Bellatrix went back to her parents house to get ready for the Dark Lord's party on Christmas Eve, after choosing a dress from the collection in the attic. This event was going to be extremely important to her, for her career as a Death Eater, and for her relationship with the Dark Lord. She decided to go for a scarlet dress, tight fitting and backless, clinging to her curves, a long slit up the back of it. Her hair was long and straight, and she was wearing shiny red shoes to match the gown. She looked fantastic, and knew it.
When her family reached the party, Andromeda excluded in case she embarrassed them around such important people, the ballroom was full. Bellatrix knew that the Dark Lord would make his entrance a bit later down the marble staircase, so she decided to help Narcissa with Lucius. Bellatrix had gone to extreme lengths to make sure Narcissa looked the perfect Slytherin Ice Queen, dressing her up in a green and silver gown, with a corset and loose, flowing skirt. Her blonde hair was piled at the top of her head, emerald clips adorning it.
"Lucius is over there," Narcissa muttered. "Who's he with?"
Bellatrix looked around, and spotted Lucius's blond hair instantly. She smirked, and turned back around. "Rodolphus Lestrange, of all people," she replied with a small chuckle. "Malfoy and Lestrange. I thought their families were rivals."
"I suppose they are all uniting now we have the Dark Lord," Narcissa replied quietly.
"Hmm." Bellatrix took Narcissa's arm. "Come. We shall go and speak to them. Remember what I told you."
"Yes, Bellatrix, I know," Narcissa replied, rolling her eyes, but following her sister anyway.
"Malfoy!" Bellatrix greeted loudly, as they reached the pair. Lucius stared coldly at her, and then noticed Narcissa. The ice in his eyes melted away instantly.
"Narcissa," he breathed, his eyes wide. "You look... Enchanting..."
Narcissa smiled coolly. "Thank you, Lucius," she replied, her tone matching her smile.
Rodolphus looked to Bellatrix, and nodded. "Bellatrix, looking wonderful as ever."
Bellatrix smiled at him, once she'd had enough of looking at Lucius's disgruntled expression. Clearly he'd been expecting Narcissa to melt into a puddle at his feet. As she looked at Rodolphus, she realised just how gorgeous he was, but she pushed inappropriate thoughts out of her mind, knowing she was falling in love with a far greater man. "Hello, Rodolphus," she said.
She didn't mind Rodolphus, though she'd heard things about his older brother, Rabastan, hitting his wife, she wasn't going to assume Rodolphus was the same. As she did so, she noticed a stirring around the marble staircase. At the top of the steps, stood the Dark Lord, about to walk down. Most people had gathered around the bottom of the staircase, but several people stood back, the Malfoy and Black families in the centre. Bellatrix stood at the very back of the group, knowing she would be sought out the most by the Dark Lord, her sister beside her. Another arm slid around her from behind, and then Bellatrix noticed Posey.
"Hello, darling," Bellatrix said as a greeting, kissing her friend on the cheek.
"Bellatrix, Narcissa," Posey said nodding to them both. "I see your Dark Lord is looking as wonderful as ever," she said quietly to Bellatrix, who nodded with a smile.
"Isn't he just?" Bellatrix said. Slowly, the Dark Lord was getting closer, she could see him looking around at different people at every opportunity he got as if he was searching for a certain person. She sighed with pleasure. It felt so nice to be that adored. She could see him now shaking hands with her Father, kissing her Mother's hand, and then moving onto the next family, greeting them with a coolness she'd never seen before. She knew that she hadn't honestly seen the Dark Lord's nasty side yet, and she also knew that it would be a shock when she did.
The crowd in front of them had dispersed now, and suddenly Voldemort was stood right in front of her, staring into her face. A moment later, Narcissa nudged her in the ribs, and she hastily stepped forwards and curtseyed deeply to him. Snapping out of his trance himself, Voldemort took her hand and kissed it, bowing low over it. He lifted her hand up, holding tightly onto it as if he could never let go. "My Lord, I don't believe you have met my sister, Narcissa, properly yet." Voldemort nodded as Narcissa bobbed a curtsey.
