Chapter 1 : Just That Stupid
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Jeremy Kasica looked up at her with those deep blue eyes of his and gave her an apologetic look from behind his thick brown lashes that were the exact colour of his jagged-cut hair and the short stubble along his jaw and upper lip, "Sorry, Miss Black, I'm afraid I didn't see you. It won't happen again."
Fury bubbled deep in the pit of Bellatrix's stomach at his oh-so-calm response. What did it take to annoy this blasted Hufflepuff? Curse him for being so mild and forgiving, she hated him and he wouldn't even do anything about it. Heck, she could have pushed him off a cliff, declaring he had bumped into her and his ghost would come back to apologize. She despised him. She wished he would just die.
Jeremy picked up his books, waved slightly, and walked off. What a useless piece of scum! Thinking he can just wave it all better. She would show him...oh yes, Bellatrix Black would show Jeremy Kasica...even if he was a freaking quidditch player. What was the point of a chaser, anyway? Oh why couldn't they be something useless like referees or something? Then she could taunt him about that.
She sank down in the darkest corner of the Transfiguration classroom and stewed over her anger. Any normal person would at least defend himself. But oh no, Jeremy Kasica would apologize, forgive and forget, and just shake it off...and still be one of the boys some girls thought 'cute'! The nerve! Really, girls' standards were getting dangerously low if they would stoop so low as to fawn over...him.
"Miss Black, did you have something to say?" Professor McGonagall, a woman in her early forties with sandy-brown curly hair, asked. The entire class looked as if, had she been anyone else, they would all have been staring at her, wondering why McGonagall had broken off mid-sentence to call her down. As it was, bad things tended to happen to people who stared at Bellatrix Black.
Professor McGonagall had better be glad she was a teacher, because otherwise, Bellatrix would have promptly stood, walked to the front of the classroom, and slapped her.
"No Professor," Bellatrix drawled, in response to her growl of frustration moments earlier.
The professor frowned shortly and returned to her lecture, while Bellatrix resumed her sulking. If only she had a way of not being caught for using Unforgivable curses, then she'd show that lousy Hufflepuff. Helena Ascarle, her closest friend-not that Bellatrix actually had many friends, anyway-passed her a paper that said 'Jeremy again?' It was no secret that he was the single person Bellatrix hated more than any other living organism...and that was saying a lot, because, being Bellatrix Black, she hated almost everything.
In an attempt to write a reply, which wasn't actually necessary, Bellatrix smashed the end of her quill by pressing down much harder than was necessary. Helena raised her eyebrows, and took that as a yes, returning to her notes. For a Slytherin, Helena's attention span was considerably longer than most pureblood teenagers.
During the remainder of Transfiguration, Helena didn't dare ask anything else, and, as Potions was their next class, they both made their way there, along with everyone else in their year...and the wretched seventh year Hufflepuffs.
This might not have been so horrible was it not for the fact that Slughorn believed in something which Bellatrix considered the height of ludicrous, that he called 'unity among Houses', and therefore, every Slytherin in this class would be paired with a Hufflepuff. Oh joy.
And, just her luck, Bellatrix got stuck with Jeremy Kasica, who...did he really dare to look eager?
Helena gave her a pitying look, which Bellatrix ignored, and went off to join Maverick Hallwell, a whiny boy who liked nothing more than to do as little work as possible and would do anything to have help from anyone.
So maybe Jeremy knew a lot more about potions better than did Bellatrix, but he was still annoying, apologizing every time he accidentally brushed against her, causing spasms of horror in his partner, and really showing her up unintentionally.
Bellatrix, not to be outdone, chopped up a root (she had already forgotten its name) and dumped it all into the boiling mixture within the cauldron.
She knew she had made a mistake even as the last chunk plopped into the liquid.
After that, everything happened in fast-forward.
Jeremy looked up in horror at what his partner had done just moments before there was a sound like a million fireworks all going off at once. Smoke billowed from the pot in swirling, pastel clouds, and surrounded both Jeremy and Bellatrix. They coughed and covered their faces, but, already, the smoke was clearing...and they were no longer in the potions classroom.
Pink tables, pink counters, pink curtains, steamed up windows through which you could barely see that the sun was about to set, frilly lace tablecloths, sappy couples all around...Bellatrix's eyes widened as she realized where they were...that dreaded corner of Hogsmeade known as Madame Puddifoot's. Why she would ever go within a million yards of the place was a mystery...why she would actually be inside it, that was enough to make Merlin himself wonder.
