Rodolphus had never seen his wife so calm as when they brought her to Azkaban. She had always been so filled with emotion, so passionate, a dark fire raging within her blood.
But now she seemed so empty, especially if you cared to look in her eyes. Their spark was gone, no anger there, no passion for her Lord stirring her blood.
During the trial she had been herself purely, shrieking with rage to the entire courtroom, her eyes ablaze as she proclaimed her devotion to her Lord. He was silent beside her, watching the crown nervously.
He knew that they had no chance of being freed, that they would be in Azkaban for life…unless the Dark Lord returned. Bella was sure that he would, sure that he could not be gone. That night, the night when he had been proclaimed dead, killed by a child…there had been a mute silence among them all, disbelief that this could be true, but they knew that it had to be when the marks faded from their arms, as if they had been transitory things, not something meant to symbolize eternal service, not a bond that could not be broken.
Bella had wept that night; Rodolphus knew that, though no one else did. She had refused any comfort that he might have given her, turned away from him in their bed that night, not even letting him hold her. As he lay sleepless, he could hear her murmuring that her soul still belonged to the Dark Lord, that he would return to her, his loyal devotee.
Rodolphus was loyal too, of course, but his loyalty never approached Bella's fervor. He loved her more than he ever loved the Dark Lord, and he knew that for Bella, her Lord came before he ever did. She sat at the Dark Lord's side, and Rodolphus could see that the Dark Lord trusted her, at least to some extent, though Rodolphus believed that he trusted no one. Or, at least, Bella believed that he trusted her. Whether he did or not was unknowable.
But Rodolphus knew that the Dark Lord did not appreciate Bella the way he did, that he saw her as only another one of his many followers. Sometimes Rodolphus thought he could see a contempt in the Dark Lord's eyes, a contempt for all of them. But Bella would never see that.
So he was not surprised when, the next day, Bella told him over breakfast that she was going to find her Lord. He sighed, looking at her over the table. "You cannot do this, not so soon. The Ministry will be looking to hunt us down, and it would be more prudent to attempt this at a time later when they have become lax in their security."
She leaned forward, challenging him with those eyes that had, unseen to any but him, held tears the night before. "I should have known you would not understand. You were never truly loyal to Him, you never felt the same devotion, that giving up of all of yourself to Him that excludes everything else…I do not care what the Ministry does, for my loyalty will be rewarded!"
He could see the fear hidden in those eyes as well, though, that fear that the Dark Lord was truly dead, that he never was returning. That desperation for some sort of hope. "Just wait, Bella. Our time will come. Just wait."
She stood, pushing the dark wood chair out of the way, and it looked for a moment as if she was going to break something, as she often did when she was angry like this, but she did not. Instead she turned on her heel and left, her shoes clattering against the polished wood of the floor.
She was barefoot in Azkaban, he noticed while musing on those memories. They all were, deprived of that dignity that they had had before these days. She still looked beautiful to him like that, though, even with her dark hair tangled and matted around her face, with every part of her covered in blood and dirt, her robes so torn they were almost rags. Even her spirit was broken now, and she no longer tried to fight, but only sat in a corner of the cell, her mind far away, thinking of something long past and fearful. He missed the way she had been before.
He managed to keep her from acting on her fervor for a little while, but not long. Her plan was to gain information from Frank and Alice Longbottom, crucio-ing them to do so. Few wished to go with her in such an insane plan, but Bartimus Crouch Jr., the son of the Ministry of Magic official, who was almost as devoted as she, would go with her. Rodolphus' bother, Rabastan, though Rodolphus had thought his brother was less insane than that. Rodolphus himself hated to be involved in this, but he would go with his wife, and he would share the consequences.
