Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize, unfortunately.
A/N: An update in the middle of my exams because I can't stand studying for long periods of time :/
"So, what House did you say you were in again?"
"Gryffindor," Callista shrugged.
"Ooh, cool, I knew you had to be, you're alright," Ron mumbled approvingly through a mouthful of half chewed beef pie; earning twin expressions of disgust from the girls.
"You know, Ron, Gryffindor doesn't always mean someone is good, or trustworthy, or alright, as you put it. I mean, no offence to you, Cal, but hey, look at Wormtail - he's vile. And Draco, he's Slytherin but he's not so bad, he's on our side," Hermione lectured disapprovingly from behind her newspaper.
Harry nodded, but Ron couldn't back down from a petty squabble, "Doesn't change the fact that he's a git, Hermione."
"I agree," Callista piped up.
"How can you even say that? You've never even talked to him!" Hermione rounded on her new friend.
"I don't need to hear him to know it, 'Mione. Look at him. He's a...he's just so...damn it, he's a Malfoy, okay, that's reason enough!"
"I don't get it, what do you have against Malfoys? And don't tell me it's in their genes, that isn't even a valid argument," Hermione questioned with narrowed eyes.
"It's not like you've never heard of how corrupt and arrogant and evil the Malfoys are. I doubt the 50 or so years I've been asleep was enough to clean their reputation."
"Still doesn't explain the personal vendetta."
Callista rolled her eyes.
'Hermione is nice, but hell, why does she have to be so nosy? And perceptive, too. How is she even in Gryffindor when she's always reading and analysing and thinking? I just met them, obviously I am not going to spill to her my entire life story, honestly.'
"I have my reasons, okay. I don't want to talk about it," she stated evenly before becoming very interested in her french toast.
"Why not? You can tell us, we're your friends!" Hermione persisted.
Callista pointedly ignored her in favour of drenching her toast with more maple syrup.
Hermione let out an annoyed sound, before turning away and unrolling the Daily Prophet. She stared at the front page for a few seconds, before rolling it back up and flinging it to the side.
"What is it?" Harry questioned warily.
"The ministry remains confident that they will be able to contain the threat of You-Know-Who," Hermione imitated in a mocking tone. "Honestly! They're a bunch of incompetent idiots! Either that or Voldemort already managed to infiltrate the highest echelons of the ministry, and is trying to lull everyone into a false sense of complacency."
Ron, miraculously, stopped eating.
"You now, there's still The Quibbler," he said, glancing at Harry and Hermione meaningfully.
"Oh Ron, you're brilliant!" Hermione exclaimed, causing the redhead's face to burn scarlet in pleased embarrassment.
Callista frowned, not comprehending what they were talking about.
"What's The Quibbler?"
"It's a newspaper run by the Lovegoods. Luna Lovegood is a friend, she'd agree to help. I don't know if it's wise though, printing news that alerts the Wizarding community to Voldemort's plans, assuming that's what you were trying to suggest, Ron, would mean Luna and her father will be targeted specifically..." Hermione trailed off.
The Trio quickly launched into a discussion of their fledgling plan to retaliate against Voldemort, and how to best protect Luna and her father.
Callista listened attentively, but did not give any input, opting to stay silent; she still wasn't sure whose side of the war she was really on.
"My faithful followers..." a sibilant voice echoed in the large chamber.
The green flames that covered the ceiling provided just enough light to illuminate the dozens of white masks, the shadows warping and blurring their features, twisting them into faces almost more eerie than that of the pale man standing on the raised dais.
Almost, because as handsome as Lord Voldemort was, his demonic eyes were a clear reminder of the gallons of blood he had spilt.
"Today is the day many of you have been eagerly waiting for. Today, we shall show the world why we are superior. Why they should fear us. Why, my dear followers, we are fit to rule. This mission is a statement. It is our chance to stake a claim on our rights. Our right to rule. Because we are more powerful. More cunning. More intelligent. And most of all, because we are Dark, and chaos, chaos is the natural order of things, so chaos we will bring."
