Dedications: For my darling friend Maisie who requested a Bellatrix-centric fic with the prompts of monsters. Enjoy, love!
Hogwarts Psychology Class: Task: Write about a child demonstrating learned behaviour from an adult or role model. Prompt: model.
"Bellatrix, dear, come here please," Druella Black called from the kitchen, her voice pleasant and warm.
Bellatrix ran down the stairs, taking great care to make sure her steps weren't heavy. Her mother had taught her in the latest etiquette lesson that a lady's step should never be anything but soft, and Druella Black was always right, one of the many reasons why Bellatrix copied her every action. Her mother was her role model.
"Yes, mother?" Bellatrix asked, stepping over the threshold of the kitchen. Her mother smiled pleasantly at the sight of her child.
"I have the Isabelle Greengrass coming over for afternoon tea today," Druella said. "I have asked the house elves to have the meal prepared but I never can trust those foul creatures to make the tea correctly. Would you mind doing it for me? I think it is time for you to learn."
The words were obviously not a question but Bellatrix would never have said no anyway. Her mother was trusting her with a job that was usually done by the lady of the house. It was an honour!
Bellatrix nodded eagerly and skipped to the tea counter. She grabbed the tea leaves and began making the tea the way she had watched her mother do her entire life.
It took about twenty minutes for the tea to boil and Bellatrix waited impatiently while her mother read a book quietly.
Finally, the tea was ready and the smell waft over to where Bellatrix was seated. She leaped up eagerly, ready to pour it and cast the stasis charm.
"Bellatrix, darling, would you mind adding this to the tea?" Druella asked, holding a clear vial up.
Bellatrix frowned in confusion. "Mother, what is this? You've never added it before."
Druella smiled softly, kissing her daughter's forehead. "I know, my dear, but I want the tea to taste extra good. You understand, don't you? My smart girl."
Bellatrix nodded eagerly and poured a generous amount of the liquid into the teapot. It smelled sickly sweet but the smell faded quickly until she couldn't smell it at all.
"Good girl," Druella said and Bellatrix ducked her head in pride, skipping out of the kitchen to brag to her sisters about what she had been trusted to do. Andromeda was sure to be jealous.
It would take years later for Bellatrix to realize what her mother had done. Liquid Belladonna was poisonous, with a smell that faded instantly. One sip was enough to kill a person.
Isabella Greengrass died in pain and the Aurors never even figured out what has killed her.
Bellatrix never confessed and her mother never mentioned it again.
Bellatrix sat down on the rickety stool and glared down in disgust. No daughter of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black should have been treated like this.
Seconds later, the sorting hat fell over her eyes, leaving Bellatrix engulfed by full darkness.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" the hat asked in delight.
Bellatrix rolled her eyes. "The newest Slytherin."
The Hat, lacking both eyes and sight, could not roll its eyes, but Bellatrix felt as if he did in that minute.
"Would you not consider any other house? I sense bravery in you, Bellatrix Black. You could be great in house Gryffindor."
"I'd rather die," Bellatrix snapped. "I am a Black and I will be great in house Slytherin. You shall sort me there at once."
The hat seemed sad. "You will do terrible things in House Slytherin. Great, but terrible."
Bellatrix rolled her eyes. "That's what you think. Clearly, you have nothing better to do then sort eleven-year-olds, so I'm not taking your opinion as law."
Bellatrix sat down at the table with a pleased smile. A few girls she knew from various Pureblood gatherings nodded at her but no one spoke to her otherwise.
Suddenly, Bellatrix's space was invaded by a girl with pitch-black hair and dark eyes who smirked, grabbing a plate.
"Evana Greengrass," she said. "Welcome to Slytherin, the only house who understand the right way."
Bellatrix started for a second. The girl was clearly older but she was giving her the time of day. Surely, anyone who understands her potential was worth talking to?
"Bellatrix Black. What exactly is the 'right way?'"
"Oh, I'm surprised you don't know, considering what family you're from," Evana said, leaning down as if she was sharing a secret. "The Dark Lord's way, of course."
Bellatrix's brow furrowed. She didn't know that name. "Who is the Dark Lord?" She asked suspiciously.
Rodolphus's hands caressed Bellatrix's body and she shivered, trying not to let her annoyance show. It wasn't due for a woman to be anything but docile in bed, despite how commanding Bellatrix was in everything else. Despite everything, her mother's influence remained.
"Oh, Bella," Rodolphus moaned and Bellatrix smirked into his shoulder. "I love you."
Bellatrix froze. Cautiously, she looked up at him to see him staring at her with a soft smile.
"You love me?" She asked, raising a haughty eyebrow.
Rodulphus leaned down. "Yes. Always, my Belladonna."
"I love you,too," Bellatrix said smoothly. It was a lie. A necessary lie, but a lie regardless.
Rodolphus kneeled at the Dark Lord's feet, his cloak dragging in the dirt underneath him. Bellatrix watched with entertained eyes as the new recruits, herself included, stood transfixed at the sight.
"Bellatrix Black," the Dark Lord called. "Come here."
Bellatrix bowed her head as she walked forward until the Dark Lord lifted his finger, raising it to meet his eye level. Bellatrix felt the pressure in her mind as he tore through her memories with reckless abandon.
Her mother appeared, causing death with a warm smile. Evana talking to her at age eleven about the Dark Lord's cause. Her lack of love towards her husband, staying with him out of duty for the pureblood cause.
"Welcome to the Death Eaters, Bellatrix Black," the Dark Lord said in amusement and Bellatrix bowed, her cloak tracing in the dirt too. Here was a man who knew power, who's command all the people she admired would bow under. They may have been monsters but they had led her down the right path, she was sure of it.
"Thank you, my Lord."