Disclaimer: Nothing that you recognize is mine. The characters belong to JK, and I'm simply borrowing them for the time being.
Author's Notes: This fic will take place between three different time periods. Andromeda's fifth, sixth, seventh year and the year that follows, her earlier years at Hogwarts first through forth, and lastly pre-Hogwarts times when she and her sisters are still little.
Before- Will refer to when the sisters are still little
Then- Will refer to the early years at Hogwarts
Now- Will refer to fifth year and beyond.
Each chapter will begin with its corresponding time period, so it shouldn't be too confusing.
Summary: Andromeda Black was a girl like her sisters, and then she found out that real life is much like a rose, beautiful and dangerous, and love was just the same.
It was a calm night, like any of course. There was the scattered pitter patter of hurried little footsteps about the near empty manor, and the chime of an old Grandfather Clock sounded down one of the more dark halls. A gust of warm air swept down the narrow, dark halls rattling at curtains and draperies. All the lights happened to be off, there was only the faint glow of candles, evenly spread, putting a good mount of distance between them, giving the manor an eerie glow. Within the depth of the manor there was chatter emitting, the soft murmurs spreading unevenly among the place. Four voices, two male, and two female. Each spoke with an unwavering tone.
It was the last night before the new term at Hogwarts began. The Lestrange Manor was silent in the early hours of the night, as the moon had just barely begun to rise. Soft chuckles filtered down the dark halls. Within one of the many drawing rooms light danced among the walls, and a warm glow surrounded a fire placed where sat around four people. A dark haired boy, no older than nineteen sat on one couch, a dark haired girl sat on the ground in front of him, one arm draped over his left leg. On the couch opposite the two was another couple. A light haired boy, of eighteen, sat in a regal manner holding a book in the hand that was propped on the arm of couch. A light haired girl, younger than the other, lay curled up on the couch, her head resting in the lap of the boy.
It was their chatter that caused the soft murmurs about the manor, their laughter that rang silently throughout the halls. However, their voices remained quiet and soft. All sets of eyes flickered over to each other as the fire cracked, the sound echoing off of the walls.
"Next I suppose Andromeda will want a flying pig for a pet," the Narcissa said airily, holding a hand up in the air, studying her finger nails idly. One of the boys scoffed, and the girl rolled her eyes.
"Only you, Narcissa, would hold your sister to that type of childish act," Lucius sneered. Not once had he looked up from his book, and already was there a sneer curling on his lips as his gray eyes scanned the pages before him. "You know very well that she is your older sister, yes?" he asked, finally looking down at the girl, an impassive look on his features.
Narcissa, If there was such a thing that she loathed, it was to have her words come back in such a mocking manner that only few knew how to do. "If I didn't know any better, Lucius, I would have to say that you have had your eye on my sister for quite some time," she drawled not once taking her eyes off of the boy. However, her attention was adverted from him as the other couple, her eldest sister, Bellatrix, and her fiancé, Rodolphus, both snickered quietly to themselves.
Bellatrix lifted her head slightly before resting it atop her arm. "Don't give Lucius that much credit, Cissy," she said with a soft snicker, a small smirk tugging at the corners of her lips. Her dark eyes flickered upward, resting on Lucius who had momentarily looked up from his book. "After all, he is the first Malfoy to have ever caught that infamous Malfoy insanity."
"Thank you for that, Bellatrix," Lucius sneered before snapping his book shut. There were far too many Blacks for his liking, the majority of them being female, too. Not that it was a bad thing, it was just the entire Black family whom he couldn't stand. As far as the girls went, the eldest of the sisters had away with getting under his skin in a way that no one else could. "Don't you know how to keep a girl busy, Rodolphus?" He asked lazily, as he eyed the other boy.
"You know what they say, Lucius," Bellatrix voiced as she slowly stood up. Turning to face Rodolphus, she draped her arms over his shoulders, and hung them loosely around his neck. "The insane are never that far apart," the girl said before she brushed her lips against her fiancés', and captured his lower lip in a kiss, shutting out both her sister and Lucius. She shifted once again so that she was now sitting in Rodolphus' lap. When finally she pulled away it was to rest her head on his shoulder, glancing at the other two. "Need I remind all of you that we are here to talk about Andromeda?"
Narcissa folded her arms over her chest before sitting up. Sighing exasperatedly she wrinkled her nose. "Tell Mother," she said simply, waving it off with her hand. "Andromeda will be of age in two years. We don't need that sort to go around spoiling the family. Oh, Lucius, I wish you would stop giving me that look. You know what I mean! Her sort!"
If it weren't for the fact that Bellatrix was busy thinking of ways to get her to see the truth she probably would have snapped at Narcissa. There had to be something that she could do that would knock some sense into Andromeda's head. Everything had been going so well and then that Ted Tonks showed up, planting foolish ideas in Andromeda's head.
"Perhaps getting her a flying pig may just shut her up," drawled Lucius, leaning back.