If his speech was not enough to enrapture his Death Eaters, the clearly visible shimmer of black aura that enveloped his entire being, and the temptation of danger and torture and bloodlust that echoed with his words most certainly sufficed.
The mass of Death Eaters congregated cheered jubilantly, spurred by their misguided convictions and blind loyalty to their almighty leader. The cavernous space thundered with the stomps and shouts of the masked men, all of whom screamed themselves hoarse, swept up in the waves of confidence, of power, of sheer belief that infected the crowd. And while his faithful followers chanted his name, Lord Voldemort watched silently, half satisfied, half...bored.
"You were rude earlier, to Hermione."
"And you were rather quiet, what's wrong?" Callista (rather blatantly) changed the topic.
"I have my reasons, okay. I don't want to talk about it," Harry mimicked her from earlier.
The brunette scoffed and rolled her eyes.
"Well I'm sorry, but Hermione was being rather pushy and I got irritated," she defended herself.
"Hermione's nice," Harry protested.
"She is, I know, she just can get a tad overbearing."
"She's my best friend."
"I know," Callista ended the conversation, not wanting to argue over the matter.
She silently picked at the carpet of grass they were sitting on, not entirely sure what to say to break the strained silence that descended upon them. The Giant Squid was lazily floating on the surface of the lake, its tentacles periodically splashing against the water and sending a cool spray in their direction.
"I was just thinking about the war," Harry offered. "You know, how it's just never-ending. And...well, when it does end, I don't think..." Harry cleared his throat, unable to finish his sentence.
"You don't think you can win?" Callista questioned.
"No! Well, yeah, I mean, a little. I don't know. I just don't know," he groaned in frustration, angrily tossing a pebble towards the Squid.
"Hey, the Squid didn't do anything to you!"
Harry only smiled weakly.
"It's just so obvious, you know? That he's winning. And everyone can see that. But they haven't lost hope because they think that somehow I'm going to save the day. Me. I can't- I just don't know- I'm nowhere as powerful as him, Cal! I can't win, I can't kill him! And even if by some miracle or sheer dumb luck I win a duel against Voldemort, I don't know if I'd be able to do it, you know?" He ranted furiously, eyes suspiciously glistening.
"This is screwed up."
"All of it. You having to take responsibility. People just waiting for you to save them. Why isn't everyone fighting for their lives?! Why are they waiting for an eighteen year old to save them? It's ridiculous...you shouldn't have to do this. You shouldn't have to carry this burden on your shoulders." Callista spit out furiously.
She tried to calm herself, but found that she was unexpectedly too angry on Harry's behalf. She knew, even in the short span of time she has known him, that Harry was good. He's noble. Far too noble for his own good, actually.
"No, I'm not. Anyone would do the same."
Callista blinked. She couldn't believe Harry just said that. If the conversation wasn't so serious she would have laughed at how naive and disillusioned that sentence was.
"You see Harry, that's where you're wrong. You're inclined to believe the good in people, but trust me, most aren't as selfless as you are. I know I'm not. If I was the subject of some stupid prophecy, proclaiming me as the key to the destruction of an evil force hell bent on destroying magical England, I'd get the hell out of country. Far away enough where I won't see news of it getting burnt to the ground so I won't have to feel guilty. And I'd bet you that most people wouldn't either. Choose to fight, I mean. Not like you."
Harry froze. Then his eyes darted around shiftily.
"Nothing," he tried to reply nonchalantly, and failing, of course.
"You're not a good liar, Harry," she snorted in amusement.
"That's a very un-ladylike snort," he quipped.
"Don't try and change the topic."
"What are you talking about?" Harry replied innocently.
"I don't know, you tell me."
"I'm hungry, is it dinner time yet?"
"Harry, it's 2 in the afternoon. Tell me what you're hiding!" She pouted.
Harry didn't answer.
But no matter how much she begged, cajoled and flirted, Harry refused to say another word. So naturally, she stomped off to find Ron.
