Author's Note: My first ever non-Tolkien fic! OMG no Elves.

Disclaimers: Bellatrix, Andromeda and Narcissa belong to J.K. Rowling, as do their respective husbands. The poetry is an excerpt from "Amourette" by Pierre de Ronsard, and is in the public domain.

Née Black

I

Afterwards he rolls away from her, falling almost immediately into whatever dreams he may or may not possess. She stays motionless, feeling the unaccustomed play of cool air on her stomach and breasts, relishing the unaccustomed ache deep within her, willing the pain to stay with her.

When she is sure that he is asleep, she rises slowly, prolonging the pain of movement. She dresses once again in her white nightgown, ignoring the smear of blood between her thighs, and walks the silent halls of Lestrange Manor, the shadows pooling around her bare feet.

She returns to bed only when she begins to shiver more from cold than from the thrill and terror of her wedding night. Rodolphus stirs a little when she crawls beneath the covers beside him. Instinctively she freezes, barely daring to breathe until she is sure that he is safely asleep.

She lies still, unsleeping, until daylight seeps through the velvet curtains, lightening the shadows in their chamber. Then she rises again, careful not to wake her new husband, and so begins her first day as wife.

And she thinks: I am no longer a Black.

II

Afterwards they lie comfortably entangled, damp and flushed with the wonder of the act they have just discovered. He runs his fingers through her hair where it forms a curtain to hide her bare shoulder from view. How beautiful she is, he thinks, awed and frightened to be the one lying here with her, to be hers.

He makes a curious noise, soft, deep in his throat, at the realization that they are married now, truly and forever; that they are free from the shadows of her past. She is no longer a Black.

She props herself sleepily up on an elbow, her cheek red where it's been pressed against his skin. "Ted?"

He cannot find the words to tell her. He shakes his head and smiles back, shy again, like he was at seventeen, that first time she let him kiss her.

And as she drifts off into sleep, her head rests trustingly on the gap below his collarbone. He lies awake for hours, just feeling her presence, just holding her.

In the morning she wakes to find him already gone and a carefully folded note lying on the pillow beside her head: I love you.

And she thinks: I am no longer a Black.

III

Afterwards they lie together as they have done before, her back pressed against his chest, the circle of his arms proprietarily tight around her waist. His lips brushing her ear, he murmurs poetry, something familiar and French: Ma mignonne dont les yeus logent mon pis et mon mieus...

She remembers herself at seventeen, the first time he held her like this and called her his amourette; barely out of school and reveling in the first taste of freedom; the flushed recklessness of the moment. Ma doucette, ma succrée, ma grace, ma Citherée... His lips on her neck, barely touching her skin, so that she feels the warmth of his breath and the merest touch of his skin on hers.

Tu me dois pour m'appaiser mille fois le jour baiser. Less than a whisper, his voice disquiets and soothes her. She turns to him seeking the warmth she has lost when her sisters left home.

It is not until she has listened to his quiet breathing for a very long time that she realizes that she too has left home now.

And then she thinks: I am no longer a Black.


For Morganofthefairies,a translation of the French:

Ma mignonne dont les yeus
Logent mon pis et mon mieus:
Ma doucette, ma succrée,
Ma grace, ma Citherée,
Tu me dois pour m'appaiser
Mille fois le jour baiser.

My sweetheart in whose eyes
I see my best and my worst:
my darling, my sweet,
my graceful one, my Cytherea,
to calm me you must kiss me
a thousand times a day.

Cytherea: a name of the Greek goddess Aphrodite