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: And this is about the time I start OD’ing on AVPM & AVPS…seriously love them. Anywho, other than that - Dromeda is hosting the dinner party from hell, Ted and Tonks just wanna be loved, and Faith comes face to face with Daddy Dearest. Easy, right? Pfft. All hell’s bout to break loose…
Also - mini chapter. Apples, Trees and Roots
Andromeda shook her head at her cousin’s abrupt and blunt introduction. Morgana’s left teat, did the man have no common sense? Faith’s tentative trust in her would be shattered, and she needed Faith’s trust in her. If anything were to succeed, Faith must have - funnily enough - faith
in Andromeda’s ability to be on her side.
“You certainly have a death wish, cousin,” she slapped the towel onto the counter.
“No more than I’ve always had, Dromeda,” Sirius gave her a small grin, his face sobering as he turned back to Faith, who’d gone deathly quiet. “I can’t stay long.”
“Guess you better get gone then,” Faith crossed her arms.
“I just wanted to see you - face to face for a few moments -”
“You had twenty years to do that,” she snapped. “What makes it so important now?”
“Because I didn’t know about you for twenty years. I’m sorry -”
“Sorry doesn’t do shit for me.”
“I don’t have a good excuse - and I never will, Faith. If I could turn back time - go back and fix the mistakes I would.”
“And if I had a million bucks I’d be living on a fucking white sand beach somewhere with hot cabana boys bringing me beers non-stop. Doesn’t mean shit,” Faith shook her head.
“Faith, why don’t you go take this in the other room,” Andromeda stepped between them, her eyes locking on Faith’s. “I’ll be in in just a moment.”
“Whatever,” Faith took the platter from her hands. She knew her power was too unstable for her to run back to the Slayer house, and that this was the only safe place for her. But she didn’t have to be in the same room with the man who’d helped make her.
Andromeda sighed angrily as she turned back to her cousin. To his credit, Sirius never took his eyes from his daughter’s retreating form. Not even when Andromeda whacked him across the side of the head with a tea towel. He growled at her when he finally looked back at her.
“What the bloody hell were you thinking?” Andromeda snapped. “She’s just found out everything about her life was a lie and in you come, making piddling comments about how wronged you
were?” Andromeda snapped. “That is not
what that girl needs to hear!”
“I had to see her, Dromeda,” Sirius’s anger evaporated in the heat of hers.
“And she needs to know that some of us aren’t going to abandon her at a moments notice, Sirius! She’s had no stability in her life - no sounding board for her pain! And you and your pain and duties to another
orphaned child is not going to make things any easier for her to take in!” Andromeda hissed. “For once, will you act like an adult and think clearly on this, Sirius?”
“Get yourself back to 12 Grimmauld Place and out of my kitchen. I or Nymphadora will contact you when Faith
is ready to make contact with you and not a moment before then, am I making myself clear?”
“Bloody hell!” Sirius spun away from her, apparating back without another word.
Andromeda sighed, leaning back against the countertop and staring up at the ceiling. She glanced down as the floorboards creaked under the weight of a person. Faith stood just inside the doorway, her arms crossed and a stormy look in her eyes.
“He shouldn’t have sprung himself on you like that, and had I known he was going to -”
“You ain’t his keeper,” Faith looked down.
“No, but I’m his older cousin, and not counting my elder sister Bellatrix, I am the matriarch of the family. My word should be law,” Andromeda gave her a small smile.
“Where did you hear that name?” Andromeda frowned. Who could have been so stupid as to tell this girl of Sirius’s godchild?
“When your girl and the wolf came to break it to me, they mentioned this Harry kid. He the other orphaned child in Sirius’s life?” Faith asked.
“Yes. I’m afraid you’re going to hear his name quite a bit in the Wizarding community. He’s something of a chosen one.”
“That fucking figures,” Faith gave a pained little laugh. “Who’s Reggie?”
“I’m guessing that Reggie would be Regulus Black, your paternal uncle. You said he got ill and that your watcher took you to a hospital to see him?” Andromeda knew they would be coming back to the subject of Harry Potter later. Right now, it was better to concentrate on the rest of the family than on Faith‘s competition.
