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Warning: Do not read if the idea of voodoo dolls freaks you out
It was dark and quiet as usual in the Slytherin common room. The low light casted shadows of snake decorations all over the grey, stone wall. In the corner of the room, a sole bookcase resided full of books with whimsical titles and covers, but dark and highly illicit text. Behind the books lay the treasures of a small elite group of Slytherins hidden from prying eyes and curious snoops. If Professor Slughorn knew what his own students hid, he would unquestionably have a heart attack, for his innocent, sweet little Slytherins could never be in possession of such artifacts.
There was not a sound except for the steady scratches of a single quill against parchment. Holding that quill sat a lone wizard, a Slytherin Prefect. He had decided to skip breakfast in order to finish his charms essay: the one he was supposed to have completed the night before.
The effect of the Multicorforus Charm is to change the colour of an object, his quill scratched. The prefect sighed. There were many things he’d rather be doing, anything but N.E.W.T. assignments, especially this essay on topics they were reviewing. The prefect groaned. They had learned this charm two years ago. Why did they have to write about it again?
He hated how the adults got to tell him what to do. Why did they have authority over him just because they were older? Age didn’t make them any smarter than him. Not all the professors were even fully magical. He shouldn’t have to be treated like a child, especially by some idiot Mudblood professor. What did they know? They weren’t even born in the wizarding world!
The prefect wrote on. He heard the common room door, which was disguised as a wall, scrape against the floor as it opened, but he didn’t bother to turn around. There was far too much to get done with his essay, and his mother insisted he get good grades. He would have been fine with another occupant in the Slytherin common room if that new arrival hadn’t nearly deafened him.
“YAARRRRG!” Bellatrix Black screeched an ear-piercing scream as she stomped into the room. The wall-door closed behind her. She stalked across the room and kicked the nearest object, a table. The green vase sitting on top of it fell down and shattered into tiny pieces. Shards skittered all over the floor from the force of the fall. The kick made her toe throb and a sharp pain shot through her whole foot, which only provided another excuse in which to scream.
“RAAAAH! THAT STUPID LITTLE MUDBLOOD!” she screamed. Her voice sounded hoarse and raw. She lunged at another table and flipped it over. The papers that were residing on it went flying, and the table fell with a thud. She went to punch a book stack, but something caught her hand from behind. She twisted around, and her wild, demonic eyes met the gaze of the Slytherin prefect.
“Hey, little firstie! Quit screaming your head off. I have N.E.W.T.s to get ready for! You’re lucky I’m the only one in the common room right now. I’m sure the others wouldn’t warn you before they did something unfavorable to you,” he said in a deep, irritated voice.
Bellatrix snarled at him and lunged at the book stack for the second time. Her fist found purchase, and the books fell sprawled out all over the floor. A fiery pain flared in her hand, but Bella didn’t stop. It wasn’t her fault that her foot and hand hurt like blazes. It was that Mudblood’s fault. She caused Bella to do it- no. She made Bella do it.
The prefect grabbed Bella’s shoulders and spun her around to face him. “Okay, little firstie. Last time I say it. Quit making noise and trashing the common room or you’ll regret it,” he told her.
“Don’t call me ‘firstie!’ It’s Bellatrix Black to you,” she snarled and shook out of the prefect’s grasp.
Black. That’s a pureblood name, and a respectable one at that, he thought. It ebbed his annoyance somewhat, but he was still irritated. “Okay, Bellatrix, if you’re going to be such a ruddy nuisance, be one in your room!” he demanded and pointed to the entrance of the girls’ dormitory. The livid first year huffed and turned to stomp out of the room. Her thick, black boots crunched the remains of the vase she had smashed.
The wizard put his head in his hands. The common room was a mess, and he now had much less time to complete the stupid essay, all because of that rotten girl. He glanced at the little terror in disgust. That was when he noticed she was limping on one foot. She had kicked the table pretty hard. Her foot must have been broken. The prefect made a split second decision.
“Wait!” he called out to her.
Bellatrix turned on the balls of her feet, winced, and then screamed, “WHAT?”
The older Slytherin walked up to the girl and took out his wand. Bellatrix eyed it cautiously. “Give me your foot,” he said.
The witch watched him carefully as she raised her leg. Her hand slowly felt around for her wand, and at the slightest false move, she would draw it and cast the worst curse she knew. Already, the incantation was forming on her tongue.
