Bellatrix was stood in one of the many grand hallways of the manor, staring out of the window at the torrential rain that had been pouring down for the last week. It was only September and yet it felt like February. She knew why, though. It was rarely sunny any more. Voldemort even had control of the weather now and liked to keep it dark and depressing.
A year had passed since Moonler had become minister. Voldemort was still anxious to keep the fact he had taken control of the ministry quiet, and instead the whole building was absolutely chaotic which Voldemort completely revelled in. It was best that way; no body trusted any one else in uncertainty. No body knew who supported Voldemort and so everyone minded their own business and kept themselves to themselves.
The Auror department had unfortunately not succumbed to this chaos and was still being led by Barty Crouch Sr. There was nothing they could do about it without making it obvious who was really pulling the strings at the ministry and so Aurors had become segregated from the rest of the ministry and were their unrelenting target. The Aurors also went out of their way to protect the muggles and to keep them in the dark, however that was not always a success. The only reason the ministry benefactors were not doing anything about the situation was because Voldemort was paying them off through Lucius. A few of them had even gone as far as to join Voldemort.
The Dark Lord was recruiting heavily. Most people that were approached joined instantly, apparently to terrified to do much else. A couple had refused. Her cousin, Sirius, was one of them but that was a no brainer. She told Voldemort not to bother but he went ahead and tried anyway. Sirius's best friend, James Potter, and his new wife, Lilly had refused also. They were the first Gryffindor's that had been approached and Bellatrix had convinced her husband to stop there. It was too dangerous trying to recruit from clear members of the Order; the last thing they needed was infiltration.
It had been a mostly successful year, except for the problem with the giants. Voldemort had got them on side and started to use them immediately, but the Auror's not going to allow the giants to win. It was the last thing they wanted, apparently, and so most of the giants had been obliterated. Few had survived, and those survivors had retreated far, far away.
Bellatrix was idly toying with her long hair as she broke out of her thoughts. She began contemplating about going to find something to do but too bored to go and do it. She felt so useless sometimes, so unhelpful even though she had studied hard to be the Dark Lord's most faithful, best supporter. On days like these, there was just nothing she could do to be of assistance to her husband.
Glancing to the side of her, she looked up at the portraits above. Salazar Slytherin's wife gazed back down, smirking coldly. She had the same complexion and eyes as the Dark Lord had before his transformation, but her hair was much darker, almost the same colour as Bellatrix's.
"Is that what it is like; being the wife of one of the most powerful men ever to walk the earth?" she asked the portrait quietly.
The Lady Slytherin nodded her head, almost instantly. "I am afraid so. You are one of the lucky ones. He accepts your help more than most Slytherin men before him."
Bellatrix sighed and looked back into the garden through the window. "Not enough," she muttered.
"He is a man, you must have patience," the portrait told her sternly.
Bellatrix would have replied if she had not heard footsteps coming down the corridor. She turned and looked and saw Lucius coming towards her. At a respectable distance, he bowed slightly to her, fully aware of just how powerful she had become and how she was very much above him in every respect now.
"Lucius," Bellatrix greeted coldly. It was a fact that this brother and sister in law would never get on.
"Bellatrix," Lucius responded in a similar tone. "The Dark Lord wishes to see you."
"Of course he does," Bellatrix replied in a sweet tone with a sarcastic smile. "My husband always wishes to see me."
Lucius scowled. "He wants to see you now, so you'd better get a move on." Tilting his head curtly to her, he turned on his heel and walked away without another word.
Bellatrix looked up at the portrait once more, smiling. "Patience indeed," she said, going to the large mirror that was behind her and tidying her hair, smoothing her eyebrows down and rubbing her lips together. She straightened out her beautiful creamy coloured robes before walking down the hallway to the office. She never strayed far, in case she was needed.
She entered the office without knocking, as was her custom now. Voldemort never minded. Her antics amused him and she always remained respectful enough to him. Bellatrix was powerful in her own right now and his top Death Eater's were always allowed some privileges.
The first thing she laid eyes on was her beautiful husband, who looked up as she entered; his red eyes glittering like rubies.
"Bella," he said, the word rolling off his tongue like honey.
"My Lord," she responded, stepping into the room and shutting the door behind her, her eyes never leaving his.
There was another man in the room, more of a boy really. His hair was dark blonde with brown eyes, and Bellatrix recognised him instantly. "Crouch," she said, smirking with raised eyebrows, slightly surprised. Of all the people that could come and join, it was the son of one of their greatest enemies.
