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Author's Notes:

 

This story will be my interpretation of the years that followed The Battle of Hogwarts. I won't have one single POV character and will instead use several, but primarily I will use Harry Potter, Andromeda Tonks and Ron Weasley. I'll be sticking to book canon, however I will take some liberty with various Pottermore canon - but nothing major. The Cursed Child is completely off the cards and will have no impact on this story whatsoever, consider it retconned.

 


 

 

Andromeda sat comfortably against the big tree reading her copy of Advanced Charms. It was a warm spring day and what felt like the entire school and its faculty were off watching Slytherin and Hufflepuff, in the big match that would decide the 1966/67 Quidditch Cup. Slytherin were looking to regain their crown which Gryffindor pipped them to the previous year. Andromeda didn’t care about quidditch though. She was just glad that it meant a nice peaceful afternoon alone studying in the sun.

 

“OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE WHY WON’T YOU WORK?! IT’S THE NORTH LONDON DERBY!”

 

Andromeda jumped at the sound of the stranger’s voice. She thought she’d been alone in this secluded section of the castle grounds near the Great Lake, but alas, she evidently wasn’t. It had been a male voice, quite deep, but certainly not as opulent or proper as the pureblood boys that frequented the Slytherin dungeon. 

 

As she glanced over she saw a rather frustrated looking blonde-haired boy, who was wearing a red long-sleeve shirt with a cannon on the front - she assumed (very wrongly) that it must be a Chudley Cannons top. He had broad shoulders and a fairly stocky body, but he looked like he kept in quite good shape. The perfect build for a beater - not that Andromeda cared in the slightest about quidditch or the horrible boys who played it… well, not anymore, anyway.

 

The stranger in the red top was now desperately tapping his wand against what looked like a muggle-radio. She could’ve sworn she recognized the boy from around the castle, but she couldn’t put a name to him – perhaps he was a year or two older.

 

What she noticed most as she got closer towards him was his funny haircut. It looked a little bit like a mop and was definitely not a style you saw often in pureblood circles – he was almost certainly a muggle-born, or a half-blood at the very least. Not that there was anything wrong with that.

 

“REPARO! REPARO! REPAR-

 

Suddenly the radio sparked into life and the mop-haired boy’s face lit up in elation.

 

Andromeda had stood up now and was walking over to the boy, with the intention of giving him a stern telling off for making such a racket. Whilst she didn’t have the same temper that her older sister was infamous for – she was still a Black, which meant a certain level of respect and fear from strangers before even opening your mouth. An older boy or not, if he thought he was going to impede her studying with his noisy radio, then he had another thing coming. 

  

“A wonderful game so far today. There has been drama at both ends of the pitch. And now it is Lucius Malfoy with the quaffle and-

 

“NO NO STUPID THING FOR FU-

 

The boy stopped mid-sentence and clumsily dropped the radio to the ground. She thought he’d looked angry before, but seeing Andromeda walking over had taken him over the edge. She wasn’t in the mood for any attitude, especially after just hearing that lying scumbag’s name on the radio. No bother, she’d soon put him in his place.    

 

But yet, as it would happen… this mop-haired idiot had other ideas… as before she even had a chance to open her mouth he raised his wand to her, which took her off guard… out of instinct alone Andromeda took out her wand too but-

 

“EXPELLIARMUS!!”

 

He’d disarmed her before she’d even had the chance to reason with him. She saw her wand soar through the sky and into his spare hand.

 

“Gotcha!”

 

The blonde-boy now carefully pointed both wands at Andromeda, whilst doing so he gazed at her sternly, almost as if he was sizing her up. His eyes darted around the trees to make sure there was nobody else with her. She’d never been so much as challenged to a duel by a boy before, let alone disarmed – it just wasn’t the done thing, especially to a Black. 