He waved his wand over her foot, and the pain ebbed away. Then, with a quick “Episkey,” the injury was set and healed. She wiggled her toes inside her boots. They felt perfectly fine, unhurt.
“Who said I wanted it healed?” she huffed. The prefect replied by holding out his hand. Bellatrix folded her arms and winced, for she had folded them a bit roughly and made her hand twinge.
“Come on,” he said invitingly. “Give it here.” Bellatrix glared at him, but reluctantly obliged. The second healing was sweet relief, but Bella still held a faltering scowl on her face, betraying her thankfulness.
“You’re welcome,” the prefect said with a self-important bow.
“Well if that’s all, I’m going,” Bella snapped and once again spun around back in the direction of the grey, archaic archway of the entrance to the girl’s dorm.
“Hold on!” the prefect said as he grabbed the little girl who was so eager to get away from him. “I have something that will make everything better.”
Everything better? Bella sure could use something to fix all her problems. “What could you possibly do to help me?” she asked in a sneer. “You could make a certain troll-ish little Mudblood disappear. Then, I might just thank you.”
He chuckled. “No, I can’t do that,” he said. She scowled in response. “But, I can give you something equally as good,” he continued. Bella cocked her hear in interest. “The first... is a poem. Now, bear with me. It has a very important purpose, and it relates to the second thing I’ll give you.”
“Well, what’s the second thing?” she asked, a bit less peevishly than previously.
The prefect smiled and took out his black wand from his robes once again. Bella whipped out her wand, but it was ripped from her hand almost instantaneously with a small flick of the prefect’s own wand. Bella sprinted for the exit of the common room, but the prefect merely stuck her feet to the ground, and she was left squirming and fixed to the floor.
“Relax, Black. I’m not going to hurt you. I just needed to make sure you wouldn’t pull any spells on me.” He turned to the corner of the room at a bookshelf and pointed his wand. “Morsmordre Secretum Revelio,“ he spoke in a pronounced manner. Bella heard a click and half the books flickered in an out of existence. Then, they settled once again and stayed solid, or at least that’s what Bellatrix thought. With an “Accio doll,” a small object went flying through the books. The prefect caught it in midflight.
Bellatrix raised an eyebrow questioningly. She went to step and realized that her feet were no longer holding fast to the floor. Black walked up to the bookshelf and put her hand out to touch the books. Her hand met the smooth leather of an old Potions book; it was one that taught the reader how to brew some of the most nefarious of potions.
The prefect followed her and reached into the bookcase. His arm went through the literature, making it look like arm started growing out of the books. He felt around for a bit and then pulled his arm out again. In his hand, he held something shiny and silver. His grasp obscured Bella’s view, so she couldn’t tell what it was.
“Wouldn’t want this flying through the air,” the seventh year chuckled as he held out the silver object. It shone bright despite the dim light. The object had an intricate handle in the shape of a viper coiled around a pole. Its tail flattened out into a thin, pointed blade with a razor-sharp edge.
“How did your arm go through the books but mine didn’t?” Bella asked, her caution slowly being replaced by unadulterated curiosity. “And what are those?”
“You need a special spell placed on you to be able to pass through. My group made it up. Everyone in the group has the spell done on him or her. We’re still working out the kinks, though. Maybe we’ll cast the spell on you one day, once you prove yourself to be trustworthy, but I have a feeling that will be quite soon,” he explained.
Bella looked up at him in awe. She couldn’t believe some students actually made up spells that worked. At this new piece of information the first year looked at the seventh year with much more respect.
“What does the spell do to you?” she asked.
“As of now, it doesn’t really do anything other than let you pass through out barriers, but we’re going to add more features to the spell. I can’t tell you much more. You’re going to have to be part of the group for that! But don’t worry. I think you are a perfect candidate.”
Bella nodded. “ So, what’s the group?”
“You’ll be told when you’re ready,” he said, and that concluded their discussion on the special spell. “Now, this here,” he began, holding up the object that he had Summoned earlier, “is a voodoo doll. Do you know what that is?” Bellatrix nodded. “Good. But, this is a unique voodoo doll. If you cut the doll like I’m going to tell you to, when the Mudblood goes to sleep, it will dream that what you have done to the doll will be done to the Mudblood. You’ll even share the dream together, so you can see your handiwork!”
