A/N: If I’ve done this right, this fic should be a bit easier to read than before. One can
only hope, right? Beta credits go to sveltskye of course. Enjoy!
It was a typical
busy day at King’s Cross Station; the walkways were packed with Muggles,
determinately pushing their way through the crowd to reach their destinations.
They hustled and bustled about, pushing carts and hauling brief cases, the
voice on the loudspeaker booming the times and the platforms of the
various departing trains. So ignorant. So primitive. Vile creatures, Bellatrix Black thought hotly, sidestepping to
avoid brushing shoulders with a harassed Muggle man who was rushing past her.
She was very aware of two scruffy, barbaric looking Muggle boys eyeing her.
Bellatrix did not trouble herself to glare at them; she had seen that look
often, from Muggle and Wizard alike. The glossy, ink-black hair that fell past
her shoulders, and the tall, thin figure Bellatrix was graced with often drew
stares- longing ones from men and jealous ones from women. Her face turned
heads, to be sure, but Bellatrix could glare milk into butter, and took pride
in that more then anything.
Without sparing a
glance at any of the Muggles surging past her like a herd of animals, Bellatrix
continued to push her cart in procession after her family. Mr. Black led the
way, pushing Narcissa’s cart at a hearty pace, letting bystanders leap out of
his way or risk having their heels clipped by his wheels. Mrs. Black kept close
to her husband as she walked, a haughty but slightly anxious bounce in her
step, dragging along little Narcissa, who was to be a first year at Hogwarts.
Andromeda, a fourth year, was just behind her mother and pushing her own cart,
looking around at the Muggles that filled the station with mild interest.
Bellatrix gave her a stern, disapproving look that Andromeda couldn’t see, but
Bellatrix knew how she would have responded: a roll of the eyes, and a derisive
snort. The middle Black girl did not take the family heritage as seriously as
she should have.
After what had
seemed like an endless walk through the station, the Blacks came to a halt by
the barrier that led onto platform nine and three-quarters. They circled around
it, and Mrs. Black went through first, still holding Narcissa’s hand. Andromeda
followed suit, pushing her cart along at a slight run, copper hair flying
behind her. When her father gestured her to the barrier, Bellatrix lined up her
cart ceremoniously, and broke into a jog until she had passed through the solid
barrier leading onto the well hidden platform. The Hogwarts Express was
gleaming crimson in the late morning sunlight, a welcome sight to Bellatrix’s
Muggle-weary eyes. Parents hugged their children goodbye, owls hooted and
squawked irritably from cages, and trunks scraped along the ground toward the
school train. Students, some of them already in their school robes, were
shouting to each other over all of the noise, eager to discuss their summers.
there’s no need to stand here looking so detached,” came her father’s voice as
he pushed Narcissa’s cart past. “Look, your aunt and uncle are here, it seems
your mother has already found them.”
Bellatrix forced a
smile, and nodded in acknowledgement to her relatives who were just up ahead
chatting with her mother. Her father was constantly using Bellatrix in social
situations as an example of what an exemplary family he had, and while
Bellatrix was more than delighted to demonstrate her good breeding, she didn’t
feel the need to prove anything to boring relatives. “I think I’ll just reserve
a compartment, father. They fill up quickly. “ Without waiting for him to
insist she greet his brother and sister-in-law, Bellatrix strode toward an open
door to the train, and began to haul her trunk aboard.
love,” came the deep, unctuous voice of Rodolphus Lestrange, as he lifted her
trunk easily into the air. “Allow me.”
This time, Bellatrix
turned on her damning glare. “Do not call me Trixie, you slug. What are you, an
ickle firsty with a speech impediment?”
Rodolphus froze, the
trunk still in his hands, the sheepish grin on his face melting as Bellatrix
glowered at him. She saw the worried fear behind his eyes, fear that she was
angry or in a bad mood again. “Well, go on then, you don’t have to stand round
with my luggage in your arms all day,” she said, switching easily into smooth,
commanding tones, and adopting a pouting smirk.
Rodolphus grinned, and
carried her trunk aboard the train. “I’ve got a compartment already,” he
informed her triumphantly.
then turned back to the busy platform to find her sister Andromeda hurrying
toward her with Rodolphus’ younger brother, Rabastan, at her heel. Knowing
Andromeda’s interest in the Muggles on the way in, Bellatrix was pleased to see
the discomfort on her sister’s face at being tailed by a very overbearing and
talkative Rabastan. It serves her right, the little ingrate, Bellatrix thought.
It might even do her good to spend time with Rabastan. Set her priorities
straight. . . The thought trailed off as Andromeda approached, clearly uphappy
about being Rabastan’s new point of interest.
”I can handle my
stuff fine on my own, thanks,” Andromeda said, her voice steady despite her
”I’ve got it under
control, Miss Black,” Rabastan replied in a falsely respectful voice, bowing to
her with much flourishing of his hand.
watching her sister turn bright red. “Really, he has,” she said, hardly trying
to stifle her laughter as Andromeda turned a nasty look on her. “I’m going to
go take a seat before mum and dad dump Narcissa on me. Come on, Rabastan,”
Bellatrix added, grabbing him by the front of his robes and pulling him up the
train steps, leaving Andromeda to manage her trunk on her own.
She is in Ravenclaw, you know. I think you can do better then that.” She
released his robes, and made her way down the small corridor, peeking in windows
to check for Rodolphus and the rest of their group. It didn’t take long;
halfway down the train, Rodolphus emerged from a door way, and beckoned
Bellatrix and Rabastan inside. Antonin Dolohov was pulling his robes over his
head, and Julius Jugson, a classmate of Rabastan’s, was already seated and
reading the Daily Prophet. Horace Goyle looked up upon their entrance, his
perpetually glazed eyes making it hard to tell if he really noticed much they
were there; if truth be told, he looked like that so often that Bellatrix had
stopped wondering if there was actually anything going on behind those eyes.
And of course, there was Lucius Malfoy, a fifth year, who was never far from
his older friends, and Severus Snape, a fourth year, who was never far from
Just as the train
began to move, Bellatrix pulled on her robes with the green and silver emblem
of Slytherin of which she was so proud. She threw herself into a seat, and
stared around at her companions. Here we go again, she thought, a wide smile
splitting across her face.
