Bellatrix walked into the ball room, grinning as the first thing she saw was Evan's spell hitting Rodolphus on the shoulder. Rodolphus hurled a spell back, but it missed. It was almost five o clock, Voldemort was at the Malfoy Manor for a discussion with Lucius and Evan had invited her to come and practice with him and Rodolphus for a while before dinner.
"Time out, a minute," Evan called, seeing his cousin. He jogged towards her, giving her a quick hug. "You ready to get your ass kicked, cous?" he asked, grinning.
"Are you?" Bellatrix retorted with a smirk. "If I remember rightly, I beat you last time we were here."
Evan shrugged. "I let you, it's only polite, since you're a girl and all that."
Bellatrix laughed out loud, looking over Evan's shoulder at Rodolphus, who was stood glaring at them both. "What's up with him?" she asked Evan softly, seeing Rodolphus looked very irritated about something.
"Oh," Evan said, leaning closer to her. "I've been winding him up about you. It's really good fun, actually. I told him you were going to come and beat him and that I walked in on you and the Dark Lord at it."
Giggling, Bellatrix whacked his arm. "Evan, that's very naughty, you know how Lestrange gets when he's feeling sad about me."
"Are you two here to talk or to fight?" Rodolphus called out, and as Bellatrix looked back at him, she could see he was now smoking a cigarette.
"Shut up, Lestrange," Evan retorted sharply, turning back to Bellatrix. "I find he's better to play with when he's wound up about you."
"Really," Bellatrix asked in interest, peering at Rodolphus curiously.
"It makes the situation much more realistic."
"I can hear you, you know," Rodolphus snapped from across the room.
"I know," Evan responded cheerfully. "Come on, Black, show us how it's done."
"That isn't her last name now," Bellatrix heard Rodolphus say, his voice icy cold. "What should we call you, Bellatrix?"
Grinning, Bellatrix walked towards him. "My Lady would be suitable," she said calmly.
"Over my dead body," Rodolphus responded quickly, raising his wand towards her.
"That could be arranged," she retorted, raising her own wand back at him.
Simultaneously, they began hurling curses and spells at each other, blocking and defending as they went. Evan stood close to Bellatrix, not partaking, only watching in curiosity as the spells fired too and fro at a terrific pace. Slowly, Bellatrix was gaining the upper hand. Her offensive spells came faster then Rodolphus's did, which meant that he had to spend more time defending and less time attacking.
It also meant he was getting more frustrated by the second, and Evan laughing his head off definitely wasn't helping things.
Suddenly, she felt a stinging jinx hit her ankle, and she stopped for a moment, trying to keep her balance and not fall over. She could vaguely see Rodolphus raising his wand once more as she turned, finally upright and through the initial pain.
There was a jet of green light coming towards her. She froze, watching in horror as it slowly crept towards her, unable to move, unable to think...
She suddenly felt one hand press against each of her shoulders, pushing her backwards. As she fell against the wall she realised it was Evan, and he was now flat on the floor, clearly he only just missed the spell himself.
"What the fuck, Lestrange?" he screamed at Rodolphus, struggling to his feet, his face moulded into an expression Bellatrix had never seen before. He appeared to be furious.
Rodolphus was frozen now. His eyes were wide, his mouth hanging open. Bellatrix didn't think he knew why he had just done that.
"Do you want to get yourself killed?" Evan continued, aiming his wand at Rodolphus. "Have you forgotten who she is? The wife to our Lord?"
"As if I could ever forget it, Rosier! It's flouted in my face, every single day I remain here!" Rodolphus shouted back, raising his wand to Evan's height.
"Where else you going to go, Lestrange? You've made your bed here now," Evan snarled, moving his body so he was blocking Bellatrix from Rodolphus's view protectively.
Bellatrix was still in a state of shock. Rodolphus had tried to kill her. Rodolphus Lestrange had tried to kill her. Her immediate thought was to go and tell Voldemort, to tell him to go and kill Rodolphus, no doubt in her mind that he would do so, swiftly and without a thought. But then, as Evan and Rodolphus continued to shout at each other, she realised that the dark order needed Rodolphus if they were going to win. He was one of the top duellers, a talent such as his was needed.
