The Sugar Quill
Author: LauraEvans  Story: The Black Family Reunion  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

„Sirius Black

Disclaimer: Harry Potter world belongs to JKR, I’m just playing here.


A/N: This story is for the fabulous Quillers birgit, sveltskye, Genesse and prplhez8. And, of course, to my SQ Big Sis. You make me feel special. :)


The Black Family Anniversary,


by LauraEvans


“Sirius Black! Why in the name of Merlin are you still not dressed? The guests will be here at nine o’clock sharp and it’s half past eight right now. This means you have precisely half an hour to wash yourself, brush your teeth, dress, comb your hair and get downstairs.” The woman standing in the doorway took a deep breath.


She was tall and thin, with shiny, long black hair and cold grey eyes. She stood, hands on her hips and lips pursed together in a thin line.


“Now, if I don’t see you downstairs, neat and handsome, in twenty minutes, you’ll be in big trouble. Do you understand it, boy?”


With that, the woman turned around sharply, robes fluttering behind her, and stormed out of the room, shutting the door with a loud clunk.


There was a muffled groan and a head with untidy black hair appeared from under the blanket. It belonged to a teenage boy who appeared quite handsome and – at the moment – very sleepy.


He groaned once more and muttered something unintelligible under his breath.  Finally, he climbed out of his four-poster bed and wandered to the closet. He grabbed his formal robe - made from black silk and embroidered with silver thread on the sleeves. After several minutes spent in the bathroom he came back to his room and cast a look at the tall mirror on the wall. He pulled a face and grinned at his reflection. This is one good-looking lad, he thought to himself and rearranged a few strands of hair on his forehead. With one last look at himself, he took a few long steps and carefully opened the door to the hallway. Looking around and seeing no sight of movement anywhere, he exited his room and closed the door with a soft click. He then walked down the massive stairs, past the heads of the old house-elves.


“Sapphira, how great it is to see you again after all these years!” Aunt Margaretha exclaimed.


“I know, it has been a long time, hasn’t it?”


“Sapphira, dear, you just have to tell me where you got this robe, it’s fabulous!”


These and many more platitudes were exchanged when the Blacks arrived at Grimmauld Place. There were aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers, mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law and so on and so on. The drawing room was filled with chatting relatives.


Sirius Black sat on the sofa in the middle of it all, growing steadily more and more impatient. And that hardly ever brought any good. He sat there and watched people exchange news and argue about politics and raising children. He was really bored. He shouldn’t have been here at all; he should have stayed at Hogwarts with his friends as he had intended to. But his mother had ordered him to return home and he had done so. Well, he hadn’t had much choice, had he? Sapphira Black had told him – in no uncertain terms – that if he didn’t attend the Anniversary voluntarily, she would come straight to Hogwarts and drag him home herself. And so, grudgingly, he had packed his things and come home for the Easter holidays. He hadn’t done it for years and with a good reason. Sirius hated his family, despised them…


He was suddenly interrupted in his gloomy thoughts by a beautiful young woman sitting down on the sofa next to him and smiling at him warmly. The woman had short dark brown hair and brown eyes flecked with gold. She was wearing a dark red robe with golden streaks running through the fabric. A true Gryffindor, Sirius thought, amused.


“Hi, Sirius,” she said, smiling more broadly.


“Andromeda!” Sirius exclaimed, returning the smile, previous dark thoughts forgotten.  “I’m so glad to see someone with brains in this room...besides me, of course.” He winked mischievously and stroked the hair from his eyes.


The woman laughed happily and shook her head. “You will never change, Siri,” she said, smiling.


“I know,” he said, grinning broadly. “That’s what’s so great about me.”


They both laughed, earning frowns from people standing around them.


Suddenly, Andromeda’s face grew serious. “Tell me, Sirius, what are you doing here?” she asked, lowering her voice and leaning closer to him.


“What do you mean?” he asked, his voice a little too cheerful. “It’s my…duty, after all. To be with my…family.”


Andromeda frowned and her voice grew into an urgent whisper. “You’re not fooling me, Sirius. You’re not fooling anyone. Tell me, why are you here? I know it’s the last place on earth you’d choose to be.”


The lines of Sirius’ face hardened. He leaned closer to Andromeda and whispered “You want to know? Fine. My mother sent me an owl, telling me that if I won’t come on my own, she would come and take me herself.”


Andromeda’s eyes widened.


“Even worse. She told me that they would send me to Durmstrang immediately. And you know her, she would do it without as much as a blink of an eye.”


“I see,” Andromeda said, shaking her head.


A boy, a few years younger that Sirius, gingerly sat on the edge of the sofa they were sitting on and abruptly ended their conversation.


“What do you want, Regulus?” Sirius asked, annoyed.


“Nothing,” a quiet voice answered. “I just grew tired of old aunts pinching my cheeks and ruffling my hair.”


A corner of Sirius’ mouth twitched and he opened his mouth to say something when a cold voice interrupted.


“Come on, Regulus. You don’t want to be seen talking with…them.” It was Bellatrix, Andromeda’s younger sister and Sirius’ biggest enemy since he had started school. She was standing there, long dark hair pulled up and full lips twisted into arrogant sneer. She sent a look of pure hatred towards Sirius and received the same from him.


Sirius turned to his brother who, sending him an apologetic look, rose and walked away with Bellatrix.


Sirius shrugged and turned to Andromeda who was looking at him with unreadable expression.


