The next day, Outside the Hospital Wing

Narcissa and Lucius were gathered with Rabastan outside the Hospital Wing, waiting their turn to see Bellatrix, talking with each other when Rabastan spotted Andromeda Black coming towards them with a younger wizard walking next to her.

"Dromeda." Narcissa said as she embraced her older sister.

"How is Bella, Cissy?"

"She's alive. Thank goodness. But her eye, Dromeda."

"What of her eye?"

"It was damaged from the Drought of Living Death that exploded in her face. We don't know anything else." Narcissa said before noticing the man next to her sister. "And you are?"

"Ted Tonks. You must be Narcissa Black. Your sister has told me about you and Bellatrix."

Narcissa smirked at that and asked, "Really. What exactly did my sister tell a 5th year wizard about me and my sister?"

"That you and Bellatrix aren't going to like me when I tell you what I am." replied Ted in an even tone to the youngest Black sister.

Rabastan stared the wizard in the eyes and asked, "Are you a Half-Blood?"


Andromeda finally sighed and said, "He's a Muggle-born wizard."

Though Narcissa and Lucius were shocked that Andromeda would associate with a Muggle-Born, Rabastan asked him, "In that case, Tonks, why are you so concerned about my future-sister in law?"

"Even though you do not like me and she may not know me, I was upset that someone did what they did to her just to stir things up during a potions class." Ted said before adding, "Also, I was upset that what happened to Bellatrix made Andromeda worry about her sister. I'm here to give my support to her however I can."

Narcissa looked at Ted and said, "In many ways, I should not be surprised to see this coming from the house of duffers."

"The Hufflepuffs are many things, Narcissa, but duffers are not one of them." Commented Rabastan, surprisingly.

Andromeda finally said, "Cissy, while I'm with Bella and our parents, please step out of character and be kind to Ted while he's here."

Cissy stared at her in disbelief as she said, "No promises, Andy."

Andromeda then proceeded to walk past the trio, though Rabastan followed her, to see her older sister. Bellatrix was sitting upright, talking with her father, Auror Captain Cygnus Black and mother, Druella Black.

"Andy!" yelled out Bellatrix as Andromeda ran over to hug her older sister tenderly, while Cygnus and Druella smiled at the sisterly love.

"Bella, I'm glad your OK." Andromeda said in Bellatrix's arms.

Bellatrix broke off the hug as Rabastan walked over to her left side and said, "Like I was telling Mum and Dad. I'm OK, but my eye isn't."

"How bad is it?" asked Rabastan as he took a seat.

"It's capped over. It's gone foggy."

Cygnus took a look at the scars on her face and the fogged over eye and said, "Bellatrix, you could take a blast from the worst accident and still come out beautiful. Don't let it rule your life."

"Thanks, Dad." Bellatrix said with a thin smile.

"He's right, Cap. You shouldn't let this thing rule your life," commented Rodolphus from his bed, when Cygnus looked at him and asked, "Who's Cap?"

"It's my new nickname, Dad. Rod gave it to me. Just like you're a Captain." replied Cap, with a sheepish smile.

That gained a chuckle from all of them, before Druella finally noticed Ted. She asked, "And who are you, young man?"

"Ted Tonks, Mrs. Black." replied Ted, meeting the older woman's eyes.

"How do you know my daughter?" asked Cygnus, his Auror instincts and natural paranoia kicking in instantly.

"I don't know her personally, but I heard about what happened to her. I wanted to offer my support to her in anyway I could." Ted said, aware of the scrutiny in the eyes of Cygnus and Druella Black pointed right at him.

Cygnus then took a seat by the bed and asked, "Why would you do something like that? Judging from your robes, you're a Hufflepuff. I know that members of that house are supposed to be kind, loyal and hardworking, but why?"

Cap then spoke up, surprising Ted with her insight. "You're interested in dating my little sister, Andromeda, aren't you?"

Ted nodded meekly.

Cygnus chuckled a little bit and asked, "So that's it? Tell me, young man. Are you a Pureblood?"

"No, sir."

Druella stared at him point blank and asked, "Half-Blood?"

"No, ma'am."

The smile on Cygnus' face dropped instantly as Cap voiced the inevitable question. "Muggle-born, is it?"

Ted nodded. "I am a Muggle-born and a Hufflepuff. Two things, I'm certain, are on the list of things you do not care for in a potential suitor for Andromeda." Ted said, looking Bellatrix in her one good eye before turning to face her father. "As I stand before you, Mr. Black, I am nothing that you would respect or hold in high regard. I'm not from a wealthy family, a pure-bloodline or even from the house of Slytherin. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that I'm everything you don't like. Yet here I am, with my neck on the block, asking for your permission to date your daughter, Andromeda."

"Well, Mr. Tonks, the fact you're a Muggle-Born is already a strike against my approval. That being said, I can't deny that you've got stones asking for my approval, knowing my family's history and opinions."

Ted could only look the Auror Captain in the eye as Cygnus continued the inquisition. "Are you willing to lay down your life to protect her?"

"Yes, sir."

Cygnus took out his pipe, lit it up and pondered it for a moment. He finally said, "Wait until your 6th year to start anything. Narcissa will be watching you two like a hawk the entire time. Though you are from the Badger House, which I do not care for, if you ever take advantage of my daughter or cause her any harm, the killing curse will be the only mercy I will show you. Am I clear?"

"Yes, sir. Crystal clear." Ted said.

"Good." replied Cygnus before he turned to Druella and said, "We need to leave right now. Goodbye Bella, Andy."

Without another word, both of them walked out of the Hospital Wing, while Andy stayed behind with Ted, Rab, Rod and Cap.

Andy looked to Ted and smiled and said, "You did great Ted. Can you give me a moment with my sister and future brothers-in-law?"

"Of course." Ted replied though Andy and Cap could see the slight hesitation in him to walk back outside. Cap eased his fears by saying, "Ted, you don't have to worry about Cissy and Lucius. They aren't looking for Hufflepuffs to harass."

Breathing a sigh of relief, Ted walked back to the waiting room. Once he was gone, Cap looked to her younger sister and asked, "What did he say to snare your attention, Andy? He's pretty much everything our family hates."

"Ted is a kind young man, Cap. He was kind to us in spite of what he knew about our family. He is not wealthy but he is a honest, hard worker and a gentleman on top of that. What did you see when you saw him, Cap?"

"He's alright, for a Muggle-born I guess." replied Cap before Rabastan asked, "Cap, what are you and Rod planning on doing when you two graduate and get married?"

Cap said, "Well, originally, we where planning on becoming Hit-Wizards. Now, I don't know."

Rodolphus then said, "We still are Cap. All we have to do is make sure you're still a good duelist, even with one eye."

So what do you think?