Disclaimer: As much as I’d like to call them mine, I
do not own any of the following characters, locations, or settings. The Potterverse
belongs to J.K. Rowling, but I enjoy playing in her world so much that the
stories just seem to keep coming.
A/N: Robin Darc is the creation of the brilliant
Jyrileru. He appears here with her
thanks go to the wonderful ladies of the SQ Workshop 2: Alchemilla,
Ara Kane, Ashavah, Jessanndi, Jyrileru, and Shellebelle
for their insightful feedback and general support. Further thanks go to A.L. de Sauveterre and Minoukatze, whose
kind words and moral support have meant more than they can realize.
And though she’s already been mentioned, my SQ Beta
Reader, Ara Kane, is my preciousssss. Her insight and feedback was invaluable.
Le Mouton Blanc
the quiet residential streets of Wizarding London, witches and wizards of all
ages were going about their usual business.
Mothers and fathers were minding their children while the children
played with toy broomsticks and miniature Quaffles. Owls swooped about, delivering their
post. Quidditch fans were gathered
around the Wizarding Wireless Network, listening to the current match. No one was aware that at Number Thirty-Three
Anne M. Osity Drive, a battle between good and evil was being waged.
Nigelus, don’t do it!” a voice pleaded.
Dumbledore, but your time has ended.” A
high pitched cackle filled the air as Dumbledore was thrown across the
room. He hit the wall with a thud and fell
to the floor, where he remained, lifeless.
door burst open, catching Dumbledore’s attacker by surprise.
“Bellatrix! What has mother told you about throwing your
toys?” Andromeda Black swept into the
nursery with a small, dark-haired toddler in tow. “Have you broken another one?” she demanded,
her voice rigid.
Black shrugged in reply. “It was only
Dumbledore,” she told her older sister sweetly.
“I broke him ages ago. Mum and
Dad thought it was funny.” To prove her
point, she walked to the motionless Dumbledore figurine and stepped on it.
took a steadying breath and set the toddler in the cot by the far wall,
removing her long blonde hair from his little fists as she stood back up. He looked up at her, his blue eyes preparing
for tears. Andromeda gave him a pitying
look. “It’s only for a minute,
Regulus. I have to fetch your brother.” She looked at Bellatrix, who was now twisting
her long dark ringlets with a toy wand.
“Can I trust you to make sure he doesn’t climb out of there?”
at her sister, the little girl flashed her most angelic smile. “Of course.
I’d never let anything happen to ickle Regulus. He’s my favorite.” She crushed Dumbledore with her heel once
more and then skipped off to the cot.
Bellatrix, you may not like that doll, but the Famous Wizards in Action set is
expensive. You ought to take better care
batted her eyelashes at Regulus, but made no attempt to acknowledge her sister.
With an exasperated
sigh, Andromeda hurried off down the dim hallway of number thirty-three. She went straight past the portraits of her
ancestors, some dating back to the 13th century, and only paused to
stick her head into various rooms to see if her cousin had wandered into one,
but there was no sign of him. Panic
began to rise inside of her when she heard giggling coming from her other
Andromeda moved closer to the door, the giggling became louder. What
are those two laughing at? Andromeda thought with annoyance. It figured that while she was worrying about
finding her young cousin, Narcissa and her friend would be without a care in
the world. She knocked loudly on the
ornate mahogany door, and finally just opened it when no one answered. She had half a mind to yell at Narcissa that
Sirius was missing, but the image that met her eyes on the other side of the
door rendered her momentarily speechless.
Sirius Black was standing on Narcissa’s antique bed, his dark shoulder length
hair pulled into haphazard pig tails, and wearing long, flowing, royal purple
robes that hung off of him hopelessly, and a matching hat, complete with
feather. He had his small hands on his
hips and he was strutting back and forth on the bed, trying not to trip on the
robes. Narcissa and her friend, Vera,
were both on the floor, clutching their sides in hysterical laughter. Andromeda was torn between chastising her
sister and laughing with her.
Sirius said brightly when he saw his favorite cousin. He waved frantically from the bed, and nearly
lost his balance.
