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“You see the details, Andromeda. You see the beauty. That is an extraordinarily rare quality. I want you to make use of it. Make me proud.”
Dark Arts & Doubts
She had to come up with some kind of excuse. Tutor Ted Tonks? Spend time with a Mudblood and a Hufflepuff? Surely Professor Whitechapel didn't understand what an obscene request that was.
"A good deal of Hufflepuffs are, after all. Mudbloods, that is.”
Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was aware of how desperate and stupid she sounded. But she couldn’t help it. She just wanted safety and sanity again, and Ted seemed to be doing a pretty good job of providing it.
“Ladies of the House of Black don’t get . . . blitzed.” Andromeda frowned. She wasn’t entirely sure what “blitzed” meant, but it sounded uncouth and therefore definitely didn’t apply to her.
Andromeda was having trouble breathing. Probably just because idiotic Ted Tonks was sucking in all the surrounding oxygen supply.
Secrets & Stipulations
She would show him. She could do anything she wanted, go anywhere she wanted, be with whomever she wanted—and his rules would be given no consideration whatsoever. She was a free witch.
Rebellion, Within Reason
“I said,” Ted interrupted, “treat me like an equal. It doesn’t matter if you think I am or not. Talk to me like one of your society friends. Go ahead.”
It was impossible, though, wasn’t it? To enjoy spending any time in close proximity to a Muggleborn? Was this the punishment for cavorting? Perhaps Ted did have a disease after all, and perhaps Andromeda had caught it.
She felt as though she always had to be on her best behavior, as though she were constantly being judged and found wanting. And this Christmas in particular, what would everyone say about the fact that Narcissa was engaged while Rabastan was still dragging his feet?
Confrontation & Contraband
Ted wouldn’t care if she’d made a spectacle of herself. He wouldn’t care if she hadn’t retained her pristine reputation, wouldn’t care what the onlookers would say behind her back. All he would’ve cared about was if she was okay. And she wasn’t okay.
No Place Like Home
Rabastan was the one who had behaved badly. So why did she get the distinct impression from everyone else in this family that she was the one at fault?
This was bad. This was so very bad. This was all because she didn’t have a plan in place. Now she was just floundering about, confused and upset and making really stupid judgment calls.
Poor was a single hardboiled egg for breakfast. Poor was a bedroom the size of a king-sized bed. It was drafty windows and chilly mornings. It was awful.
She had, however temporarily, forgotten about the greater troubles in life—namely that she’d estranged herself from her entire family and had nowhere to stay but the house of a no-name Muggleborn. She had been having a surprisingly, miraculously pleasant evening.
Andromeda stared in disbelief. But why are you surprised? You did tell him that, didn’t you? That he was a mutant, a fluke. That it would be better for him to never have been born. What else would Ted expect from you?
She was blushing. Oh Merlin, no. Why was she blushing? Maybe he couldn’t tell in the firelight. Maybe.
According to Plan
“He’ll understand. He'll be happy I’m gone.”
She got to her feet, smoothed out her dress, and cast Narcissa a bright, charming smile that she reserved only for special occasions when smiling was the last thing she wanted to do.
“If you don’t,” he said, “then I will no longer call you my daughter. You will no longer be welcomed into this home. Your inheritance will be split evenly between your other two sisters. Do you understand what I'm saying, Andromeda?”
Andromeda never thought that “mutually beneficial exchange” would be the three words to define her marriage.
They had lost a certain amount of faith in her, and she had lost faith in them. The worst of it was, she didn’t know how either faith could ever be regained.
"We don't know how to fix him this time."
“It has nothing to do with bloodlines,” said Madame Finley. “It’s something much deeper, more personal than that. It’s found in the very core of a person that makes them magical."
"There," she said. "What purist would do that?"
“If it makes you feel better,” said Reginald, “you’ve got one significant advantage when it comes to formulating a solution.”
Andromeda pressed her hand to her forehead, trying to sweep aside thoughts of Ted. Why was he intruding into her mind at the most inconvenient time? Right now, she was supposed to be focusing on playing nice with Rabastan, on coaxing information from him.
"This is, without a doubt, the strangest request I’ve ever heard.”
“You know how this game works,” said Rabastan. “It’s all about who has the upper hand. And right now, I do.”
“I’m just wondering," said Nelson, "what it is that you’ve got going on with my brother."
“I’m still trying to process what I’ve done,” she said. “If I tried to do that immediately, all at once, I would break down.”
“I was afraid I’d lost you," he said.
She didn’t want to be here, on his doorstep. It was cruel to him, and crueler to herself.
Oil & Water
“That’s always been the difference between you and me. Just another thing that pulls us apart. You’re an optimist. I’m not. I see this for what it is.”
“You’re my sister, Cissa. We love each other. That’s stronger than anything else.”
Dissonance & Resolve
Andromeda had meant to say something the moment he opened the door. She’d meant to let the apologies gush out, one after the other, meant to tell him everything she’d realized in the past hours, on her way back to London.
Couldn’t change be one of the most fantastic punch lines?
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