Blue eyes, Black heart
Friday 16th May, 1997
High Security Wing, Azkaban Prison
Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black leaned back against the wall of her ten foot square cell in Azkaban prison. There was no window in the cell but the barred front 'wall' of the cell let in a flickering, dancing light from the guttering torch ensconced in the black stones of the wall at the opposite side of the corridor. She glared at the prison guard who sat on a chair underneath it, smoking a Muggle cigarette and reading a book, whose eyes flickered up to her every few moments, cautious of the infamous witch despite the reinforced bars and magic suppressing field that held her fast. There was no privacy in this wing of Azkaban. Each open fronted cell had a Department of Magical Law Enforcement employee stationed outside it twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, keeping watch on the dangerous magical criminals held within, murderers all. They were mostly Death Eaters.
Bellatrix knew that a few metres down the corridor to her right, another guard sat facing a cell which held Theoderic Yaxley and Orestes Broadmoor, to her left were Mervyn Travers and Walden Macnair, and that somewhere along the corridor Lucius Malfoy, Lucretia Thurkell, Nausika Furmage and Felton Goyle, among others, languished in their own little oubliettes. The guards didn't like the prisoners shouting to each other, but that hadn't stopped them doing it from time to time. It hadn't been like that in the old Azkaban, but apparently Ministry laws stated that high security prisoners had to have one guard per cell at all times. Not having the manpower to guard every Death Eater separately without the Dementors around to do the job, the chronically cash-starved Department of Magical Law Enforcement had found it necessary for prisoners to double up, two per tiny cell, and Bellatrix was the odd one out, lucky, or unlucky enough to be on her own.
"Hey, squib!" called Bellatrix to her personal gaoler, a little louder than was necessary. He looked up disinterestedly, and then back down at his book again, ignoring her.
"How come they get cellmates and I don't? I'm going fucking crazy with boredom here!"
The guard snorted, then burst out laughing. "That's a good one. You hear that boys?" he said, calling to his colleagues down the corridor. "Lestrange here is worried that if she has nobody to talk to she might go crazy!" A chorus of laughter sounded from the other men. The guard turned his attention to Bellatrix, smirking. "Don't worry darling, we all know you haven't got any screws left to lose."
Bellatrix gave him a two finger salute and sank down to the floor, which was mercifully dry. The cell she had spent more than fourteen years in on her last stint had been a lot colder and damper than this one. Boredom was a luxury she hadn't had back then. With the constant sapping of the Dementors at her happiness and her sanity, she had never been able to concentrate long enough to become bored. Her liberty had been short lived however - a breakout, a few months recovering from her ordeal, the orgasmic rush of freedom and intoxicating dark magic at the Department of Mysteries, then a short trip to Knockturn Alley, where she had arrogantly presumed she would not be detected, and a pair of stunners from behind. Another eleven months in prison without the mental strain of the Dementors had calmed her somewhat, but she longed for two things above all else - human company and the feel of her magic again, that indescribable feeling of power that enraptured her whenever she put her gift to use.
The voice of another guard echoed down the stone hall and into her cell.
"Actually mate, I heard Dumbledore just brought in a live one down at the Ministry. Can't say who in front of this lot, but one of the Aurors said that since the new one knew the Lestrange bitch and they got along so well, they were thinking of putting them in together."
Bellatrix's heart had leapt when she had heard that. Someone she got along well with. Thoughts of her fellow Death Eaters and who they might have captured ran through her mind before it hit her belatedly that the man had been being sarcastic. But who could it be? There were Death Eaters that she didn't get on with, sure, but nobody that she had any sort of feud with, and how would an Auror know about that anyway? The only people she really hated were those on the light side, and Dumbledore would hardly imprison one of his own. She would just have to wait and see.
Saturday 17th May, 1997
Bellatrix looked up from inspecting her dirty fingernails as the sound of heavy boots and something dragging came along the corridor. Her guard stood and saluted lazily as a pair of scarlet robed Aurors came into view and stopped, facing her. Between them they held an unnaturally pale, black haired, slender young man in a white coat. He was unconscious, head hanging down so that his face wasn't visible, and his arms were bound behind his back. Bellatrix could see that the sleeves curved right back around again and were strapped together across his chest, binding his arms. A straightjacket. The first Auror, a grey haired but tall and vital looking man, let go of the prisoner's left shoulder and raised a rather stubby wand at Bellatrix. She just sat as she was - assuming it was part of the procedure to make sure she didn't try anything. At the old Auror's signal, the guard pulled a small engraved silver key from his pocket, and walked to the wall next to the front of Bellatrix's cell, disappearing from her view. Moments later, the cell bars slid upwards into the ceiling without a sound.
