As the time for them to return to Hogwarts got closer, Sirius grew more and more sullen. The twins were going to great lengths to get him laughing, and if Harry wasn’t by his side then Rylan was. And when they were busy Callista would sit and chat with him. They’d found an old harp in one of the rooms and Tonks had figured out how to work it by magic, so Callista would sit in the drawing room and sing. The harp was really nifty and Tonks had fixed it to play stuff that they’d actually heard of. Callista called it her iHarp. It was next to Sirius’ room, so she tried to pick songs she thought he’d like. The singing ultimately served a two-fold purpose. Callista was able to escape inside the music and Sirius was able to relax.
She was engaged in this particular activity when someone rang the doorbell. She stopped and went to the door to see Sirius emerging from his room. Since only Dumbledore could tell anyone how to find them she assumed it was probably Snape or someone like that, so she returned to her seat in the window and resumed her sing-a-long to some Coldplay song.
“There must be a boy involved, if you’re singing again.” A rich female voice said from the door. Callista turned and was face to face with Sabine Mason, her mother. A smile spread across her face and Callista ran to her mother’s arms.
“Mummy! What are you doing here? Where’s dad?” She said quickly.
“Right here.” Leland Mason said appearing behind his wife. Callista disengaged from her mother’s embrace and stepped into the circle of her father’s arms. Her parents were like night and day. Callista was the spitting image of Sabine at the same age. They both had caramel skin, and long dark brown hair with natural copper highlights that glistened in the sunlight. Leland was practically their polar opposite with his pale skin and golden blond hair. He was tall, stately and seemed a bit stiff. Callista had called him the Guard when she was little because it was difficult to make him laugh and impossible to get anything past him, but he loved to mess with people. The twins have their work cut out for them. She thought imagining how hard they would work to get her dad to crack a smile.
“Everyone come down! My parents are here!” She called up the stairs. “What brings you two here?” She asked as she turned back to her parents.
“Well, we’ve brought presents for everyone, and some of them were a bit large to just send to the school.” Her father said with a slight smile. Callista raised an eyebrow. Her dad only got that look when he was really up to something.
“What are you up to?” She asked directly.
“Oh Lissie, let him have some fun.” Sabine said knowing how Callista reacted positively to the nickname Draco had given her when they were kids. Callista couldn’t contain her smile, but she was ready to ask more questions when everyone came piling down the stairs at once. It was like no one wanted to be first. In the end Hermione and Ginny were at the front of the group. Callista began introductions.
“Mom, dad, this is my best friend, Hermione Granger.” They shook hands and said their hellos. “This is Ginny and Ron Weasley.” Ron looked exceptionally nervous, but Ginny was as cool as a cucumber. “And this is Harry Potter.” Her dad actually smiled a very genuine smile as he shook Harry’s hand. Sabine kissed Harry on each cheek and said,
“Lissie has told us nothing but amazing things about you.” Harry blushed a little at her glowing remarks, and Ron said,
“Lissie? Well you didn’t tell us about that one did you?” He laughed a little, and then he caught the raised eyebrow of Leland and cut himself short. Callista felt the embarrassment coming on. She could almost guarantee that her mom was about to say the wrong thing.
“Aw, she didn’t? Well it’s actually quite a cute story…”
“Mom ix-nay on the ory-stay.” Callista said cutting her mom off.
“Callista, don’t interrupt your mother, it’s rude” Leland said firmly. Chastised Callista hung her head as her mom continued,
“When Callista and Draco were little, and you all know him right? Well they had played together since they were old enough to sit up by themselves. Cutest little things you ever saw.” Her mom paused as Callista sighed.
“Well when they first started learning to speak, Narcissa and I were trying to get them to learn each other’s names. Callista, always the quick study could say Draco quite easily. Well her name is a bit more complicated for a new speaker and when Narcissa told him to say Callista he’d just say ‘A lissie, she’s a lissie.’ Well that day when we I went to pick up Callista for us to head back home, he said, ‘no, my lissie.’ He even held out his little arms. It was the cutest thing ever.”
Callista wanted to die or at least erase this from everyone’s mind. They were all laughing and agreeing with her mom that it was so cute. The twins came down then, so Callista introduced them before they could ask what was so funny.
“Mom, dad, this is Fred and that’s George.” They shook hands and then George said,
“Oh you can tell us apart now? What’s the difference because our own mum has trouble?” They laughed and waited.
“Oh well it’s nothing major, but…well Fred’s got this freckle right here,” She said pointing to a spot on his jaw.