"Ah, so you do remember him," Voldemort said, as she sat herself down, arranging her robe so it fell nicely around the seat. "He was so sure you never noticed him at school."
Bellatrix laughed loudly, her gaze fixed firmly on Voldemort's for a few moments before she spoke. "It was my duty to notice everything and everyone," she replied with a wide smile. "Especially the son of such an important man."
"Clever girl," Voldemort murmured, staring at her appreciatively.
"Taught by the best," Bellatrix replied with a smirk.
"Indeed," Voldemort said, sending one of those rare smiles her way. He loved her confidence; it was so sexy to him. "Bartemius wishes to join us," he continued.
"You seem unsure, Master," Bellatrix replied, smirk still present on her features. She loved to toy with people.
"Eager for your opinion," Voldemort said smoothly. Bellatrix looked back to Barty, who seemed slightly nervous, though not as nervous as most who sat before the Dark Lord, being questioned and probed before their fate was sealed.
"He was always mean to the Gryffindor girls, I remember," Bellatrix said, smiling mockingly. "I suppose he's too young for me to have seen him doing something truly evil. I always thought he was a cute boy. Too thin, but cute."
Barty looked up in shock, staring first at Bellatrix, and then to Voldemort, who laughed coldly. "My girl is always truthful," he said, beckoning to Bellatrix to continue.
"Mummy's boy, though it's hardly a surprise with such an awful father. Spoilt." Bellatrix grinned, leaning back in her seat. "But then again, so am I and I am doing pretty well for myself."
Her bluntness always unnerved people, and Barty was just that. There was one thing playing on her mind about him though. She looked at him, and spoke to him for the first time since she'd entered the office. "Your father hates us more than anyone else, why would you join us?"
Bellatrix could see many freckles on his face, giving him the appearance of someone much younger then he actually was.
"I don't share his beliefs," Barty said quietly, looking down to his folded hands in his lap, toying with his expensive robes.
"Why?" Bellatrix asked, staring at him.
"Blood should be kept clean. We should not hide ourselves from Muggles, they should hide from us!" Barty said quickly, looking up at her suddenly. The passion was clear in his voice. Bellatrix believed him instantly. "We are the ones with the power. My father is too soft."
"You don't like him then?" Bellatrix asked casually. Voldemort chuckled.
"I hate him," Barty said, slowly and clearly, with venom. Bellatrix didn't doubt what he was saying for a moment. "I hate that I share his filthy name, the name that he has disgraced. And he hates me."
Voldemort looked mildly impressed, but didn't speak, nodding to Bellatrix for her to continue.
"But he is still your father, you must feel something kindly for him," Bellatrix said, and for her this answer would make up her mind about him fully. She sensed that Voldemort still had some doubts about him.
"He is my father in name and nothing more," Barty replied firmly. "And I wish I had a different father. I wish I could kill him."
A smile lit Bellatrix's face. She leant forward to Voldemort. "I vote yes."
"I have my doubts," Voldemort replied softly, looking into her eyes. "He's a spoilt child."
"He's cute," said Bellatrix. "And he is the son of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Send him to Rodolphus. I bet he's a smart kid." She glanced to Barty, who had blushed bright red. "How many OWLs did you get, cutie?"
"Twelve," he muttered defiantly, looking back down. "I'm not cute."
"Twelve OWLs?" Bellatrix said in disbelief. She couldn't quite believe that Barty was more interested in being called cute than boasting about his impressive OWLs. "Twelve?" She looked back to Voldemort. "Better than me. Shame he didn't stay on for NEWTs."
"Waste of time," Barty snapped suddenly, his head back up once again, eyes narrowed at Bellatrix.
"Chill out," Bellatrix said, smirking. "I like you."
"I feel sorry for those you don't then," Barty responded coldly, and Bellatrix was surprised that he had dared to speak to her like that in front of the Dark Lord, when she was clearly in very high favour.
Bellatrix simply let the comment bounce off of her with a smile. She looked back to the amused Dark Lord. "I think you should send him to Lestrange and see what he thinks. He's too cute to kill."
"Alright, he can have a chance, if you think so," Voldemort said with a nod. "If all he has said is true, then he will be useful."
"My Lord, you will not regret this," Barty said, standing up and bowing deeply. "I will be your most faithful servant."
Bellatrix let out a low laugh, but she didn't comment, she didn't need to.