"Oh you must be-"
"Seventy one year-old grandma-"
"That ickle Harry has an itty bitty-"
"Or maybe very serious-"
The brunette gaped at the identical redheads that had popped up out of nowhere. Well, no, actually she knew they came from the shortcut behind the statue of Grobbik the Great. She didn't think anyone else knew about that. Well, it has been fifty years. Speaking of which...
"Did you just call me a grandma?!" She screeched.
"A very short-tempered one, yes," one of them smirked.
Fuming, she started to storm off, but then their words registered in her mind.
"...Did you say Harry has a crush on me?"
"Why, Gred, I do believe we have a partially deaf one here."
Ignoring the jibe, she continued, "Do you know Ron? Any idea where he is?"
"Why of course we know our little baby brother!"
"But why are you interested in him?"
"And not Harry?"
"Grandma has a crush on-"
"Stop it," she whined. "No, I don't have a crush on Ron, but I do have to talk to him. And speaking of talking, you guys are starting to give me a headache."
"Ah, mission completed then. We live to bring dismay,"
"Much to your dismay," finished the twin the other had called 'Gred'.
Callista cocked her head. Did that mean that he was Fred, or George? She shook her head to clear away the distracting question, but couldn't help but start to giggle, drawing dramatic gasps from the twins.
"She laughed! Gred, we have melted the scary grandma's icy mask of indifference!"
"Very, very funny, guys. But seriously, any idea where Ron is?"
"Knowing him, probably sleeping in his room?"
"Right, of course. Thanks!" She called out as she rushed away.
"My name's Forge, by the way!" One of the twins called out from behind her.
She stopped in her tracks and turned around. "Well, see you around Gred, and Forge, and by the way, I'm seventeen and if you call me a grandma one more time, I'll hex you guys into looking like Ron," she grinned as the redheads fled, but not before calling out "Bye Grandma!" one last time.
As predicted, she didn't even need to do much to convince Ron to tell her just what Harry was so determined to hide from her.
"Prophecy? Oh, you're the subject of one too, you see. It's quite ironic, actually, no wonder Harry refused to say anything...Wait, you're not really going to leave Britain are you?" Ron sat up, suddenly wide awake.
After hastily reassuring him that no, she wasn't going to leave, Ron promptly went back to his afternoon nap, leaving her to mull over the unexpected development.
In fact, she became so absorbed in her thoughts she bumped into Malfoy, again.
"If you want to touch me so much, you can just ask. I'd let you, no need to pretend to bump into me all the time," he drawled arrogantly.
Callista opened her mouth to argue, told herself that he wasn't worth her time, and walked off (after throwing him the dirtiest glare she could muster).
Draco glared at her retreating back until she was out of his line of sight.
'What is up with this girl? She doesn't even know me. How annoying. No wonder she gets along with Potter so well. And Weasley too. Ugh, Gryffindors.'
"You think you're all smart and pretty and oh-so-powerful, but you're not. You're an attention-seeking whore, that's what you are," Walburga Black sneered at her.
"That's right, and we will be teaching you just what happens to attention-seeking sluts like you," threatened Miranda Bulstrode, her expression twisting into an unpleasant mockery of a smirk.
Callista froze in her struggles against the rope that bound her and glared up hatefully at the two girls.
Her eyes narrowing, she spat on the robes nearest to her face and taunted, "You're just jealous Tom gives you less than a quarter of the attention he gives me. Maybe it's because you're so stupid and ugly and absolutely wretched. You probably disgust him."
"Shut up you bitch!" Black lost her temper and kicked Rose's face.
She winced slightly as her cut cheeks smashed into the floor and almost screamed when she felt Miranda kick her ribs.
'Bloody hell, that ogre has the strength of a bull. How befitting of her name...'
Rose refused to give them the pleasure of screaming, so she could only grit her teeth as they landed blow after blow.
"If only Tom could see how absolutely pathetic you look now..." Black cackled in glee as she landed another kick.
'Merlin's sagging balls I think I just heard a bone break!'
"Actually, Black, I think you're pathetic. Honestly, kicking? I'd say you're no better than Muggles," Tom appeared at the doorway and spoke contemptuously.
