As soon as they reappeared at her childhood home, Bellatrix stormed straight into the tapestry room. There was one of these in each and every one of the Black houses, all connected to each other. If someone was burnt off or born, everyone would know about it.
Voldemort followed her silently, taking hold of her hand and squeezing.
Bellatrix raised her wand and aimed it at the picture of Andromeda. "Everyone else is afraid to do this," she muttered. "I am beginning to wonder if I am the only loyal Black left." A jet of flames left her wand and she felt very satisfied as she watched Andromeda's face vanish, until only a charred circle of fabric remained.
There was a loud scream from upstairs, two sets of loud feet and then Bellatrix's parents entered the room. Druella had been crying and Cygnus looked very grave.
"What have you done!" Druella cried, running forwards and running her fingers over the scorched material, as if that would bring her daughter back. "We were waiting!" She rounded on Bellatrix, before she realised that Voldemort was there too. "How dare you bring him here! After you both humiliated me in front of the entire family!"
"Don't speak about him in that way!" Bellatrix hissed, drawing out her wand.
"You cannot issue me orders in this house, my girl! You may be the mistress in yours, but you are not here. He is not welcome!" Druella shouted.
"He is my husband and the Dark Lord and you will speak with respect!" Bellatrix screamed back, sparks flying from the end of her wand.
"Bella," Voldemort said, stepping forwards and taking the wand from her hand.
"Like that's going to stop me!" Bellatrix snarled at her husband.
"I do not see you speaking with respect!" Druella shouted.
"Druella, please..." Cygnus said wearily. "Shouting at Bellatrix is not going to bring Andromeda back."
"She's blasted from the tapestry, how can she come back now?" Druella bellowed. "Bellatrix has done this!"
"She's a blood traitor now, always has been and always will be!" Bellatrix shouted back. "Blast me from the tapestry! Go on! I dare you!"
Druella didn't move. She dropped her gaze to the ground, her breathing laboured.
"You can't," Bellatrix whispered after a moment. "I'm the truest Black there is." She turned to Voldemort, resting her head on his chest. "Will you take me home?" she asked him.
He didn't reply, but merely wrapped his arms around her. The last thing Bellatrix saw before they disappeared was Druella's look of absolute hatred in her direction.
Voldemort was in bed, his eyes closed. Bellatrix had been pacing the bedroom for quite some time now, pausing occasionally to stare out of the window into the grounds of the house. Voldemort had been trying to keep his eyes open, to be there to comfort her if she needed it, but she was refusing to get into bed and he really just wanted to sleep.
"I'm going to kill him," she said, some time later.
"Who?" Voldemort asked sleepily.
"Tonks, of course," Bellatrix told him.
"Right now?" Voldemort said quietly as she turned away and began pacing again.
"What?" Bellatrix hissed, rounding on him.
"Do you know what time it is?"
"What?" Bellatrix said again, this time sounding quite annoyed with him.
"It's quarter to three in the morning, will you get into bed?"
"In a minute," Bellatrix responded, going back to pacing the floor in front of the bed.
"Will you get into bed, before I make you?" Voldemort sounded quite irritated now, and when she looked up at him she saw he definitely was irritated.
Sighing, she crossed the room, pulling off her dress and climbing into bed. "Unlike you to be so desperate to go to sleep," she muttered, pulling the covers around herself.
"Neither of us are going to gain from staying awake all night fantasising," Voldemort responded sharply, raising his hand to blow out the candles.
"It's not a fantasy, I am going to kill him," Bellatrix replied, ignoring his tone.
"So you keep saying," Voldemort said grumpily.
Bellatrix sighed loudly and turned away from him, hugging the comforter close to her body. "You are such a bastard sometimes," she muttered, knowing full well he would hear her.
"You wouldn't have it any other way," Voldemort told her quietly. Slowly, he turned over and put an arm around her. "I promise we will have revenge. I promise you will be able to kill him, and your sister, you just have to wait until the time is right."
A smile forming on her lips, Bellatrix nodded, shifting into him. "It's what they deserve." She felt Voldemort press a gentle kiss against the back of her neck before she found that she could no longer keep her eyes open, and soon sleep claimed her.
She could see him through the trees, standing still like a marble statue glowing under the moonlight. On the ground before him was a body; she could see long white hair and pale robes. She was near the front of a large group of around one hundred people, all dressed in black. A few were masked, but Bellatrix did not see the point of hiding her face, she was wanted and she was proud of that. Not that being wanted mattered now.
A smile graced her face as they got closer. The Dark Lord was carefully watching his group of followers, his red eyes cold and calculating.