The Dark Lord would be blind with fury. He would kill all in the way of Rodolphus. Such a waste, Bellatrix was not prepared to be the one responsible for that. For now, she decided, this would remain a secret.
"This session is over," Bellatrix said suddenly, stepping from behind Evan so she could look at Rodolphus. "You need to sort yourself out, Lestrange. Find yourself a wife." She headed towards the door, happy to forget this had ever happened, hoping with all of her heart Rodolphus would get over his infatuation before he lost his life.
"You were promised to me!" Rodolphus shouted at her as she walked away.
"It's been four years," Bellatrix snarled, turning back and moving towards him once more. "And my parents ended our betrothal, not me, nothing to do with me!" She rounded on Evan after she had fixed Rodolphus a filthy glare. "Not a word to the Dark Lord, you hear me?"
Evan backed away from her nervously, nodding. He'd never seen her completely enraged, and he felt a little bit scared.
Bellatrix stormed up to their private sitting room, pouring herself a double of the first spirit she saw, drinking it down in three large gulps. She slammed the glass down onto the table, sure she'd heard it crack from the impact, before she turned and sat down, picking up the book she was reading, still shaking with anger. She needed it to fade before Voldemort returned with Lucius, otherwise Rodolphus was going to be dead, and he was far too valuable for that.
She knew that Voldemort acted on impulse when he was angry and she knew it wasn't in their best interests to be without Rodolphus, even if he was a prat most of the time. Slowly, she could feel the alcohol running through her veins, and she felt much calmer and more relaxed. She started to concentrate more on her book then on her thoughts and before she knew it she was beginning to feel quite sleepy.
Bellatrix woke up a bit later, feeling someone sitting down next to her. She opened her eyes, and smiled when she saw it was her husband.
"Tired?" Voldemort asked her with his usual smirk. He moved his hand forwards and smoothed down her hair, his gaze soft and warm, as it usually was when he looked at her.
"Didn't get much sleep last night," Bellatrix told him softly, groggily sitting up and rubbing sleep from her eyes. One thing she hadn't thought about was keeping a secret from him. It wasn't something she'd ever really had to do before, apart from her wedding dress, and she suddenly realised it wasn't going to be easy, considering the Dark Lord was a master of Legitimacy.
"Why?" he asked, leaning forward and kissing her gently on the lips. Bellatrix kissed him back, putting her arms around her neck and drawing herself closer to him, almost sitting on his lap. She didn't answer his question, only began planting tiny kisses down the side of his face. He responded by tightening his grip on her and taking a fist full of hair, yanking her head away from his neck so he could kiss her feverishly on the lips.
After a moment, Voldemort pulled away, putting his arms back around her. "Did you go and practice with the others?"
Bellatrix nodded, moving towards him once more and resting her head against his chest so she didn't have to look into his eyes and give the whole thing away.
"Did you win?"
"Yes," Bellatrix responded, feigning sleepiness again. She hated lying to him, but she really saw no alternative at that moment. She had barriers half way up for the moment, ready to use them fully if it was necessary. She knew that she had to be careful about when she told him about this, possibly after sex, or just before they were going to go to sleep, in their bed, surrounded by darkness. Bellatrix was aware she had a little bit of power over him in that environment, although it still wasn't guaranteed.
"Good." Voldemort paused, sensing that there was something not quite right, but he always had trusted her to tell him things when she was ready to. "Are you ready to go to dinner? It's almost ten o clock, everyone must be starving."
Bellatrix stood up, disappearing to the bedroom for a moment before emerging in an extremely tight fitting, floor length black gown. It wasn't terribly low cut, but it showed everything off in a very flattering way. She pulled her hair back from her face, and quickly reapplied her lipstick.
"Perfect," Voldemort muttered, staring longingly at her.
"Thank you," Bellatrix responded, flashing him a grin and taking the arm that he offered her.
As they made it to the dinning room, Bellatrix could tell that they were the last to arrive. Their usual seats were, of course, empty, two glasses of wine awaiting them. As she sat down, she realised Evan was on her other side. She smiled at him, and he looked relieved. She wasn't surprised to see that Rodolphus was absent, but she didn't have any complaints over that at all.
When Voldemort was engaged with Lucius, she turned her attention to Evan, who was sat silently next to her.
