Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Dead Chessmen
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Lisa Turpin just couldn't understand it. She had always been very good at chess, but ever since coming to Hogwarts she didn't seem to be able to play. It was the chessmen, she decided. Chessmen weren't supposed to be sentient.

Even though she'd been a part of the wizarding world for half a decade now, Lisa never played with wizard's chessmen if she could avoid it. That was the one thing about this world that she completely refused to accept. They moved around the board like real soldiers being sent to real deaths. She felt as though she was actually in charge of deciding people's fates, and that wasn't something she liked at all.

It had become even worse in recent months, with people saying that there was a war brewing. Whenever she tried to play with wizard's chess pieces, she couldn't take her mind off the commanders who sent real men to their deaths in real battles. She didn't want to think about things like that. War was such a waste of life.

She had played against many people, but the only one who ever commented on it was Theodore Nott. Her housemates disapproved of her friendship with the Slytherin but she didn't care. He was intelligent, shrewd, and most importantly of all a brilliant chess player: the only problem was that he refused to play with muggle pieces.

They had been sitting in an abandoned classroom, in the middle of a chess game, when Theodore had made an observation about Lisa's hatred of wizard's chess pieces. It had taken Lisa by surprise; normally he didn't speak at all whilst they played chess.

"You really are quite averse to wizard's chess, aren't you?" Theodore had said. "Is it the pieces you're afraid of?"

Lisa had shaken her head. "No. It's just that I always seem to play less well with wizarding sets."

"It's because you don't trust in your own abilities that they don't trust you, you know," he had drawled. "Soldiers will always be afraid if their commander shows any sign of weakness."

"Maybe I don't want to be a commander; or a soldier for that matter," Lisa had said hotly. "Everyone's saying that war is coming, but I don't believe it."

"You mean you don't want to believe it," Theodore had replied. "War is coming and they want us all to be pawns in their game. Better to be a king than a pawn, I say; pawns are always the first to die."

Just because she was a Ravenclaw (and thus highly intelligent and logical), that didn't mean that she had no heart. Not like Theodore Nott. She was never going to be responsible for destroying lives, be they the lives of chessmen or humans.

When the war began in earnest, though they had different reasons for doing so both Lisa and Theodore refused to fight.