Love Lies Bleeding 3 of 5

I was sixteen years old when I started having an affair with Cho Chang.

It was my sixth year, and I’d made the house Quidditch team as beater. It was great fun, a super way to let out my aggressions—slamming that bat around, knocking the bludger round the pitch at people. Sometimes I even let it fly at my own teammates. What did I care? The thud of the heavy ball on flesh, the yowl of pain, the knowledge I’d changed someone’s life—if only for that little while—held a certain beauty for me.

Draco and I were still shagging, and it was still amazing. Didn’t mean I wasn’t able to appreciate the potential in others, however.

Cho burst into the dressing room whilst I was showering. The only female on the Hufflepuff team, I had it all to myself until her appearance. She was furious that I’d sent not one but two bludgers into her that game, distracting her so much our seeker had had no trouble outflying her for the snitch. The shower’s steam was making her shining curtain of hair spring into little curls around her face, and all the yelling she was doing made her face appealingly rosy.

 I remained silent as she ranted, and then stepped out of the shower stall. She immediately fell silent, mid-sentence, as I stood there watching her reaction. Her eyes, so exotic and dark, roamed with longing over my naked breasts, my hips and the water droplets shining in my pubic hair, and I knew then the reason she’d never dated anyone else after Cedric had died.

What would it be like to have sex with a woman, I wondered, and leant forward to kiss her. With a moan, she pressed her mouth back against mine, and before I knew it my arms were full of her. She was tiny and slim, with hardly any breasts or hips to her, as I discovered when I removed her Quidditch robes and gear.

“Let me bathe you,” I said, pushing her gently into the shower stall.

“I’ve never done this before with a girl,” she whispered nervously.

“Me neither,” I told her, my fingers twisting and pulling her red-brown nipples. She smiled then, a radiant smile that shot lust down my torso, and I soaped and lathered and scrubbed her until we were both shaking. Pressing her against the wall, hot water cascading over our bodies, I kissed down until I came to black, curling hair.

Parting it, I stared for a moment. Her clit was like a shining pink pearl, beckoning my mouth, and I leaned forward to lick it. Her pelvis jerked wildly and her hands scrabbled for purchase against the tiled wall as I rubbed my tongue between her tender lips. Cho spread her legs a little, allowing me to delve deeper into her, taste her more fully.

I probed my tongue inside her, feeling the slick walls of her cunt, tasting the fluid that coursed from her. It was sweeter the further in I went, and I lapped eagerly until her little hands were nearly wrenching the hair from my head as she ground herself against my face. She was making little noises, ungh ungh ungh, getting louder and louder. Slithering my tongue up between her fragile inner lips, I felt her thighs quake, and then I wrapped my lips around her clit.

“Mngh!” she cried out, and I lashed my tongue on her whilst sucking. “Mngh, yes, Susan, fuck, yes, yes!” She was flailing against me helplessly, and when her legs gave out I couldn’t hold her up. We collapsed to the floor, and the water hit me in the face as she slumped bonelessly over me, panting.

“Susan,” she murmured at last, and kissed me.

“Do you like how you taste?” I asked her when she pulled back.

Cho smiled shyly—shyly! after what we’d just done!—and ducked her head. I had to strain to hear her words. “I think I’ll like how you taste, better.” With that, she started kissing down my body. She seemed fascinated by my fuller figure, my plump breasts, my curvy hips and thighs.

“You’re so soft,” she sighed, sinking between my legs and spreading me wide. Cho sighed again when she lapped at me the first time, as if it were a long-awaited goal, finally attained. Slipping one, two, three slim fingers into me, she pumped slowly as her little pink tongue trilled on my clit. Her other hand never stopped caressing me, my pubic hair, my hips, my belly, my legs, my breasts, anywhere she could reach.

I, in turn, petted her pretty hair, stroking it softly at first and then more urgently. In a quick motion, she turned the orientation of her fingers so they were curled up, toward my front, and touched this spot, this magical spot that made fireworks explode instantly behind my eyelids.

“Cho!” I shrieked, reaching both hands down to fill them with her hair, rocking myself against her mouth as her clever fingers set me on fire. My head thrashing helplessly back and forth, I convulsed over and over, feeling consciousness nearly ebb away.

Finally, I was able to settle down and she knelt, pulling me to sit up. Wrapping her slender arms around me, she kissed me deeply. “Do you like how you taste?” she asked me.

I’d tasted myself on Draco’s lips many times, but the mingled flavours of Cho and myself were different, wonderful. “Oh, yes,” I replied, kissing her back.

