A/N: Once again I've decided to enter a challenge. For the Month of January, the Live Journal community, Romancing the Wizard, is hosting a challenge. This one is about various wizards in the Black family. Since one-shots tend to 'vanish' on this site, much like boat and airplanes in the Bermuda Triangle, I've decided to store all of my challenge fics in one file. Hopefully this will give more people the chance to read and enjoy them. coughreviewcough Anyway... here we go!

My Strength I Share with Thee
Main wizard: Cygnus Black (1929-1979)
Other Characters: Druella (Rosier) Black
Rating: G/PG
Word Count: 500
Summary: Even an arranged marriage can provide a source of comfort and strength.

The Black Family tapestry was a record of joys and sorrows, and Cygnus Black had had his fair share of both over the years. He remembered the times the changes had affected his life

"Congratulations, may you find much happiness over the years," yet another well-wisher mumbled, shaking Cygnus's hand.

Happiness in an arranged marriage? Cygnus turned to stare at the thin golden thread that joined his name to Druella Rosier's. His gaze met that of the near-stranger he had recently wed; she was equally uncomfortable.

Later that night in the privacy of their bedroom, she confided in him. "I want to love you... to truly be your wife. Please, help me do that, Cygnus. I desire to please you."

Love was for the weak; he was not weak. Yet Druella's eyes, in fact her very being, spoke of a longing that she wished to have satisfied and to satisfy in return. He kissed her with a gentleness and passion that he never thought he could possess. Ignoring the crude advice of his friends, he exercised care when he claimed her.

He had chosen to love her then, and as time passed, he was thankful that he had. Regardless of the unhappy circumstances that had bound their lives together, the two had become a source of comfort and strength for each other. Sometimes he was the stronger, and sometimes she was the stronger. They had overcome their sense of duty and had learned to care for one another deeply and passionately. They were rewarded with joy as, one by one, three daughters came into their lives and were added to the tapestry. Two years earlier, their eldest daughter, Bellatrix, had been married to Rodolphus Lestrange. Later this year, their middle daughter, Andromeda, was to wed young Lucuis Malfoy, a union that would join together the two purest and most powerful families in the wizarding world.

Now, instead of gazing with pride at a thin gold thread binding his daughter to Lucius, Cygnus stared at the ugly burn mark on the tapestry that only a moment before had been Andromeda's name. The spot would forever stand as a testament of their failure to raise the girl properly. He held his sobbing wife as she cried over and over, "How could she do this to us? How could she?"

After all they had been through, he knew he had strength enough to sustain them both through this latest trial. Setting aside his anger and disgust at Andromeda and the dishonor she had brought upon them, he said more firmly than he thought was possible, "Forget that blood-traitor tramp and focus on Narcissa."

"They could have managed some happiness," Druella whispered, weeping on his shoulder. "We did."

Cygnus reminded himself that he had chosen to find that happiness-- something he sensed that young Malfoy would not have the inclination to do.

"Perhaps," he replied as he kissed her brow, finishing to himself. But not everyone can be as fortunate as we have been.