Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or any of its associated products, trademarks, movies, TV clips, international GoF trailers featuring ugly Asian girl playing as Cho, stupid 80's style hairdos, Dumbledore with an idiotic ponytail looking beard, and the worst affront of them all: small, lizard-looking Horntail that isn't even black colored! On a side note, I also do not own 'Melodies of Life', song by Emiko Shiratori, and featured in FFIX.
A/N: After being really really frustrated with the lack of HPCCs (Harry/Cho ship, for you non-believers!) set post HBP (or in general), I've decided to take a crack at writing my own!
This is somewhat of a songfic (don't worry, lyrics occupy less than 2 percent of the story's total word count). Unlike most (but not all!) of the songfics out there that just degenerate into lyrics out of nowhere, the lyrics of the song is actually and integral part of the story. I hope this style of songfic will eventually become more widely adapted, as the 70 percent lyrics, 30 percent unrelated plotless rambling formula is getting a bit old, and tiring.
So let me know what you think of this style of writing, and how am I at writing HPCCs, but most importantly, I hope you enjoy the story!
Requiem of Love (Part I)
Written for my most consistent reviewer, who shall remain nameless. coughFSlcough
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Requiem: a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to the dead
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On the Hogwarts Express back to London, after the events of Harry's sixth year…
Cho was, once again, sitting with her friends on the train, though this time, none of them uttered a single word. The recent news of Dumbledore's passing has shocked most in the wizarding world into bewildered silence. Suddenly, a loud bang sounded outside. Cho was just getting up and about to investigate the commotion when the train violently jerked to a stop, throwing her unceremoniously out of her seat and right into the lap of her best friend, Marietta.
'I'm going to see what's going on!' Cho said with some courage after having regained her senses. 'Maybe this is just a mechani…'
But the thundering roar of a giant, and the subsequent earth-shaking stampede that he and his giant club armed fellows made toward the train dispelled any illusion that she, or anyone, might have had about the cause of their unplanned stop.
Most students reflexively dashed to the opposite side of the train, only to be met with an onslaught of death eaters charging at them, wands drawn.
'This is all Potter's fault!' Marietta yelled to no one in particular. 'I bet all this is just to get to him!'
Harry! Cho thought in panic. Marietta is right! Harry could be in grave danger right now!
And with that thought, Cho madly dashed toward the end of the train, where she remembered having seen Harry last. All thoughts of what that boy did to her heart momentarily forgotten.
Cho found Harry and friends battling against only three death eaters, though the dark wizards seemed to have the group well pinned down. These obviously were not your average, run-of-the-mill death eaters. Harry was dueling with one of the death eaters all by himself, and seemed to be holding up, though barely.
'Peh! Little boy, if the dark lord didn't specifically say he wanted you alive and relatively unharmed…' The death eater sneered as he casually deflected one of Harry's spells. 'I don't see why he gives you so much credit… I mean, you can't even touch me with a single spell!'
'Avada Kedavra!' Harry yelled, the dreaded green light already pouring out of his wand tip. The death eater was so surprised by this attack that he didn't even think of dodging…
The green jet of light hit the death eater dead on…and didn't have the slightest effect on him.
'Huh? …I'm aliv…' The death eater's triumphant shout of survival were cut short by the stunner Harry sent in the purposely miscast killing curse's wake.
Harry was just about to turn around and go help his friends when the dark lord himself faded-in right in front of Harry, to the horrified screams of many.
'Impressive, Harry. I see that you have become a bit more cunning since last we met.' Voldemort said conversationally as he deftly deflected a dozen curses sent his way by aurors who were, just now, arriving to help out. Not so coincidently, every single deflected spell streaked back toward its caster, twice as strong. Most aurors managed to raise a shield in time, though the action proved to be futile, as their own spells, strengthened by Voldemort's deflection, easily punched through the shields, and hit every single auror dead on.