Bellatrix eyed the open front wall longingly, but didn't move, knowing an escape attempt was hopeless, and instead focused her attention on the newest prisoner of Azkaban. The second Auror, a thickset, blonde man much younger than his companion, who still held his charge up by the shoulder with one large hand, drew his wand with the other and, grinning, cast a quiet enervate at the black haired youth's head.
"Rise and shine, lad. It's time to meet the person you'll be spending the rest of your life with," he said, mock cheerfully. The youth raised his head groggily, and opened glowing red eyes, fixing Bellatrix with a malevolent stare, before his eyes widened in shocked recognition. Bellatrix herself was surprised and not a little afraid - the young man looked uncannily like the Dark Lord before his rebirth.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me!" he shouted, beginning to struggle. The Auror, sensing trouble, threw him bodily into the cell, giving the signal, and the bars slammed down behind him, much aster than they had risen.
"Have a nice life, traitor," called the younger Auror behind him as the two scarlet robed men retreated back the way they had come.
Bellatrix watched as her new cellmate struggled to his feet, having difficulty because of his bound arms. His eyes flashed and he bared his teeth at her, then he turned and charged the bars, fast, slamming his shoulder into them so hard that Bellatrix was sure he must have hurt himself, especially when he bounced right off and fell to the floor again. The bars didn't even rattle and she laughed out loud.
"Shut up, bitch," the voice was low, almost hissing, and she shivered slightly, but wasn't about to back down before some hog-tied youngster who she couldn't recognise, no matter how much like the Dark Lord he might look.
"Don't tell me to shut up, boy. I was a Death Eater before you even knew what magic was," she said, not sure of his age but confident from his looks that she was unlikely to be wrong. The youth was still lying on the floor, facing the bars, but Bellatrix could see the guard observing them curiously.
"Hahahaha... Not that it matters in here, whore, but you wouldn't last a minute against me in a duel."
Bellatrix was angry now. "Who the fuck do you think you are, you little shit? I'm the Dark Lord's strongest servant!" she said, advancing on his prone form. Just as she got close he coiled like a spring and flipped upwards, landing on his feet and fixing her with a penetrating glare before cackling madly again.
"Don't you recognise me, Bella?" he asked, bouncing up and down on the spot, before doing a back flip, almost catching Bellatrix in the face with his toes as he spun. She stumbled backwards, hitting the back wall of the cell.
"No I don't fucking recognise you, now sit down before I lay you out!"
He stopped still and then surged forward, moving almost faster than she could see and pressing her up against the wall with his body, blood red eyes at the same height as her cobalt blue ones boring into her. Bellatrix could feel his breath on her lips as he whispered "Don't you remember your ickle baby Potter?"
She gasped and tried to move away, but there was nowhere to go. She struck out at him, trying to push him away from her, but even without his arms to balance him, he didn't budge an inch. She stopped struggling and looked back into his eyes, fear clouding her mind, but then he chuckled and took a step back.
"Seems His Majesty King Voldemort didn't let even his 'strongest servant' into his private library."
"What?" Bellatrix was shocked that he was being civil, though she could still remember the fear she had felt just moments before.
"You were shocked by my speed and strength. A few body enhancement rituals and the Aurors would be putting you in a magical straightjacket too." Harry Potter laughed darkly. "As it is, restraints or no, I could kill you right now. With my teeth."
Bellatrix sat down heavily on the stone floor. It was true. That strength she had felt clearly wasn't affected by the magic suppressant wards - if he decided to end her life he could probably do it before the guard could fire a spell.
"Why don't you, then?" she asked, fearing the answer.
He smiled. It wasn't a friendly one, though.
"Why, because that's what they want me to do. You think the Aurors put me in here because they thought we were good friends? No. You do hear about the outside world in here, don't you?"
A deep laugh came from behind Potter, the guard giving an unpleasant reminder of the worst aspect of the new, Dementor-free High Security Wing of Azkaban - the utter lack of privacy.
"You don't hear anything in here. It's one of the rules. No visitors, no letters, no discussing the outside world where a prisoner might hear it. She didn't even know about you, traitor." The last word curled off into a snarl, and the man sat down again with a thump, returning to his book.
"Lovely," the black haired, red eyed youth said dryly before leaning against the wall and returning to the matter at hand. "Hmm. Well, as you must know, shortly before your rather inglorious recapture-" he stopped to laugh at the scowl which Bellatrix couldn't keep from her face at that "-Arthur Weasley became Minister of Magic. Know anything about him?"
Bellatrix growled and shook her head. She hated appearing ignorant before the Potter brat, even if he seemed to have changed utterly from the boy to whom she had given an impromptu lesson in the Cruciatus curse nearly a year ago.
"Not your sort. Likes Muggles. Not a very inspiring man, really, but that isn't why he became Minister. You see, he is, above all else, Dumbledore's man." Bellatrix still had no idea where he was going with this and from the smirk on his face he knew that, and knew that he was irritating her to no end, but she held her tongue.