 

“What in the name of Merlin do you think you are doing?! If my Father heard about this! What kind of good-for-nothing-

 

“Say it! Go on! Good-for-nothing-Mudblood! There! That’s the word you were looking for, isn’t it?! You think I didn’t hear you in the corridor last week?!” he spat at her.

 

Andromeda shuddered at hearing the word said out-loud with such fury. She was no stranger to it of course. It was a favourite of her Father. Bellatrix too had recently taken to throwing it around the castle at the muggle-borns, no doubt to impress the nasty older boys she liked to tag along with.

 

“Not so cocky now that you’re disarmed, are you? None of your boyfriends hiding behind those trees are they?”

 

The stranger’s eyes shot past her once again to double-check that there was nobody waiting to ambush him. Andromeda wished there was. 

 

“Boyfriends? What boyfriends? You do not know anything about me I-

 

“Oh I know enough about you, Black! The whole school knows about what you get up to. Prefect’s bathroom is it? Or maybe you’re all at it in your dormitories! It wouldn’t surprise me… and you pure-bloods are all related to each other somehow too, aren’t ya? Christ! I reckon some of you must be more inbred than Yeast!”

 

Andromeda stood in stunned silence at the boy.

 

She’d never in her fourteen years of living ever had a member of the opposite sex dare speak to her this way. Her father never had the time nor enthusiasm to raise his voice to any of his daughters, even Bellatrix – instead opting to vent his fury at their mother for failing to birth him a son. The boys in her year would never dream of it either, she was a Black – and if that didn’t frighten them enough, they’d probably think she’d set Bellatrix on them, which to most reasonable people was almost as petrifying a prospect as a Basilisk.

 

Andromeda walked closer to the boy now, keeping an eye carefully on both wands which were still pointing directly at her.

 

As she got closer to him she noticed that he had remarkably prominent cheek bones and also that he smelt very strongly of lemon. It was a very different sort of smell to the potions that would waft off of the older boys in the Slytherin common room. This was a much more modern scent, not the sort of archaic aroma that just smelled like her Father.   

 

“Now Black, you listen to me. I don’t know what you were doin’ sneakin’ up on me like this on your own, certainly ain’t like you or any of your lot not to attack in a pack. But I spose you-

 

“I was not sneaking up on you! I did not even have my wand out. I think there has been a big misunderstanding and-

 

“A misunderstanding?! Are you takin’ the mick? You’re lucky that my old man brought me up betta than to hex a girl, Bellatrix!”

 

 “I AM NOT BELLATRIX YOU IMBECILE!” 

 

“You what?”

 

The famous Black temper had put him back in his place, he looked a little worried now. He’d definitely seen a flash of Bellatrix’s unrivalled rage when she’d screamed at him. She was still disarmed of course, but it was a real testament to the Black family name and her sister’s fiery reputation that he’d instantly shut up.

 

“I AM NOT BELLATRIX BLACK! I am her sister…Andromeda. I was not ‘sneakin’ up on you, I did not call you a mudblood in the corridor last week and I most definitely do not have any boyfriends! If you had let me speak before you decided to attack me… then you would have known that the only reason I came over here was to ask you to keep the noise down. Some of us have studying to do!”

 

She’d seen the look on his face before. The guilty puppy-type look. It was one their house-elf, Rudy, often wore when he’d displeased her Mother. Yes, she knew what was coming next. A heart-felt apology, a load of grovelling and-

 

“Andromeda?! Ha-ha! W’a sort of a name is that?”

 

Andromeda gave him a death stare.

 

“Well…Andromeda…” he began, smirking as he repeated the name her astrology-loving mother had given her.

 

“I suppose there might have been a bit of a misunderstanding here, given the circumstances-

 

“You will be giving me my wand back right now!” she snapped, holding her hand out towards him.

 

“What’s the magic word, Andromeda?” he replied in a sarcastic tone.

 

“Well I would use Accio, but since you have my wand in your hand I-

 

“Not the spell, you donut…”

 

Andromeda had certainly never been called a donut before.