'Hahahahaha. Now this gives a whole new meaning to What goes around comes around, eh Harry?' Voldemort laughed jokingly. 'Well, these ministry lackeys are getting a bit annoying. But I think I can hold them off long enough to see you die a horrible death in front of my eyes… or would you prefer to come with me and spare your friends the sight of you begging me for mercy?'
'Avada Ke…' Harry began, focusing his every single thought on the desire to see the abomination in front of him dead.
'Immobilis!' Voldemort cast almost lazily, though still too fast for Harry, who was hit with the spell and was immediately frozen in place.
'Now now, Harry. Didn't you know that using the Unforgiveables is ground for a life sentence in Azkaban?' Mocked Voldemort as he retrieved his old wand from his robes. Only now did Harry realize that Voldemort had been using a different wand all this time.
'I've made a spell just for you, my dear boy, and I don't want to ruin it by lessening its effects with another's wand.' Voldemort explained as he pointed his own wand toward Harry with a great, flourish twirl. 'Now, I'm pretty sure you've guessed already, but let me confirm for you that this spell is a thousand times more painful than the Cruciatus, and I've made sure that the pain is going to last for a few weeks. And don't worry, the spell will also make sure that no physical or magical mean can make you pass out from the pain. Of course, my little spell is also going to make sure that you die a horrible death, but I think you'll find the details of your demise very… 'interesting' to discover on your own time.' Here, Voldemort paused for a bit, and when he spoke again, it was in such a loud voice that all present on the battlefield could hear: 'Any last words, Harry? You'll be in too much agony afterwards to speak.'
'Go to hell!' Was all Harry could think of.
'Oh I plan to! When I'm ready to conquer it. See you there then!' And with that Voldemort started chanting in a tongue that no one could understand, though everyone knew exactly when the spell was finished, for Voldemort dramatically concluded his chant with the words 'Harry James Potter'.
A balloon sized ball of dark red light burst forth from the tip of Voldemort's wand, slowly making its way toward the immobilized Boy-Who-Lived. Harry was about to close his eyes to brace for the impact when a flurry of long, shining black hair shimmered in front of him, and a pair of what he once thought were the prettiest eyes on this world stared right into his emerald ones.
'I love you Harry…' Cho whispered as she hugged him close, shielding him with her body from the coming blow. She decided to use the last moments of her life to stare into those deep pools of emerald, a window perhaps, to his soul. And just before everything went dark for Cho Chang, she thought she could see a glimmer of love in them… love… for her?
'Cho! Cho!' Harry stood there, still paralyzed, and struggling to comprehend the words Cho just uttered as his former crush was hit with the fatal curse meant for him. To Harry, it felt unreal. His mind took several instants to realize the significance of what Cho had said, and only then did he catch up to what was happening to her.
And, as if through a haze of slowed time, Harry felt her hands gently relaxing their hold on him, her body slowly but surely slumping to the ground. All the while, her eyes, shimmering with a mixture of pain and sorrow, kept staring into his, as if searching desperately for something. At that moment, Harry wanted nothing more to be able to hold Cho in his arms, to tell her, despite the presence of Ginny not ten feet away, that he loved her too. But he couldn't move.
And then, to his amazement and great confusion, Cho smiled. It was not a smile of joy. Nor was it a smile of bittersweet fate. To Harry, it looked as if she actually found what her eyes were looking for, and smiled in contentment.
And then, her eyes closed…
'Noooooooo!' Harry yelled desperately, all feelings he once had for the Asian girl revived back to the forefront of his mind. And at once, he broke through the spell that held him in place, held him from holding onto Cho.
'Cho…' Harry called out gently as he cradled her in his arms, brushing a loose strand of hair away from her delicate face.
'Accursed girl!' Voldemort spat nearby, his plans for Harry's very painful death utterly ruined. Judging by the number of aurors that had popped up during that little scene, Voldemort don't think he'd have enough time to even torture the boy a bit. 'Don't be so sad Harry. I'll send you to join her right now. You can introduce her to your parents.' And before anyone could react, Voldemort sent the unblockable Killing curse toward Harry.
