Heart of Blackness: A Dark Romance
Written by ilene
Disclaimer: This story is based on
characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers
including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, and Warner
Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement
Part Two of Two: Conflagration
Rodolphus. Chalet Dustrange, Summer,
Rodolphus Lestrange took the old ticket
with the blood spot, and slowly advanced it toward the filigree box, but then
stopped his hand.
“Not this late at night,” he said to
himself. “No need to have Bette rushing to my room; she has such good
ears, that house-elf. And besides, I know what it will say…”
He whispered the words softly. “Unworthy!
Unworthy blood pollutes your veins!”
He replaced the filigree box in the wall
safe, and put the tickets back in the box on his lap. Then he started
rummaging through it again.
“Yes, I knew I had kept
this for a reason.” Rodolphus Lestrange smiled, as his hand closed over a small
glass bottle. Not, as one might have assumed from its position in the box
of romantic keepsakes, a perfume bottle, or a love potion. Instead, it
was a dark-colored bottle marked with a small label, on which was written in
tiny, cramped handwriting, “Truth Potion – Grade III”. Underneath, in even smaller
writing, were the words, “Effects last for one hour.”
“Ah, yes,” he said to
himself. “I should invite Snape, of course. Perhaps even send two
invitations, surely even he can find some witch to go with him; after all, who
wouldn’t want to attend a Black family wedding?” He chuckled. “And after
all, without this potion…who knows if I ever could have…”
He smiled again, and
looked out the window. The weather outside was quite foul, but it was as
if the young wizard did not see the winds whipping the tops of the trees about
as if they were feather-dusters, nor heard the steady patter of the rain
against the windowpane, as he stared dreamily into the distance, in the
direction of London, and his beloved.
years ago. Spring, Hogwarts, 1975. Shortly before Easter Vacation
"What, is this only way
you can bring yourself to spill your guts to Bellatrix?"
looked at Snape fiercely.
"Well, I thought that
perhaps, you were trying to muster the strength to confess to Bellatrix...that
you fancy her." Snape said, attempting a more diplomatic tone of
"How did you
know?" I felt the heat rush to my face.
"Oh, I'd say it was
fairly obvious. Though not as obvious as some others. Have you ever seen
the way Potter looks at Evans? But I suppose she must enjoy it, to have
the great James Potter making such a fool of himself over her. Oh, not
that you are making a fool of yourself, of course."
I tried to stay calm.
"Bellatrix has a suitor, you know that," I said.
He laughed. "So?
She is not married yet...nor betrothed. Personally, I find it foolish
that so many witches marry so early, right out of school. How many
marriages stay strong and loving over the span of a hundred years?"
I could not help but laugh
myself. "Such cynical talk for one so young," I said.
Snape almost smiled.
"Obviously, you've never met my parents," he said, then suddenly
clamped his mouth shut, as if he realized he'd revealed too much.
Usually, I would have
pursued further, but as I was trying to secure his cooperation, I held
back. Of course, if I had to I would resort to blackmail, but I wouldn't
trust Snape not to sabotage the potion in some way if he felt he was being
An idea struck me. I
knew Snape loathed James Potter, and not without reason. And while I,
being no prefect, usually did not much care to stick my nose into the squabbles
of fifth-years, I was not averse to proposing a deal which I was sure Snape
"Of course, Snape, I
don't ask you to do this for nothing."
"Oh? How many
"Galleons, eh? You
drive a hard bargain."
"I'll have to spend at
least a whole Galleon's worth to buy the ingredients," he countered.
"Can't you just get
them from the Potions supplies?"
Snape snorted. "As if
you could find the supplies in an OWL-level Potions course. And there are
a few...elements...that I’m not even sure would be available in the NEWT-level
"Well, I wouldn't
"Oh, yes, of
course," Snape said, and he looked at me with a strange kind of contempt,
the kind a master of an art has toward mere amateurs...even though I had just
missed scoring high enough on my Potions OWL to get into NEWT-level
Potions. To this day I still suspect that someone...probably one of the Gryffindor
scum...sabotaged my practical.
then," I said. "And...I can help you get one over on
Potter," I added quickly, since I barely had five Galleons left over from
my last trip to Gringotts. I wished I had paid more attention to my
father’s words of caution.
say?" Snape suddenly looked at me with much more interest.
said. "I know you hate him, him and that...Sirius Black", I
added, as it occurred to me that Bellatrix would probably enjoy seeing Sirius
made a fool of.
