Today was another normal day for Jasmine. She was back at the Tonks's for the summer break and Nymphadora couldn't be more delighted. Apparently, she had done the seemingly impossible for her and sunk into a shallow depression during her aunt's absence. When Jasmine told Andromeda she wasn't staying at Hogwarts, but leaving on the train, she was extremely surprised - and guilty of the surprise - to find Andromeda and Nymphadora at the station. Andromeda had gotten the day off from St. Mungo's, but Ted had to work.
Even though it was a Friday, or perhaps because it was, Jasmine stayed home from office, mostly just because.
Now, she was with Andromeda and Ted shopping with Nymphadora - who had just received her Hogwarts letter - for school supplies.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Can I get a kitty?" Nymphadora asked, with her face against the Magical Pet Shop window.
"Well, it's alright with me, ask your mother though."
"Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Can I get a kitty?"
"Will you take care of it?"
"It will be your responsibility, understand?"
"Yay!" She grabbed Jasmine's hand and pulled her into the store with her parents following.
"That one," Nymphadora said, pointing to a calico that resembled a pompom.
It was perfectly round due to the fluffy fur except for the long, skinny tail and whiskers that, oddly enough, stuck straight out. Its feet and head would be indistinguishable from the rest of it were not the cat standing up, the pink nose, brown eyes, and the pink inside of its ears.
"O...k, then, yeah," Jasmine said - she had never seen a fluffy creature look so... odd. "Hey, ma'am, how much for the fuzz-butt?"
"Jasmine!" Andromeda scolded. "Which one did you pick?" she asked Nymphadora.
Ted and Andromeda were as shocked by the cat as Jasmine.
As Andromeda paid for the cat, the witch at the cash register asked, "What will you name her?"
"At least now we know the gender," Jasmine muttered.
"Fuzz-Butt," Nymphadora answered in the simplest, most appropriate way possible, yet enthusiastic all the same.
Jasmine snickered before rescuing her niece from her mother's started lecture of "Nymphadora!"
"Oh, don't worry, Andro, I'm sure she meant 'Fuzzy'. Didn't ya?" she asked, nudging Nymphadora.
"Uh, yeah! Yeah, I did!"
"Alright," Andromeda said, unconvinced. "Jasmine, don't call me 'Andro'."
"Okie-dokie, then." Under her breath, she added, "Andromy."
"I heard that."
Jasmine laughed out loud.
After fitting Fuzzy with a collar - no one could quite figure out where exactly it should go - she ended up looking like two pompoms glued together, everyone went to Flourish and Blotts.
When they went in, the first thing Jasmine did was say, "Oh...-" she looked at her niece "-great, crap, and heck."
"What?" Andromeda wanted to know.
Jasmine pointed and Andromeda nodded her understanding as she narrowed her eyes in dislike.
"I don't want Nymphadora meeting her," Andromeda said.
"Yeah, or her to meet Nymphadora," Jasmine told her. "Just take her behind that book shelf or something."
"Nymphadora, let's look behind here," her mother instructed.
The minute they and Ted disappeared, Jasmine was addressed by her sister.
"What are you for, Jasmine?" Narcissa Malfoy asked.
"Don't know, guess nothing. You?"
"Lucius asked me to get a book for him."
"Oh, he's finally learned to read, has he?"
"Jasmine, sister, you know I love you, but do not insult my husband."
"Sure thing! If that's really what you call him."
"Jasmine! Why do we always have to fight?!"
"Oh, I don't know, possible 'cause you gave me the boot... how many years ago?"
"You ran away. And incase you forget, Bella and I never thought of you as 'disowned'. You were always a part of our family. And, most importantly, you came back."
"Yeah, and that was probably the best thing I ever did!" Jasmine answered with sarcasm coating her tone. Narcissa paid no attention to it.
"Jasmine, you must stop acting so naive."
"Who's being naive? Am I being naive? I'm not acting naive."
"If Mother and Father had thrown you out, I would have tried to stop them, but you chose to leave with the blood-traitor that corrupted you."
"Well, dear old Mummy definitely threw some hexes of sorts my way that night, does that count? And I believe it was more that I corrupted him."
Narcissa looked at her with sympathy in her eyes before hugging her. "If you ever need anything, I do mean anything, you know you're always welcome with me."
"Yeah, thanks, Cissy," Jasmine said while patting her back and rolling her eyes.
"Well, I need to get home." Narcissa apparated away.
"I love being the baby in the family; none of my siblings ever hated me, no matter what I thought or think of them. Makes you wonder why I'm the youngest though."
"What's that, Jasmine?" Andromeda asked as she walked over to her.
"Oh, nothing, just talking to myself."
"Well what'd she want?"
"Nothing, just getting a book."
"Thank goodness for that."
Later that night, back at the Tonks house, Jasmine was just falling asleep when she heard a small knock at her bedroom door, which she always kept locked, more out of habit than anything else.
She opened the door and Nymphadora, carrying Fuzzy, came in.
"Hey, hun. What's up this late hour? Besides us, I mean."
"Who was that witch you were talking to?"
"No one, just someone I know from childhood."
"Are you related?"
Jasmine sighed. "Yes, she's my sister."
"How come Mum won't let me see her?"
Jasmine paused. This was a sensitive situation, best left to Andromeda, but Nymphadora came to her. "Well, she's not... You see, she thinks... Just ask you mother. I don't think she'd be very happy if this comes from me."
"You need to ask her. I'll go with you if want."
Nymphadora's gaze fell to the floor. "Ok." She didn't look ok.
"Come here." Jasmine held out her arms and Nymphadora came into them. "I know it's for a good reason, alright? You're not being punished, you know that, right?"
Nymphadora nodded, and Jasmine could tell she was starting to cry. "But Mum said you were her only sister."
Jasmine bit her lip. "Well, technically, she's right." She turned Nymphadora to face her. "Family is more than blood, which isn't always thicker than water."
"Is it in this house?" Nymphadora asked tentatively.
"Of course it is! We all love each other, don't we? And take care of one another?"
"Yeah, we do." Nymphadora hugged her aunt. "I love you, Auntie J."
"Love you, too, squirt."
"Um, 'squirt'? Auntie J, you are in no position to call anyone 'squirt'."
Jasmine looked Nymphadora square in the eye, and without a hint of smile or laughter, said, "There must be some poor, unfortunate jackass somewhere in the world that is shorter than I."
"Don't tell your mother I told you that," Jasmine said, a slight grin on her face and a twinkle of mischief in her eyes.
"Good night, Auntie J."
"Good night, sweetie."
Nymphadora closed the door on her way back to her own room, and Jasmine left it unlocked.
She chuckled to herself. "'Poor, unfortunate jackass," she muttered with a look of question at herself.
Jasmine laid down and found herself, oddly enough, in dreams about another who had said "I love you", but she knew that by walking out and losing contact with him almost two years ago, she couldn't go back now, even if she wanted to. The fact of the matter was she no longer knew where she stood on that matter, but, smiling, she knew she loved her family.
A/N: Had no reviews for a while now... =( Having a problem with writer's block at ch. 24, so review if you'd like me to continue after it, reviews are inspirational!