'Die! Voldemort!' Harry yelled in rage, lunging toward the dark lord, not caring what was coming at him.
Raw magical energy suddenly surged forth from his entire body, clashing with the green light of death in a cataclysmic explosion that engulfed the two in giant spark of blinding light. When the dust settled, Harry was standing perfectly straight, not a scratch on him, while Voldemort had been pushed a few feet back, and brought down to one knee.
'You may have won this time, Potter…' Voldemort said with effort. 'But you can't hope to pull that move every time we meet… Til next time.'
'Don't let him get away!' One senior auror yelled. 'He's weak right now!'
And with that, half a dozen aurors rushed the dark lord, intending on bringing him to justice. They were easily thrown back with a single flicker of Voldemort's wand.
No sooner did the dark lord disapparate, Harry collapsed to the ground, unconscious and exhausted to his limits.
Nine months earlier, on the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade…
She sat there, surrounded by her friends, hearing all but listening to none. Her loneliness having never had so much company. As they rode on toward Hogwarts, toward her final year of magical schooling, Cho Chang, like most girls her age who had went through three different boyfriends in the space of a year, wondered if she will ever find true love on this world… ever.
He had passed by her compartment, their eyes have met… and it was then that she knew. She knew in that instant that Harry Potter would never look upon her with the same loving gaze she had come to adore. She knew that he had, as she had suspected, cleaved all feelings of her from his heart. She knew all that as surely as she knew that the Sun rose from the East. And his indifference hurt her a thousand times more than any of his caustic remarks ever could.
Could she move on? Perhaps. At least, she tried to. Michael Corner did his best to care for her, she could tell. His intentions were genuine, and his concerns were unadulterated. But she could not return his love, for how could she, when her heart still lingered on another? And little by little, they drifted apart, each unable to rise to the hopes of the other.
And so now, she was alone. Her first love torn from her by the ghastly grip of death, her second love abandoning her for the sake of the world, and her third… attempt… unable to match the intensity of the first two.
Love is dead to me. Cho Chang silently thought as the train came to a halt. Her new and last year at Hogwarts about to begin…
Three days later…
Alone for a while, I've been searching through the dark,
For traces of the love you left inside my lonely heart.
To weave, by picking up the pieces that remain,
Melodies of life, love's…
'Eternal tale? Unending song? Untold story?' Cho Chang pondered, as she tried hard to come up with a suitable end to the very first verse of her song. She had, on the advice of her mother, started to write a song. Her mother had counseled her with several different ways to let out her depressive thoughts and hopefully get a better outlook on life. Since Cho felt that writing a diary would be far too common, and since she was never that much of a Yoga enthusiast, Cho decided to express her feelings through a song, and perhaps even compose the music that can go along with it, as her own musical talents were, like any good Asian child's, quite extensive.
No… those don't sound right… Cho mused. Melodies of life… stories of lives lived…How are they related to love? Cho's deep musings were rudely interrupted by two sixth year Ravenclaw girls sitting next to her: 'NO! This can't be true!' one of the girls yelled out so loud that a crack actually formed on said girl's glasses.
'What happened? What does the letter say?' The other girl asked, expressing the silent question that everyone in the Ravenclaw common room had on their mind at the moment.
'It… It's my boyfriend… He was killed last night by… by You-Know-Who!' The first girl said between tears. 'He barely graduated too…'
'I'm so sorry…' was all the second girl could manage.
Cho couldn't help but have a strong feeling of déjà vu. Where had she seen all this before? Oh yeah! That's right… I was just like her a year ago… after Cedric…Cho thought absently as everyone in the common room tried clumsily to express their support for the teary-eyed girl. I guess there must be dozens of girls like me out there now, all having lost their boyfriends to You-Know-Who…How many times must the story repeat?
The next day, in a sudden epiphany of revelation engendered by thoughts of the girl whose tragic love life echoed Cho's so closely, Cho managed to complete the first verse of her song.
'Melodies of life, Love's lost refrain', Cho murmured the sentence aloud. Yes, that about sums it up.