Black," Snape said, his black eyes glittering. "And their
cronies...Pettigrew, and Lupin."
"Lupin? He's a
prefect," I said, though the way Snape said his name made me doubt for a
"Yes, the hypocrite,"
Snape spat. "I don't think he's ever taken a single point from
Gryffindor, and certainly not from his...great friends." He said
the last with great contempt.
"Well, it's not that I
have any great objection to hexing prefects, especially Gryffindor
prefects," I said. "However, targeting him would probably bring a
"Surely you can find a
way not to get caught?" Snape said incredulously. "Potter and Black
seem to have made an art form of getting away with bloody murder...and they're
not even Slytherins."
"Murder?" I said,
though I inwardly laughed at the irony. After all, I knew quite well what
I intended to do with d'Orange, if what I suspected was true. Of course, I
would have to expose him to Bellatrix first. And there may not be anything
left of him after she gets through with him.
"A figure of
speech," Snape said. "Though I wouldn't be surprised if one day
they actually did kill someone with their foolish pranks."
"Of course," I
said, trying to keep from laughing at Snape's naiveté. If you only
"You might find
it amusing," Snape said darkly.
"Well, perhaps I could
think of something," I said.
"I'll give back a
Galleon if you do get caught," Snape said. "As long as it's all
four of them."
"Perhaps you can ask
Malfoy for advice," he said. "He Owls your family, does he
said. Oh, play that card, will you? I wondered if
Lucius even remembered Snape. Although he had taken the boy under his wing
while he was at Hogwarts, it had seemed more like the affection given to a cat
or owl than anything else.
I suppose I could have
gained more favorable terms if I had persisted longer, but I was running out of
"Fine, then." I
said. "All four of them, and a Galleon back if I get caught...or
Snape seemed to ponder this
for a moment, then nodded.
"And I need the potion
before we leave for the Easter holidays."
leave, you mean," Snape said. "I am staying at Hogwarts."
"You are?" I
asked. I remembered again what Snape had said about his parents.
"Yes," he said
tersely. "After all, this project of yours is going to cut into my
study time. I don't know how you approached it, but I prefer to pass as
many OWLs as I can...including Potions."
"Touché," I said
at this last barb.
I walked away feeling rather
impressed at Snape. He certainly knew how to drive a bargain, not that it
should be too much trouble to handle mere fifth-years, even four of them.
Perhaps Lucius did see something in him, I thought.
I smiled, and patted the
pocket of my robes, where I had a letter in Bellatrix’s hand – or as close to
it as Thomas, who was quite good with a quill, could manage. It shouldn’t be
too much trouble to lure d’Orange into a meeting, and find out the truth from
woods near Chalet Dustrange, Spring, 1975.
“So you sent him a note in
my hand to lure him into a meeting?” Bellatrix said.
“I did,” I said. “Then I
used a Portkey to transport him here.” I gestured with my hands, indicating
the tall trees around us.
“Where did you get such a
“I got Thomas to forge one.”
“And why would he help you?
He is no friend of yours.”
“I used a disguise, and Confundus,”
I said. “He actually thought I was one of his Gryffindor cronies, playing a
trick by using the fake letter to lure me into a trap.”
“Ah,” she said. “I hadn’t
thought you could be so clever.”
Bellatrix stepped closer to
me, and even through the haze Snape's potion had brought to my mind, I could
see her face, and her cold eyes.
“But it is curious,” she
said, “Why Thomas would believe that…”
Her lips turned upward
slightly, approaching one of her rare smiles.
"Do you love me,
Rodolphus?" she said, an almost amused look on her face.
"Yes," I heard
myself say, though I must admit I did not even try to hold it back, not even in
front of this...imposter, this infidel, who would dare lay a hand on...
repeated. She looked at me again, a full smile on her face now, though a
cruel one, so cruel...so beautiful...
"Is that why you did
"Yes," I said
again, and I waited for her to ask if I thought this would help me to win her,
but instead she turned away slightly and said,
"Very well, the potion
“Only for an hour,” I
reminded her. “He’ll need another dose.”
She turned to the filthy
fool, her face hardened into a mask, and I exulted inwardly.
