Hi everyone! Here is to remind you that I do NOT own any of the characters in this story!!!!! Indeed, as a matter of fact, I am NOT J.K. Rowling, though I would like to, just to know what books six and seven will be like... PLease remember that the plot and all that is not directly from the HP books ARE MINE, so if you are to write about it, ask first!!! And I really wish Bellatrix to be mine, but still, I know Marlène ould kill me for saying this... I love you soooooo!!!!

PLease, Read and review!!!

How had she come to this ? Alone in her bedroom, her husband in jail, her sister howling in pain in the near-by room, tortured by some heartless, hardly human being who was now dwelling in her own house...

Her whole life was lying on her bedroom floor. She curled up on the pillows of her four-poster bed, terrified, trying not to hear the desperate cries of her sister, just wanting it to stop. How on earth had she come to this?

It had all begun so nicely, though... Born to the healthy pure-blood wizard family of Black, the third of three sisters, she wasn't expected to do anything special, except for marrying some nice pure-blood young man, and have children. All this she had done, but she had realized (all too late) that it was not enough.

She remembered...

Andromeda was six years older than her, and Bellatrix had just turned one when she was born. Of course, everyone had been waiting for a baby-boy, but she never suffered of not being the expected one. The family had already two sons, they could afford daughters.

She had had a wonderful childhood. As "the baby", her sisters always used to play with her, she would be pampered and spoiled by everyone. She was a beautiful baby, then became a charming, well-mannered, sweet-tempered little girl. Andromeda would play the nearly grown-up lady, always reading books, especially before going to Hogwarts; Bellatrix was well-read too, but she was from far the wildest of the three of them, always contradicting adults, running all around, stopping breathless, and of course, everyone would say that she was lovely, full of life, but that she needed bounds anyway. But Bellatrix would never listen, never sit down or keep quiet when something she didn't agree with was said. Of course, in time, she had calmed down, at least, apparently. Inside, she was still the strong-tempered, boyish sister who knew every single spell long before entering the school, especially the painful ones (for the cursed person, of course) and who never betrayed a given promise, though she did love to lie to adults and to the other children and had a real gift for it. But she never lied to Narcissa.

So, until the age of five, it was good. In her fifth September, she had her very first sorrow when Andromeda left to Hogwart. She had cried all over the place on the day the Hogwart-Express took her eldest sister, her "brilliant queen", as she used to call her; Bellatrix hadn't let one tear out but she had been sad too, though she wouldn't say.

And now, Bellatrix was yelling, tortured in the room on the other side of the corridor and there was nothing Narcissa could do for her. Tears began to roll again down her cheeks. There was nothing she could do, and all the strength of her will was useless, she perfectly knew that if she had asked for mercy, things could have got even worse than they already were for both her and Leela. And now, her sister hated her enough to despise such an offer from her, even now when she was surely lying on the cold stone floor, tortured with the same curses she was used to casting all aver the place, and some even worse, maybe... She had had a long discussion with the Master, a very calm one, from what Narcissa has overheard, before she began to cry. What had they been saying? Narcissa wondered. What does a man say to a woman he is about to torture when she has been his most faithful servant over the past fifteen years? So faithful that she had lost everything for him, her freedom, her beauty, her youth, the fifteen most happiest years in a lifetime, and some other things Narcissa knew her sister would not tell.

It had been so good, though, at the beginning... Her first year in Hogwart was the brightest period in her whole life. Of course, she would hear from time to time about someone called Voldemort making a mess outside with Muggles and Muggle-born wizards, but she didn't care, it could just not touch her, she would think. How wrong she was... Her little world had begun to crumple up during her second year, on the Eastern holidays. Of course, she knew that Andromeda was in Griffindor and that this wasn't the best thing to do when your surname is Black. But after all, Sirius was there too, and he had always been OK and, at first, when she was told of her eldest running away with her boyfriend Ted, she had thought it to be extremely romantically. Bellatrix had to take her for a long chat in the Slytherin common room to make her understand how bad it was to mix up with 'Mud-Blood'. In fact, this thought only sunk in some days later when she was brought, along with Bellatrix, Father and Mother and the rest of the family to 12 Grimmauld Place; there, Father had had a short speech in front of the whole Black family. There was an error on the family tree tapestry, he said, which was dishonouring the whole of it. Sadly, it was from his family, and so his duty was to wipe it away. And so had he done.

