Author's Notes: Written for PrincessShannon1498's FLUFF Competition and literarylesbian37's Femmeslash Challenges.
Andromeda/Lily, making mention of Andromeda/Rabastan.
Black family parties always left Andromeda bored, even when they were for her.
They were pretty, of course, which she appreciated, but Andromeda had seen so many pretty parties and balls and dinners and teas and evening garden parties like this that the shine had rather worn off. Besides, despite what she kept being told, this party wasn't really for her. It was for her parents, an event to show that they had finally roped their wayward daughter into a nice, respectable marriage. Nobody was paying much attention to Andromeda herself, which suited her just fine.
She edged, quite unnoticed, away from the heart of the party. Sirius glanced her way, but winked and refrained from calling attention to her exit. Finally, she managed to duck out of sight behind the rose-draped lattices that lined the courtyard in which the party had been taken place. She moved away from the other people, until only the faintest glow of lamplight illuminated her.
Andromeda let out a short shriek, and whirled around, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, her eyes settled on the young woman in white sitting in the shadows, and she sighed. "Lily, you very nearly gave me a heart attack!"
Lily Evans blushed. She was seated on one of the Blacks' garden benches, hidden in the shadows of a weeping willow, looking, in Andromeda's opinion, just like a painting.
"You're not supposed to be here, you know," Andromeda whispered, shaking her head at the girl and glancing over her shoulder.
"I wanted to see you," Lily said. "I've missed you. It's been months since I saw you last."
"How did you get here?"
"Sirius told us that you were having a party. I thought if no one but you knew I was here, there wouldn't be any harm done, so I came over…"
"If my family sees you…"
"They won't see me," Lily said with absolute certainty. "Besides, it wouldn't matter anyway. None of them will recognise me, so none of them will know I'm a," she dropped her voice to a whisper, "Mudblood. But they'd be too proper to ask me who I was, for fear I was someone important."
Andromeda sighed. "I suppose that's true. I wish you wouldn't take risks like this, though, Lily. We don't want my family catching you, do we?" She looked at the younger girl, sitting on the bench, looking so angelic that Andromeda couldn't bring herself to be annoyed. Andromeda sighed again, and sat down with her.
"What's the party for?" Lily asked, resting her head on Andromeda's shoulder and looking up at her.
How was Andromeda meant to answer that? How did she explain to Lily, sweet little Lily, her closest friend, no, far more than her closest frien, that she, Andromeda, was betrothed?
At last, she shook her head to indicate she didn't know what to say, and held out her hand for Lily too look at. A diamond ring glittered on her engagement finger.
Lily stared, and her face fell.
"You're getting married?"
"But… but you and I…"
"I'm sorry Lily."
"Oh," she said quietly. Then, "who is it?"
"Rabastan Lestrange," Andromeda said flatly.
"Because he's a nice, respectable Pureblood, his brother is going to marry Bellatrix, and he's quiet and bookish enough that our parents think we'll get along."
"Do you want to?" Lily asked quietly.
"No! Lily," Andromeda appealed, "you know I don't want to marry him. I have no choice! My parents would never let me marry you…"
"I know, but it's not fair."
"Darling, if you want fair, stay far away from the Blacks," said Andromeda, rather darkly.
"You're a Black, and I'd never want to stay away from you."
"You're sweet, Lily." Andromeda hugged her, kissing her hair. "Listen to me, love. I don't care about this ring on my finger. I won't care any more when Rabastan gives me a wedding ring. You know I love you, Lily."
Lily looked down at her hands, then turned to Andromeda and wrapped her arms around her neck, looking into her eyes. "You mean it?"
"You know I do."
"I love you too."
Andromeda kissed Lily, resting her hand on the back of her head to draw her closer. She had never kissed Rabastan. Only Lily, only ever Lily.
"The priests can say that I'm married to Rabastan," Andromeda told Lily, "and my parents can believe that, but if you love me, and I love you, then we're married in the eyes of God."