The Black Sisters

June 19, 2012
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“Please! Stop it! Bella, please!” Narcissa grabbed her sister’s arm and held on fast.

“Cissy, leave it! Get away from me!” She stumbled as she tried to shake Narcissa away from her.

Across the room, Andromeda was fighting Bellatrix’s curse, her twitching fingers stretched out towards her fallen wand. Narcissa couldn’t look her in the eyes, she couldn’t take sides in this bitter war. All she could do was try to stop the battle.

Bellatrix finally managed to shake Narcissa off, and she collapsed on the floor. “You little sl*t,” Bellatrix spat at Andromeda. “You think you can just run away from this family? Because of a boy? Some filthy, good-for-nothing Mudblood swine?”

Andromeda’s fingers finally closed around her wand and she reared it back, her mouth open to scream a curse.

“NO!” Narcissa shrieked, standing between her sisters.

Faltering, Andromeda lowered her wand. “Don’t you speak about him that way! He’s a good man and a good wizard. Better by far than Adrian Wilkes.”

“But you are going to marry Adrian!” Narcissa cried, shocked. Andromeda cast her sister a pitying look.

“Cissy, you are young. You don’t understand --”

“She understands better than you! She understands her duty! You don’t see her running away from a betrothal because some Muggle ape caught her fancy,” said Bellatrix.

“Just because you married Rodolphus without a thought! As usual, Perfect Bella doing Papa’s bidding. Well I’m not you! I will never be like you, not ever!”

Narcissa knew Andromeda had gone too far. “You think I wanted to?” Bella hissed. “You think it didn’t kill me to do it? But I did it, you stupid Mudblood lover, because I know that blood matters more than anything. Because I’m not weak.”

“Oh, I’m weak, am I? I’m weak for standing up to this blood status s***?”

Wand cast aside, Bellatrix slapped Andromeda across the face. Andromeda cursed Bellatrix, who stumbled backwards.

“Don’t you touch me! Get the h*ll away from me! I’m leaving, I’m leaving right now, and I am never coming back,” Andromeda screamed. “You can tell Papa to burn me off the tree, for all I care.”?
“You can’t mean that!” Narcissa gasped.

“I mean it more than I have ever meant anything. You can all take a turn, even you, little Cissy, incinerating my name until it is ash. Until the sister you never head is nothing more than a scorch mark. Like Uncle Alphard.”

“It’s not just your name I’ll be incinerating,” said Bellatrix nastily. “You think your precious Mudblood isn’t marked for death by the Dark Lord? You think he will spare mercy for a little blood traitor like you? Hopefully you’ll be dead before our blood ever mixes with that filth.”

“Bella!” pleaded Narcissa. “Don’t talk like that! Andromeda, she’s sorry! She didn’t mean it!”

Bellatrix looked there sister straight in the black eyes. “Oh I meant it more than I have ever meant anything,” she threw Andromeda’s words right back at her. “Maybe I’ll do it myself.”

Narcissa started to sob. “Andromeda, don’t go!” she cried, running after Andromeda’s retreating figure but slowed by Bellatrix’s Impediment Jinx.

No sooner had Andromeda slammed the door than Bellatrix had locked it, breathing heavily, her eyes dancing with malice.

Narcissa raced to the window, and caught a last glimpse of her sister’s black curls whipping onto a Muggle bus.

Andromeda’s fingers were trembling as she reached for the Muggle money Ted had given her. “This will take you to me,” he had told her. How strange that their worlds were so different, yet they had grown up within a bus ride of each other.

She was painfully aware of the stares she was attracting in her old fashioned gown, and childhood stories of rabid Muggles and witch burnings floated through her head as she clutched the overhead bar. Soon you’ll be with Ted, she thought. Soon you’ll be far away from the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.

She didn’t know that no matter how far from it you ran, the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black would never leave you.

Andromeda was shrieking with laughter, her eyes glowing with admiration for her big sister.

“Sit still, darling,” Druella implored as she tried to tie her daughter’s pin curls with a ribbon.

