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29 June 2008 @ 08:39 pm
Fic: Walburga  

Title: Walburga
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G
Summary: A slightly different, if not a little short, perspective on Sirius' mother. Because it needs to be done.

Walburga

It took until she was thirty-five to have her first child. After some time, her parents began to worry when they weren't getting any grandchildren, and eventually manage to push her into testing both her and her husband for fertility tests—secretly of course, there was no need for a scandal.

But when she finally had her first child, she was delighted that she got it right the first time around. It was a little boy, and quite possibly the most beautiful baby she had ever seen. Even the midwife said that she had never seen a more beautiful baby, and she had seen quite a few, and though he screamed for a while he eventually calmed down and peered up at them out of big, dark eyes.

When she went to hold him, though, he pushed. He didn't like being held, and that's all there was to it. She couldn't hug him, feed him, or rock him to sleep. And so she left the child in the care of a nurse.

She had almost resolved to not have any more children when her husband convinced her to give him another. He wanted a little girl, he said, one that he could pamper and dress in lace and ribbons. And so she conceded, if only for the fact that he always looked at her so adoringly, and held her so gently, as if she were a dream that might shatter were he not careful.

However, when she did have the child, a little more than a year later, it was a boy. And the child was ugly as sin. However, he was quiet as a mouse when he came out. She didn't see him, really, for a while afterward. There was something wrong, she just kept bleeding. And finally, when it was all over, she was told that she would be unable to have another child.

When she finally got to hold her second son, though, she knew it was worth it. Unlike her first, beautiful child, this ugly little thing clung to her as if his life depended on it. When the nurse tried to take him away he would wail and reach for her, and she would take him back and wave the nurse away.

As they grew older, though, she found herself unable to figure how to show any affection. Her oldest son found he could get away with anything, should he smile just the right way. She and her husband would give him anything he wanted, if he would just stay their little boy.

The younger grew out of his original hideousness in time, although was never quite as radiant as his brother. He was quieter, and his eyebrows would come together just so and his lips would turn down, just a little, should he think disapprovingly of something. And while his brother continued to push her away, this younger one continued to cling to her, loved to petted and earn little smiles of approval.

She lost her older child, with his good looks and strong personality. She blamed her original rejection of him for the way he turned out, felt she never loved him enough for him to feel the affection that would have kept him with her. She raved and cursed his name and declared that he was no son of hers. But still she cried for two days afterward, and wouldn't speak more than a few words to anyone for nearly a week after that. Not even her younger—now only—son could break the spell.

Afterwards, she loved her only son even more, held him even closer. In return, he strived to be even better, to make her happy, his father proud.

When she lost him, she could barely take the sorrow. No longer would she be the noble, restrained lady that she had been, a devoted and loving wife, or a kind and gracious mistress. She always said exactly what she was thinking all the time, and pushed her husband away, until he was almost afraid of her. She would protect herself from the heartbreak of loosing him when the time came by estranging him. Even so, it hurt beyond all belief when he died.

And when the news that the man that used to be part of her family had gone mad, so did she. Behind all the spite and hatred sparked by his betrayal, without her even knowing it, it hurt that something so terrible could happen. The child with the big grey eyes and charming smile, who declared mutual hate for the family, had, for whatever reason, lost his mind.

For four years, she lived like this, alone in a dark old house, screaming orders that made no sense at her servants. And then, before she even woke up one morning, she died. The whole business of her mental state in those final years was kept quiet, as was the funeral. And while nobody showed outward shame, there was no pride either.

It wouldn't have mattered anyway. She hadn't cared about any of them anymore, anyway.


Notes: Yeah, you get fanfiction. Cause there are one or two that I like, simply cause they're so different from others I've seen.

You know, there's so many stories in which Walburga Black is a terrible, cruel person who beats Sirius and all that...but I wonder how true that actually was. I mean, you don't have to abuse your children to be a bad mother, and the only truly cruel person in that family seems to be Bellatrx—even the Malfoys completely loose interest in the end. And what if it was true that her heart was broken when Sirius ran away? And maybe, despite common belief, she actually did love her husband?

Anyway, I felt it was time to give a slightly different perspective.

 
 
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Weltschmerz-ing It Up: 1970stabular_rasa on June 30th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
(Directed from _toujours_pur_)

Nice-- I like. I agree Walburga doesn't get much attention-- or credit. I frankly think Sirius broke her heart-- and so she had to transfer that affection to possibly over-pressuring Regulus and perhaps spoiling Kreacher (considering how much he seemed to like her).

I think in general a lot of people misjudge the cruelty of the Slytherin characters; there are crazies like Bellatrix, but I think most of them are more concerned with the "this will advance my family, who I love" side of pureblood politics than just being out to make Muggleborns miserable.

I tried once to write a Walburga fic (back before we knew her name was Walburga, actually-- I think I named her something else, lol) but lost interest-- maybe I should go back and play around with it. She needs more sympathetic portrayal!
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on June 30th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
It's just something that's always sort of bugged me. Maybe because Regulus was my favorite character the moment I found out Sirius had a brother and...*gasps*...and I figured that if he was the "good" kid then the Blacks couldn't be that bad. Which when I think about it is a little messed up, since at that point I didn't know he was a good guy...
Weltschmerz-ing It Uptabular_rasa on June 30th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Lol, I loved Regulus from the get-go, too. I have to confess I'm proud of him, having figured he just tragically did what he was told until he got pushed too far and gave up. I feel like Walburga's experience was probably like a foreshadowing of what we saw with Narcissa: When it came down to it, she valued her family more than the politics, but all around her things were escalating too far.
See you later, instigator: Remus/Sirius1 (the_8th_square & teh_indyoudeteron on June 30th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting take on this character - I'm kind of pitying her now, though I know that's not the primary intention. I think Walburga is a character you can devise, more or less, but it's true there's already a fanon for her too. So, I like your version. It makes sense... and there's this touch of a wasted life to it. And even though I'm predictably siding with Sirius in that family, I'm really feeling sorry for Walburga right now.
MissTeacakes: sagwamissteacakes on June 30th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
I'm just in love with Regulus. I love Sirius, and for the most part I side with him, but he does seem the type to over dramatize things, and a lot of it was probably that simply that he didn't belong in that family. But no, I am actually in love with Regulus, and have been since I found out he existed. I'm not entirely sure why.
See you later, instigator: Toshioudeteron on June 30th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
You're so right about Sirius just not belonging there. He was so completely different - no wonder that he ran away. And his parents probably weren't kind to him, either (though they wouldn't have to necessarily beat him to achieve that effect, I know). I do have a soft spot for Regulus, actually. I'd guessed him to be R.A.B., but I didn't trust him to actually get into that cave by himself (does Kreacher count?). Boy can surprise!
merlins_babemerlins_babe on August 15th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
This story has been rec'ed at
The Golden Seeker
MissTeacakes: huggiesmissteacakes on August 15th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
Oh! You rock! Thank you so much! *hugs*