Spring of 1999
Narcissa breathed in a deep breathe. Her heart pounded unsteadily in her chest as she looked towards the grim affair of a muggle café, in disdain. They’d agreed to meet here, her so that Lucius wouldn’t find out, and so the baby would be safe. She entered the café, looking around the room at the bright colours and muggle paintings, none that moved or talked. She found the familiar face at a lone corner in the back, stumbling forward till she fell in the seat.
“Narcissa,” she said coolly, looking up from her teacup, her eyes meeting for the first time in years.
Narcissa Malfoy curled her hands into a fist, before unfurling her fingers only to repeat the process, “Andromeda,” she barely managed to utter, taking in the sight of her sister.
She sat tall and cool across from her, totally at ease surrounded by muggles. She was as beautiful as ever, but fatigue had gotten to her, and she mirrored Bella more closely know. But she looked far older, far more wearied than Bella ever had.
A pregnant silence filled the air, and Narcissa knew that she shouldn’t have come. There was too much animosity between them. Dead sisters, husbands and cousins were the least of the troubles that filled the cancer in their relationship.
“I… I should go,” Narcissa announced, rising to her feet, ready to stride out the door, when a start of a babies cry could be heard.
Narcissa instinctively turned to see a baby, lying in a basket on the seat next to her sister. She took in the curves of the babies face, and the way, its stilled, and the way his shot of angry red hair, cooled to bright blue at his grandmother’s touch.
“Exactly like his mother, this one,” Andromeda announced.
Narcissa glanced at her sister, but couldn’t keep her gaze and so she moved it to the babe.
“Did… Did, you ever rush to their room at night,” she asked, hesitantly, “Because you couldn’t hear their breaths?”
Before Andromeda could reply a waitress was standing next to them, “Anything I can help you with then?” she asked chirpily.
“She’ll have a coffee,” Andromeda spoke, motioning towards Narcissa.
Narcissa immediately looked up at Andromeda in shock, “But-“ she tried to interject looking at the retreating form of the waitress.
“Sit,” Andromeda said wearily, “We’ve made it this far…”
Narcissa hesitantly returned to her seat, lowering herself on the chair, as Andromeda placed the baby on her lap.
There was a pregnant silence before where Narcissa took in the baby, as it bounced on her sisters lap, “Don’t the muggles see,” she gestured at the babes head.
“The muggles don’t notice anything,” Andromeda clarified, and after that their table was filled with an awkward silence.
“I heard your boy’s too be married,” Andromeda said finally, and Narcissa heart perked with hope at the knowledge of her sister caring enough to keep tabs, “The Daily Prophet wrote about it, Greenglass it is?”
Narcissa placed the bitter tasting coffee on the table at the subject broach her nose wrinkling as she said, “Astoria Greengrass,” she spat, “Half-blood sympathiser extraordinaire.”
Andromeda immediately stilled, looking at Narcissa straight in the eye as she spoke, “You know, we’re all not bad. Why do you hate us?”
Narcissa looked at her sister offended, “You know why!” she spat out, “They’re beneath us!”
Andromeda spoke calmly, “Why? Because mum and dad told us so? Because they have diluted-“ she interrupted herself looking down at the baby, in her arms, who was reaching towards Narcissa opening and closing his fingers in a grabbing motion.
Andromeda held up the baby, moving it towards Narcissa until Narcissa was forced to take it from her hands, “Tell me Narcissa, is that baby, Ted Remus Lupin,” she forcefully gave him a name, “Is that baby beneath you? Doesn’t he deserve to be loved and cherished as your son was, though he’s born of Half-blood and a werewolf? Don’t we all?”
Narcissa said nothing watching as the baby, as he looked up at her earnestly with bright blue eyes, and a shock of blue hair. He reached towards Narcissa and reached at her cheek, patting it. And all Narcissa Malfoy could do was sit silently as tears welled painstakingly in her eyes as she gathered the baby closer to her in her arms, knowing she would be willing to protect the life of this uncanny babe.
It would be years before she would be able to look at her sister and see, just that her sister, instead of a blood traitor, and longer before she would be capable of seeing the ways of her daughter-in-law and treating her with the kindness she deserved. It would also seem like a Godsend day, when her Lucius Malfoy, of the Proud and Noble House of Malfoy would turn from his ways. But perhaps there was hope.
“Andromeda,” she began, opening her mouth to say the accursed words, “I’m… I’m.” she tried again.
Andromeda looked up at her with a raised eyebrow, “Drink your coffee, Cissa,” she ordered in the fashion she had done when they were children.
She opened to retort in a childish manor to match, but instead steeled herself, as she balanced the baby on her lap, pressing the mug to her lips, and watching the hint of a smile on Andromeda’s lips.