This fic is based on a challenge from the lovely Lyta Padfoot:
Write a romance between Roger Davies and Cho Chang. Include Ravenclaw student Miss Fawcett, sugar quills, a scarf getting caught on something, and the phrase "This is me we're talking about."
In addition, the premise comes from a cookie written by the wonderful Mirth at FAP...a "sequel", perhaps.
Oh, and of course, post-paper-typing exhaustion sitting in bed with a laptop listening to "I Wanna Be There" by Blessid Union of Souls...
This chapter is dedicated to the marvelous, wonderful Chained Dove, my beta-editor, co-author, fellow shipper of the HMS Bronze Snitch on which this fic is partially based, and more importantly, friend! Go you!! W00t! w00t!!
If I owned them, you would be unhappy. Roger and the other Quidditch hotties would be made to wear leather tighter than the security at Azkaban. And I wouldn't even let you people watch. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
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~ 'Til the End ~
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"You wouldn't know that I was there,
Because I have been there all the time,
And if I had my way I'd hold you in my arms
And leave this madness all behind,
'Cause you've got so much to give, but you throw it all away
And all you've got to show for who you are is pain,
And I've got so much to give, if you'd only let me in,
I'm gonna take the time to show you I'm a friend,
And you'll believe in love again..."
I wanna be there in the pouring rain,
I wanna be there when you call my name,
I'm gonna light your fire, gonna feel your flame,
I wanna be there when you go insane,
I wanna be there when I'm outta town,
And when your whole damn world is crashing down,
I'm gonna be your lover, gonna be your friend
I wanna be there 'til the end."
~ "I Wanna Be There" by Blessid Union of Souls ~
* * *Owl from R. Davies to C. Chang, 12 July
It's been a fortnight starting here, and... Well, all I can say is that it's quite interesting. All of us who have just started out are going through training. Hard work, but very interesting. We have two superiors, one of whom is sensible, canny and very aware of what is going on. The other...I will refrain from commenting and blistering your virgin ears.
The initial training is almost like a cross of Charms, Defense and physical training. Quite rigorous, but from what I've heard, this is also the process by which they later assign us to different posts and jobs. A process of elimination, almost. Now, more than ever, I thank goodness for Quidditch, I don't know what I would do had I not been accustomed to long games and early-morning practices! As it is, after a long day, I'm fagged out and find myself ravenously devouring all the food during dinnertime, despite the fact that it tastes horrible due to my lack of cooking skills. Oh, but I miss Hogwarts feasts!
Speaking of Hogwarts, do keep me informed of what's going on there, all right? At least tell me if the Ravenclaw team is up to scratch, Captain Chang. Please keep in touch; we've known each other for too long to never speak to each other again. I might even see you again someday; I certainly hope so. And I hope that when (not IF, WHEN) I do, you shall be smiling again.
If you need anything, anything at all, please let me know. I'm there for you. Always. I promise.
* * *
Owl from C. Chang to R. Davies, 22 July
Thanks for the owl. Good luck with your training, but I know that you will do well. As for your cooking skills, or lack thereof, perhaps you should get a book on cooking charms sometime? No matter, my mother and I were making dumplings today, and I've enclosed three dozen in the box. A simple warming charm should do the trick, and they will be ready to eat. Consider it a birthday present of sorts.
I'm doing better. It's hard. I don't think that I will ever be quite the same, but I will be fine. Thank you for your concern. I usually spend my time doing my summer homework. It keeps me busy, at least, and gives me a purpose. I've decided to take Advanced Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts next term. I will not have a lot of spare time, what with two Advanced classes, Quidditch and Prefect duties, but that does not matter. I'll manage. After all, both you and... and Cedric managed it.
I miss him a lot. It hurts to lose your best friend, it truly does. Sometimes I wish I could use a time-turner and go back to when things were simple and everyone was happy and carefree. But then, I know that what happens in life cannot be changed, and, well... at least he... he didn't suffer.
My father has gone back to China for the summer. He came home from work one day, fuming. Saying that Fudge was... well, several very derogatory things in Chinese which I won't blister your virgin ears with. He's gone to China to see if the Ministry there might be prevailed to send over their top Shen-Wu Mages to aid the cause. I hope he will succeed. I remember when I was little, I used to want to be a Mage, like my grandmother. Learning how to use ancient Chinese martial arts and spells to fight Dark wizards seemed so fascinating and "cool". But when I told my grandmother, she simply laughed and told me that I was too cheerful and fidgety to go into something like that. Well, I wonder what she would say if I approached her with that same proposition now.