We stood, dried each other off, helped each other dress. It was nice; comforting, comfortable. I found myself smiling at her as we left the changing room, and she hesitantly slipped her hand into mine.

Things got interesting after that. Cho and I weren’t particularly bothered by people knowing what we were up to—holding hands and exchanging quick kisses rather clued people into it all. Draco was definitely not pleased with this new development, and I found his increasing jealousy rather tedious. He tried to get me to arrange a threesome with Cho, but I knew she wasn’t at all interested.

“You have all your bits in the wrong places,” I teased him one of the times he suggested it.

He huffed. “I still don’t know why you’re doing this. Did I do something wrong?” It was galling him to even say those words, I knew. Poor boy, so sensitive.

“Absolutely not,” I tried to reassure him, even as I was thinking of the next time I could meet with Cho. “It’s just that different people meet our needs at different times of our lives, Malfoy. You were great for me last year, and for a while this year, but now…” I shrugged. “Now, I think I need Cho.”

“Just bloody great,” he snarled. “Where am I supposed to get another terrific shag?” That is, after all, the entirety of what we were to each other. I’d harboured no illusions to the contrary. Not that Cho and I were a bonding of soulmates in love—she was curious about her sexuality, and I was interested in exploring the more tender aspects of sex after my rough-and-ready times with Draco.

“I have no doubt you’ll have me replaced within a fortnight, if not sooner,” I told him. “Eleanor Branstone thinks you’re quite tasty-looking, in fact.”

He perked up. “Really?”

“Really,” I said firmly, laughing. Who else fixes up their lover whilst breaking up? It was hilarious, and Cho laughed too, when I told her.

The delegation that met me in the common room when Laura Madley saw me in a clinch with Cho had nothing on the original after teaming up with Draco.

“Susan,” Hannah said sadly, her hands clasped before her, her plaits lying on her shoulders. She looked even more nunlike than usual—all she lacked was a wimple. “It’s obvious that you need assistance.”

“Assistance?” I smirked. “Cho thinks I’m doing fine all by myself, Hannah. And I don’t think you’re her type.”

Hannah blushed so darkly I thought she was going to have an embolism. “That… that’s not what I meant,” she whispered, looking stricken, her hand at her throat, the other clutching a fistful of her robes.

“I think Hannah means to say that, if taking up with Malfoy weren’t hint enough, then your new… relationship… with another girl is a clear plea for help.” This from Justin. He was still bent out of shape over my rejection, apparently.

“How do you figure that, Justin?” I asked. “The only hint I get from how I’ve behaved is that I like sex, and that I’m not terribly squeamish about who I choose to have sex with.”

A third of the Hufflepuff Interrogation Squad blushed; another third paled. The final third, consisting of Ernie and a few other older boys, got these dreamy smiles on their faces, and I knew they were picturing my ‘relationship’ with Cho.

“Listen,” I said tiredly. It had been a long day, after all—first dealing with Draco’s tantrum, and now this. Oh, and a lovely, lengthy snog with Cho just before lunch that resulted in sticky fingers and happy smiles all round. “My being with Cho is not a plea for help, or anything else besides having it off with a sexy person. Just like it was with Malfoy. And it’s certainly none of any of your business, so I would greatly appreciate it if you lot would just sod the hell off.” And I stomped up into my room.

But peace was not to be mine. The next morning at breakfast, Kevin Whitby interrupted my exchange of lustful glances with Cho across the Great Hall with the question that I knew had been burning in the minds of all my roommates.

“Susan,” he asked, “Are you officially a lesbian now? And if you are, will you be hitting on the rest of the girls in your room now?”

The entire—the entire—Hufflepuff table fell silent. I had to give the boy credit; how many thirteen year old boys have the stones to ask a question like that over the muffins and bacon at seven o’clock in the morning? Well, yes, Draco, but how many other boys? Not many, I’m sure.

“Good question, Kev,” I said, and bit thoughtfully into my toast. “I don’t know if I’m a lesbian. I mean, I know what we do would classify me as one—“ Hannah was looking distinctly green at this point—“but I don’t exactly live the lifestyle, you know? Not going to rallies and demanding they change the spelling of ‘women’ to ‘womyn’, etc.”

I looked around at the faces surrounding me, and then at Cho. She was watching curiously, obviously wondering what was going on. I flashed her a grin I hoped was reassuring, and continued. “Thing is, I still like boys, too. Malfoy’s still the sexiest bloke I’ve ever laid eyes—and everything else—on.” Now everyone else was looking green at the mention of the Slytherin, except for Eleanor.

