Most Faithful: Chapter One
Before you get too attached to me, there's something you should know. I'm not the stereotypical main character to some stupid little fairy tale you read to your children. I'm not the hero that tries to save the world, or parades openly against the forces of the Dark Lord, with the help of my pathetic friends and family standing by my side. I'm not going to tell you nice things. You aren't going to hear about friendship and fluffy love affairs.
My story is quite the contrary to a fairy tale. You can't even begin to fathom the secrets I harbor deep in my mind. You probably do not come from a family that has worked for so long to protect all that is sacred and essential to the success of the Wizarding World. You cannot smell the odor that reeks in the air when I walk into the Hogwarts Great Hall. You do not see our customs of old being washed out by those who know nothing of the past. You do not see the way the Mudbloods and blood traitors are destroying our precious world. You, then, are blind. I see behind the smiling faces. But do you see who I am?
Black. Black on the outside, black on the inside.
Bellatrix Black is my name, and it will do you well not to forget it. One day you may be screaming it in your sleep. Perhaps it will be uttered as your last word. Remember that my name is Black as you fade into the darkness and death engulfs your body and soul, pulling you down to hell. Remember that it was a Black that sent you there. The noble and most ancient house of Black has sent you to your grave.
Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? I delight in saying these words, perfecting them, so that when the day comes that I look my cousin Sirius in the eye with my wand pointed at his heart, I can see this without mercy. Sirius is a traitor, a disgrace to the family of Black. He does not deserve the name that has been bestowed upon him. Sirius and that Potter boy are a disgrace; they both need to be sent to their graves.
But I shall not go off into a malicious rant about the numerous ways I could bring death upon that pair; there are many people I would like to see meet their violent end soon. But I am not allowed to do that, not yet. I am a faithful servant of the Dark Lord, and as I am only sixteen years of age, he does not wish that of me yet. The time will come when I will make my sacrifice.
My desperate heart yearns to leave school behind me, to flee the place where Albus Dumbledore lets mudbloods make filthy the halls, and promotes what he believes is justice and dignity. He infiltrates the filthy even more, working to destroy what Lord Voldemort is secretly trying to build upon. He knows something big is about to happen; he can foresee the massacres that are necessary to the cleansing of our world. But to any sensible person, this should be bleeding with blatancy, staining the pool of clear water, the way the mudbloods contaminate our fresh river.
It brings a smile to my face to think of how Dumbledore will try and put a stop to all that will set the world right again. He, and several others who have been deemed crazy, are trying to ready the world for us. But no one can prepare them for Voldemort. My Lord Is powerful and great. There will be nothing that will stop him from gaining his power and his followers. Those who oppose him will be shown no mercy.
Though I do not yet have a Dark Mark burning into my arm, I consider myself his most avid supporter. I am undoubtedly jealous of the glory that comes into the skin and blood of his followers as he burns the mark onto their arms. His mark. They flinch because of the pain, and then parade themselves around as if they had foregone a brave and nearly perilous act.
I will keep a straight face when the skull and serpent are burned into my flesh. I will not pretend I am brave and heroic. I will humbly keep my loyalty within the boundaries of Lord Voldemort, not giving into the temptation to praise myself, and love myself more than I love him. I will be strong for him, even if it means I must die, or worse yet: rot in Azkaban. But I will do it for him. He will know where my loyalties lie.
I am Bellatrix Black, his most faithful. I will not falter. I will not betray him.
I pushed a strand of dark hair behind my ears as I contorted my face with concentration, watching the dead body of the small black cat sitting in the middle of the well-kept lawn in my back yard. The grass was a pallid, livid green color that was most unnatural, giving the aura of grass in a cemetery.
The cat had been dead for several weeks. I had killed it myself, for an experiment I had been working on. As a sixteen-year-old, I was not supposed to know the curse that sucks life out of a being. I'm quite sure that no one is actually meant to know it, but if you can focus your hate and malicious thoughts upon a being, then say the blessed words, killing is not a difficult task. You have to want it, you have to need it, you have to feel it. You must also possess an immense knowledge of the Dark Arts. I was a perfect candidate.
The stench coming from the cat's carcass was infiltrating the clean air around me, nearly making me wretch. Flies and their larvae were clinging to the rotten meat of the animal, using it as a breeding ground and source of food. The cat's eyes were starting to liquidize already, turning into a pasty, glazed white sort of concoction that even I dared not touch. The black fur was starting to get matted.
All the better for what I was planning.
I extended my long, strong hands over the carcass, and closed my eyes. Immediately, visions of the dead filled my brain, ensnaring all my senses. I could smell the rotting of the dead flesh in the air, and hear the last moans and cries as the dead longed to go back to their rightful places on planet earth. I could see their rotting corpses and feel the cold and clammy skin brushing up against my warm body. I could taste the putrid flavor that kept filling my mouth as I opened it for a breath of air.
I had wandered into the world of Death. Of course, Death had not yet cast its shadow upon me, not that I was afraid of that prospect. But I needed to remain alive and kicking to properly serve Lord Voldemort. He needs us all. The sights, smells, sounds, feelings, and tastes of Death were wonderful, though morbid they were, it was what fascinated me more than anything else. If I had not devoted myself to Lord Voldemort, I would have remained forever in my hobby of attempting to raise an Inferius. Yet, it was the Dark Lord that taught me how to control a corpse. Without him, I was nothing.
