|Three Roses in a Black Garden (Druella, Black sisters. PG)
||[May. 8th, 2013|10:03 pm]
Title: Three Roses in a Black Garden
Characters: Druella Rosier-Black, Cygnus Black, Bellatrix Black, Narcissa Black, Andromeda Black, Pollux and Irma Black
Word Count: ~2,250
Summary: Druella loved her daughters and she had always had their best interests in mind.
Druella loved her daughters. She would be offended if anyone dared to suggest otherwise or that she had merely material intentions when she planned their futures. As a mother, Druella knew she would have to make hard choices sometimes because children did not always want to do things the right way, didn’t always know what was best for them. But everything Druella did was for the benefit of her daughters, even if they didn’t realize it.
When she was a maiden and then when she was first wed to Cygnus, Druella had dreamed of having a son. After all, when her parents had sat her down for that talk when she was fifteen, that was how they had laid out her life. She would make a match with a good Pureblood boy, she would be married, she would bear her husband a son, and then…well, then it would depend. But her duty and goal was clear. Druella had sat in her father’s study and watched the flickering flames, her mind going through the boys in her year and the year above her at school who would be eligible and wondering who would become her husband.
In the end it was Cygnus Black. Her parents had made the decision in the end but Druella did not oppose it. She and Cygnus had been good friends at school. It was not a great romantic adventure as she had read in her French novels, but Druella was very fond of him and she supposed that being married to one of your best friends beat getting married off to some man several years older than she whom she had never met before simply because her parents had signed the contracts a week after her birth. That was the fate of at least two of Druella’s housemates.
Giving birth to a boy was a dream, however, that Druella would never realize. She was pregnant within two years of her marriage with her first child and had a name all picked out by the time the baby came.
When they told her it was a girl, Druella had felt a sinking in the pit of her stomach. The baby was beautiful but she had felt like she’d done something wrong. However, Cygnus was supportive and even named Bellatrix himself. They tried again and again. After Bellatrix came Andromeda and after Andromeda came Narcissa, all in a row of a swell and dive of expectation over a tumultuous three years.
Embarrassment was the feeling Druella had felt most sharply during that time. The entire family was anxious, especially given that Walburga Black, who had married her cousin Orion, was having exceeding trouble bearing any child at all – all of her pregnancies ended in miscarriages or stillbirths. Druella had once overheard her parents-in-law discussing the situation.
“Alphard must marry,” Irma insisted. “This is getting ridiculous. Walburga will be barren soon if her pregnancies keep ending this way…oh I always knew marrying her to Orion was a bad idea, but your cousin insisted!”
“How would Arcturus have known? He is the one who should be angry with us. It’s your daughter who can’t seem to hold a pregnancy, might I mention. Orion could have had anyone,” Pollux bit back.
“She is your daughter too,” Irma sniffed. “Anyway, that Rosier girl is proving to be useless.”
“Cygnus is our youngest. If I recall, we thought ourselves very fortunate to have her.”
“Before she proved to be useless. I told you that girl has narrow hips.”
“Walburga has wide ones, what of it? At least Druella has had three healthy children.”
“The point I’m trying to make is that Alphard must marry, regardless of if he wants to or not!”
Druella had run back to her room and cried, unable to listen to any more. She felt so inadequate that her relationship with Cygnus began to suffer. Finally, he took her away from, what he referred to as, the viper nest and they went to Italy and then to India to get treatment. When they returned, Walburga was pregnant again. A year later she finally gave birth – to a healthy boy.
Druella wasn’t sure if she felt worse or if she was simply relieved. Now that the Black family had their heir, perhaps everyone would stop scrutinizing her and her daughters. She knew that some women grew cold toward the “unwanted” girls they bore, but Druella had gotten so accustomed to protecting her babies from the glares and whispers of their relatives who wished more than anything that they would have been boys, that she couldn’t help but love them. They were everything she had, after all.
“It makes no difference,” Cygnus told her as they watched their daughters play in the garden on a mild spring afternoon. “I like girls and I love my daughters. The family has their heir now.”
After Regulus was born, they stopped trying.
Her three daughters became Druella’s flowers, three lovely roses that needed to be groomed and tended, guided toward the sun and the weeds around them mercilessly plucked. All three were very different even as children and as they grew, Druella began to understand that would mean for their futures.
Bellatrix was willful and passionate, stubborn and headstrong, unpredictable at times and had a fancy for breaking down the boarders of decency. She was restless when asked to sit still for too long and, as a child, would throw temper tantrums when she didn’t get her way. She was quickly becoming a beautiful young woman with a lot of potential. Her wit and conviction could be assets if only she chose to use them properly, but Bella had a short fuse and Druella was always cautious about pushing her too far.
Andromeda was very different, even though she and Bellatrix looked very much alike. They both took after Cygnus and his side of the family with their deep-set eyes, the curves of their mouths, their dark, thick hair and hourglass shapes. But in personality, Andromeda was very different. She was much quieter than Bella although just as stubborn and willful. She loved to read and Druella wouldn’t have been surprised at a Ravenclaw sort. She actually had to wonder what had prompted the Hat to put her middle daughter in Slytherin. Andromeda was very straightforward in her opinions, even more so than Bella. She was reserved and thoughtful. At first, Druella had thought she would have less trouble with Meddy than Bella, but she was wrong. Hogwarts did something to Andromeda. By the time she was in her fifth year, she began to develop some troubling tendencies. She kept strange company at school – Halfbloods and even worse… Druella once found a Muggle Studies textbook under Andromeda’s bed. She threw it out, of course, and tried to talk some sense into her daughter, but Andromeda had only looked at her coldly and Druella feared that some irreparable harm had been done to her. When she had asked Bellatrix about it, the response was not reassuring: “Meddy fancies herself a ‘liberal’, Maman.” Druella tried as hard as she could to instill in Andromeda all the lessons she taught her other two daughters but Meddy seemed to simply not hear her or to not understand.
