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Part II, 1 September 1965: One Train, and an Almost Accident Concerning One Tattered Hat [G]
by [professional life ruiner.] (lookslikelove)
at March 6th, 2006 (07:42 pm)
pensive
Tags: ,

feeling: pensive
hearing: "valencia" the decemberists



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Perfect black curls hang down her back, secured by a pristine black satin ribbon. Black on black on Black. As things always should be and always were.

This is how Andromeda appears on Platform nine and three quarters at exactly quarter to eleven the morning of the first of September. The three Black girls always wore head to toe black in public, it was just a given, a ritual, a mark of who they were and today is no different. If anything, it is even more important that they appear to the Wizarding world as the Blacks they are.

Little Cissa looks like a nine-year-old widow, a ghost, appearing even paler than normal in her dark clothes, her skin taking on an ashen quality that suited the pout her face was wearing today.

Bellatrix looks, if possible, even more dark and sinister in her black, as if she was intangible and now just wear her soul as her skin. She looks like Lillith or something worse because in a strange twist of fate, black is too dark for her.

Andromeda, on the other hand, is suited for black, meant to wear it like a silk glove. It just fits her and makes her look stately and regal, nearly divine, like she’s been taught all her life to be. It was the strangest thing.

The three girls are standing on the platform, their parents with them, Cissa clinging to Druella’s hand as if it’s a life raft and she’s going to drown. Behind them, is of course a servant (human naturally, Cygnus’ secretary, a poorer half-blood named Draven), pushing a cart with Bellatrix and Andromeda’s trunks on them. Bella is standing a little way from the party, already looking for her pack of Slytherins. Andromeda is slightly in awe, her eyes wide, not because she’s never seen this before, because she has, but because it’s her turn.

She gets to go this time.

Her father pulls Bella back to the party, and Bella reluctantly returns to them, and he kneels down in front of his two oldest daughters (he always wanted a son; instead he got Bella who might be better) and looks them both in the eyes.

Bella looks more than bit bored as Cygnus begins to speak, even though his parting words a brief, a tiny phrase a most, simply the phrase spoke to him by his father at the start of every school year and so on back through the ages.

“Corps avant âme, sang avant corps, et Black avant sang,” he says in a low, deep, serious voice. His tone is ominous, foreboding and Andromeda knows that these words are important, as much a phrase to live by as those that are the Black family motto.

Body before soul, blood before body and Black before blood.

Those words will become her life just as they have become Bellatrix’s; her sister will ensure this. There is a family name to uphold, an ideal to keep.

Her father is still staring at the two of them, more so at her than at Bella, who is making no effort to hide the fact this discussion has long since been over for her. Her father’s eyes meet hers directly and she feels them pierce her soul as if they are going right through her, judging her, trying to see her worthy of her name.

With a slight nod of his head, he apparently justifies her and he slowly rises to his feet, signally with his hand for Draven to move their trunks to the train. “Have a good term,” he says, coolly and in English.

In a flash, Bella is gone from her side, not even bothering to say goodbye to their mother, Druella’s opinion and affection never bearing much weight in Bellatrix’s eyes. She’s always been daddy’s girl.

Her mother manages to shake Cissa off for long enough to step forward and give her middle daughter a stiff and unnatural hug, the type of hug given by a woman who does not show affection often. Andromeda accepts this as the most love she’s ever going to get from the Rosier bred woman.

Gently stroking her daughter’s dark hair, she says, “Be good,” and Andromeda can slightly smell the crisp smell of foreign liquor on her mother’s breath. Between that and orchids, those will always will be the scents of Druella to her.

Andromeda breathes a deep breath, resolving herself to look out at the platform and the students milling about it. There are so many of them, all of them like her and yet not like her, chatting and screaming and comparing summers and tales and with all sorts of odd things and in odd clothes and she’s fascinated. This is Hogwarts. These are her classmates.

Her reverie is broken with a jolt by the sound of her name being called, from a distance at first, but then with increasing volume and clarity. She turns her head and body, trying to see whom and from where her name is being called and a smile breaks across her face.

