And ANOTHER ficlet for the HMS Bronze Snitch!! Enjoy!
Disclaimers apply. I own nothing…
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"No! That's STILL wrong! Try it again!" An
exasperated female voice could be heard through the open window of a small
house in the Wales countryside.
"Sai Jen?" A weary male voice spoke, the speaker obviously fagged out.
"No, it's Zai Jian! I TOLD you..."
"Cho..." the male voice whinged, "It's past midnight, we've been at this for hours! Can't we continue this tomorrow?"
Cho quirked a fine black eyebrow at Roger Davies, her former fellow Ravenclaw and Quidditch captain, currently her fiance and housemate. Roger had been among the most studious of the Ravenclaw students in his day, graduating at the top of his class in both Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts, but right now, he seemed in no mood to keep working on the near-impossible task that Cho had assigned him.
Roger sighed, and looked at the young, delicate-featured Chinese woman with blue puppy-eyes that would have melted a boulder. He loved Cho with all his heart, he truly did, and would not have hesitated to die for her, kill for her, and go to the ends of the Earth for her if she so saw fit.
However, he drew the line at learning Chinese in the course of two days for her.
After an entire afternoon of wrangling with the complexity of the characters, he decided that probably he should learn oral Chinese first. It must be easier than written Chinese, at any rate! Then, those hopes were dashed when Cho sailed in, listened to him say a few words, and picked every word apart, saying that he put the wrong inflection on this one, the wrong stress on that one, etc. etc. etc. In short, letting him know, in a roundabout way, that his aptitude in the language was comparable to that of a narcoleptic flobberworm.
"Oh, okay. Go to bed, then." Cho waved a dismissive little hand at him. He stood up from his chair by the table, and watched her expectantly.
"What? I thought you wanted to go to bed." Cho looked at him, schooling her face into an _expression of surprise and trying to hide a smile.
"Yes. Bed sounds very good right about now." He looked at her pointedly.
"All right, go sleep, then." Cho bent over to pick up a dictionary which had fallen on the floor. She set the dictionary on the table, but just as she was about to put away the parchment, she found herself swung into his arms and lifted into the air. He walked briskly away from the carnage of the cluttered kitchen table and towards the bedroom, carrying her firmly in his arms. She giggled even as she wound her arms around his neck. "Are you not sleepy, Roger?"
"Sleep is for later." A moment later, the two had disappeared into a room and he had kicked the door shut.
Of course, the next morning, it was back-to-work, and Roger once again found himself mulling over incomprehensible Chinese characters as Cho calmly and blithely ate her breakfast, hair damp from the shower and an _expression of extreme amusement on her face as she watched him frowning slightly as he waded through the text.
By lunchtime, he was still hopelessly befuddled.
"So, Cho, I should address your grandmother as...'Mu Zhu'?" He said the words cautiously. Cho stared, then laughed until her sides ached.
"Not unless you intend to call her a sow! 'Zu Mu' is how you say 'Grandmother' in Chinese!"
Roger suddenly slammed the dictionary shut and gave Cho a despairing look. This was just not working. No matter what he did or how hard he tried, there was simply no way for him to learn that language in time for her family's visit. He had met Cho's mother briefly before, at Cho's graduation. A strict, elegant Chinese lady whose diminuitive stature and dignified manner belied her absolute authoritativeness. And Cho's grandmother was supposedly the Matriarch of the clan, a former Master Shen-Wu Mage when she was young. These mages were rather like Aurors, but used Martial Arts prowess as often as magic, and were legendary even in other nations. He remembered reading about them in advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts, and feeling glad that he would never be on the receiving end of one's wrath.
"Cho...I'm sorry, but this...I just...I've tried. But I just CAN'T. Your family's just going to be disappointed." Roger shook his head, hands coming up to massage the aching temples. "Believe me, if I could, I would...but...I'll just deal with their disapproval, then."
Cho suddenly grew serious, and looked at him with a hint of doubt on her face, "And how would you deal with their disapproval, if they disapproved?" she asked softly, coming to stand in front of his chair.
He gently took her hands in his, callused thumbs brushing against her warm palms. "Well, I would be somewhat disappointed, of course, but if we'll have to elope in order to be together, then so be it. Because I can't imagine spending the rest of my life without you." His voice was completely serious, and Cho smiled down at him before settling down in his lap and cupping his face in her hands, her eyes shining with love as they gazed into his. She bent her head at the same moment that he leaned up, and their lips met briefly, lovingly. Finally, Cho pulled away.
"Well, if that's the case then, my family will love you, whether or not you speak a word of Chinese."
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