Disclaimer: I do not, nor do I claim to own Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. He belongs to JK Rowling, Warner Bros. and many other franchises. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A/N - This is just quiet little ficlet I wrote focusing on Bellatrix and Severus. Please r+r and tell me what you think.

What Comes Inbetween
By Bellatrix Malfoy

Severus Snape was not one for entertaining; in fact he was rather renowned for his dislike of people in general. It was because of this that it had surprised him when Lucius Malfoy had insisted he threw a party at his Manor. The war between the dark and light sides had not sub-sided, oh no. But the fact that many of Severus' 'comrades' had been 'rescued' from Azkaban had something to do with it.

There was only a week until he would have to return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and continue on with his post as Potions Master, but nonetheless Lucius had decided and announced that celebrations were in order. So Snape Manor was tidied up better than it had been in years and within hours, the guest had arrived, chatting along in their merry ways.

No one would suspect anything of a get together at Snape Manor. After all, Severus was now a trusted 'ally' of Dumbledore and he did live in a rather secluded and hard to pin point location. So as the chandelier's wrought some kind of light into the dark room and as the brandy and champagne flowed freely, the many deatheaters chattered away mindlessly and uncaring.

But of course, Severus wasn't much for crowds. So when he had done the proper act of greeting and agreeing with whatever nonsense Lucius was spouting, he ducked out of the hall and headed off to explore his own and rarely used castle.

He only had a few months a year free and even then he had dedicated them to his work at either the school or now the Order and the deatheaters. He barely remembered some of the passages he found as he took a sip of his brandy. He turned into one of the more familiar corridors, only to be surprised by the light emanating from his study.

'Now who would be stupid enough to go into my private quarters?' he thought to himself, as he stepped forward and pulled open the door. The room was bathed in light from the large fireplace; it's crimson shadow illuminating every corner of the room. It took his eyes a moment to adjust to the different light, before he narrowed his eyes at the figure that was standing in front of him.

Her dark eyes lingered at him, unconcerned, as she retrieved a book from one of the many shelves.

"Bellatrix," he murmured. Her lips curled into a small, seductive smile.

"Hello Severus," she purred.

"What are you doing in here?" he asked sternly, eyeing the book in her hands. She turned to face him, her black hair flipping over her shoulder as she did so. Her long, slinky black robes swayed slightly as she made her way across the room and sat down in front of the fireplace.

"I became tired of listening to Rudolphus' anecdotes and thought I may as well catch up on some reading."

"I see," he said, watching her cautiously from across the room. "I doubt you would have had much of a chance to in Azkaban."

"Too true, too true."

Severus made his way across the room to the small mini-bar he kept. He downed the rest of his brandy and filled his glass once more. "Something to drink, Bella?"

"I'll have whatever you're having."

He poured her a brandy and slowly walked across the room, handing her the glass, which she took tentatively. She sipped the liquor, eyeing him from above the glass. He closed the book for her, raising his eyebrows. "Why are you really here?"

She smiled sweetly, though her eyes seemed to trail off. "I get bored easily. I wanted a quiet place to think."

"To think about what?"

"Life… death," she said, shrugging, "and everything else that comes in-between."

"Oh please, don't tell me you're one of those people who never truly grow out of their angsty teenage self," he muttered, rolling his eyes and waving his hand around boredly. Severus suddenly felt quite warm sitting there in front of the fireplace with this usually cold and brittle woman.

"I never had to endure an angsty teenage self," she pointed out.

"Right, and all those times you came complaining to me about your cousin's taunts never happened."

Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, taking another small sip of brandy. Her thumb stroked the glass absentmindedly. She cocked her head to her side, as if contemplating this. "He'll not be taunting me any longer."

"Indeed, or so I've heard," Severus smirked. "The latest news is that Sirius Black met his end behind the veil."

"Cocky bastard," she spat under her breath. Severus narrowed his eyes, suddenly quite interested in her expressionless face. He had known Bellatrix for years; as far back as to when they had attended school together. She was one who usually expressed delight in her victories, rather than disappointment or disgust, which were the impressions Severus secretly suspected.

"So tell me, how did the Dark Lord take the news?" he enquired.

"Oh, he was thrilled," she said sarcastically.

"And yet you seem so disappointed."

"Disappointed?" she scoffed. "How on earth did you think up such a crazy notion?"

Severus shrugged, loosening the collar of his thick black robes and relaxing slightly. "You don't seem overjoyed, to say the least."

