Disclaimer: Draco Malfoy, Cho Chang
et. all belong to JK Rowling. I am merely borrowing the characters for
this fic. And the 'S.S. Slither and Soar' is the name of the Draco/Cho
ship on FictionAlleyPark.
"Are you ready yet, darling?" Mother floated into the room. Most people walk, but my mother seems to float, like a ghost. If you could see the way she walked, you would be certain to agree with my choice of description for the way she moves. She carries herself like an empress, radiant and regal. She is quite beautiful, as many have told her. I am also told that I am beautiful and will be as beautiful as my mother one day.
At the moment, I was sitting at my dressing table. I was staring blankly at my reflection, "I don't want to go." I said softly.
"Darling!" Mother exclaimed, rushing over to me. Usually, I have an appetite for social gatherings and she could immediately tell that something was wrong. She speaks with the tiniest bit of a Chinese accent that has become all but lost to her during her many years here in England. Her beautifully made-up face instantly became a mask of worry, "Why ever not?"
I didn't not look at her, but at the reflection of her in the mirror. It's no small wonder why they call her beautiful, for she is very beautiful. Her skin is a wonderful golden hue which seems to give off its own glow and her eyes glitter like twin gems of onyx in her flawless face. Meeting her eyes, my own told of a sorrow that had nestled deep in my heart and would not be leaving any time soon, no matter what anyone said.
She sighed and rested her chin atop my own black-haired head for a moment, "Darling, I know you feel horrible about Cedric's death," she paused and hugged me sympathetically as I closed my eyes, "But, darling, he wouldn't want you to sit and mope about him forever. You have to live your own life, in the present and not dwell on the past."
"It's so hard, though." I whispered. The tears that were always near the surface were threatening to break loose and cascade down my face like a waterfall.
"I know, darling." Mother whispered back, pulling my locks of black hair away from my face, "But, darling, it's not fair to keep a beautiful young woman such as yourself at home, mourning." she twisted the locks gently into a coil and secured it on my head with a silver hair clip. She looked at my reflection in the mirror, "But you must come to this party. Narcissa said that she'd love to see what a beautiful young lady you've become."
I stared at myself in the mirror, sitting in stony silence. Quite frankly, I didn't give a damn about if Narcissa wanted to see me or not. All my mother wanted to do was make me forget about Cedric and at that point in time, I couldn't.
I could tell that Mother knew this and I saw that she was thinking frantically, searching for some reason to get me to come to the party. A gleam of triumph appeared in those onyx eyes of her and I knew that she had found a trump card. "Darling," she began smoothly, "Draco also wants to see you."
I could almost feel the emphasis on his name. She knew that I never pass up a chance to see my childhood friend. When we were young, we made up a life for use. We would go to Hogwarts and be in the same house and be best friends for all eternity. But that was shattered when I got my letter and he did not. If it hadn't been that his birthday was a week later than mine, after the 1st September cut-off date, then we would be in the same year. The following year, when he began at Hogwarts, I sat at the Ravenclaw table, wishing dearly that he would be put in Ravenclaw. You could imagine my disappointment when the hat proclaimed he was to be in Slytherin.
"Well, darling?" Mother inquired, although both she and I already knew that she had won.
And that was how, three hours later, I ended up at a large gala ball at Malfoy Manor.
Upon my entrance to the house, I had been approached by several young men, around my age. Most of them were very handsome, but they all disappeared when I declined their offers to dance. Honestly, at this dance, I preferred to be a wallflower. For the first hour and a bit, I hovered around the catering table, occasionally taking a glass of champagne (non-alcoholic. I don't drink any other kind) and sipping it slowly, watching the others. Several times, I saw Draco that night. Usually, he was dancing with a girl and the girl had a look of intense rapture upon her face.
Often, through the hours that passed, several young men approached me, asking for dances. I suppose there is a curse with my looks. You are never left alone. And the robes I was wearing didn't help. They were of a gauzy material that was enchanted to shimmer blue and green in the lights. My mother had left my hair the way she had twisted it up and now several locks of black hair fell loose, framing my face. My mother told me that it made me look like a Naiad, a maiden of water.
"Well, don't we look beautiful tonight." a voice drawled from behind me. My heart almost skipped a beat as I turned to see Draco there, wearing dark green dress robes that had a high collar. He held a glass of champagne in his hand which he took a sip of, smiling softly.
"Hello, Draco." I said, smiling softly.
