written for the hogwarts forum
Psychology Dark vs. Light, Task 2:
. . .
Andromeda meets him at night, when Bellatrix is being stupid, praising her Dark Lord, and Narcissa is whining about her Potions grade and the Slytherin dorms are too congested, so she makes her way to the common room instead.
There's a man standing by the fire. He's short. He's sort of pudgy.
Andromeda finds him cute. He stands there, simply, but she can tell he feels her presence.
Finally he speaks. He asks, "Who are you?"
"I think," Andromeda replies, "the more important question is: who are you?"
There is a long silence between them. It is not filled.
. . .
She finds him again. She doesn't quite care who he is (she is kidding herself) but she returns to the common room in the dead of night when her dorm-mates are sleeping and she sits on the silver couch. He is standing in front of the fire.
The flames flicker in his face, casting shadows of its structure across the room, but still she cannot see him. Andromeda doesn't know if she wants to.
"Hello again," he says pleasantly.
"Hello," Andromeda returns.
"Who are you?"
"Funny thing, I can ask of you the same."
. . .
She is in the common room every night. Five minutes precisely. Then Andromeda does not see a purpose in staying, so she leaves.
She sleeps. She dreams.
. . .
"I tire," he tells her one day, "of this game — so if you tell me who you are, I'll tell you who I am."
Andromeda returns, "You first," in what is an immature but necessary move, because what if she's been consorting with a Mudblood this entire time? It's not that it matters to her, but if Bellatrix or her mother found out, the consequences would be disastrous.
He laughs. "Nervous, are we? Well, then, I'll be a Gryffindor and be brave and go first — Ted Tonks."
He doesn't say, "Ted, Ted Tonks," or "Tonks, Ted Tonks," or really anything of the sort. He's simple, blunt. Andromeda likes that.
But, as she fears, he is Mudblood. Muggle-born.
"Andromeda," she says. "Andromeda Black."
She can't see his face, but she can feel him smirk. "Rebellious. Speaking to Mudblood filth? A Black? That, my dear, is rich."
"And you know rich?"
"No, but you do. And tell me, darling, is it not rich?" he asks.
She doesn't answer. He does not, either, and she can feel him smile.
Five minutes more she stays; then she is gone in a sweeping of night-robes as the fire sparks in its grate.
. . .
Andromeda returns the next day. He's there. She sits beside him.
"Of all the things," mutters Andromeda, "I, a pureblood, a Black at that, sit here. With you. A Muggle-born."
"You can call me Mudblood. I don't mind."
. . .
"Hello again, darling," he says conversationally when Andromeda is there the next day.
"Mudblood," she offers. It's a term of endearment, as well as a slur.
"Why do you return?" asks Ted.
"I don't know. I just do."
"I think I do," he says, and turns to face her. He's not bad-looking — shining green eyes and a thin mouth with sleek black hair.
"Why?" humors Andromeda.
"Because, darling, you like me. You love me."
"What?" she asks incredulously. "And why would you think that, Mudblood?"
"This is why." And he presses his lips to hers gently, softly, and simply.
Andromeda finds herself responding in eager. She doesn't know why.
"Why?" she asks him again.
"I think, darling, it's because you like the thrill. Loving a Mudblood? How thrilling for you!"
"I didn't say I love you," Andromeda defends. "I have — merely an — attraction for you."
He does not respond but Andromeda can feel a little bit of his hurt. Five minutes pass in silence, and then she leaves.
. . .
It continues after that.
Clandestine meetings, stolen kisses, slight giggles. No one tends to linger in the cold dungeon nights — no one but them.
And finally she works up the guts to say: "Ted — I think — I think I love you."
Ted smirks. "Oh, darling, 'Dromeda — I love you, too."
"...So what now?" asks Andromeda, confused. "How do we go on...knowing we can't —"
"Simple. Marry me." He is holding a velvet box in his hand with a ring in it, and Andromeda gapes.
"Oh — oh!"
"So, will you defy the laws of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black and marry me, Andromeda?"
"Yes — oh, Ted, yes!"
. . .
There is a ring on her finger and a kiss on her lips and sneers on the faces of the pureblood crowd, but Andromeda is happy, that one time, and for one last night.
. . .
The next day there is silence.
"I'm sorry — but not really."
"For — for what?"
He smiles. "Oh…" Ted sets her tea. She sips it. "No reason, really," he continues, but he is smiling widely, like a Cheshire Cat who has had too much to drink.
Andromeda finds herself feeling woozy, heart slowing, brain foggy. "Why — what's — Ted, what's going on?"
"Poison," he says simply. "And my shares of your fortune in the House of Black. You may be disowned, but you still have some of their money and clout — so much of it."
"Ted! You dare — you dare — you filthy, filthy little Mudblood!"
"Oh, darling, 'Dromeda," he croons. "I am very filthy, and very Mudblood, and now I'm filthy rich."
"What happened, Mudblood? To our vows? Our...our love?"
"Oh, that was real enough." Ted is smiling again. "As for the vows — the saying goes 'Until death do us part…' and, darling...that's just about to happen, isn't it?"
"Filthy…" Andromeda digresses. "Filthy...you little Mud —"
The word Mudblood dies out on her lips; he laughs. Then there is a silence, and there is no one to help fill it.