Well, besides that, not much is going on around here. Hope to hear from you soon!
* * *
Roger Davies smiled as the honey-brown barn owl flew out of his window with his reply to Cho's letter. How sweet of her, to not only remember his birthday, but to send him dumplings! He'd tried them once, when Cho's mother had sent her a delicious batch last year when she was in the middle of taking her O.W.L.s and she had shared them with him and several other friends. The general consensus afterwards was that the house-elves should learn how to cook them as soon as possible, and Roger remembered Sarah Fawcett attempting to make them after asking Cho for the recipe, but unable to get the dough "just right". The girl had at last returned to the Ravenclaw common room late in the evening, disgruntled, her black hair and robes covered with flour, asking Cho if next time, her mother could send her some food that was easier to make? How Cho had chuckled, sweet laughter like the tinkling of crystal wind chimes rising from her lips.
He glanced at his wristwatch. It was nearly time for him to get to work. There would be more training today, concentrating on several of the more hideous disfigurement hexes that the Death Eaters were so fond of. The work would be grueling, and he knew that by the end of the day, he would be drained, and quite possibly recovering from several curses thrown at him all at once. This was a dangerous business, after all, and he knew that there were ones who thought him daft to become an Auror when he could have made more money and certainly been more carefree joining a professional Quidditch team. Was it not just the other day when he had met Cassius Horton, former Chaser on the Ravenclaw team under him, who had graduated the same year as himself and gone on to play as a reserve for the Appleby Arrows? Cassius had been astonished when Roger had informed him that he was training to be an Auror.
"An Auror? Davies, you should play Quidditch instead. Worst that could happen would be a few bludgers to the head here and there, but you could be tortured on a daily basis if you become an Auror. Besides, if you play Quidditch, you'd be doing something you love, making a decent living for yourself, and besides," here Cassius grinned, "the reserve Seeker on my team is quite attractive. Name of Eve Richardson. Used to be in Slytherin, but she's not bad. Not quite in the same class as that French veela girl you took to the Yule Ball last year, but quite the looker nevertheless: dark blonde hair, pale blue eyes, great figure. You should join, I'm sure you would enjoy yourself. Why did you decide to become an Auror, of all things?"
Roger had shrugged, finished his drink, and bid farewell to Cassius. The bloke was clever, and meant well, but he sometimes just did not understand. Why become an Auror?
Well, among other things, he would be bringing to vindictive justice the heartless evildoers who had made his sweet, lovable Seeker cry.
With that thought in mind, he Disapparated away to work.
* * *
Cho Chang went to Diagon Alley on a day in late August in the company of a deceptively mild-looking, snowy-haired little old Chinese woman dressed in Chinese robes of midnight blue with cloth buttons. Her parents had been busy that day, and had asked that Cho bring her grandmother with her while she did her school shopping, saying that it would be nice for the old lady to see Diagon Alley. Cho was not fooled. The small golden dragon embroidered on her grandmother's robe, with the crossed sword and wand underneath it, marked Madame Sai-Yu Chang as a Shen-Wu Mage, and her parents' insistence that she bring her grandmother with her was as much for her own protection as an opportunity for grandmother to tour the place. The old woman was only about five feet tall, and held a look of wise, calm serenity on her finely wrinkled face. But the hand resting on Cho's arm was amazingly strong, fast, and accurate. The reflexes were still sharp. Cho wondered what her teammates would think if she told them that her grandmother's reflexes in both magical and Muggle dueling were probably as fast as her own in Quidditch.
Together, they went to Flourish and Blotts, then to Madame Malkin's for a new cloak for the winter. After that, they headed to the Apothecary for potions supplies.
"Ten hummingbird feathers, twelve ounces of powdered moonstone, one bundle of dried gentian roots, six ounces of crushed barnacle shells, and two scoops of clownfish scales." Cho handed the list to the witch who worked there, then counted out her money for the supplies. Fifteen minutes later, she and her grandmother were walking into the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. Just as they walked in, the bell on the door jingled, signaling the arrival of someone else.
