Title: I’m Not a Damsel in Distress
Written: 1-11 December, 2017
Fandom: Harry Potter Series
Pairing: Harry/Andromeda Black, Narcissa/Lucius
Summary: Harry thought, after he traveled back in time to 1942 and just didn’t age, that he would always be alone. That was until he reached the 1970s and met a girl who wanted to piss off her parents with a Muggleborn boyfriend and an attitude to match…
Warnings: Time travel, death eaters, blood purity, false identities, immortality, cross gen (kind of)
He was the Master of Death—but Harry honestly thought that had nothing to do with it. He was asleep one day in Grimmauld Place and the next morning he was awake in a field. Of course, it only took a few days to hunt down a Daily Prophet and learn that it was 1942. His cloak was still in his pocket, the ring on his finger, the wand in his hand.
The money was easy. Far too easy. He merely had to register at Gringotts and a little used Potter vault was assigned to him. However, he couldn’t be a Potter. They were too well known. A Fleamont and Euphemia Potter were scorching the Potions world at the moment and everyone knew their names. So, Harry had to get creative.
The Cloak covered him. The wand made it so he could get into Grimmauld Place despite the wards.
He remembered that Hermione had found a rather dark book that had spells that could change one’s appearance. It wasn’t even called “dark magic” it was so heinous, but “deep magic.” In the middle of the night, he tore through the library until he found that book. He wove the spells upon himself until his hair was calmer but choppier, a golden blond with hints of dirty brown. His eyes were now an arresting blue, his chin not as sharp, his figure taller. The scar on his forehead was marred so it looked like a slash.
Knowing he had to walk around in this time, he decided to make himself Sacred Twenty-Eight. The easiest family, who wouldn’t be able to say he wasn’t a member, were the Gaunts. That would mean his name should begin with an “M”, and a name meaning “son of Mars” seemed fitting given that he was the one to cast the striking blow on Voldemort. He found it rather funny.
Marcellin Gaunt it was, then.
Of course, wherever he was, Harry couldn’t help but be recognized. His spells were a little too powerful, his presence a little too weighty, his words a little too deliberate. When Grindelwald started making himself a real nuisance, it was Harry who fought him more often than naught, his likeness in the Daily Prophet.
However, he was still alone.
He was always alone.
Harry missed Ron and Hermione. They were always together, sometimes excluding him in their perfectly wedded bliss (which is how it should be, he reminded himself yet again), but they were still his best mates.
Here, in 1946 he had nobody.
And he had nobody for a very long time.
Of course, he didn’t age. How could he? Harry was the Master of Death. He had the cloak around his shoulders, the ring on his finger, the wand in his hand. The curses upon his features never faded and after a few years, he no longer expected to see Harry Potter in the mirror anymore. Harry Potter was gone. He was all but forgotten.
When Grindelwald was defeated, witches of course went after him. It was like fifth year all over again with Romilda Vane and the love potion. He wasn’t the Chosen One but he was the Archenemy of Grindelwald, even if it was Dumbledore who eventually brought him down.
And time passed.
Still, he was alone.
He watched as Voldemort began to be on the rise. Harry knew he could have killed him in his crib, he had even gone to the orphanage to do just that—However, Voldemort had been Tom Riddle, then. Just a baby. Harry couldn’t do it. He was not a monster.
He watched as Tom Riddle became a young man, eaten away by ambition, turned into the man that would terrorize a nation. The two circled each other like lions in a pit, lunging at one another, each one afraid to draw the first blood as if that would make it all too real. Followers flocked around Voldemort and Dumbledore invited Harry to join his little Order of the Phoenix, which Harry wouldn’t do. Not after the last time.
“Mr. Gaunt,” Dumbledore said as they walked down a deserted hall in the Ministry of Magic. “You can truly aid your country.”
“I aid my country, Professor,” he answered calmly. “I sit on the Wizengamot and help draft laws. While most men cower in the shadows as Voldemort rises unchecked, I at least give him cause to consider what he is doing.”
“He wishes for your elixir of life,” Dumbledore mused.
Harry looked at him. “There is no elixir,” he answered smoothly. “And if there were he cannot have it, kin or not.” He looked at the wand in Dumbledore’s hand, so similar to his own. It was a wonder no one had noticed yet. Harry’s Elder wand had changed over time, becoming ashen in the face of time, but it still had the same shape, the same form.