Only months after that, another similar ceremony had taken place in the old-fashioned living-room, but there was one face missing and, just like her sister's, Sirius' name was burnt away and not mentioned anymore.

Twelve, thirteen, the years of two vanishings, the first for love, the other for freedom. She still saw them at school for one short year, and then it was over.

Then she actually met Lucius Malfoy. Well, he was older than her, as old as Leela, but she wasn't interested (more attracted to dark haired, would she say) and so he came to her, the little one, and she very suddenly grew up. In only one year of time, she changed from girl to very attractive young maid. He was very handsome, very rich, pure-blood, not extremely closely related to her, so both families were very, very pleased. Bellatrix, of course, was very scornful. "Only one flirt and you already plan to marry him? You're even more daft than I was thinking. You haven't even tried him!!! How could you know you're gonna be happy or if you'll need some extra-lover? You're completely mad!"

Of course, Bellatrix, though she perfectly knew what to do to please the family was still a mystery for Narcissa. She always needed to be provocative, always on the edge, and on this point, she made the family worry that she could follow Sirius' footsteps. Once, Narcissa had warned her. Painful memory. Bellatrix had slapped her in the face and said that she would rather die than turn out to be compared to Sirius Black, and that she would kill anyone who would tell her they were alike... even if it was someone bearing the name of Black. The first time Narcissa had been actually threatened. Of course, she hadn't told anyone. What for, she couldn't tell, but it was the way it was.

One more year had passed and she had faced her last year alone, no sister, no lover, just poor dear Regulus, Sirius' brother. He was nice, and they had had a flirt, a very serious one, but it has just lasted until the summer holyday.

She fiddled with her wedding ring. Well, it had been a very long day and a very short one, in some ways...

Woken up early by Mother, organising every tiny detail: the place for the flowers, the sits at the dining table, the garden-party orchestra, the sweets for the kids, everything; and this strange feeling to be totally apart from the whole situation. Then at ten o'clock, being dressed by Mother and then Father coming to her offering her the golden neck-lace she was still wearing, so heavy under her dress.

She perfectly remembered the ceremony, just like a very neat dream and she had often wondered whether or not it had been real. But it was over the garden-party that her life had really changed its way. The Dark Lord had arrived. Immediately, half the guests had knelt, Regulus, Crabbe and Goyle (clumsy and vulgar, as usual), her own Father (a shock it had been, to see this man who had never accepted to bow in front of anyone kneel on her wedding day). She had noticed Bellatrix (she had come with Rodolfus who at the time was only her lover and who, later, would be her cheated on husband), kissing the hem of the tall man's robes. He had smiled at her, a very strange smile, she had thought.

Lucius had whispered her to kneel too. Not understanding, she had obeyed. The Dark Lord had come to her and she had touched his robes with her lips, not daring kissing it. Something in the air was telling her that this man was dangerous for her happiness and her life. She had wanted to run away. He had spoken and his voice was something of both ice and dire. What he had said, she couldn't remember, but the garden-party had continued and, at night, she had gone to the Malfoy's manor. There, many of her former school-mates were waiting, dancing, drinking, talking to each other but so few of them she really knew... Bellatrix, dressed in an absolutely shameless black silk dress and wearing long gloves, jet black earrings and crew-necklace, was surrounded by a small crowd of men including Severus Snape, young Bartimus Crounch Jn., Regulus, Rabastan, Rodolfus (the three 'R's), Evan Rosier and even Wilkes though he was more attracted to the other men than to Narcissa's sister.

