Harry Potter woke with a start in a carriage on the Hogwarts Express. He blinked warily; the sunshine was being rather cruel to his pupils through the window. Meanwhile across from him, Ron and Hermione were too busy arguing to notice he had woken up.
'We should've woken him up! She-'
'He was bloody exhausted! And if she wanted to see him that badly, she would've understood that was clearly asleep, and 'sides, she can see him at school anyway,' huffed Ron, folding his arms and sinking lower into the seat.
Hermione rolled her eyes. 'It would've been more romantic if she had talked to him before!'
Ron glared. 'Romantic? ROMANTIC? They broke up last year for a reason, you know.'
Harry watched the two exchange words fiercely until he realized who they were talking about. Him and Cho. 'Yeah, that's right,' he said, agreeing with Ron.
But Hermione was unphased. 'So, you wouldn't want to see Cho at all?' She shrugged. 'Fine. I won't tell you why she wanted to see you when we got to school, and I will tell her that you aren't interested in the least, because you're over her.'
Even at the sound of Cho's name, Harry was instantly more awake than he had been previously. 'Cho's looking for me? Cho Chang?' Memories of last year came to mind. Cho had broken up with him, why he had a good idea. She still wan't over Cedric. She still loved Cedric. Quite obvious, really. It didn't stop him having feelings for her though. And like hell he was over her. There wasn't a day over the holidays he hadn't thought about her. And every time her did, a smile had somehow made it's way to his lips.
Hermione's face turned sour. 'Oh, yes of course Cho Chang!' she said exasperatedly. 'Do you know of any other Cho?' She shook her head. 'Honestly Harry. She seemed really nervous, and kind of excited to see you, and I heard she's signing with a professional Quidditch team too, but you wouldn't want to know, would you?'
Harry sat up and tried to form sentences as fast as his head was going. 'Well- I—I- Of course I want to know. It's got to do with Quidditch,' he lied. He'd rather not seem like he was a love-sick puppy in front of them just yet. Hermione, however, saw right through him.
'Aha!' she exclaimed. 'You do want to see her!'
Harry shrugged innocently. 'I barely talked to her after we… You know. I'd like to be at least friends with her.' He made a motion toward Ron, who was finding something outside the window apparently quite frustrating and muttering to himself. He looked like he wanted to torch the train. Harry knew he wasn't very happy about Cho at the moment.
Hermione raised a brow, then tilted her head toward the glowering Ron next to the window. 'Of course you do.'
Harry felt the train begin to stop. He stood up, and pulled Hermione out of the carriage and into the hallway. 'What did she say? What did she want? Was she really happy to see me?' It seemed he had a case of word-vomit.
Hermione blinked, then nodded quickly, trying to keep up with him. 'Calm down. She wants to see you when we get to the station. She said she'd look for you on the platform, but you know, it might be nice if you looked for her, because it's always courteous for guys to be-'
'Yeah, yeah, of course.' Harry's smile threatened to split his face. Cho wanted to see him. Cho Chang, the girl he had loved behind closed doors when they had split, wanted to see him.
Harry's euphoric session was interrupted as Hermione spoke.
'Don't get your hopes too high, Harry.' She tried to find words that wouldn't hurt. 'I mean, it might not be what you think. I don't want to see you get hurt. But, it could be what I hope it is. You never know.'
Harry nodded slowly. 'Of course.' Well that had certainly burst his bubble. It certainly hadn't crossed his mind, either. But if Cho wanted to see him, she'd see him. Students began to pile out of their carriages. He turned to Hermione. 'We'd better get going.'
Cho Chang sat uncomfortably in her seat as the Hogwarts Express slowed to a stop. What if Harry didn't want to see her? What if he just wanted to be friends? Well. She had to admit, she'd rather him a friend than nothing at all. Her younger brother David shook her shoulder.
'Cho? Cho! We're here,' he said. He slid the carriage door open and stepped out.
She turned to him. 'Oh. Right.' Cho stood up and took a deep breath. This was it.
The day Cho had broken up with Harry, was the day she had regretted most for the rest of the year, and over the summer, right up until now. Back then, she was unsteady, unsure of how she felt about Harry, and not quite sure she was ready to let Cedric go just yet. Though her boyfriend, Cedric was more a friend, than anything. When she needed someone, anyone, he'd be there. He'd been a great friend, and both him and Cho had thought they had wanted to be more than that. But all the time she'd been with him, the image of Harry was always at the back of her mind.
Since the day he had died, Cho had kept a secret. A secret that might've meant salvation for her relationship with Harry. She was going to break it off with Cedric. If he had lived, of course. She had thought it over, and over, and finally decided that it was Harry she wanted to be with. If Cedric happened to win the cup, she would break up with him on the day. If he hadn't, she'd wait it out a little longer, then tell him. But neither had happened. Instead, he'd died. And that changed everything. It had jeopardized- no, torn, her and Harry apart.
But now she had a chance to make amends, and maybe even… Well. She tried not to get ahead of herself. But she couldn't help wanting Harry. God, she'd wanted him for weeks, and hadn't been able to so much as send a letter.
When she finally stood up, and walked out onto the platform, Cho almost immediately looked around for Harry. And then there he was. Standing by a bench and a lamp, he looked almost as nervous as she felt. Shockingly, he'd changed over the summer. He looked taller, his shoulders broader, and his face harder; more angular, and handsome. His hair was as hopeless as it had always been, but as she moved closer, she could see his eyes better. They were the same, deep green as before, but she could swear they were different. Experienced; they had been opened just that much wider, so to speak.
She had to muster enough courage to call his name. 'Harry!'
He looked up, and wide on his face as the sky was blue, was a smile. Oh, shit. She felt her knees go weak for a moment, before she firmly instructed them to walk. As she made her way to him, she nearly tripped on her own feet. And she was supposed to be a coordinated athlete. Ha. Yeah, right.
When they were finally face to face, Cho noticed that she had to slightly look up into his face. 'You've gotten taller,' she said to him.
Harry's smile only grew broader. 'Er, yeah. I was going to say you had gotten shorter, but I doubted it.'
Oh. He was funny too. Cho was going to need more mental parchment if she wanted to list all his good attributes.
She shifted nervously. 'So. We should get to the carriages.'
Harry looked over her head toward the carriages and nodded.
As they walked, Cho was aware of a devastating desire to throw herself onto the expanse of his chest and yell she loved him and beg forgiveness. Of course, she didn't. But that didn't stop her suddenly reaching for his hand and holding it.
Only a select, observant few saw it. Even fewer spread a whisper about it. But nonetheless, very few would see Harry Potter holding hands with Cho Chang.