“Narcissa! What have you done to poor Sirius?” She tried to sound stern, but just then,
Sirius blew her a kiss. Andromeda
snorted, but still attempted to keep her composure.
don’t take him yet!” Vera McKenzie
called from the floor. “I want to take a
picture of him first.” She scrambled to
find her camera. Narcissa squealed again
as Sirius tried to wink at the camera, but couldn’t manage to close only one
eye at a time.
said Andromeda, checking her watch and glancing down the hall. “I’ve left Regulus with Bellatrix.”
then. We’ll bring him to the nursery in
a minute.” Narcissa waved her sister
away. Andromeda considered Narcissa’s offer
briefly and then hurried back down the hallway.
snapped her pictures and let Narcissa take the dress robes off of Sirius,
giggling the whole time as the little boy talked incessantly about how Regulus
had stuck a Billywig up his nose earlier that morning and given their mother a
fright when he started floating. “It’s a
pity the pictures aren’t in color,” Vera was saying as Narcissa offered him a
Chocolate Frog. “But then again, I don’t
think I could ever forget the purple of those robes.”
somehow managed to get chocolate smeared above his eyebrow and Narcissa grabbed
a handkerchief off of her vanity to wipe his face. Vera, who was already waiting by the door,
glanced down the hallway, her brow furrowed in thought. “Your sister seemed worried about leaving
Regulus with Bellatrix.”
jaw clenched for a second, but she quickly relaxed again. “Well, she is a bit young to be left in
charge of three-year-old, even it is only for a minute or two.”
in agreement. “Yes, I suppose that makes
sense.” She then hoisted her friend’s
cousin onto her back once Narcissa had finished cleaning him up.
smiled. “I think he likes you.”
walked slowly down the hallway of number thirty-three and Narcissa quietly
named the subject of each portrait for Sirius, who repeated them obediently,
mangling the pronunciation of the longer names each time.
shriek from the nursery caused Narcissa to look at Vera in alarm before bolting
the rest of the way to the nursery. Vera
followed quickly, holding Sirius’ legs tightly as she hurried.
and Sirius reached the nursery, she was shocked to find Narcissa trying to pull
Andromeda off of Bellatrix. Andromeda’s
normally fair face was red and blotchy, and there was a clear hand print on her
left cheek. Bellatrix was yelling and
kicking at Andromeda’s legs, while holding onto a fistful of her sister’s
blonde hair. Regulus, still in the cot,
BACK!” Andromeda shouted.
“GET OFF OF
“LEAVE HER ALONE,
Sirius stayed rooted to the spot in the doorway, while the sisters continued to
struggle. Finally Narcissa managed to
pull Andromeda off of Bellatrix. As if
on cue, Bellatrix began to cry.
try to fool us,” Andromeda spat at her youngest sister, while rubbing her
cheek. “We know those aren’t real
only sobbed louder, and Narcissa turned to Andromeda, out of breath from trying
to break up the fight. “What…in the name
of Merlin…is going on?”
her.” Andromeda pointed to Bellatrix,
who had now buried her face in her knees.
“She took my wand again. She was pointing it at Regulus when I came
lying!” Bellatrix lifted her tear soaked
face off of her knees. “She dropped it again. I was getting it out of Regulus’ reach when
she came in calling me all sorts of nasty names. Then she attacked me!” A fresh wave of tears fell freely from her
not! You are!”
“Enough!” Narcissa said in her harshest voice. “If you two don’t stop, Mother will come up
here, and we’ll all be in trouble if
we interrupt their meeting.” She turned
to Bellatrix and softened her voice slightly.
“Bellatrix, did you take Andromeda’s wand?”
sniffed dramatically. “No. I found it, Cissa, I swear.”
turned to her older sister, who was now checking the toddler to make sure he
wasn’t hurt. “She says she didn’t take
it.” She sighed heavily when Andromeda
looked at her in disbelief. “We have no
proof to the contrary. Bellatrix, give
me Andromeda’s wand now.” The youngest
sister sniffed again and wiped her face with her sleeve as she handed Narcissa
the wand. “Don’t worry,” she said
comfortingly, “you’ll have your own someday.”
point Sirius scrambled down from Vera’s arms and ran to Andromeda. She scooped him up, retrieved her wand from
Narcissa, and brushed passed Bellatrix to sit in the rocking chair with her
cousin. She sat down with a huff in the
rocking chair, pulled Sirius into her lap, grabbed How
the Erumpent got his Horn off of the end table and began reading to
him. Vera finally crossed the room to
sit in the window seat.
too comfortable,” Narcissa warned. She
was now holding Regulus and calming him down.