From across the platform, not running, because good, well-bred pureblooded children never run, at least not in public, two of her closest childhood friends are striding at a relatively fast pace. Evan Rosier, her distant cousin through her mother’s side, is moving faster, a cheeky grin on his face, his brown sugar colored hair falling slightly in face in the way that makes him look simply adorable, even to the older girls who are usually more interested in older boys. Right behind him, taking two steps for every one of his is the angelic looking Cecilia Avery, a smile not on her face, because she rarely smiles in the company of strangers, but a subtle one in her eyes at the sight of her friend.

They both reach Andromeda at the same time and Cecilia does the proper pureblood greeting of giving the other girl a light kiss on each cheek, a gesture Andromeda returns. Evan watches the exchange, his dark brown eyes flitting from the girls to the rest of the Blacks still standing there.

“Hello, Mr. Black, cousin,” he greets politely, with a nod of his head, before directing his attention to Andromeda, who suddenly feels bad for ignoring her family and being so rude.

“Mother, Father, I think perhaps, I should be going,” she tells them both and gives them both a respectful curtsy. “I’ll do you proud, I promise.”

Her parents both nod, and she isn’t surprised that she doesn’t even warrant a proud smile. Her departure is nothing uncommon or new. This is ordinary and just another trip, just another Black in a long line of Blacks.

She’s not special at all.

“Come, Andromeda, I’ve got so much to tell you,” Cecilia says, linking arms with her and turning them both towards the train, the other girl’s blonde curls gaining jealous stares from others on the platform as they begin to move. All three of them are about half the distance to the train when Andromeda feels a sudden distinct pull on the back of dress, as if she’s caught on something and she stops to see what has her caught, forcing Cecilia and Evan to stop with her.

She turns around, looking for a snag and sees a tiny flaxen girl clinging to her, holding her fast. Her mouth falls open in shock and surprise when she realizes that it’s not some stranger, but Narcissa, holding onto her and preventing her from moving.

“Cissy! What are you doing?” she asks, surprise in her voice.

Cissa’s body is heaving up and down with sobs and she’s shaking, clearly at the start of a tantrum. “I…want…to…go…with!” she howls, a mix of sobs and screams.

Andromeda looks up from her little sister to Evan and Cecilia who give her helpless looks, Cecilia cringing slightly as she’s never liked children and Andromeda does the only thing she can think of and begins to pet her sister’s head gently.

“But you can’t, you’re only a little girl,” she tells her.

Cissa stomps her foot and only begins to work harder in her fit. “But I want to!”

Andromeda hardly has time to respond before her father is prying her sister from her leg and scooping her into his arms, an almost paternal gesture, but Andromeda is far too smart to take it at face value. They’re hiding her. Her parents give her a nod, before Apparating with a quick pop off of the platform and away from there.

Blacks do not make scenes.

A minion of Bella’s is waiting for the three of them as soon as they step on the train and it is not a moment too soon, because no sooner does Evan’s foot leave the platform than does the train begin to pull away from the station.

The corridors of the train are crowded and cramped, filled with chatter and ruckus of students mixing and mingling, an air of excitement and apprehension surrounding them. Andromeda doesn’t say an word, she just watches everything, observing in that quiet Black way, an air that her father possesses as a middle child, and she has one arm still linked in Cecilia’s who is following Bella’s friend closely and the other hand is grasping Evan’s to pull him along.

It doesn’t take them long to get them to Bella’s compartment. It’s almost creepy, but none of them think it odd that the crowds seem to part for them. It just seems natural that people should just respect them for what they are. For who they are.

They step into the compartment and the first thing Andromeda notices is how distinctive Bellatrix is amongst the clan of Slytherins (and presumably soon to be Slytherins) there. She is a queen in a den of thieves. This fact is odd yet hardly surprising even though Bellatrix as a third year is hardly the oldest in the room. Andromeda is pretty sure that the lumpy, piggish Carrows twins are in their fourth year and that Augustus Rookwood might be in his fifth year, yet here Bellatrix sits, next to Rodolphus Lestrange and the unnaturally pale Lucius Malfoy and she lords over them all.

Andromeda knows that this suits her sister, who is giving her a dark smile and gesturing for to sit next to her in the spot that it is clear Lucius will be vacating shortly. Lucius does move from that spot on the bench with pointed, dark look from Bellatrix, and Andromeda gives Cecilia a look, the other girl’s cool laughing blue eyes mocking her as she sits down next to her sister and Lucius, who doesn’t say anything just stare at her in that vaguely slimy way he always does. She’s pretty sure she doesn’t like Lucius very much, even if he is her age.