 

“Please. The magic word is please. Dunno what silly bugger came up with that expression though, muggles are much more polite than magic-folk. Now, repeat after me Andromeda. Can I have my wand back please, Ted?”

 

Andromeda sighed. Grovelling and apologising was not something that came naturally to her. She had a right mind to head up to the Owlery and send a letter to her Father – this imbecile would probably be out of Hogwarts by nightfall. But she did like the way his muscular arms creased against his top, not many of the pureblood Slytherin boys were built like that – and the impertinent smile he now wore on his face really did bring out those cheek bones…

 

“Can I have my wand back please, Ted?”

 

“Course you can, love! Why didn’t you ask sooner?” he teased, as he handed her back the 10-inch dragon heart-string wand. She’d never been addressed as ‘love’ before and didn’t take too kindly to it – he wasn’t getting the satisfaction of a thank-you. And too right – he did steal her wand after all… 

 

“So that is your name then… Ted?”

 

“Not quite. Edward Tonks. Friend’s call me, Ted.”

 

“Oh, I see. So you think that we are friends now, do you? After you disarmed me and-

 

“I told you I thought you was your sister didn’t I! I’m sure it ain’t the first time someone’s mistaken you for her, look bleedin’ identical!”

 

It certainly wasn’t the first time someone had mistaken her for Bellatrix. It wasn’t the first time an older boy had mistaken her for Bellatrix either, in-fact, just a few weeks ago, she’d been sat in the common room studying with her back to the room, when Corban Yaxley had started gently running his fingers through her hair. He’d stopped very abruptly when she turned around and it became very apparent to Yaxley and the friends he was showing off to that she was not her sister, nor was she interested in partaking in the same sort of flirting that Bellatrix lived for.

 

“So, how come you’re out here sneakin’ up on me and not up at the quidditch pitch fawning over the Slytherin team like her then?”

 

“For the last time I was NOT sneaking up on you. I was coming over here to ask you to keep the noise down, you were making quite the racket. I could not hear myself think. And I hate quidditch and quidditch boys. I would sooner listen to a Mandrake cry than watch that nonsense.”

 

Ted’s face lit up that last part.

 

“Do you kno’, you’re the first person I’ve met here who thinks that? Even the other muggle-born lads I’m mates with can’t get enough of it. Load of bloody rubbish.”

 

“I have never liked it, my Father-

 

“I mean, yeah, decent sport on paper, init? Sort of a bit like football and field hockey combined but on brooms. Nothing wrong with that. Great concept…”

 

Andromeda really hadn’t the slightest clue what football or field hockey was, but she enjoyed his unusually common accent as he ranted. She didn’t hear accents like that very often, nor did she often hear people speak using such an unrefined idiolect. Her Mother would yell whenever Andromeda or her sisters dared to speak without using proper grammar, which had always been enough to put off Andromeda or Cissy… but Bellatrix would just laugh or shout back even louder. 

 

 “…bit brutal, even more than rugby, but watchable. I remember when me mates from my dorm dragged me down to our first game o’ the season in first year. Think it was actually the same game as today actually, us versus your lot. Had a few Slytherin boys calling me mud-blood in the corridor already-

 

“You were getting called that in first year?! But… but that is awful!”

 

“Yeah… well I s’pose I hadn’t really come to terms with wizard fascism just yet, but thought it would be great comeuppance if we beat them. So I went along. Anyway, first thing I noticed was that all your players was flying a whole load faster than most of our boys. Took me a while to notice cause of the weather, but then it hit me. All your lot had faster brooms! Course, was only new to the wizarding world at that point so it took me a few years to really come to terms with it, but it’s simple really, init? The kids with the richer parents have the faster brooms don’t they? I mean what sort of capitalist nonsense is that? Could sort of justify it at the top level I guess, there’s capitalism in every sport, but at schoolboy level, are they mad? No wonder it’s always Slytherin and Gryffindor what wins the Quidditch Cup. Outrageous, don’t you think?”