“She’s right.” Ron said looking at George’s jaw. “You haven’t got one.” Callista wanted a subject change before someone asked how she’d found the almost unnoticeable freckle.
“Well, Mrs. Weasley’s in the kitchen with Remus, so you all should go meet them too.” She pointed them in the direction and waited until they were out of sight before saying in her most dangerous voice,
“Listen up, and listen well. If I hear Lissie come out of anyone’s mouth, the owner of that mouth will be in the market for new teeth, understood?”
“Oh, so Malfoy can do it, but we can’t. That’s not very fair, Lissie.” Ron said jumping out of her reach as she went to swat him. George grinned wickedly.
“Don’t call her that Ron,” George said surprisingly, “Malfoy might get mad that someone’s talking to his Lissie.” He wasn’t fast enough though and got a kick in the shin for his trouble. Callista stormed back to the drawing room, followed by Fred. The others continued joking as they went back to their rooms.
The harp was still playing when Callista returned to her seat in the window. This is why they haven’t met them before. Callie thought as Fred sat down in the window with her.
“Hi.” He said running a hand through his hair.
“Hi yourself.” Callista said ruffling his hair.
“I just wanted to apologize for yesterday. I don’t really think that you’re a bitch. Well you can be, but it’s usually not directed at me, this is not going like it did in my head.” He said with a nervous laugh.
“It’s alright, Fred. I might’ve needed a wake-up call. I’ve been holding on to this Draco thing too long and it’s time for me to grow up.” She said.
“I lied, you know?” He said quickly. Callista cocked her head to one side in confusion. “When I said that he didn’t love you, I lied. I think he does love you.” He just left it there and was about to stand up when Callista took his arm and pulled him back down.
“Fred, I’m not going to lie, I love him and there’s a part of me that always will, but that is the stupid part that is holding on to the past. The smart part that is ready to move on is starting to love someone else.” She looked down and started picking at her nails. “I’m just scared that that someone else won’t love me back.” She looked at him then, and her eyes said it all.
“Callie, he can give you anything you want. I don’t have anything, but me.”
“What if you are all I want? Things are about to get crazy and who knows how much time we have? All the money in the world can’t keep you from dying and it’s certainly not worth living for.” She said taking his hands.
“You never cease to amaze me. I guess you’re not so spoiled, huh?” He said placing his right hand against her cheek. She leaned into it and closed her eyes.
“Alright, you’ve twisted my arm. I’ll be your girlfriend, but I won’t like it.” She said smiling. He laughed and kissed her deeply. They were still kissing when her parents came back to find her.
“Ahem.” Her dad cleared his throat, and they broke apart. Callista was blushing furiously and Fred was hoping her dad wasn’t a curse first ask questions later kind of guy. Sabine was smiling brightly at the two of them.
“Mr. Mason, I’d like to ask your permission to date your daughter.” Fred said moving to stand in front of Mr. Mason. Callista was surprised at the formality, but she knew her dad would appreciate the old fashioned gesture. Her mom crossed the room and sat by her holding her hand; they waited for her dad’s response.
“You seem to be a pretty straightforward guy, but I won’t have my daughter’s reputation tarnished, so you had better be the only boy she’s dating.” As he said this he looked at Callista too. She nodded and went to take Fred’s hand.
“Thank you Mr. Mason.” Fred said shaking Mr. Mason’s hand once again.
“Thanks dad.” Callista said standing on tip toes to kiss him on the cheek. As they left the room, Leland went to sit by his wife in the window.
“I’m proud of you love.” Sabine said taking his hand.
“I’m proud of me too. She’s not our little girl anymore.” Leland said slightly choked up.
“No she’s our young woman, and she’s someone else’s Lissie now.” Sabine said which made them both laugh. Callista popped her head around the corner and said,
“What happened to those presents you were talking about earlier?”
“Oh right!” Sabine said smacking her forehead, “Go get the others.” When Callista returned with all of the kids and on the drawing room floor were four long boxes with Fred, George, Ron and Ginny’s names on them, and three smaller ones with Harry, Hermione, and Callista’s names on them. They all tore into their presents except for Callista who hadn’t gotten the paper off of hers when Fred yelled,
“New broomsticks!” He, George, Ron, and Ginny were dancing around the room. Callista gave her parents a scandalized look and said,
“There had better be something amazing in this box because I’ve been asking for a broom for ages. Harry’s box contained a magic owl cage that shrank when you put an owl in it for easy transportation. Hermione’s contained a special edition autographed set of Hogwarts: A History. Callista finally opened her box and found just a card. She looked at her parents and frowned.
“Well open it, silly.” Her mom said. Callista opened the card and read it aloud.