"Believe me Severus, I know how you'd react in a situation like this. But this was not my victory. No, that bloody veil…"

Bellatrix trailed off, before draining whatever was left in her glass and gingerly placed it down onto Severus' desk. She scanned some of the papers that had been separated into neat little piles, before returning to face her childhood acquaintance. "This wasn't my victory, this was his compromise."

"His compromise for what?" Severus asked, confused.

"He knew he was going to die. This way, I didn't win. That bloody veil… I knew Sirius through and through. If he'd wanted to live, he'd have done so. But he knew I'd get the better of him and chose to let the veil kill him rather than meet death at my hands… at his cousin's hands…"

Severus glowered, glaring into the fireplace. Even in death, Sirius Black had the most peculiar of effects on people. Bellatrix, the one person who he had doubted would ever look at Sirius' death as a bad thing even considered him to be a saint in the most peculiar of ways.

"Whatever fate that became him, he deserved it," drawled Severus, thought he had to struggle to keep his anger from rising in his voice. Bellatrix turned to face Severus, a coy little smirk on her face as she neared him. Her eyes glinted malevolently from the scarlet embers that burnt in the fireplace.

"You truly hated him, didn't you?" she rasped. Severus stood up and slowly made his way across the room. He replaced the book Bellatrix had taken to its designated shelf, ignoring the question. Bellatrix bit her lip in mock surprise, a large sneer seizing her dark features as she crossed the room. Running one long, painted nail across his lips, Severus almost shivered as he saw the dark, dangerous look in her eyes.

"I asked you a question," she breathed, pausing for a moment to see the surprised look Severus sported. "And I expect an answer."

Their eyes locked and they store back and forth into what could only be darkness. He could hear feel her breath grazing the side of his throat, but he ignored it. Reaching up, he slowly seized Bellatrix's hand and lowered it to her side. His face was expressionless, while he said rather plainly, "Hate is not a strong enough word."

Bellatrix nodded slowly, noting that Severus still had a light grip on her hand. She raised an eyebrow, only to meet his half smile. They could hear a soft shuffling outside the door, before it opened. The smile disappeared from Severus' face and Bellatrix turned around to berate whoever was standing there, before she realized that it was her husband.

"Severus," said Rudolphus, giving him a curt nod and eyeing them both suspiciously. "What are you doing in here? Lucius is spouting quite the ridiculous stories right about now. Something along the times of a prank he played on you during your first year at Hogwarts."

"Lucius exaggerates," Severus muttered airily, secretly annoyed by his fellow deatheater's presence.

"Yes, well Bellatrix I believe it's about time we leave. We may as well get some sleep tonight and I'd rather not have to listen to Goyle's interpretation of a Hippogriff one more night in a row."

"Of course Rudolphus," she said plainly. "Just give me a minute to say my good byes."

Rudolphus shot them each almost warning glances, before nodding and leaving the room, closing the door with a sharp snap. Bellatrix muttered something under her breath, that Severus couldn't catch, before turning to face him with an annoyed look on her face. Reaching over, she took the brandy glass out of his hand and drained it in one swift movement.

"God only knows how much liquor I'll need to face him tonight," she muttered bitterly, causing Severus to smirk.

"You could always kill him in his sleep," said Severus.

"Now what would be the fun in that?" she asked with a suggestive wink, holding the empty glass to her lips.

"You've had too much to drink."

"I've had not nearly enough," she murmured. Sighing, she appreciated his shared sentiments as she bid him goodnight. Bellatrix reached up and cupped his chin in her palm. His face was so cold on her skin and the daring look returned to her eyes. Taking her hint, Severus shook his head.

"Rudolphus could be right outside the door," he protested weakly.

But she ignored him, as he expected her to and she moved closer, now wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him towards her. She pressed her lips on his, causing him to stiffen for a moment, before he leaned into her and captured her mouth. He could still taste the brandy that lingered on her lips and he breathed in her scent as he ran a finger across her jaw. He explored her mouth, tasting her for a mere moment before she ever so slightly pulled her away, knowing well enough that he was hungry for more.

"Now, now Severus," she whispered, her lips curling into a dark little smile. "There'll be time for that later."

He ran his claw-like fingers through her long black hair, nodding slightly and breathing deeply. She smirked and kissed his forehead, much like he remembered her doing when he had been a first year, before she turned and left the room; closing the door behind her.

Severus Snape stood there in front of his desk, breathless. He could hear the loud voices of the party downstairs echoing all around him and as the light warmed him from the fireplace, he smirked. He placed the empty brandy glass onto his desk and headed towards the door, his long black robes billowing behind him as he returned to the party that he was meant to be hosting. It hadn't turned out nearly as bad as he had thought it would.


~Fin