Harry Potter and all related ideas and characters are the property of J.K Rowling etc.

This is somewhat random, but you know I like one-shots. An update to "A Keen Observer" is a huge undertaking, but a one-shot can be accomplished in an hour or so, so let the one-shots feel the love too, people! This is less Bellatrix-sympathetic than usual for me, she comes off pretty badly in this one, but I still fangirl her.

Hello, Princess

Five-year-old Nymphadora Tonks did not like shopping at all.

Shopping with her Daddy was not so bad, because he went to interesting places like Quality Quidditch Supplies and muggle music stores, and he usually bought her toys if she smiled at him. Then Mummy would say he was spoiling her.

Shopping with Mummy was much, much worse. She went to boring stores like the apothecary and Madam Malkin's, where there were no toys, and no matter how much Nymphadora begged or whined, she rarely bought toys. She did sometimes buy her an ice cream, so all was not lost.

Ice cream notwithstanding, Nymphadora thought shopping was a waste of perfectly good time that could be spent playing. Now Mummy was talking to Madam Malkin, who liked to talk a great deal. Nymphadora pulled on Mummy's sleeve, to see how long it would be before they left, but Mummy only placed a hand on her head briefly, acknowledging her without interrupting Madam Malkin. Nymphadora ducked out from under Mummy's hand and wandered toward the door, which was propped open to let in the warm spring breeze. Diagon Alley was crowded with people, and nobody noticed when she wandered out of the shop. Mummy had said if she was good they would stop at Magical Menagerie. She loved to see all the animals. It was only a little way down, just past Gringott's, so surely Mummy wouldn't mind of she went by herself. Mummy would never even notice, she would just pop down there and back before Mummy even finished talking to Madam Malkin.

Determined, she set off, so small she went unnoticed by all the adults coming and going. She was passing Gringott's when a group of teenage boys weaving through the crowd laughing and calling to each other jostled into her, knocking her down without even realizing they did so. She pitched forward and landed hard, scraping her hands and knees on the rough stones that paved Diagon Alley. Tears sprang to her eyes, but then the hem of black robes swirled into her view. Someone caught her gently under the arms and lifted her up easily, cutting through the crowd to the wide marble steps of Gringott's, and setting Nymphadora down so she was sitting on the lowest step. The lady knelt down in front of her, and smiled.

"Hello, Princess."

Nymphadora knew she was not supposed to talk to strangers, but she thought the lady was very pretty. She looked very much like Mummy, and Nymphadora thought her Mummy was the prettiest lady she knew. The woman was studying her as well, like she knew who she was.

"Your name is Nymphadora, isn't it?"

She nodded, wondering how the lady knew her name. Before she could ask, the woman took out her wand and healed the stinging scrapes on her hands and knees. Nymphadora sniffled and rubbed her eyes.

"Thank you."

"Where's your Mummy?"

"She's talking to Madam Malkin. I wanted to go see the aminals…"

The woman smiled, but there was something about the way she smiled that Nymphadora didn't like. Her smile didn't make her look nice, it made her look mean.

"You shouldn't wander away from your Mummy, pet. Bad things can happen to pretty little girls when they're all alone…"

She reached out and brushed her fingertips down Nymphadora's smooth cheek, smoothing her hair back. She leaned close, and Nymphadora thought she smelled nice, like flowers. She spoke softly, inches from Nymphadora's ear.

"You know you're a little monster, don't you?" she whispered, her voice gone cold. "Your Mummy is a blood traitor, and one of these days I'm going to teach her a lesson. Do you know what I'm going to do, Princess? I'm going to kill your Daddy. And then I'm going to kill you-"

"Bellatrix!"

The woman drew back, and Mummy was running toward them, looking angrier than Nymphadora had ever seen. She thought Mummy was mad at her, but Mummy pushed the lady out of the way and caught her up. "Nymphadora, are you all right?"

"I fell, but that lady fixed my knees, I'm sorry Mummy…"

But Mummy wasn't listening to her anymore, she set her on her feet again on the steps of Gringott's and turned to face the woman, blocking Nymphadora from her view.

"Hello Andromeda," the woman said, in the same casual voice she had spoken to Nymphadora.

"Bellatrix…stay away from my family…" Mummy said, her voice low and shaking.

"You should keep a closer watch on your little girl, Andy."

"If you hurt her, so help me I'll-"

"You'll what, Andy? What will you and that mudblood do when the Dark Lord is victorious? How to you intend to protect that little half-blood brat?"

Mummy turned and picked her up again, holding her uncomfortably tight. She gave the woman one last glance. "I will do whatever I have to, Bella."

Mummy turned and walked away, and Nymphadora had only one glimpse of the woman over Mummy's shoulder, smirking at them. Mummy was still holding her tight, and Nymphadora could feel her shaking. As they came back to The Leaky Cauldron, she whispered, "Mummy, are you angry at me?"

"No. No, I'm not angry at you. You shouldn't have wandered away, but I'm so sorry I wasn't paying attention."

"I can't breathe."

Mummy laughed softly and loosened her arms slightly. "Sorry, Love."

"Mummy, who was that lady?"

"She was nobody. Nobody important."

Nymphadora frowned, and wrapped her arms tighter around Mummy's neck.

"I didn't really understand her."

Mummy kissed her forehead, hugging her hard again. "Neither do I."