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Disclaimer: ok well I think we all know by now that as much as we all want to own harry potter we don't... All characters are property of J K Rowling and Warner Bros.
1/11/08: Edited 'cause I finally got a Beta

Back when we were Blacks

I, Andromeda Tonks, am alone. My daughter is fighting with the Order of the Phoenix and my husband is on the run. It isn’t safe for muggle-borns anymore. The wizarding world is at war and I’m on the opposite side from my sisters. It’s times like these when I miss them. When I’m sitting at home worrying about my family I can’t help but feel a pang of longing for them. When we were younger we were inseparable, but then I abandoned everything we had been taught and married a muggle born, a mudblood, the scum of the earth to them.


Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision, but in my heart I know I did; I love Ted and Dora. It just doesn’t stop me from missing the people my sisters used to be.


Bellatrix wasn’t always so sadistic and cruel, Narcissa wasn’t always so cold and untouchable, and I didn’t always feel like a part of me was missing. But that was a long time ago, back when we were Blacks.


My sisters were misguided, and I can’t help but feel like the way they ended up was my fault. Bellatrix wasn’t born a murderer- she wasn’t even raised like a murderer. She was just raised to believe that she was superior, and somewhere along the line that belief became law to her. That was my fault.


Narcissa never aspired to be married to a Malfoy; she was sweet and innocent and believed in true love. That was until I left. I used to tell her about Ted and me and about how blood didn’t matter, but then I was gone and they brainwashed her. I feel less responsible for Bellatrix because she had already chosen her path, but Narcissa still had time. My parents convinced Narcissa that I was a fool and that blood did matter, that ‘mudbloods’ were ruining the old wizarding ways. They drilled it into her, and soon she started to believe it. That was my fault.


I was their older sister. I was supposed to look after them, but I didn’t and they lost their souls to the Dark Arts. It was entirely my fault.


Growing up, Bella was always the most open and the most passionate, but as she got older she started developing strong views about pureblood superiority.


The common misconception people have about Bellatrix is that she has no emotions, that she doesn’t feel. It couldn’t be more the opposite; she feels too much. She resented me for leaving, so she married Rodolphus Lestrange and did all that she could be part of the fight and to rid the world of muggleborns, but when she met the Dark Lord it became so much more. She was intoxicated by his presence and the power he had. It didn’t take long before she became obsessed, and from that moment there was no way back for Bellatrix because in some twisted way she loved that man, and there was no way she could abandon him now, even if she wanted to, because she felt things too deeply..


Narcissa, my dear Cissa; I adored her. She was so beautiful with her long golden hair and delicate features, so unlike Bellatrix and myself. Mother’s angel and father’s princess. She took on responsibility at much too young of an age; she felt disappointed in me for leaving so she agreed to take part in an arranged marriage to Lucius Malfoy. She just wanted our family to be respected again and for mother and father to be proud, so she gave up her own dreams and aspirations to instead be the perfect pureblood wife. Although this was no more than anyone expected of her, she had always been slightly detached from the rest of us, so everyone assumed it wasn’t really a burden for her, that it was what she wanted. That wasn’t true; she was just more guarded. If I hadn’t known her as a girl and only seen the woman she was now I could have been fooled too. Cissa was always different from us. She had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes; Bellatrix and I didn’t. Bellatrix and I both had passionate views either way about blood; she was indifferent. Bellatrix and I put ourselves first; Cissa thought about family. I knew she was making this sacrifice for us.


Bellatrix went to Azkaban for the Dark Lord and was rewarded with the loss of her sanity; she was faithful to him and only to him. Rodolphus had learnt long ago not to expect anything from her, for she was a free spirit. I know that if she saw me or my husband out on the street she wouldn’t hesitate to kill us as she killed Sirius, the only other person in our family that still meant something to me. But this person isn’t Bellatrix anymore; it’s the evil that has taken over her, binding her to Voldemort. It’s the only piece of comfort I have, knowing this woman is not my Bella, the Bellatrix I used to know. I always knew her downfall would be because she felt too much.