"He will announce it," Evan whispered in her ear, from just behind her. Narcissa looked over from Bellatrix's left, her eyes wider than saucers. She was clutching Lucius's arm nervously, unhappy that she was part of this gathering.
"Not on the battle field," Bellatrix murmured back. "Not here, this is his victory." Rodolphus was on her right, and for once he was not staring at her in lust. His gaze was respectful of her.
Evan snorted. "You just led his entire force and took over Hogwarts, he will reward you alright." Bellatrix gasped, looking over her shoulder at him for a moment, wondering if he was right. Evan was grinning.
As she turned back, she could see the Dark Lord much more clearly. His face was like a pale stone carving, impassive and majestic, his robes and cloak moving about him in the wind. He looked entirely timeless, like a god. Bellatrix was awed by the power seeping from him.
The people in front of her stopped walking. She was about a metre from him, watching him survey the crowd now gathered around him. His eyes lingered upon her for a mere second before he moved on, his facial expression not changing one little bit. She could see his wand held in his right hand down by his side.
The dead body before him was irrelevant. He was all that mattered. Her breath hitched in her throat, she had to look away. As she did, she could see that she wasn't the only one struggling to look at him. Men, women, all around her were completely enthralled by his power and brilliance. Slowly, people were dropping to their knees before him, Lucius and Narcissa were on the floor, as were most of the people behind her and Rodolphus on her other side.
Hardly breathing, Bellatrix looked back to him and finally, when she could take it no longer, she too dropped to her knees.
The next thing she saw were the two people in front of her moving aside and then a very familiar hem of robes. Slowly, daringly, she raised her eyes skywards, seeing her husband towering over her. He outstretched his hand, long fingers beckoning her invitingly towards him.
Inhaling through her nose, Bellatrix took the hand and was helped to stand by him, before he pulled her from the group. She was suddenly aware of how she must look, robes ripped, face dirty and probably bleeding. Compared to this statue of beauty and composure before her, she felt very inadequate.
"You must not kneel before me," he told her, refusing to let go of her hand. Only the people in the first few rows of the group would have heard him.
"This is your victory, my Lord," Bellatrix told him calmly, as he steered her to take her place beside him, both stepping over the body of Dumbledore.
"My Lord?" he questioned her, a smirk breaking his serious facial expression. "So formal, for this happy occasion?"
Bellatrix wasn't quite sure how to respond, and Voldemort must have sensed that, he stepped forwards to address the group. "My dearest friends!" He began. "Rise! For we are all triumphant tonight!" Only when everyone was on their feet did he continue."The Ministry, as you all know, is ours!"
The Death Eaters cheered, but Voldemort raised a hand to stop them. "There is more, my friends!" He looked down at the body next to him, before going back to his followers. "Dumbledore is dead, Hogwarts is mine! His supporters are either dead or disbanded."
The cheering began again, and this time Voldemort allowed it. Slowly, he turned around, reaching for Bellatrix's hand once more. She stepped over Dumbledore again, happily absorbing all of the cheers. She knew that she had played a huge part in all of this, and she was glad that Voldemort was sharing it with her.
"There is more," Voldemort continued, as the cheering and applause had died down slightly. "Another announcement, which some of you know of already."
Bellatrix's heart skipped a beat. She caught Evan's eye, he was grinning from ear to ear at her. She didn't dare look at her husband.
"She has lead you all well tonight. Without her, I doubt our win would have been such an impressive one." She felt him grab her hand tightly, pulling her closer toward him. "With that in mind, I announce my marriage to my Bellatrix, who from now on will be known as my Dark Lady!"
To her complete surprise, the cheering began once again. Bellatrix had no idea just how respected she had become. Voldemort tilted her face to his and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. "My Lady," he whispered.
Bellatrix awoke suddenly with a start, sitting bolt upright in bed. That had been a very vivid dream. Voldemort was already sat up next to her, reading the paper. He closed it when he saw she was awake, folding it carefully in half and setting it down on the bedside table.
"Are you alright?" Voldemort enquired, looking at her in concern when he saw her confused expression.
"Yes, I..." She shook her head, lying back down. "Just had a dream is all."
Voldemort smiled slightly, running fingers through her curls. "Was it a good dream?"
She smiled back at him. "A very good dream." She sighed lightly, moving closer to her, wishing with all of her heart that they were there, finished, free. "You're in bed late."
"I did get up for a while," Voldemort said softly, after a moment.
"I am glad that you couldn't resist my morning radiance," Bellatrix said with a smirk.
"You are very radiant, my beautiful wife," he replied. "But actually, the front page of the Prophet is what brought me back to you."
