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Part IV, March 1967: The Panic, The Future, and the Unexpected [PG]
by [professional life ruiner.] (lookslikelove)
at April 27th, 2007 (12:37 pm)
feeling: busy
hearing: "natural anthem" the postal service




“Now, let’s see, Divination?” Cecilia suggests twisting an angelic curl around a long finger, quill idly poised above the parchment, ready to strike at any moment. Andromeda stares at her own page, full of question marks and lines, checks and whatnot, a careful list forming at the bottom, before looking up and giving Cecilia certain look that she’s seen on Bella million and a half times.

No. Definitely not Divination.

Cecilia laughs, and it’s the sort of laugh that would send chills down an ordinary girl’s spine, but Andromeda is not an ordinary girl, she’s a Black and thus she takes it as something that is simply part who her best friend is, as the other girl crosses Divination off the list.

“Of course not, ridiculous class anyways. I mean, it’s not as if either of us are really Seers?” Another laugh, only this time Andromeda joins in, nodding. No, she’s definitely not a Seer, and she’s never had much faith in the ability to know what is supposed to happen next. It seems like quite the load of fuss to her, and what matters more, she knows her future without having to divine it.

One husband, perfect pureblood pedigree of course, two to three children, large house, house elf, nothing that she has to do, just things she chooses to all on whims. This is the future of Andromeda Black, and somewhere in the back of her head she swears she can hear someone screaming.

She ignores it.

Instead, she focuses on the parchment, with the lines and dashes and words in the margin that hardly make much sense anymore. “No,” she says after a moment. “I think we should take Arithmancy.”

Sight by Numbers, equations and logics and inferring the answers through rules and order. A proper course, definitely respectable, and nothing like other options such as Care of Magical Creatures or Muggle Studies. God forbid.

“Oh, that would be perfect,” Cecilia replies, and for a change she nearly sounds enthusiastic. “Definitely better than something wretched like Muggle Studies. Just think, all that time wasted on them. How absurd.”

Her friend laughs again and it’s nearly a cackle and Andromeda joins in, her mind lingering on the memory of a cousin and her push to get Muggle hunting legalised. It doesn’t stick, after all it was just family.

The list is dwindling and her future, her next five years are coming further and further into focus. It’s not scary, it’s not unexpected, it’s perfectly as it should be. The screaming is back, and it’s getting louder. Without a second thought she scratches her ear and presses her lips together, focusing on the letters on parchment and not on her own head.

It is at that moment that there is a shout and thud and far too much noise that has Cecilia making a noise and there is their third party, the other side of their precious triangle, all dark hair and charming dark smiles as he flops into an empty chair at their table.

“Hullo my beauties,” Evan remarks, clearly pleased by something in the very self-satisfied sort of way. He’s very good at being very smug. “Have you all been wasting away? Pining for me?”

The smile is a smirk now, a quick movement of the eyebrows as Cecilia rolls her eyes, and lets out a sound of terse indignation. Andromeda smiles. There is no pining for these perfect girls, but she is bemused, enthused, and Evan has that way of making her smile.

Unfortunately he brings in his wake Lucius and Rabastan and that is nearly enough to fade her smile, to make her shove it away, for she doesn’t much care for either of them. Luckily, she is saved, always saved by something Cecilia’s says.

“Hardly, we’ve been planning,” she enlightens, napping her parchment with a long finger. “Next year is going to be quite the time, isn’t it Andromeda?” Her head is turned, like something from a Victorian portrait, all picturesque and fragile looking, but nonetheless lovely.

Andromeda nods, her own pretty face and pretty curls moving in the gesture. “It’s right about the corner you know. I can hardly wait.”

Evan looks back and forth between the two of them and she can easily tell that he finds their answers to be amusing in the unusual way. “Good, good, and you know, I’ll have that little brother of yours to tutor,” he winks at Cecilia, who looks mildly appalled.

“Tutor him? Oh no, you are not allowed anywhere near Claude and you are certainly not to teach him how to be anything like you,” she waves her hand dismissively as if this was totally absurd to even entertain.

Andromeda casts a look of surprise on her best friend, whom she had surely thought would want her own sibling near to her or at least close enough to keep an eye on. She knows that Cecilia and Claude are nothing like her and Bella and Cissa, who will be reunited, three little Blacks in a row, but she can’t really understand why anyone would not want family close. They’re all anyone has, really. She loves hers first.