Such a strange atmosphere... Then she had noticed, sitting on a big arm-chair, the Dark Lord's tall figure. He was scanning the huge living-room; she had found herself all shivering, the only one (with Lucius) to be dressed in white, she had sat in a corner, vaguely listened to the chats all around but she couldn't understand anything. There was a gap between her and the rest of the world. She felt weak and feverish.

"Do you think she will do it?"

"Why not? But Lucius is a fool to marry her off now."

"How does future Aunty Trixy feel?"

"Shut up, you git!"

She shook her head, came back to reality. Everything had changed so quickly. Her fervent lover had soon become a mere husband, soon she had been pregnant, believing she was going to be happy. She didn't read the papers, thinking that the misery of the world could not reach. The Dark Lord would come very often, along with Bellatrix; they were obviously getting closer and closer; and she was never more provocative than when she was with him. But it wasn't love, it was a very strange relationship, including veneration (only from her, of course), lust, desire and something very animal, completely strange to Narcissa who couldn't understand how her sister could touch without a shiver those cold white spider-like hand... Narcissa had always liked warmth and now Bellatrix loved coldness. But the rest of the world was blur.

Slowly but surely, Narcissa's mind had got sleepier and sleepier. She would spent hours at home or in the garden, alone as Lucius was outside working.

The waking up was unexpected and violent. It happened during her sixth month of pregnancy. Alone all day, and Lucius had told her that he was not to come back until late evening or very early morning. At eleven, she had started to wait. Around midnight, she had begun to worry. After half an hour, she had called at her mother's, who was unable to tell her anything, then she had tried to talk to Bellatrix but she wasn't at home, and so were the three 'R's, Severus, Antonin Dolohov, a Russian friend of Bellatrix's and Evan too. She had to wait until 3 in the morning for them to turn up, and immediately, as they entered the manor hall, Narcissa knew something was wrong: Bellatrix, who was leading the way, had her hair all messed up, her make-up leaky; Severus, right after her, was holding his wand, his eyes wild and fierce; Rodolfus and Antonin, covered in starches and sweating, were backing up a very messy man; after several seconds, Narcissa had realized that the man was Lucius. They had silently entered the living-room. By the candle-light, Narcissa had seen that their clothes were torn and that her husband was unconscious and far paler than usual and that blood was splattering his black travelling cloak.

The other were getting busy around the lying man, pulling up their sleeves, tearing the linen tablecloth into pieces, dressing wounds Narcissa couldn't see. During the minutes it took them to do it, no one talked to her once, and she didn't dare utter a word.

It was only when Bellatrix had turned to her that she had asked what had happened.

"This fucking Mad-Eye Auror..." Bellatrix had said in a hoarse voice "he led us into a trap. Regulus was with him. He gave us away. I killed him."

It had taken minutes for the words to sink in. Regulus was dead. Her husband had been injured by an Auror. Bellatrix had killed her (their) cousin.

Horror-struck, Narcissa had sunk into the nearest chair. She had just said "how... how the Hell... I don't... what..." Bellatrix had looked at her, and for the first time in years there was something in her gaze that looked like sisterly tenderness, but it had vanished soon, and she had looked away, then had led Narcissa to another arm-chair in the living-room. Every word she had then said was engraved deep in Narcissa's memory.

"Listen, sis', I don't know if you often read the papers, but if you don't, then you should. Look at this." She had shown her forearm, where stretched a big dark tattoo, featuring a snake coming out of a skull's jaws. "We are the Death-Eaters, we serve the Dark Lord, and we're going to take over the world. Where do you think your darling husband gets his money from? Did you really think he works for the ministry, this Mud-Blood filled place? You're so naïve, Cissa, you've always been. Why do you think you're married and faithful to your husband and pregnant when I'm not? You act as you are told. I don't. You'd better stay where you are and not worry." She had paused. "He will recover, your beloved one. Now go to bed."