Hogwarts Express passed fields and rivers, which eventually gave way to foresty
mountain scenery. The boys chatted about their summer holidays, trips they’d
taken with family, Quidditch, and the like. Bellatrix listened with half her
attention only, sparing a laugh here and there, always slipping back into her
reverie. She thought about Narcissa, small, delicate and quite unused to being
away from their mother. Bellatrix knew that her parents would expect her to
keep close attention to Narcissa, who they were sure would follow the family
tradition of becoming a Slytherin, and would not hear anything else. In the
spirit of being contradictory, Bellatrix had pointed out that the “tradition”
of being in Slytherin had faded lately. Andromeda had become a Ravenclaw, which
hadn’t been heard of in many generations. The same year, a cousin on their
father’s side, Sirius Black, had been made a Gryffindor, which had never been
heard of in all the history of the ancient house of the Black family. Bellatrix
was not worried that Narcissa would be sorted anywhere except Slytherin, but
she enjoyed causing worry and strife anyway. Whatever her feelings about having
to be her youngest sister’s overseer, Bellatrix wouldn’t have had it any other
way. Being put in a house besides Slytherin would mean that Narcissa would have
to mix with. . . the others. With Mudbloods, half-bloods, and blood traitors.
She saw the affect that those sorts had had on Andromeda in just three years,
and Bellatrix refused, flat-out, to have her family name be associated with a
whole generation of Blacks that had no sense of pride or propriety. It was on
this thought that Bellatrix was pulled out of her trance.
it’ll be a new political movement soon, and Voldemort will run for office or
something,” Lucius Malfoy was saying in his lazy, drawling voice. “He thinks
that it’s about time someone did something about the lack of respect for pure
bloods. Why they even let the other kinds come to school to begin with is a
mystery to me.”
”My parents have
talked about him as well,” said Julius Jugson, and Bellatrix remembered vaguely
that his father had worked in the Ministry. “Father doesn’t think the
limitations need to be so harsh, but he doesn’t much like Mudbloods in Ministry
jobs. They just don’t know what it’s like.”
”Our father says
it’s time someone stood up to dirty-bloods,” Rodolphus added. “There’s too many
of them, they’re going to take over if we don’t.”
the others, unmoving, legs crossed out in front of her, her head resting
against the cold window. Something about that name seemed familiar, and she
tried to recall any mention of him. Voldemort. Yes, yes, her uncle, Sirius’
father, had been over one night, and they had been talking about politics, and
they had agreed that Purism was on it’s way to becoming a political party,
thanks to this Voldemort. The name sent an excited shiver up Bellatrix’s spine.
She remained silent
all through the remainder of the train ride, focusing on her face in the
window, and on the black landscape rushing past. Finally, the train slowed, and
Hogsmeade Station rolled into view. Bellatrix was left staring at her own moody
and dark reflection, her deep blue eyes reflecting black as the night in the
”Going to sit there
all night?” Rodolphus asked, furling his heavy cloak around himself. He tossed
her cloak at her, and Bellatrix caught it in one hand. She rose slowly and
gracefully from her seat like a cat stretching after a nap, and wrapped herself
into her cloak before following Rodolphus and the others from the compartment
and out into the chilly night air that blew through the open doors.
poured into the Great Hall for the feast, removing scarves and gloves and
seating themselves at the four house tables. Bellatrix made her way to the
Slytherin table, and sat next to her fellow 6th year girls who were already
gossiping about this and that, making fun of so-and-so’s new hair cut and
giggling loudly. She’d hardly situated herself before the voices filling the
Hall quieted and fell silent. Turning, she could see the line of first years
making their way up to the front with Professor McGonagall, most of them
looking green and extremely nervous, some venturing looks at the star strewn
ceiling and taking in the vastness of the student body watching them. Narcissa
trotted along, looking very unconcerned, but Bellatrix could see her
The hat sang it’s
song, but Bellatrix payed it no mind. Instead she stared at the ceiling, then
at her reflection in the empty plate in front of her, willing it to be full of
food. As the sorting began, Bellatrix looked up to see the first years in
various states of unease and fright each come forward to place the Sorting Hat
on their heads, then leap off the stool and hurry to their new house tables.
The second student to be sorted was made a confused looking Gryffindor, and she
watched the boy hurry off to his table where he was being raucously applauded by
her cousin and his friends, among others. Bellatrix wrinkled her nose.
Definately a Mudblood, she thought viciously. Definately unworthy of being
Professor McGonagall called out, and Bellatrix watched her sister scurry
forward and set the hat delicately on her head. The hat didn’t take long before
it shouted, “SLYTHERIN!” but it took long enough to make Bellatrix wonder what
there was to consider. Her own sorting had not even required her to pull the
hat all the way over her ears before it declared her a Slytherin.
Narcissa hurried to
the table, and sat down, an infinately happy look gracing her pretty face.
Lucius Malfoy shook her hand from across the table and the rest of the
Slytherin’s applauded loudly, some clapping her on the back. Out of the corner
of her eye, she could see Sirius’ obnoxious friends making faces, Sirius
himself looking moody and discontent. Bellatrix ignored the Gryffindor boos,
and clapped loudly as the boy after Narcissa was also made a Slytherin.
Finally, the last
first year took her seat at the Hufflepuff table, and food in abundance
materialized on the dishes in front of them. Bellatrix grabbed both the chicken
drumsticks before anyone else could get to them, and piled boiled potatos high
on her plate. If truth be told, she wasn’t that hungry, but if her appetite
proved to be bigger later than it was now, at least she had a mound of food. In
the meantime, Bellatrix chased a potato around her plate with her fork,
stabbing it every now and then until it was disfigured with tiny holes.
”Bellatrix! How were
your holidays? Goodness, I haven’t seen you in ages!” Paulette Pritchard
squealed, causing Bellatrix to poke the potato so hard it flew off her plate.