Dumbledore looked at him through his half moon spectacles.
“Do not believe I did not know,” Harry told him. “His mother was a Gaunt as much as my father was.” The lie fell easily from his lips. He had been a Gaunt far longer than he had ever been a Potter.
“And your mother?”
Playing on the fact that Gaunts only married one another, Harry answered quite plainly, “Come, come, we both know the answer to that. Blood must remain pure, after all, or so I believe dear Uncle Marvolo would say.” He moved down the hallway, his robes swishing around him. “Still, my answer is ‘no’, Dumbledore. I will serve this great nation in my own way, in my own time.”
He turned the corner and then he was gone.
Harry looked after him, remembering the man he had both admired and hated at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore, however, was like a shadow that followed you around in sunlight. He approached Harry just the next week when Harry was going to the Wizengamot. “The Governors would like to issue an invitation to Hogwarts,” he told him with a forced smile. “They thought you could lend weight to our opening feast at Hogwarts on September the First. You would speak the opening remarks, of course, as the Archenemy of Grindelwald.”
Harry turned and looked at his former mentor. “The Governors wish this?” he asked in shock.
“But of course,” Dumbledore answered.
Dithering, Harry finally answered, “Well, then, I guess I will be seeing Hogwarts.” He didn’t know how that would change his life. He moved past Dumbledore and wondered if this was actually a good idea or not. The stones had memories—but then again, he wasn’t Harry Potter anymore. He was Marcellin Gaunt. The portraits would never make the connection, the ghosts would not see a likeness twenty years from now, his godfather would not see him and think of James.
He dressed in sky blue. He looked out into the faces and picked out various people he knew. There was his mother, his father, both too young to even think of one another. Lupin, Pettigrew. Regulus Black. Lux Kingsley who was just a photograph in Grimmauld Place.
Then he saw her. She was truly beautiful. He knew who she was instantly. She had the dark eyes of Bellatrix Black, the strong jaw, the haughty good looks, but she had a kinder smile and her mass of curls were brown instead of black.
Harry waited outside the Great Hall for the students to pour out of it.
“Andromeda Black,” he murmured as she passed by him, and she looked up and caught his gaze. “What year have you entered now?”
“How do you know me?” she inquired, a little hesitantly. “Do you know my father?”
“He comes ‘round the Ministry occasionally,” Harry admitted, never taking his eyes off her, wishing her long legs weren’t hidden by those horrid socks. “I don’t care about your father at the moment.”
Her eyebrows rose. “That’s funny,” she murmured, walking up to him. “So many people care about my father.”
Harry had been leaning against the wall. “You,” he pretended to guess, “don’t care about the same things. Pureblood rights, am I correct? You’d rather be anything but a pureblood.” He smirked at her, remembering her in the future and realizing that she had been rather a bombshell even then.
“Well, you’re a pureblood,” she noticed. “Sacred Twenty-Eight.”
He looked at her and whispered in her ear, “I know you’re one of the few witches who don’t care.”
She leaned back and took him in.
“Let me guess,” he began, reaching out and taking her palm, as if he were going to read it. Of course, he did nothing of the sort. He dragged his fingers across it but looked into her eyes. “You’re secretly dating a Muggleborn and if you’re not, you’d definitely consider it … just for the sake of doing it.”
She laughed disbelievingly and took back her hand. “My turn.”
He held out his hand to her.
Andromeda glanced down, not even touching it, and stated, “You have a long life line.” She pushed her massive curls behind one ear.
“And you’re taking pleasure in goading me,” she continued, her eyes flicking up to his incredibly blue ones.
“You hate my father and everything he stands for. You are the Archenemy of Grindelwald, after all.” She pushed his hand back at him. However, she wasn’t finished. “You’ve never been seen with a woman before,” she told him, “and I don’t think you’ve ever been at Hogwarts so you usually don’t tease schoolgirls, which makes me wonder what you’re up to. Then again—you are wearing expensive robes in the height of pureblood fashion. You remind me of my younger sister’s beau.” She sneered this last bit.
“I am a member of the Wizengamot. I am expected to represent—” He began to argue, but she shot back at him.
“So you conform? What’s the point of that?”
