Chapter 2 : House of Black
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A/N: My apologies for the delay; life sucks sometimes. Anyway, I’m updating now and I hope ya’ll enjoy and review.
I’d like to say a special thanks to my new beta reader, clen3k.
My parents did their best to keep their promise to me. I have to say that Bellatrix did require much more attention when she was a baby than I had expected (and I must say that I got rather frustrated at times), but, for the most part, I never missed being an only child.
As a child, Bellatrix was into everything; we couldn’t take our eyes off her. She particularly liked trying to see how some dangerously magical items worked. We had to keep everything we could out of her reach. Anything we couldn’t keep away from her was charmed by Father to make a loud noise when she got near it.
When Bellatrix was a year old and I was five, my Uncle Scorpius married a woman named Lilith Macnair. He had been courting Lilith for over a year, and it came as no surprise to anyone.
I, however, was not happy. I never liked Lilith and I hated having to start calling her “Aunt”; it took me a while to consider her a part of the family. She always had a look in her eye that told everyone that she was not to be trifled with. I hated that look that came from her cold, grey eyes. Coupled with the fact that she was taller than most women and often yelled when talking, you can see why I was intimidated by her as a child.
Uncle Scorpius was older than Father by only eleven months. This meant that it was he, not my father, who inherited the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black: a very old house that had remained in the Black family for generations. It was there that the family was going to meet for a celebration before the wedding. In the Black family, we always had a private party prior to events such as weddings. It was at this party, not the wedding, where Lilith would really become part of the family.
Despite my negative feelings towards the wedding, I couldn’t help but be excited. I had never really been to the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (Uncle Scorpius normally came to see us), but had heard much about it from Father. I was also going to be a flower girl in the wedding. Aunt Elladora and my Uncle Alphard were the only people there besides us, Uncle Scorpius, and Aunt Lilith.
The party was very boring. Lilith didn’t want me to wander around the house by myself and all of the adults were busy catching up with each other. Thankfully, Uncle Alphard agreed to show me around the house after he’d done enough conversing.
The house was very fascinating, especially for the curious five-year-old that I was. I’m surprised Uncle Alphard didn’t tell me to quit asking so many questions. I had to know what everything was, what it did, and where it came from. Uncle Alphard did his best to answer my questions to my satisfaction, even if he had to lie for the sake of child-friendliness or if he had to make up something when he didn’t know the answer.
The thing that sticks out most from my memory of that night was the Black family tapestry. It was what most fascinated me. I was just beginning to learn how to read, so I had to have Uncle Alphard’s help with the names. He told me what he knew of every family member.
When he got to the part of the family tree that included my Father and his family, I noticed a burnt spot between Father’s and Aunt Elladora’s names. I had seen other burnt spots on the tapestry, but I was so caught up in listening to Uncle Alphard that I had not asked about them. Finally, I couldn’t take the curiosity any longer.
“What are the burnt spots for?”
“They are the members of the family that have been disowned,” he answered. I couldn’t help but noticed that his tone of voice went from being cheerful to somewhat sad.
“Why?” I asked, wondering what they could have done that was so horrible.
“Each of them has a different reason for being disinherited,” he began to explain, “but all of them involve betrayal and disloyalty of the family and its traditions.”
“Who was that” – I pointed to the burnt spot next to Father’s name – “and what did they do to get disowned?”
“He was your father’s brother and mine,” he said with a definite sadness in his voice. “His name was Pericles and he … married … a Muggle.”
“Does that mean he’s my –”
“Uncle?” Uncle Alphard cut me off. “Yes, he was.”
I stayed silent for a few moments after that. Father had told me several stories about his childhood, but he’d never mentioned Pericles. Why? I didn’t know at this point in my life what was bad about Muggles. I knew they were bad but I didn’t know why. I decided that I’d ask Uncle Alphard, but Mother came up to us before I got the chance.
“What are you two doing?” Mother inquired, smiling at both of us.
“I was just showing Andi the tapestry,” Uncle Alphard answered.
“I see,” she replied and then looked at me. “Well, I hope you’re finished because it is way past your bedtime, young lady.”
“Can’t I stay up just a little bit longer?” I whined, not ready to go to bed and quit my exploration of the house.
“No, I’m afraid not, dear,” Mother answered. “You have to get up early in the morning. Now, go get ready for bed and I’ll tuck you in.”
I obeyed without much more complaint and was soon ready. We were staying at the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black until the wedding was over, so I would get another chance to satisfy my curiosity. After getting ready for bed, Mother walked me to the room I was to stay in. I crawled into bed and she tucked the covers in tight around me.
“Your Father and I are just across the hall if you need us,” she informed me before kissing my forehead.
“Have you already brushed your hair?”
Every night before she went to bed, Mother would brush her long, golden hair. I loved to watch her. Her hair was so beautiful and she looked so content while brushing it. I would watch her as she brushed all the tangles out and I’d wish that I’d wake up one morning with my hair golden blonde like hers, instead of the dark hair that I had.
She chuckled when I asked her. “Yes.”
I frowned, slightly disappointed. It was then that I remembered Pericles and the question I had wanted to ask Uncle Alphard. I decided to ask Mother.
“Mother, what is so bad about Muggles and Mudbloods?”
She frowned at the question. “I’ll tell you when you’re older.”
“But I want to know now,” I protested.
Looking at my face and seeing the look on it that told her how badly I wanted to know, she smiled. “I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
However, I did not find out the next day. Everyone was so caught up in the rehearsal dinner that I forgot to remind Mother to answer me. The next day was the wedding, and I was so caught up in my flower girl duties that I didn’t think about it again. I would not think about it again for a long time.
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