Chapter 1 : Full Circle
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The holiday of New Year’s often symbolizes something different for everyone, and thus their celebrating is rather unique compared with their neighbors. Mrs. Henrietta Bernshaw of 41 West Crescent, Surrey thinks it’s a pain in the “rumpkin” what with the planning of one of the biggest parties of her year, as well as purchasing the elements to make it a success (which her husband, Mr. Bernshaw, believes the brandy is the only cure for a successful party, as they generally involve a parade of midget hooligans.) Whereas over on 22 East Crawford Street, as the Reverend Trenton and his wife sit in the cold parlor, reading, young and hopeful Gavin kneels by his bed and prays the new year will cleanse his sins away (particularly putting his goldfish in the holy water as he cleaned his tank.) But what of the woman who resides on the top of Barney Hill in that house much too large for an old soul like hers to live in, with only the ghostly memories for company?
Snow floats down from the blackened skies on the backs of the winds as they swarm toward the houses of Barney Hill village like bees suckling the honeycomb. The bells of the church toll their solemn lullaby upon the quiet community, the people marching through the sea of white to reach their toasty homes and their loving families. In that house on the hill however, the woman sits alone by the fireside, staring into its depths through thoughtful, glassy eyes.
When Andromeda Tonks, that’s her name by the way, was a girl, she believed in many things with such stubborn passion. But given her gender and lineage, her witty tongue was forced into the art of submission: a practice any proper man would want a potential wife to master. Whilst away at school, she met a rather handsome young man whom could make her laugh and smile and talk as she pleased; liberating her from her stifling prison like Perseus saving the Ethiopian princess from the monster (or so he liked to think). She fell in love with him, but alas, he was beneath her, according to her supercilious family. Trusting fate’s path, she eloped with Prince Charming at the expense of everything she had ever known, and together they had a very special little girl (who took after her proud daddy.) They lived happily ever after for many years, until a psychotic power hungry, dirt bag of a wizard waged war against the world. When the war was over, Teddy, her grandson, was all that was left of Andromeda’s family; whom she took loving, sometimes burdensome care for, for the next 18 years.
The life expectancy of a Black has never been too long, for if a person of that “noble” family was lucky enough to reach their 50th year, they often were struck down in a fit of ecstasy. The recent years, poisoned by a Black curse, have not been kind to dear Andromeda, which grieves an admission of her dying of heart failure, and hence the reason she sits pensively in that large, plaid, overstuffed armchair (once coveted by her loving husband) beside herself looking deep into fiery flames licking the walls of the hearth.
As time slips away, Andromeda remembers the memories of her younger sister, Narcissa, more constantly than the previous months, days, even hours. Her dark, elegantly arched brows furrow as she tries to remember the last moment she laid her eyes on the sister she adored so much.
It was on the eve of Andromeda’s departure, about a quarter past midnight, on a night just like the one outside her barren home. Andromeda waited for Narcissa to return to the bedroom as she finished penning a letter to her fiancée. She was startled at the sound of her door being shut, and twisted her head. It was only Narcissa, smiling happily and blushing prettily, her back pressed against the door, her bosom rising and falling beneath her prim, royal blue felt dress. Her platinum blonde waves bounced on her shoulders as she made her way over to the bed, slipping out of her painful shoes and tenderly removing a locket that hugged her porcelain throat.
“From whom did the necklace come from?” Andromeda inquired, pleading ignorance.
“Lucius,” replied her sister, her eyes sparkling with sensibility. “It was a Christmas gift.”
“Well, you know what dear mama would say to that if she found out,” Andromeda said with a smirk, “My darling girl, remember that in order to catch a worthy match, you must be mysterious in all you do. Accepting gifts of any sort be it not an engagement ring, is invitation enough for a man to ruin your very prospects,” she finished in a nasally tone. Narcissa tried to stifle the giggles that were bursting from her lips.
“Oh be quiet, you. Mother would positively kill you if you ever said something like that outside these walls. She’s got her hands full with Bella, anyway.”
“True, but then again, Bella is fiercely loyal to her family, so thus she must speak openly,” answered Andromeda.
There was a moment of silence between the two sisters before Narcissa changed into her nightdress and kissed her older sister good night, “Sweet dreams Andy, I’ll see you in the morning,” to which her sister only replied with a small smile.
When Andromeda opens her eyes, the dawn greets her with the sound of children playing and the sight of snow on the ground, like icing on a carrot cake. She rises from her chair, securing her robe around her waist, and walks around. Would it hurt to visit her estranged sibling? God knows prejudicial memories lie low in a family like Andromeda’s, like a ravenous wolf waiting to strike its prey. Then again, Andromeda thinks, what’s the worst that can be done, Narcissa putting an end to her healthy life? At least, she would have attempted to seek atonement before she kicked the bucket, unlike that hag of a sister Bellatrix. This has Andromeda convinced, and thus, she reaches for her coat and apparates to her alienated sister’s home.
Over three decades has passed, and Malfoy Manor appears the same to Andromeda since the last time she walked on its premises, though she knows every home has been touched by the dark hand of Lord Voldemort in some form or other. The snowy gravel crunches beneath her feet as she moves toward the grandiose looking home, sneering at her to turn away and never show up at the door again.
Andromeda reaches the door, and for a brief moment she is tempted to go back home, but she is too brave to cut and run. Taking a deep breath, she bangs the brass dragon knocker against the wooden door, and waits.
The door opens to reveal a perfectly styled woman with white-blonde hair tied in a tight bun, and a mouth that instantly curves into a frown; as if instead of a grown woman in her pajamas, a family of rats stood at her doorstep...which her background insists they belong in the same station.
“What do you want?” Narcissa Malfoy inquires haughtily.
“Do not call me that. You no longer have that privilege.”
“Can we talk?” Andromeda asks hopefully.
“Speak,” Narcissa orders, like Andromeda is some mangy dog.
“Inside? Narcissa, you may have been around Bella for a long time, but I know you won’t be so cruel as to force an old lady like me to remain out here on a cold day like today,” Andromeda replies.
There was a moment of silence. “Fine, you may come in; but I do have a small luncheon party coming in an hour, so you will have to leave then,” Narcissa says, the iciness in her eyes melting away.
“That’s OK,” Andromeda says with a smile, and Andromeda steps inside the busy manor, slowly making peace with her past.
And so, my friends, as this year dies, a new beginning is born, bringing the Earth into a full circle of life. The New Year gives us time to reflect on the memories past and what memories will come in the future, and ultimately it gives us a moment to forgive those that have wronged us and seek absolution. New Year’s is a time for miracles to ring true. This is what Andromeda Tonks believes.
Whatever happened to Andromeda? Andromeda lived many years, much to the shock of her doctors, to see her grandson marry and have a beautiful baby girl (to whom she is the namesake.) Lastly, she and Narcissa managed to rebuild their sisterly bond, until ‘Dromeda’s heart gave away at a tender age. You have no idea how happy I was to see her again after so many decades. Our family was together again, at last….and this time it was happily ever after.
Author’s Note: Yes! It is 2 A.M and I am done! Well, it may not be the best work I’ve ever done but I’m proud of it, considering I never wrote a holiday story (mixed with hints of satire) before, and I attempted to do a different writing style. I'm actually planning a story that centers around Andromeda and Ted, so stay tuned if you want more! Thanks for reading and please tell me what you think! Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!