Disclaimer: Harry Potter is JKR's.

Summary: Cho Chang loves flying. (enter the labyrinth)
Pairings: Cho/Cedric.
Rating: PG, for language. Maybe bordering a bit on PG-13.

Notes: In an attempt to better understand the character, while defending her against those who refuse to see beyond the surface. Of course most of this is speculation only, and highly debatable. But there's nothing that disproves it either. I'm looking forward to seeing how she'll be played in the movies.


labyrinth

Cho Chang loves flying.

She loves to feel the breeze upon her face, blowing back her long black hair. The wind, whipping at her robes. The sun beating down upon her back in dappled yellow light, or perhaps, the sweet rain upon her lips beneath silver-grey clouds. Watching the world whirl past beneath her like a dream. Everything a swirl of color -- the yellow daffodils, the green meadows speckled with the pink of the wildflowers, the deep grey-blue of the sea. Rainbows. Shimmering rainbow dreams.

It makes her feel free. Like reading a good book, only flying is real.

That is why she became a Seeker. To fly. Because her soul has always been seeking for something, grasping desperately at some blurry golden whir in the distance. What it is her heart longs for, she does not know. But that is why she is a Ravenclaw. Because she Seeks, and she seeks for knowledge and wisdom and understanding. Perhaps she will Seek forever, never reaching the object of her desires. If she had been born an animal, she thinks, she would have been born a phoenix, with strong broad wings that carried her high beyond the clouds in the blue, blue sky.

Some nights she dreams that she is flying, flying far far away, only she flies too far, too high, and then she falls.

falling falling falling fallingfallingfalling

Cho Chang hates coffee.

She is a proper Chinese girl, though she was born and raised in England, as were her parents, and her parents' parents, and her parents' parents' parents. She has never been to China, nor does she speak a word of Chinese. But she supposes some things are just in one's blood.

And so, every morning, when she wakes, she sits before a mirror, and runs a brush through her thick glossy hair. One hundred strokes, no more, no less. She counts each stroke carefully. One, two, three, four. Her hair is her pride, though as a Quidditch player, she knows her life would be easier if she just cut it. But she likes her hair long, and she keeps it that way.

(can you believe it? that little asian slut! what on earth can cedric be thinking? why her? why not one of us? stuck-up chinese bitch, thinks she's so perfect, thinks she's so special, thinks she's better than us)

Then she goes down to breakfast and she drinks a cup of tea. Tea, not coffee. No cream, no sugar. Just plain tea. She drinks another cup at lunch, and another at supper, and sometimes she drinks a cup after she has finished with her homework and with Quidditch practice. Her homework is always her first priority. She is, after all, not only a Ravenclaw, but a proper Chinese girl. She prides herself in the fact that though she is not at the very top of her year, she is at least in the top ten. After all, she has Quidditch to deal with as well.

At night before she goes to bed, she sits before a mirror, and runs a brush through her long black hair.

one two three four (wu liu chi ba...)

Cho Chang loves flowers.

She is like any other girl, Muggle or witch. A normal girl, with normal interests. She is fond of pretty things, cute things, things that catch her eye. Her mother is a witch, an Herbologist, and her father is a Muggle, a highly honored professor at Cambridge. He teaches ancient history, and is especially interested in mythology. Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse... More recently, his wife has gotten him interested in Asian mythology as well.

Her father was also once very superstitious. Perhaps that was why it was so easy for him to accept that his wife was a witch.

She likes to think that her parents are proud of her, though they never tell her so. That is not the way of Chinese parents. But she often hears her mother bragging to her friends about her daughter's flying skills and her academics, and her father too occasionally lets slip a boast or two about what a bright daughter he has been blessed with, so she thinks they must be proud.

(strange girl, that one. so quiet. have you seen that eerie look in her eyes? yeah, and those rumors about all those strange things that used to happen when she went to primary school with the other kids -- things breaking for no reason, flying into the air... i'm glad my kids were never in her class. where does she go to school now? some strange boarding school. in scotland or something. ah, no wonder then. those boarding school girls, you know. all like that. pity. you wouldn't be able to tell, looking at her parents. now there's a decent pair of people. a researcher and a professor, right? yeah. hard to believe they're related. maybe she's adopted? who knows.)

She has no brothers or sisters, but she has so many cousins and aunts and uncles that she can hardly keep track of them. She sees them every year at Christmas and New Year's and every other special occasion that warrants a huge family gathering. Some of them are wizards and witches like her. Others are Muggles. Some of them she is close to. Others, she is not.

There was a cousin, many years older than her, whom she liked as a child. He was from her father's side, a Muggle. He had dark hair that constantly fell into his chocolate brown eyes, and a smile as bright as the sun. He often made her laugh. He was a very kind person, and treated her like a younger sister. That is what she remembers about him. It is not much, but still, it is what she remembers. His face is but a hazy picture in her mind.

When she was five, the cousin went off to join the army.

He never came back. She never asked why.

Every year, her parents take her to the cemetery, and they leave flowers at his grave.

She has always had a wild imagination. Even if she had been born a Muggle, or worse, a Squib -- What torture it would be, knowing there was something out there, something more, something that had belonged to her parents, her family: so close, yet forever beyond her reach! -- she thinks her life would have been filled with magic. And she thinks that there are fairies that dwell in the flowers, and they flutter away and die, their life-glows slowly fading away as the flowers are plucked from the crumbling brown earth and placed in the shadows before the great grey stone.

left
left
left right left
left
left
left right left

Cho Chang hates movies.

