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To Rebuild by Hourglass nomineeReview TeamPaid AccountWiki Staffencrypt

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Rating: PG. Created: January 26th, 2008. Updated: January 31st, 2008. Read Reviews (10)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

Both of them know she’s finished hiding.

The arrival is expected. Slight tension lingers in the atmosphere of the pub as patrons turn to stare unabashedly at the unusual visitors. It is not a haunt frequented often by the refined. These are not examples of the bar’s standard customers.

(but in essence, they’re the same)

Narcissa orders a brandy. Andromeda is half finished with one of her own.

Both of them look straight forward for an age, lost in thought, lost in a different time and place. Both of them drum pale, slender fingers on the bartop.

Narcissa wears a slim gold wedding ring. Andromeda’s silver band has hung from a chain on her neck for seven years. One is a confident symbol of assurance; the other, a momento of a cherished, bittersweet past.

(but in essence, it’s the same)

It’s a battle of will, a game of chess—your turn, your move. Which will stay silent the longest? Which will speak first?

“Scorpius is going to Hogwarts tomorrow.”

For the first time since their childhood, Andromeda speaks first; breaking the tension, making the first step, sharing thoughts, starting the chain reaction. It has always been Narcissa in the past. Both are surprised.

(but in essence, it’s the same)

It’s a strategy move, and Andromeda always was the chess player, looking five steps ahead to decide which path to take. Irony showed itself in her most impulsive decisions, but this is different; this is calculated.

(but in essence, it’s the same)

Narcissa looks at her sister from the corner of her eyes and nods slightly. Silence falls between the pair again.

It is her move.

“You’re angry at me because you think I deserve to have nothing.” It is not a question; not is it a statement infuriating in its blatancy. It is capturing in words the emotion neither could quite identify before, as close as they came.

There are long pauses between sentences; Narcissa plans carefully. She could always give Andromeda a challenge in the game, so unlike Bellatrix, who moved the pieces on a whim.

“I lost everything too, Andromeda.”

There is a sharp look to the side, and her mouth opens to protest, but Narcissa cuts her off.

“No, I did. War took everything from me as well. My losses came long ago, Andromeda.”

She is listening.

“Our childhood was perfection. We had all we needed: each other. Sirius, Regulus, Bellatrix, you, and I. That, Andromeda; that was my everything. War took that away from me – when Bellatrix was intoxicated, when Sirius was on the other side, when Regulus couldn’t make up his mind, and when you did. That was when I lost it all.”

It is a valiant maintenance of composure on both sides.

“You have to rebuild, Andromeda. There is no point in hating the world for having and living when you don’t. They will just go on, and you will only wallow, and it will do you no good. I rebuilt. I found Lucius, and he was good to me. I have my Draco, my wonderful son. Never did they fill the hole, never did they replace what I’ve lost. But they are my everything now.

(and in essence, it truly is different)

There is direct eye contact, more direct than they’ve had in over thirty years, perhaps more direct than they’ve ever had. There is communication there, and understanding.

“It’s all that’s left now. Rebuild, Andy.”

She looks unblinkingly into Narcissa’s eyes.

“I will.”

It is not optimism. It is not a joyous reunion. It is not a promise of reconciliation. It is determination, a mere nod, a concession, a whisper of a chance. It is the next move in their game of chess.

(but in essence, it’s the same)

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