Always Unrequited

The smell of sea salt filled the moonlit cell. Sounds of the ocean echoed like whispers of memories from times past. Against the floor, face pressed fully against the cold, dirty stone, lay Bellatrix Lestrange. Her once beautiful body was bruised and marred, betrayed by her many long years at her cell in the wizarding prison; her dark brown, eyes glinted softly in the the little light that had bravely made its way to caress her face, covered nearly wholly by her heavily-laden lids.

She was not asleep, nor was she dead; though her rank smell would promptly persuade one to believe otherwise. The chains that bound her to her cell met her arms with thick steel bands that cut deep into her ever-paling skin, irritating the wounds that in thirteen years had only managed to fester with disease and all manner of vile things. Her clothing, if the rags she now wore could be called that by any major manipulation of the definition, was torn and ragged, hanging loosely around her scrawny, rib-bearing torso. Numerous scratches and scars plagued the plain of her belly and each told a story.

The first, a small, but deep gash now healed over had been inflicted by her dear mother, Druella, when she had learnt that Bellatrix had chosen modest Rodolphus over the wealthy and influential Lucius. It still stung on occasion, relighting the light of the memory of what had been. She had long since forgiven her mother. Rodolphus was nothing the man she'd expected to marry. She'd chosen the man she'd seen best fit, best looking, from the short list of possible pure-blood suitors. It was clear now that her sister had gotten the better man with Lucius, but it didn't really bother her now.

The second was a long, shallow cut. Its faint red colour sparkled dimly in the moonlight, as if fresh with new blood. This mark, too, however, had long since healed over, being a mere scrape from her rough capture by the Aurors. She smiled to herself; Frank and Alice Longbottom had gotten what they'd deserved. She was proud to serve her Lord in any way that could further The Cause. Any way that would prove her loyalty and gain her power. Power, she knew, was like a wonderful drug. Its ecstasy-inducing pleasure she'd become so thoroughly addicted to, andhe could provide her with as much of it as she could ever desire.

A third wound, a vertical gash down her right side, ran down to the side of her knee. The sore and raw flesh sting stung a little, irritated further by the salt in the air and on the floor of the cell. Her first attempt at finding her Lord and Master had failed her; she had sneaked nearly to the exit of Azkaban only to be unluckily discovered by the Aurors in training. On a particularly annoying note, it had been her niece, Nymphadora, that had discovered her. She had been so close to escape that sliding down the few feet of cliff to make a dive into the water had been the best of ideas. Unfortunately, the water was icy cold and her already weakened, fatigued body could scarce stand up to the waves the current repeatedly beat her with. She had growled angrily in her frustration, only to be thrown back into her cell, without medical treatment, to rot.

The fourth and deepest of all the wounds, however, was not one that could be seen; though one might say it could be found just under her left breast. It was a wounded heart she carried with her, more painful than she had ever before bared. She could not understand it fully, she supposed. She longed to find him, to rejoin her Dark Lord once again, to be at his side through the grim of it all.

But would being at his side truly be enough? She pondered the thought for only a moment before a dull ache set in. She clutched her hand to her chest and groaned, it was tender. She closed her eyes, bringing his face to her mind's eye. His beautifully crimson, serpentine eyes glimmered in the fire of her musings, the firmness in his jawline sent a small shiver down her spine. She imagined herself leaning toward him, taking what she knew she could never have...

Her lips crashed onto his as she played into her feelings, her emotions; aspects of her consciousness that she had long since told herself she had forgotten. Here she was free of her bonds and of her wounds, her injuries. Here she could have him alone and to herself, as she wanted him. His lips were soft and virgin, never touched by passion before, never caressed nor brushed lovingly. Her eyes met his when he failed to respond. He only stared back at her, his eyes open and emotionless as though nothing were happening.

Unwillingly, she tore her lips from his and faced away from him, staring at the glowing flames in the fire, the glowing embers dancing a quiet dance against the silence of the night. Was she ashamed? She told herself no and believed it.

Once again, she turned to face the man that confused her so fully. She loved this man, though she refused to admit it, even to herself. He was cold and cruel, heartless and powerful; he had all the glory anyone could ever want. He stared back at her without expression, blinking only once in what seemed like an eternity.

Could this man not feel love? Or could he not feel such things for her? She supposed it didn't matter. She remembered something her mother had taught her long ago that had served her well these many years,

Love is always unrequited.