Author's Notes: Written for Ember Nickle's "Say Uncle" Competition.
Warning: Potentially inflammatory content (read: Nazi-related metaphors)
Druella and Cygnus disapproved of Uncle Alphard.
He was foolish, they said, wild and childish, and he would get his nieces into trouble if he was allowed to be an influence on them. But he was still a Black – he had not yet been blasted off the family tree, though Cygnus always said it was only a matter of time – and his nieces could not be kept away from them.
Though little Narcissa followed her parents instructions and stayed away from him, Bellatrix and Andromeda were fascinated by Uncle Alphard. When he came to visit, they crowded around him, begging for stories, and he was always happy to oblige them.
"Did I ever tell you the story about…" he would begin, sitting down on one of the Black's couches and putting his muddy boots up on one of the fine footstools, and then proceed to gift the sisters with a tale that, not only had he never told them about, but they would never have even begun to imagine on their own.
Some of these stories were so strange that the girls dismissed them immediately as ridiculous fantasy, such as the tale – which Uncle Alphard insisted was completely true – that while muggles didn't have wands, they did have metal things called "guns" that shot out metal pellets, and that these pellets were so dangerous that they killed thousands of muggles every year. Other stories, Uncle Alphard told them, were ones that muggles told their children. He shared with them a story about a woman with a strange name who was kept as a servant by her family until her so-called "fairy godmother" rescued her.
These stories captivated the girls. Bellatrix was drawn into Uncle Alphard's descriptions of wars and feuds that he swore were real muggle history. Andromeda harboured a fondness for fantasy stories of heroes and villains, "damsels in distress" and "knights in shining armour" (though she was never completely sure what either of those phrases meant). A visit from Uncle Alphard was the greatest treat either of the girls could be given.
Then everything changed.
Uncle Alphard came to Black Manor with a grim expression on his face, insisting upon seeing his nieces. Bellatrix immediately asked if someone had died, while Andromeda looked on in horror.
No, Uncle Alphard said. No one had died. It wasn't anything like that.
He explained to his nieces that he had to leave. That he wasn't going to be able to see them anymore. When he was asked why, he thought for a long time, then finally sat down and patted the couch beside him.
"Did I ever tell you the story," he began, "about how the Second World War began?"
Andromeda and Bellatrix shook their heads. They had heard of the Second World War, but they knew next to nothing about it, except that it was fought by muggles and many of them died. Some wizards too, but wizards were good at protecting themselves from muggle armies.
"Well, what happened," said Uncle Alphard, "was that there was a man… who was a Pureblood. Well, he was the muggle version of Pureblood, which he called 'Aryan'. And he decided that only Purebloods – Aryans – should be allowed to live anymore, and that anyone who wasn't Pureblood would have to die."
"That's not fair," Andromeda said, just as Bellatrix asked, "What's wrong with that?"
"Let me finish," Uncle Alphard said. "He talked to a lot of other Purebloods, and they all agreed that people who weren't Pureblood had to die. So this man – whose name was Adolf Hitler – became a leader, like a Minister, and started to arrange for all the people who weren't Pureblood to die.
"Now, there were some Purebloods who didn't think this was right. They thought it didn't matter very much if someone was Pureblood or not. But if they said this, Hitler got very angry at them and had them killed."
"But that all happened decades ago," Bellatrix said. "So what does it have to do with you?"
Uncle Alphard chewed on his lip and sighed. "Your family… is like Hitler and the people who agreed with him. The Blacks want Mudbloods dead – you know that."
"Yes," Bellatrix said. "And rightly so–"
"But, you see," said Uncle Alphard, "I'm like one of those people who told Hitler it didn't matter if people were Purebloods or not. And just like with Hitler, the Blacks have gotten very, very angry at me for saying that."
"Are they going to kill you?" squeaked Andromeda, terrified. Uncle Alphard smiled.
"No," he said. "But they're not going to let me see you anymore. Which is why I wanted to come here to talk to you before I left."
Andromeda's lip trembled. "You mean… you mean we're not going to see you ever again?"
Uncle Alphard sighed once more. Then, slowly, awkwardly, as though not quite sure what he was doing, he leaned over and put his arms around his two nieces. "I hope we'll still get to see each other someday… but until we do… I want you to be good girls for me, all right?" He broke away, and patted each of them on the head.
"All right," Andromeda said, shivering as she watched her favourite uncle stand up and make his way to the door, where Cygnus was waiting, glaring at him. Once he was gone, Andromeda turned to Bellatrix. "I don't understand. What did all of that mean?"
Bellatrix looked at her younger sister, and her face was frozen into an icy scowl.
"It means Uncle Alphard is a blood traitor," she said coldly. And not another word was ever said on it.
That was all the explanation Andromeda ever got on why she didn't get to see her uncle anymore.