Chapter 1 : Isolation
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Andromeda was sure that Bellatrix would never speak to her again.
Bella had been angry before. She had raged and screamed, she had stamped her feet, she had thrown things, she had cursed people, she had said despicable things, she had taken it out on Narcissa, she had beaten up the house elf. But she had never done this before. The icy silence that came from Bella scared Andromeda. It was if she was never going to be forgiven for the simple act of losing.
Bellatrix refused to look at her and if she wanted to say anything she would mention it to Narcissa who would dutifully pass the message on. That was why Andromeda pressed her head into her pillow, letting the silent tears come.
Andromeda lazed against the wall Bella and Cissy on either side of her. That was how they always looked, like frozen goddesses. Bellatrix, the Queen of the Night with cascades of wild ebony hair and sensual dark eyes. She looked as if she was made of bone china and was very angular and uptight, with symmetrical jutting lines drawing her face. Seventh year, proud and unyielding, Bellatrix terrified all those who stood before her. Narcissa, the Princess of the Light, blessed with angelic good looks. She was made up of curves, a thin waist and was perfectly in proportion. There was never a strand of silvery hair out of place and she gave the impression that she always walked in the light. She was the little fifth year, the innocent one of the family.
Then there was Andromeda. She seemed to be a bit of both her sisters. If they stood in a line Bellatrix, then Andromeda and finally Narcissa they clearly morphed into each other. Andromeda resembled a faded version of Bellatrix. While she had her dark hair, she did not have the crazy beauty that defined it. While she had Bella’s brown eyes, they were nervous and timid.
The bubble in which she stood with her sisters was broken as three men came sliding towards them. The first was the attractive Head Boy Lucius Malfoy. Rich, powerful, domineering with ice cold good looks he was everything that Andromeda envied. He was pureblood elite, and he was perfect. Narcissa was head over heels in love with him, but as far as everyone was concerned nothing was going on. Their liaisons in various places in the castle went unmentioned. Who knew if their parents would ever consent to them being married?
Rodolphus Lestrange followed. There was only one word to describe him and that was bland. He was the last person in the world who Andromeda thought Bellatrix would ever hold any affection for. However, she had been destined to be Rodolphus’ wife for all of her life and she could not escape her duty now. Bellatrix was not the type of woman who would want to anyway. She could always find passion elsewhere, outside her marriage. Rodolphus possessed dull dark hair and cloudy brown eyes. He was not witty, or particularly intelligent, he was just part of the elite Slytherin clique as he was a pureblood.
The third man was Rodolphus’ younger brother, Rabastan, and Andromeda’s boyfriend. Every pureblood at every function would always chirp about how lucky Andromeda was to be with him, and Andromeda supposed she was. He was not like his older brother. He was athletic, and had an air of masculinity about him. He was a Quidditch player, like Lucius, and the two men were best friends, despite Rabastan being a year younger. He had chiselled features and shining tawny eyes that never failed to capture your attention. There had always been a spark between them, a sexual fizz, but Andromeda had never quite realised what Rabastan had seen in her.
The next thing Andromeda felt was the crash of his lips on hers. It wasn’t anything affectionate; it was just a statement, Rabastan saying “she’s mine!” After that moment Andromeda awoke from her thoughts to find Bellatrix talking excitedly.
“I’m entering,” she boasted, “duelling club! Perfect opportunity to practise my skills and knock out some Mudblood’s while I’m at it!” At this statement, Rodolphus gave her a gingerly pat on the soldier as Lucius drawled, “I’m entering, father just thinks I’m a brilliant dueller, we would all do so well.” It did not take a moment for the other five to agree that they were all definitely going to duel tonight and they turned to Andromeda in anticipation. “All right, all right,” she mumbled, “but you know I’m not going to win.”
