Chapter 4 : Callum: Complicated
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Another CI by the amazing Chocolateluver@tda
"What do you mean, Scorpius is dating Rose Weasley?"
I shrugged, "They've made it official, don't ask me."
Caitlin glared as she hissed, "You realize that this is the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen? Let's review, I wanted you to date that sad little Hufflepuff, Penny, or whatever, so that you could get closer to Rose Weasley, who happens to be her tutor. I then wanted Lucy Weasley, nosy little cow that she is, to expose you two, thereby breaking Scorpius Malfoy's heart just in time for the big Slytherin Ravenclaw match this saturday. Now you're telling me that not only does Scorpius have no idea about you and Rose, but they're sending out bloody wedding invitations!"
I rolled my eyes, "Calm, woman."
"I gave you a job, man," she said, "And all you've done is make things worse."
"It's not like I can do anything about it," I hissed, "How was I supposed to know that Lucy wouldn't even show the pictures to anyone? Her and Rose must have made some sort of deal."
"I don't care what went wrong," she snapped, "If you want the rest of the money, find a way to break them up in the most painful way possible. This Saturday, when Madame Hooch tells us to shake hands, I want to see tears in Scorpius Malfoy's eyes."
I paused, unusually impressed by the vicious tone of her voice, the deviousness in her eyes, "Ruthless, Goldman. Never took you for an evil heartbreaker."
She narrowed her eyes, "You must have me confused with Rose."
"I thought she was your friend," I said stupidly. Of course, Caitlin Goldman didn't want friends. She wanted allies.
She sighed boredly in response, but before she opened her mouth again I added, "You sure this isn't because you have a thing for Scorpius?" I frowned.
She snorted, "If I wanted Scorpius Malfoy I could have had him. No, Davies, I want to win, and if I have to play dirty, then that's what I'll do."
I wasn't surprised. Caitlin Goldman might have been an expert at pulling the strings backstage, but deep down I knew she was like all the rest of them.
"Listen here, Davies," she continued, "The Ravenclaw-Slytherin match is this Saturday, in two days time. Make sure he finds out."
"And how do I do that?"
She smirked, "Use your imagination." She patted me once on the head, and then left the broom cupboard we were sitting in.
I waited a few seconds before following her outside. Caitlin had barely turned the corner or the deserted corridor, and I stepped out of the broom cupboard.
It wasn't a few seconds before Rose herself came around the same corner that Caitlin had just left and saw me.
"Hello, Rose," I said, leaning against the wall in as relaxed a position as I could. I didn't need to chase after her, she would come to me.
"Callum," she said in a whisper. She came up to me quickly, glancing around to make sure no one was watching us.
"Haven't seen you since the other night," I said softly.
"Well, I've been busy."
"Making it official with Scorpius, I see," I smirked.
She blushed, "I had to. My cousin, Lucy Weasley, do you know her?"
"We're acquainted," I replied slowly.
"Well, she saw us the other night," Rose hissed fiercely, "And she's threatening to show everyone the evidence, even your girlfriend!"
"Peggy isn't my girlfriend," I insisted. When Caitlin had first suggested that I get closer to Peggy, I hadn't given it a second thought. Now that I'd actually met her I wish I had. She was whiny, and unbelievably annoying.
"She said I had to date Scorpius, or else!" Rose hissed.
Yes, or else the unthinkable would happen. The whole school would know that Rose Weasley had shagged Callum Davies, the Slytherin thief who wasn't to be trusted. She would be disgraced. How awful.
It was all I could do not to glare at her.
"Oh well, I guess you're dating Scorpius then," I shrugged, before leaning closer and pressing my lips firmly to hers.
She lingered for barely a moment, before drawing back hurriedly, "Seriously," she hissed.
"I wasn't joking either," I said, before kissing her again, sliding an arm around her thin waist to stop her from drawing back again.
But clearly Lucy had a stronger hold on her than I'd previously thought. Rose put both her hands on my chest and pushed me away forcefully. I looked at her in surprise.
"I can't," she said.
Darn, she really wasn't backing down. I would have to find some other way of breaking them up.
"Right," I said, shrugging at her to show her I didn't care anyway, "See you then."
I turned away and walked away from her. Rose gave me a pitying look, which annoyed me even more than her rejection. I hadn't wanted her in the first place. I wasn't planing on pining for her. Callum Davies didn't pine.
