Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, associated characters or plots. I make no money from this FanFiction.
A few days later, Bellatrix walked slowly down to the meeting room, half terrified and half excited for her first meeting since Voldemort's return. As she entered the room, the first thing she realised was that he was already in the room and was also alone. "Oh…" she murmured, stopping dead. He looked up at her. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise, I thought I would get here early…"
"Probably wise," he said coolly.
As Bellatrix entered the room further, she could see there was something by the fire just behind him. As she got closer, she realised it was a snake. She swallowed, looking back to Voldemort. "Is that…"
"Nagini," he said, nodding.
She walked past him, moving closer to Nagini. He hissed something, and Bellatrix was aware he was speaking Parsletongue. She didn't think she'd heard him do that before. Then, the snake was staring directly at her and Bellatrix realised how big she was.
"I always wanted a snake, growing up," she found herself saying. As she reached Nagini, she crouched down slightly, holding her hand out. Nagini's tongue flicked out slightly before she moved her head towards Bellatrix's hand. Bellatrix stroked her hand down the back of her head, feeling the cool, soft scales under her hand.
Voldemort chuckled softly behind her.
"Is she usually this friendly?" Bellatrix asked, feeling certain she couldn't be.
"Of course not," he replied. Bellatrix stood up, looking at him. He was kind of smiling at her. "But… She knows who you are."
"You told her about me?" Bellatrix asked, feeling like a stupid young girl again.
"Maybe," Voldemort said, looking away from her.
Bellatrix smiled to herself. Of course he had. She walked down to the middle of the table and chose a seat. She didn't really want to sit too close to him during the meeting. She wasn't going to have anything to say, either.
The door opened, and Lucius entered. Bellatrix scowled to herself, and did her best to ignore his presence. She had no idea if he was in favour, she assumed he probably was. Lucius was good at that sort of thing.
"Lucius," Voldemort said, his voice warmer than it had been when he spoke to her.
"My Lord," Lucius said, bowing slightly and sitting down next to him.
"How is Draco?" Voldemort inquired softly.
Lucius nodded, his expression blank. "Well, my Lord."
"I should like to meet him soon." He looked toward Bellatrix. "We both should like to."
Bellatrix nodded, swallowing. Draco must be going on for fifteen now. What would he think of her, coughing and half deranged from Azkaban? Especially if Lucius had been telling him things…
"We would be honoured," Lucius said, nodding his head slowly. "Perhaps when he is back from school, over the summer, my Lord. During the next holiday, he will be working toward his exams."
"We would not want to distract the boy from his exams," Voldemort said, smirking.
Bellatrix was relieved when the door opened and a few more people entered. She was even happier when she saw Antonin was one of them. He was giving her a genuine smile as he came and sat next to her, and for the first time in ages, Bellatrix felt at ease. He wasn't going to trick her with a false smile or hurt her. He was just going to be decent to her.
"Good morning," he whispered, seeing Voldemort was still talking to Lucius.
Bellatrix smiled back. "Morning," she whispered.
"Glad to see you sorted that bruise out."
Glancing over to Voldemort for a moment, Bellatrix's smile faded. "Actually… It wasn't me that sorted it."
Antonin nodded, catching where she was looking. "That's good," he said softly, and then seemed to contemplate that. "Is it?"
Bellatrix shrugged. "Don't ask me. I can hardly keep up, things are changing so often…"
"I think it's good," Antonin responded softly. "You really cheered me up the other night."
"Did I?" Bellatrix asked, frowning. "I was miserable and crying."
Antonin smirked at her. "Yes, and you made me realise it isn't just me feeling like this."
Bellatrix tried to hide her smile. She didn't want Voldemort to see, for some reason. She looked away from Antonin and suddenly realised Rabastan was sat opposite her, and was staring coldly at her. Now she didn't care who saw her smile, she grinned across at him smugly, knowing that was going to infuriate him further but she didn't care. Rabastan knew who she was really married to and he wasn't going to attempt to hurt her, especially knowing she'd got away without punishment over killing Rodolphus.
Then Voldemort was talking and she had to look away. She looked up the table at her husband as he began to speak, and suddenly realised no one else was looking at him, not even Lucius. No one dared. Swallowing, Bellatrix looked down to her lap.
"Last night, I had a visit from one of our unspeakable friends… He has given me the information we need to obtain the prophecy."
Bellatrix's head shot up when she heard that, but Voldemort didn't pay her any notice.
"It seems that only those named directly in a prophecy may retrieve it from the shelf in the Department of Mysteries."
Out of the corner of her eye, Bellatrix noticed someone cringing. She looked up slightly and saw it was Avery, and he was sporting a large bruise on his face. She wondered what he had done.