“What? If he wants to make a fool out of himself, fine! Why should I care?” he said, more fiercely that he had intended to.


“But you do,” she answered.


He shrugged. “Maybe. But it doesn’t change anything.”


They sat in silence for a while when a voice caught Sirius’ attention.


“Bella, darling, when will you settle down and have a family like Narcissa here?” a plump woman with long, curly blond hair asked near them. Bellatrix, whom she had addressed, laughed heartily.


“I’ll never marry, Aunt Gigi. I’ll be a career woman,” she answered. Though a smile played on her lips, the dark eyes remained cold.


The people around them laughed too, everyone except a young woman with blonde, almost colourless hair and pale skin. She fidgeted nervously and flinched when the plump woman turned to her.


“I’m so glad that you and dear Lucius will marry as soon as you finish school. You are a great couple, meant to be. And both purebloods – could it be a better match?” she said, beaming proudly at the girl.


Narcissa smiled nervously and said, with only a slight quiver in her high voice, “It’s my honour; Lucius is a very kind man.”


“I know,” the woman answered. “It’s a pity that he couldn’t be here with us now. Business, you know.” Yes, they knew. Business for Lord Voldemort.


At this moment, Kreacher the House-Elf walked in grumpily, pounding a silver gong.


“Well, my dears,” Sapphira called out, “let’s head for the dining room, shall we?”


People started to move to the said room and within a few minutes, everyone was sitting in their predetermined place. Sirius had gotten a seat between his cousins, Andromeda and Narcissa. Regulus was sitting opposite him, avoiding his eyes.


The House-Elves started bringing in the food. They came in a straight line, everyone carrying a silver platter with enormous amounts of food on them. With a deep bow, they served the food and left, sent by a variety of comments that rather poorly covered the guests’ envy. (“You have them trained pretty well, Sapphira,” said Aunt Gigi.)


After the meal was finished and drinks were brought, Andromeda stood up. “I have an announcement to make,” she said over the noise. Everyone grew quiet and turned their eyes to the young woman standing.


She smiled and continued. “I’d like to announce that I’m engaged to a young man named Theodore Tonks. Our wedding will take place on 10th September. You are all welcome, of course.” With that, she nodded, smiled once more and sat down. There was a stunned silence followed by a growing murmur.


“Tonks? Tonks? Someone from America, perhaps? I’m sure I’d know the name if…Andromeda? Who is this man?” her mother asked, with a look of confusion on her face.


“He’s...a Muggleborn,” Andromeda said, her voice quiet but very clear. The silence was charged with electricity.


“I’m...I’m sorry, dear. What did you say?” her mother asked with a definite edge of panic in her voice.


“I said that I’m engaged to a Muggleborn, mother,” she answered, sitting very straight. Her mother gave a cry and fainted.


“How dare you, young lady!” her father bellowed. “After all we have taught you, after all we have done for you! From now on, you are not a Black. I don’t know you. Get out of this house now!”


“I don’t think it’s fair,” a quiet voice suddenly said.


“I’m sorry?” Sapphira asked, turning her cold gaze towards her older son.


“I don’t think it’s fair,” Sirius repeated more confidently.


“Keep your nose out of this! It’s none of your business,” his mother hissed.


“Oh yes it is! Andromeda’s the only person in this family who has her priorities right. She doesn’t buy into this entire ‘Pureblood’ and ‘Mudblood’ thing. She knows what actually counts – the person, their thoughts, their integrity. And she’s right. It doesn’t matter who their parents are, it’s the person who matters. This is the way you should choose your friends and spouses. This is the way I’m doing it and nothing – nothing – you say or do can change that. I want to make my own choices -” Sirius yelled. He felt a muscle in his cheek twitch, as it always did when he had lost control of himself.


“Don’t you speak like that to your mother,” his father interrupted.


“I speak as I want to!” Sirius bellowed.


“Don’t you dare to speak this way to your own flesh and blood, young man! You had better watch your words!” Sapphira Black screamed.


From the corner of his eye, Sirius saw Bella smirking. He knew he wasn’t making any sense. It always happened, whenever he tried to argue with his family. He took a deep breath. Relax, Sirius, relax, he thought. Stop raving. Face them with the facts. You know your emotional babbling only gives them more fuel.


“I’m leaving,” he said, as calmly as he could. “I know what’s right and I know this isn’t right. You’re killing people! And why? Because they’re not magical enough. You’re following a murderer, don’t you understand it?


And with that, he turned around, pushed aside his chair and walked out of the room, stormed up the stairs and into his room. He took the suitcase from under his bed and threw in all of his belongings. Finally he drew his cloak around his shoulders, took his wand into one hand and suitcase into the other and left his room, which had been a home for him for all his life.


He went downstairs slightly slower than before, the meaning of his actions sinking into his consciousness. However, he understood that he had gone too far, that he couldn’t stay there anymore. He had to go. And he knew he was doing the right thing. Still, it felt strange. It felt like a bullet had been removed from his body. It had caused pain and frustration while being there but it left a big gap when gone.


When he passed the door to the dining room, he saw that Andromeda had left already and most of his female relatives were fussing over her mother.


Sirius was about to leave when he felt someone’s eyes on him. He turned and saw Regulus watching him. They looked into each other’s eyes and Sirius saw naked shock, pain and loneliness in his brother’s grey eyes, identical to his. With effort, he turned and stepped into the rain outside.


He had made his decision. Regulus had to make his by himself.

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