Black moved to speak, but the prefect cut her off. “Patience! Patience! All in good time! Now, you’re going to have to do this to the doll. Remember, it’s the doll, Black! It’s just a doll.” He cleared his throat, closed his eyes, and began to speak in a slow, baritone, singsong voice:
“Cut out the tongue to staunch the gripes
Slash the stomach in bloody stripes
Stab the hand and twist the blade
Watch the Mudblood thing degrade
Cut off all its dirty toes
Sever the thighs, sever the nose
Take off the ears, scratch the chest
Rake the back so it shan’t rest
Slit the throat to stop its cries
Stab the heart for its demise”
He ended his vicious rhyme quietly and opened his eyes to a wide-eyed Black. The first year backed up slowly, suddenly painfully aware she was the only other person in the room with the sadistic prefect. The seventh year held out his hands and offered her the doll and knife. Bella stared at the doll with a sickening feeling that made her stomach do somersaults. The doll was white and featureless, more like a miniature mannequin than a doll.
“That’s barbaric!” the first year exclaimed when she rediscovered her voice. “Hurting someone like that- it’s so awful!” She began to back away from the older Slytherin in fear of what he would do to her, for a human who could even begin to suggest that was probably highly unstable.
“No! No! It wouldn’t be hurting the Mudblood at all! It’s just going to happen in its dream! That’s the best part! You can do it in school and no one can pinpoint it to you. It is just like they’re having a nightmare! The Mudblood deserves it! It barged into the wizarding world when it had no right to! It’s weakening our species as witches and wizards! It did you wrong! You’re a Black! Be proud of coming from a pureblood family!” the prefect replied with gusto.
He once again offered up the knife and doll. The first year eyed him carefully and tentatively picked up the doll. Its waist fit comfortably between her two hands. To her amazement, it transformed in front of her eyes, fading from white into skin color. Hair grew steadily out of its head and stopped at the correct length. Features so intricate they seemed almost real appeared on the once blank surface of the doll’s face, and the doll was donned in Hogwarts robes.
Bella ran her hands over the face. Her finger curled the doll’s lips back to reveal teeth and even a hollow area like a real mouth. The eyelids opened and closed as she swiped her thumb over the lids. As realistic as the doll was, it still had the element of a stuffed animal. It still felt like fabric, and there were still visible stitches holding it together.
“It’s her,” Bellatrix hissed, her anger flooding back in a flash. It overpowered any curiosity she had for the extraordinary doll. Her fists began to clench around the lifeless doll before she had even registered what she was doing.
“Hey! That’s not going to do anything to the Mudblood. Here, you can take it to your room, but give it back to me when you’re done.” He handed her the knife and walked away, sure of what the little firstie would do.
Bellatrix did as was suggested and walked solemnly up to her room. She sat down on her bed, inspecting the knife with the snake handle in what dim light the window in the room provided. As she stared at the blade, curvy cuneiform began to etch itself in the metal.
It’s the first part of the poem, she thought. The first year stared at the line, rereading it over and over again. Could she do it? Could she really give this witch the most horrendous nightmares? The girl would be so scared. It would scar her for life probably. And Bellatrix would have to see it happen to the girl. She would have to view the repercussions of her actions, hear the girl scream in agony and fear, and not be able to do anything. It would be all Bella’s fault.
The Slytherin’s eyes floated over the doll in her other hand. Just seeing her face made Bellatrix want to spit. It wasn’t a witch. It was a Mudblood! It had dared to defy her, a pureblood, when it was no better that dragon dung itself! How could Bellatrix ever have doubted what was right? It deserves to be punished! It must be put in its place!
Bellatrix nearly choked on her anger. She grasped the knife tightly and raised it with a shaking hand. She opened its mouth and found its tongue.
It’s just a doll, Bellatrix. It’s just a doll, she told herself as she brought the blade closer to its mouth. She closed her eyes. It’s just a doll. It cannot feel anything. A small cut won’t hurt it. The blade was touching the doll’s mouth. It’s just a doll. It’s a lifeless doll. The blade was inside the mouth. That Mudblood deserves it! Bellatrix snapped open her eyes and the pink, felt tongue was sliced off from its base.
She gasped as if it was not the doll’s tongue but her own she had cut off. The girl stared at the little flap of fabric now separated from its body. It wasn’t so bad, really. It was just a piece of felt. The girl smiled weakly and grasped the doll. Hah! That wasn’t so-
A small, red bit fell from out of its mouth. She picked it up and examined it.