"Well," she said,
"I hope you do understand, Julius, that I must check out Rodolphus's tale
She stripped the gag from
his mouth with a quick wave of her wand, and brought the bottle of truth serum
to his lips. If her hands had not been gloved I would have been tempted
to hex d'Orange, to see his lips so close to her fingers.
I saw him shudder, and jerk
his head away, and I knew I’d won.
"Drink," she said, softly. He shook his head.
"Drink," she said,
more firmly, "or I will make you."
The fool complied, for even
he knew that Bellatrix was quite capable of carrying out her threat.
He drank the potion, and his
went slack, and for a moment I wondered if she had forced too much down his
throat. After all, only a sip was enough for the potion to work on
me. Not that I’d have had much regret it if he’d died just then, died in
agony with poison coursing through his polluted veins...but I wanted her to
know that I was right.
"Are you a Mudblood?"
she asked, saying the word in a hiss.
"No..." he said,
his voice trembling. "Not a Mudblood…"
She looked at me quickly,
with sudden renewed suspicion.
But there is a reason I am
in Slytherin, the House of the cunning, the wizards whose minds are sharp
enough to actually help them in life, even if some fools say the Ravenclaws are
the intelligent ones, with their dull books and dreamy star-gazing.
"He does not think of
himself as a Mudblood," I said. "His father had some magic in
him...a few childish tricks, nothing strong enough to move the quill at
Hogwarts, or Beauxbatons. And his mother was a gypsy woman, pretending to have
the Sight, but she was a common Muggle."
"Is this true?"
He looked at her, then
looked away, toward me. I met his eyes with a glare, and he looked down,
"Yes," he said.
"He says your father
had some magic. Was your father a Mudblood? Born to Muggles? Or a
filthy half-blood, perhaps?" she said. Her voice was still calm, but
I could tell that she was just barely keeping control over it.
said. I could smell his fear. “He was a half-blood. His
father – my grandfather – was a d’Orange.”
Bellatrix made a little
clicking sound with her tongue. “High spirits, I suppose. And your
mother? Was she a common Muggle, as he says?"
"Yes," he said,
his voice so soft I could barely hear it.
"How long have you
known this?" she asked.
"Since...I was two
years old." I smiled to myself, and thought that it might be worth
asking Lucius to assist me in planning what I would do to Potter and his
cronies, for my promised payment to Snape. Not that Lucius would turn
down a chance to get one over on those upstarts in Gryffindor. And, of
course, Snape was his little pet when Lucius was still at
Hogwarts. Oh, Snape may be a snivelling coward, but what a gift he must
have in Potions, to brew a truth potion that can extract secrets a wizard
cannot even remember. But of course, like the fool he is, he would strive
so hard in that useless class, Defense Against the Dark Arts.
"So you have known all
along? All along the time you were...courting me?" Her voice
was getting louder, and the anger was starting to show in her eyes.
"Yes," he said.
"All the time."
"And you still dared to
pay court to me, knowing I was Bellatrix of the Blacks, one of the most
venerable pureblood families in the land?"
"Yes," he said.
"You knew you were a
filthy Mudblood, and yet you dared to lay your hands on me?"
"Yes," he said,
but I sensed something in his voice that I did not like. I dropped my
gaze, wondering exactly where he has dared to lay his hands. Oh, not that
Bellatrix would act in a loose manner, but even foolish men can be cunning when
it comes to...
But my thoughts and fears were
interrupted, for I saw Bellatrix step back from him, and I saw the expression
on her face, filled with disgust, definite anger now, and something
else...something I have never seen before.
She tensed her body, and
closed her eyes as if she was concentrating on something, the way I remembered
seeing her doing during her Apparition lessons.
She raised her wand, and I
heard her voice, strangely high-pitched...
I heard him scream, and I
saw him writhe in his chair, but it is Bellatrix that I watched, transfixed, as
she held her wand on him. At first she was gazing intently,
concentrating, but then her expression changed, and the corners of her drawn
mouth started to turn, almost, as if she was enjoying herself. She
started to move her wand from side to side, as if she was conducting some
symphony. His screams got louder, then began to fade...I supposed the
effects of the curse had worn out his lungs. I noticed the smell of
urine, and realized he had wet himself. I started to laugh.
Suddenly, the screaming
stopped, and I saw Bellatrix's wand arm waver, and drop to her side. She
turned back to me.
me," she hissed, and I saw she was angry, but not enough to make me
fear. She might hex me with some harmless curse, but that was all.
