Bellatrix was lounging on the sofa, reading a book about political history when Voldemort walked in, followed by Evan and Lucius. She was wearing her sexiest nightdress that she had fallen asleep in last night and couldn't be bothered to get dressed for the day.
"Oh merlin, Black!" Evan said loudly when he spotted her, his eyes wide.
Lucius looked her up and down disdainfully before he sat down as far away from her as he could. Voldemort crossed his arms, his expression not exactly pleased.
"You never said we were having company," Bellatrix said, shutting her book and putting it on the table. "I am not psychic."
"For god's sake, go and put some clothes on," he hissed at her. "And hurry up."
Bellatrix glared at him, stomping into the bedroom and grabbing a set of robes, throwing them over herself before she went back into the sitting room. Ignoring her husband, she sat down next to Evan, across the room. Evan busied himself with not looking at her. Lucius was carefully studying his nails. Voldemort was glaring at her.
"What's going on?" Bellatrix asked after a few moments.
Voldemort continued glaring and Lucius hadn't looked away from his nails. Evan cleared his throat. "Some of the lads went out for a bit of fun this morning, in a shopping place... Full of muggles..."
"Where the hell was my invitation?" Bellatrix asked, frowning.
"I wouldn't complain if I were you," Evan muttered. "They were only there ten minutes, when about a hundred auror's turned up. They were outnumbered, so outnumbered. Only Selwyn got away, and he's in a right state. Needs to be in St Mungo's really, but that's no option. He'll be on the next trip to Azkaban."
"How many have we lost?" Bellatrix said quietly, feeling agitated. She looked over to Voldemort, who was not longer glaring quite so venomously at her.
"Nineteen," her husband told her.
Bellatrix gasped, suddenly standing up and moving towards the window. There were a lot of Death Eaters. She knew that. But to loose nineteen of them, all at once, seemed awful to her.
"No more risking lives for fun," she snarled, turning around again just as suddenly. She looked at Voldemort. "Agreed?"
"That isn't going to go down well," said Evan quickly.
"Then make it," snapped Bellatrix. "This isn't a game. This is about winning."
"I agree, Bella," Voldemort said softly, nodding to her. "Rosier, filter it down to the men. You as well, Lucius. Make it clear that it is a direct order and if anyone disobeys, they will be given to Bellatrix as a target to practice on." He paused. "And, Rosier, speak with Selwyn. Find out who was orchestrating the attack. Ascertain that Selwyn was not deliberately left alive, otherwise we may have cause to doubt his loyalties."
"My Lord." Evan bowed and left the room swiftly.
"And Lucius, the situation at the Ministry?"
Lucius looked up. "My Lord, the Minister grows weaker and wearier every time I see him. He doesn't enjoy office any more. Crouch is already preparing for the election, he doesn't believe that the Minister will last the year."
"Go and give Moonler a surprise visit," Voldemort said after a while. "Get him started. Then you will need to publicly give your support to him."
"Moonler, my Lord?" Lucius asked, sounding confused.
"Yes, my candidate," Voldemort responded coldly, raising an eyebrow at Lucius.
"I thought..." Lucius trailed off, and for the first time ever Bellatrix saw him looking slightly hurt.
"You supposed I would choose you?" Voldemort said, laughing icily. "You, nothing but an overly ambitious Malfoy; I would prefer to keep you where I can see you." He stared at Lucius for a moment, and then spoke again when Lucius's face was as red with embarrassment as a tomato. "Of you go," he said abruptly.
Lucius fled from the room.
Bellatrix finally let out her giggle, as soon as the door was shut.
"I wouldn't laugh, Bellatrix, I am not impressed with your conduct either," Voldemort told her coldly. "You may find it amusing to tease others with what is mine, but I do not."
"It wasn't deliberate," Bellatrix mumbled, her heart racing.
"I don't care!" he shouted, suddenly loud and angry.
"I think that my husband is over-reacting," Bellatrix snapped, turning away from him.
Voldemort grabbed her wrist and pulled her back toward him. "I beg your pardon?" he hissed, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"I said, you are over-reacting! Do you honestly think I would want my cousin and my brother-in-law to see me dressed like that?" she shouted at him.
"Bellatrix..." he hissed through gritted teeth. "Do not push me..."
"Why are you so jealous?" she asked him, ignoring his words. "What in the world could they possibly have that you do not?"
"You are mine!" He released his hold on her wrist and grabbed her face. "You will cover yourself up unless I am present, I will not have any man get any ideas about you! And you will not encourage them!"