"We shall see. Report to Lestrange. He will be in the room at the bottom of the stairs," Voldemort said, waving his hand dismissively at the lad. Barty bowed once more, ignoring Bellatrix, before leaving the room.
As soon as the door was shut, Bellatrix removed herself from her chair and sat down on her husband's lap. "I have my doubts," Voldemort repeated, his eyes on hers.
"Why?" Bellatrix asked, leaning her head against his.
"He's too spoilt."
"So am I," Bellatrix replied with a grin.
"And I put up with you because you are a very sexy woman." He ran his fingers through her hair.
"Is that why you spoil me?"
Voldemort smiled. "I spoil you because you work hard."
"It's because I am absolutely crazy in love with you," Bellatrix said with a grin, kissing down his jaw line. "Tom, you have nothing to worry about with Barty."
"Training with Rodolphus will tell me what he's made of, personally I think he's weak minded. We shall see." Voldemort watched Bellatrix carefully, contemplating.
"We shall indeed," Bellatrix said, smirking at him. "And when I am proven right, what will I get?"
Voldemort suddenly picked her up and laid her down on the desk, pushing various books off and straddling her waist. Bellatrix laughed, looking up at him. "Don't you dare get ink on these robes," she said, whacking his hand away from her breast. "They cost me a fortune."
"You?" Voldemort asked incredulously.
"You," Bellatrix responded, laughing again.
"So technically, they're my robes?" Voldemort said, grinning.
"Technicalities get in the way." Bellatrix grinned up at him. "So how was I with Barty?"
"Absolutely disrespectful to me, of course," Voldemort said, stroking her tummy lightly with a smile. "But it works; you really manage to get these new recruits to open up a bit, once you wind them up enough." He paused. "What am I going to do if another female decides to join me though? These men respond to your beauty, but a woman won't be quite the same."
"Even easier," Bellatrix replied with a grin. "Whoever it is will surely hate me."
Voldemort bent his head and pressed his lips against hers before climbing off of her and sitting back down in his seat. "What have you done today?"
Bellatrix shrugged. "Nothing." She sat up and swung her legs around the desk so she was sat in front of him, her smile vanishing.
"Find something then."
Bellatrix laughed softly. "I risk getting arrested every time I leave this place, do you think I am going to go shopping?"
Voldemort smirked. "You'd be in prison for about an hour before I came and killed everyone who dared try and lock up my wife."
"You are kind," Bellatrix replied, smiling at him. She leant forwards and kissed him gently on the lips. "I'll leave –"
She was cut off as the door to the office banged open. She stood up and turned around, ready to curse the hell out of whoever had dared come in uninvited. She lowered her wand when she saw it was Narcissa, and she could see Lucius just behind her.
"Cissy!" she cried, moving around the desk. "Whatever is the matter?" she continued, seeing her sister's face.
Lucius shut the door and Bellatrix could see him casting Voldemort an apologetic look. Neither of the men spoke.
"It's Andromeda…" Narcissa began, her voice shaking. "I just saw her."
Bellatrix cursed loudly. "What happened?" she urged.
"N… Nothing," Narcissa said, her voice faltering. "She had a little… A little girl with her…"
Bellatrix recoiled slightly, unsure if Narcissa was saying what she thought she was.
"As soon as she saw me I turned and tried to get away but she was calling after me," Narcissa whispered, her eyes brimming with tears now. "She shouted after me that I was an aunt and I should care about my niece..." A tear spilt over the edge. "Oh, Bellatrix, she is right! And I do! If I had known…"
Bellatrix moved away. "I have only one sister," she said coldly. "This changes nothing."
Narcissa was staring at her. "How can you say that?" she shrieked in shock. "How can you say such a thing about our own little niece and our sister!"
"Easily," Bellatrix replied icily. "Like you should be able to."
Lucius grabbed hold of his wife. "Narcissa, we should go home."
"How can you brush your family aside so easily?" Narcissa shouted at Bellatrix.
Bellatrix turned to face her husband, who was watching impassively. "I have all the family I need here," she said over her shoulder.
"Narcissa," Lucius said sharply. "Come. Before you say anything you will regret." Bellatrix knew he wasn't referring to upsetting her, but more her husband. Bellatrix knew Voldemort would never lay a finger on her sister, knowing it would upset and anger her too much. He knew when to keep out of an issue. It wasn't until she heard the door open and shut again that Bellatrix let out a breath.
"She thinks we have a choice," Bellatrix muttered.