Andromeda watches as Evan and Cecilia slide into spots across from her, feeling as if she should be sitting with the rest of her trio rather than shoved next to her sister and feeling really out of place, but she doesn’t make a move to get up. She doesn’t want to push Bella’s temper; she grew up with the girl she knows how bad it can get.

Bellatrix doesn’t even acknowledge her presence verbally, but rather goes back to the conversation those in the compartment were having before the arrival of her little sister, and Andromeda doesn’t contribute beyond a few words here and there for the rest of the journey. Towards the end, as the train is beginning to slow, the boys are shoved out into another compartment by Bella so that the girls can change into their uniforms and Andromeda feels a weird sort giddiness at thought that soon, so very soon, she’ll be setting her eyes on Hogwarts for the very first time.

She wonders if either Cecilia or Evan shares these feelings or if it’s just her.

The train slows, and finally stops in the station and once again, she, Cecilia and Evan all have their arms and hands linked. She is closer with them now than she ever has with either of her own sisters. They are a trio, three sides of a triangle, without one of them the other two are missing something, unable to form a whole shape. Three pretty little children, three perfect little purebloods, a triad of expectations to be fulfilled.

There is a gruff and harrowed looking man, quite frightful looking, as if he is part troll or ogre or something equally terrifying and uncivil, followed closely by a larger man-boy with kind eyes. They are calling out for all the first years to follow them and she exchanges looks of skepticism and apprehension with Evan and Cecilia before following the mass of first years down a fleet of boats.

They are told they are supposed to be four to a boat, but they somehow manage to finagle they’re way into getting a boat with just the three of them. It’s better that way. It makes that first glance of the turrets of Hogwarts rising up over the shining still blackness of the lake even more special. Andromeda decides that there are no two other people on Earth that she would rather be sitting there with, seeing this with.

A smile, glimmer of a confident Black smile comes onto her face.

From one of the other boats there is a sudden splash and the gruff man shouts something out about keeping in the boats and the three of them laugh.

“It was probably some stupid mudblood,” Cecilia says, giggling. Andromeda nods, agreeing with her best friends words. Those who weren’t raised in their world are always just doing stupid things. Or so she’s heard.

Soon all the boats have banked on the other side of the lake in a dark cave and Evan exits their boat first, standing on the rock and showing off his manners by holding out his hands for Cecilia and Andromeda, who think nothing off it, yet giggle, because of the anticipation of the Sorting and the fact that this is Evan acting like this.

Andromeda is in the middle of the trio, a smile on her face, laughing as Evan makes a mildly vulgar joke about a House Elf that he learned from his older brother. None of them really understand it, because they are after all, merely eleven, but they laugh because they know that they are supposed to and they are now students at Hogwarts and that means that they are their way to being adults.

The herd of new students is stopped at the top of the stairs by a shrewd woman, with angular features and square spectacles, her brown hair pulled sharply back from her face in a bun and this woman proceeds to tell the crowd of them about the Sorting Ceremony and how things work here at Hogwarts. Andromeda rolls her eyes, already not particularly caring for this woman. Cecilia stifles a giggle at the expression on Andromeda’s face. They all know what this woman is telling them, and even if they didn’t they wouldn’t listen anyways.

After being shunted into a spare room for a few moments, the other children growing progressively more nervous, their chatter telling them so, all while Andromeda can’t seem to force herself to be concerned about what house she’ll be sorted into and she knows that she doesn’t have to worry about whether or not Cecilia and Evan will be joining her there. All Blacks go to Slytherin. It’s just how it’s done and it’s much the same for the Rosiers and Averys, though not nearly as the prevalent. The three of them shall stick together.

Evan makes another foul joke, and she laughs, and the professor she already doesn’t really like comes back and into the Great Hall they go.

The tables are lined up next to one another and she instantly spots Bellatrix at the one that must be the Slytherin table, and her sister gives her a knowing nod of her head, which she returns with a quick smile.

