The Sugar Quill
Author: Morag Camshron  Story: I Am a Black  Chapter: Default
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I Am a Black

I Am a Black

 

By Morag Camshron

 

 

Disclaimer: None of these characters, settings, etc. belong to me except for the plot (or lack thereof) — and that’s something at least, right?  Everything else belongs to Ms Joanne K. Rowling and various publishers and media companies including but not limited to  Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Warner Bros, Inc. — I’m only playing with them for my own amusement, and am making no profit whatsoever from this other than a few hours of fun. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

 

Thanks to my reviewers for Good Luck: toast, Artemisia (who was kind enough to review not once — but twice, when the original copy got taken down from the SQ, as it hadn’t been beta-read. Thank you, Artemisia: it meant a lot to me!), reader2, Author by Night, Lil’ American, Kathryn, Steph, Sehila, Helen H (who, besides being a great beta, also reviewed my fic — thank you!), Miss Gypsy, Astrid, Brittney and BloodyBrilliant. All of you guys are awesome, and your reviews made my day!

 

Thanks (and a picture of Jason Isaacs) go out to my beta, Helen, who gave me a view into Bellatrix’s psychology, and patiently tried to convince me that Andromeda was really a Gryffindor.

 

 

***

 

Three sisters, each different in visage: the eldest, with thick hair as black as her name — and, as some said, her heart — and dark, heavy-lidded eyes; the middle, with chestnut hair and eyes — eyes far too warm and alive for a proper Black; the youngest, with porcelain skin, pale golden tresses and icy blue eyes — like a doll.

 

Three sisters, each different in name and character: The eldest sister, Bellatrix, a passionate fighter with a cruel and proud nature; the middle sister, Andromeda, studious, affectionate, and desperately longing for normality; and the youngest sister, Narcissa, reserved and vain.

 

Three sisters, each torn apart from the others by fate: Bellatrix, sent to Azkaban prison for refusing to denounce the Dark Lord, whom she worshipped and followed; Andromeda, disowned by the family for marrying a Mudblood; Narcissa, trapped in a marriage that was respectable, but loveless.

 

Three sisters, each bound irrevocably to one another by their lineage and upbringing. Their surnames may have changed but they will always be Blacks, for better or worse, whether they like it or not. After all, once a Black, always a Black.

 

But once there was a time when they were still part of the same family, before their decisions tore them apart. A time when they each wondered what being a Black really meant. And in defining the Black family, each girl started to define who she was… and who she would become.

 

***

 

 

Bellatrix Black, aged 18:

 

We are Blacks. Purest of the old, wealthy Purebloods. Better than anyone else. And proud of it, too, as we rightly should be. We are amongst the Dark Lord’s honoured few. A Black knows her place — namely, the highest possible one. A Black is cunning and resourceful. I am a Black.

 

Nearly every Black since time began has been a Slytherin — ambitious and with the proper Pureblood pride. Lately though, even we have been experiencing some mistakes. Take young Sirius, who has been Sorted into Gryffindor. The boy, I am afraid, has never displayed proper breeding and is a disgrace to his upbringing. He enjoys associating with Mudbloods and Muggle-Lovers, sometimes I think purely out of spite to the rest of us Blacks. Someday he will get his comeuppance, as will all Blood Traitors, Mudbloods, Muggles, and their ilk — I will see to it. Why? Because I am a Black. I need no other reason.

 

As a Black it is my duty to help rid the world of those that are filthy, unworthy to exist. The Mudbloods are little better than animals, barely sentient beings who are incapable of doing anything truly powerful or important. They merely pollute and dilute our bloodlines, and are a burden to us, the true members of wizarding society. True wizards will not allow Mudbloods to survive. We Blacks will not allow such abominations of nature to exist. I am a Black. I know that we Blacks are right, that we are infinitely superior to everyone else. After all, why shouldn’t we be? We are rich, smart, and of ancient Pureblood lineage. And on the subject on Purebloods, I just became most suitably engaged to one. He is a Lestrange — Rodolphus Lestrange, to be exact. He was in Slytherin, of course, and is a year or two my senior. But if he thinks that he can dominate me because of that, well, he will find that he is sorely mistaken. No one dominates a Black.

 

Things are changing in the world. There is a new man on the political scene, a true visionary, calling himself by the name of Lord Voldemort. We Blacks call him the Dark Lord. He will lead us to the glorious future that should be ours — one free of the taint of Mudbloods, Squibs, and Muggles. Blood Traitors will not survive the purge of the unworthy either. When the time comes, hopefully soon, he will let me join him in the fight for all that we hold dear. My name is Bellatrix… and I am a Black.