"You haven't been to any of the parties all summer, Cho." he said, almost reproachfully.
I was shocked at this. He knew full well why I hadn't been anywhere all summer. Everyone did.
"I'm sorry," he added, almost like an afterthought, "About Cedric, I mean." And he almost looked like he meant it, too. He placed a hand on my shoulder, "Honestly, I am."
"I never said you weren't, Draco." I said softly.
We stood there in silence for a few moments, just watching everyone. After awhile, he turned to me again, a mischievous grin on his face.
"How about you and me take off to Bermuda and ditch this place?" he suggested devilishly.
"Sure." I readily agreed, "Anywhere but here."
"Like when we were young." he said, holding out his arm. I took it and he smiled at me, "Remember how we used to sneak out of the parties and go to the garden?"
"Of course." I laughed softly as we exited to the outside. Surprisingly, no one was out there. We were all alone, under the night sky. "And we would pretend that we ran off to some far away, exotic country."
"Like Bermuda." Draco joined in my laughter.
Perhaps my mother was right, I did need to get out and have fun.
"Yes, and we'd curl up on the couch in the gazebo," I said, smiling softly at the memories. Glancing to my right, I saw the aforementioned gazebo a bit away.
"And make up our life in Bermuda." Draco finished.
"I wish I was in Bermuda now." I said, glancing up at the star-filled night sky. They looked like tiny diamonds in an endless expanse of black velvet sky, "Then I'd have nothing to worry about, or be upset about. If we were in Bermuda..." I trailed off wistfully.
"Too much sun in Bermuda." Draco wrinkled his nose.
"How come we never talk anymore?" I inquired of him. We had walked closer to the gazebo and now were at the door. He held it open for me and we walked inside.
"Because things have changed, Cho." he said softly. A slightly pained look crossed his face.
I glanced around the gazebo. It hadn't changed at all since I was last there, two days before I had gone off to Hogwarts. There was the old, deep green couch. The familiar magical lights floated in the air and the cream-coloured carpet still had the blue stain on it where we had tipped over an ink bottle when we were five. I pointed it at it, "Do you remember that?"
"Yes, I do." Draco laughed, "We were five and playing tag. My father had accidentally left it on the desk and you were chasing me. We crashed into the desk and knocked it over."
"And you told your parents a maid did it." I said reproachfully.
"I didn't want to get in trouble!" Draco protested in self-defence.
"And we used to make up stories where we were pirates." I said, reminiscing. I stepped out of my shoes and walked over to the couch. I sat on the couch, sinking into the familiar fabric, "We had arguments over who would be captain and first mate."
"And what the ships name would be." he sat next to me, "I always wanted it to be called 'The S.S. Slytherin' and you would insist it be called the 'S.S. Ravenclaw'."
"That's because your father was in Slytherin and my mum was in Ravenclaw." I smiled, "And we'd end up calling it 'The S.S. Slither and Soar' as a comprimise."
"Yes, that was one of my better ideas." Draco said smugly.
"Your idea?" I swatted him, "It was my idea."
"Mine, Chang, mine." he smirked.
"You wanna go, Malfoy?" I said playfully.
"Bring it on!" he goaded me on.
Grinning devishly, I tapped him on the shoulder, "You're it." I said, before hopping up and running away.
"Get back here!" he roared playfully, chasing me around the gazebo.
I turned and started to run backwards, facing him, "Make me." I grinned.
I don't know what it was, but maybe there was something in the carpet, something to trip me, but trip I did and I went flying on my back. The wind was knocked out of me for a secondm but I quickly recovered. Unfortunately, Draco had caught me.
"Tag." he said, pinning me down by holding my shoulders. His eyes were glimmering brightly in the magical light.
"I'm it, I guess." I said softly. His head was coming closer to mine. I raised my arms around his neck as his lips came closer and closer. They brushed against mine lightly.
But I didn't want a light kiss. I wanted a powerful one, a hungry one. I pulled him closer, kissing with all the passion I could. Perhaps I hadn't really loved Cedric, or I was over him, but I had never wanted to kiss Cedric as much as I wanted to kiss Draco. When we finally pulled apart, he gazed down at me with a look I had never seen on him.
In his silvery eyes, there was a look of wonder, intense desire and, strangely enough, love.
"God, Cho." he whispered huskily, holding himself up by bracing his hands on the floor beside my shoulders, "You're so beautiful."
As our lips met for the second time, I realized that my mother had been right.
It was time for me to get over Cedric and on with my life.