Cho finds her sitting under a willow tree by the lake, her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms wrapped around herself. She looks up at the rustle Cho makes as she pushes through the drooping branches, and her dark eyes widen with surprise.
"Can I sit?" Cho asks awkwardly, very aware that the last time she talked to Hermione she called her some very nasty names.
Hermione nods and shuffles over a bit so Cho can rest against the trunk too.
"I, uh, came to say thank you," Cho says, mimicking Hermione's position. "I just saw Marietta and she told me how you fixed her face."
Hermione cheeks go pink, but she sets her jaw and shakes her head. "No, don't thank me. I should be apologising to you. I shouldn't have put that jinx on her in the first place."
Cho studies her quietly, up close for the first time in years. Her eyes are bruised with exhaustion, her face pinched, her skin sallow. Cho wonders for perhaps the hundredth time what exactly she, Harry and Ron have been doing all year. "If you don't mind me asking, what made you change your mind?"
Hermione hesitates, studying Cho now. "There was an… incident," she says finally, "that made me realise I should have been more understanding. We all make mistakes. We're all probably going to hurt our friends at some point. If I can forgive my friends, I should forgive people who aren't, too."
Cho badly wants to know what "incident" gave Hermione this little bit of wisdom, but can't think of a way to ask that won't sound nosy. "I'm glad you helped her," she says finally. "She'll be wanting to find a job soon, and having sneak written across her face won't help her chances."
"I'm sorry," Hermione says again, her voice very small.
The last reservations Cho had dissolve, and she smiles at Hermione. "It's okay. She's forgiven you, and so have I."
Hermione smiles back, small but warm. "I'm glad. I didn't like not being on speaking terms with you."
Cho raises her eyebrows slightly. "We were never exactly Chatty Cathys," she says.
Hermione cheeks colour again and she shrugs, looking out at the lake. "No, but… I sort of wanted to be."
Her eyes slide towards Cho and she bites her lip. Cho impulsively wraps an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close.
"We can be now, if you still want to be?" she says.
"Yeah?" Hermione says, relaxing into her. "Yeah, I'd like that."