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Chapter 34 : Deadly Control
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Andromeda had been in there talking to Narcissa for about an hour, then she came out and walked into Bellatrix’s room, where Bellatrix was sitting on her bed, just thinking about different things.
“Hey, Bella,” Andromeda said. She looked a more depressed than Bellatrix felt, and Bellatrix couldn’t help but wonder why.
“What’s wrong?” Bellatrix asked.
“Nothing,” Andromeda said dismissively. Then she seemed to reconsider. “I told you, I’ll tell you after we get this whole thing with Cissa worked out. Will you please just go talk to her, though? I really think that you two need to talk this out.”
Bellatrix nodded. “Yeah, okay. Thanks, Meda.” She stood up and walked over to Andromeda and kissed her cheek. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Andromeda didn’t say anything; she just gave Bellatrix a hug, which made Bellatrix more suspicious than it should’ve. Bellatrix walked into Narcissa’s room slowly, then silently shut the door behind her. Narcissa had very defined tear marks running down her face.
“Hey, Cissa,” Bellatrix said. “I feel really stupid for asking this, but how are you?”
Narcissa shifted uncomfortably on her bed. “Come here,” she said. She patted the spot on her bed in front of where she was sitting, indicating that she wanted Bellatrix to sit there, which she did.
“Look, Bella, I’m not really sure how to say this, but I don’t want to sit here and have a big conversation with you about what happened,” Narcissa said. “But I don’t want you think that it’s because I’m mad at you or that I can’t talk about it or anything. It’s just that I just had a huge conversation about it with Meda, so I don’t want to have to do all of that again. That’s twice in two days that I’ve had to try to convince somebody why I’m so upset, and I have no intention of making it three.”
“So you’re not mad at me?” Bellatrix asked hopefully.
“I didn’t say that. I’m furious with you. I just don’t want to talk about it.”
Something clicked in the back of Bellatrix’s mind. “Wait—you said two people. Who else was there besides Meda.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s the other thing,” Narcissa said, a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. “Lucius and I got back together.”
Bellatrix was stunned. She couldn’t say anything for a few minutes, and when she did, the only thing that came out was, “What?”
Narcissa snickered. “I got back together with Lucius.”
“Seriously?” Bellatrix still couldn’t wrap her head around that.
“Yes, seriously.” Narcissa was grinning now, which Bellatrix would’ve seen as a plus if she didn’t feel like her whole body had just gone numb.
“When did this happen? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because it just happened yesterday, and I wouldn’t talk to anybody—especially you. Well, anybody except Lucius. After I got home, the first thing I did after I had just been sobbing for about twenty minutes was send an owl to Lucius and ask him to come to my room, because I wanted to talk to him. He did, of course, because he’s Lucius Malfoy, and I told him everything that happened. And then we talked some more, and we decided to give our relationship a second chance—doing it the right way this time.”
“Bella, please say something,” Narcissa begged, her eyes pleading.
“I-I don’t really know what to say,” Bellatrix said. “I mean, how do you go from hating someone to wanting them to be in your life as completely as being your boyfriend.”
“When was the last time you talked to Rodolphus?” Narcissa asked.
Bellatrix smiled. “Okay. Touché.”
Narcissa shrugged. “He was the only one I felt like I could trust. And also, a part of me has been in love with him the whole time. It’s sort of weird, but not really when you think about it. I just—I needed to talk to someone. And my first thought was Meda, who’s like our unofficial mediator, but I thought she would side with you. Which, by the way, she did, in case you were wondering. But you and Lucius hate each other.”
“We don’t hate each other,” Bellatrix said. “I just happened to go through a spell of disliking him intensely when I figured out what he was doing to you.”
“Well, to be fair, I wasn’t exactly in that relationship one hundred percent, either,” Narcissa admitted. “I just wanted to help Rabastan. Which, by the way, Lucius agreed to talk to his father about letting Renee leave. I think he was so happy to have me back that he would’ve done anything for me at that moment.”
“For someone who weighs one hundred pounds, you sure do know how to throw your weight around,” Bellatrix said with a small smile.
Narcissa laughed softly. “Yeah, I guess. But…Bella?”
“Will you still teach me the Imperious Curse?”
“Sure,” Bellatrix said, just glad that Narcissa didn’t seem to really be too mad at her. Then she grinned. “You just did the same thing to me that you did to Lucius.”
Narcissa grinned sheepishly. “As long as I’m depressed, I might as well take advantage of it.”
“But, Cissa, you do know that eventually we’re going to have to talk about this, right?”
“Yeah, I know. I just don’t want to do it right now. I’d rather wait until I get over it myself a little bit.”
“Okay. Let’s do this, then.”
Only a short five minutes—maybe—had passed before it happened.
“I think I’m getting the theory and technique of it,” Narcissa said. “I get it, I do. I feel really confident that I can cast this curse.”
“Are you sure?” Bellatrix asked.
“Positive,” Narcissa said, her entire body radiating with confidence.
“Okay. Let’s see. We need to find something for you to practice on. A living thing, not just air. Wait! I know! I’ll be right back. Hold on.”
Bellatrix sprinted out of Narcissa’s room and into her own, only to find Fioran sitting in his cage peacefully while Persephone was standing on Bellatrix’s bed hissing with all of her might, her back arched, looking like she might snap if anyone even touched her.
“Persephone, cut it out,” Bellatrix said. Persephone calmed down a little bit, but she still looked extremely on her guard. Bellatrix walked around her bed until she was standing right to Persephone and said, “What’s wrong, girl? Why do you hate him so much?”
Persephone just huddled closer to Bellatrix.
“Fioran, I need to borrow you for a second,” Bellatrix said. She opened the cage door, and Persephone let out a huge meow that was far too big for her little body and scampered until Bellatrix’s bed. Bellatrix wished that she could comfort her cat a little, but wanted to get back to Narcissa. Besides, experience had taught her that Persephone tended to stay clear of her whenever she was in close contact with Fioran at all.
Bellatrix carried Fioran into Narcissa’s room, and said, “Okay, Cissa, try to use the Imperious Curse on him.”
“On an animal?” Narcissa asked. “Wouldn’t that be different than using it on a human, though?”
“Yes—easier. Animals don’t have as complicated of a mind as humans do. If you can get it down on Fioran, then we can see what we can do about humans.” Bellatrix had to smile at the memory of her learning the Imperious Curse on that muggle woman. Even though that Christmas break was one of the roughest times of her life, when she looked back on it, it was still one of the best.
“Er, okay,” Narcissa said. She pointed her wand at Fioran, who ruffled his feathers a little. “Imperio.”
The curse didn’t seem to affect Fioran at all. However, he stood alone in that capacity.
Narcissa fainted. She just suddenly fell over, knocked out cold. Bellatrix pressed both of her hands over her mouth to keep herself from screaming. She ran over to Narcissa and fell to her knees.
“Cissa, are you okay?” Bellatrix asked frantically. “Narcissa Black, please answer me.”
Bellatrix watched Narcissa’s stomach carefully, trying to make sure that she was still breathing. Which, in hindsight, she decided, probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Narcissa had clearly stopped breathing.
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