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Chapter 7 : An estranged aunt
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Callandra stood outside a modern detached house in the middle of Sheffield*, her eyes glued to the green front door. In her hand was her reply letter from her estranged aunt: curt, cool and barely polite but, she supposed, that was to be expected seeing as Andromeda had been blasted off the family tree as well as being labelled a blood traitor and her husband, from what she had heard, had gone on the run from the ministry.
Yes, Andromeda defiantly had reason to be suspicious.
Taking a deep breath and summoning up what courage she possessed Callandra walked to the door and knocked.
Footsteps on the other side could be heard and the door opened to reveal a dark haired woman who looked like her mother only with softer less harsh feature and with lighter hair.
“You must be Callandra Lestrange?”
Andromeda’s voice was cool and Callie found herself nodding quickly.
Her aunt opened the door wider,
“You might as well come in then.”
Callie stepped in and followed her aunt into the kitchen and sat down at a well scrubbed wooden table.
On the sideboards were muggle appliances as well as wizard ones. Photos lined the wall, some fixed, some not.
“Drink?” Andromeda asked,
“No…no thank you,” Callandra just managed to get her voice under control.
Andromeda nodded and sat down opposite her and looked at Callie expectantly,
“You didn’t say why you wanted to talk to me in your letter?” Andromeda started when it seemed Callie wouldn’t speak.
Callie was jerked out of her thoughts on how to start by her aunt’s voice,
“Er, yeah that was just in-case father intercepted my letter…I didn’t want him to find out…yet.”
“Yeah, about Daniel.”
Callie realised after she said this, along with her aunt’s raised eyebrow, that she wasn’t making much sense.
Taking a deep breath she told her aunt the whole story starting from when she first met Daniel to about a few days ago when her father had ‘reminded’ her about her duty towards the dark lord an dhow she had fobbed him off, saying that she would rather finish her education so when she came to the dark lord she would know more and wouldn’t have to go under apprenticeship.
(Her father had raised an eyebrow but hadn’t commented. Callie had a feeling she hadn’t heard the end of it though.)
By the time she was finished Andromeda eyebrows had travelled all the way up her forehead and she studied her niece from across the table.
The girl looked so much like Bellatrix it was uncanny, from her heavy lidded eyes right down to her coal black curls. Only her eyes were different: dark blue from the Lestrange side of the family, instead of the dark grey that Bellatrix had.
Callie had taken an unusual amount of interest in her hands as her aunt studied her. She had no idea what she would do if Andromeda refused to help her, maybe run away? Oh Merlin, this was much harder than she thought with so little options open to her.
“Does Daniel know you are a witch?” Andromeda asked
Callie noticed a dramatic change in her tone: from cold and barely civil to almost motherly. She shook her head,
“I…I was going to tell him but I…I backed out. He…he wants to know, though, about…everything.”
“No doubt he would,” Andromeda remarked, then bit her lip, “With Ted and me,”
she broke off at the thought of her husband and the question of where he was now. Taking a deep breath she continued,
“With Ted and me…we knew each other for five years and dated for four. You’ve known Daniel for over a month.”
Although her voice was gentle and the fact she hadn’t said it Callie knew what her aunt was implying: that it was only puppy love and would she really be willing to risk everything for such an uncertain future?
“Do you believe in soul mates, aunty?” Callie hadn’t. At least not up till now.
The question threw Andromeda but she quickly recovered,
“Is that how you feel about him?” she asked
Callie bit her lip,
“I.... when he was under the Cruciatus I…I was so scared, petrified for him; and then I thought: what if he dies? I…I couldn’t handle that you know? Then later when I thought of what my family would do to him if they found out…I don't think I could picture a future without him,”
Callie broke off and turned away to hide the burning tears in her eyes, leaving the sentence hanging in the air.
“I see,” Andromeda muttered. And she did. It was exactly how she had felt about Ted when they had been dating and even now as she had no idea weather he was dead or alive.
“I love him,” she said, “I always thought that love was something that grew over time; and that you had to spend time with that person to…to love them. But there…there is something between us. I know Daniel can feel it too, something that I’ve never felt with anyone else.”
Especially not Theo Nott, she thought savagely, remembering that the wedding was only a few months away.
Andromeda smiled at her niece,
“Love can come in all different shapes and sizes,” she smiled, thinking of her daughter and Remus Lupin.
“What do I do about mother and father though, I mean…how do I tell them?”
“I’m not going to lie to you Callandra…”
“Callie,” Callie quickly corrected, having slowly grown to hate her full name and wondering what in Merlin’s name her mother had been drinking when she had named her daughter.
Probably nothing, Callie reasoned, her mother had always been slight odd and lately more unhinged with every mission she went on for ‘the dark lord’. Callie was getting sick of hearing that phrase too.
“Callie,” Callie started, jerking out of her daydream and looking at her aunt who was now looking quite grave,
“Like I said, I’m not going to lie. You will have to makes some hard decisions. When I married Ted I had to give up my entire family with the exception of one of my cousins, Sirius, and yes it did hurt to not see my family at my wedding.
“But I never once regretted it. I gave up my family in exchange for another: one with more open ideas and accepting attitudes. If what you have told me about Daniel is anything to go by, I have no doubt that he will accept you for who you are…”
“What about living with him though? The manor is only a few miles from the village?”
“Then you’ll have to explain to him about the current regime and that if you want to be together you may have to move far away. You’ll be welcome here though I would advise you move out of the country until the war is over. Either way you’ll leave as you have no intention of taking the mark. America would be a good place to go.”
Her voice was sad and Callie knew she was thinking about her husband,
“What…what if he doesn’t want to come with me?”
Her aunt smiled at her,
“Then you obliviate him and never see him again. Hard, I know, but it is better you know earlier than later.”
Callie nodded, her mind already formulating a plan.
“When are you seeing him next?” Andromeda asked
“Tomorrow night in the village; I’ll tell him then.”
Andromeda nodded and stood up. Callie did likewise,
“Thank you auntie, for…for everything,” Callie said, holding out her hand.
However Andromeda pulled Callie into a hug,
“One thing you should know Callie: your life is your own to do with as you please. No one can take away your free will, no matter who they are.”
Callie smiled at her aunt through tears and Andromeda walked Callie to the door,
“Goodbye Callie. I hope everything turns out alright for you.”
“Thank you,” then quieter, “so do I.”
Smiling at her aunt one last time, Callie went round the block and into a deserted ally-way before apparating back to Lestrange Manor.
Opening the front door and hanging up her cloak she heard an insane cackle and more than two coming from the drawing room.
Her mother was back home.
Thanks guys, please, please review. Also I know I said it would be this chapter where Callie would tell her parents about Daniel but this is how it turned out. Ah well that’s what I get for not writing a draft first. *Dodges thrown tomato*.
*Also I wasn’t exactly sure where Andromeda lives so I made her live in Sheffield.
To those American readers or anyone else who isn’t familiar with English geography: Sheffield is in south Yorkshire in the middle of England.
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