Disclaimer: I own nothing. Zilch. Zero. Naught. Everything recognized belongs to the fabulous J.K. Rowling!
UPDATE (07/08/15) - upon finding this story from over a year ago, I decided to fix some things up and continue on with it! Sorry for the ridiculously long wait, I bow down to you all and offer virtual cookies as repentance xD
I've split the beginning chapter into two, but I promise the next chapter will be much longer! Please be patient, I'll try have it up tomorrow. Hope you like this much better, I have to admit, I cringed a little reading it...
Callen stood in the corner of the Great Hall, sharp eyes observing the battlefield before her. The war with Voldemort had finally drawn to a close, but at a huge cost. She sunk to the ground wearily, body trembling as she finally had the reprieve to grieve for the loss of her friends – no, her family.
Ron and Hermione… Her two oldest and most loyal friends. They had fallen together battling Dolohov and Avery.
Neville and Luna… Her faithful lieutenants, brutally executed in Voldemort's fury at the death of his pet snake, Nagini.
Fred and George… Two of her most avid supporters, the light in the shadow that the world had become. They had fittingly died together, tied forever in the laughter that rung even while the life slipped from their eyes.
Remus and Tonks… Her loving uncle, teacher, and friend, and his bubbly, fiercely protective counterpart. Barely able to enjoy their wedding, they would never see their son, her godson again.
Mad-Eye Moody… The gruff war veteran, he had believed in her enough to give up his own life in the name of her protection.
Dobby… The most loyal house elf she had ever known, willingly giving up his life to free her from the clutches of Voldemort and his followers.
Hagrid… The first person she had ever felt cared for her, and introduced her to this new world that now defined her being. He died defending a collection of third-years that had managed to escape the clutches of ushering professors.
Dumbledore… Her eccentric grandfather-like mentor, who died in his belief of the Greater Good, no matter the fact that his obsession had often turned the situation for the worse.
Sirius… The only fatherly figure she had ever known, the first person she had ever truly felt safe with, the light in her world. He passed beyond the veil to save the life of the goddaughter he had trusted and believed in.
Even Snape… The man who she had despised for most of her life, the man who loved her mother and the man whose love had protected her throughout her Hogwarts years. His life had ended in the last stand against a force he had been fighting for almost half his life.
Cal watched the Weasley family grieve together, the teachers sit quietly at a table, avoiding eye contact with each other. She watched a screaming Andromeda Tonks clutching a confused Teddy Lupin over the bodies of her husband and daughter. She watched Neville's grandmother stare blankly out a window, her anguish plain in the stony set of her face. She watched Grawp sit next to Hagrid's body, trying furiously to wake him up, tears of despair marking streaks through his dirty face.
She watched Draco and his parents sit at a table together, staring at each other desperately. She watched the house elves quietly begin cleaning up the hall, their loyalty evident even though over half their members were dead. She watched students rush in and begin to cry in that desperate way when you know that someone you love has been taken for ever.
She watched, and finally stood up, offering words of comfort to those who grieved, hating their grateful looks even more than the ones filled with pity. Because she was the Golden Girl that they wanted. She wasn't a savior, and the guilt at not being strong enough wracked her body every time she saw another broken figure lay on the floor. She didn't let a single tear drop, couldn't afford any sign of weakness because she knew that their 'leader' had to show that they were strong, so that they could be strong as well.
Callen eventually returned to her corner, and wordlessly slipped out the Resurrection Stone. She had all three Hallows, why couldn't she bring all those she loved back? She remembered her first meeting with Death, immediately after her defeat of the Dark Lord.
She was in a room. It was dark, bordering on pitch black. A raspy, rattling voice, male she presumed, spoke from the shadows. "My new master, I see"
She bowed her head, the prickling of tears beginning to well behind her eyes. "I suppose that I cannot bring those I love back?"
The voice was not unkind as it breathed, "You know the answer to that."
It was left unsaid but understood, that the Hallows would have only chosen a wielder who was pure at heart with no want for selfish gain.