With a bark like laugh Rodolphus replied, "Or perhaps it will be the cause of her being the first to catch the Black insanity."
"Hold your tongue, Rodolphus!" Narcissa hissed, glaring up at the other boy from where she sat. She put a hand to her mouth, gasping. "How can you say such a thing? Insanity hasn't yet reached this family and it gives me the chills to even think of it!"
Bellatrix had half a mind to throw a book at her sister. Instead she settled for resting her face in the palms of her hands and sighing exasperatedly. Lucius was talking now about how they should devise a plan so that Andromeda's little boyfriend would have to meet the family. After that she stopped listening and leaned into Rodolphus with a quiet snicker.
Yes, Ted Tonks would meet the family, and Bellatrix would make sure of it.
Maybe it was the morning air, the draft that spread around the old London manor that arose such tension within the Black family. Or perhaps it was the shrill scream of Narcissa, waking to the sight of a house elf at the foot of her bed that drew the rest of the family from their slumber with either scowls or groans of protest against the day. The three daughters dressed in their respective rooms while the lord and lady of the made their way to the dining room in silence, listening to the muffled sounds of their daughters picking around their rooms.
Narcissa, busy picking around her room, through her dressers for her uniform. And once found it was only in mere moments did she shed her night clothes before slipping into the skirt and shirt of her uniform, pulling her jumper over her head, and tightening her tie around her neck. She only looked up in time to see one of her sisters rush past her door, and she rolled her eyes. As she rolled her stocking up, and slipped on her shoes.
Bellatrix, who was already halfway down the main stairs from her room, turned her head to see Andromeda run past the landing. Every year it was the same thing. The same sister. The oldest of the sisters let a sneer cross her lips before she turned her head once more and continued down the stairs to the dining room.
"Mother, this has to stop," Bellatrix complained to her mother as she took her seat. "She's lost that jumper of hers. She loses it every year, and she has a good five of them!"
But Mrs. Druella Black would hear none of it and simply raised her eyes to meet her daughter.
The youngest sister flounced in, her hands behind her back, looking for all the world like she was trying to be cheerful, and for what it was worth, she was. However, her actions did not go unnoticed by her father for Mr. Black cleared his throat, looking up at his youngest daughter and began drumming his fingers on the table. It was then that Narcissa gave a melodramatic sigh and propped her elbows upon the table, resting her head in her hands.
"Andromeda," she stated simply, closing her eyes and yawning. "She's running all over the place. I am fairly certain that her room is trashed. She hasn't lost that jumper of hers again, has she? Oh, that would be dreadful! Merlin knows it isn't my problem. I've only been stuck with an incompetent sister."
Mrs. Black shook her head at the girls. "She is your sister, you realize, Narcissa dear," she said with a crisp edge which caused her daughter to look up and regard her. "With all your bickering and bantering that you've all done lately I'm rather surprised that this house is still standing!"
Bellatrix scoffed. "Well, don't blame us, Mother," she said sitting up straight in her chair. "Precious Andy has pushed the buttons. She talks of wanting to meet muggles, Mother. And not only that, she says she wishes to live among them in the future to see what it's like-"
"Oh, she'll taint us!" Narcissa wailed feebly, ignoring the glare from her older sister. "Oh, she'll taint us, and I shall paint us a picture so grand that even Death will pale in comparison."
"Cissy, I'd really wish that you would stop being so dramatic," came the arrival of a new voice, and all members of the house currently seated turned. Andromeda threw her little sister a smile before hurriedly taking her seat. "Besides, you don't even know how to paint, even after all of Grandmother's lessons."
Narcissa turned up her chin, and Mrs. Black tittered on about something that Walburga had insisted the girls try doing. Neither of the three teenagers happened to be listening, however. Bellatrix and Narcissa were busy talking quietly to themselves, attempting to keep it all hush-hush, and Andromeda was too busy staring down at her food, making faces at it. That was, before she looked up, at the sound of glass shattering in the hall.
All heads turned to Mr. Black, who's pale face was turning a shade of red before slowly fading into purple before he stood up. With his hands clenched into fists at his sides he strode from the dining room with his wife in toe, leaving the sisters to entertain themselves.
"Mother isn't going to accept him, Andromeda," Bellatrix said silkily, glancing over at her younger sibling. "And Father wont accept you accepting him. You are much better without him. There are plenty of wealthy purebloods left-"
Narcissa chortled into her drink, and Andromeda merely looked up while Bellatrix looked ready to skin a cat. "Furthermore, I believe that you are making what could very well be the biggest mistake of your life."
Andromeda regarded her older sister a moment. "Your words hurt my soul, Bella, dear," she replied placidly, throwing a forced smile toward her sister. "Besides, you make it sound as though I love hearing your opinion on everything.
"And here, Andy, I thought you loved me," Bellatrix sneered, looking over the table.
Andromeda smiled. "You're mistaken, Bella," she said quietly enough so that only Bellatrix could hear. "I don't love you."