Bellatrix sniffed loudly before saying, “you better win as Black’s never lose! We are the elite!” They then moved as a small crowd, first and second years evaporating before them. They had the power to put fear into people, especially Bella. When they reached the table they found Evan Rosier with filling his name out on a slip of paper. He was another “perfect” Slytherin. Chestnut brown hair with a gentle curl that matched the gentle lilt of his smile which were his best features. Many girls fell at his feet, like the other handsome Slytherin boys.
“Evan, are you putting your name in the bowl? You’re bound to be beaten by a first year!” quipped Rabastan, slapping his dorm mate jovially on the back. Evan arched one of his perfect eyebrows and said gently, “well, if Andromeda’s entering I’m definitely not coming last!” Andromeda deflated slightly. She knew she was the most pathetic Black sister, the one so easily overshadowed by her older and younger sisters, and she was used to the constant niggling. But she was still a Black and could still answer back, “are you sure about that Rosier? What are you basing my duelling skills on? Guesswork?” Andromeda turned away from him and back to her sisters, her shining dark brown hair flicking carelessly over her shoulder.
Bellatrix had already filled out their slips. “Andromeda Black” was handed to her sharply and following her sisters they each put their names on a scroll and dropped it deep into a large brass pot that Professor McGonagall offered to them. Turning away the three black sisters returned to their positions, elevated eternally above their peers. Lucius, Rodolphus, Rabastan and Evan joined them soon each smiling cunningly as they drew up strategies in their heads.
“It will be two of us in the final,” said Bellatrix confidently, “the rest are all scumsuckers and Mudbloods who will have no chance of beating centuries of good breeding!” Narcissa nodded obediently at her sister. She always managed to play the innocent one but in reality she was the viper who waited quietly in the shadows until the perfect opportunity to strike.
It was not long until Professor McGonagall rung the bell. “Has everyone put their names in?” There was a collective nod as the Transfiguration teacher stuck her hand in the brass pot and pulled out the first name. “Bellatrix Black!” she bellowed loudly as Bella grinned in glee. Andromeda silently prayed that Bella would win; otherwise there would be hell to pay. Professor McGonagall cleared her throat as she called out the second name, “Lisa Smith!” There was a loud shriek as a fourth year Hufflepuff with violently red hair clasped a hand over her mouth. She was a Muggleborn and a Hufflepuff – not a good combination.
“This will be enjoyable,” sneered Bellatrix, mounting the platform to begin the duel, “that little Mudblood will wish she’d never been born!” There was a mad look in her eyes as Lisa Smith joined her. Bella eyed the Hufflepuff as if she was a lioness eyeing up a particularly delicious joint of meat. In Bellatrix’s eyes, she could see the Mudblood’s blood pumping through her jugular.
It was all over in two minutes. Lisa was unconscious and Bellatrix had been given two weeks worth of detention, but Bella didn’t care. She felt she’d punished the Mudblood so Bellatrix was happy. Lucius gave his trademark smirk as Bellatrix returned to stand with them, “Bella, a little self restraint may be appreciated sometimes!” Bellatrix gave him a furious look as she turned to Evan and started talking about her favourite topic – blood statuses.
“The Slytherin Elite” as they called themselves watched various other duels between nameless students. Andromeda found her heart beating quickly; she hoped she wouldn’t have to duel tonight. However, on the last duel of the evening Professor McGonagall shouted “Andromeda Black!” Andromeda groaned inwardly as she reluctantly dragged herself up onto the platform to duel. The next thing she heard was McGonagall shouting the name of her opponent, “Theodore Tonks!”
Andromeda relaxed slightly. Theodore was in several of her classes and he was not the greatest wizard who ever lived, and Andromeda felt she may have a chance to beat him. He was a tall burly boy with sandy blond hair and olive green eyes. Andromeda eyed her opponent as she had always been taught to do. His arms were relaxed and he gave her a gentle smile as he walked up to her, presenting her his palm. Andromeda took it, noticing how warm and gentle it was. Their eyes met for a moment as Andromeda’s heart fluttered with nerves. Theodore would be able to beat her, no doubt.