"At present, the ministry are ignorant of or are ignoring my return." She could hear the smirk in his cold voice and she could tell he was enjoying this. "Lord Voldemort cannot be seen to enter the Ministry. Therefore, we shall entice Harry Potter to the department to retrieve the prophecy himself."
Then Bellatrix was aware of him standing, as was everyone else judging by how tense the atmosphere has become, and then he was walking slowly around the table. She remembered he always did that before, except then she wasn't terrified of him. She used to love making flirty eye contact with him. She wouldn't dare now.
"You in this room will await him at the department. When the prophecy is in his hand, you will strike and bring it to me." His footsteps were as slow and deadly as his speech. Bellatrix realised she was shaking as he neared her.
"I reiterate what I have said previously: The boy is not to be harmed." He'd stopped walking just behind her, and Bellatrix closed her eyes. She really couldn't bear to be humiliated before everyone and she was scared he was going to single her out and make her look stupid. "You may do as you will to whomever he chooses to bring along with him." She breathed in relief as he passed by and slowly returned to his seat.
Bellatrix scowled, looking down the table. It was Snape who had dared to interrupt.
"Might I ask, my Lord, how you will entice the boy?"
She was irritated further as she realised Snape was sat next to Lucius, apparently quite relaxed, and had dared to question the Dark Lord. She hoped she was about to witness his death.
Voldemort chuckled coldly. "Come, Severus, you must allow me some secrets."
Snape bowed his head at this response. Bellatrix wondered how Snape had managed to convince the Dark Lord that he was loyal, but Bellatrix knew differently. She would never forget how Snape had begged for Voldemort to spare Lily Evans life and she would not ever believe that Snape wished her son dead, no matter what he said.
"Lucius, I will expect you to take the lead on this. The boy knows you best, after all."
Lucius nodded. "Thank you, my Lord."
"Bellatrix, you will second."
Jumping at the sound of her name, Bellatrix looked up. He was staring expectantly at her. "My Lord," she mumbled, bowing her head. She was a little surprised; she didn't expect him to want her to go out on this. She would have to practice her duelling.
"Now the puzzle is complete… It should not take long." Voldemort's voice was quiet now. "As soon as I have heard the end of the prophecy, and its intentions are made clear, we shall strike. I shall destroy Potter as I shall destroy Dumbledore." He hissed something in Parsletongue and he stood. Bellatrix saw him look down slightly, before looking around the room with his all seeing gaze. And then he was gone.
Bellatrix breathed a sigh of relief. She saw Snape and Lucius exit the room in a hurry together, before the door was shut.
"Whore," she heard a voice say loudly. Bellatrix looked up, and judging by the heated expression, Rabastan had said it.
Bellatrix narrowed her eyes. "And how was your wife when she saw you again, Lestrange?" she asked coldly. "Thrilled to see you again, no doubt."
Then she turned her back on him, looking to Antonin. "Second," he said, his voice thoughtful.
"Second to Malfoy," Bellatrix replied, her expression slightly disgusted. "I'd rather have declined the invitation."
Antonin smirked. "I don't think it was an invitation, Bellatrix," he said. "Did you see the state of Avery?" he asked, his voice softer and he'd moved closer to her.
"I did," Bellatrix said, intrigued. "What happened to him?"
"Told the Dark Lord anyone could remove the prophecy from the shelf… So Malfoy imperious'ed Bode, who went bonkers as soon as he touched the damn thing and ended up on the psyche ward at St. Mungos."
Travers had joined their conversation. "Did you see it in the paper?" he asked, his voice low. Bellatrix could see the insanity in his eyes.
"What?" Bellatrix asked, reminding herself she really needed to start looking at the Prophet more.
"Someone sent Bode a devil's snare, in a pot." Travers was looking smug. "Strangled the poor blighter before he could come to."
Bellatrix noticed Rookwood standing nearby. "What was it you went to Azkaban for?" she asked, frowning slightly.
Rookwood smirked wonkily at her. "I couldn't say," he said, laughing to himself.
"It wouldn't be hard to find out," Bellatrix reminded him, although she knew. She had remembered. Rookwood was once an unspeakable and he had passed information to Voldemort from the department of Mysteries. "You're the informant."
"Perhaps," was all he said, before he left the room.
Bellatrix was slightly worried. So they didn't have someone presently inside of the department, they only had the word of someone who had worked there many years ago. But it was no longer her place to comment… She couldn't risk it.
"We're going to get lunch, want to come?" Antonin asked her cheerfully.
Bellatrix turned back to face them both. "That would be nice," she said, following them out of the room. Times had changed.