“Cecilia, I’d have thought that you’d want Evan to guide him, he is after all, one of us,” she points out, unable to keep fully silent on this subject. The response this gains is a rolling back of the shoulders, and very snide laugh.

“Well, perhaps, but no, I couldn’t stand it,” Cecilia gives by way of explanation and her icy tone tells them all that the subject is closed, finished, discussions are over.

She stands then, and Andromeda watches her, curious by the action. “I have something to show you two, hold still,” she instructs and off she goes, fluid motions up to their room as Andromeda turns to Evan, who is smiling at her.

“You hear that? We’re supposed to hold still,” he laughs, freezing for a moment before giving up on it entirely, shaking his head. “I love the girl, but sometimes I don’t understand her at all.”

“I’m certain she means well, probably,” Andromeda offers, understanding how weak that sounds even to her own ears. “If it helps, if Cissa were a boy, I’d let you be her guide. As is, you’re not to touch her.”

He winces for a moment, before smiling again. “I wouldn’t dream of it. I like my hands on my body,” he says, moving the appendages in question artfully. “But I appreciate the sentiment, my lovely Andromeda.”

She smiles at this, and it’s soft, quieted, because there is nothing that makes this an occasion to be loud. She simply watches him as he reaches out and touches her hair, all black glossy curls and then leans forward and she leans forward and it’s one very soft kiss. Dark and sweet, the perfect quiet embodiment of them, and she smiles when it’s done, shivering a bit as she catches sight of the sneering look Lucius is giving the two them.

Neither gets a chance to speak, to comment on it, for Cecilia picks that moment to return, and it becomes their secret. No need to tell her, it would break the three them apart, or at least make it very messy indeed. Andromeda loves them both too much for that.

“Did you both miss me?” Cecilia inquires as she sits again, looking completely satisfied with the box in her hands.

“Passionately,” is the reply from Evan and Andromeda looks at him for a moment, studying his face before turning to fully look at the other girl.

“Terribly,” she gives as her own response.

Cecilia nods, for this is what she’d been wanting to hear, all mourning and loss for her. “Now, my darlings, take a look at this. I’ve just been sent it and it is wonderful,” she tells them, opening the box and turning it towards them.

They all lean forward and everything that has just happened fades away. It’s all just another secret for Andromeda and it doesn’t matter, the past doesn’t matter. The future is there, and it glorious and she smiles biting back her horror at the content of the box.

It doesn’t matter anyways.






He decides that he’s too young to pick a career. It’s a horrifying thought to be thirteen years old and trapped in a dead end job, and yet that’s exactly what he is doing. Thirteen and planning his entire life. This is not a pleasant prospect and idea at all.

It makes him feel as if his tie is tied far too tight and the words, the list of classes that he can choose to take for his third through fifth years (and possibly beyond that if he passes) blur together into an inky mess on the parchment.

That’s it, he’s dying. He can’t decide what he wants to do, who he wants to be and thus he’s dying now. He reaches his hand up, trying to desperately loosen his tie, gasping for air, panting, gasping as his free hand clings to the parchment, wrinkling it, making it crunch in his hand.


His vision is tunnelling and there is no more air in his lungs and he’s going to asphyxiate right there in the common room, possibly completely and utterly unnoticed as his fellow Ravenclaws mill about the room. Part of him is saddened by this fact, but that is completely overshadowed by the majority of him that is feeling the waves of panic because it knows that death is on him.

Suddenly he feels a hand on his shoulder and Benjy’s face swims into his quickly darkening line of sight. Somewhere in the distance he hears his name being said, but he can’t say thing, there’s no air to speak, so he simply nods. Benjy simply gently shakes his shoulder and forces him to drink a glass of water, which he sputters up half of before swallowing the rest, air finally able to come into his slowly opening lungs.

“Ted, you have to breathe, mate, breathe. We don’t want you to die on us,” Benjy soothes, patting his shoulder calmly. Benjy is about a month younger Ted, but he’s got a way about him, in his sombre calmness that makes him seem about two years older. He’s just got that way.

Ted coughs, the air filling his lungs in shallow spurts before coming he is able to calm down enough to actually breath. His eyes are still watering, and he realizes that it must look as though he has been crying, so he reaches up a hand and brushes the tears away.