She couldn’t though, not when Bellatrix was making her own ribbon dance atop her head, forming bunny ears and twisting like a snake. Druella threw her hands up in frustration. Leaving her daughters’ hair to the house-elf, the girls’ mother swept back to her own chamber. Andromeda and Bellatrix collapsed on the floor in fits of giggles, with no regards to their wrinkling pinafore dresses.

“Bella, you’re the best big sister in the world,” Andromeda glowed as Bellatrix made their china dolls dance around the tea set.

Bellatrix giggled at the compliment. “Even if I make you wear the vomit-green ribbon?” she demanded, undoing the ugly thing and fixing it atop Andromeda’s head.

“Even then. You can have the pink one.”

Andromeda Tonks stared at the faded, but still ugly green hair ribbon. How was it that it had made the move with her not only from Black Manor to Ted’s flat but here, to their new country house? It was a staggering thought, that a part of Bellatrix had been with her all these years. Does she still have the pink one? Andromeda wondered, before remembering that pink hair ribbons had no place in Azkaban prison.


“I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!” Bellatrix was thirteen and sobbing into her pillow in the Slytherin girls’ dormitory.

“I hate him too,” Andromeda said staunchly.

“Shut up, ‘Dromeda, you don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

“Yes I do. That’s how come I cast a Bat-Bogey Hex on him,” Andromeda smirked. “In the Great Hall, in front of everybody!”

Bellatrix lifted her head up and examined her younger sister with new eyes. “Did you really?”

Andromeda beamed and nodded. “I also . . .” she dissolved into giggles.

“You also what?” Bellatrix demanded.

“I put dragon pepper in his underwear drawer.”

Bellatrix shrieked with mirth. “Andromeda, you’re the best, d’you know that?”

And the two and collapsed into laughter, imagining what Antony Mulciber would do the next morning when he found himself covered in a fiery rash.

No one messed with the Black sisters.

Bellatrix Lestrange was lying in the corner of her cell, feeling this happy memory being dredged out of her by the dementors. Wind rattled the bars that blocked all but a glimpse of the crashing sea and stormy sky. With only the most threadbare cotton around her emaciated body, she remembered the silk sheets of Hogwarts and the downy comforter of the bed she had so often curled up with Andromeda in.

Soon the memory was gone, and all that was left for Bellatrix was the echo of a long ago laugh with the sister she had once loved.

It was a dream that had always plagued Narcissa, a dream in which she was completely and utterly alone in the blackest darkness. She woke up screaming and as her breath slowed, she found herself in Bellatrix’s arms, Andromeda stroking her white blonde hair.

“Shh, Cissy baby, we’re here,” Bella had cooed, her dark curls wild with bed head and sticking haphazardly out of her night cap.

“Was it the nightmare again?” Andromeda asked. All Narcissa had been able to do was nod.

“Cissy baby, don’t cry! You’ll never be alone,” Bellatrix wrapped her arms around the frail little girl even tighter.

“You have us,” Andromeda linked her pinky with Narcissa’s. “Sisters forever.”

Narcissa Malfoy woke up shaking and crying. She was in someone’s arms and for a wild and hopeful moment, she thought it was her sisters who cradled her.

But it was Lucius who spoke. “Narcissa, my angel, are you all right? Shall I send Dobby for a drink of water? Some warm milk?”

Narcissa shrank away from her husband. “No . . . no, Lucius, it’s nothing. Just a nightmare.”

For it truly was a nightmare to have an one sister in Azkaban prison and the other in the house of a Mudblood man. Sisters forever, Andromeda had once said. But where was Andromeda now? You’ll never be alone, Bellatrix had promised. How fortunate that she had not made an Unbreakable Vow.

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ReneeB said...
Jul. 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm
It's so beautifully written, and you do a great job showing the perspective of all the Black sisters. I like the dynamics you give them, as well as their interactions. I've always thought that they would have gotten along well in their childhood, until Andromeda met Ted.
You might want to give a bit of scope as to how old they all are in the beginning section, during the fight. I thought they were all adults at first, but then realized that Narcissa... (more »)
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