Red stuffing? She gulped. It’s just stuffing. It is not a person’s blood. It is just stuffing. STUFFING! BELLATRIX BLACK, listen to yourself!
Her eyes wandered to the glimmering blade once more, where the old, loopy writing was replaced with the second line of the poem.
She touched the tip of the blade tentatively to the stomach of the doll, and put pressure on it, keeping in mind all the things the Mudblood had done to her so as to not lose her courage. Bella sent every hateful thought she could through the blade, and finally built up the will to thrust the knife across the doll, creating a long line oozing with red stuffing across its belly. Black shut her eyes to the red and slashed again.
“This-” She stabbed the hand of the doll. “is-” The knife dug into the doll and was twisted rather slowly. “payment-“ With a swipe of the snake blade, the doll lost ten of its digits. “for-” She slashed the leg. “NOT-” The nose was taken clean off its face. “KNOWING-” Off went the ears. “YOUR-” The chest took on several new red lines. “PLACE-“ The back of the doll came to mirror the front. “FILTHY-“ The final red line was drawn across neck. “MUDBLOOD!” The silver knife was brought down on the helpless, defenseless doll, and Bellatrix Black thought for a fleeting moment, that she could hear a small, weak squeal coming from the object she had just stabbed.
Bellatrix sat back on her bed. It creaked in gentle protest. Her breathing became loud and short. She had done it, and now there was no turning back. She would witness her handiwork tonight, and suddenly, she almost wanted to seethe justice she had doled out.
As Bella set the doll and blade on the prefect’s desk, he smiled to himself, knowing that he completed his job and that the Pureblood Bellatrix Black would someday make a perfect Death Eater. The only sound in the common room was the scratch of a quill on parchment and the light pitter-patter of a cheerful Slytherin first year as she skipped out of the common room in cheerful anticipation of the night to come.
Thanks for reading my disturbing story! It was written for Goldemort’s ‘Evil’ Challenge, hplover_987’s Pureblood Challenge, and SamMalfoy93’s What Makes us Who We Are Challenge! I’m thinking about writing another chapter, which would include a flashback to why Bella’s so angry at the Mudblood. Do you think I should? Please review! Reviews make Millarz happy! VERY special thanks to TenthWeasleyWriter (whom I have dubbed Twiz) for betaing this!
Her thick, black boots clunked against the cold, stone paved floor. The maniac smile and laugh she was so associated with when she became older were replaced with something ever more chilling: utter child-like joy. She was nearly bouncing up and down and giggling like a little girl when her master told her the news. The only thing that saved her from losing herself in giddy laughter was her wish to look like she belonged with the Death Eaters. They were mature and composed, not ditzy children. Even though she’d had her Dark Mark for nearly two years, she was still a middle ranking death eater; however, this new opportunity could change that. That reason, however, was not why she was nearly jumping out of her skin with glee.
Now, in the dark, dank hallways of the Death Eater hideout, there were no eyes to judge her. Her elated laughs echoed off the grey walls and her heartbeat quickened with anticipation. Her cheeks pulsed and radiated life as she pushed open the chilly, metal door with a broad motion.
There in the damp room she entered lay a lone figure on its side. It was drawing in short, labored breaths and closed its eyes. It shook on the floor in its thin, gray rags, though from the cold or from what it had been though, she wasn’t sure. It had given up on the world and was waiting for the end. She was here to make sure the end would not come to it- not yet at least. This thought made her titter.
“Open you eyes, Mudblood!” she commanded. It obliged slowly and painfully to reveal dry, bloodshot eyes. She clasped her hands together.
“Do you know who I am?” she demanded. “Answer! Answer me, filthy Mudblood!”
It tried to open its mouth and said in a wispy croak, “You’re Bellatrix Lestrange, a wanted Death Eater charged with many murders.” It closed its eyes again and sank into the floor. “Go ahead and kill me, then. That’s what you want, right? For me to die?”
“No, Mudblood, not die,” the imprisoner said. The hapless figure drew its eyes open in surprise and glanced at her with curiosity. A faint, renewed spark of self-preservation lit in its eyes. It was a weak little flame, so puny, a light breeze would put it out, but it had the potential to grow into a raging fire if it had a gentle, nurturing hand.
“No,” she repeated, and it’s small flame of life went a notch brighter. “I want you to live one thousand torturous lives! I want you to burn in the deepest fiery pit and feel every flame lick your filthy skin! I want to set loose the cruelest of manticores upon you and drink up each and every one of your wonderful screams!” She stamped on its hand and it cried out weakly, already having been submitted to far worse that day. It recoiled and lay panting in a fetal position, all while she soaked up its pain.