"You're quiet tonight," Bellatrix murmured, taking a sip of her wine, watching him carefully. She was nervous he was going to give the whole thing away.
"Worried," Evan muttered, looking at the plate of food, which to Bellatrix's surprise didn't seem to have been touched.
"Don't be," she whispered, her eyes on Voldemort for a moment. He was still talking to Lucius, they were both laughing over something. "You know I can deal with the problem before it reaches you."
Evan nodded, taking a bite of food into his mouth. After a moment, he looked back to her. "Are you alright?" he asked, just as Voldemort turned his attention back to his wife and her cousin.
"Why would she not be?" Voldemort inquired, his voice slightly cold as he watched Evan for his reply.
Swallowing, Evan forced a smile. "Bellatrix lost to me today, my Lord," he lied quickly.
Bellatrix's eyes widened. Oh no. She'd already told the Dark Lord she had won the duel. He was going to work it out, he was going to realise instantly that something else had happened and he wouldn't stop until he knew exactly what it was. Her breathing slightly heavier then before, Bellatrix found she was shaking. She looked down to her plate of food, trying to work out what to do. She couldn't think of anything to make the situation better, especially in front of the most important Death Eaters.
Voldemort raised an eyebrow, his expression now very icy. "Really?" he hissed. Everyone around the table seemed to have noticed something was going on, as they were silent. "Bellatrix told me earlier that she won."
His gaze flicked to his wife for a moment, and Bellatrix found herself nervously nibbling on her lip. This wasn't going to be good. Evan looked downright petrified. Bellatrix definitely didn't blame him. A lie, direct to the face of the Dark Lord... Men had died for less. Evan wasn't going to stand much of a chance. She knew she had to do something.
"My Lord..." Bellatrix mumbled, resting her hand on his arm. Voldemort stood up sharply, shaking it off. Stung, Bellatrix sat back in her chair, glancing towards Evan once more, who was frozen to his seat, knife and fork still in his hand.
"Which is it, Evan?" Voldemort hissed, looking down at his follower. "Did she win, or didn't she?"
Evan gulped, putting his knife and fork down, glancing towards Bellatrix briefly. "She won, my Lord," he said softly, his voice remarkable steady for someone apparently in quite a bit of trouble.
"Then why tell me she lost?" Voldemort continued, his voice quiet, although very deadly. Even Bellatrix felt scared.
"My Lord, please!" Bellatrix cried out, standing up as well when she saw his wand raising.
"I do not believe I was talking to you, Bellatrix," Voldemort snarled, turning towards her for a moment. "I shall deal with you later."
Voldemort turned his attention back towards Evan, who was shaking visibly. Bellatrix felt terrible. This was her fault, she should have just gone straight to Voldemort and dealt with the consequences of doing so. She should have realised it would be impossible to lie to him for long.
Evan appeared to terrified to speak. Bellatrix cried out once more when Voldemort stepped around the table, grabbing Evan's arm and throwing him to the floor.
"Crucio!" he hissed venomously. Evan rolled himself up a ball, writhing and convulsing in agony, although remaining silent. She admired his strength, but still knew it wasn't right and that she had to stop it.
Bellatrix moved away from her chair, running towards Voldemort and falling to her knees before him, wrapping her hands about his legs. "My Lord, stop!" she shouted, just as Evan let out a loud wail of pain.
"Get off, Bellatrix," Voldemort snarled, kicking her away from him and stopping the spell for a moment. "I am surprised at you, Evan," he said coldly, watching with grim satisfaction as Evan lay on the floor, panting. He threw the curse at Evan again, his attention turning to Bellatrix while he did so.
"You don't understand," Bellatrix whispered to him, her eyes filled with angry tears. Her husband needed to be told of this, alone. "Please. You're hurting the wrong person."
Voldemort's eyes narrowed in contemplation, and after what felt like hours, he lifted his wand, relieving Evan of his pain. Bellatrix didn't dare go and see if he was alright. He had already warned her not to show weakness in front of the others, and she knew checking on Evan was showing even more of that. She was in no hurry to anger the Dark Lord further.
Without further ado, Voldemort stepped towards her, grabbing her wrist in a painful hold and disapparating them to the bedroom.
Bellatrix stumbled as they reappeared, she half wondered if he'd let go of her too soon as a wave of nausea hit her and her landing seemed much rougher than usual.
