Good Intentions

Penelope tries to be there for Cho after it happens. She's not sure whether it's because she feels, as Head Girl, she should be keeping an eye out for the younger students, or whether it's because Cho's a fellow Ravenclaw, or whether it's just that she's quite fond of Cho and doesn't like seeing her like this, eerily silent and sedate about the whole thing.

Angry outbursts and throwing heavy objects around the place – now that she'd understand. The silence is what bothers her. It makes her feel like all the rage and pain is lurking underneath the surface and Cho could explode at any moment. It makes her feel uneasy.

She sits with Cho in the common room one night after everyone else has gone to bed, and tries to get her to talk about Cedric. Or her feelings. Or something, anything to get her talking and dealing with what's happened rather than staying quiet.

"Penny," Cho finally says, "you've asked me if I'm okay a hundred times now."

"I'm just checking . . ." Penelope begins.

"I know," Cho says softly. "But you don't have to."

"It's not healthy for you to bottle things up like this," Penelope says.

"Maybe not," Cho replies. "It's not your place to decide that, though, is it?"

Penelope feels offended. "I was just trying to help –"

"I know, Penny." She leans back into her armchair.

There is silence and then Cho finally says, "Just you being here – that's enough."

Penelope will never know exactly how she ends up moving over and sitting beside Cho in that armchair, or how she ends up kissing her softly before they fall asleep.

But she hopes this will help.