One Nymphadora Vulpecula Tonks (more commonly known by her surname) could be found pacing the upstairs parlor in number 12 Grimmauld Place. Why was she pacing? No matter how hard she tried, how obviously she hinted, how much she flirted… Remus Lupin would not reciprocate!
Tonks honestly didn’t get it! She didn’t want to sound conceited or anything, but she was quite the catch! Boys always followed her around at Hogwarts. Men always gave her appreciative gazes at the Ministry.
Without using her metamorphmagus abilities, Tonks was five foot ten inches tall with long legs, a slim figure, and deep mahogany brown hair. She also had heavily lidded, light brown eyes and slightly aristocratic features. In other words she looked just like her mother, Andromeda Tonks. Tonks didn’t mind looking like her mum. It was the fact that she looked exactly like her mother’s sister, Bellatrix Lestrange that bothered the young woman.
This was why she changed her hair length and color as well as eye shape and color as much as possible.
If one were to pass by at this particular moment they could hear the young woman muttering quite furiously to herself.
“I know he’s a werewolf. I know he’s thirteen years older than I am. I know he doesn’t have a lot of money and that job opportunities are scarce for him because of his condition. Why does he continually refute my advances?”
Tonks sighed and stopped pacing to look out the window that faced the square outside. So wrapped up in her thoughts she didn’t notice the dark haired man watching her in the doorway.
Sirius Black sighed as he watched his second favorite cousin’s daughter pace.
Ever since Albus reformed the Order of the Phoenix for the second time, he had noticed Tonks’ crush on his best mate. Sirius thought that it was highly hilarious for awhile. When he noticed that Tonks was relentless in her advances, Sirius knew he would be the one telling her that his friend was not interested – besides, Remus had more important matters to attend to. He thought he had best get it over with now seeing as she would find out soon enough.
“Great, not exactly how I planned to spend the day.” Thought the long haired man.
He walked into the room, making sure to shut the door behind him while casting a silencing and privacy charm.
The sound of the door closing had the young metamorphmagus whirling around to see who had interrupted her. Tonks was half-hoping it would be the man she had been thinking about but all hopes were dashed when she had seen it was her mum’s younger cousin.
“Wotcher, Sirius.” Tonks said morosely.
Sirius merely nodded at her. The currently mousy brown haired woman had a feeling that her cousin was coming in to talk to her about Remus. Maybe he could help her out?
Instead Sirius asked her a question. One that she wasn’t expecting. At all.
“What do you know about your mum’s sisters?”
“What? My mum’s sisters? My aunts?”
“Yes. What do you know about them?”
“Umm… Bellatrix Lestrange. She’s my mum’s older sister. Bellatrix married Rodolphus Lestrange straight after she finished school. And she is a Death Eater, currently residing in Azkaban.” Tonks stated, looking at Sirius questioningly. Sirius just nodded for her to continue.
“Narcissa Malfoy. My mum’s younger sister. She married Lucius Malfoy straight out of Hogwarts. While she doesn’t bear the Dark Mark, Narcissa does have Death Eater affiliations.”
Sirius was quiet for a moment as if waiting for Tonks to continue before asking her another question. When Sirius was sure she wasn’t going to say anymore, he moved from his spot near the door and walked to the far wall where the tapestry depicting the Black family tree was hanging proudly. Sirius came to a stop and stared at it for a couple of seconds before he started talking.
“I’ve been working on restoring this thing. Every name that was ever blasted off has been fully restored. Uncle Alphard, Cedrella Weasley nee Black, and your mother to name a few… even my name is back on here. New names have been added of course. Septimus Weasley, his children and grandchildren, your dad’s name, and your name. Just finished restoring James’ name – he was blasted off for becoming engaged to be married to a Muggleborn – and adding Lily’s and Harry’s names.”
At this point Tonks had stepped away from the fireplace and went to see what her cousin was talking about and sure enough as she looked at the Black family tree she could tell it was fuller than it had been since the last time she bothered to look at it. Tonks took a closer look at the generational line that her mum and her sisters as well as Sirius and his brother were on. The only ones who had kids were a few cousins she never heard about because they were descended from disowned Blacks and her mum and Aunt Narcissa.
“There are only three more names that aren’t on here that should be. Two that need to be restored and one that needs to be added. I haven’t had the chance to do so because of moving into this old house, Order business, and being there for Harry after everything that happened in June.”
Tonks gave Sirius an inquisitive look.
“You see,” Sirius continued, “your mum had another sister.” And with a wave of his wand combined with a few muttered words a name along with a date of birth appeared. The line that connected her as a member of Black family identified her as the youngest daughter of Cygnus Black III and Druella Black nee Rosier.
“Her name was Capri… well, Capricia Lynx Black. Black was her maiden name, Lynx is the name of a constellation – and you know us Blacks and our family naming traditions.” Tonks nodded, she had a constellation for a middle name – she couldn’t even make a good nickname out of it which was why she went by her surname.
