A/N: This was done as a thank-you for Moonlit Maiden, who reviewed all (even the suckier ones) of my stories and posed such wonderful questions for me to answer.
I'm putting Andromeda into Slytherin since it does say somewhere in OotP that all of the Blacks except for Sirius had been in Slytherin; Ted's going into Ravenclaw to keep in line with another story I've written and simply because I say so. If JK Rowling wishes to correct me, I will gladly change his House.
Also, I've been feeling kinda guilty, since I've only done a universal disclaimer on my profile, but I swear it's up there. If I owned even a millionth of this lovely creation, I wouldn't having to be scrounging for gas money. Which I am, by the way.
On to the story (finally!)!
"Well, we obviously have to invite Aunt and Uncle Black, but do we have to include Sirius? Regulus behaves himself quite well, but you know how Sirius is. I couldn't bear to have him ruin the wedding."
Andromeda rolled her eyes as she listened to Bellatrix and her mother plan Bella's upcoming wedding. If there was any reason to want to go back to school as soon as possible, this was it. All she had been hearing about since the summer were things along the lines of "We simply must invite the Minister" or "There will be anti-Mudblood charms placed around the location, right?". Andy had been begging for Easter break to hurry since the second she stepped through her home's door. It didn't help that stupid Narcissa decided she needed to agree with everything big, powerful Bella was doing and begin whining for her won wedding.
"Mum, Lucius Malfoy would be an appropriate date for me, right? He certainly behaves himself admirably."
Speak of the devil- Narcissa was planning with them. As Andy meandered into the kitchen, looking for the apparently missing aspirin, she felt her mother's gaze.
"Of course Lucius would be appropriate for you, darling," Mrs. Black responded, voice sugary sweet, "Now, Andromeda, who were planning on bringing?"
Now, if that wasn't a loaded question, Andy had no clue what was. For years, her mother had been trying to arrange a marriage between Andy and Lucius, but Andy's wild behavior and forceful personality horrified the Malfoys. They had instead requested meeting younger Narcissa, who by the age of fifteen had yet to show a backbone, and the marriage arrangement was practically sealed by the time she was five. Andy still refused to take the blame for hexing Lucius' foot, insisting it was out of self-defense.
Although she had managed to get herself out of a marriage contract at age seven, Andy was currently unable to worm her way out of having a date for the wedding. However, a really nasty headache and missing aspirin made her foolish.
"I don't know Mum, I was thinking about asking Arthur Weasley. Where the hell is the aspirin?"
If asking for aspirin hadn't caused the explosion, mentioning a Weasley sure did.
"Over my dead, bleeding, and broken body will one of those Blood Traitors step foot inside an event of mine!"
"Andromeda, do you want to ruin my wedding? Have you completely lost your mind?"
"Do you want to kill me?"
Andy leaned against the counter, put her head in her hands, and laughed. Okay, so maybe she'd hear it from Molly Prewitt (that dumpling) later, but seeing her mom and Bella flip out like this was completely worth it.
"Andromeda Black, you better straighten up right now! No Pureblood, no Black, has ever behaved like you!" her mother screamed, rising out of the chair and menacingly tightening her fists. Bella's hand was snaking towards her wand and Narcissa stared open-mouthed. Andy couldn't help laughing harder. However, before she could retort, Narcissa seemed to regain her brain.
"What's aspirin? That sounds like some Muggle thing."
Bella's hand stopped mid-grab and Mrs. Black's mouth dropped even further.
"Andromeda, where did you learn of such a thing and why would you think that some Muggle contraption would even come near our home?" Mrs. Black hissed, eyes narrowing sharply.
Andromeda may not have had complete control of her words, but she sure as hell wasn't stupid enough to mention how she knew about aspirin. Answering that question would have to bring up Ted, and that was a subject even she was afraid to broach with her parents.
Andromeda was many things that had earned her a fairly sure place in the House of Slytherin- proud, conceited, powerful, and looked out for herself. She was proud of being a Pureblood and did feel that it gave her some advantage over the other students. However, there was one major difference between her and the other Blacks- she had fallen deeply in love with a Muggleborn.
As much as Andy loved to rebel, this was not something she had tried to do. Her first few years at Hogwarts had been spent in a blissful unawareness of Ted Tonks- she had happily made friends in Slytherin and never seemed to notice him. For her third year classes, she had chosen Muggle Studies to irritate her family and ended up making a huge mistake. The class was so small that all four Houses were grouped together and she arrived late the first day- the only available seat was next to Ted. She noticed how cute he was before realizing that she had lost House points and needed to pay attention. Seats were fixed that first day and things had gotten worse from then on.