"A pleasure," he said warmly, with a smile to her. "She is every bit as lovely as you, my dear," he added to Bellatrix. "You are Lucius's fiancée?"
"Yes, my Lord," Narcissa replied demurely. "We are to be wed in the summer." Bellatrix glanced across the room to Lucius, who looked less than pleased that the Dark Lord was more interested in his bride then in himself as he stood against the wall watching them, everyone else in the room continuing their conversations, dancing or eating or drinking.
"And this," Bellatrix continued, gesturing to Posey. "Is my dear friend Posey Parkinson."
As Posey curtseyed, Voldemort smiled, letting go of Bellatrix's hand for a moment. "Posey, you are most welcome," he said in a low voice. "As I understand it, you are to be staying with us for a couple of days in the next week?"
Posey nodded. "If that is not an inconvenience to you, my Lord," she replied softly, her eyes downcast nervously.
"No, it would be wonderful," Voldemort said quietly. "If it makes my Bella happy, then it shall be so." Posey sharply looked up, her eyes meeting Bellatrix's for a moment, who smiled in an 'I told you so' way. "You have nothing to fear," he continued softly. "She is in the best of care."
Posey looked surprised. "How did you know what I was thinking?" she asked him suddenly.
Bellatrix's eyes widened, she was about to step in to save Posey's life, when Voldemort chuckled. "You wouldn't be a very good friend if you weren't worried." He reached down, and kissed her hand, and did the same for Narcissa, before taking Bellatrix's hand once more and leading her towards the bar. Voldemort poured them a glass of wine each, before turning back to face her, raising his glass. "To the most gorgeous woman in the world," he murmured.
Bellatrix laughed, tilting her head back slightly. She reached forwards, and tapped her glass against his. "To the Dark Order and it's handsome leader – If only the light side could be this beautiful." Voldemort chuckled.
"I drink to that." They both took a long sip of their drinks, before Voldemort took a step back from her. "I must return to my guests, beloved. Make sure you have a good time, and save that first dance for me." He reached over, and kissed her cheek, before taking two steps backwards, and with a final smile, turning back to the party.
Bellatrix's mother came over, and Bellatrix wondered if she was going to nag about something, the fact her dress was too tight or because she was wearing too much lipstick.
"That man is charming," she murmured. Bellatrix looked over, in surprise, even jumping a little.
"He is," she said coldly in response, looking over to where Narcissa was standing, coolly next to Lucius. "Well, Narcissa is pleased with her match."
"Is she?" Druella asked. "It doesn't really matter. She's going to marry him just as soon as he stops sleeping around with everything that moves."
Bellatrix raised her eyebrows, hoping with all of her heart she never ended up like her mother. "Narcissa wouldn't like to hear you talk that way," she said quietly.
Druella turned her head sharply to look at her daughter. "Don't get arrogant, you're not married to him yet."
Bellatrix laughed. "Yet," she said dismissively. "Soon, though."
"We'll see," Druella said coldly. "He's got a reputation."
With a shrug, Bellatrix turned back to the bar and helped herself to more wine. She hoped Voldemort would hurry up and come back.
Druella laughed coldly. "Of course he does," she said scathingly. "But you're not going to be making any babies, are you, whilst you're gallivanting around with airs and graces and silly ideas of world domination."
Bellatrix exhaled a breath, completely shocked.
"Your father invited the Dark Lord for dinner tomorrow, is he coming?" Druella continued as if she hadn't just said anything.
Bellatrix smiled. "Yes, he will be, and I hope you will be polite."
"Don't speak to me like that," Druella hissed. "I'm your mother, and I'll be the one that has to sort out a marriage for you if this ends badly."
Bellatrix was about to retort when she noticed Voldemort coming back towards them. She smiled at him, and when he was close enough, he slipped an arm around her waist. "Mrs Black, are you enjoying yourself?" he asked her coolly. Bellatrix was sure he knew what her mother thought, but he hid it well.