They are led to the front of the Hall, the entire school has its eyes on them and Andromeda doesn’t really mind, because Blacks are used to having this sort of proper attention, and she watches the infamous Sorting Hat be placed on a stool, suddenly feeling the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end, as if someone is staring directly at her and she ignores it for the moment, figuring it must be Bella or perhaps even Lucius, lurking with Rabastan Lestrange near the back of the group.

The Sorting Hat sings it song and she smiles and laughs as along with Cecilia as Evan makes another inappropriate comment even though the Hat is singing and claps when the song is over and that peculiar feeling of being watched doesn’t go away, so she turns and moves her head, trying to figure out who it is that is staring at her, if only to assuage her paranoia.

A pair of green eyes meets hers from across the sea of her fellow first years. She smiles at the boy, another one of their number, his brown hair falling in messy curls that look like they need a good combing, and mouths the word, “Hello” at him from across the crowd.

He awkwardly smiles back, and Cecilia by now has noticed Andromeda’s drifting attention and turned to see what has caught her friend’s eye.

“Oh, he’s kind of cute,” she says.

Evan, never one to be left out of any conversation turns to see what they are talking about. “Who? Oh him? Who is he?” he asks, curious.

Andromeda shrugs. “No idea, he looks like he could be Tobias McMillan.”

The reading of the names to be Sorted interrupts their conversation and they have already missed the first few names off the list.

“Black, Andromeda!” the shrewd woman calls out and Andromeda gives her friends a smile and a mild eye roll, before confidently walking to the stool and sitting down, the Hat on her head.

Another Black, eh? The Hat whispers in her ear. I should put you in Slytherin without a second thought, but--

‘Listen up, Hat, if you think of putting me anywhere but Slytherin, then I’ll use you to clean floors. I’m a Black. And Blacks are Slytherins. Nothing else,’ she thinks, half threatening the Sorting Hat.

Hey, I was just going to suggest Ra--

‘Only Slytherin.’

Fine.

The Hat hollers out, “SLYTHERIN!” and Andromeda takes off the Hat and walks over the Slytherin table with a smile and waits for Evan, joining the slyly grinning Cecilia, who is already waiting for her there.

She sits next to Bellatrix and is half-curious if the boy staring at her really was Tobias McMillan, but she is distracted by the time his name comes up and doesn’t pay attention to anything until the ceremony is over and Evan and Cecilia are with her again.

They are now the trio of Slytherin. Together for at least seven more perfect years and Andromeda deigns this a perfect Sorting. If it weren’t for that pesky suggestion by that Hat, which she shoves out of her mind.

She’s a Black, and Blacks are not in Ravenclaw. That’s just how things are done.



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Nervous is one way to describe Ted Tonks on the morning of the first of September as he, and his mother were arriving at Kings Cross railway station. His sisters would’ve liked to come with, but they had had to say their tearful and overjoyed goodbyes that morning in the kitchen before Emma left for work and the rest of them left for school.

Ted doesn’t think he’s ever get the lipstick off of this face, nor the sound of his sisters’ voices repeating how proud they were of him or Jane’s remark to not be too good out of his head. The mere thought of all four of them brings a shaky smile to his face, which makes him feel as if he is going to throw up right then and there if he doesn’t get rid of it.

He casts a glance at his mother as he pushes the trolley with his trunk on it through the station making their way to where platform nine and three quarters is supposed to be, but he can tell from the expression on his mother’s face that even though Professor Kettleburn explained to them where the platform is and how to get onto it, she doesn’t exactly believe him.

To be honest, Ted doesn’t fully believe the man either, but he decides that he should start as this is going to be part of the world he belongs to.

They reach the barrier between the two platforms and Ted looks at his mother who looks at him. There is skepticism in her gaze, but she pushes him forward anyways and through the barrier, a good mother to the very end. Ted stumbles forward with his trolley, pushing it in front of him, expecting any moment to hit hard stone and be horribly embarrassed and have to explain to people what he was doing and why he was abusing property.

But he doesn’t hit anything.

Instead he goes right through the wall, and winds up on another platform, a rustic cast iron sign reading elaborately “Platform 9 and ¾” hangs over head and he is wide eyed and mouthed as he stops on the other side and feels his mother holding onto his shoulder, grateful that she somehow was able to get there with him.

He’s pretty sure that this is an exception to a rule.

