The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Two Words  Chapter: Default
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Two Words

Two Words


            They were simple words, common words spoken separately in everyday conversation without thought or meaning.  Apart, they were nothing, simply words that passed over one’s tongue.  But together?  Together, the words had the power to change lives, to make or break friendships.  The words, simple as they were, had power nearly as frightening as the two words that created the Killing Curse.


            Her sisters had found them easy to utter.  Andromeda, eyes firm and heart steady, had spoken the words with ease.  Her mind had been focused on the future, not the past.  With those two words, Andy had sealed her fate, cursed her family, and burned her name off of the Black family tree.  Andy, sweet, kind, older Andy who had helped with schoolwork and giggled with her sisters on late July nights…that girl was gone.  No longer exited.  She had died the moment she had uttered those two words.  But unlike the death of an aunt or an uncle, hers could not be mourned.  Andy had chosen love over family, a choice that, to the Blacks, was not acceptable.  Especially when the love was a Mudblood. 


            Bellatrix, though…Bella did not love.  Bella had not loved for a long time.  Her words had been spoken with venom and power, her passion focused toward the Dark Lord, rather than the man in front of her.  At eighteen, Bella had signed her life with those two words, securing for herself a spot in the innermost circle of the Dark Lord’s followers.  She was already known to him, before she spoke the words, but as a recent Hogwarts graduate, only marriage to an accepted Death Eater in good standings with the Dark Lord would allow her into his circle.  She had spoken the words knowing her fate and accepting it, enjoying it, even. 


            They had not hesitated to speak them; why should they?  Always the confident ones, Andy and Bella were more alike than they would ever admit.  Their paths had simply diverged.  Each though their way was the only true way. Ways that, in their minds, were the only true ways.  They were willing to give up anything and everything to speak those words. 


            It was Narcissa who never knew what to do.  The youngest child of two ever-warring siblings, Cissa had often been the center of a massive tug-of-war game.  Agree with Andy, and Bella tattled to Mother.  Agree with Bella, and Andy refused to speak to her for a week.  Stay silent, and they both hated her.  At least at Hogwarts, the choice was made for her.  Andy was in Ravenclaw with her Mudblood friends, while Narcissa had Bella in Slytherin. 


            They were simple words, words she should not struggle over.  Her sisters hadn’t; why should she?  But the choices that had always been clear to Andy and Bella weren’t always so clear to Cissa.  She had retreated back to the playroom, Bella and Andy on either sides with crossed arms and glaring eyes.  But this time, she couldn’t simply walk away.  This time, she had to choose.


            Cissa smiled and fingered her silky, white robes, loving the embroidery that covered them.  Across from her, an oddly nervous Lucius Malfoy stood stiffly, his hair smoothed back into that sleek ponytail that Cissa so loved to run her fingers through.  He watched her, grey eyes expectant.  He had done his part, spoken his words; now she must do hers.   She had no choice, she told herself.  This was the only way.  She must do her duty to her family, to the Black name.  This marriage secured the long sought-after bond between the two most powerful pureblood families in the wizarding world.  The choice had already been made. 


            The old man, a longtime friend of the Black family, smiled down at Cissa.  “And you, my dear.  Do you take this wizard as your husband, to serve him and love him as only a wife can?  Do you promise to watch after him and bear him children who will love him as their father?”


            Her mind focused on the future, Narcissa flashed him one of her smiles, the one her mother called the confident smile, and spoke the two words that had changed her sisters’ lives forever. 


            “I do.”

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