Title: Cold

Author: Chris or VampireSpider

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: PG

Summary: Cho fights the cold

Disclaimer: I own nothing, nothing!

Cold. It was beastly cold outside, the Scottish winds around Hogwarts beating at the walls, the grass. Cho gathered her cloak closer around her, trying to get warm. She hated the cold, hated it, as all teenage girls hate something that musses up their hair. Cho, however, also hated it as a reminder of an empty bed, a reminder of a mother dead and gone, a reminder of Cedric. The winds whipped at her face, lashing at her nose ad making her eyes tear up. The tears felt like they were turning into icicles as they rolled down her face. She kissed the tiny glass holding the blue flame and placed it on the place marked as the portkey that transported Cedric to his death.

Cho had been brought up spoilt, used to getting what she wanted. Her mother smothered her, her father called her Princess. Everything came to her easily, smart and beautiful.

And then her mother had suffered cancer, a stupid, Muggle disease, not curable by magic. She'd died the same year that Cho met Cedric, her second year at Hogwarts. She remembered the cold of the hospital, all air-condition and white walls. It had been to cold, like her mother's hand when Cho had grabbed it or her mother's cheek when she kissed it. The church had been cold, her mother died and was buried in December. She remembers snow and icicles and freezing in a church, not knowing who to cling to.

Cedric had helped her through that, held her when she cried and let her talk. He'd teased her, and cared for her, done everything that he could to make her grow up a bit. Learning from him she had become less dependent on her parents, more willing to work hard and try. Nothing had ever happened between them, except kisses when they both got lonely, but sometimes Cho felt like he was her only friend.

Then he'd died, and the wind was blowing in that day. She remembers seeing Harry afterwards and wanting to scream. She wanted to hit him, hit something, but Harry looked so cold and fragile and sorry that she couldn't. She couldn't.

Their courtship was doomed to fail. Cho liked Harry, she wanted it to work, but whenever she saw him, it felt cold. Even when his warm mouth had covered hers, cold had seared in her stomach. When Harry kept talking about Hermione on their date, it had just sealed their fate. They weren't compatible. She moved on, tried new things, and dated others, while keeping the fear of Voldemort away.

It was hard, certainly on nights such as the one she was walking in tonight. To Cho Voldemort was the cold, searing itself so deep into her that she felt she might never be warm again.

That's what she had felt, that feeling of cold when she started her 7th year. Cold, alone and lonely, she had poured herself into her studies.

And then Ginny came along. Ginny with her cautious but hopeful smile, her brave honest nature, and her sweet feminine figure. Ginny had talked to Cho, and Cho never figured out why, but Ginny had come up to her after Halloween had found her hidden in the library, and she had talked to Cho. She had talked and she had made Cho talk, talk and smile and laugh. Cho felt like she had forgotten how.

Ginny made her open up, made her talk to other people in her house, made her more active in the fight against Voldemort. Ginny held her close when the wind was particularly bad, letting her into the Gryffindor common room and sometimes even into her dorm. More than once Cho had fallen asleep in Ginnys bed, clinging to the other girl.

Eyebrows were raised at their age difference. Mostly Ron, who didn't think it proper for a 15 year old girl to be friends with a 17 year old one, certainly not one who had broken Harry's heart and, in doing so, pushed him into Hermione's arms. There were other people as well, some who made snide comments about mixing houses and some who criticized the age difference. Cho wasn't taking her own house seriously enough! Cho was wasting time with a silly 5th year when she could have been with a cute boy! But Cho felt safe with Ginny, and they tried to talk at least once every other day, even though it was sometimes hard, given homework and quidditch.

Cho smiled against the wind and pulled her robes even closer to her, trying to stimulate the feel of Ginny's body against her. She ran the final few steps towards Hogwarts. Once she was indoors she let her robes fall loose again. Hogwarts was hardly warm, but there was no wind in there. She made her way up the first set of stairs she came across, hoping they would lead her to her dorm before Filch came along.

At the head of the stair, however, Ginny Weasley stood.

"Oh, Cho. I was so nervous, thank God you're okay!" she said, holding out her arms to Cho. "I knew what night it was, and I was afraid you'd…." Ginny's voice trailed off, and she hugged Cho tightly to her body. Cho hugged back gratefully.

"No, I…I just wanted to go out, say goodbye, you know? Talk to him, once last time before…" She let out a sigh, which sounded like a sob. Ginny kissed the top of her head.

"It'll be okay." Ginny said and warmth spread through Cho's body.

Outside a flame, marking the spot where Cedric Diggory had been transported to his death 2 years earlier, glowed in the cold.