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: mini-cliffy at end, y’all have been warned. Apples, Trees and Roots
Andromeda waited patiently for her daughter to come and tell her the news, even though her patience was wearing thin. Ted, who had no idea what was going on, watched her carefully from the corner of his eye.
“So, how was your day, darling?” Ted asked jovially, keeping things light. “You and the pixie have a good time?”
“Nymphandora was detained. Auror business,” Andromeda sighed.
“Having to do with Sirius, Andie?”
The plates clattered to the table at his words. It was times like this that she forgot just how observant the man was. It was that Hufflepuff niceness, luring them all to think that Hufflepuffs were harmless.
“What did you say, dear?” Andromeda cleared her throat.
“You’ve been muttering under your breath for ten minutes. You only mutter about one person. You rail at me when it’s about me, and you sigh an awful lot when it’s about Nymphadora. You tend to curse about your sisters and sneer about your brother-in-laws.”
“There are days when I wish you weren’t so observant, love,” Andromeda gave up and sat down at the place she’d been setting.
“I know. So what has your cousin done now?”
“He’s got Regulus’s heir,” Andromeda smiled sadly.
“Bugger all,” Ted sat down across from her, dots connecting in his head.
“Aunt Walburga bound her magic because she had the Slayer potential.”
“I never thought there would be a day I wasn’t happy that the old bat was dead,” Ted frowned.
“It gets better. Our pixie met her today, and I have a feeling she’ll be brining home in -”
“ - three seconds, apparently.” ~*~
Remus found Sirius in his room, holding a photo in his hands. He’d left Faith in Tonks’s capable hands, knowing the younger witch would take her cousin home. Faith had been reluctant at first, but Tonks had brought up the destroyed birdbath. Remus had had to hide his smile as he remembered Sirius blowing up the owl post in James’ back garden the summer of their third year.
“Do you want to tell my why your daughter thought I was putting my head on her feet?” Remus asked quietly.
“I had to see her, Moony.”
“You’re lucky you didn’t get the same reaction from her as you did from Harry when you pulled that stunt.”
“I made myself as small as possible,” Sirius shrugged. “Dromeda was here.”
“I heard that,” Remus nodded, leaning against Sirius’s wardrobe.
“The Coven fractured because of my mother. My mother plotted with Narcissa to have my daughter killed. My mother fought with my brother over the decision. And then my brother went and found her apparently, and made her his heir,” Sirius shook his head. “Why the hell didn’t he tell me?”
“You’re not looking at this from his perspective, Sirius,” Remus started.
“My daughter’s existence has been stolen from me, and I’m
not looking at this from his
perspective?” Sirius yelled.
“No. You’re not, and you can argue with me all you like, but you know you’re not.”
“And what way should I be looking at this? Hmm, Remus? You didn’t hear what that girl went through -”
“And what would she have gone through had your mother decided to bind her potential? You would have still been in Azkaban. Your mother would have taken Faith from her mother, and she would have poisoned that girl just like she tried to poison you and Regulus. She would have made that girl’s life hell
. Faith had a Muggle mother, Sirius.”
“She’s still my daughter
,” Sirius snapped.
“Yes. And that would have made your mother ride her all the more!” Remus shouted.
“Regulus should have told -”
“Would you have even acknowledged your brother if he had passed you in the street back then? You wouldn’t have spoken to him even if he had tried to reach out to you. He was a Death Eater, and you were a traitor in his eyes. As much as he was a traitor in yours.”
Sirius let his shoulders sag, the photo tipping forward so Remus could see the image of a young Sirius and a fat happy baby that must have been Regulus. Sirius had been hating his brother for so many years for so many reasons. But they had been children who had loved each other once.
“Do you reckon Dumbledore knew I had a child all these years?” Sirius asked quietly.
“I don’t know. He did seem shocked when Ripper made contact with him.”
“Andromeda thought she was Regulus’s daughter,” Sirius shook his head.
“Tonks is taking her to Andromeda’s,” Remus said quietly.
“That stunt with the birdbath, Padfoot. She’s got years of magic to learn, and she can’t be exposed to the Order,” Remus sighed. “Short of McGonagall, can you think of a better witch for Faith to learn from?”
“No,” Sirius stood up. “I have to go see her.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible, Sirius,” Dumbledore said from behind them.
“Then we’ll bring her here,” Sirius set his jaw.
“You’re not looking at -”
“No! I’m looking at it quite
clearly. My daughter has already been through hell -”
“And if Death Eaters should find you having dinner at your cousin’s home? They will not fail to use you to lure Harry out. I understand that she is your child, but there is plenty of time for you to connect with her. Harry‘s safety is of the utmost importance.”
