Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Notes: Written for the Theatrical Muse "democracy or monarchy" challenge.

"Bloodrights" by Christine Anderson aka Lilly Malfoy

I was born to rule, born to be a queen. Not of anything so mundane or tangible as a country, or even a world, but I always knew that I was born to rule.

Such things come naturally to those of my family, of my house, and few are those who would turn away from the privileges of royalty. Certainly not I. Favored daughter of an old and noble house, the world at my feet, all I saw before me mine for the taking- What a fool I would have been to step aside from that, to deny myself those things. I had been born to them, given them as cradle-gifts, and they belonged to me.

Mine was the knowledge, the understanding, that is given to monarchs and born rulers. This is what you are, this is who you are. The power and the will to use it... I owned these things to a depth and with a power I cannot describe; it was in my blood and of it, as much a part of me as the history and the magic that flow in my veins.

There was never a time when I did not wield power over others- the servants and house elves, my sisters, and later the younger girls of Slytherin at Hogwarts. The girls, and no few of the boys. Beauty is power, too, and like all forms of power given to me I was well-schooled in its use.

Others- my dear cousin Sirius doubtless being one of them- might have said that such power was not for me, that it did not belong rightly to me because I was born to it. That I should have earned it. He did say such things now and again, and I laughed- I laughed, because what could he know of my trials, of the rituals and trials I faced? What could he know of the hundreds of ways I was forced to prove- to my mother, to my father, to the aunts and uncles and all of the elder relations who made up the House of Black?

The legacy of this House, you see, is not left to chance, even to the chance of such noble bloodlines. Amongst the eldest children of the strongest family lines, the true Heir is chosen. By the time I had reached the age at which the trials were given, my cousin Sirius, the only other candidate, had proven in more ways than one that he did not want any part of the duties and privileges of the legacy. He had proved himself, moreover, unworthy of them.

But that did not mean that I myself did not have to face those same trials. No. The heir, even if she is the last remaining of the proper bloodlines, must still be tested and proven true, must still show her worth to the elders who will, at the proper time, be giving over their power to her.

I faced the tests and the trials, every last ritual of blood, fire, pain, and I won through them. I survived to take my place, in history, in the chronicles of the Blacks. I was given then what I had earned, and I took it.

Sirius, too, was given what he had earned. His foolish ideal of democracy, the idea that hundreds of fools just like him could somehow garner the collective wisdom to select the strongest and the best of leaders- His belief in these things brought to power those who locked him away for crimes he was never brave enough to commit, and his denial of the authority to which he had been born left him without the power to resist them. He would not claim who and what he had been born to be even to save himself, and in that moment he proved himself more than simply unworthy of it.

He proved that it had been a mistake, even to think that he might be good enough, or strong enough...

I was willing to fight him for my place, to fight him and to let whichever of us proved the stronger walk away the victor. I would have fought as I had been taught to fight, with every skill I possessed, but I would have stood for the contest.

I do not think he would have won. But it does not matter.

I believe now only in the ability of those who are born and bred to rule, who are taught and trained to the exercise of power, and who have never demonstrated any fear of using it.

I believe only in those with the blood-born strength to command.