Author's Notes: Written for the March 5th Prompt of the Day on Hogwarts Online II – "You think you're very grown up, but you have a great deal to learn."


It had been a wonderful night. Andromeda had been out since her sisters and parents went to bed, up on the moors with Ted, talking about all manner of things, just enjoying each others' company. It was pleasant, being together without all the adrenaline that pumped through Andromeda's system when she tried to sneak from Black Manor during the daylight hours.

She found herself smiling as she returned home, climbing easily over the garden wall and tiptoeing upstairs. But when she slipped into her bedroom, shutting the door ever so carefully to be sure she didn't make a sound, and turned around, the smile slid off her face immediately.

Narcissa was sitting on her bed, a sharp and stern scowl on her face.

"Where were you?" he asked, frowning at her sister. "You've been out almost all night. If you hadn't gotten back by dawn, and if Mother and Father saw…"

All Andromeda's happiness at the night disappeared instantly at her sister's pretention, and she found herself glaring.

"Oh, for God's sake, stop acting like that, Cissy," she snapped. "I'm not stupid. I'd get home before dawn. I always do. Why are you awake? And why are you in my room? Is something wrong?"

"I…" Narcissa licked her lips and looked down. "No, nothing. I don't know. I just was awake… and you weren't here."

"Fine." Andromeda shrugged and sat down on the floor, pulling off her boots. "I'm here now. All right? So if you don't have anything else to say, then I'd appreciate it if you'd go back to bed so I can sleep. I'm bloody exhausted…"

"But where were you?" Narcissa persisted.

"I was just… out. Isn't that good enough for you?"

"No. Mother and Father always say–"

"Do you always listen to what Mother and Father say?"

Narcissa swallowed hard. "They are wiser than us…"

"They want you to think that." Andromeda kicked her boots off the rest of the way and stood up, looming over her sister, who shrunk back, fingers digging into the covers on the bed.

"You think you're very grown up, don't you?" Andromeda said. Her lip curled, and she shook her head, looking down at her little sister with utter contempt. "No. You aren't. You have a great deal to learn. But you're never going to learn it, because you're just a stupid little brat who doesn't understand anything."

Narcissa's lip trembled. "Don't say that, Andi... please don't..."

"But it's true."

Andromeda turned on her heel and flounced out, and Narcissa just stared down at her hands, burning up with shame.

She knew more about life and its hardships than Andromeda would ever know she did.

But she could scarcely say that.