Jeremy was seated across from her, no longer wearing his school robes, but rather, a dark suit and tie. His hair was shorter now, and gelled to a messy perfection. His eyes were like saucers, and his face had drained of all colour.
Looking down, Bellatrix realized she was dressed in a soft, velvety dress the exact colour of Jeremy's eyes. Horror crossed her features as she observed the little pleats that made the square-necked bodice form-fitting. If someone saw her in this, she was dead. Bellatrix Black wore dresses, sure, but she did not wear blue ones, or any colour save black or grey, for that matter. Nor did she wear dresses with those dreaded pleats.
"What have you done?" Bellatrix screamed, "I knew you were stupid, but I never thought anyone could be this stupid! I am going to kill you! Do you hear me, I'm going to kill you!"
Jeremy only had time to jump to his feet before Bellatrix flew across the table and knocked him backwards, landing squarely on his chest and raising her hands to strike him.
"Whoa, whoa, lovebirds. Not in public, please! There are singles here, in case you haven't noticed," a girl with golden curls and bright green eyes said, covering her eyes in exaggeration. She was also dressed formally, in a pale pink glittery dress with a single sleeve. A shawl of sheer white draped across the insides of her elbows, and dangly gold earrings nearly reached her shoulders..
Bellatrix froze. The first thing she registered was 'lovebirds'.
What? Someone actually thought...? Who was that much of an idiot?
Then she realized who this girl was: Helena Ascarle?
But she looked at least two or three years older...
She took a close look at the girl, whose eyes were still covered, and gasped before masking her shock. Climbing off a stunned Jeremy, she stood and smoothed the front of the dress that so disgusted her. Something was wrong, and until she figured out what, she needed to act as if none of this even fazed her.
Jeremy cautiously stood and messed with the buttons of his suit jacket sleeve.
"Helena? What the heck?" Bellatrix sounded confused, despite her attempts not to.
"Geez, Trixie, you're acting weird. Eat something bad? Or just mad that I interrupted you guys?" Helena innocently tapped her perfectly manicured pinkie against her dark pink lips, "You guys were getting a little...what was I supposed to do?"
"Yeah, whatever," Bellatrix waved away Helena's weird comments, "Why are we here again?"
She only added the 'again' because, whatever was going on here, apparently she had been willingly going along with it.
Helena shrugged, "I suggested it, and you and Jere said it was fine. Say, you guys have been married for over six months. I think we should celebrate your half-year anniversary." If she had even considered doubting that this was the Helena Ascarle before this, everything was crystal clear now: only Helena would care about some stupid half-year anniversary. And even if they did, nobody but Helena would suggest a party for such a trivial occasion.
Absolute horror blurred Bellatrix's mind, and she had to use every ounce of energy not to show it. She was married to Jeremy Kasica? She was freaking married to a Hufflepuff half-blood?! What kind of sick joke was this? Surely Helena couldn't be happy. She and Bellatrix were both purebloods. Marrying a half-blood and a Hufflepuff? That was just wrong.
"Hey, you alright, Trixie? You look a bit pale," Helena looked worried.
"Miss Helena, do you think you could apparate her home and I'll take care of our bill here and come along afterwards," Jeremy suggested, pulling out the wallet he'd found in his pocket. He was only trying to hide the fact that he had no clue where he lived now, and he obviously lived with Bellatrix, since they were married.
"Oh no, I've already taken care of it. Come, let's get Trixie home and checked up on," Helena took one of Bellatrix's hands, and Jeremy took the other, deciding to let Helena pull them both through the apparition. Bellatrix would murder him when they got home for daring to touch her.
There was the usual feeling of being sucked down a drain and stretched before the three landed in a large, dark brown room with clean white sofas, a stone fireplace, and dark wood floors. The room had a high ceiling, and a balcony high on the wall overlooked the entire room, as well as the kitchen and dining room, which were separated from the living room by a half-wall with a counter top.
They actually had a pretty nice house, Bellatrix allowed herself to think, trying to calm a bit to bid Helena good night, even though it couldn't be later than six.
"You rest up and I'll see you tomorrow," Helena winked, "You take good care of her, Jeremy."
Jeremy nodded to her and Bellatrix waved before her friend vanishing with a pop.
Bellatrix turned on Jeremy and clenched her hands into fists.
"How. Dare. You. Touch. Me!"
Jeremy's hands went up defensively before Bellatrix attacked him, she beat her thin arms and fists against his chest. With every blow, screaming obscenities and cursing him violently.