She looked back at him, head
lying back in his chair, limbs limp.
said, with a sound that was very close to a snort of contempt.
"Yes, he is, the
scum," I said.
"Kill him," she
"What?" I asked.
"Kill him," she
repeated. "You want to, don't you?"
"Yes...and no," I
said. Snape's potion was still having its effects on me.
"What kind of answer is
that, yes and no?" she asked.
"I mean...of course the
filth deserves to die," I said, "but right now, I do not want to kill
him. What I want is..." I almost laughed, again. "...to
do what you just did."
unconscious," she said.
"Yes," I said,
"but that is what Ennervate is for."
Bellatrix. 12 Grimmauld Place, Spring, 1975.
After checking to make sure
that the Floo fire was out, I slipped into my bed at the guest room in Grimmauld Place for the last time. Tomorrow I return to Hogwarts. For
the first time since the night's events, I allowed the tears to fall from my
eyes. No, I did not weep for the Mudblood scum.
I do not even think I ever loved him, not really. I was simply taken up
by the...drama of it all, the pageantry, the pomp and ceremony, of being
courted, the way Lucius courted Narcissa. For I must confess he was
a great actor, after all, even more than a singer. He must have been, to
The salt tears stung my
face. I could hear Narcissa snoring, even through the wall separating my
room from hers...it was a thin wall, and the Silencing Charm must have worn
off. I would have gone and re-cast it, but I was too tired. It had
taken more energy than I thought to cast Scourgify on myself five
times...or was it more? I had lost count (and yet I still felt
sullied.) And of course, I had never cast Crucio on a human
before...that is, if Mudbloods are human enough to count. While Rodolphus
did distract me with that loud laugh of his, I do not think I could have kept
it up for long. For while it was vaguely amusing to see him flipping
around like an old sock puppet, I was too angry.
Rodolphus seemed to be
enjoying himself much more, and I must confess I was somewhat surprised by
it. I did not think he had it in him. Oh, his cunning tricks, such
as the truth serum, yes. But not the power it takes to cast the Cruciatus
Curse. But I suppose he had less anger in him. I had not
understood, before, the truth of what was in the book Lucius had given me after
he and Narcissa had announced their engagement. Inhabit the Darkness.
I whispered the words, for I have memorized most of that book.
"...the true strength
of the Curse Cruciatus does not lie in the strength of the caster's anger or
rage. This Curse is best performed when the wizard feels not anger, but
pleasure...pleasure at the sight of pain and misery. A wizard who is in
the throes of triumph over an enemy, and feels the pleasure of having bested
him and cast him down, also often has great success in the use of the
Triumph. That explains Rodolphus, I think. For,
of course, he must think he has a path to my heart now, having disposed of the
Mudblood. He did confess he loved me, after
all. I wonder if he would have been so quick to do what he did if it had
been, say, my cousin Regulus who had been ensnared by some Mudblood's wiles.
But then again, he would not have needed to go to such lengths to convince
Regulus, I am sure. Regulus can be a fool, but he has always been quick
to follow the words of his elders.
I held back a sigh.
Oh, to be as simple as Regulus! But I am not. It is not that I
disagree with what my parents have taught me, the creed of the Blacks. Toujours
Pur, always pure. It is that...they are too complacent, too
content to let the ancient families wither away, the Mudbloods and half-bloods gain more strength by the day,
while they hide in the shadows...indeed, let all wizardkind hide in the
shadows, while the Muggles overrun the earth like a horde of rats.
At the very least, we should
be having more children. Look at the Weasleys...blood traitors, and poor
as trolls to boot, but there are so many of them, all pureblood. Yet my
parents only had three, and one of them turned out to be a blood traitor,
willing to lie in a Mudblood’s bed, take his name, even bear his child. I
have never seen the child, but I have heard my parents whisper that it is not
normal. Aunt Aquila and Uncle Orion only had two, and one is as good
as a blood traitor himself. And while Narcissa certainly looked pleased
after Lucius proposed, showing off that ring...I am not sure she is quite as
pleased with the prospect of putting her fine figure into jeopardy by carrying
a child. Although I have heard there are ways of having a child of one's
blood without the pains of labor. Perhaps Lucius has books that tell of
it...though I doubt he would be willing to forsake the pleasures of the
I cringed at that
thought. Who will want to marry me now? I tried to reassure
myself that no one need know. After all, I had not even told Narcissa
what had passed, much less my mother and father. All society will know is
that Bellatrix Black was courted by a foreigner, then abandoned. They
need never know that the foreigner was a Mudblood.