He leaned toward her. “We’re wizards. What’s the point of pretending otherwise?” His blue eyes sparkled and Harry knew that most women could not resist him. He also knew he was a bit of a—well, not blood purist. He would never, even if he were the following type, be a subject of Grindelwald or Voldemort. He would never forget that his birth mother was Lily Evans Potter and that she was a Muggleborn. Harry would always love her in the deep recesses of his heart. That did not change the fact that he embraced being a Gaunt, that he loved magic and wanted to preserve it and he saw challenging Grindelwald and Voldemort as preserving magic. They threatened to insulate it to the point where it would become incestuous and die.
Look at the Gaunts. Merope Gaunt, her father having married his own niece, had practically been a Squib! It was only when she married a Muggle and diversified the gene pool that she created someone as powerful as Voldemort.
Andromeda’s eyes widened. “I don’t like you,” she stated quite decidedly.
Smirking, Harry replied, “That’s really quite a shame. I was going to exert my influence and put pressure on the board to take you out to the next Ministry Ball.”
“Who says I want to go?”
“It’s that or homework? I suppose you could be sneaking off to a cupboard with some Muggleborn…” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s your choice.”
Her eyes cut to him. “I suppose Cissy will be jealous. She’s a sixth year.”
“That would make you a seventh? I suppose you have to study.” He turned toward her, seeing her eyes take him in, from his peculiar hair that wouldn’t be in fashion until about 2000 to the breadth of his shoulders.
She tilted her head, as if deciding something, before revealing. “I have an eidetic memory. I don’t need to study that much.—I can wear a Muggle dress instead of robes.”
Andromeda was bargaining now, her eyes dark with pleasure, and Harry liked it.
“If it’s suitable for the occasion. Don’t show up in a cocktail dress, for instance, or,” he paused for effect, “bell bottoms.”
“An evening dress it is,” she agreed finally. “Send me the invitation, Mr. Gaunt.” Then she just walked away from him, as if they hadn’t been speaking for the last five minutes and they hadn’t just arranged a date. He was no longer important. The deal had been struck and so it no longer interested her.
If he had known that Andromeda was so delicious, he would have spent more time at her house visiting Teddy than whisking the boy off to Grimmauld Place. She was a riot and absolutely gorgeous in her little skirt and tie. She might just be what he was looking for all of these decades—and to think he had found her by accident.
Harry petitioned the governors and learned that Andromeda was, in fact, just shy of her eighteenth birthday. Dumbledore was an obstacle, but in the end he got his way, and on the twenty-second of September, she was his for the evening.
Her dress was a seaweed green, all wisps of fabric hugging her frame with what he thought was called a sweetheart neckline and a natural waist. Her hair was straight down to her shoulders where in winged out in Muggle fashion.
“Are you certain that’s an evening dress?” he asked her when she came up to him. “It’s practically painted on.”
“I’m a Black. You think I don’t know fashion?” her gray eyes challenged him and he thought, perhaps, she was right.
Of course, she ditched him twenty minutes into the gala. She was there one moment, going to get a glass of champagne—and she never came back. Harry grimaced when he realized this and made his excuses, following her trail with a modified Point Me spell until he found her in a pub a few blocks away.
She wasn’t alone.
“Ted Tonks, I presume,” Harry guessed when he saw a man in jeans and a mismatched sweater.
Andromeda was looking radiant in her evening gown while Harry was sticking out like a thumb in his purple and black robes. He took Andromeda’s hand and, instead of practicing the pureblood nicety, he decidedly kissed it much to her surprise.
“Y-yes, Marcellin,” Andromeda said, a little surprised and confused. “This is Ted.—I’m sorry, do you go by ‘Marcellin’?”
“No one’s ever asked,” he admitted, sitting down quite comfortably.
“I’m asking,” she stated decidedly.
Harry ignored her as he ordered himself a pint of bitters. “So, Ted,” he began, “enjoying a gripping career on the Nightbus?”
Andromeda shoved him, but he’d already lifted his pint up so that it just sloshed in its glass and didn’t overflow. “Marcellin—” she warned. “Stop being so passive aggressive.”
“Stop being so terribly stereotypical,” he chided back. “I get you out of Hogwarts and you go to a dive to meet a Muggleborn who works on the Nightbus. Really, Dromeda, is that the best you can do?—Or, wait, this will make your parents the most angry, won’t it?”
She stared daggers at him.
“Of course it will,” he realized. Harry needed to take a completely different approach. If drawing swords with her wasn’t going to work or Ministry Balls, then he’d simply just have to seduce her. “Sorry, mate,” he apologized to Ted, not even meaning it. He set down his bitters, wrapped his arm around Andromeda’s waist, and pulled her into a kiss.