Bellatrix suddenly found that she had pulled out her wand and was now pressing it into his stomach. Voldemort didn't move, but he smirked as he felt it, his eyes glimmering in anticipation.
"Go on, I dare you," he said mockingly. "Try it, see what happens. Selwyn will be looking healthy by the time I am done with you."
Bellatrix stared at him, wondering if he really would seriously hurt her. She took in his smirk, his tousled hair, his shining eyes and she startlingly realised that she needed him... Now. She threw her wand to the floor, grabbing his face and kissing him as hard as she could, standing on her toes to reach him properly. To her utmost surprise, Voldemort was kissing her back, his hands moving from her face, down her back, settling on her arse and squeezing.
Hastily, she tugged at his robes, their lips still attached, pulling them from around him. She felt him doing the same, she could feel cool air hitting her heated skin. She reached down, feeling his warmth and gently wrapping her hand around it. She moaned into the kiss, pressing him against herself in a frenzied attempt to find some more friction, to satisfy her need.
He slid a couple of fingers inside of her, testing her moistness. It was enough. He grabbed her hair, pushing her backwards onto the sofa and falling on top of her. He pushed her legs apart and in one fluid motion, he was home.
A sigh left both of their lips as they began to move in harmony, Bellatrix couldn't remember anything ever feeling so good. She could rapidly feel her pleasure heightening, she was sure she was going to begin to see stars in the next few seconds -
There was a hasty knock on the door, which opened almost instantly. Evan followed. Voldemort stopped moving in surprise.
"My Lord-" He stopped, his eyes wide as he realised what he had walked in on. "Oh sweet merlin, never mind!" He pulled back, shutting the door behind him. "I'm so sorry, my Lord!" he shouted from the corridor, and Bellatrix could hear heavy footsteps as he ran for it.
Bellatrix grabbed her husbands biceps. "Keep going!" she hissed, almost laughing as she saw the expression of shock on his face. "I'm so close, don't stop!"
Voldemort began to pound her again. "I'm not sure you deserve it," he told her, watching in desire as her face changed to that of pleasure once more.
"Too late!" Bellatrix breathed, feeling the familiar pleasure wrack her body. She moaned softly, feeling him erupt inside of her.
"That will teach Evan," Voldemort muttered, catching his breath and moving off Bellatrix. He sat up next to her, brushing hair from her face.
"Are you still cross with me?" Bellatrix teased, running her hands over his thighs.
Voldemort laughed softly. "No, you know I can never be cross with you after that... There is my weakness..."
"Do you still want me to be robed completely head to foot?" Bellatrix continued, smirking up at him.
"Shut up," Voldemort whispered with a smirk on his face, as he moved back down to kiss her.
"I cannot wait to see Evan blush next time I see him!" Bellatrix said, grinning from ear to ear as she thought about it. She tightened her grip on her husband, glad he was with her at the particular moment.
Abraxas doesn't have long to live. Please come as soon as you can, bring your husband too.
Bellatrix felt stunned. She knew Abraxas wasn't well, but to think of him dying upset her.
She grabbed her wand, and headed towards the office, knowing that Narcissa really needed her there, and knowing Lucius probably wanted to see the Dark Lord too.
As she pushed the door to the office open, she realised that there were at least ten people in there. The room wasn't really big enough for ten people, and everyone in the room was trying to keep their distance from the Dark Lord which meant it was a little crowded.
Voldemort had decided that he didn't want Bellatrix going out on the same assignments as Rodolphus, and the one he was currently planning was too big and dangerous for Bellatrix to go out on and lead, so he said. Bellatrix didn't mind; she was far happier going out with Evan. They made a brilliant team and thought in the same way. Rodolphus definitely didn't think like either of them.
Moving forwards, Bellatrix noticed that Regulus was also in the room, standing next to Rabastan Lestrange, who she was certain was checking her out.
The Dark Lord stopped speaking as soon as he saw Bellatrix, frowning slightly at her. Silently, Bellatrix pressed the note into his hands, beckoning to him to read it. After a moment of reading, Voldemort handing to back to her with a nod.
"My presence is needed elsewhere," Voldemort said smoothly to the men in the room.
Turning to Bellatrix, he grabbed her wrist and disapparated them from the room.
They reappeared outside of the Malfoy manor. "Lucius has been waiting for this," Bellatrix murmured as he relaxed his grip on her wrist and held her hand instead.
