DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: This fic was written for FictionAlley's July challenge. The prompt was: Andromeda Black went to a Muggle movie with Fabian Prewett.
"It's so groovy, Fabe!" Andromeda ran her hand over the powder-blue spoiler. "Where in the world did you get it?"
"Friend of a friend." The handsome boy grinned, leaning against the car door. "Hop in now," he said, jerking his head toward the passenger door. "We don't want to be late."
Andromeda quickly nipped into the car, careful not to scuff her sandals. She'd just bought them that week; in fact, her entire outfit was new and all Muggle. She felt half-naked, without the voluminous layers of her traditional robes. She'd left the house with everything hidden underneath a proper witch's robe, she and Fabian Flooing from her parents' parlour to a restaurant near Diagon Alley. Then, though, they had promptly ducked out, and, once in the Leaky Cauldron, had whipped off their robes before heading out into Muggle London.
Her parents would probably have flogged her had they known what she was up to. That she was going out with Fabian was one thing; although the Prewetts were Gryffindors through and through, they were a good old pureblood family, so that was condoned, if begrudgingly. But knowingly conspiring to consort with Muggles … well, that was just about as good a reason to be disowned as there was.
The car's engine started up with a roar, and Andromeda breathed in deeply, relishing the novel smells of Naugahyde, rubber, and petrol. It was an odd feeling, navigating slowly through traffic, having to wait at intersections along with all the other cars and lorries. It was also soothing, though; magical transport was always so sudden and wrenching.
She watched Fabian change gears with a thrill. She envied the ease with which he moved in the Muggle world. She hadn't known him well when he had been at Hogwarts, but she had noticed his open interest in Muggles and Muggleborns. He had organised football matches, smuggled in pizzas, and pulled out a guitar during parties that was enchanted to play popular Muggle tunes.
She knew that wizards were superior to Muggles; still, she couldn't help but be fascinated by their quaint and oft-times ingenious ways. They were like children, really: They didn't always know how to take care of themselves and could be cruel at times, but they were well-meaning and fun-loving at heart.
She'd seen Fabian in Diagon Alley last week whilst shopping, and on the spur of the moment, had convinced him to invite her out for an all-Muggle evening. She knew how to get men to do what she wanted, even good-looking and self-confident ones like Fabian. She wasn't interested in him, of course. Just in what he could provide her with: an evening of forbidden fun.
Before she knew it, they were at the cinema. Andromeda was slightly put off by the unmoving posters plastering the walls. They reminded her of the portrait of her great-great-uncle Tertiatus that hung in the back stairwell: He would sit stock-still, pretending to be asleep, and then suddenly jump up, shouting, "Avada Kedavra!" when someone passed. Her sister Bellatrix would fall into hysterical laughter; Andromeda hated it.
They didn't have to queue for long, but Andromeda enjoyed every minute of it, as she was able to watch the Muggles around her. They didn't look much different than witches and wizards, she decided, other than their costumes. Their heads were, for the most part, bare; some of the older ones wore funny, lumpy hats. The men didn't hide their legs underneath robes, but displayed them openly in tight-fitting trousers. Many of the women, too, wore trousers. Those that didn't, wore short skirts; some very short, indeed! Andromeda thought they seemed very free.
"Fabe! What are you doing here?" Suddenly, Fabian was being clapped on the shoulder by a tall boy with acne. He had on a tie-dyed t-shirt. A girl wearing a long peasant skirt hovered just behind him. Andromeda's heart began to beat faster. Here was one of Fabian's Muggle friends!
"Ted!" Fabian punched the other boy in the arm. "Just taking in the show, man. You know Andromeda?"
Ted turned to her. "I'm not sure … You look familiar, but I can't…" He asked Fabian, quietly, "Is she…?"
"Slytherin. Seventh year."
"Ah, right." Ted grinned, a big, lop-sided smile. "Pleasure! Ted Tonks. I was in Gryffindor," he explained. "Same year as Fabe." He grabbed her manicured hand and pumped it up and down. Andromeda murmured something stiffly polite in return. Not Muggles after all. Just more wizards. And run-of-the-mill ones, at that. She didn't believe she'd ever heard of the Tonkses.