Ted, or Theodore, became more attractive each time she noticed him. At first it was his smile, which he flashed at her whenever she took her seat, then it was his laugh. He didn't speak much, but when he did, it was always something sarcastic and funny. Each time he smiled, his entire face lit up, making his already attractive features even more attractive. The duo instantly bonded while making fun of the teacher and he was always willing to help her understand complicated Muggle procedures and inventions. In turn, she tried to help with Charms, which he was completely miserable at. By Christmas, they were regularly seen together in the library studying and had become fast friends.
Andy had dreaded the upcoming summer vacation, since she knew she would barely be able to write to Ted, let alone see him. She cried on the train ride home and gave him a tight hug before exiting the train. The summer had dragged by; it took much cunning and slyness to check the mail each day before the rest of her family found it so that she could sneak away with any letters he might have written. Fourth year finally started and Ted endured weeks of teasing after Andy ran up to him on the train and practically squeezed the life out of him. He took it with that wonderful smile of his and never missed an occasion to hug her or link arms.
By October, the two had decided they were dating, but decided to keep it as low as possible. Bellatrix, the sister most likely to spy on her and tell their parents, was mercifully gone, but Narcissa remained. Luckily, Narcissa followed Lucius and his friends around like a puppy dog and was quite happy to distance herself from her sister. None of the other Slytherins were too fond of Andy, so tag-alongs were never a worry. Andy thanked her lucky stars every day for the ability to be with Ted and keep it quiet.
Of course, Narcissa, ever the one to please her mother, would not let the aspirin thing drop. "Andromeda," she said in that whiny voice of hers, "why in the world would you want to disgrace your family and use some filthy Muggle contraption?"
Andy's eyes narrowed and she tried her hardest to move off the topic. "I have no clue what you're talking about. I must have said some Muggle curse word I heard at school. I have a horrible headache- it shouldn't surprise you that I'm mixing up my words."
"Oh no, I think you knew exactly what you were saying. I've been hearing you muttering that word all morning. Perhaps you heard it from that Ted boy you've been sneaking off with…"
Only Andy's horror kept her from lunging at her sister's throat. Her mother's face changed from anger to bewilderment while Bella looked like the cat that had caught the mouse.
"Yes, dear Andy, I think that's where you picked it up- from that Mudblood boyfriend of yours."
When in the hell had Narcissa become so deviant? Andy looked from her mother to each sister, completely terrified as to what they were going to say or do. She knew that at this point, any form of denial was completely pointless. It was either run in fear or stand up to her family, either of which was going to be very painful and difficult. Running meant losing Ted, and even on the very very low chance of being able to remain with him, she knew she couldn't live with herself for having been ashamed of him and submitted to her family. Standing up to her family meant keeping him, but losing her share of the family fortune and prestige. All Black family functions would be lost and her place in Wizarding society would be gone.
"Andromeda Theodora Black, have you completely lost any form of sense that you may have had? Have you lost all pride and dignity? Have you lost all respect for your family? I've been hearing whispers for years, but always assumed it was a lower family intending to harm us! But now, your sister tells us it's true! Have you become some form of common whore? How dare some lowly, common Mudblood think himself even slightly worthy of being with a Black! Although, with this kind of behavior, you certainly are no Black anymore," her mother screamed, rising from the table and striding over to Andy. A forceful slap followed her tirade- for all of her mother's seeming delicacy, her arm was extremely strong.
The only thing that kept her eyes from welling over in pain was the words that had preceded the slap. The insults her mother had flung at her barely registered as her mind gripped what Mrs. Black had said about Ted. Andy felt her body and fists tighten and she looked her mother square in the face, anger etched in every line.
"You're right, Mother, I am no longer a Black! I refuse to be a part of a family who behaves in such an elitist manner with such crude manners! And yes, darling sister, I did learn that word from my Muggle-born boyfriend! Yes, my muggle-born boyfriend who has more magic in his pinky than Narcissa could ever hope to have!" she screamed, getting in her mother's face.
Narcissa's mouth dropped, although from shock or anger Andy couldn't tell. Bella's snarky grin became flat out evil and Andy could see the wheels turning in her head- leave it to that little bitch to think of a way to make the situation worse. Mrs. Black's lips were pressed so tightly together that there was barely any color. It was as if she was too angry to say anything, so all she could do was resort to pointing towards the kitchen door. Andy understood well enough and strode away, but not before giving her sisters one last haughty look.