The train is a vivid scarlet and there are students everywhere and Ted is no longer nervous. No, he’s now down right terrified and he turns and looks at his mother, who has tears in her eyes and smiles at him.

“Oh my Theodore, my dear sweet boy,” she says, placing her warm hands on his cheeks.

He stares at her and doesn’t feel it right for him to leave her, not now when he has to be the man of the family and take care of her and his sisters. Not now when they have no father to do that job for him.

“Oh Theodore, I’m so proud of you,” she says as she engulfs him a hug, a warm, tight hug, which he returns, not caring that they are in public and that people can see. This might be the last time he can hug his mother for a good long time.

She pulls back and wipes a smudge of dirt off of the bridge of his nose. “You keep yourself out of trouble and pay attention in class, and be good. Make friends and remember we love you, we all love you, so very much,” she tells him, before kissing his cheek, tears now falling onto her face and giving him another hug.

A whistle is blown in the distance, signaling the last call for boarding student and she pulls back and stands up.

“There’s sandwiches in the bag and we’ll see you at school. Now go!” she says, hurrying him off and he reluctantly begins to move towards the train, pulling his trunk with him and up off of the platform.

He stands there and waves to her as the train begins to move and stays there until both the platform and his mother are both out of sight. Then Ted turns and drags his trunk to the nearest empty luggage rack and shoves it in.

Ted begins down the corridor, shrinking up against the walls to let people past and making himself even smaller, which is a feet considering he’s not that big of a boy to begin with. He looks in random compartments, trying to find one that is welcoming, one that he can fit into and belong in.

This is turning out to be more work than he thought it would be. Fitting in, finding a niche is a hard work and the school year hasn’t even really begun.

He resigns himself to be without a proper place to sit, a wanderer on this train, when he slides open a train and it’s as if it’s something out of one of his comics and there are golden rays emitting from it, indicating that this is the right place. He moves cautiously inside.

“Hullo,” says the sandy haired boy sitting down in the compartment, a wide grin on his open features. This boy is the sole occupant of this compartment, but Ted stops momentarily in the doorway regardless, unsure whether or not he is really truly welcome.

The boy looks at him expectantly, clearly waiting for him to enter, and Ted finally gives and takes a seat across from the boy. “Jaffa cake?” the boy offers, with a smile, offering a biscuit from the package.

Ted smiles back and accepts one gratefully, glad that even in this foreign world, he’s found someone with the same taste in sweets as him. Ted takes a bite out of the biscuit as the boy does the same and begins to talk.

“It’s a mad house out there, yeah? I nearly got my head knocked off. I thought I was doomed, going to die on a train on my way to Hogwarts, before I even get Sorted, how boring,” the boy details with a cock of his head towards the closed door and the chaos behind it and rolls his eyes. Then as if he suddenly remembers neither of them knows each other, he cleans of his hands on his trousers hand and holds it out for Ted to shake.

“I’m Edgar. Edgar Bones.” The grin on the boy’s face is massive and Ted knows that even though this boy talks more than he does and is clearly a bit different, he thinks (he hopes) that they might be friends.

Ted shakes Edgar’s hand. “Ted Tonks,” he replies.

Edgar gives him a funny look. “Ted, eh? I hope that’s not short for Edward because otherwise things would get really confusing. Edgar and Edward. They’d call us Ed and Ed.”

Ted shakes his head. “No, it’s short for Theodore.”

Edgar nods his head knowingly. “Ah, that makes sense. So, you a muggleborn, Ted? Or is this stuff nothing new to you?” Edgar begins to pull out another biscuit and hands another to Ted, who accepts, feeling both a bit put out by the excessive questions, but accepting of them at the same time. He realizes that this is how you make friends.

“I’m the first. A muggleborn,” Ted answers cautiously, not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

“Ah, nice, I’m a half blood, so me and you can be in the whole ‘purebloods look down on us just because we’re not them’ boat together. My sister’s done this before,” Edgar glances at the door as he’s expecting someone to just come bursting through it at any moment. “You’ll meet her and her comrade at her arms soon, I expect.”

Ted nods and feels a bit guilty that he’s not really contributing more to this conversation, but this sort of thing has never really been his strong suit. He takes a leap, deciding that now and this boy and this strange world in which he’s eating Jaffa cakes and discussing where they came from is the best time as any to try to make a friend.