"She isn't as clever as you," Voldemort replied quietly. "She doesn't know everything you know. Do not be too hard on her."
Bellatrix snorted. "Since when did you care for mercy?"
"When I married you five years ago things changed, Bella. There are certain things I have to avoid to keep the peace," Voldemort told her, standing up. "My work can wait. You look like you need a drink."
Bellatrix nodded, feeling relieved. She didn't feel like being by herself. Narcissa didn't blow up very often but when it happened, Bellatrix knew about it all right and any sense of propriety vanished from Narcissa's mind. It made her want to destroy Andromeda for good.
Bellatrix was browsing through a rail of long evening dresses in a lovely shop in London when she felt her dark mark burn slightly underneath her robes. Glancing around her, she lifted the sleeve and looked down at her now blackened mark with a smile. She loved feeling his mark burning into her skin and it was a very rare occurrence nowadays. Normally if he knew she was at home he would send someone to find her.
She looked down at the purple dress in her hands. Was it worth buying it and keeping her husband waiting for a few more minutes, when he possibly now could be in a sour mood? Probably not. She put the dress back on the rail and regretfully left the shop. Once outside, she disapparated just outside of the office, excited to see her gorgeous husband again.
Bellatrix pulled the door handle down and went inside of the room, grinning at Voldemort. He was sitting behind his desk with another man on the other side. "My Lord," Bellatrix said, smiling at him and ignoring the other person as she moved further into the room.
"Bella," Voldemort responded, his eyes moving down and then back up her body. Bellatrix finally looked at the other man in the room, and then her jaw dropped in surprise.
"Wilkes?" she said, unable to believe that her ex-boyfriend was here, sitting in the very same room as her husband, who also happened to be the very possessive Dark Lord.
Wilkes was eyeing her up and down too. "Hello, Bellatrix," he said, smirking at her.
Bellatrix swallowed nervously as she looked at her husband, whose red gaze was smouldering as he looked back at her, and who had apparently already worked out what was going on.
"Wilkes is our newest recruit," Voldemort said coldly to her, hardly looking at her. "I was going to ask you to assess his duelling complacency but I think I shall request that Rosier does instead."
Wilkes was looking at Voldemort in confusion but didn't seem to have the confidence to ask why.
"Whatever you wish, my Lord," Bellatrix replied, bowing her head to him.
That seemed only to irritate Voldemort further as he glared at her. Then he turned his attention back to Wilkes. "So go now to the ballroom down the stairs and ask for Evan Rosier."
Nodding hastily, Wilkes stood up and bowed slightly to Voldemort. "Thank you, my Lord." He glanced to Bellatrix and smiled slightly before he turned to leave the room.
"Wilkes," Voldemort called after him coolly. Wilkes turned back around to face him. "You would do well to remember you are no longer at school and Bellatrix is no longer an equal to you. She is my highest and most loyal follower, and as such I expect you to treat her with respect."
With wide and nervous eyes, Wilkes bowed once more in a markedly much deeper gesture than previously before fleeing from the room.
There was silence in the room after the door shut. Bellatrix surveyed her shoe, suddenly glad that she had put the purple dress back. After a moment she glanced up at him and saw he was bent over the desk writing.
"Shall I leave you?" she asked quietly.
"Stay where you are," he snapped back, still not looking up.
Bellatrix rolled her eyes. She didn't see what his problem was. She had been dating Wilkes before Voldemort even had met her. Still, she knew better than to try and push him and tell him so when he was clearly irritated so she did as he said and stayed put.
Finally, he put down his quill and looked up at her. "How long were you seeing him for?"
"A couple of months," Bellatrix said shortly, glaring at him.
"Sixth year, if you must know," she snapped back. "I don't see why this is relevant."
Voldemort ignored her second comment. "Did you sleep with him?"
Bellatrix crossed her arms over her chest defensively, glaring back venomously.
"Crucio," he hissed. Bellatrix gasped as the spell hit her, it completely took her breath away from her as she stumbled backwards, feeling agonising pain take over her body. She was strong enough to take it for a while without falling over now and Voldemort ended the spell before she hit the ground. Panting, Bellatrix stepped forwards, gripping the edge of the desk. "Tell me."
"Yes!" Bellatrix snarled at him. "Yes, and then I met you and he didn't matter."
Voldemort slammed his hands down onto the desk in anger before standing up and moving away from her. "How many were there?"
