I took the pin from my mouth, quickly sliding it into my hair to keep a loose strand at the front from falling in my eyes. I gazed into the mirror, hardly able to see my reflection in the dark room.
'Bella? Are you up there?'
I snatched my heavy cloak from bed top, pulling it on quickly as I left the room. I entered the dark, musky hallway, the unkempt smell as thick and heavy as the night around me.
'There you are.' He hurried up the last few stairs, a concerned look on his face. I lifted my chin defiantly, striding past without a word. He gripped my arm, pulled me back.
'Where are you going?' he asked, his face almost invisible in the blackness.
'Where must you go at this time?'
'It's none of your business.' I yanked my arm from his quickly, and attempted to continue down the stairway. He put his hands firmly on my shoulders, and stood close to me, his breath tingling my neck.
'Bella. You don't have to do this.' He whispered, his hand straying to my back. I snarled under my breath, continuing swiftly down the stairs.
'Bella!' He followed, keeping pace. I turned sharply left, down the stone steps into the icy kitchen. The cloak slid from my shoulders, and the chill shook me, left me trembling violently.
'Bella, it's over.'
I froze. The night air sucked in through the window as a growl reverberated in my chest.
'Over!' I screeched, whipping round to face him, 'Since when was it over?!'
He stepped towards me.
'The Dark Lord is gone, Bella.'
'The Dark Lord would never allow himself to be defeated, Rodolphus, you once knew that!' I allowed myself a second to stare at him before snatching up my wand from the container, shaking with anger.
'Not even he can reverse death, Bellatrix!' He approached me, went to put his arms around me.
'Don't touch me!' I flinched from his hands, turned away towards the dark window.
'What’s wrong with you, Bellatrix? You don't even let me near you anymore.' He took another step towards me. The air was thick, tense, and our breath turned to mist in the icy room. The silence was deadly, deadly as the wand now positioned between us.
'I have a job to do Rodolphus. Will you join me?'
It was a test. This was the defining moment of our marriage; I knew it well.
Even in the dark room, I could see she was not herself. There were dark circles beneath her eyes, and her hair was lank, unkempt. She was no longer immaculate, a dark queen of beauty. Now she had become a creature of the night, the kind little children go searching for in their closets and under their beds.
She gazed into my eyes, no emotion. A test of loyalty. To her, to the Dark Lord.
I approached her slowly, tucked the piece of hair behind her ear that her grip had failed to control. Her skin was neglected of sun light, and her clothes were ragged, worn for days now. Her skin was cold, much colder than mine, and I rearranged the cloak more snuggly around her shoulders. We breathed deeply together.
I met her eyes with mine, and gave a small nod.
Darkness sucked us inwards, and we left the room, leaving only the sound of a crack.