“Are you scared?” Ted asks, bluntly, having never very good at being subtle and dancing around subjects and things that are bothering him. He thinks it’s the fact that he has only sisters and thus they do nothing but dance around subjects.

Edgar shrugs and leans back against the bench, his face showing his thoughts plainly. “Yes, I guess I am, but then again, aren’t we all? I mean, we only one chance, so we can’t very well bugger it up, can we?” he answers, laughing.

Ted decides right then and there that he likes Edgar very much and that even if he makes friends with no one else, he will be friends with Edgar Bones. He grins and starts to relax, leaning back against the cushion in mimicry of Edgar as their conversation starts to turn to things like sports (both of them argue over football, and then Edgar begins to detail the delicacies of a strange sport called “Quidditch”) and to having sisters (how there is always hair everywhere and they always take forever in the bathroom).

He thinks that this can’t get any better when the door slides open with a sharp crack and two girls who radiate energy as different as night and day burst into the tiny compartment. One is taller, with long limbs, wide dark eyes and dark reddish brown hair framing a freckled face and the other is shorter, less gangly, softer, with sandy colored hair and soft blue eyes and the same wide smile as Edgar.

“Oi, Eddie, miss me?” asks the dark haired girl, bursting with this loud energy and plopping herself on the bench down next to Edgar, who smiles at her as she wraps her arm around his shoulders and squeezes.

The other girl sits gently down next to Ted, crossing her legs and her arms gently across her chest and gives Ted a wry smile before she says, with a lightly dry sort of humor, “Lee, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t kill my brother. Mum asked me to return him to me at the end of the term and she’ll skin me alive if I don’t.”

The dark haired girl, Lee, Ted assumes, winks at Ted and gives Edgar’s shoulders another squeeze before letting go and laughing. “Oh, Mia, you know that Edgar here can take it, can’t ya, Ed?”

Edgar rubs his shoulder lightly with his hand, nodding. “Ted, I’d like you to meet my sister Amelia, and her best friend, Marlene McKinnon,” Edgar introduces gesturing first to the girl whom Ted already assumed was Edgar’s sister who smiles and then to the boisterous Lee next to him, who has taken to examining Ted with exaggerated motions.

“Ted, eh? I like it. As Eddie, here told you, I’m Marlene, but you can call me Lee, or Marley or whatever you’d like,” she says with a grin, her dark eyes dancing.

Edgar’s sister, Mia leans over and whispers in a voice so that Marlene can hear. “Lee, here is going to get herself killed one of these days because she has a mouth that can never shut.”

She then smiles prettily at Lee and bats her eyelashes at her friend, her returns the gesture with a smug face, and a louder voice. “And Mia here is going to die quietly because someone will kill her just to get a loud reaction.”

Ted isn’t sure how to take these words and the glances that the girls are throwing at each other, but Edgar leans over and explains. “They do this all the time. It’s their bit. But if anyone else tries it, they’ll tear them apart.”

Ted nods, now suddenly seeing this banter in a new light. Underneath this false harshness, is a deep sort of affection—an almost love. They’re like sisters.

Both girls now have their attention on Ted, and have begun what Ted can only relate to being the second Spanish Inquisition. They ask him anything and everything that they might want to know, but are fair about it, letting him in turn, ask them questions and every so often Edgar inserts his own three or four cents.

By the time the train is slowing in the station and the girls are getting up to get their stuff and leave, Ted thinks he might actually have friends.

“Well, Teddy, I hope we see you and Eddie around the ole Claw common room, don’t we, Mia?” Lee says, standing in the doorway, grinning.

Mia ruffles Edgar’s hair affectionately. “Of course we do, though Edgar’s got half a chance to be in Gryffindor with that mouth of his, but you never know, look at you,” she says to Lee with a laugh as moves to follow the taller girl. “Be good boys!”

From out in the corridor, they both hear Lee McKinnon’s voice call, “And don’t fall in the lake!”

Edgar and Ted give each other odd looks, not really having any ideas what the older girl is talking about. She’s twelve, nearly thirteen and a year ahead of them and it’s a well-known thing that second years are always pulling first years’ legs and this might just be one of those things.