“Uncle Pollux and Aunt Capella won’t be here long. We’ll be heading to Diagon Alley soon.”
up. “It’s awfully nice of your parents
to take me along. I’m so excited we’re
finally going to Hogwarts.”
grinned at her friend. “It is quite exciting, is it not?” She put Regulus back down in the cot, handed
him a toy to keep him occupied, and joined her friend on the window seat.
do you think you’ll be in?”
really care, as long as we’re in the same House. I was sure we’d all,” she pointed to her
sisters, “be in Slytherin, but then Andromeda was put in Ravenclaw, so I don’t
“My Dad was
in Ravenclaw, but my Mum was in Slytherin.
At least we’ve got a good chance of being in the same House. You don’t
think they’d separate us, do you?”
not. But Andromeda says she’ll ruin it
for me if she tells me what the ceremony is like, so I don’t know how they
decide what House you’ll be—”
“Narcissa…” Vera’s voice was low and her face a mixture
of amusement and confusion. “What is
Bellatrix doing?” Narcissa’s eyes darted
to the corner by the bookshelf, where Bellatrix was sitting on the floor with a
heavy volume open on her lap. She had
her finger pointed to a spot on the page, but her eyes were shut tight, and she
Valerie, age 7; Vincent the third, age 2.Diggory: Amos, age 12; Anna, age
8. Fudge: Cornelius, age 18. Greengrass: Robert, age 10; William, age
4.” The list of names and ages went
on. Every now and again, she’d pause,
open her eyes, flip to a certain page in the book, close her eyes again, and
continue muttering. Andromeda was
reading to Sirius, and not paying attention to Bellatrix. Narcissa, however, looked horrified.
just always been interested in family history.
Now her…interest has just
moved on to genealogy.” Narcissa
shrugged, but her cheeks were pink.
paused in her memorization. “It is a Wizarding genealogy book. I like to recite it for Mum and Dad.” She shut her eyes again and resumed muttering
to her friend for an explanation, but Narcissa only shrugged and looked away. She
was about to ask another question, when the nursery door opened again.
there were two women. One was very tall,
with fair skin, blonde hair pulled into an elegant twist, and grey eyes that
matched Narcissa’s. She wore her usual
stern expression, but Vera wasn’t fooled.
She’d always known Narcissa’s mum to be kind. The woman next to her was shorter, with pale,
stretched skin, her eyes deep-set and almost black. Her black hair was pulled tightly into a bun,
and was tinged purple, from years of dying it.
Vera had never met her, but assumed the woman was Sirius and Regulus’
mum, though it was apparent the two boys got their handsome looks from their
Capella Black swept across the room and lifted a
now-sleeping Regulus from the cot. She
turned and gave Andromeda a highly disapproving look. “Fighting again?” She asked, pointing to the faded handprint on
Blacks turned to look at Bellatrix, whose eyes were still shut tight, still
reciting names and ages.
is minding her own business. It seems to
me as if you provoked her.” Andromeda
stared at the floor as her aunt hovered in front of her. “You ought to set a better example for your
sisters. I don’t know how they do things
in Ravenclaw, but in Slytherin, families stick together—they do not fight amongst one another.”
nodded. “Yes, Aunt Capella.”
Sirius downstairs, child; our visit is over,” the dark-haired Mrs. Black
ordered. Andromeda didn’t hesitate to obey her aunt, and Vera had a feeling
that this was a woman that one simply did not cross. Turning to her sister in law, Capella began
mumbling about botched Sortings and bad influences at school. Narcissa’s mum nodded in reply, but did not
say anything. Capella
then turned to Bellatrix and barked at her to name five of her ancestors on the
Black side of the family, which Bellatrix recited with ease.
one of them has family pride,” Capella muttered, and
Bellatrix’s face was plastered with a smug grin. Meanwhile, Narcissa had gone pale and was
avoiding her aunt’s eyes. Vera felt very
out of place.