“Capricia. Or Capri as we called her. It was a very… fitting… name for her. It means impulsive; ruled by whim. I still never understood how she was sorted into Ravenclaw and not Gryffindor for all the intelligence she had, Capri lived by the very definition of her name…” Sirius trailed off.
“You just said Capri was in Ravenclaw? I thought you were the only Black not to go to Slytherin?” Tonks blurted out.
Sirius nodded motioned for Tonks to sit down and she took a seat in the armchair closest to the Black family tree. Sirius did so as well.
“Until the year 1971, all Blacks were sorted into Slytherin. I was the first male Black sorted into another house but Capri was the first female Black sorted elsewhere as well.”
“Of course that’s if you’re only going by surname. Cedrella Black Weasley’s kids were all Gryffindors as were her grandkids. Callidora Black Longbottom’s son, grandson, and great-grandson all got sorted into Gryffindor. Dorea Black Potter’s son and grandson were sorted there as well.”
Tonks nodded her head.
“Getting into Slytherin was important to a lot of people in my family but it wasn’t the end of the world.”
“What do you mean? I thought you were disowned for being sorted into Gryffindor.”
Sirius shook his head at her.
“Getting sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin had my parents upset but they didn’t disown me for that. Neither did Capri’s parents. As long as we continued practicing their ideals and listening to them without question we were okay.”
Here Tonks raised her brow. “I know what you’re thinking; “Sirius obeying without question?” Am I right?” At Tonks’ nod, the silver-eyed man continued, “I was the Black Heir, eldest son of the current head of the family. It means a lot to be an heir in the wizarding world. I was proud to be an heir, I was proud to be a pureblood. When I was younger, pre-Hogwarts, I did question my family’s ideals but never out loud to them. I only ever told Capri about these questions and doubts.
“It wasn’t until after Christmas in my second year that I started to openly question them. Something was said about werewolves. I can’t remember what but I got defensive after hearing all the things that should be done to them. To exterminate them. Of course I got defensive, Remus was one of my best friends for over a year now. I had figured out what he was by the end of the previous school year and confronted him with James at beginning of the one I was currently in. Not all werewolves were like Fenrir Greyback and my family was talking about exterminating all of them based on how some of them acted.
“My parents were shocked that I would question them and stand up for dark creatures. But they just sent me to my room. No dessert for the remainder of the holiday.”
“Sent you to your room and no sweets?” Tonks questioned. “How normal.” She mused.
“My parents were never physically abusive. They got their kicks from verbal, mental, and emotional abuse.”
“It was a long time ago. Anyway it was Capri who came up to see me right after that. She came in ranting about how she knew I wanted to protect Remus but in front of our family was not the way to do it.”
“Wait a second, she knew about Remus’ condition?”
“Yeah, Capri might have been in Ravenclaw but she only had one friend in that whole house, Emmeline Vance. She was way too outgoing for most of those eagles. Capri spent most of her time with James, Remus, and I. As it turns out Emmeline had more friends in the house of lions; she knew James and Marlene McKinnon since she was a kid.”
Tonks nodded her head to show she was listening. She could tell that Sirius had omitted Peter Pettigrew’s name from his tale. But that was understandable considering all that he had done.
“Anyway, Capri and I were looking through some books her parents sent her when we came across one about dark creatures. Werewolves being one of them. It wasn’t too hard to put the pieces together. And it didn’t take long for us to realize just how wrong and biased the book was – all the books we checked out about werewolves were.”
“So it was only after befriending Remus and knowing about his condition that you started openly questioning your family’s ideals?”
“Pretty much. I had my doubts before but Remus and his friendship was the final push I needed to open my eyes. I ran away at sixteen; the summer before my sixth year. I openly and very publicly renounced myself as the heir to the House of Black and said I would never join Voldemort and be one of his Death Eaters. My dear old mum blasted me off the family tree. I went to live with Aunt Dorea and Uncle Char. I would have gone to live with Uncle Alphard but he had passed a couple weeks before. He was blasted off a couple of days after me when his will was finally read and it was revealed that he left everything to me.”
Tonks nodded, taking in all the information about the side of the family she knew practically nothing about. She was a little… well… very much confused about why her mother had failed to mention she had another sister and what happened to her.
“What about Capricia? I mean you two seemed pretty close… and she was blasted off the family tree as well. What did she do to make that happen?”
“Capri, as I mentioned before was outgoing and impulsive, but she knew how to rein it in when we were around family. She could be the perfect little pureblood lady she was trained to be around them. Capri knew right from wrong and she held no illusions about our family. Everyone thought there was nothing to worry about with her but…” Here Sirius was silent for another moment, lost in memories before he simply said, “She pulled an Andi.”
“Your mother, just like Bella and just like Cissy, married straight out of Hogwarts. Unlike Bellatrix and Narcissa, Andromeda didn’t make a respectable marriage to a wealthy pureblood man. Even though she had been arranged to be married to one Rabastan Lestrange—
Sirius only smiled briefly at her interruption.
“Instead, Andromeda married a Muggleborn who was just starting out. Capricia was a lot like your mother. She was set to marry Aeron Avery, Heir to the Noble and Most Ancient House of Avery. Their wedding was set for late August barely two months after she graduated Hogwarts.”