Or so Ted hopes. He really doesn’t want to fall into a lake on his first day there. That would just be embarrassing.

In the station, Edgar and Ted tumble out and onto the platform and the nerves that Ted hadn’t really been feeling so much during the journey with the girls and the distraction, have returned in full force and he thinks he’s going to throw up.

A gruff and weathered looking man, and his even larger, burly assistant are calling for all first years to follow them and that’s what Ted and Edgar do, down to a fleet of little boats.

“That man? That’s Ogg, the grounds keeper. The bigger one is Hagrid, he’s nicer, or so Mia has told me,” Edgar tells Ted, as they step (or rather Edgar steps and Ted half stumbles) into one of the little boats, two other students, a pretty girl named Emmeline and a boy named Benjy following them.

The lake is still and dark and it looks like black glass. It’s got to be one of the most beautiful things that Ted has ever seen and Ted has always had a bad habit of touching things he thought was pretty. So, just after he catches his first glimpse of the lovely turrets and towers of Hogwarts, his new home for the next seven years, he gives in to temptation and reaches out and touches the dark water, the mist gently hanging over it.

For a moment, the brick of ice that is sitting in his stomach has seemingly faded.

That moment doesn’t last long, as Edgar taps his shoulder to ask his opinion of being spies and that action startles Ted so much that he shakes the boat and creates a huge splash and hears Ogg yell from one of the other boats to keep all hands in the boats.

He slinks back into the boat, feeling as if he wants to die, embarrassed all ready and now his hands are cold and he’s terrified that as soon as he reaches the other side of the lake they are going to take one look at him and turn him away.

He doesn’t think he could deal with that. Not now, not when he’s made it this far.

The boats dock in a little cave on the other side they are shunted out and up, and the others are chattering quietly, in hushed tones around him, and Edgar nudges him, giving him a look telling him it’ll be okay.

He doesn’t really believe Edgar.

By the time he reaches the top of the stairs, his hands are freezing, cold and sweaty, a by-product of nerves and that stupid lake. He half scolds himself for being such an idiot, and half wants to run and put on a pair of gloves, but he knows that would make him look like even more out of place than he knows he must surely already look.

He rubs his hands together and twists them into knots around his new uniform; an awkward set of robes, and tries to look like he belongs as he’s surrounded by a group of boys and girls his age in a giant empty hall. Edgar smiles and says something, but Ted has no idea what it is, because words are now beyond him.

He feels like he is going to throw up, and wishes for his mother right then. He wants to crawl into her lap and have her rock him back and forth and tell him that everything is all right and that he will always be her little Teddy and that this is the worst it’s going to get. He hates that he’s suddenly regressed to age four and wants his mother to take care of him all over again, when he promised himself that he would be strong and be a man.

He feels like something of a pre-emptive failure.

A shrewd woman with sharp features and peppered brown hair pulled back into a bun is standing in front of them, telling them a list a rules that he tries to listen to, but cannot understand. He’s terrified that everyone here is going to take one look at him, laugh and tell him to get his scrawny arse out of there, because it’s clear he’s not one of them.

He notices his feet are cold, freezing in fact, like they’ve suddenly become encased in ice and it doesn’t help that he doesn’t feel he can lift them when he is told to move. Somehow, he finds the inner strength to lift the ice blocks that are is feet and follow his new classmates out of one room and into another bigger one, filled with more students watching him, watching them and he feels the bile rising in his throat.

Then he spots a glimmer of dark hair. It shines like the black waters he just touched and he is fascinated by it, drawn to it. He wants to know whom it belongs to, who is the owner of something so beautiful that he just wants to reach out and touch it and feels the sickness in his stomach drain away.

He reclines his head, standing on the tips of his toes, trying to see the face of black haired person. He sees the sharp looking woman place a tattered hat on a stool and is barely even fazed when the hat begins to sing. Noise is beyond him; it just becomes a dull buzzing in his ear so intent on his purpose is he.

At last, he sees the owner’s face, and it is lovely. He’s never seen a girl who looked her before, even though he is used to girls, and seen a variety of them, due to having four sisters. This girl is an angel on Earth. The liquid ebony that is her hair frames a beautiful face that is smiling, entirely illuminated by laughter and the perfection of her white teeth. He feels his heart stop in his chest and has no idea why. His palms are still sweaty, but it’s different from the way it was before, a better sort of nervous, and he wants to know what her voice sounds like because he’s quite certain it will be the most beautiful thing he’s ever heard.

