Bellatrix was sat at Voldemort's desk, writing out some names of aurors she had decided needed to be taken out, and quickly. Alaster Moody's name was at the top. He was definitely one that needed to be removed soon, especially since it was rumoured heavily that he was in the Order of the Phoenix. It wasn't going to be easy, Evan had been trying for years. It seemed they had decided they were going to destroy each other, apparently they'd met several times and had only managed to injure each other mildly. Bellatrix was longing to come face to face with the man, and kill him on their first meeting, thinking how much that would annoy Evan if she did so.
She was grinning to herself as Voldemort walked in the door, hands behind his back. "What are you so amused by?" he asked her, watching her with a smirk.
"Ways I can irritate Evan," she responded, still grinning, looking up at him. "Where have you been?"
Voldemort walked to the desk, close to her. "Out," he said shortly, still smirking.
Bellatrix snorted. "Alright then, Lord Mysterious," she replied, going back to her parchment and quill. A moment later she saw something being put on the table in front of her, and when she looked up she saw it was an enormous bouquet made entirely of red roses. Her jaw dropped in surprise as she looked towards him. He was still smirking. "What's that for?" she gasped, picking the flowers up. It really was the largest bouquet she had ever seen, and she was fully aware of how expensive red roses could be.
"For being so loyal," Voldemort responded, standing behind her now and putting his arms around her. "For being so loyal, I didn't even realise that's what you were doing." He pressed a kiss against the top of her head before he moved away from her.
"Is this about the other night?" Bellatrix asked him, grinning from ear to ear. Was he actually feeling guilty about upsetting her the other night? Were these actually 'male guilt' flowers, the type that husbands sent to their wives to make up for something they had done wrong?
"Of course," he replied softly, perching against the edge of his desk to the left of where she was sitting and watching her intently. "Well, that's the excuse anyway," he continued, his lips lifting to a smile now. "I saw them and decided I must buy them for you, but since I am the Dark Lord I felt I should have a reason for purchasing such an item."
Bellatrix giggled as she stood up and put her arms around him. "You softie," she said, pressing a kiss against his cheek. "Thank you," she continued, whispering quietly in his ear. "I love them, Tom."
The name left her mouth effortlessly. It felt so right to her, calling him that. For the first time, she'd said it whilst meaning to, and she didn't feel at all scared doing so. He had told her she could use it, as long as it wasn't in front of anyone else, he didn't mind. Bellatrix was aware that he was viewing her more and more as an equal every day, and although she knew he would never see her completely in that way, she knew that she was more so than anyone else he knew.
Voldemort tightened his grip around her as she used his name, resting his chin on the top of her head. "You possess the bravery of a Gryffindor," he told her softly, and Bellatrix could hear the smile in his voice.
"I must do, marrying you," she informed him, pulling away from his grip so she could look at his face.
His expression was soft, relaxed and happy. He looked like she felt. Reaching down, she took his hand in her own and held it tight, something she couldn't remember ever doing with him. Voldemort squeezed her fingers, looking back up to her eyes in slight surprise, apparently thinking the same thing.
As she stared into his dancing red eyes, she felt an overwhelming sensation engulfing her entire body. It felt like she was drowning in the feeling, her breathing suddenly got heavier and she found she couldn't tear herself away from looking into his eyes.
"Bella..." Voldemort muttered, taking hold of her other hand and pulling her closer to him. "I know how you feel."
Bellatrix nodded briefly, resting her head against his chest so she didn't have to look into his eyes any longer. Immediately, she felt her chest loosen and the feeling fade, though her stomach still felt as if there were thousands of butterflies flying around inside of it.
"Breathe," he whispered in her ear.
Slowly, she inhaled through her nose, breathing out through her mouth. Immediately she felt calmer, wondering what had just come over her.
"Tom, I love you," she told him softly, forgetting for just a moment that he was the Dark Lord. "I love you so much it hurts."
Voldemort smiled, a rare and genuine smile that reached his eyes. "I never imagined feeling this way about someone." He released his hold on just one of her hands, reaching up and cupping her chin with his free hand. "Look into my eyes."
Bellatrix did as he told her to do, staring directly into his glowing eyes. She felt she could almost see a barrier sliding down from behind them, giving her access into his mind. Her stomach lurched as a wave of emotion hit her, a feeling similar to the one she had just been feeling. She suddenly felt him penetrate her mind, just for a moment, before he pulled away, drawing her back into his mind as he did.
The image of her father's study came to her first. Cygnus was there, close to the door, and it was as if she was standing before him.
"... daughter, Bellatrix. You might find she is of some assistance to you, my Lord."