 

 

 

Andromeda Black, aged 17:

 

We are Blacks. Proud and Pureblooded, always convinced that we are right. Better than anyone else. With all of our money and political pull, we can certainly afford to think that way. But are we really better? A Black isn’t supposed to wonder about that sort of thing. A Black is always superior to the rest of the world, we say. I am a Black.

 

We Blacks are proud of our oh-so-pure bloodlines. I myself once was, before I started to learn that there was more to life than the doctrines that I had been spoon-fed since the cradle. And then I met Ted Tonks, the irrepressible, Muggleborn Hufflepuff prefect. The boy that I have fallen in love with. The true catalyst for this re-examination of my values. A Black is always strong-minded, after all, never yielding or admitting that she might be wrong. I am a Black.

 

I started to question whether what I’d been taught was right years ago. Slowly but surely, I think I am reaching my decision on what I will need to do. When the time comes, I will do what I must, what is right for me. It will not be easy, though. As it is, I feel terribly guilty about deceiving my family like this. I’m rather afraid that Bellatrix and Narcissa will figure out that I’m dating Ted — and make no mistake, they will find out eventually. Bella will go mad with fury when she learns about it; if she doesn’t tell our parents straight away, then she’ll use it against me — it’s the perfect material to blackmail me into doing anything for her. Cissy, well, I’m not sure about her. She might keep quiet about it (and possibly also use it to blackmail me — she’s a good deal more cunning than people give her credit for) or she might be so utterly appalled that she will tell Mother and Father. I am quite sure that both of them will try to talk me out of seeing Ted, though — well, in Bella’s case, it’d be more like her trying to beat the ‘nonsense’ out of me, whilst giving me a rather nasty tongue-lashing. With Cissy, it could be anything from tears and pleas to self-righteous lectures on pureblood duty. Frankly, I’m not sure which would be worse.

 

I think (if I am not much mistaken) that Ted is going to ask me to marry him. And I think that I am going to accept, as I can’t imagine living without him. But my sisters won’t be able to ignore an engagement ring, let alone a wedding one. For that matter, none of my family will be happy about it, but I’m sure they’ll come around eventually. Once they accept that I’m really serious about him. So if I decide to marry Ted, I’ll just need to be prepared for the exchanging of some harsh words, a few rows, and perhaps — but rather improbably, I’m sure — up to a whole month of them not speaking to me. But once they get used to the idea, I’m sure they’ll find that it’s not all that bad, and even if they never like Ted, they should be able to tolerate him for my sake. Mother and Father haven’t found a match for me yet, anyway — I may be a Black, but I’m no great prize like Narcissa (who is utterly beautiful) — so it’s not like I’d be forcing them to go back on their word to anyone. After all, they are family, and family is important. As Blacks, we know this.

 

My name is Andromeda… and, for better or worse, irrevocably, I am a Black.

 

 

 

Narcissa Black, aged 16:

 

We are Blacks. Rich, clever Purebloods. Better than anyone else. We know our duty and do it proudly — purging the world of the unworthy, getting richer, and creating more illustrious Blacks. A Black does not give anyone power over herself by showing emotion or affection. A Black follows in the footsteps of her forebears. I am a Black.

 

As a Black female it is my duty to be a lady at all times. How many times have I been told, “Young lady, you need to act more respectfully. Remember that it is your duty to marry well to the family’s advantage!”? When I do marry, I must provide my husband with an heir. And I must always be beautiful, graceful, aloof, and polite — at least to those deserving of that politeness. Why? Because I am a Black.

 

Toujours Pur. Forever pure. That is the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. No matter where you look in history, a Black was there. Some days I wonder if my future ought to be mapped out the way it is, whether I want my life already decided for me. But I want a good marriage, that I know. I have learnt about the importance of blood purity, and know that one day I will be more than just a trophy-wife to my future husband — I will also be an asset on the political scene to him. A Black knows her place. I am a Black.

 

I will not question what those wiser than I have determined when it comes to my future. I won’t. There has been some talk that Father intends to betroth me to Lucius Malfoy at some point in the future — after they find someone for Andromeda, that is. I don’t think that I should be averse to such a match. I deserve the very best, after all. And there’s no doubt that Lucius is the very best. When the time comes, I will do my duty. My name is Narcissa… and I am a Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A/N: This is a bit different than my usual fare, isn’t it? But you have to admit that the Black family is fascinating — so much potential for back-stories.

For this fic, I’m assuming the girls are roughly a year apart in age, with Bellatrix being the eldest, Andromeda the middle, and Narcissa the youngest. I KNOW that this (how many years apart the Black sisters are, as well which of them was the eldest, which the middle, and which the youngest, etc.) has been debated on the Dates and Ages thread here at the SQ Forums, but, for simplicity’s sake I’m putting them this way. No one can agree on it, in any case. Anyway, tell me how I did with these characterisations, will you?

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