"I- I'm sorry, Tom, you're right! I mean, spells are so much better, Diffin-"
"No!" He quickly disarmed her. Returning her wand, he ordered them to leave.
"I'll take over from here."
With delighted simpers and batted eyelashes, the two girls obeyed him and left the room, giggling excitedly as they went.
"Well? I'm waiting for you to continue the torture," Callista dryly spoke up from where she was curled on the floor.
"Don't be silly, you know I won't hurt you."
He magically levitated her to the Hospital Wing, claiming to have found her in an abandoned classroom, and to not have seen who attacked her.
When Rose furiously announced that she knew exactly who attacked her, Tom smoothly cut in, "You look like you hit your pretty hard, you might have been seeing things."
The mediwitch, like any other teacher, was completely enamoured by Tom and didn't appear to have heard anything Rose said. She simply clucked sympathetically as she listened to Tom's story before leaving to fetch some potions.
"What the hell? Why are you defending them? They broke my ribs, Tom!"
"Don't exaggerate, Rose, your ribs will be fine."
"THEY STILL HURT, YOU ARSE!"
"You know I hate seeing you hurt, but those two are useful," he murmured against her ear. She froze, uncertain of how to act with his face pressed into the crook of her neck.
"Them? They don't have half a brain," she mumbled dazedly.
"Exactly, they don't matter, don't worry about them, alright? I'm more worried about you," he nuzzled her neck.
Shuddering, heart thudding, Rose shoved him away
"That was so not fair," she grumbled as she he smirked at her discomfort.
"I hate you," she added.
"No you don't, I know you don't," he nuzzled her neck once again and then leaned away as the Mediwitch came bustling back ranting about him harassing her patient.
"Out! Out now!" She ordered as she got to work, jabbing her wand rather painfully into one of her bruises.
' Really! Ugh, everyone gets jealous over Tom.'
Rose rolled her eyes.
Callista groaned as she sank into one of the armchairs by the fire, the heat seeping into her, combating the chill that had crept up her spine as Ron recounted the words of the prophecy.
'Great, just bloody fantastic. So now I'm destined to help destroy Tom. Just great. If he nuzzles my neck and I'd probably just melt into a puddle and then how the hell am I supposed to destroy him? Who am I kidding? He's Tom. I couldn't stand to see him hurt at all, let alone hurt him myself.'
Then, out of nowhere, a siren began to blare so loudly it echoed off every wall and Callista was sure that if she was a grandma, she would have keeled over in shock.
As it was, she simply stayed standing where she was near the Entrance Hall and looked on uncomprehendingly as all of a sudden, a flurry of madness and unorganised rush of people flooded the area. She strained to hear words amidst the cacophony of raise voices.
"-Diagon Alley now-"
"-two hundred or so, they're setting the whole street on fire-
"-Aurors were held up, don't know why!"
She finally spotted Harry's messy black hair amongst the throng of congregating fighters.
"Harry, what's going on!" She tried to shout over the noise.
He rushed towards her side and tried to press a galleon into her palm.
"Attack at Diagon Alley, here's the portkey, go!"
She stepped away from him, hands raised to avoid touching the golden coin. Harry stared dumbly at her.
"What are you waiting for? We don't have time for this, we need to go now!" He exclaimed impatiently, thrusting the coin in his palm towards her.
But she wouldn't touch it.
"Harry...I can't. I can't fight at all, and I most definitely can't fight in this war. I don't want any part in it."
"What?" Hurt green eyes bored into her violet ones, confused.
"I'm sorry. But Harry, good luck," she whispered, before kissing him on the cheek and leaving him to fight his battles.
She turned away just before he disapparated, stomach churning sickly, thoughts in disarray.
A/N: Hi, uhh I have some stuff to clarify.. I promise that Callista isn't as Mary Sue as she currently seems to be right now. There's a reason for her weird eyes, for her instant connection of sorts with Harry (as in why they hit it off so well), and why she's Rose in flashbacks instead of Callista. Anyway, if you still think that there are lots of plot hoels or if there are still things you are wondering about, feel free to review and I'll see of I can answer your questions in due time :) Cheers!