“Are you dieting as well? You haven’t touched a thing!” Paulette had turned
from her other gossiping friend, Lucy Meliflua, and was talking as fast as
”No, of course I’m
not dieting,” Bellatrix said scournfully. “Why, do these robes make me look
Paulette threw back
her head and laughed again. “Always so cynical! I love it.” She wrapped her
arms around Bellatrix’s shoulders in a hug and said, “It’s good to have someone
serious like you around to set everyone straight!”
”You are such a
Hufflepuff, Paulette. Such a Hufflepuff,” Bellatrix replied, starting on a new
potato. Paulette released her from the hug, and gave her a mean look.
”That’s harsh. I’m
no washout Muggle-loving fool.” Paulette cast a disapproving glance toward the
Hufflepuff table, her lips pursed. “Most their new lot are Muggle-borns.”
gravely. The headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, had put no limitations
on the students he admitted to Hogwarts. Her parents had long complained about
his policies, and most of their friends and family agreed that Hogwarts had
begun to go downhill since it had become less selective. Bellatrix turned her
gaze toward Dumbledore, seated at the center of the staff table chatting with
Professor McGonagall, who had just returned from removing the Sorting Hat. He
was a powerful wizard, to be sure. Power like that could be better used for
other causes, though. It seemed like such a waste.
Paulette had gone
back to giggling with Lucy Meliflua, leaving Bellatrix to play with her meal in
peace until Dumbledore gave the usual announcements, and sent them all off to
bed. Bellatrix pushed her way to the front of the crowd, and walked slowly
towards the dungeons and the Slytherin common room alone. She didn’t know the
password yet, but it was no matter, Rodolphus would be along any minute with
the first years, and, as a school prefect, was sure to know what it was. Sure
enough, his thickset figure appeared around the corner, followed by a small
cluster of first years.
”Sang propre,” he
said to the stone wall. The unseen door that was there slid aside, much to the
amazement of the first years. “That’s the password, and you lot would do well
to remember it, Œelse you’ll be stuck out here, because it’s a bloody nuisance
letting you back in,” Rodolphus told them. “Now get!”
The first years
shuffled through the door and into the common room beyond, whispering. Narcissa
glanced between Rodolphus and Bellatrix and flashed her sister a mischeivious
smile. Bellatrix cuffed her blonde head as she passed through the doorway. As
the stone door began to slide closed again, Rodolphus caught it, and gestured
Bellatrix through before him.
Over the next few
months, Bellatrix was kept very busy. When she wasn’t being drowned in the sea
of homework that was assigned to a good portion of the sixth years, Bellatrix
was training hard on the Quidditch pitch. N.E.W.T.’s weren’t taken until
seventh year, but the teachers seemed to be going all out with their
assignments anyway. Bellatrix couldn’t even begin to fathom the level of insanity
that was yet to be acheived by the professors the next year. Quidditch, while
time and energy consuming, was the best way Bellatrix had yet found to release
her stress. Her lithe build made her an excellent flyer, which was necessary
when she could only use one hand to hold her broom; in her other hand was the
Beater’s club she used to aim homicidal Bludgers toward the opposing team.
It was as she
walked back from Quidditch practice one night, soaked through from the
torrential downpour of rain, that Bellatrix came upon a sight that put a damper
on her recently stress-free evening. Andromeda, her copper hair unmistakable
even at the distance, was talking to a boy that Bellatrix knew too well. His
name was Theodore Tonks, a Gryffindor (which was bad in it’s own right) and a
Muggle-born (which was completely unacceptable.) Their parents would not
approve of such a friendship, and Bellatrix would not allow it at all. No
respect for the family bloodline! she roared inwardly. None for herself, even!
Bellatrix had played against Tonks in Quidditch, and even she had to admit that
he had some talent, for a Mudblood, anyway. But skill and valour on the pitch
by no means made it O.K. for Andromeda to associate with him! She marched
toward them, broom in hand, knowing that she looked as dangerous as any
widened as Bellatrix stalked toward her, glaring daggers at the back of
Theodore Tonk’s head. He must have seen the startled look on Andromeda’s face,
for he turned around just in time to see Bellatrix coming at him and drawing
her wand as she went. Andromeda stepped in front of Tonks, her jaw set, and
scowled right back at her quickly advancing sister.
”What do you want?”
she asked through clenched teeth, not taking her eyes off Bellatrix’s wand.
”What do you think
you’re doing? Hanging out with riffraff like him?” Bellatrix demanded,
indicating Tonks, who was now looking defensive. Typical Gryffindor.
”This is Ted,
Bellatrix. He isn’t riffraff, he’s my friend. I can have whichever friends I
please.” Andromeda tried to push the wand out of her face, but Bellatrix only
flicked it back up, using it to poke her sister in the chest as she spoke.
”He isn’t pureblood,
you numbskull, you know Mum and Dad won’t have it! He isn’t even in Ravenclaw.”
She gestured wildly with her wand as she spoke, and a small stream of green
sparks flew over her head, making Andromeda flinch, and step backward into Ted
Tonks, who now had his wand out as well. “He’s a bloody Gryffindor,” she growled.
”Look, you, just
leave her alone, don’t hurt her!” Ted shouted, and Bellatrix turned her mad,
ferocious eyes on him for the first time. “I won’t talk to her again, if you
swear you won’t hurt her.”
shocked, turned to protest, but Bellatrix cut across her. “You won’t talk to
her again, whether I hurt her or not. Leave.”
Ted gave her a hard,
searching look, and walked away up the staircase. Andromeda, apparently
dumbstruck, stared after him with her mouth slightly open. Then she turned and
shouted, “I cannot BELIEVE you! Who do you think you are?!”
”I am a Black, and I
know my place. You’d do well to remember yours,” Bellatrix answered in the
coldest voice she could muster after so much raging and ranting. On that note, she
left her sister standing alone in the hall. Bad feelings were now filling the
rift that had grown between them over the years, but Bellatrix preferred those
to a sister with Mudblood friends.
isn’t Andromeda coming home for Christmas?” asked Narcissa one evening, as they
sat in the common room working.
”I don’t know, and I
don’t care to think why,” Bellatrix replied, not looking up from her Defense
Against the Dark Arts essay.
”Mum is upset she’s
not coming back.” Narcissa leaned forward a little in her chair, trying to
catch Bellatrix’s eye. “Did they have a row again? About Andromeda’s friends?”
