Author's Notes: I, personally, love this. I've been fighting with writing Cedric/Harry fic for a while, and I've finally gotten one! It's from Cho's point of view, post-Goblet of Fire.

All credit for inspiration/betaing/general awesomeness goes to Opalish. And go check out The Twelve Step Program by Zombie Spuds, as we're uploading the next chapter soon! –grin-

Anyhoo. On with the fluff! (P.S., as you can see, I'm back to my normal angst-y self.)

Empathy

It was plain for everyone, including me, to see. The blushes, the stammers, the blissful smiles whenever he was in the vicinity … Cedric Diggory was in love with Harry Potter, and the whole world knew it but them.

I'd always held a torch for Cedric, simply because he was beautiful and kind and charming when all the other blokes were right prats. And everyone was always gushing on about his honesty, though he lied to my face all year. It wasn't intentional, of course, but more a desperate attempt to dissuade his heart from beating too rapidly whenever Harry glanced at him.

The thing about Harry, as I know better than most, is that he's just so … infatuating. His eyes, his laugh, and his smile can send any heart fluttering and flipping in one's chest. I think that he'd already begun his unwitting magic on the older boy before they'd ever even spoken.

By the time Harry's name was spat out of the Goblet of Fire, poor Cedric didn't stand a chance.

I fancied Cedric, I really did, despite the fact that I knew he'd never really be mine. His heart was already lost to a bloke three years younger than him. I know he hated it, hated himself for loving Harry when Harry was so wrong in so many ways.

The problem was that he was also so very, very right. Harry is everything the world isn't – everything that Cedric ever truly valued in a human being. He's caring, and shy, and awkward; yet at the same time he's so brave, and noble, and so bloody gorgeous that sometimes it hurts just looking at him.

Cedric was a goner from the first time he ever shook Harry's hand and was caught by his startling, brutally honest gaze.

It wasn't long until I started noticing the signs, signs that I myself was beginning to show. Cedric took the long way round to all his classes, often going out of his way just to catch a glimpse of the fourth champion. He blushed whenever Harry touched him – be it to steer him somewhere private to discuss the tournament, or just an accidental bump in the hallways. And there was that smile, that funny little smile that lit his face whenever Harry so much as glanced his way. He'd engage eagerly in any and all conversations concerning him; it was like Harry was a book he was reading, lapping up information almost desperately.

Cedric stood up for him in front of his friends, something he hardly ever did because he was so relaxed and quiet. There was a blazing row about those stupid Potter Stinks badges, when he railed at his best friend in the whole world for wearing it.

That's when everyone else started noticing what I'd known for months. Cedric didn't even really bother denying it when it was thrown in his face; a meek, "He's fourteen, and I've got a girlfriend," which was said with something that sounded like a pathetic attempt at derisiveness.

I don't think Harry ever knew just how much the older boy loved him – or if he even knows at all. Cedric knew he'd never have a chance with him, but there's always that hope, that damnable, persistent hope, that things will just … work out in the end.

Part of me is glad that Cedric died, not because he didn't deserve to live, but because he had a life of fruitless longing lined up for him. He wasn't dealt a fair hand of cards; Harry threw him for a loop he wasn't ready for. He'd fallen suddenly, sharply, and hard, and sometimes I think that scared him more than anything else in the world.

He died the way he would have wanted to, anyway. With Harry. Near Harry. Having Harry protect and, maybe, for a moment, love him.

It's funny how these things turn out.