Chapter 1 : Waiting
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A/N: I typed this up in one go and decided to leave it as is: I like the weird flow/style/whatever of this piece and the rawness is a cruical element. Enjoy and PLEASE review! :)
He sits in the cracked red veneer booth, twirling a silver teaspoon between his long fingers. It glints under the cheap fluorescent lights, its reflection creating a dazzling display on the white stucco roof. He is antsy and is constantly glancing up at the door, expectant.
He has never been good at waiting.
It takes a special type of person to sit in a run-down diner in an even more run-down part of town for a full two hours after the arranged meeting time. But he is patient, if only for her. He wills himself not to give up and orders another cup of coffee from a redhead waitress with too much makeup and too little subtly.
His coffee comes, set down with a distinct clattering and a cheery smile, on the chipped tabletop. He reaches across the table for the tiny milk cartons Muggles put out for such purposes. The sugar sits untouched at the opposite end: he was never one for sugar or sweetness. Perhaps that’s why he chose her.
She is not one to sugar-coat anything and he likes that about her: that raw, unveiled honesty. It is easy to be around her because he knows she will always tell him the truth, even when it hurts. Even when it may drive him away. But he’d never leave her, mostly because he couldn’t bring himself to walk away.
The door clangs open, the jingling of the tiny bells a startling noise over the quiet buzz of the lights and the occasional chatter among the wait staff. He looks up through his lashes mid-sip, already preparing himself for the inevitable disappointment.
Only there she is, in all her terrifying glory.
Bellatrix strides in, letting the wind from the closing door tussle her wild black curls. Her heavily-lidded eyes scan the large but nearly unoccupied diner and he feels his breath catch when her gaze lands on him. She starts toward him across the tiled linoleum floor, her black boots squelch with mud. Neither is aware of the dirty looks aimed at them by those working the graveyard shift: at 3 AM none of them are in the mood to get down on their hands and knees.
“Hi,” she breathes as she slides into the seat opposite him, her eyes never leaving his.
“Hi,” he replies, fiddling with the handle of his damaged white mug. Then, after a slight hesitation: “Did you-?”
“Yeah,” she interrupts. “It’s true.”
An unreadable look crosses his handsome features, transforming his angular face. “It’s true,” he repeats quietly. “It’s true. And are you-?”
“Yeah,” she says. “I’m okay with it.”
A smile lights his face as he contemplates their ability to finish one another’s thoughts. “I’m happy, too. Maybe now-?”
“Or maybe later.” She glares at the redhead waitress who is wiping down a table until she scampers over, pen and paper in hand, to take Bellatrix’s order. She orders coffee, black, and nothing else.
Rodolphus waits until the waitress is behind the counter, trading whispers with a scrawny busboy who shoots what he thinks are menacing looks at the two strangely dressed customers sitting in the waitress’ section. Rodolphus says then, with a hint of a smirk: “Yeah, but I’ll marry you one day.”
She raises two slim eyebrows in a perfect arch. “I’d be Bellatrix Lestrange, then. A Black no longer.”
The redhead waitress is back, her skin blanched under a splattering of freckles, and she sets Bellatrix's order in front of her. "Anything else?" she asks, eyes downcast. Neither Bellatrix nor Rodolphus say a word and, taking the hint, the girl turns hastily away.
“I like the sound of that," he says, returning to their conversation. There is an honesty in his voice only she can elicit in him.
She pauses a moment, enjoying the power she holds over him as she pretends to contemplate her next words. Really, though, she knows what she will say. “I kinda do, too.”
They sit in silence for a few minutes, idly sipping their coffee. “One more question," he says.
She looks up from her cup where she had been chasing a stray coffee grain around with her spoon. “Yeah?”
“A boy," she finishes for him. "Yeah. We’re having a boy.”
“A little Rodolphus," he muses, attempting to maintain a facade of indifference but he can't help the exuberant gleam that brightens his eyes. She, of course, notices: there is nothing she doesn't know about him. "Hm. I like it.”
Bellatrix forces a snort, attempting to ingest some sort of levity into the serious conversation. “Personally, I think it’s rather horrifying.”
“Well," he starts. "You clearly have a terrible taste in boys.”
The eyebrows go up again, challenging him. “I chose you.”
“Yeah, well, you got lucky," he informs her seriously, with a casual wave of his hand. His gaze returns to his now empty coffee mug and he busies his hands by spinning it around on the dirty tabletop, enjoying the grating chink of ceramic against the cheap material of the tabletop.
“Don’t make me laugh."
He smiles, and pushes the sugar across the table to her. It catches on something - he doesn't care to know what - and tips over, hitting the table with a clatter and sending sugar across the table to her in a straight line. “I just did.”
He had never been one for sugar, but she couldn't drink her coffee without it.