Author's ramble: a friend tweeted, wondered how on earth three different personalities of the Black sisters could live together, and said that fanfiction didn't help. So this came up to me. It's not really how they grew up together, more like an attempt to dig their characters deeper. I planned it to be short like 1000-ish, but turned out to be twice that. Apologize for rambling too much. Well, happy reading!

I am disclaiming the characters. They're owned by the cool Ms. Rowling. The words are mine though.

Of Flower and Star

The three sisters of the Black family sat together on a balcony the night before Narcissa's wedding day, just like what they did when Bellatrix was about to marry. Wearing their night gowns, they held each other hands while watching the night fall deeper into darkness. It was a pretty night after all, with star-filled sky and moon so round. They hadn't even needed to light their wands as the moon light seeped through the open window was enough for them.

They seemed to be deep in thoughts. No one had spoken a word. Finally, Bella broke the silence.

"You are very lucky to get Lucius, Cissy. The Malfoys are very noble. Father is very proud."

The second daughter only nodded. Her father was indeed very proud, but she felt rather forced into this. She was only 19, just a girl dreaming of finding her true love. When she was younger, she had always wanted to fall in love and get married in romantic way, not in an arranged marriage. But being raised as a Black woman, she realized that such thought was deemed irrational; all of pureblood marriages were arranged after all.

"And he is such a handsome, too. Your children will be pretty," said Bella, squeezing Cissy's right hand. Cissy's mouth twitched.

"The Lestranges are noble, too. Rodolphus is also quite…" Cissy stopped mid-way. Bella looked at her with a glint of anger in her eyes. Everyone knew that her husband was not very good looking.

"Charming," continued Cissy. She looked into her elder sister's eyes challengingly.

Bella opened her mouth, ready to give a curt reply, before Andromeda, the youngest of three, cut in.

"Oh, shut it! We were not comparing any of your husbands. You two are always competing."

Bella and Cissy stared at their youngest; neither of them could get a reply. It had always been like this: whenever they bickered or argued too much, Meda would always be there to interfere. Among them, Meda was always the calm one. Bella was too proud of being a Black, so she took everything their parents said like a bible, and everything else was rubbish. Cissy was very stubborn and egoist; there were times she disagree with her parents' way of doing things but she's afraid of letting their parents down (and the consequences with it) and it made her somewhat crazy inside. Meda was the only one capable of thinking openly and freely without speaking too much, therefore keeping herself sane and safe.

"So, anyway," said Bella to Meda, in attempt to release the tension, "have you met Matthieus Nott yet? I assume Father has told you about him?"

Meda shook her head. "No, I have not – and I do not intend to. You don't honestly believe I'll marry someone old enough to be my father, do you?"

She took her hands away from her sisters' grip, looking frustrated. It was their father's will to arrange marriage between her and the old Nott. She would never agree to that, Meda thought. She stood and walked to the window, not wanting to pursue the topic.

"Oh, he's a fine man, Meda. He's just a bit shaky," said Cissy.

"Shaky? He's almost thrice my age, Cissy!" laughed Meda. It wasn't funny, but she had to laugh to press her anger.

"But he's very noble, Meda. Plus, he's beyond rich. I'm sure Father wants only the best for you, and he is, Meda. Trust me," said Bella.

Meda looked at her sisters. She felt pity for them for worshipping their parents blindly. "No, Bella. Father only did that because he wants to stop me from going to college," said Meda matter-of-factly. She had planned to study more about Transfiguration after Hogwarts, but her father opposed.

She looked away, her eyes gleaming under the moon light. Her sisters glanced at each other, then got up and quickly stood next to her.

"Meda, it is not what I think it is, is it?" asked Bella. The youngest kept silence.

"You're not," started Cissy. She took a breath before continuing, "You're not still seeing that Tonks guy, are you?"

Meda's face stiffened. She didn't want to lie to her dear sisters, but she didn't want to hear any insult about her love life either. At the end, she just nodded.

Cissy covered her face with her hands, while Bella looked so surprised and almost immediately shouted, "How dare you thinking of breeding with mudblood and disgracing the noble blood of our family!"

