They say it's genetic, They say he can't help it,
They say you can catch it but sometimes you're born with it
It is traditional, it is inherited, predispositional
All day I've been wondering what is inside of me
Who can I blame for it?
I say it runs in the family!
Her fingers grabbed at her stomach and prodded the surface carefully. What if something was in there? What if there was this little, tiny -no.
Nothing was in there. If something was in there then she wouldn't know what she'd do. If something was in there, that would mean she was a -no.
There was nothing in there. She was dead inside. There was no life inside.
Never the less, that didn't stop her from ending up wide awake and anxiously awaiting for Sirius, who was dead to the world beside her, to wake up as well. He'd had another nightmare that night, each one growing more horrific than the last the longer he was kept shut away in this house. She had read to him some story book he had when he was a kid and waited until he calmed. She was helpless to do more than that.
Maybe Sirius would know what to do. Maybe he could calm her this time around, calm her from her own painstakingly real nightmare. Maybe Remus was the more sensible of the two and maybe she should go to him, but he'd be reasonable and actually consider the fact that there was something there and she wouldn't. Tonks was away at work and Andromeda, well Aero didn't want to bother her while she was cleaning or something, her aunt tended to get shrill if interrupted. And Molly was definitely no an option, not when this was possibly her -no.
Sirius was a little unstable, and it was hard to find him at a sober time no and he was a little irritable depending on the hour, but he was all she had left, really. Andromeda had her own family, a husband and a daughter and they were relatively normal and happy. Narcissa was out of her life now, the only parental figure she'd had growing up, and she even had her own version of a family. Everyone else was dead. Sirius was the odd one out in the family, and perhaps that's why she was still there, waiting for him.
"What're you doin' up?" Sirius' muffled voice came.
She shifted low on the pillows and took a steadying breath.
He lifted his head and peered at her with drowsy grey eyes not unlike her own.
"Well, this sounds serious."
She met his eyes with a mournful one of her own.
"What's wrong? Did Fred do something again? I swear, I can only contain myself from killing him so many times-"
"It's not Fred. Well, technically, I suppose it is indeed Fred's, so it involves him slightly, but he really didn't do anything wrong..."
"If you're done rambling, maybe you can tell me why you're gloomier than a hurricane this morning?"
Aero glanced uneasily at the ceiling and tapped her fingertips in a shifty beat on her stomach.
"Did you ever consider having children?" she asked.
Sirius blinked once in surprise before leaning onto his elbows and staring hard at his pillow.
"Once upon a time, yes."
"Why didn't you?"
"It just never happened. There was a moment when I thought maybe, but I was wrong. It's better off, looking back at it. I mean, look at me now."
"What would you have done, if you found out you were a father?"
Sirius squinted at her and pursed his lips.
"I have a feeling I'm entirely too sober for this conversation."
Aero huffed and looked down at him.
"I would have taken care of the kid, obviously. Where is this going? Did some mystery child show up on the doorstep in a basket?"
"No." Aero moaned, running a hand through her hair.
"Then what's with the interrogation? What's going on?"
"You would have a kid...raise a kid, even with these genetics, this family tree, being raised as we were..."
"I would hope like all hell the runt turned out like their mother."
"But what if it didn't? What if it turned out to be another Black? I mean, Blacks aren't known for excellent child rearing, Sirius. We tend to mess up in every possible way."
"True. It's better that I never had kids. My parents never should have had kids. In all truth, they should snip us all at child birth."
It was silent for a moment and Aero begged herself the dig up the courage to say it. It was like it got stuck in her throat half way up. Her fingers tapped an unsteady beat and then his hand was on both of hers and he looked her dead in the eye, the most serious she had ever seen him. She eyed him wearily, almost fearfully and Sirius never wavered and repeated himself;
"I hope to all hell the runt turns out like its mother."
"Someone's dressed up."
Tonks stopped in the doorway and rolled her eyes. She shifted one hand to her hip and Aero appraised her cousin's choice of outfit. It was a little more revealing than usual, though still totally quirky and would never make it into a magazine. Tonks slid onto the counter and hooked her legs over themselves and started playing with a tear in her black lace tights.
"Whatcha' doin'?" Tonks wondered.
Aero gave her a look and continued folding the little pink dress in front of her.
"Laundry. Something you've never done in your life."
"Why waste my time when my Mum is perfectly happy to help out?"
"Because you're older and yet I'm more adult than you."
"You're folding little girl clothes. I think you sort of have to be."
