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The Bravery in Staying Behind - The Fictional Diaries of Ms. Spell
Born with the sole purpose of making a bad pun

Ms. Spell
2007-08-07 23:32
The Bravery in Staying Behind
andromeda tonks, fandom: harry potter, genre: angst, genre: gen
The Bravery in Staying Behind
Word count:
Characters: Andromeda Tonks
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Deathly Hallows spoilers.
Disclaimer: This is a fictional, nonprofit work for entertainment purpose only. The copyright in the franchise “Harry Potter” and its components is owned by J.K. Rowling, which reserves all rights therein.

She thinks it’s her fault, somehow.

The world around her is painted in hues of blue and silver, only the light of the half-moon illuminating the entrance of the house. Andromeda sighs with a shiver, tying her robe tighter and crossing her arms for extra warmth. The war is happening; she stayed behind.

Teddy coos, his little tuft of hair a faded turquoise. She had to bring the cradle down to the parlour, she has to be there by the door when they apparate at the front yard – she has to be there even if they don’t.

She tells herself that’s not the reason; in fact, it’s because she doesn’t want to be pacing up and down over her daughter’s room’s carpet – the same one since Dora was five and a half, pink with dark red stars; she chose it herself. “Maybe we should change it to blue or green”, Dora told her once, as if predicting that Teddy wouldn’t be raised anywhere else.

Too early to think like that, Andromeda whispers to herself, even as hope abandons her.

It’s her fault, she thinks, that Dora would choose to be where she is now. Not because she couldn’t sit still and pray, not because of her personality, quoting the words her daughter used before leaving hurriedly to Hogsmeade. These may have been Dora’s excuses, but Andromeda knows better.

She sees her own mistakes. She sees, now, how she raised her daughter to give her life to a cause, the way she herself hasn’t been brave enough to do. Marrying a Muggle-born was the most courageous act in her whole life; even offering their house to the Order hadn’t been as much her idea as the general consensus between the Tonkses. But the way she raised Dora, purposefully ignoring most values she had to learn in her own childhood, purposefully letting her know, from a very young age, why her family was one-sided… she was raising her girl to be a warrior.

She forgot that warriors die young.

From the minute she saw Nymphadora’s black fuzz turn purple, Andromeda knew her baby was going to be a rebel. But even if she concedes that her special gifts were the work of Nature and Luck alone, she also acknowledges her own influences – not caring when Dora couldn’t make a single household spell work properly, not punishing her for her misdeeds at school, and most of all not standing in the way of her Aurory exams. Ted tried; their argument over it is still fresh in her mind. The Boy Who Lived was back, people were saying, and even if nobody could foresee the return of the Dark Lord, it was predictable that his old followers would put great danger into the Auror’s lives.

She stood for Dora through it all. Maybe she was blinded by her own pride.

Because of course Dora would be in the midst of the conflict, “in the eye of the hurricane”, as Ted used to say; she was over-dedicated, desperate for action, and though she didn’t particularly care for promotions, that was the due course. So Andromeda wasn’t at all surprised when she learned that her daughter was part of a secret anti-Voldemort army. Dora didn’t tell her about the Order, at first, but she knew of Dumbledore’s efforts in the first war. She had heard the rumours that Sirius was alive and fighting for their side. She knew how to put two and two together.

Remus, though, she hadn’t expected; but of course her daughter wouldn’t fall for the average wizard. A werewolf! It seemed more amusing than scary, in the beginning, at least until the deceptions started and the depression came. That had been her trouble with him, not the fact that he would have to take the occasional, monthly leave from marriage; a health problem was one thing, breaking her daughter’s heart by acting as a silly blind man was another entirely different matter. But in the end he proved to be a loving husband and father, certainly the only one able to calm down Dora’s agitation and without a doubt benefiting greatly from her liveliness. If only she’d remembered to tell him she was proud of her son-in-law. Then again, she doesn’t remember ever saying out loud how proud she was of Dora, either.

Teddy breaks her reveries, making a noise of discomfort in his cradle. Andromeda picks him up, glad for the momentary distraction; maybe for the first time in her life, she hopes she’ll have to change a baby’s diaper, but he’s clean. She tries offering him milk – Nymphadora left a small stock, for the night – but he rejects it. His cry is strong, but the dirty green hair in his head doesn’t become red, as Dora’s used to get when she had cramps; nor does it pass over the whole spectrum like Dora’s did – still does – didstill does when she’s bored. When she was bored. Stop thinking of your child in the past tense, Andromeda screams at herself inside her head.

She takes him closer to the window in search of light, all the while quietly bouncing him to the rhythm of Little Pink Pygmy Puff, but the anguished baby’s cries won’t come to a stop. When she notices that his soft hair became a firm, mousy brown, she realizes what it means.

This is it.

She holds Teddy close, almost to the point of crushing him against her breast. They cry together.

When she sees the two figures that approach the front door, it’s already morning; her grandson has surrendered to sleep a few hours before and lies changed, well-fed and emerald-haired in his cradle. She couldn’t allow herself to rest, Teddy’s peaceful slumber offering the littlest comfort she might still have. “The war is over; we won”, Hestia and Dedalus tell her, and no more words need to be said.

Andromeda only nods, tears in her eyes and a serene smile on her lips. There is a kind of bravery in staying behind. That was the lesson she never taught her daughter; that was her only regret.

2007-08-08 03:13 (UTC)
(no subject)
Wow. *Glomps you.*

This is such a spare, lovely glimpse into Andromeda's reflections, and into why she and her daughter must have related as they did (although they never interact in canon, do they? Huh.). I can definitely buy Remus' only thinking (or telling himself) that he disgusted his in-laws, and that Andromeda might have had other real problems with him... A wonderful vision of anticipation and grief.

2007-09-10 09:38 (UTC)
(no subject)
Here via hogwarts_today.

Thanks for an enjoyable read! I thought you did a particularly good job with Andromeda's reflections and regrets. Well done!

Rosie: slytherin lady
2007-09-10 11:05 (UTC)
(no subject)
AV:slytherin lady
That was one of the most beuatiful and fitting post-DH fics I've read. I'm absolutely stunned. Thank you :)