The Sugar Quill
Author: Angelphish  Story: Time to Dance  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

***

Disclaimer: Cho Chang and Cedric Diggory belong to J.K. Rowling. I Hope You Dance lyrics and song belong to LeeAnn Womack

***

As the sunlight streamed into her bedroom, Cho Chang groaned and rolled over, desperate to avoid it. She wasn’t always like this. She sighed, thinking back on her former life-Quidditch Seeker, top-notch student, popular and adored by all. All taken from her in one night, by two little words.

Avada Kedavra…

Her beloved, her Cedric. At first glance a less likely pairing could not be found. She was the daughter of a pair of wealthy Muggle lawyers, he from a wizard family of modest means. At first, they had been friends. For three and a half years, ever since she was named reserve Ravenclaw Seeker, they had conversations over tactics. He had been the dashing older boy, and he truly wanted to help her-she had been so young when she won the position, and had only been flying for a year due to her background. Eventually they developed a true friendship, and that had blossomed into love. She smiled, remembering how nervous he had been when he asked her to the ball. And how handsome he had looked that night…

NO! she thought fervently. He’s not coming back, no matter how much it hurts.

But her thoughts drifted. She savored these few moments in the morning, before her mother would call to her to prepare for the day ("For goodness sakes, Cho, I know you must be hurting, but one must put forward a pretty face for the world!"). Suddenly, she jumped out of bed and pulled out a small velvet box from her dresser.

There, she smiled to herself. The box held a silver filigree ring and a handful of dried lavender rose petals-her Christmas present from Cedric. She turned over the ring and read the inscription, magically shrunk to fit into the band.

This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, should prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.

Shakespeare…he knew how I love Shakespeare, she thought, putting the ring back on her left ring finger. Oh, her mother had thrown a fit ("It just isn’t proper to wear jewelry from a boy at your age!") but she didn’t care. She only wore the ring in the wizarding world anyway, for there was the only place it held true meaning. It was a reminder of Cedric-her friend, her beloved and for one night in June, her lover.

She flushed scarlet. June 20. A week after their six-month anniversary and four days before…the maze. I’m fifteen, about to be sixteen. A bit young, yes, but I was ready. Was I ever ready. She had been talking about this with Cedric for about a month, and when she was ready, Cedric had cleaned up an old abandoned Charms classroom and supplied it with linens and a candlelit dinner. It had been a bit scary, yes, but well worth it. She had already known that they loved each other before then, but it seemed so much more concrete, so real after that one night of shared passion. And four nights later, she had cried over his body.

A sudden lump grew in her throat, and she knew she could not go downstairs now. She buzzed her mother that she was sick, and crawled back into bed.

**********

How odd, the Great Hall is abandoned. And why aren’t the regular tables out…but this is certainly pretty.

Looking down, Cho was startled to see that she was wearing her silk dress robes. Then she glanced across the hall, and gasped.

Cedric was there.

Tears springing into her eyes, she ran across the hall to hug him, just to hold him one last time.

"Cho," he said, "do you know why I’m here?"

"Ced," she whispered, hearing her voice trail off.

"Shh," he whispered. "The song is starting."

Soft Muggle music began to fill the Great Hall.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,

May you never take one single breath for granted,

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

I hope you dance…

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance.

Living might mean taking chances,

But they’re worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake

But its worth making.

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter.

When you get close to selling out, reconsider.

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

Dance…

I hope you dance…

Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder

Where those years have gone…

I hope you dance…

Cho let the melody and words wash over her as she clung to Cedric. After the song ended, she tipped her head up to look at him.

"Ced," she whispered, "I…I miss you so much. I love you."

"I love you too, butterfly," he replied, kissing the top of her head. "Now, I need you to promise me something."

"Anything," she said. Anything at all for you.

"Honor me. Don’t be afraid to live. Don’t be afraid to dance."

"But…" her voice trailed off.

"Don’t worry. I’ll always be with you, butterfly. We’ll win this war. And just consider me to be your guardian angel in the fight." He stopped to kiss her hand, then conjured up a perfect lavender rose with a flick of his wand.

Inhaling the sweet perfume of the rose, she whispered, "I promise."

**********

As Cho awoke, she became aware of something in her hand. Pulling it out from beneath the thick blanket, she was shocked to see a lavender rose.

But it was a dream, she thought wildly. Then she noticed that her window was open and the curtains were caught up in a breeze. On the ledge set a carved rosewood box.

Curiously, she opened it. As soon as she did, the haunting melody from her dream filled the room.

I hope you dance…

Had Cedric visited her in spirit? Was he watching her from heaven right now smiling?

Honor me. Don’t be afraid to live. Don’t be afraid to dance.

Facing her mirror, Cho tried out a smile, her first real smile in over two months. Placing the box on her dresser, she proceeded to prepare herself for the day. After she had placed the rose in a vase, she took a deep breath.

"Time to dance," she murmured, then left to face the world with her angel.

 

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