Seven - Marcus Flint - curls

Marcus knew all about family. Family meant loyalty and doing what was expected of you. Family meant living up to expectations. Family meant not letting people down.

And Marcus did what his family expected. He was Sorted as a matter of course into Slytherin House like his parents and elder brother before him. He was a good student, scorings Es and the occasional O. He played Quidditch, and attained the post of Slytherin captain. (Though he kept things in proportion. Quidditch was a game - academic work was more important.) He became a Prefect.

And, of course, and perhaps most importantly, he had the right friends. People from families like his own, Purebloods, those who knew that the natural order of things was for their kind to be the ruling class.

He went from school straight into the Ministry, and was a rising star under the new regime.

Marcus' family were proud of him.

Of course, things changed when Harry Potter and his allies defeated the Dark Lord and overturned the new regime. Marcus and his family were not in the ascendant now. But he was wise, kept his opinions to himself, did his work well, and outside work continued to associate with like-minded people.

Marcus did not let let his family down.

Until he was twenty-four, when all he knew - or thought that he knew - about family came crashing down around him. He met Susannah Curtis in a second hand bookshop in Diagon Alley, and they hit it off at once, sharing a love of old engravings and maps. They went from the bookshop to a tearoom, and were halfway through tea and scones - although Marcus was far more interested in the pretty face opposite him than in the food - when Marcus found out, to his utter horror that Susannah was Muggle Born. She was so pretty, so clever, so much fun to be with, such an interesting person. How could it be that she was not one of the right people?

Marcus hid his horror, and even made arrangements to see her again, but he left the teashop in utter confusion. What would his parents say if they knew that their upright and responsible son had not only had an assignation with a Mudblood, but had made arrangements to see her again? Marcus was more than half horrified at himself; he could not expect them to understand.

Still, he met Susannah again, as arranged, and found her just as fascinating, just as interesting a companion, just as beautiful as before. By the end of the evening, he was a fair way to being in love. He arranged to see her again.

Now, Marcus knows all about family. Family is him and Susannah, and little Beth and the baby boy due soon. Family is laughing and loving and not caring too much about expectations. Family is holding his Muggle Born wife close and wondering how a man like him managed to get so lucky. Family is tying up his little daughter's brown curls up with a pink bow and lifting her high and swinging her round and round and round.

It took him a long time to learn, but now Marcus knows all about family.