Bellatrix had been
on the verge of not answering, but the “again” caught her attention.
”Where did you come
up with something like that? She knows the importance of reputable, honorable
friends from decent backgrounds, “ Bellatrix said, more fiercely then she had
meant to. And I’ve had a word with her myself. . .
quite unperturbed by Bellatrix’s rough tone, and said, “Only, last year Mum had
a fit because Andromeda was friends with a Muggle-born. I remember it, she went
into such a rage!” Narcissa paused, rising gently from her chair, and
collecting her own books and rolls of parchment. “I was just thinking it was like
that,” she added thoughtfully.
her sister retreat down the stairs to the girl’s dormitories. So something like
this had happened last year, right under her nose? Mother hadn’t mentioned.
Well, if that had been the response last year, she could imagine the reaction
it had received when Bellatrix’s own owl had arrived with news of Andromeda’s
further disobedience. Bellatrix could see why Andromeda chose to stay at
Hogwarts during the winter holidays.
As she turned back
to her essay, something small and flailing on the ground caught her eye. It was
the cover of a folded up newspaper, The Daily Prophet. It featured a black and
white photograph of a squat wizard with gray hair who was shaking hands with
many people and waving at un unseen crowd. The headline read, “Reynold Plungit
Jr.- New Minister of Magic!” Bellatrix had completely forgotten about the
election for the Minister of Magic; politics had not been on her mind lately.
Now, however, she furious with herself for not keeping up with that particular
issue. Plungit’s opponent in the election had been a friend of her father’s,
the head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the
Ministry of Magic. He was very well known, extremely wealthy, and came from a
highly respected family. Bellatrix was shocked at the outcome of the election:
Plungit was a Partial-born, meaning he had one wizard parent, and one Muggle,
which was very uncommon. Partial-borns were almost as queer as Muggle-borns in
many wizards’ eyes. Why would they elect him?
”I just don’t get
it,” she muttered, cramming the paper back under the table.
”What don’t you
get?” Rodolphus asked from behind her chair. She hadn’t noticed him enter the
”Oh, just the stupid
election.” Bellatrix groped under the table for the paper, and held it up over
her head for Rodolphus to grab. He made a noise of disgust.
”That scum, running
the government?” Rodolphus chucked the paper in a waste bin, and eased back
into the chair Narcissa had occupied earlier. “What idiot voted for Plungit?”
Bellatrix shook her
head. “That family used to be purebloods, Œtil old Reynold Senior married.
Guess our dear new Minister put the Œgit’ in ŒPlungit,’ didn’t he?” She and
Rodolphus laughed; there wasn’t much else to do.
Christmas was both a
blessing and a curse when it came. To be away from school, work, and the stress
that came with the two was truly wonderful. However, to be stuck at her aunt
and uncle’s house in London was truly a drag.
”Right on time,”
Aunt Pandora said, by way of a greeting, as Bellatrix stepped out of their
kitchen fireplace, followed closely by the rest of her family members. “Always
the punctual one, your father,” she added, looking at Bellatrix. “I can’t say
the same for his brother. Earl is still getting dressed, I’m afraid, he’s no
mind for timliness.”
”Not to worry,
Pandora,” Bellatrix’s father said, stepping around his family to hug his
sister-in-law. “Just so long as I get a nice mug of tea whilst we wait!”
Aunt Pandora smiled
at him indulgently, and summoned to her a teapot from the stove, several mugs
from a cabinet, and cream and sugar from the counter simulatneously. In no
time, they were all sitting around the long table, her parents and Pandora
talking, laughing, and carrying on as only adults could. Bellatrix sat slumped
in her chair, absently fiddling with the tassles that hung from the emerald
table cloth into her lap.
”And where is your
other darling sister, Bellatrix?”
spilling her untouched tea all over the tablecloth. “Pardon?”
why hasn’t she come back from Hogwarts to visit?”
She could see her
parents stiffen; Aunt Pandora had obviously not heard about Andromeda’s most
recent attempts at befouling the family honor. With a swift glance at her
mother, Bellatrix muttered, “She’s been having a bit of- of trouble, with, with
not! You are looking after her, aren’t you?” Aunt Pandora turned on her
glittering, hostess’s smile, a questioning look in her eyes.
”Well, she is in
Ravenclaw,” Bellatrix reminded with a smirk. “It’s rather hard to keep an eye
on that lot.”
”Mm, Ravenclaw, was
it? Why, I had forgotten!” Pandora turned back to her brother and sister in
law, looking dubious. “I certainly hope she’s not had trouble making friends.
There must be others she can mix with. She’s not lonely, is she Edwin?”
”Ah. . .”
Bellatrix’s father was spared having to answer by the appearance of his brother
in the kitchen doorway, still straightening the sleeves of his black velvet
”Well look who’s
here!” he called in his rich, booming voice, and shook his brother’s hand
vigourously. “And Ariel!” He kissed Ariel Black on the hand. “Girls!” He
inclined his head to Bellatrix and Narcissa, Bellatrix still slumped in her
chair, unenthusiastic, Narcissa wearing a weak smile.
Her uncle made a
pouting face, the sort one usually saved for whining five year olds. “Bored
already are we? Well, hurry across the hall, then,” he began to shoo them out
of the kitchen and into the dimly lit hallway, “I’ve got an excellent Wizard’s
Chess set in the drawing room. You know where it is!” The door closed with a
snap, and Bellatrix and Narcissa were left standing in the silent hallway.
”Well, I guess I’ll
just hurry to the drawing room, then!” Bellatrix imitated in a
sarcasticly excited voice. Narcissa snorted. As she began to make her way
toward the end of the hall, there was a shrill squeal, a loud FWUMP! and the
sound of raucous laughter.
around, wand in hand, to find Narcissa struggling to untangle herself from a
sea of umbrellas that had spilled from the great umbrella stand that Bellatrix
had once deemed was shaped like a troll’s leg. The laughter came from a boy
that was sitting in the shadow of a carved armoire by the kitchen door, his
wand still in the air suspending the hideous leg where it had seemingly tripped
Narcissa. The leg fell to the ground as her cousin, Sirius, dropped his wand
hand to the floor, still laughing uncontrollably.