Mrs. Blacks said their goodbyes, and Narcissa’s mum gently told the girls to
freshen up as they’d be leaving for Diagon Alley momentarily.
Alley was swarming with witches and wizards of all ages when the Black family
arrived by coach. Narcissa and Vera
could immediately recognize other first years as they were the ones wearing
looks of excitement mirroring their own.
Andromeda, by contrast, seemed a fit of nerves; Bellatrix looked nothing
short of bored.
Black cleared her throat and Narcissa and Andromeda quickly handed their mother
their school lists. Mrs. Black scanned
each list briefly before handing them back to her daughters.
dear,” Mrs. Black said in a silky voice, “why don’t you take Bellatrix along
with you, whilst I take the girls for their supplies. I’m sure she’d enjoy spending the day with
just you.” Bellatrix looked up at her
father with hopeful eyes. Both parents
smiled approvingly at her, and Mr. Black picked her up.
you can come with me, my sweet.” Rigel
Black tickled his youngest daughter, and Vera caught Andromeda rolling her
agreeing to meet at Flourish and Blotts at the end of the day, and Mrs. Black
proceeded to lead the three older girls swiftly along Diagon Alley. She slowed down only after they reached
Ollivander’s. Entering the store, they
found it fairly empty; there were only three other customers—a plump woman and
her two sons, all with flaming red hair, though the family didn’t seem to
notice anyone coming in. The two boys, who looked nearly identical with their
lanky builds and freckled faces, were admiring what had to be the new wand of
the slightly shorter boy, who also wore glasses. As their mother paid for their purchase, the
two boys leaned their heads in closer to one another, speaking in voices so
hushed that Vera could hardly hear them.
finished paying Mr. Ollivander and turned to leave the store. “Billius, Arthur, come now,” she called out,
startling them slightly. “And don’t even
think about so much as waving that wand until you get on the train to school,
Billius Weasley! I will not have you
blowing up your cauldron like Arthur did before he started school.”
the boy with the glasses answered, but Vera caught him winking at his brother
just before the door shut behind them.
recognized Arthur Weasley from Gryffindor as he and a boy Andromeda presumed to
be his younger brother left Ollivander’s, apparently plotting something. She deliberately kept her head down as she
really didn’t want to be seen.
Fortunately, they were too concerned with the plot at hand to notice
anyone else in the store. In spite of
this, she still smiled slightly. Arthur
had a bit of a reputation as a prankster, and she was curious as to what he was
Mr. Ollivander when he noticed Andromeda and her family, “I thought you had
another one ready for Hogwarts.” He gave
a deep bow to Aurora, and offered
his hand to her in order to lead her to a nearby chair. Without saying a word, he magicked two tape
measures over to Narcissa and Vera, which then started measuring them
unaided. “Andromeda Black,” he said,
snapping Andromeda out of the comfort of her thoughts. “Took us quite a while to find a wand for
you, didn’t it? Went through fourteen
dragon heart-string cores before I finally realized that you needed a unicorn
tail hair. Not entirely my fault, of
course. You were the first Black ever to
have a core other than dragon heart-string.”
nodded, her cheeks on fire, determined to avoid her mother’s glare. Vera looked at Andromeda with concern, but
Andromeda just resumed looking at the floor as Mr. Ollivander flicked his wand
and the tape measures flew back to the counter.
He disappeared for a moment, coming back with two wand boxes.
Narcissa exchanged excited glances and huge grins as he put a wand into each
girl’s hand. He nodded to Narcissa
first, who waved her wand slightly.
Green sparks erupted from the wand, startling the girls, but Mr. Ollivander
only smiled. Andromeda smiled as well;
she was glad that her younger sister wouldn’t have to endure the same heartache
from their parents as she had. To this
day she still didn’t understand why there was such a fuss over her wand. After all, she hadn’t chosen it—it chose her.
as much,” Mr. Ollivander was telling Narcissa.
“Dragon heart-string, black walnut, nine and a quarter inches, very
springy. Much quicker to find than your
sister’s.” He turned to Vera. “McKenzie, right?” She nodded. “Of course.