“If anything, I would say I’m bisexual,” I concluded, and took another piece of toast. “But I don’t much like labels. Too confining. Why restrict who we are? Does a great disservice to ourselves, it does.” Glancing around, I sighed. Hufflepuffs are not into existentialism.

 “So, does it taste funny?” asked Owen. Nor are they into subtlety or privacy, it would seem.

I spread butter and jam on my toast. “It?”

“You know, ‘it’,” he said, gesturing vaguely past his waist. “’It’.”

Oh. He meant Cho’s pussy. “Funny peculiar, or funny ha-ha?” I asked, just to annoy him. He glared at me, and I relented. “It tastes delicious,” I told him sincerely.

Hannah gasped, then retched. “Oh, Susan!” she wailed, then leapt up from the table with her hand clapped over her mouth, thin shoulders shuddering rhythmically as she fought to keep her meagre breakfast down.

Cho looked at me in alarm, but I was laughing too hard to do anything but put my head down on the table.

After that, Cho and I were very open about being ‘together’. A few times I caught Harry Potter giving me these odd looks. He’d watched me with puzzlement and dismay when I was with Draco, as if he couldn’t possibly understand why in the world I’d want anything to do with the boy. But now, his looks were… sympathetic. And jealous. As if he could understand entirely too well, and resented me for my success where he’d failed.

Sprout just watched me sadly. I knew she was despondent over what she considered her failure with me, and thought she could have done more. Resentment at her presumption flooded me until I was able to stuff it into the box—she thought she had that much influence over me, over my life, my decisions? The bloody woman had ignored me until I started doing unHufflepuff-like things. She was in no position to complain.

McGonagall, on the other hand, became oddly more friendly, almost matey. She only took ten points from Cho and I when she caught us snogging, instead of the usual twenty from the other professors and prefects (thirty from Snape, just on principle).

A week prior to the Valentine’s Ball, Cho and I were informed sternly by our heads of houses that under no circumstances were we allowed to bring each other. “You must find suitable dates, of the opposite gender!” Flitwick squeaked at us, Sprout nodded determinedly beside him.

“That’s not right,” Cho said quietly. “That’s prejudicial.”

“Nonsense!” Sprout said heartily. “It’s perfectly reasonable. We don’t want to make the other students uncomfortable. How do you think they’d feel, watching two girls dancing with each other?”

Cho and I looked at each other, and she bit her lip to stifle her laughter. If even a small percentage of the boys were like Ernie MacMillan, or Draco (who’d continued to drop none-too-subtle hints of threesomes), there would be a considerable number of students who were definitely not uncomfortable with the sight of two pretty girls in a clinch.

“It’s not the students you’re worried about,” I said. “It’s you. You don’t like that we’re together, so you are creating this stupid rule.”

“It’s not stupid, young lady!” Flitwick (tried to) bellow, and fell off his chair. Scrambling up, he waved his finger at her. “Ten points from Hufflepuff for insubordination.”

I rolled my eyes. “Better make it twenty,” I told him. “You’re both bigots. I’m leaving.”

It didn’t take long for word to spread about our ‘plight’, and oddly enough it was Hermione Granger who approached us with her support whilst we were studying in the library. “Not that I totally understand it all, you realize,” she said, blushing furiously, “but they just have no right to tell you who you can or cannot bring to the ball!”

Warming to her subject, she dropped her mountain of books with a thud on the table, clasped her hands behind her, and began to pace. “Legally, neither the Ministry of Magic nor Hogwarts itself have any codified regulations barring same-gender couples from attending public gatherings or celebrations with each other. I’ve even checked with the laws of the kingdom of Great Britain, and the Muggle government has made great strides as regard legal rights and privileges of same-sex couples.”

She turned to us suddenly, the flame of social activism burning feverishly in her eyes. “You certainly have precedent if you want to fight this.”

Cho and I exchanged amused glances. It really hadn’t mattered that much to us, but… this was funny. “Ok,” Cho agreed in her soft voice. “What should we do?”

Oh, Hermione liked being asked for instructions, she did. Suddenly, she reminded me strongly of McGonagall and that venerable woman’s recent friendliness in light of our burgeoning lesbianism, and I wondered if Little Miss Gryffindor here had yet realized that she, Cho, and I (at the moment, at least) were all seekers for the same snitch, as it were.

“Leave it all to me,” Hermione said, bouncing on her heels. “I’ll put together a defense of our position, and we’ll present it to the headmaster in a week’s time.”

“You might want to ask McGonagall to back you up,” I suggested, shooting a sly look at Cho, who grinned back. “She’s been very—uh—supportive of us in all this.”