"I know," Voldemort responded coolly, walking with her to the front door.
He raised his hand to the door, which opened instantly. They stepped in, and were greeted almost instantly by Narcissa. Bellatrix put her arms around her sister, who looked pale and tired.
"Thank you for coming so soon," she said, as Bellatrix squeezed her. "He has been asking for both of you."
"Lead the way," Voldemort responded quietly.
They were lead up the stairs to what appeared to be Abraxas's bedroom, although it was only on the first floor and not at the top of the house where the grand bedrooms normally were. "He had to change rooms," Narcissa whispered as they stood next to the door. "Can't make it to the fourth floor now..."
She pushed the door open and entered. Bellatrix followed her. Lucius jumped up as soon as he saw Voldemort enter, a look of fear appearing on his features for a brief moment before he wiped his face clean. Abraxas was laid in the bed, and Bellatrix realised he looked much thinner and paler then she had ever seen him before.
"We'll leave you..." Bellatrix heard Narcissa mutter to Voldemort, leaving the room with her husband.
Voldemort moved closer to the bed, Bellatrix hung back. She felt sure Abraxas didn't really want to see her. She knew from the memory she had seen that Abraxas was the only person left alive, apart from herself, who knew of the Dark Lord's true identity.
"I don't have long..." she heard Abraxas wheeze. He sounded truly terrible, as if he couldn't gather enough air into his lungs to breathe.
Voldemort didn't speak. Bellatrix was sure he didn't actually care that Abraxas was near death. He didn't care about very much.
"Those... Healers... Cannot find anything the matter with me..." Abraxas continued, wheezing all the way. "Nothing... To cause... This..."
"I caused it," Voldemort said, all of a sudden cold. Bellatrix jumped, staring over at her husband in shock. She couldn't see Abraxas's face but she was sure he was as surprised as she was.
"...You...?" Abraxas muttered, then coughed roughly, struggling for breath.
"Yes, I." Voldemort moved closer to the bed. "You are the only one that remembers me from the old days... I cannot have that. I need you silenced, gone."
Abraxas continued to cough, every time he inhaled Bellatrix had to fight the urge to be sick from the sound. "I would... Never..."
"Perhaps... But I need to be sure." Voldemort glanced over to Bellatrix for a moment, catching her gaze. She looked back into his eyes, unafraid, knowing it had to be done. "I cursed you on the day of Lucius's wedding. You've been getting progressively sicker ever since that day and soon you will die."
Abraxas didn't look remotely surprised that he was close to death. He knew it was coming, he'd known for quite some time, Bellatrix was sure.
"Why then?" Abraxas asked suddenly, choking down his coughs, grasping for oxygen.
"Lucius safely married... The Malfoy heir through and through, everything ready to go to him." Voldemort smiled coldly. "He is going to be very useful."
Abraxas coughed again. "You must not hu... Hurt him..."
"If he pleases me, he shall be rewarded, of course," Voldemort responded. "But if he finds out about... This... Then I will hurt him. And I will know if you have told him."
"Well... Played..." Abraxas muttered.
"Your death needed to look natural, this has gone perfectly."
"And... Bellatrix?" Abraxas asked suddenly. "She knew?"
Voldemort looked over to his wife, beckoning her forwards. Bellatrix moved closer to the bed, seeing Abraxas even paler then he was before with a thin sheen of perspiration on his skin.
"I didn't know, Abraxas," she murmured.
He nodded and coughed again, wheezing. "I think... You should leave... Me now..."
"Of course," Voldemort said coolly. "Just remember... Lucius must not know. Your death will be a merciful one compared to his should he be told."
He took a step backwards before turning to Bellatrix, taking her hand and leading her from the room, closing the door softly behind him. They descended the stairs. Lucius and Narcissa were waiting at the bottom.
"He is resting now," Voldemort said quietly.
Lucius nodded. "Thank you for coming, my Lord," he said softly.
"Not a problem," Voldemort replied. "I must return to my meeting now though."
Lucius bowed slightly as Bellatrix moved forwards and kissed her sister goodbye before they left the house. Bellatrix didn't dare speak until they were back at home. As soon as they entered their rooms again, Bellatrix turned to her husband.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked in a hushed tone. She wasn't angry that he hadn't told her, just surprised as he generally told her everything.
"I couldn't have risked it," Voldemort replied, holding her tight. "I have struggled this past year not to tell you..." He ran his fingers through her hair.
Bellatrix pulled back from him. "Do you have to do that?" she snapped.
