Disclaimer : I am not J.K Rowling. I do not own her characters. Not a surprise? Well, lets move on then!
Collision of the Perfect and the Imperfect
"And here I thought Andromeda Black was the vision of perfection" drawled a voice.
Andomeda flushed and turned around, her friends's heads swiveling with her. One of them spoke up, "How dare you talk to her, Mudblood?"
He ignored that and was staring at her, and she gave him a cold appraisal, designed to intimidate, the way her mother looks at certain guests who she hadn't invited, or at Sirius bursting upstairs when he was supposed to stay in the basement looking after Regulus.
The Mudblood wasn't particularly tall, but was lanky with shirt tucked out, tie hanging loosely and hands in his pockets. Somehow she found the way he wore his uniform more offensive than his being a Mudblood. She turned back to talk to her friends, and any sane person who had met Andromeda Black would have recognised that as a dismissal.
He still stood there, eyebrows raised, as if he was offended at being kept waiting.
"What?" she finally said, aggravated. "Yes, I am not perfect, old news, Mudblood. Now would you please go back to doing whatever you do?"
He shrugged, grinning, as if he knew something she didn't and walked away, perfectly untroubled. His left shoe's laces trailing behind him. The sight of it made her hand itch. I hope he trips over them.
Ted Tonks doesn't remember seeing anyone as beautiful as Andromeda Black. Maybe her older sister, but after the shock of seeing Bellatrix's striking face, he was rather bored looking at it. There is something ...unattractive about that level of perfection, like it is not real. There was a strange glow in Bellatrix's face that disturbed him slightly, and he made a wise choice to not cross her path. Andromeda Black, however was different. He would have dismissed her as her sister's look alike, even though her light brown hair and wide eyes had a quiet air of dignity made her look markedly different from Bellatrix.
It was the day he saw her laughing that he noticed it. One of her front teeth was aligned over the other slightly, making her smile have a character. He didn't know why at that moment he chose to approach her, but life works that way, and Ted Tonks just goes along with the flow.
It was months later she approaches him, tapping his shoulder. He turns around- noticing other things he'd want to remember about her. An intelligence that was a little intimidating, the milky paleness of the underside of her hand as she raised her hand to tuck her hair behind her ear as she demands, "What did you mean that day?"
Of course he remembers. Of course he knows what she is talking about.
"I don't know what you are talking about, Black" he lies smoothly.
She believes him, or she lets it go. "Alright" she sighs, and there is a flicker of sadness on her face which was quelled as instantly as it came.
He decided then Andromeda Black was odd.
"You know, your teeth are rather crooked" he bends down to her height and squints for the effect.
She jumps back, putting a hand over her mouth and he laughs at the sight. Her eyes narrow, and he smiles. " You should get it fixed, you know. The Muggle way. They call it braces. Magic shouldn't be trusted with mundane things like appearance in my view."
She puts her hand down and hisses, " It is not that noticeable".
He wonders for a moment whether she was offended by the suggestion of the Muggle 'way', but he decided that he didn't care if she did.
He shrugs, "If the thought makes you happy, Black, believe it."
She was rather conscious of her teeth, Andromeda, she rather envied her sisters's smile. Straight, perfect teeth. That Bella could laugh openly like that, while she hid her giggles behind her fingers (when she is conscious she is laughing too hard). When the Mudblood Ted Tonks noticed the thing the others (if they do notice, she was quite insistent about the fact it wasn't very noticeable) have the politeness not to point out, she was mortified.
She looked in the mirror and examined her teeth, resisting the urge to pick up her wand and align the sole tooth that made her smile crooked. She hated her teeth, her smile, the knowledge that she isn't as beautiful and as perfect as her sisters, with plain brown hair hanging lank at her side. She was the plain one of them, while Bella and Cissy were the peak of aristocratic beauty.(Cissy also laughs behind her hand, but not for the reasons she did). So she picks up her wand, and looks at herself once more.
For few moments she stays like this, staring at her reflection.
She couldn't do it.
It was her.
Less than perfect, different from her sisters's perfect set of gleaming whites, and she couldn't bring herself to change it.
So she puts down her wand and goes to bed.
Druella Black looked at her daughters's wedding photos. Age is an excuse to sit in bed, age is an excuse to live vicariously through her daughters, and age is to reflect on beauty she had lost with each passing year.
Bella was with Rolodophus, arm in arm, a feverish happiness on the pair's faces. She tried not to think of her eldest daughter's less feminine qualities, the way she walks, a power in her gait that befitted men and looked terribly out of place in a woman. She distracts herself by smiling proudly at how beautiful Bella looked on her wedding day that even Cygnus had to work hard to conceal his pride.
She was much more content looking at photos of Narcissa and Lucius's wedding, more to her taste they were, Narcissa elegant, feminine, hanging onto Lucius's arm, smiling at him in obvious adoration as if their marriage wasn't just a political joining of two powerful pureblood families. It pleased her that her daughter is happy with the match.
Then she flipped to the back of the album, a sole picture of the daughter she pretended never existed, held in a badly wrapped brown paper. She looked around, fearing being watched as she unwrapped the paper and examined the picture. The picture was taken in a shabby hotel room with a single bed, both of them standing, laughing about something. She was wearing a simple white dress that looked like rags compared to what her sisters wore at their weddings, holding a few lilies and the Mudblood was no better, his shirt wasn't tucked in, it was hanging out. And she watched Andromeda, laughing (without covering her mouth the way Druella remembered), Andromeda trying to smoothen the shirt as if the Mudblood should look impressive in their sole wedding photo. She used lilies to stop the Mudblood from kissing her, pointing at the camera as a way of explanation.
Then they both were laughing obscenely, in a way Druella didn't remember anyone respectable around her doing, free, with heads thrown back.
She hoped they weren't too loud or someone might have heard in that cheap, dirty hotel that Andromeda Black had married Ted Tonks.
Druella had forgotten that the letter containing the photo was signed as Mrs. Tonks.
Harry and his girlfriend Ginny had taken Teddy away for the weekend, so Andromeda decided to take down the photos hanging in the house.
Of her daughter, of her son -in-law, of Ted.
She thinks she couldn't bear watching it move, and have her heart clutch in despair. She thinks she'd put it back up once Teddy is back home, because she didn't want to pretend to him that everyone she loves never existed. But today she is alone, today she can grieve, today she can cry without having to remain strong for Teddy, today she can pretend they don't exist so she doesn't have to surrender herself to her pain.
She waves her wand and takes down the photographs one by one, piling neatly in the corner. She wasn't particularly inclined towards masochism, but she decides to look at them once more before packing it away for the weekend. On top of the pile was her wedding photo. Of the hotel room where Ted and she were laughing and pointing at the camera. She remembered the giddy laughter they both had shared thinking of sending a copy of the photo to her entire family. She supposed they might have burnt it the moment they received it, but watching their laughter,she could tell they both had probably thought it was worth it. ("I bet their reaction would be fun." "You are beginning to sound like Sirius, Dromeda")
She watches him laugh, straight, perfect, loud and wondered if she was too old to get braces.
Author's note : Reviews are the epic love between Andromeda and Ted Tonks. Personally, in my head, Andromeda is the most beautiful of the Black sisters, but in a subtle way. But that may be my bias speaking. :D
I have used the word Mudblood liberally in this fic, when truthfully, I get offended whenever I read the word in Potter books. Sigh, I am crazy. #mudbloodandproudofit