The flame extinguished, leaving only a smoky hint of its existence that slipped through its fingers. It had one more thing to extract from its pitiful life. After some time, it spoke again, barely more that a fleeting whisper. “Why, Bellatrix? Why are you doing this? Just tell me, for my sake, if not yours. What harm does it do to you? Your words will be locked in my grave.”
Perhaps if she hadn’t been so enraged by it’s gall to question her, she would have remarked that it was not getting a grave. A grave was for people and sometimes loved creatures. To think the death eaters would supply it with such an honor was preposterous.
Instead, she screamed, “Why? You dare ask why?” The rage swept though her, energizing her every word. “You filthy Mudblood! You dared to infiltrate our wizarding world when you were no better than muggle filth yourself! You have no right to be here! And-“
She crouched down and leaned in close to its face, close enough for the spit to fleck its nose. “I owe you. I see you there! You want to ask why? I’ll tell you why! Its for making my life absolutely miserable our first year! It’s your fault my house turned against me that year! It took me ages to regain the trust of the other Slytherins! You betrayed me and embarrassed me in front of the entire school! You dare ask why!”
The Death Eater swept back up, her robes flying in its face, but it made no motion to suggest it felt anything. She sniffed indignantly and let her boots make hard contact with its exposed feet. It jerked in an unthinking reaction to the burst of fire-like agony, and all it knew was a terrible ache.
The ache engulfed its mind, making it know only pain and suffering. This is the end, it said to itself. It had said its prayers and mental goodbye ages ago, when it thought it was close to death. Obviously, death was not close enough yet.
Only mum will miss me, it had thought during the first rounds of crucios, which happened before this new Death Eater had even arrived. No one else will even notice me gone. Mum will miss me terribly! It remembered one of Mum’s sweet hugs. This hug, it recalled, was mixed with salty tears as new widow and her daughter looked on upon the freshly dug grave. The pair of mourners both had the image of a floating skull and snake running through their minds as they wept over the freshly turned earth.
A new image had forced its way into its brain as second round of crucios came. It was the same image, but the widow was alone. I can’t escape this. I’m sorry mum. I’m going to die. I love you.
It had settled into the idea of dying before its thoughts were slowly replaced by the crucios. For better or for worse, the long break between the crucioers and her new torturers had let her regain some of her thought abilities. Death once again became the enemy. Who’s going to take care of Mum now? I have to live! If not for me, then I must do it for her. I have to try. What do I do now? It struggled to reason through its foggy mind. Answer the Death Eater, it told itself.
It took its time to compose itself, and she was ever patient, enjoying its weakness. When it finally pulled itself together, it furrowed it’s brows even deeper on its already squinting face. Still clutching its hand, it told her, “I didn’t betray you. You betrayed me, and you betrayed yourself.” It paused and let out a small, solemn breath. “What happened to you, Bellatrix? You’re not the Bella Black I met on the express. She was happy and compassionate. She was caring and kind. She was my friend.” It closed it’s eyes and a small, silvery tear ran down its nose, making its eyes sting, for they had been dry for so long that the wetness only added to her pain. “Where did Bella go?”
The Death Eater recoiled at the mention of that…incident. That meeting should never have happened. She wouldn’t be in this mess if the Mudblood had just picked another seat. The torturer spat and snarled, “She was naïve and stupid! She didn’t know what was right and you just made her confused! The Death Eaters have opened my eyes and shown me the truth! You just deceived me and fed me lies!”
Its eyes snapped open and she peered into them. Inside of them swirled a mixture of feelings. What did the Death Eater see? The eyes held a sad, hardened sort of longing to them, even when the rest of its body was broken. Yet, even with endless torture, there were soft edges to its gaze. One might interpret it as pity or sympathy.
“You know that’s not true, Bellatrix,” it spoke. “You’ve known it all along. They influenced you, the Death Eaters. You didn’t truly believe their pureblood ideals. Your mother told you not to mingle with muggleborns, yet you still talked to me. I know you’re better than killing innocent people. You don’t have to be a monster. Remember that year together? Remember the day on the train when we were young and innocent? Remember, Bella. Remember…”
How did this happen to her, Bellatrix Black, of all people?
