Disclaimer: I own nothing! Merely another inspired by the incredible world of Ms. Rowling.
Dedicated to two of my best friends, who partially inspired this story as our inside joke is we are the Black Sisters. Myself being Bellatrix! Muahaha! Much Love, guys! Enjoy! Oh and Merry Christmas Brooke.. :)
There were never such devoted yet equally different siblings as the Sisters Black…
Bellatrix Black lay, sprawled out on the plush green rug of the Slytherin common room, her quill in hand, writing diligently her term paper on the effects of various magical ingredients when mixed together. An assignment for her least favorite subject - Potions. Exasperated, she crinkled up a piece of blemished parchment before tossing it into the large stone fireplace, watching it burn to ashes. She sighed, looking around the empty room, the dark green couches abandoned, the tables unoccupied, and she found she actually missed the obscenest noise of chattering students buzzing about the new gossip at Hogwarts. She knew why things were so different.
It was Christmastime and most all the students had gone home for the holidays. Bellatrix heaved a sigh, as she gathered her homework and stuffed it into her bag, bored of working. Her mother never wanted them home for Christmas, she was always busy entertaining someone of power from the Ministry of Magic and their father… he never had much say in the matter. His depressing demeanor was never something that was very conducive to the Christmas celebrating. So every year since her first, she stayed at Hogwarts, just to avoid another dismal Christmas.
Bellatrix stood, her robes flowing down to the floor, as she threw in her bag into an empty chair. She noticed that a few of the green bulb ornaments has rolled from their rightful place on the enormous Christmas tree and reached to fetch them. As she did, she was suddenly startled by the sound of footsteps approaching her. She clutched her chest as she turned to see her younger sister, Narcissa, smirking down at her. Her pale blonde hair flowed down her back and her icy blue eyes examined the scene before her.
"Very nice, Bella, dearest. Cleaning up after the house elves?" Narcissa joked as she plopped down on the emerald ottoman, her hair bouncing as she did so. Bellatrix rolled her dark eyes as she replaced the ornaments on the tree.
"Yes of course. It is my favorite pastime…to do other people's chores!" Bellatrix laughed as she stood once more. Narcissa smiled. Her sister's laugh seemed so innocent, so full of life. It never failed to bring a grin to anyone's face every time she did.
"I know better. You usually make me do yours. Including homework." Narcissa joked. "Your grammar is absolutely atrocious!"
"Yes, well…" Bellatrix had no reply as her sister giggled excessively. "You are right, but what are little sisters good for otherwise?"
"No idea!" Narcissa's gaze fell over her sister's schoolbag and she sighed.
"Bella, you are doing schoolwork on Christmas Eve? How depressing…"
"Well, I wanted to get a move on. To keep my mind off…" Bellatrix winced, her face contorted into a pitiful scowl as though she was trying not to cry.
"Oh Bella, try not to think of him!" Narcissa insisted. "You can do so much better than that Rodolphus Lestrange anyhow. He's doesn't know what he missed out on… he's dating some girl in sixth year anyhow. She is terribly ugly too."
"I know…I heard." Bellatrix mumbled, twirling one of her long raven curls around the tip of her forefinger absentmindedly before settling next to her sister. "It's all right. He always seems up to something anyhow. He hangs out with that group of seventh years, all wearing those hooded cloaks high over their faces, meeting in the Shrieking Shack after curfew. Doing Merlin knows what… it's nerve-wracking."
"I heard they actually tortured a bunch of Mudbloods down in Knockturn Alley last summer. Nearly got expelled but the Headmaster gave them another chance to redeem themselves." Narcissa hissed, shivering as she explained. Bella nodded.
"Sounds a little too close to Father's philosophy on blood traitors. I'm not saying he's wrong but honestly! Torturing innocent people seems a little extreme..."
"Bella, I think I am in love with Lucius…" Narcissa blurted. Bella glared down at her little sister with shock.
"Cissy, he's in that gang, or club, or whatever you call it. I mean, feelings are well, I guess, I mean…are you sure?"
"He's utterly wonderful. He's a little rough around the edges but…Mother fell in love with father, didn't she? I mean, there is someone for everyone."
"Mother married Father for the status of being a Black. Everyone knows we are the largest and wealthiest of all Pureblood wizarding families. You see how they treat each other. And us…" Bellatrix whispered. Narcissa laid her cool hand on her sister's arms.
"Mother doesn't mean it, Bella. She just says those things to scare us into obeying."