"I can count my conquests on one hand, I doubt you can do the same!" she shouted back at him. "How dare you question m…"
"How dare I?" he hissed, turning around to face her. "I will do as I please and you, Bellatrix, you will answer me!"
"Apart from you, my dear and darling husband, there have been three others," she told him, feeling frustrated. "Is it your intention to kill all of them? Because all three would readily join you and I hardly think you are in a position to be declining supporters."
"You will not speak to him," Voldemort told her, his face contorted in anger. "Or I will kill him."
"Kill him if you want to," Bellatrix told him, her voice quieter now. "It really makes no difference to me. I'm stuck with you for life now."
She turned away from him, breathing deeply in an attempt to calm herself down.
"I am sorry you feel that way," Voldemort said quietly, a few moments later.
"Well I am sorry you are unable to trust me," Bellatrix retorted, scowling.
The room was silent once more. Bellatrix couldn't help but feel a bit hurt; she didn't understand why he was so jealous and possessive when the only person she thought about was him. She was sure he knew that she felt that way.
"I don't trust them," Voldemort told her softly. "They are dangerous men, Bella."
Bellatrix turned around, glaring at him again. "Then what am I?" she snapped. Voldemort didn't reply, but she knew what he was thinking. "I'm just a woman, aren't I? That's where you think I am weaker than they are."
"Physically they are stronger than you," Voldemort admitted, nodding. "If anything happened to you… If anyone laid a finger on you…"
"I know wandless magic, Tom," Bellatrix told him. "You know this. You are happy to let me go out and duel with members of the Order, or Aurors, but when it comes to your own men, I am not to go near them?"
"I am never happy when you go out," Voldemort told her. "I sit here and I worry about you, until you are back with me."
"Then what has been the point in the training and the duelling?" Bellatrix retorted, shaking her head.
"I never thought I would fall for you like this," he mumbled, so quietly Bellatrix could hardly hear him.
"Oh, that's just great!" Bellatrix said loudly. "So when we started this, you didn't mind if I lived or died?"
Voldemort crossed the room and grabbed her wrist tightly. "Don't twist my words, you ungrateful bitch!"
Bellatrix wrenched her hand from his and reached him, smacking him hard across the face. He turned his head away from her, pressing his hand on his cheek for a moment before looking back to her in shock. He didn't seem to be at all angry, just absolutely stunned.
"You don't scare me any more," she told him coldly. "You've done your worst before and I'm still here."
Voldemort chuckled softly. "That was not my worst, dearest. That was nothing compared to some of the things I have done."
Bellatrix stared at him, wondering if she really wanted to continue this marriage with him if he was going to be this jealous over nothing every other week. It was tiring. Did all of the good times make up for the bad?
"Would you kill me if I asked for a divorce?" she said, looking into his eyes.
"I would never consent," he responded, glaring back at her. "Is that what you really want?"
"I don't right now, but if you carry on being this much of a prat then yes, I probably will," Bellatrix snapped.
Voldemort suddenly smiled. "What did you just call me?" he asked, frowning slightly.
Bellatrix snorted lightly. It was quite funny when she said a word that was new to him; it was hardly a surprise considering their age difference. "It means idiot," she said, smirking at him. Suddenly she found she could not longer be annoyed with him. She sighed loudly. "I don't really want a divorce."
"I know, sweetheart," Voldemort said, pulling her into a cuddle. Bellatrix smiled as she inhaled his scent. He was too beautiful, sexy and perfect to be divorced but the problem was, he knew it.
"But you can't be so possessive. I didn't even know you when I was going out with Wilkes," she continued, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"I try to forget you have been with others," Voldemort murmured, stroking her hair. "I should not have cursed you."
"Oh…" Bellatrix smirked into his chest. "Well, you know I don't mind that…" She felt him squeeze her tightly to him. Then she remembered hitting him and she pulled away, standing on her toes to get to eye level with his cheek. It was slightly pink but didn't appear to be bruised or damaged in any way. "Sorry for smacking you."
"I am sure I deserved it," Voldemort said, smirking down at her. "So, Bella… You say you aren't scared of me any more?"
"Oh, well…" She rested her head against his chest again, smiling. "You're a soft kitten really."
Voldemort laughed quietly, squeezing her again. "I am glad you think that."
Bellatrix laughed too, feeling very glad that their argument was over and that they could return to normal. This was the problem with a husband and wife both had short and hot tempers. Their fiery arguments just meant that the make up sex they had was absolutely amazing, and Bellatrix was sure he was going to remind her just how amazing any moment soon.