“Brilliant!” Hermione exclaimed, and began to collect her books. “I’ll be in touch!”

“I’ll bet she will,” Cho murmured after the girl was gone, and I laughed until she kissed me and slid her hand under my robes, distracting me from thoughts of Hermione and anyone else.

Dumbledore was very pleasant when we gathered in his office to discuss the issue. He offered us all lemon drops and tea, then lemon drops in tea, before folding his hands and peering at us over his spectacles. “It appears, young ladies, that you feel your relationship is being persecuted by the Hogwarts establishment?”

“That’s right, sir,” Hermione said importantly, scooting to the front of her chair to open a fat file on her lap. “As you can plainly see, sir, Hogwarts’ charter states nothing forbidding or allowing selection of partners, dates, or otherwise.” She handed a sheaf of parchment to him. “That’s Exhibit A.”

“Duly noted,” Dumbledore murmured, his lips twitching in a valiant attempt to keep from laughing.

“And here,” she handed over another sheaf, “is the latest edition of the Ministry of Magic’s Gender Equality Act. Exhibit B. It explicitly states that, quote, ‘no person may be denied access to a public location or event’, end quote. There is no clear mention of same-gender couples who attend an event together,” here Hermione’s eyes flashed with the zeal of the newly converted, “but that is, surely, soon to be elaborated upon,” she concluded ominously.

“Surely,” agreed Dumbledore blandly, eyes wandering over the second parcel of parchment, lips tightly compressed to contain himself. McGonagall was not so burdened, on the other hand, and allowed a broad smile to cross her face.

“Exhibits C through H deal with the municipal ordinates of Hogsmeade and Godric’s Hollow, as well four other exclusively-magical communities in the British Isles,” Hermione continued. “And Exhibits I through T detail the regulations of the European Community itself, as well as the individual countries contained therein, on the same issue…”

“Yes, Miss Granger, that will be quite enough,” Dumbledore interrupted gently even as his hand reached for the rest of Hermione’s stack of parchment. “I will read through this… most impressive dossier you have so kindly compiled for me and render my decision tomorrow.” He stood. We were clearly dismissed.

Flitwick and Sprout shot us all filthy looks. McGonagall positively beamed at us. “It’s about time,” she said, and slapped us on our shoulders. Cho flinched from the force of the blow.

“Thanks, Hermione,” I said. “You’ve been super.” 

Her face shone with happiness. “I was so glad to! Even if I couldn’t do the badges, or start a petition…” Cho and I had been adamant about not letting this situation go the same way as S.P.E.W. (Hermione had wanted to call it L.I.C.K., for Lesbians Insisting upon Cogent eKwality, but we’d put our respective feet firmly down). “It’s been great.” She ducked her head shyly.

Cho and Hermione had worked very closely the past week, and I’d often found the Ravenclaw’s gaze fixed on Hermione with a soft, tender expression. And Hermione had looked at Cho the same way. I nudged her toward the Gryffindor, motioning that she should give her a smooch. For gratitude, of course. Cho twigged, and put her hand on Hermione’s arm. “Thank you so much, Hermione,” she said, and kissed the girl softly.

Hermione gasped, her eyes flying open, but just as Cho was about to pull away Hermione leant forward and kissed her back. Cho’s eyes fluttered shut, and her hands came up to stroke Hermione’s hair. The younger girl let her book bag drop to the floor and tentatively put her arms around Cho’s waist, and I knew it was time to leave them to it.

I am truly stupid, I thought. I just made this big deal about being able to publicly escort my female lover to a dance, and then handed her off to the supposedly straight girl who helped us. And now where was I supposed to get another terrific shag? I thought, Draco’s words echoing in my head.

Perhaps I’ve been going about this the wrong way, I considered as I walked aimlessly around the castle. Draco and Cho were about firsts, about rebellion. They were statements. They were me slapping people round the head and screaming, “Hey, look at me! I exist! I will not be bullied by you!”

Now I’d done all that, and I wasn’t sure where it had gotten me. I was almost seventeen years old, and all my rebellion had really accomplished was the consternation of my peers, horror of my family, holes in my ears and eyebrow (and now tongue; Cho had insisted) and the image of a sword-maimed, blood-dripping heart on my leg.

Thing was, I was feeling much more cheerful than I had almost two years earlier, when I’d started this whole endeavour. Was it all the sex? I wondered. It had been excellent therapy, I supposed. But it was probably more about growing up, and learning to accept the inevitable ugliness we all harbour within ourselves. And most of all, it was about trusting myself, believing in myself, relying on myself, instead of hanging on the opinions and approvals of everyone around me.