Bellatrix fell panting from the fireplace, realising after a moment that she was no longer at the ministry but was back in the Dark Lord's office and that he had sent her there. Coughing slightly, she arched her back waiting for the tightness to pass, before sitting down on her feet. He'd sent her away. She coughed again, sitting back against the wall by the warmth of the fire.
The prophecy was smashed. Did it matter? Probably not. Voldemort had been obsessed over it, it was his constant thought. Whatever the prophecy said… Voldemort was going to kill the boy. He might even already be dead, however something told Bellatrix that with the arrival of Dumbledore… That was not likely.
Being second to Lucius had been alright, she supposed. He was hateful at the best of times but tonight he had been… good. He'd got under Potter's skin and had very nearly succeeded. Nearly. But Voldemort had saved her, not Lucius. So although she'd been placed second tonight, she was still number one.
Bellatrix had killed Sirius Black. She wouldn't have expected to see him there, but then he had always been reckless. Now she only had to kill Andromeda and her offspring, and it would all be over. She'd had a chance with the daughter tonight too, but Sirius was just too tempting.
Potter had said something that sparked her interest though… More likely to be driven by spite, and hatred of her since she'd just killed his friend, but he'd called her husband a half blood. And although Bellatrix desperately didn't want to believe it… Every part of what he'd said made sense in her head. She'd given up being rude about half bloods in front of him because he got so defensive about it. She'd never heard of the name Riddle, although some names were more rare than others. And the name Tom… It wasn't a magical name.
She jumped violently and guiltily as Voldemort apparated into the room, a look of cold fury on his face. Hastily she calmed herself and pushed those thoughts from her mind, sitting silently, watching him, She didn't dare ask what had happened, if anything she already was sure it hadn't ended well from his expression. He moved by the window, his hands gripping the back of the chair so tight that his knuckles were even whiter than usual.
Bellatrix was quite unsure of what to say to her husband. She wasn't surprised that he was so visibly angry. Lucius, Antonin and half of the inner circle were now on their way to Azkaban. Another huge problem now created was that a lot of ministry workers, including the minister himself, had seen the Dark Lord for themselves. There was no way of denying his return now. His plans were in ruins and Bellatrix knew he would return to his silent mood once more.
Slowly, Bellatrix crawled towards Voldemort who was as still as a statue. "My Lord," she whispered. Voldemort tilted his head, looking down at her. His expression wasn't all that cold.
"So much work... Gone to waste..." he murmured to her.
Bellatrix swallowed nervously, inching towards him a bit more.
"Now I have only you... And Severus..."
Smarting at that, Bellatrix slowly got to her feet, standing next to him.
"How did six children beat my Death Eaters?" Voldemort said suddenly, his voice now sharp.
"We underestimated them, my Lord," Bellatrix replied after a moment. They were all very good, especially the Weasley girl, even though Bellatrix didn't like to admit it. "And then the Order arrived."
"I know what happened," Voldemort snapped at her.
Bellatrix didn't dare to speak again. As she stared out of the window, her mind wandered back to what Potter had said. "Did you know he's a half-blood too?" The words echoed around her mind. Potter wouldn't have made that up. He wasn't smart enough. But then, a half-blood, married to a Black? It was unheard of. Voldemort had told her of his parents, years ago, but he never mentioned that his father was a muggle. Bellatrix had assumed he was pure and would never of considered anything else. Perhaps Potter had just been trying to get under her skin. This certainly wasn't the best moment to ask Voldemort for the truth.
"I should have done it myself. I should not have relied on others."
Bellatrix felt a little bit hurt. Unexpected things had happened that were not planned for. It wasn't anyone's fault it had gone so wrong. The silence continued, leaving her to return to her own thoughts again. Was it true?
In one sudden and ill thought out sentence, Bellatrix had asked her question. "Are you a half-blood?"
Voldemort turned his gaze to her almost instantly and his eyes round and surprised. "I beg your pardon, Bellatrix?" he hissed, turning fully towards her and pushing her backwards until she hit the wall.
"Potter said - " Bellatrix gasped as his hand pressed against her throat. She coughed and it sounded awful, and Voldemort immediately let go of her, instead pulling her into his arms. She remembered they'd stood like this when he first told her what his name was, almost like they were dancing at a ball.
"And you believe him?" Voldemort asked, resting his chin on top of her head.
"I – I – Don't know," Bellatrix said quietly, still unsure of herself.
"Would you care if I was?" Voldemort murmured after a while.
Bellatrix didn't reply immediately. She just knew what her mother would say if she was still alive. But then, she realised, they were close to winning the war. The Ministry was weak. Voldemort was more powerful then any other in the world, why did it matter now?