"Cho?" she heard a vaguely familiar female voice call out. Turning around, she came face-to-face with a tall girl with dark blonde hair. Cho recognized her as Charisse Weston, a fellow Ravenclaw Prefect a year older than herself. She was Head Girl this year, a good student, particularly in potions, but was something of an introvert and a loner, and Cho did not know her very well.
"Hello, Charisse, isn't it? How are you?" Cho asked politely. The other girl gave her a wan smile.
"All right, thank you. So, er, how was your summer?" Charisse tried to make casual conversation. Cho smiled.
"It was all right, I spent most of my time practicing flying and doing homework for Advanced Transfiguration. You?"
Charisse bit her lip, seeming unsure of how to answer. A very unusual thing for a Ravenclaw. Then, she brightened up, "My brother will be starting at Hogwarts this year. His name is Anthony."
"Oh? That's wonderful! Your parents must be very proud of him!"
Charisse winced almost imperceptibly, "Y-yes, well, my father is... my mother died several years ago... but yes, my father is at Ollivander's right now, buying him a wand."
"That's nice. Let's hope that he's sorted into Ravenclaw!"
Charisse nodded, "Yes, let's hope." Something in the tone of her voice seemed to convey a mixture of both fervent hope and desolate hopelessness. "Well, I'm just waiting for them, they're supposed to meet me here in half an hour."
Cho nodded, "All right, you can sit with us in the meantime."
Charisse gave a start, "Oh! How rude of me." She proffered a hand to Cho's grandmother, "How do you do, my name is Charisse Weston."
Madame Sai-Yu Chang raised an eyebrow quizzically at her granddaughter, who promptly translated, informing her grandmother that Charisse was a seventh year from Ravenclaw House, who was the Head Girl this year. The old lady nodded, then put her left hand, palm downwards, over her closed right fist, inclining her head in a traditional Chinese greeting. Charisse gave a start, seeing the small golden dragon on the old lady's robes. "Cho, your grandmother is a Shen-Wu Mage?!"
"Yes," Cho answered, "She's just visiting from China..."
"That's fascinating! What's her specialty? Armed, hand-to-hand, or hidden weapons?" Cho blinked in surprise. Certainly no one she knew of, even the students in Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts, knew so much about foreign Dark Wizard fighters and what they did. Nevertheless, she relayed the translated question to her grandmother, and soon, the three were having a conversation consisting of Charisse asking interested questions, Cho's grandmother answering, and Cho translating for the two of them.
"Charisse Regina Weston!" A cold, imperious-sounding man's voice reached their ears. Charisse paled slightly, and abruptly stopped talking, retreating back into the shy shell that she'd had before getting into the Mage conversation. She hurriedly stood up.
Cho watched as a tall, black-haired man with a pair of flashing dark eyes, dressed in sweeping, expensive-looking robes of silver-trimmed black satin strode towards them, a dark-haired, slightly sullen-looking boy at his heels. Charisse replied softly, "Father, Anthony."
Mr. Weston's eyes swept over Cho rather haughtily. Cho, unfazed, matched his stare. Charisse hurriedly made introductions, "Father, this is Cho Chang, she's a 6th year Ravenclaw Prefect at Hogwarts, and this is her grandmother, Madame Sai-Yu Chang." At Charisse's last words, Mr. Weston's eyes widened, and he coughed before forcing a smile upon his face, a smile that did not reach his eyes, and held out a hand.
Cho looked at the man strangely, then turned to her grandmother to translate and make her introductions. To her surprise, the benevolent look had vanished from the old lady's face, replaced by a grim one, from the hardness in her narrowed eyes to the gray eyebrows quirked in an unspoken challenge. "Xiao Li Cang Dao." Cho heard her grandmother mutter under her breath. A smile that hides a knife. She did not greet Mr. Weston, but rather gave him a cold nod and looked away, her wrinkled lip curled. Charisse looked distinctly uncomfortable. Finally, Mr. Weston broke the silence.
"Come, Charisse, Anthony. We will leave now." He said in his polished, icy voice. Charisse gave Cho an awkward wave, and followed her father and brother out of the Leaky Cauldron.
Cho turned back to her grandmother, "Is everything all right, grandmother?" she asked in Chinese. The old woman nodded towards the door that Charisse and her family had just left through.
"He is a bad man. The girl is most unfortunate."