Voldemort was already on the other side of the room, watching her. "Your mind is closed," he said, no trace of emotion in his voice. "I felt it earlier, as well."
Swallowing in terror, Bellatrix turned to face him. "Yes," she replied simply.
"I won't force whatever this is from you," Voldemort said coolly, and he began stripping off his robes until he was down to his tight fitting boxers, glancing up at her for a mere second before he slid into bed, arranging the duvet around himself. He then turned towards the curtains and raised a finger towards them, causing them to shut a lot more violently then normal.
Bellatrix watched, surprised at his reaction. She had half expected him to torture her until she told him what was going on, or force himself into her mind. She knew he was capable. She knew he would have no problem breaking through her barriers.
"You shouldn't have done that to Evan," Bellatrix told him, planting her feet firmly on the ground. She wasn't going to back down over this one. Voldemort couldn't... shouldn't have acted without first finding out why Evan had lied to him. It wasn't exactly like Evan was incompetent, disloyal, stupid or had ever told the Dark Lord anything but the truth before. It was Evan, one of the most faithful and brilliant, she was a female version of him which is why they were such great friends and partners. And Voldemort should have known that, he should have given Evan the benefit of the doubt for one moment.
"Why?" Voldemort asked her coolly, looking over at her for a moment before turning and plumping up his pillow, definitely angry by the way it looked like it was being beaten up more then plumped.
"You should have listened to me first."
Voldemort laughed coldly, and Bellatrix found herself feeling sick once more. "So that you could lie to me as well, Bella?"
"No, so I could tell you what happened."
There was silent for a moment. Then Voldemort reached over to the bedside table, picked up the heavy looking book that was there and proceeded to begin to read it.
Bellatrix almost hopped around in anger. He was deliberately pretending he didn't care, after what he had just done to Evan, with no reason to do so. He should be rewarding Evan, for saving her life. She was ready to fling her wedding ring at him, there and then, to tell him she didn't want to be his wife any more and that she would take the cat and live alone.
"It was Lestrange," Bellatrix said, after a few moments of deep breathing to compose herself.
"Was it," Voldemort responded, though she could tell he wasn't even listening to her any more. He turned the page of his book.
Bellatrix hissed angrily at him. "I'm going to sleep elsewhere tonight!" she shouted at him, so, so tempted to take off her ring and tell him she never wanted to see him again. "And if you're lucky, I will return to you tomorrow! I hate you!"
He responded by tilting his head away from her slightly, so he could read the next page.
Screaming angrily, Bellatrix stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
She hated him! He was so infuriating! Why would he not listen to her, why did he have to become so defensive! She stomped through the manor, glad it was empty. As she made her way down the stairs, she could hear voices coming from the hall below, where dinner was probably in a state of confusion by now. She didn't care. Instead of heading down the next set of steps, she turned and walked down the corridor that led towards the back of the house, not stopping until she found the room she wanted.
It was the room Posey had slept in when she came to visit, done out in expensive purple. Bellatrix couldn't remember the last time she had spoken to Posey. It must have been at least six months ago. A pang of guilt twinged inside of her, she'd been so busy with her husband and her family, her new job and new friends she hadn't even spared a moment for her best friend of seven years. Posey didn't understand Bellatrix, though. They'd grown apart. Bellatrix decided she would spare a moment, if she lived through this, and would write to her, and apologise. Perhaps they could meet up... Although Bellatrix's schedule was pretty packed, surely the Dark Lord would let her, after all, she was his wife.
Thinking of him made her angry once more. She hated him! He always acted before he knew the facts, that infuriated her more than anything. The way he went from so angry to being that calm and collected in the blink of an eye was always mind boggling to Bellatrix. The way he ignored her with his stupid book really wound her up. It wasn't the first time she'd lost her temper with him. Their relationship was certainly heated, with its passionate sex and passionate rows, and Bellatrix felt that there was nothing in between, although she knew that was wrong as she had never been so happy and felt so loved in her life. He was always there when she needed him, he showed her affection and he showered her with gifts.
