Title: Apples, Trees and Roots
Disclaimer: J.K. and Joss own all. I own battered copies of their collected works.
Spoilers: Season 7, book 5, my ficlet Numb the Pain
Summary: Faith never thought she’d become somebody’s family or The collected Black family reacts to their newest ‘misplaced’ member.
A/N: Yeah, this got postponed for about forever. 1. I couldn’t find my copy of OotP and had to borrow my niece’s copy only to find mine
about two hours ago. Not Happy. 2. I couldn’t channel all the family drama due to my own awful, awful
family drama (which I’m still blaming on Justin Bieber, facebook, and my maternal aunts and uncles for acting like they‘re all five when they‘re at least five decades
or older. Plus, they canceled Christmas which is just evil.)
Not that anyone really cares about my whining.
But I’m also pimping the new and improved 26 for 26 fic request drive. Email or leave a review with a pairing/character/crossover and I’ll write it. Apples, Trees and Roots
“You do realize this changes our plans,” Andromeda took a deep breath.
“Plans?” Sirius blinked at her.
“Yes, I’ve got to go find Regulus now and you - your stupid arse ought
to be back in hiding!”
brother did this -”
“And there’s Harry’s safety to consider. He-who-must-not-be-named is out there, despite what the Ministry is covering up,” Andromeda snapped.
“And he is long overdue for returning,” Albus Dumbledore said from the corner.
Andromeda wasn’t sure when she’d gotten recruited into the Order of the Phoenix, but her house was certainly seeing plenty of it’s members in the past two days. And, quite frankly, she was getting damned sick of it.
“So good of you to show up, Headmaster -”
“You’ve not heard then?” Dumbledore’s brow ticked upwards.
“The Ministry can place whatever toad-faced imbecile in that school that they wish, still doesn’t make you not Headmaster, sir,” Ted said from beside her.
“Too true,” Andromeda nodded. “Now. Get him and Lupin from my house so I can break the news to my niece that we’re going on a hunt for Regulus Black.”
“Not without me -”
“Sirius, think clearly for a change!” Andromeda snapped. “You cannot
flit away to America to find him. You are at too much risk.”
“That’s what makes it interesting!” he shouted.
“You ain’t goin’.”
Andromeda and Sirius turned to find Faith standing in front of the door, arms crossed over her chest and the Black Glower of Doom on her lips. Never had either cousin wanted to see an expression of Walburga Black’s on their offspring, but there it was as big as day.
“Who’s Santa’s skinny cousin?” Faith asked Ted, ignoring the pinched expressions on the cousins’ faces.
“Headmaster Albus Dumbledore,” Ted said cheerily.
“I thought most teachers retired when they reached a hundred,” Faith frowned at Dumbledore. “This Harry kid’s really important to you guys, huh?”
“He is,” Dumbledore sighed, “The only one who can defeat Voldemort.”
“The very worst of Dark wizards known to date,” Andromeda supplied.
“The king of the dumb-fucks, got ya,” Faith nodded. “So, Harry’s the shit and your ass is stayin’ planted in Jolly Ole, Dog Star.”
Sirius’s head jerked up at the nickname she’d just given him. To the best of his knowledge, no one outside of the Order and maybe Andromeda knew he was an unregistered Animagus that took the form of a big black dog. There was no way that Faith could have known.
“ - I will send a member of the Order with you,” Dumbledore said over the roaring in his ears. What had he missed?
“It’s best that we leave in the morning,” Andromeda was nodding.
“Let me call G-man, get us set up with a few contacts -”
“Ignorin’ you,” Faith snapped at him, and Merlin, did she look like Regulus at that moment. A fact that he hated, despite what his younger brother had done to save her. “Mornin’ works for me.”
“I’ll send a Weasley over around eight,” Dumbledore nodded. “Sirius, it’s time for us to return to headquarters.”
He would have put up more of a fight, but Dromeda and Faith were glowering at him so fiercely that he thought better of it. He apparated away, Remus and Dumbledore with him. ~*~
Faith couldn’t eat. She ached in places she didn’t want to think about and it was honestly better that way. Dealin’ with all this family drama was making her old and tired. Like her Ma
. Jerking the pillow over her head and willed herself to sleep. ~*~
Marni Lehane couldn’t believe her parents were being this way. Granted, being pregnant and havin’ no contact with the dad was kinda shitty, but what could she do? She wasn’t gonna get rid of the kid. They’d raised her as a devout Catholic, and yet they were gonna be all hypocritical about her kid? Bull-fuckin’-shit. She shook her head as she scrambled for her keys in her purse, her nerves frazzled at their attitudes.
“Miss Marnella Sancta Lehane?” A skinny woman dressed in black stood behind her, which was just fuckin’ creepy.
“I represent your Great-Grandmother, Sancta Estebelle Vanhoughten. She -”
“I don’t want nothin’ to do with her,” Marni shook her head. “So she can keep whatever she wants far away from me -”
“Even if it could help you with your child?”
Marni stiffened. Nobody but her folks and her knew about the baby. So how did this woman and her Great-Grandmother she hadn’t seen since she was knee-high know about it? Not that it matter, Marni wasn’t havin’ shit to do with her either.
“I’m not gettin’ rid of the kid. No matter what that pissy old goat has to say about it. Now get the fuck outta my way.” ~*~
Faith twisted in her sleep. Memories, names sticking out at her that only served to confuse her more. And suddenly, she was in a room with a man who looked a bit like Sirius, only more worn.
“Who snapped the bindings?” he croaked, his eyes watery.
“This witch I know,” Faith frowned. “A bad-ass Wicca.”
“Salazar’s ghost!” he cursed.
“Yeah. Why can I see you now?”