Not bothering to
help her sister up, she fixed Sirius with an angry sneer. In a baby voice, she
said, “Funny! Always the wittle jokester, weren’t you?”
Narcissa finally got
to her feet, her braided hair falling loose and her face crimson. She looked
like she was on the verge of shouting something, but thought better of it, and
stomped off to the drawing room, slamming the door.
”Oh, come on now!”
Sirius called, still breathless from laughing. “Not everything hilarious is an insult
to your grace and glory, ‘Ciss!”
”Grow up,” Bellatrix
growled, using every ounce of self restraint she had to not curse her cousin to
the moon and back. “A boy of your lineage should be more concerned with living
up to his place in the world, not keeping in hidden places where he might trip
his cousins,” she said scournfully.
Sirius only gave her
a solemn, pitying look, one she’d seen Andromeda wear far too often when
matters of their heritage and prestige were discussed. “Whatever you say,” Sirius
said. With that, he got to his feet, and started up the stairs.
”Is there a problem
out here, darling?” Aunt Pandora asked, poking her head out of the kitchen
”No. Just Sirius and
his little jokes,” said Bellatrix in a bored voice.
”That boy has no
respect for anything,” her aunt said hotly, inspecting the fallen umbrellas and
their stand. “Would it hurt him to leave my possessions out of his pranks for a
She screeched for
the house elf to come put the umbrellas back, so Bellatrix decided to find
Narcissa. The drawing room was very long, with a high ceiling, and was a bit
colder then the rest of the house. At the far end, Narcissa was crouched,
warming her hands on the small fire in the grate, and inspecting Uncle Earl’s
collection of ancient artifacts and family heirlooms. Earl was very interested
in the history of the Wizarding world and how the Black family was involved in
it, and had spent years researching and collecting items that related to the
two. As Bellatrix made her way down to the end, she inspected his book
collection, scanning for new titles. Wizarding Heretics of Our Age and The
Enchanter’s Encylcopedia of Eugenics were the only two Uncle Earl seemed to
have acquired over the past year, so Bellatrix pulled them both from the
shelves. She settled herself in a chair facing the tapestry depicting the
family tree, and read until she was called to dinner.
”I can’t believe it,
either!” Uncle Earl declared, pouring himself more wine. They’d finished eating
dinner, and had settled back to dessert and talk of politics. It was customary
for the children of the family to remain quiet during dinners, and it was like
second nature to Bellatrix to remain completely silent at these times. One day,
they will have some respect for my opinion, she thought, staring around the
table, wishing it was that day.
”To elect somone
like that, though!” her father said, his voice uncharacteristically loud. “Why
don’t we just let all the Muggles in? They’ve admitted enough part-bloods,
really, let’s just announce it to all the Muggles on Earth!”
All the adults
laughed. Bellatrix slanted her eyes, nose wrinkled at the very thought of
Muggles knowing about their world. She could just see it, Muggles, setting fire
to everything they didn’t understand, and which was therefore evil. Muggles,
plundering the shops of Diagon Alley, and emptying the vaults in Gringotts
Banks the world over. Muggles, ransacking the village of Hogsmeade, banging
down the doors of Hogwarts. Muggles, demanding solutions to their insignificant
problems, always looking for a way out of doing work. It would be absolute
chaos if Muggles really did find out about the Wizarding World. There were so
many of them. As her mother had often said, Muggles breed like rabbits.
With a disgusted
shudder, Bellatrix reached under her chair for The Enchanter’s Encyclopedia of
Eugenics, and opened it up to her bookmarked page. She no longer had any
interest in listening to her father’s theories about the current government problems.
”Ah, Bellatrix, are
you reading that?” her aunt asked her. Bellatrix was suprised to be addressed
at dinner, but replied that she was, in fact, reading the book. Obviously, she
added silently, having decided it best not to be smart the first time an adult
chose to converse with her at dinner.
”It’s good to see
that at least one adolescent in this family is still interested in our
heritage, and the importance of pure blood,” Aunt Pandora said, and Bellatrix
saw her throw a sour look at her eldest son. “I was beginning to worry that
this generation was going to be the end of the honor and hard-earned respect
associated with the name of Black.”
hardly-earned,’” someone muttered, and the table went completely silent as
everyone turned to look at Sirius. He looked at his mother with a pained
expression, and began pushing his pie crust around his plate with a silver
”Do not speak like
that, you thankless child,” Aunt Pandora hissed between clenched teeth. “You
are a Black, and should be grateful of the status and good reputation that
comes with that! Your brother is, and he is younger then you!”
”You are to contain
your outbursts at this table, Sirius,” Uncle Earl said in a dangerously quiet
voice. “Excuse yourself.”
A chair screeched
backwards as Sirius stormed from the kitchen, angry stares following him.
forward, massaging her head as Bellatrix’s mother patted her on the back. “He’s
so difficult, you’ve no idea. I can’t believe he would be so disrespectful at
the dinner table!” She straightened up, looking pointedly at Bellatrix. “You
are so lucky, Ariel, to have avoided such disobedient children.”
”I’m very sorry you
had to witness that,” Earl said, shaking his head in shame.
”It’s nothing we
haven’t heard before,” her father said with a meaningful look at his brother.
“Andromeda comes up with similar remarks, I’m sorry to say. It all started when
she entered school, and that dratted Ravenclaw.”
The adults all
exchanged dark looks, and Bellatrix watched, unsure whether she wanted to smirk
at the idea of her parents complaining about Andromeda, or be worried about the
idea that there was definately a pattern there.
”If Andromeda and
Sirius had been in Slytherin, I’d warrant that this would not be a problem,”
Ariel Black said, taking a sip from her goblet.
didn’t admit Mudbloods, it wouldn’t have mattered what houses they were in,”
Aunt Pandora corrected. There was a murmur of agreement at these words, and the
room regained it’s comfortable, talkative atmosphere, but Bellatrix was not at
light-years closer from this side of Christmas, so Bellatrix busied herself
with extra practicing, extra studying, and hollering extra loud at the smallest
noises. As she constantly reminded herself, she hadn’t been accepted into eight
N.E.W.T. level classes only to fail miserably her first year. She was at the
top of her year (as Blacks often were,) and she fully intended to stay there.
