Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue. Flames would actually be kinda entertaining, and fitting with the story.


Bellatrix Black stood before the smoldering remains of Severus Snape's house, amazed. She had killed before, countless times, but this felt so different. His muffled screams echoed in her mind, she could see his darting black eyes so very clearly, the look of abject terror when he'd finally realized why she was there. She'd had her fun, of course, watching him squirm under her gaze. He was right, she was a common whore. Then again, she had finished him off, killed him on the Dark Lord's bidding. A little voice echoed through her head.

You killed Snivellus. You killed Severus Snape! And not mercifully either. Oh, no. No simple Avada Kedavras for you, you had to go ahead and burn the greasy git alive, didn't you. So why on earth so glum, hmm? Not so heartless after all?

"Shut up!"

Bellatrix's voice echoed through the cold night, reverberating off the shacks that lined Spinner's End. She realized she'd spoken aloud and clapped a hand over her mouth, securing her hood over her head with the other. He had been suspiciously quiet, not screaming in terror or cursing her with every ounce of strength he had left. Was it possible that he knew what was coming? That he knew he'd been found out, that it was only a matter of time before the Dark Lord got wind his change to the Light side?

Bellatrix's left arm throbbed dully, and she realized that she had been standing over the wreckage for at least half an hour, lost in thought. She had, of course, bewitched the house so that a sort of effigy remained whenever Muggle eyes fell upon it, not that they would. Bellatrix imagined that the residents of Spinner's End didn't much care for neighborhood gossip, especially if they could see nothing wrong. She looked around, gave the pile of rubble that housed Snape's remains a last look and Disapparated with a loud cracking noise.

Bellatrix smiled in spite of herself. She had just Apparated into Riddle mansion, and was facing her master once more. She knelt before him, kissing the hem of the heavy black robes. Her voice was muffled against them, and she was thankful that he couldn't see the tears that had crept up into her black eyes.

"It is done, my Lord."

She saw a pale hand coming toward her, heard the familiar high, cold voice.

"Very good Bella. You may rise."

He helped her to her feet. Her hand instinctively went to her left forearm as his serpentine red eyes made contact with hers. He began to speak again.

"You see, my Bella, how wonderful it is to kill those whom displease the Dark order? Of course, you know this pleasure already. You rid the world of those Longbottom…filth. But Severus was…a special case. Convincing both that Muggle-lover and I of his loyalty, going behind our backs, thinking he could get away with it. The filthy half-blood got what he deserved. This will serve as a reminder of how unwise it is to displease the Dark Lord, won't it, Bella? A very good reminder, wouldn't you say?"

His eyes taunted her.

"Yes, my Lord. Indeed. Those who displease you are lower than Muggle scum. Severus Snape especially."

She lowered her eyes, subservient. If she repeated it, she would believe it. Snape had to die, and she had enjoyed doing it, hadn't she? She smiled wickedly, remembering the pleasure of watching him writhe under her own, expertly thrown Cruciatus. Voldemort's voice jolted her out of her reverie:

"Come closer, Bella."

He grabbed her arm, his eyes boring into hers. A smile played across his thin lips and Bella could feel her mind going pleasantly numb. There was no point resisting it and she welcomed the sensation. The high cold voice spoke again, his bony fingers gently pushing a strand of black hair back into place. It was a statement, not a question:

"You loved him."

She nodded.

"And yet you enjoyed killing him in the most brutal way possible, inflicting pain not only physical but emotional. You smiled and cackled as you watched his flesh burn away. The acrid stench was perfume to you and you grinned, smiled sweetly as you killed him, didn't you?"

"Yes, my Lord."

Voldemort considered her for a moment, his eyes glowing from the inside, almost poisonously. He frowned a bit.

"Why would you even attempt to hide this from your master, Bellatrix? I am the best Leglimens the world has ever known! Why would I send you to kill him, Bella, unless I knew that he had special…" he hesitated, then smiled evilly, "meaning to you? You still enjoyed killing him, mind you. I see all and know all. Stupidity is not becoming in one of my Death Eaters, Bellatrix, and if you ever let yourself hesitate because of stupid Muggle emotions, I'll have no choice but to…deal with you, as I see fit. Do I make myself plain?"

Bellatrix bowed low to the ground.

"Yes, my Lord."

"Very well. Come closer, Bellatrix."

He took her arms in his, kissing her violently. His red eyes glowed menacingly, and Bellatrix had never seen a more beautifully gruesome sight.

"That was an insult to Severus's memory," Bellatrix thought to herself, smiling a little to herself. She sprawled across her pillows, pulling off her slightly singed traveling cloak. Snape's voice still echoed through her thoughts, which were intermittently punctuated by his intense dark eyes, the guarded politeness in his voice as he laid his wand on the worn end table.

Long thin fingers traced the Mark on her forearm, the nails blood red against cream-pale skin. Her loyalty to the Dark Lord was unwavering, indelible as the spidery black Mark. She sunk into a fitful sleep. Her thoughts bounced around her mind, floated lazily, refusing to disappear:

Snape had to die! He deserved it, Bella. He really did, the filthy traitor. He was nothing but a lying scum, unfaithful to the Dark Order. You did the Dark Lord a valuable service, you alone are faithful.

Her fingers found her left forearm in her sleep, gripping it so that the nails drew blood…

You never said forever would ever hurt like this.

Author's Note: Woah. It's finally over. This story is like…my pride and joy. It was a lot of fun to write, and I had planned to end it after Chapter 3, with the "Crucio" kinda leaving the readers hanging. Obviously, the reviews told me differently, so I wrote this epilogue-ish thing. I hope you enjoyed reading this because I certainly enjoyed writing it. Ah, by the way, the last line is a Marilyn Manson song lyric. I figured it would fit in with the theme. Cheers.