Summery: While in Azkaban, Bellatrix starts to remember more significant memories from her past.
Time line: BeforeBellatrix escapes Azkaban in OOTP.
Rating: Mature / 18+
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from writing this story
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Belligerent & Betrothed
Bellatrix shuddered as she took a breath. It was cold... so cold. The tiny hairs on her dirt stained arms stood up so high they reminded her of small daggers. Her last breath lingered in front of her, icy white frost that almost lingered on her lips before fading away into nothing before her, waiting for the next cold exhale to come.
Her hair hung like strings in front of her face, and she itched her arm, cursing after almost slicing it open with her long jagged fingernails. When was the last time she even cut them? She didn't know, she didn't care. Probably before she was sent here. How long had she been here? A year? Eight? Twelve? Twenty? Time seemed to run together in here. She didn't even know if it was day or night right now, it was always dark in Azkaban. Even over the water it was dark.. Not that it really mattered of course.
Bellatrix itched again, being careful not to slice herself this time. It was that damned striped sack shed been wearing for lord knows how long now, was what it was. It always made her itch. Sometimes she wondered if she was a living home for bugs. She would just take it off, its not like the dementors would even know the difference. But there was one other high security cell facing hers, and it held a man. Rudolphus, her foolish husband. Bellatrix scratched and picked at the dirt on her leg. He was the last person she needed to be sending into a sexual frenzy. She remembered the day she met him, she remembered the day she knew she would be forced to be tied down for the rest of her life.
"Bellatrix Black!" Her mother shrieked, making her little sister jump instinctively behind her and Bellatrix scowled in her room. "You get down here RIGHT NOW!"
"You better do what she says, Bella," Narcissa, her baby sister, said. "You know how she can get."
"I don't want to do this, Cissy," Bellatrix said exasperatedly as she picked at the dress she was wearing. Stupid ruffles, wish I could just cut them off. Or even my head, so I wouldn't have to go through this.
"But why?" Narcissa asked as she flopped down on the bed beside her sister, laying on her stomach with her head in her hands as she smiled. "Don't you want to get married? Be a good wife and mother?"
"No." Maybe I could cut off his head, that would work better.
Narcissa rolled her eyes. Even at the age of ten, she had already began to talk to older sister like equals without fear. "Then what do you want to be then? You're a woman, what other choice do you think you have?"
The door opened and someone replied, "She wants to be free, as foolish as a wish as it is."
Bellatrix's oldest of her younger sisters, Andromeda, walked in the door. She looked at Bellatrix and said pointedly, "Get downstairs before Mother gives you a lashing. You don't want to meet your future husband with a red ass, do you?"
"I've already met him, 'Dromeda. He's in our House."
"Regardless! You know what I mean!"
Bellatrix gave a loud sigh of exasperation and laid down on the bed heavily and looked to the ceiling. "This is horrible, I'm too young for this."
"You're fourteen, Bella. You're the perfect age. Besides, you won't be marrying him for a couple of years anyway. Now get up and go downstairs so Mother can lecture you while she fixes your hair." Andromeda replied, and looked towards the door as a silent order.
Bellatrix made a face but sat up. Another shriek of "BELLATRIX!" reached the top of the stairs and she winced. She wasn't looking forward to this. Maybe I could cut off my Mother's head?
Trudging down the stairs in a huff, Bellatrix decended the grand staircase to be greeted by her mother, Druella, who had a look of annoyance plastered all over her face.
"Bellatrix I called you twice! Do you want to look a mess when the Lestranges arrive?" Druella grabbed her daughter's arm tightly and pulled her into the powder room before basically throwing her on the stool in front of the mirror.
"Shush girl! I'll have you know it took weeks just to convince them to meet you! They've heard the stories about your misbehaviors at school, I'll have you know. They were quite weary about having their son possibly marrying you, regardless of the status of our family!"
Bellatrix sat up straighter in her chair, hope written all over her face, "So we're not yet betrothed?"