Bellatrix sat down on the bed with a thump. She wanted to feel his arms around her once more. Nibbling her lip, she realised that there was a flip side to angry to calm in an instant – and that was calm to angry in an instant. Was he going to be furious when she went back? Probably. Bellatrix knew she was scared of him, more scared then she liked to admit or show. Not to mention the fact that going back was a sign of backing down, and even if he was still calm, he was going to get on her nerves again.
The idea of sleeping here was very unappealing to her. Not to mention she had no clean clothes, and she didn't fancy walking through the house wearing her evening dress in the morning. More, the idea of sleeping alone bothered her. She hadn't slept alone for the best part of a year, she wasn't even sure she would be able to sleep without a warm, firm body behind her. She didn't want to wake up to an empty, cold bed.
Slowly, she laid back against the cool pillows, feeling her head banging, a headache coming on. Probably stress related, she thought, turning her head and shutting her eyes. She wanted to go back to him. She was pathetic at staying angry at him. She missed him already. Had it even been an hour? More like fifteen minutes. Maybe an hour would be enough... Just a while longer, and she would go back. She couldn't go back now, it was far too soon. She could already imagine his pleased, triumphant, mocking expression. His laugh.
Bellatrix stared up at the ceiling, contemplating what he would do to her when she went back. She was expecting punishment, pain. Just as long as he didn't hurt Evan again, and just as long as Rodolphus didn't die for his actions. That was what this was about. Nothing more.
Perhaps if she left it long enough, he would be asleep, and then the punishment could be delayed until the morning. She was beginning to feel very sleepy, it had been a long and trying day for her after all.
Bellatrix lightly pushed on the door, what she hoped was over an hour later, briefly wondering if it was too late to turn around and go back. She supposed he probably already knew of her presence anyway if he was awake, since his rooms were always heavily warded.
To her surprise, the candles were still lit, and as she moved further into the room, she saw he was still sat up in bed, reading the same thick book as before. In one swift motion, he tilted his head so he could stare directly into her eyes. His gaze was unreadable, and sometimes that was the worst expression to see on his face; it usually meant he hadn't fully decided how to react.
Hastily, Bellatrix closed the door behind her, and then turned back and walked boldly, so she was standing by the bed.
"You lasted longer then I thought you would," Voldemort commented, looking back to his book. "Tell me, how much of the time away from me were you thinking of how angry you were, how you hate me?"
Bellatrix ignored him, crossing the room to the dressing table and sitting down before the mirror, taking her hair down and beginning to brush it.
"I suspect it was ten minutes of anger, before you started to worry about what I was going to do to you when you came back." Although she wasn't looking at him, Bellatrix could hear his smirk in his voice.
"Not really, it was refreshing to have some time away from you," Bellatrix said indifferently, tugging at a tangle.
Voldemort laughed out loud. "Close your mind properly if you are going to attempt to lie to me. I can hear your thoughts from here. Anyone would think you had been trained by Crabbe."
Bellatrix stood up, turning to face him. He was still looking down at his book, which irritated her to no end. "Why do you always have to be so smug?" she snarled at him.
The Dark Lord continued to read his book as he replied to her. "You are walking on thin ground, Bella," he said warningly.
Hissing angrily, Bellatrix found herself hurling her hairbrush across the room at him. Luckily for her, or so she thought as she watching it somersaulting towards her husband, it missed and hit the headboard just next to him.
Clearly surprised, Voldemort finally looked up at her, his mouth open in shock. Bellatrix stood her ground firmly, pulling out her wand, though she was shaking in part fear, part anger.
Slamming his book closed, Voldemort threw it down on the table beside him before standing up, his wand in hand.
"You little-" he began, but Bellatrix cut in first, adrenaline coursing through her veins.
"Evan did not deserve any of that!" she screamed at him, feeling hot tears prickling at her eyes. "He saved me!"
"He lied to me," Voldemort snapped at her, advancing towards her at an alarming pace. Bellatrix moved backwards, hoping she would come into contact with the door to escape the room but she found it was only the wardrobe. She was half tempted to jump inside and hope to save her life that way, but she thought that would be very childish, and probably futile as well.
"I asked him to lie, I wanted to tell you this myself, in a carefully controlled environment so you wouldn't go off and kill Lestrange!"
Voldemort moved slowly towards her, his eyes flashing in anger. As he reached her, he pressed one hand onto her shoulder, pinning her against the wardrobe.