"Ha!" Bellatrix scoffed. "Threatening us, hitting us with her wand, locking us in our rooms night after night. The way she used to yell at us… It never goes away, Cissy. You were too little to remember most of it…the night Father almost killed the Muggle who was collecting door to door for donations…Andromeda watched him curse the man repeatedly before Father finally stopped. Andromeda rushed to help the man… it was the night Father told Andromeda she was no better than a Mudblood if she was willing to save a Muggle and abandon her families legacy, their status."
"And Mother?" Narcissa whispered.
"She said nothing, just let Father do whatever he liked. Andromeda never said anything about it to me. Ever since the night, Andromeda was sorted into Gryffindor…Mother and Father were never the same, worse than ever."
"But why?" The thirteen year pleaded. "Andromeda is their daughter…"
"They look down on those who don't have the purest blood running through their veins. Andromeda is a Black but her heart was always for those less fortunate, especially muggleborns. It's not the way our world works. And if you are a Slytherin descendent, you might as well be worshipped. That is why that Riddle boy Lucius says used to go here was so popular. He was always obsessed with the Dark Arts…had a group of followers…direct descendant of Slytherin…" Bellatrix shuddered.
"He's a half-blood. Did you know that?" Narcissa added. "Riddle had a Muggle father and a witch mother. It's why he hates them so…His father left his mother when she found out. Before he was born you see."
"It's a rumor…"
"It's Christmas, we should stop talking about this nonsense." Narcissa exclaimed. "Should we go see what Andromeda is doing? Maybe a trip to Hogsmeade is in order…"
"That sounds like a good idea." Bellatrix agreed. She loaded up her belongings and hurried to her room, before grabbing her winter cloak and rushed back to her sister.
"Let's go. I have no doubt knowing where she will be!" Narcissa smiled and the two of them bustled along the dungeon corridor and through the castle, laughing along the way, no one to criticize them for being too loud. They hurried along to the library to find their older sister, curled up in the window, reading as always.
"Annie!" They exclaimed, rushing into the library. Madam Pince glared at them. Narcissa shivered, for the librarian had to be the most ancient thing about this castle.
Andromeda Black winced at the sound of the nickname, despising each one they came up with for her - Dromie being the worst.
"What is it?" Andromeda shut her book and looked up to see her sisters, panting and out of breath.
"Let's go down to Hogsmeade! Go to Honeydukes, get some chocolates or something. I heard they are serving Peppermint Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. We should get out of the castle and have some fun!" Narcissa explained, her pale cheeks flushed scarlet from running. Bellatrix nodded enthusiastically. Andromeda shook her head.
"There is not a trip scheduled for today. I know that for a fact." Andromeda stood, tapping the golden badge on her robes. Head Girl.
"Come on! All you have to do is ask!" Bellatrix crossed her arms, annoyed. "We need to get out!"
"Don't be such a goodie two shoes, Andromeda!" Narcissa scowled.
"I am not a goodie two shoes!" Andromeda exclaimed. Bellatrix smirked.
"Than let's just go…if you're not scared of getting in trouble…" Bellatrix suggested slyly, visualizing the gears in her older sister's head spinning.
"Fine…let me get my cloak from the tower…" Andromeda straightened up and sauntered from the library, headed back to the Gryffindor Common Room. Bellatrix swelled with satisfaction.
"Meet ya in the Great Hall!" Bellatrix shouted. Madam Pince shushed them and they scurried out to wait for Andromeda.
A few minutes passed and Andromeda met up with them, ready for their secret outing, her cloak pulled over her head.
"Ready, rulebreaker?" Narcissa snorted. Andromeda looked around cautiously before heading for the heavy front doors. Just as she reached for the handle, it opened from the other side.
"Ah, Good Afternoon!" Professor Minerva McGonagall sang merrily. Holly fell from around the brim of her witch's hat as she stopped, littering the marble floor.
"Oh, forgive me…" She quickly flicked her wand towards the floor and it was instantly void of any foliage. She once again turned her attention to the three girls.
"Ms. Black, where are you and your sisters off to? It's a beautiful day…" She waited patiently for an answer while Andromeda struggled to find the words.
"Going to pay a visit to Hagrid. My sisters never go down to see him and since it is Christmas and all, I decided to surprise him." Andromeda lied. Bellatrix smacked her forehead. She couldn't believe what her sister had just done.
"Oh, I'm afraid Hagrid is down in the village today, young ladies…" Professor McGonagall replied. Narcissa's smile faded and Bellatrix felt her teeth clench together.
"Oh, then I suppose, we should just stay here then…Merry Christmas, Professor." Andromeda didn't dare look at her sisters. Professor McGonagall sighed as the three of them turned back to the marble staircase.
"Ms. Black…perhaps an exception. You three deserve a little outing. Being some of the only left at Hogwarts this year. Go down to Hogsmeade for the afternoon." She beamed as all three of them laughed with excitement.