Naturally it was awkward at first. Harry hadn’t kissed anyone since about 2001. He wasn’t certain if Andromeda had kissed anyone at all. But then she moved against him, and surely that was a good sign—until she slapped him right across the face.
“Are you mad?” she demanded.
He smiled at her. “Crazy.”
“I—” she was clearly at a loss for words.
Harry took a long drink of his pint and then grabbed her hand. “Bye, Ted,” he said without truly meaning it before dragging Andromeda out of her seat. They walked out of the pub and into the cool September air. Looking about, Harry saw what he was looking for.
“You like musicals?” he asked her. Not waiting for a reply, he continued, “It’s about an oppressed people. Of course you’ll like musicals.”
He led her to a theatre house and paid for two tickets to Fiddler on the Roof, and led her inside. Buying her popcorn, she just looked at him. “You’re carrying Muggle money.”
“I brought you to a function,” he said with a smirk. “I’d be a fool not to.”
“I still think you’re highhanded,” she told him, “and a blood purist—”
“If I were a blood purist, I would marry my only female relation, which would have to be either the daughter of Voldemort, who doesn’t exist, or the daughter of his uncle, who I believe also doesn’t exist. So until one of those unfortunate creatures procreate, I can’t prove I’m not a Gaunt blood purist.”
“Vol—You Know Who?” she whispered.
“He’s my cousin,” Harry told her with a blank face. “Never met him, really. You can see what years of incest will bring. Then again, cousins marry in the Black family, don’t they?” He looked at her appraisingly.
“Not on my side of the family.” She looked at him archly.
“No,” he agreed carefully. “Of course not.” They just had thirteen-year-olds procreating.
Of course, she was riveted by the screen. Harry was riveted by her. He watched the colors flash across her skin, the emotions play over her face, and he knew he was lost.
She pulled her wrap closely to her when they left the theatre. Strangely, she didn’t say a word; Andromeda was clearly lost in thought. “I’d never heard of a Jew before,” she finally said when he brought her to an ally. “There are no wizard Jews.”
“I know,” he agreed. “I was surprised when I realized that back in the fifties.”
“Fifties,” she mouthed to herself. Speaking louder, she finally asked, “That’s all true? They’re not made up?”
“No, Andromeda. They’re not made up.”
“I wonder why they don’t have magic,” she murmured.
“Perhaps you should wonder why they’re not permitted to have magic,” Harry suggested as he placed each hand on a shoulder and spun them around in Apparition, to have them land at the gates of Hogwarts.
Andromeda looked at him with a new kind of respect. “You know something, don’t you?”
“I am in the Wizengamot,” he agreed.
She swallowed and nodded. They both knew that was all the answer she was going to get. After a moment’s hesitation, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek. “Thank you, Marcellin,” she whispered, and then she opened the gate and walked back up toward Hogwarts, a stain of pale green against the rich color of the grass.
Of course, that wasn’t the last time he saw Andromeda. He made sure he knew every time she had a Hogsmeade Weekend.
“Ted,” he greeted as he walked into Madame Puddifoot’s. “I see you’re still here to annoy the parents.”
“Marcellin,” Andromeda stated, her gray eyes flashing.
“I could introduce you to some wealthy Muggle bankers,” he suggested, “or politicians. They could keep you in the style to which you’ve become accustomed,” Harry remarked, off-hand, “and they might even annoy your parents more.”
She looked at her nails. “Will you leave me be?”
“Couldn’t possibly. I’m abducting you.”
This definitely caught Andromeda’s attention. “Abducting me? For Merlin’s sake, where?”
“Wouldn’t that spoil the surprise?”
She glanced at him. “And I thought you were an open book: pureblood, member of the Wizengamot, drinker of the Elixir of Life—”
“A falsehood,” he told her plainly.
“Archenemy of Grindelwald,” she continued as if he hadn’t said anything at all, “supposed kinsman yet enemy of You-Know-Who—”
Ted Tonks choked. Her eyes flashed to him but she did nothing to help. It seemed like, at this stage in their relationship anyway, she really didn’t care. She was as cold as her sister Bellatrix toward him, and frankly that was absolutely delicious to Harry.