His expression became surprised as he looked towards Cygnus. "I assumed you would have wished for me to meet your son, Cygnus." Bellatrix immediately realised that she was seeing one of his memories from his point of view.
Cygnus frowned. "I do not have a son, my Lord. Three girls. The other two are housewife material, nothing more. My eldest, Bellatrix is the only one of the three suitable."
"Perhaps I should be the judge of that," Voldemort said coolly.
"Of course, my Lord," Cygnus replied, bowing his head slightly. "I shall find her for you, so you may decide if you would like to know her better. We have yet to find a man suitable to marry her, so she is unclaimed at present. I suspect any husband might prefer his wife not to bear your mark."
A chuckle left his lips involuntarily. "That is an issue I have yet to address," he responded.
Cygnus smiled in return. "I am sure," he replied, moving closer to the door. "I have an appointment at the Ministry in a few minutes," he said, opening it. Voldemort's long legs moved him through the opening, and the first thing his eyes saw as he stepped through was Bellatrix.
He stopped, dead, staring at her. He couldn't take his eyes away from her, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. With every fibre, he hoped that this was the eldest daughter he had just been speaking about. It had to be, surely? She looked around twenty, although he was sure she could only be around seventeen, if she was about to enter her seventh year at school.
She was dressed fairly modestly, in simple black robes, long brown hair curling in tight ringlets around her face and down her back, black lines adorning her eyes. She was tall enough, her figure looked perfect from where he was stood, and as his eyes swept down her body he noticed that she was wearing very high shoes with a thin stiletto heel, which also happened to be his absolute favourite pair of shoes on a woman.
He wanted her. Now. He wanted to take her to his manor and fuck her until she couldn't move or speak any more. She would be his, fully, completely, whether she liked it or not.
A moment later, he realised how she was looking back at him, and a smile reached his face. She felt exactly the same, he knew it instantly. Her mind was untrained in Occlumency, and he could see everything she was thinking as she looked back into his eyes. She wanted him, too. She didn't even know who he was, but she wanted him to herself. He thanked Merlin that she wasn't betrothed. He wanted her to have his ring around her finger.
Then the door shut behind him, and the mesmerising spell was broken immediately, wiping the smile from his face.
"Bellatrix, we were just coming to find you," Cygnus said walking towards her. One hand rested on her shoulder. "My Lord," he said, and Voldemort turned his head to look at Cygnus. "This is my eldest daughter, Bellatrix. Bellatrix, this is the Dark Lord."
Her expression was priceless as he was introduced to him. Then she bowed her demure little head, peaking up at him through her eyelashes. The tease! He thought. She knew how to entrance a man, alright. She was very well skilled in the art of seduction.
Voldemort was relieved when Cygnus took his leave. Her eyes flickered with desire as he spoke to her, for the first time. She clearly liked his voice. When he kissed her hand, he could feel her soft skin shaking nervously. He almost wanted to comfort her, to tell her he wasn't going to harm her, but he refrained, wondering what had come over him.
Her eyes lit up in happiness as he decided aloud he would call her Bella. It meant beautiful. It suited her perfectly. Everything about her seemed beautiful to him.
He expected her to invite him to stay, and she looked so very excited when he agreed to do so. As she turned around and led him away, he found his eyes lingering on her arse. He wanted to reach out and touch it. He wasn't sure how he managed not to. The part that confused him was that he also wanted to reach out and run his fingers through her glossy curls. He never felt as if he wanted to do that with any other woman, why Bellatrix? He wondered once more what had come over him.
The moment he decided to kiss her came to him suddenly as well. It wasn't planned. It was such a bad moment to decide to kiss a woman, to make the first move, but he found that he couldn't help himself. After the initial shock, she opened up to him, kissing him back, unafraid. Voldemort couldn't remember the last time a woman had kissed him without fear.
He had to leave soon after that. He wasn't going to allow her to turn into an easy conquest, one that he grew bored of and threw away. She was a priceless jewel, one he wanted to cut to the perfect shape and size for him. She was talented, clever and beautiful. Not to mention the fact he needed to do something about the ache he had in his underwear. He couldn't remember anyone having that effect on him before, after one single kiss-
The connection between them ended, quite suddenly. Bellatrix blinked a couple of times, before she looked back to Voldemort, her expression surprised.
"I couldn't have let you seen what happened next," Voldemort informed her with a smirk. "It involved some private Dark Lord time."
Bellatrix laughed, hugging him tightly. "You decided you wanted to marry me within the first few minutes of knowing me?"
"Yes," Voldemort responded simply, stroking her cheek. "I had never felt so strongly about something, Bella."