"Do what?" Voldemort asked in surprise.
"I've spent ages making myself look good for you this morning and now you've ruined my hair," she said, moving over to the mirror to look at the damage. She tutted as the tidied it.
"Oh, Bellatrix, is that all you can think about?" Voldemort said, laughing to himself. "You've just found out I've been slowly killing someone you thought was my friend for over a year, and you're worried about your hair?"
"Do you not realise how difficult it is for me? I'm expected to look perfect at every moment, and then you go and ruin it?" she snapped.
Voldemort continued to laugh. "You're in a strop, is it your time of the month or something?"
Bellatrix turned around to look at him. "Just go to your meeting and leave me alone," she hissed at him. "You're worse than a child."
Even as he left the room, she could hear him laughing at her. She was right though, he hated it when she looked anything less then perfect, anything less then his queen, she spent hours making sure her hair was curled just as he liked it to be and it annoyed her when he couldn't leave it alone.
And making comments like that? Horrible, sexist comments that he thought he could get away with. It wasn't her time of the month, and she would make sure he knew that before she denied him sex. How dared he put his stupidity down to it being her hormones making her snappy with him.
She poured herself a drink before sitting down on the sofa, thinking angrily about his comments for a while before a thought dawned on her... When was her last period? She remembered it being the week before Andromeda had eloped, which was almost six weeks ago.
Panic overtook her. There was no way she was ready to become a mother. She knew this was terrible timing, neither of them would have time to be parents with the war about to become so serious...
Hastily, she stood up and headed towards the office where she knew he was having his meeting. She was about to open the door and go in when she realised breaking this news in front of however many death eaters he was with was not the way forward. She moved back, pacing in front of the door, her mind racing.
She had been careless with taking her weekly contraceptive potion. There had been a couple of times she'd taken it a days late, but she honestly hadn't even thought about it. Her husband loved sex, more then she did, she couldn't remember a day gone by when they hadn't since their wedding. He was always considerate with his pleasures, she always went away as satisfied as he was. That being said, there was quite a high chance that she was pregnant.
It wasn't the first time her periods had been late, she'd never exactly been regular. Five weeks wasn't strange for her. Except recently, everything had been the same pretty much every month...
What was the Dark Lord going to say? Bellatrix couldn't decide. She didn't expect him to get angry. She half expected him to laugh and tell her to stop trying to be funny. Part of her didn't want to tell him yet, although she remembered what happened last time she didn't tell him something straight away... There was no way she was going to be able to hide this from him. Could she leave it just a few more hours... To gather her thoughts?
She was inching towards the inclination of not telling him right now and heading back to the bedroom to have a quick lay down when the door in front of her opened. Five men walked out, one of them was holding onto his head which appeared to be dripping blood. None of them spoke, or even looked at her as they came past. Bellatrix assumed she had irritated him more then she realised earlier in their rooms and that he had taken his frustration out with a cutting curse, as he seemed to favour at the moment.
A few seconds later, the door opened again and Voldemort came out. He looked surprised to see her there.
"Bella?" he said gently, making her wonder if it was because of her that the man she'd just seen was bleeding.
Hearing voices below coming upwards, Bellatrix hastily grabbed his hand and pulled him into the office, locking the door behind her.
"Should I be excited?" he asked with a suggestive smile, moving towards her and putting his arms around her.
"No, Tom!" she snapped. "It hasn't been my time of the month for five and a half weeks now!"
If the situation hadn't been so serious, Bellatrix would seriously have laughed at the shocked expression on his face as her meaning dawned upon him.
"What do you mean...?" Voldemort asked, his eyes wide.
"I think..." Bellatrix moved away from him, needing to see his eyes properly. "That I need a pregnancy test."
He didn't seem to hear her. His eyes had glazed over and he was staring at her blankly.
"Tom," Bellatrix muttered. "The spell won't work until I am fourteen days late. That is in four days."
Voldemort nodded, taking her hand and pulling her tightly into him. "I know," he said softly. "How do you feel?"
"Nervous," Bellatrix responded. "It would be terrible timing for us to have a baby now."
"It would be," Voldemort said, after a moment. "But we would manage."
Bellatrix looked up at him. "You mean we would keep it?"
"If you wanted to, my love, it would be your choice." Very gently this time, he ran his hand down her hair. "I will always support you."
Feeling tears spring to her eyes, Bellatrix buried her head in his chest, taking a deep breath to calm her emotions.
The next few days couldn't go by soon enough.