"I am," she responded coolly. "You'll be joining us tomorrow?"
Voldemort bowed his head slightly. "Thank you for the invite. I am honoured." He turned back to Bellatrix, sensing her unhappiness. "Dance?" he said, offering her his hand.
"Thank you, my Lord," Bellatrix replied, taking the given hand and following the Dark Lord to the centre of the room. Once they were safely close to each other, Bellatrix spoke again. "Couldn't keep away for ten minutes, could you," she murmured.
"That slit up the back of your dress is ridiculously sexy, of course not," he responded. "A gentleman just came up to me and asked why you were still at Hogwarts at twenty-three years old."
"What?" Bellatrix asked, leaning back from her lover sharply. Hastily Voldemort pulled her back into him, and continued to turn with her. Bellatrix felt relieved Voldemort hadn't mentioned her mother at all.
"I told him you were merely seventeen, and he laughed. He said he had been told that you were twenty-three years old and had been quite shocked when I remarked you would be leaving for Hogwarts again soon."
Bellatrix smiled slightly. "Do not remind me."
"Either way, Bellatrix, they all want you. Every single one of them wants you for themselves or their sons." Voldemort's eyes were fixed on her own. "Which, with your blessing, gives me an awful lot of power."
"Do explain," Bellatrix replied thoughtfully, as he turned her under his arm.
"Your father and I have signed a contract over you." Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, hardly impressed at this statement. Voldemort chuckled. "No different to what would have happened if a marriage had been confirmed. You know as well as I do, your father has ownership over you until you marry, then it is your husband who owns you." Still not liking what he was saying, Bellatrix nodded. She had never liked to see it that way, but knew it to be true nonetheless. "And you must do as they say in all areas."
Bellatrix sighed. "My Lord-"
"No, just wait," he told her softly. "Wait. Mine and your father's agreement is different. The contract in which we have signed states that you are his until the day you graduate from school, and after that, you are in my care. You are my protégé. Your marriage is in my hands. You will marry who I want you to." He paused, staring deeply into her eyes, then his tone changed to a much lighter one. "Which, as it stands, is me, but no one will know that except for your immediate family." Bellatrix smiled and the dance ended, Voldemort led her off the dance floor and out into the garden. It was snowing.
"And if I die," he continued, pronouncing the "if" with a tone of dislike, "You are returned to your father to be remarried." Bellatrix's eyes widened somewhat. "I wouldn't worry about that happening though," he hastily added as he caught sight of her expression. "I will be teaching to you all about what I have done in my own quest of immortality." Voldemort glanced over his shoulder, before kissing her briefly on the lips.
"I would like to know what your point is," Bellatrix murmured, her eyes staring into his.
"My point is..." He looked down to her. "They all will constantly think I am looking for a husband for you, as they will not know about our marriage. Some men will go to great lengths for power, and to merely think about being married to the Dark Lord's trusted protégé... They would do anything for me."
Bellatrix laughed. "I like it," she said, grinning. "I like it very much."
"I hoped you would."
"I enjoy to see men fighting for my affection. Of course, it has never worked out with any man that has won it that way. In fact, the only man I have actually liked and stayed with for over a fortnight is you."
Voldemort chuckled. "Come, you're shivering. Though I can hardly pretend to be surprised, Miss Black, you are not wearing much."
Bellatrix slid her arm around him. "Is that a complaint?"
"Of course not, my love," Voldemort responded. "Whatever made you think it was?"
Bellatrix laughed again, and together they walked inside, though not as close as they would like to have been, and soon they had to circulate amongst the guests again. Bellatrix was having fun, she enjoyed to meet new people that she knew she would one day rule over, and be introduced as the Dark Lord's protégé. She had countless offers to dance all night, and declined all, protesting that she could not bring herself to leave her Master's side.