"Although you weren't so convinced about me before you saw me, you horrible sexist bas-"
Voldemort placed a hand over her mouth before she could finish the word, raising an eyebrow inquisitively at her. "Rephrase that, Trixy," he ordered, smirking, removing his hand.
Bellatrix grinned. "You weren't so convinced about me before you saw me, Tom," she replied, laughing as he grabbed her in a mock choke hold. She stopped laughing as soon as she caught sight of the fire igniting in his eyes, and she found the hold on her neck tightening slightly as he moved her toward him.
His lips pressed against hers, suddenly frenzied and fierce, releasing his hold on her neck and putting his arms around her. Suddenly, she could feel him disapparating the pair of them somewhere, still kissing, and she didn't realise it was their bedroom he had brought her to until she felt the back of her legs hitting something solid, and the rest of her body being pushed down backwards onto something soft, which she assumed was their bed.
She didn't actually care at that moment. Their lips were still locked and their tongues fighting a never ending battle as Bellatrix pulled Voldemort's robes from his shoulders and threw them to the floor. Voldemort's fingers were deftly undoing the buttons at the back of her long, flowing dress, and Bellatrix's found a surprised thought lingering in her head – Wondering how he could have such patience in a moment like this.
He pulled back from her, although he was only about an inch away still. She could see the smile formed on his lips. "Close your mind, you're putting me off," he told her, laughing, kissing her fleetingly a few times before pulling her dress from around her body and putting in on the carpet next to his robes.
Bellatrix laughed, ignoring his request, keeping her mind open but now filling it only with thoughts of what she wanted to do to him. Voldemort made a sound of desire as he ran his hands down her soft skin, taking in the sight of her scarlet lace bra and pant set she was wearing. He kissed her lips once more, pushing her onto the bed a bit further. Bellatrix reached down, taking hold of his hardness, moaning softly as he moved up and lined himself against her, pushing in quickly.
They both moaned together as he sheathed himself inside of her.
"No time for messing about," he muttered, thrusting in and out of her surprisingly gently at first.
Clamping her legs around him, Bellatrix moaned quietly, running fingers through his hair and down his neck. His fingers moved down, playing with her and bringing her more pleasure as he slowly moved in and out of her. After a while, he sped up, knowing that she liked it better when he was rougher with her. With his free hand, he grabbed a handful of her hair, tugging it hard, causing a louder moan to erupt from within her and almost immediately he felt her insides tightening around him as she came.
Half a second later, he too slipped over the edge, lines around him blurring into colours, seeing stars around him, and hearing only his own groans of pleasure.
He pulled out of her, flopping down on the bed beside her, drawing her into his arms. "More?" he asked her, a second later.
Bellatrix grinned, kissing his shoulder briefly. "You are insatiable, Tom."
"I am indeed, my dearest wife," Voldemort responded, kissing her hair briefly. "You know that better then anyone else."
They laid together in silence for a while, before Bellatrix began to feel a bit restless. She turned over to face him. "Do you really not mind me calling you Tom?" she asked him curiously.
"You know the terms in which you can use it," Voldemort told her quietly, running fingers down her cheek bone.
"I know that," Bellatrix replied impatiently. "But do you not mind? I mean, it's probably been years since any one used it."
The Dark Lord nodded. "Almost thirty years." He paused, moving closer to her. "Bella, I have never told any other person apart from you that I love them. I have never opened my mind to anyone. I have never..." He shook his head briefly. "Been loyal to the same woman for any longer then a week. You're different. I'd never even slept in a bed with anyone else until you came along."
Bellatrix grinned. "Neither had I. The only difference between you and I is that you are far cleverer then me, and much older."
Voldemort laughed, squeezing her tight for a moment. "Bitch."
"How come you're allowed to swear?" Bellatrix asked him indignantly, sitting up and looking down at him.
"Last time I looked," Voldemort said, sitting up next to her with a smirk. "I was the Master in our relationship?"
"Of course, my love, you are the man after all," she responded scathingly, scowling over her shoulder at him as she stood and moved to the wardrobe. "I still haven't entirely forgiven you for that sexist comment you made to my father about me. Before you knew me." She sniffed in a very hurt fashion as she sifted through the rails of clothes.
"My poor wife," Voldemort said lazily, from the bed.
"Perhaps you should take me out tonight to make up for it," Bellatrix said, as she spotted a dark green dress she hadn't worn out yet.
"Not tonight," the Dark Lord said, and the grim tone in his voice made Bellatrix turn around hastily. "It is time to deal with Rodolphus. I will take you out tomorrow."
