The Family Tree
The Potters' home was incredibly quiet. It was the first Christmas that there were no guests staying for the holiday in several years. The three Potters were sat together in the living room, "Nancy says that they will come over on Christmas day," Mrs Potter told them.
"That will be nice," James smiled.
"Oh by the way… we've been invited to a wedding," Mrs Potter told them.
"Who's dear?" Charlus asked.
"My nephew Cygnus' daughter Bellatrix is marrying Rodolphus Lestrange," Dorea frowned, "well actually they are already married. They eloped last year but their parents insisted upon having a proper pureblood wedding as well."
"Bellatrix?" Charlus suddenly appeared more interested, "When is the wedding?"
"23rd December," Dorea frowned.
"Very well," Charlus nodded, "I guess we could drop in."
"You aren't planning on making this into an auror mission are you Charlus?" Dorea laughed.
"Of course not Dori," Charlus smiled.
"Yeah right," James laughed, "only for a second mother. Will Alice be going to the wedding?"
"Yes dear. I spoke to Lucretia yesterday and she said that her and Ignatius had received an invitation. Apparently Alice isn't very impressed because she wanted to spend the day with her cousin Molly in Ottery St. Catchpole. It really is such a shame that Cedrella was disowned for marrying Septimus."
"I don't understand," James ran a hand through his messy hair. "Why would she be disowned for marrying a Weasley – they are pure-bloods aren't they?"
"Well yes – but in reality there is a difference between Pure-blood and PURE-BLOOD. The Weasleys don't consider their status as pure-bloods as important. To many pure-bloods they are something of blood-trators," Charlus explained.
"And a blood traitor is worse than even a muggle-born," Mrs Potter sighed. "It's all very complicated. But the Weasleys are related because Cedrella – you know Arthur's mother – her father Arcturus was my father Cygnus' brother. Uncle Arcturus went absolutely spare when he heard Cedrella was engaged to a Weasley. It ruffled a few feathers to say the least."
"Will uncle Marius be at the wedding?" James asked.
"Unfortunately no," Dorea frowned, "did I ever tell you my brother's story?"
James shook his head.
"Well as you know I had three siblings," Dorea began.
"Uncle Pollux, Auntie Cassiopeia and Uncle Marius," James rolled off.
Dorea nodded, "Well Pollux was born first and then three years later Cassi was born. A couple of years past and Marius was born and then I followed shortly after. When we were little children Cassi and I would always play together but Pollux was horrible to Marius. He would steal father's wand and attack Marius. Mother and Father never once stopped him. You see the rest of us had shown some sign of magic. We'd accidentally blown things up or in Cassi's case ended up standing on top of the roof in the middle of the night. But Marius hadn't you see and my parents were absolutely disgusted that their son was a squib. They hoped that if Pollux attacked him then maybe Marius would eventually magically defend himself – his survival instinct kicking in or something. So when his letter didn't come on his eleventh birthday mother cried for weeks. She refused to so much as look at him. Father decided to send him to a muggle boarding school. They bought him a house where he would live during the holidays and when he finished school. They also arranged for him to have a house-elf and enough money to live comfortably but he was never welcomed back into our family home."
"Oh goodness," James frowned, "Poor Uncle Marius."
"Indeed," sighed Charlus. He could remember when his wife had first told him the story at Hogwarts. It had been far more emotional for her then as it had happened recently. It was that night that he realised that he loved her regardless of the fact that she was a Slytherin. He had been amazed that such a person could exist. A pure-hearted Slytherin.
"I heard from Lucretia that Andromeda – Bellatrix's sister – won't be allowed to attend the wedding. Apparently she recently married a muggle-born."
"Yeah, his name is Ted Tonks. It was their wedding I went to over the summer with the other marauders. Remember?" James asked.
"Oh yes of course," Dorea nodded. "Such a shame for her to be crossed off the family tree though."
Sirius was sat in Andromeda's little cottage's living room. He had received a letter from his father and so he had endeavoured to reply before his cousin woke from her nap.
I understand that you and mother want me to attend the wedding with you but do you really think cousin Bella wants me there? We have duelled several times and she has tried to kill me and my friends. I would barely say that we are on friendly terms let alone have a strong familial bond.
If you require my presence, you shall have it. I just don't want to cause any problems. I'd hate to ruin cousin Bella's day.
Everything is great here at the Potter's, thanks. As always they are the perfect hosts.
Lily was sat on the swings with Snape. It wasn't particularly warm so they had several layers on under their coats and they both wore scarves and gloves. "I'm so glad everything is back to the way it should be," Lily smiled. "We're friends and we're not arguing…"
"Yeah it's great," Severus replied.
"Do you fancy a competition? Let's see who can jump off the swing the furthest." Lily began to push harder so that she was swinging as high as she could. "On the count of three… one… two… three."
They both jumped off at exactly the same moment. Severus fell with a thud whilst Lily jumped high into the air and slowly landed several metres ahead, "that's cheating! No magic!"
"It wasn't intentional," Lily replied, raising her eyebrow slightly, "it just happens. I didn't use my wand!"
Severus laughed as Lily joined him on the ground. They stared at the clouds. Normally they would spend their time trying to find pictures in the clouds but not today. Today the clouds had no pictures. Lily noticed a big, dark looking cloud in the distance, "we better go home."
"Yeah – I guess," Snape sighed, "I don't want to go home Lils."
She turned her head to look at her friend, "come to mine then." She stood up and stretched out her hand to pull him up. They left the park hand in hand, best friends.