“A few times. He could talk the first couple times, but after that - nothing, he just stared up at the ceiling. I didn’t even remember
the man before today. How the fuck can I remember him now
“He could have put a memory charm on you - or your watcher. The Earth-magic witch’s spell could have shattered all
the wand-cast spells on you. If you didn’t want to think about that part of your life, it makes sense that you would have only just remembered when we threw all of this on you,” Andromeda wanted to hug this girl and let her vent all of her pain. But she was a Black - and Blacks didn’t vent their pain in tears. They usually went with rage. And that would just be counterproductive to her pain. Look at what Bella had done with all of her pain. She’d raged at Muggles and Muggleborns - she’d cut them down mercilessly and as painfully as she could.
“He’s at Saint Mark’s Hospital, out in the sticks somewhere.”
“He’s still there, isn’t he?” Faith frowned at her.
“I - I have no idea. He’s been gone - presumed dead for nearly sixteen years,” Andromeda sucked in a breath. “Merlin’s beard. The codicil.”
“The what now?” Faith’s frown deepened.
“It’s - the will - your grandfather’s will - part of it was superseded by the codicil of Regulus’s living will. He’d been missing for so long, everyone thought he’d died. Walburga was the only one who wanted to continue the search, but her own health…deteriorated after - bloody hell!” Andromeda squeezed her eyes shut.
“What - Aunt Andromeda -” Faith blinked for a few minutes, shocking herself with her own outburst. Andromeda smiled at the gut reaction the girl had. Faith scowled at her. “Don’t read anything into that.”
“Oh, no. I would never presume,” Andromeda cleared her throat. “As for the codicil and your grandfather’s will, I’ll have to look further into it. Among many other things. Now, I’m sure you don’t feel up to it - but if we leave Ted and Nymphadora alone long enough there won’t be a scrap of food left for us.”
“Whatever,” Faith sniffed, ignoring the telling rumble of her stomach. It had been a damn long day for all of them, and she couldn’t afford to be put off her feed.
“We’ll sort everything out, Faith,” Andromeda placed a hand gently on her shoulder, and to Faith’s credit, she only shifted away an inch before settling under her hand.
“If you say so.” ~*~
Narcissa Malfoy smiled down at the letter her darling boy had written her. Draco was truly the only light in her much darkened world. Of course, with Bella flitting around brandishing her psychosis on the world and Lucius’s reoccurring ineptitude, she had to take the small things into account.
To be truthful, she was at her wits end. The Council’s destruction in the fall had left the Coven of Thirteen useless. Not that it was actually a coven of thirteen these days - it had been twelve since the day Walburga Black had sentenced her own grandchild to an early death.
A sense of foreboding skittered up her spine. She glanced up as an owl flittered into her private drawing room. She recognized it instantly as the Coven’s owl Artemis. She quickly removed the parchment attached to the leg and summoned a treat and the glass water tumbler from the sideboard. Her hands trembled a bit as she opened the letter. N -
The Council has been reshaped. The most senior watcher as begged an audience with our most luminescent Coven. The meeting is set two days from now. We look to your invaluable counsel on how to proceed. Shall we meet this evening to discuss our stand?
The sense of uneasy grew heavy on her nape, and she turned, watching as her cursed sister slipped from the shadows.
“What have you got there, little dove?” Bellatrix ran her hand along Narcissa’s shoulder to clench painfully around her nape.
“None of your business, sister-mine,” Narcissa wrenched herself away from Bella.
“Must be Coven
business. Merlin knows you’d never grow a spine about anything else, brat,” Bella sneered.
“Your jealousy shows, sister,” Narcissa taunted. “Wasn’t Auntie training you for the job?”
“That only makes you third
choice, Cissy,” Bella snapped.
“But you were never first, and you never will wield the power I do,” Narcissa smirked at her.
“Power? Over a Coven designed to save muggle
lives. Yes, you must be so proud,” Bellatrix sneered.
“You know nothing of the power I wield sister,” Narcissa smiled. “And you never will.”