In bed that night, Bellatrix slept the best she had slept in a while, her lover's warm form close to her, and dreams of a shiny silver crown as she was made the Dark Lord's Queen.
Bellatrix swanned into the Black family's formal sitting room the next day, a smug smirk planted firmly on her face. A fur coat was wrapped tightly around her body, but that wasn't what she was pleased about. Her throat was glittering with a new necklace, just a simple silver chain with a diamond shaped emerald hanging from the end of it. It was now her most treasured gift from the Dark Lord, though she had loved her velvet covered book on the Unforgivable Curses and couldn't wait to read it.
The Dark Lord followed behind. This wasn't his ideal Christmas Day, but Bellatrix wanted him with her, and her parents insisted she was with them. Truthfully, he was just glad he could be at her side. Bellatrix had got him a very old bottle of red wine, which, she had told him, was for his lips only and he was not to share. She had also got him a book, another very old copy which she had made Burke search for in his shop, he had complained that it had taken him two hours to find. Bellatrix had wanted to curse him very much at that point, but refrained. The book contained some very rare potions and spells, and she knew how much he enjoyed reading about such things.
"Ah, Bellatrix," Cygnus called, standing up to greet her. He bowed his head slightly to Voldemort. "My Lord," he continued. "Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, Cygnus," Voldemort responded, holding out his hand and shaking Bellatrix's Father's hand.
"Happy Christmas, Daddy," Bellatrix said, smiling. She walked further into the room, and sat down. "Happy Christmas," she said to Druella, Narcissa and Andromeda.
"Lucius will be here soon!" Narcissa burst out suddenly. Voldemort stopped what he was saying to Cygnus, and turned to look briefly at Narcissa, who coloured darkly.
"Oh, he is gracing us with his presence this year then?" Bellatrix asked coldly. "How wonderful."
"Why don't you have a drink, Bellatrix?" Cygnus said, a smile on his lips as he poured himself and Voldemort whiskey's.
"If you're insisting, Daddy, red wine sounds fabulous."
Cygnus nodded and poured her a glass of wine, passing it to her. Bellatrix smiled smugly at her sisters, who would not be drinking wine until they were of age. Narcissa scowled, but Andromeda didn't notice. She was sulking, Bellatrix supposed. Andromeda always hated family events. "I do hope you are not spoiling her, my Lord," Cygnus said as the pair sat down.
"Quite the contrary. She knows I do not approve of heavy drinking."
"Coming from you?" Bellatrix asked incredulously, before remembering they were not alone. Druella tutted, and Andromeda smirked. Narcissa look scandalised. The Dark Lord chuckled.
"My dear, you know a glass of wine with a meal does not count as heavy," he responded, smirking at her.
Bellatrix would have retorted if she had not noticed the expression on her mothers face. Her family had no idea how close she actually was to the Dark Lord, and probably wouldn't approve if they did. Instead she nodded her head, and sat back, taking a sip of her wine. At that moment, Lucius entered the room.
"Season's greetings," he drawled coldly, kissing Narcissa's hand. Bellatrix's sister merely nodded to him, but as soon as his back was turned, she flushed pink and ducked her head. Bellatrix caught her attention and shook her head slightly, but otherwise ignored Lucius. "Apologies for my lateness, I had an issue which needed to be taken care of." He glanced to Voldemort, catching his eye before nodding. Voldemort smiled for a moment, before looking away.
"Not at all," Cygnus responded. "Whiskey?"
"I would love some," Lucius responded, taking a seat next to the Dark Lord. He received his glass with a cold smile, and after taking a sip, set it down. "Any news?" he said to Cygnus.
"I have heard rumours of Dumbledore's new standing against you, I assume you know of what I speak?" Cygnus said, turning to Voldemort. He had Bellatrix's attention immediately.
"Naturally," Voldemort replied, taking a sip of his whiskey. He slowly set the drink down on the table. "He thinks he can keep it from me. He is mistaken."
