Chapter 1 : Crucio
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The word fluttered around her mind like a butterfly trapped in a cage. It was her favourite spell. It was such a small word, such a simple meaning, and yet it wielded so much power. That one little word could flip the tables on two people, it could change a situation in a single moment and allow her to become the tormentor rather than the victim.
Bellatrix Lestrange closed her heavy lidded brown eyes, all the better to savour the moment. The loud scream that came from the woman writhing on the floor made Bellatrix smile. Those full, pouting, cherry red lips she possessed curled at the corners in a harsh, cruel smile, a smile that told anyone who looked at her that she was enjoying the pain she was inflicting.
Oh how it thrilled her. How it empowered her. Bellatrix could feel the pure strength of the word flowing through her veins, filling her with untold power. She was the one in charge, she held all the cards, she, Bellatrix Lestrange, held this woman’s life in her hands.
She took a deep, satisfied breath, allowing her arm to fall motionless at her side. Her long fingered, elegant hand rested gently against her thigh, the pure silk of her black dress cool and luxuriant against her skin, the hard wood of her wand held steadily between her fingers.
Glancing down at the woman on the floor, Bellatrix examined her with emotionless eyes. This woman, Alice Longbottom, had given in to the power of the spell, granted she had not given in without a fight, but fighting did no good against such power. The woman’s body was curled into itself, into a protective ball as she shuddered violently on the cold floor. Bellatrix closed her eyes again, blocking out the laughter coming from her husband, Rodolphus Lestrange and Barty Crouch Junior across the other side of the room, and she concentrated on the woman at her feet.
The woman was struggling to breathe, Bellatrix could hear the harsh gasps as she strained against the vibrations of pain still working their way through her body. Bellatrix knew the woman was crying even without seeing her face, she could hear the catch in her throat as the tears hindered her breathing.
Bellatrix snapped open her eyes and tilted her head towards the panting male voice. The woman’s husband had propped himself up on his elbows and was attempting to crawl from Rodolphus towards his wife.
“Please don’t kill my wife…. We have a son…” he collapsed face down on the floor, exhaustion overtaking him, just as Barty Crouch Junior raised his wand with a menacing laugh.
Bellatrix stared at Frank Longbottom’s jerking body with interest, he had given her an idea, an idea she had never thought of before. All this time she had used her favourite spell to cause pain and eventual death to those who opposed the Dark Lord, to those who deserved punishment for such an act. That in itself had given her so much power, being the one to decide if another should live or die, what authority, what control to have over another person!
For someone who had constantly been ruled her entire life; from the over watchful eyes of her mother to the strict rules of her father, on to the rules of Hogwarts and out into the convention of society and then the bind of marriage; Bellatrix Lestrange had been ruled her whole life, and now she had found her own way to rule over others, by a mere flick of her wrist and the whisper of a spell.
Death however was the conclusion, the ultimate ending. Nothing came after death, her control was gone. But, to push Alice Longbottom towards the brink of sanity, to nudge her ever so gently over the edge and watch her fall, spiral down into a blank mind from which there was no escape; surely that was the greatest influence to have over another person? To decide whether to grant the sweet release of death or to grant a new life altogether would be the ultimate power.
Deep in the depths of Bellatrix eyes there glowed a light of newfound knowledge, a light of a frenzied mind that had itself fallen into the pit of insanity a long time ago.
Raising her arm into an elegant arch, Bellatrix spoke softly, caressingly, the way a wife may say “darling” to her husband. “Crucio.”
The word felt strong and familiar on her tongue. The familiar sense of power began to surge through her body just as the flash of green light spilled from the end of her wand, hitting Alice Longbottom and earning a scream of pain for its connection with her body.
The wand shook from the force of the spell, but Bellatrix arm remained steady and true. Her dark eyes gleamed, looking extremely eerie in the green backlight of the spell. A warm rush of pleasure radiated from the core of her body, sending little currents of excitement to every nerve ending she possessed as the screams of Alice Longbottom echoed around the room, vibrating in her ears, bordering on the insane.
“Something’s are so much worse than death,” Bellatrix told Frank Longbottom, her voice cold and hard, completely devoid of any emotion.
“Alice!” Frank clambered up onto his knees and shuffled over to the still body of his wife. Turning her over in his arms he gave a small cry of despair when his wife looked back at him blankly.
Bellatrix smiled. The woman had no idea who she was, where she was, what was happening. The woman’s mind had gone completely.
“No need to worry,” Rodolphus drawled, idly twirling his wand between his fingers. “You’ll be joining her soon enough, Longbottom.”
Frank was stroking his wife’s hair back from her face, tears ran down his cheeks, falling off his chin and splashing down onto the indifferent face of his wife. Although completely detached from the scene itself, Bellatrix watched the husband with his wife with a thoughtful expression on her face. She did not laugh with a hysteria tinged laugh the way Barty Crouch Junior did, she contemplated the situation at hand.
The man was clearly suffering, and she could understand that, after all, wouldn’t she suffer if it was her and Rodolphus? Wouldn’t she be hurting unbearably inside to have her husband look at her as though he had never seen her before? What kind of person would she be to allow this man to suffer so much when she had the cure? She could stop it all, stop all his pain with a single spell.
Surely, in the long-run, she would be doing the Longbottom’s a favour. Something’s were best forgotten, and what had taken place in these four walls were one of those things. That way, all the information the Longbottom’s had learnt would be forgotten along with everything else in their lives.
She was not as cruel and heartless as everyone would believe her to be. Bellatrix Lestrange would not allow this man to suffer so abominably when she could prevent it. After all, she had the power.
Pointing her wand directly at Frank Longbottom, Bellatrix ran her tongue over her bottom lip in greedy anticipation. She spoke gently, the way a mother would in soothing a troubled child. “Crucio.”