A/N: Response to the "Traditions" challenge.


Stars That Clear Have Been Dead For Years

You see stars that clear have been dead for years

But the idea just lives on

- Bright Eyes, "We Are Nowhere And It's Now"


The morning Andromeda finds out she's pregnant, she walks down the street to the Muggle used book store, its age and its dust and its name taunting her with what it's not, and buys a star map.

Orion, Cygnus, Sirius, Regulus, Bellatrix, Andromeda.

She looks at the names she's left behind, printed – typed - in smudged ink, a hundred thousand copies, all of them identical. The words look nothing like they should, but they still sound the same.

Perseus, Scorpius, Carina, Lyra.

She whispers names to herself for hours before Ted comes home and she remembers. She does her best to force them from her mind, to think of what she's gained, not what she's given up.

Nine months later, she's half-frightened of seeing Bellatrix, or worse, herself, staring back at her, but her daughter's eyes, when they're not orange or red or purple, are Ted's exact shade of blue.

She names her baby Nymphadora, the N a secret tribute to another beautiful outlier.


The morning Bellatrix finds out she's pregnant, she doesn't think for a second of stars. The baby will be his, completely his, and he will name it. She thinks vaguely of Latin names of ancient languages, of secret powerful syllables, and, maybe, later, of titles.

He doesn't want it – accuses her of trying to, trying to – she doesn't know what, can't think it – I am immortal, I need no heir, I have taken steps – tells her to get rid of it or he will.

It has to be done in secret, and immediately. Rodolphus helps, but between the two of them they know nothing. There's blood, and pain, and when she wakes, an aching hole inside her, an absence where something never was.

She thinks of star names then.

She wishes she could talk to her sister.


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