“After she graduated from Hogwarts?”
“He was five or six years older than us.” Tonks’ eyebrows raised.
“Age is but a number.” Tonks murmured. Clearly she was still hopeful that Remus would give her a chance.
“True… But Capri didn’t love Aeron. She, like your mother, had a secret boyfriend. They had been going out since the beginning of our sixth year. Though they had been dancing around each other for ages before that. Only my friends and I knew about said boyfriend. Capri loved her boyfriend so fiercely, she would not be separated from him. Not for society, not for our family.”
“So she married him? They eloped?”
“Yes, they eloped. We were there when they got hitched; Emmeline, my friends, and I. Even Marlene and Lily…” Sirius trailed off as happier times flashed through his mind. Shaking his head, he continued with the story.
“The whole family knew straight away what Capri had done and who she had married the moment she had done so.” Sirius said.
“Because of the family tree?” Sirius nodded. “And they weren’t happy, were they?” Tonks asked rhetorically.
“No. not at all.” Sirius answered anyway.
“Who did she marry?”
“A poor, blood traitor, half-blood. His pureblood father was labeled a blood traitor, by families who believed in blood supremacy like the Blacks and Malfoys, after he married a muggle woman. Also his father’s family supported the light and was already fighting Voldemort’s forces. Capri was labeled a blood traitor and she and her husband were blasted off the family tree. Subsequently, their daughter was never added on to the family tree.”
“Okay. But I don’t understand why my mum never talks about her. I mean by the sound of it what they did was the same. They ran away, eloped, and were labeled blood traitors. Only difference was that my dad was a Muggleborn and the guy Capricia married was a blood traitor half-blood.” Tonks said looking back at the family tree.
Sirius also looked back at the family tree as he told his younger cousin what had transpired between the two sisters.
Choosing his words carefully he said, “Andi and Capri had a falling out after she found out exactly who she married. You see, your mum didn’t think it was safe for Capri to be married to someone with a status such as her husband. Capri told Andi that she loved her husband and that he loved her. If she didn’t like it that was too bad because she wasn’t leaving him. They didn’t speak for nearly two years before Andromeda went back to see her youngest sister after she found out said sister had given birth to a baby girl.”
“Let me take a guess. My mum tried convincing her sister to leave her husband again.” Tonks winced as she pictured it in her mind’s eye.
“Tried and failed. Capri was furious with Andi. I was there when she told her that until she accepted her husband she wouldn’t have any contact with her.”
Tonks was silent as she stared at Sirius, her eyes wide. She looked at the Black family tree.
“And as far as I know they haven’t had any contact with one another since the war first ended. Though they might have had a chance at reconciliation a lot sooner than now if it hadn’t been for Bellatrix.”
“Why, what happened to her?” Tonks asked desperate to know.
“Frank and Alice Longbottom weren’t the only ones that Bellatrix tortured into insanity.” Sirius merely said.
Tonks’ mouth dropped open in shock. “She—but then—that was her youngest sister—
“And that didn’t really matter to Bella – she was too far gone by that point. Capri and her daughter had been in hiding. Her husband wanted them safe while he was fighting and working for the Order. He wasn’t there that Halloween night. Bellatrix, the Lestrange brothers, and Barty Crouch Jr. had broken through their wards. By the time Capri’s husband had gotten back, Aurors were at their house breaking the wards around the nursery that Capri had cast to protect their daughter and Capri herself was a resident of St. Mungo’s. She’s still there. But not for long; I’m assuming you heard about the new cure for severe exposure to the Cruciatus curse.”
“Yeah, I did. Researchers that were hired by Madame Longbottom were looking for a cure. They found it last week. Frank and Alice were able to regain their minds but they have to go through therapy. It was declared a success. Did Aunt Capricia get the cure administered as well?”
“She did. A couple days ago. She responded magnificently. Her husband and daughter are with her right now as well as her best-friend and godson. In fact, I should be heading down there soon.”
“Sirius? I still don’t understand. Who exactly did my Aunt Capricia marry? What was it about him that my mother was so… prejudiced against?”
Sirius once again pulled out his wand and murmured some words before stowing his wand back into his holster and walking towards the door. Tonks gasped as a marriage line appeared as well as a line connected to both names sprung downwards. It wasn’t so much the lines that had her gasping in shock and heartbreak.
It was the fact that Capricia Lynx Black became Capricia Lynx Lupin. It was the fact that she was married to Remus John Lupin. It was the fact that their daughter was Gemma Capricia Lupin.
Tonks turned away from the Black family tree and started taking in deep breaths. She barely took notice that Sirius had cancelled the charms around the room and opened the door to leave.
The man she had been harboring feelings for, the man she wanted to notice her… was her mother’s sister’s husband. Tonks’ uncle!
“Even Andromeda – who turned her back on the Black family and their prejudices against blood traitors, muggles, and Muggleborns – couldn’t put aside what she had been taught about werewolves.”