Yet...I scraped my nails
against my shoulders...I will know. Unless I cast the strongest
Memory Charm I can on myself, I will always know that a Mudblood dared to touch
me, to embrace me, to press his foul lips to my hand, even to my...I cannot
bear to think of it. If I were not headed to Hogwarts tomorrow, I would
Summon some of Father's Firewhisky to cleanse my mouth.
Yes, I will know. I will know,
and I will always fear that I will somehow let the truth out, for even little
Snape's potion was strong enough to pull out the truth from the Mudblood...as
well as Rodolphus, of course.
Rodolphus. I suddenly realized something. He too, knows.
He too, knows I let a Mudblood...touch me, and yet...he still loves me.
He said so under the potion, so it must be true. Yet he did not recoil
from me in disgust, or spit in my shadow. He even laid his hand on my
shoulder as he parted from me...
I almost laughed out loud.
I, care for Rodolphus that way? A mere boy, who I have known since we
were first-years? And the Lestranges...purebloods, certainly, but declining in
fortune, not exactly known throughout Britain, and even the whole of Europe, as
we, the Blacks, are.
And people will say that
Bellatrix Black must have a taste for wizards with peculiar names.
But then, I thought, why
should I care what people say? So Rodolphus Lestrange is not rich and cultured
like...the Mudblood pretended to be. So? He is a pureblood, and he
knows what is right. He follows the creed of purity. He knew the Mudblood
scum deserved to die, and was not afraid to follow through on it. I
sighed with regret that we did not have enough strength left to use the Killing
Curse, but Transfiguring his heart into a stone had the same effect, after
all. And now he is completely stone, Transfigured into nothing more than
a pile of rubble. No one will find the body, no one will ask any
I smiled to myself. I
do not smile that often, at least not sincerely, and I wondered why I was
smiling now. Surely, I do not love Rodolphus that way. But then
again, who knows if I ever will love that way?
I thought of something Aunt
Aquila said once, when I was young and foolish, and I asked her if she loved
Uncle Orion. He was her cousin, after all, though a second cousin, and
once removed at that. I knew such a thing was common in our clan, but to
marry a relative? I try to imagine marrying Regulus, and it is so absurd
that I feel more amused than disgusted. And she had never said that she
loved him, not as a lover. She had said she loved him as a wife should,
as if she loved him out of duty. But she had also said that for a woman,
sometimes it is as much of a blessing to be loved, as it is to love.
I know that Rodolphus loves
me. And we already share something that I share with no other
wizard. We share a secret.
Yes, he loves me. And
perhaps Aunt Aquila was right, after all. Perhaps it is as much of a
blessing to be loved. Perhaps it is a good thing, to know that at least
one wizard will always be loyal to me, that he will follow my every whim, my
every wish...not in the foolish things like buying sweets and baubles, but in
what really matters.
I smiled to myself again,
and I felt myself start to relax, probably enough to sleep, even with
Narcissa's snores. Perhaps I would tell her in the morning that she still
snores, that she might want to do something about it before Lucius finds
out. That should put an end to the problem. I imagined Narcissa
frantically researching how to cure snoring, and I laughed, for she never was
Feeling better than I
thought I could when I first crawled into bed, I closed my eyes.
Bellatrix. 12 Grimmauld Place, Summer, 1977.
Bellatrix Black woke, and
realized that she was not alone. She was not sure how she knew
that. She tried to look around, but found that she could not move her
neck. She tried to reach out her hands, but they remained frozen at her sides.
Before she could wonder
what had awakened her, she heard a voice, unlike any she had heard
She knew that this voice
must have called her.
replied. She found that, as she spoke, her body broke out of its
paralysis. She reached for her wand on the nightstand.
“There is no need to cast
Lumos,” the voice said. “You could not see me even
if you lit a hundred candles.”
yourself?” Bellatrix said. Somehow, she did not feel frightened,
though she supposed she should.
“That is too simple a way
to describe it,” the voice said. “Do not bother looking for any cloak
that I hide behind. I simply inhabit the darkness.”