Meda shook her head frustratingly. She took a few steps away from her sisters. She hissed back, "This is definitely why I didn't want you to know. You and your pureblood pride!"

She dropped the floor, clenching her fists so tight they became white.

Bella was ready to give a sharp tongue – she was very mad at Meda for even thinking about marrying mudblood – but Cissy gave her a warning look.

Cissy took Meda's hands in hers, and asked softly, "You do realize what will happen if you marry non-pureblood, don't you? You will be – "

"Disowned, yeah. I know that," said Meda with small voice. This was her greatest dilemma. She just met Ted Tonks a few times but she could feel some connection already. She definitely didn't want her relationship end only because he wasn't from wizard family. On the other hand, she loved her family too much – it's true that she loathed some of her family's principles, but it was still her family: the group of people who had been with her for her entire life. She could not just leave them, could she?

She didn't realize when tears started flowing from her eyes. She felt Cissy's cold hand moved and wiped away her cheek.

"Meda…" a soft voice called. This time it wasn't Cissy; it was Bella's sound. Meda looked at her rather surprised, because Bella had never talked with softness.

"Do you remember when we were little?" asked Bella. None of her sisters answered. She now had full attention from them, so she continued, "We were always together, playing and everything… Do you remember our little oath, which we promised to grow up together? Now that we have grown up together, I feel that it's just right – no, it is my dream – that we would grow old together, too, and maybe – if we had any – raised our children together. Don't you like that?"

Bella ended her speech with a smile – a genuine one. It was already so strange for her to speak like that, and now to add with a smile… it was such a surprised for Meda and Cissy, that they find themselves speechless. Meda thought about it for a while, and finally nodded.

"Well… it is not like Tonks and I are going to get married; we'd only met a few times anyway. Maybe I'll forget him. Maybe I'll find someone better than him…" said Meda, wanting to calm her sisters. After all, tomorrow was Cissy's big day.

"You will, Meda. I know you will," said Cissy soothingly, pulling the three of them on a group hug.

"But I'm still not meeting that old Nott!" declared Meda before returning to her room.

"Meet me at the fountain tonight. AB."

Narcissa Malfoy, nee Black, folded the parchment and put it on her desk. The thin handwriting belonged to her little sister, whom she hadn't met for quite some time after her marriage, due to her duty of being a Malfoy lady. The letter sounded very urgent and secretive. Why should Andromeda require her to meet at the fountain? She could've come to the Manor if she wanted to talk.

Narcissa was not one to go behind her husband's back, but she also noticed the desperation of her sister's letter. The letter had come early in the dawn when Lucius was soundly asleep, and the parchment was so small and light that no one will ever notice it. She decided, therefore, to sneak outside later on the night, when her husband was busy entertaining his guests.

There's this small fountain where she and her sisters used to come and play, and later, when they were not kids anymore, sit and think. Cissy had not been there for years. It was rather odd when she visited again. The fountain was broken, no more water flowing. The grass was thick. Being abandoned by whomever responsible for it, the fountain had become wild.

Cissy Apparated with a loud pop, shattering the heavy silence. She saw her sister quickly standing, approaching her eagerly.

"Cissy, you came!" whispered Meda.

"Yes. Were you waiting for someone else?" asked Cissy. In old times, she'd pulled Meda in a tight, warm hug. Not now. She had grown used to cold and aristocrat greeting ways of Malfoy family.

"Bella – but I've figured she wouldn't come; she must have heard!" answered Meda. She took Cissy's hands on hers and led her to sit on the perch of stone.

"What is it, Meda? You sound urgent," asked the older, her voice stiffened.

Meda looked hesitant for a second, "Oh, Cissy, is that how you'd speak to me? We haven't met for ages! I've missed you."

Cissy had a feeling that her sister was hiding something. She looked worried, but also radiant at the same time. It reminded her of their younger days when Meda had done something unlawful for a Black daughter. It was like that time when Meda went to a Muggle concert and their mother caught her sneaking back to her room.

"I don't have time for chit-chat, Meda. Lucius will find out," said Cissy.

"Is he really that strict?"

"He's just keeping the Malfoys' reputation."

