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Sirius, Andromeda, Ted ficlet - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Sirius, Andromeda, Ted ficlet
For something different tonight, I'm going to make myself keep going on a story I've left abandoned at about a page long. Up to "Sirius stopped himself looking back to ask James's opinion on the matter, and headed down alone," it's pre-written. After that... we'll see what happens. I know what I mean to happen. Let's see if I can actually get there.




Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. June, 1972.

Sirius Black hated being alone, especially when the weather was good and he had a particularly grand idea.

The weather had been an unbroken chain of drizzly days for three weeks, day and night differentiated only by the shade of dull gray on the Great Hall's enchanted ceiling. The temperature fluctuated between cold and clammy and hot enough to steam an artichoke, but it was never, ever comfortable out... at least not until sunset tonight, when the rain had cleared quite suddenly and the wind started to feel like the silk scarf that Sirius had once stolen from his cousin Bella and hexed to look look she'd used it for a handkerchief every time she touched it.

Ideas in the castle had been thin on the ground during the rainy spell, particulary since exams were on. Teachers were somewhat stricter about pranks that might make someone edgy. It wasn't Sirius's fault that old Snivellus had jumped up screaming in the middle of his Transfiguration exam--it was James who had made his spare quill crawl up his neck like a spider--but now he was the one stuck alone because James was in McGonagall's office helping her Transfigure coat buttons back into beetles after the second years' exam. Peter was trying to memorize his Potions notes, as if he wouldn't freeze up completely tomorrow anyway, and hadn't been happy with Sirius for asking him to sneak outside under James's Invisibility Cloak (James always let him borrow it for pranks, since that was the main purpose, he thought, of having the thing). And the full moon was out, so of course Remus was "sick" again. Curiously, despite the fact that he hadn't had so much as a sniffle yesterday, he'd been able to anticipate his bad health and take his Potions exam early.

In desperation, Sirius had even sought out his older cousin Andromeda, thinking vaguely that she might like a chance to spend some time with him free of toujours purs crowd before she left school next week. They made summers bearable for each other, and Sirius felt bad that she would be stuck in the family all year without him from now on. She was nowhere to be found. Sirius even looked in the library on the off chance that she was studying for her N.E.W.T.s. He thought her Charms exam was coming soon, but Andromeda studied like he did, which was to say she didn't, so he wasn't really surprised not to find her in the stacks.

He had a good idea, too--nothing nasty, really, and everyone would like it, except perhaps his other cousin, Narcissa, who didn't like anything. Even the teachers might like it, which would win some reprieves next year. They always punished less if he made them laugh.

It had started off just a bit nasty. He was going bother James some by making the floor under the portrait hole sing a heavenly chorus every time Lily Evans walked over it. He'd made up the Charm last year to annoy Mum (who was more like Narcissa than she was like normal people), and it was easy enough to work. But while he was getting ready for it, a bigger idea had occurred to him, and the sheer grandeur of the thing had made it necessary.

Forget the portrait hole and Lily--he was going to go all over the grounds, charming the front steps, the paths to the greenhouses, large stretches of the lake shore... even, he thought daringly, the corridor outside the staff room. He'd stay away from the classrooms and the Great Hall, so that he would be bothering anyone taking exams, but otherwise, people would be having a marvelous time, walking along in an exam daze and suddenly being serenaded by the school. He would use all sorts of music. People would dance. They'd love it. He'd decided that he'd even use old music by the staff room, so the teachers would like it.

He set to the task eagerly at first, putting the charm on the floor outside the Fat Lady's portrait (this one would sing Peter's favorite tune for the Hogwarts school song), the top of the staircase that led up from the entrance hall (La Marseilles), and the staff room (a minuet he'd had to learn to dance to... he had to whisper his charms here, since he could here Professor Flitwick and the Muggle studies professor, Madam Glenmont, talking right on the other side of the door). He made his way to Hufflepuff dormitories, just past the kitchens (pausing to leave a jaunty little jig for the house elves). He'd once had a crush on a Hufflepuff girl and followed her here, so he knew where it was, unlike Ravenclaw--he hadn't the faintest idea where they went. Slytherin, of course, he knew. Any time the family needed to share information at school, it was shared at Slytherin, where everone but Sirius and Andromeda had been. He briefly considered making their floor play a funeral dirge, but he thought they might enjoy it, so he opted against it. Hufflepuff got some birdsong and an Irish tin whistle.

