Growing up in the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black meant not having opinions on things. You didn’t have a favourite shirt or a favourite food because it didn’t matter what you liked. It mattered what your mother or your father or your aunt or your uncle from Macedonia thought. Every child in the Black family was a reflection of every other Black in pureblood society. From birth to adulthood, if you wanted to survive you conformed.
Andromeda had learned to move like water. Her own wants sat at the bottom of her mind like sediment at the bottom of an ocean. If they got too bold, she forced a wave over them, settling them, surviving despite them.
No one asked what her favourites were until later in life. When a young brunette walked into her home and demanded to know her favourite color because Harry thinks it’s green but I know for a fact it’s yellow, Andromeda! How was she supposed to know what her favourite color was? Was it the color she wore most often? Then it’d be black, bit on the nose for her liking. Was it the color she saw her late husband in the most? Then it’d be as Hermione said, Hufflepuff yellow.
No, none of that seemed right.
“I like red, actually.”
Hermione claimed that red was perfect and that she’d look great in it. Andromeda couldn’t help but think the same about the witch who flooed out of her house seconds after with a kind smile.
This odd obsession with what Andie favored became a trend with the younger witch. Lazy Saturdays would be interrupted by a witch with lazy molasses waves rolling down her back demanding to know what her favourite ice cream flavor was.
Again, Harry had thought it was chocolate while Hermione swore it’d be some odd flavor like caramel pretzel. It was neither.
A soft laugh bounced around Andie’s head long after it had ended. Though it had just been a random answer, maybe it could be her favourite now. favourites were the things that made you feel good. Eating the salty ice cream with Hermione explaining a new series she had been interested in did just that.
If telling Hermione her favourite things earned her that smile, maybe she’d have to do more research.
And so she did.
When Hermione burst into Andromeda's home with a tub of Pistachio ice cream and a demand to know what her favourite movie was… well, Andie wasn’t even entirely sure what a movie was. It took many movie nights with several favourites tangled into the stories told by bad actors to find a favourite movie.
When Hermione said it was her favourite too, Andromeda felt her chest grow warm with a light heat that spread from the very middle to the very tips of her fingers as though she were sitting too close to a star. It was Andie’s favourite feeling, she thought at that moment. The lights flickered in the house and Hermione apologized for the accidental magic- movies always made her emotional. It wasn’t her that caused the lights to flicker but why correct it? There were some favourites Hermione didn’t need to be privy to.
One day Andie came home from an extremely long day at St. Mungo’s and found Hermione standing in her kitchen with Andromeda’s favourite book in hand.
Then came the quick apologies then the quick demand to know what her favourite dinner was because, by Merlin, she was going to make it.
A blinding smile. Her favourite smile. Just because Andie had a favourite food. If Druella could see her now. Such messy food. Such messy feelings.
They ate their spaghetti on the floor by the TV and watched their favourite movie together. Well, Hermione watched the movie and Andromeda watched her. The subtle glow from the TV making brown eyes brighter, something the older witch hadn’t thought possible but endlessly glad it was. The furrowed brow at the sad parts. The slight smile when the characters kissed. High cheekbones leading to a pronounced jawline. Jawlines must be her favourite because she couldn’t tear her eyes away from Hermione’s for a long time.
The kind smile when the movie was over. The gentle kiss on the cheek. The careful brush of the hand to where she had just placed her kiss, as though to wipe it off. As if to take it back. But there was no going back now. Not for Andromeda.
Hermione left the house with a final look back, as though asking for any reason to stay. Had she stayed she would have heard the gentle murmur of,
That was the all encompassing answer to the many questions asked.
What was her favourite color? The one that made the flush in Hermione’s cheeks brighter.
What was her favourite ice cream? The one that Hermione bought.
What was her favourite movie? The one that made Hermione smile, laugh, cry, all in the span of a few hours. All in front of Andromeda.
What was her favourite feeling? The one that lingered after Hermione left. The one that was brought out by careful eye contact. The one that grew with every touch on the small of her back or lingering hand hold when showing her how to stir marinara sauce.
What was her favourite moment of the day? Any one that involved Hermione.
Merlin, this might be why she was never allowed to have favourites. They ate up your time, your life, your heart. It was all too much.
Andromeda had been born without favourites and she could go the rest of her life without them.
Oh. Oh but when Hermione came back through the chimney as Andie had begun to clean up for the night and pulled her sleep shirt until she was a hairbreadth away from doing what Andromeda had been thinking of all night. That had to be her favourite something. Anything.
The younger witch demanded to know the other’s favourite flower.
Another kiss to the cheek. Another kind smile. Another burst of green flames before Andromeda had been left to dwell on how little time it took to find a new favourite.
When Hermione came back the following day with a bouquet of all kinds of different lilies, she kissed Andromeda properly.
“Andromeda Black, this might just be my new favourite activity,” Hermione said when she finally pulled back for air, breathing slightly heavy with a small smile resting on her features. This was a new favourite moment.
A wicked grin spread across the full lips of the older witch as she absorbed the fact that she held one of Hermione's favourites. “Hermione, you’re my favourite everything.”