Disclaimer: All characters from the Harry Potter universe belong to J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Inc., AOL/Time Warner and associated companies. No offence, legal or otherwise, is intended by the online publication of this story. Neither is profit. Make love, not lawsuits!

Notes: Scribbled in 23 minutes for Contrelamontre's 'Grocery List' challenge: a fic that includes 4 yellow things, 3 animals, 2 mind-altering substances and 1 pair of high heels. No copyright infringement intended by the publication of this story.


by switchknife


The yellow of Padma's ribbon. Untied in a spill of dark hair, tangling in Cho's fingers.

The yellow of Cedric's scarf. Still folded in the bottom of her trunk, although no one knows she has it.

The yellow of Snitch, because it isn't gold in the swift windshine--merely yellow, a dancing spot of yellow that glints like a little sun.

The yellow of the Hufflepuff tapestry, which she still flinches away from when she walks into the Great Hall.

Only three tapestries are safe to look at now. Lion. Snake. Raven. Cho returns to her dorm as soon as she can after dinner--to the dark, heavy drapes around Padma's bed, to the shadows pooling around her feet.

Padma's mouth is sweet with hashish. She's one of the few Ravenclaws who appreciates the 'disordering of all the senses', as she puts it. 'A Muggle poet,' Padma murmurs into Cho's ear, reaching around to unclasp the hooks of Cho's bra. 'French.'

Padma knows her subjects well. French: kissing, history, literature. Magic: silencing charms, cloaking spells, a summons to the little bottle of oil by her bed. Padma is warm, certain, knowledgeable--a slender shifting pillar around which Cho winds herself for balance. Tell me. Teach me. Please. Padma's heart has no place for grief--she is pragmatic, and any pain that she feels is but the brief stinging of a thorn, to be quickly removed even before it can be properly acknowledged. Padma's heart is yellow like the sun, like the Snitch, a flutter of pulse and heat under Cho's mouth. Padma doesn't understand Cho's sorrow, which is unreasonable and black and has no place in a Ravenclaw's heart, surely. Padma doesn't understand why Cho doesn't discard bad memories in order to make better ones--but Padma gives her better memories anyway, new maps from nipple to mouth to thigh, new guides for Cho to follow with trembling hands. Cho can't seem to stop trembling, stop crying, sometimes--even when she comes, and she feels so stupid for that, so weak, but Padma gentles her down every time.

Cho doesn't ask Padma why she's doing this--if it's a pity fuck, but it probably isn't, because Padma isn't one for pity, although she is one for compassion. Compassionate fuck, then? Only Cho's so tired she can't even pull enough of herself together for anger--not that Padma deserves it, because Padma honestly wants her, dark eyes to dark eyes, dark hair to dark hair, dusky skin to ivory smooth, sweet to bitter, cunt to mouth. It's all very... different. From --. Very. Soft curves instead of hard shifting muscle, although Padma's tendons feel strong too, under the shift of neck and shoulder. Thigh. And the rising's the same, the shaking--Cho always shakes before orgasm, and she can see Padma's dark eyes make note of it, with a heated little flick, as though this is yet another line in a book she's been making notes in for a long time.

Padma doesn't understand grief. Maybe that's why her expression doesn't flicker when she catches Cho kissing Harry--and it doesn't matter that Cho's crying, and that Harry only looks confused--it doesn't, because Padma's expressionless all through dinner, and all through the next day, and when Terry asks her out, and she's still expressionless when she puts on her high heels, black winding stripes around her ankles, and arches up to Terry's mouth for a kiss.

Padma doesn't understand grief--but when she stumbles back after hours and into Cho's bed, a body slender and heavy and hot under layers of gauze and cotton, she winds her fingers in Cho's hair so tightly it hurts, and her teeth bite Cho's shoulders until they bruise. Her mouth tastes saltier than it should, under the tang of firewhiskey--and when she hauls Cho's knee up to fuck and suck and thrust, she's the one who's trembling, and Cho feels cleansed by it, her poison bled into another heart--because Padma might not understand grief but she does understand anger after all, and maybe, just maybe, that'll be enough.


* FIN *

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