"I... Don't think so, Tom," Bellatrix whispered. She coughed again, she was sure she could feel her ribs rattling.
"Bella..." Voldemort murmured, leading her to sit down. He crouched down in front of her. "You aren't well. I should not have let you go."
His quick changing of the subject told her enough. It was true. She found that her words were true though, and she didn't care. She loved him a little bit more every day and this tiny detail was not going to put her off. He was the Dark Lord; he was amazing in every sense in her eyes.
"You wouldn't have been able to stop me, my Lord," she replied to him quietly, reaching out and touching his hand lightly. He flinched at the touch and pulled away from her, standing up and moving to look out of the window at the darkening sky.
"You should go and rest," he said coolly and Bellatrix knew his moment of tender feelings towards her had passed. "Things have changed now Fudge has seen me for himself."
Bellatrix stood up slowly, wishing as usual that he would confide in her and accept her help or at least some sort of support. She was completely useless to him once again… There had been so much hope before tonight. She had spent so many hours imagining the favour she would receive from him when she was the one to come to him, prophecy in hand – the ending of his troubles surrounding the boy. She had failed him once again. She glanced to him once more before speaking. "Goodnight, my Lord," she murmured.
"And Bella," she heard him say as she reached the door. She turned around to look at him, her hopes lifting until she saw his expression. His eyes were icy cold and he wasn't looking directly into her face. "Don't question me again." His gaze flickered to hers for a split second before he nodded to the door, signaling her dismissal.
Bellatrix could feels her eyes welling up at his harsh words but she didn't dare to comment on it. There was nothing to be said. He was her master and he was making damned sure she knew it. She simply nodded and hurried from the room, unable to stomach the thought of breaking down into tears in front of him again. She'd been doing so well recently to accept the changes in their relationship and she didn't want to ruin it again.
Within a couple of days Bellatrix was aware of how much she was missing Antonin. She couldn't bear to think of him locked back in Azkaban, going back there would only make it a thousand times harder. She hadn't seen anyone for two days, except for Snape, who had brought her the potion with the usual sneer on his face.
There was always Narcissa… But somehow, Bellatrix didn't think she could go there. All she did was fret over Draco, and with Lucius in prison… It would be too much to handle.
What she really wanted was her husband. He'd shut himself away and was refusing to come out. Bellatrix knew he hadn't eaten or slept since they'd got back from the ministry. With a sigh, Bellatrix decided it was finally time to try and take him some food.
Armed with a tray of red meat and potatoes, she knocked on the door of his office.
"What do you want?" she heard, shouted from inside.
"Merlin," she mumbled to herself as she opened the door. He was by the fire, Nagini sat next to him. She stepped into the room, and put the tray down. "I brought you some dinner, since you've not eaten for two days."
"It doesn't matter," Voldemort said dismissively.
"Please eat it," Bellatrix said softly, moving toward him. "I've been so worried…"
Voldemort sighed, still not looking at her. "Bring it, then," he said coldly.
Bellatrix handed him the tray, feeling glad he was willing to eat it for her. He looked up at her. "You've had something?"
Bellatrix shook her head, hoping that wouldn't irritate him. He was always going on about her looking after herself.
He sighed, beckoning her to sit next to him. "Have some of this, there's plenty for two." Swallowing nervously, she sat next to him on the sofa and picked up a fork, beginning to eat. After a while of silent eating, he spoke again. "I have to kill Dumbledore. With him gone, my path to the boy will be open."
Bellatrix nodded. "Do you have a way?"
"Oh, yes," Voldemort said, nodding, his eyes cold. "We will find a way into Hogwarts."
"With Snape's assistance?" Bellatrix said sarcastically.
Voldemort ignored her tone. "No, not Snape. He will be busy enough."
Bellatrix frowned. "Then who?" she asked, not understanding. Snape was the obvious person for the job. She looked back at Voldemort and saw his eyes were glittering maliciously.
"Lucius has failed me… He must suffer for his wrong doing…" Voldemort said thoughtfully.
His meaning clicked in Bellatrix's mind. "You mean for Draco to do it?" she asked, hoping she was mistaken.
"I mean for Draco to find a way for a few of my followers to get in and for Draco to kill Dumbledore," Voldemort said, nodding at her as he ate.
"My Lord…" Bellatrix began, feeling quite troubled by this. "He is just a boy… The likelihood of him achieving this is…"
"It's not about achieving, Bella," Voldemort said, his voice quiet. "I would be astounded if he killed Dumbledore. But with a few months, I trust he can find a way in."