Sometimes she cries, for no apparent reason. Even she is not sure why it happens. It just does. One minute she's cheerful and smiling, the next minute tears are running down her face and she is desperately gasping for breath as if she is drowning, drowning in her tears. And perhaps she is. She always tries very hard not to cry so much, because she knows her parents do not like it when she does, but sometimes it seems as if the more she tries to keep her tears from falling, the more violently they come flowing from her eyes. Like silver rivers bursting from their dams and flowing to the great wide ocean. It's not like she actually enjoys crying, anyway -- who does? It makes her tired, so very, very tired.

Her Muggle friends, to whom she was not all that close to in the first place, took her to watch a movie last summer. She no longer remembers what the movie was about, nor what it was called, nor who the actors were. She only remembers that at one point, when everyone in the theater was laughing their heads off, she suddenly burst into tears and began to scream hysterically. For some reason it made her angry, seeing everyone laughing like that. She is sure it must have been embarrassing, but she doesn't really remember feeling that way either.

Her Muggle friends have not talked to her since.

Not that she cares. She always has Hogwarts to return to. Marietta, Roger, even Luna Lovegood. Familiar faces. Familiar surroundings. Family.

(pathetic crybaby. you'd think she'd be over him by now, huh? yeah, i mean, it's not like they even knew each other all that well. they only dated for what, five-six months? yeah. he was just a stupid hufflepuff too. all looks and no brains. everyone knows the only reason they got together was because they were both so damn popular. yeah. she's probably just putting on an act to get more attention. you know those asian girls. they'll do anything to be in the spotlight. yeah. what a pathetic bitch.)

People who understand.

Or perhaps they don't they don't even care she knows this deep down inside but at least she can pretend oh she can pretend.

i'm sorry i'm sorry sorry sorry so sorry so so sorrysosorrysosorrysosorry

Cho Chang loves autumn.

In the fall, the trees in her backyard catch fire. Fiercely brilliant scarlet flames dancing against a pure blue sky. The whole world transforms into a beautiful vivid tapestry of orange and red. Red, the color of her ancestors, far away in a country she has only heard of, never been to.

She was named for this season, "Cho", this season of fire and gold and falling leaves. Her mother told her this.

Her mother tells her many things. For instance, that everything is an illusion. Love is an illusion. (foolish daughter you are so young how can you know what true love is foolish foolish daughter of mine) Life is like the autumn breeze, swiftly passing, transient and ephemeral. Nothing but a dream.

She hates what her mother tells her. Perhaps because she does not want to face the truth, not now, not yet, not ever. She wishes her mother would just leave her alone, although deep inside she realizes that this is just a mother's way of protecting her beloved daughter from the harsh reality of the world. What is the truth anyway? For she loved him. Their love was real. It must have been. He made her laugh, made her happy, saw beyond the glittering fa├žade of popularity and glamour, taught her to live. Without him, everything is a lie. Or was it always a lie to begin with?

She hates the doubt, the confusion. Everything was so much simpler before.

She no longer cares if it is just a lie, a dream. All she wants is to love someone the way she loved him, for someone to love her, understand her, the way he had loved her.

let's have a dream
a happy and horrible dream
wish upon a fading star
beneath the yellow autumn moon
and the falling crimson leaves
swirling in the bitter breeze

Cho Chang hates mazes.

It is the one thing she hates about Hogwarts, the way the stairs and the corridors and even the rooms seem to be always shifting, always changing. It is the one thing that sets her apart. The Gryffindors enjoy the challenge, the adventure; the Slytherins appreciate the mystery, and the secrecy it provides. The Hufflepuffs do not mind; and fellow Ravenclaws relish the joy of solving the puzzle. She has been here for years now, and she knows she ought to be used to it, but still it terrifies her. Still there lingers a constant fear within her, a fear of losing her way, of being left alone, trapped within the dark convoluted twists and turns of unfamiliar passageways. It reminds her of the spider's silvery web, ensnaring the delicate butterfly within its gossamer threads.

(he's dead. what? cedric diggory is dead! didn't you hear? inside the maze... beyond those shadowy hedges, alone save for that potter boy... how terrible. isn't it?)

That is why she never walks alone. Instead, she surrounds herself by giggling, gossiping crowds of people who call themselves her friends. Sometimes it is tiresome, but it is far better than being alone.

(well, well, look who's here. if it isn't diggory's beloved white swan? surrounded by a gaggle of geese. well of course, she does it on purpose, you know. to show off. look at me, miss popularity. not only that, but also to show off herself. because geese cannot compare with the beauty of a swan... ha!)

She does not think that maybe, just maybe, she is escaping from one web, only to be tangled within another, greater web that even she cannot see. And she does not think that maybe, just maybe, she is slowly suffocating within its twisted strands.

And perhaps it no longer matters.

There are many things Cho Chang wishes she understood. For instance, why she had to love him, why he had to die. Why she cannot forget, why his ghost seems to haunt her, everywhere she looks, everywhere she runs, every damn second of the day.

It is this jumble of hate and love and anger and sorrow that frightens her the most.

For she has entered the labyrinth, and the exit she seeks cannot be found.

Fin.


Ah, don't you just love teen angst. :-P