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The taming of Grimmauld Place ~Nominated for CoA~

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The re-imagining of Harry Potter". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Where the Black sisters learned to love one another, hate one another and truly be there for family. *Slash and het pairings*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS StoriesShulikFR1511,906271,75423 May 1023 May 10Yes
Disclaimer : As per usual, I don't own anything I write about here. J.K. Rowling is the creator, she and Warner Brothers own the rights to everything. I'm just playing.

A/N: Because working where I work means that the HP verse runs through my head thirty thousand times a day. I needed to start something where I could post stories for various events and pairings. This is just the first story in this universe. Joyful rocks my socks. She knows all about my Draco Malfoy obsession. Shaaame, shaaame.

Warning: This collection will have slash and het pairings. I can say that there will be no explicit stuff, but I'd rather be safe and say that- be forewarned. With my pervy tendencies, people will most likely be getting naked. Or killed. There shall be violence.

On to the good stuff.

There is a beautiful garden behind Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. Or at least there was. With the death of the last Black- Walburga, (mind you, we’re not counting that mutt son of hers), the garden has been destroyed. It’s been overrun by weeds, wild plants and various feral magical creatures. It is an unmitigated disaster. But maybe, just maybe- there’s still hope for the once beautiful garden at Grimmauld Place.

This isn’t precisely the story of that garden though, this is the story of the three girls that gave the garden life. This is the story of Bella, Cissa and Andi Black.

Bellatrix was the oldest of the three sisters; proud with a quick temper, with wild dark hair and hooded doe eyes. She was the fiery sprite of the family with definite ideas about the world and her place in it.

Andromeda was the middle daughter, the smartest of the three and the most curious of all Blacks save her cousin Sirius. She was best friends with her older sister, it was always Andi and Bella. Both extremely intelligent, both loyal and proud and intense- they were truly a force to be reckoned with. They even looked like twins, the only physical difference between them was that Andi was two inches taller and she didn’t have Bella’s temper.

And finally, there was Narcissa- the baby of the family, the first blonde Black for five generations. Let it never be implied that her sisters didn’t love her- they adored every single golden hair on her curly head. But Cissa was too different from Bella and Andi for them to truly get along. She cared more about the latest fashions than she did about her schoolwork- Bella thought this stupid and Andi thought this to be shallow. Cissa wrote in a diary, her sisters thought this to be foolish. Cissa talked to gnomes and fairies instead of kicking them around like Bella did, but by that time she had learned enough to keep this a secret from her older siblings.

Bella was the one with a fiery temper, Andi was the logical wry one, and Cissa was the owner of a multitude of eccentricities. Or if we were to use muggle terms; Bella was perpetually angry, Andi was a know-it-all smartass and Cissa was just plain weird.

But back to the garden.

The girls used to hold tea parties there. There were cookies, sweets, tarts and pastries whenever the three of them played together. Aunt Walburga had one of the best tended garden around- and the various flowers bloomed every day for as long as they could remember. Grimmauld Place always smelled like a curious mixture of rose petals and freshly plucked calla lilies. Oh and cookies, mustn’t forget about those.

The kitchens were the girls’ second favorite place in the house, they were always bustling with frantically busy house elves that nevertheless always had a treat ready for them: Bella liked the sour tarts, she liked them sour enough to wrinkle her tongue and to make her face pinch. Cissa had a sweet tooth with a particular penchant for chocolate and Andi liked anything with fowl in it. Or at least she said she did, so as to stand out from her sisters.

Grimmauld Place was fantastic for playing hide and go seek, it was full of nooks and crannies that three little girls could disappear into for hours at a time. Aunt Walburga always had vases with fresh cut flowers out and the girls would drink their tea from the finest goblin made china. Auntie always had such lovely things, probably a byproduct of wanting a daughter her whole life but being saddled with her two louts of sons- Reggie the creep and Sirius the bastard. This was probably a main reason why the girls were always so warmly welcomed at their aunt’s home.

But that’s not the point. The point is that the garden was for many years the biggest sanctuary that the girls had. When their parents were fighting- that’s when the longest tea parties were held. The garden stood privy to many a transformation in a Black sister’s life, many of them minute- but all of them life altering.

It was where Bella admitted that she’d rather climb trees and beat the living snot out of Reggie rather than play dress up with Cissa.

Andi discovered her reading tree there, the amount of books that she had consumed in the big oak’s shade was truly staggering.

Cissa discovered fairies in the rosebushes to the side of the house, she spent the whole afternoon playing with them and vowed to one day become the world’s leading expert on magical creatures.

Bella was ten, Andi was nine and Cissa was eight the day that the girls vowed to stay best friends forever. This of course happened behind the rosebush that would forever be infamous in the Black sisters’ lives.

The girls also became adults in the garden at Grimmauld Place.

