These were written for lumos_owls
Druella Black liked looking at old family photographs when she felt lonely. For a while her children's black-and-white smiles allowed her to pretend that she hadn't lost her daughter forever.
Her husband had destroyed most of their photos of Andromeda the day after he threw her out, but Druella had hidden some of them in time, and now spent hours over them whenever she could. She couldn't bring herself to forget Andromeda the way the rest of her family so easily had. Even Bellatrix and Narcissa, who had loved their sister more than anything, behaved as though she didn't exist. Their indifference broke Druella's heart.
She wondered if Andromeda was happy, wherever she was. Had she forgotten her old family, or did she weep over photographs too?
Druella wiped away a tear. "Goodbye," she whispered.Fear
Sitting on a bench in a London slum, watching an old Muggle woman in a glass booth, Nott wished he had never been born.
The woman was talking into a device attached to a wall of the booth, a tella-something, and smiling; she knew nothing of the wizards’ war, which was now in its seventh year, did not have countless murders on her conscience, and had never heard of the Dark Lord. Nott envied her.
If only he hadn’t fallen in with Tom Riddle and his gang back at Hogwarts, maybe now he wouldn’t be in this mess. If only he hadn’t joined Riddle’s Death Eaters without a thought. If only he hadn’t been so blind that he couldn’t see what the Dark Lord had intended to do, until it was too late. If only, if only, if only.
If only he weren’t a damned coward.
The Muggle put down the tella-thingy and emerged from the booth. Shivering slightly in the late-night chill, she sat down beside Nott.
“Has the eleven o’clock bus been past yet?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Nott said glumly.
The woman studied him for a moment. “You look rather troubled,” she said.
Nott was tempted to tell her everything; after all, no one in his own world was likely to ever talk to her, were they?Don’t be a fool,
he scolded himself.
Foolish though it was, however, he couldn’t seem to stop himself from confessing a little of what plagued him.
“I’m in a terrible situation,” he said, “with no way out except death. If I stay where I am, I’ll either go mad or get myself killed. If I try to get out, even worse will happen to me. There’s nowhere in the world I can go to escape, and no one who can help me. I’ve considered killing myself, but I’m too afraid of who might be waiting for me in death.”
The woman stared at him.
“You want to know how I got myself into this?” Nott continued. “I was always
afraid. I made the wrong friends because I was afraid to be alone. I stuck with them because I was afraid to cross them. I went along with their madness because I was afraid to see what they were doing. I do horrid things because I’m still afraid to disobey. I’ve been a bloody coward all my life. Whatever eventually happens to me, I deserve it.”
Glancing down the street, Nott spotted a large man striding toward him. Macnair, coming to meet him for their assignment. He sighed and got to his feet, and then froze.Damn it!
Macnair had seen him with the Muggle. He couldn’t just walk away from her without repercussions.
He turned back to the old woman, who was still staring at him in silent shock, and drew his wand.I’ve no choice,
he told himself. If I don’t do it, Macnair will. At least I can make it quick.
“I’m sorry,” Nott said. “Avada Kedavra!”