Narcissa had never been so candidly spoken to. She had obeyed and slept until 2 in the following afternoon. Bellatrix had never shown any remorse whatsoever about Regulus killing. And Narcissa didn't dare go to the funeral. But from then on, she had always read the papers over. She had begun to understand how feeble was the thread her happiness was holding on to. And for over one year, she had lived in fear and hatred. Because of this tall dark man's power-hunger, her sister was ready to kill, her husband could be killed, her life could shatter, the whole world could crumple up, no problem... How strong her hatred against their 'Dark Lord' was, just as was her fear, for there was nothing she could do against him; Leela was right, she was a married, pregnant, powerless good little girl.

After Draco's birth, she thought she was going to get crazy. Lucius was staying out all night, and turned up only in the first hours of the morning. Several meetings led by the Dark Lord were held in their living-room; and after having heard of killings made by Death-eaters, she had also begun to hear about Death-Eaters being arrested or killed. The McKinnon's' murder shook her deeply. She had known Marlene at school, and they had had a nice relationship. And now, she knew her murderers were to eat at the manor... Why had she married Lucius? Why was she born to a pure-blood family? Why had she chosen to go to Slytherin, in spite of the chance she was given to go to Hufflepuff? Why did she have a baby from a man who didn't love her anymore (had he even loved her once?) Why couldn't she just leave?

Then one day, in October, she had made up her mind. She was going to fly away from this place and never come back. She would leave alone, go to America or Australia or Southern France, anywhere, but as far as possible, where THEY would never be able to reach her again. She had decided to leave just after Hallowe'en.

And then it had happened. The Dark Lord had vanished, and she had cancelled everything. It had looked like her life was worth anew. Lucius had turned out to be a perfect actor and (with some money to help) very quickly, he had returned to be the nice man the world wanted to see; to Narcissa, it seemed like they were going to be a normal family after all, and she just wanted to forget everything about the past few years.

But Bellatrix would not forget. She had actually had a nervous break-down over the following month. One day in December, when Bellatrix had been sleeping at the manor as she had had a terrible row with Rodolfus and walked all the way from their house, Narcissa had woken up in the middle of the night, freezing under her linen french sheets. She had heard the wind howling in her sister's room. Without even bothering herself to wake Lucius up, she had rushed out of the bedroom, in her night-gown, had pushed open the door in the other side of the corridor, terrified at the thought that Bella could have jumped or... All the windows were broadly open, the snow was entering the bedroom and melting on the carpets. Bellatrix was kneeling naked on the balcony, her long dark hair covering her right shoulder; her skin was almost blue. Narcissa had uttered a cry and Bellatrix had slowly turned around. Her usually provocative, queen-like face was twisted and sorrowful and her hollowed cheeks were inlaid with frozen tears.

She had done everything that could be done, said everything that could be said, lied, lied, lied. The Dark Lord would soon come back, for sure, he could just not be gone, Bellatrix, her own sis' should know that. He would come back, he would be proud, he was surely hiding somewhere with some...(Narcissa had stopped just in time to realize that she had been quoting 'A Dry White Season')

On the following days, Bellatrix had been very badly ill, so much that Rodolfus had come to tell her he was sorry. She was too weak to harm him, but with her only glare, she had made him leave the bedroom.

After two days spent in bed, she had suddenly got to her feet one morning, got dressed, scribbled a little note for Narcissa and left the manor, apparating back home. On the following day, her and Rodolfus had begun searching the Dark Lord. Soon, they were joined by Rabastan, Bartymus Crounch Jr. (a lover of Bellatrix's), Antonin, Igor (in the mean-time, they had become brothers-in-law, Antonin having married Igor's sister Tania), Evan, Wilkes, Travers, Mulciber. But if the beginning of their quest had been promising, (awaking Narcissa's worst fears), it had led to nothing. At last, after seven months of vain investigation, they had heard of something stirring in Eastern Europe thet could have been the Dark Lord. Igor and Antonin had gone, had been trapped and Igor arrested. He turned out to be "a fucking bloody traitor" in Bellatrix's own words. Very shortly after that, Bellatrix's house in London was raided during a meeting and Rosier and Wilkes got killed in a fierce fight against the Aurors, especially that Mad-Eye Moody. Travers and Mulciber were arrested in the row and Bellatrix, who fought with them, made a very narrow escape, saving Rodolfus's life with the basic (but still useful) Expelliarmus spell.

