In cold blood, he kills a Death Eater in front of her and Cho doesn’t know whether to sag with relief or run screaming. Harry has changed. He looks just the same as he did the last time she saw him in person three years before and yet he is totally unrecognisable at the same time. They had all come together for the battle at Hogwarts and they had all lost together, yet something in Harry Potter has clearly changed the way it hasn’t in others. No one knows what happened in the forest, other than that Harry came out half alive and Voldemort massacred most of the resisters before he had regained consciousness.
The differences between the Light and the Dark were always numerous but one of the most important is the way that they kill. The Dark don’t care and the Light struggle to cope with the guilt and the question of if that person might have been one they could save. Severus had turned after all and he is not the only one capable of it. Cho can see that Harry is different though. His eyes are lifeless when they meet hers in the ruins of an old shop in an alley down from Knockturn. He is covered in blood stains, some new and some dried in to his robes, and Cho doesn’t want to know if it is all his or not. He nods, as if checking she is ok, and there is hardly a scratch on her in comparison but she nods anyway. He pulls away, as if trying to disappear into the shadows unnoticed and unquestioned, because so many have not seen him for years and Cho can’t help gesturing to her team that she is fine and will be back later, before following him.
They know better than to question her because she has faced too many raids, saved too many lives. All the surviving members of what had been the DA are respected within the tattered remains of the resistance. They can fight and they can win and that is more than can be said for the rest of them.
Following Harry out into the alley and outside the Apparation wards that were now standard to all shops that wanted to last, Cho wonders what she will say. She wonders if there is anything that she can say at all considering their past, and the fact that she is completely unprepared for him to randomly appear in her life again, saving it, taking out three Death Eaters in under ten seconds and then just staring at her as if nothing was amiss.
“Didn’t expect to find you here,” he says gruffly but it sounds far more like ‘didn’t expect you to still be alive’ to Cho’s ears and she feels irritated for his assumption and proud of her capabilities all at the same time.
“It is not the life I pictured for myself,” Cho returns carefully, stepping over a broken crate to get to him as he wraps his cloak around himself and pulls his hood up again, shielding his face from the witches and wizards that slowly return to their business in the alley, hurried as it may be.
“You couldn’t leave the country?”
“I’m not a coward. This is my home and I won’t give up on it while there is still hope,” Cho states passionately.
“Is there still hope?” Harry asks gloomily, scuffing his boot on the ground and gesturing around. “Is it worth still fighting for?”
“Of course,” Cho replies without hesitation. “As long as there is someone left to fight. Where have you been, Harry?”
“Where I have needed to be.”
“We need you. The resistance.”
“Oh, I heard that is what you are calling yourselves now.” Harry mutters. “Like I said, I am where I need to be. Today it was here, tomorrow it will be somewhere else, and the bodies mount up and we keep fighting.”
“That is a pretty depressing way to look at things.”
“It is a realistic way to look at things, Cho. We’re not kids anymore. We’re not stupid.” Harry says, pulling out his wand and the remark stings because has memory is just as clear about their relationship as his is. She doesn’t bother arguing though. Men like Harry don’t hear it anymore. She doesn’t bother asking if she will see him again because it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that he is still alive. Rumours always circulated otherwise and it had hit Cho hard to hear the rumours about Granger had been right. It was another face she had been to school with, another name she could actually connect with and put a face to. If he is alive he might make contact, join a cell’s plans to strike pack, perhaps even lead them and end this. It is a hope but hope is all that many of them have left so they cling to it tightly between hiding muggleborns and tracking Death Eaters.
She will pass on the tales of what he accomplished today and he will hate her for it. His legacy will grow, people will be filled with hope, and he will argue that it wasn’t that way but they need him. They always have for one thing or another.
“I guess I will be seeing you then. You will be needed and I try to be where people need someone these days.” Cho says, and she swears she sees a flicker of a smile on Harry’s face, just a moment of light in his dead eyes. Then he is gone and there is a commotion up the street, someone shouting her name and not in a good way and she has to disappear to and hope that at the next raid she gets out. It gets closer every time.