"Bringing lost souls will only disrupt a precarious balance."
Cal smiled hollowly, but there was no anger in her expression. "Then being this 'Master' is worthless."
She heard a long exhale of hoarse breath, and felt a cool wind swirl around her still frame. "That depends on how much you are willing to pay."
Sickly green eyes snapped open, and red lips set in a firm line. "Anything."
Cal turned the Stone three times, and the shades of those she loved came to life, smiling at her. She sunk to the ground. "What do I do?" she whispered.
"Whatever you think is best, sweetie," replied her mum. The other shades nodded in agreement. "Your decisions in these moments are always the best, mate," laughed Ron. Shade-Hermione elbowed him. "No tact, Ronald."
Remus patted her on the shoulder, his hand almost solid. "We'll love you either way, cub. You know that."
She looked at them with tear-filled eyes. "I'm s…sorry," she whispered harshly. "You all died… And I survived."
Sirius hugged her, arms passing through her body. "Prongslette, it's not your fault. Just remember that we all trust in you and love you."
Neville and Luna stepped forwards, holding hands. "You'll do fine, Callie," reassured Neville.
"Don't let the Nargles breed too much, Callen Potter."
Cal bit her lip, blinking away tears that were about to fall. "Goodbye then. I love you all. Save a place for me up there."
Sad waves and soft smiles were the last sight she saw before the spirits faded.
"There is an ancient ritual, forgotten by the time of the birth of the Founders. The risks are great, your soul may be ripped into unrecognizable pieces, remaining in an everlasting purgatory."
The young witch's fists clenched in determination. "Anything."
She could almost feel Death smiling down upon her. "One who possesses the entirety of the Hallows is privy to certain abilities. This particular one may only performed once in a lifetime, which is to say, once you leave you can never return."
Another raspy breath. "To the past. You can travel back in time, and create a new Universe of your own forging. But once you leave, this particular timeline will disintegrate with your disappearance. It will be as though it never existed. The journey is painful, and if you do not have the determination or will power to finish it, your essence will be in itself trapped."
Callen's eyes widened in equal amounts shock and horror, but her shoulders squared at his next words.
"However, I will remain by your side. This is your only hope, Callen Rose Peverell."
"What's going to happen to the Hallows if I go back in time?"
"The Hallows of that time will merge with yours, as the Hallows are solely yours."
She could save all these people… Save them all…
But was it worth it? She would be alone, her friends wouldn't be born yet. She would be unfamiliar with everything, and what if it didn't work? What if she got stuck?
Cal watched the distraught faces around her, and she smiled grimly. Walking up to the Headmaster's office she faced the portraits of Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape.
"You have made you decision," stated Dumbledore, his eyes warm but worried.
"I never thought that I would ever say this to Potter's child, but well done," sneered Snape. After a moment his features softened. "Good luck in your travels, Callen."
She sunk into one of the half-destroyed chairs sitting before the familiar, large mahogany desk. Fawkes trilled and swooped onto her shoulder. Dumbledore furrowed his brow in confusion, before he nodded, the blasted twinkle returning to his eye. "You have found quite the remarkable partner, Miss. Potter. Phoenixes are loyal to a fault, Fawkes will not leave you."
Callen laughed flatly. "A match to my animagus form, then."
"A magical creature!" exclaimed Armando Dippet in surprise.
Dumbledore smiled warmly. "An outstanding form, to equal power and skill." The girl bowed her head slightly in acceptance of the praise.
"Good luck, Callen. Your parents would be proud."
She finally let a tear fall. A tear for all those people lost. A tear for the grieving families. And a tear for the world she was about to lose, the world that meant everything to her, so much that she was willing to lose it to save it. Fawkes trilled sadly.
"Take me back," she whispered brokenly. "I'm ready."
It's never a good sign when the A/N is almost as long as the story... SORRY! The show will be on the road soon enough, promise.
Otherwise, thank you, please review, constructive criticism is my fuel, JC