They shook hands as Andromeda ignored Bella’s incredulous stares. “Good Luck,” said Theodore sincerely, giving her his relaxed smile once more. Andromeda did not smile back but gave him a haughty look. She had been taught subliminally that as a Black, if you ever feel threatened; make your opponent feel small. It seemed to work as Theodore’s smile withered slightly as he stepped back to take his place on the floor. It was a look of disappointment and it intrigued her for a moment.
“One, two, three!” yelled McGonagall and the two of them began. They swirled around each other; akin to the way birds try to attract a mate. Theodore brought his wand up quickly, not taking to flourishing it the way Andromeda did. That gave him a split second advantage that he used shamelessly. “Incendio!” Andromeda neatly jumped his first spell but was again bombarded with a repeat of the first one. She felt clumsy and awkward as she tripped out of the way of his barrage of spells. There was no way that she was going to win and she shot a few spells in his general direction, each missing him.
With a flick of his wand Andromeda found herself flying through the air, her wand soaring away from her and landing ungracefully on the floor. The pain in her back was excruciating and she blinked back the tears as she heard the thunderous cheers of Theodore’s supporters. Andromeda tried to block out the sound as she closed her eyes to the jeers and cackles bombarding her. She heard Professor McGonagall announce Theodore the winner: it had all been over in less than a minute.
Opening her eyes she found Theodore hovering over her a large hand extended in her direction. He was giving her a gentle smile, not the same one he had earlier. This one was a mixture of unspoken apologies and great sadness. Grasping the last shreds of her dignity Andromeda got to her feet without his help and gave him one of the most ferocious looks she could manage. “one day...” she muttered as she stomped away, “one day...”
Andromeda sat slumped in absolute silence in the Slytherin Common Room. Bellatrix had just marched into the room and it was clear that Bellatrix had decided now was the moment to talk after six days. “I’ve decided,” said Bellatrix unnaturally quietly, “that it wasn’t your fault, the Mudblood must have tricked you somehow.” The weight that had been compressing her for days was lifted and Andromeda wanted nothing more than to sing. She knew it wasn’t true, Theodore had beaten her fair and square, but she did not want to admit this to Bellatrix now.
“Thank you Bella,” whispered Andromeda. She knew it wouldn’t be the emotional forgiveness it would be if she had fallen out with Cissy. Bella just didn’t do forgiveness or apologies. Bella turned around marching back up to the dormitory. Andromeda knew Bella would be back to her normal self tomorrow, but her heart was hammering worriedly. Bella had always been extremely temperamental and at any moment she could spontaneously combust.
Andromeda sat in complete silence, melting into the emptiness of the common room. When she was alone she could not help but feel extremely melancholic. She could not be sure why. Her life was a fairy tale. She had her prince and lived in a real castle! But sometimes it felt like her world was a crudely cut jigsaw puzzle, the pieces eternally rubbing up against each other, never quite achieving true syncopation. Her train of thought was interrupted but a gentle chuckle that sounded like cold water. Snapping her head around, she found herself looking into her boyfriend’s amber flecked eyes.
“What’s so amusing?” Andromeda snapped almost bitterly. A small smile crossed his lips as he swaggered towards her, running one hand through his dark hair. “Andy, darling,” he growled, “you always look so sad. Let me cheer you up.” Sitting down next to her he snaked one hand around her waist and turned her towards him. His lips were warm when he kissed her and she eagerly clung on to him. His free hand became entangled in her hair as he kissed her with extreme urgency. Andromeda let him lead her, knowing she was in capable hands. For a moment, her sadness was washed away by close physical contact with the person she was sure she was passionately in love with.
Well this is the Chained Lady! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did and haven't read my other two stories: Legendary (founders) and From Ancient Grudge (Next Generation) please do!!! Next chapter...Ted gets a rise in popularity from his defeat of Andromeda.