Bellatrix suddenly understood what Voldemort had been saying during dinner the other night. She had overheard him speaking about a new uprising against him, but had no idea that Dumbledore was in charge of it all.
Lucius nodded. "I can think of a few seventh years who would join him," he said darkly. Bellatrix was about to say agree with Lucius, when her mother stood up.
"Girls, a little help is needed in the kitchen." Andromeda was only too happy to escape, Narcissa followed begrudgingly, but Bellatrix didn't move. "You as well, Bellatrix."
Bellatrix looked up. "Mother, I would prefer-"
Druella looked sternly at her, not impressed at being disobeyed. "You're a woman. This is for the men." Bellatrix looked to Voldemort for support. The Dark Lord seemed to be engrossed in the conversation, but caught her gaze, and nodded towards the door. Bellatrix scowled and stood up, angry at not being allowed to stay. To be included in this sort of conversation was her right, in a few months she would be a marked Death Eater, and wife of the Dark Lord. It was her business to know what was going on. She glared at Voldemort as she left the room, but he didn't notice.
"I'm one of them now, Mother," she hissed when they reached the kitchen.
"Not yet," Druella responded calmly.
"I need to understand now!" Bellatrix retorted angrily.
Druella turned to face her daughter. "He has been spoiling you. I knew it."
"No, he treats me like an adult!" Bellatrix snapped. "I am of age. You do not have control over me."
"Yes we do," Druella said, taping a saucepan with her wand. "You are still in our control until the day you leave Hogwarts." Narcissa was stood in the corner, carefully not looking their way. "End of discussion. Go and set the table."
Sighing, Bellatrix moved into the formal dinning room, and set the table with a flick of her wand. Her mother always took her time to set the table, she had to do each part separately otherwise everything crashed to the ground. Bellatrix realised at that moment how much more powerful than her mother she was. All the more reason to be able to stay in the sitting room, she thought angrily. Her mother and sisters were both destined to forever be housewives. Bellatrix was different. And she was going to prove that to her disbelieving family.
Posey was staying at the manor for three days between Christmas and New Year. She arrived by portkey, and Bellatrix met her at the forest to show her up the grounds. "Did you enjoy the Christmas party?" Bellatrix asked as they walked.
"Very much, it was beautiful," Posey responded. "The house looks so different in day light, at night it is positively frightening. Very spooky."
"It's a lovely house at all times," Bellatrix replied. "I'm afraid I hardly got to see you, I was so busy meeting all of the Dark Lord's followers, I had no time for myself."
"That is quite alright," Posey said with a smile. "You looked as if you were enjoying yourself, at the Dark Lord's side."
"I truly was," Bellatrix replied. "He's in meetings all day today. Of course, I'm not allowed in until I have the mark. It's a pain." She opened the front door, and led Posey quietly up the staircase. "I shall show you to your room."
They continued to the third floor, and Bellatrix took the second corridor on the right, and opened the first door there. "Here. This is not the best room, I'm afraid, the Dark Lord has a gentleman staying this week also. Business. Again." She rolled her eyes and opened the door. Posey gasped as she stepped inside. The four poster bed was bigger than even her Hogwarts one, the room lavishly decorated in a deep purple. "I hope you like it," Bellatrix commented slyly.
"It's beautiful," Posey murmured.
"I know. The Master suite is even better. I will show you." She took Posey's bag, and placed it on the bed. "Come on, you've only seen the boring bits of this place."
Bellatrix could hardly contain her excitement at showing Posey the dress filled attic.
Bellatrix and Posey were about to go downstairs and get some food before bedtime that night, when there was an almighty crash, the slamming of a door, and raised voices. They hurried down the stairs to see what was happening, Bellatrix in the lead. The pair looked over the banister, just in time to hear and see Voldemort in the hall, with a man in front of him.
