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06 August 2006 @ 11:54 pm
FIC: "Trapped in a Dream" for clocktowerkiss  
Title: Trapped in a Dream
Author/Artist: ???
Recipient's name: clocktowerkiss
Characters/Pairings: Pansy and Cho, with implications of Pansy/Cho, Seamus/Blaise, and Oliver/Cho.
Rating: PG
Summary: Cho wants help, and Pansy wants out.
Warnings: None. Implications of a threesome.
Notes: Wow. Well, I hope this is close to what you wanted--I'm quite horrible with darkfic, but I did try. Thanks so much to my wonderful beta!

~*~

Cho Chang was reluctant to get out of bed this morning. She curled up, straining her mind for a dream as if there is something important, or maybe something wonderful she missed. But, like sand clenched in she fist, it quickly drifted away. She always hoped that maybe the dream would come back to her; but usually it did't.

This was exactly how Cho felt.

What had it been about? She thought roses had something to do with it. No, not roses: the flowers in her dream had had no name at all, but they had bloomed plentifully, beautifully. That was all she could remember.

The sun was peeking into her window, insisting that she wake up. She sleepily sat up and stretched, and learned three things: It was seven o'clock, it was Monday, and Oliver--her husband of two years who also happened to play professional Quidditch--had left already for practice. She sighed. He was never around any more; always Quidditch, Quidditch, team, and Quidditch. Of course, it had always been that way, but in the beginning, at least it had been Quidditch, Quidditch, Cho, team, Quidditch.

She yawned and bent over to pull on her slippers, jotting down a mental list of things she would need to do that day. Mondays were actually her favorite days. It was nice to see the kids she taught all refreshed and eager to fly after a weekend. It was also nice to be away from home after a weekend of being forced to play a homebody--either that or a weekend full of boring Quidditch games. Not that she didn't love Quidditch still, she just did not want to watch Oliver's team use the same strategy over and over again.

She began to get ready for another day at Hogwarts.

By the time she was out her door, she had already forgotten the dream.

~*~

Cho is flying on her broom. She doesn't know where she's going, or who she's trying to escape (yes, who; she knows it's a someone and not a something from the sixth sense of just knowing that is always acquired in a dream) but she knows she must fly, and quickly, or she--he--it will catch her.

She glances behind her. The thing on the broomstick behind her is nothing more than a gigantic blur, and seems to have no outline. In fact, staring farther past its formless body, she realizes it seems to be leaving parts of itself behind. No, not only parts; it seems to be speeding so quickly that its black shape is smearing onto the background.


The background used to be the Quidditch Pitch, until Cho knew she was being chased, and then she flew out of the Pitch, and into the rest of the Hogwarts grounds.
Well, not really. Where she is gives all pretense of being the Hogwarts grounds, but in truth, every square inch of the place is unfamiliar to Cho. She thinks she smells flowers, and somehow the connection is made that this unseen garden is somewhere she needs to go, now. She presses forward with even more force.



~*~

Not so far away from Cho's little flat in Hogsmeade, Pansy Parkinson awoke suddenly with a conviction that there was something she must do. But when she was conscious enough to consider this urgent feeling, she couldn't think of any pressing task that she was meant to tend to. But still, she had to leave the warmth of her blankets, because even though she couldn't think what it might be, that imperative nagging at her mind would bring her no rest to fall back into, and she hated to stay in bed longer than she needed to.

Her shower was warm and relaxing, the best kind of shower. Jets of water cascaded onto her scalp and down her shoulders and back. She yawned hugely, getting sweet water in her mouth. She was still drowsy and she closed her eyes gratefully as the sleep was washed away from them.

She stood there for at least half an hour, knowing she should probably get out, but not wanting to. Getting out meant that her day would officially be beginning, and Mondays really were the worst sort of days. Who wouldn't agree with that? But the water presently got colder and colder and finally Pansy was practically forced to turn the faucet off and wrap herself in a towel she had remembered (for once) to put a warming spell on before she had gotten in.

She didn't want to go to work, and do the same things she did every day. It was all a huge trap.

She got dressed quickly, thinking nothing of the flowy black skirt or the high-heeled shoes that hurt her most but went best with everything. She dressed as if mechanically moving, and as if someone who wasn't actually her was picking out her clothes. She ate breakfast the same way, hardly tasting anything, and then she left for another day at work.

~*~

Cho was drowsy and the only thing on her mind was sleep. She pushed open the door to her bedroom, and screamed when she found not only Oliver, but two nude women as well, kissing him and running their hands over his body and--she didn't want to watch.

Before, she had so desperately wished for Cedric and Harry back. Now she wished that the one man who was least likely to die (because he wasn't a hero like Cedric and Harry had been), would.

~*~

Pansy is standing in a garden. Sometimes, her conscious mind interrupts her dreams (or perhaps she really is just this sarcastic underneath it all), and it does so right now when she thinks,
Oh, very subtle. Flowers. What could that mean? Does it have anything to do with my name at all? But as she peers closer, she realizes that these aren't like any pansies she's ever seen; nor any other kind of flower, either.

