New Years Eve
Kate had a great Christmas with her brother and parents at their home in Manchester. Her parents had so many questions about what they had both been up to at Hogwarts that there was never a drag in the conversation. "Will's got a new girlfriend," Kate told her parents.
"Really Will?" Mrs Stone smiled from across the table.
"Well done boy. What's her name then?" Mr Stone asked.
"Rebecca," Will smiled shyly.
"How long have you been together?" Mrs Stone asked.
"Er… I'm not sure. A few weeks."
"What does she look like?"
"Er… She looks like a girl," Will answered.
"She's pretty with brown hair," Kate laughed. "Really nice eyes. She's dead sweet. Kind of shy."
"She sounds lovely," Mrs Stone nodded.
Sirius was walking back and forth in the small living room of Andromeda's house. Andromeda was upstairs with a healer. Ted was up there with them as well but Sirius had a feeling that he wasn't being particularly useful. When Sirius had last seen him his face was white as a sheet and he was sweating nervously. Sirius stopped pacing and checked the clock; 11:36pm. He heard a noise from upstairs; a cry. The baby. Ted Tonks practically fell down the stairs he was running so fast. "Sirius! Sirius! Quickly! Come see!"
Sirius ran into the hallway.
"It's a girl!" Ted told him as he practically dragged Sirius up the stairs. They entered the bedroom. Andromeda was sat in her bed with a very small baby in her hands. The healer was stood to one side smiling gently at the mother and child. Andromeda looked up from the baby and smiled at her cousin, "look Sirius, isn't she beautiful?" Andromeda asked excitably.
"Absolutely gorgeous," Sirius smiled, looking at the small baby.
"Do you want to hold her?"
Sirius nodded. Andromeda placed the child in Sirius' waiting arms. He looked down at the small girl; "She's beautiful Dromeda." She had big dark eyes that seemed to twinkle as she looked up at him. Her mousy brown hair changed colour to a very bright bubblegum pink as she smiled up at him. "Wow!"
"Look at her hair," Andromeda looked surprised.
The healer walked forward quickly, checking over the young girl, "It would appear that your child is a metamorphmagus Mrs Tonks."
"A a-a metamorphmagus?" Andromeda asked.
Sirius was still holding the baby, "bloody hell – her hair is blue!"
"Sirius! Stop cursing!" Andromeda chastised.
"A metamorphmagus is a witch or wizard with the ability to change their physical appearance at will, rather than requiring Polyjuice Potion or a spell like the rest of us. It is extremely rare."
"Wow – it's green!" Ted laughed.
"What are you going to call her?" Sirius asked.
"Well… we've been thinking and we have decided to call her Nymphadora," Mrs Tonks told her young cousin.
"Nymphadora Tonks – she's going to hate that name when she gets to Hogwarts," Sirius laughed, "but I think it's perfect."
"It's a bit of a Black thing, isn't it…" Ted commented. "Just think… Andromeda, Narcissa…"
"Dorea, Walburga, Cassiopeia, Lucretia, Elladora, Isla," Sirius laughed, seeing his point. "Callidora, Belvina, Cedrella…"
"I think it might just be a pure-blood thing," Andromeda laughed, "Lysandra Yaxley, Ursula Flint, Violetta Bulstrode, Melania Macmillan, Irma Crabbe, Druella Rosier… Do I need to continue?"
They all laughed happily, "Nymphadora Tonks – welcome to the world kid."
Christmas day in the Snape household had been anything but rosy. Tobias Snape had been drinking for thirty seven hours strait. It was a miracle the man hadn't passed out or choked on his own vomit. Severus could smell the stench of stall alcohol, cigarettes and puke in the air around his father. "What's with the face brat?" Tobias slurred, "Y-you loo-k like y-y-ou've smelt do-g shit."
"It certainly smells as bad," Severus muttered under his breath.
"What did you say boy?" Tobias Snape asked angrily.
"Nothing sir," Severus replied.
"Better not be – don't want a beating on Christmas day, do you?"
Severus shook his head.
"Answer me boy!"
"No sir," Snape answered. "I wouldn't want that."