The Hogwarts Express pulled out of the station while Bella stood out in the isle with no compartment to sit in. Her eyes prickled with held back tears, and it wasn’t just because of the huge suitcase haphazardly thrown on her toes. It was not even her first day at Hogwarts and already she hated every moment away from home just as she feared. It wasn’t like she loved her household or anything; it was just preferable to the intimidating unknown, especially since this unknown had cast her aside like she was scum.
It was all because of Rabastan that kids his age hated her. He spread lies around their little pureblood clique like melted butter on steaming toast. No young Slytherin wanted to sit with her, the “Mudblood-loving”, “hand-me-down wearing”, “nearly-squib” Black. At least the older kids had the sense not to believe Lestrange. Bella hoped by third year, he would be over such nonsense, but alas here they were, his third year and her first, and he had the second years wrapped around his finger. More importantly, they were all against her.
It was by his hand that she was stuck with the huge suitcase almost as big as she. At least she thought it was his fault. Bella had only heard muffled chuckles when she turned around, only to be dragged down by her once shrunken and feather-light suitcase. There was a new keychain on it, and Bella dared not touch it in the middle of the Hogwarts Express just in case it was cursed to the touch. Suspiciously enough, when she looked around to see who might have put the keychain on her suitcase, a compartment door slammed. It was the one she knew was occupied by older Slytherins. She could hardly move her luggage anymore, but luckily enough, she was standing in front of the compartment her mother had told her to sit in, so she hadn’t had to drag it far.
Bella opened the door to the seats. “Hey, could you please help me get my luggage in here?” she asked as she scanned each of the faces of her probable housemates. There were five pureblooded first-years with Slytherin parents, and each was expected to keep with the Slytherin tradition. Her mother had wanted her to bond with them as soon as possible, but they weren’t making this very easy for Bella.
Their responses were blinking stares, which made Bellatrix feel like she was intruding. There were six people in this compartment, and Bellatrix had known all of them from dinners and balls that her family either went to or hosted. Bella hoped dearly they weren’t corrupted by Rabastan’s influence.
One boy, who Bella faintly recalled had the name of Brian Greengrass, finally broke the silence. “We don’t have any room in here, and your luggage is much too big,” he said as he put his jacket in the empty space beside him. “You’ll have to find somewhere else to sit, Black.”
“Wh-What? Go somewhere else? I’m supposed to sit here! Our mothers planned for us to all sit together! There’s room for one more person!” Bella stuttered. She gaped at Greengrass. Never in her life did she expect a pureblood to be so ungracious to her other than Rabastan. Such tactless rejection was only reserved for the elder Lestrange brother.
One of the boys, Donald Parkinson, looked over to Brian. “Why can’t she sit here? Our mums’ said she was to be with us and there’s plenty-“
“There’s not enough room, Parkinson. Don’t tell your mummy, and she won’t know ” a girl hissed with a deadly, pointed gaze at Donald. Parkinson shut his mouth immediately and shrunk into his seat. The two other quiet first years in the compartment noticeably stiffened. The girl turned to Black. “Run along now, Bellasquib, you Mudblood-lover. I believe we told you to leave.”
“Summers, you don’t have to be so-“ the shy girl sitting next to Greengrass cut off at the Summers’s glare.
“You, Bulstrode cannot speak. Your brother is a blood traitor! You’re going to have to do a lot to prove that you’re not just like him! You’re lucky we even let you sit here!” Summers snapped. “Now you,” she said, referring back to Bella, “LEAVE!”
Summers slammed the door, leaving Black standing stunned in the isle. The sound of the door reverberated in her ears for a few seconds, and her brain struggled to process the utter ungraciousness of the whole situation. A stray, older Gryfindor walked towards her. He cleared his throat so that Bella would move, and this snapped her out of her trance. She let the Gryffindor pass. Then Bella started dragging her oversized suitcase down the isles while muttering how she was not a Mudblood-loving squib and whoever thought she was could tape their mouths shut.
Bella didn’t make it far before she had to stop to rest. She leaned against a closed door, panting. It wasn’t a moment before the door she was leaning on was ripped open, and Bella found herself falling through the new opening with a lurch. She plopped on the floor with a groan and flipped over slowly to face the classmates in the space she had just inadvertently invaded. Her eyes met a very recognizable sneer.
“Well! If it isn’t Bellasquib herself!” Rabastan’s voice greeted her. A chorus of second and third year Slytherin’s laughter followed soon after. Bella’s cheeks went profusely red, and she stumbled to stand up and get out of the undignified position of being at his feet.