These aren't even flowers yet, not exactly. They're stems, bright green stems, from which protrude bulbs and rumors of growth of all different sizes. As she watches, one suddenly breaks open into a dazzling orange bloom right before her eyes, and she laughs in surprise.

She turns around and around as they all begin blooming, red and orange and green and purple and yellow and colors she didn't even know existed. These are the most beautiful flowers she's ever seen: bright, brilliant, bold; wild and unearthly. She, who love so little, loves these immediately.


They are calling her name, a cluster over here. A stunning bouquet here sings a lullaby. These here are silent; but a picture is silent, and yet it, too, can speak a thousand words.


This strange, ethereal sound is shattered by a scream, just as strange, but Pansy doesn't think anything will ever be as quite as magnificent as the music of the flowers. Pansy snaps her head towards the direction it came from, and sees a vast shape, chasing a smaller, faster figure on a broomstick flying towards her.



~*~

Cho, exhausted, pushed open the door to Dervish and Banges and bells rang to welcome her. The saleswoman sitting at the counter flashed Cho a cursory smile and began to stand, though Cho shook her head and crossed over to the broom polishing kits (the school brooms were an absolute finger-stained mess).

Something about the woman made her attractive, and it wasn't exactly her looks. Cho found herself stealing glances towards the stool behind the counter. Sometimes people interested her like this, she wasn't exactly sure why. But this was a little different--this woman was so familiar. Of course, Cho knew a lot of people her age in Hogsmeade; a lot of them had a been at Hogwarts with her. But something was not only familiar, but overly conversant, about her--as if Cho had known her as intimately as she had known� Marianne, was that her name?

No, this was more intimate than that. After all, she couldn't even remember her "best friend's" name.

The shop was otherwise empty. The woman at the counter, judging by the scraping of the chair against the floor and the fidgeting Cho saw in the corner of her eye, was apparently quite bored. There were a few more minutes of silence while she continued browsing through the various boxes of broom polish before the woman said, "I've seen you before. Not your first time here, is it?"

Cho looked up, shaking her head. "No. Flying instructor at Hogwarts."

The woman nodded slowly. "Right. So you went to school there, then?"

"Yes. I left in 1996." She inspected a tall container sporting a bright golden label that read Bernie's Olde Broome Polish.

"We must have been there together, then."

Cho tilted her head and crossed arms to consider the other woman. "Which house were you in?"

"Slytherin."

"Ah." Cho tried hard to remember that she was far over house rivalries by now, but she turned back to the shelf nonetheless. "I was a Ravenclaw." Maybe some of this Perfect Polish would take the stain off that old, nearly unusable Comet 140.

"I promise I don't eat babies for breakfast," assured the woman sarcastically. "Anyway, I'm Pansy Parkinson."

Cho had to stop herself from exclaiming, That little pug-faced girl? She couldn't stop the expression of surprise that glided across her face, however. "Oh--er. I'm Cho Chang."

"Both of us afflicted with the misfortune of alliterative names. I remember you. Diggory's girlfriend once, weren't you? And Potter's?"

"I suppose so. Well, once, anyway."

Pansy Parkinson studied Cho very intently so that the latter felt uncomfortable and looked away, back at the long lines of broom services clamoring for her attention.

Unseeingly, she picked one of these, a modest brown box from Ursula, Inc., and carried it towards the counter.

"That'll be a Galleon and three Sickles, thanks."

Cho gave Pansy the money, and received the box. She tucked it under her arm. "Well, goodbye."

"Yes," agreed the other as Cho pushed open the door and stepped out. "Goodbye."

~*~

It's been a long time since Cho has crash-landed with her broom, and she always regrets it afterwards, after the pain has been long dulled and the cuts and scrapes have stopped bleeding. Though when she does it in her dream, she isn't bleeding.

She's filled with inexplicable wonder as she inspects her palms, where there should certainly be several scuff marks.

She turns to look behind her. For some reason, the huge shadow has disappeared.

Gazing upwards, she realizes she's not alone. A woman pointing her wand up at the sky is with her.


"Can you help me?" she demands from the woman. "I'm scared."


"I think so."


"Good."


"But you have to find me first." She vanishes into the stem of one of the massive surrounding flowers.



~*~

Pansy yawned hugely. The sky outside Dervish and Banges was dark, and the last customer had come about half an hour ago. (His name had been Derrick Caulfield and he had asked three times for a date.) She called behind her, "O'Malley? You in there?"

Seamus Finnegan poked his head out of a room adjacent to the actual shop. His shirt was off and he had goggles pushed up to the top of his sandy brown head. "Yes. Is it time to leave yet?"

"Yes, actually."

Pansy's favorite Irishman (not that she actually knew many) disappeared with a face full of triumph and reappeared again in about seven seconds flat. When he returned, he had pulled his shirt back on. "Bye," he said quickly before he hurried out of the store, the smell of sawdust following him.