Leaning down, he whispered in her ear, “Murderer,”—wasn’t it true? He’d murdered Voldemort—“Master of Death, Liar, Only living Survivor of the Killing Curse—”
She looked up at him and smiled innocently. It was all an act. “How did you manage that?”
“Do you think I want to be dissected, Andromeda?” He stood up straight. “Now, you’re not quite dressed for it, but my Transfiguration is not that bad. Are you ready, or do you want to miss the beginning?”
Her eyes took him in. Harry was wearing black jeans and a black leather jacket. It didn’t say much except for “MUGGLE!” She glanced at Tonks and then stood up. “If I’m being abducted, I better enjoy it, Mr. Gaunt.”
“Of course, Miss Black,” he agreed, and then, not caring who saw including Lucius Malfoy who was in the corner with Narcissa Black, he apparated them away to Russia.
They were in a secluded corner of a megacomplex. Andromeda was wearing bellbottoms but this cute flowy pink top that was so reminiscent of flower children, it made Harry want to gag. With a quick swipe of his wand, she was wearing a sheer black blouse that hugged her curves. With another swipe, her girlish blue bra was black and sexy.
Andromeda looked down at herself, “Is this appropriate?”
“It is to a rave,” he promised her. “Drugs, sex, and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dromeda. You can’t get any more real than this!”
She stared at him and then blinked. She blinked again. Then she surged forward, holding each side of his face between her hands and kissed him. Harry barely had time to process it before she was pulling him forward by the hand toward a crowd of people and—well—Andromeda was screaming at the top of her lungs even though the rock band on stage was singing in Russian, she was twirling in his arms and banging her head up and down to the beat, her brown curls flying into Harry’s face, not that he minded.
“And then he was sweating so much his eye paint started smudging off!” she exclaimed once they were back in Hogsmeade. Harry had transfigured her clothing back to what it was—well, he’d left the bra. It was his little gift to her. “Did you see it? It looked like his eyes were bleeding!”
“It’s amazing what Muggle makeup can do,” Harry agreed, whispering this into her ear.
She looked up at him and smiled, clearly still in the moment. Andromeda actually giggled. Perhaps he shouldn’t have bought her that last round of vodka shots. He had wanted to give her an authentic experience.
“Dromeda”—Harry and Andromeda looked up to see an impeccably dressed Narcissa Black standing in middle of Hogsmeade. She was the epitome of pureblood beauty. Her elegant robes hugged her frame suggestively though never without grace and charm. Her overcoat was made of the finest acromantula silk in a shimmering golden brown color that surprising did not clash with her gray eyes. Lucius Malfoy, also impeccably dressed, stood beside her. Interestingly enough, he had not yet adopted a walking stick, Harry noted. “Introduce us,” Narcissa asked. “I believe I recognize him and yet he’s dressed so peculiarly.”
“What’s so peculiar?” Andromeda shot back, surging forward.
Harry quickly caught her round the middle and held her back. He placed a hand gently on her back and rubbed circles on it. “It’s all right,” he promised. “We are dressed like Muggles.” Turning to Andromeda’s younger sister, he smiled winningly. He did have a way of charming politicians and their wives. “Forgive us. I believe I have the pleasure of addressing Miss Narcissa Black?” He waited for confirmation and she nodded. “Marcellin Gaunt, member of the Wizengamot. I’ve spent the day with your older sister and it required less formal attire. Will you introduce me?” He indicated her companion.
“Of course,” she murmured. “Mr. Gaunt, my fiancé, Lucius Malfoy.”
The two wizards shook hands.
“Felicitations, Miss Black,” he told her with the barest hint of a smile. “Your sister did not share the glad tidings with me, but we’ve rarely spoken of our families.”
“There is nothing to share,” Andromeda grumbled. “They’re blood purists—like you usually are, Marcellin.”
Harry just looked at her and sighed. “I’m not a blood purist,” he stated yet again. “I have very public arguments with dark lords.”
“I’ve looked up your voting record,” she casually responded.
This, actually, pleased Harry. A beautiful woman cared enough to not just listen to gossip, but went and looked up his voting record. He was in favor of wizard rights, which generally translated as pureblood rights—but that’s because he was for magic. He saw these pretenders as being against magic in all its beautiful forms when they tried to purify it to such an extent that it became sickly and inbred. Muggleborns didn’t respect magic enough, didn’t realize that it was a living, breathing entity. They saw magic as only a tool. There was a reason why purebloods worshipped Mother Magic. It was because magic was alive and a force that surrounded all wizards and witches.