Three months later…
It was nearing Christmas, and a festive air permeated throughout the colorfully decorated castle. Cho couldn't help but cast a few furtive glances at Harry, memories of their first kiss came unbidden to her mind. Back then, he would call out her name with the cutest naïveté she had ever seen, leaving her with no doubt as to where his heart truly lied: with her.
And yet, I could never believe him when he told me that there is nothing going on between him and Hermione… Cho reminisced sadly.
Looking at them now, sitting side by side, and merrily laughing as if they don't have a care in the world, Cho felt oddly at peace. She had come to accept, too late, that Harry had female friends that knew him longer and more intimately than she did. I could have just contented myself in knowing that I was the one closest to his heart, lamented Cho belatedly.
Even after all this time, she still felt her heart being drawn toward the boy. She did not know why, for he was not particularly handsome, nor charming. Perhaps it was a combination of things, such as the ever-present kindness that he radiated about him, the hidden courage behind his eyes that he didn't even know about himself, or even his oft tested determination that allowed him to overcome so much strife.
Cho did not know what it was, and did not care anymore, for love had reasons that Reason could never know. She had given her heart out to Harry Potter, and she now knew for certain that it would remain so until the day she dies… Or maybe until the day he dies… Perhaps then my heart would give up all hope and free me from this fruitless pursuit… Cho thought grimly, memories of what happened with Cedric flashing in her mind. But did I even love Cedric this much? Perhaps I can never move on from Harry, I love him too much already…
That night, having been told by her parents to stay at Hogwarts for its safer confines, Cho sat alone by the window of the seventh year girls' dorm, gazing out at the silvery moon and a cloudless sky, the chill of winter having rendered the Hogwarts grounds even more quiet than usual.
With such a pensive setting, it was not surprising that Cho found herself drawn back into recollections of her times past, where things were far less complicated and far happier for her, Where Harry would eagerly call out her name from across the great hall, only to subsequently turn bright red at his own audacity. He was so cute… Cho thought sadly. Then, with saddened desperation in her voice, and her eyes vacantly fixed upon the moon, she softly murmured: 'Do you think about me still, Harry?'
Later that night, Cho fell into a cheerless sleep, having collapsed from exhaustion over one of the study tables in her common room. Through her closed eyelids, tears slowly but steadily streaked down onto the piece of parchment she had rested her head upon. On it, two new lines were added to an already melancholic song:
In my dearest memories, I see you reaching out to me.
Though you're gone, I still believe that you can call out my name…
A month later…
'Today is the day!' Cho valiantly repeated to herself, pacing back and forth in her dorm room. 'Got to fight for what you wish for, no matter how embarrassing it might be!'
A school owl sat patiently nearby, having been brought all the way from the Owlery by Cho herself. The owl, an aged bird of some experience, knew what time of the year it was, and thus knew exactly what this was about. He had seen it countless times before in this school full of young romantics.
'Yes, today is the day I will tell him that I still feels for him!' Cho declared to empty air, with her fist raised. 'Ok ok, gotta do this before I lose my nerve. Quick, quick!'
And with that, she promptly attached a letter to the owl's leg. Before she could change her mind, the owl flew out the window, his experiences telling him that this was what the girl wanted, deep down.
'Hmm… Guess he must have gotten bored from the wait.' Cho mused happily, content with herself for having finally sent a letter to Harry explaining all her feelings and actions past, and inviting him for a heart-to-heart talk. Who knows, maybe this will actually work out! And we might even go out together for Valentine 's Day! Cho thought hopefully as she stared at the owl's magnificent shape beating its wings across the barely clouded sky. If all went well, Harry's reply could come as soon as tomorrow.
All this new found hope inspired her to add another verse to her song:
From far and away, see the bird as it flies by,
Gliding through the shadows of the clouds up in the sky.
I've laid my memories and dreams upon those wings.
Leave them now, and see what tomorrow brings.
'Ah, easiest lines I've ever written!' Cho declared proudly, thrusting her quill back into her ink bottle with a fancy flourish. Her future having never looked as bright as it did right then.