Despite her embarrassment, she said, “My name is not Bellasquib, thank you very much.” She crossed her arms in bluffing defiance.
“Suit yourself, firstie. Now, why would a lovely little girl like you be wandering with such a huge suitcase up and down the isle’s, hmm?” At this, one of the boys sitting down snorted. Bella ignored him, as there was nothing she could do with her being surrounded by older classmates. Rabastan continued, “If you’d like, you could sit here with us.”
Black look startled at his request. Was he trying to make nice or was he just pulling her leg? It was probably the latter, but Bellatrix had absolutely nowhere else to go, so she decided to be optimistic and hope he really was trying to make up for his awfulness. Spending the whole trip to Hogwarts living in a tortured existence with Rabastan and his goons was much preferable to spending it alone in the isle.
Any other day, she might have responded with ‘I’d rather sit with a manticore’ or ‘Okay, but watch for flying chunks because the sight of your ugly face makes me barf.’ However, her desperate situation drover her to say “Do you really mean that?”
Rabastan burst out laughing in her face. “Of course not! You’re pathetic! You’re going to annoy us the whole trip! Get out of here!” He pushed her out of the compartment. Her back slammed into the other door across the isle and she let out a pained cry. Her suitcase was thrown farther away from Rabastan’s seat as if it was poisonous and being near it for a prolonged time would give them all Bellasquib disease.
Rabastan slammed the door, leaving Black once again stranded. This might have been one of those times when Lestrange thought he might have taken things a step too far when he heard Bellatrix’s stifled sobs. He might have had a small, conscious though to open the door again and apologize to her, but if he did have such thought, it was swept away by his underlings’ hoots and hollers. Lestrange did, after all, have to keep up appearances of being strong and supreme, and the noise of his friends conveniently covered up the lone girl’s sobs. If he had the courage to open the door, Bella and he might have started on the pathway to becoming friends that very day. However, he sat back down in his seat and left his guilty musings for later, allowing Bellatrix to meet Ivory Hart and postponing their friendship for a good number of years.
And so, Bellatrix Black found herself standing alone in the isles of the Hogwarts Express. She leaned back against the door she was so haphazardly thrown up against and began hyperventilating. All her nightmares were coming true: being ostracized in a new place, facing Rabastan in the Hogwarts Express, and weren’t the walls closing in around her too? She sniffled, tears pouring down her pale face. She wallowed in her solitary misery, having no solution to her apparent problem. It seemed she would be sitting here for the rest of the horrid trip to Hogwarts.
Bella felt the door start to slide. She jumped up and turned around. There was no way she was going to fall through another opening again. A girl stood in the doorway, beckoning her to come in.
“Here, little girl. I know Rabastan’s a jerk. You can sit with me,” she cajoled. The girl put a guiding arm on Bella and led her into the compartment of which only had one occupant before Bella had joined the girl. Black went with her trustingly. She was seated and the girl dragged in her luggage and slid the door closed. Then, the girl sat next to Bella and put a consoling arm around her. Bella embraced it, and she cried into the stranger’s arms until her tears ran dry. The girl stayed stoically by Bella’s side.
An indefinite amount of time passed, and Bella’s eyes dried up. She sniffled, looking up at her savior for the first time. For the first time since she stepped into the compartment, embarrassment flooded her cheeks and she pulled away to the other bench. Did she really just cry on a stranger’s shoulder? Mother would have said her behavior was most disgraceful! Bella sniffed again. Who cared what Mother thought now? She was away from her, and Mother couldn’t control her life anymore! Bella could sit with this stranger and be happy, unlike with those snooty little Slytherins. As long as she was in Slytherin, her mother didn’t have to know anything else about her life!
“Are you okay?” the stranger asked. “I’m Ivory. What’s your name?”
Bella glanced at Ivory. Despite her name, she had dark brown hair cut shoulder length and sun-kissed skin. She was considerably larger than frail, little Bellatrix in both height and stockiness. Ivory held a look of concern on her face that was almost motherly; a look that seemed far too old for her young body.
Bellatrix took in her appearance and decided Ivory seemed like a decent classmate. “My name is Bellatrix Black,” she offered, “but you can call me Bella.” She shut her mouth again, unsure of what else to say to Ivory.
“A Black, hmm? What does the great Rabastan have against you, Bella?” Ivory asked. “Oh wait, you don’t have to answer that! I’m prying too much, aren’t I?”
