The Dark Lady
I found her diaries in a leather trunk in a whole in the ground covered by a stone. I'm not surprised she hid them there, in our place.
I went back there just last week, an hour after I got Andromeda's letter. I went sobbing, colapsed at the base of the tree in which the Dark Lord put his Mark. If only Lucius could see me, I thought. I'm a wreck.
In my anger at my sisters: at Bella for being so devoted to You-Know-Who, to Andromeda for running away, I kicked the tree at it's base, dislodging the rock. There it was, weathered by time on the outside, with our coat of arms on it's curved top.
Why didn't I suspect her? I don't know. She always did say I was rather stupid. Anyway, I won't pretend to. I thought it was a chest of some other Black relative. Pointing my wand at it, I discovered magic wouldn't open it.
With cold fingers I worked the latch, grimacing as dirt and rust came away on my fingers, and would probably dirty my skirt. I'm not really the sort of person to dirty themselves, certainly not over some old chest full of someone else's ghosts. I'll give up, I thought.
But I had nothing better to do, and I wanted to be alone. I didn't want, probably for the first time in my life, Lucius's touch and bad advice. I wished Bella could tell me what to do like she used to. She told me how I should think, act, feel about everything. She'd probably know whether the trunk was worth anything. The clouds were dark and heavy as the latch finally gave for me.
There was no organization to the trunk. It was a pile, at the top of which was my face, which was not as beautiful as it once was, although still very stunning I thought.
I realized after a moment I was being stupid. It was a mirror: an old, warped, mirror with a frame of three entwining serpents made of tarnished silver. Bella's.
I saw the photographs of her and I as children. At the bottom were the diaries themselves.
These were the only things Bella had organized. This made me smile: she was always the organized one, while I was the one to leave things all in a tangle.
It was raining now. I took the chest with me when I disapparated home.
The first of the journals I put on the night table to read when Lucius was sleeping. The chest went in my boudoir, where I put all the other things I didn't want my husband to know about.
Her book looked rather shabby next to my calendar. I supposed time did that to things. That's unfortunate. I remember this book in it's day if I force my brain far enough backwards. It was black leather, with a serpent drawn out on it's cover in silver. Now the snake could hardly be seen, and the leather was so brittle, I thought I'd break it when I opened it.
It sat next to Andromeda's letter, which I'd probably forget about; I'd probably put it off to rot a few more years, another ghost I want nothing to do with.
Maybe I could do that to Andromeda, but never to Bella, and not after reading the journals, which I have been doing over the past week. I'm publishing them here, not because I want you all to see her in a new light, but because I don't know what else to do with them. Who knows? Maybe Lucius and all the others would understand why I buried her, after the Battle of Hogwarts if they read through the inner workings of the Dark Lord's servant, advisor, and lover.
(Author's Note: I've had this idea for ages and ages now, but I'm starting it in a different way than I thought I would. Please review and let me know what you think. Sorry, it's a bit short but I'll be posting more soon.
Elizabeth de Britannia)