Bella was a sixth year Slytherin when she made a pact with her ‘other’ best friend Dolphus. They vowed to marry after graduating Hogwarts, the Lestranges and the Blacks were both old pureblood families- their parents would be very happy with the union of their oldest children. The main reason why this pact came to be was because Dolphus was a poof and Bella knew that he would never force her to do anything sexual . Bella was determined to save herself for the man that made her feel , think. Bella wanted a great passion, somebody to match her intelligence and temper- she wanted to feel love.

Cissa met James Potter at Grimmauld Place. She fell for the handsome seeker immediately. Despite having the misfortune of being Sirius’s best friend- Potter had a number of positive points going for him: he was a pureblood, he came from old money and he was brimming with cocky confidence that so appealed to Cissa’s Slytherin side. She wrote in her diary for months about her secret affection for the Gryffindor. It was November first when Sirius got his grubby paws on the little black book that held his cousin’s biggest and most shameful secret. It was November third when Sirius read the diary aloud to James and Potter laughed like a hyena until tears fell down his striking features.

And Cissa’s heart broke into a million tiny pieces from where she was hidden in the shadow of a great bookcase.

It was a week later that fifteen year old Narcissa met Reggie’s Potions tutor. He was everything that James Potter would never be, Lucius Malfoy was a proper Slytherin and he wanted Cissa. She was taking her tea outside, next to the rosebushes when she met the Malfoy heir. Obviously.

Andi met the muggle neighbor’s son- Ted there. She had been reading her textbooks underneath her usual spot in the oak’s shade. She was wearing the blue dress that made her eyes sparkle and her skin glow. She had drank a little too much butterbeer that day, making her too flirty and familiar. Ted had no chance, he was smitten instantly. It took a while for Andromeda to come around, at first- he was only a novelty. A non-magical toy for her to play with. And then, and then, and then… Well, suffice it to say that Andromeda Black lost her virginity to Theodore Tonks behind the rosebushes- and we’ll leave that unfortunate business there.

Everything is circular. Things end and most often they end where they first began. Rumours had reached Hogwarts that Andromeda Black had done the unthinkable- she had began a relationship with a muggle. Bellatrix broke Andromeda’s arm in two places and gave her a concussion after she confronted her in the garden. Bella was always fond of letting her rage take physical life.

When Andi woke up bruised and bloodied- she was alone save for two letters and a leather pouch that lay near her body. The letter simply told her that she was no longer a Black. Andi had expected that. The pouch didn’t look familiar, it wasn’t one of the Black family ones- it was soft green and had a flower carved into it. Andromeda’s heart beat faster as she realized that the flower was a narcissus. She opened the pouch, it was full of Galleons. It was only in her room at the Hog’s Head that she finally counted the money- two thousand and three hundred Galleons. Narcissa had given her disowned sister her yearly allowance.

Several other things happened in the garden at Grimmauld Place, all of the important in equal measure to the Black sisters.

Draco Malfoy was conceived in October of Narcissa’s seventh year. If you look hard enough, you can still see the intials L.M+N.B carved into the bark of the old oak tree in the yard. Coincidentally this is the same tree that Andromeda loved when she was young.

Bella recruited her future brother in law for the Death Eaters not a foot away from where she had almost killed her little sister. She was finally in love, she was fighting for a cause... Nay, for a man that she believed in wholeheartedly.

Two years after Lucius joined Voldemort and the day of Draco’s first birthday- Narcissa brought her son to the garden.

The fairies still sang their song to her and were the only witnesses of her tears and recriminations for fate saddling her with a lunatic husband. June sixth was the day that Narcissa promised to dedicate her entire life to the safety and happiness of her son. She had made a wizard’s vow in the spot between the oak tree and the rosebushes that stood witness to her whole life.

We will conclude with this though, Grimmauld Place had belonged to Harry Potter for a year when the living Black sisters reunited under it’s thick canopy of trees, weeds and various flowers. Narcissa met her great nephew for the first time near the roses. After spending a good twenty minutes staring at her with an unblinkingly wary gaze, Teddy morphed into a gray eyed blonde cherub. The little boy had shown his acceptance in the only way he knew how, he probably decided to take mercy on his weeping mess of an aunt.

They had a picnic underneath the old oak tree. Narcissa brought a stuffed turkey and Andromeda baked her little sister’s favorite treats. They were the last of the infamous Black sisters, they were the last of the pureblooded Blacks. Both were widows; Andromeda had lost her daughter but gained a grandson, Narcissa was finally free of Lucius. They were damaged, more cynical- lesser people would have broken after their experiences but not them. At the end of the day they were still the indomitable spirits that tamed the garden of Grimmauld Place into a fantastical sanctuary.

That was also the day that Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter finally admitted to themselves that nine years of enmity could be a smokescreen for a multitude of other, infinitely more complex emotions.

But that’s another story entirely.

The End

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