“Blacks have always been gifted with foreshadowing,” he sighed. “Too bad that skipped two generations.”
“Yeah, well your folks were kissin’ cousins,” Faith shrugged.
“You look so - damaged,” he stared hard at her.
“You’re no fuckin’ beauty queen, Reggie,” she snapped.
“I - “ Regulus sighed. “I had hoped you would not be so. That’s all I meant, Faith. I took these precautions in order to save you some of that.”
“Yeah, well, your fuckin’ precautions
got your kid killed!”
“Oh, you didn’t know that when you were sweet talkin’ Talia that you were bein’ just like big bro? Only, ‘cause of me, she lost her son,” Faith paced away from him. “So tell me again who’s so fuckin’ damaged?” ~*~
Across the ocean, Regulus Black wrenched himself from the pain-filled dreams that had plagued him for nearly sixteen years. His eyes stung at the bright light filling the room and nurse gasped in shock. The memories of the girl that could only be Marni’s daughter all grown up hit him. She was alive - but what had been lost because of his actions were weighing on her, just as his mother’s actions had weighed so heavily on him sixteen years ago. ~*~
Faith groggily made her way down the stairs, as angry as she had been when she’d gone up them the night before. Didn’t help that she’d slept for shit. She stopped in the doorway of the kitchen, watching as Ted kissed Andromeda on the top of her head before donning his hat and popping out of the house. Andromeda set her paper aside and looked up at Faith.
“How are you feeling, Faith?” she asked quietly. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yeah, five by five,” Faith lied. “Dumby’s man pop up yet?”
man,” Andromeda smiled behind her teacup, “Is activating our Port-key.”
“Teleportation device. Another member of the Order set up in America is waiting for us at the other end. Are you hungry?”
“It’s best not to port-key on a full stomach. The sensations can be a bit - disturbing. And we’ll be using several port-keys.”
“We can’t just fly
“That many hours on a broomstick could cause chaffing -”
“I meant by plane,” Faith snapped.
“Oh. I’ve - I’ve never flown the muggle way,” Andromeda’s cheeks reddened a bit. “And I haven’t got a passport. A muggle passport, anyway.”
“So we’re keyin’ it when?” Faith shook her head.
“About twenty minutes,” a red-haired man said from the doorway, startling both women. “Mornin’, I’m Charlie Weasley. You must be Tonks’s cousin.”
“Name’s Faith,” snapped out of her. It was bad enough bein’ B’s spare or replacement, but now she was bein’ called somebody’s something and it was irritating her.
“Giver her a few moments for tea and toast, please. I’ll go fetch the paperwork.”
Andromeda set a cup and the toast before her, and stared at the Weasley boy who was staring at her niece with fascination in his eyes. Clearing her throat, she caught his eye and sent him a message she hoped to convey. One that promised pain and all manner of not-nice things should he do anything to further upset the shaken girl.
Charlie seemed to take it in stride, because he nodded at her and sat down across from Faith. His curiosity seemed to be wiped from his face.
“This your first time port-keying?” Charlie asked twenty minutes later as he, Andromeda and Faith stood in Andromeda’s back garden.
“If I maim him, will anyone be overly pissed?” Faith slid her gaze over to Andromeda.
“His mother and sister for sure, four of his five brothers might have something to say about it as well,” Andromeda shrugged. “Arthur might just say ‘comes with the job’ and put it off as dragon related.”
“Damn,” Faith shook her head.
“Alright,” Charlie cleared his throat. “Put your hand here. We’ve got two minutes until it activates.” ~*~
To her credit, she didn’t puke. Not once in the total of five port-keys. Which was saying something, seeing as Charlie was lookin’ green around the gills by number three.
Andromeda dropped the last port-key - a dented trombone - and held a hand over her eyes. A cloaked figure stood on the shore five feet away, making his way over to them.
He was tall, and older than Charlie. Probably in his early thirties. Faith thought he looked a bit familiar, but she couldn’t place him. Charlie seemed to know him, as he stepped in front of the two women and held out his hand to the stranger.
“Vanhoughten, you’re healin’ up well. That Welsh Green didn’t mangle you too badly, eh?”
“First, it was two Welsh Greens during mating season -” the man grinned at him, until Faith cut him off.
“Wait - Vanhoughten?
” Faith’s eyes narrowed at the man.
“Right, sorry,” Charlie cleared his throat. “This is Andromeda Tonks and her cousin Faith. Ladies, this is Esteban Vanhoughten -”
“You related to Sancta Vanhoughten?” Faith demanded, stepping up to the wizard.
“She was my great Aunt,” Esteban nodded. “And you’re the Lehane girl, Marni’s daughter.”
“How did you know that?” Andromeda looked between the two cousins
“His auntie tried to get my ma to get rid of me -”
“No,” Esteban cut her off. “She tried to reach out to her granddaughter and got her hand slapped back by your mother. By the time she’d found out Marni was dead, you
were nowhere to be found, and only the Brit was left.”
“The Brit?” Andromeda frowned.
“Black, her paternal uncle. He was thrice-cursed when my mother, Diabella, found him at Marni’s place after she died,” Esteban frowned. “He woke up this morning. He hasn’t been awake in the sixteen years we’ve had him here.”
“What? I came and visited
him three times when I was a kid,” Faith jerked back from him.
“Not here you didn’t. One of the Vanhoughtens have been here every day and night with him. He’s never had any
Harry had barely focused on his exams, the uneasy feelings of seeing through Voldemort’s plans weighing him down. And now that Professor McGonagall was injured at Umbridge’s orders there was no one from the Order left in the school. No one that he could contact in order to find out about Sirius. He couldn’t get a hold of any one and there was no way he could get Hedwig to them in time to save Sirius.
Which meant he had no choice but to do the saving himself. No matter what.