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Defining Moments by eHPF
Format: Short story collection
Chapter 9: Bellatrix Lestrange: Meeting
Bellatrix Lestrange: Meeting
I watched my face in the mirror intently for a while, and then I added some more mascara, just for a good measure. I wanted to look my best. Or rather, my sexiest. And no, I was not going on a first date with my new boyfriend. The people I wanted to impress today were twenty years older than me. They were my husband’s old schoolmates.
I gritted my teeth. I didn’t want to go to that bloody meeting in the first place. I had no idea why Rodolphus insisted so much. He could be so headstrong sometimes. The character trait I chose him for in the first place... It had seemed to be impressive, compared to the stupid mildness of my schoolmates. Now, it was just irritating. A year after the wedding, and I couldn’t stand my husband already.
I checked the whole picture. Yes, it was all right. Not too trashy – not like Andy, with her terrible habit to dress like a Hogwarts resident whore whenever she wasn’t required to wear the uniform – but not too conservative, like Cissy, who seemed to think that showing her ankle was something highly inappropriate. Enough to get that group of middle-aged men to their knees.
I turned to the house-elf. “Tell my husband I am prepared.”
She disappeared and I sat down to the only armchair in the room. Really, a husband. Rather my last resort, after facing the very real possibility of becoming an old maid, which was obvious to me after a couple of years at school. Before the wedding, and shortly after, I really had thought him to be worthy of me... Andy warned me against this arranged marriage, telling me that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. But still, even after finding out that Rodolphus wasn’t the impressive person he had seemed to be originally, I couldn’t quite agree with her.
The elf reappeared. “Master is awaiting you in the hall, Mistress.”
I got up and descended the stairs, repeating, for what felt like the thousandth time in the last year, the reasons for which I married him. I didn’t know whether Andy had expected me to have a crush on a schoolmate, exactly the thing she had done so often. If she did, she didn’t know me as well as she thought. I, unlike her, hadn’t liked going out with boys that were below my level. Salazar, I hadn’t even liked going out with boys who were on my level, as I had proved by breaking up with Lucius. And, unfortunately, there had been no one above my level in the whole school. There had been some people among my parent’s friends, but I hadn’t known them that well, and that was why I had asked my parents to recommend someone. They had introduced me to a couple of men, and I had chosen Rodolphus. He had been the eldest, and so he had seemed to be the most interesting. And there he was, in the hall, in his perfect, black robes, as dumb as ever.
“Shall we, my dearest?” he asked, and I only nodded.
Why did I want to get married right after school again? I asked myself, still furious that he made me spend an evening with his stupid friends. It was probably because I knew that living under my parent’s roof would be humiliating, and that I couldn’t endure their constant caring. Also, the ‘married’ status was somehow more respectable than ‘single’, and I always wanted all the respect that was there to be had. There was no point in waiting. I wouldn’t find anyone worthy of me; the idiots like Rodolphus were the best that was there to get. So now, I was playing a good wife, knowing that he adored me and would do anything for me.
He escorted me through the door, and he side-along Apparated me to a place I didn’t know.
It seemed to be pretty ancient and to belong to a very rich family, too. One thing was definite: it was not a bar. Strange, I always though that men had their after-school meetings in bars, drinking themselves into oblivion. Not that I ever saw Rodolphus drink into oblivion, but that didn’t mean much – I hadn’t known him very well before the wedding, and he lived in another part of the house anyway, so I wouldn’t hear him coming home.
A house-elf appeared. Apparently, one of my husband’s schoolmates had invited us to his own house.
“Master awaits you,” he announced and led us through the hallway and to a tall door. He opened it for us. Rodolphus entered first – quite surprising, he never used to be impolite – and even more surprisingly, he fell to his knees. I was rather confused, to tell the truth, and I scanned the room. People in dark cloaks were sitting around it in comfortably looking armchairs, and right before us, a strange looking man with a mask-like face was drinking from his cup. He was radiating with confidence; he obviously had the entire room on his command. There was something about his calm demeanour that proved it.
He put the cup on a small table and said quietly, in a rather high voice, “You may stand up, Rodolphus.” There was something about his voice, something immensely charming. It was like an order, but still, not that rude: it was soft, in a way, and I was angry that my husband wasn’t getting up quickly enough.
“Did you bring her?” that beautiful voice asked.
“Yes. My Lord, I would like you to meet my wife, Bellatrix Lestrange.”
He turned to me and looked into my eyes with his, and it was with an intensity I had never experienced before. I felt like drowning in the darkness of his gaze.
“Bellatrix,” my husband continued, “I’d like you to meet Lord Voldemort.”