"Thank you so much Professor!" Bellatrix and Narcissa cried, hurrying outside onto the snowy grounds. Andromeda looked up at her teacher.
"But why?" Andromeda questioned. McGonagall grinned.
"I remember staying here for Christmas, year after year. My parents always went on holiday to some exotic haven and I longed to be out in the village, not cooped up indoors…much like yourselves."
"Thank you…" Andromeda beamed as she rushed out after her sisters.
'"Can you believe we got away with that? Dromie, you could have gotten us in a lot of trouble. Lucky it's McGonagall's first year here. I think I'm going to end up liking her after all!" Narcissa squealed as the three of them rushed down the frosted hill to the gate.
"Don't call me Dromie!" Andromeda shouted.
"Oh, relax, Andromeda. We could call you so much worse… you should consider Dromie a blessing…" Bellatrix retorted, brushing her sister off, rushing through the bitter cold as the village came into view. Andromeda narrowed her eyes at her little sister.
"Same could go for you…Trixie!" Andromeda laughed heartily as she felt Bellatrix's fist connect with her upper arm, and despite the pain, she could not help but enjoy the look of utter disgust on Bellatrix's face.
"Don't ever call me that! It sounds like a name for a poodle!" Bellatrix cried.
"Of course, of course… remember you could always be at home with Mother!"
"Oh spare me! I'd rather be under the Cruciartus Curse for a fortnight; I would rather endure that torture. Cissy wanted to go home, right love?!"
"Oh be quiet!" Narcissa snapped, shoving her hands deep into her cloak pockets. Bellatrix laughed as she pulled her scarf tight around her neck. Narcissa noticed.
"Hey that's my necklace! Wonder why I did not notice it before?" Narcissa shrieked, indicating the massive brooch around her elder sister's neck. Bellatrix scoffed, instinctively reaching for it.
"It is not!" She replied back. Narcissa's eyes narrowed.
"It is too!"
"Enough you too!" Andromeda scolded. "You should both stop arguing because it is my necklace! And I want it back!"
"You just now noticed. Funny how the snow opens your eyes!" Bella shot back.
"Accio necklace!" Andromeda cried, pointing her wand at her sister's neck. All of a sudden the brooch flew forward towards Andromeda's hand, taking Bellatrix with it. She spluttered and choked as the necklace pulled at her neck. She clutched her throat defensively trying to speak.
"Oh, stop Annie! You are choking her!" Narcissa squealed. Andromeda dropped her wand and Bellatrix breathed with relief. Andromeda was speechless.
"I'm sorry Bella!" She finally said. Bellatrix nodded, a small smile creeping over her face as she still held her throat.
"It's ok…let's get to the village. I'm freezing." She replied.
"Right." Narcissa added as Andromeda smiled apologetically before leading the way.
"It is hers." Bellatrix chuckled into Narcissa's ear. They shared a look before catching up with Annie.
As they entered into Hogsmeade, heading along the cobblestone lane, all the shop fronts decked out with holiday displays, the sound of merry shoppers wishing their acquaintances a "Happy Christmas!" It caused the sisters to forget their squabble and enjoy the time together.
After several bought Peppermint Butterbeers, multiple boxes of Honeydukes chocolates, and a Candy Cane Wand each, they emerged back onto the street, arms laden with Christmas confections and a smile on each sister's face, despite the freezing weather.
"We should take a picture!" Andromeda announced as she fished through her cloak pockets to retrieve a small, ordinary Muggle camera, passing her sweets into Narcissa's already full arms.
"We look horrible!" Bellatrix shrieked. Andromeda smiled.
"You look beautiful, now hush up!" She replied as she set the camera on the ground in front of them. She returned to stand between her sisters, and momentarily, the camera floated in mid-air.
"Smile!" She screamed as they all grinned.
"I'm going to burn that when you are not looking!" Narcissa laughed, as Andromeda fetched her camera and the three headed back to Hogwarts.
"No, I know exactly what I am going to go with this…" She thought, pocketing the camera and following her sisters. So that they could spend the rest of the holiday together…the happiest memory they ever shared...They always said how close they would be no matter what…how childish dreams become hard realizations…
~ Fifteen Years Later ~
"Bellatrix Lestrange!" Andromeda Tonks bellowed, anger evident in her usually calm voice. The deserted Black Manor, in its dismal state, lacked beneficial acoustics but Andromeda knew her little sister would hear her. A surly young woman sauntered down the staircase, looking about her former home.
"Ah hello sister dearest!" Bellatrix shrilled, laying both hands on the rotting banister, smiling evilly. Andromeda covered her mouth in shock, horrified at what she saw.
