupid at all, that whoever had first said it knew what they were talking about. As she continued to stare at the paper,, her hands shook uncontrollably.
She also never thought that she, of all people, who usually looked at the world with such positivity, who tried to find the joy and happiness in life, could feel an emotion quite like the one she was experiencing now, either. Add it to the list of things that she was learning and which were completely new to her. The emotion she felt was not anything remotely positive. It was a feeling that came from deep within her soul, something primal and animalistic, desperate to be unleashed; it could be extremely dangerous if not controlled.
The emotion was pure, raw, undiluted hatred.
Her breaths were quick, sharp, and ragged, as though she'd just been running. Her heart, her twisted, mangled, broken, destroyed heart was still, somehow, beating, a feat which she wasn't sure how it was accomplishing. It felt as though acid was pumping through her veins as three words, the three most wicked, depraved, evil words she had ever heard repeated over and over and over again in her mind.
Kill the spare.
Yes. Her strength, her joy, her everything, the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow, the one her soul sang out for, the wind beneath her wings, the one who'd opened her eyes to the beauty of the world, the love of her life, Cedric Diggory, had been called a spare, before he'd been brutally and mercilessly struck down, without being given a second, not even a damn second, to fight back, to defend himself. The last words her boyfriend had ever heard before being forced to leave the earth forever were the fact that he was a waste of space.
For months and months, ever since the moment Harry Potter had arrived back from the maze clutching his body, and Cho had stared into his lifeless, blank, empty gray eyes, screaming, howling, bawling, pleading, begging for him to wake up, holding his limp, unresponsive hand and giving anything to wipe that look of deep, profound fear and shock off his youthful, handsome face, she'd desperately wanted to know what he'd been through in his last moments. She'd spent endless hours wondering how his life had been torn away from him, and all his dreams of tomorrow had been shattered. Had he been tortured? Did he scream? Did he suffer? Did he plead for anyone, for her, to save him? Could Harry have saved him and just didn't? How the hell did someone who'd been so alive two hours earlier, who'd kissed her passionately and made a sincere promise to her that they'd always be together, just suddenly be gone, as if no human being had ever existed inside that shell of a body at all? How could it possibly be that their sweet kiss goodbye they'd shared before he entered that maze had been their last one, ever, that the soft and tender "I love you" that had slipped from both of their lips would be the last thing they ever said to each other?
Now, she knew. She knew the truth now. And sitting here, with sobs of rage and grief shaking her body, she wished she didn't. She also now knew that finding out anything, gaining closure, had been a lose-lose situation, whatever the outcome. For if she'd found out he'd been tortured, she'd be having the same reaction. There was no "good" or "peaceful" way to be murdered.
And in this situation, it hadn't mattered to the bad guys who Cedric Diggory was, or who his family was, or who his friends and girlfriend were. It didn't matter what he'd done with his life, or wanted to do with the rest of it. It didn't matter what his hopes, dreams, aspirations, or goals were. To Voldemort and his vile group of sadist Death Eaters, Cedric Diggory might as well be a lump of dirt on the ground.
And then, not being able to hold it in anymore, the devastated, heartbroken teenage girl took a breath, and with tears still streaming down her face, she screamed. She screamed, and screamed, and screamed, and screamed, a long, shrill, agonized shriek that came from the very depths of the human psyche. She screamed incoherently, wordlessly, screamed until her throat was raw, just sat there and simply screamed. It was all she could do. Anyone hearing the pure anguish would have had no question about the magnitude of the loss, grief, heartbreak, sorrow, and true, pure, and unwavering love Cho Chang felt for Cedric Diggory.
When her voice finally gave out and she couldn't scream anymore, she began to chant softly, over and over again, as if hoping that her repetition of the words would get through to him somehow, that he'd hear her from wherever he'd gone to.
"You were everything. You were everything. You were everything. You were everything. You were everything."
And as minutes passed and she felt exhaustion claiming her, her body shutting down from the outburst of emotion she'd just showed, her last coherent words before the darkness took her were:
"I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you."