"What do you mean?" Bellatrix asked him nervously. "Deal with – "
"I intend to summon everyone, and have them all torture him. He will hate that, men lower then him hurting him, he hates being debased." Voldemort stood up, moving towards her, his eyes burning passionately. He was towering over her, power seeping from his skin and his eyes definitely looked darker.
Bellatrix swallowed, not daring to contradict him, although she very much wanted to. If he thought she didn't want to torture Rodolphus, he would think her weaker then he probably already did. And then, it dawned on her. She needed to show him she wasn't weak. There was only one way to prove that.
"It will be a full gathering." The Dark Lord was staring at her intently, searching for weakness he could destroy, Bellatrix knew. Slowly, she levelled her eyes to his, raising her chin defiantly, although she did raise her mental barriers somewhat, fully aware that he was likely to change into a less favourable mood if he saw what she was really thinking.
"I would hate to miss it," she responded coolly, looking back into his fiery eyes, feeling quite nervous all of a sudden.
Voldemort smirked, pressing a finger underneath her chin to hold her gaze. "Are you telling me the truth?" he asked her quietly. "Only, you have closed your mind."
"I wasn't aware our marriage contract required my mind to be constantly open, my Lord," Bellatrix responded, smiling sweetly though her words definitely were not sweet.
"Fine," Voldemort replied, just as indifferently as she had been before, pulling away from her and sitting back down on the bed.
Bellatrix allowed her breathing to even out before she walked towards him. "Do I have to tell you everything?"
"Not if you don't want to," Voldemort said, tilting his head to look at her. "Though you are overly concerned about Lestrange."
"I am concerned you are going to kill him," Bellatrix retorted sharply. "I have told you before, I cannot fill his shoes."
As quick as lightening, Voldemort had sat up and wrapped his fingers tightly around her neck, pulling her towards him. Bellatrix let out a sound of surprise as he moved and she found that her breathing was laboured once more.
"And I have told you that I will not kill him," Voldemort snarled at her. "Do not forget your place, Bellatrix." He leant closer to her; his face centimetres from hers. "And do not assume I would put you in his place."
"You would," she choked out, desperate to show him she was not as weak as he thought. His grasp wasn't as tight as it had been before, and she knew he would never kill her. Although he was terrifying, and although she felt quite giddy now he'd been holding her throat for that long, Bellatrix didn't feel scared of him one little bit. "You already have, Tom," she said, deliberately trying to push him as hard as she could. Use of his real name, in this situation, was really going to boil him over. Bellatrix hated the idea of being the subservient wife, and she needed him to know that, and to take her seriously.
She watched as his eyes widened in surprise. His hold loosened, and she realised this was probably going to end with her being cursed. The thing was, she was beginning to like it when he cursed her, when he really meant it, when he was angry. Something about the way she felt under the Cruciatus curse made her wet for him.
"I don't know what you are trying to do," Voldemort murmured, and to her surprise began massaging her throat with the very same fingers that had caused the soreness in the first place. "But it's not going to work."
Bellatrix narrowed her eyes at him, contemplating on pushing him further, but deciding against it for the moment. Instead she sat down beside him, tilting her head to look at him, relaxing her mind slightly. Voldemort rested a hand on her thigh, looking back.
"Are you going to behave yourself, and come to the meeting willingly tonight and be a good girl?" he asked a short moment later. He raised his eyebrow mockingly, smirking with maddening self assurance.
"Of course, dear," Bellatrix replied, smiling as if nothing had happened.
"There's my lovely wife," Voldemort said sarcastically, and Bellatrix was then fully aware that he had got into her mind just as soon as she let her guard down, and knew what she was up to. "Now be a good girl and go and owl Lucius, to tell him to be here for eleven tonight."
Bellatrix turned to him, desperate to tell him to do it himself and to give her a better job, and most certainly would have done so if she hadn't caught the look of admiration on his features. Feeling quite confused, she nodded, stood up and walked to the door.
"Bella," Voldemort called, before she could leave. Slowly, Bellatrix looked back to him. His eyes were burning as she looked into them. "I don't know where this ridiculous notion has come from, and neither do I care for it. Yes, you are a woman, and yes, you are a wife, but you are my wife and you are not weak. Perhaps I should tell you more often how much I admire you."
A small smile reached her features. "Why would you admire me?"
"Hundreds of my men are either terrified of you, or in love with you. You have a lot of power."
Bellatrix crossed the room back to him. "Then let me use it. Let me help you. Lucius spends more time with you then I do. You only include me if it's something I am going out on. Lucius knows everything, why will you not let me know everything, Tom?"
"There is so much, Bella." Voldemort pressed his hand against her cheek. "You're so free spirited. I would hate for you to loose that with all the problems we face."
"Except I am not going to face them," Bellatrix snapped, moving away from him.