Cho asked for an explanation, but her grandmother simply pressed her lips together and refused to say anything more on that matter.
* * *
Owl from R. Davies to C. Chang 25 August
Well, that was nice of you to make friends with Charisse, she seems like she doesn't have many people to talk to. That incident with your grandmother and her father seemed rather strange, though. I know that her family is rather wealthy, and her father... he was in school the same time as my parents... my mother recalls him as being a Slytherin and cronies with Severus Snape... perhaps he's a rather unpleasant individual.
Well, this is probably the last letter that will get to you before you go to Hogwarts. Training continues, and I've been termed a lucky bloke by several others because of the dumplings that I (gloatingly, I freely admit) brought to lunch for a week. No less than three people have asked that I owl you with their gratitude, and hopes that there will be more. Never mind that I had informed them that you would be busy with school, etc. and were not their personal chef. But consider yourself thanked profusely, at any rate.
I'm very glad to hear that your father is going to try to bring in Mages from China, they could significantly help with the cause. I hope that, when the time comes, I will be able to contribute as well. I certainly hope so! I've been working hard; Auror Steele, who is training me, seems to be satisfied with my progress. We learn more every day about this occupation, and the more I learn, the more I understand just what I and the others will be up against. It won't be easy, but someone needs to do it.
Well, this is probably the last owl before you start sixth year. Good luck, and as always, remember that I'll be here if you ever need to talk to someone.
* * *
Cho watched with interest as Professor McGonagall led the row of wide-eyed First Years into the Great Hall. Several of them looked somewhat familiar, probably siblings of people she'd seen before. She wondered how many new Ravenclaws there would be this year.
Next to her, Charisse sat, her hands tensely folded in her lap, watching the ceremony anxiously. Her unreadable pale blue eyes were fixed upon her brother, standing among the other first years.
"Abbott, Lucy!" A round-faced, blonde-pigtailed girl who looked almost identical to how her sister had looked at her age, got up onto the stool, and was sorted almost immediately into Hufflepuff. Cho gave a sad little smile. The faces of the returning Hufflepuffs all held a hint of sadness. Cedric was missed.
"Gryffindor!" Cho saw Harry Potter and his friends cheer with the rest of the Gryffindors as the boy walked to the table. She smiled at them.
"Slytherin!" Cho grimaced. Must be the younger brother of the same Slytherin Beater who had landed her in the hospital her first year playing as a Seeker.
"Brown, Jade!" became another Gryffindor, and then "Calvert, Fiona!" and "Carstairs, Wallace!" were both made Ravenclaws, and Cho cheered along with the rest of the table as the two of them made their way over, sitting down in between Orla Quirke and Su Li.
"Chilton, Darius!" was made a Slytherin, "Dawson, Brian!" a Gryffindor, and "Doyle, Hope!" a Hufflepuff. "Entwhistle, Adeline!" was sorted into Ravenclaw amid cheers from her brother Kevin, "Everett, Mark!" went to Hufflepuff, and "Fenton, Morris!" to Slytherin. "Forrest, Ophelia!" became a Hufflepuff, as did "Green, Matthew!". "Harcourt, Leonard!", "Hill, Philip!" and "Jordan, Rae!" all became Gryffindors, and Cho saw the outrageous Quidditch commentator give a whoop and clap his sister on the back. The Sorting continued. "Markham, Una!", "Martinez, Alberto!", "Rosenberg, Jacob!" and "Sato, Yumiko!" all became Ravenclaws. "Sheridan, Emily!" became a Gryffindor, "Tanner, Rachel!" a Hufflepuff, and "Thurston, Alice!" a Slytherin. "Vilensky, Marina!" was sorted into Ravenclaw, and then, Professor McGonagall called out "Weston, Anthony!" and Charisse stiffened next to Cho.
The dark-haired boy walked up to the stool slowly, and Professor McGonagall clapped the Sorting Hat upon his head. Fifteen seconds passed, then thirty, then forty-five. Cho saw Charisse cross her fingers. Finally, the hat shouted out for all present to hear, "SLYTHERIN!"