The only other way to break Scorpius and Rose up was through the photographic evidence. And that meant that I had to ask the one person who I had never planned on owing any favours to.
* * *
I sat down next to Lucy in Transfiguration class. She looked very surprised to see me there, and said, "Are you lost, Callum?"
"Depends," I said in a low voice, "Have you got the photos?"
"Then yes, I am."
"Good, then get lost."
I sighed, "Come on Lucy, where are the pictures?"
She smirked, "Oh, so now you're interested? Yesterday it was all 'Ooh, tell Peggy whatever you like. Go ahead, I don't give a shit.'"
"That sounds nothing like me," I growled, frowning at her deep, gruff impression of my voice
"Give me five good reasons why I should give them to you," she said, blinking those annoyingly big blue eyes at me, "Maybe I can be persuaded."
I sighed, before running off a list, "I need them, you have no use for them, Rose has a pimple on her chin in the photo, because I'm incredibly good looking, and because you fancy me." I had thrown the last one in there for fun, to see if maybe she had anything in common with girls like Rose, who would usually giggle hysterically.
She just smirked, "In your dreams. Tell Rose that you can barely see the pimple, and on the contrary, I need the photos to blackmail Rose and make you uncomfortable."
"But I need them more," I insisted.
"I know that Rose is Peggy's tutor," she answered simply, "And I know that Scorpius' big match against Ravenclaw is in two days. And I know that Caitlin Goldman will do anything to win against him. I also know that you will almost do anything for money."
"You need help putting the puzzle pieces together?" I asked, eyebrow raised, although she clearly already had, "How long have you known?"
She shrugged, "Oh, I only figured it out now. See, you're so desperate to get evidence of you and Rose, you have to be interested in more than just…Rose."
She was clever, I had to give her that. Bloody annoying, but clever.
"How much did Caitlin pay you?" she asked, with a serious tone to her voice that had been absent until now.
"You don't want to know," I said.
She nodded, "No, you're right, I don't. People at this school disgust me."
I didn't reply, being unable to bring myself to tell her that I couldn't agree more.
"You're going to try and break them up, aren't you?" she said in a low voice.
"I guess there isn't a chance in hell that you'll give me those photos, is there?" I snorted. The whole idea was stupid, but it had been an act of desperation.
"Too late," she replied, "I burned them. It was part of the deal with Rose."
"If I were you," I said, "I would have kept them, just in case."
"Unlike you, Callum, I'm an honourable person," she said bitterly.
* * *
At dinner that evening, I sat contemplating all the possible ways to break up Scorpius and Rose in time for the quidditch game this saturday.
I sat a long way down from everyone else, since no one dared sit within a meter of me. I was perfectly fine with that arrangement.
I spotted Lucy and Louis sitting at the Ravenclaw table, speaking to one another in low voices. I looked away. After our brief, unfriendly conversation this morning, Lucy had spent the rest of Transfiguration in glum silence, and I had been happy to oblige her.
Further down the Slytherin table I saw Scorpius feeding his new girlfriend a spoon of ice cream. She shook her head and turned away, before throwing a wistful glance in my direction. I turned away from her.
Maybe I still had a shot at her. She was desperate enough, and stupid enough. Lucy had probably warned her that she would catch us if we tried anything again. She probably would, but surely Rose would break down…in time.
Except I had two days. I couldn't be sure that Rose would crack by then. No, I had to do something now.
I had played this game before. Act distant and wounded, then she would come running to me. I pushed my plate away in a fit of mock anger, and stood up to storm out, when an extremely unpleasant sight met my eyes.
Bridget Trelawny, the Hufflepuff girl who had so openly asked me about my star sign and whatever else passed through her scatter-brained head, sat down opposite me. With the same annoying look of friendly contentment, she smiled.
I stared at her, "The Hufflepuff table is over there."
She looked behind her at the Hufflepuff table, "Oh, yes, there it is."
She made no other comment, clearly intent on staying. Merlin, what was with this girl? She was so utterly bizarre.
"Did I say you could sit here?" I asked her grumpily.
She smiled, "Ah, but did you say I couldn't sit here? Now there's an interesting question!"
She was annoying me more with every passing second.
"OK, I'm leaving now," I told her.
She looked up at me, a slightly forlorn look on her face, blue eyes the picture of sadness and abandonment, "Really? Oh…"
I glanced again at Rose, who had just refused a bite of Scorpius' blueberry tart. An idea suddenly struck me.
