(1938-06-16) We Are the Scourge
Details for We Are the Scourge
Summary: Gabrielle meets with Callus again, and learns the true purpose of the Vengal clan.
Date: June 16, 1938
Location: West High Street, Hogsmeade
Related: Blood Ties

West High Street, Hogsmeade

This is the main street and venue for Hogsmeade Village, the western portion of High Street. The street is always occupied by someone either out for a walk, loitering, or tidying up the outside of their business. OPEN signs hang in windows, shutters and drapes are open wide so display windows can be peered into to view some of the shop's wares. Bustling with life the forest surrounding the village is as active with wildlife as the village is with civilization, however quaint and country it might be.

Gabrielle wasn't sure what to do, exactly. So, she's made sure to wear her nicest not school outfit, her mother's coat, which she's put the little bit of money in, along with her drawing equipment.Although, strangely, she doesn't have a sketchbook with. She doesn't know what Callus wants. If she'll even be going back to the castle or not. She's nervous, no amount of lying can cover that. She's walked around a bit, and eventually went in and bought a small cheap piece of chocolate to try to calm her nerves some. Hands shoved in her pockets, she'll walk down he street….maybe this was a bad idea.

There's plenty of foot traffic in Hogsmeade on this late Sunday morning, but most of it is hovering around the shops. The area around the Wizarding Wireless Network office isn't quite as busy, meaning less eyes on the alleys beside it. When Gabrielle finally nears, a deep, familiar voice reaches her ears. "Gabrielle. Come here." Leaning up against an alley wall is the tall, imposing Callus Vengal, his tattered black robes hanging from his shoulders like the cracked leather wings of some enormous weathered bat.

Here's the moment of truth, move forward, or flee?She'll close her eyes a moment, and then turn towards the figure. She'll take into the alley, knowing she can't really be seen, or call for help now. She's truly on her own. Gabby doesn't know how to address Callus. First name? Last? So instead, she'll nod nervously. Even with all her nervousness, her brain can' help but wonder if he's choosing to wear tattered robes…it just kinda seems like a dead give away as to him being a bad guy.

Callus doesn't move, simply waiting for her to approach. When she is close enough he speaks in a low conversational tone. "Have you told anyone about our conversation?" Direct and to the point. Callus stares hard at her, like a hawk waiting for its prey to make its move.

Gabrielle takes a deep breath. this is just like Pringle…"Not that it was you…and not what you said. There were a few people who knew I went out, and I had to tell them something. The Auror was very specific that I should not go to outside the castle. For them to let me go, I had to give them something to placate them."She'll frown slightly, "I told them you were an old friend of my mothers…I don't even know if that's true or not." She's nervous, but maybe it's because she told people something…or that she still doesn't quite trust Vengal.

Callus makes no sign that he disbelieves her half-truth. He simply nods. "It's true. Your mother and I were friends. Perhaps that brings you some solace that your lie was not a lie." He tilts his head, narrowing his eyes. "What of your friend that came with you to the Hog's Head? Conall…Quinn, wasn't it? I'm told he's a Prefect. What does he know, and what will he do about it?"

Gabrielle narrows her eyes back a little, more confident that she has someone to protect now, "Quinn, yes. He was just trying to make sure I was ok. He's a Hufflepuff Prefect. He was worried, and wouldn't let me go unless he escorted me. He actually covered for me being out after curfew. He won't do anything, unless I tell him to." Gabby's actually pretty sure that's not even a lie.

Callus's breath can be heard through his nostrils for a moment. "You should have told me about him. See that he keeps his silence. He isn't family." Those three words carry a dread sort of finality with them. "But you are. It has come time for you to decide, Gabrielle. Join your family. You must feel the call of the blood. It compels you to be with your kin."

Gabrielle nods about Conall, understanding. She'll blink , and then swallow nervously, "I…I want to know…to understand. I do. But, I'm not…" she'll frown , searching for the right words, "I don't understand what you mean by family…Not really. My aunts….they're family too, right? How would being part of this family be different? " this is something that's been weighing on her, "Do I have to give them up?" Her voice goes soft, like this may be a deal breaker.

Callus shakes his head. "Of course not. Your aunts are of the blood as well. All Watsons for the last several generations are kin to us. What I offer you is a chance to know us, and be one of us. We can teach you things that you will never learn at Hogwarts — truths that the Ministry would hide from the world, powers that are denied to you because they would make you strong. If you show yourself to be a true Vengal, of course. I'm sure it has crossed your mind that you might try to play the double agent, spying for your Auror. I warn you, we do not take betrayal lightly. To turn against your own blood is the gravest of offenses."

Gabrielle searches his face for a moment,and will then ask quietly, "What happened to my parents?… Was it the Family?…or the Ministry?"

"She consciously betrayed us," Callus says flatly. Subtlety is not his strong suit, it seems. "Her actions set back our plans for years. You're probably inclined to hate us for that. But remember, it was she that turned against us. We had to protect the family, and she had shown that she was willing to hurt us."

Gabrielle eyebrows come together, almost in surprise. She wasn't expecting that blunt of an answer. "…oh…" Her lower lip trembles slightly, "I…" She'll bite her lower lip, when she realizes it's trembling, and look down to her right arm. She was all set to believe her mother was with them…Her voice shakes slightly and she'll reach and tug her right sleeve, "Why did she betray you?…I don't understand, if you're family, and she sought you out…" She's honestly confused now, and the confliction she's feeling is in her voice.