“Inhabit the darkness…is
that you, Lucius?”
The voice laughed.
“No, I am not Lucius, but he will be pleased to know you have been reading his
books. He speaks well of you.”
“You know Lucius, then.”
“Of course I do. I
know many of your friends.”
“Lucius is my
brother-in-law,” Bellatrix corrected. “He is family.”
“Of course, of course,
you have few friends outside your family, Bellatrix. Few friends, and
“I have Rodolphus…my
betrothed,” Bellatrix said.
“So you have. But
in the past you had…one other.”
“I have never been
betrothed before,” Bellatrix said.
“Oh, no, I know you were
not,” the voice said. “But I know this. You killed a Mudblood upon
learning he had attempted to seduce you under false pretenses, did you not?”
“That is the secret you
have kept for so long, or so you think. Two years? That is
nothing. I spent many years wandering the earth, learning all there was
to know about the Dark Arts, before I returned to the land of my birth.
You think of yourself as corrupted, tainted, when your only fault was
Stupidity? Bellatrix thought indignantly.
“Perhaps I use the wrong
word,” the voice continued. “I know you are intelligent, Bellatrix.
You were Head Girl, after all. What I meant is, you were young, unknowing
of the world. You were brought up well, to respect the creed of purity,
but you were sheltered. What you need is true education, not the feeble
version of it you were given at that school, run by that Mudblood-loving old fool. They told you to defend yourself
against the Dark Arts, but neglected to teach you what the Dark Arts truly
were. You were not stupid, merely ignorant.”
“So I was,” Bellatrix
said. “But how…how did you know…”
“The Dark Lord knows
all,” the voice said simply.
“The Dark Lord! You
Even though Bellatrix
could not see him, she thought she sensed something from the Dark
Lord…pleasure? No, but something close to it.
“I am, Bellatrix.
And I have come to tell you that you have been chosen.”
Lucius speaks well of you, but I think you have more power inside you than even
he. Join me, Bella, and I will show you what true power can be.”
“But I am betrothed,”
Bellatrix said. “I am soon to be wed.”
“That will be no
impediment. Both you and Rodolphus Lestrange will be welcomed into my
ranks. But it is you, Bellatrix, who have been chosen. I am even
considering training you in some of the most advanced Dark Magic by my own
hand. That is, of course, if you wish to be trained.”
Bellatrix nodded to the
darkness. No words needed to be exchanged for both parties to know that refusal
was not an option.
“You will hear from me
again, Bellatrix. For now, enjoy your wedding plans. Good night, Bella.”
There was no sound,
except a small swish, that could have been no more than a curtain fluttering in
the night air, but Bellatrix knew that she was alone again. She felt a
sudden need for sleep, so overwhelming that she did not even stop to wonder how
the Dark Lord had managed to broach the magical wards that guarded the Black
family seat. It did not surprise her that he had. He was the Dark
Lord, after all…
Rodolphus. Chalet Dustrange, Summer,
raised his wand to turn off the single taper burning at the head of his
bed. Then he thought better of it, and paused to take the locket from around
his neck, and take one last glance at the picture of his beloved.
He immediately noticed
something different about her. He was not sure what it was. She was
still sitting in the chair, her back straight. She was still looking at
him with a half-smile on her lips.
And then, as he watched
transfixed, she raised her left arm, so that the sleeve of her robe fell
downward. He drew in a gasp of air as he saw what was revealed on her
arm. A black mark, a figure of a skull, with a serpent issuing forth from
He had seen it before, of
course. Well, he had never seen a fresh one, green and bright in
the sky, but he had seen enough pictures in the paper, showing it rising above
the houses of those foolish enough to oppose the Dark Lord.
He was no Seer, but
Rodolphus knew this must be some sign, to see the Dark Mark appear on the arm
of Bellatrix. Perhaps it meant that the Dark Lord would one day come for
her? But there was no way he could see her as a blood traitor.
Unless…she was meant to become one who would cast the Mark. And since it
had appeared in a picture he had taken, perhaps he too…
Bellatrix smiled at him
again, a full smile this time. Rodolphus wished the picture was an actual
painting, so that he could speak to it, and hear for himself what Bellatrix had
Well, I suppose I shall Owl
her in the morning, he thought.
Perhaps she can figure it out.
Not knowing how close to
the truth he was, Rodolphus put out his candle and went to sleep.