"Ok, fine," I said, sitting back down, "But on one condition."
"Okay!" she agreed eagerly, "Anything!"
"You have to help me make that girl down there jealous."
"Who?" Bridget looked eagerly down the table. She glanced back at me, looking uneasy, "Are you talking about Rose Weasley?"
"Yes," I said.
"She's not very nice," Bridget remarked disapprovingly, "Do you like her?"
I sighed frustrated, "No…it's complicated."
"So why are you trying to make her jealous?"
"Why is it complicated?"
"Just-" I snapped, but I regained my patience and took a deep breath, "Don't ask."
"Okay," she said, shrugging, "What do you want to do to make her jealous?"
I sighed, "I guess...just lean in and smile at me."
She put an eager, happy grin on her face and leaned over, as though she wanted to hear a juicy piece of gossip, instead of trying to flirt with me.
I paused, frowning, "Maybe make it more…forget it. This is fine."
I grasped her hand over the table and pulled us even closer together.
"Is it working?" she whispered excitedly.
Glancing quickly down at Rose, I saw with satisfaction that she was staring angrily at the pair of us, confusion and envy in her eyes.
I nodded, "Now laugh at something that I said."
She reacted immediately, letting off a ripple of laughter that was pitch perfect. Rose's gaze darkened.
I raised an eyebrow at Bridget, "Not bad." Clearly she wasn't quite as dimwitted as I'd once thought. And she was a dab-hand at potions too.
"Thanks," she grinned ecstatically, "Do you know that girl?"
"Who? Rose? Of course I know her."
"No, that one," she pointed over my shoulder and I looked.
Peggy was coming towards me, looking blissfully ignorant of everything, including the fact that I wanted nothing more than to be shot of her.
She sat herself down onto the bench beside me, and threw her arms around me. People further along the Slytherin table sniggered at this, so I took her arms and peeled them off me.
"Oh Callum," Peggy exclaimed, "I'm just…so happy!"
Why? I thought, it's not as if I ever treated you decently. I almost wanted to tell her everything, that it had all been a set up, that I had faked everything, but she was looking at me with such fierce adoration that I swallowed my pride and said nothing.
"I know we've been really distant from one another, and, oh, I just can't believe I ever doubted you!"
Bridget was staring at Peggy with an unreadable expression on her face. I paused to contemplate it, but couldn't tell if she was happy or unimpressed, or even jealous.
"Let's just go back to the way things were," Peggy implored me.
"Peggy…" I said, already feeling uncomfortable, "I-"
"He's with me," said Bridget, throwing Peggy a cold look from over the table.
I stared at her. Either she was a really good actress, or I had given her completely the wrong idea by holding her hand over the table.
Peggy stared, doe eyes wide and uncomprehending, "But-"
"You had your chance," Bridget said, "I'm dating Callum now."
I was momentarily speechless, more than slightly terrified of the cold, unfeeling way she said those words.
Peggy looked at me, then at Bridget, then back at me, "Is this true, Callum?"
"Er…" I coughed hesitantly, "Yes."
Peggy's lip trembled. "I don't understand." I stared at Bridget, willing her to do something.
"Look," she said to Peggy, leaning in closer to her with a more comforting tone in her voice, "Peggy, you'll find someone else. While you've been avoiding him, Callum and I have grown close, but that doesn't mean you can't meet someone else. You're still a 5th year, you've got our best Hogwarts years ahead of you. Don't waste time on him."
Peggy nodded at her, looking more determined.
"In fact," Bridget said, lowering her voice, "I think you should slap him."
I gaped at Bridget. She had been doing so well. This part was just unnecessary pain.
Peggy jumped up, "You're right!" And she brought her hand around and hit me across the cheek.
It was a pitiful slap, but it was still a slap. People turned in their seats to stare at us. Peggy was flushed, but she still looked proud of herself. I lowered my head, muttering, "I deserved that."
"Goodbye Callum," she said, before rounding on her heel and marching away from me.
She stormed out of the great hall, people's eyes following her all the way. They turned to stare back at Bridget and I.
Glaring at her, I muttered, "The slap was a bit much, don't you think?"
Her eyes widened, "Sorry, I thought it might give her a bit more closure. Did it really hurt?"
I rolled my eyes, "No. It's okay. It'll be good for my bad-boy image."
She frowned, "I didn't know you had an image."