Lord Voldemort smiled, and it was a strange smile, mysterious somehow. It enchanted me, and he said, “It is very nice to meet you. I am glad you could join us for this evening.” It couldn’t be more obvious that he wasn’t at all awed by my beauty, that he wasn’t intimidated in the least bit by my pride, by my power. Unheard of.
He turned to the rest of the room. “Now, when the party is complete, we can set off. We will be Apparating to Sloane Square. Does everyone know where to go?”
I nodded immediately and he left the room. All the men turned to follow him, and I all but ran out through the door, forgetting Rodolphus completely. I didn’t want to lose Lord Voldemort. I wanted to see that smile again, to hear that voice. I was intrigued by him. Why was he a sudden king of those men? We were in the hallway again, and he turned on the spot and disappeared. I did the same.
I appeared next to him on a dark, almost deserted square, frightening some Muggles who were passing by. I didn’t think about the Statute of Secrecy for a minute. The man next to me seemed to be above such things.
The other men started to appear, Rodolphus among them. In the light of a street lamp, I recognized some other faces. There was Dolohov, Nott next to him, and Rosier at the other side of Lord Voldemort. It was a real high society over here, and that made Lord Voldemort’s rule over them even more intriguing. I knew all of these men from the balls and banquets I attended with my family and with my husband. Apart from them, there were more or less ten unidentifiable people. Then Lord Voldemort spoke again, and I forgot all about them.
“Let’s go,” he said, and marched down the King’s Road with me right behind him. I didn’t know what it was that was so fascinating about this man, that I didn’t question anything he said or did – a sharp contrast to my husband.
He turned to one of the side streets and I was after him. He came to a sudden halt in front of an ordinary looking building.
“Here we are,” he said. “You know what to do. The middle-aged man is the Mudblood, then there’s his Muggle wife, his filthy children, and his Muggle parents. I trust you to manage this.”
Three men approached the door and unlocked it. I didn’t see their faces in the dark. Lord Voldemort then turned to me.
“I have a special task just for you and me, Bellatrix. Oh, and Rodolphus can go with us, too.”
I couldn’t hold my excitement. He was talking directly to me!
“The Mudblood has a sister, the same filth he is, but she has a wizard husband. Let’s show him what happens to people who marry filth...”
I nodded, eager to prove myself to him, because I could hear soft taunting in his tone, as if he doubted me.
He entered the house and led the way upstairs with me behind him, my husband forgotten once again. Finally, we came to a flat door, which Lord Voldemort opened and turned to me.
“It’s up to you, Bellatrix.”
“What do you want me to do, my Lord?” Somehow, this title was just appropriate for him. For once, Rodolphus was right.
“Just kill the Mudblood. It’s the best we can do to them. But I’d like to see some torture of the wizard... I want him to remember that what he did was really wrong.”
I only nodded and entered the apartment, walking as quietly as possible. It was going to be much easier when they were asleep. I don’t really know why I didn’t even hesitate. I’d never killed anyone before. Maybe it was because of that voice, soft, ordering me to do it, giving me the right, but doubting I was able to at the same time.
I walked silently into the bedroom, Lord Voldemort and my husband behind me, and I scanned the scene. The couple was sleeping peacefully in their huge bed, not a worry on their calm faces. I turned back to Lord Voldemort and saw expectation in his dark eyes, but there was doubt, too, very much doubt. I wasn’t used to being doubted, and I wanted to prove myself to him, especially to him, very much. Let’s see... he apparently wanted to see the couple suffer... They probably did something to him, I guessed, and he just didn’t want to share it with me. Naturally, why should he? Obviously, they had done something to infuriate him, and they deserved to be punished.
I nonverbally placed the silencing spell on the room. Then, I Summoned the ropes to tie husband and wife, and I woke them up. They shouted and tried to grab their wands, but they couldn’t. I charmed the husband’s eyes permanently open and used my wand to direct him opposite his wife. I turned to her, then, and said quietly and confidently, thinking about the unknown thing they’d done to Lord Voldemort.
And she was dead. Just like that. She deserved it, little bitch, I was confident of that, otherwise Lord Voldemort wouldn’t want me to do her in.
The husband cried out, and it sounded as if he was in pain. I turned back to him.
“Why did you cry?” I asked him. “You had no reason. She was no good to you. But don’t worry, I’m going to give you a reason right now...”
And with my eyes turned to Lord Voldemort, to the praise and approval I wanted to see in his face, I said: “Crucio!”
I could feel it wasn’t very strong at first. After all, it was the first time I had done it, but then I drank in Lord Voldemort’s eyes, his delight, and the curse gained strength, and the more delighted he was, the stronger the curse grew, and the stronger the curse, the more delighted Lord Voldemort...