"You remember who you are speaking to!" Voldemort hissed at her.
"And you remember who you are speaking to!" Bellatrix retorted, truly angry and frustrated now. "In the not so distant future, I will be immortal, right there beside you, the Dark Lady! Lucius won't be. He will be dead before either of us know it, and there will be another smarmy Malfoy in his place, and then another and another. How long will this go on for? How many centuries will you go on trying to protect me from the problems you face as the Dark Lord?"
Voldemort merely stared at her, apparently a bit speechless. His silence only irritated her further.
"Tell you what, make Malfoy immortal. I'm sure he's going to be much more useful then I ever will."
Glaring at him, Bellatrix stormed from the room, slamming the door behind her, blind with fury and then stomped away to the office.
Voldemort entered the office a couple of minutes after she had arrived. Bellatrix had already smashed three wine glasses and the vase that had contained the roses he'd got her, but he simply stepped over it, ignoring the mess, moving straight towards her. She was standing by his owl, gently stroking her.
"You can owl Lucius. I am not your servant," she snarled, not turning around to look at him.
"The dark mark on your arm begs to differ," Voldemort retorted coldly. Bellatrix ignored him, moving closer to the window. "Talk to me, Bella," he said after a while, his tone warmer. "I am worried about you. Some things have happened recently, that damned Horcrux, Lestrange turning on you..."
Bellatrix turned to glare at him but found she couldn't and instead burst into tears. Voldemort moved towards her in two steps and put his arms around her, holding her tight. It was the first time he'd seen her suddenly loose control like this.
"He deserves to die, Bella," Voldemort whispered to her. "How am I meant to trust him now?"
Bellatrix shook her head. "I hate him so much for it but I can't help but think I am responsible, or at least my mother is, for the way he behaves." She sniffed, holding Voldemort tighter to her. "I've seen him before, detached like Lucius always is but that all stopped as soon as we were engaged for that month. I didn't even see him during that time, I was at school, but every time I saw him after that he used to stare at me and say ridiculous things. He thought I was going to be his and he let himself fall for me, and now he can't let that go."
Voldemort sighed. "Bella, it isn't your fault. Your parents are to blame for this."
"I think mother told him I was in love with him," Bellatrix continued quietly. "I wasn't. When he fired that spell at me the other day, I could see on his face that he didn't know why he'd done it. It's not without good reason you'd try and kill the Dark Lord's wife. It must hurt him so much seeing us together."
"How do you know this?" Voldemort asked her softly.
"Because it's how I would feel if I had to see you with someone else. I think it would drive me crazy as well."
"That will never happen," Voldemort told her firmly. "You are mine."
They stood in silence for a while, only broken by the sound of Voldemort gently kissing Bellatrix's hair.
"If you killed him, I would feel responsible for that too." Bellatrix pulled back so that she could look into his eyes. "With things still so uncertain, Rodolphus is not someone we can afford to loose."
Voldemort nodded. "I know. The men look up to him. He's very good at training them." Gently, he ran his finger under her eyes, collecting her fallen tears. "I need to show him it has to stop."
"You do," Bellatrix murmured, nodding slightly. "I want to hurt him."
"And so you shall," Voldemort replied, touching his fingers to her face. She felt the tears vanishing, her face drying and she suspected he had also repaired her smudged make up. "Bella, I adore you, but you need to tell me about things like this."
"I don't want you to think I am weak," Bellatrix responded, looking down at the floor.
"I won't ever think that, I promise, my little mortal," Voldemort replied, squeezing her tightly to him. Slowly, he released his hold on her, before he turned and picked up the roses, repairing the vase and setting them back down. Then he walked around the desk, sitting down and beckoning for her to come and sit in his lap. Smiling, she did so, kissing his cheek. "Now, I need your opinion, Bella. The situation at the Ministry is developing nicely, the Minister has announced his imminent retirement, as you know. The rumours circulating suggest that Crouch is not going to run. Everyone knows that a failed attempt for Minister ruins a career..."
Bellatrix nodded. "So you think you should wait until he does decide to run, at the next election so that you can ruin him? What if he does not run, surely that is four years wasted?"
Voldemort nodded. "Precisely, although Lucius assures me that Crouch is a very ambitious man."
"I am sure we could find another way to get rid of him, I seem to remember his son at Hogwarts, Slytherin, weed of a boy but he loved tormenting Gryffindor's."
"What Slytherin doesn't," Voldemort murmured, smirking. "I think we just need to wait and see what happens with this one." He sighed, squeezing her tight. "Fancy a duel?"
"Yes!" said Bellatrix in excitement. "We haven't done that in ages! I hope you are ready to be beaten."