“No, it’s okay. Rabastan just hates me. He’s always out to make other people hate me too. I hate him!” Bella responded, working herself up into a fury.
“Why would he hate you? You seem like a nice girl, Bella.”
Bella wrinkled her nose in anger. “I spilt milk on his pants during a ball when I was six. It wasn’t even my fault the milk spilt either! Someone bumped me! Of course, Rabastan would hear none of my ‘excuses’ and made it his purpose in life to get back at me for embarrassing him in front of all the pureblood families! I hate him!” she repeated.
Ivory pressed a hand gently on Bella’s shoulder, urging her to sit down. Only then did Bellatrix realize she had stood up during her rant. “So,” Ivory began, “you two hate each other… over spilt milk?” She snorted quietly. “Sorry. I don’t mean to be rude, but it does sound kind of ridiculous!”
“He hates me because everyone laughed at him and say he peed his pants, so he wants everyone else to laugh at me! That’s not funny! All because of spilt milk! Spilt milk! Huh. I guess it kind is funny… if you look at it that way.” Bella conceded.
“Told ya!” Ivory said, laughing. Bella crossed her arms in a light-hearted pout. “So,” Ivory said, “are you excited for Hogwarts? What year are you in?”
These questions triggered Bellatrix into a long and winding talk on her mother’s Slytherin expectations, her overbearing presence at home, and the freedom she might have at her new school. Ivory added in the appropriate nods and words of encouragement, urging Bella to pour her heart out with her daily household stresses. Bella felt much more calm and assured, knowing she had an ally in Ivory. At least one person would be on her side in Hogwarts, and she wouldn’t be alone.
It was only as the majestic view of Hogwarts in the distance came into view that Bellatrix realized she still did not know much about Ivory. “I don’t know what year you’re in yet! Have I really been talking that long?” she said, slightly ashamed she had been talking the whole time.
Ivory waved her hands in the air to dismiss Bella’s worries. “Yes, but I don’t mind. I’m a third year, same year as Rabastan. Urg. I’m a Gryffindor. House of the lions and the brave and all that.”
Bella stiffened at this new information. She had been talking to a Gryffindor this whole time? Even worse, she had wept all over one and told the Gryffindor her whole private life! Ivory pretended not to notice Bella’s tension, instead placing a small, friendly smile on her lips.
The first year opened her mouth cautiously to speak, but Ivory new enough to know what Bellatrix was going to ask. She answered Bellatrix’s unspoken question, and her answer her answer sent ice through Bella’s veins.
“I’m a muggleborn.”
She became lost in her memory, imagining the train scene like she was in a pensieve. She watched Bella silently in this image, wanting desperately to pull the innocent little girl away from the door of the Mudblood. She didn’t however, not that it would have done any good anyways. They were memories, after all. She couldn’t even sweep the girl aside in her mind. It was almost as if she wanted the poor, hysterical Bella to meet the Mudblood- but only so the first year would stop being such a baby.
In her memory, she took in the comforting smell of the girl’s robes as her face was buried in her clothing. The girl’s garments were robe-like, but not school robes, she recalled. This memory filled her with a melancholy longing. The torturer suddenly realizing what she was thinking about the Mudblood and reeled. This Mudblood was now on the floor at her feet, for goodness sake!
“You’re trying to trick me, aren’t you? Make me feel for you? Filth! You’re trying to save yourself like that?” the death eater cackled, throwing her head back to the cobwebbed ceiling to hide her insecurities. She reached at her hip and unsheathed something small and silver. With a quick motion, the snake dagger was balanced expertly in Bellatrix Lestrange’s hand. Cursive writing lined the old blade. “Oh, you’re going to pay for that, Ivory Hart!”
Its plan failed, and she once again resigned to her fate. Goodbye, Mum. I’m going to see Dad now. It closed its eyes and waited.
AN: Hey! Millarz here! Thanks for reading this story! I know it’s very dark. This chapter was written for the “In the Moment of Death” challenge by Fawkes_the_Phoenix, “What Makes Us Who We Are” challenge by SamMalfoy93, and “The ‘Absolute Death’ challenge by Mihali1432. I think I might write another chapter for this story, as long as I get over my laziness. It would have more flashbacks if I do write it. What do you think of it? I’d love to know in a review! PLEASE REVIEW THIS STORY! Reviews make Millarz happy!