Chapter 1 : Disintigration
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Her silver cries break through the moonless night.
It is an evening that is to be forgotten, never to be acknowledged or spoken of evermore, relegated to the backs of crowded minds. The hours before dawn and after dusk were outside the domain of space and time. It was the witching hour, when what was forbidden was brought out of dark recesses to be smelled, touched, tasted.
The rhythm is a cadence she was never supposed to experience, never supposed to feel but couldn't help but match. Silken sheets rub against naked flesh, heightening the exquisiteness of the moment. Her eyes are shut, eyelids thin veils to reality.
Large burning hands roam her body, gliding over smooth white skin, learning the contours of what he never should know. Her own thin powerful hands grip his wide back.
The words escape without her realizing.
His movements still and for a moment, all that can be heard is his harsh breathing. His fingers play with the ends of her dark curling hair, the strands twisting over and around until his grip suddenly tightens and her head is drawn back on a hiss of pain. Her nails dig into him and he growls into her ear, "Bella. Open your eyes."
It irks her that he is ordering her about, trying to force her to see what should remain unseen. One hand moves down her waist, no longer moving at the slow and gentle pace of learning but at a sure stroke of rough familiarity. She stifles the pleading breath that attempts to escape.
"Bellatrix, I'm not 'your lord'. I'm not him. Say my name." His blond hair falls like a curtain around them, almost white in the darkness. Is this what she saw when she was with him? Those eyes were so cold during the day, frost to match his heart yet now, at this moment, his gaze burns her.
He moves and her head is thrown back against the pillows, pale throat exposed. She can see, feel, the desperate passion that underscores the act. It's in the fire of his look, the hand that revels in her hair, the touch which seeks her pleasure as well as his own. And because this will only be this one night, this one time, she grants him his desire. But as it always is with her, there is a price to be paid.
"Lucius!" she sighs, her arms tightening around his shoulders, pulling him to her as her legs bind him even further. She can feel his heart beating at a mad rate as his head falls forward to capture her bruised lips with his own. No man will have control of her. She nips at him, the feral gesture echoing what she feels inside. He groans against her lips and she smiles as he surrenders.
The blast steals the breath from her lungs as she is thrown against the opposite wall.
"You said that you were protected!" He is furious, wand shaking in his grasp.
She pulls herself up, angrily sweeping her tangled dark hair out of her face. She came to him today, knowing that he wouldn't be pleased but knowing that he had to be told. She hadn't expected him to start throwing curses at her. She isn't the only one who is responsible, the self-righteous prig.
She nearly trips over her dress as she waves her wand at the man whose cowardliness moves her to disgust. "Petrificus Totalus!"
Her wand moves at lightning speed. "Crucio!"
Lucius collapses in front of her, his face contorted in pain. Walking towards him, she keeps her wand trained on him, as always relishing the power flowing through her. He had no right to treat her the way he did. She isn't her: the woman who only serves the Dark Lord out of fear; the weaker one; the insipid, passionless sister. Satisfaction runs through her as she takes in the sweat on his brow, the agony he tries to control with the clenching of his teeth.
She lifts her wand just as she's in front of him, bending so that her face is next to his.
"Don't ever raise your wand against me again." Her voice is not above a whisper but the contempt is clear in her tone. His eyes are dazed but she sees a note of fear in them that pleases her.
She straightens and smooths down her dress, as if nothing at all had just happened. "Now. I have a solution."
To her it's just business. That night had been a mistake, passion borne out of the thrill of fulfilling her Dark Lord's wishes. No longer did Rodolphus satisfy her so she had turned to other men. She'd been aware of Lucius' heated glances, his lust for the black fire that blazed within her and she'd taken advantage of it. There's only one man whom she truly yearns for but she knows she isn't worthy of having, at least not yet.
"The child will go to you and Cissy. My little sister is barren, obvious to everyone considering the fact that you've been married for almost ten years with not even a miscarriage to show for your efforts. And you," she bends over to tap him on the nose in mock affection, smiling as he flinches, "obviously aren't, considering the fact that I'm pregnant. Merlin knows it wasn't Rod, since he's been out of town for the past year." She shudders a bit at the thought of having a whelp who looked like her husband.
Lucius speaks, his voice still hoarse from the torture she'd inflicted on him. "How am I—what am I supposed to tell her?"
She shouldn't feel so vindictive at the thought of her beautiful ice sister being brought down so low but she is and she's delighting in it. She throws her head back and lets out a throaty chuckle before reaching out to lightly slap him on the face. "You get to explain it to her, dear brother."
She ignores his weak protests as she exits the parlor.
Ice. It's the only word she focuses on in the nightmare that's become her life. She feels like ice, within and without. She rocks back and forth, hoping that she'll get enough friction to generate something resembling heat. It's been so long since she's been warm. Longer than she cares to admit.
A shudder passes through her body as a Dementor passes her small cell, sucking the ashes of the fire that had run in her veins. Long had it been snuffed out. She doesn't know how she keeps on existing, but here she sits, alone and encased in a winter chill. Always winter, no matter the season outside Azkaban's walls.
Regret isn't something that she's used to yet she sits there, looking back on her life, wishing a few things had been different. It was that night with her sister's husband that had started her downfall. It was the giving up of the baby she'd carried for nine months to a woman who no longer called her "sister" that had laid bare the path to purgatory. And in the end, it'd been the disappearance of her lord and master that had broken her.
Her need to find him had pushed her to the edge of sanity, driven her to take others with her. Faces pass before her eyes, contorted in agony, their mouths open in silent screams. She gives a low hoarse laugh, no more than huffs of breath. She loves giving pain in a good cause. And it had been a good cause. She would've kept going until she found him. She mouths this as she rocks back and forth, the sound an unintelligible whisper.
Threaded in this thought is the face of the baby she bore. She never saw him grow up. She doesn't know the feeling that's connected with that thought but she doesn't like it. She's never felt that before and she can't focus too long on it or she'll start screaming and crying. When that happens, they come, the silent yet deadly guards, weaving their special cold even closer around her until she's forcing her sobs down so hard she's choking. They leave eventually, but not before taking another part of her soul.
And so she forgets the little face and focuses on her master for she knows that he will come and he will forgive her for failing to find him sooner. For he knows that Bellatrix Lestrange holds him first in her heart and mind. At least what's left of it.
She's thrown from her seat as the prison is rocked with a tremendous explosion. Dazed and weak, she pushes rubble off of her and stands up on shaky feet. The warm breeze wounds its way through her matted hair and thin dress, replacing the cold she thought would be with her until she died. She can't believe what lies before her as she looks out at the stars in the night sky.
Azkaban was broken.
She met her son when he was already grown and he was scared of her on sight. She could see it in the way his pupils dilated, in the way he always made sure Narcissa or his father were always with him if he had to be in the same room as her and in the dancing steps of anxiety he took if he stood too close to her.
It hurts something inside of Bellatrix. And she hates him for that.
More so on this night when he denies that the disfigured boy is the one whom her master seeks. She's enraged at the lie, at the spineless denial. There's this clawing feeling of fear running through her and an inexorable doom drumming in her head. Something's been taken that the Dark Lord entrusted to her and he will feel betrayed by her and it will kill her.
So she takes it out on the young Mudblood lying on the floor, relishing the girl's screams and the flinches of the boy who is no son of hers.
And she ignores the weeping inside of her as the last vestige of humanity is incinerated in her madness.