Voldemort laughed, picking her up effortlessly and carrying her from the room.
The meeting was in full swing. Rodolphus was on the floor, writhing and trying not to scream under the cruciatus curse. Bellatrix and Voldemort had to call truce on their duel because it had been five to midnight and neither had managed to gain the upper hand. Bellatrix was more than happy with that result, and Voldemort had definitely been giving it one hundred per cent.
Bellatrix glanced across the room at Evan for a moment, who was watching in excitement, wand in one hand and knife in the other. He looked up at her, sensing her gaze, grinning fully. Her cousin hated Rodolphus, possibly more then she did. Bellatrix supposed that Evan had known Rodolphus for a lot longer and they had far more history of going out on missions, arguing and fighting for years.
Rodolphus hated Evan too, he seemed to feel threatened by him, knowing that Evan was a far better dueller then he could ever hope to be. And now, as Rodolphus lay on the floor, struggling to breathe as those below him continued to torture him, he must have been wondering if he was going to keep his position so high and close to the Dark Lord, probably hoping to merlin that he wasn't going to loose it to Evan after all this time.
Bellatrix continued to look around. Lucius was watching the scene coolly, his arms folded across his chest, his long hair falling forwards. He was one of the few people in the room who didn't have his wand out, ready and waiting for their turn with Rodolphus. Perhaps he wouldn't even take a turn, perhaps he was happy to merely observe and not lower himself participate. His grey eyes flitted to hers, and a smirk appeared on his features, fully aware that Bellatrix was the reason for all of this.
Lucius, Bellatrix realised, was probably in a position of greater power than she. The Dark Lord saw him every couple of days, and literally told Lucius everything. There was little Voldemort did not share with Bellatrix, but she was sure there were certain things he only spoke with Lucius about. They did have a few years of history, and Voldemort had probably known Lucius for all of his life, since he had known Abraxas since school. Abraxas was the only other person Bellatrix was aware of that knew of the Dark Lord's true name. Perhaps that was why Voldemort didn't seem entirely bothered that Abraxas was near death.
Lucius seemed to know every little thing about her relationship with the Dark Lord. They spent a lot of time together, and Bellatrix didn't think for a moment it was entirely business that they discussed. She did, however, trust her husband not to tell Lucius too much. She knew he wouldn't have mentioned how much he actually was in love with her, anything about that little Horcrux incident, or, so she hoped, the few major arguments they had so far had.
A loud scream of agony coming from Rodolphus made her jump. Selwyn, one of Evan's closer friends, was taking his turn. He had just punched a nail through Rodolphus's hand, straight down into the floor.
Bellatrix looked away, just in time to see the look of horror on Regulus's features. He looked nervous as well, he looked as if there was no where else he would rather not be at the moment. Secretly, Bellatrix didn't think that Regulus was going to last much longer. She didn't know who was going to kill him, whether it be a foe or on her husbands orders, and she almost found that thought condoling. Even though that would mean the end of the Black name, since Sirius wasn't going to last as a Black for much longer either, she felt that Regulus was a danger to keep around. He was very weak, he hated the sight of blood, he was virtually a-sexual and he still lived with his parents, in the same bedroom he had resided in since birth.
Perhaps she had been wrong to encourage him to take the mark. Bellatrix had felt sure that joining the death eaters would make Regulus realise what it was to be a true pureblood. If anything, he had gone the other way, becoming lazier and of less use every day. She fervently hoped that he wasn't going to turn traitor on them, and she equally hoped that it would be an enemy that killed him off, on the battlefield, and not on her husbands orders.
She looked towards the dais, smiling slightly as she saw how handsome her husband looked, surveying the scene impassively, his eyes coldly detached. That look, if directed at her, would be enough to leave her shaking against a wall, but when it was aimed at someone else, she felt extremely attracted to him. Bellatrix always had liked a bad boy. He didn't notice her gaze, he seemed preoccupied with something else on his mind.
One other person caught her attention. Alecto Carrow seemed to be enjoying the sight of Rodolphus being tortured more than anybody else. Bellatrix frowned slightly, Alecto had the build of a troll, although she was only about five foot three. A very small troll, Bellatrix decided. There was definitely troll blood in there somewhere, Amycus was the same. She wrinkled her nose in disdain, she hated creature blood mixed with magical blood. That was worse then mudblood making its way into magical. Still, Bellatrix was relieved to realise that there was definitely no competition between her and Alecto, who dressed, acted, drank and smelt like a man anyway.
Evan was now happily carving chunks of flesh out of Rodolphus's arms, which were both brutally nailed down to the ground.