Bellatrix, in her youth, had been quite an alluring girl. Her delicate frame and long curls had been the envy of many, occasionally even her sisters. Bellatrix, at school, had been deemed the prettiest Black sister…it seemed now her appearance was the least of Bellatrix's current concerns. The middle sister's skin was pale, her face tired despite the phony smile pasted there now. Her hair was wild, pulled back tightly, and the gown…a revealing, corset-style, black number…clung to her dangerously thin body. The hands clutching the banister were bony, her long fingernails jet-black. Her eyes were colorless.
Andromeda's heartache was overwhelming.
"Being a Death Eater has done this to you, has it not Bella?" she inquired mournfully.
"Oh, Annie! You fool!" Bellatrix cackled. "We don't all have to dress like housewives!" She indicated her elder sister's simple violet robes.
"Bella, wardrobe aside, I've got to talk to you! There is a warrant for your arrest…"
"My master will protect me…" Bellatrix shrugged.
"Bellatrix!" Andromeda pleaded. "Renounce him! Come back with me! I've tried to convince Narcissa and Lucius but they won't listen to reason." Bellatrix interrupted.
"Oh, Andromeda! Go back to your precious Order! With all the mudbloods, half-breeds, and…Muggles." Bellatrix spat.
"Don't bring my husband into this, Bellatrix!" Andromeda's fists clenched.
"Oh for heaven's sake, Annie, you really think I give a care about your husband?"
"You used to care….about Muggles. About everyone."
"Times are changing… Muggle Lover!"
"What are you, twelve?!"
"You are so naïve! You've heard the rumors of the prophecy." Andromeda's voice was strained. "Voldermort will ruin all of your potential…"
Bellatrix flew down the stairs in that instant, her wand drawn and she thrust towards Andromeda's throat.
"You are not worthy enough to speak his name!" Bellatrix spat. Just as she was about to cast, Narcissa Malfoy walked in, her hands resting on her very pregnant stomach. She pulled her cloak tighter around her as she strode into the drafty house.
"What in Merlin's name is going on here?!" She glanced between the feuding witches. "It's Christmas after all…"
Bellatrix reluctantly lowered her wand.
"Cissy, you should be resting…" Bellatrix insisted. Narcissa agreed, sitting down on the musty antique chair behind Andromeda. It was all too obvious she was uncomfortable.
"Narcissa, please tell me you have reconsidered." Andromeda knelt to her sister's side.
"I can't, Annie…I have my child to think about. Being in the Dark Lord's inner circle ensures our safety."
"Yeah, from like the likes of her…" Bellatrix added coolly.
"Bella, she's our sister!" Narcissa shot back.
"She's a traitor…" Bellatrix stood. "She shouldn't even be allowed to be here…"
"Bella, don't do this. Not on Christmas…" Narcissa hissed.
Bellatrix turned on her heel and as she reached for the front door, a young girl appeared in the doorway, her brown eyes sparkling with curiosity. She wound her finger around the end of one of her long plaits, her hair bright magenta.
"Another disgusting disgrace…" Bellatrix mumbled, pushed the child away.
"Bellatrix! Don't leave things like this!" Narcissa pleaded but her efforts were in vain. Bellatrix shot a last look over her shoulder before disappearing from the room.
"Nymphadora, I told you to wait outside." Andromeda spoke, standing up reluctantly.
"We have to go get to King's Cross, Mum." Nymphadora answered and she shushed herself at the sight of Narcissa. Andromeda helped her sister up and her brown eyes made contact with her sister's icy blue ones.
"Merry Christmas, Cissy. And congratulations…I really do wish you all the best." She hid her tears before ushering her daughter out onto the London street.
Narcissa sighed as she glanced about the abandoned house, her family's once beautiful home now a ruin after the Order's attack. Her eyes fell upon a smashed picture frame, laying in pieces on the dusty floor. With difficulty, she bent down to retrieve and her eyes instantly welled with hot tears. They poured down her smooth face as her fingertips caressed the photograph she pulled from its destroyed frame. The Hogsmeade picture. She stared through cloudy eyes down the smiling faces of herself and her sisters.
Andromeda had sent this to their mother years before, as a Christmas gift. It was one of the few times she had ever taken a family angle in her decorating. Narcissa turned the picture and examined the curly calligraphy in the upper left-hand corner.
Annie, Bella and Cissy. Hogsmeade.
Narcissa clutched the picture to her chest as she donned her cloak. She wiped the tears away from her face and disapperated without another thought. Christmas dinner would be waiting for her back home. Although they did not know, it was the last time all three Sisters Black were ever together….
(Thanks For Reading, please review! I'm an addict! :)