Image of your father. Let us see
if your wand is like his as well.” He
handed it to her, describing its makeup.
“Unicorn tail hair, cherry, nine inches, flexible.” To Vera’s delight, gold sparks came from the
wand as she waved it.
paid for the girls’ wands (Vera had given her money pouch to her earlier), and
led them from the store quickly.
Narcissa and Vera chatted animatedly whilst getting their potions
supplies, and they could hardly stand still to get fitted for their robes. Andromeda, however, stayed very quiet and
even kept her head down most of the time, despite her mother’s frequent orders
to “stand up straight!” and “stop slouching!” Andromeda
figured that if Narcissa and Vera hadn’t been so excited, they would have been quite
tired by the time they reached Flourish and Blotts for their books. She certainly was.
they reached the door, the red headed woman from Ollivander’s stormed out of
the bookstore, shaking off the bird feathers that were covering her clothes and
hair and now holding three wands. The
two red headed boys followed her silently, wandless
and wearing expressions of guilt and dread.
Andromeda stifled a giggle, her mind racing to figure out what they did
to their mum that involved feathers.
found her father speaking to a tall man with a pale and pointy face, and hair
even more silvery blonde than her own.
Mrs. Black appeared to recognize the man immediately, and motioned for
the girls to follow.
you remember Theodosius Malfoy, do you not?” asked her father.
mum offered Mr. Malfoy a dainty, gloved hand, which he raised to his lips has
he gave her a short bow.
course. You recently funded the
additions to Saint Mungo’s. Any
respectable wizard knows of the Malfoys.”
Andromeda couldn’t help but note that her mum was standing even taller
and straighter than she had earlier.
“Our daughters, Mr. Malfoy. I
believe you’ve already met our youngest, Bellatrix?” He nodded and smiled at the dark-haired girl
as Mrs. Black continued. “This is our
eldest, Andromeda. This is
Narcissa. She’s starting at Hogwarts
this year. And her friend Vera
smiled warmly at the girls, and looked around for someone. “Lucius!” he called, and a small pale boy
appeared from between two shelves of books.
He stood silently next to his father, his chest puffed out a bit. “Lucius is starting at Hogwarts this year as
well. Lucius, why don’t you join the
girls as they fetch their school books?”
nodded obediently, and Andromeda took it upon herself to lead them to the area
where the Hogwarts books were displayed.
Her feelings were not hurt at all when Bellatrix chose to hold
Narcissa’s hand rather than her own.
reached the Hogwarts section, the pale boy stood as tall as he could (and rather
pompously in Andromeda’s opinion) and shook hands with each of the girls in
turn. Narcissa and Vera seemed eager to
meet someone from their year, but they managed to remain calm, and they sort of
mimicked his stance with their own.
Andromeda thought they all looked ridiculous, but she remembered how
excited she’d been when she had started school two years earlier. Bellatrix, on the other hand, was absolutely
in awe of Lucius.
stood there quietly, but when Lucius turned his attention to her, she blurted
out, “Your family dates back to before Merlin’s time.” Andromeda wasn’t sure who looked more proud
of this fact—Lucius or Bellatrix. She
turned to the bookshelves and rolled her eyes as she searched for a book on her
list, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find
Wizarding Genealogy,” Bellatrix added, in case there was any doubt.
already purchased your books?” Narcissa asked the boy absently, as she pulled
one of her own off of the shelf.
“Yes. Mother brought me last week. Father had business in London
today, and he said that if I came along he’d buy me the latest edition of Which Broomstick.” He showed Narcissa a magazine with Quidditch
players racing across the cover. When
Narcissa nodded and smiled at him, Andromeda almost laughed; Narcissa hated
left Narcissa and Vera there to pretend to like Quidditch for the young Malfoy
(purposely leaving Bellatrix with them) as she made her way over to the
Arithmancy shelves. She was starting
Arithmancy this year and she was quite eager to get a little early reading done
before school. She reached up to remove
a copy of The Magic Number when
someone ran into her, causing her to drop the heavy volume on her foot.
sorry.” The boy who had smacked into her
was on the floor, picking up her book.
