Chapter 35 : The Power of Denial
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“Cissa, please, baby,” Bellatrix pleaded. “Cissa, come on. You can’t be dead. You just can’t.” Bellatrix grabbed Narcissa’s hand and clutched it to her chest. Her hand was ice-cold.
Bellatrix didn’t know what to do, so she went to the one person she thought would. She rushed out of the room and went into Andromeda’s room, where she luckily was.
“Meda! Help.” Bellatrix said quickly, now close to tears. She couldn’t live with Narcissa. She couldn’t live without either of her sisters, for that matter. She had to find some way to fix this.
“What happened?” Andromeda asked.
“It’s Cissa. Just hurry.” Both girls rushed into Narcissa’s room, and she hadn’t moved a single inch.
Andromeda flinched when she saw Narcissa. “What happened?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” Bellatrix said. “I was trying to teach her to use the Imperious Curse. She used it, then just fainted. Except she’s not breathing.” Tears began running down Bellatrix’s face. She couldn’t lose Narcissa. She couldn’t lose her angel.
Andromeda suddenly looked at Bellatrix with a serious, solemn expression. “Bella, listen to me,” she said. “You have to call the Dark Lord. If anyone can help her, it’s him. He’s our only hope, I know it. I have to go. There’s something I have to do.”
Bellatrix didn’t have time to wonder what Andromeda had to do. She didn’t have time to ask, either, because she promptly Disapparated, leaving Bellatrix alone with Narcissa.
Bellatrix took a deep breath, tears still pouring down her face. She rolled up her left sleeve, not coherent enough to wonder if this would actually work. The Dark Lord had told her about this a long time ago, but she’d never had any reason to use it before. Or, at least, not a good enough one. She drew her wand and pressed it hard against her Dark Mark, willing the Dark Lord to respond to her call with every fiber of her being. She doubled over from the pain it caused her, but she was already kneeling, so it didn’t matter that much.
It took less than a second for the Dark Lord to materialize in Narcissa’s room.
“What happened?” he asked after taking one look at Bellatrix’s face.
“It’s Cissa,” Bellatrix sobbed. “I don’t know what happened to her. She stopped breathing, though. My Lord, please, I need your help. I don’t know what to do.”
“Okay, Bella, just relax,” the Dark Lord said. “I’ll see what I can do.” He scooped Narcissa into his arms. “Grab my arm,” he said. Bellatrix immediately did, and the Dark Lord Apparated the three of them to that house in the muggle village. He gently laid Narcissa down on a bed in the room they were in, and he placed his wand on her chest.
“Bella, I’m sorry, but your sister’s dead,” the Dark Lord said. “She doesn’t have any kind of pulse at all.”
“She can’t be dead!” Bellatrix insisted. “My Lord, this is my sister! My baby sister! This is Narcissa! She can’t be dead!”
“She is,” the Dark Lord said calmly. “There’s nothing you can do for her. You cannot bring back the dead, no matter how much you’d like to.”
Bellatrix’s whole body felt numb. In eighteen years, she had felt pretty miserable a lot. Nothing even came close to how she felt right now, though, simply because she couldn’t feel anything. She even tried digging her fingernails into her palm to see if it would hurt, but she couldn’t move her fingers. She was just in shock. She had even stopped crying.
Then the reality began to sink in, and the pain was too much for Bellatrix to handle. She sank down to her knees and began crying again. How could she possibly make it to tomorrow knowing that Narcissa wouldn’t follow her there? She just…she just couldn’t do it.
“Bella, what happened to her?” the Dark Lord asked. “People don’t usually just drop dead randomly. Was she still upset about her father?”
Bellatrix rolled over onto her side, hoping that it would help. It didn’t. “She…um…I was trying to teach her the Imperious Curse,” Bellatrix said, barely able to get each word out. “She really wanted to learn it. As soon as she tried casting it, though, she just fainted.
“Oh,” the Dark Lord said. Then he suddenly just walked out of the room. Bellatrix sat up in surprise. The Dark Lord returned almost immediately, carrying a vial with a murky-looking potion inside. Bellatrix hesitantly stood up and walked over to him.
“What is that?” Bellatrix asked.
“It’s a very special potion that was created around the time of the Middle Ages,” the Dark Lord said. “The drinker will placed literally an inch from death. Wizards used to put this stuff in the drinks of muggles all the time, because it makes it makes it look like you’re dead. Then the muggles would bury the person, and when they did finally wake up, they’d be underground so they’d die from a lack of oxygen.”
“How will it help Cissa?” Bellatrix asked curiously.
“Because she’s not really dead,” the Dark Lord said. “When you told me that she tried to cast an Imperious Curse, I immediately knew what happened. Narcissa is a very capable young witch, but she’s not powerful enough yet to cast a curse as powerful as the Imperious Curse. She’s not truly dead in the truest sense of the word. Her entire body simply went into shock because it was trying to access powers that it wasn’t ready for.”
“So you think that potion will actually bring her back.”
“I don’t know,” the Dark Lord admitted. “It’s a long shot, but it’s also our best shot.” He propped up Narcissa’s head and forced the potion down her throat. He only gave her a little bit, but it was enough. He placed his wand on her chest again, then looked up at Bellatrix. “She has a pulse,” he said. “It’s very faint, but that was what the potion was supposed to do.”
“So she’s alive?” Bellatrix asked, a hesitantly smile pulling at the corners of her mouth.
The Dark Lord nodded. “She’s alive. I’m going to wait a minute to give her the potion that will bring her fully back just to make sure that her body is ready for it, but she’s going to be just fine.”
Bellatrix laughed. The feeling of complete and total happiness that spread through her body didn’t have words to define it. She had never felt more completely full of pure, undiluted joy. Even her extreme happiness when Rodolphus told her that he was going to propose to her didn’t compare to this. Nothing could. She could barely even remember that feeling of total, complete dread she’d felt when she thought Narcissa was dead.
Bellatrix slowly walked over to Narcissa and knelt beside the bed. She put her hand on Narcissa’s forehead and smiled.
“Okay, I think she’s ready,” the Dark Lord said. “I’ll be right back.” He left the room again, and Bellatrix carefully studied Narcissa’s face. It was a strange feeling. It was like she could feel the love radiating from her body. She wondered if Narcissa could sense it on some level, if she had any idea what had gone on in the past several minutes.
Bellatrix was pulled out of her trance and saw the Dark Lord standing next to her. She hadn’t even realized that he was there.
“Is that really it?” Bellatrix asked, gesturing toward the potion. It looked so different from the potion that he’d had the last time. While the other one was thick and dirty and looked like sewer water, this one was clear and baby blue. It looked so soft, too. It reminded Bellatrix of a veela.
“Yeah. Surprising, isn’t it?” The Dark Lord forced that one down Narcissa’s throat, too.
Bellatrix swore that her heart stopped beating for the full two seconds that it took for Narcissa to wake up.
“Bella?” she said, sounding extremely incoherent.
“I’m here, Cissa,” Bellatrix said. She grabbed Narcissa’s hand again.
Narcissa didn’t say anything for a moment, then she suddenly sat up, looked extremely disoriented again.
“Bella!” she exclaimed. “Meda! We have to find Meda! Somebody has to tell her how much of an idiot she is before she does something stupid!”
“Cissa, you realize that saying that Meda is stupid is like saying that you’re ugly, right?” Bellatrix asked.
“No, Bella, I’m serious,” Narcissa said, sounding very adamant and sure of herself. “I don’t know if I can live without Meda, and I have no intention of finding out. We have to help her, Bella!”
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