“Enough,” he said then, quietly. “He would end up insane.” His voice was even more pleasant now, the taunting gone.
He turned to the man. “Remember this lesson. Wizards do not marry filth.”
With that, we left the room.
We met the rest of the group on the stairs, all nodding to express that everything went according to plan. We left the house, then, and that was when Aurors attacked. They Apparated right in front of us, attacking without hesitation. There was a huge number of them, most of the department probably, and despite the fact that I was a very skilled dueller, as I watched them coming I really thought we were goners.
That was before I saw Lord Voldemort jump into action. The magic he performed was something I had never seen before, as he turned and attacked, without even using his wand, creating a wall of fire to make them retreat. I tore my eyes away from him and started to fight. I duelled three Aurors at once, firing only the killing curses – anything else would be a waste of time, I didn’t want them to wake up suddenly behind my back. There weren’t many left behind the fire barrier, and Lord Voldemort kept that up while fighting with five others. He was unbelievably powerful.
With my humble help, and that of the others, of course, he vanquished them after a short fight, making them Apparate back. They had several deaths – all of those that had been left behind the barrier for us to fight with them and some who were consumed by the fire, too. Lord Voldemort was furious, livid. He turned to us and his eyes were gleaming red.
“Who gave them an alert? Someone must have done. They knew we were here.”
He turned around, and I felt him breaking into my mind with huge strength, and mind you, I wasn’t a bad Occlumens. He rummaged through my memories and then was gone, and he turned to Rodolphus, and to Avery, and to each of them. He was unbelievably strong, and I realized I didn’t mind him going through my head at all, although I would have killed anyone else, my husband included, for trying to do so. No, he wasn’t impressed with power. I was impressed with his, and I felt like never before. I wanted to give myself to him, to give him my entire life. Now the question wasn’t whether he was worthy of me but whether I was worthy of him. I was afraid. I was insecure. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know if I passed the test, and I would give everything to be sure that I did. I desired nothing more then the approval of those dark eyes, and I would go to hell for it.
He turned from the last of us and stood in though for a moment, and then: “That filthy bastard!”
He ran up the stairs, and I followed behind him, wanting to know what would happen next. He returned to the flat we were in, and the wizard I had tortured lay there on the bed. Lord Voldemort grasped the wizard’s shoulders, looked directly into his eyes, and then his fury came out like a wave and the wizard was dead.
Lord Voldemort turned to us, his eyes still gleaming red. “He called the ministry. I don’t know how they managed to get that many people to Apparate here so quickly. Maybe they had a late meeting,” he smiled coldly, “to discuss some of our latest actions, and so they were all there.” He smiled again. “Never mind that. He won’t bother us again, and the Aurors were taught a lesson. We’re returning to Avery’s now.”
And he Disapparated. I was just a second behind him.
Gathered in the drawing room again, we all sat down, and Lord Voldemort spoke, his eyes dark again.
“That went quite well. Actually, I am very glad that the Aurors came. It made it a bit more interesting. Now, Bellatrix, could you come here?”
I stood up and went to his armchair, where I knelt.
“You did very well,” he said. “I admit that Rodolphus was right in wanting you to join us. You will now promise your eternal services to me, understood?”
“Of course, my Lord.” How could I not?
“Do you, Bellatrix Cassiopeia Elladora Violetta Black Lestrange, promise to serve me, obey my every word, and never falter in your devotion to my cause from this day forward till death takes you?”
“I do.” There was nothing I’d rather do, despite the fact that I didn’t really know what his cause was. I was sure that whatever he decided to do was a wise and good thing.
“Hold out your left arm.”
I did, and he took out his wand and started to draw a symbol in my skin. It hurt, but I would gladly endure much, much more for him.
The result was a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth. I looked at it, and it was lovely, carved in my skin, the eternal mark of my devotion to him.
“You are now officially accepted into the inner circle of my supporters, the Death Eaters. You may take your place.”
I did, feeling very happy, and I listened to his beautiful voice as he talked about some past adventures. He was the most wonderful man I had ever met. The first man I felt was more skilled, stronger than me. The first man that wasn’t afraid of me.
“That will be enough for today,” he said. “You may go home.”
I rose and bowed to Lord Voldemort. “Let’s go,” I said to Rodolphus without so much as turning my head to him. At that moment, I loved him for taking me here, but I hated him for being my husband.
A/N: Thanks to wonderful WeasleyTwinMom AKA momotwins for beta-ing this chapter, I wouldn’t dare to post it to such a wonderful company of other eHPF collab chapters without her correcting my poor English...
Thanks to Lisa AKA Norbert1175 for making this wonderful chapter image.
And thanks to the wonderful collective of eHPF, I’m honoured to be part of this wonderful fic.