But as the days went by, and having not received a reply from Harry on any of them, Cho's momentary happiness slowly turned into shame, and then, anger, for Harry didn't even so much as glance in her direction during all the time she had eagerly awaited.
Little by little, as the days turned into weeks, and as the weeks turned into months, her angered faded into despair once more, until one day, she finally found out.
He had indeed betrayed her, though not with the girl she had thought: Harry Potter was officially going out with Ginny Weasley, one of his supposed 'just a friend' female friends.
Like a dagger through her fragile heart, Cho felt utterly rejected. And to add insult to injury, it was Ginny Weasley who wrestled the prized Quidditch cup from, literally, under Cho's nose, humiliating Cho thoroughly in front the whole school, and earning her the scorn of her housemates.
Was that why he never answered my letter? Thought Cho with a sob. Was it because he had already started to fancy… HER? No… it couldn't be. Harry would have at least given me the courtesy of a reply, even if it is to reject me. Unless… Unless he never felt anything for me in the first place! There is no other reason why he would be so cold toward an ex-girlfriend… is there?
With her great plunge back into the land of despair, the tone of her song had, predictably, taken on a more pessimistic quality:
In your dearest memories, do you remember loving me?
Was it fate that brought us close and now leaves me behind?
Yes Harry. Do you even remember loving me? Or was I just a pre-adolescent crush that you had to satisfy? Cho mused darkly as she read over her latest lyrics. Sighing heavily, she silently added: 'And even if you did love me… It would seem that fate wants to keep us apart, doesn't it?'
'Cho! Cho!' The frantic voice of Marietta called out to her in panic. Suddenly, said girl burst into their dorm room. 'It's horrible! They say that professor Dumbledore is dead!'
'What? How? When? Where? Wh… Who's saying that?' Cho demanded, unable to believe in the news.
'A lot of the students! I thought it was a really bad joke, but when I asked professor Flitwick if it's true, he… he actually nodded his head!' Marietta managed to choke out before collapsing into a fit of sobs.
A week later, at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries…
'Cho!' Harry woke up screaming.
He was still getting his bearings when a hard slap connected with his face. Multicolored stars cleared just in time from Harry's vision for him to see a familiar redheaded girl storming out of the room.
'That wasn't very nice of you, mate.' Ron said from besides him, a slight scowl on his face. 'Ginny had been by your bedside the longest out of all of us, you know.'
'What happened?' Harry asked, avoiding the issue for the moment.
'Well, the mediwizards say you're gonna be fine. You were just drained from using so much raw magic, apparently.' Ron explained.
'Yes, even I have to admit, Harry. That was pretty cool!' Hermione added from beside Ron, jokingly imitating said redhead's tone.
'Cho... When is her funeral service? I didn't miss it, did I?' Harry couldn't help but ask, remembering those big, saddened eyes that stared into his own. Ron seemed offended.
'No Harry, you didn't miss it, because Cho is still alive…' Hermione said slowly, mincing her words.
Harry was just about to become overjoyed until Hermione's last two words poured cold water on the whole thing:
'…For now.' His best female friend added, almost inaudibly.
OMG! What is going to happen? What, in fact, actually happened to Cho?Will Harry find a way to save Cho? Will Ginny forgive Harry for his outburst? Will Harry even care? Will Ron punch Harry's teeth out for not caring? Will Hermione side with Harry or the Weasley's? Will I stop giving away so much plot detail? Or am I just misleading you with all these questions?
Find out all this and more next week, in the exciting conclusion to 'Requiem of Love, Part I', creatively entitled: Requiem of Love, Part II!
Coming up next Friday, same website, same story ID! (different chapters though :(
UPDATE: Yeah, it is now 'next Friday', unfortunately, I need to move and had trouble arranging a place at my destination 700km away. So I guess the update will be for next Friday now, that is, the next next Friday of the original post.
(gets down on both knees)
I beg you! Please. review! For the sake of HPCC!