 

“Well, errr I suppose… I suppose that I have never really thought about it like tha-

 

“And okay. Okay. Let’s say you can get past the blatant capitalism of it all. I mean, it happens in football too. Man United paid £115,000 for Denis Law a few years back… o’ course, don’t get me wrong, absolutely cracking striker. Top rate. But over one hundred grand for a footballer? Insanity. But yeah. Say you get past the capitalism of the brooms. I’m watching my lads against the Slytherin bods and they’re giving it their all. Doing us right proud. 100-80 up! We’re lovin’ it. Been a real close game. I’m warming to it, not as good as football o’ course, but can totally see why you magic folk are so mad for it. Then all of a sudden the ref’s blowing his whistle. The game’s over. I’m going bonkers! We’ve only gone and beat ‘em ain’t we! Except nobody around me is celebrating. I look around. Everyone’s gutted. I turned to me mate, asked him what was goin’ on. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when he tells me we’ve lost. Hang about, I said. How can we ‘ave lost, we was 2 goals up! That’s when he tells me. Says the Slytherin seeker’s caught the snitch, they’ve won. What the bloody hell is a snitch I ask him. Tells me-

 

“I am aware of the function of a snitch…”

 

 “You wha’? Oh yeah, sorry, got a bit carried away. But can you believe it? I’ve just watched my team for the best part of an hour. Blood, sweat, tears – the lot. We’re winning the game, then all of a sudden someone catches some stupid little golden ball and they’ve ended the game and got themselves ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POINTS?! Who on earth came up with that? What was they smokin’?! What’s the point of the rest of the game?! I mean, I know the Americans have some daft sports, but that takes the biscuit as the worst sport I’ve ever seen. Bloody ridiculous!”

 

“Yes, quite…so err… I take it you, err… you were not trying to pick up the quidditch commentary on that contraption of yours then?”

 

“Course I bloody wasn’t! I was trying to pick up the football. The Arsenal are playing The scum.”

 

“I take it that is some kind of muggle sport?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a real simple game. Working man’s game. Sort of like Quidditch, but without the brooms. Just one ball. And no snitch, just two timed halves of forty-five minutes.”

 

“And you can only touch the ball with your feet, I assume?”

 

“Yeah! Well. Sort of. I mean, you can use your head too. And I guess your shin, any part of your leg really. And your chest, well, I mean, basically any part of your body apart from your hand. Although you can use your hands if you’re taking a throw-in, or you can use it all the time if you’re a keeper. Only in your box though.”

 

“But… they call it football? Sounds kind of stupid if you ask me.”

 

“It’s not stupid! It’s the best! And England only went and won the World Cup last year, didn’t they? Oh it was bloody brilliant it was. Went up Wembley with my old man for the final. Even saw old Nobby Leach there too, right in with the VIPs he was!”

 

“My Mother and Father cannot stand that man.”

 

“Who, Leachy? Absolute legend he is! First-

 

“First muggle-born Minister for Magic in history. Yes. It is all I would ever hear about at home. My Father is convinced it is all part of some kind of muggle-conspiracy to take over. He believes the muggles have planted spies among us to infiltrate from within.”

 

“What rubbish! Our governments are too worried about the Soviets blowing everyone up to notice a few poxy wizards casting a few spells here and there. You don’t believe that nonsense do you?”

 

“No. Of course not. But he reads The Daily Prophet and you know what they are like, spouting all these conspiracies and what not. They dare not say it in the papers of course, but my parents and a lot of their friends, sometimes I hear them when they have their dinner parties. Some of them say it would have been better if Grindelwald had defeated Dumbledore. That we would not have the filthy blood traitors in our government and the damned muggle-borns in our schools.”

 

“And do you think that?”

