Disclaimer: characters and situations belong to J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros.


Red Roses for a Queen

Every night, he brings me a rose, a single red rose. So perfect in its fragile beauty that I gasp in awe each time, reaching out with shaky fingers to caress the petals. Night after night, he comes at the darkest hour, bearing before him the flower and his soft, coated whispers: subtle, yet sharp as a silken sword.

I had asked him why, once, long ago. Why did he do this? Always, at night, he is there, the light pooling in the doorway behind him. And always, at night, I go to him, leaving the darkness of my rooms behind me. A pile of dried and broken petals lies upon the stony, grey floor, dust and long-faded memories gathering in its midst. The scent of roses surrounds me.

He had laughed, then, his dark eyes alight with mockery, his voice clear and bell-like, echoing through the thick air. "Why, my little virgin girl?"—he had always called me that, long after that first night, when he had taken me into his dark chambers, and there claimed me for his own—"because it is what you are. Such a pretty face, so sweet, so delicate and innocent, so deceiving. Soon, my rose, soon you will be much more. Soon, the world will feel your thorns."

And I had been silent, pondering his words, responding only out of instinct and long habit as we trod the path that we had first walked three years past, on that beautiful and terrible winter night, into the gloom where his chambers lay. And the bittersweet scent of bruised rose petals followed me, enveloped me, suffocated me. He did not notice.

There were times when I loathed him, could not stand his touch. I had considered killing him, but the plans never came through—I had not the heart to attempt it. Later, when I did, I never considered it.

He tells me that he loves me, but I feel the falseness of his words through my very soul. I taste his sharp, caustic lies upon my tongue. They taste to me like roses.

I have grown to love roses. Their scent lives in me, lingering long after their petals have fallen into dust. And their colour, always that deep, dark red, I have come to lust for; red, like the blood that courses through the veins of every living creature; red, like the shock of my hair—the only legacy of my childhood—against the green draperies floating from the ceiling in his chambers; red, like the colour of that house that I had so long ago forsaken.

Every night, I sit before the grand oak door that separates my rooms from the bare corridor, and wait, my breath caught, shuddering, between my teeth. The dying petals from the night before drift around me.

Every night, he brings me a single red rose to add to my dried and dying collection, that I may caress it, admire it, and cast it away: one rose among a sea of blossoms.

Tonight, he brought me a black rose.

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
~Carl Jung


A/N: I know I said that I'd make this into a chaptered fic, but the muse refused to work. So, I merely took the original Red Roses for a Queen, expanded on it, and submitted it as you see here.