He took a step back every few punches, not because it hurt...he barely felt it from year of playing quidditch with the occasional falls from his broom included....but because everything was suddenly wrong. He was married to Bellatrix Black...Bellatrix Black, of all people. No he didn't hate her, and no, nothing she did could make him-he had secretly harbored a crush on her for quite a while, but he was dead if she ever found out-but she loathed him with a passion, and the only thing that made her hatred bearable was knowing she was destined for an arranged marriage, and he would never have a chance if he showed any weakness at all...okay, so maybe it was a little more than a slight crush, but she obviously did not feel at all like that.
She was beautiful when she was angry, he thought, and only wished her anger wasn't all directed at him. Her black eyes burned in passion, and her curly black hair seemed to surge with electricity. If she hated him so much, how had they ended up married?
Then he noticed there were pictures on the walls: there was one of himself and Bellatrix, apparently at their wedding, standing facing each other, with both their sets of hands entwined, looking lovingly at each other; another showed Bellatrix looking frustratedly in his direction as he leaned forward from behind her to kiss her cheek; a third showed him holding her up as she wrapped her legs around his torso, cupped his face in her hands, and kissed him.
Apparently they had stopped hating each other eventually.
Bellatrix seemed to notice his distraction and the fact that her shrieks weren't getting through to him, and looked to follow where his eyes lingered on a fourth picture.
This photograph, though a moving, wizard one like the others, seemed very still. Bellatrix lay on her side in bright green grass with a bundle of wildflowers by her side, and Jeremy was leaning on one elbow behind her, brushing back her hair. One could just make out Hogwarts' lake in the background, so they must have turned sometime during seventh year.
All of the pictures were making Jeremy's heart hum with contentment, but Bellatrix only gawked at them, evidently displeased.
He couldn't resist looking over his shoulder at the final, and largest picture that hung over the fireplace. Bellatrix, wearing a deep green dress with a wide red tie, her hair tied to flow over one shoulder, was clinging to Jeremy with a wide smile. He had on a button-up shirt to match her dress, and looked positively bursting with happiness.
Bellatrix's frown deepened when she saw the way Jeremy looked at this picture. What? Did he actually think she was going to keep up an act when no one was watching? He was sadly mistaken.
"Let's hope this house has a guest bedroom," she said, bitterly, and began to walk towards an arch doorway that left the living room in the opposite direction of the kitchen and dining room.
A spiral staircase evidently led up to the section of the house that overlooked the living room, and once Bellatrix and Jeremy had climbed it, they noticed three bedrooms. The first had a crib, changing table, rocking chair, and children's toys around it, the second had a child-sized bed, a closet, and a side table. Surely Bellatrix and Jeremy had not wanted children in this reality!
The third room had a giant, king-sized bed with massive, fluffy pillows and a thick, blue comforter. This had been their room.
"Eh, maybe the room at the bottom of the staircase was the guest room?" Jeremy suggested reluctantly. He would not have minded sharing a bed with Bellatrix at all, in fact, he would have enjoyed it immensely, but he would have ended up in the living room before she let him sleep with her.
"You go check, then. If it's not, sleep in the living room, this room is mine," Bellatrix declared, imperiously perching herself on the bed.
"Alright. You sleep well," Jeremy nodded, "Goodnight, see you tomorrow."
Bellatrix laughed a short, mocking laugh and scorned, "No way am I playing pretend with you, Jeremy Kasica. There is no one here to notice if we act 'abnormally', so just drop it."
Mumbling something in response, Jeremy left the room, closing the door quietly beind him and walking back to the staircase. He stopped to look into the baby room. Oh, how he wished they had a child. He had always wanted children. Bellatrix would be furious at him, but he didn't care right now.
The room at the base of the staircase was, in fact, a huge guest room. So huge, that it must have been the size of a small house. Well, the couple must have invited guests over quite often to have chosen such a large room as a guest room.
He paused to wonder if, in this reality, his friends were married already...or if they were all even alive. Thinking about this, he felt somewhat uncomfortable being alone in such a massive bedroom. Well, sharing with Bellatrix was not an option, and he'd never even considered doing so with anyone else, so he climbed into bed after divesting himself of jacket, shirt and pants, and fell asleep in his boxer shorts.
His last thought before drifting off was that this situation was pretty neat, if only he could bring his lovely Mrs. Bellatrix Kasica over to his side.
A/N: so, eventful first chapter, I know, but the rest won't be so fast, I promise. Please do review and tell me what you think, I've never written about Bellatrix before. Thanks for reading.