"Have fun with Blaise," she told him with a flicker of amusement in her voice, but he had already gone

She sighed and pulled the keys out of the little box in a cupboard nearby. She went about locking up and making sure everything was in place before she, too, headed out the glass doors. She pulled up the collar of her coat and felt like that comic book character Draco had always been fond of, Gracie Bartlett, Magical Dectective.

When she got to the door of her tiny one-person flat, she was surprised to see someone else there with her: Cho Chang. Pansy hadn't seen her in a month, not since
that meeting in the shop.

Cho got to her feet quickly. "Sorry--I thought--You told me to find you, so I did."

"I told you to find me?"

"Didn't you?"

Pansy couldn't remember much of that long ago conversation, and so maybe she had.

She couldn't think of one reason why that might be, however. She frowned, gesturing at the doorknob. "Want to come in?"

Cho shrugged. "I suppose," and she seemed to bend over as she entered through the doorway, as if the ceiling would hit her head. Pansy followed curiously.

"Have a seat, I guess. Like something to drink?"

"No, thank you." The woman took a seat in the generous dark blue armchair next to the fireplace. She looked around at the setting as if something might come out of the walls and bite her.

Pansy sat down across from her. "Is there an actual reason you're here? I don't mind too terribly, but it is rather random."

"I said--you told me to find you."

Were they hiring insanity cases to work at Hogwarts now? But then there had been Moody�

"Oh, right. Of course. Well, why did I tell you that?"

"You tell me. You said, 'Find me,' and you disappeared."

Pansy raised an eyebrow. "Are you quite all right?"

Cho Chang was very quiet. She fiddled with the hem of her robes a long while before she finally rose her eyes to meet Pansy's mystified ones. "Have you ever confused a dream with reality?"

"Many times."

"I think I just have."

Pansy, for the first time in many years, is frightened, though she doesn't know why.

~*~

Pansy feels like somebody is making her try on an all-encompassing dress that won't fit her. It's a familiar feeling; the feeling of Apparation. Except that she doesn't think she's Apparating. She's traveling quickly down the shaft of one of those flowers from the garden.


She hears a voice above her. She gazes upwards to see a scared, dirt-stained face, like a child's, is framed by grey sunlight.


"Pansy?" says Cho. "Help me."


"I can't!" protests Pansy. "I can't get out of here!"


"But I'll get you out of there. You can help me then."



~*~

Cho had been in love three times. Her first was Cedric Diggory, whom she always felt certain she might have married if he had not died. He had never hurt her, ever.

The second was not actually Harry Potter. She didn't think she'd ever been in love with him. No, the second was Oliver Wood. What he had to offer besides a face too handsome for words, she could never be quite sure. Really good conversations about Quidditch, maybe. But there it was: she was in love with him. Once. But she hadn't seen him in three months, not since she made him leave. And anyway, right now he was too preoccupied with a woman he met in a bar, whose name was Yolanda Tristan. Cho was very careful not to care.

The third was something new. She wasn't quite sure if it was love yet. Maybe it was just an unlikely infatuation. Her name was Pansy Parkinson and every day Cho sat on a bench outside of Dervish and Banges and watched her. Now that it was summer and school was on holiday, it wasn't like she had anything better to do.

The rest of the time, she just slept, and dreamt the same horrible dream over and over again.

~*~

Cho runs and runs through a forest. She's not being chased this time; instead, she is the chaser. Or the seeker, perhaps.


"Pansy!" she is calling. "Pansy, I need to find you!"


"I'm right here!" Pansy replies, though the embodiment of that now-recognizable voice remains evasive.


"Where?"


"I'm right here, waiting for you! I'll help you! Come find me!"



~*~

"I've found you again!" Cho said happily when Pansy entered the hall where her flat was located. Pansy was taken aback.

"What are you doing here?" she asked nervously, hard as she tried to mask her unease. She had seen Cho outside the door every day, and even Seamus had commented on it.

"You told me you were waiting for me!"

Pansy unlocked her door and hurried inside. She was not able to keep Cho from coming in after her, so she made sure not to turn her back as she walked slowly towards the little kitchen.

"Can I help you?" she asked hesitantly.

"Yes, I think so," said Cho, lurking near Pansy's shoulder. "I need you to."

"Do what?" Pansy's shoulders, tense, shrugged of their own accord.

Cho didn't answer, and instead kissed Pansy's unexpecting lips. Pansy pulled away, but Cho grabbed her wrists.

"You're helping me," she announced firmly.
~*~
"You helped me! You helped me!" taunts Cho from above, though this time she is perched on a tree. She has a tightly-woven, complicated net in her hands, ready to drop it down on Pansy's head.


Pansy feels trapped.
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Doctor Greenhorned Gleeky Blur Wizard: Prongsemeraldstag on August 8th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
Interesting read. Cho certainly seems a bit off kilter by the end.
what we call patience is only fire againclocktowerkiss on August 22nd, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
*beams* That's very cool. And all kinds of awesome; I love it. Thanks, mystery author! <3

(Sorry it took me so long to reply, I was on holiday.)