That night, she had told Narcissa, they had made love savagely, releasing the fear, the hatred, the anguish of the past weeks.

"You can't know what I'm talking about" Bellatrix had said to a bemused Narcissa "I bet your darling husband is not the kind of man who takes you anywhere else than in your locked bedroom. If you knew just how thrilling it is to be naked on the roof..."

"On the rof? Are you crazy Leela?"

"Just as I told you, you can't know how it is. I don't think I shall ever like your idiot of a husband. Too much fearful. Not a very good fighter... And I must say that to seduce a man is to fight him; to have sex is to give battle; to win or lose the war is to end the whole relationship. Why do you think I'm having so many lovers? I'm not nymphomaniac, Cissa. I just won't accept to belong to only one man, I need changing. Rody knows that, he knew that when we got married and his challenge is to have me for him alone. He does know I'm not faithful to him, and he's not faithful to me either but it doesn't me much. It's just the way we are..."

"Then why did you married him in the first place?"

"Well" she had said after a little pause "firstly for the fun of it. Secondly because he was the one no one in the family expected me to marry. Thirdly... because I DO like my in-laws."

"But he only has his bro' Rabastan..."

"Exactly!"

They had laughed their heads off together, for the first time in months, they had been sisters, then they had sang and danced. Narcissa could still see Bellatrix on that night, a red rose in her mouths, grabbing her in a hellish tango.. Her sister had never been as beautiful as on that night. They had slept together, that night, not wanting to know what the morning would arise.

It arose nothing good: around ten, Rodolfus had turned up, saying that there might be a new lead to follow. At once, Bellatrix was ready, overexcited, fanatic, dangerous, terrible Bellatrix Black Lestrange. By nightfall, they had decided to go to the Longbottom's who were supposed to detain some precise information as Franck had himself questioned Antonin and Igor in Bulgaria. He was going to regret it "very very much" according to Bellatrix. But just before going, she had had a talk with Narcissa.

"You know, I've been fancying it for long, having a bit of Crucio with dear old Francky Long-arse... Think it'll be quite enjoyable... You know, Cissa, at Hogg's, once, we had some sex, t'was not so bad, and..."

Narcissa, suddenly worried, had interrupted fer.

"Do you really think they will know where to go?"

"Of course I do not. Do you seriously believe that anyone on earth knows where the Dark Lord is? If he is in Bulgaria or anywhere else in eastern Europe, we can't go theren it's an Auror-filled area, we'll have to wait until the end of the year, at least."

Her hand had lifted from her thigh to her belly, softly caressing it.

"Then why on earth are you going there?"

"They have to be reminded that the Death-Eaters are still around..."

Her hand had stopped on her right side, and mildly pressed it. Something had stirred in Narcissa's insides, something she had become familiar with.

"Don't go! It's madness and you know it. You don't imagine what you are risking, you are..."

"You shut up! Don't you dare telling me what I'm to do. I perfectly know what I'm risking. A,nd anyway, I cannot give up NOW, I've worked too hard. The others will follow me, whatever the cost."

"But you don't have to go..."

"Oh, yes I have to. This is THE thing you can't understand: I have to go, I have to risk it all, I have to find the Dark Lord again..."

"No you don't!!!"

The words had gone out by themselves, so did Bellatrix's hand. It slapped Narcissa straight in the face. Bellatrix had even got to her feet, in a fit of anger. Narcissa fell from her chair. Thanks God, SHE had already had delivery. Where on earth was Lucius, now she needed him to defend her? Oh, Christ, Draco had woken up in his cradle... what was she to do? Bellatrix spoke.