Bellatrix's eyes snapped open and she sat up, holding her hand out for the paper. Voldemort slowly reached over for it, unfolding it and showing it to her.
"YOUNGEST BLACK ELOPES" the headline screamed at her. Below, was a picture of Andromeda with Tonks, standing close together and smiling happily. The article went on to explain how they had been tipped off that they had both left Hogwarts for good and that they were married. It explained the Black family's hatred of muggleborns and half-bloods, and told the stories of the other Black family members that had also been burnt off of the family tree.
"How do they find these things out so quickly?" Bellatrix muttered, before she spotted another picture at the bottom of the page. It was of her, a jet of flames coming from her wand as she set alight the tree at the end of Knockturn Alley. Standing just behind her was Voldemort, his back turned to the photographer. The caption below asked "Who is this mystery man alongside wanted Bellatrix Black, seen just after she heard the happy news last night? Could this be You-Know-Who?"
Bellatrix threw the paper across the room, before burrowing back into him. "All the Death Eaters will have seen this. I'm going to look stupid. Everything I have worked for..."
"Enough," Voldemort told her sharply. "It will make no difference to you."
"I'm not leaving this room again," Bellatrix declared, pulling the comforter over her head.
"Stop being so ridiculous," Voldemort snapped, shifting away from her and getting out of bed. "Face this now, get it over with."
"No," Bellatrix said, her voice muffled by the covers. "Everyone will judge me. Everyone will think I am weak."
Impatiently, Voldemort flicked his fingers at the duvet, watching as it flew across the room. Bellatrix sat up. "Oi, I was using that!" she snapped at him.
Voldemort grabbed her by the top of her arm, pulling her from the bed. "Get dressed." Seeing her hesitation, he moved closer to her. "Now!" he snarled, throwing some robes at her. "We are going to see your parents."
Bellatrix snorted, throwing the robes back at him. "Not likely," she said, sitting back down on the bed. He came back for her, putting the robes on the bed as his vice like grip took her arm once more, only much tighter this time.
"We are going, you have a choice of going naked or going clothed, I suggest you make your choice in the next thirty seconds or you will regret every marrying me," he informed her coldly.
They locked stares for a few seconds, before Bellatrix looked away from him, picking up the robes. She had no doubt he would cause her severe pain if she didn't comply, and the idea of being naked in the presence of anyone else wasn't her idea of fun.
As soon as she was dressed, the grip on her arm came back as he disapparated them away. They reappeared outside of the front door of her childhood home. Voldemort rang the bell.
"There's nothing you can do to me to make me regret marrying you," Bellatrix told him.
Voldemort ignored her. A moment later, the front door opened. Druella was behind it.
She scowled as she saw who it was. "What do you want?" she snarled, by the looks of things fully intending on slamming the door in their faces.
"I'm your daughter too," Bellatrix said quietly, knowing this was what her husband wanted her to say.
Druella stared at Bellatrix emotionlessly for a moment, before taking a step back from the door and disappearing into the house. Bellatrix glanced up to Voldemort uncertainly, wondering if that was an invite inside or not. Voldemort nodded, and slowly and very unwillingly, Bellatrix crossed the threshold into her childhood home. She knew that the family would be upstairs in the sitting room.
As she looked down the empty and quiet hallway, she suddenly realised how much she missed this house. The grand entrance hall was beautiful, and yet she had never noticed before.
Bellatrix turned around, noticing that her husband was stood at the bottom of the stairs, watching her in confusion. Slowly she moved towards him, taking his hand as they walked up to the first floor. Sure enough, there were voices coming from the sitting room and as they reached the room Bellatrix realised that Narcissa and Lucius were there too.
Narcissa immediately stood up and hugged Bellatrix tightly. Cygnus did the same. Druella watched with cold, hateful eyes. Voldemort stood behind his wife, his arms crossed and his expression dangerously blank as he saw how Druella was looking at Bellatrix. Druella noticed and slowly and calmly took a seat. Cygnus appeared to have noticed.
"We are all one family here, it is time we remembered it," he spoke tersely.
Silently, Bellatrix moved forwards to the empty seat furthest away from her mother. Voldemort sat next to Lucius, and Bellatrix didn't miss the look that they gave to each other. Lucius probably hated being dragged into all of this, and Voldemort probably didn't trust his wife to behave herself in this situation.
The room was awkwardly silent. Bellatrix and Druella refused to look at each other. Narcissa was chewing her lip nervously, leaving it down to Cygnus to be the one to speak first.
He heaved a sigh as he realised this. "This has been coming for a long time," he said quietly. "This hasn't happened overnight. Perhaps we were too strict on her. Perhaps we should have allowed him to stay at the party last new year."