"Wheres that freak of a mother of yours?" Snape's father asked, "I wa-nnt my dinner!"
"I'll go see if I can find her, sir." Severus rushed from the room in search of his mother.
Sirius and James made their way up the steps to Etta Nixon's family home with their dates. Astrix and Etta had arranged a ridiculously romantic wedding. They were to have their first kiss as a married couple at exactly midnight. It would be the beginning of a new year and the beginning of their lives together. Etta had thought it was the cleverest thing she had ever thought up. She couldn't wait to see her old Hogwarts friends, especially the old Quidditch team.
Sirius had brought Felicity Gordon as his date. They had been going out for several months now and it was officially Sirius' longest relationship to date – not that that was particularly challenging. James had thought about bringing Zoe Wadsworth but they hadn't spoken since their last date and he wasn't particularly interested in maintaining that particular relationship. Instead he had brought Felicity's friend, Molly Dixon. He had a crush on another girl but he didn't want their first date to be a wedding so he had resolved to take Molly instead.
James recognised most of the guests. They were either currently studying at Hogwarts or had left in the last few years. Giffard Abbott was sat in the corner with his arm draped around a girl's shoulder. He had been a Hufflepuff prefect until he left at the end of last year. James was quite impressed to see Ludo Bagman – a player for the Wimbourne Wasps – sat towards the back surrounded by several girls. Several boys from Etta and Astrix's year were sat together; Mark Ross, Spencer Scholten and Jackson Sheppard. Shannon Jones and Evelyn Kennedy – Gryffindor's old chasers were sat just in front of the boys. They were both nineteen now. Haley Dakota was sat beside them. She had been a Gryffindor prefect during her time at Hogwarts. Although Dakota was a year older than Etta, they had become close because both their boyfriends were Quidditch captains. Dakota had at the time been dating the Ravenclaw team captain. James continued to scan the crowd for the rest of the current Gryffindor team. He saw Professor McGonagall talking to an elderly couple by the entrance. Trevor Mallory and Jenny Dawn – the current Head Boy and Girl were sat together. They had recently started dating – so predictable, thought James. He finally saw the people he was looking for; Renee Arteage, Cynthia Keeney and Robert Calloway. Renee had brought a date, her new boyfriend; Preston Rowlands. "Hey guys," James said as he led Sirius and the girls over to the others.
"Alright?" Rob asked. "There's room if you want to join us." They quickly fell into conversation about what they had been doing with their holidays. Cynthia whispered something to James so that the others wouldn't hear, "James, McGonagall has asked me to make a recommendation for the new captain. I know you are young but you'll be a fourth year next year and I think you'd be great at it. Do you think you could hack it?"
James laughed, "hack it? It'd be heaven!"
Cynthia smiled, "You can't let your studies fall back as a result and it's a lot of work but if you are sure you can do it, I plan on recommending you for the job."
"I want it. I know I can do it… but Cynthia, why me? There are plenty of people older than me. What about Arteage?"
"I have several reasons. First, I know you are good. I've seen it. I saw it when you tried out. You have talent. Second, you're a natural leader and you spot things quicker than anyone I know – even Astrix. Third, Astrix believed in you and his opinion means something to me. Fourth, this way you have potentially four years to make the team your own. You can build it up; make it better than it's ever been." She began nodding her head excitedly, "I wish I could watch you do it."
"You really believe in me, don't you?" James ran a nervous hand through his hair.
"Yes. Always have," She said without any doubt.
"I better not let you down then," James laughed.
A few moments later the music changed and all the guests stood to their feet. A pretty little girl walked down the aisle. She wore a white dress with a pretty blue ribbon. She had a little basket and was dropping rose petals on the floor. Behind the girl were two girls James didn't recognise. They were below Hogwarts age, perhaps nine or ten. They wore beautiful flowing blue dresses with white ribbons. Just behind them was Remy Olivier, the maid of honour and Etta's best friend. Once Remy had reached the front, everyone turned to see the bride. Etta was wearing an elegant lace dress. There were many gasps from the guests as they took in her beauty. She looked absolutely incredible. Astrix smiled widely as he saw his future wife walk towards him.