By the time he got outside, though, it was beginning to feel more like a task than a joke. He found himself looking over his shoulder to whisper a joke to James, or ask Remus to suggest a tune. Once, he even caught himself starting to ask Peter to dance around and test the charm, before he remembered that he was by himself in this.

Bloody McGonagall... no sense of humor. She should have known better than to have a double examination--with the Slytherins, of all people. Who could be expected to let something like that pass?

He made his way to the greenhouses, charming bits of grass along the path to sing tunes by Celestina Warbeck, then glanced down toward Hagrid's cabin. It might be fun to see the big fellow dancing to something, and he was definitely the sort that would find it funny. Sirius stopped himself looking back to ask James's opinion on the matter, and headed down alone.

Hagrid's windows were dark. He was probably still at the pub in Hogsmeade. Near the front door, his puppy--a perfectly average St. Bernard named Fizzing Whizbee, possibly Sirius's favorite creature on the planet--was looking forlornly over his crossed paws. Sirius took a quick look up at the castle and saw no one coming. He pulled off the Invisibility Cloak.

Whizbee jumped up excitedly, smiling a big doggie smile. Sirius--always prepared for this--took a handful of dog treats from his pocket and tossed them in Whizbee's direction before the barking started. Whizbee leapt on them.

Sirius went down on all fours and looked the puppy in the eyes, growling. Whizbee licked his face sloppily, then jumped and knocked him onto his back, drooling and smiling. Sirius laughed and pushed them both up, scratching Whizbee's head roughly as he did so. Whizbee went purely wild with the licking. It tickled.

Sirius laughed--too loudly, probably, but he didn't see or hear anyone coming. He had been the one to find Whizbee, out behind Honeydukes, and he'd wanted to take the puppy in and look after it and take it home. He'd actually got McGonagall to agree to let him have it at school--"Just until holidays, Mr. Black"--but Mum had told him that if he brought such a filthy thing home, he'd find himself eating it in a stew. A bit of thought was enough to convince him that she was probably not joking, so Whizbee had gone to Hagrid. But he remembered who'd found him.

Dogs always remembered things like that.

Sirius nipped at the nape of Whizbee's neck, the way mother dogs did, then smelled his good puppy smell. "Good to have one pal around, at least," he said.

Whizbee made a contented sound that wasn't quite a bark, and Sirius rubbed his hanging jowls vigorously, the way he liked. His eyes rolled up and closed happily.

"Shall we Charm?" he whispered.

Whizbee nodded agreeably, jumping around Sirius's feet as he stood and picked up James's Cloak.

"How about a jig? D'you think Hagrid would like to do a jig?"

Whizbee didn't offer his musical opinions.

Sirius frowned evaluatively at Hagrid's step, squatting down again and scratching absently behind Whizbee's ears. "I don't know. Maybe something Muggle... one of those things that Andromeda's always dancing about the Common Room to. Or maybe..."

Soft, high laughter from the Forbidden Forest cut into his thoughts. It seemed to have been caught on the wind just to be carried to him.

"What's that?" he asked Whizbee.

No answer.

Another burst of laughter.

"Hmm... someone's out and about after dark," Sirius said, wiggling his eyebrows. "Let's see, eh?"

He pulled the Cloak on and grabbed the tether Hagrid used when he took the dog into the Forest. It was short, and he could easily keep Whizbee under the Cloak with him. It was much better to have someone to talk to. His spirits were quite a bit higher now.

Together, they made their way into the eaves of the forest. The laughter came again, and was followed by incomprehensible words from a lower voice. The laughing voice responded, more clearly, "Really, don't you think this is a bit silly?"