Meda smiled wryly. They kept silence for a while.

"So, what is it? What's so urgent that you request a meeting here, when you could visit me at the Manor?" asked Cissy.

"Visit you at the Manor? And get thrown out by your noble, handsome husband?" laughed Meda.

"Why would you think he'd thrown you out? He'd never do that to my family!"

"Oh, he will to me, dear sister. You really haven't heard?"

Cissy looked rather confused.

"Oh, well. I'm glad you get to hear it firsthand, then. See this?" said Meda. She brought her left hand in front of their faces. A small, gold ring embedded on the fourth finger.

Cissy's eyes grew wide in surprise, "You... you're engaged?"

Meda smiled radiantly, eyes gleaming with joy, "Yes! I was just asked last night!"

"With... with who?" asked Cissy carefully. She half wanted to know the answer, half not. Surely she would have known if her sister was to marry, surely their parents would tell her. It would be an entire different story if it was someone that their parents would not approve, though.

Had their parents approved this?

Suddenly Cissy felt so dreadful.

Meda looked hesitant again. She fiddled with her fingers for a moment, before finally spoke with small voice, "with Ted. Ted Tonks."

Cissy almost instantly pulled her hands from Meda's. Although she wasn't very surprised, she had dreaded this for so long. There'd be no way for Meda to stay within family if she marries a Muggle-born.

Cissy knew not of what to reply.

"Oh, Cissy, can you at least be a bit happy for me? I'm marrying someone I love!" said Meda frustrated. Meda had hoped to share even the tiniest joy with Cissy, because even with her pureblood pride, Cissy could not deny true love.

"How can I be happy, when I know that we'll be split, that we won't be sisters again?!" shouted Cissy. She'd never shouted, it was always Bella whose voice rose. But this moment, Cissy just felt like screaming.

She breathed heavily. She had stood up and towered above her sister. Meda's face was covered with her long hair; she wasn't shaking, but her voice almost sounded like the smallest whimper.

"I love you, Meda," said Cissy, "I'm sorry I shouted at you. But you must know that I don't wish us to separate. Not like this."

She sat again, tilting Meda's chin up so that she'd face her. She did not cry, but Cissy knew she's hurt.

"I wish to fulfill our oath, dear sister. To grow old together with you and Bella and even raise our children together. Can't you feel it? When she's born, I'd like you to be godmother," Cissy brought Meda's palm to her stomach so that she'd feel the growing fetus inside her.

Meda looked rather surprised. Cissy took the opportunity to speak again, "Therefore, Meda, for the sake of our little vow, will you reconsider? Will you stay with me?"

Two pairs of eyes met; both on the verge of crying but neither had the courage to.

After another minute of silence, Meda finally spoke, or rather, whispered, "You know very well that I can't, Cissy."

Cissy looked disappointed.

"I love him, and he loves me too. What is so wrong with two people in love perpetuating their love in marriage?"

"I will not let our family's law rule my life; not when I do not believe in that law." she ended her speech firmly.

"But don't you love me? Don't I deserve to have a place in your life?" argued Cissy before Meda had the chance to look away.

"I do love you, and Bella, and our parents," answered Meda, "but you also know that we'll bound to separate anyway. Bella got married; soon you'll have your very own family too. It's just that I take a different road. I choose to be different, I choose my own happiness."

They locked eyes. Cissy looked to the deep black in her eyes, and she knew. She knew she wouldn't succeed in persuading her, she knew Meda had already decided. Even from way back, she knew she could not change her mind. She knew that Meda would find her own happiness.

It wouldn't be easy for both of them. Their family would disown Meda, and that meant Cissy had to cut all ties with her. She's going to miss her, but as she looked again, she realized that it wasn't really matter.

Because Andromeda was happy, truly happy.

And Cissy could not ask for more than that.

"Cissy –"

"Stop, before I change my mind," cut Cissy. She drew a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.

"Promise me one thing, then," said Cissy. Meda looked at her curiously.

"Be happy."

With that, Cissy kissed her sister's temple gently, and Disapparated.

As weird as it is, I'll be happy to see notifications on review. Cheers to anyone reading this!