He stood and handed it to her, and Andromeda gave him a quick assessment
with her eyes as she’d been taught. He
was wearing worn-in-trousers and a shirt that was slightly wrinkled. She wondered briefly what it would be like to
have wrinkles in her clothes. Her mum
usually came after her with a de-wrinkling charm any time one made its way into
her robes. She made a mental note to try
it at school.
so in awe of this place,” the boy went on.
“It’s all so—well—magic.”
Ah, he is Muggle-born. Andromeda has suspected as much from his
attire. She glanced back at her sisters;
they were both still paying attention to Lucius and didn’t seem to notice
Andromeda or the boy.
Darc,” the boy offered his hand, but for some reason he seemed unable to make
eye contact with her. She hesitated,
suddenly very aware of herself, but then shook it.
Black. Pleased to meet you. Can I help you find something?”
according to the bookstore clerk, I can’t actually take Arithmancy until my
third year. But I thought I could buy
the book and get a head start on it.”
smiled. “It does seem terribly
fascinating, doesn’t it? I’m starting
lessons this year.” A married couple,
whose dress made it painfully clear that they were Muggles, beckoned Robin to
and Dad,” said Robin, grabbing one last Arithmancy book from the shelf. “It was a pleasure meeting you. Perhaps I’ll see you at school.” With that, he hurried off, a stack of books
in his arms.
A bookworm like him—I won’t be surprised if
he’s sorted into Ravenclaw.
Andromeda headed back over to her sisters after watching the boy talk
enthusiastically to his parents about the books he’d picked out. Lucius was helping Narcissa and Vera make
sure they had all of their books. Bellatrix
was sitting on the floor, reading Great
Wizards of Old. Andromeda relaxed a
bit; they didn’t seem to have noticed her talking to Robin. Perhaps,
she thought, I can get through this day
without any major conflicts.
pounded. She knew that voice, but she
also knew that this was the last possible place she’d hoped to hear it. She spun around. “Oh, hi, Ted,” she said as quietly as
was a Ravenclaw boy from her year. He
was a nice boy, of course, but that wouldn’t matter if her family saw him
standing there in jeans and a button-up shirt.
so good to see you! How was your
holiday? Did you finish all of your
assignments already? I had a spot of
trouble on that Potions essay, but I think I’ve got it all sorted out now. Is something wrong?”
her head. Her stomach lurched at the
thought of her sisters taking notice.
is this one of your friends from school?”
heart caught in her throat as Narcissa approached them. She knew all was lost, however, when she saw
Bellatrix standing next to her.
however, was unaware that anything was amiss, and he smiled brightly at her
sisters. “Are you Andromeda’s
sisters? How exciting!” He shook both Narcissa’s and Bellatrix’s
hands vigorously. “I’m Theodore, but you
can call me Ted.”
smiled at him and introduced herself as Vera approached. Apparently Lucius had left for more Quidditch
books, and the girls were interested in meeting someone else from
Hogwarts. Bellatrix cocked her head to
one side and looked at Ted’s clothing disdainfully.
your surname?” she demanded.
gasped Narcissa. “Don’t be rude. Come help me find my History of Magic
book.” She tried to lead Bellatrix away,
and Andromeda had never appreciated her more.
however, refused to leave. “Father says
it’s appropriate to introduce oneself by your given name and your surname. So,” she
turned back to Ted, “what is yours?”
right, Andromeda. I should’ve introduced
myself properly. I am Theodore Tonks,”
he told Bellatrix, winking at her. Then
he knelt down to face Bellatrix straight on and whispered, “But you can still
call me Ted.”
eyes widened in horror. She began
walking backwards so quickly that she hit the back of her head on a shelf. She reached up with her hand to rub it, but
stopped and then looked at her hand as if it had flobberworms growing out of
it. Her breathing quickened, and
Bellatrix looked at Ted with the utmost contempt.
me…” she hissed at him.
exchanged a look with Narcissa, who nodded in understanding. She tried to hurry Bellatrix away, but she
broke from Narcissa’s grip.
is your sister all right?” Ted asked her
doesn’t like to be touched is all,” she lied, hoping it would work. Bellatrix, however, had other ideas.
