For Violetta Black the day had begun just like any other day. Upon getting up, she had found her breakfast ready; at noon lunch had been served, and exactly with the four o’clock chimes the tea had been brought into the drawing room. She had wanted to read, but her children had come into the room and announced that their cousin Cedrella had received her Hogwarts acceptance letter – whereas Violetta’s own son Marius hadn’t got his owl.
Violetta now sat in the chaise lounge of her husband’s study, while Cygnus Black paced up and down the room. The silence was tense, and the steady click of the grandfather clock was hammering on Violetta’s nerves.
‘If this news makes the rounds, then our reputation will be ruined,’ she said, massaging her temples with her long slender fingers. ‘Just the idea of a Squib in our family… intolerable! What do you suggest, Cygnus?’
The dark-haired man paused in his pacing and took a deep breath. ‘Have you tried to coax him into doing magic?’
‘Of course! Who do you think I am that I’m not trying to prove my son not being a Squib?’
‘Then there is clear evidence that he can’t do magic?’ he asked without going into what his wife had said.
Violetta slumped back against the chaise lounge’s backrest. ‘Yes.’ She followed him with her eyes when he made his way over to the window. ‘What do you suggest, Cygnus?’ she repeated her question from earlier.
He didn’t answer right away, but looked outside. After several moments he turned around and said, ‘I won’t have a son who’s a Squib.’
Violetta looked shocked. ‘You want to kill him?’ With a hurried movement she was up and stood in front of Cygnus. ‘You can’t! He’s still of our flesh and blood.’
‘Maybe of our flesh, but not of our blood.’ He made to leave the room, side-stepping his wife.
‘Cygnus, please, don’t! We… could give him away.’
He stopped and looked back at her. ‘Who would take him?’
‘Eh…’ Violetta was at a loss, but when Cygnus took another step towards the study’s door, she said, ‘A Muggle orphanage. Take from him his memory of who he is, and he can start a new life.’
Cygnus thought about it. ‘Why?’ he asked.
Slowly, hot tears ran down Violetta’s cheeks. ‘Because he’s still my son. As he is yours. Take from him his name, but not his life. Take from him his memories, but not his breath.’ She gulped and added a tentative, ‘Please.’
Cygnus closed his eyes. His wife was right; Marius was still his son – but no longer worth carrying that title if he wasn’t able to do magic.
‘All right,’ he agreed, sighing. ‘I’ll bring him into an orphanage. You have an hour to bid him farewell.’
With that, Cygnus left the room; his first step in preparing to orphan his son Marius was to go and remove his name from the Black Family tree.