"You don't know... you don't know anything about what I have to do or not to do. Tonight, I'm going to torture the Longbottoms, and I'm going to enjoy it, you can be sure about this."

Last words she was going to tell her sister for the next thirteen years...

She had strode out of the room, loudly had called the three men, they had gone out, and vanished into the shadow of the night.

Suddenly, Narcissa heard the screaming stop.A deafening silence fell upon the manor. Wiping her tears away, she got to her feet and swiftly went to the door.

Bellatrix was lying in the door-way, her face to the floor, shaking and shivering (thnak Goodness, at least he hadn't killed her). Narcissa lifted her wand and quickly hovered her sister into her own bedroom; how weak she looked now, it was terrifying; Narcissa felt guilt crushing her insides. Leela used to be just so beautiful... She had even been elected Miss Pure-Blood just after graduating Hogwarts. And it was all wasted, all her faul.

SHE had called the Aurors, one hour after her sister's departure. They will arrest her, she had thought, they will stop her and she will never find the Dark Lord again, she will be forced to keep quiet anyhow; all will be back to normal...

How wrong she had been...

Thirteen years of happiness, but at what cost? She had endured agony, the first months; Lucius had made up it was all about Bellatrix being sent to Azkaban forever (of coursen he didn't know anything about his wife giving her own sister away). But with time, all had soothed. She had her husband, her young son, they were rich enough for her not having to do anything to ear anymor money, all was for the best in the best world... Of course, there were all this suspicion aroused by Lucius and his attraction to the Dark Arts, and the secret room in the basement with all his old Death-Eater stuff... She could not understand why he still kept that. Wasn't it all over now? She had wanted to believe it to be all over, all those years, she had tried to protect herself and her small share of happiness from the past and the darkness. For the first time in he life, she had struggled against har husband when he had wanted to train Draco to the Dark Arts; well, at first, she had won the day but, eventually, it had been done anyway. She had seen her son (flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood, bone of her bones) change, and become colder and colder, more and more distant from her, closer and closer to his father.But for a time, it was not bad. She even had some moments of rel happiness, some unfogettable nights with Lucius, the first time Draco had said 'Mum', his first step, all his 'first time' days, all the moments she had the feeling that they were a complete family, but it was always spoiled by a whispering shadow that reminded her that she was not an only daughter.

And of course, there was this image she had to show to he world, the well-married, pure-blood, muggle-scorning, responsible, beautiful young woman. At the beginning of it, it had felt just like a treason, but with years of practising, her conscience had fallen. The only thing that mattered was her own happiness, her son, her husband, herself: what mattered if the world was destryed, brought to ruins, as long as she was safe with her little family. What a fool she had been...

How short had been these thirteen years.. It was a strange thing to say but it was just as if they had lasted but one day. One day for a child to grow up, for her cousin Sirius to escape from Azkaban, and barely two years after, for the Dark Lord to come back again. The aftermath had come so quickly. Barely six months and her sister, brother-in-law and the others she had thought she would never see again were free and Leela had a thirteen year matured hatred in her heart. Another six months later, yesterday night, it had begun anew. She hadn't dare ask Lucius not to go for she knew the Dark Lord's eyes were right upon them. Bellatrix was so excited at the very thought of a new fight, of a nex victory, of shedding blood again, especially after what she had asked to her Master on the night she had been set free, that it would have been useless to tell her anything. Narcissa could exactly remeber how things had happend: Lucius had kissed her passionately, as he hadn't done in several years, it had been so good, then Bellatrix had come, sneering as usual, and had said:

"Come on lovers it's time to part! We've got a little baby to comfort!"

Nacissa knew she was the only one to have heard all the bitterness and pain in her sister's words. But of course, who could have imagined? ,What man could understand what only a woman can feel? A baby...