MUDBLOOD TOUCHED ME!” she shrieked. “I
WAS TOUCHED BY FILTH. BY SCUM!”
recoiled. Narcissa flinched, but still
tried to drag her sister away. Vera
looked shocked. Ted only looked
Bellatrix pointed at Andromeda. “HE’D
BETTER NOT BE YOUR FRIEND! MUM AND DAD
SAID YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK TO THEM!”
She looked at Ted once more with disgust. “HE SHOULDN’T EVEN BE HERE! HE SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED!”
that’s enough,” said Narcissa. “Just
shook Narcissa’s hand off of her shoulder.
“I will tell Mum and Dad,” she
informed Andromeda. “You’ll be in so
much trouble.” She shot a final look of
disgust at Ted and stormed off, Narcissa and Vera following behind her with
their books. Narcissa gave Andromeda a
sympathetic look before she turned the corner.
so sorry.” Andromeda looked intently at
her shoes, hot tears of embarrassment and anger welling up in her eyes. “She just doesn’t…get it.” She found herself wishing for a hole to
swallow her up and save her from what she knew was coming.
nodded. “It’s okay, Andromeda, I just-“
Ted, but I have to go.” She picked up her
books miserably and reluctantly went to join her family.
been in there an awfully long time.”
Vera and Bellatrix were sitting in the stairwell. They were hoping to hear what their parents
were saying to Andromeda, but because Vera was there, they’d put an
Imperturbable Charm on the door.
“Serves her right, consorting with Mudbloods.” Bellatrix had her arms folded defiantly
across her chest.
“Bellatrix.” Narcissa spoke her name quietly.
think they’ll use physical punishment?”
they wouldn’t. They’re probably just
take at least fifty Scourging Charms to get the filth off of my hand.”
Bellatrix. You’re fine.”
It had been
four hours since the incident at Flourish and Blotts, and Vera still didn’t
understand what was going on. Mr. and
Mrs. Black hadn’t spoken more than two words on the way home, and once they’d
returned to number thirty-three, it was just known that Andromeda should follow
them into the kitchen while the other girls went upstairs.
uneasy for several reasons, the ones being the tension in the house, the abrupt
change in Mrs. Black’s attitude, and also because she couldn’t believe
Bellatrix was using the term “Mudblood.”
Vera’s own mother would have slapped her if she’d ever used such
language, though it wasn’t as if Vera would use it anyway. Today had been the first day she’d ever met a
Muggle-born, and he seemed just like them for the most part, though his clothes
were a bit odd.
the kitchen doorknob clicked, and the girls tried to scramble up the stairs
quietly to keep from getting caught at their eavesdropping. They waited at the top for Andromeda.
okay, Andromeda?” asked Narcissa gently.
cheeks were stained with tears, and her eyes were dry but puffy. She nodded and turned to her youngest sister. “Thanks a lot,” she said acidly.
was not fazed. “You brought this upon
yourself. You knew the rules.”
know anything about being at
Hogwarts. I have classes with
Muggle-borns; they’re in my House. What
am I supposed to do? Ignore them
girl shrugged. “If that’s what you have
looked repulsed. “You’ll see when you
get to school, Bellatrix. It’s not that
simple.” She began to walk past them to
“I’ll be in Slytherin,” Bellatrix
retorted, “so I won’t have that
Vera’s hand and led her friend to her own bedroom in an attempt to get out of
the crossfire. Andromeda took a deep
breath and opened her door. Narcissa did
the same, walked into her room and slumped on the bed with a sigh. Vera followed her in and was about to close
the door behind her when she heard Bellatrix speak once more, her voice quiet
stopped just before she clicked the door closed.
dropped your wand again.”
see from the crack in Narcissa’s doorway that Bellatrix was standing in the
hallway, smirking nastily at Andromeda and twirling a wand in her fingers. She tossed the wand carelessly and it fell to
the floor. Then Bellatrix spun on her
heel and slammed her bedroom door behind her.
apparently hadn’t heard the exchange, so Vera slowly closed the heavy door and
didn’t bother to mention it to her friend.
She leaned her forehead against the wall and silently thanked Merlin
that she was an only child.