Something brushed up against my ankle, hissing and spitting like the world was coming to an end. I looked down at my feet and saw a cat. A black cat with glazed eyes, matted fur, and flies, maggots, and larvae inhabiting its putrid flesh. This was what I had come for, and I might as well have taken it then and there and have finished my mission. But as a Black, my curiosity was running away with me, and I had to walk on a little father and have a look at the dead human beings, who groped for me, occasionally making contact with my skin. It sent a pleasant shiver down my spine.
Taking in my final breath of the dead air, I wrapped my hands around the soul of the diminishing cat, feeling its insides squish as my hands encased it. I closed my spiritual eyes, and willed my physical ones open. I was again looking out at my backyard, seeing the serpentine statuettes of snakes spitting water into fountains, as a black whirl of smoke hovered near me.
A raspy noise at my feet indicated that the cat was stirring. No change in its appearance had come about, which was exactly what I had intended. The cat was now a member of those dead among the living, a slave to my will, do serve my every will and want. To the best of its abilities. It was after all, just a cat.
"Find Narcissa," I said to it, enjoying the way my voice was low and somewhat raspy, not at all innocent sounding. It had a definitely dark touch to it, like the Dark Lord's. The cat trotted off dismally, leaving pieces of itself behind as it left me. Even in the summer I donned black garb, but the heat would not bother me. I had always used charms to repel heat when I wanted to, even in the summer, when magic was supposedly forbidden.
"Don't be silly, Bella!" Mother had always said to me. "You needn't mind that nonsense! You're a Black, and therefore are above the law. Use all the magic you please, child, and keep peacefully in mind that we are friends of the Ministry; they wouldn't date take your wand away!"
And what my mother had told me that summer was true. The Ministry of Magic had yet to even send me a warning concerning the illegal use of magic. And worse yet, Dark Magic. The feeble group of wizards that called themselves the government could easily be swayed, with a charitable contribution of the great sort. It was great to have money.
"What rotten things are you up to, Bella?" Came a smooth voice from behind. Instead of my sister, Narcissa, I had turned calmly to face none other than Sirius Black. I crossed my arms and glared at him, watching. He was leaning against the wall of my house, with his arms crossed, and one foot crossed over the other with his toe on the ground.
Though I never dreamed I would admit it to myself, at that moment, I found something abnormally attractive in my abhorrent cousin. His dark hair fell neatly atop his head, and his dark eyes shone with all they had, like freshly polished wood. His face was not as thin as mine, but chiseled perfectly to match his body and eyes. A cordial smile lit his features, making him look as if there were, deep inside, the shard of dark character that I prized in people.
Part of me wished I were not related to Sirius at that moment. I wished that he were a dark stranger showing up at my doorstep to seduce me, and whisk me away with him to join the Dark Lord and faithfully follow him. The part of me wishing this was rattling around in my heart, banging against my chest to get out.
The sensible, correct part of me, which did not believe in incest, kept telling me that I hated him. I hated the way that he grinned at me, without a trace of evil, but of humor and amiability. I hated the way he did not support the Dark Lord, and how he had started fraternizing with mudbloods, and the way he deserted the house of Black. I hated the way he ran away from home last year to live with that wretched Potter, and I hated the way he hated me.
The sensible side of me won out by far, bleaching out all thoughts of seeing Sirius as attractive. I hated him so much that he was no better looking than the living dead cat.
"What business is it of yours?" I snapped maliciously, throwing a sheet of dark hair venomously behind my shoulders, as I slid my hands into my pocket where my wand was concealed. "And by what foul reason have I had the misfortune of speaking to you?" I added, throwing my nose in the air.
"I'm looking for your sister." He said simply, cocking an eyebrow at me.
"Unless you wish to see Narcissa, I have no other sister," I retorted. A fury rose inside me, thinking of the sister that had also betrayed the family, as Sirius had done. "If I correctly assume who you wish to speak to, I'd suggest looking someplace else. She's run off. Left the family name behind he. She betrayed the family name, and wrought shame upon us all, as you have, Sirius!" I spat. "Now get out before I hex you."
Heaving a sigh, Sirius shook his head at me and grinned. "Whatever you command, oh favorite cousin of mine," he said, with a mock bow, in the voice of a house elf. He stood up straight, saluted me in another mocking fashion, and before I could draw my wand to hex him, he disappeared into the thin summer air. He had turned seventeen already, and could legally apparate. Not that the law mattered, anyway.
"What do you want, Bella?" Came another voice, this one cold and drawling. My younger sister, Narcissa was standing but a meter away, with my dead servant at her feet, pacing back and forth. I could not have looked any less like Narcissa; it was as if we came from different families.
Her hair was long and blonde, shining in the sunlight, catching all the light and causing her to look as if she were glowing. Her eyes were a light slate-blue color, unlike my dark ones. Her face was more pointed than mine was, as if someone had hurriedly chiseled out her features, rather than taking their time, leaving points here and there. This left her with the look of a model for Madam Malkin's shop. Her cheekbones were much higher than mine, and she looked slightly malnourished.
"Just wanted to show you my newest minion," I snapped at her, as if she were stupid. "A new Inferi. He's been dead for a few weeks, mind you."
"Oh, impressive," Narcissa droned, rolling her eyes lazily. "Anyone can kill a cat and bring it back," she said to me. "But I'd like to see you try it to a human being. That is something only the Dark Lord can accomplish."
I took that as a challenge. Narcissa didn't know what had hit her.