Sirius stopped. It was Andromeda's voice.

Frowning, he started moving again, wondering what in blazes she was doing out here, and who she was with. A boy, obviously, from the other low voice.

The Muggle-born friend of hers, maybe?

Seemed odd to be sneaking about with him. It wasn't like she ever pretended not to be friends with him inside school. It practically made steam come out of Narcissa's ears when she saw them talking and laughing together in the Great Hall.

He followed the sound of her voice to a very small clearing. The moonlight flooded it, making Andromeda look like an actress on the stage. Sure enough, it was Ted Tonks with her, sprawled out on the ground. He was wearing his beaten up wide-bottomed blue jeans, and a pair of sandals had been thrown to one side. The shirt looked like it had once been a white T-shirt, but it was dyed with bright blues, greens, and pinks, in uneven splashes of color. He was grinning madly.

Andromeda, meanwhile, had stifled her laughter. She was wearing a perfectly normal robe, but her shoes and stockings were set carefully on a tree stump. She had the hem of the robe lifted and was looking at her bare feet with some amusement. "What exactly am I meant to do now?" she asked.

"It says, to, er... " Ted leaned over and picked up a tattered looking book that was on the ground beside him. "'Feel the Earth come up through your toes, and gather the strength of Gaia.'"

Andromeda dropped the hem of her robe, and then dropped down to the ground beside Ted, laughing. "And that's what they call modern witchcraft?"

Ted held up the book, which was indeed titled Witchcraft Today. "It says so right here. Found it at a crafts fair in a booth with a woman reading palms."

"Was she any good?"

"What, I don't spend enough time having my palm read doing my Divination classes?"

Andromeda looked at him skeptically.

He grinned and stuck his tongue out. "She said I'd meet a mysterious stranger, that I would take a journey, and that I'd have a daughter someday."

"As long as you're not planning to take the journey with the stranger."

"Not a chance," Ted said and then...

And then...

Sirius felt everything freeze. Ted was kissing Andromeda. Right on the mouth, and it didn't look like it was anything new.

They stopped, and Andromeda curled up against him the way she curled up in the chairs by the fireplace in the Common Room. "Did that coincide with what you've seen?"

"Never did see a stranger or a journey," Ted said. "And I've been doing quite a lot of scrying for my Divination N.E.W.T. Bloody useless--if I see something I want, I have to be so careful not to change anything that I'm probably changing things anyway. And I see something bad and then make it not happen, no one will believe me next time."

"So why did you keep taking it?"

"Because I'm good at it. Stupid thing to be good at, but I am."

Andromeda kissed his cheek contentedly. "Did you see something you wanted?"

"Mm-hmm."

Whizbee nudged Sirius's ankle, and Sirius absently picked him up, feeling cold for some reason and wanting the warm puppy nearer to his face. The Cloak opened briefly when he did this, but neither Ted nor Andromeda noticed.

"Are you going to tell me?" Andromeda pressed.

"Not if I don't want you running off in complete fear."

"Yes, because you terrify me."

He laughed. "No, I mean... it might be... a bit early."

"A bit early for what?"

"And it could be wrong. Sometimes what I see is complete rubbish."

"Wrong about what?"

"Or, you might think I'm just saying I saw it to make you say yes."

"Say yes to what?"

But Andromeda didn't sound like she really wondered. It sounded like she knew.

Ted picked a daisy from the forest floor and twisted it around his finger. "Whew. Er..."

Andromeda waited patiently, smiling.

"All right. But this isn't something that I want you to feel... well, rushed about. I don't want you to feel pushed. Or..."

"Ted."

"Right then." He took a deep breath. "Andi, I can't even imagine not having you with me. I... I Saw us together, with a baby and all, but that's not why I'm asking. I think it might be one of those things I Saw because it's what I want to See. But it... it is what I want, Andi." He shifted a bit and knelt in front of her, holding out the daisy he'd twisted around his finger, now looped into a ring. "Maybe someday... I know it could be a mess with your family and I'll understand if you don't want that... but maybe eventually, someday, you would... would you think about... marrying me?"

