Knock knock knock!
She thrust open the door, her eyebrows automatically flying upward as she saw who was standing on her threshold. "Hello," she said cautiously.
The Malfoy family stood before her, all looking rather wary and a bit uncertain themselves. Narcissa, standing slightly in the front, smiled hopefully at her sister. When the smile wasn't returned, she dropped it from her face and said timidly, "Good afternoon."
Andromeda leaned against her doorframe, her face decidedly nonchalant. "Can I help you?" she asked dryly.
"Actually," said Narcissa, throwing a fleeing glance behind her to her son and husband, "we were hoping to help you, Andy."
She blinked at her, poker-faced. "I'm listening."
"I know I've been a miserable person towards you for over twenty years now," Narcissa began.
"Yeah," Andromeda agreed baldly.
Draco shifted slightly on his feet at this comment, while Lucius looked torn between exasperation and amusement. Narcissa, however, just barged ahead avidly with, "That's why I – we – want to make it up to you. We'd like to help you, and we'll do whatever you need – we'll help look after your grandson – watch him while you're out – assist you in raising him – and just generally be there for you. As a family. What we should have done years ago."
Andromeda bit the inside of her lip.
"If you'll let us," Narcissa added in a beseeching whisper.
Andromeda looked into her sister's face carefully. It was clear she was sincere, but could Andromeda really forgive all those years of silence this easily? She glanced sideways to Draco, the nephew she had never had the chance to know, but he seemed determined to stare at a spot above her head. Her eyes roamed to Lucius, who was watching her indifferently, as aloof as ever.
She dropped her gaze back to Narcissa. Slowly, tentatively, she raised her arms in an open invitation. Looking as though she would dissolve into tears at any moment, Narcissa rushed towards her and embraced her tightly. Andromeda clutched her just as hard. She had missed her Cissy, no matter what she had tried to pretend.
After several pregnant minutes the sisters broke apart, and she hugged her nephew briefly, and then Lucius. Everything felt so odd, so surreal. Could this really be happening like this? Were they really all going to move on, just like this, after all these years?
But some bonds are unbreakable, she reasoned with herself as she led them inside. Some ties couldn't be forgotten that easily, no matter how they had been broken. Or maybe they had never been broken in the first place. Perhaps they had just been neglected, unused, placed on the shelf for a later date, and cherished even more when picked back up.