”What is it,
Rodolphus?” she asked wearily, as he lumbered to a halt by her chair, unable to
even begin his sentence.
”Oh,” he said
lamely, suprised at being cut off. “Well, I was wondering if you read this.” He
flopped a paper down on the table, causing the pages of Bellatrix’s Arithmancy
book to flutter wildly, and lose her page.
She glared at the
paper momentarily before picking it up, and looked at a very small column on
page 3 that Rodolphus had circled.
A Fresh Face in Politics?
Change is the sign of our times. You can see it everywhere,
whether it be the latest racing broom, the newest style of robes, or the most
recent developement in Quick n’ Simple house cleaning charms. Change is often
regarded as progress; we can only hope that our change in Ministers will
provoke progress and success for our community! -Bellatrix snorted, and raised
an eyebrow at Rodolphus, but kept reading. Some among us, however, are unsure
about the leadership we are now under. It is quite refreshing, therefore, to
experience first-hand what some are calling Œthe latest trend in politics.’
This ‘trend’ is called Purism by some and Bigotry by others, but
the movement’s leaders prefer the term Classicists. At a seminar in London this
weekend, the head of the Classicists surfaced as a promising leader. Mr
Voldemort, who prefers to be known plain and simple as Voldemort, has great
potential to rise high in the world of modern day politics. While some of his
goals do seem radical, it would be foolish to dismiss them as not at all practical.
Mr Voldemort stresses the importance of Purebloods running the government, and
urges that bans and restraints be put on all other blood types.
For more on the Classicists Movement, please stay tuned.
It was that name
again. Voldemort. Bellatrix couldn’t explain it, but for some reason that name
sparked a sort of urgent, strained feeling in her, as though she remembered him
but couldn’t think of where or why. Everytime someone mentioned him, Bellatrix
felt like she was forgetting something very important.
Rodolphus said, jerking Bellatrix out of her daze. “My father went to that
seminar. He says it was really good.”
fervently, trying to shake the tingly feeling from her head. “Wish I’d gone,”
she said. “I spent the whole week in London! Could’ve listened to something
worth my time, rather than moaning relatives.”
through her at the very thought of it, remembering her disrespectful cousin and
her absent sister. I was right there, just as dedicated to the family line as
them, and all they can say is ŒOh, good to know you’re interested,’ Bellatrix
thought hotly. I’ll show them Œinterested.’
”He’s doing seminars
all over Europe. Rallying support,” Rodolphus continued, not taking notice of
Bellatrix’s pained face. “He’ll be back. Father says I can go with him to one
of them. You can come if you like.”
”Yes, I’d love to,”
Bellatrix answered briskly, not even having to consider the matter. “When is
the next one?”
considered. “Not sure. . . But we probably won’t be able to go until the
summer. Can’t miss school.”
muttered, slightly crestfallen. Trust school to spoil things.
Winter gave way to
spring, and Bellatrix was as ambitious as ever in her activities. Some would
have called her determination to acheive the highest scores on the exams as
borderline obsessive; she spent every last second of her free time buried under
mountains of books and notes, studying, memorizing, and practicing. Still, the
general obsession over Quidditch was one to rival Bellatrix’s studying fix. As
the House Cup drew near, Michael Flint, the Slytherin Quidditch captain, had
scheduled two hour practices, five days a week. Bellatrix had ranted about not
having time to study, but had shown up at the practices anyway. Slytherin
hadn’t won the cup in four years, and Gryffindor being the defending champion
was just salt in the wound.
Besides working and training, Bellatrix
followed the rise of the Purism movement as closely as she could.
”They’re all such
small groups that he speaks to,” she commented one afternoon, as she and
Rodolphus sat under the shade of a tree by the lake.
”Hm?” Rodolphus had
been watching as Lucius and Antonin bullied a group of second year Hufflepuff’s,
possibly considering going over to tell them off (as was his prefect’s duty.)
Bellatrix rolled her
eyes at him, and exhaled loudly. “Voldemort. He doesn’t speak to very large
groups. Lots of people are interested in hearing his lectures, but he never
goes anywhere big.” She waited for Rodolphus to react. “I’ve been reading about
it in the paper,” she explained, giving him a disgusted look. “Don’t you ever
read the news?”
and avoided her mild glare. “If it’s something important, you always tell me,”
he said sheepishly, giving her a weak smile.
”How did you become
a prefect, anyway?” she demanded, shaking her head. “I must say that I don’t
envy you, though. All those rules,” she said with a watery look, and flipped
”Anyways, back to
Voldemort,” Rodolphus replied, grinning slyly. “What were you saying, love?”
”Oh, nothing.” She
was overcome again with that crawling in her stomach she always got when she
heard the name Voldemort. She wanted so badly to see this man, this
spokesperson for the Classicists. “I want to go to his seminar next weekend.”
Rodolphus looked at
her through his small, dark eyes, a skeptical look on his face. “How would you
do that? If you don’t mind my asking.”
”Well. . .”
Bellatrix trailed off. She wanted to go listen to the seminar, certainly, but
she hadn’t considered actually trying to get there. School wasn’t out for
another three weeks, but she wasn’t sure when Voldemort would be coming back to
Britain next. He might not return for months, and Bellatrix could not wait
months, but if she snuck out and was caught. . . .
”I know,” Rodolphus
said thoughtfully. “I’ll write father. He’s probably going. I could get him to
bring a servant to take notes for you. How’s that?”
It was as though he
were trying to talk a spoiled child into something. “I don’t want notes,
Rodolphus. I want to hear it for myself,” she grumbled. Just saying it seemed
to make her want it even more. “I’m going to go. It’s a Hogsmeade weekend. No
one will know.”