"I could make you do it."
"You probably could, but you won't, so there's no point in this discussion."
"Well, gee, Tonks, if you didn't come all this way to talk about my laundry techniques, what did you come over for?"
Tonks rolled her shoulders a bit and shrugged, looking around the room and popping a gum bubble.
"Spit it out."
"Like actually spit on you or-"
"I'm three wasted seconds away from killing you right here."
"Alright, alright, Merlin's balls you're in a right mood. I came over here to ask your oh-so-wise help."
Aero put down a pair of little yellow duck socks and leaned back against the counter top, raising an eyebrow.
"This sounds like something I won't want to get involved in, actually."
"What do you want?"
"I want you to..." Tonks paused and looked around the room.
"I want you to teach me how to make the Wolfsbane Potion."
Aero opened her mouth but found she hadn't expected it and had no reply.
"What?" she asked.
"The Full Moon Potion, you know...for Remus?"
"Why would you want to learn how to do that?"
"Well, you know how to do it, don't you?"
"Barely. Snape mostly does it."
"But Remus prefers someone he trusts to do it. So...teach me."
"I still haven't heard why."
"Because well...well you're so busy now, with training and Order work and Selena and all so I figured I'd help out."
Aero looked skeptical.
Tonks pouted and wrung her hands together.
Aero sighed and turned back to her clothes.
Tonks pumped her fists in the air.
"But only if you come to St. Mungo's with me later -and promise not to tell anyone."
"Sit down and eat."
"You did not just throw your spoon."
"I don't wanna eat!"
"That's funny, I don't recall asking you."
"Selena Lathum, you do not throw things! Sit down on your bum and eat you dinner!"
"No! Don't wanna! Ick! No!"
Aero slid her head onto her hand and massaged her temple, glaring at the angry and red toddler in front of her.
She didn't have time for this. She had to go to that meeting, the one from the note. And Selena was being pissy.
"Eat your food."
"No and you can't make me!"
Aero took a deep breath and stood from her chair. She walked around the table, grabbed Selena by the arm and walked them both up the stairs, Selena screaming her head off and stomping her feet and shouting at her until they got to the blonde's room and Aero put her down on her bed. She glanced around the room and waved her wand, watching the toys in the room levitate and move out into the hallway. Selena shrieked and scratched her arm in retaliation and Aero ripped it away from her.
"You're being a bad girl, Lena. Now sit in here and cry until you're blue in the face for all I care, but you do not get to throw tantrums whenever you want with punishments. Now you're staying in your room all night, no toys, not dinner." Aero gave her a slightly irritated kiss goodnight on the forehead and left the room, locking it shut behind her and storming down the stairs, her stomach twisting as she listened to Selena wail alone in her room.
She past a solemn looking Remus on the stairs and brushed past a muttering Kreacher on her way out the door.
She couldn't help but think, if there was a something in there, could she handle another tantrum-throwing tot around the house when she could barely handle her own goddaughter?
It was dark and the pavement was wet and her paws felt the dampness cling to her fur. If it was any other neighborhood, someone might notice a lone wolf skulking around in the alleys, but this was Nocturn Alley and people probably just thought she was someone's dark pet.
Whoever sent her the message was mental if they thought she would show up looking like herself. With her other method of changing currently facing unforeseen difficulties, probably from stress, she figured her less emotional counter-part was decent enough for this outing. So she found herself walking through puddles and weaving in and out of alleys and thinking about who she was going to meet.
They hadn't left a name and she didn't recognize the hand-writing and left no clue to who they were. It was sketchy and Remus and Mad-eye would yell at her later if they found out that she was there, but she felt a need to know.
She peered out of the alley across from the meeting place and waiting, looking to see someone familiar. It had to be someone she knew.
For fifteen minutes she waiting anxiously and then it happened and her breath whooshed out of her like she was punched in the gut. The man was dressed in a long black trench coat, his skin was pale, like he hadn't seen sun in years, and his hair was long and matted and rust colored. His eyes were sharp and piercing, even in the night, and he was reclined in his chair as he drank a pint.
If that wasn't alarming enough, the figure that stopped by his table was one thing she hadn't seen coming. The newcomer shrugged off his jacket, a little angrily, and plopped himself down onto a chair and seemed to scowl at the man who just gave a low sort of laugh. Aero felt herself creep closer, wanting to hear the words exchanged. But her mind was panicking and her heart was racing.
It was one thing that he wrote her a letter...but why was her father meeting with Thantos Stict?