Then they had gone. She had waited up all night, wondering if someone else was waiting like her, imagining another woman, just as terrified, as powerless, as lonely. Somwhere else in the wolrd, she could have sworn, another woman was waiting for her beloved to come back.

Then, in the first hours of the mornng, the Drak Lord and Bellatrix had returned. Alone. Twelve taken. It was so many at once. Lucius was not to come back. Rodolfus was not to come back. And Bellatrix was crying, begging for mercy, just as had done most of those she had fought, tortured -and killed.

After a while, she had turned quiet, but her silence was more expressive than any prayer she could have uttered. The Dark Lord had told her to come with him in the room facing Narcissa's; they had talked and then Bellatrix had begun to scream.

On the bed, Narcissa's sister, afte several log hours of unconsciousness began to stirr. outside, darkness was dropping. Narcissa rised from her armchair, immidiately sitting by her sisterés side. Oh God, she was in such a state... Of course, less gaunt than six months ago but stil so thin, and now twisted in pain. Her hand was shaking but when Narcissa touche dit, it stopped, just like a trapped animal seeing its death at hand.

"Calm down sister, it's me, nothing can happen to you anymore."

It was a lie, Narcissa knew it just one second after the words got out of her mouths. But it was always better than silence.

Bellatrix opened her mouth; it took her a while to utter a proper understandable word. A swear one.

Narcissa felt relief flowing i her veins. At least, she was still sane, still herself. Narcissa only too well remembered the day after Leela's arrestation, when she had seen the Longbottoms waking up in St Mango, some wards away from Bellatrix's, totaly insane, dangerous for themselves. She had understood then, that her sister was lost, that nothing (neither her boldness, nor thier family, nor Lucius' gold) could spare her Az kaban forever. She had been sent several pictures and sketches of the arrestation (some photograph from the Daily Prophet with a spanish name had followed the Aurors that night): the Aurors talkng to each other, their faces dark and determinded; the Dark Mark hovering over the Longbottom's house; Alastor Moody breaking the door open; her sister, her Bellatrix turning around, her eyes wild, a smile still on her lips, surprise in her face, two figures lying on the floor in front of her; a picture of the fight, spells and curses flashing everywhere; Bellatrix falling to the groung, struck from behind by A Stupefix from Mad Eye Moody; Bellatrix lying on her back, her beautiful hair curling around her head, her face very white, one hand resting on her belly... Noone had understood, no one could (would) accept to read the abvious signsThe Daily Prophet had had two printings that day: the first, mentioned the arrestation of the last active Death Eaters and how every one was going to be safe and happy, and life at last back to normal; the second printing, released in the first hours of the morning, stated that the galant Aurors had caught at last doubtlessly some of the most evil wizardsand witch of United kingdom after their last and worst deed.

Thirteen years of torture for what? ONE night of horror? Well, of course, it was not only one night but what mattered? Narcissa had been passed by by a Dementor once and she could still remember that moment, when all happiness and life force had poured out of her like wter out of a broken bottle. Nothing was worth, nothing could be worth those thirteen years, no one on earth could ever deserve THAT.

Another swear-word from Bellatrix brought her back to the darkening bedroom. Her voice was feeble and shaky, so unusual from her, as if on the verge of tears, then she began to speak, shivreingly, fearfully, as if afraid of being overhead

"No, the prophecy... the prophecy... the Potter boy... he smashed it... and the Dark LOrd, he heard... he was furious... the statues came to life... Dumbledore he..he was there... he fought against the Dark Lord..he... oh...Rody... Rabastan... caught, all caught... the Aurors..."

Narcissa did not dare stop her sister but Bellatrix paused, looked around, eyes focused, seemed to be taking a firmer grip on herself.