"I wish I knew for certain," Callus replies, no hint of comfort in his voice for the struggling child before him. "Her loss was painful to us. She was sentimental. That was usually an asset to the family. But she tried to live two lives. She never told your aunts about us. That schism in her only widened after she married your father and gave birth to you. We feared for her loyalties, but I chose to believe in her. I was wrong, and we all suffered for it."

Gabrielle can't stop the small whimper that escapes her, her brain immediately connecting dots, most likely wrong. "So…because of my mother…you took my father away from me too? How was that protecting me if I was family? I would have died as well, if he hadn't gotten me out…" There's fear in her eyes, half memories from that long ago night still freeze her blood. She's starting to breath a bit shallowly. Her left hand is tightening on her right forearm.

"It wasn't entirely up to me, Gabrielle," Callus' retort comes with a hint of admonishment. "I was not Patriarch then, or I would have taken you away from the fire, and seen you raised as a proper Vengal. But things are different now, and now I can try to make right what was done wrong."

Gabrielle tries to listen to his words, and will nod lightly. She doesn't release her grip on her arm, she doesn't quiet start sniffling, but is fairly upset(who wouldn't be?!?!). Gabby's head is spinning, not sure what or who to believe at this point. "The …The Auror is going to be coming soon, to tell me if it's safe to go home…or if he's going to put me in some kind of protected house…" She'll glance up at Callus, "What should I do?"

"Go home," Callus says curtly. "But stay out of the fight, Gabrielle. Don't make yourself our enemy, and you'll not be harmed by us. You're obviously not ready for this yet. But perhaps someday you will be."

Gabrielle huffs, oh no. Not another dismissal.There's a touch of frustration in her voice,"What fight? I don't understand what you're fighting for…" she'll straighten up some, trying to get control of herself. She'll even let go of her arm, "If I understood, I could help…please…I don't… My aunts are old…after them, I'm alone…"

Callus shakes his head. "You don't have to be alone. But you're young, and still too attached to others." He sighs, pushing off from the wall to take a step closer to Gabrielle, his hands tucked into his trouser pockets. "There is no room in a Vengal's heart for those that would subdue us. Do you truly believe you could embrace that?"

Gabrielle 's problem is Callus is speaking in such riddles, she has no idea if she could embrace what he's saying… She's confused enough, she'll not even flinch when he steps towards her, she just looks up at him and tilts her head slightly. "I…don't know, but that's because I don't know what you mean…Subdue us from what?" Gabby, again, doesn't seem to notice the verbal slip of us instead of the Family.

"From restoring the balance of the world. From purging impurity, and fulfilling our ancestral duty to all wizardkind." Callus lifts his chin proudly. "We are the scourge, Gabrielle, sworn for ages to take any measure necessary to ensure the continuation and growth of magic itself. We will never be loved, never embraced, but our work ensures the continued existence of the wizarding world."

Gabrielle soaks this in. again, it's a lot, "Is…is there a true threat to magic it self?" It's her last bit of hope that she's not related to a bunch of insane evil people. Maybe there is a real threat that the Ministry is covering up…Or maybe the Vengals are the Knight, good intentions leading to Pandora's box?

"Muggles, Gabrielle," Callus says grimly. "They threaten the entire world, and they poison our blood. They are like rats on a ship that breed and breed until they've eaten all the food, and before long, they start chewing at the very hull itself. The Ministry would have us believe that there is no harm in mixing our blood with theirs. But it has ever weakened the magic in our veins. Gone are the days of truly mighty wizards — Andros the Invincible, Merlin, Baba Yaga, Queen Maeve, Nicolas Flamel. Such greatness is no longer seen, because the blood has grown thin. We must turn back the tide."

Gabrielle blinks, again, soaking this in. Not what she was expecting, even if they were evil. She'll nod softly though, while she doesn't agree, she understands what he is saying, and can play along, somewhat. If he knows about Conall, and him even being a prefect, thank Merlin she didn't join the Mud Club! "How…I mean, once something has been deluded, you can't undiluted it. I've never heard of anything like that before…" She's honestly wracking her potions memories. Although she has a feeling he just means kill, but maybe the Heart?

Callus chuckles. "It is more complicated than I have time to tell you now. But magic can be replenished. It takes time, and unfortunately, the taint of Muggle blood has outpaced that replenishment. So it falls to us to take more drastic measures to halt the spread of befouled blood." Callus sighs, shaking his head. "But if you could already see the truth of this, I would see the glimmer of passion in your eye. No…you're not ready yet. Perhaps you will consider my words, and eventually come to the same conclusion. I should have known better than to think I could convince a Ravenclaw before she has done proper research and fully explored the idea." He chuckles. "For now, we will part ways, Gabrielle. Should you wish to see me again, go to Nocturne Alley in London, and scrawl a 'V' onto any wall there. Then I will know to find you. Goodbye, Gabrielle." He nods, and hunching his shoulders, turns to walk further down the alley, away from the street.

Gabrielle frowns, but will nod. Yes, she has a ton of research to do. She'll wrap her arms around her midsection, her nerves already close to shattering. As he starts to walk away, she's quietly, and with sincerity, as at least she knows now what happened to her parents, "Thank you, Callus."

Callus pauses just long enough to look over his shoulder, and nods deeply. "Go in peace, cousin." Then, with a CRACK, he vanishes.

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