Walburga, and all other characters who are mentioned in this fic are the
property of J.K. Rowling, as are Number 12, Grimmauld Place and Hogwarts.
Author’s Note: Thanks to Whimsy,
my brilliant beta, and also to Arya, muse in all things written and
co-author extraordinaire. Without you two, this fic would be no good at all.
“I don’t see the
problem with it,” says Sirius. He is leaning back against the wall, his legs
“The problem? Your
cousin has sullied the name of Black!” Walburga screams.
Ten minutes ago, her
brother Cygnus had Flooed to tell them that Andromeda had eloped with a
Muggle-born man, Ted Tonks. Number 12, Grimmauld Place is now in a state of
disarray, with the fury centered in the drawing room. What a wonderful way to
spend Christmas Eve.
“The name of Black is
already sullied enough,” says Sirius, pushing himself off the wall to stand in
a battle stance, feet spread and face set.
Walburga wants to
scream. She wants to kick something, wants to knock Sirius over. How dare he
say that her name is sullied? How dare he imply that she’s unworthy?
“You insolent boy! The
Blacks have a long tradition of purity.”
Sirius brushes his hair
out of his eyes, an unthinking, graceful movement, and for a moment, Walburga
sees a glimpse of the son he could have been – handsome, charming, a credit to
“Purity? God, you’re
so full of it, Mother. You’re not pure. Nobody pure buys into
your racist crap.”
“You call our blood,
our ancestors, our legacy ‘crap?’ The Blacks have been pure-blooded for
Walburga remembers her
lessons, growing up, before she went to Hogwarts. Every day, her mother had
quizzed her on the family tree, until she could recite it at the drop of a
wand. She’d learned about the atrocities Muggles had committed against
wizards, how a Muggle could never be trusted, nor could anyone associated with
them; at any time, they might try to kill you. She’d taught all these things
to Sirius, so where had he gone wrong? How could he defend these
abominations? They were better than those freaks!
“If the only thing you
can make a legacy out of is who your parents married, our family sure hasn’t
done much worth noting.” Sirius balls his hands into fists so tight his
knuckles go white.
Walburga snaps. “Don’t
say that, don’t you dare say that! No son of mine will say those things
under my roof! As long as I feed you and clothe you, you WILL NOT SAY THOSE
Sirius, who stood tall
and self-assured just moments before,is starting to lose some of that
confidence; Walburga can see the doubt in his eyes. She knows that she has
lost control, that this is unbecoming, but she can’t stop.
“You, boy, you take on
airs, but you would be nothing if you were not a Black! Without your
name, your blood, you’re just another unknown, dirty boy who calls
himself a wizard, with a wand more fit for kindling than for magic! You owe everything
to your blood, so you will not insult it in my house!”
Sirius breaths slowly
out, shuts his eyes for a moment, and opens them. Now the doubt is gone; they
just look hardened. She stares at him, and sees her own face; Sirius has her
straight nose, her black hair, and her penetrating eyes. Walburga has spent the
past few minutes watching blasphemies coming out of those perfect Black lips.
Sirius is her son, she realizes, but he will never be a Black. Not really.
Suddenly, she can’t stand the sight of his face, the face that he must hate.
“Go to your room! Get
out of my sight!”
Sirius runs out of the
room like a Silver Arrow. Walburga takes a deep breath and turns to the
elegant tapestry on the wall behind her.
She burns it off
without a second thought.