Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
The Sisters Black
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
Draco knew he wasn't supposed to be in the east wing of the manor. He knew it, but for once in his life he really didn't care. He was nine years old now – why did he still have to have a nursery with a house elf to watch over him? He was bored of his nursery and his toys and his house elf, so he had fed the house elf some sleeping potion and crept off on his own in order to find something to do that was actually interesting.
He noticed that one of the doors was practically hanging off its hinges and, realising that the room it led to hadn't been used in an extremely long time, decided to go and see what was in there. Much to Draco's disappointment, all that was in there was a four-poster bed, which was falling to pieces, and a large amount of dust. There was nothing that interested him at all.
It was then that he caught sight of a small, black box poking out from under the bed. He couldn't resist taking a look and finding out what was in there. It obviously wouldn't be anything dangerous (his father would have found it and removed it to a safer place if it had been), so what was the harm in looking?
He opened the box to find a stack of old photographs, and at first he was rather annoyed. Why bother looking at a load of pictures of people you didn't even know. But then he caught sight of a beautiful, blonde girl and realised that he was looking at photographs of his mother in her youth.
Draco began looking through the photos and noticed that two girls, both slightly older than his mother, appeared in a lot of the photographs as well. They must have been old friends of his mother's or something, he mused: he certainly hand't seen either of them before.
There were photographs of people he did recognise, too. There was a photograph of his mother with his father, who had a head boy badge pinned to the front of his robes. There was a photograph of his father and some of his father's friends that came to the manor sometimes, the ones that Draco would only see for a few moments before his father evicted him from whatever room they were in so that they could talk in private.
The photograph that Draco was looking at now was probably his favourite so far. It was a photograph of his mother with the two dark girls, all three of whom were wearing Slytherin robes. The looked proud and cold, just like all purebloods were meant to be. They were everything he aimed to be when he finally went to Hogwarts.
"Draco Malfoy, what are you doing in this room?"
The sound of his mother's voice made Draco start and turn around, the photograph still clutched in his hands. Narcissa looked furious; she always did when she thought that her son, the only heir to the Malfoy line, might possibly have done something to harm himself. Draco flinched in anticipation of the lecture he knew he was about to get, but then his mother's expression changed from angry to surprised when she caught sight of the photograph that he was holding.
"Where did you find that?" she asked quietly.
"In here," Draco mumbled. "There's a whole box of them – look." He moved aside and pointed to it.
He waited for the lecture to start but it never did. Instead his mother knelt down on the floor beside him and started looking through the photos herself, a far-away expression in her eyes.
"Who are the girls in this picture with you, mother?" Draco asked, showing her the photograph that he still had clutched in his grasp.
"These are my sisters, Bellatrix and Andromeda," she said, pointing to the two other girls in the photograph.
Draco was surprised; he had never been told that he had any aunts. He never would have guessed that they were his aunts if his mother hadn't just said that they were, for while his mother had skin like ivory, hair like gold and eyes like ice, the other two had hair and eyes as black as jet. They looked strikingly alike, though Bellatrix looked to be a few years older than Andromeda, who was a few years older again than his mother. The major difference between the two was that Bellatrix's eyes gleamed with an emotion Draco could not quite place, whereas Andromeda's eyes seemed to hold nothing at all. They were beautiful, they were proud and they were purebloods – everything he had expected his mother's family to be.
But then a question struck him. Why was it that these aunts of his had never come to meet him? It obviously wasn't because they were ashamed of his father: for his father was the best match his mother could have hoped for, if not better. His father was every bit as beautiful and proud and pureblooded as his mother. So why?
"Where are Aunt Bellatrix and Aunt Andromeda now, mother?" Draco asked.
His mother's expression darkened in a way that he had never seen before, and Draco had almost given up hope of ever getting an answer when she finally spoke.
"Bellatrix is in Azkaban. She served the Dark Lord during the war."
Draco gasped; he knew that the Dark Lord's ideas were right, of course, but he had never imagined that any member of his family would have actually served him. What an honour it must have been, serving so powerful a wizard!
Narcissa spotted the look in Draco's eyes and shook her head. "She was a talented women, yes, but not a great one. Bellatrix was mad, Draco. She was mad even before she went to Azkaban."
Draco didn't know how to react to that, other than to ask, "Is Aunt Andromeda in Azkaban as well?"
His mother laughed, but it didn't seem as though she had found his question particularly amusing. Then she looked at him again and paused as though she wasn't entirely sure how to respond.
"No," she said at last. "She killed herself when she was seventeen."
Draco certainly hadn't been expecting that. She had killed herself? But they were purebloods. They were Blacks and they were proud and they were noble and they were purebloods: how could she possibly have killed herself, coming from so wonderful a life as that?
"So she was mad as well?"
"Yes, Draco. She was," Narcissa sighed. She waved her wand at the box of photographs, which levitated into the air in front of her. "I think it's time we find a better home for these: it's not fitting for photographs like these to have been relegated to a disused wing of the manor, is it?"
"No, mother," Draco replied, amazed at how his rather Gryffindorish had not ended in his getting into vast amounts of trouble.
Narcissa walked out of the room, levitating the box of photos ahead of her, and Draco followed as well. He was glad he had come into this old room; he had learnt something about his family that he was quite certain his mother would never have told him otherwise.
As he followed her down the corridor, Draco was struck by an alarming thought. Bellatrix had been mad and Andromeda had been mad – so how long would it be before his mother went mad, too?