He felt himself becoming aroused as he watched her torture Alice Longbottom, and from the look in her eyes, she was as well. There was such passion there, more than she had ever shown to him. Her love was always reserved for the Dark Lord, and though their nights had been passionate, it was nothing to what was in her eyes now. Crouch was torturing Frank across the room, and the symphonies of their screams seemed to be giving Bellatrix great joy. Her voice was a whisper, but it could be clearly heard, even over the screams. "Tell me where He is, and maybe I'll end your wretched life."
The woman seemed to be having difficulty speaking, but it was obvious that she didn't know anything. Bella shrieked. "You won't separate me from Him! I am His most loyal servant!" And she crucio-ed Alice again, her eyes bright.
It was soon after that when they were caught and brought to trial. He said nothing as the court decided unanimously to send them to Azkaban. Bella's eyes were still bright, still angry as she sat, regally, chained to the chair. He felt very acutely aware of the sensation of the chains biting in to his skin, the sounds of the people around him, the images that he knows will be the last things he sees except for the stone of Azkaban. Bella continued screaming that her Lord lives, that he will return and reward them, but Rodolphus did not believe her. It was like clinging to some foolish belief in a God; they were all they had now. And Bella had given any hope of saving herself when she tortured Alice and Frank.
And so they were brought to Azkaban. On the journey by boat to bring them there, Bella grew quiet, calm. As the icy touch of the Dementors surrounded them both, and he found himself lost in memories, anything vaguely happy lost, her eyes grew blank, her gaze unfocused, her fire gone. When they reach the island, human hands unchain them, because now they won't try to escape. Rodolphus vaguely realizes that that will probably be the last time he feels human touch, at least for a long time.
He is put in a cell with Bella by the Dementors, but by then he barely sees and certainly does not care. As the days he is there turn to months, it becomes strangely…normal to be there. He thought he was resigned to this already, but now he accepts it completely. He might as well get used to this here, if he will stay here for the rest of his life, however long that might be. Both of them are tortured occasionally, though never with the crucio…Bella might have enjoyed it if they had, but they consider themselves above using an unforgivable curse. But most of the time the few human guards there are pay little attention to them, leaving them instead to the Dementors, who also pay little attention to them, though their very presence means that neither of them can recall any happy memories anymore.
He doesn't care.
But Bella is gone. Her eyes are vacant, and she mutters unintelligible phrases as she gazes off into space, eating little or none of the food they are – rarely – brought.
He decided one day that he had to bring her out of this. Though neither of them could find any sort of happiness here, at least they could feel something.
His voice is clear, and it almost seems to echo through the cell. She looks up at her name, and he meets her eyes again. It takes several moments for her eyes to recognize him, and several more until words finally form on her lips. "What is it…Rodolphus?" There is a pause before his name, as she must be trying to remember it.
"If we're here for the rest of our lives, we might as well, do something with out time."
She laughs when she understands what her intends, a despairing laugh, and he knows that she doesn't believe that the Dark Lord will come for them, not really, not now. "We will feel no joy, Rodolphus, not here, and I suppose the same goes for pleasure as well."
He pulled her against him then, starved for the feel of her body. "Passion and pleasure are not joy, my dear Bella, and those are much, much better than nothing at all."
He kissed her then, a harsh rough kiss of desperation, and she gasped, her eyes having an emotion in them, finally. Her hands pull at his robes as his pull at hers, and when her clothing is finally removed, he notices how angular her body is now, how sharp. He pushes her to the ground, that cold stone, needing her, wanting her so much. With her dark hair, matted and tangled now, arrayed around her head, and that look like fire back in her eyes, she reminds him of a girl from some muggle play, a girl who went insane when she was imprisoned and was dancing holding a burning torch.
As he looks at her body, deathly pale from having not seen sunlight, thin and gaunt, he thinks she is as beautiful as ever.
But now she is his, he knows, not her Lord's. Here there is no one but him, and that look of passion in her eyes, just like the one there when she tortures her victims, the one she has for her Lord, is now induced by him.
She whispers to him, "Oh, God, Rodolphus, I've missed you."