A/N: Another 10x100, written for Kirixchi. Bellatrix/Rodolphus, which surprisingly I don't see a lot. Yes, I'll be the first to admit that Blackcest disgusts me to no end. 10x100, for those who cannot understand, means 10 drabbles of roughly 100 words apiece, all tied together.

Disclaimer: No, don't own, blah. And I have to say that I don't want a Bellatrix for Christmas, either. There can only be one bitch in the house.

~*~

1) She tasted alcohol, sharp as knives on her tongue, when she was eight. Both sisters were still babies, too young.

She knew it meant that her parents no longer thought her a baby, if she could take the burning tang that lingered on her sensitive tastebuds.

The little girl swept long locks of raven hair behind her and sneered as the alcohol surged up her white-clad body (fallen angel), sharp white teeth bared.

The guests were polite and saccharine and gushed that dear little Bellatrix had such a pretty smile, except the boy in the corner who sneered right back.

2) Bellatrix did not kiss her family goodbye when she left for school. As she stepped onto the train, head held high, because she was a Black and better.

She curled her lip as she watched Alice Fettersley simper at the Longbottom boy. Fettersley was a pureblood and a Prefect, but she was fat and poor and her family was in TRADE, the lack of Muggles in their lineage their only saving grace.

The little girl watched with cruel, detached interest as the blonde Gryffindor stepped forward, and when Alice tripped over a daintily extended foot in a polished Black shoe, Bellatrix felt pleasure even as the older girl blushed and glared.

3) Slytherin House was like the House of Black. Pure and cold and a web of opulently ruthless members close as enemies or family, polished as ice or jewels.

Bellatrix managed to keep the sneer upon her face and remain beautiful as she brushed the hundred strokes through her hair. She felt a savage sense of satisfaction as Hortensia Bulstrode and Desdemona Wilkes, her new roommates to be, hissed in envy.

They couldn't hold a candle to her: cruelly beautiful like winter.

She went to class the next day and the Defense professor praised her for knowing how to pronounce the incantation to the Jellylegs Jinx.

4) She went to the library and asked the ugly old crone in the dull green robes at the front desk for a book that she's started reading at home. The woman snarled houndlike something about the Restricted Section and how she as a first-year was forbidden from entering it.

But she was a Black, and the hauteur was pooling on her tongue like ice when a boy cut in front of her, green and silver badge upon his chest, and requested the exact same book as she had.

When he left the library, Curses for the Curious tucked under his arm, Bellatrix thought that there was something familiar about the galling sneer he shot her.

5) Rodolphus Lestrange. She went home that Christmas and asked her father (in general, cool tones) about the Lestrange family, and was told that they were 'respectable'.

Which meant of course that their nobility and lineage was no less faultless than the Blacks.

He was cold and dark, a Prefect whose arrogance both drew and repelled her at once, because she couldn't BEST him and that wasn't supposed to be the case.

Her frequent looks towards him were stubbornly icy like winters that refused to melt.

6) When her third year was finished, she was truly no longer a child and she returned from her Potions examination to the Common Room.

"Bellatrix," his voice was low, smooth as the sheen of a black pearl.

"Yes, Mr. Lestrange?" she both hated and loved that he had never called her the formal and respectful ¡°Miss Black¡±.

"Join me," he told her, waving an elegant hand at the dark chair across from his at the table, shrouded in shadow. She walked over, her stride deceptively dainty, cool.

He poured some strange green liqueur over a spoon with a sugar-cube over a goblet, and a cloud of mist arose.

"Absinthe," his eyes glittered over the fogginess. It was bitter and just a bit of sweet and intoxicating. She sipped delicately, her mind strangely clear despite the strong alcohol. He remained quiet, surveying her almost as if she was still a child.

Just when she was about to snap at him to stop it, he stood, long and lean and towering, and she felt his hand caress her hair before he walked away and out of the Common Room.

7) Bellatrix was granted awe and fear and near-worship, as was her due, and laurels and badges and honours came, as befit someone of her status.

There came rumours of a man... nearly a god, who swore to rid the world of the unworthy. Bellatrix heard her parents whisper about one whose name they feared to speak, because never since Grindelwald had there been one of such power.

When a Mudblood Ravenclaw in her year named Dorcas Meadows was named Head Girl, Bellatrix felt-- not quite shame, but just enough anger that when she finished reading Curses for the Curious (R. Lestrange's name sardonically dark, etched several spaces over her own), she successfully caused a moth on the windowsill to writhe in pain on her first try.

8) She found out, of course, that the book's pain curse was a mere pale shadow of the real one, and it was during that summer after her seventh year, as she read about the real curse (said to be near impossible to cast), that suddenly she felt a presence behind her in her father's library.

A tall young man, longish dark hair, dark eyes, dark robes, in a Black's study. His pale lips were curved just so... not really a smile.

"Bellatrix," he nodded, towering over her with his arms crossed over his chest.

"That's Miss Black to you," she hissed, narrowing her eyes. He stared down at her, eyes like dark daggers that probed at her until a mutinous shiver shot up her spine.

9) It was then that he sneered, and she recognized his expression, and even as blood-sweet lips parted in outrage, he seized them in a searing kiss, and the brash dark beauty who was worshipped by the fearful blokes in school almost whimpered as his tongue (tasting, she noticed, like absinthe) traced the inside of her mouth. She suddenly lifted a hand, long nails scratching the skin of his neck even as she pulled his head down for a deeper kiss.

He pulled away first, moving his elegant hands away from her waist, and he laughed in triumph as he slid a finger through the ladylike bun her hair was pinned in, jet-black strands sliding down in disarray. And then he was striding out of the library.

10) It was ten minutes later that Bellatrix found the House Elf who held in his spindly hands a silver platter bearing R. Lestrange's calling card. She raised her wand, and still tasting absinthe on her lips, she pointed the inflexible ebony at the little creature.

"Crucio."

Feeling the surge of power rise all the way from her heart, coursing through her veins like lust, leaving through her wand arm and hitting the House Elf square in the chest, Bellatrix allowed herself a thin smile as she watched it keen and rock on the floor, a crumpled ball of pain.

Bittersweet and intoxicating and dangerous... she HAD found her success, and high heels clicked on the polished floor as she picked up the calling card from the fallen platter and tucked it into her blouse by her heart.