"It all went wrong. Had begun as planned and then the Aurors they arrived and we fought, and we fought, and then Dumbledore arrived and he caught almost all of us, and the Potter boy, he went after me, and he said he had smashed the prophecy and the Dark Lord arrived and they fought and Dumbledore arrived and he trapped me and he fought the Dark Lord and made him vanish and we fled... and we were here."

The lying woman broke into hysterical dry sobs.

It was a minute before she finally calmed down and was able to explain clearly the events of what would later be called the Battle of the Ministry. She described the Potter boy and his comrades "an idiot-looking red-haired, some Weasley, I think, and another red-haired who cast bats at us, and another girl with popping eyesand the Longbottom kid" and how they had all come to the room with the archway where, suddenly, members of Dumbledore's staff had appeared out of the blue "there was this vicious were-wolf, and a tall black man with dark robesand the Moody Auror and a pink-haired woman... and the Black guy..."

"Calm down, Leela, you've already mentioned this one..."

"No Cissa, you don't get it... Black... Sirius! Sirius Black; he was there with those gits from Dumbledore's fan club or somthing, they were here to fight, Cissa, I fought them, I felt so alive... I fought HIM! the traitor, the disgrace, he laughed at me and I made him fall through the veil in the Room of Death, I did it Cissa, I was..."

Somthing seemed to break inside Narcisa's heart. She was unable to listen anymore to what Bellatrix had to say. Another death... the first in years... she had thought she had seen the last... why had it to be? Why Sirius? For all she knew, he was the last she would have called traitor. He alone in the family had never hurt her, never sought to hurt her, or to hurt Bellatrix... How could love turn into such a hatred? Bellatrix's first and strongest love... The first and the most passionate a passionate fifteen-year-old girl can feel. At that time, Leela was ready to kill, to die for him, and even more...

"You..." she muttered "you killed him..."

Narcissa noticed just before her sister turned around in the bed that Bellatrix's eyes were filled with tears. The salted warm water flowing from the eyes of the woman who had totures and killed so many people (... until both her cousins...) would vanish into the pillows, just as would vanish anyone who had passed the archway with the ragged veil in the Departement of mysteies... Until not so long ago, Narcissa could have counted on her fingers the times when she had seen her sister shedding tears. On the day Sirius had left home and that it had been decided to wipe him off the family, Leela had wept her eyes out, silently in her bedroom in the Black mansion, she hadn't reacted when Cissa had entered the room and caressed her hair in an attempt to comfort her. They had both slept together that night but in the morning, she had been so empty and down-hearted that she had refused to get up until Father had come; he had talked to her in ushered tones for quite a while and finally, Bellatrix had accepted to come, dressed in her darkest suit, black from top to bottom. I'm Bellatrix BLACK, am I not? FRom that day on she had abandonned the bright fresh colors she had been wearing for so long and had turned into only black, red and dark clothes.

There had been also the first killing day, barely one year later, as she was still sixteen. A meaningless Muggle, her test into the Death Eaters. She had perfectly succeeded it. But Narcissa had caught a glimpse of her hiding behind a curtain in the corridor of the second floor, sobbing drily in her hankerchief; they had also spent the eve of Bellatrix's wedding together. They had talked until late evening then Cissahad laid down on the fourposter bed and after some minutes, she had slitly opened her eyes: Bellatrix, staring at nothing, had tears on her cheeks. But of course, it had been nothing compared to the day the Dark Lord had vanished and that freezing night on the balcony... How could tears be shed for such a monster and more, by her sister, Narcissa would never undrestand, just as she would never understand how and WHY her sister had joined the Death Eaters, married Rodolfus or accepted Azkaban.

She heard Bellatrix ruffling the blankets then snort and say, in a very hollow voice the only word she did not want to hear now, the one word that would tell her sister had killed one part of herself hust hours ago, a word more terrible than the silence through which she had understood what Leela had lost in jail, far more than her beauty and youth, a word that was likely to torture Bellatrix far harder than tha hours she had spent with her master in the opposite bedroom; a word that had to be said anyway, as they both knew...

"Yes"