"And then who will kill Dumbledore?" Bellatrix asked, frowning again.
"Snape," Voldemort said simply.
Bellatrix looked back to the plate for a moment, before deciding she was no longer hungry. Narcissa would be ill with worry, she was certain. She didn't exactly understand why Voldemort was going to make Draco do it, when it was likely he would fail. But then she realized it was about punishing Lucius, not Draco or anyone else.
"When will you release them from Azkaban?" she asked softly.
"They can stew awhile longer," Voldemort said, his voice cold. "Now I have the dementors at my summons, breaking them out will be simple."
"You left me there for six months," Bellatrix muttered.
"Things were different then," Voldemort said, narrowing his eyes at her. "Why are you so bothered? I should have thought you'd enjoy being here with just me."
"Considering I haven't seen you for two days, I am hardly enjoying it." Bellatrix sighed, sitting back in the chair.
Voldemort smirked at her. "Are you missing your little friend?" he asked, his tone mocking. Bellatrix frowned up at him questioningly. "Oh, don't think for a moment I have not noticed your friendship with Dolohov."
Bellatrix scowled. "Why should you care?" she asked him, hoping he wasn't going to get jealous… But kind of hoping he would, too.
"I don't," he said, his voice cold again. "But watch what you're saying to him."
Bellatrix stood up, feeling her eyes welling up a bit. "I'll leave you now," she said quietly, moving towards the door.
"Bella," she heard him say softly. She turned to look at him and saw he was staring at her emotionlessly. "Don't."
"Aren't you jealous?" she asked, moving back to him slightly. He always used to be jealous.
Voldemort raised an eyebrow. "I know his preferences, Bella," he said, smiling slightly.
"He treats me kindly, and with a bit of respect," Bellatrix said, feeling her chin wobbling.
A sigh left his lips. "I'm doing my best," was all he said.
"Sometimes I wish he wasn't gay," Bellatrix burst out, moving closer to him with her wand out. "Sometimes I wish I could tell you to go and fuck yourself and move on."
Quick as lightening, Voldemort stood up and grabbed her wand arm. "Language!" he snarled.
Bellatrix blinked, reminded of something similar from their past. Then she smiled at him, trying not to laugh at the ridiculousness of his anger. She could vaguely see his red eyes glittering, and then suddenly they were kissing, harder and angrier than she could ever remember. She moved closer to him, feeling his arms press around her shoulder, holding her tightly to him.
They pulled away and his eyes snapped open, half glaring at her, panting slightly. Then he grabbed her wrist and threw her onto the sofa, pulling off his outer robe hastily. Bellatrix gasped as she saw him do it, before sitting up and doing the same, although not so elegantly as he had done.
"Master…" she mumbled as he climbed on top of her, pushing up her dress and ripping her knickers off. Then he'd pulled off his own trousers, and with little ado, he was inside of her.
Bellatrix moaned in pleasure, gasping and clawing at his skin. He felt amazing, better than she could ever remember him feeling. "Is this real?" she murmured into his ear as he moved slowly in and out of her. "Tell me…"
"It's real," he breathed into her neck, before kissing her. Then he pushed back slightly, looking down at her. "Bellatrix… I don't have time to get jealous, there are so many other things on my mind… But know this…" He grabbed her hair, kissing her again. "You are mine." Then he was moving, faster than before.
Bellatrix moaned again, clamping her legs around him. That was what she needed to hear. She relaxed her head back, feeling something built within her she couldn't remember feeling. Then she was moaning and pulsing around him, feeling a high that had been a figment of her imagination until now. Then she felt him slump forwards on top of her and realized that had finished him off as well.
Her fingers slid around him, holding him tightly to her. She didn't think it possible any longer, and now he'd proven her wrong and given her something to look forward to: a future, once again.
"Tom," Bellatrix murmured, smiling to herself.
"Bella," he mumbled back. "I will finish this… And then we can be as we were."
"Yes," Bellatrix said, her voice soft. "I will help."
"But Bella," he said, his voice changing even though he hadn't moved. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."
Bellatrix nodded, thinking she understood what he was saying. She realized there was going to come a time where even this point in their relationship looked good to her. He was going to be preoccupied and busy. She would have to understand.
Then she could hear his breathing had evened out, before realizing he was asleep. Had he really been awake for two whole days and nights? she wondered to herself. If so, she wasn't surprised he'd fallen asleep. She didn't mind though, she was comfortable. She summoned a blanket and threw it over them, smiling as she did. Falling asleep like this was absolutely perfect.
Hi everyone! I'm doing some time skipping here. We don't need to know every tiny plot detail so I'm skipping that, just assume everything is the same as the books unless the story says differently!