Intermission: of Falk and Tonkses
Intermission: of Falk and TonksesDisclaimer: None of the characters are mine.
As for Falk, he came to live at Malfoys because he was Tara’s new familiar, obviously, but initially he was assumed to be a girl: it’s hard to tell the rat genders apart before they’re several months old, and for a while Falk was thought to be a girl, a rather adorable black-eyed baby rat girl with a rather shy temper: she, or technically he, would always retreat into the little house in-side the cage and stay there, unless Tara was around to give Falk some sort of a treat.
That state of affairs went on for the better part of the week until Tara, when Narcissa asked her if her new rat familiar wasn’t starving, spilled the beans, by asking the girl-Falk to step outside the cage, to which the rat reluctantly complied by slipping through the cage’s bars without any magic (the potential innate magic of the rats, similar to the one of the kneazles, has never been fully proven nor disproven by any wizard or witch and as such it doesn’t circulate in various discussions very often).
Sadly, Narcissa, after realizing that for the better part of the week their manor had been the rat’s smorgasbord panicked and emitted a shriek. Lucius, who at that point in time, wasn’t a particularly big fan of their new tenant, burst onto the scene, and tried to zap Falk with his spells, which the rat adroitly dodged. This went on for over ten minutes, when Lucius and Narcissa realized that they had an audience.* * *
When going to visit her younger sister and her husband, Andromeda Tonks didn’t need any particular divination insight to realize that this was a good idea. Bringing her one and only daughter, Nymphadora Tonks, wasn’t any better. But, the committee of widows of Grindelwald’s war was doing its monthly money collection, and the idea of hitting the Malfoys for the money looked like a good idea. Sending Andromeda there (who was Narcissa’s eldest sister on one hand, and not fully popular with the other members of the committee) also looked good. And due to a number of other reasons (none of which, admittedly, had looked particularly good to Andromeda now that she had time to think about them) Andromeda just couldn’t refuse the committee’s request.
And so, here she was, with Nymphadora alongside, standing in the lobby of the manor like the poor relatives that they probably were. A house elf of the Malfoys, looking almost as haughty as his owners, directly told him to wait until the master of the manor would be there to talk to them...
Yet the sudden barrage of spells and curses broke that haughty atmosphere beyond immediate reparation. Furthermore, Andromeda wasn’t a widow of an Auror for nothing either: she grabbed her wand with one hand, grabbed Nymphadora with the other, and raced in the direction of the sounds to assist her relatives with the unknown assailant.
Her assistance, however, wasn’t required, but...* * *
Tara was the one to break the tense silence. “Hello,” she spoke to Nymphadora in her typically shy manner. “I’m Tara, and this is my familiar. And who’re you?”
“I’m Nymphadora,” the older girl replied, also rather shyly. “This is my mother, Andromeda. We’re cousins.”
“What has happened here?” Andromeda added belatedly, discreetly hiding her wand. “Narcissa?”
“Um, Lucius was trying to capture Tara’s familiar,” Narcissa said carefully, aware that they weren’t currently in their best position to impress her estranged elder sister with their social status. “Long time no see you too. Want to stay for dinner?” she tried to jumble her currently messed-up logic.
“That’d be great!” Tara said suddenly. “I haven’t met too many children yet: mum and dad keep me busy learning my magic.”
“Then it settled,” Andromeda agreed, mostly from curiosity: the Malfoys’ adoption of Tara was known among the wizarding circles, though not very widely. “I and Nymphadora will be honoured to!”* * *
The initial dinner started in a tense atmosphere, but the sisters quickly broke the ice by first talking about their daughters, then about their families, then about the other families, both on Andromeda’s committee and not. The topic of various donations too raised its head, and while Lucius was somewhat reluctant to donate money initially, but he didn’t want to embarrass his family before their sister and cousin (Tara and Nymphadora were meanwhile busy chatting about Hogwarts, and magic, and rats, and boys – in short, about many, many topics that two girls may find in common with each other without worrying about family politics), and so he complied. Little did he know that that was going to be just the beginning...TBC