With a shake of his
head, Rodolphus stood up and surveyed her, a strange look in his eye:
skepticism and worry and envy all in one. Bellatrix knew what was going through
his head, and scowled at him. Not only did he not think she could get away from
school at all, but he was worried about what would happen if she did, and was
jealous that he wasn’t going with her. What a troll, she thought, as Rodolphus
lumbered away up to the castle. He’ll come around, though. And he’ll come with
Bellatrix stared out
over the glassy lake for just a moment, brooding on her situation. In one
movement, she had seized a quill and parchment. If she was going to get into
the seminar at all, she was going to have to reserve seats. She hurridly wrote
out an order for two tickets, asking to have her parents billed; when they
found out about it, they would either be glad she’d gone, or be angry. Either
way, by the time they did discover what Bellatrix had done, the lecture would
be long over.
to her delight, it didn’t take much for Bellatrix to convince Rodolphus to go
with her to London, and she was beyond excitement by the time Saturday
afternoon rolled around.
”So if anyone asks
you where I am, tell them that I’m in Hogsmeade and don’t want to be bothered.
Pritchard replied, narrowing her eyes at Bellatrix over the top of her book.
“What are you up to? You and Rodolphus having alone time, then?” She gave
Bellatrix a sly, mischeivious smile that would have made anyone else blush.
Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, an evil smile of her own stretching her lips, and
inspected her fingernails in a bored way.
”You might say
that,” she answered, turning toward the dormitory stairs. “Just make sure no
one goes looking for me, Paulette.”
She walked down the
stone hall to the sixth year’s dorm, inspecting herself in the small round
mirrors that lined the walls inbetween torch brackets. Her usually pale face
was spattered with freckles after so much training in the spring sunshine, and
her hair had grown a bit over the year, but the furtive, deep blue eyes were
the same as always. Perhaps the eyes were brighter then usual, though, with the
anticipation of her planned escapade to London. Bellatrix let herself into the
room, and headed straight towards her trunk. She pulled her black over-cloak
out, the one thing she had at school that didn’t have any Hogwarts
paraphenalia. It was a bit thick for May, but Bellatrix didn’t care; she
would’ve worn fifty of them just to go to the lecture. She threw the cloak
around her, and carefully folded the purple tickets, slipping them into her
pocket. It was nearly time.
scarcely able to contain herself as she made her way to the entrance hall. She
cursed under her breath as she ran past a professor, who raised her
eyebrows and called for Bellatrix to walk in the corridors. Slowing to a trot,
Bellatrix tried to tie her wild, black hair back, running into someone as a
result of her lack in attention. A door had opened right in front of her, a
door that she knew led to an unused classroom, and rarely had anyone in it
during school, much less on a Saturday.
This time Bellatrix
cursed outloud. The someone who had run into her was none other then Theodore
Tonks of Gryffindor, followed closely by Andromeda. Both sisters bristled, and
Andromeda’s pale face burned red hot, her eyes flashing as she waited for the
inevitable moment when Bellatrix would begin to shout. Bellatrix stared from
one to the other, unable to verbalize her anger and hatred. Tonks had gone for
his wand, stepping just in front of Andromeda so that Bellatrix had to glare
we?” she sneered. “Like her, Mudblood? You can keep her, she deserves you.”
Neither Andromeda or
Tonks found that declaration a very relieving one. Tonks tensed up like he
expected her to physically attack him. Andromeda was breathing hard through her
clenched teeth, sparks flying from her usually soft, quiet eyes.
”Don’t call him
that, Bellatrix!” Her voice was so high, it was practically a squeak.
”You will not speak
to me again, you replusive brat,” Bellatrix said, her voice dangerously calm
and quiet now. “Disgusting.”
She stood there for
just a moment, glaring at the tall, muscular, and silently stupid figure of Ted
Tonks, who still stood in front of Andromeda. Bellatrix knew no curses worthy
of that traitor’s flesh, and had no profanities fitting enough to describe her.
Then she stormed away, skirting them just as she skirted Muggles at the train
A towering temper
had replaced her anxious excitement of the past week. This is why I’m going to
the lecture, she thought fiercely, trying to calm herself so she didn’t arouse
anyone’s suspicions. I’m going to learn what to do about people like her. I’m
going to get back up on this. There was no way Andromeda could deny it; she had
not only continued her relationship with that Mudblood, but she seemingly taken
it to a new and frightening level. Her parents would be appalled and ashamed.
Bellatrix hadn’t even realized that she had reached the Entrance Hall, and only
realized where she was when a gust of cool wind blew in her face as she stepped
outside. She hadn’t managed to tie up her hair, and strands of it floated
around her face.
”There you are,”
said Rodolphus, looking supremely relieved. “What kept you?”
snarled, violently pulling her hair back. “Everything. I don’t know. Why do you
It wasn’t a question
meant to be answered, and Rodolphus only nodded, looking downcast. “Let’s go,”
he said, his deep voice barely betraying his nervousness at having Bellatrix in
one of her sour moods.
They started toward
the village of Hogsmeade, looking simply like the lone stragglers, heading for
a short afternoon and evening of Hogsmeade shopping. Not at all abnormal for a
day like this, and certainly not something to be questioned. It was exactly as
Bellatrix had intended.
stepped out of a white marble fireplace into a spacious and well-furnished
hall. She blinked in the bright light, which was very different from the dingy
darkness that was an essential element in The Hogs Head Inn. Rodolphus stepped
out of the emerald flames behind her.
”No trouble, love,”
he said conspiratorially. “Daft old bloke probably didn’t even see us come in.”
A smile curled
Bellatrix’s lips, which she immediately regretted because it had caught the
attention of a young man who was walking by, and he threw her a wolfish smile.
The two of them had agreed that it was best not to be noticed, just in case,
and were trying to avoid eye contact with anyone.
”Let’s just go in
and get our seats,” she murmured over her shoulder, taking Rodolphus’s wide,
thick hand in her own slender one and leading him towards the end of the hall.
Witches and wizards were cued up at a doorway framed by large, white marble
pillars. Bellatrix had only been to the Hall of Fine Arts in Wizarding once for
a charity performance that her father had been invited to. The only difference
today was the lack of fine dress robes.
doesn’t look like a small crowd to me,” Rodolphus remarked.
”I’m sure there
would be loads more if he were speaking at, oh, the conference center. Or the
ministry,” Bellatrix replied in an airy, all-knowing voice. I’m sure the
ministry is so eager to hand power back to the old families.