He watches her, standing still, wanting to move forward towards her, but unable to force himself, so he just watches her, not even blinking, his mouth slightly open. He’s mesmerized.

The girl turns slightly, and her eyes meet his, and he’s never seen anything so grey, yet so lovely at the same time. It makes him grateful for rainy days if only for a comparison to her eyes. She smiles at him, mouths the word “hello” and he thinks that God should just take him right then because nothing will ever live up to being addressed by an angel.

He smiles awkwardly back, but doesn’t get a chance to do anything more because the sharp professor woman is back and calling off names. Children from their cluster step forward one by one as their names are called and sit on the stool, the battered hat on their heads. Moments pass and the hat calls out a funny name, which indicates a house and a table and that’s the sorting.

He wonders what the girl’s name is.

“Black, Andromeda,” the shrewd woman calls, and his dark haired angel steps forward with the grace and ease of a princess to sit on the stool.

She’s not just an angel, she’s a princess, a queen, he thinks, mulling her name over in his head. A Black princess.

The girl, Andromeda, is on the stool for longer than the others before her, and at last the hat calls out a name: “Slytherin!”

She removes the hat and doesn’t look surprised as she smiles darkly at the group of them left still unsorted, before walking over to the table that matches the name. He notes that the people sitting there do not look to be a particularly friendly bunch, and he watches as his princess sits down next to another dark haired girl, who’s clearly older, yet related to her, and not quite as pretty or friendly looking.

His heart slightly sinks in his chest.

Edgar nudges him, smiling eagerly as his name is called, forcing Ted to turn his attention to his only friend. Edgar is sorted into Gryffindor and Ted feels vaguely dead inside. There is no way that he is going to get into that house. He’s nothing like Edgar. There goes hope.

The number of them waiting slowly dwindles, until it is just him and a few others.

“Tonks, Theodore,” the woman calls, and his heart plummets to the floor. It’s his turn.

He steps forward nervously, awkwardly, and trying desperately not trip over his own two feet. He sits on the stool and places the hat on his head, hearing his heart thudding loudly in his ear and in his chest.

The moments pass and the Hat talks to him in his ear, telling him that he has potential and a thirst for knowledge and he could be great once he finds a bit of confidence. The Hat mumbles something of an apology for not letting him follow the Black girl, tells him that it’s possible for Gryffindors and Ravenclaws to be friends and then gallantly shouts out: “Ravenclaw!”

Ted stands and awkwardly takes off the hat, and sets it down on the stool, before, scanning the hall for a moment and moving to the table that matches his new name.

It’s right next to his Black princess’s table. He thinks that he’ll like this school, and he sits down in a spot facing the dark haired Andromeda, and enjoys the welcome he receives from his new housemates.

He notices that his hands are no longer so cold, and he smiles to himself and takes that as a good sign.

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Comments

Posted by: tonksified. (tonksified)
Posted at: March 27th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)

Aww, that is SO sweet!

Posted by: [professional life ruiner.] (lookslikelove)
Posted at: March 28th, 2006 01:39 am (UTC)
Never :: fashion

Thank you. I'm glad you like it and I hope you keep reading!

Posted by: tonksified. (tonksified)
Posted at: March 28th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
Sandra Bullock(Bang!)

I will. There is a SERIOUS lack of Tedromeda fanfics out there. Hope to see an update soon!

Posted by: [professional life ruiner.] (lookslikelove)
Posted at: March 28th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Torn Ted :: fashion

Yeah, there is a lack of fic out there, and an update should be up sometime tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest.

Posted by: tonksified. (tonksified)
Posted at: March 28th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)

Can't wait for that. I don't know, but I've always been interested in Ted and Andromeda, especially since we don't know a lot about them. I even play Andie in an RPG -- heh.

Posted by: [professional life ruiner.] (lookslikelove)
Posted at: March 30th, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
Frames :: Minus One Day

Well, it's up (just a heads up), and it's a great pairing, mostly because of sheer amount of potential it possesses. I'm glad that you are chosing to take this journey with me as well as playing it on your own. XD

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