Sirius clutched Whizbee tightly. Andromeda couldn't get married. She was... his cousin. She wasn't an adult. Only adults got married. Maybe she would wait that long. Maybe...

Andromeda took the daisy ring. "Ted, if you think that was going to scare me, I'm afraid this may terrify you."

"What?"

"I want to marry you."

"Andi, that's--"

"Next week."

Ted fell speechless, his face as white as the moon.

"I know, it's sudden. I was thinking about asking, but I wasn't sure if you were even ready to consider it and it just kept getting later and I--"

Ted swallowed hard. "Next week?"

Andromeda bit her lip and took a deep breath. "I know it doesn't sound romantic. But Ted, I can't go back there. I can't. I want to marry you. And I want our family. I don't want the one I'd have to go home to."

Sirius felt the night turn to glass. He sat down heavily on a root, not caring if it might tear James's Cloak, or if Andromeda and Ted might hear him

"That's..."

"I know, the wrong reason."

"Yes, it is."

She stood up and came to the edge of the clearing, not a foot away from the family she didn't want anymore. "It's the wrong reason to hurry. But... I love you, Ted. I want to marry you now and I'll want to marry you in five years. Can you think of any reason we shouldn't?"

"But your family--"

"Will make it a lot more difficult if I go home to them first."

"Andi, we should talk this out. I'm not sure..."

"Oh, we definitely need to talk about it. A lot. I wanted to tell you what I want. That's--" She turned quickly, and the wide sleeve of her robe flew wildly--and draped caught on Sirius's Cloaked head.

Andromeda jumped back and Ted got to his feet.

"Who is it?" he demanded, starting toward her.

Andromeda reached forward, and Sirius felt her hand only a second before she pulled the Cloak aside.

A lot of expressions crossed her face when she saw him, but ultimately, the one that won was anger. "Sirius! Have you been... eavesdropping?"

"I didn't mean to."

"You also didn't exactly tell us you were here."

"Yes, well, you said you didn't really want your family, so why should I?"

"You know I don't mean you, any more than you mean me."

"I'll go now," he said, turning around. Whizbee made a little whining noise.

"Sirius, don't tell. Don't tell them what I asked Ted. Don't--"

He looked at her, meaning to say that of course he wasn't going to tell--when had he ever snitched on her to the family? But when he tried to speak, his chest went tight and felt like it was burning.

He walked away without saying anything.

"Sirius!" she called after him. "Sirius!"

He didn't turn back.



Eh. There's more to the story, obviously, but I'm out of time.

Tags:
I feel a bit...: bored bored
Soundtrack: Music choice--80s

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: April 8th, 2004 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I know it's Passover (and Pascha for me) but I want more!!!
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: April 8th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh...oh, poor Sirius. I really enjoyed this--Ted and Andromeda just being silly, and then it turning serious, and Sirius just in shock! I hope you continue this one.
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: April 8th, 2004 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! That was great! I want more! I loved the charms he was sprinkling all over the school and can't wait to hear the reactions. And the dialogue between Ted and Andromeda was excellent.
calico321 From: calico321 Date: April 8th, 2004 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
That was so good! Poor Sirius, some days nothing goes right.
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: January 21st, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ohh, I found it again! Yay! :) *Sighs wistfully because this was never, exactly, finished up*

I love your Ted and Andromeda, so, SO much.:).
From: amethystbeloved Date: February 9th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)
From all of your Harry Potter stories, past, present, and future, I've decided that I love your Ted and Andi best. Teddy is phenomenal, and the way you write Dora and Remus is beautiful, but your Andromeda and Ted are one of a kind. It wasn't until I discovered your Ted when his death in DH went from a casualty to a tragedy.

For this story, I love Sirius' "task". I'm a dancer, so I fully approve of his intentions! The moment between Ted and Andi was wonderful. They're so in love, and she's not letting her family stop her. While Sirius was hurt here, I'm really glad he and his gang helped the happy couple escape to get married.
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