"It's not like I planned it," I snorted, "People just give you a label, and expect you to live up to it."
"I didn't think you liked fulfilling expectations," she murmured.
"I don't," I replied gruffly, feeling slightly hypocritical, "Listen. What just happened…I hope you don't think that now we're…that we're…"I trailed off hopelessly.
She wasn't catching on, "That we're what?"
I sighed, "Together."
She replied by laughing out loud.
"Hey," I frowned, "I'm not such a terrible prospect, you know."
"It's not that," she said, "But don't worry, I'll never want to have you for a boyfriend."
I smirked, "Because I'm bad news, right?"
She shook her head, "No, because it's my duty, as blue-eyed person, to marry and procreate with another blue eyed person."
I stared at her. Of all the loony, mental things she could have said...
She saw my look of disbelief and decided to elaborate, "Well, blue eyed people are going to die out soon," she said, "The gene for blue eyes is less common, so it's my duty to make sure that my child has the biggest chance of having blue eyes as possible. "
"So," I paused hesitantly, "You're saying you'll never want to date me because I have brown eyes."
"And that doesn't strike you as being completey bonkers?"
"No, everyone has a type. Like you, apparently you like attention-seeking girls like Rose or Peggy."
I sighed, "I don't really like them."
"I didn't think you did," she admitted, "You are a scorpio after all."
"Okay," I said, "Just so you know, when you do that, it's weird. It's probably why most people like to avoid you."
"Well, most people like to avoid you because they think you're going to eat them alive. That's more than weird."
"Touché," I said, smiling slightly.
Bridget shook her head, "My point is, Scorpio's like a challenge when it comes to relationships. Speaking of which,"
She glanced over my shoulder and trailed off.
I looked and saw that Lucy was standing behind me.
"Callum," she said gruffly.
Somehow I didn't think I was in for the usual you're-a-lying-cheating-scumbag-and-I-don't-know-how-you-sleep-at-night rant.
"Lucy," I replied, privately wondering what Bridget had meant by her words 'speaking of which'.
There was a long, awkward pause.
"Can I help you with something?" I asked coolly.
"As a matter of fact, maybe there's something I can help you with."
I frowned. Was she finally going to give me the photos, that she'd supposedly burned? If so, it would be at a high cost, I wasn't stupid enough not to assume that.
"Is this about the photos?" I asked uneasily.
She shook her head, "I actually did burn those, believe it or not."
I sighed, "Well, what then?"
"Well, I saw your school records," she began.
"How did you get my-" I stopped myself. It was a stupid question. Lucy had ways of getting things, she had probably bribed half the house elves to steal things for her. "What about them?"
"They're atrocious," she said plainly, "Really, I don't know how you're planning to pass your NEWTS. You barely scraped an Acceptable in half of your OWLS..."
I cut across her, "I'm sorry, you must have me confused with someone who actually gives a damn." As usual, I didn't appreciate her opinion on my inefficient working habits.
She hesitated, looking almost nervous. It was a new look for her, and it only made me uneasy. "To get to the point, I was wondering if maybe you wanted a tutor."
"In exchange for what?" I said.
She raised an eyebrow, "Nothing!"
I snorted, "Oh come on. Lucy Weasley always has an agenda," I said, before waving her away, "It doesn't matter anyway. I don't want a tutor."
She looked slightly more desperate now, which only made me more suspicious, "Even if you're clever enough to do the work, you're going to need a tutor to catch you up on all the work you've missed."
"I said I'm not interested," I said, turning away from her.
"Fine," she growled, "Come and find me when you change your mind."
I hated that she said 'when' as opposed to 'if', as though she knew I would cave. Well, there was no way I was letting her tutor me.
"Don't count on it," I reminded her as she walked away. She ignored me, however, and sat back down beside Louis at the Ravenclaw table.
I turned back to Bridget, who smiled at me, "So, what should we do now?"
I glared at her. All the fun of the evening with Bridget had been sucked out by Lucy and her bloody proposition. "I'm going back to my common room. I couldn't care less what you do."
She looked hurt as I got up and stormed out of the great hall, feeling a slight twinge of guilt as I left.
* * *
Later that night I sat in the Slytherin common room, waiting until everyone had left for bed.
Only once the flames of the fireplace were nothing but glowing embers, was I alone. I pulled out a scrap of spare parchment, a quill and began to write.
