I think sometimes that my mother must have known what I would become. My very name is too fitting to have been chosen coincidentally. What other name could I have had, what other title, that would have let the world know who and what I was. The Bride of Death, I have been called. It's true, in many ways. It doesn't matter that I love him, or that I am the only being he has ever loved in return. To the rest of the world, he is the darkest wizard to have ever lived. And I am doomed to love him in spite of the horrors I know him to have committed, the cruelty that he is capable of, the darkness that threatens daily to consume his soul. He is the King of Hell, the Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He is Voldemort, and damned as they say I am for it, I wouldn't have any other.
I am Persephone Aurora Black Riddle. I am daughter, wife, mother. This is my story. I am the woman who loved Lord Voldemort.
I awoke feeling cold. The room was dark, but I could just make out a line of yellow light below the door. I turned over, seeking the warmth of my husband, only to discover that the bed was empty. This alarmed me into wakefulness. He rarely allowed anyone to drag him from his bed once he retired for the evening; something must have happened.
"Nagini?" I hissed into the darkness. I saw a dark image stir on the floor.
"Where is Tom?"
"I do not know mistress. He only told me to stay here with you."
I got out of bed and put on my slippers.
"Well we're going to go and find him." A wave of my hand lit the candles and the room became visible. The adder uncoiled herself in what could have been a lazy stretch. Her forked tongue slid from her mouth, testing.
"You are nervous, mistress."
"Yes, Nagini. I will feel better when Tom comes back to bed," I replied, pulling my robe around me. In my hand, my wand hummed in a soothing manner.
I made my way into the hall and was surprised to find no one outside the door to our chamber. There was always a guardian in front of our rooms. The sense of unease that had driven me from bed grew heavy in my belly. We continued down the corridor, which remained uncomfortably empty, and down the flight of stairs that led to the ground floor. Past the kitchens, the library, the dinner hall, I came to the foyer. Here, finally, there were people.
Men and women in white masks and black cloaks were darting in and out of my husband's study. Cracks of apparition resounded in the marble hall as more and more of them arrived. Some paused and bowed as I moved towards them, others were preoccupied with whatever tasks they had been set and completely ignored me. I pushed my way through the crowd of bodies and into the study.
"Tom, what is going on?" I demanded, hissing in the snake's tongue. My husband looked up from his desk. Surrounded on all sides were his closest followers, the only Death Eaters allowed to be unmasked in his presence. My Aunt came over to me, tsk-ing in concern.
"Seph, you ought to be in bed."
"No Bella," I said, brushing her off. "What is happening? Why are all of the Death Eaters here?"
"There is a spy," my husband hissed. "Dumbledore will be on our doorstep within the hour." Ice gripped my heart at his words.
"I don't know yet. Right now we must defend ourselves. But I promise you that whoever it is will be very soon regretting their existence." I saw a coldness in his eyes that brought many to their knees in fear, and knew that the traitor would have a long and painful death. He looked away from me and back at the papers covering his desktop. "Lucius, I want you and Nott monitoring the perimeter. Take as many as you need. The wards should hold for at least an hour. Tell me the moment you feel them weaken. We must try to take down as many as we can while the wards protect us. After that you will all return here to the main entry where we will– "
"Surely you aren't thinking of staying here?" I interrupted. "With Dumbledore and who knows what army –"
"Of course I shall remain. I will not abandon those who are loyal to me. You, however, will be leaving immediately. Take Nagini and go with your Aunt Narcissa to one of the Malfoy estates. I will collect you myself or send someone when we have reached a secure location."
I began to protest, but found myself being steered out of the room by the Black sisters. My husband returned to his instructions; the men and women around him nodded to his orders, and moved quickly to obey. They were all willing to die for him. And yet, there was a traitor in their midst. Who had betrayed him? Were they in the manor now, waiting to strike him down during the battle?
"Please Tom, it's not safe for you here. Not with a spy among us," I insisted, Nagini hissing in agreement.
"I have made my decision Persephone, and you will obey it," he returned harshly. I remained defiant in the doorway, body rigid with fear and anger. The tip of my wand sparked with green and gold energy.
"If you stay, I will stay." Many of his followers looked up at that, forgetting that they were supposed to keep their eyes downcast and pretending to not hear the argument going on between their Lord and the one person who wouldn't be killed for it.
At that moment there was a monstrous crash resounded above our heads. The earth beneath our feet trembled and quaked, pictures and books crashing from the shelves. I felt myself stumble and fall, Nagini wrapping herself around me to provide shelter from the falling debris. Flakes of plaster fell from the ceiling. It lasted only a few seconds. I heard someone profaning in the hall.
"They're here!" my husband cried, his voice magically magnified. "Get to the lawn and defend the manor. Leave none alive!" Bodies scrambled, wands were drawn, magic crackled in the air. My husband and his inner circle rushed out into the foyer, chanting the words to strengthen the wards and repair what damage had been done. He paused only for a moment, putting an arm about my waist and drawing me close. I looked up into his crimson eyes and for the first time I saw fear in them.
"Get out of this place immediately. I will come and find you," he said, before pressing his lips to mine. "I promise."
"Be safe," I said to his retreating form and found myself running up the grand staircase, the massive black adder slithering after me. Another blast shook the manor, and I had to throw myself to the floor to avoid the chandelier that came crashing down on the stair. Scrambling, I continued up the stairs to the first landing, and ran to my room. I would need my traveling cloak, my broom, and my emergency potions kit. As I hurriedly dressed and collected these items, I found myself praying. 'Please God,' I thought, 'please, return my husband to me.'
"Mistress, hurry!" Nagini hissed, facing the door of the room, ready to fight any threat to come through the door. The wards had not failed yet, but I could feel them weakening. Dumbledore must be out there – he would be the only light wizard powerful enough to tear them down. It was certainly not Dumbledore that I feared. Though he was the only wizard alive who matched my husband in strength, he was not unjust. No, it was the mob that I feared. The wizarding world as a whole, controlled by the ministry's lies and that rag of propaganda that they called a newspaper, the Daily Prophet. They would tear Tom apart if they got their hands on him.
'No,' I thought, 'not Tom. It's Lord Voldemort they want.'
"Mistress, please!" Another quake, and I felt the wards fall. I knew that I should leave, apparate myself and Nagini to one of the many safe houses Tom owned. But I could not bring myself to flee while he was on the floor below, about to engage in battle. I heard shouts below me, and made up my mind. There was no way in Hell that I would let him fight without me. I practically ran for the door, only to find myself trapped in the coils of an irate, ten foot long black adder.
"Let me go! I have to go to him!"
"He told us to leave the manor."
"I can't leave him, Nagini, I can't! He doesn't even know about –"
The door burst open then. A man with amber eyes threw a spell at Nagini, stunning her. The weight of her limp body was almost suffocating. I cried out, catching the attention of the wizard. He came around the other side of her body and stared at me, eyes wide.
A/N: Well, here's my newest story. I hope you all like it and enjoy this while I work on my other fics. For those of you who have not, please go read the update posted in my profile.
Some of this story will be canon, some will not. I am taking great liberties with Ms. Rowling's work, and if there are any questions that won't be answered during the course of the story, I will gladly answer them.
Don't forget to review!