George Lucas would have it right in about five years’ time. The Force was everywhere.
May the Force be with you. Even Lucius Malfoy.
Harry looked at her. “You’ve looked up my voting record?” he asked, his brow raised.
“What are you going to do about it, Mr. Gaunt? Do you prefer women be unintelligent?” She had swiped the curls away from her face and had her hands on her bell-bottomed hips. She looked absolutely delectable with a sheen of sweat down her arm and at the lower indentation of her throat.
“If I preferred women be unintelligent, I’d be speaking to your sister Bellatrix,” he responded smartly.
A suppressed laugh that turned into a bit of a snort sounded near him, and Harry turned to see Narcissa standing there, hunched over, with her hand over her mouth, her shoulders shaking. “Bella,” she murmured. “Bella!” Still, she continued to laugh, with Lucius leaning over her, whispering to her quietly, but she couldn’t quite seem to control herself.
After Andromeda and Harry watched her for a long moment, Andromeda finally asked, “What makes my older sister unintelligent?”
“Well,” he began carefully, “she’s joined Voldemort, hasn’t she?—or she’s seriously considering it.”
At this Narcissa became suddenly silent and she stood, her gray eyes staring at him. Lucius, too, turned to look at Harry, his ice blue eyes hard and cold. It was only Andromeda who regarded him coolly as if he hadn’t said something completely shocking.
“How?” she questioned. Andromeda made it sound like she didn’t need the answer, that she was simply curious, but she’d think of something more interesting in about another minute.
He looked at her and after a minute, he simply replied, “How indeed?”
They agreed to meet at Christmas in London two days after she returned from Hogwarts to her father’s home, Leigh Place. It was a small country house, about two hours outside London, but she was eighteen so she could legally Apparate.
However, she didn’t come. Harry waited four hours, but she didn’t appear.
After consulting a wizarding map, he found where she lived and turned up just as everyone was sitting down to dinner. That is to say, Cygnus and Druella Black with Narcissa. Bellatrix it seemed was already married or at least lived on her own or with other friends. Andromeda was nowhere to be seen.
“So sorry to bother,” he greeted as he entered the room uninvited. “Where’s Andromeda?”
Narcissa’s lips thinned and she bowed her head, trying to become small.
“Who are you?” Cygnus demanded.
“Marcellin Gaunt,” he responded. “I like taking your daughter out. We were supposed to meet today, but she didn’t turn up. Now, usually I just track her down, she calls me a blood purist, and I take her somewhere she likes, but see, every spell I cast leads me here.” Harry looked about. It seemed that Cygnus, being the youngest of the three Black siblings of an offshoot branch, didn’t have a House Elf. He briefly wondered who made the food.
“You like—” He spluttered. “The Marcellin Gaunt. I thought she was going out with that Muggleborn riff-raff!” Cygnus looked over to his wife who looked mortified.
“Why didn’t you ask Narcissa?” Harry inquired, wanting to see her squirm, just a little. She had helped him at the Battle of Hogwarts, but that didn’t mean he liked the woman. “She knew we are together.”
Cygnus, with his blond hair, turned to his daughter who most closely resembled him. “Cissy!” he demanded.
“They were wearing Muggle clothes,” she tried to explain.
“I don’t care what they were wearing! Mr. Gaunt is the Archenemy of Grindelwald and will soon be labeled the Enemy of Voldemort! He is quite possibly the most powerful wizard alive and if he wishes to show your sister attention honorably, then you are not going to stop him. Druella.”
His mouse of a wife, who looked like an unappealing form of Bellatrix with her dark locks and sultry eyes that just looked horrible on her, went upstairs immediately.
Cygnus came forward and took Harry’s hand. “Mr. Gaunt, allow me to apologize. We did not realize. We thought we were saving Andromeda from undue Muggle influences.”
There were footsteps on the stairs and a familiar voice chimed, “He’s a blood purist, Daddy.”
He turned and saw the beautiful form of Andromeda, her hair held back in a ponytail, still a riot of curls, he pale gray eyes shining out of her strong face.
“Am I now?” he asked her quite deliberately.
“Oh, certainly,” she replied, coming down the last few stairs. She never looked at her father or acknowledged her sister. Instead, she was looking directly at Harry. “And I’m not some damsel in distress, Marcellin Gaunt.”
He grinned at her. “I never thought you were.”