"Have a mudblood stay at our party, Cygnus?" Druella snapped. "Don't be absurd, all those guests! The Dark Lord included! I should never have been able to show my face in public again."
"Andromeda couldn't have helped who she fell in love with," Narcissa said softly, looking at her father and mother.
"Do not mention her name," Druella hissed angrily. "How dare you side with her?"
"I am not siding with her, mother, I just think that Andromeda is not at fault as much as you say she is. After all, I and Bellatrix have been lucky that we have suitable husbands that we both love very much," Narcissa said quickly.
"Your marriages were both arranged," Cygnus said shortly. "We had decided who your sister was to marry and she would have accepted it, like it or not, just like both of you would have. Lestrange was most anxious to meet her and remove these impure thoughts from her head."
Bellatrix gasped in horror. "Lestrange? Rodolphus? The same Lestrange you almost had me marry?" She looked over to Voldemort, who to her surprise didn't seem at all shocked by this revelation.
"What of it?" Druella asked coldly.
"What of it?" Bellatrix repeated, her voice high pitched. "The man is a monster! I wouldn't wish for my worst enemy to be married to him!"
"That doesn't matter," Druella responded coolly. "His name is highly sought after, as is his considerable wealth."
Bellatrix slumped back in her seat, shivering.
"It's a wonder he hasn't found someone interested in him again already," Druella continued. "It is a shame we do not have a fourth daughter to offer to him."
"These are the ways of the world, Bellatrix," Cygnus said, seeing the expression on her face. "You will do the same with your children."
"I doubt that very much," Bellatrix responded quietly, looking across the room to Voldemort, who's expression told her that he was keeping very much out of this for the moment.
"We are here today to decide what is to be done," Druella said after a moment. "And that is what we need to do now."
"Andromeda's name must not be mentioned here again, or anywhere else," said Cygnus firmly. "She is no longer a Black, she is a blood traitor and traitor to her family. We have two daughters. Bellatrix and Narcissa are all we have and we are pleased that they have brains enough to realise where their places are. All are hereby forbidden to speak to the traitor."
The room was silent for a long few minutes. Finally, Bellatrix could take it no more. "Was there anything else?"
Cygnus shook his head, not looking up.
Bellatrix stood up. "Well, if you would be kind enough to excuse us, we have business to attend to." Voldemort stood too, and Bellatrix hastily left the room, hearing his footsteps behind her. She waited until they had left the house before speaking.
"You knew about the Lestrange match, didn't you?" she said quietly.
"Your father asked my opinion," Voldemort responded as they walked down the garden. "I gave it."
"You gave your approval?"
"I did," Voldemort told her coolly. "I thought you would have been pleased."
"Pleased?" Bellatrix exclaimed loudly, unable to believe that Voldemort thought she would be pleased that her own sister, no matter how different to them she was, should be married to Rodolphus Lestrange.
"Rodolphus would have put Andromeda in her place and then he would have left you alone."
"Put her in her place, what, by hitting her into submission?" Bellatrix snapped at him.
Quite suddenly, Voldemort grasped her wrist roughly and disapparated them both back home to their rooms. He moved towards the drinks cabinet, pouring himself a large measure of something.
"It's not even eleven o' clock in the morning yet," Bellatrix muttered, watching him in annoyance.
"Something you'd like to share?" Voldemort asked, turning around to face her, knowing full well what she had just said but was daring her to repeat it louder.
"No," Bellatrix said, turning away from him to look out of the window.
"You know," Voldemort said, moving to stand next to her. "You speak about the Lestrange's as if they are the worst for hurting their women, but what you seem to forget is how often I hurt you. How come you never complain about that?"
"What makes you think I don't?" Bellatrix asked him sarcastically.
Voldemort laughed coldly. "I know very well you don't, I only have to look at you to know you're lying about something."
"I never lie to you for no good reason," Bellatrix retorted. "Anyway, you're the Dark Lord."
"So that makes it alright?"
"What do you want me to say, Tom?" Bellatrix snapped angrily. "That you're a terrible wife beating husband and that I wished I'd never married you?"
"No," Voldemort responded nonchalantly. "Just that I am not really so much better then Lestrange in that department."
Bellatrix glanced over at him, suddenly tired of their argument. The last twelve hours had been stressful enough, Bellatrix needed her husband. She reached for his hand. "You are so much better then Lestrange."
Voldemort slowly pulled her hand to his lips and kissed it briefly.
"It's not like you cause me pain with no good reason, and as I said, you are the Dark Lord and I know who I married. Not to mention you are so gorgeous and charming, so beautiful even when you are at your angriest," Bellatrix continued, her eyes not leaving his for a moment. "Sometimes I fancy you even more when you are fuming."