"And now we're getting to the crux of the issue. You see, Dumbledore is very much opposed to capital punishment. With the Dementors gone, a lot of important people - and significantly, almost all of the Auror division - wanted to start utilising the Veil of Death again." Bellatrix looked away, not wanting to meet those glowing red eyes at that point.
"Yeah," he said, "Well, Dumbledore wasn't happy about that one, so he had his pet Minister outlaw execution. The Aurors had me assigned to this cell in the hope that I would kill you, and they would get their execution unofficially."
Bellatrix sighed and closed her eyes. At least she wouldn't have to worry about being attacked. She began to drift off to sleep, not knowing or caring whether it was day or night, but Potter's mocking voice brought her back to wakefulness.
"You don't honestly think that would be enough to stop me from killing you, do you?" he laughed. Icy tendrils of fear wrapped around her heart and Bellatrix fought to stop her fear from showing on the outside. He was going to kill her after all. "No," he said, still leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the cell, "nothing could stop me from getting my revenge for what you did." He closed his eyes and leaned back, a wide smile on his pale face. "But you see... I already took my revenge. Why do you think I'm in here, woman? I fell, and I took no few people, good and bad down with me." Bellatrix had no idea what he was talking about. How could he think he had got his revenge on her already without her realising? She didn't speak, though, once again not wanting to give him the satisfaction of knowing she was curious.
As long moments of silence passed, Potter's smile faded. He began to tap his foot against the floor rhythmically and his eyebrows knotted into a frown.
"Well, bitch?" he eventually said, "aren't you even going to ask me what I did?"
"...No," Bellatrix said, outwardly smirking, but inwardly still fearful of what his reaction might be. He pushed off the wall and walked towards her again, leaning over her until their heads were almost touching. Bellatrix looked up at him.
"I killed them," Potter said, grinning toothily, "Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange. Your husband and brother in law. I fucking tortured them to death. It was the most fun I've ever had in my life." He straightened up and stood over her, smirking.
"So?" Bellatrix said, without thinking. Potter's crimson eyes widened incredulously.
"What the fuck do you mean so? I killed your fucking husband, woman! This is my revenge! You're supposed to be crushed, you're supposed to suffer the same way you made me fucking suffer!" Potter was pacing up and down, self-absorbed and almost talking to himself. Bellatrix knew she'd fucked up. Having ruined Potter's revenge he would most likely decide to kill her. She considered going for crocodile tears and hoping he'd forget her momentary slip, but this new Potter, if a little crazy, seemed to be a lot smarter than the old one, who she admittedly didn't have much experience of. What did she have left but the truth?
"Fine, Potter, I won't lie to you. I didn't really like either of them very much. But really, what can you expect? It was an arranged marriage and we were together less than a year before getting thrown in here the first time. So no, I don't care. Besides, I knew about Rodolphus dying. About three months ago, right?"
"What?" Potter's gaze flicked over to the book-reading guard. "How did you...?"
Bellatrix laughed. "Seems you don't know everything about everything, huh Potter? We had a magically binding marriage contract to ensure fidelity. It's common among purebloods. I felt it being lifted, not that I can get any in here anyway." She smiled and looked Potter up and down, making him squirm.
"Oh," he said, confusedly, and his shoulders slumped a little.
Bellatrix laughed to herself. 'Seems he hasn't quite grown up all the way yet,' she thought, 'a little setback and he reverts to being a teenager. At least he seems to have forgotten about killing me for the moment.'
"Potter..." He looked over to her, still looking a little defeated. "I didn't mean to kill him, you know that, right?" From the look on his face he obviously didn't.
"He was family. He might have been a disgrace to his name," she said, and Potter seemed to come back to himself, glaring at her fiercely, "but he was still a Black. It was just a stunner. Just an accident."
Potter sank down against the wall again, sitting opposite her, forehead resting on his knees. There was silence for a few moments, and then he spoke.
"Yeah... I guess deep down I always knew that. I never forgot the colour of that curse..." He trailed off, staring at the floor. "What he meant to me really, was the life I had always wanted up to that point... but afterwards, I decided I didn't want that life anymore after all. I took a different path, as you can see," he said, looking around deliberately as if to indicate the cell and his presence in it.
They sat in silence as the minutes stretched by, Potter staring at the floor while Bellatrix chewed her fingernails. It was a habit she had never rid herself of, no matter how dirty they got.
"I won't kill you," she heard, some time later.
This might be a one-shot, or I might decide to develop it more at some point in the future, either backwards in time or forwards. For the moment though, I think it's enough to just stand on its own.
If you liked it, or even if you didn't – tell me about it. You know how.