Charisse's face fell. "Wilson, Francis!" got sorted into Ravenclaw, and the Feast began. Cho ate heartily, hungry after her train ride. Una Markham, a Muggleborn First-Year, sat on her other side and started to ask her questions about classes, points, and whether or not they really had Quidditch games here. Cho answered in the affirmative to the last question, and told the girl that she was Quidditch captain for their house team. This, of course, was heard by many others at the table, both new and old students, and Cho found herself barraged with questions on all sides.
By the time she had finished answering the questions, dinner was over, and it was time for the Prefects to lead everyone back to the Common Room. Cho saw with approval Padma Patil and Terry Boot, the new fifth year Prefects, rise to the occasion and usher everyone into a neat line behind them. Zachary Turpin, a seventh year Prefect and a Chaser on the house team, fell into step next to Cho at the end of the line, chatting with her all the while about Quidditch strategies. Stefan Ackerley, the male sixth year Prefect, walked alongside the line with the now-dispirited Charisse, making sure that there were no stragglers.
Soon, they reached a picture of a beautiful dark-haired woman holding a pomegranate in one hand. Padma turned to face the First-years and spoke, "This is Proserpine, she is the guardian of Ravenclaw Tower. To get in, you must say the password." She turned back to the painting and said clearly, "Pax Vobiscum." Proserpine nodded, and the portrait opened like a door. The Ravenclaws walked in.
After getting everyone settled in, Cho posted a notice on the bulletin board, "There is a vacant Beater and Chaser position open on our House's Quidditch Team. Anyone second year or above interested in trying out should meet at the pitch on Tuesday, 10 September at 7:30 in the evening. Be prompt, wear comfortable clothing and bring a broomstick if you have one. Any questions and concerns should be taken to C. Chang, Captain."
By the time all questions and concerns had been answered, it was quite late, and most people had gone to bed. Cho was about to head to her dormitory herself when she saw Charisse, sitting by herself by a window, staring outside. She walked over.
"Are you going to bed soon?" Charisse turned around slowly, and Cho was astonished to see tears running down the older girl's face.
* * *
Owl from C. Chang to R. Davies, 2 September
NOW I know what is the case with Charisse! It turns out that her family is quite the pureblooded, old-and-established wizarding family. Also, everyone in the past six generations have been in Slytherin. Charisse, needless to say, is not. Her father was furious when she got sorted into Ravenclaw, and she has a hard time in her family. She also said, somewhat sadly and fearfully, that if she were to live her life as she wanted to live it, she would pay dearly. I tried to have her explain what she meant, but she said that she couldn't burden me with it!
Her brother got Sorted into Slytherin. She said that her father would be proud, but she felt more alone than ever. Poor girl, I think that I'll try to become good friends with her. I thought that I had a hard time of it, losing a best friend and all, but in some ways, Charisse has it even worse. At least I have friends like you, and a family that loves me.
On another note, many people seem to be interested in the vacant positions for Quidditch. I've posted a note on the Bulletin telling everyone who is interested to come to the first practice on the tenth to try out. Hopefully I will find a Beater able to live up to your legacy, Roger, although I doubt it! We'll see what happens, and I'll keep you informed.
Well, classes are all right. Potions is a drag... I don't see how Charisse can stand it. OH! Guess who's the new Defense teacher this year?! FLEUR DELACOUR!! She arrived late last night after the feast, I believe. You remember her, of course... I distinctly remember you and her going out to 'walk' in the rosebushes during the Yule Ball, you naughty, naughty boy... she's still like before, a bit more personable, though. Her lecture was fairly interesting and informative, despite the fact that the male half of the class probably didn't hear a word of it. Afterwards, she told me that she heard from the first year Ravenclaws that I was the new Quidditch captain, and congratulated me. Also told me to say hello to you for her. Will that old romance rekindle? Hmm? In any case, I will have to tease you a lot in subsequent letters. I would tease her as well, but she could take away points from me for impertinence... hah!
Advanced Transfiguration is difficult, but fascinating. McGonagall has assigned all of us special research projects. I'm doing mine on Animagus transformations. It's quite interesting. Hmm, perhaps someday I will achieve that skill.
Tell your friends that I am glad that they liked the dumplings. But, flattered though I am, there will not be additional shipments of them until at least Christmastime.
Zach, David, Edward and Sebastian all send their greetings to their former Quidditch captain.
Well, it's quite late now, and I've Transfiguration first thing tomorrow morning. I had better go to bed. Farewell for now!
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And that's chapter one! Review!!!