Over the years Cissa learned not to show her emotions anymore and I think she lost them entirely a long time ago. She is hard-hearted, cold, and untouchable - The definition of an ice queen. I doubt she knows how to feel anymore apart from when it comes to her son; he is the only sense of self she has left in this world and I hope to Merlin that she doesn’t lose him to the Dark Arts like I lost her. She wouldn’t be able to cope, and her façade would melt, and as much as I disapprove of her façade, it’s her only way of living. I don’t think that she will ever again be the person she once was; she is a shadow of her former self. She is no longer my Cissa.


I have lived the best life out of all of us and for that I am grateful, but I can’t help blaming myself for the mistakes my sisters have made, even if they don’t know that’s what they are yet. I can’t fight in this war because one day I might come up against Bella and Cissa, for that is what they will always be to me, and I know in my heart that I could never hurt them, but I don’t want to face the facts of what they may be capable of doing to me.


Bellatrix has proved herself a fierce warrior; I think this is because death no longer matters to her. She doesn’t care about the consequences of her actions or for the future, all that matters is the here and now and if it will benefit ‘The Cause.' This is one of the reasons why the Dark Lord values her, although it isn’t the only one; I think he loves her as much as someone with a shattered soul can love. He may not realise it, and Bella may not realise it, but everyone else does, and Rodolphus is the one who has to deal with her dwindling attentions and constant absences to be by her Lord’s side. However, it was naïve on Rodolphus’s part to marry her. He followed her around like a lost puppy for years and at the first sign that she was at all interested in him, he proposed. Temporary mind loss perhaps, or maybe he just hadn’t paid attention to Bella’s previous habits with boyfriends, whom she would be passionately in love with one minute and abhor the next. I don’t believe that Bellatrix hates Rodolphus now, but she resents him. They say there’s a fine line between love and hate. Resentment, on the other hand, isn’t easily forgotten.


I don’t know if Narcissa has officially become a Death Eater, but she’s definitely the wife of one and that in itself requires all kinds of sacrifices. She no longer has any control- control over her family, control over her thoughts, control over whether she will live or die. She married into this to please our parents, although I don’t doubt that she loves Lucius and Draco now, but originally the marriage wasn’t for her, it was for them. They preached to us about doing the ‘right’ thing and supporting Voldemort, but what did they ever do? They talked big and never once acted upon it. We were pawns in our parents' game to show that they were the ultimate purebloods; the Black family would be powerful. And yet between myself and Sirius, and even Regulus to a certain extent, we shattered those dreams for them, two blood traitors and a Death Eater who tried to back out in one family wasn’t their idea of power. It wasn’t the Dark Lord’s either, and ironically, just when they were back in his favour, Lucius and Bellatrix messed up again – I dread to think how things would have turned out for us if they hadn’t.

I would never admit it to anyone, but sometimes I wish things had not turned out so horribly for them, although not for their sake, never for their sake. For Narcissa. She had to bear the brunt of their failure. Her son, the nephew I have never met, was lured into the Dark Lord’s world to pay for his father’s mistakes. Voldemort has always been devious; he has a complex mind that knows how others work. He knew the best way to punish Lucius was to hurt Narcissa, and the most important thing to Narcissa is Draco.


The Dark Lord managed to dress this ‘mission’ he was assigning to Draco as a great privilege, something to appeal to Draco and draw him in. Not that anyone can refuse Voldemort and live to tell the tale, so because of Lucius’ failings Draco was left to kill Dumbledore. Of course, he didn’t perform the murder in the end, but it was all bound to take its toll on him, much like what happened to Regulus. With Draco I can sympathise because Reg was never a bad person, and yet he was persuaded into the Death Eaters by all of the apparent glory and glamour, only to realise his mistake too late.


I believe that I know my sisters better than they think I do; I’ve never forgotten them. No matter how bad the war has become, I’ve never tried to. Sometimes I struggle to remember how Bella sounded when she laughed or how a smile from Narcissa could light up my own face, but when I see their faces in photographs of my own, or in the Daily Prophet, or even in Wanted posters my heart gives a leap and I can’t help but wonder if they are as happy with how their lives turned out as I am with mine.

A/N: Thanks for taking the time to read this. It's my first ff and I would really appreciate a review =)

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