I, Bella Black, fell in love with a Muggleborn. It was a strange feeling because I'd never been in love nor did I ever dream that I would be in love with someone who is innately inferior to me. Or so I was taught.
But when I looked at Maxwell, when I saw his blue eyes sparkle at me and the easy grin he gave me, I couldn't deny that there was something about him that was more, something that didn't make him less than me or better, just different. A good different.
I can't even say when it started for me. My family is pure and known for being pure. I have grown up knowing that my blood status is precious and something to cultivate and keep so. In fact, I've been betrothed to Rodolphus Lestrange since I was in the cradle, a precaution, I'm sure, that my parents thought of in case such an unfortunate emotion such as "love" ever entered into the picture.
Like it did.
There's a class that Slytherins share with Hufflepuff--Transfiguration. All year I'd been watching Maxwell Temple, hearing his deep voice, his laughing ways and I'd felt myself soften up, felt myself turn into one of those gooey giggly twits who slobber over the newest heartthrob in Witch Weekly. And I have been quietly horrified by myself.
I couldn't even tell my sister about this. She natters on and on about Lucius this and Lucius that and I had nothing to share. It's not like I could start chattering about Rod all of a sudden. She knows that I'm only going to marry him because Father wants me to.
My friendship with Maxwell started out when we had to be paired up in class to transfigure matchbooks into glass bowls. I'd gotten the hang of the assignment rather quickly while Maxwell—not so much. His self-deprecating humor and that quick smile warmed me and I hated it. I treated him callously and cruelly and yet, he maintained his good nature and treated me with respect and as a friend. I couldn't believe it.
As the year went on, we continued to be paired up and work together. In class, surrounded by my fellow Slytherins and the watchful eyes of the teacher, I continued to act how "Bellatrix Black" would act. But then, after class, on homework assignments, we'd sneak off to the more abandoned hallways of Hogwarts to figure out the work and to just talk and laugh and enjoy each others' company.
I found myself craving these moments. He treated me like Bella, a girl, not someone part of the "Great Black Family". It was novel and exciting and I felt like a rebel. Was this why Sirius was always getting into trouble?
I was in love and the ideals I had grown up with were changing.
And I probably would've turned out to be a very good person. If only Maxwell hadn't gone and messed things up.
There was a night when I thought my life would change, when I thought I would be happy but which turned out to be one of the worst nights of my life.
We were going to finish up the last bit of an assignment we had from McGonagall and were supposed to meet up after class. He didn't show up at our usual spot beneath the portrait of drunk ladies so I wandered over
to the corridor I knew had the Hufflepuff Common Room entrance.
And I found my Maxwell in the arms of another girl. A pretty blonde thing that I'd only noticed once the entire year. And he was kissing her. Like I had dreamed of him kissing me.
I felt that love, that adoration I had for this boy burst into flames, could feel the ashes seeping into my lungs and turning everything black. I felt hot and angry and vengeful. I didn't do anything then, no, but I made sure that he suffered the rest of the year and that girl, that pretty girl, too. His unhappy face, his random scars and bruises; her sad eyes; all of it, I relished. And they never knew why.
I, Bella Black, hate Mudbloods and half-bloods and all that they represent. Scum and filth, they are. Scum and filth.