Voldemort laughed, pulling her close to him and kissing her hair. "I fancy you the most when you've been duelling, when you're laughing and taunting your opponent with your raw and amazing power."
Bellatrix smiled, glad that they were friends again.
"There is one thing more you need to do though," Voldemort told her, suddenly serious again. "You need to face the world."
"Oh," Bellatrix muttered.
"Sooner the better, don't you think?"
"I am sure you always know best, husband," Bellatrix replied cautiously, not willing to disrupt the peace.
"So put on some make up and your best robes and we will take a little trip to Knockturn Ally. I do need to pay my friend Burke a visit, put him in his place once more..."
Bellatrix didn't miss the excited smirk on his lips. With a loud sigh, she nodded, knowing that it was best to face everyone now and not hide from it. After all, she wasn't going to be much help to the Dark Lord cowering under her bed for the rest of her life.
Bellatrix was back to her normal self by the time they had reached the shops. She had done her hair, applied her normal red lipstick and was wearing decidedly Slytherin coloured robes, just in case anyone was wondering where her loyalties lay.
Most people knew who she was as they saw her, and they all seemed very surprised to see her out and about on this day, of all days. Bellatrix ignored them outwardly, acting as carefree as she could, but inside she wished that they would just leave her alone. Voldemort was right though, this time tomorrow the whole thing would be old news and it wouldn't touch her again.
Voldemort had left her outside of a jewellery shop, telling her to choose something pretty for him to buy her when he returned from Borgin and Burke's. She was staring through the window, deep in thought and hardly noticing all the jewellery before her when someone approached from behind.
Rolling her eyes, Bellatrix turned around to face a woman not much older then herself, wearing smart robes and thick glasses, clutching hold of a notebook and quill. "You are?"
"Morgain Star, journalist with the Daily Prophet," she responded smilingly.
"What do you want?" Bellatrix snapped, unable to believe that she was being stopped by journalists now, who were usually too scared to come near her.
"Just a quick few words from the eldest Black daughter," Morgain said swiftly, without any trace of terror in her voice as there usually was from strangers.
Bellatrix frowned. "You do realise I am wanted?"
"Oh, yes," Morgain replied lightly, looking down at her book and scribbling something down. "Miss Black, what has been the reaction of your family to the elopement with a muggle born by your sister Andromeda?"
"I only have one sister, Narcissa," Bellatrix responded stonily.
"Is it true that Andromeda has been blasted from the famous Black family tree?" Morgain persisted, hardly noticing Bellatrix's blank answer.
"There is no current Black with that name," Bellatrix responded, rolling her eyes again.
"If you could see your sister now, what would you say to her?"
Bellatrix sighed. This woman was unrelenting. "I would tell her to run and hide and watch herself, and her pathetic scum of a husband."
Morgain gasped. "Is that a threat to Andromeda?"
"No, it's a promise," Bellatrix snarled.
Suddenly she could see Voldemort by her side. She wasn't sure where he had come from. "Is everything alright?" he murmured to Bellatrix.
Morgain's eyes were like saucers as she stared at Voldemort. "Is this You-Know-Who?" she asked in a hushed tone, her mouth hanging open.
"Don't be absurd," Bellatrix snapped before Voldemort could speak. "The Dark Lord, here? This is my bodyguard."
Morgain began scribbling again. "Miss Black, when will your parents decide to marry you? Are you betrothed?"
Bellatrix sighed. "Interview over, thank you," she said, walking away as quickly as she could.
"Bodyguard?" Voldemort whispered in her ear. "Honestly, you went with bodyguard? Do you realise Rosier will be on about this for ages now?" They rounded the corner before disapparating back home.
"What would you have preferred me to say?" Bellatrix asked him playfully.
"Sexy boyfriend?" Voldemort said soberly.
"Well, you aren't," Bellatrix told him firmly. "You are my husband and the Dark Lord and if Evan makes fun of you then you can leave him to me."
"You are very fearsome," Voldemort said, chuckling. He leant forwards and kissed her on the lips. "And beautiful and clever."
"As are you," Bellatrix replied with a smirk. "With emphasis on the fearsome."
Voldemort cupped her cheek. "Are you happy?"
"Mostly," Bellatrix responded, moving into his arms and kissing his robed chest. "I am now." Voldemort laughed, and Bellatrix didn't think she could feel this blissful ever again.
Yes, it's short, but it's an update that you nearly didn't get! I'm slow updating because I'm kind of running out of ideas. I know where the plot is going, but getting there isn't quite so easy. Ideas are, as always, welcome!