Bellatrix was debating with herself whether to join in or not. Rodolphus really would hate it. He had tried to kill her, after all, and he did deserve it. He had caused a great deal of problems for her and her husband. The thing was, Voldemort kept calling her his queen. Torturing a man wasn't exactly queen like. Queen's were dignified. Voldemort, the reigning monarch of his court, could do what he wished and no one would question him or think anything of it. He would be demonstrating his power, if he were to torture Rodolphus.
If it had been someone else there, on the floor, Rodolphus wouldn't have joined in either, just like Lucius. He preferred to rise above the violence unless it was against the other side, or if he was practising. Or attempting to kill the woman he was apparently madly in love with, it seemed.
Realising that, Bellatrix made her decision, and when it came to her turn she merely smiled and shrugged, tilting her head to one side with a smirk. Rodolphus shot her a glare, seemingly angry that she wasn't going to go over to him and hurt him. She hadn't thought of how much her refusal would annoy him and she was glad she had thought out her actions carefully.
As Rookwood moved forwards, Bellatrix could feel Voldemort's gaze on her. As she glanced up at him, she saw the hint of a smile on his lips, and he nodded to her swiftly, in a look of approval, before looking back to Rodolphus.
A while later, Voldemort raised his hand. The laughter and chatter in the room died immediately, and everyone moved back to their places. "A lesson," he murmured, his eyes sweeping the circle. "Learnt." He stood, walking slowly down the steps of the dais. "Or so I hope." He continued to move toward Rodolphus, who was panting with his eyes closed, skin very pale now.
"Leave us," he called suddenly, and Bellatrix jumped at the harsh tone that was suddenly present in his tone.
Bellatrix caught Evan's gaze as she dropped into a curtsey to her husband, nodding towards the door. Several people disapparated, but Bellatrix, Evan and Lucius walked from the room, not speaking until the door was shut.
"And why didn't you participate, Bellatrix?" Evan asked her in surprise.
"I don't think the Dark Lord wanted me to," Bellatrix responded quietly after a moments contemplation. "Would either of you care for a drink?"
Evan didn't reply, he merely began to stomp up the stairs in response. Bellatrix took this to be a yes, and made to follow, looking to Lucius who smirked and nodded at her.
"Bloody hell," Evan said loudly when they reached the sitting room. Bellatrix poured three glasses of firewhiskey. "I don't know what's wrong with you, Black, you'll be one of those arse-licking ministry types before I know it."
"Touché," said Lucius softly as he sat down, accepting his drink with a nod of thanks at Bellatrix.
Evan rolled his eyes, taking his drink from Bellatrix and sitting down next to her. "Not you, Malfoy, there's more gold jingling then licking where you are concerned."
"Evan," Bellatrix said quickly. "I didn't join in because I felt far more satisfaction watching him suffer from afar. I'm definitely not going to be jingling any gold or licking any arse." She paused, and almost contemplated adding 'unless my husband wishes me to' but was very glad that she didn't.
Evan shook his head despairingly. "You've changed, Black."
"Not everyone has to be like you, Rosier," said Lucius with a smirk, sipping his drink.
"Meaning what?" Evan retorted, his expression defensive.
"Meaning, not everyone has the mental age of a four year old," Lucius bit back, a cool smile on his face.
Bellatrix burst out laughing as she saw Evan's mouth drop open, unable to believe what Lucius had just said to him. "I don't believe it, Lucius Malfoy is jumping to my defence," she said, still laughing. "He is right though."
Evan scowled, leaning forwards and ruffling her hair roughly. Bellatrix shrieked, dodging under his hand, turning and doing the same back to him. Evan had always been protective of his hair, Bellatrix remembered being about five when he was sixteen, seeing him in front of a mirror almost constantly to make sure no hair fell out of place.
"Perhaps I was wrong," Lucius commented lightly, going back to his drink.
"We should mess Lucius's hair up as well!" Bellatrix said, getting up and moving towards him, as Evan busied himself with tidying his appearance again.
She quickly gave up on that idea as the door opened and the Dark Lord walked in, a satisfied expression on his face which turned quickly to that of confusion as he saw the state of his wife's hair. Bellatrix giggled, launching herself into his arms. He squeezed her into him, before pushing her back so he could look at her properly. "What has happened to you in the last fifteen minutes I have not been with you?"
"Bellatrix and Rosier were trying to prove how mature they can be," Lucius said sarcastically from his seat.
"She's ruined my hair," Evan said reproachfully, glaring towards her.
Bellatrix giggled, looking back to Voldemort. "He started it," Bellatrix muttered, smirking. "Firewhiskey?"
"No, wine," Voldemort responded, walking into the room and sitting down next to Evan.