It's been a while since I've written, I know. Please don't think I've forgotten you. I could never forget about you, which hopefully you still know. My job at the Three Broomsticks didn't work out so well. I got fired for hitting one of my customers. In my defense, he was a complete and utter prick. Isaac Watkins deserves more than a punch in the face, believe me.
How is school? I know in your last letter you said it was boring, but chin up. I know it's November, and I won't see you until June. I've got this job working at Zonko's over Christmas, and it's a salary I really can't afford to miss out on. You know how much I'll miss you though. I can't wait until June to see you again.
Just as I placed my quill on the parchment to start a new paragraph, the common room door swung open and I stuffed the parchment into my trouser pocket.
It was only a first year, gazing at me timidly.
"What are you staring at?" I said.
"Th-They said I should let them in," he said, "I-I-I"
"Spit it out," I snapped, angry that he had interrupted.
"Okay, Charlie," said a tall Chinese girl, appearing from the door behind him, "You can go up to your dormitory now."
He nodded, still looking terrified. The Chinese girl gave him a condescending pat on the head as he scurried towards the staircases, and walked over towards me. She wasn't a slytherin, her blue tie told me as much.
I watched as she took a seat on the sofa beside me, and it was only then that I noticed she was accompanied by the tall, scrawny Hufflepuff who had been following me the other day.
"Hello Callum, I need to ask you something," she began.
"Sorry sweetheart, I don't date," I smirked at her.
"What a pity," she replied monotonously, "And here I was hoping you'd be my date to the Yule Ball. All my dreams of corsages, punch and saving the last dance have been crushed."
"Glad to be of service," I said, already liking her, "And you," I said, turning to the Hufflepuff, who was looking at me with increasing terror, "You were following me the other day. What's your name again?"
"F-Fergus Scamander," he said nervously. He tugged a little at the tie around his throat, clearly remembering how close my hands had been to his neck.
"Come now Fergus," said the girl, "Callum doesn't bite."
"Yeah, Fergus," I said, "Listen to your girlfriend."
"She's not my-" he protested, flushing bright pink, but the girl interrupted him.
"Dai Evans," she said, holding out a long, slender hand for me to shake, although with her haughty attitude, you'd think she wanted me to kiss it.
"Pleasure," I said, shaking her hand briefly, "Care to elaborate on why you threatened a first year to get in here, if you're not interested in me?"
"On the contrary," she replied, "I'm very interested."
"Enlighten me," I said, getting bored of all this talking.
She cut to the chase, "You know Lucy Weasley, don't you?"
Too many times had I heard that name today. Even when she wasn't around, she still succeeded in pissing me off.
"And, as I understand it, you need money," she said.
"Yes," I said more slowly, not sure where she was going with this.
She reached into a purse that was perched on top of the pile of papers Fergus was carrying.
"Here," she said, handing me what looked like 10 galleons in the palm of her hand.
I glared at her, "Sorry, the Callum Davies Charity Foundation is currently not accepting donations."
I got up, having had just about enough of this, and tossed the galleons down onto sofa beside her.
She remained calm, "I never offer anything for free Callum."
"What do you want for it then?" I snapped.
"I want you to find secrets," she said simply.
I frowned at her, "I don't know if you've heard, but Lucy Weasley is the one with the nosiness specialty."
"She was…unavailable," Dai replied carefully, "And only you can find out these secrets."
"Fine," I snapped, "Whose are they?"
"What do you want them for?"
"I need them for my newspaper. The grapevine isn't going to last much longer if we don't find something juicy."
"Don't you have investigators for that?"
She jerked her head towards Fergus, "You've already seen the level of subtlety that our investigators can offer."
"Okay," I said, ignoring the annoyed look Fergus shot towards Dai, "And how do you propose I go about finding out all these secrets?"
"Haven't you guessed?" she raised an eyebrow, "Lucy Weasley, of course."
I paused, "What do you mean?"
"He's pretty but he sure is slow," Dai said to Fergus. "I thought it was obvious. Lucy Weasley has all the secrets, and I want them."
"You want me to steal all her secrets?" I said.
"Well done," she smirked, leaning back into the couch, "And believe me, I am willing to provide generous compensation."
"And why am I the only person who can do this?" I said.
"Because, Callum," she said, "You're the only one who isn't afraid of her. And you're the only one desperate enough to do it." She pulled out what looked like twenty galleons, "I'll pay you the rest when the job is done. So, Callum, do we have a deal?"
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