Narcissa was Druella’s simplest child. She was also the one who took after her Rosier heritage Narcissa was blonde, with the same delicate bone-structure as her mother, slight and narrow-hipped. Druella always wanted to wince when she thought about that – giving birth would be difficult for her youngest. But Narcissa was stunning and mild-manner, she loved to dance and play the piano, she charmed the guests and held her tongue. She was well educated but never cared for politics in the dangerous way her sisters did. Druella had very little trouble molding Narcissa into the perfect Pureblood bride and she was incredibly proud of Narcissa’s social success. When Lucius Malfoy came with Intent to Court, Druella knew her hard work had paid off. Cygnus offered to make a visit to Abraxas to sign the contracts but Druella made him wait. For all intents and purposes, this was a love match as well as a glamorous alliance and she did not want to spoil it with materialistic papers, not until they got into formal wedding negotiations. Narcissa would be the happiest of her children, Druella predicted. After all, the girl did everything right.
Bellatrix should have had the pick of suitors. After all, she was the eldest Black daughter and for a long time Druella thought that a match between her and Rodolphus Lestrange would be not unreasonable. However, Bellatrix, obviously, had other plans. The day after her coming out ball, Antonin Dolohov showed up with Intent to Court. The boy was a Pureblood and the only son. The fact that his family was only mildly wealthy and with a shady background of immigration from Russia… Well, as much as that bothered Druella she seemed to be able to do nothing but wring her hands. She had promised herself that if her daughters found acceptable matches, she would not stand in their way. And her Bella seemed complete smitten by Antonin.
Andromeda was the hardest. She seemed to have no interest in any of the men in their social circle and the ones she associated with at school would never do. Druella tried talking to Meddy about it herself, tried getting Bella and Narcissa to talk to their sister, but Andromeda only withdrew further and further into herself. At some point, Andromeda bean sneaking out. At first no one even noticed, but Druella was watchful and she knew that something was not right. The thought of her daughter having an affair with some unworthy boy made her ill. Druella saw the dangerous path Andromeda was on and wanted to save her from it at all cost. So when Cygnus came to her one night holding a letter and said, “The Lestranges want to propose and alliance, she knew what had to be done. “They are offering their Rodolphus for our Bella.”
“Antonin Dolohov is courting Bella. I do not dare interfere with their match. Bella is so headstrong…she will only marry a man she loves.”
“Should I decline them then?” Cygnus asked.
“No. Offer them Andromeda instead.”
The Lestranges acquiesced and the papers were soon signed. Meddy was furious with them arranging a marriage for her but there was nothing she could do. Druella wanted her daughter to be happy, but she knew that the only way to save her Meddy, and the family, from shame was to marry her as soon as possible. She would calm and settle after that, hopefully, have children of her own and those children would absorb all the love she had to offer.
Druella could have never imagined that Andromeda would run away. It felt like she had just been stabbed in the back by her own child. The scandal was enormous. Andromeda Black had eloped with a Mudblood whose child she carried. Druella was numb all throughout the disownment ceremony. Bellatrix raged and Narcissa cried, but Druella hardly felt anything. Where had she gone wrong?
“I’m afraid Lucius Malfoy might withdraw from his courtship,” Cygnus said to her several nights later. “Lucius is the heir and Cissy is just the youngest daughter…of a dishonored family. The Lestranges are more than unhappy. They had hoped to have Rodolphus married, and soon. We must do something to save the family honor.”
He was right. Druella knew she could lose another daughter if she did this, but, in truth, she had not been firm enough with Andromeda and now she feared for Bellatrix’s future as well Narcissa’s. She did not think Lucius would abandon Narcissa willingly but his father was a different story. She could not let her youngest daughter suffer because of Druella’s failings with Andromeda. And, at the end of the day, Bella would have a loving husband and a fmily.
She met with Mr. Lestrange the next afternoon over tea and put the question to him bluntly: “We cannot give you Andromeda, as you know. But your son has always loved our Bella more, don’t think I don’t know, and it was always Bellatrix you wanted. We will five her to you if you would still have her.” The papers were re-done. Druella knew that Bellatrix would fight her tooth and nail on this – and she did. But in the end, after the tears and tantrums, she deflated and accepted her fate.
“For the sake of our honor, Mother. But nothing more.” Bella married, but she never had children and she went on to fight the War alongside the men.
Druella did not regret anything. She did not know what to regret because she had loved her daughters equally and faithfully and had done as much as she could for their futures. It was just that her dreams never seemed to come true in their entirety. She had wanted sons and Merlin gave her children, but girls. She had wanted the best for her girls, but ended up with only one happy daughter. It was a curse, but, as Cygnus had once told her, “We can only do as much as we can. The rest is up to Merlin.”
So Druella accepted her lot. She supposed she could have done some things differently. But she had always loved her daughters and that was one thing that could never be in question.