Birthday!fic for Wendy Brune, because she's an awesome lady. 8D Apologies in advance about the general awkwardness of it, this is not a fandom or a character I usually write for.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Andromeda meets Ted in potions class.
He's quiet, shy, and just a bit dorky, constantly pushing his glasses up as they slip down his narrow nose. He's not handsome, wealthy, not even particularly funny or desirable; but he's nice, and she finds all his little quirks endearing.
And best of all, he's not a pure-blood. He doesn't care about blood and lineages, about purity and those who are tainted. He sees the world without being blinded by silly prejudices, and that makes him the most beautiful person she's ever seen.
It's been taught to them since they were little girls, ingrained into their minds, and the minds of many other pure-blooded children: we are the superior ones. A mantra, lies, told again and again that those who are of mixed-blood, and especially muggle-born, are inferior in every way. Andromeda thinks it's disgusting, and she can't help but be appalled as she watches her sisters readily repeat the lines back to her parents. Can't help but be sickened every time she watches the smug looks on Narcissa's and Bellatrix's face as they and their gang insult and terrorize young mixed-blooded students.
She hates them for their prejudice.
She knows the risk she's taking by seeing Ted, by even associating with him. She knows what the consequences will be if anyone were to see them, if anyone were to know the truth. Her family, her friends, her status, everything she's ever known would be forfeited. She would be disowned, burned off the Black family tapestry just like so many others before her who dared to associate with those who were less pure.
Andromeda feels his kiss on her neck, his warm hands on her body. She sees the love in his eyes, the pure adoration and devotion when he looks at her, and somewhere, deep down, she finds that she doesn't really care about the consequences.
With him she is something more than an arranged marriage for prestige, something more than a pure-blooded bride. With Ted she's something flesh and blood and human – she's a person.
Cygnus speaks, and as she hears the words that come out of his mouth she can feel her world shattering like glass around her. She is to be married to Lucius Malfoy, a man she despises, in order to keep her family's bloodline pure.
She tries to object, but her father will have none of it. It has already been decided, he says, and there's no going back. She sees Narcissa staring at her with hatred in her eyes, her tiny white hands trembling at her sides.
I don't love him, Andromeda tries to say after, I don't want this marriage, but her sister won't listen. She loves Ted, but she doesn't dare say it out loud.
She doesn't want this.
She tells Ted about her engagement. She doesn't cry, she's done enough of that already, but instead tells him calmly and coolly. He is angry, understandably, and shocked, but not at her, and she lets him have his moment before they start to make a plan. He won't let her down, she knows. Even if they can't directly challenge the authority of her father, Andromeda has made her decision, and she will not let herself become the bride of Lucius Malfoy.
Andromeda and Ted marry after they graduate from Hogwarts.
She doesn't bother telling her parents and she doesn't go back home, choosing instead to elope with him. As soon as she says the words 'I do', she knows that she can never go back to her family. She is a blood-traitor now, a sinner in the eyes of her family and all of the other pure-blooded wizards.
She says I do, and kisses his lips. Blood-traitor or not, she would not take this moment back for anything.
The day Nymphadora is born in the happiest day of her life.
Andromeda hears about the murders from the newspaper. Solitary wizards, entirely families, murdered, all mixed-blood. Tensions are running high and more and more mixed-bloods and supporters are being made into targets. Women, children, men, anyone, and the Ministry seems to be doing nothing about it. She fears for the safety of her husband and daughter, and she knows that it will only get worse.
When the war breaks out, everything changes forever. She knows that her family will be targeted, and there are more than a few people that will sell-out her family's location to the Dark Lord and his disciples. She is a well-known blood-traitor, her husband is a muggle-born, and her daughter is only a half-blood. There is no room for them in the pure-blooded society that Voldemort is trying to create, and they will be executed within a heart beat.
They narrowly manage to escape from a group of Death Eaters as they try to go into hiding outside of the city. As they disappear into the night she recognizes a cruel and dark laughter chasing after her in the darkness.
Bellatrix had been the first to sell them out.
There is peace now, for a time, but she knows that it won't last. The Dark Lord is gone for now and his Death Eaters are laying low, but they are only biding their time until their Lord returns, that's what the Order tells her, and she can't help but agree. Something sinister is brewing, this isn't the last of the terror.
The return of the Dark Lord is no longer a whispered rumour in the streets, the murders have long since started again and the battle has already begun. But amidst the storm, there is a small glimmer of a silver lining. Nymphadora has married, and she's already heavy with child. It is only a matter of weeks now until she'll give birth.
Andromeda finds it amazing that even among such carnage, life can still begin.
The day she hears about her daughter's and her son-in-law's death is the worst.
The second war comes and ends, leaving blood and terror and death – (oh, so much death) – in its wake, and Andromeda has lost more than she could have ever imagined. Her husband, dead, killed by snatchers, and her daughter, killed by her own sister. That very same sister, the sister she had loved once upon a time, she was dead too.
The war has left them with a victory, the Dark Lord is dead, but it has also left them with so many casualties; so much emptiness and broken hearts. The blood of pure-bloods and mixed-bloods alike spilled and shed, gathering together to lick their wounds, too tired and broken to even care that they were enemies not so very long ago.
Andromeda wonders if it was even worth it.
She watches her grandson, her daughter's beautiful boy, smiling and laughing as he plays in the front yard. He is the only thing she has left of her family, and every day he looks more and more like his parents. He is so young yet, and she feels her heart clench when she realizes that when he gets older, he won't remember what his parents were like in life.
She won't let him forget, she is determined that he will remember his parents as the heroes they were; a brave man and woman who fought and gave their lives, like so many others, so that their son could grow up in a world free from hatred and prejudice, free from death and terror. She looks at him and decides that despite that high cost, their victory was worth it. She is grateful that her grandson can live and smile without fear.
Andromeda is a blood-traitor, and despite all the consequences and tragedies, she would not have it any other way.