Druella laughed as she started to curl Bellatrix's hair. "Don't be foolish, Trixie. Of course you are. Apparently you're all young Rodolphus talks about, thank goodness. At least someone finds you worthy of marriage, I was afraid no one would."
Bellatrix scowled, this is why she always hated talking with her mother, she always made her feel like she was the family disaster. That, and she absolutely despised the nickname 'Trixie.' It made her sound like a five year old. Yes, it's definitely Mother's head that has to go.
Bellatrix's eyebrows knitted into confusion at something her mother said. "Wait... why does he talk about me? We never even speak in school."
"Oh heaven knows," Druella said as she tightened the curling iron around her daughter's hair. "Maybe he finds you attractive. What does it matter anyway? Be happy a man is interested in you, it's a better choice than me shipping you off to a convent because you shamed the family by being unfit for marriage."
"Boy," Bellatrix corrected.
"Rodolphus is fifteen. A boy, not yet a man."
Druella sighed, "Stop picking, Bellatrix. You are going to shut up and smile for this dinner, and don't screw things up, is that understood?"
Druella was finishing setting her curls when Bellatrix replied dryly, "Yes, Mother."
"Good," Her mother said and took her arm again to pull her off the stool, like she couldn't get herself up alone. Bellatrix scowled again. "Now go wait at the door to greet them, they should be here any moment."
Druella gave a little shove to Bellatrix out the door as she rolled her eyes. Wringing her hands together and cracking her knuckles, Bellatrix practically stomped towards the door, leaning against the wall as she waited for the Lestranges to arrive.
Bellatrix wasn't always this obnoxious or defiant. No, of course not. Though she always had a spark in her that sometimes came off as an attitude, she mostly tired to upload her family honor by acting like a perfect young lady. She was proud to be a Black, a pureblood, one of the oldest lines of purebloods in fact. But there was times, like this one, that she hated it. Purebloods always had arranged marriages, it kept the blood untainted and it kept from making the pure stray and accidently fall in love with the lessers. And to breed with them, well, that would be the worst crime of all.
Not that Bellatrix ever pictured herself falling in love. No, she was much too independent for something like that. A man tying her down... the thought made her sick to her stomach. But yet, it was inevitable. She hated more than anything right now that she was destined to turn into her mother: nothing but a rich housewife.
A loud chime filled the hallway from the doorbell. The Lestranges had arrived. She smoothed out her crimson dress and looked in the hall mirror to check her lipstick before talking a deep breath. This is it.
Bellatrix took a step forward and grasped the door handle, opening it. Her face went from a scowl to a smile in the blink of an eye, and she curtsied to her guests. "Sir and Madame Lestrange, how good of you to come." She looked at Rodolphus, trying hard not to show any signs of contempt on her face and gave a nod of acknowledgment, "Master Lestrange."
Rodolphus nodded his head back, "My Lady."
Bellatrix stepped aside and extended her hand to the living room. "Please let me show you to the parlor, my Mother and Father shall greet you there."
The Lestranges took off their coats and hats in the hall and Bellatrix would tell from their exchanged looks that they were impressed with her so far. Not that she personally felt the need to do so, but she knew if she shamed the family name her mother would most likely get her Aunt to blast her from the family tree and disown her. Which ultimately wouldn't do anything positive for her life.
As she followed the Lestranges into the parlor, she sighed and looked back at the grand staircase and wished her sisters could be here for this. She didn't want to endure this suffering alone. But she knew the routine, it had been plastered into her head ever since she was a small child. Small talk in the parlor, the adults adjourn to the dining room to have the betrothed get to know each other better, than dinner. It was simple, quick, and hopefully painless. But knowing my luck...
Bellatrix was interrupted from her thoughts from her mother pinching her on the arm. Refraining from crying out or even changing her expression though she was sure her mother just broke her skin, she looked at Druella who motioned her head towards the couch... right next to Rodolphus. Lovely.
