11 Things About Bellatrix Black

She was born on the fourteenth of November which sounds insignificant, except that Bella is known for being punctual. When she is ten she does the math and figures out that she was conceived on Valentine's day. This sounds romantic except that Bella has never been one for romance and anyway, by now her parents sleep three floors apart in their three storey house.

Their lone house-elf reads them fairtytales before bed. Bellatrix prefers The Tales of The Beetle Bard, it might not have happy endings—but it has real ones which are somehow more comforting and better than castles in the sky any day. Narcissa prefers Tales From Faerie which despite its promising title turns out to be about princesses who are rescued from bad old dragons, just like Narcissa has always wanted. Bella complains because all the girls are blonde and complete saps. Andy complains because they are all woefully historically inaccurate.

When she is eight Aunt Walla takes Sirius and her into the Family Room and shows them the tapestry. She traces the line of golden thread through the dusty centuries and marvels at the tiny little sprig that is her name. Aunt Walla talks for a while, long enough for Bella to get mightily confused and for Sirius to fall asleep. Her words are strange, heavy, and meant for later—but the one thing that Bella does understand is that blood matters.

She hates Sirius. But it's a hatred she works hard to maintain. One day when she is nine she makes a list of reasons, just because. She hates Sirius for his smile which crinkles at the edges and makes him light up from inside. She hates him for having sparkling blue eyes when hers are dull in comparison; she hates him for being charming and sweet. She hates him for being Aunt Walla's son and never having to ask for credit when he goes to buy school robes. She hates him for the fact that she is a girl and cannot inherit. But most of all she hates him for the way that he doesn't hate her.

Her hair isn't black. She was born with brown hair and lived with the shame until she was thirteen and went out to a muggle chemists' and died it black. Black is a strong colour, a right colour, a Black colour. She has kept it that way ever since. By now everyone believes that it is her real colour. But she knows it isn't, she knows inside that her hair is brown, not black, not auburn, brown.

She doesn't know what she feels about Lucius Malfoy, who looks like a male-version of Cissa, but taller, more masculine, and, she adds grudgingly, with a little bit more sense. She talks to him sometimes when it's late at night and they are the only ones left in the library. Sometimes she says more than she means to say, but…it's ok, because by morning everything is back to normal and it never happened. When he starts dating Cissa it feels like betrayal, but she knows it's not, because there were no promises—and if there ever were, well, they were gone by morning.

She rather likes the colour red. Not the Gryffindor red which she still tells Sirius looks like someone sat on a tomato, but the deep rich red—the colour of Weasley's hair. She quite likes Weasley (though she'll never admit that, not even under torture), who is ok, for a Gryffindor. Even if he does look like a tomato. She takes Muggle Studies in third year, because after all know thine enemy…right? She definitely does not take it to find out what Weasley meant when he said she was like Queen Elizabeth I (she's pretty sure he was joking).

Bella always secretly congratulates herself on the fact that none of her children are a bit like her. They take after their father with their bare-faced honesty and blunt phrasing and she can't help but feel that this is a good thing. Even when Christopher Parkinson pushes Ron down the steps to the potion's classroom and she gets a note from Dumbledore telling her that the twins proceeded to beat him to a pulp--she's grateful for the pure Weasley in their actions. When half-term comes and she hears from Ron that Christopher has been expelled for smuggling illegal substances she isn't surprised. That is until she takes one look at Percy's face and it dawns on her that maybe her children aren't that different after all.

When she is little she decides to name her one of her children Draco, even if it is a girl, because fairytales make her sick. Once, just once, she decides—she'd like to see the monster win. When it is finally her turn to choose the name she's too out of her mind on pain medication to care that Narcissa took the name (and Lucius) first, or that she is the mother of a child called Bilius. Still, on Sept. 1st when she goes to Platform 9 ¾ and sees that little blond head bobbing above the crowd while Lucius pats him on the head and Cissa kisses him goodbye she gets an achy feeling in her heart. That is, until Ronnie nearly misses the train while he's giving her one last hug, and Arthur pretends not to notice that she doesn't stop to talk with the Malfoys, but instead walks very quickly in the opposite direction, holding her head high. She loves him for that, just as she loves him for a thousand other little things—like when he catches up to her on the platform and puts his arm around her and makes everything ok.

Sometimes at night she sits up after the kids are in bed and Arthur is still at work and wonders if life could have been different. Like what would have happened if she hadn't gotten drunk at Narcissa's wedding reception, or if she hadn't turned out to be remarkably fertile, or if…or if she hadn't met Regulus that last time—she wonders what would have happened if she had become one of them. At this she shivers and pulls the blanket tighter around her.

Probably nothing good.