 

“No. I mean, of course when you are younger and that is all you have known you just sort of go along with it, don’t you. Just accept it as the truth. But a few of the teachers here are muggle-borns or half-bloods and some of my classmates from the other houses are muggle-borns, or half-bloods – and I do not think they are evil or horrible at all.”

 

“My old man’s always told me you ought to treat people how they treat you, don’t matter who they are or what they look like. Reckon your Father and his sort ought to think about that.”

 

“I reckon my Father, as member of the school’s board of governors, would be very interested to hear that his darling pureblood daughter was disarmed and threatened at wand-point by a damned muggle-born.”

 

Ted looked very much taken aback by that. She almost saw the same sense of fear that had briefly silenced him earlier.

 

“You-

 

“Relax. I was just jesting. Now if you will be so kind as to give me that,” she said, pointing to his radio.

 

Ted hesitantly picked up the radio, but when she smiled and beckoned for it once more, he relented and carefully placed it in her left hand.

 

“Reparo,” she whispered whilst focusing intently.

 

The radio suddenly spluttered into life.

 


 

Wild thing… you make my heart sing

You make everything groovy… wild thing

Wild thing... I think I love you

But I wanna know for sure…

 


 

Ted carefully adjusted a few buttons on the radio with his fingers and the muggle-song (which many weeks later she discovered was by a muggle-band called The Troggs and would, many years later, insist on being played at their wedding) abruptly ended, then some more noise burst out.

 

A fine save from the Scot in goal, Bob Wilson. He throws it out to Rice who is just outside his own box on the left hand side. Pat Rice has Frank McLintock and George Graham in space further up the field, but he may opt to hurl it up towards Charlie George who appears to have found some space in Tottenham’s half…

 

“You did it! You fixed it! You’ve got it back picking up the muggle stations again! I knew it would do it. My mates reckoned it would never work like all the other muggle-tech don’t, but one of the Gryffindor prefects overheard us talking about it in the Great Hall a few weeks ago. Said he was good at fiddling with stuff, was really interested in muggle-tech too. He did a good job, had it working for about a week now, but it cut out not long after you came over. I owe you big time, you’ve made my day!”

 

“Well, err, thank you, I guess. Charms has always come naturally to me. Any sort of repairing or cleaning spell is easy really, you just have to focus. Now, if you do not mind, I really ought to get back to my work. It was nice meeting you, Ted.”

 

“Pleasure was all mine,” he replied, holding out his hand. She smiled reluctantly and offered out her hand, which he took and firmly shook. As he shook her hand and briefly moved closer towards her she noticed the heavy-scent of his citrus aftershave once more (which many weeks later she discovered was a muggle perfume called Eau Sauvage by Christion Dior and would, many years later, insist on Ted wearing at their wedding) and then, just as she turned and began to walk away…

 

“I tell you what, Andromeda” he began… as she turned back around she noticed a sly smile had emerged on his face.

 

“How about on the Hogsmeade trip next week I take you for tea at Madam Puddifoot’s? You know, just as friends. Nothing more. Just as a thanks for helping fix me radio and as a sorry for you know, disarming and threatenin’ ya. What do you reckon?”

 

He was asking her on a date. The nerve. Her Father would be furious. Bellatrix would go berserk. And dear old Lucius, well, he would be livid. Yes, yes he would.   

 

Andromeda rolled her eyes at Ted, before she let a rare smile escape her face.

 

“I reckon my Father would be very interested to hear that his darling pureblood daughter had been invited on a date by a damned muggle-born, especially one with such a funny haircut” she said sardonically, before letting out a small laugh and walking away again, leaving him fairly bewildered.

 

“So was that a yes?!” he called after her.

 

“Yes! Meet me at 10 o clock inside Tomes and Scrolls. I have a few books that I need to pick up first” she yelled back.

 

“And Ted?”

 

“Yes, darling?” 

 

He was pushing it now.