"-Incompetence!" Voldemort shouted at the man in front of him, who was shaking in fear. "The simplest of jobs are made to seem impossible-" He threw the man to the floor, and kicked him hard in the side. Posey whimpered and moved closer to Bellatrix. "When am I going to find someone competent? I have half trained students that are better then most of you-" He paused, raising his wand. "Crucio!" he screamed, the spell hitting with such force it pushed the man along the floor slightly. Bellatrix watched in interest as the man writhed under the spell, but Posey turned her head and shut her eyes. Panting slightly, Voldemort lifted the spell.
"Get out of my sight!" he hissed angrily, and the man hastily scrambled to his feet, and half crawled, half walked out of visibility. Voldemort turned, and suddenly he was looking right at Bellatrix and Posey's shaking form. Bellatrix pulled her friend gently into her arms, so her back was to the Dark Lord, and looked slowly at Voldemort, who raised an eyebrow at her. Slowly, she smiled, and Voldemort smiled back, knowing that she wanted to be able to do that herself. He blew her a silent kiss, before nodding questioningly to Posey. Bellatrix shrugged and beckoned in the direction of Posey's bedroom. Voldemort nodded and disappeared back into the meeting room a moment later.
"Are you alright?" she asked Posey. Her friend stepped back slightly, and nodded.
"I just don't like watching that, is all," she murmured. "I think it's my bed time, Bellatrix."
Bellatrix nodded, and accompanied Posey back to her room, before heading down the stairs to the meeting room. She entered quietly, leaning against the door as she closed it. Voldemort glanced up at her, before nodding and continuing what he was saying. Slowly, Bellatrix walked down the long table, before kneeling at Voldemort's side, innocently kissing the side of his leg. Hidden from anyone's view, by the table, Voldemort's hands moved to her hair, playing and stroking as he spoke.
When the meeting was over, the pair went straight to the bedroom. "Is Posey alright?" Voldemort asked her quietly.
"She has no stomach for such things," Bellatrix replied with a small smile.
"But you do, beloved..." Voldemort murmured, kissing down the side of her neck gently.
"Mm, yes I do," Bellatrix replied. "I won't be tolerating any rudeness from anyone."
"And I won't be protecting you," Voldemort responded with a smirk.
"I won't want your protection," Bellatrix replied, smirking, and pushing him down onto the bed before falling on top of him and kissing him. A few moments later, Voldemort pushed her off, chuckling.
"Excellent attempt, darling."
Bellatrix smirked. "I thought so." She sat down next to him, and kissed him on the cheek. "I am going to be the only female Death Eater for now, aren't I?"
"Indeed you are." Voldemort stood up, and began to undo his robes.
"Those men aren't going to like it," she observed.
"I have been asked three times this week if you are betrothed." He smirked down up at her, before climbing into bed. "Trust me, they like you."
Bellatrix gasped. "Who?" She walked around the bed, and got in on the other side.
"That would be telling." Voldemort smiled across at her, before holding out his arms. Slowly, Bellatrix moved towards him, her mind reeling. "All of the younger ones are interested in marrying you, along with a couple of the elder ones..." Smirking, he reached towards her and kissed her cheek. "Pity... None can have you..."
"I hope you didn't hurt them," Bellatrix said quietly.
"Hurt them?" Voldemort asked incredulously, before his face changed to a slightly amused expression. "Beloved, I may not mind them asking to have you, but if any man touches you, I will kill him."
Bellatrix silently rolled her eyes. "That is going a bit far. What if I want them to touch me?" she asked him with a smirk.
Voldemort glanced at her, his eyes narrowed. "Bellatrix."
"Sorry," she mumbled back. "You know I would never do that to you."
The Dark Lord silently pulled her close to him, and kissed the top of her hair. "You are young."
Bellatrix nodded silently, agreeing with him. "Goodnight," she murmured sleepily into his chest. "Love you."
Voldemort nodded down at her, smiling as he saw her eyes closing. He had to stop being quite so loving to her. Maybe things would change by the time she got her mark, then he could stop being so nice to her. Sighing in contentment for now, he shut his eyes, anxious for sleep.