Bellatrix forced a smile and sat next to him. Crossing her legs, she looked at her parents expletively. Now for the boring part.
Bellatrix's mother sat down next to her father and looked at the Lestranges while pouring some tea for their guests into their finest china. "It's so good of you both to come, I'm sure the children are just as excited about this engagement as we are. To join the Black and Lestrange line is a positive step for the future of pureblood families."
Bellatrix's eyes fluttered over to look at Rodolphus, and the thought of breeding with him made her sick. The only reason she didn't vomit right there in the living room was the fact that breeding with him would make her children next to royalty. So she choked back her bile and smiled ay him.
Mrs. Lestrange took the tea Druella offered her and smiled, "Bellatix has been all Rodolphus talked about all summer. So when she turned fourteen we knew that Rodolphus would be an excellent suitor for her." Bellatrix resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Of course she didn't mention how she was weary about her son wanting to marry her.
"Of course," Druella agreed, nodding. "And when Bellatrix turns seventeen they will be married. I'm thinking a summer marriage, right after she graduates from Hogwarts would suffice. Thoughts?"
Bellatrix started to block out all the boring parts of the wedding details. It's be three years till all that stuff happened anyway. She really couldn't care less what color dress she'd be wearing or where the wedding would be or who they should invite to make it the "party of the year." This was more Narcissa's thing than anyone else, and she was sure when the time came Narcissa would be jumping with joy. Andromeda... well it's hard to know what Andromeda thought about anything these days. She seemed so quiet and withdrawn lately. She barely even saw her in the common room at school anymore.
Bellatrix was snapped out of her thoughts by her parents and the Lestranges rising to adjourn to the dining room. Great, Bellatrix thoughts, Now I get to be left alone with him. As the adults left, Bellatrix let out a small sigh and started to play with her hands. What was she even supposed to talk about?
"So... why me?" She asked, turning her head to finally look at him.
Rodolphus let out a chuckle, "Why you? You're the oldest Black sister, you're what every other available pureblood bachelor wants right now. To have you is a prize worthy of a king."
Bellatrix raised an eyebrow, "Then you regard me as nothing more than a trophy wife?"
That statement made Rodolphus raise his eyebrows, "Good?"
It was Bellatrix's turn to laugh this time, "I was afraid you foolishly fell for someone who could never return your feelings."
"No, I would never expect that. I'd only expect the things a dutiful wife should do. Produce children, clean the house, and do what you're told."
Bellatrix scoffed, "Good luck with the last one."
Rodolphus smirked and Bellatrix instantly got a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. He slipped his hand over hers and held on tightly... a little too tightly. "Oh come on now Bella... I know you're strong willed and everything, but I think you'd like getting told what to do."
Bellatrix's eyes narrowed. "Firstly, you are to address me as Bellatrix or Lady Black at all times. Second, if you don't let go of my hand I'll make sure you lose yours."
Rodolphus laughed and drew closer to her, so close that she was backed up on the edge of the leather couch and she could feel his breath on her lips. She could barely contain her gag reflex from going off. "I like that little spark in you..."
"Get off of me," Bellatrix growled as she tried to take her hand back from him but without success.
Rodolphus held on tighter and drew closer, "You've always been a looker, Lady Black. I've wondered what it'd be like to taste you... now I finally can."
Bellatrix grabbed Rodolphus' free hand with her own and with all her strength wrenched it backwards, nearly breaking it. Rodolphus gasped out in pain and Bellatrix whispered furiously. "You will never touch me until we are married, and when we are the only part of you that will touch me is the part that will make us reproduce. Is that clear?"
Rodolphus laughed softly, "Oh, I'd knew you'd be the fun one..."
The dinner bell in the other room went off to signal their cue to join the adults in the dining room. Bellatrix let go of his hand and stood up before looking down on him with a challenging glare, "Do you still want to marry me?"
Rodolphus smirked as she rose to stand next to her, "Now more than ever."