 

“All of those things you said to me, when you thought I was Bellatrix. Best not to say anything like that to her, or any of her friends. And do not dare engage in a duel with any of them…I can only imagine the things they would do.”

 

“They don’t scare me!” Ted bellowed defiantly.

 

He was, at best, naïve. At worst, a fool, who could soon find himself with a one way ticket to the hospital-wing, or much worse…

 

“Well you had better make sure you stay out of trouble then! I do not go on second dates with boys who miss the first one. Detention is not an acceptable excuse!” 

 

“I don’t get into trouble! Trouble finds m-ARGHHHH

 

Ted’s scream sent shivers through Andromeda’s spine. She ran back towards him with her wand at the ready. It was unclear what was attacking Ted Tonks, but it looked at first like it could be a niffler, such was its small size. But nifflers didn’t tear into human flesh like this beast was doing.

 

“ARGHHHHH GET OFF ME YOU LITTLE BAST-

 

“PROTEGO!” Andromeda screamed at the top of her lungs, aiming as best she could at the hairy little monster. She had tried to separate the two of them with the shield charm, but the beast had somehow managed to deflect the spell with its tiny tail. It flew back at her and hit her left hand, sending her wand flying off into the distance.

 

 Ted was on the ground now in a really bad way… there was blood oozing out of multiple wounds and the beast now eyed up his neck, contemplating what would surely be a critical blow. She glanced on the grass on either side of her quickly, but could see no sign of her wand.

 

“Dromeda… keep her safe. Dora… make sure she’s alright” Ted whispered desperately to her.

 

Dromeda?

 

Nobody called her that. And who was Dora?

 

The beast opened its tiny jaws. It was time to finish him off.

 

“NO!!” Andromeda cried desperately.

 

It stopped and manoeuvred its head to face her. She knew instantly that it was a werewolf, only a little cub, but a werewolf nonetheless. The cub glared at her fiercely, as this happened its light brown fur suddenly shifted to scarlet red. Andromeda stared deeply into the cub’s eyes and thought for a split second that she recognized him.

 

Then, without any warning, the cub turned back to his prey and began tearing out Ted’s neck.

 

He let out an awful, bloodcurdling scream… it was a worthy headliner of any nightmare.

 

Andromeda woke up abruptly and for a brief moment still heard the young Ted’s scream. It took her a few moments, but once she’d collected her senses she realized it wasn’t Ted screaming, it was Teddy. Ted was dead.

 

She pulled herself up from the armchair that she’d dozed off in. As she walked over to her screaming grandson she remembered just why she’d fallen asleep in the armchair.

 

Dora. Dora, against her mother’s best wishes and desperate pleas, had followed Teddy’s father to the battle.

 

 It was this “battle” which they’d all been waiting for. They all seemed to expect, perhaps even hope, that when the time came, when Harry Potter would finally face him that they’d all be there to do their bit. Dora and Teddy’s father talked of it often… mostly in the kitchen late at night when they didn’t think Andromeda could hear them.

 

It had been wanting to be part of this “battle” that had cost Ted his life. She’d begged with him, pleaded with him, but he hadn’t listened. The moment they’d heard the Ministry had fallen and he’d have to go on the run, she told him to go to the nearest muggle airport and jump on the first plane out of the country. It was a perfect plan. The Ministry wouldn’t think to have any officials, death eaters or snatchers patrolling muggle airports. But he refused. He said that his grandfather had fought and died to help defeat Hitler – and that he would do the same to defeat You Know Who if he had to.

 

She lifted Teddy up from his crib and he stopped crying almost instantly, as his hair, which had been that same crimson from her nightmare, transformed back to the dark, dirty brown of his father’s. He looked at her and smiled a little, then she pulled him in for a hug.

 

That was when she heard a loud crack outside.

 

 The unmistakable sound of apparition.

 

It was Dora.

 

She was back.

 

They were back.

 

But the door didn’t burst open like she had expected.

 

Instead, there was a very feint knock on the door.

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