"How many Lestrange brothers are there now?" Evan asked him, as Bellatrix poured wine for her husband.
"Two still, just about," Voldemort replied coolly. Bellatrix handed him the drink and then sat down next to him, resting her head on his shoulder. He gently smoothed down her messy hair.
"Do you think this will be the end of the issue?" Lucius asked after a moment of silence.
Voldemort smiled thinly. "I hope so, for his sake." He looked towards Evan. "You need to stop winding him up."
Evan nodded, though he was grinning. "It's such fun. I am sad this day has come."
"I'm afraid I don't want to risk the life of my wife for fun," Voldemort replied, smiling back.
"I don't know, my Lord, I would definitely risk her for a laugh over Lestrange," said Evan, his tone deadly serious.
"Oi!" said Bellatrix, reaching over Voldemort and messing Evan's hair up again.
"You bitch!" Evan screamed at her, quickly running his fingers through his tresses, trying to sort it out again. Bellatrix couldn't stop laughing.
Voldemort looked to Lucius in despair. "I see your point."
"Coming from the man that thought it would be hilarious to spell the shower water cold whilst I was in it this morning," Bellatrix retorted, ruffling his hair as well. It didn't make much difference, if anything he looked sexier.
"Your screams were so sweet to my ears," Voldemort responded, shrugging, as if it was the most normal thing to say about his wife.
"See, this is why I want a girlfriend," Evan said suddenly, sitting forwards. "I can't exactly play mean tricks on a one night stand, can I?"
Lucius was watching the three of them in concern. "Am I really the most grown up person here?" he asked, one eyebrow raised, the Malfoy smirk upon his lips. Bellatrix wondered when her sister would start pulling the same expression.
"The most boring," Bellatrix said sweetly, smiling towards her brother in law. Lucius didn't even react to her statement, he just continued to smirk towards her.
"I'm meeting Selwyn for shots in a bit, anyone want to come?" Evan asked as he finished his glass of firewhiskey. "We're both hoping to pull."
Bellatrix laughed. "Two minutes ago you wanted a girlfriend."
"Yeh and the girl I pull tonight could end up being that girlfriend," Evan responded, standing up, looking down at her. "Want to come and help me choose?"
Bellatrix glanced to Voldemort, who winked at her. Immediately her stomach lurched, thinking of what they could do instead. "No, not tonight," she responded quickly.
Evan rolled his eyes. "Black, you've got boring. I blame your husband for this."
The Dark Lord laughed softly. "Evan, my friend, you cannot blame me. Look at her."
"I try not to," Evan responded quickly, making Bellatrix smile. "Come on, Malfoy. Let's leave them to it."
Lucius stood up, nodding to Bellatrix and Voldemort. Bellatrix stood up and hugged Evan. "Good luck, mate."
"I don't need luck," Evan scoffed, grinning. "I'm doing some training with Carrow tomorrow, want to be my assistant? It will involve a lot of telling her how amazing I am, make sure you prepare some compliments."
"Usual time and place?" Bellatrix said, pleased Evan had asked her to go and join them. She desperately wanted to show Alecto who was boss, and Evan was happy to allow it.
"Of course," Evan responded, winking. "Have a nice night," he called back, and he and Lucius left the room.
Bellatrix turned back to Voldemort, her expression suddenly serious. "Where is Rodolphus?"
The Dark Lord shrugged. "Crying to his mother I expect." Bellatrix put an arm over his stomach, leaning her head into his shoulder. Voldemort gently kissed the top of her head, running his fingers through her long hair. "We won't be seeing him for a couple of days. When he does come back, he will be focussing on his job a bit more then he has been recently." Bellatrix nodded silently, hoping that the matter would be finished with now. "You did well tonight."
"I know you wanted to hurt him. He would have deserved it as well. You have shown you are going to go far with me."
"We already know that though," Bellatrix replied, with a frown.
Voldemort nodded. "We do. No body else knows that though. You need to work on getting the respect of everyone before I even can consider announcing this. And you're doing a brilliant job of it already."
Bellatrix smiled. She felt his hand rest at the top of her thigh, and she was instantly aroused by him. Slowly, she moved one leg around him, positioning herself so she was straddling his lap.
A moment before their lips met, Voldemort reached out and stroked her cheek with one finger. "Mrs Riddle," he murmured. Bellatrix smiled, tilting her head and kissing the finger that was gently caressing her.
"Tom," she whispered back, kissing the finger once more before she took it into her mouth and sucked on the tip. Voldemort moaned lightly, before he placed both hands under her bum and stood up, heading straight for the bedroom. After the night they'd had, he was very eager to get her into bed and show her how much he adored her.