"Oh, and… this is Emmeline," Ted said, pulling the other girl forward. "She was in Ravenclaw. Took her NEWTs last month."
"Hi," Emmeline said, softly, with a curt nod that sent her hair falling across her face. Andromeda shook her hand perfunctorily as well, then returned to watching the Muggles. Ted chatted amiably with Fabian for a few minutes, trying to include Andromeda in the conversation, but she remained aloof; they obviously didn't have anything she wanted.
All too soon, they were moving in to the theatre. Fabian bought her some candy, but she didn't think much of it. Tasted just like regular chocolate.
The film was also something of a disappointment, perhaps because she didn't understand much of it. There was a great deal of fighting, but only with fists and swords. It seemed ridiculous that they didn't have wands. Again, like a bunch of children.
At some point, she felt Fabian stir beside her. He leaned across Ted to have an urgent, whispered conversation with Emmeline. Then he turned to Andromeda and said: "I'm sorry, truly, but something very important's come up. Emmeline and I'll have to duck out for a bit. Nothing to worry about, just a bit of business. If we're not back by the end of the show, Ted here'll take you home. Give me a rain cheque, yeah?" He squeezed her arm and was gone, Emmeline trailing behind him.
Andromeda was furious. How dare he leave, in the middle of their date, with another girl! Never mind that she hadn't really planned to see him again. The nerve! Ted slid over to the seat beside her. She glared at him in the darkness.
"Bad luck that, right in the middle of the show," he whispered. "I wouldn't worry, though." He patted her arm.
"I'm not worried," Andromeda hissed and snatched her arm back. She had a good mind to leave right now, too. Only she had absolutely no idea where they were, or where the nearest Floo was. She'd certainly be giving Fabian a piece of her mind when he got back. Abandoning her to this … unworthy Gryffindor like that!
"Right on," Ted said, not having caught on to her hostility. "Fabe can take care of himself."
"I'm sure he'll call tomorrow," Ted said. They were driving through the cool evening in Fabian's car: He had left the keys with Ted. "Or Floo, rather. You don't have a telephone, have you?"
"Of course, we haven't!" Andromeda snapped. "Have you?"
"Yes. My family's Muggle," Ted explained.
Andromeda was momentarily caught off guard. Of course, she should have figured. Why else would he have been at the movie theatre? "Oh. I didn't know," she said stiffly.
"That's all right," Ted said good-naturedly. "I wouldn't expect you to." He smiled, and Andromeda had to look away. The way he acted, so natural, as if she weren't of higher birth than he. It was most disconcerting.
"Well, here we are." Ted pulled the car to a stop in front of the Leaky Cauldron, then escorted her to the Floo inside and paid for a handful of Floo powder for her. "It was nice to meet you, Andromeda," he said. "Maybe I'll see you around with Fabe sometime."
Andromeda gave him a tight smile, stepped into the fire, and threw the powder into the flames.
"Andromeda?" Mrs Black called up the stairs. "There's someone in the Floo for you. Says his name's Tonks. We don't know any Tonkses, do we?"
Andromeda brushed past her mother, her face burning with embarrassment. That commoner Ted Tonks, taking such liberties as to Floo her at home!
When she saw his head in the flames, though, she was so startled by his manner that she remained silent. "Andromeda …" Ted looked stricken, his voice unsteady. He talked quickly, as if he hadn't really thought through what he wanted to say. "Andromeda, I wasn't sure if you'd heard yet … Emmeline called me late last night … They thought he might make it, but— It's awful … Fabe and his brother were both … They were killed last night … Andromeda?" Ted's anxious face danced in the flames.
Andromeda felt hot and cold all over. The crackling of the fire was deafening. "Thank you," she said, in a tight voice, much higher than normal, then closed the connection.
"What did he want?" Mrs Black asked sharply.
"Nothing that would interest you, Mother."