"Why are you so eager to protect Lestrange?" he snarled, moving closer to her. Bellatrix struggled, trying to escape his grasp but he pressed his other hand against her shoulder, holding her still.
"I want to protect you, to protect us!" Bellatrix told him, starting to regret all of this, as she usually did when they were in the thick of an argument.
"Let me see what happened," Voldemort said, his voice flat, as he pulled away, leaving Bellatrix pressed against the wardrobe, shaking like a leaf.
"No," she retorted quickly and firmly. "You can hear it from my lips and believe me."
"I want to see for myself." The Dark Lord tilted his head, watching her for a moment.
"Why don't you trust me?" Bellatrix asked him, her voice small. She felt quite hurt he didn't seem to trust her enough for her to merely tell him what had happened.
"Why will you not let me see?" Voldemort hissed, moving back towards her, fully intent on closing his hand tightly around her neck until she relented.
Bellatrix slapped his hand out of the way, before she inhaled deeply and brought forwards the memory of how Rodolphus almost killed her –
She could vaguely see Rodolphus raising his wand once more as she turned, trying to keep her balance and not fall over.
Evan lurched forwards, realising what was about to happen, running towards her –
Bellatrix's eyes widened as she saw the green light coming towards her, this was the end... Rodolphus Lestrange was responsible for her death?
The spell was inches away as Evan pushed her away from it, only just avoiding it himself. Bellatrix fell against the wall, and Evan fell onto the floor, glaring angrily at Rodolphus.
"What the fuck, Lestrange?" Evan screamed at him, but Bellatrix couldn't speak. Rodolphus, it seemed, couldn't believe what he had just done either.
"Happy?" Bellatrix asked him, pushing him from her mind sharply, sarcasm evident in her tone. "Does that prove what happened to you more than hearing it from my lips?"
"Lestrange tried to kill you?" Voldemort asked her sharply, pulling back from her. "I am going to tear him limb from limb! How dare he, after everything!"
"Don't kill him," Bellatrix said quickly, feeling tears prickling her eyes once more. She felt a cool hand on her cheek, and she looked up, staring her husband directly into the eyes. "Please... This is what I was so afraid of, this is why I made Evan swear not to tell you..."
"Why?" he breathed, his expression cold and mostly disinterested.
"Because Lestrange's so good at what he does, I can't do what he does, no one can..." Suddenly, she lost control of her tears, and she could feel hot liquid dripping down her cheeks. "I want us to win, and we need him to win."
Voldemort gently wiped away her tears with the tips of his fingers, "My Bella," he murmured. "Your loyalty is somewhat confusing at times."
Bellatrix laughed through her tears, moving forwards into his arms. "I'm sorry for throwing my hairbrush at you," she murmured into his chest.
"You've a terrible aim," Voldemort informed her lightly, unable to believe that a few tears had softened his anger completely. He rested his chin on the top of her head, making up his mind that Lestrange would pay for all of the trouble that he had caused. Voldemort drew her closer, tilting her head back so he could look into her eyes. Immediately, Bellatrix lowered all the barriers she'd put in place over the last couple of hours.
"That's better," he told her quietly, taking hold of her hand and leading her towards the bed. Gratefully, Bellatrix took off her dress and laid down, feeling her husband laying next to her and drawing her into his arms. "You mustn't hide things from me. You should know by now you are the only person in the world who could stop me from killing someone."
"I know," Bellatrix mumbled, turning over and snuggling her face into his warm chest. "But I cannot stop you from killing someone in front of your followers."
"That is why you must take an opportunity you have to tell me such things when we are alone," Voldemort responded, squeezing her to him. "My beautiful, ridiculous, perfect wife," he murmured, and although she didn't want to, Bellatrix found herself smiling into his skin.
"I can't wait until our marriage can be announced," she mumbled, a few minutes later, feeling very sleepy now. "I can kick your ass in public then."
Voldemort smirked. He doubted very much she would ever say anything even slightly derogatory to him in public, though he wasn't going to test her on that one. Instead, he pressed a kiss against her hair. "Yes, my Lady," he whispered into her ear, causing a happy, sleepy smile to form on her lips.
She never wanted to fight with him again, she realised, as she finally drifted off to a contented sleep.
I just adore it when they argue!