Author's Note: Okay, okay, so I stole the format of this one-shot from Startide Risen. My deepest apologies, please forgive me, the story is different, but the format is just so amazing that I had to. Startide, you're my one and only. :-D This fic is - yes - pointless, and not even very good, but like I said, I love the format and I haven't seen one of these before...
(his voice is just above a whisper) I'm sorry.
(she can't bring himself to look at him) It's not your fault. (a truly heartfelt lie)
Please, don't. (he wants to believe her - wants to save himself) It is. (too late - he's too far gone now)
(she puts her hand on his arm) Don't do this to yourself, Harry. (she wants to meet his eyes) You couldn't have stopped it.
He wanted me to take it alone. (the guilt is finally catching up with him) I could have gone alone... (he looks up - does she believe him? He needs to prove it, justify his actions to himself, to her, to the world)
You're a hero, Harry... (he is, she supposes - just not hero enough to save Cedric) Don't forget that.
(his bitter smile reflects the inside that no one seems to see anymore) I guess I am, aren't I? Everyone's hero? Save the world today, Order of Merlin, First class, tomorrow? (too bad it's not so easy)
(she wants to reach out - wants to help him - but for Cedric, she would) Don't say it like that. Like it's not important. (why does he have to be so stubborn)
Sure, it's important. (she doesn't understand, she never could) Important. Too bad people are dying for it. (does the harsh reality hurt, Cho?)
(she winces - trying to hide the pain) Harry, please. Don't be like this.
It's my fault. This - anything that happens because of Voldemort - will be my fault. (he knows it now - he should have realized it before)
(she wants to understand) Harry, it's not your fault. You didn't kill Cedric.
I brought him with me. (she can stop the charade now. He knows the truth and needs her to accept it - and him) I didn't have to. I could have taken it for myself - win fairly. (damnit - why did it always come back to winning)
(she hears her parents calling) Don't take all of this on your shoulders. (it's time to go) Cedric didn't blame you.
(he hears them, too) You'd better go. (he doesn't want her to leave yet)
(she gives his hand a squeeze) Don't worry, Harry. No one blames you. You just do what you have to and get on with it. Don't blame yourself. (she walks away, throwing him a pitying glance - wishing she believed her own lies)
Yeah, okay. Sure. Have a nice summer, Cho. (he tries to smile)
(too bad it's not so easy)