By monkeymouse

NB: JKRowling built the Potterverse; I'm just redecorating one of the rooms. And one of the great things about JKR telling the story from Harry's point of view is that stuff could be happening that Harry isn't aware of.

Rated: PG

Spoilers: Everything


65. Epilogue

On her first morning back in Diagon Alley, Cho's parents were up early. They knew what had happened at Hogwarts, and not just through the Daily Prophet, but through owls and conversations with other parents and the Board of Governors and the Ministry. The more they asked, it seemed, the muddier the picture grew; the advice from Lucius Malfoy to "avoid Dumbledore for the present, because things could take an ugly turn" wasn't helpful at all. But their first concern wasn't Hogwarts anyway; it was the well-being of their daughter, their only child.

They were both in the kitchen preparing breakfast--a rarity in itself--when they heard a door slam and the quick thumping of Cho running down the steps. They went into the parlour just in time to see Cho, in full Hogwarts robes, standing before the hearth, a fistful of Floo powder at the ready.

They barely had time to call her name before she threw the powder into the grate. A bright green flame blazed up, and as Cho stepped into it, she shouted, "THE FAWCETT FAMILY!"

She was gone.


Ottery St. Catchpole is a small English village, but not so small that the Fawcetts could afford to let their guard down. They had Muggles living on either side, and it took almost every bit of their magic to keep up the illusion that they were no different. So it was with looks of alarm that, when Cho stepped out of the Fawcett family hearth, the family members rushed to the room.

"Cho!" Sally exclaimed. "How nice to see you!" Then she remembered exactly why Cho was there, and her voice dropped. "Sorry, I just meant, er, have you met my parents?"

Cho gave them a nod that was far from her usually polite manner, then turned back to Sally. "Where?"

"What? Ah. Down the path just outside the door; turn left and walk about a mile. You'll see it."

"Do you know if--if his parents--"

Sally's father spoke up. Sally had told her parents all that she knew about Cho and Cedric the night before. "They visit his grave every day, but in the late afternoon. And they live on the other side of the churchyard, if you want to go to their house--"

"If I wanted that," Cho interrupted, "I wouldn't have had to come here." She suddenly caught herself and bowed. "Sorry, that was very rude. I'm sorry to have disturbed you." The tears were starting again. She turned toward the front door.

"Cho, wait!" Sally grabbed at Cho's sleeve. "Your robes! I mean, you can't just walk about like that."

Cho pulled free of Sally's grip, opened the front door, then turned to look sadly at Sally. "But he's never seen me without robes. How will he know me?" Without another word she strode briskly out of the house and down the path.

"Poor thing," Mrs. Fawcett said, watching Cho walk down the path, "losing a loved one at that age."

"Yes," her husband sighed, putting his arm around his wife's waist and drawing her to him, "and under such awful circumstances."

Awful is right, thought Sally, who had grown up with Cedric and the children of the other wizarding families near Ottery St. Catchpole. Guess they never even had the chance for a quick shag.


Cho didn't meet a soul as she walked through the Devonshire countryside. After a few minutes, she saw the old churchyard on her left. It was a small churchyard, and the newest grave was easy to find. Cho walked up to it and knelt before the simple headstone. She grabbed the top of the stone with both hands, resting her forehead on the cool surface.

--Can you hear me, Cedric?

Ni hao, Cho Li.

--Very good; you got the inflection right that time.

Well, I've had lots of time to practice.

--Cedric, I love you. You have to believe that I love you.

Of course I believe it.

--And I'm so sorry about yelling at you in the garden.

No, I'm the one who should apologize. You were right, Cho Li. I should have told my dad off when I had the chance.

--But the garden. Madam Sprout showed me what happened.

That wasn't to do with you. I wanted to beat myself up, and lashing out at the garden was the next closest thing. I'm just sorry you thought I hated you. I never did.

--But the Task...

The Task was easy-peasy. Apart from Hagrid's Skrewt and the acromantula.


Acromantula; the overgrown spider. Clipped Harry rather badly. I guess he got me back all right. Harry, I mean.

--Yes, he did.