“Tap the box twice with your wand. Love mom and dad. This is silly, mum.” She tapped the box twice and there was a cloud of blue smoke. When it cleared there was a tiny black kitten in the box with a star shaped patch of fur on his front ankle. Callie squealed and lifted the little guy out of the box.
“Ohmigod, he’s so cute!” They all thanked her parents profusely as they left the room.
“You two are amazing! This makes up for the socks incident.” She said giving her dad a look and then a kiss on the cheek. Back in her room she held the kitten up to Tavis who nipped him softly on the ear and hooted happily.
“What are you going to call him?” Hermione asked.
“Let’s call him Sirius because if you look at him from this angle they look just alike.” Callista said holding new Sirius up so that the girls could see the similarity. The next few days passed quietly with Sirius making up for his previous sullen-ness by throwing himself into entertaining Callista’s parents. Mrs. Weasley and Callista made up, and then it was their final night at Grimmauld place.
George rolled his eyes as Fred said Callista’s name for what felt like the billionth time. He now knew that he was doomed to hear about her until they got back to school where they would have mischief to attend to.
“I can’t believe that I stole Malfoy’s girl and I didn’t even need money to do it.’ Fred said laughing as he polished his new broom for no reason at all because the thing was sparkling out of the box.
“You didn’t steal her. Malfoy’s a git and he ran her away on his own. You just happened to be her rebound guy.” George snapped.
“Damn, I knew you were tired of hearing about Callie, but there’s no need to get nasty about it.” Fred said.
“Sorry, I just… Well it’s just that….I saw Rylan and Sirius snogging yesterday, and you’re with Callie now. It’s like I can’t catch a break.” He said lying back on his bed.
“Can’t catch a break? You’re the one who Callie took to the Yule Ball.”
“Actually she took me and that was only cause she couldn’t tell us apart and didn’t really care which one she ended up with. Her exact words were, ‘I don’t know you that well, but I’m not going with some troll and you’re one of the hottest guys in school.’ Besides you took Angelina, you had plenty of time to ask her yourself.” George said.
“She called you hot?” Fred asked.
“We’re twins, genius. If you’re hot I am.” George said laughing. Fred felt silly then. He was already becoming the jealous boyfriend. He was Callie’s boyfriend. He was excited.
“Man, you just don’t know. Being with her is like a dream, and I’m always afraid I’ll wake up.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re happy, I really am, but can you limit yourself to only saying Callista twenty times a day?” George said with a smile. Fred laughed and said,
“Twenty-one times and we’ve got a deal.”
“Twenty-one times for what?” Harry asked as he and Ron came in.
“Oh George is tired of hearing me say Callista.” Fred said with a laugh.
“And that was twenty-one.” George laughed.
“Why do you keep going on about Callista anyway?” Ron asked.
“Well the day her parents got here, I asked her dad for permission to date her, and he said yes.” Fred said proudly.
“What did Callie say?” Harry asked. He felt queasy.
“She said yes.” Fred said with a huge grin. Ron high-fived him and said,
“Nice. Malfoy’ll be first in line to join the ‘we hate Fred Weasley’ club.” I’ll be second Harry thought.
“You all alright, Harry?” Fred asked. Harry shook his head and said,
“No, I’m not feeling well, I’m going to go lie down. Congratulations.” He ran up the stairs and ran right into Callista.
“That’s a nice way to cop a feel.” She laughed. “Where’s the fire?”
“I’m just not feeling well. I’m going to go lie down.” He said quietly not meeting her eyes.
“Well, I’ll check on you later. Maybe I’ll bring you some soup or something, ok?”
“You don’t have to.” Harry said as he moved past her.
“I want to. I’ll see you later. Have a nice nap.” She said with a smile as she continued down the stairs. Harry threw himself on the bed once he reached his and Ron’s room. Face it, Harry. You can’t be with her, so move on. He told himself. Last night in the kitchen it felt like she was really into him. How could he have misread the situation that bad? He couldn’t even fall asleep, but he pretended when he heard Callista opening the door. He heard her sit down a tray.
“Harry, Harry.” She said quietly as she shook him. He opened his eyes slowly. “Are you feeling any better?” She held a cool cloth to his forehead.
“I think I might be alright.” He said pushing her hand away. She felt like she was being snubbed, so she stood up and said,
“Well, I brought you some soup, and you should go talk to Sirius before we leave.” She left the room then without a backwards glance. Harry knew he’d hurt her feelings and it made him feel even worse.
A/N: That was a long one. I really hope that you all are enjoying reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I love getting your reviews they make my heart smile!
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