She ran up to her room and quickly grabbed her purse and wand before hurrying towards the door. Her mother's silence could only last a little bit longer, and once she blew, there was no escape. As Andy headed towards the door, she saw her mother standing in the kitchen doorframe, her chest heaving. Without thinking, Andy rushed out of the door and onto the London street, where it would be safe to Apparate to the only place she thought she could go- to Ted.
The last thing Andy heard before she left London was her mother's scream as Mrs. Black regained her voice.
When Andy opened her eyes again, she encountered weather quite unlike her mood. The sun was shining and a cool breeze blew; children's voices could be heard in the distance. Taking in her surroundings, Andy wondered why Ted would ever want to leave such a home. The house was just the perfect size and completely covered in ivy; flowers bloomed throughout the yard and along the path that lead to the Tonks' front door. Andy was just about to head up the path when the front door opened and Ted came running out.
"Andy, what are you doing here? Not that I'm not thrilled to see you, but you've never been able to come visit. Is something wrong?" he gushed, pulling her into a tight hug.
In Ted's arms, Andy finally broke down. All she could do was cry as he held her for a moment more, then began to move her towards the front door. Andy barely registered a woman's voice asking something as they entered the bright house and Ted ushered her into a cushy chair.
"Let me hazard a guess and assume that this has to do with your family," he stated, "Which snarky sister said something? Narcissa?"
All Andy could do was nod through her tears.
"Can I also assume your mother did not take the news well and you were subsequently kicked out of the house?"
Andy nodded again, but her tears had begun to subside. "Mum also said terrible things about you," she whispered, burying her face in her hands. "Ted, there's nowhere else safe for me to go. You were the only thing I could think of."
Ted smiled and nodded. "Of which I am immensely flattered. There's plenty of room here, so don't you worry. You can stay with me as long as you need to. Come on, let's get you upstairs and comfortable and calm, and then we can do some talking."
Ted helped her rise and led her to the stairs. The stairway was too narrow for them to walk side by side, so he walked in front of her with his hands holding hers to his hips. In some small part of her heart, the only part that was feeling something besides anger, was touched that he was so worried. It was making the rest of her heart defrost, but with the defrosting came more tears. They had to stop once towards the top of the stairs for her to cry manically again. He did his best to hold her and pat her hair until she was calm enough to move again.
Andy was thankfully able to make it to Ted's room without another episode and she sunk down onto his bed as he went across the hall to the bathroom. He emerged with a wet washcloth and a hairbrush, both of which he handed her before heading back downstairs. It felt good to wash her face, but Andy was puzzled at how knotted her hair had become in such a short time. She laid her head down on his pillow and fell asleep before Ted returned with some hot chocolate and cookies.
When she woke up, it seemed as if her own dreams were more real than her life. It was almost inconceivable that her family had found out about Ted and kicked her out; it was almost as hard to believe that she had made it safely to his home and was lying in his bed. Andy rolled onto her other side and smiled as she saw Ted sitting on the floor, his chin resting on the mattress, looking at her.
"It's impolite to stare, especially when someone's sleeping," she whispered.
"I wasn't staring, I was thinking. My eyes just happened to rest on the figure in front of me," he whispered back, reaching out to push back an errant strand of hair. "Are they going to come looking for you?"
"Maybe; it's a fifty-fifty chance either way. I'm not going back though."
Ted nodded. "No, you're not. Do you want to talk about what happened?"
He nodded again and stood up. "Okay, not now. We're going to have to eventually, you know. I'm going to go make sure your room is ready, and then we'll move you, okay?"
Andy reached out and grabbed his hand tightly. Ted smiled and leaned down to kiss her forehead. "Don't worry baby, I'm coming back. I won't let them come get you." He kissed her again, this time on her lips, before gently pulling away and moving towards the door.
"Ted." He stopped and turned to face her.
"I have no idea how to thank you."
He smiled and gave a small laugh. "I love you; I'd do anything to help you. Although, if you truly insist on thanking me, saying that you'll marry me would work very well."
Andy's mouth dropped as Ted's words registered. She wasn't quite sure how it happened, but the next thing she knew, she was out of bed and hugging him tightly. She was crying again, but laughing as well, and Ted spun her around as he laughed loudly.
"I was going to propose when I saw you on the train, but I figured now was as good a time as any," he explained, putting her back down. "Andy, I can't offer you the life you've grown up with, but I strongly doubt you want that anymore. Please, marry me."
Andy squeezed him again tightly and buried her face in the crook of his neck. "I think Andromeda Tonks would be lovely," she whispered.