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Adults have no idea what effect their throwaway comments can have on their children. For the rest of her life, Andromeda would remember a conversation she had accidentally overheard between her mother and her aunt.
“Bella - she’s the clever one, and Cissy, she’s my pretty girl.”
Andromeda stopped just outside the parlour door. She wanted to ask her aunt if she could take Sirius for a walk – after all, what six year old girl didn’t enjoy pushing a pram and pretending it was her baby inside?
“And what about Andra?”
“Andra?” Her mother was silent for a long minute. “Well, there’s an ordinary child in every family – even the Blacks must have one.”
Andromeda watched her aunt shake her head. “My children won’t be ordinary. Not in the least bit.”
Andromeda moved away from the doorway and sat on the stairs to think about what she had overheard. She didn’t want to be ordinary; she wasn’t ordinary at all. Bella was just extraordinary; to compare her to her twin made her seem … ordinary. But the adults didn’t seem to realise that Bella was Bella and Andra was Andra.
Blacks weren’t ordinary. With their heritage, how could they be?
Andromeda would be an adult with a grown child of her own – who was not in the least bit ordinary – before she could appreciate the irony of her aunt’s statement. Sirius and his brother, Regulus, born several months after that conversation, grew up to be extraordinary young men. Like their namesakes, they burned brightly. And they were lost to the family, to everybody far too soon.
Perhaps it was best to be ordinary, after all.