With Bellatrix in
the lead, the two of them had slid past a great deal of people waiting, and
were just at the doorway when the guard stepped aside and begin letting
everyone in. Still bent on remaining mostly unnoticed, Bellatrix headed for the
last two seats at the end of the very last row. That way they could avoid being
seen by any adults who might recognize them, and get out and back to Hogwarts
as soon as possible.
Bellatrix could see the scene in her mind, as clear as if it were still
happening, and it made her insides boil. Hogwarts was the very last place
Bellatrix ever wanted to go again. Almost as though it was on cue, the very
last person Bellatrix could ever have wanted to see away from Hogwarts that
day, strode past.
”Get down,” grunted
Rodolphus, who also seemed to have noticed Albus Dumbledore. Both of them
ducked down behind their seats. “He’s probably come to look for us!”
over the top of the seat in front of her, holding her breath, watching as
Dumbledore searched the room. He seemed to find what it was he was looking for,
and made his way to a seat in the middle of the hall. Bellatrix let out a long,
”No, no, he’s
just here for the lecture,” she whispered. “We’re fine, as long as he doesn’t
For the next five
minutes, Rodolphus and Bellatrix remained bent forward as far as possible,
Bellatrix checking every few seconds to see that Dumbledore had not moved from
his seat. A man strode out on to the stage, bringing hushed silence over the
small assembly as all of them directed firm attention onto him. Bellatrix
breathed a sigh of relief at remaining hidden from Dumbledore, and nearly forgetting
to be glad she was at her lecture at last.
Her stomach flopped
excitedly. “That’s him,” she purred, elbowing Rodolphus.
The man was bald
with pale, frosty skin that made quite a contrast against his jet black robes.
He was very tall and thin, his face slightly sunken, and he looked down his
long, bony nose at a small notecard in his hand. When his eyes snapped up to
the crowd before him, Bellatrix couldn’t help but gasp to see what color they
were: a murky reddish-black. They weren’t like any eyes Bellatrix had seen
before. What power he must have! she thought in awe.
”Welcome, my good
people,” Voldemort began, in a slow, leisurely voice. “So pleased you could
come. I am, of course, Lord Voldemort.”
There was a murmur
of laughter, as though he’d made a joke, but Bellatrix didn’t think he was
joking about what his name was. In any case, his face twisted into a smile, and
he nodded, waiting for them to resume their silence.
forward in her seat, listening hard to every word that came out of Voldemort’s
mouth. Everything he said was true. She wanted to have the future he described.
A future where Muggles were controlled by a ministry of the purebloods. A
future that was not hindered by Mudbloods and partial-bloods. Bellatrix was
mesmerized by his words, by the visions she had in her head of what life would
be like for her, and for her family and her friends. It was perfect.
She was deaf to all
the whispering going on around her, the restlessness of some in the crowd. When
everyone began to rise out of their seats, and Voldemort bowed slightly and
strode from the stage, Bellatrix couldn’t understand why it was over. Quite a
few of these people didn’t look very moved by Voldemort’s ideas. Why don’t they
want to do something about it? she wondered, somewhat hurt by their only mild
interest. I wish they would. No, I wish I could. It was truly disappointing to
be a student at school, and a child in the eyes of these witches and wizards.
Rodolphus had grabbed both her elbows, lifted her out of her seat, and was
leading her quickly to the door. “Dumbledore is coming up this way, you dope!
Are you just going to sit here all day, staring into space?!”
He was right, of
course. Albus Dumbledore had just risen out of his seat, and would be making a
turn toward them at any moment. Bellatrix jerked her elbows out of Rodolphus’s
hands, and broke into a bit of a jog, trying to get past the throng of people
trying to line up in front of the fireplaces. The line to leave by flue powder
was exceptionally long.
”There is no way
he’s not going to see us here,” Bellatrix began looking up at the line and
checking her watch. “It’s six o’ clock, already!”
In a fit of good
thinking that Bellatrix had not imagined possible from Rodolphus in a tight
situation, he dragged her out of line, outside, and down marble steps into
Etern Alley. “We’ll take the Knight Bus,” he declared, silencing Bellatrix’s
protests at once. He’d been about to fling out his wand hand, but Bellatrix
Dumbledore will see it. Let’s just hurry Œround the corner and out of sight,”
she said, and the two of them broke into a run.
Once they were out
of view from the Hall of Fine Arts, they came to a halt, huffing and puffing.
Bellatrix tied her hair back, and pulled her hood up, sweating slightly under
her cloak. Rodolphus had just put his hand out to summon the Knight Bus when a
rich, silky voice called out, “Bella, is it?”
Bellatrix froze, two
wild thoughts chasing themselves around in her head, neither of them good
thoughts. Either Dumbledore had recognized her and caught them anyways, or it
was her father, who was the only one that ever called her Bella. She took in
Rodolphus’s clearly shocked face staring at someone over her head. His hand was
still in the air, but he was ignoring the greetings of the Knight Bus
conductor. Very slowly and reluctantly, Bellatrix turned.
”Ah. Bella?” Lord
Voldemort himself was surveying her from those red-brown eyes, a regal smile on
his face. He held out a thin, white hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Black, sir,” she stuttered disbelievingly, mentally rebuking herself. He
already knows you’re name, you git, she thought wildly. She took his hand, and
shook it firmly, despite the complete mushiness she felt in the rest of her.
”You’ll forgive me
for startling you, Miss Black?” he asked graciously. His voice made that shiver
go up her spine, just as hearing his name had. “I couldn’t help but notice how
very interested you are in my work. I could use someone like you, Bella.”
For the second time
that day, Bellatrix found herself utterly without words. There was no way she
could express her incredulity. “Me?” she managed, still feeling stupid.
again, his eyes boring into hers, searching her face. “Why, yes. Someone like
you- resourceful, intelligent, determined.The world is surely lacking in
witches and wizards who posess such grand qualities.”
her eyes. Why on Earth would he be telling her this? “I don’t understand, sir,”
she said, raising and eyebrow. “I mean, I’m not even out of school yet. . .
What do you want me to do, sir?”
”I want you to join
me,” he said creamily, his voice demanding action, a tangible response of some
kind. Bellatrix’s heart leapt. “I could help you, Bella, and you me. Oh, the
things I could teach you. . .”