Characters: Andromeda Black/Ted Tonks
Word Count: 360
Summary: "Love is like war; easy to begin but very hard to stop" - Henry Louis Mencken
Author’s Note: Written for this past week's sortinghatdrabs. The pairing had to be Marauder's Era and it'd been awhile since I'd participated or written Dromeda/Ted, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. In the end, I won Runner-Up and Mod's Choice! :D There's also a we bit added at the end because I may have forgotten it when I submitted it.
She thinks it should be harder, falling in love with Ted Tonks. There are so many reasons against it that each easy step is surprising, terrifying, exhilarating. Guilt-ridden.
He brings her wildflowers for all her House to see.
Narcissa, familiar with this game of unwanted affection, laughs and doesn't bother to lower her voice when she exclaims, "The mudblood brought you weeds!"
Andromeda sniffs, uncaring, and takes a bite of her toast, but later, outside the castle, she's reluctant to drop them. She slowly lets every flower tumble from her hand, regretting each as it passes beyond her fingertips.
Sharp-eyed Narcissa misses nothing and her smile dims, but says nothing for which Andromeda is grateful. If ever asked, she's not sure what she'll say. She doesn't know the answers to the questions she'd be asked.
When had Ted Tonks stopped being a game?
"You can't do that," she tells him that night, tucked behind a tapestry in an abandoned corridor.
She's serious, her face is serious. There will never be too much gravity to the warning she's trying to give. Can't stress enough that it's not her she's afraid for.
He smiles anyway. "If I didn't, I'd never know you care."
For anyone else in her life, it would have been the only explanation they would have needed. She was here and not in the dungeons where she should be. She was here with a Hufflepuff and a Mudblood and no matter how often she tried to make those traits matter more than the beating in her chest, she still couldn't be anywhere but here.
"Maybe it's not enough anymore, Dromeda."
Andromeda sees the words for what they are: an out. The opportunity to walk away before this is more than hurt feelings, before there's blood and Bellatrix. For all his smiles, he knows this is a dangerous game: mocking in the sunlight, kissing in the dark.
"It has to be, for now," she whispers before touching her lips to his, an apology and a promise.
It's easier to fall than climb. It's too late to retrace those easy steps. She's in love with Ted Tonks and couldn't turn back even if she wanted to.
And then his arms wrap around her and she thinks maybe this will end alright. Maybe it'll be worth it.