“Atta boy, that’s it now,” Benjy says, a wry smile on his face, tawny hair falling limply over one eye, making him resemble something of a puppy, the freckles not helping to deter this image. He gives Ted a puzzled look as he slides over the arm of a nearby chair, his legs, somewhat gangly from early growth spurt hanging over the edge. “What was that all about?”

Ted shrugs, and takes another deep breath working up the courage and the will to work words out of his system, before continuing. He holds the crinkled and crumbled sheet of parchment up and out for Benjy to look at, which the other boy does, laughing slightly.

“This? You nearly died for this?” Benjy asks, incredulous laughter in his voice, as he glances between the paper and Ted. Ted nods, sinking deeper into the armchair, blushing and feeling incredibly stupid.

Ted doesn’t even know what to do or say to defend himself, he is just stuck, feeling immobile and like a complete and utter waste of human flesh. Lucky for him, just as he is about to give some sort of lame, pathetic excuse, which is the most of anything he can think of at the moment, Lee has come tumbling into the scene, all legs and noise, with Mia, quietly behind her, making sarcastic comments every step of the way.

“Oi! Teddy! You look like you’ve kissed death or something,” Lee says, clapping him on the shoulder as Mia rolls her eyes and mouths something that Ted can’t quite make out. It’s starting to go from only mildly embarrassing to down right humiliating and he really wishes that Ed were there to do something to take the heat off of him.

“Nah, Tonks here hasn’t kissed much of anyone, he’s nearly taken a look at this,” Benjy clarifies, waving the parchment in Lee’s general direction, and Mia picks it up, examining it before letting out a gentle laugh of her own, a smile on her face. It’s not mocking just amused.

“This old thing? Oh Teddy. There just the extra courses, they don’t mean anything,” she laughs, shaking her head and moving over to sit gently on the arm of his chair. She rerolls the parchment with her fingers and Ted watches her, wondering how someone so calm, so easily cool can be really Edgar who is so…not that.

He’s still watching her, and Lee has moved onto rambling and raving at Benjy about something, but he’s not paying much attention to either of them. That odd tight feeling is back in stomach and his chest and he’s certain that his tie is too tight as he realises just how blue Mia’s eyes are. Part of him, the logical thinking Ted, the part of him that is a spy with Edgar and knows all about James Bond and comic books, tells him that these are not good things to think about your best mate’s sister.

Another part of him also says that it’s also more than a bit gross.

“Here,” she says softly, and it takes him a moment to realise that she’s holding the paper out to him and he just stares at it and at her.

She leans it just a bit, still smiling, but just a bit wider, and he can see the familial resemblance which makes everything a bit weirder for him. “You know what I think you should do? Study something you love. Ancient Runes or Arithmancy is like all that spy stuff you and Eddie are going on about, try that,” she offers.

He nods, and his mind has a brief wondering of what James Bond or similar would do in a situation like this. His hand is on the parchment, and his trying to be cool, playing it suave, because that’s what one is supposed to do, naturally, and the next moment there is a very soft feeling on his lips. In a moment of very uncool action, he just gawps, does nothing, has no reaction, just kind of puckers, but he doesn’t even have a chance for that.

She smiles and laughs and stands, wiping her hands on her skirt as Lee howls about something and he just stares at them both. “You’ll be fine, trust me,” Mia says, before, Lee comes up and kicks his shins.

“Yeah, probably, especially since we need you to be decent or else I’ll be without a mate to talk football with!” Lee howls, grinning like some sort of madcap and Ted is certain he’s lost his mind, as he watches them sprint up to their dorm.

He turns to Benjy, whose still in his chair, eyebrow raised, looking like some sort of oddly amused puppy, but Benjy doesn’t say anything useful, merely shakes his head and shrugs.

“Girls,” he says.

And that? Is something Ted definitely agrees with.


Comments

Posted by: Lorelei's mute sister (merewiper)
Posted at: April 28th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
Hugh::fountain kiss

*gasp*

You're still working on it! You're still working on it!

Posted by: tonksified. (tonksified)
Posted at: May 14th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Harry Potter - Literacy

A bit late, but I am SO happy to read an update from you! I almost forgot the story. I like how you captured their old-fashionedness, but please, let Ted and Andie talk in the next few chapters or so! ♥

2 Read Comments