Sirius caved in on himself. Could he sacrifice his daughter’s or Harry’s safety for his own selfish needs to hold her? To make her know that he hadn’t meant to leave her alone for so long? ~*~
Faith stared at the witch and wizard awkwardly. She’d been feeling awkward for the last five hours, since she blew up the damn birdbath. Being a hot chick with wicked super powers was one thing when you knew how to control them. Being afraid you were gonna blow the whole house - or worse, a mini-slayer - all to hell was another. So she’d followed Tonks home like a damned puppy. When she’d bitched about it to Tonks, her cousin had looked at her with her mouth open for a minute before bursting into giggles. Honest to god giggles. Faith had wanted to bitch slap her repeatedly for the giggles.
“So, Sirius has a daughter,” Tonks said as her introduction. “This is -”
“Faith Lehane,” the older woman smiled at her. “I’m familiar with the name, Nymphadora.”
“Mum!” Tonks stared at her mother.
“Before we all jump to conclusions,” Mrs. Tonks cut a look her daughter’s way. “I’ve known the name for some time because she was to get the trust Sirius’s brother set up shortly before he … died.”
“So, I’m like rich?” Faith couldn’t help herself from saying.
“In another year you will be, Faith,” she smiled. “I’m Andromeda Tonks, your father’s cousin, and this is my husband Ted.”
“Hey,” Faith nodded to her - what was he? Uncle or Cousin?
“You can call me Uncle Ted, if you like,” Ted smiled warmly at her.
“Or Ted, if you’re not comfortable with that,” Andromeda rolled her eyes. “You’ll have to forgive the two of them. They do so like to be liked. I blame it entirely on Hufflepuff House.”
“What’s that?” Faith couldn’t fight the small grin as Andromeda’s words matched her own thoughts.
“One of four houses at Hogwarts, the wizarding school that you were most likely meant to attend,” Andromeda looked sad and guilty, which had Faith’s hackles rising.
“So you know -”
“I know. Sadly, I only just realized what my aunt and sister have done. You can trust me when I say that had I known before today, this meeting would have been years earlier,” Andromeda looked kinda scary right about now. “As it is, my sister and I will be having words in the near future.”
“Mum was supposed to be part of the Coven, but she forfeited her place as my grandmother’s heir when she married Da,” Tonks quickly supplied.
“Why?” Faith frowned. “He seems like an okay guy.”
“I’m a Muggleborn wizard,” Ted smiled at Faith’s words.
“The Black family was very -” Ted struggled for a polite way to put it.
“They were and some of them still are Pure Blood snobs,” Andromeda sighed. “A bigoted lot of idiots who looked down on everyone else. Your grandparents were second cousins. And I’m fairly certain Walburga wanted my sister Bellatrix to marry Sirius.”
“Oh, I’m gonna be ill,” Tonks paled.
“Nice family,” Faith frowned.
“Yes,” Andromeda smiled tiredly. “Would you like to come help me in the kitchen while Ted and Nymphadora finish setting the table?”
“Uh, I’m not -” Faith pulled back a little.
“Don’t worry,” she chuckled. “Ted’s already prepared everything. I’m absolutely dreadful in the kitchen myself. I strictly carry the plates from the kitchen to the table.”
“Sure,” Faith gave her a smile back, remembering the times she’d helped Katie or Joyce Summers in the kitchen. Those brief, happy moments.
Andromeda led the way, hoping neither her husband or daughter were bent on eavesdropping. She could hear Nymphadora beginning to whine about her name again, and knew that she could speak plainly.
“You looked ready to scream in there,” Andromeda said quietly.
“It’s a shitload to process, ya know?” Faith cleared her throat. “The witch shit and daddy drama.”
“Yes, and then there’s Tonks who wishes you’ll be her best friend instantly,” she nodded knowingly.
“It irks her, you calling her Nymphadora, but in here you call her Tonks?” Faith frowned, not wanting to own up to her feelings on the subject.
“Your grandfather, the only person in my family who didn’t immediately disown me and did his best to help when Ted and I were struggling, was her godfather. She’s named after his grandmother,” Andromeda paused, catching the wince in Faith’s expression. “It’s odd, how you’re named for her as well.”
“Her name was Nymphaythe,” Andromeda smiled. “She was part Veela. And her beauty attracted Fayn Black, who was a powerful wizard that had come against her clan for the land that he’d won in a duel -”
“She beat him, but spared him. Cause she knew she’d get her land back for her clan if she’d bound him to her,” Faith murmured.
“How did -”
“My uncle, one of my Ma’s brothers, used to tell me that story,” Faith looked away from her. “He got sick, and Katie, my Watcher took me to see him in the hospital.”
“Your mother was a Muggle, a non-magical person, Faith,” Andromeda said quietly. “There’s no way she or her brothers would have known that story.”
“Uncle Reggie told me,” Faith shook her head. “My ma only had two brothers. Maybe he was one of her boyfriends.”
“No one outside of the Black
family knew that story,” a deep voice said from behind her, and Faith stiffened.
“Oh, Merlin,” Andromeda leaned against the counter, her body sagging in disbelief.
brother told you that story,” a dark haired man smiled sadly at her, and Faith felt her jaw tighten in anger. “Hello, daughter.”