There was a long pause, as if each was waiting for the other.

--Ced, I... What do I do now?

You already know, Cho Li. Do what you were going to do anyway. Go back to Hogwarts, be the Ravenclaw Seeker.

--That's not what I mean.

I know.


Cho Li, do you really need my permission?

--I don't know. All I do is remember being with you. I can't stop myself.

Don't try to stop. It's those little bits of memory from you and my parents and the others at Hogwarts that still keep me alive, so to speak.

--I wish I could just stay here.

It would get rather dull. And what if it rains?

--Cedric Diggory, you're the only one I ever loved and you've been killed by You Know Who! Why are you making jokes about it?

Because I have a right to make jokes about myself, dead or alive. Because I don't want you to remember me only with tears. And because there's still a lot in life you can live before you go through the veil.

--I've never heard it put that way before.

Cho Li, have you ever known me to say anything poetical? There really is a veil; I've seen it.

--You mean a barrier between life and death?

Yes, and I probably shouldn't have even mentioned it to you. Don't go looking for it, Cho Li, because, even if you do find it, you won't find the Hufflepuff Seeker or the Hogwarts Champion. That person's under this stone.

--What will I find behind the veil?

I dunno. We all find different things, I guess.

--This is all well and good, Ced, except for one small problem. I still love you.

And I love you. We just can't do anything about it right now.

--If I go back to Hogwarts, I won't be able to stand it. I'll remember everything. It's only been a week and already I see or hear things that remind me of us and I start crying.

It'd be strange if you didn't. You'll be all right, Cho Li; I'm sure your friends will understand.

--Friends. Well. Actually, that's something else I've been thinking about.


--I shouldn't even be thinking this...

You're seeing another boy already?


It was a joke, Cho Li.

--But ... but someday it may not be.

Tell me honestly: were you in love with me before the Yule Ball?

--Honestly? No.

Then maybe I was a mistake in your life. Maybe, no matter how much I loved you, you were meant for someone else.

--But I DID love you!

I know. You're going to carry that love with you. I'm sorry about that, because it will make you sad. But you won't feel so sad in time.

--How much time?

I wish I could tell you.

--Ced, the truth is, there is another boy; someone I've liked for a long time.

Then talk to him, Cho Li. Please don't let me stop you.

--The thing is, Ced... it's Harry. Harry Potter.

Ah. Well. That's a relief. The way you were going on, I was afraid you were talking about Malfoy or someone like that.

--You don't mind?

It's not up to me, is it? Follow your heart, Chang Cho Li.

--But my heart keeps reminding me of you.

That's really not a good idea.

--I can't stop myself thinking of you. And I don't think I want to stop. Not just yet.

You always were headstrong. Remember me if you want, then. Just give Harry a fair chance. From what I know of him, he's not like most wizards his age. He could turn out to be something more than just The Boy Who Lived. Although Merlin knows that's enough for anyone.

--Thank you, Ced.

Goodbye, Cho Li.

Cho realized that, impossible as she would have thought it, there really was nothing else to say. She waited a minute, then reached into the pocket of her robes, pulled out a white card and laid it on the grave. She rose, turned and walked back down the path to the Fawcetts, not knowing if she'd been there for five minutes or an hour.


Later that day, Amos and Celia Diggory slowly and sadly made their way to the cemetery, as they had every day since they buried their son. Celia noticed the card, picked it up, and gasped loudly. She handed the card to her husband, her hand shaking.

Amos Diggory glanced at the card, then stared in surprise. "But--who else could have known?" His wife shook her head, as if to say that she had no idea.

Written on the card, in very careful penmanship, was:

But since it falls unto my lot

That I should rise and you should not

I lift my glass and softly call

Good night, and joy be with you all



A/N: Since I posted the previous chapter and announced that this fic would probably end, the resulting comments have been surprising, almost overwhelming and very gratifying. It may take a little while to see my way past the difficulties, but JKRowling has not yet ended the story. Perhaps I really do need to consider, after at least a rereading of "Order of the Phoenix", whether to resume, and, if so, how. In any case, you'll know about it.